Features


Sisters of Holy Faith Convent in March 2022. 
Photo: Alison Punch -
Sisters of Holy Faith Convent in March 2022.
Photo: Alison Punch –

The Sisters of the Congregation of the Holy Faith (CHF) will launch their first book, Presence & Action, on November 26 at 11 am in Couva. This year the CHF Sisters will mark the 75th anniversary of their Trinidad foundation.

A media release said in December 1947, this congregation from Glasnevin, Ireland, set up a foundation in Woodbrook as reported in the Catholic News on December 27, 1947.

Presence & Action

Presence & Action begins when Sister Monica McSherry, the Superior General, Sr Colmcille Kilgallon, and the first seven Irish religious sisters arrived, and immediately set up schools across the island. The initial 1946 letter of invitation to the congregation came from Archbishop Finbar Ryan.

This book features extracts from the nuns’ 75-year archive, including private letters, minutes of meetings, and personal photographs. The book is chronologically ordered by decades, and geographically maps their work across Trinidad, from Woodbrook, to places such as Couva, Siparia, Penal, Sangre Grande, Valencia, Moruga, Pembroke Street, St Ann’s, and Matelot.

On the jetty in Cork, Ireland in November 1947.

Photo by The Cork Examiner Newspaper)

Curated and compiled by archivist Dr Kwynn Johnson, this historical record draws from their many documents, and is complemented by personal interviews with the sisters in Trinidad. It’s a tapestry of the official with the ordinary, which weaves several stories about the work of these religious sisters.

The release said this book places on the national record the work of about 70 women. It adds to the cultural conversation their contribution to education in Trinidad, beginning in 1947 to the present.

Another key theme is social justice, which finds expression not only in education in both urban and rural Trinidad, but also in places such East Port of Spain, and the Remand Yard at the Port of Spain prison.

Archbishop Robert Rivas OP will attend to celebrate the importance of these archives, the release said.