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First Communions and Swaffham sisters celebrate

Latest news from across the Diocese of East Anglia includes First Holy Communions in Gorleston, record numbers in Wisbech and the Swaffham Sisters who are celebrating a 150thanniversary and nominated for a prestigious national TV award.

Fr Alex Ibe celebrated with 22 children who made their First Holy Communion at St Peter the Apostle, Gorleston on Sunday June 3 (pictured above).

You can see more pictures, taken by Brian Lafferty, by clicking here

A record number of children received their First Holy Communion at Our Lady and St Charles Borromeo in Wisbech on June 3, the Feast of Corpus Christi, when 15 received a blessing from parish priest Fr James Fyfe (pictured right).

The Daughters of Divine Charity, who have a convent and school in Swaffham and a small care home in Hunstanton, are celebrating their 150th anniversary of the founding of their Congregation this year and there will be a celebration Mass at St John's Cathedral in Norwich on July 5.

There is an international celebration in June in Vienna, Austria, where the order was founded by Mother Franciska Lechner on November 21, 1868.

Bishop Alan Hopes has invited the Sisters, the school, friends and parishioners to an 11.30am Mass at the Cathedral, to be followed by a barbecue.

Sr Francis Ridler said: "We would like as many people as possible to attend and would like to extend an invitation our across the diocese."

Since the arrival of the Sistersin England in 1914, themain apostolate has been in education. At present, there is the Sacred HeartPrimary and Secondary School in Swaffham, a nursery in Chesterfield and a small care home in Hunstanton. In the parishes where convents are situated, many of the Sisters are Eucharistic ministers,catechists, visitors of the sick,lonely, elderly and housebound. among other needs.

The Sisters recently featured in the Channel 5 TV documentary Bad Habits, Holy Orders. The series has been nominated in the Sanford St Martin Awards ' Radio Times Readers' Award and three Sisters are going to Lambeth Palace on June 7 to be find out which of the five programmes has been voted the best broadcast. Sr Francis said: "We feel very honoured to have reached so many people through this documentary."