‘He leaves us peace now so that we will love each other here; he will give us peace then, so that we shall never be able to disagree there’ (St Augustine, Treatise on the Gospel of John 77)
October 2010 News
The highlight of the last month has been the Papal Visit. Sr Eileen and Sr Imelda were able to represent the Community at the Mass in Cofton Park, Birmingham, for the beatification of Blessed John Henry Newman. (Many other friends of the community were also there, but it wasn’t easy to meet up!) Otherwise, we followed the events via the mostly excellent television coverage, including taking Vespers in Westminster Abbey as our Community vespers on the Friday evening. It has been a very blessed time for the Church in Britain, and we hope and pray that its fruits will continue to grow. To prepare for the visit, we had put on an ecumenical Day of Recollection on 8th September. About twenty guests from various churches joined us to listen to talks on Newman and ecumenism and on Pope Benedict’s encyclicals, as well as to enjoy the peaceful surroundings of Boarbank and join the Community in prayer.
Sr Eileen and Sr Ildikó were in France from 6th-15th September, staying at Bonneuil. Sr Eileen attended the Prioresses’ Meeting and sessions on “Caritas in Veritate”, which were greatly appreciated by those who attended. It is always an excellent opportunity of sharing with our Sisters and being enriched by the diversity to which the Lord has called us. A particular highlight was the presence at Sunday Mass of a choir called “Esperance” - Hope - which is composed of young French speakers of various African origins who met at University and continue their ministry of prayer and praise. Some stayed to have lunch with us so we were able to learn more about them and their experiences of coming to settle in France.
Sr Elizabeth and Sr Ildikó attended the Religious Bursars’ Conference from 4th-7th October in High Leigh.
Sr Anne attended the Monastic Musicians’ Retreat in Llandudno from 27th September- 1st October and came back full of ideas. We are not quite ready to cut our own CD, but you may see some improvements in our singing over the next few months!
On 29th September Fr Dixie gave the Community a Day of Recollection on Blessed John Henry Newman, reminding us of the very human details of his life and on 9th October we celebrated his feast day for the first time.
On 20th September Sr Elizabeth and Sr Ildikó went to St Paul’s in Grange for the licensing of two local vicars, Rev. Robert Jackson, Team Vicar who will live in Allithwaite, and Rev. Ferial Etherington, who will live in Flookburgh. We wish them both all the very best in their new responsibilities.
Sr Margaret and Sr Teresa attended the Diocesan Education Mass at Lancaster Cathedral on 24th September, where Bishop Michael was the main celebrant.
Sr Anne and Sr Margaret visited Castlerigg Manor on 6th September to talk to the new community there about food, hospitality and community life. We are very grateful to Fr Philip, Ruth and all the volunteers for their friendly welcome, and we wish them all the very best for the coming year.
Fr Dixie went to Chesterfield on 3rd October to give his annual lectures to the Catenians there, this year on the topical theme of Newman.
The Thinking Scripture week ran from 11th-18th September, repeating February’s theme of St John. We welcomed old friends and new to join us for talks and discussions of the Gospel, to join us for prayer and to enjoy some relaxation. Some of the group visited Holehird gardens, the keener walkers braved the weather to enjoy the fine views around High Tarn, and we also watched the film ‘Laughter in Paradise’, listened to an hour of music evening chosen for Newman and Pope Benedict, and watched some of the papal visit together. Many thanks to Sue Lawrenson for the pictures. For a fuller report, see the Thinking Scripture page.
We held our annual Macmillan Coffee Morning and are very grateful for the generosity of our staff, guests, patients and visitors who enabled us to raise £195. Congratulations to all the raffle winners - some prizes still await collection.
Events in Marymount include a Music Afternoon on the theme of Royal Music, and a fundraising day for ‘Jeans for Genes’, which raises money to help find cures for genetic disorders. It was very enjoyable and £285 was raised from the tombola and from contributions from denim-wearers on the day, including Jane, our Manager who was sponsored to wear jeans for the first time. Congratulations and thanks to Christine for organising this and to everyone who was involved. Here’s to next year!
On 10th September Caroline D’Cruz and Andrew Armstrong gave a concert of music inspired by children, including the narration of the story of Babar, with music by Poulenc, and Schubert’s ‘Kinderszenen’. This raised £100, which was divided between Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Cenacolo Community in Kendal.
We are very sorry to have to say goodbye to Sr Teresa Shi, who has been with us for several months as part of her preparation to return to China, where she will be a member of a new Augustinian Community in the province of Shan Xi. Sr Teresa cooked a farewell Chinese meal for us in her last week here. If we had realised what a good cook she was, she might have been working in our kitchen full-time! We have greatly enjoyed having her with us and wish her and her Community every blessing, and assure them of our prayers for their brave new venture.
We had the great joy of welcoming Silvana Gianota to join us as a postulant on 2nd October and we are preparing for the Final Profession of Sr Ildikó at the end of the month. We thank God for His continual call to us and others and we thank all those who join us in praying for vocations particularly on Thursday evenings.
We find many causes for celebration and thanksgiving each day and are in a continual state of gratitude for all the love, support and care we receive from those around us. There are myriad examples of practical help from so many people in so many ways - items for raffles and sales and actually running them, gifts to the Community, donations and Gift Aiding, expressions of friendship and appreciation, joining us for Mass and Office. We are very grateful and ask the Lord to reward them all as only He can.
Sunset over Humphrey Head, with thanks to David Deane
We are now taking bookings for two Health and Salvation weeks - 15th-20th November on the theme of Health and Community, and 10th-15th January on the theme of Ethical Dilemmas (see the Events page for further details], for Thinking Scripture on the Psalms, on 19th-26th February (to be repeated in September), for the Time to Reflect weekend for teachers in Higher Education on 18th-20th March, and for Thinking Faith on 23rd-29th July.
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