Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd (also known as the Sisters of the Good Shepherd) is a Catholic religious order that was founded in 1835 by Saint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier in Angers, France. The sisters belong to a Catholic international congregation of religious women dedicated to promoting the welfare of women and girls. The Congregation has a representative at the United Nations, and has spoken out against human trafficking.[1]. In several countries laundries and other institutions that were run by the Sisters have been found to have forced young girls to do industrial work, with much mistreatment.[2][3][4]

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
Congregationis Sororum a Bono Pastore
Coat of Arms of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
AbbreviationReligious of the Good Shepherd (R.G.S.)
FounderSaint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier
TypeCatholic religious order
HeadquartersVia Raffaello Sardiello, 20
00165 Rome, Italy
Congregational Leader
Sister Ellen Kelly


The Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd began as a branch of the Order of Our Lady of Charity (Ordo Dominae Nostrae de Caritate), founded in 1641 by Saint John Eudes, at Caen, France, and dedicated to the care, rehabilitation, and education of girls and young women in difficulty. Some of the girls were abandoned by their families or orphaned, some had turned to prostitution in order to survive. The Sisters provided shelter, food, vocational training and an opportunity for these girls and women to turn their lives around.[5]

Marie-Euphrasie Pelletier
Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd was founded by Rose Virginie Pelletier in Angers, France, in 1835. Rose was the daughter of a medical doctor and his wife, known for their generosity to the poor. At the age of eighteen, she joined the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Charity in Tours and was given her the name Sister Mary of Saint Euphrasia. At the age of twenty-nine, she became Mother superior of the convent.[5]

Contemplative community

While superior at Tours, Sister Mary Euphrasia formed a contemplative nuns group, named the Magdalen Sisters (based in a devotion to Saint Mary Magdalene's conversion), now known as the Contemplative Communities of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, for penitent women who wished to live a cloistered life, but were ineligible to become Sisters of Our Lady of Charity.[6] On November 11, 1825, four young women began their novitiate with a short rule given to them by Archbishop de Montblanc of Tours,[7] which followed the Rule of the Third Order of Mount Carmel,[8] and earned their own way with intricate embroidery and production of altar bread.

Angers, France

In 1829, the Bishop of Angers, in France, requested a home be established in his diocese. Soon requests arrived from other cities. Each convent of the Order of Our Lady of Charity was independent and autonomous, with neither shared resources nor provisions for transferring personnel as needed. Sister Mary Euphrasia Pelletier envisioned a new governing structure that would free the sisters to respond more readily to requests for assistance. She appealed to Rome for approval to establish a new religious congregation, and the congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd was founded in 1835, with the motherhouse in Angers.[5]

Sister Mary Euphrasia Pelletier was Mother-General of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd for 33 years, and at her death in 1868, she left 2067 professed sisters, 384 novices, 309 Touriere sisters (outdoor sisters who were not cloistered), 962 Sisters Magdalen, caring for 6372 "penitents", and 8483 children. In her lifetime 110 Good Shepherd convents were established in places as various as Rome, Italy (1838), Munich, Germany (1839) and Mons, Belgium (1839).[6]


The first convent of the Good Shepherd in Great Britain was founded in London in 1841 and then in Dalbeth, Glasgow in 1851, moving to Bishopton, Renfrewshire in 1953.[1] They arrived in Montreal, Canada in 1844, and in Toronto in 1944.[9] The sisters arrived in Melbourne, Australia in 1862.[6]

Additional convents were founded in El-Biar, Algeria (1843), Cairo, Egypt (1846), Limerick, Ireland (1848), Vienna, Austria (1853), Bangalore, India (1854), San Felipe, Chile (1855), Malta (1858), Leiderdorp, Holland (1860), and Rangoon, Burma (1866). Under her successor, Mother Mary Saint Peter Coudenhove, in twenty-four years, eighty-five houses were founded, and thirteen new provinces established: eleven in Europe, two in Africa, nine in North America, five in South America and one in Oceania.[8] The Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Mission was founded in 1869 and the convent continues to function as a religious community and school. From Ceylon, the Good Shepherd Sisters came to Singapore in 1939 and reached out into Malaysia in 1956.[10]

Starting around 1938, over time eleven monasteries of Our Lady of Charity in four countries joined the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.[11]

