Archive for the ‘Catholic Sisters’ Category


November 21, 2015

And as he drew near, when he saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘If [only] you also had known on this day the things that lead to peace; but now it’s hidden from your eyes.’ Luke 19:41-42 (The New Testament, Nicholas King)

The first two verses of a recent Gospel reading are a powerful reminder to me of the vital need to seek those things that lead to peace.  Those words couldn’t be more relevant in the light of recent news of horrendous acts of violence in several parts of our world.  It is more important than ever to find ways of promoting peace and justice wherever it is lacking – including in my own heart.  Recently, the concluding prayer for my morning prayer  included these words: ‘Help us to look lovingly upon all people and events that come into our lives today.’ (People’s Companion to the Breviary, Vol II, p 31)

Perhaps, if we can look lovingly on everything that is happening these days, including terrible act of violence, we might begin to understand why they are happening and we might also begin to glimpse solutions that bring the peace we all long for.

Life as a Novice – FCJ Formation

September 29, 2014
Novitiate is a fairly intense time of formation. It comes after postulancy and is a formal step into the Society. During novitiate we live in community and are accompanied by a named sister (novice director). We do study of the FCJ Constitutions, learn more about our spirituality, have an opportunity to deepen our prayer life and live reflectively. We also do apostolic work in situations which are different to our normal ministry or job. As an Ignatian congregation we also do the Spiritual Exercises – a 30 day silent retreat. Here are some reflections from Rowena, one of our current novices. Rowena is from the Philippines but is doing her novitiate in Indonesia. rowena
Novitiate is a great invitation and it is the most challenging phase of the journey of my life so far.  For me it is a precious time in which I am so much closer to God.  It’s a school of new beginnings made up of many elements: welcoming; learning; growing; exercising; living; deepening and letting go.
I am learning so many things during this special time: how to grow the love of Jesus in my heart; how to live with Jesus as the centre of my life; how to know myself better; how to stretch myself more in love for others; how to be a woman at the foot of the cross and go beyond it; how to be a contemplative in action, particularly in my daily living.
I have valued and enjoyed my apostolic ministries: visiting and accompanying the sick; teaching children and working with youth.  I have been inspired and helped by all those I have worked with and for.
Lots of questions come into my mind to ponder???  How to give myself fully to Jesus? How to love him faithfully, to follow him tenderly and serve him lovingly?  It is not always easy but bit by bit and through prayer I am aware of how to respond and I go on learning day by day.  Throughout this pilgrimage of my life Jesus is indeed my faithful companion. It is his everlasting love that strengthens my faith, hope and love.
I have been helped by the unconditional love and endless support of our novice director throughout this journey.  She has helped me and directed me as I have been moulded and shaped through God’s love.  I am grateful too to the many companions who have loved and supported me in so many ways.  God’s grace is always there for me.  Thanks be to God for love always in all things.  United in mind, heart and prayer with all those who read this.  God bless each one of you.

How can I make sense of this piece of scripture?

March 7, 2014

(All comments and insights gratefully received)

One of my favourite passages of scripture is the first reading of today’s liturgy: Isaiah 58:1-9

feeding-people“Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a trumpet. To my people proclaim their rebellious acts, to the House of Jacob, their sins.They seek for me day after day, they long to know my ways, like a nation that has acted uprightly and not forsaken the law of its God. They ask me for laws that are upright, they long to be near God:’Why have we fasted, if you do not see, why mortify ourselves if you never notice?’ Look, you seek your own pleasure on your fastdays and you exploit all your workmen;look, the only purpose of your fasting is to quarrel and squabble and strike viciously with your fist. Fasting like yours today will never make your voice heard on high.Is that the sort of fast that pleases me, a day when a person inflicts pain on himself? Hanging your head like a reed, spreading out sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call fasting, a day acceptable to Yahweh?

Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me: to break unjust fetters, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break all yokes?.Is it not sharing your food with the hungry, and sheltering the homeless poor; if you see someone lacking clothes, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own kin?.Then your light will blaze out like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over. Saving justice will go ahead of you and Yahweh’s glory come behind you.Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he will say, ‘I am here.'”

My ministry is vocations accompaniment and university chaplaincy (as well as basement digging as previously explained!). I find myself wondering how I am actually involved in ‘breaking unjust fetters’ or ‘sharing my bread’, ‘sheltering the homeless poor’. There is a big part of me that feels pulled in this – I would love to be in a more ‘hands on’ ministry and yet I also believe that where I am missioned is where I am called to be at this point in time. So how do I make sense of it all? How best to live with the tension between the desire to somehow be MORE involved and the demands of my current ministry?

