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News Blog page 11

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On Wednesday we welcomed our good friends, the community of Sisters, Canonesses of Windesheim. It was a bright, sunny autumn day with a nip in the air as they arrived. We enjoyed a lovely tea together, sharing news, laughter & aspirations.


At the end of August our Mother Jane Margaret spent a week at our monasteries in Paray le Monial & Moulin, at a Federation meeting; a gathering of sisters from our monasteries in the north of France. The days were extremely hot as friendships were renewed, monastery business attended to & sisterly affection & joy displayed. Our monastery of Paray is where the Sacred Heart of Jesus appeared to our Sister, St. Margaret Mary Alocoque in 1673. This year, beginning on her feast Oct. 16th, marks the 100th anniversary of her canonisation & is a special year for our Order. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus reign in each of our hearts & in our country.

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On September 6th we had the joy of wishing our dear Sr M. Dorothy a very Happy 100th Birthday! Yesterday we had a little tea-party for her, preceded by a beautiful Mass of Our Lady at which our dear Fr Jim Hurley presided. It is no mean feat to reach 100 years & we each rejoiced with Sister & thanked God for her presence in our community, for her joy in her religious vocation & for her years of faithful dedication. God be Praised!

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      click here
 for birthday video

Celebrating you & all the lives
you've touched,
all the memories you've made,
and the love & laughter
you've shared.

100 wonderful years
of YOU
our dear Sister.


'Do not be dismayed by the brokeness of the world. All things break. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go, love intentionally, extravigantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you!'



For the past 2 weeks we've had the blessing of Canon David Ryan with us. Fr David is from Bath, Somerset where he has a busy parish; this was a time of rest, prayer & discernment & we were happy to welcome him. He was a breath of fresh air, filled with enthusiasm, positivity & the joy of the Lord.



It's that season when the busy bees have been hard at work & this year with Mother Jane Margaret's help they have produced a bumper crop, well at least the most honey we've had so far! Praise the Lord for all the sweetness He sends us in so many ways.



This evening 1st Vespers flows us into the feast of our Holy Mother, St Jane Francis de Chantal. We unite with our Sisters & friends all over the world, rejoicing in our vocations & asking blessings for you as we each try to 'Live Jesus' in gratefulness & trust.



We had the annual visit from our good friends Sadie & Angela last month, they come each year for their retreat & always bring with them from the Emerald Isle their beautiful smiles & sense of humour.


Check out the new cards in our
online shop, click the link 'cards' below in the left hand column.


At the end of the Wimbledon season a Vicar, in our neighbouring town of Heathfield, remarked on a bill poster he had seen outside a church recently. "With tennis love means nothing at all, but with God LOVE means everything!" Of course this is witty & clever, meant to catch our eye, but it is also very true. God has many names, many attributes but for us He is LOVE & that's all we need.



To watch  something grow from a tiny seed into something beautiful is awesome; do you think that's how
God watches us?


Sometimes the words of songs have great meaning & a truth in them & because they are a 'catchy' tune they stay with us, we remember them. Does anyone remember this song of Bob Dylan, it's actually got 7 verses & a chorus & came out in 1979? Here are just a few verses.



It has been very dry & hot but the kitchen garden has managed to produce some veggie crops assisted by Sr Clare Chantal. It's hard, heavy work when the soil is so dry. Sr Mary Scarecrow is doing her best to keep the birds & rabbits at bay & we leave the rest to God!



It's the month of June, the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus whose feast we'll be celebrating this Friday. It's a feast very special to us as St Margaret Mary was a Visitation Sister. The Sacred Heart is the home of God's compassion, mercy & love & what better place to lay all the worries & problems of our world, of our personal lives. He will enfold them & give us courage & strength to face each new day. One day at a time  -  that's all most of us can cope with!



We had a wonderful celebration on Saturday when two of our Daughters of St Francis de Sales, Teresa & Sarah, made their Consecration at a mass celebrated by Fr Jim Hurley. We welcomed their families & friends from Scotand & America who together with our group of Daughters spent a happy day, full of singing, joy & blessings.

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to see short videos click here 

to read Fr Jim's sermon click here


It will be a month on Friday since Jean Vanier died. This gentle man, a giant on so many levels - spiritually, in heart, humanity & in stature - touched so many lives, especially those with whom he shared his life. What a rich legacy he has left us, this Saint of God. We were privileged to have welcomed him twice to our monastery. The photo opposite in of one of those visits in the 90's. From the hundreds of attributes Jean received we loved these words from a letter in the 'Tablet' from Diana Barren, who was appointed to the House of Lords in 2018 & serves as a Governess Whip & Baroness in Waiting.
'As he grew older he seemed to have such an intimate relationship with Jesus that it felt like there was no distance between them'.

Tonight we begin our Tridium retreat before Pentecost, we'll remember you, your intentions & your families.



We all believe in miracles don't we? But perhaps we don't always expect to see them! If we look around each day at the 'ordinary' things in our daily lives we'll witness so many from our loving & merciful God.



As we celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday last week, we greeted Mother Jane Margaret with our flower-decked crook, thanking her for her 'shepherding' of our community.
      'All in a spring-time morning,
              full of joy we pray
     your sheep & your little lambs
       greet their shepherd today.
   Each year on this happy morning
   flower-decked crook do we bring
         symbol of loving guidance
       we think on the care of God.'



