A thanksgiving celebration took place yesterday, the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, at the Church of St Thomas More in Manor House, north London, to mark the 25th anniversary of the arrival of the Congregation of Ursuline Sisters of St Angela Merici from Malta. Bishop Bernard Longley presided over the Mass which he concelebrated with eighteen priests including parish priest Fr Clive Lee and his predecessor Fr Aidan Sharratt.
Special guests included Dr George Bonello Dupuis, High Commissioner for Malta and his wife Mrs Bonello Dupuis, the Mother General, Mother Judith Busuttil,, Mother Tarcia Ruggier who was the Mother General when the house opened in Manor House in 1979, and the Ursuline Sisters from Malta. A choir and group of young musicians lead the singing.
During the Mass, Salesian Delegate Fr Hugh Preston enrolled ten new members in the Association of Mary Help of Christians, a lay group which meets at the convent. In his homily Bishop Bernard congratulated the new members and praised the Sisters' great work in the community over the past 25 years.
After Mass more than 300 people poured out of the church and walked in procession with the flower-decked statue of Our Lady Help of Christians to the Ursuline Convent in Adolphus Road for a party in the house and garden.
There are at present four Sisters in Manor House: Mother Eugenia, Sister Jane, Sister Elizabeth and Sister Helena. Besides their London convent, the Sisters have nine houses in Malta and four in Italy. The order works mainly with babies, children and their mothers. At Manor House they run a nursery.