Since 1939 the Sisters have operated a convent in Singapore [12] They have since diversified into other ministries ranging from education to social welfare. In 1958 they opened Marymount Convent School, a girls' primary school.[13]


In 1842 Mary Euphrasia sent the first five Sisters to Louisville, Kentucky, to establish houses in the United States. From Louisville new foundations spread across the U.S. From 1893 to 1910 authorities in Davenport, Iowa placed 260 underage girls in Good Shepherd Homes in Omaha, Peoria, Dubuque and elsewhere. Some of these girls were taken from brothels or dangerous home environments. This was seen as an alternative to sending them to the Iowa Industrial School for Girls in Mitchellville. According to Sharon E. Wood, "Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, reformers increasingly promoted private institutions as the best way to deal with problem girls."[14]

When the Sisters of the Good Shepherd arrived in St. Paul in 1868, their mission was to serve the needs of the homeless, wayward, and criminal girls and women. The Sisters developed two distinct programs: the first, was the care of girls who came from failing homes. The second served former prostitutes or delinquent girls, a majority of which were sent by the court. At the conclusion of their court-ordered stay, most women returned to their communities. However, they had the option to remain with the sisters in a semi-religious status, living at the House, praying, assisting with chores, and easily able to leave the House, or to become a cloistered “Magdalen” nun, who led a contemplative life within the convent at the House of the Good Shepherd.[15] Lovina Benedict opened a home in Des Moines under the auspices of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. It was based on the Good Shepherd Home she had visited in St. Paul, Minnesota. In Wood's view the Davenport use of the Good Shepherd Homes "anticipated the juvenile court system created by Progressive reformers a few years later".[14]

By 1895 the Sisters of the Good Shepherd cared for numerous poor elderly men including disabled Civil War veterans at a large asylum at 5010 North Avenue in Milwaukee. They later moved to a facility at 8730 W. Bluemound Road.[16]

New York City Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (1895) was a firm supporter of the work of the Sister of the Good Shepherd. From 1928 to 1975, the sisters operated Villa Loretto in Peekskill, New York.[17] On February 14, 2000 the four Provinces of Cincinnati, St. Louis, Washington and St. Paul merged to become the Province of Mid-North America.[11]

The Good Shepherd Sisters in Seattle ran a home for young women, most of whom were runaways, referred to the nuns by juvenile court, which labeled them "incorrigible." "The perception was that unwed mothers were sent there, but they weren't," said Sister Vera Gallagher. "In order to protect the girls, we really didn't tell the community much about what we were doing; and, because nobody knew, that was what they imagined. But they were just high-energy girls who had no place to go.".[18] Deborah Mullins, the youngest of twelve from a divorced family said, the Good Shepherd nuns "were the best thing that ever happened to me. ...They never screamed at you when you did something wrong. They'd be just totally disappointed in you, and that would make you know what you needed to do."[18] They ran a laundry, washing the sheets and tablecloths used by the railroad. The nuns gave the girls money to buy new outfits. "We weren't all rosaries and stations of the cross," said Sheilah Nichols Castor. "You had to be able to type, you had to be able to take shorthand, and you had to be able to cook something. When I came out, of course, I could only cook in batches of 30."[18]

In 1867, the sisters came to the Archdiocese of Boston, where they ran the House of the Good Shepherd on Mission Hill in Boston for nearly a century. The sisters moved their school to Marlborough, MA in 1964, where they provided a therapeutic residential program for girls until 1985.[19]

In 1993, the Woburn-based Cummings Foundation purchased the property and renovated it into the upscale independent and assisted living community, New Horizons. The sisters continue to live there today rent-free and offer residents daily Catholic Mass in Cardinal Cushing Chapel.

Abuse of inmates


From the early 1890s to the 1960s, most Australian state capitals had a Magdalene asylum, also known as Magdalene laundry, a large convent where teenage girls were placed. According to James Franklin, the girls came from a variety of very disturbed and deprived backgrounds and were individually hard to deal with in many cases.[20] The asylums were initially established as refuges, with the residents free to leave. In the early 1900s, they reluctantly began to accept court referrals.[21] "They took in girls whom no-one else wanted and who were forcibly confined, contrary to the wishes of both the girls and the nuns."[20]

Like orphanages, they received almost no government funds. Laundry work was regarded as suitable as it did not require much training nor substantial capital expense. The nuns shared the conditions of the inmates, such as bland food, hard work, the confinement and the long periods of silence. Education for residents was either of poor quality or lacking altogether.[22] The state-run Parramatta Girls Home, which also had a laundry, had similar harsh conditions but a worse record for assaults.[23] The Good Shepherds were among the organisations running these institutions and laundries,[24] for example at Abbotsford Convent.

