A community of contemplative Sisters associated with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is to be established in Preston, it has been announced.
The Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest, founded in Florence in 2004, have accepted an invitation from Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster and will set up a house in St Augustine’s presbytery, Avenham.
Their arrival further strengthens the traditionalist presence in Preston. The Institute of Christ the King has already been entrusted with two historic churches in the city – it assumed the care of St Walburge’s church three years ago and English Martyrs’ church earlier this year.
The diocese said: “The Sisters’ days will be centred around prayer – Holy Mass and the Divine Office in the Extraordinary Form, personal prayer and Eucharistic adoration in the evening, the Rosary, etc. Punctuating this rich life of prayer are periods of manual labour and intellectual training, including instruction in Gregorian chant, Latin, spirituality, philosophy, and theology, as well as the learning of crafts such as sewing, lace-making, and the care of liturgical vestments and altar linens.”
Bishop Campbell said news of the Sisters’ arrival was a “great joy”. He said: “It’s a great gift, not only to have such a strong and vibrant praying presence at the heart of Preston, but especially for the young women in our diocese to see that some young women still choose this vocation, and that it can be a joyful and beautiful way to live one’s life.”
The Sisters, founded in June 2004 under the authority of Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, then the Archbishop of Florence, are a non-cloistered, contemplative community. Their patron saints are St Francis de Sales, St Benedict and St Thomas Aquinas. It is reported that there are 30 Sisters currently.
The Institute of Christ the King was established canonically in 1990 by Mgr Gilles Wach and Fr Phillipe Mora.
Mgr Wach said the prayer of the Sisters was a “great spiritual support towards the work of the Canons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in the UK, and will also benefit the Diocese of Lancaster. Their religious life, centred on Eucharistic Adoration and the Consecration to the Royal Heart of Jesus will bring more graces to Preston.”