2013 Newsletter

Tidings of Ty Mam Duw 2013
The autumn leaves are falling, the holly trees are red with berries and the squirrels are busy collecting acorns from the oak tree in our garden. So it is time to look back once again over the past twelve months and try to capture in words some of the main happenings here at Ty Mam Duw. If the American poet, e. e. cummings could write  i thank You God for most this amazing day, we could certainly thank Him (with a few more capitals!) for this most amazing year. As our dear Papa Francisco has said, Anyone who is a man or a woman of hope – the great hope which faith gives us – knows that even in the midst of difficulties God acts and he surprises us. And for us, and for millions throughout the world, believers and unbelievers alike (including the former Cardinal Bergoglio), perhaps the greatest surprise was the election of Pope Francis himself! As he was to say later: God always surprises us .... But he asks us to let ourselves be surprised by his love, to accept his surprises. Let us trust God!

    This Tidings starts last November, shortly after we compiled the 2012 edition. Tony Ellis, a friend of the community, came and showed us videos and slides of the work of International China Concern, an organisation which  does wonderful work there in caring for disabled children and was originally founded in 1994 by a visitor from Britain,. They now run three orphanages in China, staffed jointly by voluntary workers from overseas and members of the local community, who serve  their charges with great love and dedication in rather spartan conditions, depending as they do on well-wishers.for their material and spiritual support.

    Several days of heavy rain here the following week led to  the usual flooding in our cloister garden - if not as romantic as a canal in Venice, it at least resembled a  paddy field! Life seemed to be tending towards what St Francis would have welcomed as ‘perfect  joy’ one night, when our main boiler went on strike leaving us without heating or hot water.  But like St Francis we continued to rejoice in the Lord, singing Matins at 10 pm, an hour earlier than usual, before the house got too cold! Mercifully the expert came the next morning and restored all to rights, for which we thanked God,  also remembering before Him those who were so much worse off than us with the cold and the wet.

    Our carol service to usher in Advent in the special “Year of Faith” was on that theme. There were a goodly number of people present, including some new faces - and some unexpected friends from past years. It featured a light-hearted and enlightening conversation between Grandma (based on the figure invented by the cartoonist Giles, with her familiar crushed hat and grim expression), Mrs Pringle, the grouchy fictional charlady from Miss Read’s Village School series, and an attendant angel, who kindly set right their well-meant but woolly ideas on what faith really is... The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, the final feast of the Christmas cycle, was then acted out, and included reflections on the faith shown by Our Lady and St Joseph, Simeon and Anna.
    For our own Advent practice this year we were each given a white cloth and a candle, symbols of our baptism, when our journey of faith began, and invited to contribute by prayer and acts of charity to the ‘treasury of faith’, which was represented by a basket in which we might place small green branches, later used to decorate the crib.

    A joyful celebration of faith for us as a community was the first profession of our dear Sr Anezka. Her cousin, Fr Michael, celebrated the semiprivate Mass assisted by Canon Quigley. An added joy was that her parents from Australia were able to be present. Despite us all having first-class colds,we managed to sing well enough, and Sister pronounced her vows clearly while tying the symbolic four knots in her new cord. Fr Michael recalled the  childhood years he had shared with our Sister, long before she became a Catholic and he had realised his own call to the priesthood. He spoke of how we are called to the religious life, not because of our own goodness but simply because God is good and has known and loved us from all eternity, and can do great things with those who know their need of Him and trust in His strength to support them.

    In the evening our Sr Bride, still wearing her crown of flowers, opened a wide assortment of presents made for the occasion, and seemed quite overwhelmed with it all. As her full religious name is Sr Maria Anezka of the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, there followed a humorous play with silhouette paper puppets, loosely based on the gospel account but also starring several fictitious characters who put in guest appearances.

    This year our choir crib was erected in its full-scale in all its glory , with a grand total of about 40 scenes from salvation history  Among them was a new one of Jonah happily ensconced in his whale, and a model of the Basilica of St John Lateran, regarded as the Mother Church of Christendom. As usual, we went round the monastery on Christmas Eve, singing carols and blessing all our cribs. Especially noteworthy this year was one by Sr Pia and Sr Elizabeth on the theme of faith, which featured a background outline of St Peters and symbols representing every article in the Apostles’ Creed.. These included a font flanked by figures of Saint Francis and Saint Clare, a sign of our own Franciscan vocation being rooted in baptism, through which we become children of God and are called to live out the gospel way of life.

