Ascension Thursday – Sister Mary Cluderay, SNDdeN

May 22, 2022 | Gospel Reflections

May 26, 2022

Luke 24: 46-53

“I, the Light have come into the world. whosoever believes in me will stay in the darkness no more.” As I prepared to write these words I began to realize how God’s message all the time is always one of Love: “God loved the world so much that He gave us his only Son….”

Today’s Feast shows us the culmination of the Promise. Jesus shows us that God’s meaning, planned from the beginning of creation, has been completed. We have followed in the Church Liturgy the wonderful events of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter. We have a precious link to creation accompanying our thoughts and prayers and now we are all invited to enter into the most significant moments leading to this Feast of the Ascension, when Christ returns in glory to His Father.

We begin with the Baptism of Jesus where John the Baptist greets Jesus. Our minds and hearts are immediately joined to the mystery of the Incarnation and its wonder! The actual Baptism, the words of John the Baptist and the unforgettable moment when God Our Father speaks: “You are My Son, the Beloved. In You I am well pleased.” The Genealogy follows with the most important message – that Jesus is the Son of God.

We notice too that Jesus, “full of the Holy Spirit,” was tempted by the Devil, was led by the Spirit as He begins His public life knowing that the devil withdraws only for a time!
Jesus begins His ministry in Galilee with the power of the Spirit. We must never forget from where Jesus receives His strength – from His union with the Father at all times.

Let us join in delight as we encounter the description of the Transfiguration and the Father’s words: “This is my beloved Son! Listen to Him.” In every step of the way Jesus is united in mind and heart with His Father. His constant focus is this total belief that the Father is ONE with him. This is the amazing guide through each moment of the Passion until the final moment: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

As the time of the Ascension draws near let us think of Christ’s eternal wish – that each one of us will never lose our desire to follow exactly as he has shown us. We know that as he blest his followers and all of us, his words are full of His Spirit. You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and Samaria and unto the ends of the Earth. As He blessed them (and us) He parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy……..”

Reflective Prayer: Praise to the Holiest in the height and in the depths be praise. In all His words most wonderful, most sure in all his ways. J.H.Newman


Luke 24: 46-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you;
but stay in the city
until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Then he led them out as far as Bethany,
raised his hands, and blessed them.
As he blessed them he parted from them
and was taken up to heaven.
They did him homage
and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and they were continually in the temple praising God.



Meet Sister Mary Cluderay, SNDdeN

Sister Mary was born in Leeds in 1930, the seventh child in a family of eight. The other children were all boys. She was a pupil in Notre Dame High School, Leeds from 1944-1948 and she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame on September 24th 1948. She became a two-year Student in Our Lady’s College Mount Pleasant Liverpool and continued her studies for an additional three years in Liverpool University where she gained a B.A honours in General Studies. Subsequently she taught as an assistant teacher in Notre Dame Schools in Northampton, Worth and Battersea. She became Head Teacher of Notre Dame High School, Norwich in 1968 and retired in 1995. For a period of six years she worked with the National Health Department for Mental Health in Norwich. She was then asked to serve as the Moderator in the Parbold Community in 2000. It was a wonderful experience for her during 9 years as a member of the Community of over 20 Sisters, some of whom were frail and elderly. During this time, she joined an art class in the Parbold village and also a choir of men and women. They visited care homes and other groups. She also attended parish groups as the Synod preparation began. Her main interest now is to continue to read and study Theology and Scripture and she took classes in the use of laptop computers. She is now almost 92, but she has good mobility and her mind is still active. In 2020, shortly before lockdown began, she was asked to move to Birkdale, a community of 30 Sisters. Sister says that all her years as a Sister of Notre Dame are continuing to bring her joy.