Thursday, 17 May 2012


I am not writing or posting anymore articles until after exams. Please do leave any comments etc if you wish to have anything added for future editions.

Many thanks,


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sources for the March 2012 Issue

Regula Benedicti (63:12)

RC Community Group (Facebook Secret Group)

- ask to be invited to this group

(email your name and Facebook url).

Sky News Reports

Personal experience

News Feed and Prayer Requests

Please pray for the repose of Mother M. Edmund Campion’s soul. May she rest in peace. Amen.


Please also remember the Diocese of East Anglia as we do not have a Bishop at the moment. Please pray that the Lord may send us a new shepherd to guide us, His sheep. Amen.


Emily Ann Francis’ friend went to the Lord after an accident with her boyfriend. Please pray for the repose of her soul.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Please pray for all those discerning vocations at the moment, especially those who are encountering opposition from family and friends as it is particularly hard for them to endure such trials and stay strong in the faith and following God’s will. Amen.


Please also pray for all those who have been in cruise ship accidents this year, and for all their families and friends who have been affected by such tragic accidents. Amen


Please also remember your family, friends, and the intentions of all your brothers and sisters in Christ this Lenten Season. Amen.

God Bless you all. :)


Angeli Christian Books and Gifts, Cambridge, UK

16 Magdalene Street

Cambridge CB3 0AF

Tel: 01223 361651

Manager: Ivona

Open: Tuesdays - Saturdays 10.30—17:00

(closed Thursday mornings until 13:00)


The Vocation Operation Blog by Emily Ann Francis and Kim Lee:

This blog contains a list of communities, most of which are Religious communities, although we also have a few lay communities too. Most link to websites of congregations, but for those that do not, we have most of their phone numbers and addresses, so if you need them, please email our blog email on the back of this newsletter. We also feature communities and share vocation stories.




(contact details can be found on page four of this issue).

On Regula Benedicti 63:12

I find it very interesting that in the Rule, St Benedict writes about “Rank in the Community”. He writes that the “elders are to call the juniors brother” and the “younger call the elders nonnus, which means reverend father”.  (RB 63:12)In the same way, the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmatre (more commonly known as the Tyburn Nuns, or the Mothers of Tyburn due to their motherhouse having been located at the site where the Tyburn Martyrs were executed in London after their foundress, Mother Marie Adele Garnier moved there from France) apply this to their female Religious community. Their juniors are referred to as “sister” and their late sisters are referred to as “sister”, but all the Mothers who have taken perpetual vows or solemn profession are addressed as “Mother”, although sister is used in a loose way in the community, and by visitors.

What strikes me as intriguing is that many other Benedictine communities, in particular, women's’ communities do not seem to follow this. If anyone knows why, please do let me know. Email the contact details on the back of this newsletter.


Jesus, Help Me Prayer
In every need let me come to You with humble trust, saying:
Jesus, help me!
In all my doubts, perplexities and temptations:
Jesus, help me!
In hours of loneliness, weariness and trials:
Jesus, help me!
In the failure of my plans and hopes, in disappointments, troubles and sorrows:
Jesus, help me!
When others fail me, and Your grace alone can assist me:
Jesus, help me!
When I throw myself on Your tender Love as a Father and Saviour:

Jesus, help me!
When my heart is cast down by failure, at seeing no good come from my efforts:
Jesus, help me!
When I feel impatient, and my cross irritates me:
Jesus, help me!
When I am ill, and my head and hands cannot work and I am lonely:
Jesus, help me!
Always, always, in spite of weakness, falls and shortcomings of every kind:
Jesus, help me and never forsake me. – Amen

Community Spotlights

On our blog, The Vocation Operation, we have been compiling a list of communities, most of which are religious communities for men and women, although we do have a few lay communities as well. As well as the directory, we have been writing about vocation stories and setting up profiles on communities called “Community Spotlights”. These “spotlights” allow us to feature communities and give a bit more insight on them before the discerner reads the full website of the community. It gives them the opportunity to get an idea of the community featured, and any recommended resources for that community.

