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Mater Christi Region

Region In 1954 the first two Religious Teachers Filippini went to England from the United States at the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Constable Maxwell of Alresford, Hampshire. They had witnessed the work of the Sisters in America and felt the need for such dedicated service among the scattered Catholic population of Hampshire, especially because of the shortage of Catholic schools in the area. At first the Sisters resided in a part of the Alresford House and worked in the local parish, catechizing, visiting homes, training choirs, etc. The following year the number of Sisters was increased to five--comprised of three American and two Italian Sisters—and they moved to what is now the Convent of St. Lucy in Medstead. The house and grounds were the generous gift of Mr. William Griffin, given in memory of his wife Isabel Carden Griffin, a sister of Mrs. Constable Maxwell. The Sisters went to live in. Medstead in August 1955; the official dedication took place on May 15, 1956, amid much solemnity.

During the ensuing years, a considerable development took place in the structural as well as the spiritual realms. A larger novitiate was built; a purpose built nursery and the larger chapel for the residents and local Catholics to attend Sunday Mass, as there was no Catholic Church in Medstead, were constructed. Elderly ladies were cared for in the Convent at the personal request of Archbishop John Henry King. Although through the years there were other Convents where the Sisters were active inthe apostolate, the Sisters are presently located in the parishes of St. Mary's, Alton, and St. Peter's, Winchester. They continue to operate the nursery school in each place, host retreat and other groups, are involved in catechetical and other parish programs, and are Eucharistic ministers also to the homebound.


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