Monastery of the Visitation

 

   
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22.12.13.

'See how the Virgin waits for Him,
Mary in wonder waits for Him . . .
         

                     

21.12.13.

It's a 'different' few days before Christmas this year; we have turned into bag-ladies or rather box-ladies! Thinking we were moving in early November, then at the beginning of December, everything got packed away; including Christmas tree, decorations & anything of that ilk. We know they are safe, but where, that's the question? This year decorations will have to be in our imaginations only! Instead we will have to decorate our hearts; and we won't be able to share pics of that with you!


     




     

18.12.13.

Today at recreation we had an 'Our Lady of Lourdes session' filling the  bottles that Jo had brought us, from the huge container of Lourdes water. Wasn't that a lovely gift?
   


 


 

 

18.12.13.

'O Adonai, leader of Israel, giving Moses, while in the burning bush, the law on Sinai. Come with outstretched arms & teach us.'
         

       


17.12.13.

Tonight, at Vespers we began the O' Antiphons; for the next seven days we chant one of the oldest Liturgical rituals in the Church. Today - O Wisdom. Sr. Joan Chittister suggests we read the newspaper today as through the eyes of a God who was born in a stable, counted to be of no account, hounded by society from one place to another. It all sounds a bit familiar in today's world doesn't it?
       






   





   


15.12.13.
     Gaudate

We're still waiting - still waiting, & we haven't got long now. In an age of immediacy, mobile phones, IPods etc. we never have to be away from, switched off from the 'now'. We forget how to wait, how to be patient in our expectancy.  What are we waiting for? Perhaps a few days off work, a time of rest & relaxation with the family. Receiving our presents; seeing relatives & friends we only meet once a year. But we are waiting for SO MUCH MORE! Look what God promises us in Isaiah today: 'The desert & parched land will exult, it will rejoice & bloom. They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God. We will enter Sion singing, crowned with everlasting joy.' Today is for rejoicing in the Lord.
'Come lord Jesus come . . . do not delay.'


           






         
 
9.12.12. 

Each day God allows us to have a glimpse of the supernatural through the eyes of the natural. We're able to have a foretaste of heaven as it begins here on earth; to realise that we are held in the loving, protective arms of Jesus, who is pointing us in the right direction, to the Father. His strong arm keeps us safe; no harm can come to us if we trust Him. This picture of John & his 6 week old son Sebastian reflects this for me. 'Love is not gazing into each other's eyes but looking, together, in the same direction.'

           





 
         

8.12.13.

Tomorrow we are keeping the feast of the Immaculate Conception. One day late due to the Sundays of Advent taking precedence. In 1854 Pope Pius IX solemnly proclaimed 'The Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace & privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.' For us in the monastery it will be a day of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. At this special 'Mary-time' we pray for you, your families & all your intentions.

           





click on picture
& turn up sound



         

4.12.13.

Yesterday we enjoyed a 'baby afternoon'! And it was great as we revelled in the miracle of these two tiny people. Vickie brought her son, Brodie, 8 months old. It's a few months since their last visit & he has grown into a beautiful, sturdy little boy. Vickie had also sent us a very short video of Brodie & his policeman-Dad, Ollie, laughing, Too good not to share. Do take a look. Then John, Lorraine's son, brought his son, Sebastian, 6 weeks old. Sebastian is our Mother's first great-nephew. Blissfully unaware of his surroundings & all the 'oohs & aaahs', he slept peacefully before opening his big blue eyes. These two little boys will be playmates & we look forward to watching them develop & grow. God be praised for the miracle of life.


           






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3.12.13.

We walked down to see the progress on our new home on Saturday. There was a lot of difference but still quite a bit to be finished, so we have made the decision that we will remain here in this monastery over Christmas & move in the New Year. We are still sorting, packing, clearing & a hundred & one other things. Will we ever be ready? Of course we will!!!

           




click on picture



       

 2.12.13.

How could we not praise God when we looked out of the window this evening & saw the marvels of the heavens. At dusk the sky was alight with colours that changed before our eyes. Too beautiful not to share with you. 'We behold the splendour of God . . .'
           



       


1.12.13.
This morning at Mass we began some of the beautiful Advent Liturgy. Our Mother, Sr. Jane Margaret accompanied us on the zither. Click on the picture.

'I live my Advent in the womb of Mary.
And on one night when a great star swings free
from its high mooring and walks down the sky
to be the dot above the Christus i,
I shall be born of her by blessed grace.
I wait in Mary-darkness, faith's walled place,
with hope's expectance of nativity.

I knew for long she carried me & fed me,
guarded & loved me, though I could not see.
but only now, with inward jubilee,
I come upon earth's most amazing knowledge:
someone is hidden in this dark with me.'
                                                      Jessica Powers

           














       


1.12.13.    1st Sunday of Advent

The First Vespers of Advent has arrived. Mary-time, Fiat-time. Weeks of expectation, hope & longing. We wish you all blessings & serenity, a prayerful Advent culminating in the greatest gift we have ever received  - God's Son, Jesus.

"Let us see during this holy season what are the actions & thoughts of Our Lady, & strive to imitate her according to our small power. In imitation of her who was continually occupied in looking at the Divine Word in her pure & chaste womb, we should also look at the Lord in our hearts. Let us talk to Him & stay at His feet."
                         Our Holy Mother, St Jane de Chantal


           





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27.11.13.

