Eileen's teaching career started at St. Thomas of Canterbury in Mitcham, then St. John Fisher Primary School, Raynes Park and most recently Donhead Preparatory School, Wimbledon. At Donhead Eileen taught Religious Education for 23 years and was planning to retire when the Chaplain opportunity arose at Donhead. Eileen very successfully supported Donhead’s spiritual community for seven years, retiring last summer. However when Eileen heard of the Chaplain position at Ursuline she decided to defy retirement a second time.
Mr Chris McGrath joined Ursuline Preparatory School in September last year and set out to secure a Chaplain for the pupils as soon as possible. Mr McGrath said “I am delighted Mrs Eileen Groenen has joined the Ursuline Prep and is already spending time in the playground and in classrooms getting to know the children. The nature of chaplaincy is simply ‘to be there’, especially for individuals who require additional support, comfort, space for reflection, a listening ear or someone to pray with. I know Eileen will be a listening ear for our girls and boys.”
On her appointment Mrs Groenen quotes Pope Francis “ ‘To help children to love the Lord ever more is one of the most beautiful educational adventures.’ I am looking forward to supporting and encouraging the pupils, staff and families at the Ursuline Prep School. I believe Jesus taught us to help one another. Our Ursuline Saint, St. Anglea of Merici, taught us to go out into the world to make a difference. I hope to bring love and spiritual guidance to the Ursuline community and nurture all to make a positive difference.”