The feast of Our Lady’s Assumption is always a special occasion, but this year it was marked with extra significance.
Because the Province of England has now a new status under the title of the Province of Europe, this year’s feast provided the occasion to give thanks for the past as we move into the future. Acknowledging the part played over the years by our many friends and colleagues we gathered as many representatives as would fill the chapel in Kensington for Mass. This was con-celebrated by Frs. Robin Gibbons who has been alongside us over many years, Peter Gallagher S.J. from Heythrop, and John McGowen representing our Carmelite friends. Robin’s homily can be downloaded: text / audio, and is highly recommended reading and re-reading. The music was under the direction of Martina Jelinkova. In Martina a true artist was at the service of the liturgy.
The sun shone as everyone made their way across the garden to the hall where, drinks in hand, the gathering heard an overview from Sr. Maureen Connor of what the English Province had been about between the years 1954-2018. Maureen highlighted three things: the contribution to Catholic Higher Education through Maria Assumpta Teacher Training College, the contribution to the Ecumenical movement as required by Vatican 11, centred at Hengrave, and the founding of the Province of East Africa which today is flourishing and expanding.
An exhibition round the hall, whilst allowing an amble down memory lane and intake of breaths of nostalgia - all in black and white and sepia - also displayed our present projects and opportunities in colourful display.
It was a wonderful opportunity, over lunch and into tea, for catching up with old friends and meeting new ones among this group representing a time span of eighty years, and it surely caught the mood and the momentum that this is a time of looking forward saying, in the words of Dag Hammerskold , “For all that has been, THANK YOU; to all that will be YES”
Sr Christine ra
Sisters from England, Belgium, Italy and Lithuania gathered for the 2nd Chapter in the Province of Europe
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