Archbishop Vincent Nichols has paid tribute to 100 years of service by the Daughters of Wisdom (the La Sagesse Sisters) before a packed congregation at Romsey Abbey in Hampshire.
The Archbishop of Westminster delivered the homily at the centenary Mass which took place on Sunday, June 26, to celebrate the foundation of the Province of Great Britain and Ireland. The Mass was attended by 500 of the community’s family and friends.
Reflecting on the Congregation’s contribution the Archbishop said: “The fundamental inspiration of the Congregation remains the same: that of showing the compassionate face of Jesus to those in need. This is their wonderful charism, the gift of the founders still expressed today. With this inspiration in mind, it is a marvellous act of providence that we celebrate this anniversary of the day on which the Church in England and Wales celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi. For this Feast is the celebration of the mystery at the heart of all that the Sisters of La Sagesse seek to be and to do.”
The Congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom was founded by Blessed Marie Louise Trichet under the guidance of Louis de Montfort in the early 18th century. In Romsey their charism finds expression in Marie Louise House, a nursing home for the elderly. The Sisters also run Wisdom Centre which exists to share the spirituality of the Congregation. The Sisters also work in support of the local parish community. Members of the order are found working with the poorest of the poor on all five continents.
Sister Catherine Elizabeth is nearly 100 years old and was the oldest Sister attending the celebration. She began her novitiate in 1929 and said: “I have so many treasured memories, not least my profession day on February 2 1932. At that time God was just saying to me ‘come’ and I’ve no regrets. I was happy then and I still am.”
Meanwhile novice Siobhan Boyle, who has just returned from a pastoral experience in the Philippines said: “The centenary is special for everyone. The Daughters of Wisdom today continue to reach out to the marginalised and to help those that don’t have a voice. In my case when God called I eventually had to respond because he doesn’t give up.”