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INVOCATION 2012: "A time for prayer and reflection"
Thursday 12th July 2012

Members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham attended last weekend's Invocation discernment festival at Oscott College, Birmingham. They were joined by Mgr Keith Newton on Saturday. Two reports come from the event, the first today from Alice Heans (Beckenham Ordinariate Group), who writes:

"Admitting to friends and family that you're thinking that of becoming a nun or religious sister is about as controversial as it gets these days. The singer Sinead O'Connor said last year on her blog that she was 'living like a nun- and it is VERY depressing.' Well, being at Invocation last weekend and having the fantastic opportunity to meet lots of religious sisters clearly showed me that Sinead had somewhere gone horribly wrong in her emulation of the monastic life because what they all communicated was a deep sense of joy.

The diversity of different religious communities and lifestyles represented at the event was quite staggering, from Italian sisters dressed in sea green habits (Sisters of Divine Revelation) to fully wimpled contemplative Carmelites and stylishly attired consecrated lay women. These differences of dress are of course just the superficial indicators of the various charisms that these women represent and live.

In her talk about her vocational journey Sister Catherine Holum (a former champion speed skater!) of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal spoke of the nature of her vocation as a spouse of Christ. Her evident love for Christ and gratefulness for being welcomed into a community that supported and loved her in her vocation radiated from her as she spoke. However, far from giving a romantic picture of the consecrated life, she also talked about the fears that she had before entering the community and the challenges that religious life presents.

Meeting many of the different sisters at Invocation I was struck by the diversity of personalities that were drawn to this radical way of life and how it all seemed to suit each one of them! For me, Invocation was not only a time for prayer and reflection but also an opportunity to encounter these inspiring women of the Church and reflect on their living witness to a life lived in union with Christ".

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The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
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