Category: “New life” in Religious Life

Monastic tour #1A wonderful opportunity exists for young men discerning a call to the traditional forms of monastic life in this pilgrimage/tour to various monasteries in the USA and France in June/July 2015.

See details below:



A worthy cause … particularly apt to share on St Joseph’s day

Dominus Mihi Adjutor

Most monasteries feel short of money. Mine has been running at an annual deficit for some years but life is far from desperate. That said, there are things we need to be doing or fixing that we cannot now do due to the limitations on our funds. One huge advantage we have is that our property is an asset that can secure us loans when we need them.

So when a monastery is both short of money and living in a house not its own, the danger is compounded. It is hard to practise the Benedictine vow of stability when it is quite possible to be evicted from the place in which one’s stability is rooted.

So please spare a thought for the brethren at the recently-founded monastery of Silverstream, in County Meath in Ireland. Fr Mark maintains the edifying and insightful blog Vultus Christi, and the brethren…

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American Thanksgiving was the occasion for a “last supper” with the Queenship of Mary Community here in Ottawa last night.

The Sisters have been good friends during my time in Ottawa.  It’s a joy to see them settling into a routine of life in their new convent in Metcalfe.

I told Mother Mary Bernadette that when we arrived last night I immediately felt “peace,” and on entering the quiet and calm of the convent I looked forward to the day when they have their retreat house.  Please pray that this will come about before too long, and please also pray for the women whom the Lord is calling to join the QMC as postulants next August.

Sorry for blurry shot, but here is Fr Matthew Wertin with the Sisters, enjoying the feast prepared for us!



The new home of the Queenship of Mary Community in Metcalfe

This morning I had the blessing to be able to visit the Queenship of Mary Community at their new convent in Metcalfe, not far from Ottawa.  The Queenship of Mary Community were established as a Private Association of the Christian Faithful by decree of the Archbishop of Ottawa, Terrence Prendergast SJ, on March 26, 2012.  This is one of the stages along the way to their being – God willing – established as a Religious Institute at some stage down the track.

With the Sisters at breakfast

This morning’s visit began with a concelebrated Mass in the Sisters’ Chapel.  This was followed by a festive breakfast on account of the feast day of Saint Matthew.

At prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

Following breakfast we made a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, concluding with Benediction, most appropriately given by Fr Matthew, on his feast day.

It is always a blessing to spend time with these joy-filled and Spirit-led women who are pursuing holiness in union with Christ and the Blessed Virgin, for the sake of the Church and especially for her priests.

Please pray for the Queenship of Mary Community in these exciting and important foundation years of their Institute.

Father Matthew Wertin and Father Adrian Sharp with the Sisters of the Queenship of Mary Community

Some more photos of this morning’s visit can be viewed here.

On the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the Church throughout the world takes up the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary in praise of God.

Here in Ottawa we had an extra reason to sing for joy as we celebrated this great feast.  Today a group of five women said their own “yes” to the Lord as they received the habit of the newly established Queenship of Mary Community.  At 11am in the Archbishop’s Chapel underneath Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, blessed the habits of the new community.

Immediately following this ceremony, Mass was celebrated, during which the Archbishop read his decree establishing the Queenship of Mary Community as a private association of the Christian faithful.  The journey to becoming a religious institute in the Church is one that passes through many phases of testing and discernment, and today is yet another important milestone for the Queenship of Mary Community.

The archbishop then received the temporary profession of vows of four of the newly established community, and also assigned them religious names.  The fifth member will remain a novice for the moment, and make profession in the not-too-distant future.

A few photos follow, and more can be found on Flickr.

UPDATE 27 MARCH 2012:  See Archbishop Prendergast’s blog for his post on the occasion and more photos.

On Monday 26 March 2012, members of the Queenship of Mary Community will be receiving their religious habits and religious names, and several will be making temporary profession of vows.

I received a message from Sr Jen advising that a change has been made to tomorrow’s schedule:

* the Sisters will receive their habits at 11am in Chapel below Notre Dame Cathedral.

* Mass will follow in the Cathedral at 12.15pm, during which those making temporary profession will do so.

Sr Jen’s message said that all are welcome to both ceremonies.

All are also welcome to the reception that will follow Mass, in the hall under the Cathedral.

Please pray for the Sisters on this important and special day for the Queenship of Mary Community.


