Begh's Parish, Whitehaven
On Friday, 21st February 2014, Abbot Paul and
Fr Matthew, Parish Priest of St Begh's, an incorporated Belmont parish,
together with several priests of the Lancaster Diocese serving in Cumbria,
joined with the Knights of St Columba to celebrate the 90th
anniversary of the founding of the Knights at St Begh's, just 5 years after
they began in Glasgow. It was a truly magnificent celebration. A Mass of
Thanksgiving was celebrated at St Begh's and this was followed by a gala dinner
with speeches, prizes and awards at the social centre. Fr Matthew was made an
honorary member of the Knights. It was particularly moving to see the widows of
a good number of Knights enjoying the celebrations. We now look forward to the
centenary in 2024.
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Shrove Tuesday 4th March 2014
On Shrove Tuesday evening, the Community entertained our fifty or so
volunteers to a festal supper in the monks' refectory. We are grateful to our
volunteers who work with us in the monastery shop, the retreats' department,
the education and schools' visits' team and as welcomers and guides in the
abbey church for open days and other special occasions. After a delicious meal, pancake relay racing, devised by Br
Bernard, took place between mixed teams of monks and volunteers, after which we
relaxed over tea and coffee. It was a great evening, thoroughly enjoyed by all
present, an excellent way to begin Lent in good spirits.
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Brother Jonathan receives the Ministry of Acolyte
On January 3rd, the memoria of
the Holy Name of Jesus, Father Abbot conferred the Ministry of Acolyte on Brother
Jonathan Rollinson. Men are admitted to the Ministry of Acolyte as part of
their priestly formation. Those receiving this ministry take on the responsibility of
serving at the altar, assisting the deacons and priest and distributing the Blessed
Sacrament as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. This ministry is one
which can be performed anywhere within the universal Church of God and so is
not restricted to a geographical area; it is also a ministry that Jonathan will
retain for the rest of his life and forms a vital step in his continuing
journey in religious life.
We continue to pray for Jonathan
as he continues his studies in Rome and for all our monks who are in formation.
May the Holy Name of Jesus be
everywhere honoured and glorified. St Benedict pray for us.
Icon of Our Lady
On Tuesday, December 31st,
after First Vespers for the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, Fr Abbot
blessed the icon of Our Lady of Tenderness or Mercy (Eleousa Ελεουσα), which
will have a place of honour in the Kemble Room, where Belmont retreats take
This icon was begun in 2010 by Fr Dyfrig,
who can be seen writing the icon on the Belmont DVD, shown to visitors at the
abbey. Unfortunately, he was never able to complete it. However, as a memorial
to Fr Dyfrig, the icon has now been magnificently completed by Br Alex. This
work has only been made possible by the generous donations of many benefactors.
The icon depicts Our Lady with the Infant Christ
nestled against her cheek. It is based on the famous Russian icon of the
Theotokos (Mother of God) of Vladimir. Br Alex explained the theology
underpinning the icon after the blessing.
Br Alex is still working on a second icon, begun by
Fr Dyfrig, that of the Pantocrator, which he hopes to finish in 2014. If you
wish to make a donation towards the gold leaf, please give your donation to Fr
here for more pictures of the Blessing of the Icon.