Great Documentary on Franciscan Friars of the Renewal

April 19, 2017

We watched a documentary about the life of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in Bradford. A fun and inspiring watch, gives a good insight into what religious life is like.

Still available on BBC i-player if you missed it!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08mk2tv


Life as a Postulant

October 25, 2016

Jess joined the Sisters of the Gospel of Life as a postulant on the 8th of September 2016. Here is a letter in which she reflects on her experiences so far…

Dear friends,

Five and a half weeks in, I have finally managed to sit down and find some time to reflect and write about my time so far as a Postulant with the Sisters of the Gospel of Life.

I have gone through different phases – feeling like I was on holiday at the start (as I used to spend my holidays visiting the sisters), then feeling overwhelmed at my ‘to-do’ list and deciding where to make a start when it came to working as a GP, feeling homesick (for Pembrokeshire), having difficulty sleeping, feeling like I was just walking around in the shadow of the sisters but not actually one of them. Now that I have started to get used to the changes and life here, I feel I can walk alongside the sisters, in the light of Christ. I feel like I know what I am doing when it comes to locum GP work. I am excited about what plans God has for my life with the sisters.     

There have been so many changes in my life… a different country, job, clothes, house… with Jesus and nuns as my new housemates.

Here are some of my thoughts about the changes involved…

A change in the focus of my routine – from work (with prayer at either end), to prayer (with work interspersed).

I have gained new family members – two lovely, inspiring big sisters and their families.

Moving countries – from Wales to Scotland. Different accents, no Welsh (either spoken or written on road signs), Scottish words which are entirely new to me, lots of football talk about Celtic and Rangers.

Moving from the countryside to the city. In Wales I used to wake up to the sound of birds, now I wake up to the sound of a train going by (as our small garden backs onto the railway line). 

City driving – lots of motorways, changing lanes, one-way systems and traffic lights. I was terrified at the thought but have coped a lot better than I anticipated. I also seem to have been instantly gifted with the ability to parallel park when I moved to Glasgow, which is miraculous – as anyone who has seen me attempting parallel parking in Haverfordwest will know! 

Changing jobs – no longer being a junior doctor or registrar, with an employer, but now a fully qualified GP and self-employed (I had no idea about the sort of paperwork that would entail!)

Working in multiple GP Practices in different geographical areas – new things to learn in each place – where the local hospital is, what tests can and cannot be done within the GP Practice, how to use a different computer system (EMIS). I am still exploring my options and trying to figure out what working pattern and what sort of GP Practice will best suit my weekly routine with the sisters.

Learning about pro-life work… how to put a Moses basket and its accessories together. Prams are a different challenge. Learning about what sort of clothing newborn babies wear… the difference between vests, long sleeved vests, babygros and snowsuits. Being amazed at the size difference between clothing for 0-3 months and 3-6 months. Admiring all the cute patterns on baby clothing. Checking the toys are complete and working – can be fun! Talking in churches about Rachel’s Vineyard post-abortion healing retreats – to raise awareness. I still have much to learn about other aspects of pro-life work, like natural family planning.

Being in a multicultural neighbourhood – I used to be quite exotic for West Wales! In Govanhil, many people are from Pakistan or Eastern Europe and still retain their own culture. I’d like to get to know my neighbours more.

Having everything on my doorstep – rather than most interesting things being at least a 3 hour drive away – Glasgow is a great city for events and places of interest. Also LOADS of Catholic churches, with lots of options for daily Mass and confession.

Wearing a long black skirt and tights – took a while to figure out what to do with all that skirt when going to the loo! Not an easy thing to run in either. Also a white T-shirt, which makes me a bit cautious as I don’t want to spill anything on it.

Moving from my own rented space into a house that is a convent. It is amazing to live with Jesus in the house (in the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel). I love sharing my life with others. Gone are the days of meals on my own. Come are the days of tackling disasters together… like cleaning out a cupboard full of mouse poo – after which I dreamt of flying mice and Sr Andrea dreamt of mouse poo glittering with precious stones … hahahaha!

Getting used to praying the Divine Office – still getting to grips with what should be done differently on an Optional Memoria, Memoria, Feast Day, Solemnity and Sunday. Learning new hymns and teaching my sisters new hymns. It is wonderful to share prayer.

Trying to do some spiritual reading – reading books is not one of my favourite pastimes, so I am working on this one and figuring out how to fit some daily reading into my routine. I’ll be meeting with a priest for some ‘spiritual direction’ on Monday, which I am really looking forward to. I am quite curious to find out what ‘spiritual direction’ involves!

Diary meetings – trying to keep track of what 3 people are doing, rather than just having my own plan for the week.

Being identified as one of a group of religious sisters – and pretty awesome ones! Having people greet me very warmly when they realise who I am with.

Receiving cards and gifts from people who are strangers to me but who have heard about me and been praying for me. Amazing to be supported by so much prayer.

Having much more time with other people and having time to just hang around and chat… rather than rushing around at work, trying to do everything in as short a time as possible, and then having to study for exams or complete assignments during a lot of my spare time.

Lunch breaks in the office – for a whole hour, uninterrupted – sitting around a table to eat with lots of other people, having a leisurely chat and sharing random food – quite a novelty for a doctor!

Less spare time – paradoxically – because most of an evening or weekend would be prayer or community time rather than my time to do with as I wish.

There is still so much for me to learn and figure out. Bit by bit things are falling into place.

Please keep me in your prayers and feel free to send me any prayer requests! We have a ‘book of intentions’ to write down the names of people and situations that we pray for daily.

God bless,

Jess x


Faith

June 18, 2014

Most of you will know that the Sisters are involved with The Faith Movement which nurtures, informs and encourages the faith of young Catholics in this country.  Their website has been re-vamped and here is the latest promotional video.  Very inspiring.

http://vimeo.com/95194390#t=122


Pluscarden

August 11, 2011

We give thanks for the election of the new Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey, announced on Tuesday 9th August.  Abbot Anselm Atkinson was named as the new Abbot and a blessing date will be announced shortly.classic-e-front


Summer Faith

August 11, 2011

Sisters Andrea and Roseann are back from the two summer Faith Sessions held this year in Ampelforth School for children aged 10-14yrs and in Woldingham School for young adults.  All went well and there were no mishaps or accidents.  The Faith sessions are always well supported by seminarians, priests and young people all eager to share their faith and learn more from the talks and discussion.  If you want to see photos of the sessions go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/fathertf/6012355609/in/set-72157627240497465/


Ordinations

June 13, 2011

The sisters have been invited to a few ordinations in the next few weeks of some deacons in different dioceses.   We would like to offer our congratulations and can we ask you for your prayers for these men starting out on the vocation of priesthood.

Please pray for;

David Connor – Argyll & Isles, Domenico Zanre -Aberdeen(ordination 27th June), Gerry Walsh – Glasgow (ordination 30th June), Liam O’Connor and Michael Kane – Motherwell ( 30th & 24th June)

 


Vocations Mass

March 17, 2011

We wanted to publicise this important St Joseph’s Vocations Mass which the Little Sisters of the Poor hold every month at their convent in Robroyston.   The next mass will be held on Monday 28th March.  Please support this mass if you can manage as this is the only regular vocations mass held in the diocese for this important area.