Giovenone presepe

God has proved to us how high a place human nature holds amongst creatures, inasmuch as He appeared to men as a true man (De Vera Relig. xvi)

Our new Chaplain

Chaplain Fr John Watson
We are delighted to announce that Canon John Watson
from the Diocese of Lancaster joined us on January 12 to be our new chaplain. Canon Watson is an old friend who has served the diocese as parish priest in Barrow-in Furness and Carlisle. We hope Fr John will quickly feel at home.

We thank Fr Peter for his ministry to us over the past 6 years and wish him every blessing in his role of priest in residence at Chipping, back in his home Diocese of Salford. We were pleased to welcome some of his family to a meal with us before he left on 11th December and hope that we will be able to welcome them all again in the future.

The Community

Solemn Vows at Wetherby Carmel

Sr Sue made her final profession at the Carmel in Wetherby at Wood Hall, becoming Sr Susan of the Eucharist on November 16. Srs Eileen, Michael, Margaret and Florence attended this happy occasion. The celebrant was Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

The Gospel, aptly, was from John: ‘I am the vine, you are the branches’.

Our Retreat

We had a thought-provoking retreat in late November with Fr Peter Rosser. His theme was ‘Our changing Vocation.’ Referring to our tendency to activism he said, ‘We are called to be human beings, not human doings.’ He included reflections on ‘the Individual Vocation’ and ‘the Call to a Community Vocation’ and ‘Love at the Heart of the Body’.

Celebration at Ince Blundell

On December 8 at Ince Blundell, our Sisters gathered from the three houses to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception at the start of the year of Mercy. Mass was followed by an input on mercy by Fr Shaun O’Connor and then a delicious lunch. Unfortunately, we had to return early because of flooding near here but we remained united in prayer as each House had a period of Exposition prior to Vespers.

Haverigg Prison 

Srs Margaret and Ruth went to Haverigg prison on December 15 for an evening carol service attended by prisoners, staff and guests. They were impressed by the caring atmosphere of the prison and the evident commitment to rehabilitation of prisoners and received a friendly welcome. Prisoners read the readings and participated in the service with devotion. The chaplain gave a delightful and pertinent sermon about not excluding Christ from Christmas. The service was followed by refreshments conditional on having a friendly chat with a prisoner. 

Nativity Play 

Sr Ildiko attended the nativity play ‘Midwife Crisis’ at St Mary’s church Allithwaite, performed by the children’s school. She had us all laughing that evening as she described it. The play was performed by the Nursery class, Reception class, and years one and two.

It included a memorable donkey!

Requiem Mass

On January 5, Sr Margaret represented the Community at the Bernadine Cistercian Sisters at Hyning for the Requiem mass of Sr Mary Cecilia at which Fr Paul Hypher presided. Sr Mary Cecilia died on Friday, 18 December 2015. May she rest in peace.


In early January we had a short visit to Liverpool by Sr Marie Claude and Sr Marie Benoit, our Superior General and her Assistant, to encourage us in our progress as One Community. We thank them for their continued practical and prayerful support.

And we also had a visit from Major John from the Salvation Army India. He joined us for Mass and lunch and told us about his work in India providing health care for the the poor.

 Major John Salvation Army India Major John with friend Doris 

Guest House 

Retreat Groups

Sr Catherine Hickey’s Retreat Group from Liverpool, in the first weekend of November went well, the participants entered fully into our liturgy.

Liverpool Group Nov15


The following weekend we hosted a group for Christian Meditation in Cumbria on the theme: ‘There is nothing so much like God as Silence’.
This group visits us regularly and their time with us included Meditation, Lectio Divina, Liturgy, Music and reflections on Eckhart.

Autumn Break: Faith and the Arts 

Autumn Break pictureIcons

This week in early November extended the theme of our Thinking Faith week once again to anyone who wanted to participate.

This year we had a very committed and engaging group of speakers. 

CLICK HERE to read the full report

We are planning to repeat the same theme next year.

Durham Weekend

A delightful group of students from Durham University entered into the experience of a weekend retreat here with great enthusiasm including time for silent prayer, the Divine Office and lectures.

Durham Students Nov15

Hope in Health

We held a pre-Christmas retreat the first weekend in December on the theme of Sickness and Compassion.

On Friday night Fr Dixie spoke on ‘Compassion and healing in the New Testament’ and on Saturday morning Sr Margaret spoke on ‘The meaning of mercy and compassion for the sick’.

Karen Groves
Dr Karen Groves spoke in the afternoon on ‘Compassion in health care’ showing us videos which drew our attention to ways in which we can show a lack of empathy and awareness for sick people without even realizing it. 

This short weekend retreat was designed to help us prepare for the Year of Mercy beginning on December 8 by reflecting especially on caring for the sick, one of the traditional corporal works of mercy.Reflection

Advent Carol Service

Our Advent Carol service at 3.30pm on November 29 was well attended and followed by refreshments. Including beautiful carols and readings, it was led by the Priory Choir from Cartmel, together with local churches. 

Christmas at Boarbank

As ever, our Christmas was greatly enriched and blessed by the friendship, company, generosity and gifts of our friends and guests who participated enthusiastically in our Christmas liturgy and hospitality.

Christmas Lunch  Christmas : Joe at Piano 

We would like to extend our thanks to you all. Fr Dixie enhanced the season with his encouraging sermons, four of which are included.

Fr Dixie's ability to make history come alive, together with his experience of concise explanation, all makes for compulsive reading, or better, listening. Click on the links below and you can read them yourselves...

Christmas sermons from Fr Taylor

 Gaudete Sunday 2015  Christmas Vigil Mass  Christmas day  Epiphany

We also appreciated the musical efforts of Flookborough band who played for our visitors on Christmas Eve.

On December 27, we had a festive Carol service round the fire in Boarbank Hall, attended by guests and residents and followed by refreshments.

With the light quickly fading outside and the cheer within it certainly captured the Christmas spirit. A big thank you to Maria Hall for coming from Preston to lead the music.

Many friends shared parts of our life during this joyful time and shared lunch with us in our refectory.

 Christmas Lunch 

Nursing Home 

Christmas Events

We enjoyed a delightful series of Christmas events including carols when members of Allithwaite Junior School sang for us in Marymount at the start of December and then Allithwaite Montessori Nursery School performed ‘The Sleepy Shepherd’ on December 8 which our residents really enjoyed

On December 15 the cast of the ‘Sound of Music’ from Cartmel School performed songs from their show for our residents in the morning.

 Sound Of Music by Cartmel School Sound Of Music by Cartmel School 

On December 23, a charming Father Christmas and his wife, otherwise known as Lib and Liz, arrived and distributed gifts for residents and children of our staff.

Christmas at Boarbank   Christmas at Boarbank
 Christmas at Boarbank Children Receive From Mother Christmas 

Requiescant In Pace

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

Anne Nottingham, the sister of Sr Mary Clare, and a wonderful friend and supporter of the Community over many, many years. She had, with her friend Mary Long, stocked and manned The Yorkshire Crafts stall at our annual Coffee Morning for 21 years. 

Mary Tierney, Peggy Shepherd, Mollie Holmes all of whom we had the privilege and pleasure of caring for in the Nursing Home.

Michael McKenna, Arthur Pullman, John Mc’Creesh.

Please remember them in your prayers. May they rest in peace.

Many thanks for the photos to Terry Winter, John Mitchell, John Moffat, Mike O’Malley and Sr Michael.