The Franciscan Missionaries of St. Joseph

We are an International Franciscan Roman Catholic Missionary Congregation for women. We live in community and we are currently working in the U.K, Ireland, The Netherlands, Ecuador, Kenya, Uganda and the U.S.A. We evangelise through our witness to the love of Christ for his people in ministries of teaching, nursing, and catechesis, social and pastoral work.

We were founded by Alice Ingham who was born in Rochdale on the 8th March 1830. Through her association with Father Gomair Peeters, OSF at Gorton Monastery, Alice became a third order Franciscan along with her step-mother and fellow companions. They began living as a small community above their shop in Rochdale helping the poor in their area and reaching out particularly to the children who worked in the mills.

In 1878 Bishop Herbert Vaughan the second bishop of Salford Diocese visited them and asked Alice if she would go to Mill Hill London to oversee the domestic work of his newly formed missionary society. Despite some misgivings Alice went and in 1883 Alice and 11 sisters professed religious vows in the newly formed religious community.

In 1885 five of these sisters went with Father Jackson MHM to Borneo to serve as missionaries there. From that humble beginning our sisters have served on the missions in Kenya, Uganda, the Philippines, British Cameroons, Chile, Peru and Ecuador as teachers, nurses, social workers and parish workers.

In 1886 Bishop Vaughan established the Catholic Children's Rescue and Protection Society to take care of poor children in the Salford Diocese. He asked Alice to send sisters to undertake this ministry and until recent years many of our sisters worked in the rescue society. Caring for children in both children's homes and in fostering and adoption services.

Currently in the Salford Diocese our elderly sisters who reside in our care homes in Blackburn and Burnley exercise a powerful ministry of prayer for the needs of the people that our sisters serve as well as the people of the Diocese. Our active sisters minister in Caritas in Bury, Cornerstone and in ministry to the elderly. We also serve at Francis House, in various parishes throughout the Diocese and on some Diocesan committees. Our Generalate is at St Joseph's Convent in Worsley.

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