Should you wish to have your community featured as a “Community Spotlight” on our blog, please provide the following details:

Spirituality, Apostolate/Charism, Eligibility, Formation, Vows, Practices, History, and any recommended articles/DVDs/CDs/books that discerners may be interested in.

Please email:

Vocation Discernement

Sometimes I think that one of the most daunting things is getting in touch with communities for the first time, but then I come to think of it, and I realise that I am probably not the only one asking about vocations, and that their vocation directors will probably have heard it all before. I remember the first time I got in touch with the Mothers at Tyburn when I was about 14 or 15. It was a bit of an accident. I entrusted them with my deepest prayer intentions, things I generally never shared with people. I told them that there was a very deep desire within my heart for prolonged prayer and I often found myself awake, just praying for the intentions of others during the night or in the early morning. I loved going to Mass and since I was about 13, I told myself I wanted to develop my prayer life and that when I was older, if I ever had the chance to, I would go to Daily Mass. In summer last year, I actually did! However, as I have college and family commitments, I can only go on a Friday. Weekends are spent caring for my family, in particular, my adoptive mother who is very sick with stress-related illnesses and other problems. I am usually at Church  twice a week, on Wednesdays for the Toddler Group (before you start worrying, I don’t have children. I just know the mums there) and on Friday for the Daily Mass. I know a number of parishioners there and have spoken to them briefly about exploring vocation, and the project with my friend, Emily in London, The Vocation Operation. Many people have said to me that I am someone who is “already spoken for” - and then when people ask what they mean, they simply say “she is spoken for by the one who is everywhere” - implying that it is God calling. It’s fascinating to think that God could be calling me to something so blessed as the religious life.  I have visited some convents and monasteries, and somehow I found that the thought of becoming a sister can never leave me—believe me, I’ve tried the most outrageous things to try and “run away” from it all. It just doesn’t work. The thing is, due to family opposition, I am still not a Catholic in full communion with the Church, although I practically live like one! I go to Mass, pray regularly, adore the blessed sacrament, read the Bible, and although strictly speaking, I can’t go to confession, I have been known to speak to priests about my sins.

I have thought about all the options open to me, and there are very many paths I could go down, but what God is calling me to is the most important consideration I take into account. Every time I think about vocation, I think and pray about whether it is God’s will for me to do something, whether God wants me here or there, doing this or that.  I have a fair bit of work experience for a 17 year old, and a lot of hobbies and interests. I also do fairly well at school, and although I may not be a straight A student, I still have many talents and skills that I intend to make the most of. Many people have said to me that I have a lot to GIVE. That is ultimately what I think keeps this emptiness and lack of fulfillment in my heart—the waiting to GIVE myself WHOLLY and DEVOTEDLY to Him in service. I want so much to be able to offer myself to Him in obedience, and I guess that is another reason why I am considering the religious life—one of the vows taken by religious is obedience. I thought about marriage and having a family of my own, and have “dated” boys before. Somehow, the idea of that just wasn’t right. Looking at different communities, and getting in touch with them has made me realise that maybe I would be better suited to one of two: Benedictine contemplative (and yes, I have read Regula Benedicti) or perhaps a Salesian vocation. It seems so different, but I almost believe I will end up at either one or the other, so that is why I am now in touch with the Salesian Sisters (London) as well.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Sources for February 2012 issue

Sky News
Vision Vocation Network
Correspondence with the Tyburn Nuns
Regula Benedicti (The Rule of St. Benedict)

News Feed and Prayer Requests

Please pray for the repose of Mother M. Edmund Campion's soul. May she rest in peace. Amen.
Please also remember the Diocese of East Anglia as we do not have a Bishop at the moment. Please pray that the Lord may send us a new shepherd to guide us, His sheep. Amen.
Please pray for all the souls of the faithful departed, especially those who have just left us and gone to the Lord, and those whose anniversaries of death occur around this time. Jesus say Amen.

