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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Brothers Moving House

Please pray for those brothers moving house over the next month (September): David and Micael to Newcastle, Cristian and Michael Jacob to Glasshampton, Joseph Emmanuel to Alnmouth, Robert to Crofton Road, Christian to Canning Town (1st Oct); and for James Race an aspirant joining the brothers at Alnmouth.  We give thanks that Martin John and Peter are settled at Glasshampton and Reginald at Alnmouth.

Ministers’ Meeting takes place in Korea

From Korea:

The Ministers’ Meeting in Korea is in full swing – and here to prove it is a picture of us in our meeting room, being welcomed by the President of the University. The weather is very hot but we have air conditioning in most places, which is a great help.

Ministers' Meeting in full C/SSF swing.

Ministers’ Meeting in full C/SSF swing.

We don’t just have business meetings at the Ministers’ Meeting; we also worship together. We are meeting in the part of the university used by students training for ordination, and so are able to use their beautiful oval chapel for our offices and eucharist each day.

r Clifton Henry, Minister Provincial of the Solomon Islands, reading at the office.

r Clifton Henry, Minister Provincial of the Solomon Islands, reading at the office.

Br Clark Berge, SSF Minister Provincial, presiding at the eucharist.

Br Clark Berge, SSF Minister Provincial, presiding at the eucharist.

Saying the Office

Saying the Office

Sr Catherine SHC, who is translating for us, presiding, and Br Benedict, Minister Provincial of the European Province, preaching on the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sr Catherine SHC, who is translating for us, presiding, and Br Benedict, Minister Provincial of the European Province, preaching on the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenbelt 2013

Br Hugh writes:

Kerri Canepa, Rev. Jonathan Herbert, Rev. Nigel Thomas (all of the Hilfield Friary Community), Br Vaughan SSF, Sr Hilda Mary CSC, Srs Karen and Louise Ann OHP, Br Luke from Mucknell Abbey, myself and friends will be the Franciscan team at Greenbelt this year, from 23rd – 26th August. On the Monday we shall lead the offices and Eucharist in Sanctuary, a new indoor venue. The other days all are welcome to pray with us on the campsite. We look forward to meeting hundreds of Greenbelters. You can also meet us at the Anglican Religious Communities stand in G Source. It is not too late to buy a ticket. Further details www.greenbelt.org.uk

 

 

 

A PILGRIM IN SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

Joyce was given the opportunity of being on pilgrimage with a group from Southwark Cathedral to Santiago in May 2013, led by the Dean, the Very Rev’d Andrew Nunn. The day they arrived in this holy place, where the apostle James is buried, about 1100 other pilgrims had their Pilgrimage passport stamped at the Cathedral Pilgrims’ Office. It was amazing to think of those numbers arriving each day, almost all in response to faith. At the Pilgrims’ Mass she was invited to sit by the Dean within the rails in front of the altar. It was the sublime experience of the pilgrimage for her. After the reading of the Gospel, she and the Dean went to the microphone, where he read the Southwark Invocation to the Apostle and she gave the gift of a box of Mucknell Abbey incense. After communion, which took some time in a packed cathedral, the men who swing the Botafumeiro appeared, and it was filled with the incense gift. The thurible was raised and swung higher and higher into both transepts, the inferno within it quite visible, an impressive sight as the smoke and smell filled the cathedral. Initially the thurible was introduced to cleanse the building of the smell of the pilgrims. Though not necessary these days, it represented the prayers of thanksgiving of all present, rising with the smoke heavenwards. The cantor at the Mass was Sr Maria Ascuncion who sang beautifully. She and Joyce’s paths crossed after the service when they warmly greeted each other as sister pilgrims. From the Invocation read by the Dean, ‘We believe that the Camino to Santiago is a road to life and a source of goodness and peace in this world. We believe that all who walk the Way are drawn deeper into faith, and come to know our Lord Jesus Christ just as you knew him as his Apostle and friend.’

Sr Joyce and Sr Maria Ascuncion greet each other after the Pilgrim Mass

Sr Joyce and Sr Maria Ascuncion greet each other after the Pilgrim Mass

Brother Andrew SSF – a brief history

Andrew with wearing his usual colourful hat!

Andrew with wearing his usual colourful hat!

Born 31 March 1928 as Michael Francis Ince-Jones in Upminster to nonconformist parents. He read biology at Bedford College (London). For National Service, the Army sent him to Palestine.

