Fr. Mark Higgins explores the message of Teresa Higginson.
Teresa Higginson, until very recently, was described on Wikipedia as a “famous Welsh Catholic”, but this was hardly the case at all. By providence or chance Teresa’s birth in 1844 did happen to occur during a family pilgrimage to the Shrine of Holywell in North Wales, but to two very English parents, her father, from a Lancashire family with recusant roots, and her mother, of personal conversion.
Teresa grew up, as it were, on the frontiers of the expanding English Catholic mission, with her family home acting as a lodging house for travelling clergy and even as a chapel for Mass in the days before the building of her local parish church in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. Visitors to the Higginson household included prominent figures of the period including Fathers Ignatius Spencer, Fredrick Faber and Dominic Barberi.
Family and school
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