Help Us Buy a Van!

Our community has continued to grow over the past few years and we now find ourselves often travelling around in a ‘fleet’ of five-seater vehicles to get places. Sometimes we are finding ourselves taking up to several cars by the time we have packed up all our equipment! So, we have started fundraising in order to buy a minibus to better accommodate the needs of our community, especially as we look to welcoming new community members in the near future, along with the steady flow of retreatants and people living alongside the community as a time of discernment.

Even just a little makes a different. Please do consider donating to this appeal which you can do by going to www.walsinghamcommunity.org/donation and scrolling down to our ‘Help Us Buy a Van’ section. Thanks for your generosity!

Upcoming Events 2023 – 2024

We have put together a wonderful program of events and retreats over the coming year for you all and are delighted to be able to start taking bookings.  If you would like / be able to promote them in your local parish, chaplaincy or to people you know who would benefit from them then you can download this PDF poster: Datesfor2024Poster, print it off or share it electronically.  If you have any further queries related to the upcoming retreats and COLW’s mission don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Please also remember to subscribe to our newsletter to have all the latest updates delivered to directly to your inbox!

 

Called to the Fullness of Life

26th – 28th January, 2024

Called to the Fullness of Life is a retreat which explores at an in-depth level, thoughts, feelings and emotions and how God desires us to use them in order to draw us into deeper relationship with him.  This retreat will give you practical tools and explanations as to how, when used well, they are not obstacles to our relationship with God but can, conversely, become tools of great growth when used well and aid us in discernment, both great and small. In a world which oscillates between the mentality of ‘doing what you feel like,’ or, on the other end of spectrum, totally negating our feelings, this retreat explores a different way of seeing them, a view from a Christian standpoint which shows how this part of ourselves can lead to a life deeper and more enriching. Retreatants, both those on Zoom and those joining in person, will join the sisters for their times of prayer with times for input and sharing as well as personal prayer and reflection.

For further information email: office@walsinghamcommunity.org or what’s app us / call on 07733 385788.

BOOKING A PLACE

ZOOM

We ask for a suggested £25-£40 donation for the weekend which includes resources and copies of the PowerPoints.  Zoom attendees will also be able to attend livestreams of all the sisters times of prayer and have their own times of discussion with one of the sisters.  A timetable will be sent out before the event so you can plan your days accordingly.

Click here to book your place.

RESIDENTIAL

We ask for a suggested donation of £80 – £140 for residential places.These donation rates are per person for the whole weekend which includes all your meals from Friday supper to Sunday lunch as well as refreshments. You can enjoy the beautiful house and grounds of our convent in Dereham as well as the Chapel overlong the moors. There is also the opportunity for spiritual accompaniment from a sister. Residential places are limited and only available on a first-come, first-serve basis so book early to avoid disappointment!

Click here to book your place.

TRAVEL

Dereham has good public transport links with Dereham and buses are also available from Kings Lynn. We may be able to arrange lifts for you to and from the station depending on the time you arrive/leave.  Please let us know what you can on the registration form or closer to the time so we can help with this.

Intercontinental Walsingham Spirituality Series – Zoom

A series of introductory retreats taking place on Saturday evenings over the course of four weeks, made especially with those from the America’s or Australian subcontinent in mind who have expressed an interest in learning more about the Spirituality of Walsingham.  Walsingham is the National Shrine in England and Wales and was founded in 1061.  It is a place steeped in history yet, sadly, what remains in Walsingham in the 21st century is the little left after the destruction of the reformation and centuries of neglect.  But the Spirituality of Walsingham is far more than just being about one physical place and has an importance more far reaching than just the British Isles.

This series of retreats will help you grow in the freedom to give your own total yes to God and his work in your life.  God works in the reality of our day-to-day lives, in the midst of our circumstances no matter how mundane and messy they may seem.  This retreat will seek to guide you through the stages of accepting, doing and then surrendering to God’s will in imitation of Our Lady – so as to share in the joy she had at the Annunciation.

What dates will these meetings on zoom be taking place?

On four successive Saturdays in Eastertide: 20th April, 27th April, 4th May and 11th May 2024.

What time will this be happening?

The zoom meeting will commence at 3pm PST/PDT , 6pm EST/EDT , 8am AEST which is 11pm BST.

The meetings will last for approximately two hours which include a time of teaching, prayer and sharing.

I’m not from America, can I still join in?

Please do!  We wish to spread the message of Walsingham to as many people as possible to you are welcome to join no matter where you are in the world, as long as you can make the time difference work for you!

How much will this cost?

We are not stipulating a minimum donation for this retreat to enable it to be accessible to as many people as possible.  Our growing community is entirely dependent on donations though, so whatever you give will go directly towards fostering its growth and the spread of its mission in Britain and beyond! Donations can be made via our donate page of this site but if you can benefit from tax relief please email us and we will let you know when our CAF America page has been activated.

To book, please click here.

If you would like further information please get in touch with us at office@walsinghamcommunity.org

Read this article about our mission which was published in the National Catholic Register on 24th September 2023

 

Living in the Rhythm of the Word

1st – 3rd March 2024

Scripture is one of the greatest gifts that we have, something which is not merely words on the page, but something, “alive and active,” (Hebrews 4:12).  This retreat will show you how to live your life rooted in scripture which has the ability to transform our hearts, minds and lives at a deep level. We will explore practical ways of praying with scripture and also making it part of each and every moment of our lives which must be lived always with that awareness of how we are always in the presence of God. Retreatants, both those on Zoom and those joining in person, will join the sisters for their times of prayer with times for input and sharing as well as personal prayer and reflection.

For further information email: office@walsinghamcommunity.org or what’s app us / call on 07733 385788.

