Welcome to the Postulancy
On 5th October two of our
candidates, Marion Bettenworth and Felicia McCormick, took the next step
as daughters of Mary Ward and were admitted as postulants by Frances
Orchard CJ, our provincial superior. This took place at our London
house, with a simple and moving ceremony, during which Marion and Felicia were
presented with the first part of our Constitutions, which they will
study over the next few months. They are now members of the small
but vibrant Willesden Lane community and of the wider
circle of Mary Ward's companions.
Many blessings on them both as they generously begin this journey of faith.
Above: Frances Orchard CJ (L) presents the General Examen to Felicia McCormick (C) and Marion Bettenworth (R)
Below: The Willesden Lane Community
[Entry dated: 06/10/2016]
Renewal of Vows by Naomi Hamilton CJ
On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14th, Sr
Naomi Hamilton CJ renewed her vows for another three years. The
Willesden Lane community celebrated the occasion joyfully, and we were
delighted to have Nicholas Austin SJ with us to celebrate Mass.
During the Mass, Provincial Superior Frances Orchard CJ said: 'The
person of Jesus is our goal, our companion and our fulfilment – nothing
else. Naomi, you have chosen Jesus totally as the Way, the Truth and the
Life and you can be certain that if you follow him wholeheartedly you
will end up like him too, in service, in suffering, in death – and in
new life like him.'
During her time in the juniorate so far, Naomi has studied for an MA in Theology at Heythrop College, and has undertaken training as a spiritual director and as a vocations guide.
Our congratulations and prayers are with Naomi as she continues her journey in the Congregation of Jesus.
Naomi renews her vows during Mass
Full of the joy of the Lord!
[Entry dated: 04/10/2016]
Sr Clare Goodman CJ (1924–2016) and Sr Maria Rochford CJ (1930–2016)
Sister Clare Goodman CJ
died in York on Friday 24th June 2016. Sr Clare was educated at Ascot and entered the novitiate there in 1942. After a degree in History, Classics and Maths at Reading University, she taught at St Mary's Shaftesbury, later becoming headmistress there for six years. A move to Zimbabwe followed, and she spent happy years teaching in Chishawasha and Bulawayo. Later life saw Sr Clare taking care of the community of elderly sisters in St Joseph's, York, and she also showed great love and concern for the homeless community in York's parks. We celebrated Sr Clare's funeral in York on 8th July, where Sr Gertie McManus CJ shared a lovely tribute which you can download here
: 'Sr Clare's life in God glowed.' May she rest in peace.
Sr Maria Rochford CJ
died in York on Wednesday 29th June 2016. Sr Maria was born in London and educated at Ascot, entering the novitiate there in 1948. She taught at Ascot and Shaftesbury, where she enjoyed playing tennis, and later spent some years teaching English and RE in Zimbabwe. She moved to Hampstead in 1993 and, after doing a TEFL course, taught English to asylum seekers in detention at Harmondsworth. Sr Maria moved to St Joseph's in 2010, and she continued to make friends in the neighbourhood, and enjoy the garden. We celebrated Sr Maria's funeral on 14th July, where Sr Colette Flynn CJ spoke warmly and movingly about Maria's life and her 'straight line to God'. You can download Sr Colette's tribute here
[Entry dated: 21/07/2016]
RECEPTION OF THEO HAWKSLEY INTO THE CJ NOVICESHIP AT BAR CONVENT, YORK
Theo Hawksley's reception into the CJ Noviceship took place on 13th September 2015 in St Joseph's Chapel, which is part of the Bar Convent area in York. There were 20 CJ members present and participating in a simple but very moving ceremony for this joyful occasion.
One of the images shows Theo with Sister Frances Orchard, Provincial of the English Province who led the ceremony, presenting Theo with the Ignatian Constitutions which Mary Ward was inspired to take for her congregation, and the small CJ cross which is our emblem.
The second image shows Theo
with Sister Clare Goodman, aged 91,
who lives and is cared for at St Joseph's.
Until January 2015 Theo was working in the Theology Department of Edinburgh University: researching, lecturing, and supervising other students. She will spend two years at the Bar Convent as a novice, preparing for the vows she is hoping to take at the end of this time. The CJ Noviceship follows the Ignatian pattern with the full Spiritual Exercises, times of prayer and study, and various 'experiences' in apostolic work.
