Oblate Letter 33 - Winter Chair of St Peter 2017

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Nothing Dearer than Christ

Oblate letter of the Pluscarden Benedictines, Elgin,Moray,Scotland. IV30 8UA.

Ph. (01343) 890257 fax 890258

Email oblatemaster@pluscardenabbey.org

 DMB series No 33

Winter Chair of St Peter 2017

 

 

MONASTIC VOICE

Venerable Julian of Norwich Revelations of Divine Love Chapter 32

On one occasion the good Lord said, “Everything is going to be all right.” On another, 'you will see for yourself that every sort of thing will be all right.' In these two sayings the soul discerns various meanings.

One is that he wants us to know that not only does he care for great and noble things, but equally for little and small, lowly and simple things as well. This is his meaning: 'Everything will be all right.' We are to know that the least thing will not be forgotten.

Another is this: we see deeds done that are so evil, and injuries inflicted that are so great, that it seems to us quite impossible that any good can come of them. As we consider these, sorrowfully and mournfully, we cannot relax in the blessed contemplation of God as we ought. This is caused by the fact that our reason is now so blind, base, and ignorant that we are unable to know that supreme and marvellous wisdom, might, and goodness which belong to the blessed Trinity. This is the meaning of his word, “You will see for yourself that every sort of thing will be all right.” It is as if he were saying "Be careful now to believe and trust, and in the end you will see it all in its fullness and joy."

So from those same six words' I may make everything all right', I gain great comfort with regard to all the works that God has still to do. There still remains a deed which the blessed Trinity will do at the last Day -at leastso I see it -yet when and how it will be done is unknown to all God's creatures under Christ, and will remain so until it takes place.

The reason why he wants us to know about this deed is that he would have us more at ease in our minds and more at peace in our love, and not be concerned with those storms and stresses that stop us from truly enjoying him.

This great deed, ordained by the Lord God from before time, and treasured and hid within his blessed heart, is known only to Himself By it he will make everything to turn out well. For just as the blessed Trinity made everything out of nothing, in the same way shall he make all that is wrong to turn out for the best.

The consideration of this I found most marvellous, and in my wonder I thought about our faith: our faith is grounded in God's word, and part of it is that we who believe in that word of God will be saved -completely. Another part of our same belief is that many creatures will be damned; for example, the angels who fell from heaven through pride, and are now fiends ; and those men on earth who die apart from the

Faith of Holy Church, namely, the heathen; and those too, who are christened but live unchristian lives, and so die out oflove -all these shall be condemned to hell everlastingly, as Holy Church teaches me to believe. This being so I thought it quite impossible that everything should turn out well, as our Lord was now showing me. But I had no answer to this revelation save this: 'What is impossible to you is not impossible to me. I shall honour my word in every respect, and I will make everything turn out for the best.' Thus was I taught by God's grace to hold steadfastly to the faith I had already learned, and at the same time to believe quite seriously that everything would turn out all right, as our Lord was showing. For the great deed that our Lord is going to do is that by which he shall keep his word in every particular, and make all that is wrong turn out well. How this will be no one less than Christ can know -not until the deed is done. At least, this is what I understood our Lord to mean at the time.

FROM THE OBLATEMASTER'S DESK

This period of time falls between Church unity week and the Chair of St Peter (22nd of February) and so at this time our hearts may be focussed upon ecumenism.

In the last millennium perhaps no Christian mystical writer has so gathered the scattered flock of Christ in the Northern hemisphere as the hermit, the anchoress, Julian of Norwich.

Her famous “All things shall be well and all manner of things shall be well”(less modern translation of the English) seems to epitomise a spirit of reconciliation of all things and all persons that sweeps us into the positive embracing of opposites.

Theology and all reality have polarities and paradox. Those who avoid these or shun them are not grounded in reality—freedom and causality, Jesus our Lord true God and true man, transcendence and immanence, I and Thou. Julian of Norwich embraces paradox with the enthusiasm of a Tertullian or a Kierkegaard. St John Paul the Great himself was content to hint in “Sign of Contradiction” (page reference?)  that reconciliation of all things while not part of our and God’s revealed reality could still be hidden in God’s transcendence. He does not follow Origen into making into a fact that which IS NOT. Rather like Julian he sees all such speculation as purely such and hidden in the night, the pure trust of childlike faith which perseveres with the facts of faith, the sin that separates and the Grace of God that unites.

We have entered into the Egypt of sin and separation but surely the true meaning of Julian’s “All things are well and all manner of things shall be well” is shortly to unfold in our celebration of Lent and Easter.

Our wounded Church will shortly take heart in our Lord’s words to us, “Did you not know that the Christ must suffer and so enter into His glory!” Our Church’s very woundedness is Her stigmata and Her birth pangs.

BOOKS AND MEDIA

“Benedict XVlth Last Testament in his own words” with Peter Seewald. ISBN HB 978-1-4729-4467-2. £16.99

I never fully appreciated the full stature of this Servant of God who had suffered a brain haemorrhage long before being made Pope—“If my peoplestill need me I will not refuse the work………!”—Staggering!

PRAYER INTENTIONS

For the repose of the soul of our own Br. Meinrad Gibson who died peacefully here at Pluscarden in his cell on the 5th January in the 83rdyear of his age and the 47th of his monastic profession. He had been a Dean for over 40 years, and also served as Prior, Sub-Prior and Assistant Cellarer.

For the repose of the soul of Oblate James(Jimmy) Shand.

For the Repose of the soul of Gillian Cole, Br. Thomas, guestmaster’s sister who died aged 51 unexpetedly in Australia of food poisoning.

For Abbot Anselm's and Bishop Hugh's intentions.

For the continuing(!) full success of Oblate Lord Kevin Shinkwin's Bill in the House of Lords for The Protection of the Equal Rights of Pre-born Handicapped Persons(and therefore of all the handicapped).

For Prior Bede.

For Fr. Ambrose Flavell on Sabbatical in Aberdeen Diocese.  For Br. Cyprian-Prosper here from KB for two years of monastic studies

For vocations to Pluscarden (especially the ten who thanks to your prayers took part in our monastic experience weekend) and for all our aspirants especially postulant Br. Mark. St Mary's monastery, Petersham and Kristo Buase Priory.

Mhairi (Marianne) NINIAN Cuthbert whomade her Oblation on St Scholastica’s feast day 10th February!

For all our novice and postulant Oblates. Pat Carrigan being ordained Deacon 16th September.

