Tuesday, 6 January 2009
A belated Happy New Year to all. I had a nice time at the Youth 2000 retreat, having recharged my spiritual batteries for the year ahead! We seminarians are now on a three week placement before we go back to Oscott. I'm in a little town in Suffolk called Haverhill, where the parish is situated in a large and rather labyrinthine housing estate. It is a very different parish from my last placement in Peterborough, being much smaller for a start. The community seems very friendly and close-knit. I'll be doing a bit of work in the parish primary school, but the main thing will be visits to the local prison, which is one of the parish priest's main ministries. Also, at the moment there's a big push to build a new church, because the present one is too small and is little more than a makeshift hut. Still, I find it easy to pray there, and I'm drawn to the large, beautiful wooden crucifix that hangs over the tabernacle. It makes me think of the crucifix in the Don Camillo books/ movies (which Fr Tim Finnegan posted about some time back on his blog)... Unlike Don Camillo though, who secretly takes the hefty crucifix with him when he leaves the village, I don't think I'll be carrying this one back to Bury St Edmunds!