Monday, 24 September 2007

Our Lady of Walsingham

Happy feast of Our Lady of Walsingham!

Mother of God, be our Mother always.
Mother of Men, be our Mother always.
Mother of the Church, be our Mother always.
Mother of the world, be our Mother always.
Mother we need, be our Mother always.

(from the Litany of Our Lady of Walsingham)

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Parish Life!

Both Michael and myself are on our 'extended parish placement' at the moment. In other words we are working in parishes until Christmas, the idea being that living in the presbytery and engaging in pastoral work gives you an idea of what we're letting ourselves into, when God-willing we are ordained.

Michael is in Cambridge and I am at St. Mary's, Woodbridge Rd, Ipswich. Beginning my third week now I have to say that, although early days, it is turning out to be a unique, life giving if not very busy, chapter of my formation, indeed my life.

The community at St Mary's has been very welcoming and the Parish Priest Monsignor Leeming has been most hospitable.

Most of the work to date has been based around the High School, St Albans. From teaching year 7 RE students about the Mass, to giving
talks on the RCIA programme to exercising my ministry as Lector & Acolyte - I'm certainly being kept busy.

Please pray for Michael and Myself at this critical point in our formation for Priestly ministry.

Watch this Space for further updates and reflections!

Friday, 7 September 2007

Start of Term

As Luke and Michael are now on extended parish placement, I have taken on the mantle as a new student of keeping an update on life at seminary. For us first years, term began on September 1st, and for a few days we were introduced to Oscott and the city of Birmingham. On Sunday we had the chance to say Evening Prayer with Archbishop Vincent Nichols in St. Chad's cathedral. The rest of the college returned on Tuesday, when I met my fellow East Anglian Padraig, who is beginning his third year. During the BBQ on Tuesday evening I got to talk to three Vietnamese students who are also joining the first year as students for Birmingham diocese (after having spent some time here already learning English).

Lectures have been underway since yesterday, and the days are beginning to have a regular pattern. Half an hour's meditation in the morning preceded by the Angelus and followed by Morning Prayer, breakfast, lectures, Mass, lunch, free/ study time, Evening Prayer, dinner, Night Prayer and some form of social time. The Pugin chapel is definitely the highlight of the college, done in an ornate and colouful Gothic style, and we have already been introduced to some of the beautiful psalm settings and hymns used in the liturgy here - yesterday we had a go at the solemn tone of the Salve Regina.

On another note, I've been told there's football tomorrow, so I'll see if I can hide the fact that I've got two left feet!