Please pray for the health of the Very Rev Mgr. Robert Provost McDonald, Rev. Christopher Mayo, Fr. Bob Halshaw, Paul Costello, Albert Paterson. For Siobhan Gilmour's husband, for Mrs. Allie Brien, Mrs. Alice Sullivan, Gitte Mackay and Joe and esp. Maggie Barrett, Leonora Duson, Margaret Rawcliffe, Robert Cantafio’s Mother Margharita, Mrs. Gertrude Corker’s herself and her two daughters, Bob Barr, Brian Milne, Gail Schmitz, Fiona Sellar, Johan(Joy) Baillie, Lilian Bailey,Susan Carson-Rowland and her husband Mike, Martin's wife Mary, Graham Dunbar, Beth and ChrisFraser, Bob Clark, Nick MaCrae’s son, Martin MaCrae battling illness, Dr. David Paterson and his wife Angela and granddaughter Grace, Bryan Miller, Jacqui’s daughter Sally, Hester du Plessis, Poppy Sinclair, Ian and especially Frederick Brodie--the twins, for Pat Foster, Malcolm Boardman & all the family, Martin Farrelly and especially for his wife Val, and also for Peter Wynne Sunday, 8.00 am altar-server at Mass here for 40 years--pacemaker. David Braine, philosopher been very ill, Susan Stephen,Cindy’s husband, Danielle & her son Osyp, Evelyn, Violet and Sheila and all friends of the Abbey and for all Oblates, and all the sick—the list is never complete--- and those who care for them--and for Josaphat and Charles our sponsored seminarians.

Events

Julian Group Monthly at the Abbey. Contemplative prayer group meet monthlyon the first Tuesday of each month after Mass here. You are welcome. Silent prayer inspired by the spirituality of Venerable Julian ofNorwich.(Some members poorly please pray for)

2017--Pluscarden Oblates Lenten Retreat led By Fr. Abbot the first weekend of LentFriday 3rd- Monday 6th March. Attend daily or book in with the guest master (arriving the Friday, departing the Monday)

Br.Thomas     guestmaster@pluscardenabbey.org

SPECIAL TIMETABLE BECAUSE THE COMMUNITY ARE KEEPING THE FEAST OF ST AELRED ON THE 3RD AND 4TH.

FRIDAY 3RD March VESPERS 4.30 PM FOLLOWED BY ALL RESIDENT OBLATES HAVING BUFFET SUPPER AT ST SCHOLASTICA’S ENDING 7.30 PM WITH COMPLINE AT SCHOLASTICA'S FOLLOWED BY GREATER SILENCE.

SATURDAY 4thSUNDAY TIMETABLE, MASS AT 10.OOAMFIRST Talk 11.30 am on Sat 4th and SECOND TALK 3.00 pm.

 SUNDAY 5TH –FR. ABBOT ALSO PREACHING AT 10.00 AM MASS ON THE 5TH    

FINAL TALK SUNDAY 11.30 A.M.

AFTERNOON Opportunity for Lenten Confession during EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT FROM 2.00-4.00 P.M.

FINAL MASS 9.00AM MONDAY opportunity for renewal of Oblation.

2017 4th International Congress of Benedictine Oblates 4th-10th November 2017 in Rome- We have our 2 delegates, John Mckinlay and Bryan Miller but you can always go on the short leet -- just let me know.

The Pentecost Lectures— 2017 –given by the well-known theologian Francesca Murphy.( Please pray for – broken her leg)  Book with guestmaster Br. Thomas or come on the days. Tuesday 6th Juneto the Thursday 8th June following Pentecost 2017 as before.

 

7th National inter-Oblate Retreat 24th -26th March 2017—Fr. Gervase Holdaway, “Living as an Oblate in 2017”—Venue –Douai Abbey.

Bookfrances.bailess@outlook.com

Or phone 0116 241 9611

2017 5th June-3rd September   1230 pilgrimage    

details:-Pluscarden Abbey Appeal Office,216 High Street,

Elgin IV30 1BA Phone: Tel. +44 (0)1343 555038 Mob. 07415 971024www.appealpluscardenabbey.org.uk                  (with a web form to register if you prefer)

Dates for your Diaries

•                Oblate retreats Pluscarden 2018:-

•                February 16th -19th-Fri-Mon. 2018

•                August 17th-20th—Fri-Mon 2018

•                Can pencil in with guestmaster for those dates God willing!

CHAPTERS

St Mungo'schapter, Glasgow:-We meet on the second Saturday of each month at 2 p.m. Contact can be made via Peter Aitken. Tel. 0141 427 2084, or via Graham Dunbar at 0141 558 4323 as group Secretary and Treasurer.

St Margaret’s Chapter, Dunfermline monthly meetings as announced, All details contact Pat Carrigan smcb_oblates@live.co.uk

St. Monica’s Chapter, Thurso. Contact Jane Coll. "Scaraben”, Westside, Dunnet, Thurso, Caithness, KY14 8YD. Phone 01847 851467 and as announced.

St. Peter's chapter of oblates Aberdeen:- Sabbatical break due to health etcContact Brian for details.St. Peter's Catholic Church, Castlegate, Aberdeen. When next arranged e-mail brianbmilne2647@gmail.com (Brian Milne convener),  phone 01224 485781 mobile 07443032289

St. Mirin’s Chapter. Paisley. Date: 1st Saturday each month. Time 2-4 pm. Venue: Hall 2, St Mirin’s Cathedral, Cathedral Precincts, Incle Street Paisley, PA1 1HR—secure parking there within Cathedral enclosure. Farther information: St Mirin Chapter, Benedictine Oblate Group, c/o Campbell Murdoch, Fircroft, Knockbuckle Road, Kilmacolm, PA13 4JT m: 07810 350006

UGANDAN SEMINARIAN UPDATE

   Our two seminarians are progressing very well.  Josaphat is about to start the second semester of his second year at Major Seminary.  Charles has just successfully completed Form 5 at St . Peter's College and has been admitted to Form 6.  There are a number of Oblates who are supporting these students.  I would like to appeal for some additional support.  The costs for 2017 have increased from 2016.  In addition, Sr Catherine (our contact in Uganda) has identified a potential third student.  They would start in Septemeber 2017.  It would be good if we could support all three.  The commitment would be £10-20 standing order per month per person.

Please pray for Josaphat and Charles.  I will leave the last word to Josaphat (from his Christmas letter), "Please believe me that I will always value the love you show me especially I cannot thank you enough but all I can say, you have been so GOOD to me and I am grateful.  I will continue to pray that God walks with you through the joys and sorrows that may come your way".

For more information please contact: Campbell Murdoch, Fircroft, Knockbuckle Road, Kilmacolm, PA13 4JT.  Tel: 07810 350006 or email: jcmurdoch@yahoo.co.uk

 “Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising Him.” Jn 24.15

May the Lord accompany us!     

With blessings ,

In the love of Christ,

                                                Fr. Martin

Our Lady of Pluscarden Pray for us.

Oblate Letter 32 Advent and Christmas 2016

Nothing Dearer than Christ

Oblate letter of the Pluscarden Benedictines, Elgin,Moray, Scotland.IV308UA.

Ph. (01343) 890257 fax 890258

DMB series No 32

Advent and Christmas 2016

 

MONASTIC VOICE

Blessed Henry Newman Sermon 5

CHRISTMAS DAY.

Religious Joy

 "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good

tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."-LUKE ii. 10, II.

