Simon of Cyrene: Alexander speaks.

by  Sr Ann Catherine Swailes

“And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.”

 He wasn’t one for talking, the old man.

And yet, it seemed to me his quiet sang, 

As though a word, some mighty, labouring word

faltered beside him, and he shouldered it

In silence, made that burden his,

Then chanted it throughout his stumbling life.


You’d sometimes hear it of a Lord’s day, when,

Embarrassed as some men can be at prayers,

He’d throne the living bread upon his palms,

then seem to topple as beneath a weight

unbearable yet longed for, sharp as love.

I’d wonder then what jostled in his mind,

What clanging, stamping memories were there.


I know we never feared to lean on him

When we were growing up. Our friends, half-men,

Would flush, bite lips, rage, blinking at the ground

When iron fathers made up what they lacked,

And loaned them strength they had not yet acquired.

Our father bent, and stooping, soothed our pride,

Exchanging it for glory, like a God’s.


And in his last days, when the milky tears

of age would leak from eyes turned elsewhere, then

I think our father sang his truest note.

I heard it once, one evening when the sun

In dying scarred the clouds with red, the hour

When he would let us touch him. Then, words came

Whether to us, or him, they were addressed:

Go, and do likewise. That was all he said.








Sowing the seed: an exhortation to prayer

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NOTES BY SR.VALERY O.P FROM A COMMUNITY RETREAT  given by Fr. Benedict Jonak O.P Friday Feb.26 2018

Prayer, Fr.Benedict began, is essentially something for spiritual beings: angels and ourselves. Creation as a whole praises God by being the beautiful, ordered thing it is. It praises, but it does not pray. Only spiritual beings, gifted with intellects, are able to communicate with their Maker, are invited, through the sacrifice of Jesus, God’s Son, even to be friends of God. Christian prayer is IN JESUS and we offer our prayer with Jesus.

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Christ the Carpenter

Why did you, Lord of all,


Incarnate God,

Choose to be called, and be, a carpenter?

Why did you not,

When dwelling on the earth

which you had made

Choose more to love it with a tiller’s heart?

Or with the fisherman to cast your lot?

Surely that would have been more fitting art

For one who came to draw

With loving skill, all men into his bark?

Why did you choose

To ply your trade in wood?

Was it because, like a wise warrior,

You did  desire to learn

With mind, heart, human hand

The rough grained medium of your victory?

  by Sr Jadwiga Swiatecka

Do Not Be Afraid

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Lent

Apparently, the most commonly repeated phrase in the whole Bible, in both the Old and the New Testament, is “Have no fear!” or “Do not be afraid!” There are also about a dozen or so times when Jesus is said to touch those he is about to cure. 

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To Praise, To Bless, To Preach.