The Friends of Mary Ward spent a day of retreat on June 25th in Laç at the church of St. Anthony of Padua.
We had the chance to attend Mass together, explore the grounds, and gather in community for reflection and discernment. We also discussed the future of the Friends of Mary Ward here in Albania and in communities all over the world. It was a very fruitful gathering full of inspiration and planning for the upcoming year.
Our prayers centered around an attitude of openness, gratitude, and zeal, just like Mary Ward.
We would like to thank the Franciscan Community at the Shrine of St. Anthony for their welcome and hospitality. We look forward to coming back and to what the coming year holds for the Friends of Mary Ward.
“Serve God with great love and liberty of mind.”(Mary Ward).
This year, 6 of Mary Ward Friends in Albania went on Retreat in Rome. For some of us, it was our first time in Rome and was such a great and new experience. The group was very culturally diverse, being from countries all over the world, but all were members of the Mary Ward community.
We have shared and learned about the life of Mary Ward; her written letters, her history, her painted life, her lectures. What made it more realistic was visiting the place where Mary Ward had her clear vision of Never Being Alone in her struggle to found this new and daring congregation for women. It was inspiring being where she stayed and prayed and where she met with the key people who would stay close to her cause.
We felt as if we were back in time and as if Mary Ward were still alive as we walked and lived with her.
23rd – 30th January, is the week of Mary Ward. This is the anniversary dates of her birth and death. Below you will find a booklet, offering for prayer and reflection during Mary Ward Week 2018. The various contributions to the booklet reflect the many instances cf collaboration between the two branches of Mary Ward’s Institute and our many lay friends and colleagues during the past year.
It also reflects our growing sense of ourselves ms one family with family members in all quarters of the globe, all united in our commitment 10 Mary Ward’s charism of freedom, justice, sincerity and joy — the ‘Felicity” of the Just Soul. http://www.ibvm.org/mary-ward-week-2018/
The second ‘Friends of Mary Ward’ conference in York, was a great success. This event gathered together lay friends of Mary Ward from all over the world. Four Mary Ward Friends from Albania joined this event. Sr Imelda Poole (IBVM), was one of the keynote speakers at this conference.
During the conference we listened to the experts on ‘Mary Ward, Prophetic Woman’. We spent part of each day visiting Mary Ward places. These included: Ripley Castle, where she stayed as a child, Ripon Cathedral, where her siblings were baptised, Mulwith, where she was born and raised, Bishop Thornton, a recusant church which contained a stain glass window of Mary Ward, Mount Grace and the Lady Chapel in Osmotherly, where she prayed in thanksgiving for recovery from a serious illness, and Osbaldwick where she was buried.
It was a great pleasure and honor to meet and share our experience with many Friends of Mary Ward from all over the world.
The second Mary Ward Lay Conference, organized by the CJ English Province and Friends of Mary Ward will take place in York, this summer. This event will bring together lay friends of Mary Ward from all over the world and four Mary Ward Friends from Albania will join this event. Sr Imelda Poole (IBVM), will be one of the keynote speakers.
We will listen to the experts on ‘Mary Ward, Prophetic Woman’. There will be times for group discussion, visits to Mary Ward places such as the Bar Convent, York Minster, Mulwith, Ripley Castle, Bishop Thornton, Mt Grace and Osbaldwick. There will be a time for meeting and making friends, and time to reflect on who is Mary Ward, the Prophetic Woman for us today.
On August 12th is the International Youth Day: We pray for all young people in the World that they will find purpose in faith, justice, freedom and integrity.
‘Let us pray for all victims of terrorism, for families affected by tragedy and for all the people continue to grieve and are upset by war and terrorism. Let us also pray for those that cause this merciless damage, that they may think of and reflect on their actions and realize the harm they cause, and may be urged to abandon all violence and seek forgiveness. We pray that humanity, in these troubled times, find true and lasting peace, the peace that will only come about when justice and mercy come together.’
Friends of Mary Ward had a retreat at the Carmelite Retreat centre in Nenshat, Lezhe. On this day, we prayed, discerned and reflected together about the future of our group, its identity and mission. Friends of Mary Ward is a spiritual group with a Christian and Gospel base, with common leadership and social action lead. We all agreed that MWL’s mission is praying and reflecting together as a spiritual group and having a mini project, doing voluntary work, and doing concrete things. We are very happy to invite more people to join our team, we meet very month and we will work in teams and each of the teams will address different issues and lead the monthly meeting.