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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tyburn Convent Monastic Afternoon

Tyburn Convent will be having another Monastic Afternoon on the first Sunday of the month of November. It will start at 2.30pm and include a crypt tour, tea and vespers. You will also get a chance to talk to the sisters at Tyburn as well. For more information, please contact Kim (
or the Mothers at Tyburn (Tyburn Convent, 8 Hyde Park Place, London W2 2LJ) or you can call them (020 7723 7262)

God Bless

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Community Spotlight: Dominican Sisters, Stone

Order: Dominican
Gender: Women
Apostolate: University chaplaincies, parish missions, education, care for the elderly
Eligibility: Unknown
Formation: Formal application and interview, two year novitiate, three years temporary vows
Vows: Poverty, chastity and obedience
Practices: Rosary, Scripture reading
History: Founded in 1845 as the first non-enclosed Dominican community in Britain. Over the 19th century other congregations grew up around the country and in 1929 were amalgamated to form the present congregation.


Missions - includes links to some of their major apostolates

Update: Emily

For anyone who follows my personal blog, I have decided to move. The name is the same, I just have a new home. So if you would like to continue to read about my journey then click below to see my shiny new blog. All my old posts have been transferred across there so you can read those there too.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Saint's Corner: Kateri Tekakwitha

Name: Kateri Tekakwitha, also known as Catherina Tekakwitha
Birth & Death: 1656 - 17 April 1680
Feast Day: July 14
Country of Origin: USA
History: Kateri was the daughter of a Catholic Algonquin woman and a non-Christian Mohawk chief. She was orphaned in a smallpox outbreak, and was left with significant scars and impaired vision herself. She went on to live with an aunt and uncle, who tried to pressure her into marriage as a teenager but she refused. She converted after meeting Jesuit missionaries who came to her village and was baptised at age 20. After her conversion she was shunned and ridiculed by her family and the rest of her village. Her Jesuit teachers suggested to move to a Jesuit mission in Kahnawake, Canada, where many other native converts lived. In 1679 she took a vow of chastity.


Catholic Encyclopaedia
Lily of the Mohawks
National Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine

Thursday, 18 October 2012


We have added two new pages to the blog, which we hope will be useful to you.

Spiritualities Information: This page gives links to resources about different orders and congregations and their spirituality and charism. We hope that this page will help those who are just starting discerning to find information and the various spiritualities, as well as help those who are already interested in a certain spirituality to find more resources. If you have any resources you feel we should add then comment and we will include them.

Glossary: This page does what it says on the tin, it gives a glossary of religious life terms. We know that for new discerners it can be very confusing to understand some of the terms used in discussing religious life so this page aims to help.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Rule of St. Albert (Carmelites)

