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Douai Abbey
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» On 5 March a West Berkshire health inspector arrived without warning to make a snap inspection of our kitchen. Needless to say, such surprise visits leave no time for hasty remedial preparations. No problem was this for our kitchen staff! Happily the inspector was very impressed and awarded 5 out of 5 stars. Our staff can be proud that not only do they feed us well, and on a budget, but they maintain high standards in cleanliness and food preparation.

» Last week Bishop John Wilson, auxiliary of Westminster, spent some days on retreat at Douai, though on month day he socialised at our talking lunch. He was a happy and encouraging presence among us.

» From Wednesday to Friday last week Fr Abbot, accompanied by Fr Peter Philips, a fellow historian, was in Paris examining books from our monastic library lost in our travails in France and now held at the Bibliothèque Nationale. He was able to visit the site of our first monastery on Rue St Jacques, and now the Schola Cantorum.

» Spills and updates

Douai Abbey
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» The Concerts and Pastoral Programme pages have been updated with the latest information.

» Yesterday Fr Nicholas had a fall when moving between his wheelchair to his walking frame while the brethren were at midday prayer, which meant it was a little while before he was discovered. He has no injuries other than a little soreness and some scrapes, thank God.

» Chapter ends et al

Douai Abbey
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» On Wednesday were held the final two sessions of the community consultions that flowed from the annual conventual chapter. AFter lunch the non-resident fathers left to return to their various works.

» Also on Wednesday Fr Gabriel had further treament at the Royal Berkshire Hoospital for his ongoing back problems, which will hopefully improve as a result.

» Storm Doris reached the south of England on Thursday, 23 February. However the strong winds of Doris Day did not prevent Fr Abbot travelling to the seminary at Oscott near Birmingham for the investiture of Professor Judith Champ as a Dame of the Order of St Sylvester, a papal honour recognising her work in Catholic hisotircal studies and seminary formation.

» Also on Thursday Fr Hugh left for the University of Exeter in order to give an evening talk at the Catholic Chaplaincy there on martyrdom and holiness.

» Normal Service Resumed

Douai Abbey
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» With the return of the webmaster from overseas the normal frequency of updates will resume.

» From Monday to Wednesday this week almost the entire community is in residence at Douai for our annual conventual chapter followed by a number of community consultations in preparation for the EBC General Chapter in July. A few days earlier Abbot Edmund arrived from Rome and has spent some extra time with the resident brethren.

» Last Friday the funeral for Fr Paul's father, Clive Gunter, was held in Stratford on Avon. A number of the brethren from both monastery and missions were on hand to support him in the sad duty of celebrating the funeral. It was a silver lining that Fr Paul is now at the nearby parish of Alcester and so was on hand for his father's brief and unexpected last illness. May he rest in peace.

» Impending hiatus

Douai Abbey
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» The website will not be updated for the next three weeks, as the webmaster will be away from the monastery.

» On Tuesday, 24 January, Frs Peter and Benjamin will be joining the nearby parish of St Francis de Sales in Wash Common to celebrate that parish's 50th anniversary. In the past Frs Godric and Austin have both served as parish priests there.

» This coming weekend Fr Finbar will be travelling to Douai in France for the annual general meeting of the Association William Allen, which fosters the heritage of English Catholicism in Douai. When he returns to England on Sunday evening he will head straight to Quarr Abbey, where had been prior administrator for some years, to join them for their reqiuem Mass for their abbot emeritus Cuthbert Johnson, who died last week.

» Also this coming weekend the Jesuit scholastics in England - both of the English province and foreign Jesuits studying in England - will gather for a retreat in the monastery under the guidance of Fr Nick King SJ.

» Abbots' News

Douai Abbey
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» This past weekend we have had the pleasure of a visit home by Abbot Edmund, who is now at Sta Cecilia in Trastevere, in Rome.

» On Monday 16 January Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, the abbot emeritus of Quarr Abbey, passed from this life after battling a brain tumour. He was a well-known liturgist, with especial expertise on the great refounder of monastic liturgy at Solesmes, Prosper Guéranger. Requiescat in pace.

» Yesterday an abbatial election at Buckfast Abbey did not see any candidate elected to the abbacy there. Please pray for the community as they discern their way forward.

» Back in the Swing

Douai Abbey
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» The community is now back on its normal timetable after its Christmas constitutional holiday. Today we welcomed Fr Edmund, who is home from Rome for a few days.

» Last week Fr Gabriel emerged from a low-speed car accident with, happily, only a few bruises and a stark reminder of human mortality. The car was not so lucky and has been written off. There may be some restriction in the community's activities for a time as we adapt to being one car down.

» On Wednesday and Thursday Fr Abbot was at Buckfast Abbey to give the community some talks in preparation for its abbatial election next Friday. Please keep the brethren there in your prayers.

» Last Tuesday the community gave the abbey church a more intense cleaning, as it does twice a year. The late Advent and Christmas period saw a significant burden on the abbey church from both monks and outside groups using it.

» A brochure with the Douai Abbey Pastoral Programme's offerings for 2017 has been added to the Pastoral Programme page on this website.

» Happy New Year

Douai Abbey
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» The monastic community wishes all our friends, associates and visitors a blessed and peaceful new year!

» The community is still in constituional holiday mode so please be patient if you do not get a speedy answer to enquiries or calls. Many of us will be away the coming week: Fr Abbot visiting family and firends in the north-east, and Fr Alban doing the same in the north-west, Fr Bernard is staying with his sister and Fr Hugh will be on supply in Jersey. Other monks will be out on one day or another. Noprmal service will resume after Epiphany.

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