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1.1.18.               Mary the Mother of God

On this first day of January 2018 some of us have rainfall, some have quietly blanketing snow; for others it is still dark waiting for the day to reveal itself. Whatever God chooses to send us today we remember that amid the bustle of post-Christmas days our God comes to us in the silence, this is His language; we have no need to shout, to raise our voices; He is entirely present to us with a closeness we can have with no other person. As we begin this New Year we pray with Mary our Mother for acceptance for all that the year will bring & for hope & trust in God's love for us. May 2018 be kind to you & to all those you hold in your hearts.



Sharing some Christmas photos with you. See you next year!
  We wish you
We wish you
We wish you

May the awe of this Holy Season
fill you with love
& may the New Year
be kind to you
in all that it brings.

We remember you & all your intentions before the crib.



We are in the 'O Antiphon season', when each night at Vespers we herald in the beautiful proclamations 'O Adonai, O Rising Sun' etc. Only a few days to wait now, & for us the last three before Christmas will be spent in retreat. On these dark December days we remember especially those for whom this time of year is difficult, either because of memories, because of being separated from loved ones or from financial struggle. The material demands of the Christmas season are not easy. We place them all into the loving hands of the Father as with Mary we wait in trust.



Last Sunday we had our monthly meeting with the Daughters of St Francis de Sales. We had a lovely few hours together, sharing & singing carols, the sisters joined us for carols & tea.



Mother M. Joseph & Sr Jane Margaret have just returned from a few days in our monastery of Troyes, France, where they were attending a Federation meeting for the Visitation monasteries in the north of France to which we belong. Click on the picture opposite.



Yesterday on the feast of Christ the King, Fr Jim gave these words of Jesus a different spin. Words so relevant in today's world. Plenty of food for thought; read them as the words of Jesus . . .


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21.11.17.            The Presentation

We are united in love & prayer with our sisters throughout the world on this special feast; in each of our monasteries the sisters publicly renew their vows & each signs the huge Vow Book, dating back from the foundation of that monastery. May Our Blessed Lady especially interceed for us today & in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament we will remember you & all your intentions.



During this month of the Holy Souls we pray specially for all those who have gone to God; for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. One month ago today Sr Jane Margaret's mother passed into God's eternal light; she had been many months awaiting His call, at home surrounded by her family who generously, selflessly & lovingly cared for her every need. Mrs Clifton was a wonderful lady, a great 'character', known & loved by so many in her native Liverpool. We share the Eulogy given by Sr Jane Margaret at her Mother's funeral. Click on the picture.
May she rest in peace.



We are enjoying a Tridium, a 3 day retreat given by Fr Martin McGee O.S.B. from Worth Abbey. The Sisters,  Canonesses of St Augustine of Windesheim have joined us for these days of prayer & conferences.


12.11.17.   Remembrance Sunday

If I should die, think only this of me:
that there's some corner
of a foreign field that is forever England.
That there shall be in that rich earth
a richer dust concealed;
a dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
gave once her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
a body of England's, breathing English air,
washed by the rivers blessed by the suns of home,
and think this heart, all evil shed away,
a pulse in the eternal mind, no less,
gives something back the thoughts by England given;
her sights, her sounds; dreams happy as her day;
and laughter, learnt of friends, and gentleness,
in hearts at peace under an English heaven.
                                                  Rupert Brooke



A bright, sunny November morning at the Monastery. God be praised for crisp leaves underfoot, for sunshine on our faces, for birds singing & for all God's miracles around us.


1.11.17.  Holy Souls

On this feast of the Holy Souls we all have so many to pray for; those closest to us, our families & friends, acquaintances & those we hear of or read about. One day we may be glad to have someone say a prayer for us! It's a privilege to pray for the Holy Souls, that soon they may be welcomed into the light of God's eternal glory. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord & may perpetual light shine apon then. May they rest in peace. Amen.



Our dear Sr Jeya Mary has been with us from India for the past 4 weeks; her visit has gone so quickly & she leaves tomorrow. It has been a blessing & a joy having her among us, hearing about her apostolate in Karnakaka, South Coorg. It's been 7 years since her last visit so there was a lot to catch up on. Now we say 'au revoir' with our love, prayers & support.


16.10.17.  Feast of St Margaret Mary

On this holy day when we celebrate our sister St Margaret Mary Alacoque, we remember her great love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place within that Heart our world with all its many needs & intentions.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus I place my trust in you.



I returned from the desert to my community this morning, after days which were a mixture of sunshine & heavy showers. Today is a beautiful, warm, sunny Autumnal day & I hope you are enjoying the same. Now back to daily life & all that it will bring!



