Monday, 16 April 2007
During this last week we've been away to Celebrate, a Catholic charismatic conference organized by Charles and Sue Whitehead (Charles used to be the head of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal). The week was a combination of daily Mass, talks from speakers national and international, workshops, performances and charismatic prayer sessions. We had a bishop come all the way from Sandhurst, Australia - Bishop Joe Grech - who was a powerful speaker, as well as some non-Catholic speakers who talked on subjects such as prayer and faith. There were a lot of young people at the conference, many who were in communities like our own, such as Sion, Carigma and Animate. We were able to go for free on the condition that we helped steward, a job that meant access to radio headsets and a sense of importance! We also had a chance to present two of the radio shows during the week - for the first time this year Celebrate had its own radio station with a 5 mile radius. Each of us enjoyed something different about the week. Some of us really appreciated the prayer that took place in the evenings after the talks, some of us liked the workshops explaining aspects of charismatic prayer or of faith. I found helpful the talks by Lord Alton (who goes to Celebrate regularly) on living our Catholic faith as citizens in today's world, and John Vaughn-Neil's talks on Mary and prayer. He told us that the Rosary is 'the business' and that we have to 'get stuck into prayer!' We were all quite divided as to the Masses at Celebrate - some of us really found in them a sense of a community alive in the Holy Spirit, and some of us thought that the children's liturgies and incorporation of drama and spontaneous prayer into the Mass was rather over the top. Liturgy is just one of the things that brings out the differences in our group! But we enjoyed the time away together, and apart from being at the conference we had an opportunity for visiting the beach and going horseback riding. Now we're back into the swing of things, looking ahead to some missions this term. This Saturday is the talk on Edith Stein at 3.30 pm in St. Patrick's, so please come along to hear about this remarkable Jewish-atheist-turned-Catholic-martyr!
Posted by Oscott Seminarians at 6:59 pm