Saturday, March 31, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
To book a place please contact us at Southwark Vocations. There is no charge for the retreat.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
This is part of the stewardship which is entailed in a vocation to diocesan priesthood. Unlike a religious, a secular or diocesan priest lives in the saeculum, the world, he does not withdraw from it. Administration and stewardship are entailed in the vocation. I get nervous of those who have a 'consecrated hands' view of priesthood - the idea that a priest's consecration means that temporal work is somehow beneath his dignity. As one seminary Rector put it, "Where's that in the Bible?" Our Lord worked for the years of his hidden life. He, the great High Priest, dedicated the best part of his life to manual labour. We shouldn't be surprised, therefore, if diocesan priesthood sometimes requires of us that we roll up our sleeves in order to get done whatever needs to be done.
That, of course, is a digression because there was no manual labour to be done today. Instead I had the rather more pleasant task of going through the papers of the six men who are applying for the priesthood in Southwark this year. Please keep them in your prayers.
Monday, March 19, 2007
As usual it was good to meet the students at the Evangelisation School. Two of them are applying for the priesthood this year and a third is still discerning his vocation. Over lunch there was a great discussion among the girls about which saint to take as an intercessor to find a husband. St Anne seemed to be the front-runner...
Sunday, March 18, 2007
SPES, the St Patrick's Evangelisation School, have invited me back to give them some more classes on Moral Theology. This time we will be looking at the important encyclical Evangelium Vitae. As Cardinal Ratzinger the present Pope delivered a fascinating lecture inspired by the encyclical examining theories of social contract and tracing them back to the influences of the Enlightenment. I had hoped that I'd have time to prepare something based on that lecture. It's very profound but would need a lot of unpacking and there simply hasn't been time to do it justice recently. Instead I think we'll stick to examining some of the issues in moral theology that led to the encyclical before looking in detail at its contents.
I have a special, if somewhat odd interest in Evangelium Vitae. When I was a student in Rome I had a lot of contact with the Council for the Family and we all knew that an encyclical on moral theology was in preparation. In my last few months I was asked if I would be willing to help prepare the English translation. Apparently the Vatican was keen that it be in British rather than American English. I had to be willing to take an oath of secrecy. Of course I was up for it but the document took rather longer to draft than was expected and so my services were never required - which is just as well since after seven years in Rome I think I'd pretty well lost the ability to distinguish between the two versions of English in anything more subtle than spelling!
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I drove back via East Grinstead where I attended the Day of Recollection for priests at Wickenden Manor. There were about fifteen of us there. I had to leave a bit early in the afternoon in order to get back to the parish in time to pick up some vestments for a Mass at St Ethelreda's, Ely Place this evening. It was a Requiem Mass for Peter Bearcroft, a wonderful, holy and charming old man who was always a great friend and supporter when I was in Maidstone. He was greatly involved in both ecumenical and inter-faith activities and it was good to see many non-Catholics also present at the Mass. Bishop John Hine presided and Fr Michael Seed preached. I enjoyed meeting many of my former parishioners at the reception afterwards.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
So I decided to test Sitemeter by logging on via a different route. That way it should register at least one visitor even if it chose to ignore my own visit.
But that didn't work either. Sitemeterwise this Blog appears to be deceased. Dead. No more. Cut off from the life-blood of regular visitors... Except that we know it's alive and still thriving.
So I'm left wondering what has happened. What unusual activity has there been? Well yesterday, following a link from the Hermeneutic of Continuity I checked to see whether or not we were blocked in China - we've had visitors from China in the past (and even an enquirer!). The screen did something odd, it blinked but then came back the welcome message that we are not blocked by the Great Firewall of China. However since then... Sitemeter registers us as defunct. Any suggestions?
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
The Poor Clares in Galway have their own website. The interview with the three sisters examines closely the dynamics of their vocations, and gives much food for thought and inspiration to anyone discerning their vocation. The Galway Poor Clares maintain strict enclosure, yet remain a vibrant community, with many young sisters and lots more interested (45 young people turned up to a recent vocations day they ran). They're based in the centre of Galway City, next to the Cathedral, on a piece of land called 'Nun's Island'! They are the praying heart of the city, and many Galwegians regularly call in with an intention that needs prayer.
Friday, March 02, 2007
The Parish Church
Jamie, Johnny, Lisa, Stefano & Tom
After Mass we went for breakfast at a popular cafe near the old Cathedral. It was full, not surprisingly when we saw the menu: the food was incredibly cheap and delicious to boot! I'd heard of Tai Chi, but was surprised by the taste of Chai Tea which Lisa ordered. With its strong cinnamon flavour it is very similar to the Spanish leche preparada althougn served hot rather than chilled.
Cardinal Beaton was hung from the middle window