BOOKING A PLACE

ZOOM

We ask for a suggested £25-£40 donation for the weekend which includes resources and copies of the PowerPoints.  Zoom attendees will also be able to attend livestreams of all the sisters times of prayer and have their own times of discussion with one of the sisters.  A timetable will be sent out before the event so you can plan your days accordingly.

Click here to book your place.

RESIDENTIAL

We ask for a suggested donation of £80 – £140 for residential places. These donation rates are per person for the whole weekend which includes all your meals from Friday supper to Sunday lunch as well as refreshments. You can enjoy the beautiful house and grounds of our convent in Dereham as well as the Chapel overlong the moors. There is also the opportunity for spiritual accompaniment from a sister. Residential places are limited and only available on a first-come, first-serve basis so book early to avoid disappointment!

Click here to book your place.

TRAVEL

Dereham has good public transport links with Dereham and buses are also available from Kings Lynn. We may be able to arrange lifts for you to and from the station depending on the time you arrive/leave.  Please let us know what you can on the registration form or closer to the time so we can help with this.

Formation Week

Young Adult’s Formation Week

22nd – 29th July, 2024

For anyone aged 18 – 35!  Spend a week living with the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham in prayer, fellowship and formation touching on a wide variety of areas including, but not limited to: the Spirituality of Walsingham, emotional maturity and discernment, life rooted in the rhythm of the word and with the option of periods of one-to-one accompaniment with a sister.  There will also be the opportunity to spend a day in Walsingham and a visit a Carmelite Convent near Norwich which will include a chat with one of the sisters there.  We particularly recommend this formation week to those who are at a bit of a crossroads in their life and looking for some help in discerning their direction but this retreat is open to all who fall into the age bracket and we hope to welcome you in the summer to our convent here in Norfolk!

For further information email: office@walsinghamcommunity.org or what’s app us / call on 07733 385788.

BOOKING A PLACE

RESIDENTIAL

Donation rates TBC. These donation rates are per person for the whole week which includes all your meals from as well as refreshments. You can enjoy the beautiful house and grounds of our convent in Dereham as well as the Chapel overlong the moors. There is also the opportunity for spiritual accompaniment from a sister. Places are limited on this retreat and only available on a first-come, first-serve basis so book early to avoid disappointment!

TRAVEL

Dereham has good public transport links with Dereham and buses are also available from Kings Lynn. We may be able to arrange lifts for you to and from the station depending on the time you arrive/leave.  Please let us know what you can on the registration form or closer to the time so we can help with this.

Personal Vocation

4th – 6th October, 2024

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS RETREAT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED

Join the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham for a weekend in Dereham on a journey discovering at a deeper level who you are for God and who he is for you.  There is a beautiful story of St Teresa of Avila had a vision of Jesus one day and asked her, ‘Who are you?,’ she replied, ‘I am the Teresa of Jesus,’ to which he replied, ‘And I am the Jesus of Teresa.’  This is something we must all learn for ourselves.  Each one of us is totally unique in all creation and has been called into being to loved by God and show to the world a particular facet of who he is.  This retreat will seek to shed light on what this is for you which will deepen and enliven each aspect of your live when lived in depth.  Due to the nature of this retreat only residential places will be available and these will be fewer in number to allow for more space and solitude.

For further information email: office@walsinghamcommunity.org or what’s app us / call on 07733 385788.

BOOKING A PLACE

RESIDENTIAL

We ask for a suggested donation of £100 – £150 (based on sharing with one other person) and £150 – £200 (single). These donation rates are per person for the whole weekend which includes all your meals from Friday supper to Sunday lunch as well as refreshments. You can enjoy the beautiful house and grounds of our convent in Dereham as well as the Chapel overlong the moors. There is also the opportunity for spiritual accompaniment from a sister. Residential places are especially limited on this retreat and only available on a first-come, first-serve basis so book early to avoid disappointment!

TRAVEL

Dereham has good public transport links with Dereham and buses are also available from Kings Lynn. We may be able to arrange lifts for you to and from the station depending on the time you arrive/leave.  Please let us know what you can on the registration form or closer to the time so we can help with this.

Called to the Fullness of Love

3rd – 5th November 2023

A weekend retreat for young adults aged 18-35 wishing to look in-depth at the Catholic understanding of the human person and God’s plan for love, especially looking at practical ways in which we can grow in maturity as Christian men and women.
Experiencing the Father’s love in the reality of our being, we can open ourselves to developing healthy relationships, learning to receive and give love in a chaste manner and according to our particular state in life, whatever that may be.

Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns our affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.” CCC 2332
Join others in asking the questions needed to live a consciously chaste / celibate life. Personal accompaniment from one of the sisters is also available upon request.

BOOKING A PLACE

RESIDENTIAL

Unwaged: £50 – £70 donation.
Waged: £70 – £100 donation.
These donation rates are per person for the whole weekend! This price includes all your meals from Friday supper to Sunday lunch as well as refreshments. You can enjoy the beautiful house and grounds of our convent in Dereham as well as the Chapel overlong the moors. There is also the opportunity for spiritual accompaniment from a Sister.
Residential places are limited and only available on a first-come, first-serve basis so book early to avoid disappointment!

Click here to book your place.

ZOOM

We ask for a £25-£40 donation for the weekend which includes resources and copies of the PowerPoints.  Zoom attendees will also be able to attend livestreams of all the sisters times of prayer.  A timetable will be sent out before the event so you can plan your days accordingly.
For further information email: office@walsinghamcommunity.org or what’s app or call 07733 385788.

Click here to book your place.
TRAVEL

Dereham has good public transport links with Dereham and buses are also available from Kings Lynn. We may be able to arrange lifts for you to and from the station depending on the time you arrive/leave.  Please let us know what you can on the registration form or closer to the time so we can help with this.

