On 11th December 2009, Fr. Tom Herbst OFM brought his new pet to tea with the Sisters at Monte Bre. The Sisters welcomed them in festive headgear. Maximus, a 3-month-old Chihuahua soon bonded with each of the Sisters and William...
Max and William
Max and Elizabeth
Needless to say, we offered to dog-sit whenever the need might arise.
On 9th December 2009, Srs. Rose and Clare attended a Symposium in Westminster Cathedral Hall, celebrating the eighth centenary of the papal approval of the First Order's Rule and Life. Sr. Clare's parents, who were visiting Monte Bre, also came with them. They all travelled by bus from Canterbury. On arriving in Westminster, they were first able to attend Mass in the Cathedral. The afternoon Symposium, entitled, 'Franciscan Ideals and Influence' consisted of four talks. It was introduced and led by Br. Seamus Mulholland OFM.
Above: Br. Seamus introducing the programme with Br. Michael Copps and Sr. Clare
left: Sr. Francis Teresa giving her talk. To her right, Sr. Clare, Br. Seamus, Leon Davison and Br. Michael.
Right: Sr. Clare giving talk.
The first speaker, Br. Michael Copps, OFM Provincial Minister, spoke about 'Franciscan Life is Life Together'. Then, Sr. Frances Teresa Downing OSC spoke on the influence of St. Clare on the Franciscan movement. The third speaker, Sr. Clare Knowles FMSL, talked about St. Francis' Canticle of Sir Brother Sun as a model for conversion. The fourth speaker was Leon Davison SFO National Minister, who talked about the development of the SFO from its origins until the present. There was time after each talk for questions from the audience. There was a break during which Srs. Francoise, Rose and Magdalene served coffee and tea for all. Secular Franciscans attended from all over the country, as a national meeting preceded the Symposium. A group came from FISC Canterbury, as well as friars OFM and Capuchin from Houses including Chilworth, Woodford, Oxford and Pantasaph. FMSL Sisters attended from Littlehampton, Burgess Hill, Canterbury and Copthorne and Poor Clares from various Houses including Arundel, Hollington and Arkley. In total, around a hundred people attended the event. It was an encouraging celebration of the growth of the Franciscan movement in its various branches up to the present day and the unity of the whole Franciscan family.
Sister Rose attended a day For Religious in Whitstable. Here are her thoughts on the event:
Sr. Kate Stogden, a Cenacle Sister, gave an Advent day for Religious at the Convent of Mercy, Whitstable on Friday 27th November from 10am to 3.30pm. The topic was Lectio Divina: Nourishing our Consecration through the Word of God. The day was attended by almost fifty religious and among those present were several Franciscan friars - some from as far away as Erith. Sr. Kate's talks were immensely enjoyable and fruitful. She urged us to rest in the Word of life given to us in Scripture. Lectio Divina is not an intellectual exercise - the emphasis is on being nourished. We read with a faith conviction that God is communicating with us, and we draw life from this encounter. To read well, we need to prepare well. Being open and generous is half the battle. Fundamentally, in Lectio when we approach the Scripture, we see it as a gift to be received, not a problem to be dissected. So we need:
faith: a belief that God can speak to us humility: understanding that we are in need of God's saving word openness: to resist the temptation to say, 'I know all this'. By Sr. Rose