London: Golden Jubilee of Mother Eugenia Pantalleresco

 A bishop, at least 40 priests, a diplomat and several generations of former pupils joined family, friends and parishioners at St Thomas More's parish in Manor House, north London last night, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Mother Eugenia Pantalleresco, of the Congregation of Maltese Ursuline Sister of St Angela Merici.

Mother Eugenia took her first vows in Malta in 1958. After working in several projects for children in Malta she came to London in 1979 where she founded an international student hostel in Portland Rise and established the Ursuline community in Manor House. She went on to set up the Day Nursery for pre-school children and a branch of the International Association of Mary Help of Christians at Manor House - which are both thriving. Mother Eugenia and her community are also involved in many parish activities.

The Chief Celebrant at the Mass was Bishop Bernard Longley. During his homily he said Mother Eugenia had earned the respect and affection of so many people because of her faithfulness and readiness - like the bridesmaids in the Gospel - to do God's work. This was more than the celebration of a Jubilee, he said. 'We are also thanking God for the way the Holy Spirit is at work here."

One of the readers was the High Commissioner for Malta, Mr Michael Refalo. Tributes were made by Parish Priest Fr Clive Lee and the Salesian Provincial in Great Britain Fr Michael Winstanley. After the Mass, Mother Eugenia was presented with a statue by Fr Torino Bardotto, head of the Association of Mary Help of Christians. A message from Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor was also read out. The celebration ended with a reception in the parish hall.

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