Sr M. Blogerina is going into retreat tonight, please pray for her conversion and  - watch this space!




Delegate Sisters from all over the world have been meeting this week in Annecy at our General Assembly. Please copy & paste the link below.



Tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, Our Lady of England, & how much our country needs her right now. Being a Sunday we do not say her Office but we especially pray to her that one day England may once again become her dowry.
Our Lady of Walsingham pray for us.



We are all unique. We may look the same on the outside, but we are all different. God made no clones, he made individuals, each with their own gifts & personalities. At first glance it's not always easy to recognise differences, we have to get to know people on the inside as well as the outside; to appreciate their inner beauty as well as their outer. If any of you have read the book 'Mr God this is Anna' you'll remember she says ' Most of the angel is on the inside & most of the person is on the outside!'



On this day when we remember the Holy Name of Mary, we also ask Our Blessed Lady to enfold our world beneath her mantle; our world which right now is in so much pain & darkness & desperately needs a mother's love & care.



In honour of Our Lady's Birthday yesterday we gathered at dusk to say the rosary; to unite ourselves with so many suffering people throughout the world & especially for those who needed a little prayer to carry them through the night.



As we share this beautiful feast of Our Lady's Birthday, we also share the vibrant words of St Andrew of Crete in today's Office of Readings 'Let the whole creation therefore sing praise, dance & unite to celebrate the glories of the day.' May Mary, our Mother bless each one of us today & bring us closer to her Son.



Today, during Mass, Geraldine, a friend of the community, received the Sacrament of the Sick. The graces & blessings that this annointing brings is palpable; it gives healing on many levels, bringing courage, hope & consolation. A very 'simple' Sacrament accompanied by beautiful prayers, the name Jesus means 'God saves' & the name Christ means 'annointed'. We all know so many who are sick, in need of prayer, healing & care. God offers us this comfort as in our fraility we battle along life's journey.



86 years ago today Gandhi visited London, to attend meetings about the future of his country which was still being governed by Britain at that time. He gave a great insight to the power of prayer both for him & for others, that is worth reading & remembering.
'I am neither a man of letters nor of science,but l humbly claim to be a man of prayer. It is prayer that has saved my life. Without prayer l would have lost my reason a long time ago. I did not lose my peace of soul - in spite of many trials - because the peace came to me from prayer.
One can live several days without food but not without prayer. Prayer is the key to each morning & the lock to each evening. This is my teaching: let everyone try this experience & they will find that daily prayer will add something new to their lives'.




Today is the 450th anniversary of St Francis de Sales's birth at the Chateau of Thorens. The little chapel marks the place of his birth. The following day he was baptized in the parish church of Thorens. 





We have now finished the Novena to Our Holy Mother, St Jane Francis de Chantal, in readiness for 1st Vespers of her feast this evening. We unite with our sisters & friends all over the world as we remember you in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament tomorrow. God be praised!




I am the clock winder. Many of the clocks in the monastery are battery controlled, but the one outside the Choir (chapel) is your old fashioned 3 lots of wind-up kind. It lasts a week & gets slower & slower as wind-up day approaches. Our daily life revolves round answering the first sound of the bell, calling us to various tasks; Mass, Office, meals, Angelus, recreation. It seems to me that our lives are like this wind-up clock, always needing a little cleanup & oiling, a little re-wind to get us back on track. We all need a little encouraging wind-up key that enables us to regain momentum for the tasks ahead, so that we can tick on.





'It is always spring-time
 in the heart which loves God'.
                        St John Mary Vianney


Here's some honey for you to 'Cyber-taste'! Take my word it tastes great!
Look who sister found in her wellie boot, nestling on a soft sock; a Waldron toad.


Our Holy Founder St Francis de Sales said that you can catch more souls with a spoonful of honey than a barrel load of vinegar & Pooh Bear reflected that -   see opposite

I'm sure our sister Bee-Keeper, Sr Jane Margaret would agree with these comments; yesterday she  extracted honey from our hive for the first time, there's another 5 frames to go.  It was very exciting & very sticky!



