» The community is into its midsummer period of hustle and bustle. With the end of the school year at hand, a large number of regional primary schools are holding their end-of-year services in the abbey church. Most primary schools do not have a facility big enough to host these events, so we help where we can. Alas some wayward youth left graffiti on a seat in the nave, though thankfully this was able to be removed.
» Given that we still have a couple of school services to host, it was perhaps not ideal timing that the resident community held its semi-annual church clean yesterday. It was neither too warm nor too sunny so we managed to complete the work comfortably before lunch and without too many aches afterwards.
» On 22 June the brethren of Quarr Abbey came to visit us, led by their Abbot Xavier. Abbot Xavier celebrated conventual Mass, which had been moved to midday, after which we adjourned to the refectory for a festal lunch. When they left to return to the Isle of Wight Fr Finbar, one-time the prior administrator of Quarr, went with them in order to celebrate Mass the next day for the nuns at St Cecila Abbey, Ryde, on their patroanl feast. Their original patronage is actually the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
» The following Saturday Fr Oliver went to Westminster Cathedral for the priestly ordination of six deacons who had just finished their pre-ordination retreats at Douai. Ad multos annos! As it happens Fr Oliver, along with Fr Austin, celebrated 40 years of priesthood the following Wednesday. To them also, ad multos annos!
» This week a group of parishioners from our missions at Ormskirk and Scarisbrick are staying at Douai for a holiday, accompanied by Fr Godric, their parish priest.
» We have just learned of the death of Bill Brister, and Old Dowegian who fathered two Old Dowegians and grandfathered three more. The family has had a long association with both our school and monastery. His funeral is planned for 19 July in the abbey church. Requiescat in pace.