Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Brief break

After our exams and prior to our trip to Walsingham we have been fortunate enough to have a 3 day break from the seminary. It was great to go home and see friends and family. Also, after being in the city for so long it was good to get back to the country side and thanks to my good friend Kate, who took me out for an extremely fattening but wonderfully British cream tea, to see a bit of the beautful Suffolk scenery.

I'm sorry, but it beats Birmingham any day!

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Oscott to Walsingham

On Thursday the 31st of May, Oscott College is making its annual pilgrimage to...of all places Walsingham. For us East Anglians, however, it's more of a return home than a pilgrimage, but Walsingham always promises to a blessed place.

According to college records, it is sixty years this year, since Oscott last travelled as a college to walsingham on pilgrimage. We were the first to celebrate High Mass in the slipper chapel since the reformation, and we donated to the shrine, a processional cross that is still used to this day.

There is something very profound and very important in our pilgrimage. Not only in so far as we (the Seminary) are dedicated to Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, but also their is a sense in which it seems entirely appropriate, right and fitting that the future pastors of the English Church should go to pray for England, Mary's dowry, at the shrine that She instituted. Surely we will be strengthened, encouraged and blessed for our future mission?

I'm Slightly anxious about the return journey home as the college is stopping in at my home parish of, St. Luke's in Peterborough for Vespers and BBQ supper, -my home parish, my family, seminary staff and fellow seminarians- these are worlds that should never collide!

Any way, watch this space for pilgrimage photos!

Wishing all a spirit filled Pentecost!

(Even if I have just celebrated 2nd Vespers..... so sad!)

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Camera boredom

Since acquiring my new camera I've been able to engage in a bit of high-cultured photography (otherwise known as working out how the thing works).

From my "still life" collection:

"Monk with grapes 2007"

(...with grateful thanks to Dom Andrew Berry OSB)

Monday, 21 May 2007

Pro-life prayer campaign

On Sunday afternoon six of us from Oscott had the opportunity to join the last day of the 'Siege of Jericho' campaign which had been organised at a local abortion clinic by a group from the Birmingham Oratory. Each day there had been a procession round the clinic whilst the rosary was prayed and the Blessed Sacrament was carried secretly by one of the priests. Whilst this was happening people in a local Church were praying the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament, it was a real crusade. On Sunday the Blessed Sacrament was carried in a monstrance with incense and banners. It was a very encouraging and hopefully fruitful experience. The ages of those who took part in the procession were very varied and it was so good to see many young people showing their support for the pro-life cause, not to mention praying with such devotion. Let us pray for healing for all those affected by abortion and for an end to this tragedy.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Exams over at last

Rejoice with us! Exams are over...for me and Luke, at least, Padraig has a Greek exam on monday! Anyway, I think a rest is in order and that's exactly what I intend to do, as well as catching up on a bit of reading for leisure. I want to get to know a bit more about the great theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar and I've also acquired a few of Pope Benedict's theological works including his new book, "Jesus of Nazareth". So, plenty of brain material but it's amazing the difference it makes when you know when is going to test you about it afterwards!

After all we've been through I don't think a moment of repose at a coffee shop was over-indulgent...

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Sunday, day of rest and a day of, uhm....revision!

As much as I detest the idea of working.....on a Sunday. The prospect of walking into an oral exam tomorrow with nothing to say other than to spell out the word utilitarianism in an many different accents as humanly possible, is not something I'm terribly looking forward to.

Why is it that some of the most competent of speakers are reduced to an incomprehensible mess at the prospect of having to answer straight forward questions? I think I'll have to become a politician!

So, alas I'll have to 'hit the books' today, despite my puritanical tendencies

So if there are any of you reading this who are taking exams at the moment, my prayers are with you, and if anyone reads this post before 9.00am on Monday the 14th May, send a few prayers in the direction of Michael, Padraig and myself!

God Bless.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Exam day 1

Well, first exam out of the way for Luke and and I in year three. I'm not entirely sure how it went - managed to write a page on the use of the word 'now' in Romans chapter 8 verse 1 though so that must count for something!! Revision continues now. Luke, Padraig and I have an exam on ethical philosophy on monday...which should be fun (??)

I'm kind of excited because I bought a digital camera today, which I've been debating if I should for a long time, hopefully this will mean I'm able to post more photos on here, if I remember to take my camera places with me.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Medjugorje pilgrimage

Sean (a fifth year seminarian) has just given me a CD with some photographs on it of our trip to Medjugorje which we were fortunate enough to be able to go on just after Easter. I was very impressed by the place. I'm not 100% convinced either way whether I believe that the apparitions are taking place or not, it certainly seems very real when you listen to the people who have experienced apparitions. One thing is certain though, it's bringing people to a deeper relationship with Christ and His Blessed Mother. The devotion of the locals and the pilgrims is very edifying; the prayer, the fasting, the joy - it is certainly a radical call to conversion.

Revision week ends

It's no good, I just can't take anymore. We have reached the end of revision week, folks and exams start tomorrow! Luke and I have a Scripture exam tomorrow on the writings of St Paul and I just don't think I can learn any more about the Messianic Pauline 'now'! I don't think Padraig and his year group have an exam tomorrow but their turn will soon come.

Please pray for us!

Monday, 7 May 2007

Welcome to our world

Welcome, viewer, to our new blog. There isn't much on it at the moment and for this we apologise. We hope to use it to keep you informed about what we've been up recently during our time in formation for the priesthood at St Mary's seminary, Oscott. Please do get in touch with us. Above all, please pray for us.