Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Séamus Cunningham

Religious in our Diocese

Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Mother of Christ in:

Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Mother of Christ, South Shields

contact details

Address and Telephone:

St Oswald's Presbytery, Gainsborough Avenue, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 8JN

foundation and history

The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Mother of Christ are an international community of Religious women, founded in 1937 in Nigeria by an Irish missionary, Archbishop Charles Heerey C.S.Sp of revered memory.   It was the period in our history when only boys were allowed by parents to receive formal education in schools.

He realized that the progress he had made in Evangelization could not be sustained and consolidated without the elevation of womanhood which was then very low.   There was dire need for proper care of the under privileged especially in health care and in education in rural areas.  He desired to uplift the status of women through education, adequate preparation of girls for marriage and other Sacraments in order to build good Christian families. These needs impelled him to found an indigenous religious congregation to take care of this charism among his newly baptized Christians.

As a missionary himself, he instilled in us the same missionary spirit that brought him to Nigeria from Ireland. His spirit and charism now continue in us, his spiritual daughters.  While our charism remains the Compassion of Christ, our spirit is humility in imitation of Mary, the humble handmaid of the Lord to whose Immaculate Heart our founder entrusted us and our apostolate. Hence our spirituality is Marian.


Work of the Order in this diocese

On 25th March 2007 our Order arrived in Hexham and Newcastle Diocese in answer to an invitation by Bishop Kevin Dunn.  

Our apostolate consists of caring for the sick and the elderly in nursing homes and giving pastoral care as chaplain to the patients and staff of the District Hospital South Shields.

We are also involved in the Process of Evangelization in the diocese and volunteering some days in the week to help the refugees and the nearby school children by providing social and pastoral care for them.


All Religious Houses in Diocese