Do you ever say the Litany of Our Lady of Loreto? We say it every day after the Midday Office. It's a wondrous & very beautiful way of getting close to Mary. The word Litany comes from the greek for prayer/supplication; it's an ancicent tradition, the Jews had litanies & Celtic litanies have been found dating back to the 8th century. The Loreto Litany was approved by Pope Sixtus Vth in 1587. There are many different Litanies, & many for Our Lady, depicting her under many titles & attributes. The Litany of Loreto is divided into

Mary's holiness,  Mary the Mother, Mary the Virgin,  Symbols of Mary,  Mary the Helper,  Mary the Queen.
It has been gradually added onto -

1675  Queen of the most Holy Trinity
1883  Queen conceived without original sin
1903  Mother of Good Counsel
1917  Queen of Peace
1950  Queen assumed into Heaven
1980  Mother of the Church
1995  Queen of families
The litanies of Our Lady are a wonderful 'tool' for meditation, contemplation & just sitting at the feet of Mary, our Mother. 


click here to see the
   Litany of Loreto


The fountain in the middle of the cloister courtyard was looking a bit barren so we placed some plants round it - much better.



If you click on the picture opposite you may think you are seeing lovely pastoral scenes but these are in fact rebel sheep! Every day this past week they have escaped their fields & made their way all over the property eating everything in sight along the way. Sr Clare Chantal & Donna took on the task of shepherdesses but I fear it's an ongoing saga!
Watch this space!


Yesterday evening the reflection of the sun & sky on the pond was so beautiful. 'We behold the splendour of God' daily in our lives.


It was a red currant jelly making day. Our dear Mary, an affiliated sister, on retreat for a week, very kindly turned her hand to cooking & straining the red currants & then producing a wonderful 'crop' of red currant jelly.  We praise you Lord for the fruits of the earth, & for Mary.



29.6.17.              Sts. Peter & Paul

Today is the feast of Sts. Peter & Paul, two great saints of the Church, but also two very unlikely choices to be called to continue the life & work of Jesus. Peter denied Jesus & Paul persecuted Christians. Because they were unlikely characters & because neither of them were perfect there is hope for us! We are reminded that God loves & accepts us as we are, with all our limitations.




With nearly 2,000 sheep & lambs in our grounds, the grass has a wonderful natural 'lawnmower'! They found the intense heat a little too much but found plenty of shelter under the trees.


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18.6.17.           Corpus Christi

As we spend this holy day in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, we bring you with us, your intentions your needs, your aspirations. We pray for the Church & our world especially all those in anquish at this time.
O food of travellers, angel's bread,
Manna wherewith the blessed are fed,
Come nigh, and with Thy sweetness fill
the hungry hearts that seek Thee still.



We have had a path laid from the monastery to the Gallery summmer house & yesterday we went to try it out! We put up a crucifix & some of the sisters tried out the seating; very comfortable was the verdict!



At this time we may believe our world is bereft of beauty, that there is so much suffering, so much violence & negativity. The headlines of our papers bring tears to our eyes & an ache to our hearts; but there is still so much beauty, around us, in nature & in other people. There is still kindness, courtesy, courage & generosity if we would open our eyes & our hearts. Let us be positive & optimistic, finding Jesus in all situations, saying 'Fiat' to each moment of each day.



Yesterday we welcomed back out two Sacred Heart statues; they had been in the grounds of our former monastery & last year went for repair & clean. They are beautiful & it is so good to have them 'home' again! One is outside the community room & the other outside the main gate. Now no-one will miss the entrance!
Today we said goodbye to our dear Sadie & Angela as they return to Ireland after a wonderful visit.



30.5.17.          The Visitation

As we begin the feast of the Visitation this evening at 1st Vespers, we join with our sisters & friends all over the world, praising God for our vocation, united in love & prayer. Happy Feastday; may our Blessed Lady walk with you in your daily lives & bring you nearer to her Son.



        The Ascension

'Lord, though parted from our sight
far above the starry height,
Grant out hearts may thither rise
seeking Thee above the skies.'
                    Charles Wesley 1707 -88

We pray on this great feast for all those who have gone to be with God this past week, especially those who have died in tragic circumstances. May they all rest in peace & be welcomed into the light of God's eternal glory.



Last Wednesday evening two of our sisters represented the community at the Induction Mass of Fr. Ian Vane, our new parish priest in Uckfield; Bishop Richard Moth presided. Then on Friday there was a short article printed in the Tablet, click opposite to read it. We had welcomed Sue Gainsford, former literary editor of the Tablet & now a freelance journalist, the previous week & we'd spent a happy few hours together.




Does anyone remember Max Bygrave's song of 1958 'You need hands'? If we stop to ponder we'll see how we really do need hands, ours & other peoples each & every day.
Right now, & especially during this month of May, Our Blessed Lady is holding our world in her hands, offering us to her Son, beseeching Him on our behalf.




