Thursday, 28 February 2008

A day retreat at Ealing Abbey

For our community outing day on Saturday, we went on a day retreat to Ealing Abbey. The day was based on a series of talks given by the director of Maryvale, Fr Paul Watson. He spoke about the Trinity and also Faith in an age of disbelief. During the day, we had time for silent personal prayer and benediction at the end of the day.

Ealing Abbey are having two more Lenten talks before Easter, by Fr Tim Finigan, and also Jennifer Smith & Alina Lubinska - check out Fr Tim's blog for more details:

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Love & Responsiblity Series

St. Patrick's Church is happy to announce a new series of talks for young people titled "Love & Responsibility." The topics of each evening will draw from the teachings of Humanae Vitea as we seek to better our understanding of sexuality, relationships and the gift of life. They will be at St. Patrick's and the first one is Wed. Feb 27 with Fr. Anthony Doe and "Call to Holiness & Communion with the Lord." Things will get started at 6:15pm with a supper and the talk begins at 7pm. The the rest of the talks are scattered throughout the next few months so please pick up a leaflet at St. Pat's with the schedule or for those of you in the facebook realm, you can see our group at the following link:

Please come and join us! Bring a friend!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

The new addition to the household...

Name: Ambrose
King Charles Spaniel
4 months
Sleeping, playing, running up and down the corridor, eating Vatican II documents..
putting his head on top of the heater to keep his ears warm!
Doing his business anywhere outside St Patrick's...

Ambrose was a gift to Fr Alex for his birthday. He is the most beautiful & cuddly little puppy but he definitely keeps us on our toes; he has a stricter schedule than we do! Right now, he is being retrained because he thought it was in the classroom and the corrider that he had to do "the business"...

He also seems to have a taste for the Divine Office!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Visitors from Cambridge

On Friday we were delighted to host some guests from Cambridge. Sr Valery, OP came to visit along with some students from Fisher House, the Catholic chaplaincy in Cambridge.

They had come to find out about our life at the school, particular our approach to street evangelisation. We delivered an informal presentation on what we've learned about evangelisation since coming to SPES and how we try and put it into practice on Friday nights (and all of the rest of the time too really!) I hope to summarise some of what we said in a later post.

Then Sr Valery and the students joined us on the streets to experience street evangelisation first hand!

On Saturday morning we had a leisurely breakfast together and got to chat some more. We'll hopefully be paying a return visit to Cambridge later in the year for one of our community outing days.

An evening at Ealing...

We've just got back from St Benedict's Ealing Abbey where we were invited to speak to the Confirmation candidates. They have a large group of teenagers preparing to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. We were able to put into practice some of what we have learned from Marianne Cuthbertson, who comes to St Patrick's to teach us about Catechesis. Marianne is in charge of Cathechetics at the Parish at Ealing.

Bishop Alan Hopes was also with us and he gave a talk to the young people on the role of a Bishop in the Church. He talked about the Bishop as Apostle, Shepherd and Teacher of the faith.

Then it was our turn to stand up and talk! I spoke a bit about our life at St Patrick's and our efforts to bring Christ to Soho, while the others talked about the role that their faith has played in their life. It seems to be good for teenagers to hear from other young people who have recently gone through similar kinds of struggles to their own. We all brought slightly different slants and focused on different things which hopefully kept things interesting.

It all seemed to go well!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Ampleforth Retreat

On Thursday, Anthony and I went up to Ampleforth to help run a day retreat for the Sixth form at the school. The whole retreat was entitled: Will I Leave God When I Leave School? The day was split up into talks and discussion groups. In the morning, Anthony and I each led a discussion group, with the topic: “Happiness and Holiness”. We looked at the quote from our Holy Father who said, “If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great.” It was really interesting to see what the students made of this, and it led us into a great discussion of what “true happiness” is.

In the afternoon, Anthony and I then gave a talk called “Prayer vs. prayers”. We talked about the importance of prayer in our lives, why we pray and our experiences of prayer. It was a great experience for us to put into practise what we had learnt in our Catechesis lessons with Marianne.