Posted on the 16th February 2022 in the category Events
Posted on the 29th January 2021 in the category News
Evelyn Lucy Hubbard was born in Deal, Kent on 14th June 1930, and was the youngest of three sisters. She grew up in the village of Offwell in Devon, was educated in the local primary school, then at Ottery St Mary and on to Kings College, University of London where she began studies in History. Visits to St Saviour’s Priory, Haggerston with college friends gave her a shock as she received a clear call to enter Religious Life. Paddy, as she was known, did not complete her degree and was received as a Postulant of the Society of St Margaret at St Saviour’s Priory early in 1951 at the age of 20, and clothed as Novice Mary Teresa on 7th August that year, making her Profession in Life Vows on 6th August 1953. Over the years she was sent to assist in various parishes including St Anne’s Hoxton, St Chad‘s Haggerston, Holy Cross Cromer Street and the now redundant St Augustine’s, Haggerston. She was busy in the Priory too with St Michael’s Guild for girls and young women, the Scripture School and Associates. During the early/mid 1970s she was part of the University of London’s Chaplaincy Team based at Christ the King, Gordon Square and was very popular with the students, keeping in touch with many. The St Michael’s Guild continued to meet at intervals and one Sister vividly remembers being asked when a Novice to prepare refreshments for the Girls. She duly did so and wheeled in the trolley at the appropriate time, to be confronted by a group of grey-haired ladies for whom she had made large jugs of orange squash! Laughter was never far away when Teresa was entertaining, and it was not unusual for some funny event to be recounted on the many occasions that she talked to a parish group.
My first meeting with this attractive, friendly Sister was on Kings Cross Station in early Lent 1975 when she had already been Novice Guardian for nearly four years. I was a Postulant from our Aberdeen Convent and had been sent for a month or so to experience life in a larger Community where there was a greater age range. Teresa was immediately a friend and remained so for the rest of her life – my parents regarding her as ‘daughter number 2’ who helped them accept the strange step their own daughter had taken! Whoever she was with had the unspoken sense of being a most important person to Teresa and therefore greatly loved. She really exemplified John Mason Neale’s admonition to his Sisters to ‘Love first, Love midst, Love last’. It was no great surprise to hear that she was elected Mother in March 1978 and was in office until Candlemass 1992. The General Synod vote to allow women to be ordained priest on November 11th that year changed life considerably. Teresa became a staunch member of Forward in Faith and, with Fr. Gregory CSWG, founded ‘Traditional Religious’ to support those Religious who felt isolated in their Community due to their outlook; some time later the name was changed to ‘RooT’ (Religious of orthodox Tradition) and any Religious is welcome to attend meetings as part of our mutual flourishing. Walsingham had been a semi-autonomous dependency of Haggerston for about eight years and Sisters were sent up for two-year terms to help out – the change-over was due so Teresa and two others were moved to Walsingham in March 1993. Tentative enquiries had been made before their departure/arrival and new vocations were soon tested in both SSM Houses. With Teresa at the helm and elected Mother, Walsingham was soon able to return to being an autonomous House.
From the 70s onwards, Teresa had several spells in hospital, but never complained. She suffered from extensive osteoporosis and an associated bone condition so that she was bent almost double, and resulted in her needing spinal surgery in the early years of the decade, followed by lengthy convalescence. I’ve known her only with a very straight back! Her knees became more stiff and painful and bilateral replacements were done and replaced after a further decade. Teresa had been riding a bicycle around Haggerston but that was more problematic now, and a generous benefactor gave her a Honda 90cc that she quickly learned to ride in the early 80s, even travelling all the way to Devon for her holiday! In typical fashion she joined the ‘59 Club’ for Bikers that met in St Augustine’s hall and soon had a whole new circle of friends, most of whom had never before had any contact with a Sister. By the 90s the Haggerston Priory had a car so Teresa learnt to drive – sitting in the passenger seat when she was practising between lessons was a little challenging and sometimes hair-raising, but she passed her test at the first attempt and had the freedom of the roads.
Her ministry to pilgrims, parish groups from elsewhere and parishes in the Walsingham Benefice was greatly loved and valued but that all changed abruptly at the end of January 2016 when she fell and fractured her right humerus. It never healed and her bones were too fragile for pin and plate. She was transferred to St Mary’s Convent and Nursing Home at Chiswick where she received wonderful full nursing care for the remainder of her life. The Chapel is part of the whole complex and she was wheeled there for Mass most days, and also for Divine Office with our Sisters when possible.