He became an SSF Postulant on June 5th 1951, a novice on 4 October 1951, was professed on 6th October 1954 and made his Life Profession on 12th May 1958. In the same year, after time at Glasshampton, SSF sent him to New Guinea. In 1959, without any qualification, he taught in primary school in Port Moresby. His mother later settled in Brisbane.

Crick and Watson’s work on DNA when it was published interested him in medicine. The Medical School was becoming a University. The Dean welcomed Andrew to the course! His previous studies allowed him to do only four-years, plus 2 years Residency. He gained Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees in 1972. He then did general practice, involving surgery in basic conditions. He studied psychiatry in Nigeria. He was Superintendent of the country’s psychiatric hospital and also taught in the Port Moresby Medical and Nursing Schools.

In 1990 he joined the staff of the (ecumenical) Melanesian Institute, which studies Melanesian Culture at Goroka in the PNG Highlands. He developed trans-cultural approaches to psychiatry, with particular reference to PNG culture with its 700 languages. He was expert witness in forensic psychiatric opinion in the High Court. He largely worked away from SSF houses, perhaps more closely, professionally and spiritually with members of the RC Archdiocese of Mount Hagan. He read avidly until glaucoma lost him an eye.

He returned to the UK from 2004 to 2005 but finding it hard to settle in SSF houses he unilaterally returned to Goroka to live in a rented house. In October 2008 he reluctantly came home after 48 years in PNG. He stayed in Plaistow, then Hilfield. Andrew invariably wore several jumpers and a colourful PNG hat, with an equally-colourful Bilum over his shoulder, in which his ‘teddy’ often accompanied him! He died on 2 July 2013.

Andrew with a new born lamb at Hilfield

Andrew with a new born lamb at Hilfield

 

 

Sisters of Bethany celebrate centenary of death of their mother foundress

The Society of the Sisters of Bethany, now based in Portsmouth, recently celebrated the centenary of the death of their Mother Foundress Etheldreda Anna Bennett, at St. Clement’s Church in Bournemouth, adjacent to the community’s former convent and orphanage. The founder of The Community of St. Francis, Sister Rosina, was a member of The Society of the Sisters of Bethany for 21 years before leaving to found CSF in1905, so SS.B and CSF have some shared history.

The congregation on the Feast of Bethany included Sue CSF and two SSF brothers who travelled over from Hilfield: Br. Vincent, and Br Stephen from Korea, who was staying at Hilfield at the time. The Benedictines from Alton Abbey attended and took part in the liturgy. The large congregation also included sisters and brothers from various other communities, and many long-term friends of SS.B.

The day began with the Eucharist of the Feast of Bethany, at which Bishop Trevor Willmott, the Community’s Bishop Visitor presided and preached. After coffee there was a Service of Thanksgiving which traced the Community’s history from its foundation nearly 150 years ago up to the present day. This was followed by the blessing of a memorial stone in the church yard, and a buffet lunch in the church hall, formerly the convent chapel.

 Dr Peta Dunstan at the Service of Thanksgiving, speaking about the Anglo Catholic Revival at the time of SS.B's foundation in 1866


Dr Peta Dunstan at the Service of Thanksgiving, speaking about the Anglo Catholic Revival at the time of SS.B’s foundation in 1866

 Mother Rita Elizabeth SS.B and Bishop Trevor Willmott at the blessing of the memorial stone


Mother Rita Elizabeth SS.B and Bishop Trevor Willmott at the blessing of the memorial stone

 

 

Wedding of former member of the Oratory of St. Alphege

Former Oratory member Aaron Kennedy married Grace Cowley on 27th July. Srs Gina and Sue CSF were among the guests for the service at St. Mary Aldermary near St. Paul’s Cathedral, and for the delightfully informal celebrations in the nearby streets and St. Paul’s Gardens which followed. Both Aaron and Grace are members of Moot, the New Monastic Fresh Expression of Church, whose home base now is this historic central London church. Rev’d Ian Mobsby, the leader of the Moot Community officiated.

Aaron & Grace are now settling into a new home in Cambridge where Aaron will be training for ordination at Westcott House. Seb Harries, until very recently a member of the Oratory of St Alphege, will also begin ordination training at Westcott House in September.

