The Cenacle Sisters of England and Ireland

Kathleen Lyons

I was born in Stockport of Irish parents and entered the Cenacle as soon as the war ended in 1945. My first twenty years were spent in a monastic style of life then Vatican ll called us to return to the sources of our charism which required us to lead the retreats ourselves.  After a period of study and training in scripture and theology I taught scripture to sixth form students.
Next I became novice directress for a few years and followed this by a course in Psychosynthesis which led to a ministry in therapy.  After my retirement I wrote about my experience of religious community which became a Ph.D. and subsequently is published as, ‘Mysticism and Narcissism'

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Q. When did you first become aware that you might have a call to religious life?

When I was making a retreat aged 16.

Q. Why did you choose the Cenacle Sisters?

I was looking for the Contemplative Life like Carmel and was taken to the Manchester Cenacle which at that time was monastic in life style

Q What is the best thing about Religious Life?

To be wholly focussed on the God quest

Q. What have you found most difficult?

Living with people whom I did not choose

Q What is most rewarding about your current ministry?

The chance to express solidarity with women throughout the world  and to write my history of  the Cenacle religious life as I have experienced it in the last sixty-five years.

Q. What is the most challenging?

Expressing ideas that may not be acceptable to some.

Q. What supports you in your ministry?

The community is very supportive; I could not manage without them

Q. Any tips on how to pray?

Follow the attraction of the Holy Spirit

Q. Giving advice is always a bit risky, however what is the best bit you have been given?

Accept the negative feelings. They are ok, it is what you do with them that matters.

Q. Name three people, alive or from history, you would invite for a meal

I would invite my parents and my brother.

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