Mary's Month

May is Mary's Month.

Lets look at some of the thousands of pictures, statues and shrines from around the globe.
What better way to do this than to ask our sisters what their favourite representation of Our Lady is and why.

As we journey through this month lets ask our Mother Mary to accompany us, to guide and protect us and lead us to her Son.

Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you.Blessed are you among woman and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Sr Anežka's vocation story

This is me, Sr Maria Anežka of the finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. 
I am from New Zealand.
I am the youngest of the community and I was an only child. 
This is a little about my journey to God.


My Motto of Life : Do not Dare not to Dare. 


Sr Amata's Vocation Story

This is Sr Amata
She is one of our Portress'.
Lets hear what she has to tell us.


Since I became a religious sister I have learnt the value of humility, which is recognising the truth about myself. I am journeying with Jesus, I am in His loving presence, I try to please Him, and I trust that He will take care of me. 
All that I do throughout the day, when done for the glory of God, is life giving to the world. It doesn’t matter what task I am doing, whether I am performing the simple tasks of cleaning, washing up or whether I am praising God in the chapel. 

As I journey with God I carry others with me in spirit and I can share in their suffering as well as their joys, through prayer. Truth has to be born and nurtured on many levels and this involves a suffering which is life giving. I am called to live a life of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.

My motto of life: Jesus - our Life.


Sr Pia's vocation story


Life is a learning process and Community life has taught me a lot about giving and receiving. Jesus sometimes asks us to step into the background and allow another sister to shine. When one creates and shares something with another it may not end up as one envisaged it, but in entering into someone else’s ideas and encouraging them, both of you grow. Jesus must be the centre and this is a way of giving all for Jesus.



 My motto of life is: All for Jesus

Sr Beatrix's Vocation Story

This is Sr Mary Beatrix of the Holy Cross

She is one of our Portress'. 
You may have meet her at our door. 
Let's listen to what sister has to tell us about her journey to God.



Most of our work is quite ordinary but sometimes we meet a new challenge.

Mother had thought about keeping bees when a gardener told her that our garden was ideal for the purpose.  At the time I volunteered to look after them, if Mother thought it was a good idea.  I did not know the first thing about bees but I was not afraid of the little creatures.

Shortly after, we were offered two hives complete with bees so this was taken as an indication that we were meant to start beekeeping.

The hives arrived late one evening and were set in position at the end of the garden. 

Some time later that summer I removed a Super from the hive, put it on the wheelbarrow, and walked towards the Monastery and then to the other side of the building.  The bees wanted their honey and followed me, but as they fly in straight lines they thought they would take a short cut through the cloister.  Fortunately the windows were closed but they tried hard to enter.  The only way to persuade them to return home was to collect the wheelbarrow and return the super to the bottom of the garden and the bees followed.

Much later that evening when it was dark and the bees were in their hive, I was able to collect the Super and take it to the other side of the Monastery to extract the honey. 


Sometimes one has to learn the hard way.

My motto of life is: “Through the Cross to the Light”.

Sr Elizabeth's vocation story

This is Sr Elizabeth.

She is the Vicaress of our community



  • My life before God found me was pretty much without direction or purpose. I was very young and I had never known anything even resembling normal family life. My school life – such as it was – was a misery and I didn’t really learn anything.

  • When I entered the Poor Clare Order as a postulant it was like stepping into another universe, but not always an easy one. Not being used to applying myself, I found a life regulated by bells hard and I felt I constantly had to get up and go somewhere else which I found trying. The hours of prayers were long, and, to me, tedious. I think the greatest challenge was work – especially working in the garden. Sent out to weed or dig I longed for someone to call me in, but mostly no one did. Monday morning, after a restful Sunday I dreaded – and even the word ‘work’ made me feel as if I was on my way to martyrdom. However, I struggled on, but have always felt that the garden did more for me than I did for it.

  • Even now I have to struggle to face up to the challenges of everyday life, but I have learned that fulfilment and real happiness and even joy comes not from dodging challenges but facing them, even though I often fail in this.

  • My motto for life is:


Mother Damian's vocation story

We are Poor Clare sisters. We were founded by St Clare of Assisi over 800 years ago. We are a cloistered community, living a Gospel life, that is, putting prayer into our world.