In 2004 the Australian Parliament released a report that included Good Shepherd laundries in Australia for criticism. "We acknowledge" [writes the Australian Province Leader Sister Anne Manning] "that for numbers of women, memories of their time with Good Shepherd are painful. We are deeply sorry for acts of verbal or physical cruelty that occurred: such things should never have taken place in a Good Shepherd facility. The understanding that we have been the cause of suffering is our deep regret as we look back over our history."[25]

Northern Ireland

"The Fighting Irish," Good Shepherd Convent. Thirteen Irish nuns who had been interned in the Rangoon City Jail by... - NARA - 540050
Thirteen Irish nuns who had been interned in the Rangoon City Jail by the Japanese, Burma, May 28, 1945.

The Congregation ran institutions which provided residential accommodation for children and adults in Belfast, Derry and Newry in Northern Ireland. These institutions were the subject of the two-week Module 12 of the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry into sexual and physical abuse of children—not taking into account young women over the age of 18, the majority of residents[26]—starting on 7 March 2016.[27]

The inquiry, under Sir Anthony Hart, reported in January 2017. In regard to the Good Shepherd Sisters facilities in Belfast, Derry and Newry, the retired judge said there had been "unacceptable practices" of young girls being forced to do industrial work in the laundries. He recommended compensation of £7,500 and £100,000 per person.[28] An apology on behalf of the Sisters said "we regret that some of our former residents have painful memories of the time spent in our care."[26]


The Ireland branch of the congregation has been accused of labor abuse, with inmates forced by nuns to perform laborious work in laundries and factory-like setups for pocket-money pay for companies such as Hasbro.[29][30]

In Dublin in 1993, the order sold land to property developers in High Park, Drumcondra, that partly included a graveyard containing the mass grave of former inmates of its Magdalene Laundry. After seeking an exhumation order from the authorities to remove 128 bodies from the mass grave, it was found that the grave actually contained 155 bodies. They were eventually cremated and the ashes reinterred in Glasnevin Cemetery. The resulting scandal caused a re-evaluation of the Order's work in Ireland.[31][32]

The Netherlands

The Dutch branch of the congregation has been accused of labor abuse, with inmates forced by nuns to perform unpaid labor in laundries and sewing workshops between 1860 and 1973.[33] One of the interviewed victims also mentioned rape, claims on the heritage of orphans to pay for living costs, while performing unpaid labour.[34] Questions have been submitted in parliament; after a dismissive ministerial response a civil claim in court was announced in 2018 by 19 victims.[35]


The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd was a cloistered order in the past, but is now mostly apostolic. Members follow the Rule of Saint Augustine. The contemplative and apostolic branches were once separate but have since merged . There are now two lifestyles in one institute.[9]

The sisters work in the areas of: community outreach, special education, social work, youth development, nurses, and post abortion counseling. They serve as administrator, psychologists, hospital chaplains, and prison ministers. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd are active in fighting against prostitution and human trafficking in poor countries of Asia. They also work in an international fair trade partnership with women and those in social and economic distress through Handcrafting Justice.

  • The sisters in Canada initiated the "Sharing Fair" Program which markets goods produced by women in developing countries.[9]
  • In 1976 the sisters in Ethiopia started the Bethlehem Training Center. A group of women was selected to learn rug and carpet weaving in the traditional Ethiopian style; teenagers started needlework, basket-making and cotton-spinning classes. Literacy classes were also added.[36]
  • since 1987 sisters in the Philadelphia area have run CORA (Counseling and Referral Assistance) Services. Programs include a job-placement program for youths, a counseling service for pregnant adolescents and an assistance program for both employers and employees to help workers with drug, alcohol or other problems.[37]

The contemplative sisters continue to be devoted to prayer and they support themselves by: making vestments, supplying altar breads to parishes, artistic works, creative computer work – designing graphics, cards and composing music.

As of 2010 the Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd was an international order of religious women in the Roman Catholic Church with its some 4,000 nuns work in 70 countries across the world.

See also


  1. ^ Chris Herlinger (29 July 2016). "Catholic sisters among those embracing international efforts against human trafficking". Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  2. ^ "15.000 women performed forced labor". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  3. ^ "'Around the garden barbed wire was strung'". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  4. ^ "Module 12 - Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd (the 'Good Shepherd Sisters')". Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "St. Mary Euphrasia", Good Shepherd of North America Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c "Rose Virginie Pelletier (St. Mary Euphrasia)", Catholic Information Network
  7. ^ Sisters of the Good Shepherd Contemplatives
  8. ^ a b Le Brun, Charles. "Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 22 Feb. 2015
  9. ^ a b c Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Toronto
  10. ^ Good Shepherd Mission, Singapore
  11. ^ a b "Our History", Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Province of Mid-North America
  12. ^ Province of Singapore-Malaysia
  13. ^ Marymount Convent School
  14. ^ a b Sharon E. Wood (8 March 2006). The Freedom of the Streets: Work, Citizenship, and Sexuality in a Gilded Age City. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-8078-7653-4.
  15. ^ Anne M. Butler (1987). Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West, 1865-90. University of Illinois Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-252-01466-6.
  16. ^ Sisters of the Good Shepherd Asylum
  17. ^ Neil Larson (December 1987). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Villa Loretto". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
  18. ^ a b c MacDonald, Sally. "Good Shepherd Nuns Retire -- `Wayward' Girls Got Help, Hope At Home Run By Convent", The Seattle Times, July 31, 1997
  19. ^ "Foundation provides new home for Sisters of the Good Shepherd. Published 8/10/2012". Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  20. ^ a b Franklin, James. "Convent Slave Lauderies? Magdalen Asylums in Australia", Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society 34 (2013), 70-90]
  21. ^ Kovesi, C., Pitch Your Tents on Distant Shores: A History of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand and Tahiti, Playwright Publishing, Caringbah, 2006, 2nd ed, 2010
  22. ^ Taylor, H., "The Magdalen refuge at Tempe", Sydney Morning Herald, 20 January 1890
  23. ^ Williamson, N. "Laundry maids or ladies? Life in the Industrial and Reformatory School for Girls in NSW", Part II, 1887 to 1910, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society 68 (1983), pp.312-324
  24. ^ Joanna Penglase (19 October 2010). Orphans of the Living: Growing Up in 'Care' in Twentieth-Century Australia. pp. 123, 386, 404. ISBN 978-1-4587-1742-9.
  25. ^ "Blog -Good Shepherd's 150 Years". Good Shepherd. 15 April 2013. Archived from the original on 3 May 2013.
  26. ^ a b Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry Report, Chapter 21: Module 12 - Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
  27. ^ "Module 12 - Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd (the 'Good Shepherd Sisters')". Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  28. ^ "Northern Ireland inquiry finds widespread abuse of children in care". RTÉ. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  29. ^ "How a global board games giant exploited Ireland's Magdalene women | Little Atoms". Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  30. ^ Reilly, Gavan. "Religious orders offer apology for abuse in Magdalene Laundries". Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  31. ^ Raftery, Mary (8 June 2011). "Ireland's Magdalene laundries scandal must be laid to rest". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  32. ^ "Exhumations at High Park". Justice for Magdalenes. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  33. ^ "15.000 women performed forced labor". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  34. ^ "Around the garden barbed wire was strung". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  35. ^ Joep Dohmen (14 July 2018). "Nun victims launch claim". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  36. ^ "Good Shepherdesses in Addis Ababa", CNEWA
  37. ^ Byrd, Jerry W., "A Service Agency Close To The Heart", Philadelphia Inquirer, March 26, 1987


  • Smith, James M (2008). Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's architecture of containment. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-7888-0.

Further reading

  • Regensburg, Margaret, “The Religious Sisters of the Good Shepherd and the Professionalization of Social Work” (PhD dissertation State University of New York, Stony Brook, 2007). Dissertation Abstracts International No. DA3337604.

