Monday 27 April 2020

Sr. Elizabeth Prout - Sister Dominic Savio Hamer CP - CTS Saints of the Isles

Sr. Elizabeth Prout
CTS Saints of the Isles
Sister Dominic Savio Hamer CP
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860825491
CTS Booklet B715

Over the last few years I have read over 100 books from the Catholic Truth Society. This was the thirteenth I have read in the Saints of the Isles Series. I have read all that are readily available and now tracking down those that are harder to find. And I must state that this one was well worth finding. I have also read many in the CTS Biographies and also Great Saints Series. There are so many great stories about the lives of the saints. I believe I have a complete list of the volumes in this series, and this is the eleventh I have read from the fourteen I have discovered so far. The description of the series is:

“The Saints of the Isles series brings together telling accounts of the extraordinary lives of men and women from the British Isles - lives of holiness, courage and true discipleship to Christ and the Gospel message.”

And of this specific book:

“Elizabeth Prout was christened as an anglican but grew up very near to Blessed Dominic Barberi's Passionist monastery. His preaching and actions inspired her to convert to Catholicism and give her life to Christ. With the help of the Passionists Elizabeth founded an order that poor girls could join in order to bring help and education to the very poorest. Elizabeth spent the rest of her life founding convents, schools and working tirelessly for the poor in Britain. Over the last 150 years the Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion has spread all over the world and Sr Elizabeth's cause is progressing to a recognition of her heroic work.”

This is the shortest of the biographies I have read from the Catholic Truth Society, across all series. There is no table of contents in this book, and but a single chapter but the sections in the book are are:

Elizabeth Prout
Elizabeth Prout’s encounter with Blessed Dominic Barberi CP
First Encounter with Father Ignatius Spencer CP
The cost of conversion to Catholicism
Foundress of a new religious order
The Rule
St Chad’s, Manchester
St Mary’s Mulberry Street, Manchester
St  Joseph’s, Goulden Street, Manchester
Newton Heath, Manchester
St Mary’s Leveshulme
St Ann’s Ashton-under-Lyne
St Anne’s Sutton, St Helens
Parr Hall
Holy Cross Convent, Peckershill, Sutton
St Anne’s School, Sutton
St Joseph’s School, Peasley Cross
The Lancashire Cotton Famine in Ashton-under-Lyne
Homes for mill girls
Papal Approbation
Sisters of the Cross and Passion
A Prayer for the Beatification of Elizabeth Prout
Further Reading

That is a lot of sections in a volume that comes in at 32 pages. This is the story of the life and tireless work of Sister Elizabeth Prout, who is also known as Mother Mary Joseph of Jesus, she was the founder of the Roman Catholic religious institute originally called the Institute of the Holy Family, but known later as the Passionist Sisters or the Sisters of the Cross and Passion. This book captures much about here life. And the order she founded, including why the name changed. 

The book also begins by mentioning that she has been reinterred beside Ignatius Spencer and Dominic Barberi in the new shrine at Sutton. All three who are in process towards canonization. It was incredible to read about this woman, her life, her passion for Jesus, and her devotion to education, especially of girls and young women. 

Her conversion was almost instantaneous upon seeing the blessed Eucharist.  After entering a novitiate, she contracted tuberculosis. She returned home and recovered, but her mother gave her the choice of have a home or remaining Catholic. Soon after she was asked to found a new religious order. And that is the story we have here.

This was an amazing read. A fascinating life of service. Another great book in an excellent series. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books in the Saints of the Isles Series:

Edmund Arrowsmith - John S. Hogan
Margaret Clitherow - Jean Olwen Maynard
Edmund Campion - Alexander Haydon
John Southworth Priest and Martyr - Michael Archer
Saint Thomas More - Alvaro de Silva
John Ogilvie - Eleanor McDowell
Frances Taylor - Eithne Leonard
Mary Potter - Elizabeth Gilroy
John Fisher - Richard L. Smith
Robert Southwell - Fiorella Sultana De Maria
Ignatius Spencer - Fr. Ben Lodge
Sr Elizabeth Prout - Dominic Savio Hamer
Forty Martyrs of England and Wales - James Walsh
Thomas Becket - J.B. Midgley


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