Thursday, 16 February 2012

Just another manic Monday...

Like the fact that Sandringham was in a different time-zone until 1936, so is the case in Oscott. Thursday is Oscott Monday, because Wednesday is our day off. So in Oscottspeak, Tuesday is Friday.

And seminary is full of surprises.

I was a little bleary eyed this morning, so I took a double take as I saw the bishop of Middlesborough and the bishop of Hexham and Newcastle on the sanctuary for Mass.

The I remembered that today, there is a meeting of all the bishops, or their delegates, of the dioceses which send their students to Oscott here today at the invitation of His Grace the Archbishop. Unlike Oscott, Ushaw was a provincial seminary (it was administered by the province of Liverpool, which includes many dioceses), whereas Oscott is a diocesan seminary, and the Archbishop of Birmingham is its sole president. With the greater number of dioceses and congregations using Oscott as 'its seminary', however, it seems fitting now to begin a dialogue about the running and upkeep of the seminary looking through the eyes of the wider Church.

So we are hosting not only the Archbishop of Birmingham, and the bishops of Middlesborough and Hexham and Newcastle, but the Archbishops of Cardiff and Liverpool, the Bishop of Hallam, the Bishop of Northampton, and the Bishop of Chunavia, as well as the vicars General of Salford, Shrewsbury and Leeds, and delegates from Motherwell and Nottingham.

So there will be zucchetti flying all over the place today.

We are also hosting our own administrator, Father David, by happy fault, who is representing the diocese of East Anglia. We only have three seminarians now... keep praying!


Anonymous said...

Sounds just as crazy as when I was at (a different!) Semainary!

Nil Carborundum illegitimi

Joel said...

This is perhaps a rather random question. But does one have to be from the UK to become a priest there? I've been to the UK several times and loved every moment of it. I've been discerning a vocation and while I am applying to my local diocese, It has crossed my mind to inquire about the possibility of going to the UK and serving God there.

EA Seminarians said...

A simple answer to your question, Joel, would be no.

It is difficult to comment on your situation, because I don't know anything about your circumstances.

The ideal is that each Church ordains priests from its own number, but that is not always a practical possibility. The Church expects, however, that those who approach it for priestly formation are imbued in its ecclesial life, i.e., that you live there (even for a short period), or have some connexion with that diocese. There are no hard-and-fast rules about things like this, however, because the Church always needs to respond to pastoral situations on a case-by-case basis.

Often, people who are filled with a holy zeal want to do everything all at once. You want to apply to this or that diocese, but also to another diocese, and discern a vocation to this and that religious order. It's o.k. to be a little intellectually flustered at the moment, but it is best to follow your conscience as best you can. It may be that the Lord, by placing you in your geographical, cultural and temporal situation, that he wants you there for some reason, rather than a place where your emotions might draw you.

I would take this to the Lord in prayer - proper prayer - and speak to someone who both knows you well, and knows the reality of priestly life.

God bless you.

OPL said...

A bit like how weeks start on Thursdays at Cambridge University - except we don't get Wednesday off!