Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

Sister Jo Threlfall

Jo Threlfall entered Notre Dame in 1963 having been educated in different parts of the country by five different religious congregations. The attraction of St. Julie’s charism of simplicity, love and concern for the education of women and girls was always very strong along with her sense of justice.

She spent ten years teaching in primary and middle schools in England before going to Nigeria where she spent time teaching in primary and secondary schools. She later worked with women’s development programmes. This was really challenging but enjoyable and rewarding work. There were only 12 sisters from the British Province when she arrived in 1977 and by the time she left in 1997 there were over 50 sisters, 6 of whom were expatriates.

Then she spent two years in Zimbabwe in the late 1990’s co-ordinating women’s development programmes reaching women in the rural areas across the country, where she experienced the contrast between the wealth or the towns and the dire poverty of the women and children in the rural areas. Often the men went to the towns for work.

After returning to the UK in 1999, she helped in the Africa Administration section of Cafod and taught English at the Refugee Council. After some pastoral work in Brixton Prison she continued English teaching at the Cardinal Hume Centre in London. Now she has added to her ministry part time work with the ecumenical chaplaincy team at Gatwick Airport. She is active in the local justice and peace group and particularly interested in trafficking of women and children.

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