Today, Ember Wednesday in Advent, the liturgy invites us to turn our gaze to the Immaculate Virgin receiving from the archangel Gabriel the announce of the Saviour, and asking her to consent to God's amazing plan in her life. The story we know, but each day we need to renew our faith in a God who steps into our lives in unexpected ways, inviting us to go beyond ourselves and to let Him achieve His saving plan in us. Traditionally, this is therefore a very important day of prayer and fasting in expectation of the coming of the Lord.

For us at Notre Dame Priory, this day will go down in history as its most important to date, for this morning, the Archbishop of Hobart, the Most Reverend Julian Porteous, signed the decree which gives us official existence in the Catholic Church, as a Public Association of Christ's faithful. This is a canonical step which is necessary before we can officially become an institute of monastic life. And so we give thanks to the Lord and to Our Lady of Cana for bringing us this far, and to Archbishop Porteous whose paternal solicitude for us has always been both warm and helpful. 

And so now, fortified by this grace, we wish to move forward in our fidelity and in a generous response to the Divine Will in our lives. Please pray that we will always remain faithful to the trust that is put in us.

The Archbishop signs the decree of erection.

The Archbishop signs the decree of erection.

The community with the Archbishop.

The community with the Archbishop.