To read about the Chosen Vessel click on
the  picture opposite.
             

       



24.11.13.

As we begin this last week of the Church's year, looking back over the past few months as well as looking forward, we reflect on some of Pope Francis' words to Contemplatives on November 21st:
"
Mary is the Mother of hope. At times I think: do we know how to await God's new day? Or do we want it all today? God's tomorrow is for her the dawn of Easter morning ... the only light burning at Jesus' tomb is the hope of His mother, which in that moment is the hope of all humanity. I ask myself, and you: in the monasteries is that light still burning? In monasteries do you await God's tomorrow? In Mary, present in every moment of the history of salvation, we see a solid testimony of hope. She, the mother of hope supports us in our moments of darkness, of difficulty, of discomfort, of apparant defeat or true human defeats.".
     








       

23.11.13.

We all like to think that there will be someone who, after we have died, will remember us & pray for us. In this month of November we think especially of the Holy Souls; those who have journeyed into the eternity of God's love. We pray particularly for them, perhaps our relatives, friends, work colleagues, those who have no-one to pray for them. Death is such a mystery, it can be a time of great sadness, but also a time of great hope. Someone once said 'To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.'

   












'Life is eternal,
love is immortal,
and death is only an horizon
... and an horizon is nothing but the limit of our earthly sight.'


 




21.11.13.      Feast of the Presentation

It is the custom of our Order that each year on November 21st, Feast of the Presentation of Mary, the sisters publicly & individually renew their vows during Mass. We unite ourselves with our sisters throughout the world. For each it is a very special moment, renewing our committment to 'Live Jesus' as Visitandines & Daughters of Prayer. Afterwards each sisters writes & signs her vows in the Vow Book. You can see the vows written in 1804, by Sr. Therese de Chantal Hurard, one of the founding sisters who brought the Visitation Order to England.

   













'Grant us O Jesus,
holy & sweet love
 of our souls
that the year
in which each sister
shall inscribe her oblation
in this book
may be a year
of sanctification for her;
the day, a day of salvation,
the hour an hour
of lasting benediction.'
                 St. Francis de Sales


 

17.11.13.

I
n Madrid, we have 3 Visitation monasteries. In the First Monastery are the relics of seven of our sisters, who we remember especially tomorrow. Seven Martyrs of the Church, who died during the Spanish Civil war in 1936. They were beatified by Pope John Paul ll in 1998.

"If Spain can be saved by our death, may it come quickly."

    
             



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14.11.13.

Yesterday we had a lovely visit from Graeme & Sarah Mackenzie. They live locally in Heathfield where Graeme is the Churchwarden at the Anglican Church. They gave us over 400 mixed saplings that we can grow into a hedge down at our new monastery, together with all the necessary bamboo support sticks, protective covers etc. What a wonderful gift & what a lovely visit. The saplings will need to be ‘heeled in’ to over-winter them, & before we decide where exactly we’ll put them. Watch this space!

 

     















 


11.11.13.

We were down looking at our new home on Sunday, still a lot to be done, but mainly cosmetic now. It's looking great, although the poor workmen have had to negotiate mud, mud, mud & then more mud! Take a look.
         


       

10.11.13.

It was like being in the childrens playground in the park today at recreation. You know where the swings & roundabouts are! For our new Choir we asked our wonderful craftsman Martin if he could come up with an idea that meant we could turn on our chairs after reciting the Divine Office to begin Mass. Check opposite what he came up with; brilliant, & good fun trying it out!

         


       

10.11.13.      Remembrance Sunday

'We are indeed the lucky & unlucky ones,
as we are the ones who have lived
to tell the tales of those we knew.

We are the ones who carry the scars
of things seen, done & lost.
We are the ones who must never
let those who are not here
be forgotten by the new.

We are the ones who will never
need to be reminded that
'We will remember them.'
As we are the ones who will always
remember those we forever call friend.'
                                                   Anthony Devannyas

 











 







Eternal rest
 
grant unto them
O Lord,

and may perpetual light
shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
Amen.
   

8.11.13.

Jesus often talked about people, & in doing that He was talking about us, you & me. What we have done, or not done to others, how we react to others, the consequences of our actions, especially how we react to those who are 'different from ourselves', who live lives in different circumstances to ours; and how we are invited to help. It doesn't take much to change someone's daily life; we aren't often asked to do big things, just very small, often insignificant things. But to someone, somewhere we can make a difference.
             





             

 

6.11.13.

We went down to the site at St. Josephs this afternoon so that Steve, our 'computer man' could see how & where he would transfer the computers when we move. It was so muddy! Click on picture opposite. 

             




 
             

6.11.12. 

Our footsteps take us to many diverse, interesting, sometimes unpleasant, wonderful & awesome places during our lifespan. But life isn’t about all the steps we’ve taken, or all the places we’ve been; it’s about the footprints we leave behind. Someone once said ‘Some people come into our lives & leave footprints on our hearts & we are never, ever the same again.’ Perhaps today we'll leave some footprints?

             






 
             

3.11.12.