St Thérèse of Lisieux

We are very grateful to the Discalced Carmelites for featuring an article from Sr Catherine on the importance of St. Thérèse of Lisieux in their quarterly Mount Carmel magazine.  If you would like to read it, click here for the PDF.  You may need to download and rotate the document to view it correctly. Do also consider signing up to the Mount Carmel magazine, it is beautifully produced with quality articles on various themes, you can do so through the Carmelite Book Service: https://carmelite.org.uk/collections/mount-carmel-magazine-subscriptions

Catherine’s First Profession of Vows

The Feast of the Annunciation, Saturday 25th 2023, was one of the most beautiful days of my life as before family and friends I offered myself to God as a member of the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham at my First Profession. Religious consecration is rooted in our baptism and it was a wonderful God-incidence to be making my vows on St Catherine of Siena’s birthday whose name I was given at my baptism! It is a joy to be able to give oneself wholly to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in this way, knowing that he has chosen me from the beginning for that moment. To give my ‘yes’ to Him on the Feast of the Annunciation within a community dedicated to the ‘Fiat’ of Mary.
I can’t thank God enough for the gift this community has been to me over the 10 years since I first met them in Walsingham. Each of them put so much work into making the day beautiful from decorating the village hall, to assembling a gorgeous flower crown for me (with real flowers!), to baking and decorating a fabulous cake and organising a spectacular ice cream bar enjoyed by children and adults alike.
I am so grateful for all of you faithful online followers as well. It is nice to know that you are out there, supporting the community, even if it is just casually hitting the ‘like’ button on our Facebook page. It is especially lovely when we get to meet you in person though it can be a bit disconcerting when someone you haven’t met before opens a conversation with, “that cake you had the other day looked delicious!”
Please continue to pray for me in these coming years of discernment ahead of Perpetual Profession of Vows which will, God willing, take place in 3 – 5 years. Pray also for those who have recently joined our community and those discerning joining over the next few years, especially as we are rapidly running out of space in our Convent already! May God bless each one of you and through the intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham draw you deeper into union with Him who is source and fount of all life and love.
Keep an eye out for more photos over the coming days!
– Sr Catherine COLW

Kate & Isabella Join the Community

Dear Friends, on this vigil of St Joseph, we thank God for the gift of Kate & Isabella as they begin their postulancy with COLW.

Having frequented the community for several years and done some live-ins, they arrived in time for today’s short welcome ceremony during evening prayer.

Postulancy comes form the latin word postulate i.e. to ask, to solicit. Hence, postulancy is a time of asking questions, of themselves, of God and of COLW.

Kate and Isabella will be asking: 1) Is this the life which God is calling me to? 2) Is this where I will be fulfilled? 3) Do I have the capacity to live religious life?

The Community will be asking: 1) Do we feel that God is calling us as a group to accept these women? 2) Do they have the same spirit and capacity to live as a Colwelians? 3) Can we provide a place in which they will flourish as religious?

Postulancy lasts from one to two years and entails a deeper entering into the paschal mystery, learning to live less and less for oneself and more and more for Christ, so as to bring fruits of salvation for their families, for the shrine, for England and for the world.

We look forward to helping them settle into the rhythm of our life here at Dereham over the coming weeks. We accompany them as they joyfully take this next step in their discernment journey, developing the many gifts they bring and entrusting their ‘fiat’ to Our Lady of Walsingham as Mother of Vocation.

 

Catherine becomes a novice

A message from Catherine: on October 7th I entered novitiate on the Memoria of Our Lady of the Rosary. I am incredibly grateful for the past 503 days (not that I’m counting….!) with this community and for all those who have kept me in prayer so far and continue to do so as I carry on this journey of discernment, please be assured of my prayers for you as well 😊

COLW Pilgrim Journey to the Holy House

A virtual journey to the Holy House for those interested in the COLW charism. After three years of work (in between duties at the shrine and getting our first convent up and running), and with the indispensable feedback from lay members and priest friends, the Book of Life saw the light.

This first edition will still need editing but it is the first of many texts that will help us understand how we can live Walsingham Spirituality in depth and share the beauty of the message of Walsingham for England and the world at these times of pain and confusion. The world needs a message of hope. A message of joy – rooted in the knowledge that despite how things look God wishes us to live with peace and joy. A joy like that of Mary at the Annunciation and rooted in God’s real presence within us and around us.

Men and women from any state of life are welcome to join us as we all try to say ‘YES’ to God’s love and his will in our own lives. Young adults especially are invited to join us (with breakout groups for them led by Catherine or sr Theresa). As we learn to say a deeper yes to his love and will in the little circumstances of each day we will be able to make life-defining choices that correspond to our heart’s deepest desire – God’s dream for us.

Please check out the pilgrim bog here and contact Lizzie, who leads the lay branch with the support of Brian her husband, is you wish to join these sessions going through the Book of Life. Please note that if you have miss some of the sessions you can always catch up as they are recorded and can be sent to you.

Schedule of Zoom Sessions (at 8pm) – dates and detail

1. 6th  October 2021

    Introductory Session – Origins and Charism

    Reading before November meeting – pp. iv-ix and 1-15
2. 3rd November
    Mary Our Model
    Reading before December meeting – pp.16-23
3. 1st December
    FIat in the Divine Will
    Reading before February meeting – pp. 24-31
   8th January 2022
    COLW Epiphany celebration in Dereham
4. 2nd February
    Vocational
    Reading before March meeting – pp. 32-38
5. 2nd March
    Incarnational
    Reading before April meeting – pp. 39-47
6. 7th April
    Contemplative
    Reading before May meeting – pp. 48-58
7. 4th May
    Apostolic and Life in Community
   Reading before June meeting – pp. 59-75
8. 1th June
    The Rule and Next Steps
    Reading before the July plenary – The COLW Rule of Life
  16th July
    COLW gathering in Dereham

Lay Branch Established

With the approval of the Rule of Life for the lay branch, Lizzie (with the support of her husband Brian) has been asked to be the leader of the lay branch of COLW.