[1] Albert, called by God’s favour to be Patriarch of the Church of Jerusalem, bids health in the Lord and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to his beloved sons in Christ, B. and the other hermits under obedience to him, who live near the spring on Mount Carmel.
[2] Many and varied are the ways in which our saintly forefathers laid down how everyone, whatever his station or the kind of religious observance he has chosen, should live a life in allegiance to Jesus Christ - how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of the Master.
[3] It is to me, however, that you have come for a rule of life in keeping with your avowed purpose, a rule you may hold fast to henceforward; and therefore:
[4] The first thing I require is for you to have a Prior, one of yourselves, who is to be chosen for the office by common consent, or that of the greater and maturer part of you. Each of the others must promise him obedience - of which, once promised, he must try to make his deed the true reflection - and also chastity and the renunciation of ownership.
[5] If the Prior and the brothers see fit, you may have foundations in solitary places, or where you are given a site suitable and convenient for the observance proper to your Order.
[6] Next, each one of you is to have a separate cell, situated as the lie of the land you propose to occupy may dictate, and allotted by disposition of the Prior with the agreement of the other brothers, or the more mature among them.
[7] However, you are to eat whatever may have been given you in a common refectory, listening together meanwhile to a reading from Holy Scripture where that can be done without difficulty.
[8] None of the brothers is to occupy a cell other than that allotted to him, or to exchange cells with another, without leave of whoever is Prior at the time.
[9] The Prior’s cell should stand near the entrance to your property, so that he may be the first to meet those who approach, and whatever has to be done in consequence may all be carried out as he may decide and order.
[10] Each one of you is to stay in his own cell or nearby, pondering the Lord’s law day and night and keeping watch at his prayers unless attending to some other duty.
[11] Those who know how to say the canonical hours with those in orders should do so, in the way those holy forefathers of ours laid down, and according to the Church’s approved custom. Those who do not know the hours must say twenty-five ‘Our Fathers’ for the night office, except on Sundays and solemnities when that number is to be doubled so that the ‘Our Father’ is said fifty times; the same prayer must be said seven times in the morning in place of Lauds, and seven times too for each of the other hours, except for Vespers when it must be said fifteen times.
[12] None of the brothers must lay claim to anything as his own, but you are to possess everything in common; and each is to receive from the Prior - that is from the brother he appoints for the purpose - whatever befits his age and needs.
[13] You may have as many asses and mules as you need, however, and may keep a certain amount of livestock or poultry.
[14] An oratory should be built as conveniently as possible among the cells, where, if it can be done without difficulty, you are to gather each morning to hear Mass.
[15] On Sundays too, or other days if necessary, you should discuss matters of discipline and your spiritual welfare; and on this occasion the indiscretions and failings of the brothers, if any be found at fault, should be lovingly corrected.
[16] You are to fast every day, except Sundays, from the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross until Easter Day, unless bodily sickness or feebleness, or some other good reason, demand a dispensation from the fast; for necessity overrides every law.
[17] You are to abstain from meat, except as a remedy for sickness or feebleness. But as, when you are on a journey, you more often than not have to beg your way, outside your own houses you may eat foodstuffs that have been cooked with meat, so as to avoid giving trouble to your hosts. At sea, however, meat may be eaten.
[18] Since man’s life on earth is a time of trial, and all who would live devotedly in Christ must undergo persecution, and the devil your foe is on the prowl like a roaring lion looking for prey to devour, you must use every care to clothe yourselves in God’s armour so that you may be ready to withstand the enemy’s ambush.
[19] Your loins are to be girt with chastity, your breast fortified by holy meditations, for as Scripture has it, holy meditation will save you. Put on holiness as your breastplate, and it will enable you to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength, and your neighbour as yourself. Faith must be your shield on all occasions, and with it you will be able to quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked one: there can be no pleasing God without faith; and the victory lies in this - your faith. On your head set the helmet of salvation, and so be sure of deliverance by our only Saviour, who sets his own free from their sins. The sword of the spirit, the word of God, must abound in your mouths and hearts. Let all you do have the Lord’s word for accompaniment.
[20] You must give yourselves to work of some kind, so that the devil may always find you busy; no idleness on your part must give him a chance to pierce the defences of your souls. In this respect you have both the teaching and the example of Saint Paul the Apostle, into whose mouth Christ put his own words. God made him preacher and teacher of faith and truth to the nations: with him as your teacher you cannot go astray. We lived among you, he said, labouring and weary, toiling night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you; not because we had no power to do otherwise but so as to give you, in your own selves, as an example you might imitate. For the charge we gave you when we were with you was this: that whoever is not willing to work should not be allowed to eat either. For we have heard that there are certain restless idlers among you. We charge people of this kind, and implore them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that they earn their own bread by silent toil. This is the way of holiness and goodness: see that you follow it.
[21] The Apostle would have us keep silence, for in silence he tells us to work. As the Prophet also makes known to us: Silence is the way to foster holiness. Elsewhere he says: Your strength will lie in silence and hope. For this reason I lay down that you are to keep silence from after Compline until after Prime the next day. At other times, although you need not keep silence so strictly, be careful not to indulge in a great deal of talk, for as Scripture has it - and experience teaches us no less - Sin will not be wanting where there is much talk, and He who is careless in speech will come to harm; and elsewhere: The use of many words brings harm to the speaker’s soul. And our Lord says in the Gospel: Every rash word uttered will have to be accounted for on judgment day. Make a balance then, each of you, to weigh his words in; keep a tight rein on your mouths, lest you should stumble and fall in speech, and your fall be irreparable and prove mortal. Like the Prophet, watch your step lest your tongue give offence, and employ every care in keeping silent, which is the way to foster holiness.
[22] Your brother B., and whoever may succeed you as Prior, must always keep in mind and put into practice what our Lord said in the Gospel: Whoever has a mind to become a leader among you must make yourself servant to the rest, and whichever of you would be first must become your bondsman.
[23] You other brothers too, hold your Prior in humble reverence, your minds not on him but on Christ who has placed him over you, and who, to those who rule the Churches, addressed these words: Whoever pays you heed pays heed to me, and whoever treats you with dishonour dishonours me; if you remain so minded you will not be found guilty of contempt, but will merit life eternal as fit reward for your obedience.
[24] Here then are a few points I have written down to provide you with a standard of conduct to live up to; but our Lord, at his second coming, will reward anyone who does more than he is obliged to do. See that the bounds of common sense are not exceeded, however, for common sense is the guide of the virtues.