During this month of November, the days are long & dark; as I write this the wind is howling, the rain is lashing against the window & we are inside, warm & dry. We have much to be thankful for. We remember especially the Holy Souls during these days & pray for them. In hope & trust we believe in the loving mercy of God, & know that one day others will be praying for us.



             




 


             












31.10.13.

We had fun at recreation yesterday as our dear Sue bought us ginger-bread pumpkin biscuits to put a face on, for Haloween. It's a serious busines this 'being artistic!' We then had them for tea! They were yummy!
 



















 

28.10.13.

Someone once wrote that babies are a nice way to start people! Each new baby is a miracle, one we can hold in our arms as well as in our hearts. Lorraine's first grandchild, Sebastian Eric Allenby was born yesterday. Let us introduce you to him with his parents, John & Katherine & of course his grandma, Lorraine.
 





click on picture




A new baby
will make love stronger,
days shorter, nights longer.
Bank balance smaller,
home happier, clothes dirty,
the past forgotten
& the future worth living for.
 


26.10.13.

I can't believe we're almost at the end of October. Autumn is well & truly here; the trees are changing their colour, everywhere is beginning to glow, copper & gold, after a very green summer. The clocks go back tonight, & we get an extra hour in bed, can't be bad! Autumn is a very reflective season, the summers gone, the winters coming, time to change our inner clothes & clocks too, to shed our leaves, to start anew. To accept all that's gone & to plan & look forward to what is to come. To say 'Thank You Lord' for all the summer blessings & to be open to all He will ask of us in the months ahead.

       






     





23.10.13.

We're a little sad, our Choir stalls went yesterday, they were too large for our new chapel. It's just remembering & thinking of the very many years that our sisters have knelt & prayed on them. It's only a little thing but it touched our hearts & souls. Then Mary came & took some photos, & for supper Lorraine & Donna made a super soup.














21.10.13.

We're having a 'blitz' week, sorting, packing etc. Everyone is working so hard as the weeks are racing by. Only about 6 now till hand-over of our new monastery. To see a medley of the past week click picture opposite.
         




   


16.10.13.          Feast of St. Margaret Mary.

St. Margaret Mary Alocoque was one of our sisters, a Visitandine nun. On the 27th December 1673 she had an unusually quiet day in the monastery infirmary, where she helped with the sick & elderly sisters. With extra time on her hands she slipped into the chapel to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, it was then that Our Lord blessed her with her first revelation of His Sacred Heart. She later said -

"And so once when I was before the Blessed Sacrament, & had more leisure than usual, for the duties given me left very little, I found myself surrounded by the divine presence, but so powerfully that I forgot where I was & who I was. I abandoned myself to this divine Spirit, surrendering my heart to the power of his love."

Few of us will ever have such an experience, but we are all invited, when we do have a few spare minutes, to spend time with the Lord, as did St. Margaret Mary. We have many things in our lives that vie for our moments of free time, can we, following her example, use them for the Lord?
 

         


















   

12.10.13.


Another update on our building progress. The lift is in, the doors are being fitted. Click picture to see.
 






     


11.10.13.

We all have days like this don't we?
 





     











10.10.13.


We're still at it. More furniture moving & deciding what goes where. Some of us were working so hard & some of us . . . .well it's questionable Donna!!!







     







 


9.1013.

Busy day today, first the men came to remove the stained glass windows in the monastery; we have several in different parts of the house which will be inserted in our new monastery. Then Martin our wonderful carpenter came with our new choir stalls.  Take a look opposite.
       




     




7.10.13.
       Our Lady of the Rosary.

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

'One day, through the Rosary & the Scapular Our Lady will save the world.'
                                           St. Dominic.














4.10.13.


A few more pictures of the roof being lowered onto the Outreach building, the pouring rain yesterday didn't help!





















3.10.13.

Yesterday evening we had a lovely visit from Bishop Martin, the Bishop of Chichester, & Fr.George, our local Vicar from Waldron parish. Bishop Martin is doing Diocesan Visitations in this area. How wonderful it is to share our joys, laughter & prayer in Christian friendship.















2.10.13.

Today is the beautiful feast of the Guardian Angels, & right now they are working very hard with us & for us, keeping us & all the workmen on our building site safe.
Yesterday the frame for the Outreach building was craned in. Click on picture to view.

     



     

1.10.13.

In a world where independence & self-sufficiency rank high we can become fiercely proud to be able to 'go it alone'. But we were created for relationship, we need others even though we may not realise it. Sunday's Mass readings, reminded us of those who don't have enough; those who have lost everything in natural disasters or other acts of violence; those for whom life is so very difficult on many levels & who have no-one to share their burdens with.
In parts of Africa, when people have a very heavy burden to carry, they sometimes place it at one end of a pole, & then tie a stone of the same weight at the other end. The pole is carried across the shoulders, with one weight balancing the other. Carrying two burdens is easier than carrying one.
Dag Hammarskjold, the second Secretary General of the United Nations, who was killed in a plane crash in September 1961, expressed the same thing in a different way. " What makes for loneliness & anguish is not that I have no-one to share my burden, but that I have only my own burden to bear."
Can we share someone's burden this week?


     





















     


26.9.13.

Not much need for words, but just to ask - did
you plant anything beautiful today?



     

25.9.13.