THERE are two principal lessons which we are taught on the great Festival which we this day celebrate, lowliness and joy. This surely is a day, of all others, in which is set before us the heavenly excellence and the acceptableness in God's sight of that state which most men have,  or may have, allotted to them, humble or private life, and cheerfulness in it. …………………………

……………The Angel honoured a humble lot by his very appearing to the shepherds ; next he taught it to be joyful by his message. He disclosed good tidings so much above this world as to equalize high and low, rich and poor, one with another. He said, "Fear not." This is a mode of address frequent in Scripture, as you may have observed, as if man needed some such assurance to support him, especially in God's presence. The Angel said, " Fear not," when he saw the alarm which his presence caused among the shepherds. Even a lesser wonder would have reasonably startled them. Therefore the Angel said, "Fear not." We are naturally afraid of any messenger from the other world, for we have an uneasy conscience when left to ourselves, and think that his coming forebodes evil. Besides, we so little realize the unseen world, that were Angel or spirit to present himself before us we should be startled by reason of our unbelief, a truth being brought home to our minds which we never apprehended before. So for one or other reason the shepherds were sore afraid when the glory of the Lord shone round about them. And the Angel said, " Fear not." A little religion makes us afraid; when a little light is poured in upon the conscience, there is a darkness visible; nothing but sights of woe and terror; the glory of God alarms while it shines around. His holiness, the range and difficulties of His commandments, the greatness of His power, the faithfulness of His word, frighten the sinner, and men seeing him afraid, think religion has made him so, whereas he is not yet religious at all. They call him religious, when he is merely conscience-stricken. But religion itself, far from inculcating alarm and terror, says, in the words of the Angel, " Fear not; " for such is His mercy, while Almighty God has poured about us His glory, yet it is a consolatory glory, for it is the light of His glory in the Face of Jesus Christ. Thus the heavenly herald tempered the too dazzling brightness of the Gospel on that first Christmas. The glory of God at first alarmed the shepherds, so he added the tidings of good, to work in them a more wholesome and happy temper. Then they rejoiced.

FROM THE OBLATEMASTER'S DESK

The bright oasis of Christmas is prepared for by the little desert of Advent. Dark and mid-Winter are suitable signs of a world bereft of God. The bright effulgence of Christmas (and Easter!) are plenipotentiary, gracefilled insertions of God’s grace into the lifeless Lazarus of our world! “Lazarus! Come out!—Come out from the stable!—Come out from the tomb! Rise to realms of glory on high on God’s pinions! The whole Bible is gospel—good news. The horrendous is caught up in love and glory. The starlight of joy depends on the inky blackness that seems to engulf.

Blessed Henry Newman understates it. The greater our gloom or our sorrow, our poverty or nothingness, our lack or our shame and our blame—the supernova of God’s grace and His love in Christ saves from below—God is lowlier yet, humbler yet. We cannot succeed in dying to a place where He is not! Hyper-reality on the one hand, and the most nihilist nothing are all engulfed by the love of God WHO IS . Nowhere is God not.  “Where could I flee from Your presence!” Ps 139.7b

Then they rejoiced.”!!And how!

 

BOOKS AND MEDIA

God’s Master Plan”—“Penetrating the mystery of Christ” by Mgr Peter Hocken. God’s Masterplan explores the word which expresses God’s vision for the world and the Church, of Israel and of the consummation of human history. A Charismatic, ecumenist and orthodox Catholic Mgr Hocken makes theology accessible and readable—a very Advent book! £6.99 ISBN 0-9540335-3-1   Alive Publishing .

PRAYER INTENTIONS

For Abbot Anselm's and Bishop Hugh's intentions.

For the continuing(!) full success of Oblate Lord Kevin Shinkwin's Bill in the House of Lords for The Protection of the Equal Rights of Pre-born Handicapped Persons(and therefore of all the handicapped).

For Prior Bede.

For Fr. Ambrose Flavell on Sabbatical  For Br. Cyprian-Prosper here from KB for two years of monastic studies

For vocations to Pluscarden (especially the ten who thanks to your prayers took part in our monastic experience weekend) and for all our aspirants. St Mary's monastery, Petersham and Kristo Buase Priory. Br Meinrad in hospital, Br. Adrian, and Br. Finbar, health.

Eddie Francis Sands, Bryan Sylvester Miller and Michael Wilfrid Gilfedder who have all made their Oblation recently.

Michael Perrott who has just trasnsfered his Oblation to Pluscarden Abbey. For all our novice and postulant Oblates. Pat Carrigan being ordained Deacon 16th September. Please pray for the health of the the Very Rev Mgr. Robert Provost McDonald, Rev. Christopher Mayo, Fr. Bob Halshaw, Paul Costello, Albert Paterson. For Siobhan Gilmour's husband, for Mrs. Allie Brien, Mrs. Alice Sullivan, Gitte Mackay and Joe and esp. Maggie Barrett, Leonora Duson, Margaret Rawcliffe, Robert Cantafio’s Mother Margharita, Mrs. Gertrude Corker’s herself and her two daughters, Bob Barr, Brian Milne, Gail Schmitz, Fiona Sellar, Johan(Joy) Baillie, Susan Carson-Rowland and her husband Mike, Martin's wife Mary, Graham Dunbar, Beth and ChrisFraser, Bob Clark, Nick MaCrae’s son, Martin MaCrae battling illness, Dr. David Paterson and his wife Angela and granddaughter Grace, Bryan Miller, Jacqui’s daughter Sally, Hester du Plessis, Poppy Sinclair, Ian and Frederick Brodie--the twins, for Pat Foster, Malcolm Boardman & all the family, Martin Farrelly and especially for his wife Val, and also for Peter Wynne Sunday, 8.00 am altar-server at Mass here for 40 years still awaiting an operation. David Braine, philosopher been very ill, Susan Stephen, Evelyn, Violet and Sheila and all friends of the Abbey and for all Oblates, and all the sick—the list is never complete--- and those who care for them--and for Josaphat and Charles our sponsored seminarians.

Events

Julian Group Monthly at the Abbey. Contemplative prayer group meet monthlyon the first Tuesday of each month after Mass here. You are welcome. Silent prayer inspired by the spirituality of Venerable Julian ofNorwich.

·      2017--Pluscarden Oblates Lenten Retreat led By Fr. Abbot the first weekend of Lent  Friday 3rd- Monday 6th March. Attend daily or book in with the guest master (arriving the Friday, departing the Monday)

·      Br.Thomas     guestmaster@pluscardenabbey.org

·      Talks 10.30 am on Sat 4th and 3.00 pm on Sat 4th and Sunday 5th –Fr. Abbot also preaching at 10.00 am Mass on the 5th Opportunity for Lenten Confession

2017 4th International Congress of Benedictine Oblates 4th-10th November 2017 in Rome- We have our 2 delegates, John Mckinlay and Bryan Miller but you can always go on the short leet -- just let me know.

The Pentecost Lectures—next year 2017 –given by the well-known theologian Francesca Murphy.  Book with guestmaster Br. Thomas or come on the days. Tuesday 6th June  to the Thursday 8th June following Pentecost 2017 as before.

 

2017 5th June-3rd September   1230 pilgrimage    

details:-Pluscarden Abbey Appeal Office,216 High Street,

Elgin IV30 1BA Phone: Tel. +44 (0)1343 555038 Mob. 07415 971024 www.appealpluscardenabbey.org.uk                  (with a web form to register if you prefer)

CHAPTERS

St Mungo'schapter, Glasgow:-We meet on the second Saturday of each month at 2 p.m. Contact can be made via Peter Aitken. Tel. 0141 427 2084, or via Graham Dunbar at 0141 558 4323 as group Secretary and Treasurer.