External links


Aidanfield is a suburb in the south-west of Christchurch, New Zealand, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from the city centre. The land, which had been owned by the Good Shepherd Sisters since 1886, now incorporates the Mount Magdala Institute and the St John of God Chapel, which has a Category I heritage listing by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (now Heritage New Zealand). The first residents moved into the suburb in 2002. The developer caused controversy in 2007–2008 by applying to have a group of farm buildings demolished to allow for further subdivision. Christchurch City Council was widely criticised for approving the demolition despite the buildings having had a heritage listing in the Christchurch City Plan.


Braidfauld was the 45th ward in the City of Glasgow, Scotland, prior to the re-organization into multi-member wards. It is bounded on the south by the River Clyde (along which is a pleasant walkway) and on the north by (mostly) Tollcross Road. Its western boundary is the west wall of the old Belvidere Hospital carried on roughly northeastwards to Tollcross Road, and its eastern boundary is Causewayside Street. Braidfauld is a slightly artificial creation and few residents would recognise it as other than a sub-district of their area, feeling more affinity (depending on where they live) with neighbouring areas such as Barrowfield, Parkhead and Tollcross.

Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Ermesinde)

The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Portuguese: Igreja do Sagrado Coração de Jesus) is a Modernist church in the civil parish of Ermesinde, in the municipality of Valongo, in the Portuguese district of Porto. The religious sanctuary actually goes by several names, including the Church of the Good Shepherd or Sanctuary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a shrine dedicated to the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Elena Gallegos Rosales

Elena Gallegos Rosales (15 June 1882-30 August 1954) was the Salvadoran-born wife of the 24th President of Costa Rica. During her tenure as first lady, she was responsible for furnishing and establishing the new Presidential House, performing charitable works, and accompanying her husband on various diplomatic trips.

John Eudes

Saint John Eudes (French: Jean Eudes) (14 November 1601 – 19 August 1680) was a French Roman Catholic priest and the founder of both the Eudists and the Order of Our Lady of Charity. He was also a professed member from the Oratory of Jesus and was the author of the proper for the Mass and Divine Office of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin. Eudes was an ardent proponent of the Sacred Hearts and dedicated himself to its promotion and celebration; the Masses he compiled for both Sacred Hearts were later said for the first time both in his lifetime. He preached missions across France including Paris and Versailles while becoming known as a popular evangelist as well as a sought-out confessor and preacher. Father Eudes was also a prolific writer and wrote on the Sacred Hearts while also condemning the Jansenists in favour of full support for the pope.Eudes was canonized as a saint in mid-1925 and there is a current push to have him named as a Doctor of the Church.

List of Catholic religious institutes

The following is a list of current Catholic religious institutes. Most are Roman Catholic, however Eastern Catholic institutes are included.

The list given here includes not only examples of pontifical-right institutes but also some that are only of diocesan right. It includes even some associations formed with a view to becoming religious institutes but not yet canonically erected even on the diocesan level.

The list does not distinguish between institutes that historically would be classified either as "orders" or as "congregations".

Institutes are listed alphabetically by their common names, not their official ones. For example, the Jesuits, officially called the Society of Jesus, would be listed under 'J' rather than under 'S.' If an institute's official name is used more often than a nickname, it will be listed as such.

Madonna Buder

Madonna Buder, S.F.C.C. (born Marie Dorothy Buder; July 24, 1930), also known as the Iron Nun, is a Roman Catholic religious sister and Senior Olympian triathlete. Buder has the current world record for the oldest woman to ever finish an Ironman Triathlon, which she obtained at age 82 by finishing the Subaru Ironman Canada on August 26, 2012.

Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

Saint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier (July 31, 1796 in Noirmoutier-en-l'Île – April 24, 1868 in Angers), born Rose Virginie Pelletier, was a French Roman Catholic nun, best known as the foundress of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd.

Pelletier was born on an island off the coast of France where her parents had been exiled by the French Revolutionaries. She was christened Rose Virginie Pelletier and at the age of eighteen joined the Order of Our Lady of Charity who cared for girls and women in difficulty. Some of the girls were abandoned by their families or orphaned, some had turned to prostitution in order to survive. The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity provided shelter, food, vocational training and an opportunity for these girls and women to turn their lives around. Mother Mary Euphrasia formed the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd to expand this apostolate to wherever needed.

