Thursday, August 17, 2006

Servers' Summertime

This afternoon I was back at Woldingham to drop in on the servers' Summertime. They got back from swimming at about 5.30pm and had a Blessed Sacrament Procession before supper. Over supper I was able to talk with a number of lads about priesthood. I was pleased to see that some of the fifteen year olds are seriously considering their vocation - I was sixteen when I realised that God was calling me to be a priest.
One of the younger lads said he would like to be a priest but "don't you think it's a bit much to give up?" I replied that God won't be outdone in generosity.
After supper Sr Tamsin Geach OP gave a splendid talk on how she came to be a Dominican nun. She had the youngsters in stitches by pulling funny faces and making foul noises! It was good to see Sr Tamsin - we overlapped in Oxford (rather embarassingly I spilled a glass of red wine over her at some chaplaincy event - but she'd forgotten that!). I also knew her mother - the wonderful Catholic philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe (I recommend her essay "Modern Moral Philosophy"). I remember Elizabeth visiting me at the English College in Rome - she was very perturbed by the picture in the Tribune of the Ursuline nuns who cut their noses off to make themselves unattractive to Danish foreign invaders. Skimming the recently updated philosophy section in the library she commented: "There's an awful lot of c--p written about Wittgenstein". Sr Tamsin's father was the equally eminent Catholic philosopher Peter Geach.
After listening to Sister's talk it was a case of getting everyone in the minibuses for an evening of bowling. Exhausting!

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