Please pray for all those anxiously waiting for exam results as it can be very stressful. Pray they may find peace in their hearts and accept whatever the outcome may be, and that they do not give up even if they haven't done very well in the exams. Pray also that they may have patience and work hard at getting better at their chosen subjects.  Please pray also for those who need to go on to find jobs and apprenticeships and study programme placements after the exams, with their exam results at hand. Pray that if it be God's will, they will find something suited to their needs and their talents, so they may feel a bit more at ease. Jesus say Amen.
God Bless you all. :)

Please pray for all God's children.
"Many who you don't know will benefit from your prayers"
- Mother M. Edmund Campion OSB


The latest group I have started for Catholics and Christians, and well, just about everyone around the world, all God's children—our brothers and sisters in Christ is the Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayer Warriors Group (often abbreviated as SHJ). So far, we have 20 members from various places around the world, from Poland to the Philippines to the USA. We hope to keep adding more members to pray for the intentions of the World.  To Join us, please have a look at out Facebook Page: SHJ Prayer Warriors, Twitter: @klegah or email me:

Emily Ann's blog:
This is a blog written by a fellow forum member and friend of mine, Emily Ann. She includes her thoughts and information such as a catalogue of religious communities for men and women, categorised by spirituality. We are working together to build up a substantial list of religious communities so that we can tell fellow discerners and people where to find different communities with different spiritualities and help them to perhaps, find the right "spiritual home".  Emily Ann also includes vocation resources on her blog for those wishing to know more about discerning their vocation. Emily Ann is on twitter as @emilyannscorner.



(contact details can be found on my blog home page).

Ora Et Labora

The phrase, "Ora et Labora" is often associated with the Rule of St Benedict (Regula Benedicti). It is a general sum of the Rule implying that, in Benedictine Monastic life, one should centre their life around prayer and balance that with "work". "Ora" is Latin for pray, and "Labora" is the Latin for "work". What many people do not actually realise is that the phrase itself does not appear in the Rule of St Benedict itself, but rather it came into use, it is said around the 18th or 19th Centuries.
As some of you who may know Latin know, one must be careful in the use of Latin as there are a number of words that are very similar and could completely change the interpretations in translations completely, even to mean a very different thing.  Some people have suggested that it could have been "Ora EST Labora" as opposed to the original version we are used to seeing, so in this translation, it would read "prayer=work", which may, to some pose a problem with what the Rule was saying, however, if you read the article below (On Prayer Requests…), you may find that either version will still work.

A Prayer for Difficult Times

Lord, when I hope in Your work, the weariness and sorrow that come from disappointment vanish like smoke in the wind. Keep me from deceitful ways and help me always to make the difficult choice for the truth, keeping my heart set on Your ways, hoping in Your word. Your way for me is the way of love, and this increases my hope in You, which does not disappoint. Your love poured into my heart by the Holy Spirit protects me from all disappointment by giving me the power to bounce back from every failure of my expectations of myself or of others, so to bounce back from every discouragement arising from lost opportunities or anything else that would threaten the joy of my hope in You. When I fail, I will not lose heart. Help me to make an act of humility, so that the joy of bouncing back—beginning again–will set me out once more on the path of Your way for me, confident and joyful, trampling down all traces of disappointment with the joy of being loved by You. Amen.

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Matthew 18:20

The Prayer Hand...

Praise: Voicing my wonder about who God is.
Thanksgiving: Thanking God for all his blessings.
Intercession: Praying for my brothers/sisters in Christ.
Petition: Asking God for my needs.
Confession: Agreeing with God about my sin.

I thought I might just share this with all of you as I found it a useful resource when I first started really consciously praying, and when I wanted to develop my prayer life, and be more "at one with God", as I like to say, I found this quite helpful. :)

On Prayer Requests...


