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Our Foundress

Sr Catherine was a woman of great faith with a strong personal commitment to Christ, particularly through the intercession of St Joseph. At 23 years of age she entered the Sisters of Marie Reparatrice, taking the name of Sr Agatha.

Sister Catherine
Sr Catherine Mulligan

During the next half century, Sr Catherine’s many talents and qualities enabled her to fulfil a succession of roles including Retreat Mistress and Provincial. She also had a special interest in encouraging men to achieve a late vocation to the priesthood and it was through this role that she recognised the need for a religious congregation to provide an opportunity for older women to dedicate themselves to God and mankind through prayer and service. So she took the first courageous steps towards establishing a new congregation specifically for mature women.

Sr Catherine had known Cardinal Hume since his boyhood, so it was with him that she first shared her thoughts and he fully supported and encouraged her, as did Bishop Clarke of East Anglia. However, she had no money or house so she prayed through the intercession of St Joseph that if God wanted the project to succeed this would be made evident to her. Precisely on the feast day of St Joseph, 19th March 1980, she received a response to her advertisement in the form of an offer of an unoccupied convent at Monks Kirby, Warwickshire. A further advertisement for late vocations for women brought 80 applications and though many did not continue to profession, it was from these that the core of a new congregation emerged.

Since then the Sisters have undertaken many tasks in different locations including Cork, Tramore, Birmingham, Brownshill and Southam. Through the great generosity of Mrs Veronica Goldberg-Steuart, an Honorary Member and long-term friend of the community, the Sisters are now established in a beautiful convent within sight of their origins at Monks Kirby.

Canonical Approval granted by Archbishop Couve de Murville,11 February 1997 Canonical Approval granted by Archbishop Couve de Murville, February 11th 1997
St Edith’s Parish Church, Monks Kirby
St Edith’s Parish Church, Monks Kirby