Monastery of the Visitation


We've moved!  
Daily Life  
The Visitation  
News Blog page 1    
News Blog page 2  
News Blog page 3  
News Blog page 4  
News Blog page 5  
News Blog page 6  
News Blog page 7  
News blog page 8  
News Blog page 9  
News Blog page 10  
News Blog page 11  
News Blog page 12  
Blessed John Henry Newman  
Prayer Requests  
Weekly Mass times  
Online Shop

click below to view
slide show

Waldron Tour

click on pictures to enlarge

News Blog page 6                                       
  Click on pictures to enlarge         


This is how we are in community right now!


'Death leaves a heartache no-one can heal,
love leaves a memory no-one can steal.'

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, & may perpetual
light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.



In community we share everything - even bugs! Right now every sister except one (& her turn will come) has a very nasty cold! Our monastery echoes with hacking coughs & sneezes, each with it's own musical difference!
There are cough lozengers, 'suckers', cough mixtures & hot toddies en masse, as we patiently wait for the bugs to leave us.  It's a good time to practise patience; perhaps our immune systems will be that much stronger for the winter months ahead?




On these damp, windy October days, with the leaves gently falling, we are 'being brush-cut! That is the park, which has so much shrubbery, is having a drastic cut back, uproot & clean up. The men doing this are wonderful, making bonfires as they go along. The end of the orchard has been 'disc-ploughed' & must now lie quietly & fallow until the spring when we hope to be able to sow wild flower seeds, creating a wildflower meadow. So  -  watch this space!




On the Feast of the Holy Rosary, our dear friend Inge was affiliated to our Order. We praise God for His gifts of friendship as our extended family grows.






'Yes, in that broken child,
there is a light shining;
in that man in prison,
a heart is beating;
in that woman, victim of prostitution,
there is a yearning for life;
in the rich & greedy person,
there is a child of purity;
in that young man dying of aids,
there is the light of God.
in every person, no matter how broken,
sinful, hardened, dominating or cruel,
there is a spring of water waiting to flow forth.'
                                                               Jean Vanier



God's plans & ours don't always see eye to eye;
we would wish for a straight, easy path in life,
free of difficulties & upsets. In order to grow into who we are meant to be we need to be chiselled & re-shaped,
hewn & re-moulded & it doesn't always fit in with our plans;  it hurts. But having said our 'Fiat' we need to leave it to Him who knows us better than anyone & who loves us more than we can ever imagine.



Tomorrow is the feast of St. Margaret Alacoque, one of our sisters. She was born in 1647 in Burgandy, entered the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial in 1671 and died in 1690 aged 43 years. In 1675 she had a number of apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus where she was invited by Him to spread this devotion. It was in 1765 that Devotion to the Sacred Heart was officially recognised & approved by Pope Clement Xlll. Tomorrw, for us, is a 'holy' day. after a sung Mass we'll have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & adoration all day, where we will bring to the Lord all those we hold in our hearts. YOU who are reading this page, our families, friends, our sisters, all those who have asked our prayers and all those in our world who need our prayers.



Do you have one of these in your shopping mall?
I think it would do a good trade!



We all have a vocation, a call from God to become fully who we are; to love & to serve Him. Life's choices are important moments & discernment & prayer bring clarity.
Some are called to the enclosed Monastic life, to give themselves completely to a loving God & serve Him in prayer & contemplation. Today, 43 years ago, one of our sisters entered this monastery; how the years have flown & what changes there have been. A vocation is a call from God to 'Come & see, come & try'. When we respond positively to the Lord's invitation we know peace of heart, & even amidst the most difficult situations we experience great joy. We pray that the Holy Guardian Angels, whose feast we celebrate today, may lead many, with courage & perseverance, to accept God's loving invitation to this challenging yet gentle way of life.


'It is quite certain that when God calls anyone
to a state in life, He binds Himself, in consequence, by His Divine Providence, to furnish that person with all the aids required to become perfect in their vocation.'