    Canon celebrated our Christmas Vigil Mass which was followed by a very peaceful ‘Shepherds’ Mass’ as we ourselves term it, during which we have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and bring offerings of prayer, music and other gifts to the Christchild in the manger in front of the altar.

    The theme of the refectory crib, ingeniously devised by Sr Agatha and Sr Seraphina was Christmas at the ICC Orphanage, with a background pagoda on the wall made of bamboo sticks and red paper serviettes folded origami-style to form the roof tiles. The statue of Our Lady seen as the Mother of the Orphanage was clothed in a gold oriental-style mantle. Her Child, a knitted figure, was cradled on the back of a swan, swimming in a river of blue material filled with origami fish and crossed by a very convincing curved bridge made of brown paper. Wall posters proclaimed in Chinese the Prologue to St John’s Gospel and the prophecy from Isaiah 7:14, “the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”.

    China also featured in January when we spent a day there TMD-style by courtesy of Sr Yolanda and helpers. It began with Sr Amata conducting us in 15 minutes of Tai-Chi exercises, followed by a welcome bowl of noodles and green tea  We were then treated to a very elementary lesson in Chinese pronunciation, learning a little about the language and given the transliteration of the Chinese for “Our Father, who art in heaven by way of practice, though none of us was proficient enough to graduate beyond the opening phrase! We had Chinese recipes at dinner, and in the afternoon met for a home-devised game on a board decorated with Chinese dragons. This was followed by a quick run-through of Chinese history from the first dynasties till the early 20h century, together with a home-made song on the same theme.

    On the Feast of the Holy Innocents we spent a most enjoyable day in the  novitiate. It was masterminded by Sr Anezka and Sr Elizabeth and highlighted activities appropriate to the “Year of Faith”. Among them was a treasure hunt with a series of clues based on quotes from Scripture and the Catechism. John the Baptist living off locusts and wild honey led us to the  storeroom shelf that houses jam, and Ezekiel’s sprinkle with water to the holy water stoup in the sacristy.

    We began the Year of Our Lord 2013 as usual in the best possible way with a Vigil, and then midnight Mass celebrated by our friend, Fr Paul Shaw. The Vigil comprised excerpts from Pope Benedict’s message for World Peace Day, as well as some from Bl. John XXIII’s encyclical, Pacem in Terris, which came out 50 years ago.  Little did we guess at the turn of the year what surprises God had up His sleeve for us!

    During the Christmas ‘coffee days’ we also enjoyed a series of videoclips obtained  from the internet by one of the more computer-wise among us, with Dear Mother, Sr Pia and helpers providing delicious baking to accompany the showing. Among the wide variety of subjects were  Christkindle fairs in Germany, and Christmas celebrations in other countries.

    One of our Christmastide recreations, written by Sr Pia, took the form of a This is Your Life production on Celestial TV to welcome Our Lady’s arrival in heaven after her assumption. The presenter introduced her parents, from her parents Joachim and Anne, to playmates of her youth, old friends from back on earth, and others like St Mary Magdalen, whom she befriended in the years of Christ’s ministry on earth.  Video-links with earth were provided so that the apostles Peter and Andrew could be interviewed, along with Saint Luke,  all of whom were still busy spreading the good news down below in this world. The denouement lay in the final speech when the presenter crowned Our Lady as Queen of Heaven, and on removing his cloak was revealed as her Divine Son welcoming her into His heavenly Kingdom.

    Another recreation by Sr Elizabeth and Sr Juliana was 100% ridiculous rather than sublime.  Entitled McBother, A Tragical Comedy it told of McBother of Loch Bess, a Laird of the Upper Highlands living with his Lady in the crumbling castle of Glamissette. Their son Osrick was fascinated by Bessie the monster of the Loch, whom no one living had seen. However much he was urged, he refused to marry his second cousin Anemone - a match by which he would acquire palaces in Londinium, Dundee and North Manchester, all well fortified with drawbridges and central heating, thus enabling his parents to live in relative luxury. Meanwhile Anemone and Prince Pamlet of Pamlet Castle had fallen in love, and by the end of the play were free to be married. The Loch Bess monsteress had put her head in the window and enticed Osrick away, and his parents had decided  to retire from their chilly castle to a cottage in the Shetlands. So like all Shakespeare’s comedies it ended with a marriage and was not as tragical as the playbill had led us to believe!

