Society of the Holy Cross (SHC)

Introduction to the community

The community was founded on the feast day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in 1925 by the Rt Revd Mark Trollope, the third English bishop of the Anglican Church in Korea, admitting Postulant Phoebe Lee and blessing a small traditional Korean style house in the present site of Seoul. The Community of St Peter, a Nursing Order in Woking, Surrey, England, sent eighteen Sisters as missionaries to Korea between 1892 and 1950, who nourished this young community for a few decades. Sister Mary Clare CSP, who was the first Mother Superior of this community, was persecuted by the North Korean communists and died during the ‘Death March’ in the Korean War in 1950. This martyrdom especially has been a strong influence and encouragement for the growth of the community.

Our spirituality is based on a modified form of the Augustinian Rule harmonized with the Benedictine one. Bishop Mark Trollope, the first Visitor, and Sister Mary Clare CSP compiled the Divine Office Book and the Constitution & Rule of the Community. The activities that are being continuously practised even now include pastoral care in parishes, running homes for elderly people and those with learning difficulties, conducting Quiet Days, and offering people spiritual direction.

We run spiritual prayer meetings and a programme of healing Mandala workshops, with painting weekly or fortnightly throughout year, for those who want to improve their life of faith. We lead Ignatian Contemplation Prayer, Lectio Divina, Centering Prayer, Rosary, Way of the Cross, Silence Prayer and Meditanz (Sacred Circle Dance). We also have a programme of “A day in Religious Life” and weekend Retreats for individuals and groups.

Our new Mission: we have been training Burmese girls for ten years, since the Archbishop Stephan of Myanmar asked us to open a Religious Community in Myanmar. Three Novices made their Junior Profession on St Mark’s feast-day, 25 April 2019. We are planning to open our daughter-house in Yangon in February 2020. Sister Prisca, the Assistant Mother, will take three Burmese Sisters to Yangon to open the Community. Since January 2019, two more Postulants from Myanmar are in training in our Novitiate.

Society of the Holy Cross (SHC)

Contact details

2 735 7832 or 2 735 3478
2 736 5028

Address of main house:
15 Road 21 Seijong Daero, Jung-ku, Seoul 04519, South Korea

St Anne’s Nursing Home for Elderly People:
79 Jundeungsa Road, Onsuri, Kilsang, Kangwha, Inch’on 23050, South Korea
Tel: 32 937 1935
Fax: 32 927 0696

St Bona House for Intellectually Handicapped People:
123-9 Keumgo Neam Road, Kadok, Chongwon, Chungbuk 28205, South Korea
Tel: 43 297 8348
Fax: 43 298 3156

Community information

Date of foundation:

Bishop Visitor: Most Revd Paul Kim, Bishop of Seoul



Jae Joung Lee, Society of the Holy Cross 1925-1995, Seoul, 1995 (in Korean).
Sisters Maria Helen & Catherine (compilers), The SHC: the First 80 years, 2005.
Sister Helen Elizabeth (ed), Fragrance of the Holy Cross, 2010 (story of Sister Mary Clare in Korean).

Third Order, Fellowship, Associates


Friends are mostly Anglicans who desire to have a close link with the community. They follow a simple Rule of Life, which includes praying for the Sisters and their work. Friends also form a network of prayer, fellowship and mutual support within Christ’s ministry of wholeness and reconciliation. About one hundred members gather together for the annual meeting in May in the Motherhouse garden. The committee members meet bi-monthly at the convent in Seoul.


Forty members have taken Life Vows. Each one needs two years in the Formation
period and then will renew vows annually for three years to be a full member. Each
receives a grey uniform and a cross at Life Vows.


Reverend Mother: Sister Helen Elizabeth SHC (priest)
Assumed office 1 January 2019

Assistant Mother: Sister Prisca SHC


Sister Monica
Sister Edith
Sister Cecilia
Sister Maria Helen
Sister Catherine (priest)
Sister Maria Clare
Sister Pauline
Sister Angela
Sister Alma
Sister Theresa
Sister Grace
Sister Martha (Novice Guardian)
Sister Anna Kai Ra
Sister Esther Lum Ra
Sister Maria Zim Mar Swe

Postulants: 2
Members who have died since the last Yearbook:

3 Nov 2017 – Sister Phoebe Anne, aged 86, professed 56 years
4 Jan 2019 – Sister Etheldreda, aged 81, professed 56 years