Interview and Pictures by BERNARD COCKSHUTT BACK at Ladyvvell Convent at Godahning in Surrey after a six-month trip abroad, is Mother General Mary Frances, foundress of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood.
amount of travelling—including the opening of the sisters' first house in Australia — Mother General has found time to invent a special type of hospital bed.
It happened in Singapore where she was attending the stone-laying of the sisters' new hospital there. There was great difficulty in ordering suitable
lectured in quantity for use in Singapore, Australia and Gibraltar.
This is no ordinary bed. It is. in fact, a breakaway from the traditional style, having Formica head and foot boards and for the first time a built in stand for saline solutions and blood transfusion. as part of the design.
Besides the obvious advantage of being easily cleaned, the Formica surfaces make it possible to have pastel shades and avoid drabness especially in children's wards.
The new Austranan House of the Sisters is at Mount Alvernia, Bendigo. Victoria. There are six sisters at Bendigo and building has started on a new general and maternity hospital.
'Here also will he a postulancy, the fourth the congregation has built abroad.
Thousands of miles away in Gibraltar. the Sisters are starting an old people's home. At Ballinasloe in Ireland. they have a well equipped modern hospital.
In England. where the motherhouse and novitiate was last year opened in Godalming by Bishop Cowderoy, the Congregation is expanding rapidly. There are now 67 in the novitiate, 19 having received the habit this year—among them girls from Ireland. Malaya, Africa, and Chinese from Singapore.
'The training accentuates the practical as well as the spiritual side of a nurse's life. Training. is given in gardening, farming, vestment-making, baking, cooking, and such unusual subjects as cobbling and the making of crucifixes--all useful in the "do-it-yourself" lands of Africa and Asia. Lemons and hand ointments are provided. however, so that non-one need feel ashamed of her hands at daily Communion, or when nursing. Later this year the sisters hope to open another postulancy in Africa. For the numbers expected from the novitiate abroad.• they will quickly find a use for the quantities of Bargate stone they arc prudently buying and storing to extend the mother house.
In England the sisters have orphanages, nursing and maternity hospitals and homes at ALDERSHOT, CHLSLEHURST, GODALMING and GREYSHOTF.