Vocation Stories: Sister Marie Andre, PCPA

Sister Marie Andre of Mary Mother of the Church, PCPA

I had an inkling by the time I was seven that the Lord and I were going to be an item: thanks to my mom, His Mom was, from the first get-go, an important part of my life. Since Our Lady brings everyone to her Son, it was just a matter of time before Jesus and I came together. Things became more serious when I was eleven. That is when I turned to the other holy parent and started praying fervently and daily to St. Joseph. I knew what I wanted even back then: I specifically requested nothing less than to marry the ‘perfect man’…and have a large family to go along with him.

Once I got that established with St. Joseph, I became interested in what university I would attend, and what career path I would choose. For a while, I wanted to attend Notre Dame University or the Naval Academy at Annapolis. That quickly fell by the way side since my math skills were, what one politely would say, nil. I did know I wanted to do something in the service of my country. I finished my undergraduate studies and received a Master’s degree. I then took what I had been given, through God’s grace and my parents’ generosity, and applied to (what seemed was) every US federal government agency: FBI, CIA, DEA, Secret Service, and the US Air Force. I would fill out applications, take tests, do interviews, run obstacle courses.

Each time something strange would happen: my applications would get lost or I would fail the lie-detector test (after just having taken it a first time and passing with flying colors). This went on for five years. I was starting to get exasperated with the Lord. During that time, I used to run about 15 miles a week, and many of those miles were littered with tears and discouragement. And how was I supposed to marry the ‘perfect man’ if he never even showed his face to me?!!

But the Lord is in control and He knows how much we can take. Thankfully, He never allowed me to make any rash decisions during my period of waiting (although sometimes that does happen and the Lord can bring a greater good out of it). While I was waiting and wondering what He wanted me to do, He, of course, knew exactly what He was asking. All I had to do was listen and say yes. Yes to the ‘PERFECT MAN’ and to a wonderfully large family that would result from a loving union between bride and Heavenly Bridegroom.

Sometimes we learn the hard way that we do not always know what is best, but the Lord’s timing is always perfect, just like He is. When His call came, it struck me like a bolt out of the blue. I was 28 years old, and up to that point, had lived a full and happy life. By God’s grace I was able to say yes (of which I will always be particularly grateful). Yes to a fuller and happier life. The ‘Perfect Man’ of my girlhood dreams became an eternal reality. The large family I longed for is fulfilled in the unique and special calling of spiritual motherhood as a Poor Clare contemplative and cloistered nun. Is it possible to grow in joy and peace even amidst the trials and sufferings of this life? YES! In fact, I find that peace and joy only increase daily. What an awesome privilege to live in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament and be able to live in constant anticipation of supreme union with Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, forever. Nothing, absolutely nothing, compares with You, Lord.

