Farewell to popular nuns
Sisters Veronica and Teresa are moving to a new home on the south coast after first coming to Colne in 2000, to the delight of parishioners, to help out at Sacred Heart Church in Colne. A thank you service and farewell mass was held at Sacred Heart Church on Wednesday.
The sisters arrived as a trio of supposedly retired nuns, along with the late Sister Mary, and all three belonged to the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus, a French order of teaching and nursing nuns who were driven out of France by persecution, setting up in England in 1903.
All three sisters qualified as teachers working in schools in England and abroad.
Retiring to Colne was something of a homecoming for Sister Teresa and Sister Veronica, in particular.
Sister Teresa was born and raised in Colne, attending Paddock House School in Padiham while Sister Veronica taught in Derby Street at the convent, the now demolished school in Queen Street and was one of the first members of staff at Fishermore RC High School when it opened in 1965.
Later, Sister Teresa became the headteacher of a primary school, spending many years working with one parent families. Sister Veronica also became a primary school headteacher and then went on to work with the Catholic Information Service, liaising with the media and contacting priests and bishops all across England and Scotland.
When Pope John Paul II visited England in 1982, Sister Veronica was involved in the detailed planning.
After her religious profession and university, Sister Mary, who died in 2006, spent many years teaching and working with the poor in the Caribbean.
Parishioner Pat McIlroy said: “The nuns have enjoyed their 16 years in The Good Shepherd Parish, making many friends and working tirelessly for young and old.
“They have helped many people both individually and in groups, joining in and enhancing all that the parish has to offer. Their very presence in the parish has added a quality of faith, hope and charity difficult to describe. To say they will be missed is an understatement.”