On Monday, 26 March 2012, at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast SJ will celebrate Mass at 12.15pm.  During this Mass, Alice Fougère, Jennifer MacDonald, Teresa Kargul, and Madeleine Thomson will be professing temporary vows, and receiving habits and religious names, and Genevieve Moncrieff will be receiving her habit.  His Grace will also erect the Queenship of Mary as a Private Association of the Christian Faithful, another important step of the Queenship of Mary Community on the way to becoming, formally, a religious institute in the Church.

All are invited and welcome to join with the Archbishop and the Sisters for this special Mass.  A reception will follow in the Cathedral hall following Mass.

[Update 30 March 2012: Post about the clothing ceremony and temporary profession, with photos, here.]

Stamullen Priory - the new Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle

The monastic community of Our Lady of the Cenacle is on the move from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to County Meath, Ireland.  Read about the move here.  In fact, the move happened over the past 24 hours!  Even the monastery dog is making the intercontinental journey (see:

As the Prior explains in his letter about the move, the Irish Church sent many missionary priests and religious to America [and to Australia too], and so it’s most appropriate “for some Americans to return love for love by leaving the United States to serve the Church in Ireland,” particularly at a time of severe testing for the Church in Ireland.

Please pay for the newly relocated Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle, and perhaps you might consider sending some of your Lenten almsgiving their way?

[UPDATE: Oops! typo in the last paragraph!  Well, the community does need help paying for their move and their new home … but they’d also really appreciate it if you prayed for them too!  Well spotted Canonical Codemonkey]!


The Queenship of Mary Community completed their novitiate with a moving Mass celebrated by Fr Daniel Berniquez, French Vicar of Archbishop Prendergast, last Saturday, 11 February 2012, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Because the Queenship of Mary Community is not yet established as a religious institute, and in order to fulfil the requirement of a canonical novitiate prior to first Profession, the Archbishop asked the community to undertake a novitiate with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Ottawa.  The FMMs were most gracious in accepting the Archbishop’s request, and welcomed the Queenship of Mary Community into their Presland Convent for the past year.  Both groups of Sisters would testify to what a great blessing the year has been for both communities, and there were plenty of tears shed as the Queenship of Mary Community moved out of the FMM convent on Saturday, having completed the novitiate year.

The Queenship of Mary Community is now preparing for Temporary Profession of vows on March 26 this year.  At this time they will also receive their religious habits and religious names.  Archbishop Prendergast will also establish the Community as an Association of the Faithful – another step along the path to their full establishment as a religious institute in the Church.  Please keep the Sisters in your prayers at this time.

The convent of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, Ottawa

Queenship of Mary Sisters with some of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary; Fr Matthew Wertin (left) and Fr Adrian Sharp (right)

Just before the Queenship of Mary Sisters departed, a prayer was sung that the FMMs traditionally sang as they sent a Sister on mission

More photos on Flickr.

February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, is also the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life.

The purpose of the day is “to help the entire Church to esteem ever more greatly the witness of those persons who have chosen to follow Christ by means of the practice of the evangelical counsels [poverty, chastity, obedience]” as well as “to be a suitable occasion for consecrated persons to renew their commitment and rekindle the fervour which should inspire their offering of themselves to the Lord” – John Paul II (1997) [from the Canadian Ordo]

The Holy Father marked the day with prayer with thousands of religious in St Peter’s Basilica:

Here in our canon law programme in Ottawa, we are blessed to have many religious with us.  Here’s a shot of a few of them this morning following class:

 [From left to right: A Sister of St Joseph;  one of our professors (not a religious!);  a Dominican Sister;  and a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate.]

Consecrated Life is a great gift in and for the Church, and it is “a special way of participating in the sacramental nature of the People of God.  Indeed, the consecration of those professing religious vows is especially ordained to this purpose, namely of offering to the world visible proof of the unfathomable mystery of Christ, inasmuch as in themselves they really present ‘Christ in contemplation on the mountain, or proclaiming the kingdom of God to the multitudes, or healing the sick and maimed and converting sinners to a good life, or blessing children and doing good to all men, always in obedience to the will of the Father who sent Him’ ” (Mutuae relationes, 10;  Lumen gentium, 46).

Say a prayer today for all the religious you know, in thanksgiving for their offering of themselves to God, and that they may always be faithful to their way of life and thereby enrich the Church with many blessings.