the ministry continues in a new form

A 1909 Newspaper Report tells of the work of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace at St. Anthony's Orphanage in Grimsby:
In 1889 the Sisters had bought a house ... for the purpose of providing a home for training orphan children ... Accommodation was provided in the orphanage for 100 orphan girls, and at present some 40 were maintained, educated and trained. The Mayor said that he and the Mayoress had had one of the girls, and she turned out a very decent and good girl, with a charming disposition, a girl who would make a very good woman. The orphanage was non-sectarian, and the sisters were non-sectarian in all their works of charity.
St. Anthony's Orphanage closed in 1957, about the time that most orphanages closed as governments sought new ways to work with broken families and at risk children. When I was in Grimsby a few weeks ago, we visited the location of the old orphanage which had been torn down years ago. On the site there is now a "Sure Start Center" that works with expectant parents and families with children under 4 years to make sure that children get the very best start in life. So really, the same sort of work is taking place!

There's a story that between the time St. Anthony's closed and the Sure Start Center opened, there were a number of businesses on the site that all failed. Some people even say that there is a ghost (a Sister of course) who appears at the site. Whether there is any truth to that story, I do find it very fitting that at risk children are still being served where our Sisters started their first orphanage all those years ago.

The new tenants recognize the heritage as well! On the wall in the foyer, they've got a framed picture of the old St. Anthony's Orphanage, as well as a picture of the Sisters with the kids.

The mission begun by the Sisters is now continued by the people of Grimsby! I'm sure those early Sisters are smiling down from heaven.

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