The year of 2011 was a year of crosses, for Syon Abbey has ceased to exist.
The closure of the Syon Abbey in 2011 was sad news indeed.
However, as plans are unfolding for the celebrations of the 600th anniversary of its foundation, there is hope that what it represented will live on.
Quietly in her corner, Sister Anne (previously Lady Abbess Anna Maria of Syon Abbey) has been and is busy working towards the preservation of the tradition of Syon Abbey. On the academic-historical level, she is aiding and is aided by scholars from the University of Exeter. The celebrations of the 600th anniversary of the foundation of Syon Abbey is one fruit.
There will be celebrations at Syon Park, the site of the original Syon Abbey in the 15th century. For details please see:
Whilst admitting that ecumenical celebrations may be appropriate at times, I am rather cautious about them. Nevertheless, I am giving details about the events at Syon House to indicate the breadth of the anniversary celebrations.
The 4 days’ long academic program at Darlington Hall is excellent. For details, please see:
Meanwhile, as these celebrations are taking place in England, two Brigittine groups in the USA are also celebrating the Feastday of Saint Birgitta on July 23rd. Once again, we have been invited to the Monastery of the Brigittine Brothers of Amity to celebrate the Feastday altogether and to spend a few days with them. Both the Brigittini Brothers and Brigittini Servitores shall unite themselves with the celebrations in England, for both groups are indebted for the help given to them by Syon Abbey.
As Lady Abbess of Syon Abbey, Sister Anne has welcomed the birth of these two communities in the USA, rejoicing in their birth and aiding their growth. Sister Anne’s support, prayers and advice have been invaluable in the development of my own Brigittine vocation and in developing the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris Institute. Neither did she cease to provide her generous help after the closure of Syon Abbey.
Please join me in my prayers that these celebrations on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean will be a source of graces for many and that by the mercy of God our communities will grow in numbers and holiness, thank you for your prayers and God bless you all!