The Rule of St. Benedict - Chapter 2

Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

An Abbess who is worthy to be over a monastery should always remember what she is called, and live up to the name of Superior. For she is believed to hold the place of Christ in the monastery, being called by a name of His, which is taken from the words of the Apostle:
"You have received a Spirit of adoption ..., by virtue of which we cry, 'Abba -- Father'" (Rom. 8:15)! Therefore the Abbess ought not to teach or ordain or command anything which is against the Lord's precepts; on the contrary, her commands and her teaching should be a leaven of divine justice kneaded into the minds of her disciples.

Let the Abbess always bear in mind that at the dread Judgment of God there will be an examination of these two matters: her teaching and the obedience of her disciples. And let the Abbess be sure that any lack of profit the master of the house may find in the sheep will be laid to the blame of the shepherd. On the other hand, if the shepherd has bestowed all her pastoral diligence on a restless, unruly flock and tried every remedy for their unhealthy behavior, then she will be acquitted at the Lord's Judgment and may say to the Lord with the Prophet: "I have not concealed Your justice within my heart; Your truth and Your salvation I have declared" (Ps. 39[40]:11). "But they have despised and rejected me" (Is. 1:2; Ezech. 20:27). And then finally let death itself, irresistible, punish those disobedient sheep under her charge.

Caput 2: Qualis debeat esse abbas

Abbas qui præesse dignus est monasterio semper meminere debet quod dicitur et nomen maioris factis implere. Christi enim agere vices in monasterio creditur, quando ipsius vocatur pronomine, dicente apostolo: Accepistis spiritum adoptionis filiorum, in quo clamamus: Abba, Pater. Ideoque abbas nihil extra præceptum Domini quod sit debet aut docere aut constituere vel iubere, sed iussio eius vel doctrina fermentum divinæ iustitiæ in discipulorum mentibus conspargatur, memor semper abbas quia doctrinæ suæ vel discipulorum oboedientiæ, utrarumque rerum, in tremendo iudicio Dei facienda erit discussio. Sciatque abbas culpæ pastotis incumbere quidquid in ovibus paterfamilias utilitatis minus potuerit invenire. Tantumdem iterum erit ut, si inquieto vel inoboedienti gregi pastoris fuerit omnis diligentia adtributa et morbidis earum actibus universa fuerit cura exhibita, pastor eorum in iudicio Domini absolutus dicat cum Propheta Domino: Iustitiam tuam non abscondi in corde meo, veritatem tuam et salutare tuum dixi; ipsi autem contemnentes spreverunt me, et tunc demum inoboetientibus cursæ suæ ovibus poena sit eis prævalens ipsa mors. Ergo, cum aliquis suscipit nomen abbatis, duplici debet doctrina suis præesse discipulis, id est omnia bona et sancta factis amplius quam verbis ostendat, ut capacibus discipulis mandata Domini verbis proponere, duris corde vero et simplicioribus factis suis divina præcepta monstrare. Omnia vero quæ discipulis docuerit esse contraria, in suis factis indicet non agenda, ne aliis prædicans ipse reprobus inveniatur, ne quando illi dicat Deus precanti: quare tu enarras iustitias meas et adsumis testamentum meum per os tuum? tu vero odisti disciplinam et proiecisti sermones meos post te, et:qui in fratris tui oculo festucam videbas, in tuo trabem non vidisti.

Non ab eo persona in monasterio discernatur. Non unus plus ametur quam alius, nisi quem in bonis actibus aut oboedientia invenerit meliorem. Non convertenti ex servitio præponatur ingenuus, nisi alia rationabilis causa existat. Quod si ita, iustitia dictante, abbati visum fuerit, et de cuiuslibet ordine id faciet; sin alias, propria teneant loca, quia: Sive servus sive liber, omnes in Christo unum sumus et sub uno Domino æqualem servitutis militiam baiulamus, quia: Non est apud Deum personarum acceptio. Solummodo in hac parte apud ipsum discernimur, si meliores ab aliis in operibus bonis et humiles inveniamur. Ergo æqualis sit ab eo omnibus caritas, una præ beatur in omnibus secundum merita disciplina.
In doctrina sua namque abbas apostolicam debet illam semper formam servare in qua dicit: Argue, obsecra, increpa, id est, miscens temporibus tempora, terroribus blandimenta, dirum magistri, pium patris ostendat affectum, id est indisciplinatos et inquietos debet durius arguere, oboedientes autem et mites et patientes, ut in melius proficiant obsecrare, neglegentes et contemnentes ut increpat et corripiat admonemus. Neque dissimulet peccata delinquentiump; sed ut, mox ut coeperint oriri, radicitus ea ut prævalet amputet, memor periculi Heli sacerdotis de Silo. Et honestiores quidem atque intellegibiles animos prima vel secunda admonitione verbis corripiat, inprobos autem et duros ac superbos vel inoboedientes verberum vel corporis castigatio in ipso initio peccati coerceat, sciens scriptum: Stultus verbis non corrigitur, et iterum: Percute filium tuum virga et liberabis animam eius a morte.