Look who came to visit us! He was quite tame so must have strayed from one of the properties nearby; peacocks make good guard dogs! We tried very hard to persuade him to open his tail feathers; he stayed a whole day & then disappeared, hopefully he has made it home.

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Yesterday we celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday, a day when we pray for priestly vocations. For us here in the monastery it's also a day when we think of & pray for all those 'Good Shepherds' who have guided us on lifes journey. We particularly thank & pray for Mother Mary Joseph as she guides our community.




We went to see the Viz nursery at recreation yesterday! All seem to be doing well although the marrow seedlings look a little 'under the weather'! I think sister needs to talk & sing to them a little more often! I suppose we're all 'seedlings' in a way; needing nourshment & encouragement to grow, as St Francis de Sales says 'where we are planted' to our full potential.



The ducklings have hatched & are a joy to see swimming across the pond; the woods are ablaze with the blue haze of bluebells. Isn't Spring wonderful?

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We have new guests! 4 Canadian geese are visiting. They are huge birds, & when in flight make quite a noise. Perhaps they are eating the fish in our pond!



A few of our Easter Alleluia days to share with you.


16.4.17.    EASTER SUNDAY

Wishing you many blessings on this most glorious day. United  in love & in prayer with
 our sisters & friends
all over the world.



We are in retreat & as we enter the Sacred Triduum tomorrow we unite ourselves with you in love & prayer, remembering your families & intentions.

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On this beautiful, sunny Palm Sunday the lambs have arrived, frisking & jumping with joy. We wish you all a very peaceful & prayerful Holy Week.

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Yesterday we welcomed our chaplain, Fr Jim Hurley, back from America. Whilst there, & with other members of the Cardinal Cooke Guild, Fr. Jim celebrated Mass for the commemoration of the 49th anniversary of the Cardinal's appointment as Archbishop of New York. Fr. Jim is involved in promoting the cause of beatification & canonisation of Terence, Cardinal Cooke.






Helen & Steve brought us some new fish & more water lilies for the pond a couple of days ago. Let's hope the heron doesn't eat all the fish!

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On this beautiful spring morning the sheep are busy munching the green grass & we are waiting for the lambs to make an appearance. All is at peace.

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A few 'family' pictures. Sr M. Teresa preparing the choir for Mass on Laetare Sunday, Sr Clare Chantal preparing the Liturgy at the zither, Sr Josephinre Margaret putting the kettle on & Lorraine preparing the dinner.



On this beautiful spring Mothering Sunday morning, take a quick walk with us through our daffodil park, have a seat & hear the birds praising God! Turn sound up.


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25.3.17.     The Annunciation

'The angel had completed his mission: he could bring to God humanity's "yes", spoken by Mary of Nazarath.
                      Pope St John Paul II



Happy St Patricks day!
Our good friend Inge has made us the gift of a summerhouse in our daffodil park, for our retreatants. It has a wonderful view out over the park & will be the perfect place for gazing out onto God's glory; a quiet place to sit & reflect. Come & try it out!



Last Thursday, the 7th, Sr Jane Margaret's great nephew celebrated his 1st birthday with us; amid the balloons & banners there was lots of laughter, fun & unwrapping of presents, the latter done mostly by Joseph's 3 year old brother Sebastian! We thank God for the gift of life & for family.


29.2.17.              ASH WEDNESDAY

Today we begin our 6 week journey of contemplation, reflection, penance & prayer through the weeks of Lent. Lent is also known as a 'Little Springtime'; spring, the season of newness, everywhere new promise bursting forth. Our park is full of glorious daffodils amid the still barren trees, a golden host bringing joy to our hearts & our eyes. The birds are singing & the bulbs are just about popping their heads above the ground.
For us too it's 'desert-time', the season to slow down, to take time to be with God; to emerge from our winter barreness, cast aside our yesterdays & travel towards our tomorrows.
We wish you a very prayerful & blessed Lent, may you feel God near as He leads you to the glory of His Resurrection.



A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.



In our busy lives we sometimes need to know that it's okay to be 'idle', to take space & time just to be, as Thomas Merton reminds us -
'Let there be a space somewhere in which you can breathe naturally, quietly & not have to take your breath in continuous short gasps; a place where your mind can be idle & forget its concerns, descend into silence & worship God in secret'.



'The true monastery is not dependent on the enclosure of walls; it is rather a quality of consciousness or state of heart that involves daily commitment to attain an inner aloneness - the place where God & soul dwell in intimacy.'
                               Beverly Lanzetta




Yesterday some of us went to Worth Benedictine Abbey to celebrate Mass for the Day of Consecrated Life with our Bishop. When we arrived home we found the ducks enjoying a leisurely swim on the pond.



