A Plug For The Sisters…
I first came across the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate through the excellent Day With Mary events which are held at various parishes. The Day With Mary was an annual treat at Blackfen, and we’ve been fortunate enough to hold the event in Margate for the past few years. The Sisters are a real inspiration for everyone who encounters them, they exhibit such joyfulness and serenity in their vocation.
The last time I had an opportunity to chat to a few of the Sisters, I found out that, when not involved in the DWM apostolate, they run the Holy Cross bookshop in Catford. Not only can you find bibles, prayer books and the lives of the saints, but also devotional items such as rosaries, statues and even mantillas.
However, as you might expect, this is no ordinary bookshop. There is a chapel at the back, and every Thursday, from 12noon to 2:30pm, there is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and silent adoration. The Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and Divine Praises round things off at 3:10pm – Benediction cannot be given because there isn’t a priest available.
Due to the Sisters’ commitments with the DWM, the bookshop is closed on Saturdays (and obviously it’s also closed on Sundays, Bank Holidays and Holy Days of Obligation) but, for those of us unable to make a mid-week trip to Catford, there is a new website and mail order service. Also, if there is anything specific that you are looking for, you can email or call, and they will try to help.
If you do want to pay the Sisters a visit, it is advisable to phone (020 3441 8240) or email first, as they do very occasionally need to close – but this is announced in advance on their answering machine.
With Christmas coming up, you might be thinking about buying cards and little stocking-fillers, and I do encourage you to support the Sisters in the good work that they do.