Monica and Augustine at Ostia

 You are unchangeable and yet you change all things.

You are never new, never old, and yet all things have new life from you.

You are the unseen power that brings decline upon the proud. You are ever active, yet always at rest. You gather all things to yourself, though you suffer no need. You support, you fill and you protect all things.
From the Confessions of Augustine: Book 1, Section 4

Topical thoughts from Father Peter and Father Dixie

Here is an excellent homily from Fr Peter on Christian authority for the 29th Sunday of this year.

As a new Conservative Government and Labour leadership fight out the issues that affect the future of our country, Fr Peter’s comments on a Christian vision of authority could not be more relevant. CLICK HERE to read

Following the Church’s Synod on the family, many people will find Fr Dixie’s comments of interest on this topic. (from a recent sermon for the 27th Sunday) CLICK HERE to read

Community Activities

To Rome and YAMJ

Srs Florence, Silvana, Margaret and Ildikó went to Rome on September 15, joining a group of our young sisters to stay with the Ursuline Sisters.Sisters in Rome

YAMJ is the four-yearly gathering of the Young (and not-quite-so-young!) Sisters of the Augustinians of the Mercy of Jesus, from our five countries of France, South Africa, England, Nigeria and Burkina Faso and South Africa.

 Sisters in Rome The Sisters and St Peters 

This September it took place in Rome, and Srs Ildikó, Margaret, Silvana and Florence joined 16 other Sisters for a fortnight (including Sr Sarah of our Sister Federation in Canada who had made her final Profession on August 28th, Feast of St Augustine), where we enjoyed the kind hospitality of the Ursuline Sisters at their Generalate.

The theme was ‘Radiate Mercy in the Heart of the Church’. We began and ended at the Vatican, first taking part in three days of an international gathering for young religious from all over the world, then ending with an audience in which Pope Francis reflected on his recent visit to Cuba and the USA. In between we followed our own programme, with excellent talks on St Augustine from Fr Matthias Hecht OSA and Fr Kolawole Chabi OSA, and other talks on Rome and Christianity, and on refugee and human trafficking.

Fr Chabi OSA Sr Florence at Santa Constanza

We also visited some wonderful places: all the major basilicas, San Clemente (where Fr Michael Carragher OP was a superb guide) and Santa Prassede. The enclosed Augustinian Sisters at Santi Quattro Coronati welcomed us for their beautiful office, refreshments and a discussion. On the penultimate day we were treated to an expert tour of Ostia Antica, when Fr Brian Lowry OSA read very movingly relevant passages from The Confessions, especially about Augustine’s relations with his mother, Monica.

Sisters outside Santi Quattro Coronati

Mass of Thanksgiving for the Ursulines

On September 22, Srs Eileen and Elizabeth attended a Mass of thanksgiving at Lancaster for the work of the Ursulines in the Diocese celebrated by Bishop Michael. It was a very joyful occasion at which a deep gratitude for the work of the sisters was celebrated.

Canon Luiz Ruscillo expressed this gratitude to the sisters in his homily. The majority of the Ursulines in England travelled to join Sr Zela for the day.

Coffee Morning

On September 25, we participated in the Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee morning event and raised £120 for their important work which helps so many people. Thank you to all who helped and supported this.

Magna Carta Celebrations

Cartmel Priory Magna Carta celebrations
Sr Ruth went to Cartmel Priory on the following Sunday afternoon to see the Magna Carta festival.

Supported by the village, Cartmel was holding five days to celebrate the 800th anniversary of this historical achievement which altered the development of our law.

The main feature was the flower festival throughout the Priory and the portrayal of local history through pageants.

This was all beautifully done and well attended in a way that paid credit to the local community.
In the evenings there was a ‘son et lumière’ event at which the Priory was illuminated and accompanied by music focussing on the Priory’s founder, William Marshal.

Mass of Thanksgiving for Consecrated Life

A Diocesan Mass of Thanksgiving for Consecrated Life was held in the Diocese of Lancaster on September 29.

