Memories of Abbotsford Convent on an Ebay discussion forum

On an Ebay discussion forum, of all places, are to be found a series of uniformly adverse recollections by former residents of the Abbotsford Convent, and some other Catholic institutions. One woman’s story, pieced together by me from multiple posts, with a little editing, is:

‘It was indeed the Convent of the Good Shepherd, the Sacred Heart Class was where we kids worked our butts off to feed the nuns and the orphans (the orphans I don’t mind helping to feed …… ) and St Euphrasia was for schooling. So there were four sections in all. When my father placed me in the convent (I wasn’t in trouble by the way, at least not pregnant…), my father got rid of me as a plaything and the convent was as good as anywhere else.

We girls got up early, went to mass, came back, attended the refectory where we all had breakfast (such as it was) then we went to work. I was only a kid back then and didn’t know better, I just accepted their slavery as normal! Hubbys Bub [another poster on the disucssion board] the stories we could tell, your friend and I except my heart already feels as if it is breaking in two. As for my anger it’s getting like a great big ball. I don’t dare say too much else, as right now im not coping well at all.

This I want to say: breakfast was luke-warm porridge with a slice of STALE bread. Lunch on the other hand was soup, with the morning’s left over porridge added for volume! Please, I just need someone else to back me up as I know it sounds unbelievable! Continue reading “Memories of Abbotsford Convent on an Ebay discussion forum”

Catherine Kovesi’s book “Pitch Your Tents on Distant Shores”

I received from Miss K for Christmas Catherine Kovesi’s book Pitch Your Tents on Distant Shores (2006, Playwright Publishing), a beautifully written and very substantial large-format hard-back history of the founders of the Abbotsford Convent, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. It was, and may still be, available from the Sisters’ Provincialate Office at the discounted price of $55. It is remarkable in being quite accessible to the lay reader whilst doing what institutional histories must do. It has many photos of the Abbotsford Convent. Not given to reading religious histories, I am enjoying it.

No doubt it is a commissioned history, which may explain this frank admission in the introduction: Continue reading “Catherine Kovesi’s book “Pitch Your Tents on Distant Shores””