Pelletier died in Angers, France, in 1868 and was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1940. Her feast day is 24 April.

Mary of the Divine Heart

Sister Mary of the Divine Heart (Münster, September 8, 1863 – Porto, June 8, 1899), born Maria Droste zu Vischering, was a person of old German nobility (Uradel) and Roman Catholic nun of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, best known for having influenced Pope Leo XIII to make the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pope Leo XIII himself called this solemn consecration "the greatest act of my pontificate".

Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry

The 2014-2016 Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, often referred to as the HIA Inquiry, is the largest inquiry into historical institutional sexual and physical abuse of children in UK legal history. Its remit covers institutions in Northern Ireland that provided residential care for children from 1922 to 1995, but excludes most church-run schools. The Inquiry was set up in response to the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Act (Northern Ireland) 2013. Following a request to extend its timescale, the Inquiry's Report was delivered to the First Minister and deputy First Minister (who had no powers to change it) on 6 January 2017, shortly before the deadline of 18 January, and published on 20 January. The cost was estimated at £17-19m, with 30 people working on the enquiry according to its Frequently Asked Questions as of January 2017. There are provisions for witness support. The Inquiry had statutory powers to compel witnesses living in Northern Ireland to appear before it and evidence held in Northern Ireland to be given to it; to take evidence under oath; and to be held in public except where necessary to protect individuals' privacy. Inquiry Rule 14(3) does not allow any explicit or significant criticism of a person unless the chairperson has sent them a warning letter, with a reasonable opportunity to respond.Victims and survivors are represented by the Inquiry's legal team at hearings; other witness may have their own legal representatives. Only the Inquiry legal team questions witnesses, and victims and survivors will not normally be cross examined by anyone else except in extremely unusual cases.

The Inquiry concluded its hearings on 8 July 2016 and released its report on 20 January 2017.

Order of Our Lady of Charity

The Order of Our Lady of Charity (also known as Order of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge) is a Roman Catholic monastic order, founded in 1641 by Saint John Eudes, at Caen, France.

Our Lady of the Good Sheperd

Our Lady of the Good Sheperd or Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd is a title of the Holy Virgin Mary as Mother of Jesus Christ, who is also known as the Good Shepherd.

Pope Leo XIII

Pope Leo XIII (Italian: Leone; born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci; Italian: [vinˈtʃɛntso dʒoakˈki:no raffaˈɛ:le luˈi:dʒi ˈpettʃi]; 2 March 1810 – 20 July 1903) was head of the Catholic Church from 20 February 1878 to his death. He was the oldest pope (reigning until the age of 93), and had the third-longest confirmed pontificate, behind that of Pius IX (his immediate predecessor) and John Paul II.

He is well known for his intellectualism and his attempts to define the position of the Catholic Church with regard to modern thinking. In his famous 1891 encyclical Rerum novarum, Pope Leo outlined the rights of workers to a fair wage, safe working conditions, and the formation of labor unions, while affirming the rights of property and free enterprise, opposing both Marxism and laissez-faire capitalism. He influenced Mariology of the Catholic Church and promoted both the rosary and the scapular.

Leo XIII issued a record of eleven Papal encyclicals on the rosary earning him the title as the "Rosary Pope". In addition, he approved two new Marian scapulars and was the first pope to fully embrace the concept of Mary as Mediatrix. He was the first pope to never have held any control over the Papal States, after they had been dissolved by 1870. He was briefly buried in the grottos of Saint Peter's Basilica before his remains were later transferred to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran.


RGS is the abbreviation of:

Burgos Airport, Spain, by IATA airport code

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

Raffles Girls' School (Secondary)

Rapid Global School, Uttar Pradesh, India

Redland Green School, Bristol

Regulator of G protein signalling

Reigate Grammar School

Remote Graphics Software, Remote desktop protocol by Hewlett Packard

Restless Genital Syndrome, a spontaneous, persistent, and uncontrollable genital arousal in women, unrelated to any feelings of sexual desire

RGS Atalanta, a revival of the Atalanta automobile after the World War II

Rio Game Show, original name of Brasil Game Show (BGS)

