Monday, November 30, 2015

Exploring Monastic Theology

Aug 26th, 2013 by  
Filed under Past Events, Vocations

Four days of study, prayer and community alongside the monks of Worth Abbey and members of The Wellspring Community. With talks and study, structured around participation in the monastic rhythm of prayer, and space for reflection in the beautiful surroundings of Worth Abbey.

For more than 1500 years, the 6th Century Rule of St Benedict has inspired Christian living in the Western Church, informing a range of Catholic spiritualities, monastic, priestly and lay. At the heart of the Rule is a vision of our human potential transfigured in Christ. This invitation to “share through patience in the passion of Christ, that we may also share in his Kingdom” (RB Prol.) is the subject of these study days in monastic theology and spirituality for young adults. Monastic spirituality is grounded in a profound realism about our human condition, but never loses sight of the “loftier summits” (RB 73) to which Christ both summons us and accompanies us. The Prayer of the Church (Opus Dei), Holy Reading (Lectio Divina), the practice of Mental Prayer, and the key theological themes of the monastic tradition in the West will form the substance of this weekend of reflective living, praying and studying together with the monks of Worth Abbey.

Further Information:
As well as talks exploring key aspects of Monastic Theology, the group will participate in the monastic rhythm of prayer: Holy Mass, the Divine Office, lectio divina, and silence. There will also be time for personal reflection, Adoration, Reconciliation, walks, and building community and friendship.

This event is hosted by the monastic community and The Wellspring Community*; speakers include Br David Jarmy OSB, Fr Mark Barrett OSB and Sr Johanna MeInk OSB of Turvey Abbey. Arrivals: Please arrive from 2:30pm on Wednesday 28th. Mass is at 5:30pm, and Evening Prayer is at 6:45, followed
by supper at 7:15. The Introduction Session will be after supper.

What To Bring: Clothes for rain, suitable shoes for a walk (possibly in mud!), your own Bible if possible, notepad and pen. No towels or bedding is needed: all is provided. Feel free to bring a bottle of something to share for a social evening – wine/beer or soft drinks.

Food: If you have any special dietary requirements please make sure the bookings secretary knows:

Accommodation: is in the St Bruno’s retreat centre. Most rooms are shared (please state when booking if you have a preference for a single room) with shared bathroom facilities, though some are en suite.

Cost: £120 (student/unwaged) and £150 (waged). Cheques payable to Worth Abbey Projects. Please send your payment to The Open Cloister when you book (address below). If you need a further subsidy, please enquire.

Getting to Worth: the nearest train station is Three Bridges, and lifts should be possible: let us know an arrival time in advance – call or text Jo: 07595761483. Or taxis are available from the station, and cost approx £12. St Bruno’s is near the main car park for the monastery and church: use the “Worth Church/Abbey” entrance, and not the “Worth School” entrance.

The address is Worth Abbey, Paddockhurst Rd, Turners Hill, Crawley, West Sussex. RH10 4SB.

Departure: the retreat will finish approx 3pm on Sunday 1st. Lifts back to the station should be available.
To Book: please complete and return the booking form by post or email to The Open Cloister at Worth Abbey.

If you have any questions or concerns, do drop me an email or give me a call. We look forward to seeing you there!
God bless,
Jo Gilbert and The Monastic Team
The Wellspring Community
Email: Mobile: 07595761483
Worth Abbey:

*The Wellspring is a Catholic community seeking to live the Gospel with the Rule of St Benedict as our guide. Living a common life of prayer and service, we seek to witness to the Kingdom of God in the city of Brighton.

To download a booking form please click here.


Aug 4th, 2013 by  
Filed under Past Events

MAGIS – world youth days in Rio, Brazil with the amazing opportunity of seeing the Jesuit Reductions in the Amazon, living and working in favella communities, along with an individually guided retreat. Still some last minute places. Contact Sr Anouska Robinson-Biggin FCJ,

Retreat at Barmouth

Jul 20th, 2013 by  
Filed under Past Events

Retreat for young adults in the beautiful Barmouth, north Wales, 6 -13th July. Contact Fr Simon SJ.

Oxford University Chaplaincy CAFOD group at the Big IF

Jun 25th, 2013 by  
Filed under CAFOD, Past Events

Copied from the CAFOD Birmingham blog: Oxford University Chaplaincy CAFOD group at the Big IF

June 16, 2013 by

Christine from the Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy’s CAFOD group sent us an account of her day out last Saturday at the Big IF at Hyde Park.

The IF campaign has been working hard to build momentum around Britain over the last months, and it showed on Saturday, 8th June as tens of thousands of people came together in Hyde Park. We came together, as Prime Minister David Cameron hosted a ‘nutrition summit’ and prepared for the G8 meeting, in order to make our voice heard on four issues around food security: aid, land grabs, tax avoidance and transparency. The evidence is clear; there is enough food for everyone IF we convince political leadership to take action in these areas.