Prayer Requests. Don't they seem ever present, and never-ending? Perhaps you feel like you can't pray for everyone and everything they want prayers for? Well, in a letter I received recently from one of the Mothers at Tyburn, a solution to this supposed predicament was suggested.
Mother M. Catherine OSB, the sub-prioress to Tyburn Convent's Benedictine Monastery in Largs suggested that there is a way to pray for everyone and all their needs and intentions, even if we do not know what those needs and intentions even are...
She wrote to me essentially saying that "the most important thing is to work at living each moment in union with Jesus. In this way each thought, word and deed is a prayer, and simply by holding the various intentions in your heart, you pray for them. If we consecrate our lives to God we become living holocausts, ~ a living prayer, for intentions which we do not even know about". If we just remember this then we will be able to pray for everyone and everything, without ever having to worry that there are people we are not praying for. All we need to do is strive to be in Union with Jesus in everything we do in our lives and hold those precious intentions in our hearts, and we could become a "living prayer" for the people.  God Bless you all. Keep Praying. :)

Religious Life Timeline (from Vision Vocation Network)

A Vocation to the Death

A sister once said that our vocations eventually lead to our deaths, and how right she was when she said that. Down one path or another we go, but sooner or later, God will call us Home to Him. On one hand you might think that is rather sad, how people come and go, live and die, and although they may have devoted their whole life to everyone around them, eventually they will no longer be with us, but think about what peace they will be at one day, in the presence of Our Lord and Our Lady, together with them at Home. One day that will be me and you, and I do not believe it is anything to be afraid of. Just remember to always pray for the souls of the faithful departed - that is why that is always the last prayer before we go to bed each night. When we awake "alive" in the morning the next day, always remember to thank God for another day in this world, so that you can pray more, learn more, give more, and ultimately love more.
On Tuesday, 31st January 2012, one of the Tyburn Nuns (Benedictine Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmatre), Mother M. Edmund Campion OSB went to the Lord at 5.45pm. May she rest in peace. Please pray for the repose of her soul.

"You could do no better than live absolutely by faith and God will always guide you."

- Mother M. Edmund Campion OSB R.I.P.

January Exams over, awaiting Results and the Summer Exams

The January A level exams are now over, and we are starting the next lot of modules for the summer exams. The way exam seasons work are quite different as we have several papers spread across the two years in which we complete our A levels. In the old days, people talked of three hour long papers at the end of two years—there was no such thing as re-takes or any coursework. Most subjects were exam based. Now we have modules and coursework and many papers which last on average, one and a half to two hours. The longest paper, which is rarely taken, is two and a half hours long. I do not think we have three hour written exams anymore. As we approach the next set of exams, we await the results of the January batch. Let's hope it's ok. :)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Sources for January edition of Faith Basket

-Tyburn Convent Benedictine Monastery Largs Newsletter
-Catholic Truth Society online website and articles
-Google searches on the Tyburn nuns
-Word of mouth through friends and peers

Friday, 13 January 2012

News Feed and Prayer Requests

Tesco, despite a fall in sales is still trying to expand and take over the supermarket and convenience store markets. With an increasing market share, visible from the close proximity of stores even in Cambridge, some within less than a couple miles of each other, Tesco is taking over like  lava overflowing from a volcano. This big Juggernaut is devouring many small businesses, which are suffering as a result.

Please pray that those who are dependent on small, family run businesses or small scale chains like Mace and specialised stores are not overwhelmed by the presence of Tesco, and that, if it is God’s will, they may be able to come up with ways of competing with Tesco to help them survive, and perhaps try to show Tesco its diminishing marginal returns of trying to expand too much. Amen.


Advanced Level exams are currently taking place until the end of January 2012. Many students, including myself have conditional offers from Universities and other apprenticeship or training schemes to fulfill. Most of them are based on grades, and with the highly competitive market for such ventures, students are really starting to feel the pressure—missing the grade by one mark may mean losing a place on the course/training of one’s choice, causing stress as students will then have to think about alternative next steps after Sixth Form. Please pray for all those affected, that they may be able to remain calm and collected and do their best so they can go to wherever it is God wants them to be. Amen.