St Margaret’s Chapter, Dunfermline monthly meetings as announced, All details contact Pat Carrigan smcb_oblates@live.co.uk

St. Monica’s Chapter, Thurso. Contact Jane Coll. "Scaraben”, Westside, Dunnet, Thurso, Caithness, KY14 8YD. Phone 01847 851467 and as announced.

St. Peter's chapter of oblates Aberdeen:- next meeting-- was Wednesday 6th September 2016 then at regular intervals at St. Peter's Catholic Church, Castlegate, Aberdeen.   at 5pm. e-mail brianbmilne2647@gmail.com (Brian Milne convener),  phone 01224 485781 mobile 07443032289

St. Mirin’s Chapter. Paisley. Date: 1st Saturday each month. Time 2-4 pm. Venue: Hall 2, St Mirin’s Cathedral, Cathedral Precincts, Incle Street Paisley, PA1 1HR—secure parking there within Cathedral enclosure. Farther information: St Mirin Chapter, Benedictine Oblate Group, c/o Campbell Murdoch, Fircroft, Knockbuckle Road, Kilmacolm, PA13 4JT m: 07810 350006

 

 

 

UGANDAN SEMINARIAN UPDATE

JOSAPHAT, our Ugandan Seminarian, is now well into the second semester of his first year at Major Seminary in Gulu in the North of Uganda.  He will spend three full years here studying theology and philosophy.  He will then go on to National Seminary to study theology.  

We are now supporting a second student.  Charles has started at junior seminary, St Peter's College in Tororo. Tororo is also Josaphat's home town.  Charles plans to follow the same path as Josaphat. Without the prayers and financial support of the Oblates, these young men would not be at seminary.  If you would be interested in helping us support Josaphat and Charles (this would entail a monthly standing order of between £10 - £15) please contact Campbell Murdoch, Fircroft, Knockbuckle Road, Kilmacolm, PA13 4JT.  Tel: 07810 350006 or email: jcmurdoch@yahoo.co.uk

                                     

 

 

 


John 1:14et Verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis et vidimus gloriam eius gloriam quasi unigeniti a Patre plenum gratiae et veritatis et de plenitudine eius nos omnes accepimus et gratiam pro gratia..

…..May the Lord make His abode within each one of us this Christmas and in Eternity.

         Thanking you  for your kindness and patience. 

                  With blessings ,

                           In the love of Christ,

 

                                                      Fr. Martin

Our Lady of Pluscarden Pray for us.

Oblate Letter 31 Our Lady of Sorrows Autumn 2016

                        “ Nothing Dearer than Christ"

                  Oblate letter of the Pluscarden Benedictines, Elgin,Moray, Scotland.IV308UA.

Ph. (01343) 890257 fax 890258

DMB series No 31

Our Lady of SorrowsAutumn 2016

 

MONASTIC VOICE

A sermon of St Bernard(from the Roman Office of Readings 15th September)

His mother stood by the cross

“The martyrdom of the Virgin is set forth both in the prophecy of Simeon and in the actual story of our Lord’s passion. The holy old man said of the infant Jesus: He has been established as a sign which will be contradicted. He went on to say to Mary: And your own heart will be pierced by a sword.

Truly, O blessed Mother, a sword has pierced your heart. For only by passing through your heart could the sword enter the flesh of your Son. Indeed, after your Jesus – who belongs to everyone, but is especially yours – gave up his life, the cruel spear, which was not withheld from his lifeless body, tore open his side. Clearly it did not touch his soul and could not harm him, but it did pierce your heart. For surely his soul was no longer there,  but yours could not be torn away. Thus the violence of sorrow has cut through your heart, and we rightly call you more than martyr, since the effect of compassion in you has gone beyond the endurance of physical suffering.

Or were those words, Woman, behold your Son, not more than a word to you, truly piercing your heart, cutting through to the division between soul and spirit? What an exchange! John is given to you in place of Jesus, the servant in place of the Lord, the disciple in place of the master; the son of Zebedee replaces the Son of God, a mere man replaces God himself. How could these words not pierce your most loving heart, when the mere remembrance of them breaks ours, hearts of iron and stone though they are!

Do not be surprised, brothers, that Mary is said to be a martyr in spirit. Let him be surprised who does not remember the words of Paul, that one of the greatest crimes of the Gentiles was that they were without love. That was far from the heart of Mary; let it be far from her servants.

Perhaps someone will say: “Had she not known before that he would not die?” Undoubtedly. “Did she not expect him to rise again at once?” Surely. “And still she grieved over her crucified Son?” Intensely. Who are you and what is the source of your wisdom that you are more surprised at the compassion of Mary than at the passion of Mary’s Son? For if he could die in body, could she not die with him in spirit? He died in body through a love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since his.

 

FROM THE OBLATEMASTER'S DESK

Many a year I have called the third quarter issue of the Oblate Letter either the Triumph of or the Exaltation of the Cross since the 14th September falls within its ambit but this year Our Lady of Sorrows of the 15th seems most fitting since our Mother of Mercy is the key to our fruitful keeping of the Year of Mercy because to use the word of the Responsory of the Roman Office in the Office of readings “she took her stand beside His cross”---

“V/When they reached the place called the Skull R/ they crucified Jesus there, but his mother took her stand beside his cross.

V/As she stood there, a sword of anguish pierced her blessed heart R/ but his mother took her stand beside his cross.” ---“She TOOK HER STAND”—there is something almost military about this expression. Our Lady was (is) an immovable cohort, bulwark, vanguard of love between our Lord and the darts of hatred.

In this Year of Mercy there have been many modern martyrs martyred on Calvary’s throughout the Middle east, in Africa, Pakistan, “in the face” of the world and in broad daylight and even at the Altar of God in France.

Our souls are designed to be the dwelling-place of God—your soul, my soul. We are God’s creation and handiwork.

To kill a human being is blasphemy against the Incarnation. God desires through His Son’s Precious Blood to bring all of us into the Home of the Trinity, dwelling-in and being in-dwelt.

 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”(Eph. 2.13-18)  May our Mother in Christ help all hearts closed in on themselves to open and say “Fiat” to God’s love and find life.

As St Bernard points out not only did our Lady see her Son, the fruit of her womb, crucified, but her God. Our Lady has experienced that total self-emptying which only God achieves in the heart of the Holy Trinity. She has experienced in as much as a human being can, the total self-giving of God in the inner life of the Trinity.

It is only our Lady that can accompany us to all the limits of our life and beyond those limits, to all the places that turn our hearts to wax.

“The sign, set up for all men on Calvary, will not cease to be contradicted, so long as it does not cease to be visible. Not in metaphor but in painful reality Mary will see the continuance of Calvary in the Mystical Body of Christ. She will see how the Church, in its own way, but unmistakably, is Christ continued amongst men; how men's reactions to it are exactly the reactions they showed to him. As during his Passion she will pray, first that the Father may forgive her children who "crucify again to themselves the Son of God, making him a mockery" and then that more and more souls may come to assuage the undying thirst of Christ crucified. She will stand* in spirit by the cross so long as there

is one human soul still to be saved.”(The Seven Swords of Mary”—Gerard Corr O.S.M.)*my emphasis

Let us pray.

