The Benedictine nun, like Our Lady in Hopkins' poem, has "This one work to do--Let all God's glory through."

In celebration of Our Lady, here are some scenes from around the monastery. 

The statue is of Our Lady in the cloister quad. Here we gather on the Solemnity of the Assumption, during the procession. Our Lady is at the centre of our monastery buildings. We pass her constantly during the day as we go through the cloisters.

"Mary was filled with joy, overflowed with the Spirit and tended towards God with her whole being, while remaining in herself, in her heart.  Not leaving the mystery within, then, she reaches out to the mystery beyond.  It is the same mystery of love which draws her as dwells within her.  Love calls to love; grace answers to grace. "  Mother Abbess

This is the statue before which the Community gathers each day after Vespers to sing one of Our Lady's Antiphons: The Regina Caeli during Eastertide, the Salve Regina and the Ave Regina Caelorum during the year, and the Alma Mater for Advent.

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour is to be found in an alcove opposite the refectory.  Here Sisters pause to pray and entrust to Our Lady all the intentions of their hearts. Our community receives great numbers of requests for prayers for specific needs, from people known or unknown to us.  Whether the intentions are publicly mentioned at Mass or carried in our hearts as we stand before God, there is always a sense of our union with the world in the heart of Christ.

"Nuns relive and perpetuate in the Church the presence and the work of Mary. Welcoming the Word in faith and adoring silence, they put themselves at the service of the mystery of the Incarnation, and united to Christ Jesus in his offering of himself to the Father, they become co-workers in the mystery of Redemption. Just as in the Upper Room, Mary in her heart, with her prayerful presence, watched over the origins of the Church, so too now the Church's journey is entrusted to the loving heart and praying hands of cloistered nuns." (Verbi Sponsa)

Our Lady of Good Counsel is the second patron of our monastery, the first being the Sacred Heart.  The miraculous image of Our Lady of Good Counsel is venerated the little town of Genazzano, in the Alban Hills, not far from Rome. The story of the picture dates back to 1467. Pilgrims who had gathered on the feast of St. Mark were startled by a mysterious rustling sound and strains of sweet music. Looking toward the sky, they beheld what seemed a soft cloud. Slowly it descended and rested in front of the unfinished wall of the church dedicated to the Mother of God under the title of Good Counsel.  Although painted on a piece of plaster no thicker than an ordinary visiting card, the image has withstood the ravages of time. The artist of the painting is unknown. We keep the feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel on 26 April.

Hail, Queen, Mother of Mercy,our life, sweetness and our hope, hail.  To thee do we cry, exiled children of Eve.  To Thee we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.  Turn then, O our gracious advocate, thy merciful eyes towards us.  And after this exile, show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  O clement, O loving,O sweet Virgin Mary. (Salve Regina)

This is perhaps the most popular anthem to Our Lady, written by the Benedictine monk, Hermann Contractus (c.1013-1054), a cripple from birth, who was never able to move without assistance.  His parents entrusted him to the monastery of Reichenau on Lake Constance at the age of 7, and as a monk he became one of the leading intellects of the day; people flocked to him, attracted as much by his goodness as by his learning and teaching skills in such subjects as maths, astronomy, music, Latin, Greek and Arabic.  He was also an historian, wrote poetry and composed hymns.