St. Francis de Sales


'We are called to play the good Samaritan on life's roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men & women will not be beaten & robbed as they make their journey through life. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it understands that an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring.'
                                                                 Martin Luther King Jnr




Today the Jewish people will begin to celebrate the feast of 'Rosh Hashana', the Jewish New Year. Traditionally a festive meal is enjoyed during which pieces of apple are dipped in honey & eaten, an expression of hope for a sweet & pleasant year ahead. It also marks the beginning of a 110 day period of reflection asking Gods forgiveness for faults of the past & promising to do better in the year ahead.
A ram's horn, a 'Shofar' is blown at Rosh Hashana services, the person blowing it is called a 'Tokea', & one of the symbolic meanings of blowing the horn is associated with the breath of life that God breathed into Adam when He created humankind.
During these beautiful autumn days it is good to ponder on God's creation & to recognise His breath in the awesome wonders of our world.




They're a bit like us; they come in all different shapes & sizes, different colours; some immature, some mature. But if they, like us also, are put into good soil, fed, watered & nurtured they become truly who/what they are meant to be; as Our Holy Founder, St. Francis de Sales says 'Be who you are & be that well.'

Of course I am referring to our splendid crop of tomatoes, but this also might be an advert for the greatness of 'Grow-bags'! For as yet having no kitchen garden, this is what we have resorted to. As you can see they have loved their south-facing wall position  & all the conversations & care they have received! Included are some other beautiful flowering Autumn delights. Praise the Lord for His harvest!





It's very much the fashion nowadays to be 'into' Genealogy. It seems as though everyone is looking for their roots, searching their past, finding their links. There is a great thirst in our world to 'belong', to be part of something larger than ourselves. We have family trees, where we can see at a glance in which direction our family expands. In religious life, we too, have a family tree where we can see the grace of God working throughout the branches, spreading the charism of our Order into the lives of others, & they in turn do the same. There were many Congregations originating from the 19th Century that were founded on the the Spirit of St Francis de Sales. Click opposite to see.






'An angel robed in spotless white
bent down & kissed the sleeping night,
night woke to blush, the sprite was gone,
men saw the blush & called it Dawn'.
                                      Paul Lawrence Dunbar




Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows; we remember especially all mothers who have lost their children, at whatever age, as a result of violence, warfare or terrorism; may Our Blessed Lady be for them a source of comfort & consolation. Yesterday we celebrated the Exaltation of the Cross & Fr. Jim gave a sermon containing a story too good not to share with you. Click on the picture opposite.




As you can see on our Home Page, we are hosting a retreat day on October 18th. 'Set your spirit in calmness & repose'; words of St. Francis de Sales. Do click on the link, & if you are near enough, join us for the day.
You'd be very welcome.



Yesterday some of us went over to Worth Abbey for the Day of Prayer for Religious. We were thrilled that the speaker was Archbishop Rowan Williams. His talk was wonderful; he is a giant of a man, both spiritually & physically, yet so humble & gentle; we were blessed to have been present. It was good to renew friendships with all those in the religious communities of our diocese of Arundal & Brighton & Bishop Conry laid out his plans & aspirations for the Year of Consecrated Life beginning this Advent.





Today Miriam had the joy of being received as a postulant. As she takes this step please unite with us in prayer as she continues her journey.


click here to read
Mother Jane Margaret's words
at Miriam's reception


"I have been told how the old-time weavers, all the while they were making their beautiful & intricate patterns, saw no more than the backs of their shawls. Nothing was visible to them but a tangle of coloured threads. They never saw the design they were creating until they took the finished fabric from their looms. Human experience appears to us - as the shawls did to the weavers - to be no more than incomprehensible tangles of coloured threads, whereas in fact life represents the ordered threads in a great design - the design being woven daily on the loom of eternity."
                                                    Ernest Gordon




Sr. Mary Blogerina is going into her 12 day retreat tonight. Please say a little prayer for her - & watch this space!



"Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence."
                                         St. Francis de Sales



Funghi are neither plants nor animals, they are classified within their own kingdom. We have some wonderful ones on some of the trees in our parkland. The ones opposite aren't harmful & are living in an old tree stump tree;  they have a beauty & a mystery all their own. Click  the picture opposite.



Our 'Welcome Garden', known as Dingle Dell is looking good due to the hard work of Sr. Clare Chantal. In the extremely hot weather of the past 2 weeks, each time we saw her she had a wheelbarrow full of pebbles & stones, en route for her 'project'.




On Sunday, after Mass, our dear friend
Mary Durkan was affilliated as a member of our Order.
A day of blessings for her & great joy for us.
God be praised!




A few more pictures from Saturday.




Yesterday we celebrated our 'Welcome to our New Home' day. After a few days of cautious weather watching; of worrying that the rain would fall on our open air Mass, & after heavy thunderstorms & rain during the night before; (it was just as well that the chairs were tipped over in the courtyard as a precaution) by 9am Saturday the sun was out & remained with us except for one small & refreshing shower during Mass; Fr. Jim said the Lord was teasing us! In our Order we have a tradition of putting a statue of the Infant of Prague facing out of the window to bring us good weather, so He was on duty in our Choir! Although mainly local friends, over 170 came to share with us in thanksgiving & rejoice in all God's blessings to us. It was so good to renew friendships & see familiar faces.

Four priests concelebrated our open air Mass, our own Fr. Jim, Frs. Michael Creech & Stephen Hardaker from our neighbouring parishes of Heathfield & Uckfield, together with Deacons David Tutt & Michael Thoms & their wives.  Our good & faithful friend Peter Biddlecombe served on the altar & Benji played the organ. We also were so pleased to welcome again the Anglican vicar of Waldron, Rev. George Pitcher & his wife Mobbs.
Many sisters from different religious Congregations came, both Catholic & Anglican, together with our own group of Daughters of St. Francis de Sales, & so many other friends.

Rose, her husband & team provided a sumptuous buffet & made sure everyone was served. After Mass & lunch, those who wished had a tour of our new home.
So, God be praised for a truly wonderful day, everyone went home with smiling faces  & happy memories.



please click picture
to share our day

To read Fr. Jim's sermon for our Mass of Thanksgiving click here

On Tuesday we were once again blessed with good friends from Waldron parish, who came to move benches, statues, chairs & much more in readiness for our 'Open Day' this coming Saturday. Benji, Faith, Holly, Cameron, Inga, Lorraine, Donna & Andrew worked so hard & there was much laughter. Our dear Benji presented Srs. M. Joseph & Mary de Sales with 2 red rose bushes, for their Ruby Jubilee; the old fashioned type with a beautiful perfume. God be praised for friendship.




Saturday, 26th July, feast of Sts. Joachim & Ann was a special day in our community; it was the day that Srs. M. Joseph & Mary de Sales celebrated their Ruby Jubilee, 40 years of Religious Profession. Also our great friend Donna Corso received the cross of Affiliation of our Order. A day of thanksgiving, joy, memories & deep gratitude to God, of sunflowers & posies.
Fr. Jim celebrated a beautiful Mass at which the sisters renewed their vows & later, despite the baking sun, a barbeque was much enjoyed by all. God be praised!


click on picture


Last week Our Mother went to Walsingham for 5 days on an Icon painting course. It was challenging, prayerful, intense, hard work & opened up a wonderful new world. At the end of the course Mother Jane Margaret had painted the Icon opposite which she proudly carried home. We were delighted to see the fruits of her labour & to hear about her experience.




