SISTER CECILIA GOODMAN CJ 11.2.1949 - 26.2.2017
The sisters of the Congregation of Jesus announced yesterday the sudden death at the Bar Convent, York, of Sister Cecilia Goodman CJ on Sunday February 26th. The director of St. Bede's Pastoral Centre in York and former provincial superior of the CJ, Sister Cecilia played a major role in offering training for spiritual directors inthe Ignatian tradition. She was an outstanding spiritual director herself, but also a skilled trainer and enabler of the ministry of others across a wide ecumenical
The daughter of a Polish mother and British father, she was born in Japan after World War II. Her childhood was tragically marked by the early death of both parents and she was sent to the Congregation of Jesus (then Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary) boarding school at St Mary's Shaftesbury, where her aunt, Sister Clare Goodman, was headmistress. She always claimed that her own rebellious behaviour at school left large gaps in her education as she had spent more time outside the classroom than within it, but she was a hugely gifted teacher and an outstanding professional photographer. She had a natural sympathy with children in difficulties which translated into an instinctive and intuitive genius in spiritual direction.
She joined the Congregation of Jesus in the turbulent period of the late 1960s and left teaching some twenty years later to train in drug rehabilitation, but her spiritual gifts soon led to her being appointed director of novices. She became an international figure in the formation of novices across religious congregations during the 1980s and 90s before being appointed congregational provincial leader.
In the mid-1990s she moved to York where she became director of St. Bede's Pastoral Centre www.stbedes.org.uk which became a key port of call for many seeking resourcing and support in their care of others. At the time of her death she was once more novice director of the Congregation of Jesus and a member of its provincial council. RIP.