The Lord has done marvellous things, let them be made known to the whole world!
What we are sharing about the founding years and inspiration of this newest religious community in the UK is done with the knowledge that you will join us in giving thanks to God for the immense love and mercy shown to us through this sacred history in the making. As regards to the future, we hope:
- To do some interior alterations to make extra bedrooms in our formation in Dereham, as we do not have enough for the number of candidates discerning with us (for this we are fundraising).
- To expand the work of Dowry House Retreat (www.dowryhouse.org.uk) for the shrine.
- To continue giving presentations on the Catholic faith and Walsingham Spirituality in particular, to offer workshops in schools and parishes.
- To continue supporting diocesan priests, deacons and the local church in a particular way, in keeping with our Carmeilte-rooted charism.
- To continue supporting the lay branch (established in 2021) so that those who wish can to share in the treasures of this dynamic and unfolding charism.
- To welcome some brothers into the community so that the branch for vowed brothers and priests of COLW can take shape.
- To respond to the requests of bishops to open houses in other dioceses and abroad.
- To welcome people for longer periods of time so that, living alongside us, they can share in the life of the community and, deepening their relationship with God, become evermore effective witnesses in the world.
- To increase the support given to all those discerning their path in life.
- To continue facilitating summer formation weeks for young adults.
- To open a care home/hospice at Walsingham so that people can say their final ‘Yes and Thank You’ to God for all he has done in their lives. To offer, at the same time, care in their homes for the elderly in the village.
- To promote Vocations Pilgrimages to Walsingham as a discernment experience for teenagers and young adults from all dioceses around the country.
- That the community will grow slowly but steadily. As we all know it is quality, not quantity, that counts.
So, new life is born. Despite the pain and struggle entailed, there is immense joy in embracing this gift of God given to us and to the Church. As with any child that is born, the COLW charism has a life of its own. We cannot control it or even desire to plan for its future. We can only allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit to a constantly renewed discovery of God and of his Word, to a burning love for God and for humanity and to a new understanding of the charism which has been given. We know that this will involve growing pains, especially if we consider that the first thirty years of any community can be considered the ‘founding years’. However, we live in the hope that all those called to be part of the Community will already have the seed of the charism within them and will help us unravel its mystery.