The CSMV Associates hosted a well attended Quiet Day here in March, led by Novice Sr Lizzie Ruth.  The Associates Quiet Days and Retreats are open to all, and details can be found on our website here.

Below, new Associate Vanessa Busfield writes about the recent Quiet Day and a moving account of her Acceptance Ceremony to become an Associate of CSMV.

Associates Quiet Day and Acceptance Day by Vanessa Ann Busfield

As an Old Girl of St. Mary’s School in Pune, I enquired about becoming an Associate. I feel a very strong connection to this place because of my deep gratitude to the Sisters and teachers, for the outstanding education I enjoyed.

Debbie Webb invited me to join in a Quiet Day on 26th March and this tied in well with my being accepted as an Associate.

Novice Sr Lizzie Ruth led the Quiet Day and it was thought provoking and inspiring. She reminded us about the love displayed to Jesus and the significance of the ‘kiss’. Having attended a four-day Retreat last September, I knew that this Quiet Day would be special, and it was. For anyone wishing to reflect on our Faith, the Bible or Jesus’s teachings, an Associates led Quiet Day or Retreat can be strongly recommended.

My day of acceptance had finally arrived. Sunday, 27th March 2022 was my day. The sun was shining and I had the great pleasure of being accompanied by some lovely ladies – Rosey, Debbie, Helene, Rose and more especially by my old English Literature teacher, Sr Valeria. Other Sisters celebrating with us were Sr Elizabeth Jane and N Sr Lizzie Ruth.

There was a simple service in St Mary Magdalene’s Chapel, led by Sr Elizabeth Jane. Debbie Webb presented me before the alter and Sr Elizabeth Jane, and I affirmed my desire to be an Associate. This is my affirmation of being close to the Sisters, the Convent and all present, in prayer and with God’s grace and blessings.

It was almost like coming full circle and being close to those who I hold in great esteem and affection. I was presented with the Associate’s badge, which I shall treasure.  After the service, I was embraced by the Sisters and the others with warmth and good feelings. Emotions gripped me and I felt tears not too far away.

Debbie, Rosey, Rose, Helene and I were invited to lunch in the Sisters Refectory. A roast lunch with lots of vegetables, followed by a steamed pudding topped with red berries and custard was served by the nuns, and the peace that accompanied us was wonderful.

We then retreated to the reception area for a cup of tea or coffee and a time to reflect on all that happened – starting with St. Mary’s School in Pune – all the way to our time together in Wantage. I feel fulfilled and truly blessed to have been accepted as an Associate.   Thank you CSMV.