The next re-union date is 14th September 2019, 11am, beginning with Mass, followed by lunch
Monday 17 December 2018 the Barn Choir raised (with donations) £500.00 for The Red Cross appeal for the Rohingya refugee crisis. Sisters Rose and Clare Bernadette were among the choir’s new members. Thank you to the musical director David Rudling, to all who gave of their time and talents in this cause and all who came and supported the event. If you are a singer, do consider adding your voice to the choir for the summer concert. It is an immensely enjoyable experience and the more of us, the better. Rehearsals for the summer concert begin in February 2019. Sr. Clare Bernadette
We are deeply saddened to announce Sister Fidelis died on Tuesday 5 July 2011 in Marie Curie Hospice, Leeds Road, Bradford where she went for assessment. Her condition of Motor Neurone needed further medical help. Her death was sudden. Her funeral Mass took place at 11.00 am Thursday 21 July 2011, followed by burial in Littlehampton Cemetery. Please pray for Sr Fidelis’s soul, Sr Fidelis’s family and all the FMSL Sisters.
Sunday 5 June 2011 The Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Littlehampton celebrated 100 years as a distinct congregation in Littlehampton. Bishop Kieran Conry celebrated Mass in the convent chapel at 10.30am. The Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Littlehampton had a season of celebrations – a true Franciscan approach to life. It all began on the 20 May 2011, with a gathering of our Bishop, Priests, Sisters, Friends and Relatives of Sisters Philomena Knock) and Savio (Copthorne) who celebrated their Jubilee of Religious Profession here in St Joseph’s The Mother House of the Congregation. This beautiful day was followed on the 5 June, when the Bishop returned, to lead the celebration of our 100 years as a Diocesan Congregation. We gave thanks to God for all he has achieved in and through our Congregation during this time. We recognise all the Bishops, Priests fellow Religious and the many people who have supported us with their prayer and help down the years. Mother Patrick began the Mission of caring for children in Littlehampton with £5. Those early Sisters’ trust in Divine Providence and dedication to the needs of the Church was great. This can never be purchased by money. Our early Sisters knew God would provide the means, if they gave their lives in complete dedication to the service he called them to, in the region of Littlehampton and beyond. The Congregation still holds on to this trust as we move into our 2nd century. We ask your prayers that God will keep us faithful to our Mission and his call.
On 20th August, a garden party was held in the grounds of St. Anne’s Care Home. A group of Sisters from St. Joseph’s community as well as from St. Anne’s community attended. The day was enjoyed by all and provided an opportunity for residents of the Care Home to socialise with their families and friends. We thank and congratulate the Management, staff, Sisters and all who helped to plan, prepare and run the event which raised £600.00 for the Home.
On 20th May, Sister Clare Bernadette took part in a sponsored skydive in aid of Worthing Churches Homeless Projects at Netheravon airfield near Salisbury. Sisters Elizabeth Varghese, Clare Bowers and Rose with Fr. Anthony McNeil, plus fundraising supporter Alex Mason went along to observe. After a successful jump and landing, the sponsorship funds totalled more than £2,000. Thanks to all who contributed and supported this venture.
The Franciscan International Study Centre in Canterbury sadly closed its doors at the end of June 2017. The resident communities of Franciscan Friars OFM and OFM Conventual will now withdraw their presence from Canterbury. This marks the end of an era of FMSL involvement with the FISC since its opening in 1974. Our Sisters based in Monte Bre Convent, Canterbury have participated in the Franciscan life of the FISC variously as students, staff and volunteers over the years. A number of FMSL Sisters attended the closing Mass at the FISC on 25th June. We give thanks to God for the blessings our Sisters have shared through our co-operation with the wider Franciscan family at the FISC. We also pray with trust that the legacy of the FISC in promoting Franciscan holiness and learning will continue in other places and times.
Sister Mary Augustine Salter FMSL passed away on the Feast of St. Bonaventure 15th July 2017, aged ninety seven in St. Joseph’s Nursing Home. She had celebrated silver, gold, diamond and platinum jubilees of Religious profession. Her Requiem Mass was celebrated in St. Joseph’s Convent on 27thJuly,.attendedby members of her family from Ireland. A rare treasure of the FMSL Congregation – may she rest in God’s peace.
We thank God that Sisters Marcellina Imoh and Patricia Irogementi FMSL made first profession of vows on 2nd August 2017 in St. Joseph’s Convent Chapel. The Sisters professed their vows of poverty chastity and obedience during Mass in St. Joseph’s convent chapel. The main celebrant was Father Donal Walsh OFM. Members of the Sisters’ families attended the Mass and celebratory lunch in the convent. Their vows will be renewed annually for a period of five years before final profession. Later in the year, the Sisters were able to visit their home country of Nigeria. We congratulate the Sisters and ask you to remember them in your prayers, that God will continue to bless and guide them in their vocations.
In October, the annual six-day retreat was held in St. Joseph’s. The retreat was preached by Fr. Austin McCormack OFM and was a valuable spiritual enrichment for all who took part. We thank Fr. Austin for sharing his time and wisdom with us. Fr. Austin was also staying in St. Josephs during the previous week and so was able to celebrate the Transitus and Feast of St. Francis with our community.