Monastery of the Visitation


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Tomorrow we begin the Great O antiphons, we go into retreat & in just over a week a Child is born. The baby is just a helpless little child, a child who will dream dreams, who will be cared for, grow up & face the world in all it's sadness & in all it's sorrow. A child that will feel love & also rejection. A child who is the Son of God. Christmas is the gift of the Father, the gift of LOVE. Mary, a teenage, unmarried mother is about to give birth, & she is frightened. Christmas is not something that happened to other people many centuries ago, it happens everyday when we in faith say to God "Be it done to me, according to Your Word".



We have been having renovations carried out in our small parlour for several weeks.
It's now finished & has greatly improved the room. This monastery building began life as a stables/coach house & we think the parlour had probably been the Blacksmiths room. In the middle of the room there was a load-bearing wall which almost cut the space in half making it much smaller & darker; what a surprise we got when as work began this 'column' turned out to be a chimney with a fire in it, possibly where the Blacksmith shoed the horses! Now the room is much brighter & all we have to do is furnish it, it'll be ready to receive visitors once the Covid restrictions are over!


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We had the privilege of Our Mother's great niece, Martha, 11 months old, being dedicated to our Blessed Lady. This little ceremony has been a tradition in our monastery for many years; the first baby dedicated was 1852. Martha was very well behaved & very vocal. It's always a joy when she visits with her parents Bethan & Mark & Grandma Lorraine. We thank God for the gift of deep joy in the innocence of a beautiful small child.



Some Advent thoughts Mother Jane Margaret shared with us at the weekend.

This evening we celebrate Vespers of the 1st Sunday of Advent. After a very difficult few months for most people the church offers us a new beginning, a time of hope for the future. The message of Advent is an invitation & a challenge, we are called to look forward, to be ready, to be prepared & we are asked to wait in joyful hope.


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20.11.20.         The Presentation of Mary

After three days of retreat, tomorrow we join with our sisters all over the world in renewing our vows during mass. We thank God for His blessings & ask Our Blessed Lady to take our wounded world under her special protection. May she specially bless all those who have recourse to her today.



We have an ancient woodland within the enclosure of our monastery. It's been there as long as this part of the world has; if only trees could talk what tales they would tell! A sister on a ramble through the woods the other day came across the Wonderful Wizard of Waldron! See if you can make him out. It was suggested that it might be Gandalph or Dumbledore!. Isn't nature amazing & extraodinary?

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'Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun & in the morning we will remember them.'



We were given the gift of an outdoor statue of Our Lady & now she welcomes all those who visit the monastery.



Congratulations to our dear Lorraine who completed her first London Marathon a couple of wet & windy weekends ago. You are a star!



Look who comes to eat their breakfast outside our windows each morning. The Roe deer are beautiful, quite small & dainty, they roam in herds of 8-10. The stag who accompanies them is very noisy, beginning his bellowing/grunting anytime around 5am! This is to prove his strength to the does & for them it is probably an attractive sound, for us it sounds as if we have wild boar beneath our windows!


Feast of St Margaret Mary

Tomorrow the Jubilee year for St Margaret Mary ends. It began with so much excitement & preparation, with so many plans; but because of the Pandemic, very few of the public celebrations occurred. Nevertheless as we celebrate our Sister's feast today may she pour many blessings on our Order, on our sisters throughout the world and on all who call upon her this day.

'Preserve your peace of heart for it is more
precious than any treasure'.

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Sr M. Blogerina is going into retreat for 12 days this evening & would be grateful if you would keep her in your prayers  - watch this space!



If any of you are Star Trek fans you will know that an often repeated phrase is 'Live long & prosper', said especially by Mr Spock! These words, known as a Vulcan greeting can also be found in the Book of Deuteronomy 4:40.
'Keep His laws & commandments as I give them to you today so that you & your children after you may prosper & live long in the country that Yahweh your God is giving you forever'. If we could say this or even think it for all those we meet, in person, online or in our thoughts, what blessings would fall upon them. To wish them joy, good health & prosperity in the love of the Lord, in doing His will.


24.9.20.   Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham

Ladye of Walsingham, Lady of England,
look with love on this our land,
grant us your aid,
your prayers & your blessing,
trust to our faith we will ever stand.

Ladye of Walsingham, Ladye of England,
listen to a pilgrim's prayer,
come back O Mary, come back to England,
back to this Island, your dowry so fair.



'Let there be spaces
 in your togetherness.'
                                Kahlil Gibran 1883-1931



We have monsters in our pond! In the more than 50 years that we have been here at Waldron we've always had fish in the pond; many years ago Sr M. Magdalen used to go fishing with a lump of dough on her hook & she usually managed to bring something back to the kitchen! However these past few months we have seen huge fish, possibly carp, swimming around. Also our waterlilies didn't come to the surface this year & it is a known fact that carp do enjoy munching on them! What a shame, they used to make a beautiful show. How can we put a 'Not to be eaten' notice up for our fishy friends?


