Saturday, September 20, 2008
We had a good Seekers' Meeting last night. Numbers were down because many of our regulars are now at seminary but it was nice to have two students from Wonersh join us for the first part of the evening. I already have five applicants for next year and am hoping to pick up a few more before Christmas.
Today I had a meeting in central London and hadn't yet printed or indeed finished the newsletter. The only way to fit my prayer and Office in was to get up early. As happens when you're pressed for time things got complicated. When I started printing the newsletter the machine stopped working. Usually I can fix things when they go wrong but this seemed to be a pretty substantial mechanical fault. In parishes there are always those who adopt the 'kick it 'til it breaks' approach in such cases but I'm not one of them. There is a mechanic we can call on Monday. So having left the parish thinking that I'd wasted two hours preparing a newsletter the people would never see, I was pleasantly surprised to find when I got back that our parish Sister had taken the draft up to Archbishop's House and run it off there!
The meeting took place in the crypt of St Charles Borromeo, Ogle Street and was a follow up to the Youth 2000 retreat at Walsingham. It was the first such meeting I'd attended and, having found my name on a handout, was glad I attended. It was good to catch up with old friends and also to understand better some of the internal workings of Y2K - the premier Catholic evangelisers of young people in England today. Fr Stephen Wang proudly held up a very nice article about Allen Hall from the Universe and pointed out that four of the current seminarians had contact with Youth 2000. Charlie O'Connor, the National Director, had also been doing his homework and was able to tell us that there are currently 69 men and women who had discovered their vocation to priesthood or religious life through Youth 2000 in addition to over thirty marriages.
I was particularly pleased to meet up again with some youngsters thinking of priesthood. This year I met at Walsingham at least six young men thinking about their vocation. I am sure there were many others. It shows that there are plenty of vocations out there. As it says in a well-known vocations video, we have to go out and fish! It takes time and it's hard to balance with a busy parish but it is nevertheless worthwhile.