Thought for the Day by Katharine Salmon (St Chad’s)
Little Sisters of the Poor- Community in the heart of Headingley.
One of these buildings in one that many of you will pass on any bus going up or down Headingley Lane. If the traffic is bad, you may get a good look at Hinsley Hall, pastoral centre for Leeds Catholic Diocese, but you may not know its history. Originally a Methodist training college, it was then bought by the Little Sisters of the Poor a few years after they came to Leeds to care for elderly people in need. When the Sisters built Mount St Joseph’s, a purpose-built nursing home at the top of Shire Oak Road which some of you will know, Hinsley Hall became the pastoral centre for the Catholic Diocese of Leeds. In normal times you can visit the bookshop where Catherine Whatmough can help you find some wonderful Christian books. You can also go on day retreats or stay over and have a break. While these are not possible at the moment, I find that even the grounds are prayerful. There is a small cemetery where the Little Sisters are buried, and some lovely trees and plenty of green space. I know the building can look a bit forbidding, and I still remember well the day I walked up the drive to be interviewed for a summer job caring for the elderly residents. Nearly thirty years later, the chapels in Hinsley Hall and Mount St Joseph’s are still places where I can really feel the atmosphere of prayer. The Founder of the Little Sisters, St Jeanne Jugan, had many sayings:
“Let us sing the glory of the risen Jesus!”- it is sad that we can’t sing in church, but perhaps we can sing at home?
“Be very little before God!” I find this helps to remind me that God is in charge, even in these challenging times.
To find out more, please visit littlesistersofthepoor.co.uk