November is a significant month of remembering in both secular and Church calendars. On Thursday 3 November, members of the Siena community gathered in our College Chapel for a Mass of Remembrance to honour those who have died, especially in the past year. Candles were lit and loved ones named during the Gathering Rites; roses were presented to all assembled at the end of our liturgy prior to refreshments being enjoyed in the Staff Lounge. We are grateful to Sr Julianna Drobik OP, Cathy Carr and our celebrant, Fr Kevin Toomey OP for their organisation and support of this special Eucharist.
St Mary’s House of Welcome opens the doors daily to over two hundred people living in ongoing poverty. Each year our College undertakes a Christmas Appeal to benefit this community – hampers are compiled in House Groups and staff groups which will then be distributed to the people in need. Please take the time to discuss your daughter’s contribution with her and visit St Mary’s House of Welcome's website to find out more about this important justice initiative.
On Sunday 27 November, we usher in a new Liturgical Year with the season of Advent. Former Master of the Order Timothy Radcliffe OP reflects:
"The whole liturgical year forms us to be a people with the courage to wait until the Lord comes. Advent trains us in the patience not to begin celebrating too early, resisting the temptation to celebrate Christ’s birth before he comes…Christ is a gift and one respects the gift by waiting for the moment when it is given.
The Latin word for ‘to wait’ – attendere – means to stretch oneself forward; we are attentive, opening ourselves to what will come.
During Advent, we are like people gathered around the bed; we await the birth. But God’s coming was not just the birth of a child; it was the coming of a word… though it needed thousands of years before there was a language in which God’s word could be spoken in the form of Jesus."