Last week we had some very cold, crisp & frosty days, but to accompany them were some spectacular sunrises which we managed to capture. One sister said it was like walking into heaven!


Believe in God like you believe in the sunrise. Not because you can see it but because you can see everything it touches.
                                               C.S. Lewis  



Yesterday the Waldron 'Parish Pealers' came to entertain us with a selection of carols & tunes expertly played on their hand bells.
It was a wonderful afternoon & we are very grateful to these lovely ladies who shared their very special, unique way of bringing joy.



Last night we held a prayer vigil before today's great feast of Our Holy Founder, St Francis de Sales. A medley of prayer, hymns & readings to ponder & reflect on. Today we shall be adoring before the Blessed Sacrament all day & will hold you all in prayer.


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Throughout the world there are millions of us who pray to the same God. We may call Him by a different name; we may say different words, our rubrics & ways of worship may vary, but we are all on the side roads that lead to the main highway; we are all gazing in the same direction. Today the week for Christian Unity begins & as we each rejoice in our individual gifts of faith & vocation, we pray for one another that we may have the grace of perseverence, courage & compassion; that we may bring joy & hope to a world that at times seems overwhelmed with sadness & fear. We're also in the middle of our Novena to Our Holy Founder, St Francis de Sales, before his feast on January 24th. You, your intentions & all those you hold in your hearts are remembered in our Novena.




'Our hearts are restless until
 they find rest in You.'
                                           St Augustine



8.1.17.        Feast of the Epiphany

"What can I give Him poor as l am?
If l were a shepherd, I would give a  lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, l would do my part,
Yet what l can l give Him: give my heart."




Yesterday we enjoyed welcoming our Bishop, Richard Moth, for the afternoon. It was such a lovely visit showing him our new home, having tea together with our chaplain Fr Jim Hurley & then at Vespers Bishop Richard blessed our chapel.


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1.1.17.  Solemnity of the Mother of God

As we approached the end of 2016, yesterday evening we shared a vigil of prayer, music, psalms & quietness. We prayed for our world, for each other; we offered one another the gifts of friendship & forgiveness as we journey together into a new year. We blessed each other & asked for the grace to Live Jesus always.

On January 1st 1612 our Holy Founder, St Francis de Sales wrote to St Jane de Chantal -
 "May we live this year
 that it may serve as a foundation for eternity".

We wish you, your families & all whom you hold in your hearts a very Happy & Blessed New Year.


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Here are some Christmas pics to share with you. It was a time of prayer & blessings, of work & fun, of laughter & gratitude. God be praised!

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Christmas Blessings
& great Joy to you all.
We remember you &
all your intentions before the crib.



On this shortest day of the year our Advent wreath has almost finished its work. It shines out among us in the darkness as we anticipate the birth of the Light of the World. Symbolic in meaning it reminds us that we are in a holy season, it invites us to reflect & pray in stillness.



At Vespers last night we began the O Antiphons; the beautiful poetic verses once described as 'a unique work of art' that will journey with us through these last days of Advent & into the wonderful feast of Christmas. We unite with the church in singing these verses which have been echoing down the years since the 8th century. At the beginning of the Magnificat each evening we will proclaim the coming of Christ, raising our voices in longing & welcome. We are in retreat this coming week & remember you & all your intentions in our prayers.
Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.



These are busy days, days of lists of things to do before Christmas. Have we ordered the turkey, bought enough mincepies, presents? We are waiting, preparing for the coming of Jesus. Fr. Jim told us a story at Mass this morning: a group of men were on their way home from work, they were late for their train so were rushing, pushing their way through crowds to reach the platform. In their rush they knocked into a small boy selling apples, upset his cart & the apples went everywhere. They didn't stop to help pick them up but jumped onto their train. Just as it was ready to leave one man had a twinge of conscience, said goodbye to his friends & returned to the boy & his overturned applecart. He began to help pick them up noticing that many were bruised & unsaleable. Pulling out his wallet he handed the boy some money noticing that the boy was blind. As he left the boy shouted after him "Are you Jesus?"
In these last weeks of Advent we are all called to be Jesus, & perhaps to search for Him in places that we don't expect to find Him.




Over the past 3 days we have had Fr. Michael Creech, a Redemptorist priest, giving us beautiful Advent talks. A good friend to our community, we have known Fr Michael for over 45 years & he always visits when he is in the area. Thank God for faithful, generous & holy priests.