Our first shawls are now complete & ready to be sent to their recipients  . . . . . a woman undergoing chemotherapy treatment & another recently bereaved & left alone with two children. They will go with our prayers, not just those of the original knitter, but from each one of us as we prayed for them in our group.
We have a pair of Extreme Knitting Needles, which will make a rug for anyone in a wheelchair or a lap comforter. They take about 6-10 balls of wool knitted simultaneously. Each person in the group will knit a few rows of stitches (they are heavy!) & in this way we create a group prayer project.
Sr. Clare Chantal is busy creating a magical prayer quilt for a child in need. It will be backed onto material & sewn with special motifs.
We now also have some 'Outworkers' who are unable to attend the group, but who knit & pray with us, in their own homes. Maybe you would like to consider this form of ministry?




God has been drawing on the paving of the patio, outside our community room! Suddenly these fossil-like images have appeared; they weren't there & now they are. They're very beautiful & we wonder where they came from. Click on picture & turn up sound



"I believe that natural beauty has a special place in the spiritual development of an individual or a society. I believe that whenever we destroy beauty, or whenever we substitute something man-made & artificial for a natural feature of the earth, we have retarded some part of our spiritual growth".
                                                         Rachel Carson



Today we had our first group-day retreat in Patmos; it was a lovely day; interdenominational, lead by Sue & Benji. The theme was 'Contemplation, coffee & Chant'. After a very wet couple of days we were blessed with sunshine, which made our retreatants walk through the grounds & woods more enjoyable.


click on picture



I went for a walk round the pond yesterday. It's all looking so much clearer since Clare & Jason have been cutting back. The earth is so dry, solid & cracked, but at least you don't sink into the mud as a few weeks back! We have put water lilies in the pond, only, for now, they have sunk to the bottom; eventually they will rise & float on the surface. Also oxygenating plants, hopefully will make the water clearer. Our first contribution to the kitchen garden is thriving, tomatoes & marrows, in Grow Bags at the side of the monastery, catching the full sun. And joy of joys, our first rose has bloomed in the monastery courtyard. The wonders of God & nature are everywhere.




'The present form of the world passes away,
and there remains only the joy
of having used this world
to establish God’s rule here.
All pomp, all triumphs, all selfish capitalism,
all the false successes of life will pass
with the world’s form.
All of that passes away.
What does not pass away is love.
When one has turned money, property,
work in one’s calling
into service of others,
then the joy of sharing and the feeling that all are one’s family does not pass away.
In the evening of life you will be judged on love.'

                                                    Oscar Romero 





There are two statues in our cloister courtyard waiting to be re-homed. St. Fiacre, 670, the patron saint of gardeners is awaiting his new plot in the kitchen garden, though I fear he may be resident in the courtyard for some time yet. The guardian angel is also waiting to be placed somewhere in our grounds, meanwhile he makes a nice picture from our Choir.




Our new monastery signs are in place, so no-one should get lost now! Click on the picture.



Everywhere you look things are seeming a little tidier. Small plots of garden are 'popping' up. Sisters are being very creative, reclaiming what was mud & heavy clay & which will eventually be a feast of colour & interest. Digging the clay is very heavy & hard work but gives a real sense of achievement. The saplings are doing well but it's a labour of love keeping them watered. Thnk God for willing hands.




This evening we have First Vespers for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Tomorrow we shall spend the day adoring before the Blessed Sacrament; we will remember you & all your intentions. Our Holy Mother, St Jane de Chantal tells us to be a silent flame in God's presence. "If you do not know how to do anything else, adore Him, adore His presence, adore His ways, His works. You adore Him better by your silence than by your speeches. Were you to do no other thing than stand in the presence of God & consume your life away before Him, like a candle burning itself up in the presence of the Sacrament, would you not be blessed & fortunate."



Today we had our first Prayer Shawl group in Patmos. It's a lovely way to pray for & care for those in need. We hope to have it the 3rd Wednesday of each month. You are welcome to join us if you live mear enough.

click on picture



After about 6 months the web-page becomes too slow because it's 'heavy' with photos & videos, so a new page has to be created;
welcome to News Blog page 6!