We were kindly invited by our neighbours at Douai Abbey for the simple profession of Brother Anselm (photo-left). Douai is, like us, in the Portsmouth Diocese. We are a diocese rich in monasteries, since to Farnborough and Douai must also be added Quarr, Ryde, and East Hendred. We are a forty-minute drive from Douai and have many friends there, indeed our abbot and Fr Alban are old friends from their student days. We were interested to see the profession rite of the English Benedictine Congregation. The novice signs his chart at the altar, does not sing the Suscipe, and is given the cowl. In our own tradition the chart is signed on the altar only at Solemn Profession, and the cowl is given only at solemn vows. A fine tea followed in the guest refectory and we were able to catch up with Douai’s news and chat with old friends.