[Entry dated: 15/09/2015]
SR CHRISTOPHER ANGELL - 80 YEAR JUBILEE
Sister Christopher Angell has celebrated 80 years of religious life (now termed the Oak Jubilee) this autumn. She entered the CJ Noviceship in 1935 at the age of 17. She took her degree in sciences at Reading University, and spent her years of teaching at St Mary's School, Cambridge, serving as Headmistress for 23 years. Following her retirement in 1972, she was missioned to the CJ Region of Zimbabwe, and has been there ever since. Now at the age of nearly 98, she is known as "Ambuya" (grandmother) a title of great respect in Zimbabwe.
Sister Jane Livesey, General Superior, was there for Sister Christopher's Jubilee. The images show her in the Chapel for Mass and the Renewal of Vows, and at the celebration lunch which followed. Sister Christopher is quite frail now, but retains her sharp mind and memory, and her ability to write interesting letters in fine handwriting. We congratulate and thank her for her long years of service in the English Province and the Zimbabwe Region.
[Entry dated: 15/09/2015]
NEWS FROM ROME
On 29th January Sisters Jane Livesey and Elena Gatica attended Pope Francis' morning Mass in the Chapel of Santa Marta. This Mary Ward Week marks the 'Year of the Just Soul'. the 400th anniversary of an important revelation to Mary Ward in 1615, and Jane and Elena presented Pope Francis with a personal copy of the beautifully produced booklet Living the Just Soul Today. A full report of this special occasion can be read on the News page of the CJ International Website www.congjesu.org and there are several photographs. Click HERE
[Entry dated: 06/02/2015]
OSBALDWICK. MARY WARD SERVICE JANUARY 25th 2015
Nearly 100 people came to Osbaldwick this year to celebrate Mary Ward, the great 17th Century Yorkshire woman (1585-1645) who was a pioneer of active religious life for women: free from monastic enclosure, governed by one of its own members, and subject directly to Rome. Mary Ward was buried in the graveyard of the little Osbaldwick Church, and by kindness of the Vicar, the Rev. Andrew Clements, Evensong has been for many years celebrated in her honour on the Sunday between the anniversaries of her birth (January 23rd) and her death (January 30th).
This year the sermon was given by Sister Gemma Simmonds CJ. To read the text of this sermon see the Talks and Documents page, or CLICK HERE
[Entry dated: 29/01/2015]
SISTER THOMAS WILLIAMS CJ 1921-2014
Sister Thomas Williams died in St Joseph's, York on 31st December 2014. She spent 41 of her 74 years of religious life in York, where she taught in the Bar Convent Grammar School and was appointed as headmistress, aged 30, in 1951; she remained in that position until 1972, encouraging many generations of pupils not only to make the most of their academic potential but also to grow in love and understanding of their faith.
After some years of in Cambridge, Ascot and Shaftesbury, during which, as well as teaching, she spent nine years as local superior, and five years in Sheringham doing retreat work, adult education and parish work, she returned to York. For many years she worked in St. Bede’s Pastoral Centre, giving courses on the Bible and days of prayer which were much appreciated. She died in her 94th year, remembered with affection and gratitude by friends and former pupils, many of whom attended her funeral in the Bar Convent Chapel on 9th January 2014. May she rest in peace.
To read the tribute given by Sister Patricia Harriss at her Requiem Mass, open the Talks and Documents page, or click HERE to find it quickly.
[Entry dated: 11/01/2015]
BAR CONVENT LIVING HERITAGE PROJECT. The Palace of Westminster, 5th November 2014
When Hugh Bayley MP, member for York Central, proposed November 5th as the date for a reception at the Palace of Westminster in aid of the Bar Convent Living Heritage Project, we jumped at it. ‘How cheeky’ was the comment of one guest fully aware of the significance of a group of Catholics promoting their heritage in the Palace of Westminster on the very date in 1605 when Guy Fawkes had been caught. We know that two of Mary Ward’s uncles, John and Christopher Wright, were part of the plot. What is probably less well known is that on the 5th November 1686 Frances Bedingfeld took possession of the key of the house on Blossom Street, the future Bar Convent.
