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Farewell

Farewell But Not Goodbye
to Maryvale's Bridgettine Sisters

Bridgettine Sisters at Maryvale

With sadness, we bid farewell but not goodbye to Mother Jaya and the Bridgettine Sisters from Maryvale House this summer. Along with the institute, the Bridgettines have been inextricably linked with the first Catholic home of St John Henry Newman since the 1990s, arriving at the end of the decade to a newly-built convent, built with funds donated by the Holy Father St John Paul II. Throughout their time at Maryvale House, the Bridgettines have fulfilled their charisms of hospitality and contemplation gracefully and tirelessly: hospitality, supporting the institute by hosting students, staff and all others during their visits to the building, Chapel and Sacred Heart Shrine; and contemplation by taking part in Holy Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on a daily basis.

Towards the end of July, Maryvale Institute held a Mass of Thanksgiving dedicated to the Sisters, attended by staff members both past and present. Celebrated by Ecclesiastical Bachelor of Divinity Programme Director Rev Dr Michael Cullinan, Fr Michael offered thanks to the Bridgettines for their contribution both to the work of the institute as well as to the lives of all who have passed through the doors of Maryvale House over the course of the last 21 years, all of whom are profoundly grateful. While the occasion was tinged with sadness that the Sisters would no longer be based in Old Oscott, Fr Michael recognised that they would continue their valuable work in other houses belonging to the Order, fulfilling their charism of hospitality to all who visited them, from Iver Heath and Holy Well to Naples and the Holy Land.


In response, Mother Jaya gave a short address: "On behalf of my sisters, both those here today, and all those who have served at Maryvale over the past 21 years, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all of you. First of all for organising this thanksgiving Mass for us. My thanks goes to Fr. Michael for this beautiful celebration of the Mass, and to Fr Andrew and Fr Tony for joining us. It was a great privilege to be here at Maryvale for so many years, to be of service to both staff and students, and to be touched by so many hearts. A large number of staff have worked here over the years, and we have not forgotten those who have left but who we are privileged to call friends for life. We have always been grateful for the love, support, and kindness that Maryvale staff and students have shown to our sisters. We hold everyone in our hearts, and although we are not mentioning any names, you will all be held in our prayer, and be sure that we will never forget our Maryvale family. We are very grateful to all of you who have joined us for this celebration. We will miss all of you, but your friendship will go with us, and remain with us, wherever our new mission takes us. We promise our humble prayers for all of you, remembering as Blessed Mother Elisabeth said: “we must be united with one heart and one soul. In the divine Heart of Jesus, we will always meet one another, and there we seek our strength to face the difficulties of life. Thank you."

Farewell dear Sisters, but not goodbye. Thank you so much for all your work, joy and love that we've experienced all these years. You always remain in our prayers and we will see you in person or on Zoom very soon! God bless you.

Bridgettine Sisters at Maryvale
© Maryvale Institute 2018 - Maryvale Institute is part of the Birmingham Diocesan Trust, Reg'd Charity No. 234216