Monastic Experience Day

On 3rd June 2023, Sister Catherine CHN and Sister Julie CHN and Sister Judi nCSF led a Monastic Experience Day in Hornsea, East Yorkshire. It was an opportunity for anyone interested to find out more about monastic and religious life and ask questions. Sr Judi nCSF shared her experience of the day.

The night has passed and the day lies before us……

It did indeed, a day of quiet, questions and even chips for some. So we started with Morning Prayer led by Sister Catherine CHN, from Community of the Holy Name. The rhythm of the office starting the day in a Lady Chapel in which it has been recited for many years. Not that the modern touch was lacking as a number of people used the Daily Prayer App from the Church of England. You can download via the Google Play or Apple App store). 

All were then led into a time of quiet. Starting with this image of beech trees. The multiple trunks of a single tree are slightly different but have the same root, just as each person in the community is rooted in Christ, but brings a different gift to the group and adds strength to the whole. Finishing with a prayer of St Francis:

Most High, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, sense and knowledge, Lord, that I may carry out Your holy and true command.

We used the church, the resources provided, more images, prayers and craft materials as well as the outside space. We came together again for Communion, just before lunch. Lunch, of course, was where the chips came in for those who wanted them, as well as the questions. Each of the Sisters, Sister Catherine CHN, Sister Julie CHN and Novice Sister Judi CSF all described the way God called them into their communities. What tied all three stories together, was that for each it really was an unmistakable call rather than a decision to try religious life. Revd. Susan Walker also spoke about her call to be a Franciscan Tertiary for nearly forty years. Those attending also shared some of their stories and why they had come to join in the day.

After lunch, we went on a prayer walk, using material based on The Stations of the Cross and The Canticle of the Creatures by St Francis of Assisi which Novice Sister Judi had first come across a fortnight before as part of the inter- noviciate training. It was adapted to the local area, the sea representing the water, the fire beacon fire etc. Possibly the most popular station, though not the most spiritual, involved Milky Way Magic Stars to represent the night sky which was nowhere to be seen on a sunny day in midsummer! 

The walk finished back in the Church before the Altar. There was then an option to either stay in the Church or go outside into the developing Eco Garden to pot on or plant vegetables. The reasoning behind this activity was the necessity of manual work in monastic life and the ability to use that time also as a time of prayer. The day was rounded off with Evening Prayer.

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God...

Interested in Future Events?

If you’re interested in attending similar Monastic Experience days, you can follow us on Twitter and look out for our posts about events and vocation retreats. Alternatively, you can contact us via our Contact page and we’ll let you know on any upcoming events. There’s usually at least one annually.