We started the day at the ecumenical service in Westminster Central Hall which was packed with 3000 people and more in “overflow” venues, both organised and impromptu. After we had acquired our CAFOD t-shirts, we managed to find a prime spot in a front row of the balcony where we could spot the many other CAFOD IF shirts and people carrying their home made spinning flowers to add to the IF instillation in Hyde Park. The instillation represented the 2 million children who die of malnutrition each year. The service was beautifully done with representatives from many Christian communities participating, with a message from Archbishop Vincent Nichols, and Archbishop Justin Welby sending a video message. I was particularly struck by Archbishop Nichols message about our hunger for change: “That millions go hungry every day is a responsibility we all must share. These are our brothers and sisters and their suffering is also ours.” The service was a wonderful recognition of the way in which our faith informs and inspires our search for justice, and really helped us to feel more united in this mission.

The service was followed by a walk of witness to Hyde Park. The large group was unfortunately quite spread out at times, but

DSCN8143I could hear chants of ‘enough food for everyone’ in some parts of the group, with hymns being sung in others. Banners from different organisations could be seen throughout the group as we wove our way through central London. Our Oxford group had united with CAFOD East Anglia and were lucky to have their large CAFOD banner to lead us through the crowds and keep us together.


Upon arrival at the IF area of Hyde Park we navigated through the many stalls from different organisations, places to purchase organic food, and picnicking groups to the CAFOD stall which was buzzing with people acquiring t-shirts, Hungry for Change loaf and fish hats, and getting their faces painted. Groups had traveled from around England and there was a real sense of solidarity as different CAFOD supporters met each other and recognised a shared cause. Our group expanded to welcome some more Oxford members, as well as friends from the Westminster and Southwark dioceses.


As it approached 3.30pm, we settled down on the grass in front of the stage and screens. The forty-five thousand spread out as far as one could see, making an impressive crowd. We were called upon by a number of speakers to shout out and make a noise for the cause as well as to tweet David Cameron. A particularly moving moment was the minute of silence to show respect for those who have died of hunger. It felt like the silence of the large crowd in many ways spoke as loudly as the noise we had made together to express the need for change. After listening to great speakers ranging from Bill Gates, to South Africa’s Jay Naidoo to David Beckham over video link, and viewing a number of informative and thought-provoking videos, we headed over to the IF instillation. There we added our home-made flowers, particularly on behalf of friends who had been unable to make it on the day but supported the cause. Overall the day was both lovely and exhausting and we left with a strong sense of the need for us to both call on David Cameron to make political change but also for us each to continue to act to seek change: both politically as a collective and in our personal lives.

DSCN8153To see more of what CAFOD was up to at the Big IF rally at Hyde Park take a look at this highlights package.

The Week Ahead: Eighth Week

Jun 10th, 2013 by  
Filed under Past Events

Sun 9th June: 10th Sunday of the Year
1Kings 17:17-24 (Ps 29) & Gal 1:11-19
Luke 7:11-17
9am Fr Simon Bishop SJ
11am Fr Simon Bishop SJ
followed by community lunch
5.45pm Fr Dushan Croos SJ
8.30pm Rosary
9pm Fr Dushan Croos SJ

Mon 10th June:
Acts 11:21-26; 13:1-3 (Ps 37) Matt 10:7-13
12.15pm Mass

Tue 11th June: St Barnabas
Tobit 2:9-14 (Ps111) & Mark 12: 18-27
12.15pm Mass
8.15 God in the Lab: Sr Lynne Baron FCJ Physics and images of God

Wed 12th June:
2 Cor 3:4-11 (Ps 98) & Matt 5:17-19
12.15pm Mass
7pm Lectio Divina: Prayerful reading of the Scriptures

Thu 13th June: St Anthony of Padua
2 Cor 3:15-4:1,3-6 (Ps 84) & Matt 5:20-26
12.15pm Mass
5pm Vat2 & Cake with Fr Simon SJ
6pm Holy Hour
7pm Newman Nosh
8pm Conor Burns MP, Faith and Politics.

Fri 14th June:
2 Cor 4:7-15 (Ps 115) & Matt 5:27-35
12.15pm Mass

Sat 15th June: Our Lady on Saturday
2 Cor 5: 14-21 9Ps 102) & Matt 5:33-37

The Week Ahead: Seventh Week

Jun 3rd, 2013 by  
Filed under Past Events

Sun2 Jun Corpus Christi
9am Fr Dushan Croos SJ
11am Fr Dushan Croos SJ
2.30pm Corpus Christi procession from St Aloysius
walking via Blackfriars to the Chaplaincy for
Benediction at 4pm
5.45pm Fr Simon Bishop SJ
8.30pm Rosary
9pm Fr Simon Bishop SJ
Mon 3 Jun 6pm Mass Corpus Christi College
Tue 4 Jun 6pm Brasenose College Mass
8pm Film Night: The Mission
Thu 6 Jun 5pm Vat2 & Cake4you
6pm Holy Hour 7pm Newman Nosh
8pm Robert Calderisi Earthly Mission: The Catholic
Church and World Development
Fri 7 Jun Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
2-4pm Follow the Hat: A Mystery Chaplain will
be available for Tea, Cake and Conversation in
Oxford Modern Art Café, Pembroke Street.
7.30pm Taizé Prayer

Sacred Heart Novena

May 30th, 2013 by  
Filed under Past Events, Prayer

AMDG Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena Prayers
O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of… (Mention your Intention Here)
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be to the Father…
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of… (Mention your Intention Here)
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be to the Father…
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.” Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of… (Mention your Intention Here)
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be to the Father…
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us. Amen.

