St Mary's Convent, North Cheam
A new era began for the Sisters in Cheam when, on the 1st August 2011, they moved into a refurbished building which became St. Mary’s Convent.
They had previously lived in a large four storey building on the same site which now houses the International Generalate of the Daughters of the Cross.
Currently seven sisters belong to St. Mary’s community, one of whom lives and works for the Church on Holy Island (Lindisfarne).
Some sisters visit patients in Spire St. Anthony’s Hospital which is on the same site.
Sister Francis-Anne's main role is Pastoral Care Sister in St. Raphael’s Hospice but she also offers Eucharistic Ministry in both the hospital and the hospice.
St. Raphael’s Hospice has a bereavement support team and Sister Lucy works with that group.
A large group of Associates of the Daughters of the Cross is attached to this community, brought together by Sister Caroline and Sister Lena initially. Sister Rose now leads the group helped by Sister Francis Anne.
The English Province of the Daughters of the Cross has an On-Going Formation Team for the Sisters and Sister Rose is a member of the team.
International Generalate of the Daughters of the Cross of Liege
On the same campus as St Mary’s is St Joseph’s convent which is the head quarters of the Daughters of the Cross. Sr Kathleen O’Reailly, the head of the congregation, and her three assistants live there with a small support community.
Sr Tessa & Holy Island
In July- August 2003, , Sr. Tessa went to Holy Island to work as a helper at the S.V.P camp- the clear air was of benefit to her health.
In 2004 Sr. Tessa was invited to work at the S.V.P. camp full-time and so became the first female Religious to live on the island.
In that same year Brother Damian, an Anglican Franciscan became the Vicar of Holy Island and the first monk to reside there since the Reformation. This close working relationship as religious enhanced the Christian witness on the island.
In May 2004 Bishop Kevin Dunne was appointed as Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. His first intention was to re-establish the dilapidated Roman Catholic Church on Holy Island. He wanted a simple prayerful church where Catholics could feel at home and where Mass would be celebrated. He asked for Sister Tessa to be contracted to the diocese as a Pastoral Assistant. This involved being the Catholic presence on the island, looking after the church, welcoming pilgrims, holding Services in the absence of a priest and offering hospitality. St. Aidan’s Church is part of the Parish of Sea Houses and the Parish Priest offers a weekly Mass when the tide allows.
There are a number of other churches on Holy Island; a good relationship exists between them all and there are shared Services to celebrate key occasions.
Sr. Tessa is a member of the Cheam Community and this is where she first met the Daughters of the Cross.