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Meeting of Novices, March 5-8, 2020

Novices and novice mistresses at ValehradOn Thursday, March 5, our novices of the English Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena, Stone (Sr. Chiara Mary and Sr. Mary Magdalene), together with their novice mistress, Sr. Angela Mary, flew to the Czech Republic for a gathering with other Dominican novices and their novice mistresses from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, and Hungary. The number of persons, including those of the local Dominican community, was 26.

The event was organized by Sr. Bernadeta Prašková of the Czech Dominican Congregation and was held in Bojkovice. Sr. Marie Kašparová kindly gave our sisters a lift from the Brno airport to the convent in Bojkovice. Each day, each congregation of sisters took turns preparing music for Mass and the Divine Office. The Mass was celebrated in Latin by Fr. Damián Němec, O.P., with the readings of the day given out in diverse languages.

Read more …Meeting of Novices, March 5-8, 2020


by Sr M. Jadwiga Swiatecka

The Samaritan Woman
The Samaritan Woman

If you are at all like me, you may well have forgotten by now what [last Sunday's] Gospel was about, so let me remind you: it was the story of the Samaritan woman.  And isn’t St. Matthew a vivid story-teller? There’s Jesus sitting by the well, and the Samaritan woman coming with her drinking vessel, which he hasn’t got, and the ensuing conversation about different kinds of water, and she, all excited, running back to her village and telling all her neighbours about this extraordinary chap who seemed to know all about her; and they, full of curiosity, trooping out to see this phenomenon and being convinced by his – comparatively few – words that he was indeed something special…Surely, if there were ever anyone who should be a special patron saint of women preachers, it should be this, alas nameless, woman, whose very excitement it is which brings others to faith.


We beheld His Glory

by Sr Tamsin Mary Geach



In the passage we are about to pray with, (Matthew 17:1–8), Peter  James and John are witness to Jesus’ Transfiguration, and the further showing forth of God’s presence under the appearance of ‘a bright cloud’ that ‘cast its shadow over them’  This story of the Transfiguration has resonances with the Jewish concept of the ‘Shekinah’, the presence of God made manifest to His people. 

The Shekinah is the English transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning "dwelling" or "settling"(Biblical Hebrew: שכינה‎ šekīnah.) referring to the dwelling or settling of the presence of God. This presence of God as a visible experience occurs in various places in the Old Testament, experienced as a glorious and terrifying shining out.

Near the beginning of the Covenantal relationship between God and His people Abraham (then still called Abram) made sacrifice to God and God appeared to him as a smoking fire … and a flaming torch’ (Gen 15.17).

Read more …We beheld His Glory

Collateral Damage,fashioning idols and performing stunts: A Lenten antithesis

by AC Swailes

Sermon for Evensong, Pembroke College, Cambridge, 1st March 2020

Temptation in the Wilderness
Temptation in the Wilderness

The gospel we have just heard is the conventional one for this Sunday of the year, the first Sunday of Lent, in many of our Churches, but perhaps our familiarity with it obscures the oddness of this choice.

Lent, obviously enough, is the period of the Christian year immediately prior to Easter, prior, then, to our communal reflection on and celebration of the victory of Jesus over the death of the Cross; and these texts, presumably, are supposed to orient our thinking and praying during these next six weeks.

Read more …Collateral Damage,fashioning idols and performing stunts: A Lenten antithesis

The sign of Three

by Sr Tamsin Mary Geach

At the beginning of Lent we are presented with Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness, in which Our Lord re-capitulated and overcame both the primaeval temptations of Adam and Eve, and the temptations faced by the people of Israel in the wilderness.  As St Gregory says. ‘The old enemy tempted the first man through his belly, when he persuaded him to eat of the forbidden fruit; through ambition when he said, You shall be as gods; through covetousness when he said, Knowing good and evil; for there is a covetousness not only of money, but of greatness, when a high estate above our measure is sought.’  In the desert the whole nation of Israel is tempted and overcome in the same manner – they crave the fleshpots of Egypt, they turn to false gods, and they mistrust the God Who has saved them.  However ‘By the same method in which he had overcome the first Adam, in that same was he overcome when he tempted the second Adam. He tempted through the belly when he said, Command that these stones become loaves; through ambition when he said, If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here; through covetousness of lofty condition in the words, All these things will I give you’ 

Read more …The sign of Three