    Sr Juliana, who is a born storyteller had entertained us one afternoon with a charming tale about the Magi, and seven elephants from Africa, India and China, who came together to journey to Bethlehem.. This short story was later surpassed in every way by Philia. This she read to us during dinner, beginning in Lent and ending in August! Set in the 4th century, it was originally envisaged as a framework in which to insert the Lenten catechesis of St Cyril of Jerusalem. However it grew in the telling into an imaginative thriller, still with the saintly Bishop’s Lenten talks as a connecting link but also full of fascinating detail about the problems and conflicts in the Church of his days.

    After Christmastide, it was back again to Ordinary Time. Though, with a God of surprises, one cannot count on it being so! In February we had our annual Mass in honour of Saint Colette, invoking her intercession especially for couples wishing to be blessed with children, and for expectant mothers, that their unborn children would arrive safely in due course.  As so many have contacted us, especially by e-mail, asking prayers for these intentions, we have extended the blessing with her relic to every Saturday at 12.30 pm for any who wish to join us in the singing and recital of the Saint Colette chaplet at that time. We also pray then for any special intentions people wish us to entrust to her loving intercession.

    To add to our Lenten observance this year Dear Mother suggested that we should support in a special way with our prayers all those who felt isolated and alone. In practical terms this included our meeting each day for 15 minutes for silent reflection while doing crochet or knitting, and ending by reciting a decade of the rosary together on some beautiful wooden rosaries an American benefactor had made for us.

    Dear Mother celebrated her feastday, always a happy community occasion, on 11th February,. After a joyful sung Mass  we had a festive breakfast with coffee and toast, and this was followed by her feastday song and an opportunity for her to admire all the gifts we had made. These Sr Beatrix and Sr Seraphina had arranged in a colourful display, and many of them ultimately went to fill the shelves in our small craft-shop. We then dispersed to our various activities only to be summoned by Dear Mother’s urgent ringing of the cloister bell to tell us that news had just come through that our beloved Pope Benedict was resigning. The news came as a shock, and though we all felt to some extent orphaned, the general reaction was one of admiration for his humility and courage in choosing to take such a step after due prayer and consultation. Our second shock that day was a genuine bereavement - we learned of the unexpected death the day before of our friend Brother John Parker, who for a  number of years had been coming to show us slides of Rome and the catacombs and similar related subjects. In fact he had only written to us a few weeks before to arrange a further retreat in the near future. May he rest in peace

     On the Feast of Saint David we watched  the immensely moving coverage of Pope Benedict leaving the Vatican by helicopter to the sound of all the Vatican’s church bells, and of his flight to Castel Gandolfo, where he appeared on the balcony to give his final blessing as Pope to all the people gathered there. Though he looked frail, he  carried himself with his usual quiet serenity through all the long farewells, and spoke simply and extemporaneously, telling the people that he was now simply one of them, a pilgrim on the last lap to eternity.

    In March we had  a day of Guided Prayer focussing on the writings of Bl. John Duns Scotus. Sr Juliana had designed three banners for it, one of Our Lord, one of Mary Immaculate, and one of Duns Scotus.  Fr Paul Shaw came from Chester to celebrate Mass and preached with his customary enthusiasm. A few days later he was back to give us a series of talks about Vatican II, and spoke of his own experience of those days fifty years ago, quoting Wordsworth’s words (though in a very different context from their original one!)  Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive! The talks were followed each day by a Holy Hour and then Mass, and our thoughts and prayers were very much with the momentous events taking place in the Church in our own days and among the Cardinals then gathered in Rome. We all signed up for the Youth 2000 initiative inviting people to ‘adopt a Cardinal’, each receiving the name, picture and details of a specific Cardinal to adopt spiritually, praying especially for his guidance in the imminent conclave. We learned later that several million people had backed the initiative, so each Cardinal must have had several hundred thousand people supporting him in prayer - which perhaps goes a long way to accounting for the shortness of the conclave and its unexpected outcome. And of course, first and foremost among those praying for it would have been our own Pope Emeritus.

