Walsingham Sisters lead three-church mission in Ipswich

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Walsingham Sisters lead three-church mission in Ipswich

The Sisters of the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham led a mission for three  churches across two parishes in Ipswich during February. Sr Catherine COLW reports.

It was a joy to be invited to lead a mission for the parishes of St Marks, Holy Family and Mary Magdalen in Ipswich at the invitation of Fr Luke Goymour.  From February 17 to 25, we were present in the parish giving accompaniment, making pastoral visits and giving teachings twice a day. In addition to spiritual nourishment we also ensured physical sustenance was provided through a steady supply of homemade bread, cakes and soups!

The title we have been using for our parish missions is: ‘Called the Fullness of Joy.’ We recognise that a life lived in deep union and authentic relationship with God brings true joy. However, living out of this joy isn’t always easy and so we try to make our teachings, based on Scripture, the Catechism and the lives of the Saints, as practical and relevant as possible so that each person who attends is equipped with ways of putting these teachings into practice in their day-to-day lives.

We see Our Lady of Walsingham as a model for this, the one who said ‘yes’ to God in each and every moment and from this flowed a profound joy which permeated every aspect of her life.

Each day of the Parish Mission explored a different facet of the theme, such as prayer, trust and gratitude. We also incorporated activities for all ages which included a rosary-making workshop, a Divine Mercy evening, a Sunday quiz and activities for children. 

One of the parishioners commented: “I really enjoyed the retreat days… despite being well over 70 years old,  I got a lot out of the addresses… the retreat and your prayers have helped. I so enjoyed seeing you all – and seeing you in action as a community.” Another said: “This week has been potentially life-changing!”  

Fr Luke said: ” I had a thought about having a parish mission for some time. As a parish priest, I am limited in what I can offer people, most hear me for 10 minutes a week in the homily, so to be able to give people the opportunity to go deeper in their spiritual life and seriously explore prayer was very attractive. The sisters spoke beautifully about prayer and our relationship with God and with others. Their infectious joy, deep prayerfulness and eloquent teaching made a deep impact on many in the parish… we are already looking forward to welcoming the community back for follow-up events.”

We are grateful to Fr Luke for his invitation as this journey into a deeper relationship with Christ is the greatest gift we have and to be able to share this gift with others is one of our deepest joys.

Pictured during the Ipswich Mission are top, Sr Catherine, above, Sr Camilla and below Fr Luke Goymour.