Sunday, 30 November 2008

Notes from Petr

Hello friends!

Today I am gonna tell you about one of our activities, which we do regularly each Thursday. This day we go to visit the community L'Arche. In English it means The Ark.

L Arche is out of London, so we go there by train. On the way we talk or we study a little bit.

In their community lives people with learning disabilities together with their assistants. We simply come and spend with them particular evening.

Last Thursday it was very good evening with them. Everybody was happy and there was lot of laughing, because the people of L Arche had fun and we had fun as well.

People of L'Arche we love you!


Friday, 28 November 2008

Reflections from Charlie

This week, we have in particular been facing the challenges of community life. It was rather topical therefore to receive a talk from Michelle Moran, recently elected President of International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS), and one of the founders of the Sion community, on growth in community. As such, we are beginning to familiarise ourselves with the idea of “myself for the community”.

We were given an intriguing talk by Fr Angelus, of the Franciscan “Friars of the Renewal”, about angels as spiritual beings and their role within God’s kingdom. It was fascinating to discover among other things that there are more angels than human beings; moreover that each of us, from conception, is uniquely assigned a guardian angel!

We are now starting to plan out our Advent mission. Over the next few weeks we will be distributing small gifts to hundreds of people in the parish. We will also be brainstorming other ideas to help as many people as possible to grasp the joy of this season.

Happy Advent to you all!


Monday, 24 November 2008

Meet Marie-Elisabeth, 27

I come from France, I worked in the banking field for 2 years. I choose to come to SPES specifically to deepen my faith, to learn to convey my faith as well as to understand more the roots of catechism. Day by day we learn to give up ourselves and try to live in charity within the community and the parish church with a strong life of prayers. It is demanding but so fruitful.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Cultural Night - USA: We cooked a turkey!

This Saturday we celebrated our First Cultural Night - Thanksgiving (United States). Lola and Desirae, both from Denver, Colorado, prepared a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. We had a full course meal of Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes (yams) with toasted marshmallows on top, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, corn and the most important dish, the dessert, Pumpkin Pie! We also went around the table and each of us said something we were thankful for (a Thanksgiving Day tradition). It was such a lovely evening and Lola and Desirae were so grateful to have shared it with such a wonderful group of people. Brother Basco and Brother Charles of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal joined us along with Fr. Francis our CCC lecturer, Fr. Matthew, and Teresa (SPES student 07-08).

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Meet Marta - 27

Hello SPES enthusiasts! I'm Marta from Warsaw, Poland. I felt like I'd given up a lot to come to SPES this year but now I recognize it was definitely worthwhile! Our God is never outdone with generosity! SPES is so far so good. :) I'm absolutely delighted by our time spent in Open House on Tuesday's and with the L'Arche Community on Thursdays.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Meet Lola- 20

Hello friends of SPES, my names Lola, I'm 20 years old and from Denver, Colorado. I just graduated from Regis Jesuit High School in 2007 and I've just spent a year at Metropolitan State College. I converted to the Catholic faith for many reason when I was 16 and I'm really excited to be here in London at St. Patrick's. So far SPES has been no cake walk, but I'm grateful to have the opportunity to spend more time getting to know our Lord, especially in the Eucharist. It is truly beautiful how much he really does love us and is always seeking us! This year I'm looking forward to all the things we get to experience and understand about our faith! We've done so many cool things in just the few weeks I've been here, we've visited Our Lady of Walsingham, Holy Island and seen Scott Hahn and many other wonderful lectures.

November Retreat

Our retreat began in Durham with the Shogren family. The Shogren's gave us such a wonderful welcome and made us all feel at home. Mr. Shogren (Paul) took us on a walking pilgrimage to the Holy Island. Lola, Charlie, Petr, Peter and Paul all walked it bare foot!! We learned about St. Cuthburt and walked in the foot steps of St. John Boste. We then headed to Hare Street and stayed at the Cardinal's retreat house the former home of Robert H. Benton, author of Lord of the World - a very prophetic piece of work from 1909. We had a tour of Edmund's College and learned about the history of the Catholic Church in England during the time it was illegal to practice our faith. The house on Hare Street even had a "Priest Hole" where priest could hide from authorities. The punishment for being caught was quite horrific - hung, drawn and quartered! Here is a picture of Petr in the "Priest Hole"....!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Meet Petr - 29

Hello Friends! My name is Petr Machacek. I come from the town of Jihlava it is in the beautiful part of the Czech Republic. So far I am really enjoying the experience of street evangelisation, community life and studying the Catechism. I am grateful to God for this intensive and very interesting experience of my life.