English Province

The Sisters first came to England in 1902, and was established as a Province in 1949.  We are now a small, ageing Province, and the Sisters live around the London area.  

Lived Charism:

Holy Cross Sisters in the English Province give expression to our hope in the Risen Jesus, through our living in community and our service given in our faith in the Risen Lord, who is also the Crucified Lord. Because we believe in today, we awaken, support and call people of Christian faith to the unfolding of their human potential. In our commitment to educating the whole person, we accompany people just as they are, allowing the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth in the Church, to be encountered as tangible and alive in various life situations. 

Focal Points:

  • The support of young people and adults on their journey of faith. 
  • Working in parishes including visiting, helping with catechetical programmes,
  • Assisting parishioners to develop their spiritual life
  • Spiritual direction, retreat work and guiding prayer groups
  • Supporting the elderly, housebound and homeless
  • Being involved with issues of justice and peace in society eg trafficking, 
  • Care of our own Sisters, many of whom are elderly
  • Support for formation of our Sisters in other Provinces

The theme of our General Chapter 2019 was TRANSFORMING PRESENCE.  We are trying to live this out in a variety of ways amidst limit situations.   Our Sisters try to be a transforming presence to people whom they meet daily keeping in mind that we need to be rooted in Christ.  As co-creators, we embrace God’s creation, and in solidarity we take measures to live sustainably.

We have regard for God’s creation and make use of all resources gratefully.  Where possible we support, promote justice, mercy and equality, by writing letters and supporting initiatives.

On 16 October 2019, it was 175 years since the Founding Event of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.  One of the ways in which we celebrated was by going on Pilgrimage to Canterbury, in memory of the first three Sisters who journeyed to Menzingen after making Profession.  This is where Christianity first came to England, and where the first Franciscan House was established – which is still standing to day.  It was a day of recalling the beginnings of our Congregation, and thanking God for Mother Bernarda and her two companions for taking all the risks and facing all challenges. 

In recent times, we have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.  Lent and Easter have taken on a different focus this year.  There have been different challenges/sufferings, and yet there is light and new life, with so many acts of kindness.  We are in lockdown situation but it gives us a time to reflect and evaluate our lives, and see what God is saying to us and to ask the question; What is the real meaning of life?  In England, on Thursdays at 8pm we are encouraged to stand outside our homes and clap, to show our appreciation and support for all the Doctors, Nurses, Care takers who courageously provide selfless services during this pandemic.  




by Sr Mary Christa

Well here I am stuck for a month or two
What shall I do I feel like Pooh?
I could tidy my room or the shed
Or I could tuck down and stay in bed.
However, that’s not like me
I like to be busy like a honey bee.

Well I am much more lucky than most
As in my garden I have bees – a host.
The sun is shining a beautiful day 
The bees are out flying far away
Looking for pollen, nectar and water -
In their comings and goings, 
they never falter.
They haven’t a clue what lock down means
They carry on with life or so it seems

The birds in the garden are busy too,
Catching worms and insects quite a few.
They can fly just anywhere.
With no worries or corona scare.
The Spring flowers in glorious array
Give much pleasure every day

So being so lucky I give God glory
And pray for all those with a much sadder story.


"As co-creators,

we embrace God’s creation,

and in solidarity

we take measures

to live sustainably."