Friday, 26 November 2010

This evening...LumiNations

Come along tonight, Friday 26th November 2010 to LumiNations. It is an opportunity to go into the Streets of Leicester Square to engage people in conversation, reach out to them, pray for them and invite them into the Church to meet the living Christ truly present on the altar during Adoration. Bring those we meet joy, hope, peace and sharing God’s love, compassion, and mercy. Meet at Notre Dame de France Church (5 Leicester Place, off of Leicester Square, WC2H 7BX) at 6.45 p.m. and finishing at 10.00 with Night Prayer p.m. Throughout the evening there will be time for social, performances outside on the steps, and refreshments. Hope to see you!!!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Catechism Talk #1: The Father Sends His Son

Thanks to all of you who came on Tuesday to our first Talk, The Father Sends His Son, in our new series on the Catechism. It was lovely to have you with us! We thought it went extremely well and hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! It is fantastic seeing so many eager and enthusiastic people thirsting for knowledge and truth. Fr. Francis spoke with great insight. With his experience of teaching here at SPES for the past five years on the Catechism along with his experience teaching Philosophy at Allen Hall to the Seminarians, it is not surprising he knows the information so well. It was definitely thought provoking and brought about many good questions during the Q & A time. Hope you will be with us this Tuesday, 23 November 2010, for the second talk in the Catechism series: The Mystery of Christ’s Life.

First Talk of our Catechism Talk series

Our First Friday Vigil was very beautiful. It was nice to have so many people gathered to pray together in Honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This coming Tuesday, 16th November 2010, is the start of our New Talk Series on the Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This will help form, shape and ground us in our Faith and in the Truths of the Catholic Church. Through my experience of the lectures on the Catechism in the past, as a former of student, it truly has helped me not only grow in knowledge, but to fall absolutely in love with what the Church teaches. I am very much excited to have with us Fr. Francis Selman, who will be with us throughout this 4 week series. The first talk: The Father Sends His Son starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 8.15 p.m. A light soup supper will be provided at 6.30 p.m. All are welcome to join us.

Friday, 5 November 2010

SAVE THE DATES: New Talks Series This Month:

Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Fr Francis Selman

Tuesday 16 November -

The Father Sends His Son

Tuesday 23 November -

The Mystery of Christ’s Life

Tuesday 30 November -

Christ‘s Passion and Resurrection

Tuesday 7 December -

Son Sends His Holy Spirit

Talk will start at 7 p.m. and end at 8.15 p.m.

Light supper will be provided at 6:30 p.m.

St Patrick’s Church Presbytery

21a Soho Square W1D 4NR

Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road

All are welcome to join us. Feel free to bring a friend! See you there! Edna dos Santos & Deanna Joy Coordinators St. Patrick's Evangelisation School (SPES) 21a Soho Square London W1D 4NR Tel: +44 (0) 0207 434 9965 Email: spes@stpatricksoho.org Blog: www.sohope.blogspot.com
Publish Post

TONIGHT...

Hope you are able to join us for our First Friday Prayer Vigil. Devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Tomorrow...5 November

First Friday Vigils

We will be having Holy Mass celebrated before the Prayer Vigil at 7 pm by Fr. Alex and Fr. Tomasz. Following the Mass there will be a light supper and a bit of a social.

The Vigil will begin at 9 p.m. with Night Prayer and finish Saturday morning at 6 a.m. with Morning Prayer, here at St. Patrick's Presbytery, 21 a Soho Sqaure W1.

Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road

The First Friday of each month is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We will mark this with an overnight prayer vigil to pray for young people, vocations and the School of Evangelisation. Jesus will be at the centre of our prayers, praise, and worship! Throughout the night there will be Adoration, songs, the Rosary, intercessory prayer, and time of silence.

If you are interested and would like to stay the whole night or just one hour please get in touch to let us know what time we can expect you. It would be great to have you with us. Your support is very much needed and appreciated.

Please contact us!

Email: spes@stpatricksoho.org Tel: +44 (0) 0207 434 9965

We look forward to seeing you!