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Autumn is just around the corner & while we've had such a mixture of sun, rain, high winds & blue skies, nature never fails to delight us. Yesterday evening the deer paid their evening visit to the park to graze. They're so graceful & calm & a joy to see.



The apples are so early this year, already we have a bumper crop of windfalls before we begin picking any off the trees. Sr Josephine Margaret is eager to begin peeling them for us.



Forgiveness is a mighty powerful grace. It can change lives, it can give peace to troubled hearts, it can be our passport for heaven. Read one family's story of forgiveness, or rather one woman's forgiveness journey.

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'Life has been given to us
to seek God,
Death to meet Him
and Eternity to possess Him.'

                                         St Jane de Chantal
Tonight we celebrate 1st Vespers of the feast of our Holy Mother, St Jane Francis de Chantal. We unite with our sisters & friends throughout the world in love & prayer. May Our Holy Mother bring you & those you love many blessings.



We are reaping some of our harvest, enjoying the fruits of the earth, both to eat & to see. Despite our soil being like concrete, with the hard work & expertise of God & our Sister Gardeners we are blessed.



These are the pics taken 6 years ago, when we were moving & our kind friends - you may recognise yourselves - were helping us with the figure of Jesus that had been brought down from our cemetery. This is the figure we have just erected in our park; It came originally from our monastery in Rouen, France.



Join us on a hike around our grounds; the crucifix you'll see in the Park was once in our cemetery up at the old monastery which you can see behind in some of the pics, the fields we call the 'Field of Dreams', because it is a truly beautiful, magical spot with amazing views.
Click the picture opposite



Just to show you how busy our bees were yesterday. One swarm is new so we don't know if we'll have any honey this year, never mind there's always next year.



Thanks to the generosity of our dear Donna we are the proud owners of an Instant Pot, & so we are now enjoying home-made yoghurt! It is delicious. God be praised!


We often get asked 'What do you do all day?'
Here are a few pics to show you some of things we get up to. Like everyone most of us wear more than one hat & so during our years of religious life we learn to turn our hands to many different tasks. Our main work, of course, is PRAYER. We do it in your name,
remembering your intentions & needs, offering them to the Lord on your behalf.



In these days of difficulty & distress it is good to remember that we each have the gift of bringing light to others. We can each be the flicker of the candle that can show the way,  that beam of hope for a brighter future.



This is a letter sent by Bishop Arturo Aiello, Bishop of Avellino, to the cloistered religious in Italy. It is very beautiful & was sent at the beginning of the lock-down period. It reflects our life & the life of all contemplative religious.

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June is the month of the Sacred Heart & it's also the month of the 'holy roses'! Our courtyard is beautiful with the colour & fragrance of roses. I call them 'holy' because they are so beautiful, not perfect yet exquisite, and in their imperfection they're giving glory to God, just by being. If anything, & that includes ourselves, is held in being by God then it is by right 'holy'.



Mary our Mother is for us as though a fine fabric, woven with the promises of yesterday & the hopes of tomorrow. We now have her bower, beautifully & skillfully crafted by our dear Steve. It is an inviting area within our grounds to sit & ponder. Next time you see it, the flowers will be in bloom!



Last night as dusk was falling, we were visited by a large herd of Roe deer. They are so gentle & graceful & we love to see them - except when they are feasting on our shrubs! Our roses, which over the years they have devastated, are now safely within the cloister courtyard, so we don't begrudge them anything else they can find.



This year because of Pentecost falling on a Sunday we keep our beautiful feast of the Visitation on Monday June 1st. Two days of Adoration & Solemnity, two days of Prayer & Praise. We unite with our sisters all over the world in love & prayer & remember you dear friends, your families & all your intentions in our prayers.  God be Praised!



Throughout the years some values remain the same. This verse, written in the 1960's, seems very apt for our present day.
Click on the pic opposite.

Today is a special anniversary for the Order of the Visitation; 100 years since the canonisation of our Sister, Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque. This Jubilee year hasn't quite turned out as planned, because of the lock-down restrictions all over the world many of the celebrations, pilgrimages & gatherings have to be virtual & we too will join & share with our sisters in Paray-le-Monial for their live Jubilee Mass this afternoon. God be Praised!


Our Lady's Bower is progressing as you can see, (see previously below 24.4.) We just have to erect the actual arbour now & on this beautiful morning, during her special month of May we pray 'Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now & at the hour of our death'.



'The Great Realisation'.
This is really beautiful & worth seeing.