Our Mother has been making bombs! Today we welcomed her out of retreat, where she's had 12 days of solitude, in the monastery but apart from the community. Last year during her retreat she made soap, this year bombs, bath bombs, or bath fizzlers, as she calls them. Very creative, this time next year you'll be able to place your orders! The reference to bees in the poem is because we do hope to have bees when we move to our new monastery. Over 40 years ago we had several hives & used to be blessed with delicious homemade honey.






   









21.9.13.


"Do what you can, with what you have,
 where you are."
                                           Theodore Roosevelt




         


16.9.13.

Another update on the progress of our new home. Click the picture opposite




         


15.9.13.

For almost 55 years we have gardened in our walled kitchen garden. The soil has been fed, dug, rotavated, lovingly tended & gloriously productive. We have shared it with retreatants, crews from the B.B.C. television, journalists, badgers, cats, ducks, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, mice, occasional deer, numerous insects & any of God's creatures that happened to be passing through!
Now we're moving & it's time to let the ground fall fallow, to rest & wait for its next adventure. We've donned crazy hats to keep the sun off, aprons of all shapes, sizes & colours to protect our habits, & wellington boots & clogees to enable us to stand on the rich, warm soil. And it has been a good time, a very good time. We have been blessed with good crops, almost being self-sufficient with vegetables, & sisters have worked long & hard to provide for us. For this we give God thanks.
But it's also a sad time to have to say goodbye to this plot of land that has served us so well. We have many memories of happy days spent in it, 'gardening days', days of recreation & laughter, of picnics & barbeques; of vegetable digging & fruit picking. Memories are a great gift & blessing, so take a walk with us down our memory lane as we look at some of the hours spent there.


   













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13.9.13.

What colour are you going to paint the world today? With the whole of creation as our canvas, we each can make such a difference, & others will see it through our eyes so it's quite a responsibility. Let's try & make our art gallery today one of especial beauty & inspiration for others. Let's open everyone's eyes to the awesomeness & wonder all around us.
     





   


11.9.13.

Last night Our Mother & Sr. Mary Joseph represented us at the licensing of the Rev. George Pitcher as Parish Priest at All Saints Church, Waldron, our Anglican village church. We have known Rev. George for several years; he came with his wife to our 4th Centenary celebrations, a journalist on the Telegraph newspaper, he is a former Curate at St Bride's Journalist church in Fleet Street, London. The Anglican Bishop of Chichester, Bishop Martin presided at the ceremony & the bells rang out throught the night air as the service drew to a close.







 

8.9.13.

How precious is your time to you? There are days when we all feel rushed, pressured, unable to cope with the day's agendas. We sometimes wish there were more hours in the day, but then we'd just fill them up too!  It's how we use those hours that counts, how we prioritize them. How many hours a day do you give to God, to your families, to your work, to yourself? Read the little story opposite by clicking on the picture to see what really matters.












 
 



7.9.13.

Today, united with people all over the world & in union with Pope Francis, we have a day of prayer & fasting for Syria & the Middle-East, ending tonight with a prayer vigil from 6pm to 11pm, to be in sync with Rome. May Our Lady, Queen of Peace be with us & pray for us.





 



" May the cry for peace enter the hearts of everyone so that they may all lay down their weapons.  My heart is profoundly wounded in these days by what is happening in Syria. I hope that a chain of committment for peace will unite all women & men of good will."
                Pope Francis


4.8.13.

Today is the feast of St. Cuthbert, Bishop, hermit, contemplative & often regarded as the patron saint
 of the north of England. He was born around 634, & is said to have had a very special relationship with all of God's creation, especially the animal world. Once after spending the whole night in prayer he was approached by 2 otters from the sea who lay across his frozen feet  to keep him warm. St. Cuthbert died on 20th March 687. If any of you have ever been to Lindesfarne (Holy Island) you will know what a very special place that is & how St. Cuthbert is still very much there in spirit. His relics are in Durham Cathedral.


 






 
 
         


2.9.13.

When Brodie was 3 weeks old he came with his Mum & Dad to visit us (see 21.4.13. below). Today Vickie brought him again; now a sturdy, happy, beautiful little boy of 5 months. Very bright & content, listening & watching all around him, it was a joy for us to see how he had grown, I wonder what he'll be getting up to in the next 6 months? Watch this space!





     









28.8.13.


Today, on this feast of St Augustine, we also remember the speech given 50 years ago by Martin Luther King. To hear it click the picture opposite. 





 
             

26.8.13.


How do you praise God?
With your heart, your lives, your work, your voice, your song?  How is God asking you to praise Him? It would be wonderful to be able to sing like the video opposite, perhaps without quite so much movement!
Click on the picture.



 
             


19.8.13.

When he was a Cardinal, Pope Francis spoke about our Holy Founder, St Francis de Sales. To see click on the picture opposite.




 
 


18.8.13.

Everyday we pray for priests, for those ordained, for those still in the seminary, for those thinking of a vocation; for those who are sick, elderly & in need of a special prayer. We hold especially in prayer our own chaplain, Fr. Jim Hurley. Some of you will know him, some will know of him. A priest of the Southwark diocese, 45 years ordained, Fr. Jim has been with us for 22 months, but it seems like he's always been part of our Visitandine family.  As well as saying daily Mass for us, he is a good friend, dedicated, generous & selfless. Being also the Vicar for Religious in his own diocese he is always on call, always at the end of a phone line & much is demanded of him. We thank God for him & for all he is for us here at Waldron. Say a special prayer today for a priest you know.











