Over 100 people turned out for a special ecumenical Mass at St Chad’s Cathedral. on this Day for Religious, where religious sisters reaffirmed their vows and Jubilarians celebrated over 700 years’ worth of service.

Following an inspirational speech by Sr Dr Finbarr Coffey, Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Bernard Longley who thanked all the religious for their dedication and service to the Lord, and thanked God for the blessings he has shown to us.

Together, religious brothers and sisters renewed their commitment to the service of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.

Fr Simon Bishop SJ, novice master, delivered the homily:

‘This year, the focus for the World Day of Consecrated Life is the contemplative life. In Pope Francis’ letter to the Contemplatives (Vultum Dei Quarere – Seeking the Face of God – 2016), he wrote:

‘“From the origins of the life of special consecration in the Church, men and women called by God and in love with him have devoted their lives exclusively to seeking his face, longing to find and contemplate God in the heart of the world.”

‘In today’s Gospel we were given the examples of Mary and Joseph, Simeon and Anna, with Jesus at their heart. Previous novice master Fr Patrick Purnell SJ spoke of consolation as: “being in the right place at the right time, doing the right things, in the right way.”

‘You couldn’t find a better description for the lives of Mary, Joseph, Simeon and Anna. How do they act? They receive the Child Jesus in their hands. They give thanks and they praise God. They are full of joy, they are wide awake, they are a community of faith who welcome the poor, literally, into their arms.’


Sr Andrea Burrows, St Joseph of Tarbes, Golden Jubilee

“This is a wonderful day, I’m very happy and grateful to the Lord for all He has done for me. I had a celebration in India at the Feast of the Epiphany and I’m happy to be here now for another celebration with the other Jubilarians to thank God for all His love.

Thank you to Archbishop Longley, Sr Anna O’Connor and the team for their work in making this a meaningful day for us. It was nice meeting the sisters and sharing with them- we look forward to these days.

Sr Margaret Breen, Sisters of Charity of St Paul, Golden Jubilee

“I feel absolutely great. It’s great to make it so far and so strong. It’s been great to be getting into new ministries, supporting the homeless at Tabor House and women at ANAWIM. I’ve been working with Tabor House since it opened 18 months ago”

Sr Kathleen Neenan, Congregational Leader Sisters of Charity of St Paul, Golden Jubilee

“I can’t believe I’ve spent 50 years as a Sister of Charity of St Paul- it’s beginning to feel a little bit exciting having everyone together after the celebration, which was a lovely celebration.

“I’m very proud to be a Sister of Charity of St Paul and although it can be challenging and demanding, I’m very happy to lead the congregation.”

Sr Juliana O’Sullivan, Sisters of Charity of St Paul, Diamond Jubilee

“I’m feeling on top of the world; I’m looking forward to the future. I’ve lived a very happy life in religious life. Hold fast to your dreams!”

Sr Margaret Walsh, Infant Jesus Sisters, Golden Jubilee

“I have a lot of gratitude for a great life, a very fulfilling life. I am grateful to the congregation for giving me the great freedom to do whatever God wanted me to do. I’ve spent many years living and working with people on the margins, which continues to be a great privilege.

“Working with asylum seekers and refugees is so rewarding, but heart-breaking too.”

Sr Anna O’Connor, Sisters of Charity of St Paul, Golden Jubilee – event organiser

“This has been a good gathering with a great sense of joy and celebration. It’s wonderful when people come together to witness and share, as we all have a lot in common.

“The talk by Sr Finbarr was very inspirational, and everything seemed to flow together, from the speech by Archbishop Longley about the mission of the diocese and our ministries, which flowed into the Mass and the Gospel: Simeon and Anna holding the infant just as we all try to hold the poor and marginalised in compassion. We must continue to let God come, disguised in our day to day lives.”

List of Jubilarians

Silver jubilees  

Sr Mary Jane Maratti

Sr Lisa Therese Plathottam

Sr Beena Koodathinal

- Daughters of St Francis De Sales

Golden Jubilees

Sr Andrea Burrows R.S.J.T.

Sr Margaret Breen SP

Sr Kathleen Neenan SP

Sr Anna O'Connor SP

Sr Margaret Walsh IJ

Sr Margaret Angela CSJD

Diamond Jubilees

Sr Veronica Ross SP

Sr Mary Hanohoe SP

Sr Teresa Aspinall SP

Sr Teresa Moore SP

Sr Pamela Pope Sp

Sr Juliana O'Sullivan Sp

Photo Gallery

Day of Religious - Jubilees