In October we welcomed Sister Catherine and Sister Julie of the Community of the Holy Name (CHN) to live and work in our parish. CHN has opened a branch house in the parish at the invitation of Fr Ian and with the support of the Bishop of Manchester. It has been agreed that the house will house the sisters sent by CHN and also with them one or two parish assistants of St Chrysostom’s Parish. It is agreed that the house will be a resource for the parish, in this way, and uindeed as a house for peace and quiet for the duiocese. In addition the prayerful gentle presence of the sisters at this end of the parish will be part of the parish’s engagement with the Muslim and other people of the area.
Fr Ian first came across CHN when he was an undergraduate and a few years ago asked for their assistance in the parish in the busy time of September and October, from that developed the idea of the community opening a branch house in the parish.
The branch house is the former St John’s Rectory next to Longsight Market. It is many years since sisters worked in Manchester and this is an exciting new development for Manchester diocese as well as for St Chrysostom’s parish.
The Community of the Holy Name has its origins in the sisterhood founded by Fr George Herbert at St Peter’s, Vauxhall in 1865, and adopted its current name in about 1875. The mother house of the community, now in Derby, was for many years at Malvern Link.
The scheme has the blessing of the Diocese and indeed, Bishop Mark, Bishop of Middleton, blessed the house on November 2nd, and celebrated Mass in the Chapel. It was a joyful occasion.
The sisters will keep their times of prayer in their chapel and attend Sunday Mass, and weekday masses at St Chrysostoms. There will also be celebrations of Mass in their chapel. Sister Catherine and Sister Julie have worked hard to create a branch house which is neat, tidy and welcoming. The house has a lovely small chapel, and a peaceful sitting room which can be used by parishioners and others seeking peace and quiet. The house will also provide a home for parish assistants.
St Chrysostom’s is continuing to develop its work of presence, prayer and pastoral care in the east end of the parish, and the sisters presence will greatly enhance this. The sisters will have a special ministry in praying for the people of our parish and area.
Julie and Catherine are very pleased to be in the parish and are already getting to know people of the area, and welcoming them to their house.