|Chapel at St. Barnabas Cathedral |
where 1st Sisters of Peace
professed vows in 1884
In 1884 in Nottingham, England,under the inspiration of the Spirit, Margaret Anna Cusack, known as Mother Clare, founded a religious congregation of women... to promote the peace of the Church both by word and work. The very name Sisters of Peace will, it is hoped, inspire the desire of peace and a love for it. - Constitutions 1884
This congregation had its origin in the founder's response to the social concerns and needs of the time. Deeply moved by the sufferings of poor and oppressed people, Margaret Anna Cusack sought ways to share her gifts with them:... it did matter to me a great deal in view of our common humanity, and in view of my love of the poor, that I should do all I could for those whom He had loved so well. - The Nun of Kenmare, 1888
Attracted by this commitment, Honoria Gaffney, later named Mother Evangelista, together with a few other women,joined the new community. Their faith and humility enabled them to take great risks in serving their sisters and brothers in need. Edward Gilpin Bagshawe, Bishop of Nottingham, accepted and encouraged this young community.
At the first ceremony of profession on January 7, 1884, he referred to the charism of the congregation in these words: To secure this divine peace for ourselves and procure its blessings for [others] in the midst of the sin, turmoil, and restless anxiety of this modern world is the object of your institute.When I was a novice, I was lucky enough to visit St. Barnabas Cathedral and pray in the very chapel where our first Sisters professed their vows. I know that Mother Clare, Mother Evangelista, Bishop Bagshawe and all our Sisters and Associates who have gone before us are praying with us as we continue on the journey of seeking peace in our restless and anxious world.
We face the future with gratitude and hope!