Newcastle-Under-Lyme - Coolock
“Coolock”, Newcastle Staffordshire
When and why the house was opened?
On the 14th June 2003 Karibuni Mission House was officially opened. The brand new house was built next to the Convent of Mercy in Stubbs Gate and in the shadow of No.1 London Road. The inspiration for the mission house came from the Sisters’ mission in Kenya. Karibuni is a Kiswahili word meaning “You are all welcome”
The vision and purpose of the house was to hold both residential and non-residential retreats and also to welcome groups from the parish, the diocese and beyond, as well as offering a place of calm, quiet and support to those who needed space for a day or two. It was open on both residential and non-residential basis, for sisters and associates of mercy and was in the care of two Sisters of Mercy, Sister Carol Gosbee and Sister Frances James.
Significant developments in our Mercy Ministry
Following a brief period of inactivity, “Coolock” (previously Karibuni) was re opened for ministry in September 2005. Sister Betty Larkin and Sister Bridie
Stephens were appointed to carry on the mission of Karibuni and build on the work of Sister Carol Gosbee and Sister Frances James. The building works of No. 1 London Road were completed in August 2005. The land between “Coolock” and the car park of the apartments was leased to the Institute of the sisters of Mercy. This land was locked land and of no use to the property developers.
How our Community is making Mercy the business of our lives today
In the past five months we have developed the land leased to the sisters into prayer gardens, The Liturgical Garden, Saint Frances Garden, the Stations of the Cross Garden and the Resurrection Garden. The direction of the house has included retreats-rest-informal holidays for individual sisters. The parish has shown an enthusiastic interest through the newly appointed Parish Priest Father Philip Griffin and through the able hands of his Pastoral assistant and Catechist Mrs Barbara Davies. We help to provide a comfortable and hospitable venue for RCIA, and sacramental preparation courses. We run days of prayer for Mercy Associates and parishioners, and “Coolock” is being used for school, university and hospital chaplaincy and staff away days.
The highlight of 2005 was the blessing of the Liturgical Garden and the outdoor Crib where hundreds of people and families have visited over the Christmas season. The Archbishop of Birmingham will bless the Stations of the Cross and Resurrection Gardens in February 2006.
We try to make Mercy the business of our lives here in “Coolock” today by continuing the works of mercy begun by Catherine Mc Auley in Coolock in 19th century.