Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Ordination, Schools Outreach and Jury Service!

Its been a few weeks since we last posted on the Blog. Its been quite eventful. Term finished on the 16th of June with the diaconate Ordinations of Chris Howard, Simon Penhalagan, Andrew Richardson, Sean Riley and Paul Smith. Phillip Harries was ordained last Friday (22nd of June). Please keep them in your prayers.

Immediately prior to the Ordinations Oscott had, what we refer to as Schools Outreach. In effect this is more of a Schools ‘in-reach’ since the schools come to us! This means that everyday for a fortnight 90-120 year six pupils from the Archdiocese of Birmingham come to Oscott, where we break them into groups of about 20 and do catechetical activities with them. This ends with all the Schools coming together for Mass, at the end oft the day. This programme although tiring, is always an incredible blessing, and a great Pastoral initiative of the college. This year seemed no exception, it all went smoothly and the pupils seemed profoundly moved by the experiences they had, particularly through meditative prayer and Holy Mass.

Michael and I finished our degree, both getting a 2:1 from Birmingham University,- we graduate on the 13th July, well I hope to at least,- I’m on Jury Service at the moment at Birmingham Crown Court, here's hoping I finish before my graduation!

Monday, 4 June 2007

St Mary's College pilgrimage to Walsingham

On 31st May, the feast of the Visitation of Our Lady the staff and students of Oscott were blessed in being able to make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, "England's Nazareth". Please excuse anything which might seem a little biased in this post but as I am from East Anglia Our Lady of Walsingham already holds a very dear place in my heart so this pilgrimage with my fellow seminarians and our seminary formators was doubly appreciated.

We left the College at the unseemly hour of 5.30 (picking up Luke in Peterborough on the way) in order to reach Walsingham by 9.30 in order to be able to celebrate Mass in the Slipper Chapel, the high point of the day and I was blessed to be able to serve at the Mass. Here are a few pics:

After Mass the whole community processed with the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham along the Holy Mile to the centre of the village, finishing at the new Church of the Annunciation in the village centre.
Throughout the pilgrimage, at the Mass, in the Rosary during the procession, during Holy Hour in the new Church the intention of the community was the pray for the conversion of England and Wales, for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and to pray for the intentions of our own community.

If you'll forgive a bit of self indulgence this is probably the most pious picture of the back of my head (which someone took without my knowledge) as well being perhps the clearest picture I've managed to acquire of the statue of Our Lady in the Slipper Chapel:

On the way back to the seminary the parish of St Luke in Peterborough provided us with great hospitality, including a fantastic barbecue (as well as celebrating Evening Prayer with us beforehand).
But at the end of the day it all proved just too much for some: