Society of the Holy Cross (Korea)
The Society of the Holy Cross (SHC) is an order of women religious (or nuns) in the Anglican Church of Korea. It is not to be confused with the Society of the Holy Cross, SSC (Societas Sanctae Crucis), which is an international order of Anglo-Catholic priests within the Anglican tradition.
From 1892 onwards, sisters from the Community of St Peter in Woking were sent to work in Korea. In 1925 the local Anglican bishop in Seoul founded SHC as a local religious order, but support from the Community of St Peter continued until 1950. Today around 20 sisters live at the mother house in Seoul.
Martyrdom of Mother Mary Clare
Sister Mary Clare CSP came from Woking to assume office as the first Reverend Mother (superior) of the new Society of the Holy Cross. She was an active campaigner for the Korean people, and was persecuted by North Korean communist authorities. In 1950 Mother Mary Clare died during the Korean War 'death march', and her example has since formed a major influence upon the community.
The SHC sisters have felt called in recent years to expand their work into other countries. Initially they opened a branch house convent in England, but this closed again in November 2010 as a result of the administrative difficulties experienced in obtaining visas for the sisters to come to the United Kingdom. Instead the community is now working with postulants from Myanmar, Singapore, and Hong Kong, with a view to possibly expanding into these countries in the near future.