    Shortly after Fr Paul had celebrated Mass on the third day of his talks, as we were heading for the refectory, our dear Marianne rang through excitedly with the news that the new Pope had been elected. Like millions of others all over the world, we eagerly awaited the first appearance of the new Pope. Apparently our Pope Emeritus in Castel Gandolfo was equally glued to the screen and had turned off his phone to forestall interruptions. So at first he was less than happy when the Vatican security rang through insistently at such an important moment to tell him to answer his phone, only to discover that the new Pope was on the other end of the line wanting to speak to him before making his first public appearance - as we now know well, it was one of those typical impromptu gestures of love and concern so characteristic of our new Holy Father, ones which have captivated the hearts of so many, young and old, in all walks of life.

    On the day of his inauguration, we had a special Morning Prayer for him with Exposition. It included hymns which expressed Papa Francisco’s love for the poor Christ, and prayers for his new ministry as head of the Church. Also included was a prayer to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, a devotion which he encountered during a stay in Bavaria and has popularised in Argentina,  one which invokes her intercession in freeing us from the bonds of temptation and sin, despair and fear, and all the confusion that besets us in our lives. Later we watched a video of the  very moving inaugural Mass in St Peter’s Square.

    But it was not only Church events that had a major impact on our lives this year. There were also the freaks of weather. The weeks of unrelenting rain earlier in the year, which had caused widespread flooding in parts of Britain had left our ground soft and squelchy, so when the January snow came, and later heavy falls in March (on what should have been the second day of spring!) we like many others had more damage to contend with. than we first supposed. About a foot of snow fell on the worst day, breaking branches from a number of big trees, uprooting smaller ones in the enclosure garden and a large cypress in front of the monastery. This our good friend Tony valiantly cut up for us, saving  some  for us to use in our woodwork department. When a thaw set in, the weight of frozen snow falling off our steep choir roof collapsed the perspex roof of the small verandah outside the infirmary, and that of the shelter outside the dog kennel, leaving our two small mischief-makers trapped inside. It took 40 minutes to dig them out, and even Millie, who is known for her habitual reluctance to leave her nice warm basket on cold days, seemed genuinely glad to be rescued. The following weeks of frost and ice resulted in a dazzling array of icicles, some about three ft long, hanging from many of our gutters!

    On Palm Sunday the snow prevented Canon from coming to celebrate Mass, so we had our own Service of the Word.. By Holy Saturday, all the snow that had fallen off the choir roof had piled up in a frozen mountain outside the antechoir, and it took Sr Ruth several hours to clear an area in which to have our holy fire which begins the Easter Vigil. Though smaller than usual it still blazed cheerfully against its snowy background for the lighting of the large paschal candle, decorated this year by Sr Lourdes, who had incorporated the Year of Faith logo in her design. Even in wintry Wales we were the Easter people, and Alleluia was our song!

    Easter week activities included a day spent in Argentina, devised by Sr Anezka. It began with our being required to dress a gingerbread doll or two in Argentinian-style, cutting out their clothing from sheets of coloured marzipan, after which Sr Juliana’s pair were  judged to be the best-dressed, and we were allowed to eat our creations. Then followed input on the history and geography of Argentina, together with a potted biography of its most illustrious citizen these days, our dear Papa Francisco. Later we were treated to a barbecue dinner. Vespers included a sharing  on St Cajetan,  a saint held in great esteem in Argentina as one who intercedes for the poor, whether they are seeking bread or work, or simply hungering for justice and peace.

    In April and May much of the garden was declared out-of-bounds because of the danger from high branches broken by the snow and still hanging loose: so we turned our attention to indoors activities. Chief among these was the removal from the chapter room, which serves as our library, of the seven thousand or so books there, so we could repaint it. The volumes were then sorted, checked against their index cards, and recatalogued under a new system, this time with colour-coded spine labels for the various sections to make them easier to find. We managed to find good homes for a number of double copies, leaving us with some shelf space for any new arrivals.

    During May we had our now traditional Flores de Maio devotions daily, this year in choir  so that friends and visitors could also be present. A good deal of creative ingenuity went into choosing a different picture or statue of Our Lady each day, placing it in a colourful setting of drapes and flowers, and choosing appropriate hymns, readings and prayers for the celebration in her  honour. We also celebrated October with daily Marian devotions in our shrine chapel, this time just for Marianne and ourselves as space there is limited. Sr Seraphina selected and played the hymns for these, and Sr Agatha led the reflections on the various mysteries of the rosary, and they furnished a welcome period of peaceful reflection in the busy weeks leading up to our Autumn Fair.

