Carmelite Monastery, Notting Hill
I was at Blackfriars in Cambridge for Mass last week, which is the novice house for the Dominican Friars of England and Scotland, Fr Stephen Wang writes in his latest blog on Bridges and Tangents. It was a joy to meet the four new novices over coffee afterwards, just a couple of weeks after they had arrived and exchanged their everyday clothes for the Dominican habit.
And a few days before I happened to be visiting the Carmelite sisters in the monastery at Notting Hill, London. Three women have begun their postulancy here over the last few months, with another due to join them this autumn.
So that's eight new religious vocations this year in just two random houses! Something is certainly stirring in vocational terms in this country at the moment.
Something is speaking to people: about the value of religious life, the beauty of the evangelical vows (of poverty, consecrated celibacy, and obedience), the importance of prayer and community, the urgency of mission (whether the mission of apostolic work or of monastic prayer), and the adventure of giving your life without reservation to Christ in these particular ways.
Religious life, of course, is not the only way of giving your life to Christ; but to those who are called it becomes a way of living their faith and embracing the radicalism of the Gospel that seems to make sense of everything they have believed and desired before.
To read more of Fr Stephen's blog see: