100 years of Ministry

The “Rescue” Sisters leave Didsbury after 100 years of Ministry.

Black and white photo of the Didsbury Sisters

"Rescue" Sisters at prayer. Didsbury chapel 1981.

At the start of 2022, the Sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of St. Joseph (the “Rescue” sisters) left Didsbury after 100 years of Ministry.

Sister Maureen O’Driscoll continues to work at 463 – the residential home for young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions – and the convent of Our Lady of Lourdes at the gateway to Francis House Children’s Hospice has now closed and the sisters have moved to other houses in the Greater Manchester area.

In 1990 the sisters gave up their home to be converted into the children’s hospice, not only losing their convent but changing from their congregational way of life.  They moved into smaller houses around the city living in places where they could offer new ministries to local communities.


David Ireland, CEO of Francis House said: “I will never forget the sight of their possessions being wheeled down the drive as the builders moved in to transform what was their home into a place for families to rest and recuperate on their difficult journeys.

“Francis House was born out of their sacrificial gift. Thank you to all of the sisters past and present for the major part that you have played in the care of children and families over the last century here in Didsbury.”

Father Tom

One of the founders of Francis House, Monsignor Thomas Mulheran, has now retired and moved to live with the Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Joseph’s.

“Francis House and the families who use it owe so much to the far sightedness of Father Tom, he made it financially possible, and many families have benefited personally from his priestly ministry as our chaplain, but he did so much more.  We wish him a happy retirement and a well-earned rest,” said David.

Father Thomas Mulheran at the site blessing service 2012

Father Tom pictured in 2012 during the construction of Francis Lodge.


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