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Today is Good Shepherd Sunday & the tradition in our community is to thank our 'Good Shepherd', our Mother Jane Margaret, for her shepherding of our community. We also have a spring-flowered shepherd's crook & sing 'All in an April evening', changing it to May this year! Right now in our suffering world we have so many 'good shepherds' looking after others, watching out for them, nursing them, just being there for them. God bless all our Good Shepherds.



From the Outside
looking In
it's hard to understand.

From the Inside
looking Out
it's hard to explain.



We are going to construct an 'Our Lady's Bower' at the end of one of the paths, so at recreation the other day we went to see the slabs that will make the path & take measurements. The new green growth of Spring is spectacular everywhere.



Today we had the funeral of our dear Sr M. Dorothy. Because of lock-down regulations Sister was not able to return home so we had her funeral Mass at 10am & two sisters were allowed to go to the cemetery at 2pm for the burial. On this sunny, spring day we celebrated our dear Sister's life, thanking God for her presence among us in the community. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord & may perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen


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The computer has been away having major surgery so we were unable to wish you Easter Blessings on Easter Sunday. We do so now & hope that despite the present situation in our world it was for you a time of stillness, peace & joy. May the risen Christ be with us in our daily difficulties & distress, & may He give us a spirit of courage, acceptance & gratitude. ALLELUIA!



Yesterday, the First Friday of the month, our dear Sr Mary Dorothy went home to God. Sister was 100 years old & had been a Visitation sister for 37 years. She had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus & is now enfolded in His love. May she rest in peace.



On this first day of April, the sun is shining in a blue sky, spring has truly sprung & all around new life is making an appearance. This Lent, perhaps more than any other, we're truly called into the desert. That place of barreness, isolation & hardship. The Coronavirus has influenced our Lenten days with no masses, no sacraments, no shared meetings. In this place of 'aloneness & solitude' we're called to PRAYER. To forgo outward expressions of spirituality & go deeper within ourselves. To revive & renew our personal relationships with this God who walks with us during these difficult days; who continually tells us 'Do not fear.'



We are praying for you all & for our world.
Take care & keep safe.



We all know the story of Cinderella. The name itself means: the little girl - Puella - who sits in the ashes - in the cinders. The point of the story is that before we can attain beauty of soul, of mind, of person, before we are found by our prince, before we can go the great banquet, we must first spend time alone in the ashes, humble, tending to duty, a little ragged & waiting for the moment, the favourable time. We are all called to sit amidst our ashes & never more so that at this time of universal anquish. The Coronavirus has dominated our newspapers, our news bulletins, there is no escape, we are in this together. We go forward - together. We're united in love & prayer with all those for whom this day is hard to face, we pray for healing, for courage & resilience, we pray for patience & open hearts - together.



This solemnity of St Joseph is a very special day for our community as it was on the 19th March 1804 that our 3 heroic, founding sisters made the hazardous journey from France, via Portugal & pirates to found the first Visitation monastery in England. While remembering their courageous generosity we place our fearful, suffering world today in the paternal arms of St Joseph & under his protection.




Lent is a time for focusing on the heart. The word Lent is derived from an old English word meaning 'springtime'. In Latin 'lente' ie lent with an 'e' on the end means slowly. So this very special season in the Church's year points to the coming of Spring & it also invites us to slow down & review our lives.


Today is Women's World Day of Prayer, & throughout the world women of different races, cultures & traditions, together with their families, will come together in prayer & action for peace & justice. Preparing the theme for this year are the women of Zimbabwe. Their title is 'Take up your mat & walk'. Zimbabwe means ' house of stones', & is a country of 16 million people.
We unite, on this First Friday, with them in love & prayer as we spend the day in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.


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It's already the last day of February & the first weekend of Lent. This isn't just a season of giving up, more one of giving; of ourselves, of our gifts, of our time. Things that cost us yet can bring such riches to the lives of others. Let us find a way to help Jesus carry His cross this Lent.



Even on these dark, wet mornings God smiles & lets the light through. He brings us joy in the beauty that reveals itself in all that surrounds us.


We all have signposts in life, pointing us in different directions, steering the course of our day. What is the signpost that points you to God? Is it a wooden sign, clear & precise, is it a person, something they say, something they do? Is it a book, a poem, a news article? The directions are there, speaking to our heart. Let's make sure our inner SatNav is working & we're alert, going in the right direction  -  just for today.



In this special Jubilee year for St Margaret Mary we share a passage from her writings.
Please click the picture.



Some February pics from around
the monastery to share with you.


We all like a good mystery don't we? There is something beautifully mysterious in the vision of a crisp, frosty morning in February, with the shrouded sun rising behind Patmos; an almost 'cold' sun bringing us the promise of a brighter day ahead.



When we were younger we used to sing a hymn -
'Mary-like in soul & body,
Mary-like in mind & heart,
Mary-like in every action
Child of God how fair thou art. . . . '
How wonderful it would be if we had the gift & grace to be truly Mary-like in our daily lives.



