Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception


Our Mission in the Catholic Diocese of Bridgetown, Barbados, to which our Congregation was invited by Bishop Jason Gordon, began in earnest on 21st September 2016 with the arrival of Sr. Pauline Dempsey from Glasgow.   Sr. Margaret Mary Oniwinde joined her six weeks later, forming the first community. The third community member Sr. Lilian Njoku arrived one year later.

The people of Bridgetown Diocese warmly welcomed the sisters with great joy.  As with all things new, it has taken the sisters time to integrate and adapt to a different land and culture.

Sr. Pauline began work immediately as Head Teacher of St. Patrick’s Primary School, next door to St. Patrick's Cathedral. It seems appropriate that an order founded in Glasgow should be ministering in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Barbados. The Cathedral was built by many Scottish and Irish soldiers and indentured servants.

Owing to health issues, Sr. Pauline returned to Glasgow (2019) and Sr. Lilian returned to Nigeria to prepare for Final Vows (2021).

Sr. Mercy Agbamu joined the community, taking over as Head Teacher of St. Patrick's Primary School.

Sr. Margaret Mary is the Head Catechist of the Diocese, working with Catechists and the Diocesan Family Life Team.  Sister is responsible for the Catechist Formation Programme and coordinating and collating the materials and sacramental programmes that are offered in the parishes.  She also goes to Corpus Christi Outstation every two weeks.

Sr. Mercy Ajayi joined the community in 2021 and has been working with the Diocesan Youth Programme as a Coordinator, meeting with Youth Leaders.  She also teaches Religious Education in the School and, on Sundays, works with young people and catechists in the preparation of children for the Sacraments.

The Diocese itself is small with approximately 2,000-2,500 practising Catholics.  There are five parishes and two outstations which are served by three Religious Priests and four active and four retired Diocesan Priests, and one Bishop Emeritus. The diocese also has 5 permanent deacons and two seminarians.

Like St. Francis of Assisi, the sisters are responding to the needs of their time.