Finding meaning – our Camino journey

August 25, 2013


Having just completed our Camino journey and arrived in Santiago there is a sense of achievement and joy in the group. The pains and aches have not necessarily gone, but the feeling of arrival puts them into perspective.
It seems true too that memories of struggle along the journey have been replaced by gratitude for the support received, the friendships developed and the companionship experienced.
Has the journey ended, no! It is only now that we can begin to really live the learnings from our journey.

Where does Camino end?

August 17, 2013


We took a day trip to Finisterre, you can see from the photo that it is very beautiful. It left me to reflect about why some people walk on from Santiago to Finisterre… for me the cathedral and tomb of St James are the end, and I see how some pilgrims arrive and yet are not ready to finish.. Finisterre provides a literal end point, but I think that the message of the Camino is more clearly expressed in the feeling that it is not finished, life, with all the joys of Camino, goes on. The Camino is not about an end point, it is about a beginning.

Holy Thursday – The day the FCJ Society was founded

March 28, 2013

Holy Thursday is a special day for all of us who live the FCJ Charism  – it’s the day when the Society began. After years of questioning and discernment Marie Madeleine knew in her heart that this was what God was asking of her. And she said YES.

That YES is significant – without her choice, her agreement, her willingness to take the consequences, the Society would have remained only a holy idea. In any discernment there comes a point where we have to CHOOSE, we have to have the COURAGE to take a step. We may not be certain, the way may seem hidden or difficult, but like Marie Madeleine there comes a moment of trust that God is with us, that Jesus is our companion, and we are called to respond.



‘That night, Holy Thursday, 30th March 1820, holy in its moving commemorating of the institution of the Eucharist, Marie Madeleine watched before the Altar of Repose. As she dwelt on the great love of her Lord on the mysteries of his paschal meal, passion and death, she gave him her heart, her soul and her entire being, consecrating herself at the foot of the cross to the work for which God had been so long preparing her. In this hidden way, in the silence of her heart, the Society of the Faithful Companions of Jesus was born. 

(Marie Madeleine) and her future companions would be women Jesuits, companions of Jesus, sharing by divine gift his spirit, his heart ad his mother. The Lord himself would be their founder and director, Mary their mother and superior. In complete self forgetfulness they would spend their lives for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Their rule would be that of St. Ignatius. Poverty, humility, obedience and gentleness were to be their inseparable companions leading them to  reflect, in so far as human weakness allowed, the life of Jesus. (God’s Faithful Instrument – P Grogan fcJ)


March 27, 2013

As we move into these very sacred days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday let us hold our world and all its needs in our hearts and prayer…We walk the way of the cross with Jesus and stay with him all the way to his resurrection and celebrate the gift of transforming love given to us all…Uniting with all who are praying at this time…


March 25, 2013

As day follows day in the aftermath of the recent conclave and the election of Pope Francis I what a delight it is to get to know our new pope!  Francis I is a man full of surprises, we could say something of a prophet – he is most certainly setting us all an example to follow.  I now find myself constantly questioning myself about the way I am living as a Catholic and about how true my life is to Gospel values.  I have a long way to go, we all have a long way to go.  In the light of Francis’ election I am sure we will continue to move forward in service of God and God’s people…

A Jesuit Pope

March 15, 2013

Pope Francis

Whilst no longer needing to live by the Jesuit rules (apparently once a Jesuit becomes Bishop they are not obliged to live under the Jesuit rule), I am delighted to know that the current Bishop of Rome, our Pope, is a man rooted and formed in the Ignatian tradition, desiring to be a companion of Jesus who by his life models and draws others to be men and women for others.  But on the cusp of this new Chapter in the Church’s history what do I hope for from this new Pope?

As a member of an Ignatian religious congregation, I hope he witnesses to being a man loved by God.  Rooted in that love may he show the loving and compassionate face of God to each person and to all of creation.  As all who do the Spiritual Exercises are invited to move towards freedom for mission, may he also encourage and nurture the Church to do the same.  By his example may we, the People of God, be called to gather under the standard of Christ, desiring poverty rather than riches, humilty rather than pride and insults rather than praise and adulation.

Having prayed the Third Week of the Spiritual Exercises may be show us how to stay faithful to the Church, but more importantly to Christ, when difficulties arise.  May he live out of the joy of the resurrection and show us always that “love ought to be shown in deeds far more than words.”

Let us pray for our Church as this new chapter begins and for Pope Francis in his ministry of service and leadership of God’s people.


March 12, 2013

conclave_2506270bAs the conclave to elect our new Pope begins let’s all pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire the Cardinals and guide them to the right choice for today’s Church and world.   What an historic moment in the Church’s life and ours!