Mother Harriet Monsell CSJB, Founder of the Community of St John Baptist, 26th March 1883

The sisters cared for orphans, ran schools and hospitals, and opened mission houses in parishes…

Harriet Monsell

Of Irish parentage, Harriet Monsell (née O’Brien) was born in 1811. After the death of her clergyman husband, she went to work in a penitentiary at Clewer near Windsor. Here, under the guidance of the local Vicar, T T Carter, she was professed as a Religious in 1852 and became the first Superior of the Community of St John the Baptist. Under her care, the community grew rapidly and undertook a range of social work in a variety of locations, with foundations in India and America by the 1880s. The sisters cared for orphans, ran schools and hospitals, and opened mission houses in parishes. In 1875 Mother Harriet retired as Superior through ill-health, moving to a small hermitage in Folkestone, where she died on Easter Day 1883.

Text Reproduced from Exciting Holiness by kind permission of Brother Tristam Holland SSF
Picture reproduced by kind permission of the Mother Superior of the Community of St John the Baptist, Begbroke, Oxon