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Europe : England, Ireland, Wales
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The EIW Province comprises three countries: England, Ireland, and Wales.
Population of these countries: England : 53.01 million Ireland: 4.6 million Wales: 3.6 million
Language. English is the language spoken in all three countries, but Welsh and Irish are spoken in some areas of these two countries.
The flag of England is the Union Jack comprising England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Southern Ireland is a republic and the flag is green, white and gold. The flag of Wales is the red dragon.
Flowers. The rose is the symbol of England, the shamrock of Ireland and the daffodil and the leek of Wales.
Ethnicity of the countries. - The forebears of the English were the Anglo Saxons. England was known as the Dowry of Mary till the Reformation of the sixteenth century. St George is the patron saint of England. - Ireland was the land of St Patrick and known as the island of saints and scholars in medieval times. - Wales was the land of St David and the Celtic saints.
--- Personnel of the EIW Province.
There are 42 sisters in the Province at present. There are 101 Associates. There are 2 Secular Branch members, who live in Wales but are attached to the U.S. Secular Branch.
* Communities There are 2 communities in Ireland, both in Dublin composed of 6 sisters. There is 1 community in Wales composed of 2 sisters. There are 8 communities in England composed of the remainder of the sisters. There are 4 Sisters who live alone but are attached to a community.
* Mission of the Province Since the arrival of the sisters in England, 114 years ago, their principal mission was the education of children in junior and senior schools, aged 5 to 18. They established their own convent schools, but the sisters also worked in the parochial schools from the beginning. They ran 6 private fee-paying Convent schools: Bedford, Olney, Ingsdon, Pontypool, Abergavenny and Aberystwyth. The first one to close was Olney and the last one closed was Abergavenny.
Since the beginning the sisters were qualified as teachers and taught in the parochial elementary schools till 1972. In the nineteenth sixties, a few nurses were trained and they worked in the state hospitals till the last sister left in 2005. A very central part of their mission of the sisters was their work for the poor and the sick. The Sisters could be seen visiting the poor on the large housing estates built after the Second World War.
There are no salaried sisters in the Province at present as all the sisters but one are over 70 years of age. The sisters live like the poor on their state pensions, with the addition of professional pensions for those who received professional salaries during their working years. Fortunately, the leaders of the province had the wisdom to prepare for the retirement of the sisters when the day came that none of them would be salaried. Such vision was a grace for the Province as they chose the convent at Olney to set up a retirement convent with a superb wing to cater for those needing nursing care.
* Internationality The Sisters of the English Province experienced internationality from the moment they entered the novitiate. In most communities, there were French, English, Irish and Welsh sisters in the community. Moreover, every summer one or other sister from France, who was studying for a degree in English, came to England to improve their English. We became friends with these sisters and the friendships last to this day.
* Hospitality Many Sisters visiting the Province comment on the quality of the hospitality they receive, and they feel very much at home in our midst.