 
 
13.8.13.

It's been a busy & glorious few days. On the evening of the 12th, feast of Our Holy Mother, we had a vigil; readings, reflections, prayer & song, dedicated to St Jane de Chantal. A good way to begin a special feast & it certainly was special this year as the 12th was also the Silver Jubilee of our Mother Jane Margaret. The actual feastday was a holy-day, we celebrated a beautiful Mass during which Sister renewed her vows then we had Exposition & adoration from morning until evening, ending with Vespers & Benediction. Today has been a recreation day, with meals out of the refectory, (we never speak in the refectory). There was lot's of fun, laughter & more singing, plus a table of gifts. Celebrating in community is a very important part of our 'being'. Sharing together on all levels, in joy & thanksgiving. Our Holy Founder gave us a maxim to 'pray hard & play hard', so we obeyed! We are so blessed in our vocation, we are blessed in our community, we are blessed in our faith. For all who participated in our celebration, in whatever way,
thank you. 









click here to read
Fr. Jim's sermon





click on picture
 

9.8.13.

Today is the feast of St. Teresa Benedicta
of the Cross. (Edith Stein).
Co-Patroness of Europe.

'O My God, fill my soul with holy joy,
courage and strength to serve you.
Enkindle your love in me and then walk
with me along the next stretch of road before me. I do not see that far ahead,
but when I have arrived where the new horizon now closes down, a new prospect will open before me and I shall meet with peace.  Amen.'








 


7.8.13.

Words are so important in our lives, whether we speak them or whether we listen to them, let's make sure that our words become a blessing for someone today.
 



 

4.8.13.

Today we begin the Novena to our Holy Mother, St. Jane de Chantal, culminating, on August 12th, her feast day, with the celebration of Mother Jane Margaret's Silver Jubilee. For us, in community the 12th will be a holy-day, with Eucharistic adoration all day. God be praised!
 



 



3.8.13.

We are all unique, we are all different, it might be in looks, it might be in mannerisms, but with God there are no out-siders. We are all members of His family.
 





1.8.13.

Yesterday we bid adieu to our dear Sr. Mary Gabriel as we held her funeral mass & buriel. The beautiful mass was concelebrated by Frs. Jim, Michael & Emmanuel. Her son James, his family, sister's 3 grandchildren & 1 of her great grandchildren were present together with friends of our community & the sisters. We remembered her very special life, as a mother, a doctor, a friend & a Visitandine sister; we gave thanks to God for her presence, which over the years touched so many lives. She is remembered with great affection, her welcoming smile lighting up the day for anyone with whom she came in contact. We were blessed to have had her as a sister in our community.












 





'My dear Sisters model your lives
on Our Lady
and if you do so humbly & faithfully
in this world, you will, undoubtedly
sing the Magnificat in heaven.'
                               St Francis de Sales
                                                       
Fr. Jim's funeral sermon


Sr. M. Gabriels' son James's Eulogy

29.7.13.


"We need saints without cassocks, without veils - we need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music, that ha...ng out with their friends. We need saints that place God in first place ahead of succeeding in any career. We need saints that look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity and all good things. We need saints - saints for the 21st century with a spirituality appropriate to our new time. We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change.

We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theatre. We need saints that are open, sociable, normal, happy companions. we need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints."

- Pope Francis (World Youth Day 2013)























     
28.7.13.

Donna & Paulette have both been a marvelous help, with their wonderful smiles, their cheerful presence & getting knee-deep into all our sorting, clearing, car-booting & 101 other things that need to be done at this busy time. Thank God for friendship & willing hands.
   




     


27.7.13.

When joy fills the heart the only way to adequately express it is to dance the Highland Fling!
     

     

22.7.13.

To see what we've been up to over the last few days click on the picture opposite. It's a mixture of continued sorting & clearing prior to our move, finding treasures which Lorraine then modelled! Our Mother telling animated jokes at recreation & trying to remember the punch-line. Talking to the lambs & surveying the renovation work down at St Josephs & taking photos of you taking photos! Lots of hard work, lots of laughter, lots of joy.
   






       


20.7.13.

Our dear Sr. Mary Gabriel went to God on Thursday night. 89 years old & 35 years in religious life, she was always very gracious, generous & charming, always eager to help anyone in need, genuinely concerned for others & a vociferous reader. Always ready with a big smile, she was much loved by all who knew her. A late vocation, sister was a widow with a son, grandchildren & great grandchildren. Originally from the west coast of Scotland she was for many years a doctor & anaethetist & this caring for others continued in religious life. We shall miss her very much.
                    May she rest in peace.

   









Grief is the price
we pay for love.

               Queen Elizabeth ll
               


18.7.13.

Take a look at the video opposite, it was shared on our Facebook page & is so beautiful. It'll bring a smile to your face.
   



click on picture
& turn up sound


               
16.7.13.

Sr. Clare Chantal getting a bird's eye view of our woods, & then Donna had a go but was laughing too much to get to the top! What
about health & safety?!!!
 