Rio Grande Southern Railroad, reporting mark RGS

Ripon Grammar School


Royal Geographical Society

Royal Grammar School (disambiguation), several schools in the United Kingdom

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa is an archdiocese in the Philippines comprising the civil province of Batangas and with its cathedral located in the city of Lipa. First created in 1910 from the Archdiocese of Manila, the diocese was elevated into its present status in 1972. Today, the Ecclesiastical Province of Lipa covers Batangas and suffragan territories in the civil provinces of Quezon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro and Aurora. The archdiocese itself is divided into 7 vicariates further comprising a total of 64 parishes.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Imus

The Diocese of Imus (Latin: Dioecesis Imusensis) comprises the entire province of Cavite. The diocese was canonically erected on November 25, 1961, when it was excised from the Archdiocese of Manila. Imus Cathedral, located along General Castañeda Street in the poblacion of Imus, serves as the see of the diocese. It is one of twelve cathedrals founded by the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines.

The diocese is home to around 2,510,000 Roman Catholics spread across four episcopal districts, eleven vicariates, 80 parishes, three pastoral centers, a Catholic community, a national shrine (Our Lady of La Salette), and four were declared as diocesan shrines. There are 184 priests in the diocese, 95 of which are diocesan and 89 are religious.

In 2011, the Diocese of Imus celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its establishment. Activities were held within the diocese to mark the momentous event. Prior to the occasion, the celebration of the 5th Asian Youth Day in 2009 was also held in the diocese.

The diocese is under the patronage of the Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady of the Pillar, whose feast day is celebrated on October 12. The image of Our Lady was canonically crowned by Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila and former Bishop of Imus, in a solemn ceremony held in 2012.

Sacred Heart

The devotion to the Sacred Heart (also known as the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sacratissimum Cor Iesu in Latin) is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Roman Catholic devotions, taking the heart of the resurrected Body as the representation of the love by Jesus Christ God, which is "his heart, pierced on the Cross", and "in the texts of the New Testament is revealed to us as God's boundless and passionate love for mankind".This devotion is predominantly used in the Roman Catholic Church, followed by the high-church Anglicans, Lutherans and Eastern Catholics. In the Roman Catholic Church, the liturgical Solemnities of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, or 19 days after Pentecost Sunday.The devotion is especially concerned with what the Church deems to be the long-suffering love and compassion of the heart of Christ towards humanity. The popularization of this devotion in its modern form is derived from a Roman Catholic nun from France, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, who said she learned the devotion from Jesus during a series of apparitions to her between 1673 and 1675, and later, in the 19th century, from the mystical revelations of another Roman Catholic nun in Portugal, Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart, a religious of the Good Shepherd, who requested in the name of Christ that Pope Leo XIII consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Predecessors to the modern devotion arose unmistakably in the Middle Ages in various facets of Catholic mysticism, particularly with Saint Gertrude the Great.


Sandleford is a hamlet and former parish in the English county of Berkshire. The settlement is now within the civil parish of Greenham, and is located approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of the town of Newbury. It measures about 520 acres, most of which is taken up with the fields and copses to the west of the Priory. A census taken in 1801 showed Sandleford to have three houses, three families and 18 people. At the same time Newbury comprised 931 houses, 34 empty houses, 971 families and 4275 people. John Marius Wilson in his Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1870–72, gave Sandleford as having Real property £775; of which £10 are in fisheries, and a population of 49 in nine houses, but in 1881 the population of Sandleford had shrunk to 34. In 1615 it was separated from the manor and parish of Newbury, and the adjacent Wash Common and became extra-parochial, as described by Sir Francis More, Kt, of Fawley, it was to be: no part of the Parish of Newbury, nor to be so reputed. At some point after 1924 it was subsumed into the parish of Greenham.

On 23 August 1759 the Rector of Newbury, Rev. Thomas Penrose (died 1769), father of the poet Thomas Penrose, in answer to some set questions about Newbury, and to question number five in particular which concerned 'seats of gentry' in the town, wrote this: [Newbury has] No seat of gentry; if you except Sandleford, which is an estate held of the church of Windsor, and which is often considered as extra-parochial, but which pays a composition in lieu of tithes to the rector of Newbury. It is situated to the south of Newbury. The present lessee is Edward Montagu, Esq.; Member of Parliament for the town of Huntingdon.


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