I can't believe it'll be the first Vespers of Advent this evening, where has this year gone? It has simply flown past, & left us breathless! Now we enter into the most beautiful time of the Church's year, a time of expectation, waiting & longing. With Mary we have pronounced our 'Fiat'; with Mary we are not quite sure how the future is set to pan out, but we place it into the hands of a living, loving God & go where He leads. Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.


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A little girl stood watching a man as he drank by a well, after drinking the man stood there gazing into the well, as though looking at someone. The girl asked "Who lives down there?" ''God does," answered the man. "Can I see him?" "Of course you can," the man replied. He lifted the little girl up so that she could see down the well, but all she could see was her own reflection on the water. Disappointed she said "But that's me, all I see is me." "Good" replied the man, "Now you know where God lives - He lives in you."



20.11.16.    Christ the King

Although it's a very wet, wild & windy morning here in East Sussex, on this beautiful feast of Christ the King, the ducks are enjoying a morning swim on the pond. There are golden, fallen leaves everywhere, blanketing the earth & keeping it warm & snug. We are in retreat before our renewal of vows tomorrow on the feast of the Presentation; two days of Eucharistic adoration when we'll pray so much for our world & all its needs, for you & for all your intentions.




As part of the conclusion of this Year of Mercy a Sacred Heart Mercy Mission around central London was held this past week, concluding on Sunday with Mass at Our Lady of Victoires church in Kensington, celebrated by Bishop John Wilson. Part of this mission was to welcome the relics of our sister, St Margaret Mary Alocoque & St Claude de la Colombiere, for veneration. Some of our sisters travelled to London to attend the mass & had a wonderful day.



'Go in peace today. Love & be loved. The fountain of truth will prevail for a few hours at least today & make people wonder  . . . . .  Why?'
                                        Chief Seattle



9.11.16.  Feast of the Lateran Basilica

As enclosed contemplatives we have not visited one of the designated 'Holy Doors' during this Year of Mercy, but today we had our own Holy Door. At the beginning of Mass we processed round the cloister to our Choir singing 'O how lovely is your dwelling place Lord God of hosts', uniting ourselves with the Church in this beautiful act of love.




'In Autumn the trees show us
 how beautiful letting go can be'.



  'Where beauty is apparent we should enjoy it,
   Where beauty is hidden, we should unveil it.
   Where beauty is defaced, we should restore it,
   Where there is no beauty we should create it'.

 At Vespers this evening we begin the Liturgy for the feast of All Saints. For this feast I wish you a day full of the beauty that God will send you. Recognise it & rejoice in it for it surrounds you & will lift your heart & soul.              


Tomorrow is the baptism of Joseph Vincent Allenby, one of Sr Jane Margaret's great nephews, brother to Sebastian. He is a sunny, happy little chap, with blue eyes & a continual smiling face. His hair is something to behold as it sprouts upwards! There is something very special about interacting with a smiling baby, seeing God's gift of the miracle of life before our eyes in all its innocence & simplicity.



Today is ' United Nations day', when in 1945 the United Nations was established after our world had seen what total war could do. It was set up to promote 'choosing 'life', for refugees, for health care, in the growing of food & in the promoting of science & culture.  Our world today is a very different place, but the words of Deuteronomy 30 are still relevant:
        'I set before you life or death,
                blessing or curse.
           Choose life then, so that
           you & your descendants
               may live in my love.'

Today the 'Jungle' camp in Calais is being closed, those living there will be in utter anquish & despair, with an uncertain future. May we, with open hearts, be with them in whatever way is possible for each one of us, to bring life by our prayer & way of life.




When Srs Clare Chantal & M. Teresa were in Annecy in July, attending a workshop on the Treatises on the Love of God by St Francis de Sales, they stayed with our sisters in the monastery there. Here is a small video of the sisters at recreation during that week showing their musical skills!


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Although the feast of our Sister St Margaret Mary Alocoque is Oct. 16th, being a Sunday we are keeping it today, the anniversary of her death. Thanking God for all His many blessings given through our sister's intercession & uniting ourselves with all our sisters & friends throughout the world, praying for all your intentions as we adore before  the Blessed Sacrament all day.



Every day, during the month of October at 4.15. we recite the rosary together. Such a simple prayer, but so powerful, so meditative & beautiful. I don't think we shall realise until we reach heaven the gift that it is.


'The greatest method
of praying is to
 pray the rosary
            St Francis de Sales



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



'Count your blessings,
count them one by one,
and it will surprise you
what the Lord has done'.