Meminere debet semper abbas quod est, meminere quod dicitur, et scire quia cui plus committitur, plus ab eo exigitur. Sciatque quam difficilem et arduam rem suscipit, regere animas et multorum servire moribus, et alium quidem blandimentis, alium vero increpationibus, alium suasionibus; et secundum unuscuiusque qualitatem vel intellegentiam, ita se omnibus conformet et aptet ut non solum detrimenta gregis sibi commissi non patiatur, verum in augmentatione boni gregis gaudeat.
Ante omnia, ne dissimulans aut parvipendens salutem animarum sibi commissarum, ne plus gerat sollicitudinem de rebus transitoriis et terrenis atque caducis, sed semper cogitet quia animas suscepit regendas, de quibus et rationem redditurus est. Et ne causetur de minori forte substantia , meminerit scriptum: Primum quærite regnum Dei et iustitiam eius, et hæc omnia adicientur vobis, et iterum: Nihil deest timentibus eum. Sciatque quia qui suscipit animas regendas paret se ad rationem reddendam. Et quantum sub cura sua fratrum se habere scierit numerum, agnoscat pro certo quia in die iudicii ipsarum omnium animarum est redditurus Domino rationem, sine dubio addita et suæ animæ. Et ita, timens semper futuram discussionem pastoris de creditis ovibus, cum de aliis ratiociniis cavet, redditur de suis sollicitus, et cum de monitionibus suis emendationem aliis subministrat, ipse efficitur a vitiis emendatus.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Community Spotlight: Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará

Order: Servants of Our Lord and the Virgin of Matará
Gender: Female
Apostolate: Both active and contemplative branches. Active branch includes teaching, parish work and youth ministry
Eligibility: Ages 18-35
Formation: Information here.
Vows: Poverty, chastity, obedience and "Consecration to Mary in Maternal Slavery of Love".
Practices: Marian consecration, Eucharistic Adoration, Angelus, Holy Rosary
History: Founded in 1988 by Father Carlos Miguel Buela as the female branch of the Family of the Incarnate Word, also comprising the Institute of the Incarnate Word for men and a secular third order.

Cross of Matará
Our Lady of Luján

Saint's Corner: Teresa of Avila

Name: Teresa of Avila, also known as Teresa of Jesus
Birth & Death: 28 March 1515 - 4 October 1582
Feast Day: 15 October
Country of Origin: Spain
History: Her father was opposed to her desire for the religious life so Teresa ran away at 17 to enter a convent, after which her family relented and consented to her choice. In the cloister she became gravely ill and incompetent healthcare meant she never fully recovered from her infirmity. She became concerned by the laxity in following the life that she saw in her own community and others and resolved to found a reformed community with the monetary help of a wealthy friend. With the help of John of the Cross, reformed communities for men also began and the Discalced Carmelites were formed. She founded 16 convents during her life. In 1970 she was declared a Doctor of the Church.


Catholic Encyclopaedia
Interior Castle
Way of Perfection

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Order, Order: Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM)

Venerable Mary Ward, Foundress. Source

Founder: Mary Ward Date: 1609
Apostolate: Predominantly education
History: Also known as the Sisters of Loreto. Mary Ward was inspired by St. Ignatius of Loyola and his spiritual exercises. Her congregation was suppressed in 1630 for nine years, after which it revived and received papal approval for their rule in 1703 and received canonical recognition as a religious institute in 1877. 

