Birth of Augustine

‘Is everyone happy who has what he or she wants?’ I asked.
‘No,’ said my mother [St Monica], ‘If people want good things and have them, they are happy,
but if they want bad things, even if they have them, they are unhappy’
[quoted in St Augustine, On the Blessed Life, reporting a conversation on his birthday in 387]


Mass for the Feast of St Augustine on 28th August was celebrated by Bishop Michael.

 St Augustine Feast at Boarbank  St Augustine Feast at Boarbank
 St Augustine Feast at Boarbank  St Augustine Feast at Boarbank

Sr Eileen and Sr Margaret M. spent much of September at Ile Blanche in Brittany at the General Chapter of the Federation during which Sr Clémence Sagnon from Burkina Faso was elected Superior General and Sr Marie Benoît reelected as her Assistant.

Sr Clemence With New Gen Council


Sr Eileen writes, ‘The Chapter was well organised and facilitated by Frère Jacques d’Huiteau, a Christian Brother. It ended a day earlier than planned to avoid travel disruption caused by demonstrations by the French farmers, we had an extra day at Malestroit. We were warmly welcomed there and able to spend three lovely afternoons with Sr Geneviève.
She was as interested as ever in all her Boarbank Community and friends. She would love any letters or visits and is not able to access a computer as yet. Please note we are not able to receive emails directed to her previous email address, so drop her a line and she will let you know how best to contact her.

The address is:
Communauté des Augustines,
56140 Malestroit,

For the Community Retreat in October, we were very happy to join for the first time with the Augustinian Friars, at Boarbank itself. The retreat was led by Fr Tony Banks OSA, from the Provincial House in Rome.

Retreat with Friars

On 19th October we welcomed Mgr Frank Slattery, Vicar for Religious, and Religious Sisters from Communities in the north of the Diocese for a Day of Reflection led imaginatively by Fr Paul Swarbrick.

 Retreat for Religious Retreat for Religious
 Retreat for Religious Retreat for Religious

During November, the Sisters have been enjoying their regular breaks in Ambleside, so numbers have been a little lower than usual in the house.

Sr Elizabeth Mary celebrated her Golden Jubilee on 23rd November. Bishop Michael was the chief celebrant, and the Guest House was filled with guests for the celebratory buffet afterwards.

It was a lovely joy filled day for all the family, friends and guests, with a wonderful buffet provided by the kitchen staff. We even managed a sing song in the Drawing room in the evening, those of us who could stay awake!

Here is a short slideshow to give you a feel for the occasion:

Sr Elizabeth Mary Jubilee-01
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Guest House

We had full houses for both the Thinking Scripture week in October and the Autumn Break in November, a mix of regulars and new faces, with a good sprinkling of parishioners also joining us.

We took the themes ‘God in the Bible’ and ‘The arts in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation’ - two rich weeks of intellectual and artistic exploration.

Many thanks indeed to our regular visiting lecturers, Geoffrey Turner, Haydn Lee, Joyce Simpson and Rosemary Mitchell.

 Thinking Scripture Thinking Scripture
 Autumn break Autumn break

For full reports, please click on Thinking Scripture  or  Autumn Break

Other regular visitors were the students from Durham University Catholic Chaplaincy, who treated us by leading morning prayer on the Sunday, and Cumbria Christian Meditation, whose silent retreat this year was led by Stefan Gillow Reynolds, with an artistic theme.

Durham visit
Durham visit
Durham visit  

In between, by contrast, the 3rd Form from Austin Friars in Carlisle came for the day with their chaplain, Sr Margaret and some of their teachers. This was on 13th November, St Augustine’s birthday, and the theme was an Augustinian one - how God works in our lives through self-knowledge, repentance and grace.

Austin Friars visit
Austin Friars visit

The day included an energetic ‘pilgrimage’ around prayer stations in the garden, a talk, a Q& A with the Sisters, prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and a shortened version of Evening Prayer. Thank you to the organisers of all our visitors, Richard, Fr Andrew and Eleanor, and Sr Margaret.

Nursing Home

A fundraising Fashion Show took place in Boarbank, thanks to Jill Wright of The Paragon Gift Shop in Grange, who is also one of our nurses. It was a great success and we raised £400.

 Fashion Show Fashion Show
  Fashion Show

Our Employee of the Month was Rebecca Harrison for October and Tina Robinson for November.

 Csaba Szabo Rebecca H

Csaba Szabó, a Byzantine rite Catholic seminarian, has joined us for five months as part of the pastoral year in his training. He is already a very popular and familiar figure in the Nursing Home, where he is working.


The Macmillan Coffee Morning on 29th September raised the excellent sum of £150.

The high winds last month brought down the crucifix in the cemetery. Luckily the image suffered only minor damage and is being repaired and attached to a more robust new cross to be replaced as soon as possible.

The Crucifix before repair

The beginning of November brought our usual days of remembrance - All Saints and All Souls, a day of prayer for Deceased Sisters, our memorial service for recently deceased friends and relatives, especially residents of the Nursing Home.

Candles were lit in memory of each person we were remembering. Finally, we shared in the two minutes’ silence on November 11th and the prayers on Remembrance Sunday.

CLICK HERE for Fr Dixie’s sermon.

Regular maintenance and upgrading continues with scaffolding around the Chapel to remove the ‘gutter gardens’ which have developed, and new boilers for the Nursing Home. We hope to be able to begin the refurbishment of the Lounge in Boarbank in the New Year, courtesy of donations to Sr Elizabeth Mary for her Golden Jubilee.

New Programme for 2018

There is now a full programme out for 2018, including several new events. For details see the WHAT'S ON section

As always, we are grateful if you are able to share the information in any appropriate way with anyone who might be interested.


We ask your prayers for our friends who have recently died, including residents of the Nursing Home, and for their friends and families: Fr Kevin Lowery, Mrs Jessie Wilson, Mrs Marion Sodo, Mr Alex Kushnie, Mrs Sheila Wareham. May they rest in peace.