 

14.7.13.

A charism is a gift given by the Holy Spirit to founders & foundresses in the Church, not just for their own good but for everyone. It's a graced way to look at the message of Jesus. But a charism exists only insofar as it is lived.

In the Visitation we have charisms. One of them is 'Live Jesus'. In all our monasteries throughout the world you'll see these words in different places; you'll find them as letter heads, perhaps with the french translation 'Vive Jesus'. These words are the basic message of the Gospels by which our Holy Founders wanted us to live. St. Francis de Sales said that to 'Live Jesus' was to have the name of Jesus engraved on our hearts, to allow that name to become our name & to allow our whole self , body, thoughts, affections, actions, decisions, work & devotion to be animated by that name.

To allow Jesus to live in us we don't simply learn about Him, or pray to Him or even imitate Him; we surrender our whole hearts & being to Him.


 


















   

11.7.13.

'After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
                                      Aldous Huxley
     


   

6.7.13.

In life we are all 'leaners.' From when we were young till now there have been times, circumstances, occasions when we've needed to lean on someone. Be it for comfort, consolation, solace, support or just contact. St. John leaned, we are told, on the breast of Jesus at the last supper. Who has need to lean on you?
Who do you support just by being there, ready to have someone lean on you? Click picture opposite.
 






   
 
3.7.13.

Everywhere in the monastery sisters are clearing, ready for our 'down-sizing' at the end of the year. Each week we try to concentrate on a particular area. Sorting through cupboards & drawers, finding hidden treasures long forgotten! Finding interesting photos, papers & pictures that of course have then to be looked at, bringing back the memories! There are boxes everywhere! Having been in this house for over 50 years gives us an excuse for the accumilation of so much 'stuff'. But does it? We are pilgrims on a journey with no abiding resting place, so why all the baggage? Sr. Mary Blog-er-ina is one of the worst hoarders! Pray that we have the grace, the courage & the energy to throw away all that clutters our lives, both materially & spiritually. 
 










   

1.7.13.

'We don't stop laughing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop laughing!'

 
     
 




   

30.6.13.

I read this on Facebook & it's too thought-provoking & lovely not to share with you. Click on the picture. 
     




 
   

28.6.13.

There's been a good few changes down at St Josephs during the past 12 days.
Click picture opposite to view. 
     


 
   

27.6.13.

"I don't think there's anything on this planet that more trumpets life than the sunflower. For me that's because of the reason behind its name, not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky, a satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it, & that's such an admirable thing & such a lesson in life." 
                             from the 'Calendar Girls'.
 








 
   


14.6.13.

Sr Mary Blog-a-rina is off on her annual retreat for twelve days. Please pray for her conversion. We thought the picture opposite was rather a good likeness!     Watch this space!

 



   


11.6.13.

We're back into 'ordinary' time. But what's ordinary about it? Nothing! It's all God's time, so it's all extra-ordinary, extra special. Ordinary means run of the mill, everyday, nothing outstanding.The big feasts of summer are over, their exquisite liturgies finished for another year. But there's nothing humdrum about the ordinary, look around you, see the wonder, the beauty in the ordinary everyday. We can be so busy looking for the special that we miss the awesomeness of today & everyday.
 










   

8.6.13.

To share Fr. Jim's reflections on the last
three great feasts click opposite.
 


Corpus Christi

The Visitation

The Sacred Heart



   

7.6.13.     Feast of the Sacred Heart

"But above all preserve peace of heart, this is more valuable than any treasure. In order to preserve it there is nothing more useful than renouncing your own will & substituting for it the will of the Divine Heart. In this way He can carry out for us whatever contributes to His glory, & we will be happy to be His subjects & to trust entirely in Him."
                          St. Margaret Mary
 





click on the picture to see
the Sacred Heart Exibition
 in the Visitation Museum,
Moulin, France



   


4.6.13.

The sun is out & at last the workmen are having a good run doing the roof at St Josephs. For an update click on the picture.
 


 
 


2.6.13.     Feast of Corpus Christi

How do we treat other people? In the film & stage musical of 'My Fair Lady' (George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion) there's a passage where Eliza Doolittle says to Colenal Pickering "The difference between a lady & a flower-girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated. I shall always be flower-girl to Proffessor Higgins because he always treats me like a flower-girl, & always will. But I know I can be a lady to you because you always treat me like a lady, & always will." That gives us food for thought. People aren't just what we see, how they're dressed etc. They're so much more; respect, encouragement & kindness brings out the best in everyone. Today on this beautiful Feastday Jesus looks on each one of us, sees who we really are & loves us.

 













We don't see people
 as they are but as we are.
   


31.5.13.     Feast of the Visitation

One of the most beautiful prayers of the Church is Mary's Magnificat. We sing it each day at Vespers. It has been described as a tapestry, intertwining threads of Salvation history, the stories & songs of the Hebrews throughout the ages, which result in Mary's cry of exultation & rejoicing to her cousin Elizabeth. It's also been described as a journey of faith, from the loving mercy of God to the liberating hope & joy of God's promises to us all, through the intercession of Mary our Mother. We wish you a very Happy Feastday, filled with blessings & joy.

