» Today the round of celebrations for our 400th anniversary of foundation came to an effective conclusion with our celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. In 1903 when our community fled Douai in France the Bishop of Portsmouth, Dr Cahill, offered us his minor seminary, St Mary's College at Woolhampton, dedicated to Our Lady Immaculate. It was absorbed into Douai School but the feast was always kept as a "hog" in the school.
Bishop Philip Egan, the current successor of Bishop Cahill, celebrated Pontifical Mass along with about 30 of the diocesan clergy and about 50 faithful. The preacher was Canon Nicholas France, Provost of the Portsmouth Cathedral chapter and parish priest on Jersey, and an Old Dowegian. After Mass the bishop and clergy joined us for a three-course festal meal, which was in part a small token of thanks for the permanent refuge the diocese gave us 112 years ago. Below is Bishop Egan and Provost France after the Mass.
» Yesterday Nicole Corteel of Douai died. She had been a former chairman of the William Allen Association and a great friend of our Maison St Benoit in Douai all the years it was open. Her love of the English Benedictines rivalled that of her own country. May she rest in peace.