As a member of the original founding group in 2004 and now married with 3 beautiful children, she has always longed for a place in the community. So when the new decree was granted on 16th July 2017, using the new canons which allowed communities of consecrated life to have lay members more closely associated with them, this was another pivotal step on the way to realising the original inspiration: to be a community of men and women from all sates of life living in depth the spirituality of Walsingham for the conversion of England and the western world.

It was also the perfect opportunity to begin starting to write the Book of Life – which took two years of prayer and work. This Book of Life begins to explain the spirituality of COLW and is the first of other texts which will be developed in the coming years.

This is the spirituality we now try to live as vowed sisters, lay members and diocesan priests (and one day, vowed brothers and priests) and which we try to share more widely for the good of the Church to whom the charism has been given.

 

Walsingham Spirituality IV – THE JOY OF WALSINGHAM – Mary, Model of Thanksgiving

Starts: Friday 16 September 2022 @ 3pm
Ends: Sunday 18 September 2022 @ 2pm

Venue: Dowry House Retreat, Walsingham (www.dowryhouse.org.uk)

The forth in a series of retreats on Walsingham Spirituality and discovering from Mary herself how to receive and live the gift of the Divine Will with a spirit of thanksgiving so central to the message of Walsingham.

Retreatants can participate from the comfort of their homes via zoom or in Dowry House where personal accompaniment from one of the sisters will also be on offer.

For all the beauty of the Shrine of Walsingham, there is something much greater and it is contained in God’s Word. Over the weekend we will be invited  follow the example of Mary, to encounter God’s Word, to share in Mary’s joy at the Annunciation, and to say ‘yes’ to God, as Mary said ‘yes’: Mary, as the first disciple, invites us to share in her Joy at the Annunciation, when the ‘Word became flesh and dwelt among us’ (John 1:14).

This joy, which can only reside in our heart, in not simply an emotion, or strong feeling; it is the knowledge that we are loved, and this knowledge is the greatest antidote to fear and anxiety. We can’t always be happy, but we can always have the strength of joy in our lives. Our world still walks in darkness, for so many of our brothers and sisters have not seen the great light. This light is known only through a human encounter, for the Word became flesh and lived among us. Therefore, the world waits for women and men, who have said ‘yes’ to God in their lives, to be beacons of light to those who live in darkness. Each moment in history demands great sacrifices, acts of love and kindness, acts of graciousness and radical generosity to address the darkness that so besets our world. The challenge of renewal within the Church is not about administration, it is about a renewal of the personal and generous response in the lives of its members to say ‘yes’ as Mary said ‘yes’.

“Oh Mary, teach us always to say yes to God, every moment of our life.

Oh Mary, teach us always to give thanks to God, every moment of our life.’

Attend on a residential basis or via ZOOM

 

Residential

£170 ensuite

£150 standard

Prices are per person for 2 nights’ accommodation, full board, refreshments and use of the beautiful facilities of Dowry House. We welcome additional donations for the Sisters of around £20 per person for the input and resources given (Given separately once here).

Arrivals can be from 3.15 pm on the Friday and departures are 2.30pm on the Sunday.

Extend your visit: You are welcome to stay extra nights (Sun, Mon and Tues available) on a full board, half board or B&B basis as you prefer. If you stay for all 5 nights on a full board basis, you will save £25 – an ensuite room is £400 and a standard room is £350 for 5 nights full board. Please enquire by emailing dowryhouse@walsingham.org.uk

Zoom

The zoom session timings will be given closer to the time. For now, it will be helpful for you to know that the first session is usually 7.30pm on the Friday and there may be a final session for zoom participants around 3pm on the Sunday. Our recommended donation rates are:

Usual donation range: £35 – £60

18 – 29 year olds: £20 – £35

If you are interested in attending, please email dowryhouse@walsingham.org.uk, letting us know whether you would like to attend residentially or via zoom.

OPEN GARDENS

Monday 29th May from 12.30pm to 5.30pm

With every hope that we will have a sunny bank holiday Monday we invite you and your families to visit our grounds at Dereham and enjoy the large variety of trees, bushes and flowers provided by very kind benefactors. With five years of work in the grounds, especially by two friends of the community, everything is slowly but surely developing beautifully to allow for prayer corners, quiet spaces, play areas, an orchard and a vegetable garden.

Bring a packed lunch and/or make a donation (£5) to enjoy a cream tea or homemade cakes from 3pm onwards. Please let us know by email (office@walsinghamcommunity.org) if you wish to have a cream tea so that we can bake enough scones 🙂 You are welcome to bring your own chairs and picnic rugs. We will aim to provide games for the children and for those not so young. There will be a special prize for the person who can name most of the plants and trees in the grounds.

A Thanksgiving for Gardens

God of grace, in the story of creation, you made the earth a garden
and entrusted it to us to till and to keep, a place of peace and beauty

where we could walk with you.

In the story of redemption,
the one who died for us was buried in a garden, and there you raised him up
to greet us with new hope and risen life.

In the story of the Church,
you tend us as a garden,
a place of careful pruning and abundant harvest, where we can work with you.

Meet us, we pray,
in all the gardens where we go
for nourishment, refreshment and prayer, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Help provide for our New Members & Candidates!

   After a very graced year we are glad to say that we now have two new postulants with another in the process of joining, as well as a postulant preparing to enter novitiate. We also have seven lay people preparing to take their first promises in the lay branch. This is the first time that the community is in this amazing situation

So, firstly, we thank God for this wonderful gift.

