‘In this time of many pilgrims, many who are in need, many who are struggling, let your hospitality and your good works be abundant’ (St Augustine, Sermon 82)
December '09 News
A major topic of conversation this month has been the weather! (What do they talk about in other countries?) The floods were forgotten (though Fr Gooden provided a picture or two to remind us)...
...as we coped with the reality of a white Christmas for the first time for many years. It looks lovely on the photos!
A particular thank you to those staff who have made great efforts to get into work on the snowiest days. The rain began again exactly on cue as we returned to ordinary time on 11th January. It was just as well: Sr Geneviève was beginning to wonder if we were still in England having seen no rain for so long.
We have received sad news of deaths of family and friends recently. We offer sympathy to Sr Michael on the loss of her cousin, and Sr Mary Benedict on the loss of her brother-in-law. We were shocked to hear of the sudden death of Margaret Bailey-Dalton, who worked here as a youngster and whose family have been closely associated with Boarbank for many years. Margaret leaves her husband, Martin, and young daughter, Lucy. We offer them and all her family our deepest sympathy and prayers. We were also very sad at the news of the unexpected illness of Sr Catherine of Park House, who died on 17th December; unfortunately the snow prevented any of the Community from attending her funeral, but we were no less united in grieving with the Sisters of Park House and in prayer for Sr Catherine, her family and their Community.
One young Hungarian friend, András, returned home on 14th December, with his mother and sister who had been for a visit, to be replaced on the same day by another, Agnes, who is a teacher. We wish András all the very best for his university course and are very pleased to welcome Agnes for six months. Teresa Deng also left us to go to to London for a period. We wish her the very best.
On Tuesday 15th December we had a community day, which included a talk from Fr Bede on Advent and community day watching together the film ‘Becket’, starring Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton. The film made up in drama and superb acting what it seemed to lack in historical accuracy!
We were delighted to welcome Bishop Michael and Fr Robert for a pre-Christmas lunch on 19th December.
As usual, Mother and Father Christmas had visited the Boarbank children and patients respectively a couple of days before; at least Santa didn’t have any problems with travelling in the snow!
The Flookburgh Silver Band also paid us their customary visit to play carols on Christmas eve. A few of our guests were prevented from joining us by the weather, and our voices were a little quieter than usual due to coughs, but we still managed to celebrate both liturgy and mealtimes with in suitably festive spirit.
Fr Peter was the main celebrant at Midnight Mass and Fr Dixie on Christmas Day (for Fr Dixie’s sermon click here). Christmas also provided an opportunity as usual for us to welcome many friends to meals with the community and for several of the Sisters' families to visit. We also had an afternoon party for the Community on the traditional Epiphany, 6th January.
The Marymount Music Night on 6th January was on the theme of water, ending appropriately with Flanders and Swann’s ‘January brings the snow’. On 9th January Vicky from the Frantic Theatre Company came to entertain us. She had a lovely singing voice and was able to get the audience involved. Her lively and enthusiastic performance was enjoyed by the patients, staff and Sisters- particularly her wooing of one of the gentlemen and a clever sketch involving 3 Little Maids - by a solo performer! We look forward to the next tour.
The Health and Salvation retreat for healthcare workers took place from 11th-16th January on the theme ‘Health and Community’. The speakers included visitors from the L’Arche and Cenacolo communities, and covered themes including Scripture, hospitality and community caring for others. We enjoyed our usual mix of prayer, social activities and exercise, including a very snowy walk and a long-running table tennis tournament. It was a delight to welcome back so many old friends, and to welcome several new ones to the group. (For a full report, see the Health and Salvation page.) We plan to repeat a very similar week in November.
As always, we were overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of so many people with their greetings and gifts. We offer our sincere thanks to everyone who remembered us at Christmastime. As usual at this time of year we received a cheque from the 300 Club - special thanks to Sheila and Sr Yvonne for all the work they do all year around and to all members - your support does make a difference and helps us. Likewise we thank Sr Genevieve for all her work all year around and all the shoppers at Marymount for their contribution of profits.
We are pleased to hear from our many friends and supporters at any time but particularly when in need of prayer and we are always willing to give our prayerful support and to share concerns, joys and sorrows. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
We wish you all every blessing for this New Year of 2010.
Tuesday 19 th January will be the First Anniversary of Fr Hugh’s death - may he rest in peace. We will be joined by his family and friends to celebrate a Mass at 11am.
There are still places for the Thinking Scripture on St John in February 2010, and for Time to Reflect (for teachers in Higher Education) in March 2010. We are also taking bookings for Thinking Faith in July and for the repeats of Thinking Scripture in September and Health and Salvation in November. For more, see the Events page.
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