May she rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.
Sister Mary Teresa SSM (Evelyn Lucy Hubbard) – 14th June 1930-12th January 2021
Professed 6th August 1953
This article was first published in the Church Times on 29 January 2021. To subscribe, please call 01603 785911 or email email@example.com
Posted on the 11th November 2020 in the category News
The Religious Life is at the very centre of our Catholic heritage within the Church of England. Those living the Religious Life represent a beating heart of prayer within our tradition and the wisdom of the cloister has had much to teach us during this time of pandemic. Bishop Tony Robinson is inviting you to join us in a novena of prayer for an increase in vocations to the Religious Life, this novena of prayer is supported by Religious of Orthodox Tradition (RooT), the Church Union and The Society, which is supported by Forward in Faith. The novena will be prayed in the period between the feast of St Hilda, which is marked in some calendars on 17 November (the day she died) and by the Church of England on 19 November, and the holy season of Advent, which begins on 29 November this year. The novena will therefore be prayed from Friday 20 November to Saturday 28 November. Please do join in with this time of prayer and ask God to call more people to serve Him in this way of life.
Posted on the 7th May 2020 in the category News
What has the Religious Life got to teach us during this time of Pandemic?
Posted on the 3rd October 2019 in the category News
Exploring vocation to the Religious Life
In the Summer 2019 edition of Together Brother Michael Jacob SSF writes about exploring vocation to the Religious Life.
I knew what I wanted to do with my life when I was six, in fact I knew what I had to do with my life! I wanted to be a monk! I was going to live in the countryside, wear long flowing black robes, look after animals and do lots of reading. The only bit that’s turned out to be true is the reading. – one of my life’s great passions. In my teens there came a change of mind, I didn’t need to be a Religious, I was going to teach English and Drama and live in splendid solitude, coming from a large family that seemed like the ultimate in opulence and luxury! Maybe I’d be ordained later and that would scratch the itch I tried to tell myself! I was so wrong!
Life happened! I made other choices and responded to what I perceived was family need which now I realise was cowardice rather than truth. I ended up working with kids with behavioural and or/special needs for four years – loved it! Then I knew I had to leave, life has been like that for me, I knew instinctively it was time for a change and I went to work for the Credit Union, I really liked that too, pleasing work and helping out good people. One day, I remember it was a gorgeous spring day; hot but a nice breeze and I was scribbling away on reception when suddenly I knew, all I wanted was to be a Religious, I knew it in every part of me, I had to do something about it.
Six months later I found myself at the bottom of the drive at Alnmouth Friary on the Northumberland coast. I had come from Milford Haven in West Wales, nine hours on trains. I looked up at that huge building on a wet December night and it looked like Count Dracula’s castle! I wanted to go home but having got lost walking from the station to the Friary, getting out of the rain won the day. I rang the bell and was greeted by a smiling man in a brown habit and battered sandals and the evocative smells of incense and floor polish. The moment I walked through that door I felt like I had come home, indeed it was to be home for four of the next seven years.
I read a book about St Francis by accident in my late teens and immediately this peculiar and slightly frightening man showed me somebody who loved God completely and it made him the love the world completely; in my spirit I knew it was for me. The whole of life was about the crib, the cross and the altar and taking that message into the world. I also had the joy of praying together, finally with other people, I have always found it easier to pray with people and it’s always preferable to praying alone. I was thrown together with people with the same intentions and aims, people whom, however much we sometimes test each other and fail in charity, people whom only God could bring together who become your family. A family who share their vulnerability and allow you to share yours and, when prayer is doing its work of emptying us out and reforming us, bear with you. Yes, and Amen.
Are all these what a vocation to the Religious Life is? Truth be told I don’t know. But this is my experience and what’s kept me going. In the end it’s about love; learning to love, being changed by it and changing each other. Here in a deprived part of Leeds or in a monastery in Worcester, it’s all the same, the Gospel words ring true and challenge me ‘Lord teach us to pray’ as for the disciples so for me. Again our Lord asking Simon Peter, ‘Do you love me?’ my answer is ‘Yes Lord, I do and I want to; teach me, take it all away and start again’ That I think is what vocation to the Religious Life is.
If you think you may have a vocation to the Religious life and would like to know more, why not come along to our Taster Day, the details of which are on this page.
Brother Michael Jacob SSF