Today we celebrate the feast of our Holy Founder, St Francis de Sales. We join with our sisters & friends throughout the world, giving thanks for his life & asking his blessing on all those we hold in our hearts. Patron Saint of journalists & the deaf, we ask his special care of all who call upon him.



Words of solace from a wise person for the beginning of this new year - 'If you think you have blown God's plan for your life, rest in this - you my beautiful friend are not that powerful!'



The New Year brings new beginnings, new miracles & new beauty into our lives. We welcomed all of these in 10 day old Martha on Monday when her Mum & Dad, Bethan & Mark, brought her to meet her great Aunt, Mother Jane Margaret. Isn't it a miracle in itself that such a tiny baby can bring such joy & love? Praise God for His gifts to us.

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5.1.20.    Epiphany

The word 'Epiphany' means a moment of sudden understanding or revelation - a 'wow' moment. The Wise Men kneeling before Jesus was a 'wow' moment, an immediate recognition & revelation moment. We live these moments each day as our gentle God showers us with gifts in our ordinary lives, but we don't always recognise them. It's sometimes seeing it in others that can open our hearts & minds. We kneel before the crib today with our small, seemingly insignificant gifts & sing with the carol "All I can I give Him, give my heart".



Some pictures to share our Christmas festivities with you. Click on the pics opposite.





Wishing you all many blessings for Christmas & the New Year & keeping you & all those you hold in your hearts in our prayers.


The weeks are speeding by & our 3rd Advent wreath candle is lit; we are intoning the beautiful O Antiphons at Vespers each day. Last Saturday we enoyed our last Daughters of St Francis de Sales' gathering for this year. We sang carols for most of the afternoon, united in proclaiming 'Come Lord Jesus come!


                                   click on picture to
                                    see  video & photos


Yesterday we had a 'Be an Angel in Advent' day, hosted & prepared by Sue. It was a mixture of prayer, sharing, creativity & fun as you can see by the pictures opposite. As Sue told us ' Angels fly because they take themselves lightly'!




Click on the picture to see an alternative Christmas arrangement of 1st Corinthians: 13.


The Advent wreath is prepared, the first candle ready to be lit. This evening we will welcome in this beautiful season of longing, hope & expectation as we sing the Vesper psalms for the 1st Sunday of Advent  . We wait with you in stillness; may our God bathe us in His light as we each follow our star.



On this beautiful feast of the Presentation of Our Lady we unite ourselves with our sisters all over the world as we each renew our vows & thank God for our vocations. Adoration before Jesus all day, where we will remember you & all your intentions. God be praised!



These past three days we've had the joy of a Tridium retreat with Sr Anna Hildagard, an Oblate Sister of St Francis de Sales; originally from Austria but now in France, she shared her wisdom, experience & joy with us in our mutual Salesian spirituality & heritage. Donna, Lorraine, Sue & Paulette also joined us. It's always good to welcome our larger Salesian family & these dark November days were made brighter by the riches we shared.

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Donna is with us for a few days so we had the 'excuse' of a belated party for a 'special' birthday celebrated earlier in the year. God be praised for good friends!

click picture for pics & video

Remembrance Sunday

Always in our prayers.



'Surround yourself with those who lift you higher'.

A few weeks ago our dear Donna sent us a bumper parcel from across the pond. It contained gifts to play the Exchange Game, have you heard of that, we hadn't! We had great fun with much laughter, unwrapping, swapping etc. as you can see in the pictures.


Tomorrow we keep the feastday of Pope St John Paul II. Here is a picture when he was Cardinal Wojtyla, giving our sisters a conference in our monastery of Kracow, Poland.



The evening before the feast of St Margaret Mary we had a Vigil. We all often prepare for events taking place in our lives, give them that extra time & thought & so it is with big feasts. We prayed, sang & had readings to welcome in this special Saint who is so much part of our lives today.


Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of one of our sisters, St Margaret Mary Alacoque. This Jubilee year is special as we keep the 100th anniversary of her canonisation. As you will see if you click on the poster opposite, a Plenary Indulgence may be obtained if you visit a Visitation chapel during this year, 2019 - 2020. Join with us in thanking & praising God for the life of our sister & for the many graces & blessings she bestows on all who pray through her intercession.


  click here to read
words of wisdom from
 Mother Jane Margaret


Tomorrow we'll all be in Rome, courtesy of E.W.T.N. for the canonisation of St John Henry Newman. Click on the picture opposite to go to his web page and see his connection with our community.


Sr M. Blogerina will be going into her annual retreat tonight. Please pray for her conversion as she keeps you & all your intentions in her prayers.


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.

click on both pictures


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.

                                                                   click on picture