Please pray for all God's children.
"Many who you don't know will benefit from your prayers"
-Mother M. Edmund Campion OSB

"Listen and attend with the ear of your heart"

This is a quotation from St Benedict. When he says listen, I do not think that he means the mental act of hearing sound go through one’s ears, but the engagement of one’s whole self in the “listening”. My interpretation of this would be that what Benedict was saying was that if we integrate our thoughts, feelings, whole-hearted desires and everything of ourselves to “listen”, then we may be mindful of God’s presence in every aspect of our lives. I guess in the monastic life, this comes as part of lectio divina (holy reading) and prayer—listening to what God is calling one to do by looking into the deepest desires of one’s heart to see exactly what kind of problems one might face and what strategies and solutions one can come up with. Tell me what you think?

Inspirations From Mother Marie Adele Garnier

Let me begin with a quotation from Mother Marie Adele Garnier, shared with me by the Tyburn Nuns. “God knows all, He can do all, and He loves us. We are in His hands. Let us live our life then, as He arranges it ... In heaven we shall understand the ‘why’ of everything.” For all of us there have been times where we simply do not understand why certain events have taken place, and sometimes it seems like it is such a cruel world that people often forget our loving Father and Mother in Heaven who are watching over us so lovingly we could not define it lexically in any human language. So, in the times where we are left wondering, rather than turning to  this materialistic world for ideas, perhaps we should take some time just to “listen” and find peace in the silence because it is better to make an act of trust and faith at all times ... we must see all things in the light of heaven.” And with that thought, I leave you to reflect  and think about the things Mother Marie Adele Garnier said.

Tweeting with @digitalnun (Sr Catherine Wybourne)

“A nun on twitter?” - who  would have ever heard of such a thing! , but in this day and age it seems that there are so many ways to spread the Word of God, including that of social media. Sister Catherine Wybourne is one of the Benedictine nuns from Holy Trinity Monastery who has been blessed with being a “web developer” as one of her “community duties”.  She writes on her twitter profile that she is “keen on God, books and technology”. She “likes people too” and blogs at  Sister Catherine Wybourne often recommends the community website, as a useful source to answer any questions one might have about their community in East Hendred, although occasionally other questions not included on the website may be asked via an email form on their website. However, It was through twitter that I was given some advice—to read Regula Benedicti in Latin as translations are often “interpretations”, and in discussing languages, Sister said, “Mother M. Xavier is an accomplished Hebrew scholar, I believe” - which intrigued me since I always wanted to learn more languages, including Hebrew and Greek, as well as improve my Latin which is not good at the moment. The last time my friends and I tried to tell our Economics teacher in Latin that he had shed light on a curved graph, we accidently said that he was a “wonderful circle” and he only laughed and said, “yes, I do need to sort out the weight problem!”. Although funny, we don’t fancy that again!

Getting in touch with Mother M. Catherine

I first heard about Mother Catherine when my RS teacher told me that a girl in our parish had entered with the Tyburn nuns during a lesson on Vocations in Year 11. I thought I had heard the name before so I checked my emails, only to find the prayer requests replies from Mother M. Edmund Campion—one of the Tyburn Nuns. It wasn’t until Summer 2011 when I stayed in a flat on my own for a couple weeks due to flooding in my village family home that I decided I would take the opportunity to go to Daily Mass at the local Catholic Church. That is where I spoke to the Sacristan who introduced me to Malcolm (the altar server/Mother Catherine’s father). They asked me about my family and why I was there alone and I told them about my situation and that I had wanted to be Catholic since I was three. Vocation was the next topic and then Malcolm mentioned his daughter (Mother Catherine) and that’s when I wrote to her in Largs—after a conversation about the Tyburn nuns with Malcolm. I called her a couple times too, and talked of  my College (where she went too). Blessings!

