As you will be aware, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor was the President of the Prior Park Educational Trust at the time of his passing in September this year. Having reflected on a worthy successor, it now gives me great pleasure to join Mr Michael King, Chair of Governors, to announce that Sister Jane Livesey CJ has graciously accepted the honour of becoming our first female President.
Sister Jane has close links with Prior Park and knows us well; she was also a good friend of Cardinal Cormac. From 1985 – 1998 Sister Jane was Headmistress of St Mary's School Shaftesbury, one of our sister schools within the Catholic Independent Schools’ Conference (CISC), during which time she joined our governing body. She became our first female Chair of Governors in 2005 and served as Chair until 2011 when she was appointed as the general superior of the Congregation of Jesus (CJ), and is based in Rome.
On her election to this role, Sister Jane became the first British general superior of this order (which was founded by Venerable Mary Ward in 1609) since the eighteenth century. You may recall that I announced in Prior Knowledge, towards the end of last term, that Ward House had been established in Baines in honour of both Mary Ward and of Sister Jane.
I know you will join me in welcoming Sister Jane back to a formal role in support of our wider schools community. Sister Jane reports that she is both delighted and deeply honoured to take up the role of President.