Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Student profile: Henry Whisenant

As the administrator of the blog I have complete control over what is attributed to me, and I get to choose a decent picture which is great!

'I came to SPES already being a stranger in a strange land, coming originally from Texas but moving to England with my family when I was 12. Having just finished studying Literature at University of Durham last year, I heard about SPES, checked out the website, went to an open day and here I am!It seemed to me the perfect way to learn the teachings of the Catechism thoroughly, while at the same time building a daily prayer life and being part of the wider, missionary Church that is so desperately needed in London. I thought a year out spent in this way might also give me time to discern my future path.

During the year I have increasingly appreciated the evangelical aspect of the School, from the Theology of the Body talks on Friday night, to the Nativity Play organised by the Friars of the Renewal before Christmas, to the missions and street evangelisation sessions we have taken part in. For me it is important that we pass the joy of being Catholic on to other people, and I have learned that even Catholics (myself included) need to relearn this joy!

Living in community is a great gift and also a great challenge for me. Hardships crop up time and time again, from clashes over music and how we pray, to long-drawn out discussions about our schedule, to reminders about basic things like punctuality and washing up. But in these I feel like God is stretching me and teaching me that community is not about giving what we have to spare, but giving in times of weakness from my own weakness. I have a lot of fun as well, and as the course draws to a close I realise more and more how much I appreciate the people I spend my time with. You know that you have begun to know one another in community when people buy you socks for your birthday because they've noticed that your own have holes in them!

I know also that I will carry the generosity of the people who live in St. Patrick's with me for years to come. I am deeply grateful to them, and to Fr. Alex, for giving me the opportunity to participate in the life of the parish. May they be rewarded with hundreds of SPES students yet.'


Jane said...

I would very much like to get in touch with Henry Whisenant, who I knew as a baby in Boston, particularly in order to get back in touch with his parents.
Jane Arnold

EA Seminarians said...

Hello Jane,

You can contact me on It would be nice to make your aquaintance again!