HELP US REOPEN
I hope we’re all enjoying the blessings of summer. I write from my isolation in Boars Hill as I was notified last Wednesday through the NHS COVID-19 app, that I had been in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus. Well, thanks to God, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test I took the next day came out negative, but I’m still required by law to complete the days of isolation.
For the first time, I realized how inconvenient and disruptive to one’s plans this whole isolation business could be. I had to cancel all the appointments I had scheduled for the next 10 days – spiritual direction, visits to the dentist and optician, as well as not joining my community for the celebration of the liturgical prayers and the Holy Eucharist. This experience of forced solitude makes me even more aware of the joys of community life and prayer and the desperate need to keep praying to the good Lord for an end to this pandemic, consolation for those who have lost loved ones to it and eternal rest to those we’ve lost.
With this newsletter I would also like to share with you an important update from the Priory and to make an appeal. Just after last Easter our community decided that we will reopen our retreat house in September 2021. As the safety and wellbeing of our guests and retreatants are our priority, we’re putting in place extra health and safety measures. This has also meant upgrading our buildings. We have started with the Pyramid. All the rooms will have en-suite facilities. If you are able, please help us with this work which will cost £300,000 by a donation. Every little helps! And thank you.
In as much as this has involved physical preparation – emptying the loft and the rooms by the friars, breaking up walls by the builders, etc., it has also entailed spiritual preparation. It is all about preparing to host our friends and guests again. Genesis 18 comes to mind. Check it out. There Abraham goes out to meet his visitors. He bows before them and reverences them. He invites them into the safe space of his home. He provides them with water to refresh them after their long journey. He provides them with food to nourish and strengthen them for the journey ahead. He is blessed because of this and he becomes a blessing. You are evidence of his blessedness for as Saint Paul reminds us: “now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” (Gal 3:29)
Here at the priory, we hope to be true to this tradition of welcome, of providing true hospitality to many on their spiritual journeys who come to rest awhile, be nurtured, and refreshed for the journey ahead. May the Lord help us to be more discerning and attentive to the divine presence in all come to the priory. Like Abraham, our Father, may we bow before each soul in reverence for in each person’s centre dwells the Living God (Interior Castle, I.1.1).
As always, we are delighted to share with you all these soul-nurturing events for 2021. We assure you of our continuous prayers and look ahead through July to our summer events and upcoming courses in the Autumn.
Fr Alexander Ezechukwu, OCD
Your Reflections and Reviews
Reflections from the Lectio Divina Group in Ireland who joined the
Spiritual Direction Training Programme which began in September 2020.
“We have been blessed as a Core Group and given a definite direction to follow together. This course has empowered us in our different leadership roles and has reflected on the larger group. The following is a summary of our thoughts”.
A Review from Annettte Goulden OCDS
“Heavenly”, “a gift during lockdown”, a “spiritual feast” – are just some of the comments I have received from members of the Secular Order that have subscribed to the Wisdom Lectures. These spiritual gems are arranged in such a way that any particular video can be selected and used for formation sessions or for reflection during a community meeting.
SUMMER HAS ARRIVED
Spend an evening with music and join us for a relaxing evening sharing in Carmelite spirituality through music and art. We hope you will come away from this evening
event enriched by the special commissioned beautiful music from world-acclaimed composer Sr. Claire Sokol.
You can still register and spend a weekend with a host of international speakers.
This year, we have been blessed with 6 renowned speakers, authors and experts, who will help bring St John’s teachings to life and transform
how we grow in our love and spirituality.
If you’ll like your intentions to be prayed for by the Carmelite friars at Boars Hill during the 9 day Masses that will be celebrated during the Novena and on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (8th-16th), Your requests will be entered into the Golden Book of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Tendai Nyoni on the
The Living prayer course was, for me, an invitation for my soul to come home and rest and experience the greatest peace that surpassed all human knowledge. It was a holistic experience of the spirit, soul and body which then brought about a unity of the whole person to heights that I never thought existed. ….read more
The Carmelite Contemplative Circles (Online) are open to anyone interested in drinking from the wellsprings of Carmel’s 800-year old tradition of spiritualities
to satisfy the burning thirst for intimacy with God. All Christians from every walk of life are welcome. In these circles, you will find support on your spiritual journey
through the assistance of members of the circle and the Carmelite team associated with the Carmelite Priory in Oxford, England.
Join the Carmelite Priory Family
With joy, we invite you to become part of our worldwide Carmelite Priory family.
Together we can continue to faithfully carry out the work that God has entrusted to us.
For the important work of prayer and spiritual renewal, we are now asking you to be part of our future and share our mission by joining the Friends of Carmel.
If you’re interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org