A religious community with which we are associated at St Chrysostom’s has recently been celebrating their name day – the Community of the Holy Name (CHN) keep as their name day the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. They keep it on the former date of August 7th, and its a special time at the convent – from where our friend, Sr Julie CHN, sends this ‘postcard’ – or rather the Chapel speaks!
“It’s nearly time” said the chapel at the Convent.
“Time for what?”
“You know…., for my holiday.”
“But you can’t go away!”
“Look, when you’re used all the year round for a daily Eucharist, five offices of prayer, intercession times and sisters’ and guests’ prayer times and so on, you need a holiday.”
“But you can’t switch off, you’re the centre of stability and the centre of unity and all those other grand sounding things.”
“Ah, but haven’t you heard the old saying, a change is as good as a rest. Look, let me explain.”
“During the first week in August, the sisters of the Community of the Holy Name gather together in Derby to re-new their links with one another, to discuss matters of importance to the whole Community, to hold their Chapter meeting and to have a week’s retreat, led by a retreat conductor from the wider church. And so my normal routine is enriched with all these extra meetings and enlivened by the celebratory Eucharists for the feasts of the Transfiguration and the Holy Name.
In addition, I hear the echoes of conversations when the sisters are enjoying a picnic, catching up with those living in their branch houses in Manchester and Peterborough, expressing their concerns for the needs of the elderly and infirm among them or talking through decisions to be made. I listen to the decisions they make in their Chapter meeting, am inspired by the addresses of their retreat conductor and, perhaps the most precious of all, provide a sanctuary for their prayers during the retreat, when they have extra time to read and reflect, to enjoy recreation, and to be re-created in God’s image.
So, no, I do not go away, but I am moved! Lucky old me!”