The Sacred Heart

May 30th, 2013 by  
Filed under Past Events, Prayer

Imagine a multi-faceted crystal, each tiny surface iridescent as it catches and reflects the light. Imagine the whole, brilliant and glowing, shimmering with new colours, whichever way we view it. That is an attempt at describing the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the most multi-faceted Heart imaginable; at once loving, open, tender, compassionate, wounded, welcoming, pierced, humble, generous, merciful, free… This is a Heart which burns with passionate love whilst also beating quietly with gentleness and fidelity, but which is always, totally, unlimited Love, open to ALL.
The readings and especially the Gospels for the Feast present us with three distinct facets, which, individually or taken together, are full of riches. In Year A, Jesus invites us to come to Him, to learn from His gentle and humble Heart (Matt 11:25-30). Here, the Heart of Jesus is a place of refuge and welcome, a shelter, a safe place, a place of peace where every burden is laid down, every fear put to rest. But here, vitally, we are invited to enter into the dispositions of His Heart: to learn from Jesus’ attitudes and ways of relating; to discover His Heart, wholly given to God and to all people, and to make those dispositions our own.
In year B we have the piercing of Jesus’ Heart (Jn 19: 31-37), an event where malevolence meets goodness, sin meets love. And on face value, sin definitely wins. Love is powerless, sin is powerful; love is defenceless, vulnerable, open to attack; sin is armed and dangerous. Love is a spent force, sin is triumphant.
And yet… through that act of gratuitous cruelty Jesus’ Heart is opened, never to close, releasing a torrent of superabundant, redemptive love, a wellspring that will never dry up. God’s generous, self-giving love pours forth from a Heart wounded by sin – wounded but not overcome. Here we have hatred somehow lost in the mighty flow of the love it has unwittingly unleashed. Love, seemingly powerless, has, in its very powerlessness, conquered sin. And it is here, in the pierced and wounded Heart of Jesus, that we find our salvation and the sureness for our hope; here too, crucially, where we can bring our own broken, wounded hearts for healing and restoration.
And this year (C) we reflect on the tenderness and watchful care of the Good Shepherd (Lk 15: 3-7), who knows each one intimately and rejoices to bring us home, into His Heart. Lovingly, the Shepherd reaches out to the weakest and most vulnerable, the unwanted and unloved, those suffering any form of rejection; and, especially, those who believe they have strayed beyond the bounds of God’s love. All are brought home, into that wide-open Heart, where there is space enough for everyone.
All this and more is in the Sacred Heart we especially celebrate this month: a Heart that is always open, always inviting, and always pouring forth a love that is totally boundless, tender and true.

Sr Silvana Dallanegra RSCJ
Religious of the Sacred Heart/member of the Society of the Sacred Heart
Lives in Oxford, where she runs a student hostel community
Blogger –

This reflection is reproduced by permission of Magnificat:

The Week Ahead: Sixth Week

May 30th, 2013 by  
Filed under Past Events

Sun 26 May Trinity Sunday
9am Fr Dushan Croos SJ
11am Fr Dermot Preston SJ, Provincial Superior of
the Jesuits in Britain
Cricket Match v Hindu Society
5.45pm Fr Francis Davidson OSB (St Benet’s)
8.30pm Rosary
9pm Fr Dushan Croos SJ
Tue 28 May 6pm Mass St Hugh’s College
8.15pm God in the Lab: Heinrich von Jagwitz-
Biegnitz Physics and Philosophy
Thu 30 May 6pm Mass Worcester College
5pm Vat2 & Cake4you
6pm Leavers’ Mass
7pm Newman Nosh
8pm Br Nicholas Crowe OP – The Word made flesh:
Why the Church still matters
Fri 31 May Feast of the Visitation of Our Lady

The Week Ahead: Fifth Week

May 21st, 2013 by  
Filed under Past Events

Sun 19 May Pentecost
9am Fr Dushan Croos SJ
11am Fr Dushan Croos SJ
5.45pm Fr Simon Bishop SJ
8.30pm Rosary
9pm Fr Simon Bishop SJ
Tue 21 May 8am CAFOD Morning Prayer in the Meadow
6pm Oriel College Mass
8pm Film Night: Dead Man Walking
Thu 23 May 5pm Vat2 & Cake4you
6pm Holy Hour 7pm Newman Nosh
8pm Sabina Alkire, Oxford Poverty and Human
Development Initiative: How Christianity can help
form a framework to measure poverty
Fri 24 May 2-4pm Follow the Hat: A Mystery Chaplain will be
available for Tea, Cake and Conversation in News
Café, Ship Street
7.30pm Taizé Prayer
Sat 25 May St Thomas More Lecture
4pm Mass
5pm Sr Helen Prejean

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