Aaron, Grace and Grace's mother with some of the wedding guests in the street near St. Mary Aldermary

Aaron, Grace and Grace’s mother with some of the wedding guests in the street near St. Mary Aldermary

Sr Gina and Aaron's father enjoying the celebrations near St Paul's Gardens

Sr Gina and Aaron’s father enjoying the celebrations near St Paul’s Gardens

 

 

Visit to CSF in San Francisco

Sr Sue recently made a 2 week visit to the CSF sisters in the Province of the Americas, who all live in San Francisco – Cecilia, Jean, Maggie, Pamela Clare and Ruth. This was part of a plan to help the two provinces of CSF to keep in touch more effectively, by arranging for one sister a year to visit the other province, so in February 2014 the European Province sisters expect to welcome Sr Maggie. Sue’s visit in June enabled her to attend the American CSF Provincial Chapter held annually. She really valued the opportunity to spend time with the sisters, and to see something of the range of ministries they carry out. It was Sue’s first visit to the West Coast, and only her second to USA so she was grateful for the opportunity for a little sight-seeing too!

St Francis' House, San Francisco, where 4 of the sisters live. Ruth is based a couple of miles away at  Family Link - a house of hospitality  for families who need to be near the hospital  their loved one is being treated for a life-limiting illness.

St Francis’ House, San Francisco, where 4 of the sisters live. Ruth is based a couple of miles away at Family Link – a house of hospitality for families who need to be near the hospital their loved one is being treated for a life-limiting illness.

 Evening meal together: (l-r)  Maggie, Pamela Clare and Cecilia

Evening meal together: (l-r) Maggie, Pamela Clare and Cecilia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Meeting in Progress in the (l-r) Maggie, Pamela Clare, Jean, and Bishop Nedi Rivera the American sisters' Bishop Protector

Chapter Meeting in Progress in the (l-r) Maggie, Pamela Clare, Jean, and Bishop Nedi Rivera the American sisters’ Bishop Protector

A view of the house chapel

A view of the house chapel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brother Andrew SSF – Rest in Peace

Brother Andrew died in Dorchester Hospital on 2nd August after period of increasing frailty. He had been living at Hilfield Friary for the past four years, having returned from Papua New Guinea after nearly forty eight years of service. The funeral was held in the Friary chapel, attended by his cousins David and Jill, by friends who had known him in PNG and more recently in the local area, and brothers and other members of the Friary Community. Br Giles presided at the requiem Mass, Br Samuel gave an address and Br Philip Bartholomew, the Assistant Minister Provincial, led the commendation and committal. Andrew’s body was laid to rest in the Friary cemetery.

Here is the address preached at his funeral by brother Samuel SSF:

An address by Br Samuel for Br Andrew’s funeral, Hilfield Friary, Friday, 9th August 2013

 The majority of the congregation for Andrew’s funeral isn’t here today – his friends and colleagues in Papua New Guinea with whom he has lived and worked over nearly fifty years; the people he has treated as ‘Doctor Brother Andrew’, the children, students and families he has supported and encouraged, the people in the mental health Service he helped to set up, the Visitation Sisters at Popondetta whom he guided, and the prisoners for whom he stood up in court. All in all it would be a huge congregation, many themselves now departed, who would be here with us in respect and gratitude for Br Andrew SSF.

Of those present in the flesh in this chapel only a few knew Andrew in PNG: Br Giles, Tim Biles, Margaret Robinson, Br Hugh and, very briefly, myself. Most of us here have known Andrew only through his occasional visits home on furlough, or over the past five years since he has been based, first in Plaistow, and then more recently here at Hilfield. These five years haven’t been an easy time for Andrew – or for us! Added to his difficulty as a doctor of accepting his own need for care has been Andrew’s huge sense of loss of his work and ministry in PNG, the country which he loved and to which he has given so much of his life. Andrew’s difficulty in coping with ‘retirement’ and displacement did have it’s humorous side in which his innate wit won through. I’m thinking particularly of his dress sense – those layers upon layers of clothes, often put on back to front or inside out, sometimes incorporating part of his habit, were a kind of witty jibe, not just at the English weather to which he never re-acclimatised, but also at his ‘enforced’ presence here at Hilfield. In effect he was saying, ‘I’m just not going to fit in’.

I want to mention two people who have been really important for Andrew’s care here at the Friary. Br Hugh has given hours and hours each week of sensitive, patient, generous attention: cleaning his room (admittedly, to his own low standard of cleaning!), fetching him for meals and sometimes fetching meals to him, reading to him in the evenings, and inventing outings – to Cerne Abbas for tea, to Portland Bill to see the sea, or, most exciting of all, surrounded in the car by plastic bottles, to the recycling tip in Sherborne. And then, Mike Oram, coming in each week to bake bread, to keep an eye on the water and sewage plants, and to spend time, a lot of time, with Andrew. Mike has been one of the few people who was able to engage with Andrew intellectually and to recognise and draw out from him his humour and sharp insight. We owe thanks to both of these – and to Br Edmund in Plaistow during Andrew’s first year back from PNG – for their love and care.