Unfortunately Hugh Bayley was not able o be present to host the reception but we took up his kind offer of a substitute host, Helen Jones MP, the member for Warrington North. Helen was delightful; she had done her homework on Mary Ward and admires her passion for the education of women. She had also visited the Bar Convent and spoke with a knowledge and warmth that were admirable.
Approximately seventy invited guests attended - a very good cross section of guests from York, from among the old girls and past parents of our schools, from others who had expressed interest in the project, and from the Catholic great and good. The home team consisted of eight CJ Sisters, staff from the Bar Convent, and our fundraisers. We were able to announce on the evening that the sums raised for the project had reached £750,000. This is excellent news, but we are still not yet at the half-way mark of £1 million, which we need by the end of this year in order to trigger a ‘challenge grant’ of £85,000 from a Charitable Foundation. So we keep our efforts going.
This news item is taken from a longer report by Sr Frances Orchard. To read the full paper, with an account of another interesting fundraising event, click HERE or open the Talks and Documents page.
[Entry dated: 15/11/2014]
ARCHBISHOP SENTAMU AT THE BAR CONVENT
On Friday 27 June we were pleased to welcome two special guests to the Bar Convent, Archbishop Sentamu with his wife Margaret for Mass celebrated in the historic Chapel and for lunch with the CJ Community and Canon Michael Ryan. The photographs were taken in the Bar Convent Entrance Hall where Archbishop and Mrs Sentamu also met a visiting group from Huddersfield.
[Entry dated: 29/06/2014]
THE BAR CONVENT, YORK -EXCITING PLANS
Exciting plans have been launched to extend access, improve
understanding, and secure the future of The Bar Convent. Click LIVING HERITAGE PROJECT to read more. .
[Entry dated: 17/10/2013]
FAREWELL TO FITZJOHN'S AVENUE
The members of the London community have moved from No 49 Fitzjohn’s Avenue, Hampstead to a smaller house in Willesden Lane. On Saturday 6th July a Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated in the school chapel of No 47, by courtesy of the Headmistress, Angela Rawlinson, for members of the English Province, past pupils and parents, school staff, and our many friends.
This was an occasion for celebration, though with some sadness as the Congregation of Jesus has been in this part of London since 1872 and in Fitzjohn’s Avenue since the purchase of No 47 in 1926 and No 49 in 1936. Mass was followed by lunch in the garden, an afternoon of memories and farewells, and tea with a huge celebration cake. Our gratitude to the community for all the planning and work which they had put into the day to make it such a special and happy occasion, and to the Governors, Headmistress and staff of St Mary’s School who have taken on and successfully developed the school we founded nearly 150 years ago.
[Entry dated: 10/07/2013]
MARY WARD DOCUMENTARY DVD
Mary Ward - Dangerous Visionary
This one hour documentary DVD, produced by Sarah Macdonald and the Irish TV production company ‘New Decade’ was shown during an evening session at the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. The theme that day was 'Communion in suffering and healing' which is appropriate for the story of Mary Ward.
'Mary Ward - Dangerous Visionary' includes re-enactments of seminal moments in Mary Ward’s life with historical commentary. It incorporates footage of two projects where Mary Ward Sisters are working today. While education has traditionally been a major part of her Sisters' work, she herself wanted her members to respond to the needs of the times. Their ministry, she wrote, would be “care of the faith and other works congruous to the times”. In her own time she sent some of her companions to support the priests on the dangerous English Mission.
Footage from the Bar Convent in York, near to the scenes of Mary Ward’s birth and death, is juxtaposed with aspects of her story in the 21st century work done by her Institute. Part of the documentary contains visually arresting images from locations in South Sudan and Canada which challenge viewers on issues such as education of girls who face discrimination and the marginalisation of the mentally ill and homeless.
The DVD is available from the Bar Convent shop, price £9 sterling per copy plus £3 UK packing and postage.
