The Seven Holy Founders
The Servite Friars (Servants of Mary).
The Servites, a mendicant Religious Order, founded in 1245 in Florence, Italy, by seven merchants who had the same vision that Our Lady was calling them to leave their businesses and worldly possessions and form a new religious in the Church, living a life of simplicity - poverty, chastity and obedience to God's will. Their charism is to live in fraternal community and to serve God and His people taking Mary, our Sorrowful Mother, as their inspiration.
The Servite Order rapidly spread throughout Italy then to the Americas and Europe and London, England. Subsequently they came to Kersal, Salford, 96 years ago.
The 13th century founders of the Servite Order developed a practice of meditating on the seven sorrows (dolours) of Mary. A beautiful prayer evolved, following much the same meditative pattern as the rosary, using seven groups of seven beads. Hence it is known as the Servite Rosary or the Rosary of Seven Sorrows. The seven sorrows of Mary are:
The prophecy of Simeon Lk 2:33-35
The Flight into Egypt Mt 2:13-15
The loss of the child Jesus in the temple Lk 2:41-52
Meeting Jesus on the way to Calvary Jn 19:17
At the foot of the cross Jn 19:25-30
Taking Jesus down from the cross Jn 19:31-37
The burial of Jesus Jn 19:38-42
A short history of Our Lady of Dolours Parish
The parish was opened by the Servite Fathers, (Friars Servant of Mary), after being invited into the diocese by the bishop of the day to be chaplain to the Carmelite nuns. While still spiritually caring for the Carmelite nuns, the then bishop asked the Servites to establish a parish in Kersal in March 1923.
The first two priests, Rev. Vincent Lecourt and Rev. Francis McEnerney, O.S.M., found temporary accommodation in "Fairhill," a large house then belonging to the nuns of Sedgley Park Training College. These pioneers served, for a time, as chaplains to Nazareth House, Scoles Lane, Prestwich, and Sedgley Park Convent, while a third priest, Rev. Oswald Hagan, O.S.M., was given hospitality by Canon Sharrock at Cathedral House, going from there, over a period of two months, to say Mass at the Carmelite Convent, Vine Street, Kersal.
While looking for a suitable house to serve as a Priory, the Fathers left "Fairhill" to stay at 5 George Street, Sedgley Park, where they lodged until the present property was acquired. They moved into this, the Servite Priory, in March 1924. For some time, Mass was said for the small number of parishioners in a hall called "The Shrubbery" on the Bury New Road. Then, on Sunday, June 16, 1924, a temporary building, was opened in the presence of His Lordship, Bishop Casartelli. In March 1927, a chapel-of-ease, dedicated to St. Philip Benizi, was opened in Northallerton Road, to serve the needs of the parishioners in Lower Kersal. In 1935, the adjoining property of "Fairhill" was acquired and, used as a Hall for the various parochial activities.
Taken from "Salford Diocese and its Catholic past", a survey by Charles A. Bolton, a Priest of the above Diocese. Published 1950 on the First Centenary for the Diocese of Salford.
In 1964, a new church, the current one, was built to meet the demand of an increasing Catholic population. It was finally consecrasted in 1990.
St. Peregrine OSM. Patron Saint of Cancer Sufferers
Throughout the Servite world our Servite priories and churches have devotions to St. Peregrine as we ask his intercessions to heal and deepen the faith of our loved ones and others who suffer from cancer. Our Lady of Dolours Servite Parish, Kersal, celebrate a monthly Mass in honour of St. Peregrine on the 1st Saturday of every month at 11.00 am. Candles, medals and prayer leaflets can be obtained after this Mass and devotions to St. Peregrine. St. Peregrine was healed of his cancerous leg the night before he was due to have an amputation. After spending time in prayer before the crucifix and the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows he was healed.