Poetic Tribute

Poetic Tribute

Sr Isabel Kelly FMSJ

The Franciscan Missionaries of Saint Joseph (FMSJ) a.k.a. Mill Hill Sisters founded by Alice Ingham in 1871 have always worked closely together with the Mill Hill Missionaries in many places around the world.

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I recently met Sr Isabel (Stella) Kelly FMSJ during a retreat at the Generalate in Worsley, Manchester, UK. Her autobiographical stories of missionary life in Borneo, Kenya and Ecuador published under the title 'Journey to the Unknown', subtitle 'The life of a Franciscan Missionary' make for fascinating and at times hilarious reading.

She also has two collections of poems to her name: 'Quiet Reflections' and A Rainbow of Laughter'

If anyone would like to buy a copy of her book she can be contacted at: trachstkei@gmail.com, The charge is £6 and all the proceeds go to Human Trafficking charities she is involved with, which include TARA in Scotland, PACE in Leeds, TRAC in Chigwell in Essex and MEDAILLE in London. The proceeds of the poem books go to the Breast Care Fund in Burnley. Quiet Reflections costs £2 and A Rainbow of Laughter costs £2.50.

In a sudden flash of inspiration, she wrote this poetic tribute to the Mill Hill Missionaries at the conclusion of her retreat:


MHMs are wonderful men
If I had to grade them
I'd give them a TEN!

They pray together
wherever they are
They keep in touch
whether near or far.

They live in community
They strive for unity
They are truly brothers
They think about others.

They work far away
For many a year
They tend the poor
They spread good cheer.

The sad day comes
when they have to leave
Hearts full of pain
Yet a smile they achieve.

We are proud to be their sisters
We are proud to be their friends.
May we always work together
In the time that God lends.

We thank you, Alice Ingham
we thank you, Cardinal Vaughan
You have long since gone
But your legacy journeys on.

May the MHMs and the FMSJs
Serve our God from age to age
May our spirits inspire
Men and Women to aspire
To join us in serving
Their hearts never swerving.

May God be with us
Our whole lives through
May we serve Him and others
As He has asked us to do.

written by Sister Isabel C.Kelly, FMSJ

Fons Eppink mhm

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