Friday, October 20, 2006

Meeting with the Cardinal

I'm just back from the Vocations Directors' Conference at Wonersh. Before tonight's Seekers' Meeting there is just time to post a photo from Wednesday's meeting with Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor.
We gathered for tea and cakes in the magnificent throne room and were fortunate to have a preview of the new portrait of Pope Benedict XVI which was to be unveiled at a special reception that evening. The Cardinal came in and greeted all of us individually before inviting us to join him in the library where, he said, he was anxious to hear from us.
In a very relaxed meeting the Cardinal asked us about the current situation with regard to vocations in England. Some Vocations Directors spoke of questions to do with young people and their knowledge of the faith. We were also able to speak about the need for evangelisation and the possibility of developing new forms of youth work which would be more challenging in the presentation of Christ to young adults.
We were pleased that the Cardinal listened carefully to our comments and showed his understanding for the points of view expressed. We were also impressed by his evident love for the Church and his great appreciation for the work we are doing.
There were also one or two amusing moments. At one point he had to ask his secretary what 'Speed-dating' is. Explanations were again sought when he was asked for a photo for this blog - although his suggestion that we might go to the stairwell to photograph the blog did leave us wondering whether his grasp of the internet matches his understanding of diocesan structures.
We were very grateful to the Cardinal for taking time out of his busy schedule to see us - especially at a time when the Church is being mobilised to head off the Government's attempts to undermine Catholic schools by forcing us to take quotas of non-Catholic children.

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