CAROLINE Chisholm was renowned during her life (1808-1877) as a most remarkable and praiseworthy person.
Her charitable work and social reforms were based on a strong Christian faith.
She was particularly motivated by the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Caroline and her husband Archibald had nine children, three of whom died in infancy. Two sons died as young adults.
The couple experienced many other hardships, including separation of the family because of Archibald’s army service and Caroline’s promotion of family migration.
None of this daunted her; she persevered in the active lay apostolate to which the Lord had called her.
From the mid-1840s in Australia and the late 1840s in Great Britain, Ireland, Europe and North America, Mrs Chisholm, as she was usually called, became famous as “the Emigrant’s Friend”.
The stories of her intrepid bush journeys, her ingenuity and strength of character, and her determination to assist the less privileged, caught the imagination of many.
The expressions of admiration and accounts of her life and work did not cease after her death.
The grateful memory lives on.
The Anglican and Catholic communities in Northampton, England, where Caroline was born, recently held commemorative services at her grave and for the new stained-glass window in the church of her baptism and marriage.
Groups and individual pilgrims visit and pray by the grave, whose restoration cost was fully paid by English and Australian friends.
The Friends of Caroline Chisholm were established in 2007.
They distribute the approved prayer card and a newsletter and welcome new members.
Issue #1 of the newsletter (accessible on www.mrschisholm.com) explains the group’s objectives and membership.
For five prayer cards, write to Prayer Cards, GPO Box 2171, Sydney, NSW, 2001, enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope; for larger numbers email firstname.lastname@example.org.