On New Year's Day, the ten Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Maryvale took their solemn vows and were established by Mgr Keith Newton as the first autonomous monastery of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. It was the anniversary of the sisters' reception into full communion with the Catholic Church. During the past year, they have been quietly preparing for this wonderful day which is a blessing not only for the Ordinariate but for all of us: the strength of the Church in any place is strongly enriched by those in contemplative life who pray for us all.
Mother Winsome (above) was appointed the first Reverend Mother for an initial period of three years. After that, the superior will be elected in accordance with the constitutions of the monastery. She said:
“For us the day was a mixture of great solemnity, but also of deep joy. We each professed our original vows separately, in the case of some of the sisters, more than 50 years ago. For us to be able to renew our vows solemnly and publicly and to be able to share this profound moment, when we have shared such a unique spiritual journey over the last two years, felt a very special gift of God to each of us and to us corporately as Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”See the full report at the Ordinariate website as well as Mgr Newton's homily.
While on the subject of the Ordinariate, let me give a plug for the Service of Lessons and Carols by Candlelight with Benediction next Thursday at 6.30pm at Warwick Street. Here is the poster: