RC Diocese of Aberdeen

Greyfriars Convent: An Enduring Story of Faith and Fortitude by Anne Oliver

Greyfriars Convent: An Enduring Story of Faith and Fortitude by Anne Oliver

The author of Greyfriars Convent: An Enduring Story of Faith and Fortitude, reflects on her journey in writing her book:

As a parishioner of St Sylvester’s Pastoral Area, I was inspired to write this book following an Open Day at the Greyfriars Convent, Elgin, in 2014. The Dominican Sisters of Cecilia, who had been in Elgin for a year, were already making their mark in the Diocese. Many people, Catholic and non-Catholic, flocked to look round the building, reminiscing as they walked, about the previous occupants, the Sisters of Mercy, and of the commercial and music schools that they had attended. Listening to these stories I knew that they needed to be recorded.

And so I started my investigation into the history of the building and the lives of the people who inhabited it. It turned out to be a fascinating and touching journey through several centuries and several countries. There was a great deal of hardship in post Reformation years.  Greyfriars Convent along with Pluscarden Abbey and other ecclesiastical buildings in our diocese, still stand testament to the fortitude of our Catholic forebears

I learned a lot: poverty, desperation, fear, secrecy, hope, love and yes, faith and fortitude, were all there. It was a privilege to be able to put it into words.


All profits will be shared between the indomitable Dominican Sisters who work throughout the Diocese and Elgin’s Madeleine Picozzi for her work in Mongolia with the Salesians in their fledgling schools. Her work reminds me of the Sisters of Mercy in their early days in Elgin.

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