Reminder: Spirituality for Summer retreat 22nd June

A retreat day led by Rose and Greg McCrave.  A time to refresh, renew and restore our souls by drawing closer to the warmth of God’s love .

Date: Saturday 22nd June 2019

Time: 10.30am – 4.00 pm (with refreshments from 10.00am)

Cost: £15 please bring lunch

To book: Contact Rose McCrave by email using the form here.

Something New For Women of All Ages


If you would be interested in coming along to chat about starting a women’s prayer group monthly on a Wednesday from 2-3pm at the Xaverian Missionary Spirituality Centre you are welcome on 12th June 2019

Please contact Rose by email using the form here or call her on 07866 736067

New Calendar Event

The World Community for Christian Meditation (North Manchester and Lancashire Region) are holding four Quiet Days in Preston at the Centre during the remainder of 2019. Each day runs from 10.30am to 4.00pm

The dates are
Saturday 22nd June
Saturday 24th August
Saturday 5th October
Saturday 7th December

You can find more details by following this link to the calendar.

The week ahead: 2nd June – 8th June

A new event hits the calendar this week. On Tuesday 4th June 2019 we have the first session of the Dementia Singing Group. This group is aimed at both sufferers as well as carers and friends. Come along and sing your old favourites. Tea/Coffee biscuits and good company are all on offer. 10am until noon.

Also on Tuesday 4th there will be the monthly Rosary Service at the Carmelite Monastery from 2pm until 3pm. Prayers will be offered for expectant mothers and their unborn children.

On Wednesday 5th June we have our monthly Labyrinth walk. If you have never done this traditional walking meditation then why not come and try it 7pm to 9pm.

Carmelite India Fund event: 12 May 2019

Written by Jennifer Holden

On Sunday 12th May, Chris Lloyd, Fr Bideri and myself welcomed 80 people to a wonderful celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Carmelite India Fund, a charity that began in 2009, as a tiny mustard seed, sown in response to a meeting with the poorest of the poor in a Bangalore slum and with the Carmelite Missionary Sisters who have been supporting and empowering them for over twenty years. Despite all sorts of adversity, this tiny seed has managed to sprout and spread further and further afield, supporting the sisters in their care of the untouchables, victims of a cruel caste system that believes an untouchable’s shadow or breath contaminates anyone it falls upon.

It was a beautifully sunny day for the event, all the windows and doors open onto the gardens of the Xaverian Centre in Preston. The Liturgy Room had been transformed into an oriental bazaar of exotic Indian materials, pashminas, saris, jewellery, embroidered cushions, painted Indian peepal leaves, exquisite hand made greetings cards, freshly baked cupcakes, tray bakes, chutneys, takeaway curries …all made by passionate supporters of the fund.

The story is a mysterious one. I had been working on the Carmelite Retreat Team at Tabor Spirituality Centre (now the Xaverian Centre) for a number of years, when Fr Eugene, the Prior, offered me a three month sabbatical. I was surprised and suggested Llandudno in North Wales to which he replied, quite forcibly for him, ‘No! I want you to to go somewhere right out of your comfort zone!’

So, a fearful traveller, afraid of snakes, spiders, amoebic dysentery and having to wash in a bucket, set off for India and the Ragigguda slums in Bangalore. Sr Celine was my guide and took me along the dark, narrow alleyways of the slums where I came face to face with India’s shadow. The people who shyly greeted me are forbidden to enter a temple, to have access to running water, forbidden to have any education or medical treatment, forbidden to have a proper roof over their heads or to do any sort of profitable work.

I was struck dumb to see that these people had nothing, nothing at all except the love and devotion of Sr Celine and her community and that these broken ones who had nothing, welcomed me, a stranger, with such graciousness and generosity.

I was taken into the nursery and infant schools Sr Celine has set up and met women from the slums who were being trained to work alongside the sisters. I saw women being supported in setting up ethical loans and others who were being trained to set up networks of self help groups which have now spread far beyond Bangalore. I also saw women being trained to be classroom assistants and met others taking responsibility for administrative work.

I asked Sr Celine what she needed to continue this special work with the poor and was struck dumb by her reply. She needed so little to make a dramatic difference to the lives of her people – not much more than I spend on chocolate each month!

Father Eugene rang that night, knowing I had been spending time in the slums. I could barely speak but managed to say, ‘We have to do something!’ to which he replied ‘We’ll come in with you on this. We’ll back you up!’

And so, the Tabor India Fund, (now the Carmelite India Fund) was launched. We were able to send £250 a month to Bangalore and now send £550 each month to support the wonderful work the sisters are doing with rural slum-dwellers in Andhra Pradesh as well as their work in Bangalore. Every penny given to the charity goes directly to Sr Celine. Chris and I pay for all other costs the charity incurs with our own money. In this way, the fund is different from most other charities.

At our recent celebration, we were able to thank all those who have supported Chris and myself in struggling to keep the fund alive and to treat everyone to a beautiful afternoon tea created by Master-Baker, Davina. The day ended with a thrilling dance performance of Indian classical, folk and Bollywood dance. As a grand finale, everyone was invited to join in the dancing and, at this point, Fr Bideri who had taken such an active part in the whole day, stole the show!

More pictures here.

If you would like to help the mustard seed continue to grow, we would be delighted to hear from you. You can contact Chris or Jennifer by clicking here.

Dementia Singing Group starts 4th June 2019

Come to our new singing group if you or your partner suffer from Dementia.

As well as being good fun singing is recognised as being hugely beneficial for well-being as it can impact positively on our physical, emotional and social health.

Music and Singing offer a unique and important way for people with Dementia to communicate with others and to continue to feel connected and valued. The carer, wife husband or partner attending the group will feel extra support from the other group members who are in the same situation as them.

Sessions start each Tuesday at 10.00am for a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuits before singing. We aim to finish by noon.

There is ample parking at the centre, wheelchair access and disabled toilets.

If you want more information then you can either call Alan directly on 01772 717122 or why not send him an email by using the form here.

If you know anybody who would like to join us let us know.

The Surprise of the Gospel

News just in of a joint venture between Lancaster, Liverpool and Salford Diocese supported by Bishop Paul. Fr Hugh Pollock from Kendal is one of the speakers. It is on the feast day of St Peter and Paul on 29th June. See poster for details.

More new calendar entries

We are favoured with more calendar updates, this time for the Preston Men’s Group who, for the rest of 2019, will be meeting on the 1st Saturday of each month with the exception of August when they take a holiday break.

You can find more about the Group here.

Greg McCrave and Stephen Hoyland are leading a themed weekend retreat at St Beuno’s entitled “Finding Prayer in all Things” See here for details. Friday 5th – Sunday 7th Jul 2019