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Patient Voices: Stories from the Society of the Holy Child Jesus


The Society of the Holy Child Jesus

These stories of faith, vocation and calling were created by members of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus at digital storytelling workshops run by Pilgrim Projects in 2008. More information about the Society of the Holy Child Jesus can be found on their website.

Be yourself
Judith’s choice of vocation was and is driven by the design to learn and teach, and to be recognised as a unique individual. Her congregation has provided the perfect place for Judith to be herself.

When tragedy strikes her family, the quiet and thoughtful support offered by Carmel’s community helps healing to begin.

Standing on my own two feet
At age 82, Eva looks back on her life’s journey… from darkness and despair to light and hope, forgiveness and love, all the while sustained by her faith and the beauty of the natural world.

Crossing the road
As a young child, Jenny is inspired by the story of the good Samaritan. Spirituality is an important part of her life but it isn’t until she reads the moving testimony of a nun who works with people with HIV/AIDs that she discovers her true vocation.

Inside out
When Marie became a religious sister she felt a bit special. Changes in the Catholic Church and her work with people on the edges of society give her an opportunity to learn some valuable lessons.

In the humble and hidden life
In both her professional life as a midwife and her spiritual life as a Holy Child Sister, Catriona has seen the extraordinary revealed in the ordinary.

Something out of the ordinary
KV’s response to celebrating the millennium by doing something unusual led her to Habitat for Humanity and to a stint on a building site working on affordable housing in south London.

Inspiration from an unexpected quarter
As a young sister, Christine was fascinated by reports of the Great Train Robbery. The thought-provoking words of an older sister prompted reflection on human nature and our capacity to combine good qualities with bad.

Could you have anything better?
Gemma’s calling may not have been what was expected for her, but there could not have been anything better.

Angelic music
Mary’s love of music was one of the attractions of joining the Society. But when she decides to spend time in a remote part of Wales, with a flock of sheep as her main companions, she is not prepared for the extent to which she misses music in general and the liturgy in particular.

No holding back
The seed of Anne Marie’s religious vocation was sown when she was still at school, took root when she encountered the Holy Child sisters in Ireland, and has grown steadfast throughout her life, bringing joy to others as well as to herself.

In the face of a child
Although Frances Mary loved teaching little children, she wasn’t too keen on some of the messier aspects of the job. Unexpectedly, she learns that beauty and holiness can be revealed even in the most unappealing situations.

The feet on the sofa
Josephine is only a baby when her father goes off to fight in World War 1. When he returns on leave, she doesn’t recognise him and is puzzled by his appearance in her mother’s bedroom.

Out of Africa
As a child Angela dreamed of doing missionary work. When she learns that the Holy Child sisters have missions in the land of her dreams, her vocation is determined. She now looks back on many happy years teaching science in West Africa.

The first ten years are the worst
Angela’s early aspirations of sainthood vie with more everyday needs for sleep and enjoyment of convent life. Eventual discovery of her vocation, teaching young children, led to another vocation, and the discovery of the ‘not-too-holy’ Holy Child Sisters.

From sole to soul
It is during the unlikely activity of making a shoe that Isobel first hears the call. Initially resistant, with other plans for her future, she complies and looks back on her life with pleasure.

It is a wonderful life
Aged 101, Sister Marie Cecile looks back on her life as a Holy Child Sister, beginning when, as a young woman, she had to pretend she was getting the milk when, in reality she was attending mass!

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