 

 

Secondly, we are appealing to everyone to:

Keep all these young women and our lay members very much in your prayers as they take these courageous steps forward.

Continue to support our vegetable garden which Sr Catherine, who recently took her first vows, always looks after so well. We hope one day to be almost self-sufficient.

Praying for us as we discern the best way to extend our convent to accommodate the increasing number of those wishing to join us and to welcome our lay members for formation.

Contributing in any way you can afford at this time to community funds here.

If you have any questions about these particular requests please call us on 01362 421442 or 07733 385788

Emotional Maturity and Discernment

Friday 30th April – Sunday 2nd May 2021

We are called to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength (cf. Mark 12:30). Every part of our being needs to be transformed so that we can have the sentiments of Christ and so that our heavenly Father can see His Son in us.

This weekend is open to anyone who wishes to go deeper in living an increasingly authentic Christian life.

“Today we have “great brains” and “universities that teach concepts and ideas,”
and “are the heirs of liberalism and the Enlightenment,”
but “we have lost the three languages :
the language of the head – thinking
the language of the heart – feeling
and the language of the hands – doing” 

Pope Francis continued to explain that
“we do not carry forward this harmony in which
one thinks what one feels and does,
feels what one thinks and does,
and does what one thinks and feels.”
He labelled this as the “harmony of wisdom.”

 

Booking a Place

We are very grateful for any donation you can give to help support our work at Dowry House Retreat. We suggest the following rates per person.

Usual donation range: £40 – £60

18 – 25 year olds: £20 – £30

To register for this retreat, please complete this form

Your details will come through to us and we will send you the donation link. Please register by Wednesday 28th April 2021.

If you have already registered and have not heard back by 10.30am on Friday 30th April please email us directly at dowryhouse@walsingham.org.uk

Meet the Sisters!

A ‘Come and See’ on Zoom!

Saturday 27th June 3 – 4pm

For men and women aged 16 to 34

Curious about our life? – We’d love to meet you on Zoom!

Learn about consecrated life and the life of a Colwelian.

Opportunity for questions.

Meet and share with others who are also discerning.

If you’re interested please email Sr Theresa at freetobe@walsinghamcommunity.org

Prayer, Intimacy and Relationships Retreat

Four ZOOM MEETINGS on Thursdays 30th April, 7th, 14th and 21st May at 8pm

Please note that this retreat is now FULLY BOOKED

Looking looking at how the journey into a deeper prayer life enables us to love  the people in our lives, even the most difficult!

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbour as yourself.” Lk 10:27

Why is it so difficult to love the people closest to us? To bring our real thoughts and feelings to God in prayer? To be honest in relationships? To enter into intimacy with God and with others? These are some of the questions we will look at over the course of the retreat.

As one of four talks looking at the journey into a mystical life of union with God, to which all of us are called, we will wait on God to reveal himself to us and reveal us to ourselves through others. Prayer is the route to purification of the ego, of the innate will to control the world, to control people in order to serve our own ends. And yet our relationships are the privileged field in which beginners in the spiritual life must learn to turn our innate selfishness into the selflessness of the Crucified. “Nothing so reduces the ego as the realities of living with others and not demanding that they change so as to suit ourselves.’ (Burrows in ‘Ascent to Love’ 40)

Email us to register your interest in this course

Participants are asked to make a donation to the community via this page

COLW Family Days

In early 2021, priests and lay people joined us from around the country for a triple celebration of the Epiphany (our founding day) of the New Year and of our first such gathering of the COLW Family. We were hoping to have an annual winter and an annual summer meetings but Covid put that on hold this past year. With the COLW Book of Life (explaining our spirituality) being published this year, a rule of life for lay members and diocesan priest associates is being worked on.

Once lockdown finishes in June we will have a meeting at Dereham of the core group to finalise the Rule of Life.At the same time, we are looking forward to starting our local family days again, when we have Mass in the barn, games for the children and space for the adults to spend quiet time in Eucharistic Adoration.

We will soon email people with options of dates for meeting up.

Rededication of England as Mary’s Dowry

2020 – The great year of the Rededication of England to Jesus through Mary has dawned. This is a very important year in the life of the Catholic Church here in England as our Bishops will be rededicating England as Mary’s Dowry, an ancient title, on Sunday 29th March 2020.

To discover how Mary’s YES to God is linked to our own YES to God as people of her land, visit this page.

Listen in to Mgr. John Armitage explains the importance of the spiritual preparation for this great and historic spiritual event to take place on Sunday March 29th 2020.

A dedicated website has been set up by the Shrine for this initiative.  If you’d like to follow it, visit www.behold2020.com.

33 DAYS TO MORNING GLORY: STARTING TODAY. 

Sign up here to receive the daily reflections for to consecrate yourself to Jesus Through Mary. It starts on 21st February and ends with the consecration itself on Wednesday 25th March. This will be followed by a Tiduum of Prayer and the Prayer of Rededication on Sunday 29th March.

Let us pray that many graces will be poured on our country in the coming months,

 

Advent Retreat

At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? As we marked the season of Advent by loving and serving others with God’s own love and concern, let us spend some time in immediate preparation by listening and waiting with Our Lady at her shrine. Fr John Armitage, rector of the National Catholic Shrine of Our Lady, will lead the reflections over the weekend of 14th – 16th December 2018

The retreat will be at Dowry House in Walsingham and will include a pre-festive Christmas meal and the annual Advent Carol Service in the Chapel of Reconcilaition.

Costs: £138 ensuite room; £110 standard room. This includes all meals from Friday supper until Sunday lunch

Please book by emailing dowryhouse@walsingham.org.uk or calling the sisters on 01328 801018 to check availability.

