Yes, I do have permission to be online, but I won't be posting again for about another month. I have been here for about three and a half weeks now on my live-in and I am loathe to stir up holy envy in any of you but yes, it has been beautiful so far. I came at a very good time as well of course, since we have had so many feast days, including Our Mother's Feast, which also happened to be the anniversary of our foundation here (90 years) and also the anniversary of the Discalced Carmelites worldwide (450th). It was a very special day for all of us and I was able to participate in some incredibly funny skits and songs for the entertainment part of the day. I was the commentator for an Olympic 'synchronized snail race', the author of a fairtytale play that was acted out by four sisters, and I performed my own version of the song, California Here I Come, with new words put to that tune, called Wolverhampton Here I Come. I can't remember spending an evening laughing so much as the sisters all went to great effort to amuse each other. The special drinks and eats were just part of the good times had by all.
It may sound like we do nothing but have fun, but yes, we do live a very traditional Carmelite life here, and fun is just part of it. I have had some fascinating discussions with the Prioress and Sub-Prioress and Novice Mistress and have been blessed to be reunited with all these lovely sisters again. The community spirit is so strong and healthy and I do feel as if I am experiencing a little bit of heaven here on earth. I love the way this community prays the Office, and during Mass our new priest is introducing us to all the variations in the liturgy because it turns out that his background is heavily into liturgy. He uses a different Eucharistic Prayer each day and wants us to change our Memorial Acclamation every day to change with the Prayer. We are teaching him things too because he hasn't been used to chanting the Mass at all (our previous priest loved singing it), so now our new one is learning bits and pieces. He even asked if he could come to our Vespers on Saturday and Sunday evening and be Hebdomarian and incense the altar during the Magnificat, and he does a Benediction for us after Vespers on Sunday. We have had to change our weekday Mass times to an 8am start instead of at 9am as usual, and this has meant that we had to make changes to our whole day's schedule, but he can then go offer Mass at different secondary schools where he is chaplain. We still get Mass at 9am on weekends, so as one sister said, 'Well, now we have 'weekends' like everyone else, they are different than the weekday!'
I work with the Sacristan, which is lovely work, and which is what I used to do when I was here before. I also help out in the Robe Room (sewing, habits etc) and in the flower garden weeding. Mother has also said I might occasionally do a typing file for my boss back in Australia, so I don't lose touch completely there, and I still have a little income coming in so when I go back, I will still have a job and something to live on! I have also helped out in the Printing Office once, since I know computers, and the extern sister, who usually does this, has gone to Medjugorie for a week. We make greeting cards and stationery, and they needed someone to help print them out. Another sister handles the orders and sends them off.
On the domestic front, I clean the D.O.s (domestic offices - or toilets) and I have a 'sweep' once a week of the passageway downstairs, plus dusting the ante-choir and choir every day before Mass. I also empty the kitchen compost bin every day and any little odd jobs that turn up like chopping vegetables when needed. And we all do the dishes together.
Of course, there are some tough days too, just like anywhere, so today I had the Elvis Presley song running through my head, Did You Ever Have One of Them Days, and posted in on My Jam here...
When I told the Novice Mistress that I had this song running through my head, and sang the intro to it for her, she told me I would have to download it someday - perhaps I will re-write the words to that song and perform it at another entertainment evening for a special Solemnity. I am so sorry that I won't be here over Christmas (I will be back in Australia by then) because the sisters told me they are planning some lovely events for that as well. Oh well, there may be many more years ahead if it is God's will and grace for me to come back here. I am just grateful for what He is allowing me for now.
Here is our cell - on the first floor far right with the open window (to you Americans, the bottom floor is the ground floor and the first floor is one flight up).
And here is the door of our cell with a pic of Our Lady on it.
and the corridor leading to our cell. The next level up is the Novitiate, where I was last time. I am so glad not to have to climb that last flight of stairs anymore!
I took a lot more but I don't have the bandwidth to upload them all now. After I leave here, I will try to get more posted.
