The Daughters of Charity bid farewell to Hull

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Sisters with Fr. Ivan Dawson

On Saturday July 10, Bishop Terence Drainey, parish priest, Father Jim O’Brien, Father Paul Roche CM, the diocesan clergy, the Marist fathers, members of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, parishioners, colleagues and friends sisters gathered with 12 Daughters of Charity at St Vincent’s Church, Queens Road for a farewell mass.

Over the course of 131 years, the Daughters have lived and worked in Hull serving people in various ministries in the parishes of St Charles, St Vincent, West Hull, East Hull and Bransholme.

Despite the COVID restrictions, the Mass liturgy was incredibly beautiful. In his homily, the bishop thanked the sisters for their work in Hull, and even throughout the Diocese of Middlesbrough, reminding them of Jesus’ words in the Gospel: “You did not choose me, no I have you. chosen and I have brought you out and bear fruit. “In the life of the Sisters, these words of Jesus were fulfilled. Sr. Ellen Flynn, Provincial, traced the history of the Sisters of Hull from the beginnings in 1890 to our She thanked the priests and individuals for their collaborative support and reassured everyone of the Sister’s prayerful support as they continue the journey of life in Hull together as witnesses to the Kingdom.

After Mass, the sisters, priests and people gathered outside in front of the church under the commemorative blue plaque. This was erected by Hull City Council to honor the memory of the Sister’s 131 years of service. The plaque was blessed by Bishop Terence and Councilor Abhimanyu Singh who called the selfless work of the sisters the highest form of love and graciously thanked them on behalf of all the people.

The initial plans for the day called for a sit-down snack for all in the hall of St Vincent’s school. However, due to COVID restrictions, those plans had to be scrapped and West Hull Parish Priest Father Ivan Dawson came to the rescue by hosting a wonderful mid-afternoon barbecue on the grounds of St Joseph’s Church. A wonderful meal for the sisters and the clergy.

The next day, new celebrations were held at the 9 a.m. Sunday Mass at St Wilfrid’s Church – the parish of Sisters Ann and Eleanor. It is a multicultural parish and Fr. Ivan had invited his parishioners to come dressed in their national costumes. The gospel of that day was from St. Mark in which Jesus instructs his disciples to go out with their SANDALS: sandals that protect the feet and can be easily removed when entering the sacred space of a person’s home. Many years ago Jesus called the sisters to put on their sandals and come to Hull and enter people’s homes. Now he’s calling them to other places. The parish has been blessed to have sisters as traveling companions so far. At the end of Mass after receiving Holy Communion, Sr. Ellen addressed the parishioners and thanked them for having been part of our journey as well. The only reason the Daughters of Charity leave Hull is the lack of vocations. She encouraged people to pray for vocations. If they do, who knows what might happen? One day, the sisters could return to Hull. In the meantime, we should pray for each other and ALL of us put on our sandals and go where the Lord sends us and do whatever he asks of us.

Keywords: Daughters of Charity, Province of Rosalie Rendu, Fr. Ivan Dawson, Mgr Terence Drainey, Fr. Jim O’Brien, Fr. Paul Roche CM, Society of St Vincent de Paul, Hull

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