 

























turn up sound
 

27.5.13.

Today was beautiful, hot & sunny & we had a 'gardening day'. It was a mixture of digging, weeding, grass cutting, planting out, sanding window frames & drinking Coca Cola! Much fun was had by all. Click on picture opposite.
 

 





 
 

26.5.13.

Do you ever 'people watch'? Waiting for a bus, waiting for traffic lights to change, at a railway station, in a cafe, in a doctors surgery? There are 101 places we can 'people watch'. And what do we do as we watch them, do we try & work out what's going on in their daily lives, their work, their homes? What are they thinking, what are their dreams? How can we ever know what's in another's heart? Some people are very good at hiding pain & sorrow, others always seem to be happy & smiling. Only God sees into our hearts, knows our inmost secrets. Click on the picture opposite & turn up the sound to see the video which could be so true.

   











           

24.5.13.

Now we are out of Paschal-tide & into the 'Ordinary' time of the Churches year. Three times a day the Angelus is rung, at 6.30am. 12.30.pm & 6.30.pm. It calls us to stop whatever we are doing & to cast our minds heavenwards. Just a few simple words, taking only a few minutes to honour the Mother of God, but in saying them we bring Heaven right here to where we are. In the Angelus we remember the most important part of Mary's life; the day she received the message from the Angel Gabriel that she was to become the Mother of God. Join us in saying it.


























turn up sound

22.5.13.

After only a short time we've decided to return to the Blog, our Facebook page will remain open, but most of our news will be here, as before. I'm not sure if you saw this on Facebook so it's also making an appearance on here. Sister went for a walk with  Bobby through our woods & grounds last week. The bare winter trees are now clothed in green & the bluebells are out in full glory. The shrubs are making an appearance - at last! We h
ave Azaelia, Apple Blossom, Lilac & hundreds of Violets, all praising God by their beauty. John & Ollie have been busy coppicing & trying their hand are creating seats from the tree trunks.
 












click on picture
 
 






 


      






             


                        

9.5.13.

We have decided to take our Blog site onto FaceBook. We'll do it for a trial period & see how it goes. We hope to meet you there. Click on the link opposite.
             
               


8.5.13.

It's 'duckling time' again. At the beginning of the week we had Daffy-duck & her brood in our kitchen garden but they soon made it to the nearest pond, then two days ago Dilly-duck hatched her ducklings. How beautiful they are, round balls of fluff! Praise the Lord in all His creation. Take a look opposite.









click picture









click here for video
& turn up sound


5.5.13.


May is the month of Mary. Of all people throughout history she must have been given the most names, the most titles. Some of the more beautiful are contained in her Litany which we recite each day. Many are particular to places & graces received through her intercession. Each day during this month we have 'May Devotions' before Vespers, when we come together to sing a hymn to Our Lady, to praise her & to thank her as Daughters of Holy Mary, as Our Holy Founder, St. Francis de Sales called us. Click on the picture opposite.













 

2.5.13.

We've had Holy Hour because it is First Friday tomorrow & we shall enjoy Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all day. Last Sunday Fr. Jim said just a few words that have stayed with me all week & are good to ponder on - 'Love is what Love does.'

         





       

28.4.13. 

Everyday, in the distance, we can hear the hum of huge diggers, shovels & other equipment being used down at St Josephs. If the wind is in the right direction we even hear voices! Work is progressing & the lambs are surveying it all. To see for yourselves click on the picture opposite.
         






 
       



23.4.13.

On Sunday it was a special day of prayer for vocations to the priesthood & the religious life. It was also Good Shepherd Sunday & traditionally each year we celebrate with Our Mother as our Good Shepherd. Sr. Mary Joseph decorated the shepherd's crook with hundreds of beautiful Spring flowers.
 







   




21.4.13.

The picture opposite is 'Our Lady of Welcome' at the Cistercian Monastery of Tamie in France.  It is simple & beautiful, standing in a small niche for all the many thousands of visitors to pass. Perhaps we should set ourselves some new guidelines for this coming week. To welcome each new day with a smile, looking upon it as a special gift from God. To see who & what we can welcome, be it visitors, opportunities, even pain & sorrow. Whatever comes our way let us say our 'Fiat' to the Lord. On Friday we had the joy of welcoming Ollie, Vickie & baby Brody. Ollie is a local police officer, very generous in spending his free time doing voluntary work for us. He cuts grass, chops down trees, mends fences & anything else we might need. His 2 dogs join him & love to run free within our grounds. Baby Brody is three weeks old & very beautful, a little miracle of God's grace.

 








   












19.4.13.

Some 'Sister friends' of ours, the community of the Canonesses of St Augustine of Windesheim, who moved to a new home 5 years ago, shared with us a beautifully decorated fruit cake the other day & it made me think about the intricasy of the carefully designed & moulded sugar-paste flowers. Each was beautifully coloured & crafted with such care, each unique. Isn't that what God has done with each of us? We are His master- pieces, each one of us unique in every way. Made in His image & likeness & created with such love.


       













 
18.4.13.

Isn't God clever? He made the Cuckoo. Every year on April 17th this little bird flies back from Africa & almost always arrives on time. It is extraordinary how they do it. This year with the weather being so topsie-turvey we thought he might be late, but no, during Vespers & prayer yesterday evening there he was with his distinctive song, calling in the Spring. Praise the Lord!
     



