Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Brother Kentigern Heenan OCR

We ask your prayers for our brother
Kentigern Heenan
who died on Tuesday, 20th March 2018
in his 93rd year
and 68th year of his monastic profession.
May he rest in Peace

The Funeral Mass took place at the Abbey
on Saturday, 24th March

at 12 noon

Homily for Funeral of Br Kentigern                                                            24 March 2018

We come to celebrate the long life that Br Kentigern lived and to assist his passing to God with our prayers. He lived an interesting life much of its earlier part was left untold except, for example, to a few of the staunch friends from his wartime days.

Thomas, or Sonny, as he was familiarly known by his family and friends, was born to loving parents, Helen and Thomas Heenan. He was brought up in the Townhead area of Glasgow.

Throughout his younger days he had an overwhelming sense of duty to serve his country. He joined the army at the age of 16, concealing his true age and signed up for the Tank Corps regiment. When his mother found out she informed the authorities that he was underaged to enlist. .However, undeterred, Sonny joined the forces as soon as he was of age. Following a period of service with the Tank Corps he volunteered for the parachute regiment. After basic training he joined the 13th Battalion of the Yorkshire Parachute Regiment where he was heavily involved in active service. He served his country in France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Belgium, and then in India, Malaysia and Singapore. His battalion witnessed the full horror of war.

For many years after the war was over, Sonny kept in touch with the surviving comrades of his parachute regiment and attended many of their regimental reunions at Scarborough where he was known as - believe it or not - as Braveheart.

After leaving the armed forces Thomas returned to Glasgow looking for some direction in his life. Following discussions with various Religious, he went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, and, after a period of discernment, was drawn to the monastic life. Some time later, he joined the community at NunrawAfter all his travelling, he had come - we might sayto join the army of the Lord in the monastery.

Thomas was given the monastic nameKentigern (the patron saint of Glasgow.) He was the second postulant to enterThat was fairly soon after the Abbey's foundation. It wasn't long before he was sent to Buckfast Abbey in the south of England. The main reason for going there was to get some training in building with stone­not to sample the beverage much loved by many in the west of Scotland. When he returned to Nunraw he was sent to cut and transport stone from the quarryfifteen miles awayto start work on the present abbey. That was also the beginning of many friendships he made through the Abbey Work Camp and among others who came to the guest house.

As the years rolled by and the building work stopped, Kentigern continued helping with the general upkeep othe buildings. He also worked at times on the farm. In more recent years his health deteriorated. However he remained the old soldier he was and kept marching on, never giving in to his ill health.

In the last few months Kentigern's health rapidly declined and he was confined to bed. During that time There were periods when he was too ill to see anyone and even asked for them to be told that. It took too much out of him physicallyA fewtimes the doctor had to be called in to get over that. And this from someonwho loved meeting people!

Before this decline in his health Kentigern had more time on his hands. He would spend a lot of it in prayerespecially for his friends and their concerns. The well-thumbed bible which he used for years and is now resting on the coffin is evidence of his love for the bible.

It was a little unusual in someone of 90 plus years and all that he had been through in his life that he still had a clear mind and had not lost his interest in all that was happening within and outside the monastery.

The scripture readings of this Mass tell us much about Br Kentigern and what made him the man and monk he was.

Old Simeonwho spent many years of his life in the Templepraying and expecting the coming of the Messiahfound what he was waiting for in his life when Joseph, Mary and their Son, Jesuswento the Temple. Being a man of the Spirit, he was daily ready to meet the One promised him before he died Yet he had no idea that his hope would be fulfilled that day when this Family entered the Temple. But seeing the childhe knew God's promise had arrived. Thatin its own wayis a message for each of us. We need to be ready to meet God daily in his gifts as well as the final gift of himself.

St Paulin his letter to the Thessalonians, tells us not to grieve in the way those who have no hope do. It is only human to grieve at the loss of one we love. That is understandable and natural. Yet our firm hope of eternal life remains unshaken. Jesus died but he rose again, as we will be recalling in the coming days of Holy Week.

Job, in the first of our readings, was given the amazing awareness, so long before the coming of Christ on earth that there is really life after death. After his awakening, Job said, he knew that God would draw him close to him. And that is exactly what Jesus will do for each one of us. Taken up in the body of the risen Lord, we will become one with him in love and friendship in a way that is beyond our wildest dreams.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Abbot Mark's Christmas Message

We keep you all
in our prayers,
      wish you a
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   very many
in the coming
      New Year.

Fr Mark and Community

Nunraw Abbey Newsletter            Christmas, 2017

One wonders where the year has gone.  Some people write their Newsletters going through the months of the calendar to describe what has happened during each of them.  To avoid the danger of being too tedious, this one will list what comes to mind hoping that the main events of the year won’t be omitted. 