Yesterday we had a wonderful day with our group of Daughters of St Francis de Sales in Patmos; we welcomed Michael Moran, Director General of the Sons of St Francis de Sales & Jennifer Hammond the Regional Directress of our Daughters, who was over on a visit from the United States. It was a day of blessings & sharing as we rejoiced in the deep bonds of friendship.


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   Our Lady of Sorrows

'In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call on Mary.
With her for guide
you shall never go astray;
while invoking her
you shall never lose heart;
while she holds your hand,
you cannot fall;
under her protection
you have nothing to fear.'
                                          St Bernard




Last night we had a procession to honour Our Lady for her birthday. This is an old tradition within our community; years ago it was an outside procession with lighted candles in coloured jars hanging from trees along the route, all very beautiful & atmospheric. As the sisters got older it became an indoor procession, last night we processed around our cloister saying the rosary & singing hymns. It's always good to honour Mary our Mother.

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Thursday was the 97th birthday of our dear Sr Mary Dorothy. Nuns don't retire you know; sister spends her days saying many rosaries & prayers, she is our 'Prayer Bank'!




Just for today I will trust
the path I am on . . . .



We are surrounded by natural parables. A few weeks ago I put below pics of our pruned roses; they were just about to burst forth into flower when the deer had them for lunch! They were 'naturally pruned' but came up again with new leaves & resilience. Once again the deer visited & this time they were even more severely eaten, right down to the surrounding wire, and now yet again they have burst out in new leaf, what is the hope for their future - who knows? But it seems to be within their very being that there is hope. Isn't it the same within our daily lives? We are 'pruned' again & again throughout life, sometimes it's very painful, very hurtful, but we gradually, with the grace of God, carry on anew. I have always loved what Michael Angelo said when he was sculpturing a block of marble; that he was not making anything new but just uncovering what was already there. That's what God does with us & our lives.




Yesterday we had the joy of welcoming the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate from London, for the day. They came for Mass & stayed until after Vespers & Adoration. We spent a lovely few hours together & thankfully the sun shone in the sky as well as in our hearts.




We have some new cards, click on the picture opposite to see them. They are 1.25p each plus postage stamp; the insides are left blank & are on Hammer Embossed card. We can put any personalised greeting on to the cards for you. To see the rest of our cards or to order click on Online Shop  -  cards  - below.




Feast of St Jane Frances de Chantal

'Follow your own way of speaking to Our Lord; sincerely, lovingly, confidently & simply, as your heart dictates'.
            St Jane Frances de Chantal

We unite in love & prayer with our Sisters & friends throughout the world as we celebrate this special feast of Holy Mother beginning with First Vespers this evening. May you receive many blessings through her intercession.




This beautiful Dragonfly came to visit us yesterday, his body had the most wonderful colours on it; looking at it you couldn't but help marvel at this awesome creation of our loving God.


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Our two sisters returned home safely from their workshop in Annecy. Here are some pics to share with you of their wonderful visit; our Annecy monastery, our sisters in Moulin & at the Museum where much of our Visitandine heritage is on display. Please click on the pictures





A few pics of the gardens, with our new statue of Our Lady. Sometimes it's hard to reconcile living in God's beauty & with God's creatures, much as we love them all! Our rose bushes were  blooming, some in bud & quite glorious, but for the second time in the past weeks they have been 'pruned' by the deer that come into our grounds. These are utterly delightful, some are just like Bambi, but their choice of menu leaves a lot to be desired!


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'All that we are is the result of all that we have thought'.



We had a tea party for some of our Affiliated Sisters, it was lovely to have them together & share with our extended family, ending with singing the Lord's praises at Vespers.





Early this morning our Sisters Clare Chantal & Mary Teresa left for Annecy, France where they will be attending a workshop on the Treatises of the Love of God by St Francis de Sales. Our Holy Founder said that 'Those who go stay & those who stay go'; so our sisters take all of us in their hearts as they visit 'La Sante Source'. It will be for them an enriching few days, meeting old & new friends & sisters. God be praised!




The sun is shining & Donna & Mary 'say' they are off to do some cleaning! Do they look like cleaners to you? I have my suspicions that they are looking for a sunny spot!



May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

Click picture to see how Forest gump got into Heaven!



Happy Independence day to all our sisters & friends across the pond! Our love & prayers always.





Our dear Lorraine & her friend Alison completed a run for cancer yesterday. Lorraine's grandson Sebastian, 2, celebrated with an icecream!