 

Although it hasn’t been easy, Andrew’s presence here at Hilfield Friary has been important for all of us – I would even say a ‘blessing’. Community life is not about living just with the people we find easy to get on with, people like us whom we like, people who are accommodating – a Mary Poppins kind of show. Authentic communities have in them people who are hurt, angry, awkward and wounded – in fact, there’s a bit of that in each one of us. Andrew’s presence among us has touched on our own frustration, powerlessness and vulnerability, and by the grace of God through Andrew we’ve learnt something about patience, forbearance, compassion and mercy – and how to laugh at it all.

And now our Brother Andrew has come to meet ‘Sister Death’ from whom no-one alive can flee, and who, said St Francis, is to be welcomed and embraced as part of God’s loving purpose for each one of us and for all his creation. A visitor who was with us soon after we heard that Andrew had died in Dorchester Hospital said to me, ‘Well, he has gone to a better place’. The problem is that the only ‘better place’ that Andrew would have wanted to go was back to PNG! The sentiment was kindly meant, but in fact going to a better place is not the Christian hope of what will happen to us when we die. The Christian hope is centred around those words of Jesus which we’ve heard in the gospel reading in this Mass: ‘This is indeed the will of my Father that all who see the Son of Man and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day’. We believe in God who raises up, who raises up all that bears the image of Christ and shares the life of Christ;  who raises us up from death to life.

In a very real sense for us as Christians our dying starts at our baptism when we begin to share both the dying and the risen life of Jesus. And our Christian hope is that at the last we will be raised up to share fully in the beauty, the mercy, the compassion, the wisdom and the glory that the Son and the Holy Spirit share with the Father. Our faith is that the only ‘better place’ to which Andrew is going is within the life of the Blessed Trinity. It’s this Trinitarian ‘raising up’ from death to life that we are celebrating in this Requiem Mass, and it’s to the God who raises up that we commend Andrew today.

Such raising up from death to life doesn’t do away with all the quirkiness or awkwardness of our human lives, nor does it just send them to a better place. Rather, God’s raising up forgives, redeems, heals and transforms so that we share and reflect God’s glory. So when, by God’s mercy and grace, we too are raised up at the last and share fully in God’s life – which is his promise to us in Jesus – then I’ll bet you anything that we’ll meet Andrew and he’ll still be wearing that funny woollen hat.

 

Ground breaking ceremony for CSF convent in Korea

The ground breaking ceremony for the Korean CSF sisters’ long-awaited convent at Il-Seon-Ri, near Gumi in Korea  took place on Thursday 8th August, during Sr Sue’s pastoral visit as Minister Provincial.  Bishop Onesimus Park, Bishop of Busan, who is Sr Frances and Jemma’s diocesan bishop, and their Bishop Protector, led the service.  Fr Peter Chun, priest of Gumi Anglican church, and Fr. Jonathan Kim, formerly priest at Gumi and now retired, also took part, as did Srs Sue, Frances, Jemma and several other members of the Construction Committee and local supporters.  Br Raphael Suh SSF from Gangchon Friary also attended the ceremony.About 40 people braved the unusually hot weather to attend the celebration, and all shared a delicious lunch after the service.

Opening procession:  Sr Jemma carrying the cross, Fr Jonathan, Sr Sue, Fr Peter, Bishop Onesimus

Opening procession: Sr Jemma carrying the cross, Fr Jonathan, Sr Sue, Fr Peter, Bishop Onesimus

Bishop Onesimus & Sr Sue Ground Breaking

Bishop Onesimus & Sr Sue Ground Breaking

Sr Frances leading the litany.

Sr Frances leading the litany.

Some of the congregation making the most of the shade provided by the traditional entrance to the site

Some of the congregation making the most of the shade provided by the traditional entrance to the site

One of the dining rooms for the celebration lunch held at a house in Il-Seon-Ri

One of the dining rooms for the celebration lunch held at a house in Il-Seon-Ri

Rest in Peace: Brother Andrew SSF

Brother Andrew (Michael Francis Ince-Jones) born 31st March 1928 died on the 2nd August 2013, at the age of 85 years.  He had been a professed brother in the SSF for 58 years, much of that time spent in Papua New Guinea.  Andrew had become increasingly frail over the last few months and collapsed at the friary, Hilfield on 1st August and was taken into the Dorchester Hospital where he died the next day.  Andrew will be buried at the Friary and funeral arrangements will be made known in due course.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.