There has been so much happening with the noise and grime of the renovating work beginning in August.  Part of this has been an act of faith on the part of the community of not seeing and yet believing because much of it has been going on behind locked doors. 

As the previous reception/tea room and shop had to be moved to allow the work to begin, we have acquired an extended hut to give one end for Br Philp and Helen Brown and the wares from the shop and the other for Fr Raymond to welcome and give a hot cup of tea to the regular trickle of visitors.

Our saddest news has been the deaths of Fr Donald’s brother, Fr Brendan (Nivard) in February and of Fr Hugh in July.  After a prolonged period of ill health, which had puzzled the doctors and specialists until they discovered after a few months that Brendan was terminally ill.  His beard had disguised how wasted his face had become.  For some reason he then shaved it off!  It was edifying to see how matter of fact and business-like he was in the way he prepared for his going to God.  Fr Hugh himself had been fading away over the past year but he tried to ‘keep going’ as best he could.  He found it difficult not to being present at the early Office of Vigils, when it was recommended that it would be better for him to have the extra time in bed. 

Fr Thomas had been helped and cared for in our new infirmary rooms.  The time came when we could not continue to give him the attention he needed.  About two months ago he was moved to the Sisters of Nazareth Care Home in the Archdiocese where he has received a new lease of life.  With their special care, his general interest in life and his health has improved.  Br Patrick has been unwell for the past few years and has had to be hospitalised for a number of weeks.  He is now in a Care Home.  We pray that will restore his health to a more satisfying level.

Next year we hope to receive a postulant to add to our reduced size.  It may sound strange to be creating new guest facilities in the abbey when numbers have been declining.  The message we have been getting over the past numbers of years our discussions is that everyone is fragile - the large as well are as the small communities.  No one, whether it be our parishes  or families.  The Christian teaching is that we are all in need of God’s help and guidance.  We have perhaps become too sure of ourselves.  We are living in uncertain times but need to make some kind of informed decisions and keep trusting in God now and in the future.  At present at Nunraw we are trying to be optimistic but not careless.  We ask you to pray with us that the new beginning we are looking for next year will produce good fruits.

With fewer rooms in the new guest area and convenient access to the Church, we are hoping to provide a more prayerful and peaceful place for our guests.  We hope that our hospitality will be no less evident than before but less noisy than it had become in more recent times.

We have been trying to get a newer website in operation before now. We  have, however, run into problems with a change of website address and other technical problems.  Once these have been sorted out and the practical details and date for receiving guests again become clearer, this will be posted on the website.

Proposed Reception area, Shop and Tearoom

Monday, 25 September 2017

General Chapter - Assisi 2017

Abbot Mark has been at the General Chapter of the Order in Assisi. It concluded with a journey to Rome for a papal audience, during which Pope Francis said:

Your Order, in the events of its history, has known times of grace and moments of difficulty; however, it has always persevered in faith in following Christ, with the objective of the glory of God and the good of the people. Following in the wake of your spiritual tradition, you are able to read the current state of the Order in its moments of light and darkness, and in the newness of the Spirit, identify with courage new possibilities and opportunities to bear witness to your charism in the Church and in society today.

I hope that this witness will be made even more eloquent by an increasingly organic coordination between the various branches of the Order.

May the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, model of every consecrated life, accompany the works of your Chapter and the path of the Order with her maternal intercession. With such vows, as I ask you to pray for me, I impart to you my apostolic blessing, which I extend to all the monks and nuns of your communities. Thank you.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Father Hugh Randolph OCSO - RIP

The Community announces with sadness the death of Father Hugh Randolph, in the 64th year of his monastic profession, on Monday 24th July 2017. The Requiem Mass took place on Saturday 29th July. Abbot Mark's sermon at the Mass can be found in the Community/Deceased Monks section.

Monday, 1 May 2017

May 2017

Pope's intention for May 2017:

Christians in Africa.

That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Happy Easter

The Abbot and Community wish you all the joys of the risen Christ.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Fr Brendan (Nivard) McGlynn R.I.P.

Fr Brendan (Nivard) McGlynn R.I.P.
It is with great sadness that we record the death of Fr Brendan (Nivard) McGlynn who died on Tuesday night, 21 February, a member of the community here at Nunraw Abbey.  He had entered Mount St Bernard Abbey in 1952 and from there was sent as a founder member of Bamenda Abbey, Cameroon, in the 1960s.  About 9 years ago, Fr Nivard came to Nunraw to produce choir books for Bamenda Abbey and the community at Nsugbe, Nigeria.  Two years ago, he changed his stability to Nunraw and reverted to his baptismal name, Brendan.
We offer our condolences to his brother, our Fr Donald, and his four surviving sisters, Sisters Noreen, Mary, Josephine and Christina.
Fr Brendan’s funeral Mass will take place at Nunraw Abbey on Saturday, 25 February at 11.00am.