Leeds - Yeadon

The Mercy House at Yeadon was formerly a  branch house of the Hunslet, Leeds community. Following a request in 1962 from the Parish Priest, Father Charles Murray, the Maria Regina Convent, was built and the Sisters took possession of their new home in April 1964, working in both the parish and the schools. Extensions built later gave extra room for other pastoral activities, in particular a separate unit was built in the grounds to house a play group.

Following the foundation of the Institute in 1983 the community personnel changed several times before eventually, in 1998, it was decided that the Yeadon Convent was very suitable to be used as the administrative centre of the Congregation. It was very close to the Leeds/Bradford airport and well served with accessible motorways.

The Congregation Leader and her council are now based there. Their principal responsibility is as Trustees of the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy. To this end they are answerable to the Charity Commission, are responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Institute and have the task of implementing the decisions made by the membership at the last General Chapter.

The current leadership team from left to right: Sr. Joan Breen, Sr. Anne Hewitt, Sr. Colette Cronin (Institute Leader), Sr. Jean Frances Fitzpatrick (Assistant Institute Leader), Sr. Sue Randall, Sr. Barbara Jeffery. They live and work together, serving the Institute by taking responsibility for a cluster of communities as link persons, and also having responsibility for certain areas of ministry. Secretaries, a cook and a housekeeper support them in their work.

Daily prayer together, whenever possible, is an important part of the life at Yeadon, as is the sharing of household duties and living of community life. Every week a number of senior citizens arrive to use, what once was the playgroup, as their club for the day. Prayer groups use the chapel and other facilities and parishioners love to attend the once weekly evening mass.

From time to time there are children to be instructed for the reception of the sacraments. In these ways the Leadership Team is kept in touch with local ministry as well as spending a lot of their time visiting individual communities.

Venerable Catherine McAuley, the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, prized highly the qualities of kindness, love, joy, tolerance and forgiveness and wished these values to be lived in all her communities. The Leadership Team try first to live these values in their own community life and to encourage and affirm the sisters in these ideals throughout the Institute.