On the 1st January, on the Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God our Sisters who have ministered in Portsmouth for 15 years already and their community is based in this Parish of St Swithun’s. Some of the sisters we can see frequently at Mass and around the parishes of Portsmouth: Sr. Marie Elise – our own parish sister; Sr. Mary Athanasius – ministers at Corpus Christi and St Joseph’s parish; Sr. Yvonne – ministers in spiritual direction and retreat work, Sr. Maura – ministers at the Cathedral parish.
The Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM) are an International Religious Congregation of Catholic women who proclaim with their lives the joy and freedom of the Gospel in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi, sharing the life of their brothers and sisters wherever they go.
Saint Francis is characterised by a life of radical simplicity and gospel joy; witnessing to God’s love for all people and all creation by loving and reverencing each and every person he met from lepers to Sultans and Popes to the ordinary townspeople. He showed similar reverence for all of creation calling them ‘sister’ and ‘brother’… “All praise to You, My God for Sister Water and Brother Fire” (Canticle of Creation).
Saint Clare of Assisi – the first Franciscan Woman calls us by her contemplative stance and strong sense of servant leadership invites us today to live in that same spirit, attentive to the Spirit of God within each one.
Missionaries: In faith and through our vow of obedience we are ready to go wherever we are sent throughout the world. We recognise that in sharing whatever gifts we may have we receive, in return, so much more from the people to whom we are missioned. We are one in our mission though our ministries are diverse. ‘Divine Motherhood’ Ladywell Convent Chapel of the Divine Motherhood
Their charism encourages them to seek to imitate Mary in her unique role as Mother of God – to conceive, give birth to, and nurture the life of Christ – which is a life of love – in their hearts, their communities and in the world today.