Update on the Benedictine Monastery Largs

The Big News of this year for the Benedictine Monastery Largs is that they now have a new email address and website (please see below). Gratitude expressed to Andrew Gallagher for setting these up for them.

Mother Placid celebrates her Diamond Jubilee (60 years of Religious Profession) on 21st January 2012 and it is said “her excitement is growing”.

 The friend’s of the Tyburn Nuns informed them of the Dumfries cemetery’s need for restoration. This is where the sisters who lived and died there between 1884 and 1988 were buried when the community moved to Largs. This was transformed into a dignified site.  The parish priest of the Dumfries Church, St Andrews organised a commemoration ceremony and Holy Mass with special readings, which was attended by many.

The former chaplain, Fr. Gabriel Kigozi passed away and news was received by the sisters on 12th April.

The Bishop, John Cunningham celebrated his 50th anniversary of priestly ordination. All-night Thursday Adoration for a year was offered for priestly vocations in the diocese.

For more information about the Benedictine Monastery in Largs, please see their website, or contact them using the email on the below.

Tyburn Convent DVD: Gloria Deo

The Tyburn Nuns, Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmatre released their DVD, Gloria Deo recently. It features some insights into their lives as contemplative Benedictine Nuns, showing their many convents and monasteries around the world. Mother Mary Xavier McMonagle, the Mother General has said she hopes those who watch the DVD will “serve God more sincerely in their own lives”.  When asked whether she thinks more vocations will result from the DVD, Mother said she was more focused on informing the general public that the contemplative monastic life is one of “vibrant, joyous, and holy dedication to God” and that it was “well worth living” for all those touched by it, not just the nuns themselves.

One of the features in the DVD is the expansion of the religious community, especially, it is emphasised, at a time where many of the female religious communities around the world are in decline.

Tyburn convent is situated in Marble Arch, at the site of the Tyburn Gallows, where many martyrs were hanged, and has become a centre for international pilgrimage. From parish groups to pilgrims from around the world, the number of visitors to Tyburn Convent has blossomed.

For a copy of the DVD, please contact the Tyburn Nuns.
£15 + postage (depends on where you live in the world)

It's a small world

It's a small world because we are all related in God's world. We are all His little children, which makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. It's amazing to think that the more I talk to people in the community, the more I learn, even about people I know or know of. Just remember that whatever happens, God is with you, and that everything will work out fine in the end...

I always find that when I meet new people, they tend to know at least one person I already know, and connections and commonalities arise from there, which is why I said—we are all related in some way or another—even in this physical world…but it’s more important to remember not the worldly connections but the spiritual— just remember that you are God’s child.

2012: The New Year

Welcome back to a lovely new year everyone. I hope everyone enjoyed the festivities, should you have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of sparkly bright colours exploding in the sky above us all.

2012 seems to be the year that many are afraid of— the so-called “end of the world” or “apocalypse”. Conspiracy theories seem to suggest that  the entire human race will be wiped out, or worse (for some people anyway) - we will all become reptiles as we will shed the human form that we are apparently hiding under with the current frequency on Earth. Others appear to suggest that we are living in a  particular dimension, and that we will travel to the next level and the next dimension, progressing up to a new level each time we “die” so they say...but where could one possibly imagine such a world? It’s like they’ve never heard of our Lord and Our Lady—the most loving parents anyone could ever have. I guess that is why the current Prime Minister, David Cameron is trying to bring back the traditional Christian values we once had in society—the ones that have deteriorated into thin air-or so it seems as the words “courtesy” and “consideration” have become archaic, if not obsolete. 

I cannot answer for everyone, but I think that it is high time we all prayed and did what we could so that society will one day be one big community of people who “love their neighbour” like they did in the past. I remember a time when I was very young, when we never locked the doors. I could go to my friends’ houses and knock and the door would be open—I could simply walk into their house. Now, no one does that due to safety reasons. What a predicament we have gotten into!

Well, all I can say is keep this intention in your prayers each day, and hope things will change in God’s time.