Family Day

We were blessed to have our first family day at the House of the Divine Will in Dereham. Seven couples with some 29 children between them recently graced the house and grounds on one of these amazing summer days.

We started with a picnic lunch in the only shaded part of the grounds – one of the reasons we really need to plant some tress this autumn! Then Sr Camilla gave a talk on Ecclesial Families of Consecrated lIfe that wetted the appetite of some couples. The thought of being part of a larger community, having spiritual formation and living in the Fiat is certainly something our society needs. One of the strongest and most attractive elements of communities like ours is the ‘spirituality of communion’ – something we tangibly experienced on this beautiful days.

The children in the meantime were entertained by Sr Theresa and Sr Johanna who kept them busy with a variety of activities. Once the talk was over everyone joined in the various conversations, games that spontaneously sprung up in various parts of the house and grounds. Our volunteers made everything go smoothly by keeping people hydrated and clearing up things. The children riding in the trailer driven by Sr Camilla was one of the highlights of the afternoon. The day ended with some families swelling the numbers of the Sunday vigil Mass in the local parish in Dereham and everyone left happy, looking forward to the next one.

Sr Theresa’s Final Profession of Vows

On Saturday 7th April, at the midday Mass in the Chapel of Reconciliation, Sr Theresa made her final vows in COLW. After eight years of formation she took this definitive step, consecrating herself to God’s service for the rest of her life. Surrounded by family and friends she looked radiant as she said her ‘YES’ to God’s love for her, a God who has chosen her to be all His – warts and all as we so often remind each other. On the vigil of the Feast of Divine Mercy we thank God for the gift that Sr Theresa is to us and to so many people. Now the real work starts!

To watch the Mass again and hear Fr John’s superb homily visit the  Shrine live stream page and go to the Mass of the 7th April.

Please visit this link to see photos and share in the joy of the day.

We thank God for all our family, friends, benefactors and supporters who made Sr Theresa’s final profession a day to remember. God bless you all!

COLW’s First Convent

On the 8th December 2017, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, after 8 months of fundraising and thanks to the generosity of many benefactors, we acquired our first convent. This amazing gift, rendered even more heartwarming by the kindness of the sellers (two brothers who built the property by converting old barns) couldn’t have come at a better time.

With its simplicity and spaciousness, a central cloister area, eco-friendly wood chip boiler, a large outdoor barn and surrounded by 4 acres of land, it is perfectly monastic in style and miraculously suited to our needs. So much better than all the other properties visited it seemed to be made for us!. Please join us in thanking God for this amazing gift and Our Lady for obtaining it for us. For further information visit this page.

Walsingham Spirituality II (Residential and Zoom)

6th-8th May 2022

This weekend is the second in a series of weekends designed to help people enter in depth into the Spirituality of Walsingham. Through a series of talks, lectio divina, silence, spiritual accompaniment and liturgical prayer moments, the sisters will enable individuals to apply this rich spirituality in the reality of their own lives.

Walsingham exists to remind us of the mystery of Mary’s silent surrender, her self-sacrificing love, her joy and humility in bearing and believing the Word of God. The Spirit is ultimate freedom, total unpredictability. God lives not in a ‘house made with hands’ but in hearts that are, with Mary, ready for anything – ‘Be it done unto me according to your word.’ At the heart of Walsingham lies the mystery of the Annunciation.

The house symbolises stability. It was the house that made Nazareth permanently present in Walsingham, standing firm and strong, guaranteeing the future of the village and the Shrine. But this is balanced by the theme of the Annunciation which implies a radical openness to change and growth. Everyone of us carries within ourselves an element of unpredictability.

As she is presented to us in Luke’s gospel, Mary stands for the perfect disciple. Like Israel of old she is chosen and called simply out of love. She has not chosen God; rather God has chosen her. She is a child of grace, of choice, and so she is able to respond to God’s initiative with the words ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word.’

But that is not the end of the story. Mary had to be open to human growth and development, just as Jesus had to grow physically, spiritually, socially. She had to make choices, accept responsibility, and ultimately let her Son go his own way even when she did not understand.

Mary is our vocational model as one who responded totally, allowed God to do with her all that he wanted. When Jesus says that his mother, brothers and sisters are those who do the will of his Father in heaven we have a glimpse into the wholeness of Mary’s self-giving. It was not bearing Christ in the flesh that made her blessed. Her real motherhood lay in her surrender to the Father’s will; her ‘Be it done unto me (her ‘Fiat’, ‘Amen’, ‘Alleluia’) in sorrow and in joy, in diminishment and fullness.

Members of the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham will guide participants, through a series of talks and lectio divina, into what it means to imitate Mary’s FIAT, her YES to God’s love and will for her life.

This second weekend will look especially at what it means to ACCEPT God’s will in the difficult times of one’s life and what it means to fulfil his will.

Date: Friday 6th – Sunday 8th May 2020

Location: Walsingham

Venue: Dowry House Retreat (www.dowryhouse,org.uk)

To book a place email: dowryhouse@walsingham.org.uk

Moving to Walsingham

At last we are all together at Walsingham. Having spent the last five years commuting to and fro from Brentwood to work at the shrine at Walsingham, we recognise the toll it has taken on us as individuals and as a community. With gratitude we recognise the gift that it has been to spend our first 13 years at Abbotswick – there couldn’t have been a better place for a founding group to consolidate and grow in self-undertsanidng of the charism given.

As you all know, our spiritual home is in Walsingham and we are overjoyed to be now living and serving the shrine as a community – providing together hospitality and a sung liturgy to those using Dowry House Retreat (www.dowryhouse.org.uk) and partaking in the many events the expanding shrine is hosting. Being together as a community also means that we will be able to give more time to study, developing the charism and forming our lay associates now that we are on the road to becoming an Ecclesial Family of Consecrated life – open to people from every walk of life.

