After 6 months walking the streets looking for a house we finally landed in Highbury, the home on Arsenal Football Club on August 6th 1997. The overall focus was to develop a ministry for/with WOMEN. For Sister Dolores this was to be a home based ministry with individuals and groups whilst Sister Patricia began sharing her Aromatherapy and Craft skills with homeless women. Sister Lynda continued her ministry to women of the streets with a particular focus on women involved in prostitution.
Over the years since we arrived in Highbury whilst the work with women and homelessness has continued, as a community we have become much more involved in Parish Ministry. Sister Patricia is involved with many aspects of Parish Life, as a member of Catechetical Team for RCIA and the Confirmation Programme, as a Youth Leader, and as Coordinator of the Over 60’s Group. She also visits the sick and housebound. She has continued to be involved with the homeless throughout this time both by befriending women and enabling art and craft activities. She also has green fingers and enjoys “talking to the flowers”!
Sister Dolores says “I came as a prayer-support and welcoming presence. As time moved on I began a liturgy/music group with young people. We meet each week to reflect on the Gospel for Sunday and then prepare the music to fit the theme for Sunday’s Mass. Our first group of youngsters have almost finished University now, but when they are home and out band is fully staffed we have a clarinet, a double base, a drum, a flute, a guitar, a piano and a saxophone! We embrace the Brazilian, British, Irish and Nigerian Cultures…..so we are truly an International Group. All of us are involved with the group; Sister Dolores on guitar, singing and Sister Patricia is our “roadie”! I also lead “AT YOUR WORD LORD”, a scripture based group reflecting on the relevance of God’s Word in our daily lives. The programme has been running for 3 years in the Diocese and this little group is one of around 20 meeting in our parish, People are really at home with each other now and we can see that it does lead to conversion of the heart.”
Sister Dolores provides, ‘A listening ear”, which is always needed to hear the worries and anxieties of people and families. Sister Patricia continues to support the evolving needs of the parish alongside her involvement with homeless people.
In these ways we are “making mercy the business of our lives” here in Highbury today.