A joyfully Franciscan view of Catholic life, inspired by St. Clare (Santa Chiara) of Assisi!

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Location: Virginia, United States

Chiara Offreduccio (St. Clare) was born in 1194. It is said that when her mother had Chiara in her womb, an angel appeared to her and said, "your child will be a light that will illuminate the world!" Hence, her mother named the child Chiara, which means "light. As G.K. Chesterton put it, St. Clare was a romantic figure just like Juliet was. However, instead of running away from her family in order to be with an earthly man, Clare gave up everything and ran away from her family for the love of her Savior!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Benedictine Blessings: Tyburn Convent, London, UK

Those of you who are from England, isn't it nice to know that in the heart of London there is a community of 19 wonderful Benedictine nuns who are praying day and night for the conversion of your country?

For those who have been to London, Tyburn Convent is a familiar name. The Convent was originally established in 1910 on the site of Tyburn Tower, where many of the Catholic martyrs were slaughtered during the English Reformation. Tyburn Convent was rebuilt in 1963, but still contains a chapel that is dedicated to those English martyrs.

Tyburn Convent currently has nineteen nuns ranging in age from 20 to 90. They pray day at night, and at each hour of the day, there is at least one nun before the Blessed Sacrament.

Of all cloistered Orders, the Benedictines have the reputation as being the "friendliest" towards the public. Indeed, the nuns at Tyburn Convent have mastered the art of reaching out to the public. Their chapel is open for most of the day every day of the week. On Sundays, the Convent has "visiting hours" in which the public can come in and chat with the nuns from behind the grille. Since their charism is prayer, the nuns strongly encourage people to send them prayer requests via e-mail. In fact, they have one nun whose duty is specifically to manage the website and e-mails! Also, Tyburn Convent holds an annual conference in which renowned authors like George Weigel are invited to speak.

Unless you plan on entering a monastery some day, Tyburn Convent's website is about as close an "insider's look" at a cloister that a person can get! Each page features a different aspect of the nuns' daily life, including streaming video clips, interviews with some of the nuns, interactive panoramic photographs, and brief reflections on the charism of cloistered life.

For those girls considering a contemplative vocation, the vocations page is a must-see! It includes video interviews with some of the nuns and Lady Abbess!

In a letter to Lady Abbess, a pastor who had taken his students to visit the nuns writes the following:

"They have been shown that there are people ­ martyrs then, nuns now ­ for whom the Faith costs not less than everything and also give it with joy. "

How very true!

As an added tidbit, NYC freelance photographer Shannon Taggart has taken some fantastic photographs of the Tyburn Nuns! Check them out here!


Blogger The Jesus Freak said...

how fantastic! Hiya, you posted a comment. Love the blog! Glad to hear about your chat with Mother Abbess. I am actually discerning with some PCC's!! they are in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

I also only live about an hour or so from a Tyburn convent!

My love and prayers.

3:39 AM  

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