'Before all else, live together in harmony, being of one mind and one heart on the way to God. For is it not precisely for this reason that you have come to live together'
(St Augustine, Rule 1.2)
August / September '08 News
Due to holidays we are combining the news for July and August in this issue.
The fourth Thinking Faith week took place from 19th to 25th July, with a very nice group of participants, mostly in their late twenties or early thirties, and mostly new to Boarbank. The following report appeared in some of the Catholic papers:
If the Norbertine canons of Shap Abbey in the Lake District had come back to life the other Sunday, four hundred and seventy years after their community was suppressed, they would have been delighted. A group of young professional Catholics staying at Boarbank Hall near Grange-over-Sands were celebrating Mass there. The priest was a Dominican, and Boarbank Hall is run by Augustinian Sisters: both the Dominicans and the Augustinians are closely related to the Norbertines. This was part of the fourth Thinking Faith at Boarbank, which brings together Catholics in their 20s to 40s to pray, socialise and study in an atmosphere of holiday, reflection and friendship. Topics discussed ranged from Richard Dawkins on God to the Ian McEwan’s Atonement, from pilgrimages to Jerusalem to the rise of religious violence. Other activities included a literary tour of Grasmere and Rydal, a walk up Far Easedale for the more strenuous, films both fun and serious, tennis, table tennis and lots of conversation. The Sisters welcomed the group to their beautiful convent, and they shared daily Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours with one another and sometimes with the Community.
For a fuller account, see the Thinking Faith page.
Chris amidst his fan club
Enjoying a picnic
At Shap Abbey - Chris, Liz and Sr Imelda
The following week the Guest House was full with the group of families who come for a week every summer. The parents met while working at Boarbank when they were themselves youngsters, and now bring their children. They enjoyed a week full of activities, including canoeing on Lake Windermere. As always, we were delighted to have them with us.
The Sisters have continued to participate in the 150th anniversary of the apparitions at Lourdes. Sr Imelda (with the Diocese of Shrewsbury), Sr Anne (with the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle) and Sr Annette have all been on pilgrimage there in the last few weeks. They reported that Lourdes was full to bursting point, and both diocesan pilgrimages were much larger than usual. Despite the queues they seem thoroughly to have enjoyed being part of these very special celebrations.
Fr Hugh has been to visit family in America, leaving Fr Dixie as acting chaplain. On 12th August Fr Dixie said Mass for the Golden Wedding Anniversary of Mr and Mrs Quinn. This was followed by a drinks party in Bethany Lounge attended by the community, guests, patients and other friends.
The new postcards and notelets have arrived from the printers and are now on sale. There are fifteen different designs in total, and we are very please with them. Please bring an extra pound or two next time that you visit! Thanks to all who provided photographs - Sr Imelda, Margaret, Sue, Paul, Clare, Tony and Carmel and Mike.
There have been the usual comings and goings for this time of year with the young students from various parts of the world. We have said hallo and goodbye to Vanessa, Sarah, Bence, Henri and Claire. Cheiko and Jutta are still with us. We are always glad to have them with us and are grateful for their contribution to Boarbank’s apostolate.
Congratulations to all those who have received their A level and GCSE results, including some of our young staff. We wish them well for their futures, building on their hard work and achievements.The weather was kind to us for Thinking Faith and for some of the subsequent week. Since then we have had heavy rain nearly every day. Today we have had the first really sunny afternoon in recent memory - so let us hope it augurs a fine late summer and early autumn for us all.
We will celebrate with great joy the feasts of St Monica and St Augustine on 27th and 28th August, with community, patients, guests, family and friends, and we hope that you will join us in spirit.
Our third Thinking Scripture course, on the Gospel of Matthew, will take place from 30th August to 6th September, and will be taught by Fr Dixie, Sr Margaret and Dr Geoffrey Turner. We are pleased that the course is full, including some younger participants as we were hoping.
We are planning two residential events for the new year: Thinking Scripture will run again from 21st to 28th February on St Paul, while our retreat for Healthcare Professionals on the theme Body and Spirit will run from 12th to 17th January. We are taking provisional bookings for these now.
For more information about any of our courses or retreats, please email Sr Margaret@Boarbank.
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