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Monastic vows, Advent retreats, Orientale Lumen

Latest news from across the Diocese of East Anglia includes monastic vows for former parish priest, Advent retreats in Walsingham, and the History Society newsletter

Fr Paul Maddison, former Parish Priest of March, has taken a further step in his vocation as a Benedictine monk at Douai Abbey, near Reading.

Under his new monastic name of Fr Gregory, he took his simple vows during a Mass on 15 October.

These vows are offered after a year’s Novitiate and are a commitment to more three years continued formation as a Benedictine monk.

The three vows which Fr Gregory took are obedience to the Abbot, Conversatio Morum (conversion of life according to the Rule of St Benedict), and stability, that is, being part of the Benedictine community in the monastery of St Edmund at Douai.

Fr Paul was well known in the Diocese of East Anglia as the CEO of the charity Pilgrim People, which organised trips to the Holy Land and ran practical projects for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Pictured above is Fr Gregory with his family and Abbot Geoffrey Scott


The Sisters of the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham are offering Advent Retreats at Dowry House in Walsingham during December.

Dowry House, affectionately known to many as ‘the old Sue Ryder place’, is situated directly opposite the Priory Gatehouse in the High Street. Built between 1470 and 1496, it was used by the Augustinian Priory as a pilgrim hostel, providing hearty meals and warm lodgings.

Advent Individually Guided Retreats: Monday December 9 to Friday 13

These days are open to anyone who wishes to experience an IGR (Individually Guided Retreat) with an experienced spiritual guide as part of their preparation for Christmas. Book in plenty of time as places are limited. 

Advent Retreat: Friday 13 to Sunday 15 December

This weekend includes talks from Sr Theresa COLW, the traditional Advent service in the Chapel of Reconciliation and a celebratory meal.

Per person for the weekend, full board: En-suite room £145; Standard room £116

Special offer for the Advent retreat: Stay on the Sunday night too for just an extra £20.

The Community of Our Lady of Walsingham was founded in the Slipper Chapel on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 2004 with the aim of living and spreading the spirituality of Walsingham in-depth.

As a contemplative, but not enclosed community, the sisters offer hospitality, spiritual accompaniment, retreats and formation to groups and individuals visiting the shrine. They also give talks in schools and parishes and do missions around the country, bringing the beauty of their charism to many beyond Walsingham.

For more information visit:, email or call 01328 801018.

The pictures above show Dowry House, and the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham on a day out

Issue 12 of Orientale Lumen, the newsletter of the East Anglian Catholic History Society, is now available to download here. It contains stories of historical interest to East Anglian Catholics.