Frances Taylor

Frances Taylor founded the religious order, the Poor Servants of the Mother of God in 1872. Her spirit and values form the thread which runs through all the work undertaken by the organisation - also known as the Congregation.

Frances Margaret Taylor was born on 20th January 1832 in Stoke Rochford, in Lincolnshire. Her father was an Anglican clergyman and Frances was the youngest of ten children. Her happy country childhood came to an end in 1842 when her father died and the family had to move to London. The poverty and the squalor of nineteenth century London came as a shock to her and her compassion moved her to work with the poor.

Frances Taylor in the Crimea

In 1854 she went to the Crimea with Florence Nightingale's Lady Volunteer Nurses. The plight of the wounded soldiers, the faith of the young Irish men and the dedication of the Irish Sisters of Mercy inspired her to become a Catholic. She was received into the Catholic Church on 14th April 1855. On her return to London she continued to work with the poor and also turned to writing. Her desire to work for and with the poor, led her to found her own Congregation in 1872. Frances took the name Mother Magdalen and together with three companions began the work of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God. They responded to the needs of the time working with the most vulnerable, especially women and children, and recognising and valuing the dignity and worth of each person.

Mother Magdalen died on 9th June 1900.

Today, the Congregation of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God carries out work begun by Frances Taylor in social, pastoral, health care, education and outreach work in the UK, Ireland, North America, Venezuela, Kenya and Italy.

During the past century the work has changed and the Sisters have responded to the new situations which have arisen but it is still carried out in the same spirit and according to the same values espoused by Frances Taylor.