ABBESS OF TAUNTON FRANCISCANS
Catholics in many parts of Somerset, and particularly throughout the Taunton district, will learn with regret of the death of the Rev. Mother Abbess Berchmans Kendal, of the Franciscan Convent of Our Lady of Dolours, at Taunton, which occurred suddenly on Wednesday, July 16. Aged 71, she had been in poor health for some time past, hut had been carrying on her work as Mother Abbess up to the time of her death. Her sudden passing came as a shock to the members of the community, among whom she had worked for so long and by whom she was greatly beloved.
The late Mother Abbess came of an old Lancashire Catholic family of Kendals, which, in the days of persecution, gave a martyr to the Church—Blessed John Southworth. She was a sister of Fr. Joseph Kendal, S.J., and cousin of Dr. Kendal, of Duwnside Abbey, Titular Abbot of St.
The Albans. Mother Abbess had been a nun of the Order of St. Elands for just over 51 years, and Abbess for more than 30 years, having been elected to rule the Convent community in that responsible office in 1909. She was educated in the St. Francis School attached to the Convent, and thus had spent 60 of her 71 years in the community at Taunton. A very .happy occasion for the late Mother Abbess was the celebration of her golden jubilee as a nun of the Order of St. Francis early in May last year. She then received symbolic gifts from the hands of the Bishop—the staff, veil, and crown— but her greatest joy was receiving the Blessing of His Holiness Pope Pius XII by telegram from Rome.
The funeral took place at the Convent, Requiem Mass being sung by the Right Rev. Dr. William Lee, Bishop of Clifton, who also officiated at the graveside.