[Entry dated: 18/05/2012]
YORK BLITZ April 29th 1942
April 29th 2012 was the 60th anniversary of the 'Baedeker Air Raid' on York, with the destruction of the Bar Convent's East Wing and part of the main building - and the deaths of five Sisters. A special Mass of Remembrance and Reconciliation was celebrated in the Bar Convent Chapel for these Sisters, for all those who lost their lives that night in York, and for all who die in war and conflict. The Chapel was crowded with people of all ages, and the older generation as they met after the Mass, exchanged memories of that terrible night. A Service of Remembrance was also held in the church of St Mary Le Grand, the York church which had suffered complete destruction in the bombing and had been rebuilt after the war. With articles and photographs daily in the local Press, this was a week of memory and prayers for peace.
[Entry dated: 05/05/2012]
MUNICH - PARADEISERHAUS EXCAVATION IN PROGRESS
In 1627 Mary Ward founded the first school for girls in Bavaria, at the request of the Elector Maximilian, who gave her a house in the Weinstrasse, named the Paradeiserhaus.
This house and school survived the suppression of Mary Ward’s congregation in 1631 but was confiscated by the government in 1809 and totally destroyed by aerial bombing in 1945. Archaeological excavations are now in progress; the cellars of the Paradeiserhaus have been discovered and 25 members of the Middle European Province have been able to visit the site.
It was the survival of the Paradeiserhaus after 1631 which saved Mary Ward’s congregation, providing a safe place where new members could be accepted and then sent out to found new communities in Germany and England. This was due to the selfless energy and sound judgement of Winefrid Bedingfield (1610 – 1666), older sister of Frances Bedingfield who founded the Bar Convent in York in 1686.
[Entry dated: 05/02/2012]
St Joseph's - RECENT EXTENSION ADDED
St Joseph's, York is the community for the elderly frail members of the CJ English Province who need 24 hour care. It is run by Sr Agatha, Margaret Loftus, and a team of devoted nurses and carers, but until recently the cramped nature of the premises has made their task extremely difficult. The completion of a much-needed extension coincided with the celebration of the Province Jubilees on 20 June 2009, and the festivities began with a service of blessing in St Joseph's Chapel. As well as the small but beautiful Chapel, the extension contains a fine sitting room and dining area, new bedrooms, wider corridors for wheelchairs, and various other much needed facilities, making space for better accommodation in the main house for the nurses as well as for the eleven Sisters. The opening day was a most happy occasion for everybody, and a selection of photographs can be seen on the Gallery Page
[Entry dated: 05/02/2012]
NEW MARY WARD BOOK
A new book of Mary Ward source texts has been published by the Catholic Record Society, in preparation for the Jubilee 400 year 1609-2009: Mary Ward (1585-1645) A Briefe Relation with Autobiographical Fragments and a Selection of Letters, edited by Christina Kenworthy-Browne CJ, Boydell and Brewer 2008. The Briefe Relation, the earliest biography of Mary Ward, is thought to have been written c. 1650 by Mary Poyntz, one of her closest companions,. A successful book launch was hosted jointly by the CRS and the CJ at the Bar Convent on 2 December 2008. This book is available at a discount offer on the price from The Bar Convent, York.
[Entry dated: 05/02/2012]
PUBLICATION OF MARY WARD SOURCE TEXTS
The long awaited publication of Mary Ward and Her Foundation.The Source Texts to 1645 has now taken place. Mary Ward und ihre Grundung. Die Quellentexte bis 1645, 4 vols, edited by Sr Ursula Dirmeier CJ, was published in Munster, Germany at the end of 2007. The texts are presented in their original languages with full introductions and notes in German. For further information on this important collection, which was presented to the Holy Father in March 2008, see the Talks and Documents page on this website where there is an account of the presentation and some photographs.
[Entry dated: 05/02/2012]
Mary Ward honoured in Yorkshire, the County of her birth
The Yorkshire Society, a large group of members and corporate members, seeks to honour the achievements of distinguished people born in Yorkshire by erecting Yorkshire Rose Plaques in places with which they were associated. Up to now these plaques have celebrated famous Yorkshire men. On 31 March 2007 the Society came to the Bar Convent to set up on the front wall a plaque for Mary Ward, the first woman to be so honoured. This fine plaque, engraved by John Shaw on blue Welsh slate, has been much admired.
[Entry dated: 05/02/2012]