OPENING MASS IN YORK MINSTER
More than 2000 people attended a Catholic Mass in York Minster, by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter, on Thursday 29th January in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Mary Ward’s foundation of the Congregation of Jesus and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To see the photographs of this event click HERE
or find the Gallery page on this website
The principal celebrant was his eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor who opened
his address by reading cordial greetings from his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI who was himself educated by the Sisters in Bavaria. The message said, “For four hundred years, religious women have drawn inspiration from Mary Ward’s determination and courage, and following her example, they have dedicated themselves to carrying out God’s will through an active apostolic service. Generations of students have cause to be grateful to the sisters for the Christian education they have received, and many more have benefited from the spiritual guidance and the formation of discipleship offered by the ‘English Ladies’. His Holiness prays that, through the inspiration of their foundress, the members of the two Congregations will continue to be ‘fountains of living water in the midst of a thirsting world’ (Deus Caritas Est, 42).
In her reflection Sister Gemma Simmonds of the Congregation of Jesus said, “Mary Ward dared to dream the impossible and it came true, though not in her time.” In her words of thanks Sister Jane Livesey, CJ Provincial, added, “the prophet has at last been honoured in her own country”.
Following the Mass, the congregation was invited to join the CJ and IBVM communities at the Bar Convent for refreshments.