We celebrated this milestone with a community day out in Norwich as you can see from the photos – one taken on top of the tower of St John the Baptist’s Catholic Cathedral, one whilst walking through the cloister of the amazing Anglican cathedral where we also attended evensong and one at the Julian shrine. What a welcome we have been given in all these holy sites!

So please keep us in your prayers as we settle down to life in this beautiful village of Walsingham and as we continue to fundraise for our first convent. For updates on how that is going please subscribe to our newsletters on this page https://walsinghamcommunity.org/contact-us/subscribe-to-newsletters

 

Here I Am Lord!

Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd September 2017

Join us for this first weekend in Walsingham, exploring the beauty of consecrated life in the 21st Century.

‘Consecrated life ought to promote growth in the church by way of attraction. The church must be attractive. Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, of acting, of living! … It is this witness that I expect of you. Religious should be men and women who are able to wake the world up.’  Pope Francis, meeting with the Union of Superiors General, November 29, 2013 

There are many ways in which people can choose to consecrate their lives to God in the service of the Church and the World. This weekend will explore some of the general themes related to consecrated life and look at the various ways in which men and women can offer their lives in service of God, the Church and their neighbour e.g. apostolic religious life, enclosed contemplative life, ecclesial families of consecrated life, hermits and consecrated virginity to name a few.

There will also be a Q&A panel on the Saturday afternoon …. so prepare already your questions for those who live the consecrated life in some of these forms.

‘God calls you to make definitive choices, and He has a plan for each of you: To discover that plan and to respond to your vocation is to move toward personal fulfilment.’ Pope Francis, 2013 World Youth Day 

Time: Any time from 3pm on the Friday until the afternoon of the Sunday. If you cannot make the whole weekend how about meeting up with us on the Saturday at Walsingham?  Please call us for any clarification needed.

Please download and display this poster in your parish:

Location: Dowry House Retreat Centre, 47-49 High St, Walsingham NR22 6BZ

What to bring: Personal items, writing materials, Bible, walking shoes/boots.
Donation: £40 (Students) £80 (wage earners) – includes full board

For further information call or phone Sr Carina on 01328 801013.

To book a place on this weekend fill out the booking form and send a £20 deposit (cheques payable to ‘RC National Shrine’) to Dowry House Retreat, 47-49 High St, Walsingham NR22 6BZ

Become a Founding Benefactor of COLW!

Please can you help us to purchase our very own house in Walsingham?

Please visit the appeals page for more information on this exciting adventure as we push out into the deep and trust in God’s Providence to provide the first house for the community 🙂

Walsingham Spirituality 1 – Accepting God’s Will in our lives

Friday 11th – Sunday 13th March 2022

The first of a series of weekends to enable retreatants enter more deeply into the spirituality of Walsingham, learning in particular what it means to accept God’s Will in one’s life.

One of the greatest obstacles to living in the Divine Will is the lack of acceptance of God’s Will in the reality of our daily lives. Over the weekend we will look at what in means in practical terms to accept his will as it manifests itself to us from moment to moment, especially in who we are as the beloved children of the Father and in our neighbour.

Time
: Any time from 3pm on the Friday until the afternoon of the Sunday.

What to bring: Personal items, writing materials, Bible.

Directions: 
Dowry House Retreat Centre, 47-49 High St, Walsingham NR22 6BZ

See here for details of costs. Call 01328 801018 for booking information.

Assisi and Carlo Acutis

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Our return from the conference in Rome took us via Assisi where we stayed with a friend whose generosity made the visit possible. The graces received in praying at the sites related to St Francis, St Clare and Carlo Acutisl, whose cause for beatification has already started was palpable to say the least.

Carlo was born in London in 1991 and died after a sudden and short illness in Milan in 2006. This teenager is a model for all young people and is certainly interceding for England. Please visit this site http://www.carloacutis.com/en/association and be inspired by this holy teenager.

Conclusion of the Year of Consecrated Life

Sr Camilla and Carina were able to attend the concluding conference in Rome for the Year of Consecrated Life from the 28th Jan until the 2nd Jan 2016. On the theme “Consecrated life in communion. The common foundation in the variety of forms”, on these days there were meetings, prayer vigils, times for regrouping and examining in greater depth the specifics of each form, looking prophetically towards the future”.

The aims of the meeting were to get to know better the great mosaic of consecrated life, to live communion rediscovering the single call uniting the variety of forms (Ordo Virginum, monastic life, apostolic institutes, secular institutes, new institutes and new forms of consecrated life), starting out together on the path of the great Jubilee of Mercy that once more gives all consecrated people the specific mandate of their vocation: to be guided by the Father’s mercy, witnesses and builders of an authentically lived fraternity.

it was an unforgettable experience during which we met many friends and one that affirmed the way ahead for COLW. For those of you who can speak Italian enjoy the audience we all had with Pope Francis:

World Meeting for Young Religious

Four of us managed to go to Rome for the recent World Meeting of Young Consecrated men and women. Organised by the Vatican dicastery as one of the events for the Year of Consecrated life, t turned out to be an amazingly fruitful and graced time at so many levels.

It was Carina’s first visit to Rome and Sr Camilla’s first time to act as one of two simultaneously Italian to English translators. Having hired a chalet we managed to self-cater for the week and survive the 32C temperatures by downing plenty of the famous roman ice-cream. The audience with Pope Francis for the 5,000 plus participants was one of the highlights and this together with all the other presentations can be listened to in several languages on this link: http://giovaniconsacrati.chemin-neuf.fr

 

Bishop Alan Williams SM

We were so happy when Pope Francis last year appointed Father Alan Williams SM, the last Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, as the seventh Bishop of Brentwood. Now we have two dioceses, that of Brentwood and that of East Anglia, headed by men who have a deep love for Our Lady of Walsingham.