Srs Eileen, Elizabeth, Michael and Geneviève attended the Mass and the reception afterwards.

The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Michael and he expressed his immense gratitude for the contribution all the consecrated people make to the life of the Church in the Diocese. It was a very joyful and affirming celebration.

Symbols representing different consecrated communities in the diocese were displayed on the sanctuary and the Mass began with a procession in which all the attending Communities and groups were represented. Our symbol was a candle bearing our crest. The crest is symbolic, the Augustinian heart ablaze with love, representing the mercy of God which we try to extend to the poor and sick we serve.St Augustine Crest

The Gospel was John 15:9-17: ‘You did not choose me, no I chose you and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last.’

Birthday Party

Sr Michael celebrated her seventieth birthday on October 23rd. Visitors including her family and friends came to Boarbank and we enjoyed a delicious celebration lunch.

This was followed the next Monday afternoon by a further celebration for the Staff, patients and their relatives. A very enjoyable and well attended celebration.

Day for Reflection

Sr Gemma Simmonds’ day for Reflection at Tabor Carmelite Retreat House in Preston was attended by Srs Eileen, Ildikó and Margaret on October 24th.

Sr Gemma spoke about ‘Signs of Hope and Vitality for the Future’ describing the impact of the Paschal Mystery on our lives. Her input was based on a research project, soon to be published, which has looked at signs of vitality which religious themselves experience. This was followed by Mass and Discussion Groups.

Day for Religious

It was our great pleasure and privilege to host the annual day for religious organised by Mgr Slattery, Vicar for Religious, on October 29.

In the morning Fr John McGowan OCD gave us valuable input on the consecrated life in our times. Mass and lunch were followed by discussion groups.

Remembrance Service

We held a service of remembrance for deceased patients and parishioners on November 4 to which family and friends were invited. We lit candles during the ceremony to represent loved ones. This was followed by tea and cake in Bethany Lounge. Everyone found the occasion meaningful and comforting.

Mini Bus

Our new white mini bus, complete with our Augustinian crest, has arrived. We look forward to the adventures it will provide for those in our care.

New CTS Pamphlet

Catholics and our Common Home
Sr Margaret's new CTS pamphlet 'Catholics and Our Common Home: Caring for the Planet we Share' is now available from CTS or from the Boarbank bookstall.

Guest House

Thinking Scripture

Our Thinking Scripture Gospel of Luke course, 5-12 September 2015, brought together a group of very engaged people who enjoyed entering into the lectures, discussions and social events.

We had animated question and answer sessions and a moving musical meditation from Geoffrey Turner on Tuesday night. Everyone enjoyed the final buffet and social evening on Friday night. For more…CLICK HERE

Reflect Retreat Group

In late October a Methodist Reflect and Retreat Group came to spend time with us in Boarbank. The theme was the fruits of the Spirit and it was greatly enjoyed. (To find out more about these groups CLICK HERE)

All Saints Weekend

Sr Catherine Hickey brought a delightful group here for the first weekend in November. They greatly enjoyed our facilities which they described as 'so peaceful' and fervently participated in the liturgy for All Saints and All Souls.

Nursing Home

In late September Ken Cholerton and his friend Vercoe the clown (Arthur Pedlar) came to talk to our residents. Then in October Ken came back to talk and show a DVD about a circus school in Israel which encourages young Israeli and Palestinians to enjoy circus activities as part of a reconciliation project.

Ken is one of the founders who raised money for the project. The school is situated in a cultural centre in Kfar Yehoshua.

In October, Joan Smith led a painting on glass activity for our residents with beautiful results. 

We have been very happy to welcome 2 new staff nurses to Boarbank Nursing Team, Sophie Warner and Margaret Parkinson.

Requiescant In Pace

Sadly we have had some recent deaths of close friends of the community including

Sr André Dullaghan, Michael Davies, Paula Nunn and Philip Lynott

May they rest in Peace