This week we had the joy of welcoming 7 Missionary sisters Charity from Southwark in London for the day.
They ventured out of the 'smoke' & accompanied by Fr Jim & Jack the driver we spent a happy few hours together. Hailing from 7 different countries we laughed, sang & enjoyed a cup of tea. Praise the Lord for the gift of friendship.

click picture for page 1 pics

click here
◊mcpicpage 2s2.html
for page 2 pics

click here for videos


Today it looks as if the heavens are going to open & give us a good heavy shower, but if you take a stroll in the woods you'll be immersed in a sea of blue as the Bluebells are fully out, perfuming the air & giving an ethereal atmosphere. Very appropriate for this beautiful month of Our Lady.



Our Easter pics to share with you.



Easter Blessings to you all,
may the joy of our risen Lord
 fill your hearts & lives with
thanksgiving & peace.



Spring is in the air, all around nature is revealing herself; the birds are singing & the cuckoo should return next week, if he is on time, the promise of renewal & new life lifts our hearts. The beginnings of our veggie crops are showing their tiny heads above the soil in the greenhouse - the promise of good things to come, and so we enter into this holiest of weeks. As a community we are in retreat; extra prayer, extra stillness, we carry with us our troubled & suffering world, we place at the foot of the cross all those with heavy hearts - for whatever reason - and we look to Jesus to show us the way.



Yesterday we held the funeral of our dear Sr M Catherine, bidding her farewell with a beautiful mass concelebrated by four priest friends. We celebrated her life on a bright sunny April day, thanking God for her presence over many years in our community.



We have been knee-deep in glorious daffodils this year, truly a sight to behold. Click on the picture opposite.



Today, the feast of St Joseph, patron of the dying, our dear Sr M. Catherine went to God at 3am this morning. Sister had celebrated her 90th birthday last month & had been poorly for several weeks. Before entering the monastery she had been a teacher for many years & always maintained a childlike quality. She was professed 46 years. Now she is at peace; may she rest in the arms of her beloved Jesus.



Praying with & for the people of Christchurch.

10.3.19.     1st Sunday in Lent

As we say the Litany of the Passion each day and sing the Stabat Martyr we think of all the suffering mothers of our world today. So very many who have lost sons and daughters in tragic circumstances. May Our Lady of Sorrows be for them a comfort and consolation as they each stand at the foot of their cross and mourn.

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5.3.19.    Shrove Tuesday

This morning a bit of 'tossing went on in the kitchen! Sadly I don't seem to have got any mid-air pancake pics so you'll have to take my word that there was some fine tossing achieved! As you can see from the sister's faces it's a very serious business!




For the past ten days we've had a very nasty dose of flu. Every sister except one caught it; the monastery has resounded with hacking coughs & sneezes, bleary eyes & copious hankies. There's been cough mixtures, expectorants,  throat lozengers, Vick vapour rubs, thermometers & anything else you can think of! Happily the worst seems to be over & now the only way is up! Praise the Lord!



Our dear Donna has now returned to the States after her two week stay. In true British style we had a tea & supper party & raised our cups of tea to bid her adieu!



Our procession for the feast of the Presentation February 2nd.


A few January pics from around the monastery.




God accompanies us on our journey through life with many sign-posts to guide us. They may not be as clear as in the picture opposite but they are there if we look. They may be a friend or a stranger; they may be a child or an animal; they may be a thought, an inspiration or a prayer. If we are truly looking God will always show us the way.



She may never win 'Bake off' or 'Master Chef' but Sr M. Teresa gets our votes after she made us chocolate brownies!


Our Vigil for Holy Founder last night.


Today we end the novena to St Francis de Sales, as we begin his feast with 1st Vespers & a Vigil service this evening. We wish you many blessings & remember you & all your intentions in prayer at adoration all day tomorrow.

The little painting opposite was brought from France by Mother Therese Chantal Hurard, who founded the Visitation in England in 1804.

'O Theotimus, the soul of our Saviour knew each one of us by name & by surname: above all on the day of His Passion when He offered His tears, His prayers, His blood & His life for all ....'
          St Francis de Sales



Many of us have used the Metro in Paris & even more the Underground in London. It's a quick way of travelling, if not a comfortable trip during the times of rush-hour. Its span covers over 250 miles deep beneath the surface & yesterday was the 153th anniversary of the opening of the London Underground. We all use different modes of travel to reach our destinations & so it is in our spiritual lives; we may travel side by side with the same goal in view, but some of us make stops on the way, take diversions, choose different times; we may or may not choose who we tavel with. Won't it be great when we reach our final stop, go up that final escalator & fall into the arms of Jesus?
Let's pray for all travellers today, that the holy angels will surround them & bring them safely to their destination


6.1.19.   The Epiphany

'What can I give Him
feeble as I am,
If I were a shepherd
I would give a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
give Him my Heart.



These shadow dancers are amazing.
They have such a creative skill. Click on the picture opposite.

Happy New Year to everyone.
We are still in awe at the Incarnation story that we just celebrated a week ago; or are we like the Scottish farmer who couldn't believe such a story?  To read it click on the picture opposite



As we approach the end of the year it's time to begin another webpage and share some Christmas pics with you. Sr Paul Miryam celebrated her 92nd birthday on Christmas day, you will see her blowing out the candles on her cake - not 92 of them! May these post-Christmas days bring you joy & rest & may you look forward in hope to the year ahead.

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