    May also saw us preparing for our dear Sr Agatha’s Ruby Jubilee at the end of the month. Sr Beatrix and Sr Seraphina arranged a countdown novena for her in the refectory.  They set up a new small shrine to Our Lady there each day on the wall or windowsills, the figures  ranging from Our Lady of Africa, to Our Lady of China, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadelupe etc. Each day the latest shrine was unveiled, we sang a hymn or psalm, and Sr Agatha placed a rose at it and lit a votive light, while we prayed for her and her intentions. Sr Agatha’s Jubilee Mass was celebrated by Canon Quigley as a Poor Clare family affair, with only Marianne and a few others present. Canon spoke simply from his heart about Sr Agatha's long years of living out her Poor Clare vocation with joy and simplicity. Four Sisters carrying ten small lighted candles each, stood near Sister Agatha as she renewed her holy vows in Dear Mother’s hands and received a crown of ruby-coloured flowers, (also containing  a few decorative butterflies!)

    At dinnertime the full glory of the refectory decorations was revealed. Sr Seraphina had based them on the theme of the Symphony of Creation magnifying the Lord, and had moulded about forty angels from white tissue paper for a collage on the wall, showing them encircling the throne of God with their praise. There were several beautifully painted floor to ceiling hangdowns in pastel colours decorated with fish, birds, water, sky and other facets of creation, and below them an altar set up as for holy Mass, the principal means of drawing the whole world into the living praise of God.

    The next day the ‘Jubilee room’ in which all the presents we had made her were displayed,  was opened in the cloister with the singing of the delightful song written for the occasion by our Beloved Mother Francesca. She was Sr Agatha’s novice mistress when she entered in 1970,  accompanying and nurturing her vocation since then. Sr Amata and Sr Yolanda had fashioned a very lovely background setting of drapes, with home-made flowers in pastel colours and matching posters featuring quotes from a number of our Sister’s favourite pinups - Saint Pio, Saint Kateri, Blessed John XXIII, Blessed John Paul the Great, Saints Francis, Clare and Colette, as well as John Bradburne and Bishop Fulton Sheen. In the evening we enjoyed a presentation celebrating the sea in all its aspects, a theme dear to Sr Agatha’s heart, as  she grew up in Brighton.. The showing was in three parts, and pictures ranged from sea and surf, to shores and cliffs, icebergs, seabirds, boats, whales, sharks and coral reef life, ships throughout the ages, and famous ships in British history. The whole event took about two and a half hours in all, with our evening collation provided in the intermissions, the final section comprising a Vespers in honour of Our Lady, Star of the Sea. A CD of sounds of the sea from various places round Britain, served as a background soundtrack and was enhanced by poems about seagulls, sharks, jellyfish, flying fish, etc, read by Sr Ruth and Sr Amata.

    On the following day we went on pilgrimage to Syria where Sr Yolanda, dressed for the part, told us of the appearances of Our Lady in Soufanieh in the 1980s  and of her urgent appeal for believers to be united in love - a heart-rending plea in view of the tragic situation there in these days. We then had a special Vespers  in honour of the Mother of God. It comprised prayers based on the Rule of the Mother of God, written by St Seraphim of Sarov, together with excerpts from the Athakist hymn, and the prayers and messages of Soufanieh. We each venerated a copy of the small icon of Our Lady from which healing oil had flowed in profusion at the time of her appearances, lighting candles and placing flowers before it while praying for a host of intentions.