That couldn’t be better news for our little community. Mary is really moving things in England, her dowry. It also confirms our hunch that God is truly at work on the bigger picture (COLW being only a small part of this) and slowly but surely we will get more glimpses of the many graces he has destined for our land and beyond.

His episcopal ordination took place at Brentwood Cathedral on 1st July 2014 at 12 noon. You will find some highlights on this page.

Fr Alan says he thrives on working with people. “That brings out the best in me – we can learn together and go forward together.” He added: “I presume on the goodness of people. If you are open to people, they are open to you.”

Winds of Change Radio Show

Take a listen to a recent interview that Sr Theresa and Jim (our first brother to be) recently had in Chicago on the Winds of Change Radio Show.

Smile though your heart is aching

A Reflection from Sr Ruth Burrows for the Easter Tridiium

  • Download the article in PDF format by clicking here.

Year of Consecrated Life

We are currently celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life, which began on 30th November 2014 and will end on the 2nd February 2016. The theme given it by the Vatican is ‘Wake up the World’.

The year has a three-pronged focus

  • renewal for men and women in consecrated life,
  • thanksgiving among the faithful for the service of sisters, brothers, priests, and nuns,
  • invitation to young Catholics to consider a religious vocation.

As a community we will be offering some events before and during this year in order in order to highlight this three-pronged focus.

‘A Space for Silence’

A piece on Abbotswick in The Tablet, 23 November 2013.

  • Download the article in PDF format by clicking here.

Meeting with Pope Francis – Saturday 6th July 2013

We recently went with several discerners to a Year of Faith pilgrimage to Rome for novices, seminarians and those on a vocational journey. Pope Francis joined the 6000 people on this pilgrimage for a meeting in the Pope Paul VI audience hall. Before his arrival we were entertained by musicians (including The Priests) and heard several testimonies (including that of Fr Robert Barron). Go to the 1 hr 9 mins point of the video to see him arriving in the hall. Look out for Sr Theresa who managed to shake his hand!

Download the full text of Pope Francis’s address (translated into English) and read what he shared with the everyone during this meeting).

The very modern lives of our nuns in Essex

Echo – January 16, 2012

It’s hard not to be in awe of the dedication of modern-day nuns, whether or not you have faith. Unflinching in their quest to tackle difficult issues head on, a nun’s life is anything but sheltered. And, it seems, more young women are looking to devote their life to God. Of those choosing to become nuns, the number of women under 40 has risen from 42 per cent in 2006 to 70 per cent in 2010, according to the National Office for Vocation.

LOUISE HOWESON went to the Colchester Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre and Our Lady of Walsingham in Brentwood to find out more…

  • Download the article in PDF format by clicking here.

Our Lady of Walsingham is yearning to save England – her dowry

Listen to Sr Camilla’s thoughts for the Sundays of Lent on BBC Radio Essex, each Sunday morning at around 6.50am and again at around 8.50am during the Sunday morning show hosted by Peter Holmes. Alternatively listen to them here where they will be uploaded each week once they have been broadcast.

Sunday Week 1:

Sunday Week 2:

Sunday Week 3:

Sunday Week 4:

Sunday Week 5:

Sunday Week 6:

Why Theresa chose to become a religious sister…

Interview on BBC Radio Sussex , recorded in April 2011. Listen to the interview:

In Essex, the youngest religious order in the UK is welcoming new sisters… and its first man.

Interview on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, recorded in December 2009. Listen to the interview:

Wrangler Sisters

It’s a busy Friday evening at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, and BA air stewardess Katie Colbran, 32, has just stepped off a flight from Milan. In September she’ll hang up her BA uniform for the last time, and in its place she’ll put on a powder-blue scapular and become Sister Katie of the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham…

Please Note: This interview was conducted before our first brother joined the community.

  • For the full article click here
  • If the link is inactive, you can download the article in PDF format by clicking here.

New Order

The Times Magazine, 10th May 2009

The number of women called to become nuns in Britain has shrunk to just a handful. Yet in Essex, the country’s youngest religious order is preparing to welcome new sisters – and perhaps even the odd brother – as the country’s first mixed convent takes shape

  • For the full article click here
  • If the link is inactive, you can download the article in PDF format by clicking here.

Running Out Of Nuns

boloji.com, 2nd June 2007

From oil-field workers to city traders, there has been a blaze of publicity in Britain about the need to bring more women into male-dominated careers. But far less media attention has been devoted to the fact that one of the few all-female callings is under threat. While more and more women are becoming nuns worldwide, the number of novices has fallen in Britain.

  • For the full article click here
  • If the link is inactive, you can download the article in PDF format by clicking here

“Now, how many Catholic nuns do you think there are in this country?”

On 24th June 2007, the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham was featured on the BBC Radio 4 Programme ‘Sunday’. Listen to the interview:

Of a quite different order

The Tablet, 28th April 2007

The new religious Community of Our Lady of Walsingham is the order that likes to say ‘yes’ – obedience, silent prayer,poverty and the rosary are in, but so are chilling out and trips to the movies. A distinctive departure from other orders, its statutes are designed to use the gifts of women more fully.

  • You can download the article in PDF format by clicking here.

Last orders

The Guardian, Friday 23 February 2007

Migrant worshippers are helping to swell Catholic congregations – and yet the ageing population of British nuns is teetering on the verge of extinction. Is there any hope for the religious sisterhood, asks Joanna Moorhead.

  • For the full article click here
  • If the link is inactive, you can download the article in PDF format by clicking here.