Leonie Martin was the sister of St Therese of Lisieux; whereas her 4 sisters entered the Carmel of Lisieux, she entered the Visitation Order at Caen. Her cause for beatification is underway.
Click on the picture opposite



Let's make sure we look for some 'magic' today.






Mid-Summers day, & the sun has shone all day, Praise the Lord! Sile has been working very hard during her retreat, transforming the newly named 'Queen's Garden', after the Queen of Heaven & Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in honour of her 90th birthday! It is now looking very neat & tidy, as long as the rabbits don't eat everything! Our Lady just needs a new coat of paint at a later date. The pond & tree lined drive is very tranquil.


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Something for the gardeners to enjoy!
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The wild garden has, at last, grown wild, & is wonderful to see. Hundreds of daisies, buttercups & other wild flowers; a haven for the butterflies, bees & for us to gaze on.
You know for the Chinese there is the year of the Dog, the year of the Snake; well for us this is definitely the year of the Buttercup! Everywhere you look there is a golden hue where this simple little wild flower is flourishing.



'We do see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings &
our hearts'
     William Hazlett



We have visitors in the lavender plant in our cloister courtyard. One small egg at the moment belonging to a family of Pied Wagtails. Small birds with long tails which they swing from side to side as they walk along, they are comical to watch! The nest itself is no more than 5 inches across to give you an idea how small it is. Let's hope the female returns to lay the rest of her brood.



3.6.16.        The Sacred Heart

'In your imagination see the crucified Jesus Christ in your arms & on your chest, & say a hundred times while kissing the wound in His side, "Here is my hope, here is the living well-spring of my happiness, here is the heart of my soul, here is the soul of my heart. Nothing shall separate me from this love. I hold Him & I will not let Him go until He has brought me to safety."
      St Francis de Sales to St Jeanne de Chantal



Yesterday we had the pleasure of a visit from Bishop Stephen Conway, Anglican Bishop of Ely; Bishop Stephen is the nephew of our chaplain Fr. Jim Hurley, who accompanied him. It was lovely to welcome Bishop Stephen again & to hear news of his diocese & work.

Bishop Stephen

Fr. Jim

30.5.16.           The Visitation

In England the Visitation Order, our Order, isn't very well known, but most Christians do know the story of the Visitation in the Gospel, Luke 1: 39-56, when Mary 'went in haste' to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Pope Francis said that in this gospel "God tells us something the Lord does everytime He visits us, He calls us out of our house; we are visited so that we can visit others; we are encountered so that we can encounter others; we receive love in order to give love."

Mary was far from thinking 'it was all about her', or thinking that everyone had to come & wait upon her; she left the house & went out to serve. Filled with a joy, which is there for each one of us when we are doing God's will, she proclaimed her great hymn of praise, the 'Magnificat'.

Our feastday begins at 1st Vespers this evening & tomorrow we shall spend in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. We pray for all of you & for ourselves, that we may be able to live the tenderness of Mary, to have seeing eyes & listening hearts, that we may 'go out' to others in their need, & in doing so find great joy.



If it's not a feastday we commemorate Our Lady on a Saturday. Today at Morning Office we sang 'O purest of Creatures, sweet mother, sweet maid' for the entrance hymn. How fitting these most beautiful lilies adorn our altar as we sang those words. They were a gift & are truly spectacular. Today we pray through the intercession of Our Lady for peace in our troubled world.



Today although warm it's raining, but as we had a gardening day on Thursday the rain is very welcome. Wild flowers are popping up all over giving a delicate covering to the earth & grass, the pots are now full of new plants & the hanging baskets are 'hanging'! A few more weeks & hopefully we shall be a blaze of colour; spring has definitely sprung!


15.5.16.          PENTECOST

Everything is very late in the kitchen garden this year because the ground was so wet. Now it's like concrete! However some vegetables have gone in & the area is looking a little more 'alive', in the greenhouse tiny seedlings are popping their heads up. Do we allow our 'plot' to be become dry & arid so that nothing can grow; do we neglect the weeding, watering & nourishment that is required for growth of any kind? As we spend the day in Adoration we pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, that we may all be filled with wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety & fear of the Lord; that our love may deepen & grow, that our world may know peace & joy in the Lord.




Tonight we go into retreat for 3 days in preparation for Pentecost. Please pray for us & we'll remember you in prayer; that the Holy Spirit may grant us His gifts, strengthen our faith & fill us with His love.



Just the weather to 'cool off' in our woods & see the wonderful display of bluebells. Isn't God clever?




Would you ever believe so much could be stored in such small sheds! So time for another clear out, sort out & throw out, &  another skip l think!