O God, when Your Son was hung high on the cross

You willed that His Mother should stand by Him and suffer with Him.

Grant to your Church that she may share, through Mary, in Christ’s passion

and deserve to share also in His resurrection.

[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,

Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God for ever and ever.                         (Collect for Our Lady of Sorrows)

Amen.  

BOOKS AND MEDIA

Pluscarden Benedictines: Are you not a subscriber? Write “The Editor” (Address of Pluscarden Abbey as above)-subscription £10 with your address—or let the Editor know if you can’t manage that but would like to receive it.

God or Nothing—A Conversation on Faith with Nicolas Diat—Translated(from the French) by Michael J. fuller—Ignatius Press San Francisco-2015—ISBN 978-1-62164-050-9. What an excellent book—very thought provoking wisdom from the learned Cardinal Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship. Ten chapters—each food for thought and discussion—useful on your own or in your local Oblate Chapter or group?—Take you through the Winter months! Stimulating!—Encouraging!

Seventy-Four Tools For Good Living” by Michael Casey O.C.S.O.—reflections on the fourth chapter of St. Benedict’s Rule--Liturgical Press Collegeville Minnesota ISBN 978-0-8146-3720-3A Scholarly, readable book of deeply lived and experienced monastic life for monks, oblates and all Christians and all people who want to know how to live according to the Plan of the Creator.

 

 

PRAYER INTENTIONS

 

For Abbot Anselm's and Bishop Hugh's intentions.

For the full success of Oblate Lord Kevin Shinkwin's Bill in the House of Lords for The Protection of the Equal Rights of Pre-born Handicapped Persons(and therefore of all the handicapped).

For the newly elected Benedictine Primate of the whole order, Abbot Gregory Polan of Conception Abbey U.S.A.(andAbbot Notker Wolff who ably served several terms of office)

For The Very Reverend Prior Bede Kierney (former guestmaster here) now Prior of Kristo Buase monastery Ghana and for Fr. Ambrose Flavell(former Oblatemaster here) who as Superior ably nursed the Priory to independence and served several terms of office.

For vocations to Pluscarden (especially the ten who thanks to your prayers took part in our monastic experience weekend) and for all our aspirants. St Mary's monastery, Petersham and Kristo Buase Priory.

Br. Adrian, Fr. Matthew and Br. Finbar, health.

For the repose of the souls of Oblates Roberta Gaitan and Paul Miller and James Timoney’s Wife Helen.

ForGod’s blessing on Brothers Joseph and John who have just returned to Tien Phuoc Priory in Vietnam after two years studying English.

Those who have just made their Oblation: John Gleeson, David SIMON OF CYRENE Muir and Eddie FRANCIS OF ASSISI Sands. For Karl and Gabriele Panther who havetrasnsfered their Oblation to Pluscarden Abbey.

Pat Carrigan in Fife preparing for Diaconate next year, to be made Acolyte this September and for his Wife Pauline's intentions.

Peter Aitken who has just been awarded a diocesan medal.

Please pray for the health of the the Very Rev Mgr. Robert Provost McDonald, Rev. Christopher Mayo, Fr. Bob Halshaw, Paul Costello, Albert. For Siobhan Gilmour's husband, for Mrs. Allie Brien, Mrs. Patricia Robertson-very poorly, Mrs. Alice Sullivan, Gitte Mackay and Joe and Maggie Barrett, Leonora Duson, Margaret Rawcliffe, Robert Cantafio’s Mother Margharita, Mrs. Gertrude Corker’s two daughters, Bob Barr, Brian Milne, Gail Schmitz, Fiona Sellar, Johan(Joy) Baillie, Susan Carson-Rowlandand her husband Mike, Martin's wife Mary, Graham Dunbar, Beth and ChrisFraser, Bob Clark, Nick MaCrae’s son, Martin MaCrae battling illness, Dr. David Paterson and his wife Angela and granddaughter Grace, Bryan Miller, Jacqui’s daughter Sally, Hester du Plessis, Poppy Sinclair, John Gleeson hip operation, Ian and Frederick Brodie--the twins, for Pat Foster, Malcolm Boardman, Martin Farrelly and especially for his wife Val, and also for Peter Wynne Sunday, 8.00 am altar-server at Mass here for 40 years awaiting an operation. David Braine, philosopher, Susan Stephen, Evelyn, Violet and Sheila and all friends of the Abbey and for all Oblates, and all the sick, and those who care for them--and for Josaphat and Charles our sponsored seminarians. Events

Every Year

Julian Group Monthly at the Abbey. contemplative prayer group meet monthlyon the first Tuesday of each month after Mass here. You are welcome. Silent prayer inspired by the spirituality of Venerable Julian ofNorwich.

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2016

 This Year 2016:-17-20 October: 6th UK National Oblates’ Retreat at Mount St Bernard Abbey led by Abbot Erik Varden and Sr. Laurentia Johns. Please register throughUKOT website--for details: www.benedictine-oblates.netor Mrs. Pam Morey 1 Lypiatt View, Bussage, Stroud, GL6 8DA. Englandor email   ukoblateteam@gmail.com

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2017

2017--Pluscarden Oblates Lenten Retreat led By Fr. Abbot the first weekend of Lent 3rd-6th March next year. Put it in your diaries please-- and you could always ask the guestmaster to pencil you in.

2017 next year4th International Congress of Benedictine Oblates 4th-10th November 2017 in Rome- Theme " A Way Froward--The Benedictine community in Movement"--"Three days, a wonderful opportunity for reflection and meeting Oblates from other monasteries."--Fr. Martin: I think we are allowed at least 2 delegates--we have one already--John Mckinlay. So we needanother -- and you can always go on the short leet -- just let me know-- again you can get more information possibly from Mrs. Pam Morey contact as above. As you know I'm at oblatemaster@pluscardenabbey.org or if you are looking at our website just now the @ is substituted with AT for all email addresses for technical reasons! ( if I remember to do it!)

 

The Pentecost Lectures—next year 2017 –given by the well-known theologian Fancesca Murphy.  Book with guestmaster Br. Thomas or come opn the days.

 

2017Next Year5th June-3rd September   1230 pilgrimage      (sponsored)

-- in aid of South range appeal. Once in a lifetime opportunity—don’t miss your chance to be a part of it.

Pluscarden 1230 Pilgrimage-please register to take part as soon as possible! Contact Postal Address and full details:-

Pluscarden Abbey Appeal Office

216 High Street

Elgin IV30 1BA

Phone: Tel. +44 (0)1343 555038 Mob. 07415 971024 www.appealpluscardenabbey.org.uk                  (with a web form to register if you prefer)

CHAPTERS

·      St Mungo'schapter, Glasgow:-We meet on the second Saturday of each month at 2 p.m. Contact can be made via Peter Aitken. Tel. 0141 427 2084, or via Graham Dunbar at 0141 558 4323 as group Secretary and Treasurer.

