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Sister Frances Dominica

Sister Frances Dominica

Broadcast

First broadcast: Sun 08 Feb 2004

Pioneer of the Hospice movement

This week Sue Lawley's castaway is a nun and a pioneer of the hospice movement. Sister Frances Dominica says she had always felt she was born to be a nurse and as a child would line up her dolls and teddies in pretend hospital beds and tend to them. But a dramatic revelation during her early 20s diverted her and, to the horror of her family, she abandoned her career for a contemplative life. She took her life vows in 1972 and, in 1977, at the incredibly young age of 34, was elected to be the Mother Superior of her community. The following year she met a family with a sick child and offered to give her respite care. It was that relationship which gave Sister Frances the idea of starting a children's hospice and, in 1982, Helen House opened. It was the first children's hospice in the world.

For the past four years she has been fundraising for another hospice - which she calls a Respice, a mixture of respite and hospice – Douglas House, which is geared up for the needs of adolescents and young adults. Like Helen House, it is named after a patient who made a particular mark on Frances, although he did not survive to see it opened.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Choices

Elinor Bennett

1.

Castaway's favourite

Elinor Bennett

Skye Boat Song

Artist: Meinir Heulyn

Ruth Lamdin

2.

Ruth Lamdin

Cradle Song - PRIVATE TAPE

George Gershwin

3.

George Gershwin

Summertime (from Porgy & Bess)

Others who chose this artist

Gregorio Allegri

4.

Gregorio Allegri

Miserere

Soloist: Alexander Semprini Choir: Westerminster Cathedral Choir Conductor: James O'Donnell

Others who chose this artist

Howard Blake

5.

Howard Blake

Walking in the Air

Soloist: Peter Auty

Others who chose this artist

John Rutter

6.

John Rutter

The Lord Bless You and Keep You

Orchestra: Bournemouth Sinfonietta Conductor: Stephen Layton

Others who chose this artist

Benjamin Britten

7.

Benjamin Britten

Sanctus (from War Requiem)

Soloist: Elisabeth Söderström

Others who chose this artist

Tom Williams

8.

Tom Williams

Title theme (from Schindler's List)

Soloist: Itzhak Perlman

Others who chose this artist

Book

The Earth from the Air by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Others who chose this author

Luxury item

Chaise longue with a mosquito net attached

Others who chose a similar luxury

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