17.4.13.

Everything is so late this year, the Forsythia, usually in full glory in February, is out now & the daffodils are still coming up, but we do have one thing on time - lambs! The surrounding fields are full of them & we have some of our own, or at least in our orchard, they are petite & delightful. See if you can distinquish whether it is Sr Clare Chantal or the lambs bleating, she does a pretty good impression!
   







click picture








click picture

15.4.13.

On Saturday five of us went to Worth Abbey, a Benedictine Monastery & school in West Sussex, for a day of prayer for the Religious of our diocese. Over 70 sisters attended. Fr. Andrew Nugent, the Abbot of Glenstal, a Benedictine monastery in Ireland, came to give us a talk. Our Chaplain, Fr. Jim came with us & gave some of us a lift in his car. It was a good day, meeting up with many friends, sisters, some of whom we have known for many years. After the conference there was a time of reflection & questions, then after the Office of None with the Monks & our picnic lunch, we had Mass in the beautiful Monastery Church. The subject of Abbot Andrew's talk was 'The reason for the hope within you - the dynamics of Religious Life'. It was very interesting & he gave us some valuable insights. Two of the observations that remain with me are when he said: 'I am always struck by the vibrant hope of those who have nothing & the hopelessness of those who had too much. Also that hope is for those who travel light, risk-takers. Hope is not passive but powerfully dynamic, & that we as religious are the slow-released miracle of God's love.' Praise the Lord for being able to share the joy of our wonderful vocation.
                       












click on picture
                       

13.4.13.

"Never be in a hurry,
do everything quietly & in a calm spirit.
Do not lose your inner peace
for anything whatsoever,
even if the whole world seems upset.
                                          St Francis de Sales






12.4.13.

We have two monasteries in Minnesota, U.S.A. One in St Paul, which has a large prestigous girls academy & the other, a newer foundation in Minneapolis, founded in 1989 by a group of our sisters from the St Paul Monastery & from our monastery in St Louis. The sisters in Minneapolis felt called to live a different expression of our Visitandine monastic life. Click opposite to hear part of their story. These dear sisters have visited us here at Waldron on several occasions & as with all our monasteries throughout the world, the 'web' allows us to be close in heart & spirit, although far away in miles. Click below to check out their web-site -
  Monastery of the Visitation, Minneapolis, U.S.A.
 







 



click here to meet the sisters

10.4.13.

Could you empathise with this grave inscription?

' Here lies a poor woman
who always was tired,
she lived in a house
where help was not hired.
Her last words on earth were
"Dear friends I am going,
 to where there's no cooking,
nor washing, nor sewing.
I'll be there where anthems
will always be ringing,
but having no voice I'll be quit of the singing.
Everything there is exact to my wishes
for where there's no eating,
there's no washing of dishes.
don't mourn for me now,
don't mourn for me never,
I'm going to do nothing for ever & ever!'
   











   


8.4.13.

Because the new monastery won't have any very large rooms, we plan to have an 'Outreach' building, yet to be given a name, where groups can come for the day, the Daughters of St Francis de Sales can meet & where we can do craft-work. Sometimes we have prayer groups with as many as 15-20 ladies coming for a day of prayer & quiet, so this will be ideal. It will be in the orchard. We were very excited when we saw the 3D pictures of the proposed building. As you will see Sr Mary Outreach has already made herself at home there although she appears to be levitating, her feet don't seem to be touching the ground!
   














click on picture


5.4.13.


Click on the picture to follow the
progress of St Josephs.
   



3.4.13.

If it was not in the Easter Octave, today would be the feast of St Richard of Chichester also known as Richard de Wyche, Chichester is in Sussex & part of our Arundel & Brighton Diocese. If any of you remember the 1970's musical 'Godspell', you will remember one of the songs which immortalised the well-known prayer of St Richard:
     "May I know Thee more clearly,
            love Thee more dearly
        & follow Thee more nearly,
            forever & ever Amen."

   







1.4.13.

Megabytes, Gigabytes & any other kind of bytes you care to think of. Computer technology loves these bytes.  All I know is they add up to a lot of memory on each web-page & gradually the page becomes top-heavy making it hard to add data, & everything slows down. That's my signal to insert a new page, hence page 4 of the News Blog. Welcome to it; I wonder what this page will produce? Watch this space!
   







1.4.13.

Sr Mary Emmanuel from our monastery of Tyringham, Masatuchas, U.S.A. relates the following story. ' Twin girls, Brielle & Kyrie were born 12 weeks premature. Needing intensive care they were placed in separate incubators. Kyrie began to gain weight & her health stabilized, but Brielle, who's birth weight was only 2lb, had difficulty breathing. She was not expected to live & the nurse did everything she could think of to make Brielle's health better. But nothing actually helped. With nothing left to do the nurse went against hospital policy & placed both babies in the same incubator. She left them to sleep & when she returned this is what she saw. As Brielle got closer to her sister, Kyrie put her little arm around her as if to hug & support her. From that moment Brielle's heart rate & breathing stabilized & eventually her health became normal. It just shows what a bit of love & affection can do. It may even save a life.'