·      St Margaret’s Chapter, Dunfermline monthly meetings as announced, All details contact Pat Carrigan smcb_oblates@live.co.uk

·      St. Monica’s Chapter, Thurso. Contact Jane Coll. "Scaraben”, Westside, Dunnet, Thurso, Caithness, KY14 8YD. Phone 01847 851467 and as announced.

·      St. Peter's chapter of oblates Aberdeen:- next meeting-- was Wednesday 6th September 2016 then at regular intervals at St. Peter's Catholic Church, Castlegate, Aberdeen.   at 5pm. e-mail brianbmilne2647@gmail.com that's my personal e-mail        (Brian Milne convener),  phone 01224 485781 mobile 07443032289

·      St. Mirin’s Chapter. Paisley. Date: 1st Saturday each month. Time 2-4 pm. Venue: Hall 2, St Mirin’s Cathedral, Cathedral Precincts, Incle Street Paisley, PA1 1HR—secure parking there within Cathedral enclosure. Farther information: St Mirin Chapter, Benedictine Oblate Group, c/o Campbell Murdoch, Fircroft, Knockbuckle Road, Kilmacolm, PA13 4JT m: 07810 350006

UGANDAN SEMINARIAN UPDATE

JOSAPHAT, our Ugandan Seminarian, is now well into the second semester of his first year at Major Seminary in Gulu in the North of Uganda.  He will spend three full years here studying theology and philosophy.  He will then go on to National Seminary to study theology.  

We are now supporting a second student.  CHARLES has started at junior seminary, St Peter's College in Tororo. Tororo is also Josaphat's home town.  Charles plans to follow the same path as Josaphat.

Without the prayers and financial support of the Oblates, these young men would not be at seminary.  If you would be interested in helping us support Josaphat and Charles (this would entail a monthly standing order of between £10 - £15) please contact Campbell Murdoch, Fircroft, Knockbuckle Road, Kilmacolm, PA13 4JT.  Tel: 07810 350006 or email: jcmurdoch@yahoo.co.uk

 “She took her stand beside His cross”---

Our Lady of Sorrows

                                             PRAY FOR US!

May this Year of Mercy Remain Ever a Door of Grace for Each of Us and God’s Whole Beloved Humanity

                  IN THE LOVE OF CHRIST                              

                                                      Fr. Martin

P.S. Please find also enclosed

 

1.      The yearly Oblate/Friendrenewal form for you to return--  if only for contact details update/confirmation please. ( confirms you're getting the letter too)

2.      A poster for an appeal concert-- send to someone who can go if you can't please! Deadline 7th October -- the concert pianist is comingSPECIALLY for us from CANADA so hope for a full house please!

Oblate Letter 30 - Birth of St John the Baptist and Summer 2016

                                       Nothing Dearer thanChrist”

                                         Oblate letter of the Pluscarden Benedictines, Elgin

                              DMB series No 30

                                 Birth of our Patron St John the Baptist and Summer 2016

 

 

THE VOICE OF SCRIPTURE--

The Song of songs

7:13The mandrakes give forth fragrance, and over our doors are all choice fruits, new as well as old, which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.

 8:1O that you were like a brother to me, that nursed at my mother's breast! If I met you outside, I would kiss you, and none would despise me.

 8:2I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother, and into the chamber of her that conceived me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, the juice of my pomegranates.

 8:3O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me!

 8:4I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please.

l 8:5Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in travail with you, there she who bore you was in travail.

 8:6Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame.

 8:7Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.

 

MONASTIC VOICE--

John of Ford

SERMON NINETY- TWO--(extracts)-------

The beginning of the ninety-second sermon on a few verses of the song of Songs

 

"That by 'mandrakes' is meant the charm of human applause, the sweetness of which flatters the bodily sensations of spiritual men, but only externally. They do not let it penetrate to their interior but repel the vainglory by spiritual delight, which is symbolized by 'apples'.

 

'THE MANDRAKES give their fragrance at our gates. All the choice apples, new as well as old, I have saved up for you, my beloved.' Scripture tells us of Reuben that 'in the days of wheat harvest, he went and found mandrakes in a field, which' he carried away and 'gave to Leah, his mother .'* In payment for them, Leah claimed that she had hired a husband from Rachel.* Here, with the bride of the Word, something similar can be seen, since she, in her turn, also went out 'into the field', and mentions that she has found mandrakes. The holy fathers have always held that 'mandrakes' are an image of the fragrance of being well thought of, and we read that they were found in a field, whether by Reuben or by the bride, specifically because the admiration of men is usually provoked more by the exterior exercise of virtue than by the tranquil leisure of contemplative repose..............

(five pages on)............ and make it extremely difficult to guard our gates faithfully and keep out any of this kind of 'fragrance', It is very rare for a man to have his gates open and not to greet with approbation and pleasure that waft of air, as soon as it breathes, however faintly, It is very rare not to be ashamed of having traded our mandrakes to Rachel for a husband,* that is, of not surrendering the happiness of a good conscience for the worthless reward of human approval .Here we can see the bride's unparalleled faithfulness and prudence, She is not entrapped by the scent of mandrakes, and, living as she does, in what we could call paradisal joy, her care is all for the treasure entrusted to her. She lays it out by preserving it, and she preserves it by laying it out. The wisdom of Solomon guides her: she has learned to scatter abroad her springs of water and let her streams flow freely in the streets, yet so as to have them all to herself. In the secret of her pure intention, no stranger shares in those waters.

7. The 'apples, new and old' can be taken as fitting symbols of joys holier than we have previously mentioned, which the bride customarily finds in contemplating her beloved. Obviously, the paradise of heaven is full of this kind of apple, and man was to have fed on them in paradise. But a thief came in, he saw him, and ran away at his side. Moreover at the end of a meal, evening or morning, apples usually appear when we have finished, more as pleasure than food. So the 'apples new and old' of the bride or the bridegroom are what the bride uses for delight and refreshment, either from the mysteries of the past, about the Word becoming flesh, or from the sacraments of today, now that he has become flesh. Even though, as the apostle says, in the light of the new creation, 'the old has passed away; behold, the new has come,' she has nevertheless learned how to make out of them both a delightful and delicate blend; she draws new things from the old, and recognizes old things in the new.......(four pages on to the conclusion of the sermon)

            But it may strike somebody that these various fruits of obedience have a right to be described as new and old, since they are taken up with either interior occupation or exterior responsibility. 'For who is faithful as David in all the king's house, going in and coming out at the king's word?' Whenever the bride is sick for love it is with this kind of apples that she begs the maidens to support her. She considers them a sovereign cure for her sickness, since she comforts herself for her beloved's absence by the fruits of voluntary obedience. To him who is the beloved of men and angels, the one who is lovable and desirable above all else, the spouse of the church, Christ Jesus, be love and honour, praise and empire, forever and  ever, Amen. "

(Twelve pages.) Sermon 92 on ( a part of) The Song of Songs by the Cistercian John of Ford.

