The year is well on it's way with Winter around the corner. Due to a cold snap earlier in the season, the Autumn colours of the deciduous trees are stunning in their red, pink and yellow colours this year.
After Easter, thanks to the kindness of benefactors, a kitchen renovation was begun. We had retained the kitchen from the original farmhouse that was bought, and as it was only meant to cater for a few people we were finding it difficult to manage the large amount of cooking needed for the retreat centre. The renovation and extension will also mean we can enjoy access to fresh air and light which will be a great relief for the cooks - perhaps the meals too will improve!
Since the departure of our previous chaplain Rev. Fr Santey who returned to India for a visit and then will resume his good work in the polytechnic schools of Kenya, our Bishop has not managed to find for us a permanent chaplain. There will be different priests coming out to say Mass on most days but the Mass times will vary so keep on eye on our website for the different times if you are thinking of coming.
On the 6th of August Sr Mary Cecilia and Sr Mary Anastasia, originally from Nigeria, made temporary vows for three years. The Benedictine vows are Stability in the Congregation, Conversion of Life and Obedience. Most Rev. Bishop Stephen Lowe presided at the ceremony and many friends came to support them in this new step they were taking. Unfortunately their families were not able to make the long journey to attend the ceremony, but were overjoyed to hear the news and see the photos which we sent them.
The Sisters themselves were also full of joy to become professed Sisters of the Congregation. They received a black veil in place of the white novitiate one, and a medal of the Congregation. The medal is based on a vision received by our Foundress, Marie Adele Garnier, and depicts the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a circle representing the Eucharist. Jesus' words run around the edge "I have come to cast fire upon the earth and would that it were already kindled".
In our newsletter we wrote that Mother Xavier would be having an interview with Rev. Fr. Mitch Pacwa of EWTN. (Eternal Word Television Network) The dates given in the newsletter are now wrong as they have been changed. The interview will now air on the 5th of July, probably at the same times. The program is called EWTN LIVE with Fr Mitch Pacwa, you can look up the scheduled programs on the website for EWTN.
On the 21st of April Sr Theodora entered our community as a Postulant. This is the first stage in the monastic journey which is usually for the duration of six months before becoming a novice. It is also a time for the Sister and the community to discern if she has a true calling for this life. She received a short black veil and a medal of the Sacred Heart.
On the 14th of May 2017 Rev. Mother M.Xavier McMonagle OSB, Assistant General of the Tyburn Nuns will give a talk about our Foundress Mother Marie Adele Garnier. There is no other person at this present time who knows more about our Foundress than R. Mother M.Xavier. This is one of those rare occasions where you will have the opportunity to listen to stories on Mother Marie Adele Garnier that you will not hear anywhere else. Anyone is welcome to attend this talk at Tyburn Monastery, Ngakuru at about 10am. You are invited to bring a shared lunch for the day.
Thanks to benefactors from all over the world, the house in France where our Mother Foundress was born in 1838 has now been purchased. The house is intended to contain a chapel, a museum and an information centre about Mother Marie-Adele Garnier. Part of it will be also used as a small conference centre and retreat centre for day groups and some overnight guests.
It is hoped that the house will be ready to open to the public by Autumn 2017. See the full report here
On the 25th of February Mother Mary Rachel of the Divine Paraclete (Khater) celebrated her silver jubilee of profession. The actual anniversary was on the 22nd. Most Rev. Bishop Steve Lowe celebrated the Holy Mass which was attended by many friends of the community as well as by some of Mother Rachel's family. Mother renewed her vows and sang the traditional Suscipe (Uphold me Lord according to your promise and I shall live. Let my hope inyou not be in vain.)which is part of the Monastic Profession ceremony. Mother Rachel is Lebanese born, but is now an Australian citizen, having moved there after the war. She has lived in New Zealand for about 21 years now, most of that time in our Monastery at Bombay in Auckland. It was a happy occasion and we wish Mother Rachel many more blessed years of monastic life!