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200 years to the Day!

york_thumbJune 6th 1812
Mary Aikenhead begins her Novitiate at the Bar Convent

June 6th 2012
Sisters of Charity from the English/Scottish Province gather at the Bar Convent


As we assembled in the chapel of the Bar Convent to celebrate the bi-centenary of the beginning of Mary Aikenhead’s novitiate there was a real sense among sisters of this being a momentous occasion.  The celebrations began with Sr Jacinta Boland welcoming everybody particularly Srs Mary Christian our Congregational Leader, and Patricia Lenihan, a member of the General Leadership team, who had joined us on the occasion from Ireland. Also welcomed was Sr Micheline O’Donnell who was in the province on leave from Nigeria.


Sr Jacinta Boland pointed out how privileged we were to be in York for this very important occasion. While throughout the congregation this event was being celebrated we were the only ones among the sisters in the provinces and regions who could be present at the very place where our foundress began her Religious life.

We attended Mass in that chapel where Mary Aikenhead daily attended Mass and we stood in the room now called the Mary Aikenhead room but known as the day room for the novices in that time. We had our celebratory meal in a large open area across which Mary Aikenhead would most certainly have walked on her arrival at the Bar Convent 200 years ago to the day.
Mgr Peter Rosser said Mass. We were greatly struck by his homily and there were several requests for a copy so we are delighted that Fr Peter has allowed us to share it with you here:

Homily given by Fr Peter Rosser