In praise of... welcoming

A small group of us RSCJ have just had a 24-hour meeting at Buckden Towers, a centre run by the Claretian Missionaries. One of the community there knows us, and, downloading an image from our Province website, he put together a rather special welcome. Thus we were greeted by this sweet, gladdening surprise...

... the sort of simple gesture which can transform reception into hospitality and ensure guests feel truly, open-heartedly expected, prepared for and welcomed. Welcomed and also challenged: as one sister murmured: Women of the heart... that gives us a lot to live up to... and indeed it does - not just for 24 hours, or when we're in good company, but for all of life and mission, and for all of our struggling, hope-filled living of our ideals and passion.

And now, already, it's the First Sunday of Advent, a time of waiting and preparation, of creating and clearing a space for Christ, in an attitude of eager expectation. As I prepare my Advent wreath I find myself reflecting on welcome and expectancy, on preparation and the simple gestures of genuine hospitality. So now I ask myself: what simple things and space-creating can I do, what sign would I make, to ensure Christ knows he is truly, open-heartedly desired and welcome into the home of my heart...?


  1. I am glad you felt welcome and enjoyed the stay at Buckden Towers.
    Well, that has been my feeling whenever I visited your house in Hayes or met any of your
    sisters. United in mission. Fr. Angel, cmf


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