In June 1852, as a result of strong pleas from the Priests in Brighton, made through Bishop Grant (Southwark), the Bermondsey Community agreed to make its third Foundation in seven years. There was an urgent need for the Sisters to occupy the small house in Egremont Place which has been abruptly vacated by French Sisters of Charity of St Paul.
One Founder was Sr M Teresa Boyce who had received the Habit from Mother Catherine Mc Auley on December 12, 1839, spent her remaining thirty-three years in complete dedication to the service of those in need in Brighton. Mother M Angela Graham was appointed the first Superior, and later elected to that office several times until her death in 1895. ‘She loved the poor and they knew it.’
Evening Classes were provided for working girls and New Schools were opened (1854). In 1856 a Work Room was opened and a market for its produce secured in local shops. The house in Bedford Street became an Industrial School for girls.
In 1860, suitable premises were secured for the orphans already in the care of the Sisters. To help defray the costs of the various projects initiated on behalf of the poor, a Bazaar, organized mainly by titled ladies, was held in Brighton Pavilion and raised almost £600
In 1868 the Community responded to the request of a French Padre to make a Foundation in Guernsey, by sending seven Sisters.
In December 1868 the future Founders of the Little Company of Mary – Mary Potter (from Bermondsey) – was admitted as a Postulant. Clothed as a Sister of Mercy in July 1869, Mary was given the name Aloysius. At the end of her year as a Novice, it was decided that her rather frail health indicated that her calling was not to the arduous life of a Sister of Mercy.
Subsequent to the establishment of the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy – of which the Brighton Congregation was a founder member – the situation in St Joseph’s Home for the Elderly was reviewed in the light of current legislation. The Official Opening of the present Care Home took place in spring 1993
Our primary apostolate is the witness of our consecrated life of prayerful union with God.
Through this we affirm one another in Christ and minister in His name in both Community and external Apostolate.
We follow Christ in His merciful love of those in need, always respecting human dignity, seeing and serving Christ in each person and in all God’s creation.
We strive in our works of mercy, to foster self respect and a sense of truth and justice, to shape a better way of life for those who are deprived, suffering or disabled, locally and globally.
We endeavour to bring light and meaning to the mystery of pain, seeing it as a means of sharing Christ’s redemptive suffering.
Srs. Noeleen and Vincent with residents in the Care Home