22 November 2009

A Visit to Stroud

We in the novitiate have had a fairly busy week. The highlight of it came early: on Tuesday. We visited The Monastery of Our Lady and St. Bernard in Brownhills, near Stroud, Gloucestershire. It is a community of Bernardine Cisterician nuns. They were most welcoming and hospitable.

Before we got there, we popped in to visit the chapel of Prinknash Abbey, a Benedictine abbey. As we were leaving there we met a couple of the monks there. It is unfortunate that we were pressed for time. We were not able to visit with the community - although the very kindly invited us to. I would love to make another visit to Prinknash.Fr. Terry and Brother Paul: Novice Master and Assistant Novice Master,repectively (and respectully) with Prinknash (pronounced Prinnish) Abbey in the background.

When we got to they Bernardine Cistercian we got the grand tour from our own Fr. Peter C., who is their chaplain. I really liked their Early English (Gothic) styled chapel. The original part of it being from the 1850's. Back then an Anglican community lived there, and they helped women who were involved with prostitution to get off the streets. In another "incarnation" this was a place for priest and religious with substance abuse issues to come for help. In the chapel you can feel that this is a place of healing.If you look closely at the picture you can see a rainbow over the chapel.

At 12:30 we sang the Office of Sext with the sisters, after which we had dinner and a walk on the commons. The monastery is set on the edge of the Cotswold a truly beautiful part of England. The sisters wished to extend their hospitality to us - even offering us use of the guest house if we wished to stay overnight. It was a lovely offer, but we had to head home.

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