Mother Damian is our Abbess, here at Ty Mam Duw. We are a community of 13 sisters.



When I entered I found life very different to the life I lived in the world. At first it was not easy,  postulants has many ups and downs. My first down was when I was sent to the laundry to help. The sisters started to pray the rosary and they asked me for a prayer intention and to start the next decade of the rosary. I was not use to praying with people and felt very out of place so I ran away, back to the noviciate, where I felt safe. 

Praying with other people was something I had to learn. Each of us when called has to learn something new. Even though I have had many experiences like this one, I have never thought of exchanging this life for another. My life here at Ty Mam Duw is one of daily service in very ordinary things.

My motto for life is:  Look up to heaven dear one, which calls us forward, for all things will be well in Jesus.


May you find a life that you would not exchange for all the gold in the world.

Vocations

This year is now coming to an end, Advent is just around the corner, and Christmas seems to be upon us again and the year of Mercy is about to begin. To end this wonderful year of consecrated life we here at Ty Mam Duw, the House of the Mother of God, thought you might like a sneaky peek into our lives.

Each sister has a different story to tell, and has travelled a different road to the monastery/religious life. We have sisters from Germany, London, the Philippines, New Zealand and all over England, sisters who were students, teachers, nurses, and volunteers, before they entered. They had degrees in biology, midwifery, music and many more. We have sisters who were cradle Catholics, Protestants, Anglican and Atheist before they entered here in Hawarden to join their lives to God.

So we thought that each week we would give you the chance to meet a different sister and hear a bit about her life, and what lead her to this place, a journey from the world to a life with God.


Next week meet Mother Damian and hear what she has to tell you about her discovery of God. Until then know you are in our prayers. Sr Anežka

Mother's Feast.

This Tuesday, 25th August, is our dear Mother Damian’s profession anniversary. It is a wonderful day of celebration for us as a community. Do you celebrate your mum’s birthday or maybe your parents wedding anniversary? Do you give them breakfast in bed or maybe even a present? Well this day is like that for us. We decorate the house, the refectory where we eat, make her presents and even eat breakfast together as a community, this is a thing which we hardly ever do as Poor Clares.


For two days we celebrate Mother's profession 25th/26th, we have a feast day dinner with cake or ice cream for dessert and even watch a movie on one of the nights. It’s lovely to be able to celebrate as a community, gathering around our Dear Mother, thanking God for all that she is and does for us in so many small and vast ways.


 The task of the Mother Abbess in a Poor Clare house is to be a mother to all the sisters. She is a mother to the sisters, not a ruler/superior or tyrant but a loving mother to her children. St Clare in her rule talks about the sisters obeying her out of love not fear. That is how it is with our Mother Damian. We all love and respect her very much as I am sure you do your mum. That is why we are such a bonded community, like one big family, working together, living together and loving each other.



 I hope you will join me in praying for our Dear Mother and all her intentions, asking God to bless her on her special day.  And as always remember, we are praying for you. Sr Anežka

Are you a Lighthouse?

11th August is the feast of our Holy Mother St Clare.

Before St Clare was born, her mother was praying when she heard the voice of Jesus say to her “do not fear, you will give birth to a light, which will light up the world.” Thus the little girl was called Clare.


Clare, Chiara, Klara, in whatever language you wish, it means the same, Light!

Some people, I suppose, might wonder how a girl who left her family home at 18 to live in poverty in a little church for the whole of her life, could be a light for anyone, let alone the whole world.


Well imagine this, a lighthouse on the edge of a cliff does not move, it is firmly rooted to the ground. The lighthouse keeper turns the little switch, and a bright light comes on. Now it is not just bright for him to see by, but can be seen all over the dark rough seas which surround the coast. It is a beacon of hope for all the ships on the sea and a guide to safety for the people aboard.

Light is not something that can be contained, you don’t turn a light on in a room and say ‘this light is for me, but not for you, you can’t use it to see by, it’s only to help me.’ Whether we like it or not everyone can see it and use it, it affects everyone. You cannot choose.



