For the first eleven days of August the Congregation Chapter gathered to decide our plans for the next six years, and elect our new Prioress General and Council. Dominicans rule by a process of consensus, similar in type to democratic voting, except that the process is designed to produce a consensus rather than a majority rule. If things have been adequately discussed the votes will often be unanimous. Matters discussed will cover such issues as the future of our institutions and our plans for mission. Each day of the Chapter also included Mass and praying of the Divine Office (The readings and psalms that are obligatory for all priests, religious and consecrated lay people to pray each day) Here we are on the last day of the Chapter, symbolically and appropriately 'standing beneath the Cross'
A talk given to parents of first communicants at Our Lady of the Assumption and the English Martyrs, Cambridge by Sr. Tamsin Mary Geach
In the next few weeks your children will reach the point of making their first Holy Communion. This era of fortnightly early rising will be over! Praise the Lord!
So well done. You have faithfully brought your children to this point. It’s my job today to remind you why we go through all this – parents, catechists and children. What is the motivation that makes this worth-while?
Basically, eternal life.In the Gospel of St John, Chapter 6, we read that after the feeding of the 5000 the crowds came back to Jesus hoping for more free food. He told them not to seek for ‘food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you…which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” When they press Him further He tells them “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst’ Later on He says ‘I am the living bread[c] which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Reflection for Vespers during the Easter Octave 2019 by Sr Ann Swailes
Famously, Lent lasts for 40 days and 40 nights. Eastertide lasts for 50, and it’s interesting to speculate on the reason for this difference. It’s not, I think, simply that the Church in her kindness and wisdom gives us longer in which to feast than to fast, though that’s no bad, and - as we shall see - no trivial thing. There’s a less comfortable explanation also. Eastertide is given us so that we can begin to assimilate the marvels the Lord has done for us, to make our peace with a world made new. For that, we need all the time we can get.
The liturgical calendar can be confusing for children. Friends who have always been Catholic have told me of their puzzlement when, just a couple of months after Christmas, Lent rolled round, and they were encouraged by parents or catechists to give up sweets or try harder to say their prayers in some kind of solidarity with Jesus in his temptations. Baffling indeed: he’d only been born a few weeks ago; how could a baby do battle with Satan in the wilderness?