Tomorrow, after I finish my typing job (being Sunday and a free day), I will re-post some of this on my blog and perhaps I might add to it, but I have to get into bed now. Mother is letting me sleep in til second call tomorrow, and I want to take advantage of extra sleep!
Prayers for all of you. Sorry I don't have time to stop and read some of your posts, but maybe next time. Please remember me in your prayers as well.
I am quite charmed by the interior of your monastery, which has that 'ancient' look which had been my longstanding picture in my dreams.
The pic of Our Lady on your cell door, is the exact same one I have framed in my little 'cell' - cut, pasted and printed from the internet in black and white too. Thank you very much for updating us and with pics and looking forward to the next update whenever you might be able. Continuing daily prayers for all your intentions and discernment.
Prayers as it continues............
One of the sisters has already gone around and taken some photos for me to look over, but Mother has said that I can take some as well since I know more what might go well on a website. I would like to make it simple as befits Carmel, but also convey some of the feeling of the life and help those who might want to discern a possible vocation to Carmel, so questions, thoughts or ideas from Carmelite discerners are most especially welcome, although anyone else may make requests as well.
As for myself, I don't think I have ever felt as deeply happy as I am right now, and I lament the fact that I have to return to Australia in November to get a permanent visa to come back here. So please pray me on for that one when it is time. I am not presuming that they will let me return but I am certainly hoping, and there is every indication that they are as happy with things now as I am. I am working as an assistant to the Sacristan, and helping out in the printing office (for the greeting cards) and have just completed the Christmas Card brochure, which was really only an update of last year's catalogue with slight changes, as well as gardening, doing laundry and dishes etc. Mother has also allowed me to do the occasional transcription job for my employer so that I still have income when I get back to Australia. Every day is filled with something beautiful to do for God, from work to Recreation to prayer time to reciting the Office. I feel truly blessed not only to have been given a religious vocation but also for God's infinite patience and mercy in helping me to see that where He first placed me, is where He really does want me! Some of us are just a little slow.
I thought I might include one photo for you as well ... this is from the inside of our choir towards the altar and Tabernacle. I love the hanging Crucifix on the ceiling in the centre, but the one in the Chapel, which you can't see in this photo is even lovelier and bigger. Must go now, sleep is a precious thing in Carmel and I want to get to bed!
- AnneLine gave this props
- A general horarium (with pictures is even better).
-pictures of the main/significant places
-a summary of the formation process, especially if there is something that is unique to your specific community.
that is all I can think of right now.
It is good to hear that you are happy and doing well!
I have also been taking more photos and working on the design, so hopefully it will all come together over the next few weeks. If you get more ideas, please post them - they are much appreciated. And thanks for the prayers and good wishes as well - you are all great.
How wonderful to hear you speaking from the abundant JOY of your heart.
May every blessing continue to pour over you and your beautiful community.
With many loving prayers and best wishes,
Good to see you online!
Good to see you online!
- Chiquitunga gave this props
Yes, reactions to Enclosure. I was used to striding about over the length and breadth of the Northumberland moors and our Enclosure grounds were very small! However, by contrast the house was humongous and it took me an age to find my way round it! I was constantly 'lost' in the first few weeks!
Northumberland! I used to live in Settlingstones (I'll be very surprised and excited if you know it, as hardly anyone does) which is a little hamlet not far from Newbrough and about a six-mile walk from Haydon Bridge. i loved roaming those moors, especially around Sinderhope and Allendale. There's a lovely little church in Allendale Town. Sometimes I'd go further north. I also have fond memories of cheese and pickle baguettes in Corbridge. Sometimes I think about returning to live there again. I wasn't born or brought up there, but if I'm honest it feels more like home to me than the town I was born in.
I have followed your journey Nunsense for some time and this is very exciting. I am thankful that this has come to be for you, and I hope also, Lord willing, that this will be your home. It sounds wonderful so far and you must be so thrilled and thankful that this has turned out this way! I don't think I have any ideas for a website, but pictures are always great and anything that you could put on there about the life.
Please say a little prayer for me as I continue my discernment with Carmel.
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