 

FROM THE OBLATEMASTER'S DESK:

            The Song of Songs, meaning the greatest of songs (Song 1:1), contains in exquisite poetic form the sublime portrayal and praise of the mutual love of the Lord and his people. The Lord is the Lover and his people are the beloved. Describing this relationship in terms of human love, the author simply follows Israel's tradition. Isaiah (Isaiah 5:1-7; 54:4-8), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 2:2, 3, 32), and Ezekiel (Ez.16; 23) all characterize the covenant between the Lord and Israel as a marriage. Hosea the prophet sees the idolatry of Israel in the adultery of Gomer (Son 1-3). He also represents the Lord speaking to Israel's heart (Song 2:16) and changing her into a new spiritual people, purified by the Babylonian captivity and betrothed anew to her divine Lover "in justice and uprightness, in love and mercy" (Song 2:21). The author of the Song, using the same literary figure, paints a beautiful picture of the ideal Israel, the chosen people of the Old and New Testaments, whom the Lord led by degrees to an exalted spiritual union with himself in the bond of perfect love. When the Song is thus interpreted here is no reason for surprise at the tone of the poem, which employs in its descriptions the courtship and marriage customs of the author's time. Moreover, the poem is not an allegory in which each remark, e. g., in the dialogue of the lovers, has a higher meaning. It is a parable in which the true meaning of mutual love comes from the poem as a whole. While the Song is thus commonly understood by most Catholic scholars, it is also possible to see in it an inspired portrayal of ideal human love. Here we would have from God a description of the sacredness and the depth of married union. Although the poem is attributed to Solomon in the traditional title (Song 1:1), the language and style of the work, among other considerations, point to a time after the end of the Babylonian Exile (538 B.C.) as that in which an unknown poet composed this masterpiece. The structure of the Song is difficult to analyze; here it is regarded as a lyric dialogue, with dramatic movement and interest. The use of marriage as a symbol, characteristic of the Song, is found extensively also in the New Testament (Matthew 9:15; 25:1-13; John 3:29; 2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:23-32; Rev 19:7-9; 21:9-11). In Christian tradition, the Song has been interpreted in terms of the union between Christ and the Church and, particularly by St. Bernard, of the union between Christ and the individual soul. Throughout the liturgy, especially in the Little Office, there is a consistent application of the Song of Songs to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

            John of Ford conceived the idea of writing a commentary on the Song of Songs when, as he writes, he was 'burning with the desire of God's love'. Typically, this ardent yet earnest Englishman studied in preparation the works of the 'elephants and giants' who had begun the task before him-men like Origen, St. Gregory the Great, and Alcuin, but chiefly his Cistercian brothers, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, whose sermons on the Song had been halted by death at chapter three, and Gilbert of Hoyland, who had continued the commentary to chapter five, verse nine. A master of language and exegesis, and apparently oblivious of the rising scholasticism of his day, John had an avowedly practical purpose in completing the Cistercian commentary. He sought to lead souls to the love of God which inflamed him. He wanted to persuade others to seek to imitate and to contemplate Christ, the one perfect Image of God. For, he believed, by allowing itself to be re-formed into that

Image, the human creature will gradually and gloriously itself be transformed into God's clear image.

            Never before translated into the vernacular, John of Ford's sermons on the Song of Songs have survived in a single extant manuscript. Hidden for eight hundred years, the abbot of Ford emerges as a spiritual father who speaks from his own profound experience of the transforming love of God.

            Perhaps today the Carmelite St John of the Crosswould be better known in his use of the Song of songs:-  "That voice is sweet to her ears, and calls her sweetly, as it is written: “Arise, make haste, My love, My dove, My beautiful one, and come. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”1 When the bride hears the voice of the Bridegroom in her inmost soul, she feels that her troubles are over and her prosperity begun. In the refreshing comfort and sweet sense of this voice she, too, like the nightingale, sends forth a new song of rejoicing to God, in unison with Him Who now moves her to do so. 11. It is for this that the Beloved sings, that the bride in unison with Him may sing to God; this is the aim and desire of the Bridegroom, that the soul should sing with the spirit joyously to God; and this is what He asks of the bride in the Canticle: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come; my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, show me your face, let your voice sound in my ears.”( "A Spiritual Canticle of the Soul and the Bridegroom Christ"--St John of the Cross)

            However high these exegetical and mystical works seem to soar above our humble Benedictine spirituality as at times might seem-- it does give us fearless examples of how free in their lectio were our fathers (and mothers) in the faith when drawing nigh to the Lord. May we feel strengthened and unfettered in their example and rest never until we rest only in the arms of the Lord.

 

 

BOOKS AND MEDIA

It has been brought to my attention that Dom Odo Casel's: "The Mystery of Christ Made Present"(see last Oblate letter 29) is out of print-- but I'm happy to say that another good collection is: "The Mystery of Christian Worship " and it is in print.(Milestones in Catholic Theology) Paperback – March 1, 1999--about £12- £13 new-- but the Oblate library has one copy of" The Mystery of Christ Made Present"!

 The Cistercian Studies series has published all of John of Ford's sermons on the Song of Songs-- 7 volumes-- they vary in availability and price from £12 upwards ( for one volume)-- very readable as you can see and can help reawaken our thirst for Scriptures and for God.

  

PRAYER INTENTIONS

 

For Abbot Anselm's and Bishop Hugh's intentions.

For full success of Oblate Lord Kevin Shinkwin's Bill in the House of Lords for The Protection of the Rights of pre-born Handicapped Persons( and therefore all the handicapped).

 For vocations to Pluscarden--for Br Vincent who is a postulant from Vietnam and for all aspirants. St Mary's, Petersham and Kristo Buase. Br. Adrian and Br. Finbar health. Fr. Dunstan--the repose of the souls of his mother Honoré and now his father Ian-- may they rest in peace.

For Brothers Joseph and John who have come to us from Tien Phuoc priory in Vietnam for two years to study English.

Made his Oblation:- Fr. Andrew MAXIMILIAN Clark.

Novice oblate:-Mrs Jane Marie MacGillivray

 God's blessing on Robert Johnston, Oblate, 40 years continuously as an altar-server.

Pat Carrigan in Fife preparing for Diaconate next year, to be made Acolyte this September and for his Wife Pauline's intentions.

Please pray for the repose of the souls of our recently dead Oblates-- Evanne Foster and Eugene Fernandez-- may they rest in peace.

