Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Holy Father's Anniversary & Birthday Celebration

I've just come back from a reception at the Throne Room in Archbishop's House, Westminster. Some time ago I'd received an invitation from the Nuncio to attend and I was quite keen to for two reasons. The first is that the reception was given to mark both the second anniversary of Pope Benedict's election and also his eightieth birthday. The second is more mundane: the Blog started after a similar event hosted by the Nuncio last June.
This evening's reception was extremely well attended. I had the impression that there were more than at the summer one which was impressive since many of the ambassadors present had to go on to two further diplomatic events. I did have the impression once again that clergy can be quite timid on these occasions and can seem to spend most of their time at the outer edge of the room. I think it's important to dive into the centre and meet as many people as possible - not in order to 'network' but simply to try to be an encouragement to the lay people present.
It was good to see Southwark very well represented. There were a good number of lay people as well as priests. I was pleased to meet up again with Fr Jeremy Fairhead who has done such a wonderful job at the Oxford chaplaincy. I was also pleased to meet Fr Peter Wilson from the London Chaplaincy. He has quite a few Southwark students because some campuses are both sides of the river. He's invited me over to meet the Southwark men and I hope we will firm up a date soon.

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