franciscan - January 2002
© The Society of Saint Francis, 2001
‘Faith Odyssey 2001’ marked the 375th anniversary of St Mary’s Church, Warwick, on the island of Bermuda – the
climax being the week of mission events from 7-14 October, led by Bishop John Sentamu. Anselm was present
in a supportive rôle with the task of leading daily Bible studies for the mission team, speaking at the prayer
breakfast, and preaching at the final Sunday eucharist when the Bishop of Bermuda confirmed 14 candidates. He
had a wonderful time and enjoyed the generous hospitality of his old friend Andrew Doughty (Rector of St Mary’s
and member of our Third Order), his wife Rosie, and the family.
James Anthony, working in a theological college in Africa, writes with his news and a sketch of life at Rondo:
‘For the last three years I have had the great privilege of being the Warden of St Cyprian’s College, Rondo, in the diocese of Masasi, which covers most of southern Tanzania. The college is in a beautiful spot, high up on a cool plateau, not far from the coast.
‘At the moment there are twelve students at different stages of training, with their wives and children, and three
members of staff. There is also a Junior Seminary on the same site, started recently, with 35 students following
a secondary school syllabus. They have their own headmaster with four other teachers. Altogether there are over
one hundred people living on the campus.
‘Please pray for the life of St Cyprian’s; for the students, the young men and women with so many obstacles yet
with so much potential; for those of us, so aware of our inadequacy, who try to be there for them.’
Twenty-seven years of the Community of St Francis’ presence at Greystones, Newcastle-under-Lyme, concluded
on 1 August with a Service of Thanksgiving in the parish church. There was a mixture of affirmation of CSF, gratitude
to God, and the sadness of an ending, as Greystones has been a place of prayer and hospitality throughout this
time. Its large, and largely wild, garden provided an extended place of quiet for people seeking refreshment in
retreat or rest from home circumstances. Sisters have had various other ministries from the house, in the local
parish, the diocese, and on mission teams further afield. Some of this presence and ministry will continue in
some form, as Teresa will remain resident in the parish.
At its annual conference in Ditchingham in September, the representatives of Anglican Religious Communities
in England finally adopted a new constitution (it has been in the melting pot a good many years). The Communities
Consultative Council Steering Committee came to an end and a more widely representative will replace it, following
elections this winter. The annual meeting will now be termed Anglican Religious Together, and will continue
to meet in the first week of September so, for many, it won’t seem like much change.
Swiss Protestants, German Catholics, Romanian Orthodox, Egyptian Copts – just part of the huge variety of expressions of the basic impulse to religious life which I experienced at Subiaco, near Rome, in September, writes Helen Julian. I was attending the International Interconfessional Congress of Religious (CIR) for the first time, and found it a very stimulating and encouraging experience. Not only was it good to meet brothers and sisters from Europe and America but also to hear from speakers – Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox and Anglican – about an important figure in their tradition of prayer, and to discover a lot of common ground between them all.
For the four Franciscans there (myself, Gregory, Nicholas Alan, and a Capuchin from Malta) the highlight was our visit to Sacro Specco. A complex of churches is built around the cave where Benedict spent several years in prayer, and in a side chapel is a fresco of St Francis, probably painted during his life-time. Prayer seemed to come easily, and words weren’t necessary. But I have resolved to try to improve my French before 2003, when the next CIR takes place – it’s no place for monoglots!
Some of Anselm’s St Bene’t’s sermons have been collected in a limited edition though some copies are still available for sale (contact Cambridge Friary for details).
The late Brother Ramon and Simon Barrington-Ward’s Praying The Jesus Prayer Together, from BRF, is now available, price £6.99.
A Sense of the Divine, published by Canterbury Press and edited by Austin, Nicholas Alan and Tristam, price £18.99, is now in the shops: it provides daily readings through the Christian Year, the texts being translations from the early Franciscan sources.
The First Order has experienced Sister Death three times since the last issue:
Brother Paul SSF died on Monday 30 July 2001. He was aged sixty-four years and in the fifteenth year of his Religious profession. Paul had been suffering from cancer for some months and had entered hospice care in the last few days of his life. He was buried at Hilfield on 3 August.
Sister Veronica CSF died on Thursday 30 August 2001. She was aged ninety-one years and was in the forty-ninth year of her Religious profession. Her funeral and requiem were at Hythe on 21 September 2001 and her ashes interred at Compton Durville on 8 November 2001, after the Eucharist.
Brother Aidan SSF died on Friday 14 September 2001 in Dorchester Hospital,
after a long illness. He was aged sixty-eight years and in the fortieth year of his religious profession. His funeral
and requiem took place on Thursday 20 September 2001 at Hilfield Friary.
Phyllis was admitted to the College of Evangelists at Lambeth Palace on 25 October.
At Worcester Cathedral,
on 24 November, Raymond Christian was admitted as a Lay Canon.
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