Friday, 9 September 2011

Change and continuity

We have nearly finished the first week of our academic year. Henry, in year 5, is starting '3rd theology', and Ben and I, '1st theology'.

Even those already in the house have been getting used to all the changes at Oscott, which, as you know, has expanded to 59 seminarians this year, as well as 10 residential and 3 non-residential formation staff; the refectory and chapel are very busy and noisy these days!

St Gregory's, Stratford
Last week, for a little 'community bonding', our house groups (we are divided into small cross-house house groups) travelled to different local places to spend some time with each other, and celebrate vespers.

My house group travelled to Stratford-upon-Avon, the hometown of William Shakespeare, and a very quaint English town, if full of rather a lot of tourists! As well as visiting the very fine Anglican church of the Holy Trinity, the burial-place of Shakespeare, as well as boasting a rare pre-reformation stone high altar, we visited the Catholic Church of St Gregory the Great, and there celebrated first vespers of his feast, which was last week.

The following Sunday, Archbishop Longley visited the college overnight, and celebrated solemn second vespers, as well as the community Mass on Monday. Also on that Sunday, Our Lady and the English Martyrs, in Cambridge, was host to the weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, Sunday Worship. Mgr Leeming presided at the first broadcast Mass in the new English translation of the Roman Missal, assisted by the parish choir.

We wouldn't want to over-load you with too much news, so expect more titbits as term progresses!

There are even changes going on in the diocese. Many of the parish moves are happening around now back home in East Anglia, and we shall also be receiving the appointment of a new vocations director very shortly, so let us pray for each other in these transitional weeks. The feast of Our Lady of Walsingham is shortly upon us - always a time to feel a little home-sick!

Collegium Sanctae Mariae de Oscott, MMXI - MMXII

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