Notable Saints:
Venerable Mary Ward

Recommended: Catholic Encyclopaedia

Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Rule of St Benedict - Chapter 1

Chapter 1: On the Kinds of Monk

It is well known that there are four kinds of monks. The first kind are the Cenobites: those who live in monasteries and serve under a rule and an Abbot. The second kind are the Anchorites or Hermits: those who, no longer in the first fervor of their reformation, but after long probation in a monastery, having learned by the help of many brethren how to fight against the devil, go out well armed from the ranks of the community to the solitary combat of the desert. They are able now, with no help save from God, to fight single-handed against the vices of the flesh and their own evil thoughts. The third kind of monks, a detestable kind, are the Sarabaites. These, not having been tested, as gold in the furnace (Wis. 3:6), by any rule or by the lessons of experience, are as soft as lead. In their works they still keep faith with the world, so that their tonsure marks them as liars before God. They live in twos or threes, or even singly, without a shepherd, in their own sheepfolds and not in the Lord's.
Their law is the desire for self-gratification: whatever enters their mind or appeals to them,
that they call holy; what they dislike, they regard as unlawful. The fourth kind of monks are those called Gyrovagues. These spend their whole lives tramping from province to province,
staying as guests in different monasteries for three or four days at a time. Always on the move, with no stability, they indulge their own wills and succumb to the allurements of gluttony, and are in every way worse than the Sarabaites. Of the miserable conduct of all such it is better to be silent than to speak. Passing these over, therefore, let us proceed, with God's help, to lay down a rule for the strongest kind of monks, the Cenobites.

Caput 1: De generibus monachorum

Monachorum quattuor esse genera, manifestum est. Primum coenobitarum, hoc est monasteriale, militans sub regula vel abbate. Deinde secundum genus est anachoritarum id est heremitarum, horum qui non conversationis fervore novicio, sed monasterii probatione diuturna, qui didicerunt contra diabulum multorum solacio iam docti pugnare, et bene extructi fraterna ex acie ad singularem pugnam heremi, securi iam sine consolatione alterius, sola manu vel brachio contra vitia carnis vel cogitationum, Deo auxiliante, pugnare sufficiunt. Tertium vero monachorum teterrimum genus est sarabaitarum, qui nulla regula adprobati, experienta magistra, sicut aurum fornacis, sed in plumbi natura molliti, adhuc operibus servantes sæculo fidem, mentiri Deo per tonsuram noscuntur. Qui bini aut terni aut certe singuli sine pastore, non dominicis sed suis inclusi ovilibus, pro lege eis est desideriorum voluptas, cum quidquid putaverint vel elegerint, hoc dicunt sanctum, et quod noluerint, hoc putant non licere. Quartum vero genus est monachorum quod nominatur girovagum, qui tota vita sua per diversas provincias ternis aut quaternis diebus per diversorum cellas hospitantur, semper vagi et numquam stabiles, et propriis voluntatibus et guilæ inlecebris servientes, et per omnia deteriores sarabaitis. De quorum omnium horum miserrima conversatione melius est silere quam loqui. His ergo omissis, ad coenobitarum fortissimum genus disponendum, adiuvante Domino, veniamus.