Please pray for ProvostRobert McDonald and Netta Ewing, Rev. Christopher Mayo, Fr. Bob Halshaw, Paul Costello, Albert Paterson. For Siobhan Gilmour's husband and for her son with a fractured leg. Mrs. Allie Brien, Mrs. Alice Sullivan. Gitte Mackay and Joe and Maggie Barrett and daughter newly married, Leonora Duson hip replacement 14th June, Paul Miller, Margaret Rawcliffe, Mrs. Gertrude Corker’s two daughters, Bob Barr, Brian Milne, Gail Schmitz, Fiona Sellar, Johan(Joy) Baillie, Susan Carson-Rowland's husband Mike, Martin's wife Mary, Graham Dunbar, Beth and ChrisFraser, Bob Clark, Nick MaCrae’s(just turned 90--congratulations!) son, Martin MaCrae battling illness, Dr. David Paterson and his wife Angela granddaughter Grace, Bryan Miller, Jacqui’s daughter Sally, Hester du Plessis, Poppy Sinclair, John Gleeson hip operation, Ian and Frederick Brodie--the twins, for Pat Foster, Eddy Sands, James and Helen Timoney, Carolyn and Marshall Boardman and especially their son Malcolm, Martin Farrelly and especially for his wife Val, and also for Peter Wynne Sunday, 8.00 am altar-server at Mass here for 40 years in hospital at writing, David Braine, philosopher, Susan Stephen, Evelyn, Violet and Sheila and all friends of the Abbey and for all oblates, and all the sick, and those who care for them--and for Josaphat and Charles our sponsored seminarians. For Deacon Peter Macdonald of Aberdeen being ordained Priest on the 13th June.

Events

Every Year

Julian Group Monthly at the Abbey. contemplative prayer group meet monthlyon the first Tuesday of each month after Mass here. You are welcome. Silent prayer inspired by the spirituality of Venerable Julian ofNorwich.

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2016

This Year 2016 The monks of Pluscarden Abbey offer a special opportunity to see at firsthand what monastic life is about, during the weekend Friday 19th to Monday 22nd August 2016.The invitation is extended to single young men, Catholics who practise their faith, aged 18 - 35. There will be no charge for the weekend.

Do you our Oblates and friends know of anyone who might be interested?--- and can be invited to contact us through the web form, or write to:

Fr. Benedict Hardy OSB

Pluscarden Abbey,

Elgin. Moray. IV30 8UA

 

This Year 2016Why not join in with the Diocesan Annual Pilgrimage--Pluscarden Abbey has a designated Holy door of Mercy-- the north, solid oak, Norman door with the latch. Join with our Lady of Pluscarden and Bishop Hugh and Abbot Anselm on the

26th June Programme for the Day:

1.00pm – Exposition in the Lady Chapel (until 3.00pm)
1.00pm – Individual confessions available in 4 parlours at St. Benedict’s Retreat (until 3.00pm)
3.30pm – Principal Mass of the day followed by a Marian procession, with hymns and devotions in the garden, facing St. Benedict’s Retreat Everyone is Welcome to Come and Join this Glorious Celebration!

3rd July The Annual Pilgrimage Mass at Scalan the secret seminary in times of open persecution will be held on Sunday 3rd July. This year marks the 300th anniversary of its founding. Archbishop Leo of St Andrews and Edinburgh will be the preacher.--Within striking distance of Pluscarden if you are staying here for the week of the two pilgrimages.

 This Year 2016:-17-20 October: 6th UK National Oblates’ Retreat at Mount St Bernard Abbey led by Abbot Erik Varden and Sr. Laurentia Johns. Please register throughUKOT website/for details: www.benedictine-oblates.netor Mrs. Pam Morey 1 Lypiatt View, Bussage, Stroud, GL6 8DA. Englandor email   ukoblateteam@gmail.com

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2017

2017--Pluscarden Oblates Lenten Retreat led By Fr. Abbot the first weekend of Lent 3rd-6th March next year. Put it in your diaries please-- and you could always ask the guestmaster to pencil you in.

2017 next year4th International Congress of Benedictine Oblates 4th-10th November 2017 in Rome- Theme " A Way Froward--The Benedictine community in Movement"--"Three days, a wonderful opportunity for reflection and meeting Oblates from other monasteries."--Fr. Martin: I think we are allowed at least 2 delegates--we have one already--John Mckinlay. So we needanother -- and you can always go on the short leet -- just let me know-- again you can get more information possibly from Mrs. Pam Morey contact as above. As you know I'm at oblatemaster@pluscardenabbey.org or if you are looking at our website just now the @ is substituted with AT for all email addresses for technical reasons! ( if I remember to do it!)

 

2017  Next Year5th June-3rd September   1230 pilgrimage      (sponsored)

-- in aid of South range appeal.

Pluscarden 1230 Pilgrimage-please register to take part as soon as possible! Contact Postal Address and full details:-

Pluscarden Abbey Appeal Office

216 High Street

Elgin IV30 1BA

Phone: Tel. +44 (0)1343 555038 Mob. 07415 971024 www.appealpluscardenabbey.org.uk                  (with a web form to register if you prefer)

CHAPTERS

·      St Mungo's  chapter, Glasgow:-We meet on the second Saturday of each month at 2 p.m. Contact can be made via Peter Aitken. Tel. 0141 427 2084, or via Graham Dunbar at 0141 558 4323 as group Secretary and Treasurer.

·      St Margaret’s Chapter, Dunfermline monthly meetings as announced, All details contact Pat Carrigan smcb_oblates@live.co.uk

·      St. Monica’s Chapter, Thurso. Contact Jane Coll. "Scaraben”, Westside, Dunnet, Thurso, Caithness, KY14 8YD. Phone 01847 851467 and as announced.

·      St. Peter's chapter of oblates Aberdeen:- next meeting-- will be Wednesday 6th September 2016 at St. Peter's Catholic Church, Castlegate, Aberdeen.   at 5pm. e-mail brianbmilne2647@gmail.com that's my personal e-mail        (Brian Milne convener),  phone 01224 485781 mobile 07443032289

·      St. Mirin’s Chapter. Paisley. Date: 1st Saturday each month. Time 2-4 pm. Venue: Hall 2, St Mirin’s Cathedral, Cathedral Precincts, Incle Street Paisley, PA1 1HR—secure parking there within Cathedral enclosure. Farther information: St Mirin Chapter, Benedictine Oblate Group, c/o Campbell Murdoch, Fircroft, Knockbuckle Road, Kilmacolm, PA13 4JT m: 07810 350006

UGANDAN SEMINARIAN UPDATE

 

JOSAPHAT, our Ugandan Seminarian, is now well into the second semester of his first year at Major Seminary in Gulu in the North of Uganda.  He will spend three full years here studying theology and philosophy.  He will then go on to National Seminary to study theology.  

 

We are now supporting a second student.  CHARLES has started at junior seminary, St Peter's College in Tororo. Tororo is also Josaphat's home town.  Charles plans to follow the same path as Josaphat.

 

Without the prayers and financial support of the Oblates, these young men would not be at seminary.  If you would be interested in helping us support Josaphat and Charles (this would entail a monthly standing order of between £10 - £15) please contact Campbell Murdoch, Fircroft, Knockbuckle Road, Kilmacolm, PA13 4JT.  Tel: 07810 350006 or email: jcmurdoch@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

"HE MUST INCREASE AND I MUST DECREASE"  John 3.30

 

 

MAY OUR PATRONS, OUR LADY OF PLUSCARDEN,

ST JOHN THE BAPTIST  AND ST ANDREW

 AND OUR HOLY FATHER ST BENEDICT

PRAY FOR US!

 

WITH PRAYER AND +BLESSING FOR  A RESTORATIVE AND  RECREATIONAL SUMMER   

                        IN THE LOVE OF CHRIST                              

 

                                                                                                     Fr. Martin