    The next day was observed as a Butterfly Day, as butterflies are also known to rejoice Sr Agatha’s heart. The extreme winter had led naturalists to predict a dearth of butterflies this summer, but they were happy to be proved wrong when an unprecedented number were reported to gladden us all - though the clouds of cabbage whites hovering near our vegetable patch were rather less welcome  than the peacock or tortoiseshell variety! We were treated to a talk on the life cycle of the butterfly, of which there are an estimated 28,000 species, each developing from egg to caterpillar, then forming a chrysalis and finally emerging as the adult imago. Apparently the bitter struggle needed for the adult to emerge from the tiny hole in its chrysalis is an essential part of its development, and so an allegory for us all in times of tribulation. The compression forces fluid from the insect’s body into the veins of its wings, unfolding them till they are large enough for the butterfly to soar to the skies .If it had not undergone the ordeal it would have remained for ever earthbound. By way of entertainment we also enjoyed a puppet play in the novitiate, starring Brother Pio, a Franciscan, who to his dismay encountered a charming caterpillar named Kate in his garden nestling in a pea pod having consumed the peas. They eventually became friends and later she came to visit him in his cell fluttering around in her final form as a  beautiful blue Italian butterfly.
    Other Jubilee week activities included a two-part episcope presentation by Sr Elizabeth of her Duffer’s Guide to Paradise, based on the last ten cantos of Dante’s Il Paradiso and beautifully illustrated. Together with her ‘Duffer’s’ version of Il Purgatorio, it was the culmination of about six  years’ work on and off and a real joy and inspiration to us all. Another event was a day spent on pilgrimage TMD-style to 21 shrines of Our Lady throughout the world, under the auspices of Sr Pia and Sr Anezka. It included not only a talk on the origin of each of these shrines but a board game, for which they had moulded little Poor Clare nuns as playing-pieces, each aiming to visit six of the shrines.. Various squares of different colours entailed our answering questions on Scripture, Our Lady, or the Church.  In the end we all safely attained our required goals and duly won a small packet of sweets.

    June saw our triennial community elections, which resulted in no major changes of office. It also saw our greenhouse transformed into a “bean house”, with the seeds sown there belatedly in a multitude of pots, as the forecast at the time was for further weeks of rain. The severe cold in March probably killed off most of the mushroom spores, as there were few edible ones in our garden this year - though  an enchantingly colourful ring of red toadstools sprang up under the silver birches. Toads were not in evidence, but we had frogs aplenty in the dog run, evicting a score and more over the course of several weeks.

    In Auugust Dear Mother accepted an invitation to be present at the Youth 2000 gathering at Walsingham this year, attended by a thousand or so young people, and to bear witness to our particular form of gospel life.  And in September, like so many Catholics and people of all faiths throughout the world , we responded to the Holy Father’s appeal for a day of prayer and fasting for the people of Syria and all caught up in the spiralling violence in the Middle East. We were spiritually united with him in the  four-hour Prayer Vigil in St Peter’s Square, attended at short notice by a hundred thousand people. It included the recitation of the rosary, Exposition and sung Matins, and Pope Francis gave a simple but forceful homiliy calling for peace and reconciliation and saying that “we have perfected our weapons of war but our consciences are asleep.”  Later that month our new Bishop, Bishop Peter Brignall, came to celebrate Mass here, and expressed his pleasure at meeting us as a community. He had just returned from Rome where he had met not only Pope Francis, but also several new Bishops appointed to Syria and Lebanon. For him it was a very moving experience, knowing that they would be going back to bear witness to Christ and to lead the Church there in such dangerous situations.

    How wonderful too it was for our Sisters in Assisi and for all Poor Clares when Pope Francis visited them there in October, praying before the original San Damiano cross that now hangs in their chapel, and speaking to them, and so to us all, about our vocation, telling us that:  Because the Word became flesh, God became flesh for us, and this gives you a great, human, beautiful and mature holiness, the holiness of a mother. And this is what the Church wants you to be: mothers... To give life. When you pray for others, you have a maternal role towards them.

    Autumn also brought us harvest-time, and the welcome gift of fruit, vegetables and groceries from local harvest festivals, a great help to us and much appreciated. Our Autumn Fair was well attended, with the knitted items, ranging from crochet blankets lovingly made by our dear Marianne, to dolls, scarves, shawls and bed jackets made by the rest of us, in great demand. We are very grateful to all of you, our friends, for your generous support in so many ways. As to the supposed ban on recycled jam jars, which we mentioned in our 2012 Tidings, we have discovered that we were misinformed  and that it does not actually extend to us as we had originally thought, but to larger commercial enterprises. So if you have any old jam jars we can certainly put them to good use.

    And  once again, in all the uncertainties and darkness of our world today we set our sights on the coming of the Lord into our lives in a special way this Christmas. In all we do you can be sure that we will be enfolding you and your loved ones, and your joys and sorrows in our hearts before Him. We commit ourselves once again to living the Gospel more deeply in response to the encouraging words of Pope Francis, praying that they may become a reality in our lives and yours, and indeed in those of all God’s children “Put on Christ!” in your life, and you will find a friend in whom you can always trust; “put on Christ” and you will see the wings of hope spreading and letting you journey with joy towards the future.

With loving prayers for every grace and blessing - as God pleases, as God wills - in the coming year,

your little Sisters at Ty Mam Duw