We are all called to be lights, like St Clare, to brighten the darkness of this world. Put your light on in the darkness today, by a smile, by a hand of friendship. It’s contagious and will fill the world with love. Just you wait and see. Remember we are praying for you. Sr Anežka

God's Keyhole

For the past seven weeks we have had a sister from the Czech Republic staying with us. Do you know where that is? Sr Klára came to see how we live out our vocation as Poor Clare sisters. It was wonderful to have her with us and I even managed to pick up some Cesky (Czech language).


I think it is so wonderful that there are Poor Clare sisters throughout the world, all living under the umbrella of St Clare. From Australia to Africa, Canada to the Czech Republic, with France, USA and the Philippines in between. So many houses, with so many sisters, springing from one young girl in Assisi who dared to say ‘yes’ to God.

Sister Klára’s visit here in Hawarden has taught me that it doesn’t matter that St Clare lived 800 years ago, or that she lived far away in Italy. God continues to call people from every country and century to give their lives to Him.
You know, it has also shown me that all people, boys, girls, men, and women, African, Asian and European are all very much the same. Why? Because we are all, yes, every one of us, are made in the 'image and likeness of God'. Does this mean that God has blonde hair as well as black, brown and red? No! It means that we are made in His likeness, not He in ours. It means that we are all made good, because, God is all Goodness!


In the bible at the beginning it says God made all things well, it is written, God said, “It is good, yes, it is very good.” Isn’t it wonderful to be made in the image of God? Our soul (which is what really makes us, us)looks more like God than our faces look like our parents. Have you ever looked at your mum and thought you have the same nose? Or your dad and wondered if your eyes are exactly same colour? 

Well, it’s the same with God, our soul is a mirror of God and can show and does show, even in (what we may think) the meanest of people, a little of the goodness of God. Imagine now, you are looking through a tiny little keyhole in a door. When you look through it you can’t see everything that is on the other side, you can only see a little. If you were to look thought another keyhole you would see another little bit. Well, so it is with our soul and God. Each soul is a keyhole and allows us to see a different part of God, though never the whole of Him. We will have to wait for that wonderful sight until we reach heaven and what a wonder that sight will be.


It was in Sr Klára that I discovered a new aspect of God, she for me was another keyhole. So this week, let’s try to look at those around us as keyhole, ways of seeing a little of God. And remember, we are praying for you. Sr Anežka.



Back in Business!

Dear little Nesters,












Thank you so much for being patient in waiting for your next instalment on the ‘Consecrated Life’. I am happy to tell you that we are back in business!Most of the building and moving is now completed and the boxes unpacked. Thank you for your prayers for us and I hope you have remembered that you are in ours. Now let’s introduce you to Fr Michael.


This is Fr Michael.












He is a Diocesan Priest.
This means he trained in the seminary for a certain diocese (a region in the
church). He is under obedience to his Bishop and can be asked by him to 
move to any parish in the diocese.


           Fr Michael is the Parish Priest of St Lucy’s Catholic Church. This means he is responsible for that church and her parishioners. It is part of his vocation to say Holy Mass in the church during the week and most importantly on Sundays. He visits the sick of the parish and those who are housebound bringing them Holy Communion, hearing their confessions and anointing them.





Fr Michael is privileged to say the Holy Mass at the ceremony of those couples in his parish who are getting married. He baptises their babies and performs the funeral rites for those who have died. When he is not busy with administering the Sacraments of the Church (there are 7 sacraments of the church they are Baptism, Holy Communion, Confession, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the sick)

Fr Michael makes sure the church buildings are kept tidy and in order. He organises a rota for parishioners to come and help out, sometimes he will get a duster and clean the pews.


Fr Michael takes marriage classes for couples wanting to get married, this is 
to make sure they understand how important the vows are, for marriage 
should be a lifelong commitment.

Fr Michael also runs classes for people who want to become Catholics. He 
teaches them about the Catholic Faith and prepares them for the Sacrament 
rof Baptism.


Fr Michael goes into the local school once a week to see 
the children and speak to them about God. It is 
important to Fr Michael to spread the Good 
News that Jesus loves them and he wants the young 
children grow to love Jesus with all their hearts.


Every Saturday Fr Michael goes to his local cricket club 
to play. As well as enjoying the sport, Fr Michael is also 
aware he is being a witness to the men he is playing with. 
They see that he enjoys the things they enjoy, that he is just an ordinary 
person with an extraordinary call, by being 
called to be a priest of God.