Ten Hours at Tyburn Convent, London

I spent pretty much the whole of yesterday at Tyburn Convent in London. I arrived around 7am, in time for the Office (Lauds), which would normally be followed by Mass. It was a bit different yesterday as the priest did not come until 2.30pm, so Mass was shifted to 2.30pm. After the morning paryer, I went to breakfast, and then spent time in the convent library, reading the catechism and from time to time, I would go to the tribune, above the chapel downstairs. I prefer being up the tribune from time to time as I can see over the grills, and also because I more or less had it all to myself yesterday. I met a lovely Filipino family from America who were visiting the Tyburn Nuns on their holiday. They were lovely and we were speaking a bit in Tagalog (the national language of the Philippines). It was nice that Mother Esther and Mother Macrina were there to join us in conversation from time to time throughout the morning. I later saw Mother Matthias, the assistant general, who passed on the message that Mother General has given me permission to post the vocation information on Tyburn Convent. I also spoke to her about various other things that will remain confidential. Lunch followed, and I had the opportunity to speak to one of the Oblates, Tom. He kept saying to Mother Macrina that I could be a potential novice in the future. I told him not to say that - I mean, hang on a minute, I'm not even Catholic yet! I think I'll take this one step at a time and complete my RCIA first before I start doing too much re the Religious Life! After Mass was the monastic afternoon (every first Sunday of the month from 2.30pm), but rather than following the others downstairs for the crypt tour etc, I just had a up of tea and then saw Mother Catherine - this is a rare opportunity since she is often moved around and I don't get much of a chance to see her. We talked for a while before going to the Office (Vespers) - Mother Catherine went back into the enclosure, and I was back upstairs in the Tribune. I had to go after the Office, so I bid my lovely spiritual Mothers a temporary goodbye until next month and prayed to God to always bless them before leaving to go home with a copy of their book on Mother Foundress, 'The Path of Mother Adele Garnier'.
Please watch this space for more updates re my visits to Tyburn. :)
Keeping you always in my prayer,
Kim Lee :)

Community Spotlight: Tyburn Convent, London (with International Provinces)

I thought I would just mention that the reason this Community Spotlight seems rather long and contains exact prayer times etc is because I have been in touch with the community for a few years and keep very regular contact with them. I know them fairly well, and so, have more information on them. You are always welcome to comment on our posts to add information and suggest anything we may change etc. - Kim

Order: Benedictine
Gender: Women

Charism: Contemplative/Monastic

Eligibility: The Tyburn Nuns consider vocations of all ages. If God calls, who are we to say He is wrong?

Formation: Contact the order/Mother Prioress, living in (several weeks), postulancy (6-12 months), noviciate stage (1-2 years), first profession of vows to be a 'junior' (3 years), second, or Monastic profession. Whole process: about 5-9 years

Vows: Obedience (to the order's rules), stability (to the congregation), conversion of life (including chastity and poverty

Perpetual Adoration - the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They also have a rule of they can "live in the presence of God"...

Prayer Times are as follows:

5.15 am Nocturns
6.50 am Angelus
7.00 am Lauds
7.30 am Holy Mass
After Mass Morning Mixte (Breakfast)
9.10 am Terce
9.30 – 10 am Choir Practice or Community Lessons
12.10 pm Sext
After Sext Angelus
12.30 pm Lunch
1.30 pm – 2.30 pm Recollection Hour
2.45 Afternoon Mixte
3.10 pm None
3.30 pm – 4.20 pm Recreation
4.30 pm Vespers
6.20 pm Angelus
6.30 pm Supper
8.00 pm Compline

Each Sister is marked for 2 x ½ adoration before the Blessed Sacrament everyday and for 1 hour Night Adoration, 2-3 times a week. We work in different employments such as cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening etc., study or rest at other times of the day when we are not singing the Divine Office or at adoration before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

Foundress: Marie Adele Garnier (Mother Mary of St. Peter) - moved her congregation from France to the current site of Tyburn in London.

Tyburn's first recorded execution took place in 1196, when William FitzOsbert, or William with the Beard, was hanged for sedition. Ralph of Diceto tells us that William "his hands tied behind him, his feet tied with long cords, was drawn by means of a horse through the midst of the city to the gallows near the Tyburn. He was hanged."

The Elms near Tybourne were called "the King's Gallows". Thus Tyburn from the beginning was clearly the King's gallows for London and Middlesex criminals. That it was placed outside the boundary of the city indicates the administration of the criminal law by the King's courts instead of by the local or manorial courts.
The manner of excecution at Tyburn seen in William FitzOsbert's excecution was to become the norm later.
That is, the condemned criminal, after being drawn to Tyburn on a hurdle or rough sledge by a horse, at Tyburn was first hanged on the gallows, then drawn or disembowelled, and finally quartered, his quarters being placed high in public places as a warning to others.
Thus, because Tyburn was the King's Gallows, those who were guilty of Treason were Hanged, Drawn and Quartered on this spot.

Some say that over fifty thousand persons met their death at Tyburn during the six centuries it was a place of execution. Among these are numbered:Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, 1330
Perkin Warbeck, 1496
Elizabeth Barton, the "Holy Maid of Kent", 1534
Claude Duval, 1670
Jack Sheppard, 1724
Jonathan Wild, 1725
Earl Ferrers, 1760
Mrs Brownrigg, 1767
Dr Dodd, 1777
To this list we must add in 1661 the lifeless bodies of Cromwell, Ireton and Bradshaw were exposed at Tyburn and beheaded. The 105 Roman Catholic Reformation Martyrs are not given here. The executions at Tyburn provided London's most popular and frightful sideshow. The ritual cruelties and indecencies practised here thrilled and corrupted every class of society. Along with criminals, saints and martyrs were butchered on Tyburn Tree.

Gloria Deo DVD on the community (link on bottom left of their website)
Book on their foundress: The Path of Mother Adele Garnier (email us for details)
The Rule of St Benedict Latin English

~ I enquired this community before finding my own and still have the vocation materials that were sent to me. I actually have two copies of most of it, since I had sent a vocations enquiry via the website and then forgotten about it and written to them. Kim of course knows more personally about the community but I would hate to see these materials go to waste so if anyone is interested in them I could pass them on. Either comment or email us if you are interested.
In Christ, Emily Ann

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Saint's Corner: Hildegard of Bingen

Name: Hildegard of Bingen
Birth & Death: 1098 - 17 September 1179
Feast Day: 17 September
Country of Origin: Germany
History: Born as the tenth child of a noble family, Hildegard reported having visions from an early age. At eight she was sent to live with an anchoress named Jutta and the two women were later enclosed, after which many other women came to join them. After Jutta's death, Hildegard was elected as the head of the community. She wrote extensive theological works and wrote about her visions. On 7th October 2012, she was declared the 35th Doctor of the Church.


Catholic Encyclopaedia

Friday, 5 October 2012

Celebrations - Feast of St Francis of Assisi

I've spent the last week at my local Catholic parish really getting to know how things work, and who the people who go there are. I'm finding it much better now that people are beginning to recognise me as someone who "belongs" to their parish - previous to that I felt rather nervous because I didn't really know anyone, and I always think it just takes that extra little bit of time to get to know the parishioners before one feels at home anywhere. Church has been open in the evenings for Adoration, evening prayer and benediction, and on Wednesday, for the Transitus, and on Thursday, for the celebrations of the Feast of St Francis. I met some lovely people and learned a bit more about St Francis and Franciscan spirituality. It was a nice change from what I am used to, with the tension and anti-Catholic atmospehere I normally experience at home. I guess it's nice to have moved out and have some apce to just be myself.

I will be at Tyburn on Sunday, so if anyone wants to speak to me re: this, or The Vocation Operation blog, then please do come and speak to me then, or otherwise, email us:

I believe Emily will be making a few changes, so please do bear with us re: updates to our website. I will be posting more on RB (The Rule of St Benedict) soon. Please watch this space.

God Bless,
Kim Lee

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Saint's Corner: St. Francis of Assisi

Name: St. Francis of Assisi
Birth & Death: 1181/1182 - 3 October 1226
Feast Day: 4 October
Country of Origin: Italy
History: See Recommended

Catholic Encyclopaedia

Monday, 1 October 2012

Saint's Corner: St. Therese of Lisieux

Name: Saint Therese of Lisieux, also known as Therese of the Child Jesus
Birth & Death: 2 January 1873 - 30 September 1897
Feast Day: 1 October
Country of Origin: France
History: While normally I try and write my own history, so much has been written about St. Therese that I feel it best to direct you to other sources, which I will give in the "Recommended" section.

Therese of Lisieux - includes information on her parents, who have both been declared Blessed

Society of the Little Flower
Catholic Encyclopaedia

Saint Therese of Lisieux (Vatican) - lists poems, works and quotes
Story of a Soul