SAVE THE DATE:

Although our series of Talks on Evangelisation have finished for the month, it definitely has not finished our enthusiasm on the wealth of knowledge that was taught. They will be talked about and discussed in many conversations in weeks to come. They gave us much to take in, reflect upon and digest. We really hope all who attended enjoyed them as much as Edna and I did. We are looking forward to what’s to come with our next series of Talks beginning this Month on 16 November on the Catechism. Please stay tuned to our blog for more details of upcoming events, opportunities for evangelising, and talks.

Last Talk of our Evangelisation Series...

Father Emmanuel's talk on the practicalities on how to Evangelise was amazing! Hearing his story and experiences he has had were very empowering and impactful! It was awesome to hear him speak with much freedom and confidence giving much encouragement to have the courage to go there and proclaim the Good News of Christ love to those in our work places, friends, and family we are with everyday. It’s crucial to be attentive to others, lend a listening year, and don’t forget to meet people where they are as Christ did! When you are filled with the Holy Spirit and God’s grace, His love and joy, you want to share it! It is difficult to keep it all for yourself. Just like if you heard news of a new born nephew or have been given a long awaited gift, you would not be able to resist keeping it to yourself. That is what we are called to do as Catholics, to share with others the gift of our faith! Believe God is with you, leading you and guiding you through the power of the Holy Spirit!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

LumiNations

This coming Friday, 29 October 2010, we will be starting LumiNations "Reflect the light to enlighten the nations". This is a monthly outreach in the heart of London. We would like to invite you to come and join us at Notre Dame de France church in Leicester Square for this outreach from 19:30-22:00. With the event we aim to reach out to people – who are largely young, from different cultures, with no Christian background and are visitors in the heart of the West End. Through music and personal conversations – we try to share faith in an entertaining and informal way and we create an opportunity to people to connect with God/faith/the Gospel message as part of their journey towards God. We attempt to catch people’s attention, welcome them, engage in dialogue and also offer them a prayer opportunity, intercession and the prospect of a personal encounter with Christ. There will be music, outreach, social, and prayer! If you have any questions and want to find out more information feel free get in touch.

TONIGHT...Evangelisation Talk!

Next talk is on The Practicalities of how to Evangelise which will be given by Fr. Emmanuel, CFR. We are very blessed and privileged to have him with us. This is the fourth and last talk for this Month completing the series of talks on Evangelisation. The talk will be again on Wednesday, this evening, and will definitely be beneficial to help build up your knowledge, but also your confidence. Starts as always with a light supper at 6:30 pm in the Presbytery. It really would be a lovely opportunity to get to meet you before the lecture begins at 7 pm.

Don't miss out!!! Please bring a friend, ALL are welcome!!! See you tonight!!!!

The next series of lectures will be starting in the coming month.

Stay tuned to our blog to find out what series will be next! Coming this month, November.

Apologetics

The Wednesday evening talk on Apologetics was very empowering and captivating! Father Paul gave us very practical thoughts and insights of what to consider when we are called to explain and defend our faith. Having this wisdom should give us a bit more confidence when giving witness and encountering others.

As it says in 1 Peter 3:15 “Always to be ready to give an account of the hope that is within you”, so let’s go out and share with others that joy that is within each one of us. Let’s not be afraid to tell others our personal testimonies of our journey of faith. You just never know how God wants to use you!

You are more than welcome to join us Friday evenings when we go out into the streets of Soho and put into practice all that is being taught. Please come and support us and lets all be united in prayer with Jesus at our centre.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Just a Reminder...

Tomorrow is the third talk in the series on Evangelisation. Father Paul Keane will be speaking on Apologetics. Come for a light supper at 6:30 pm with talk beginning at 7:00 pm. With time for questions around 8:00 pm. Please join us. You won't be disappointed! Look forward to seeing you! God bless.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Hope to see you this week!

Our Evangelisation Talks are going extremely well with many young, very excited and enthusiastic individuals. They have a hunger and thirst for knowing what the Church teaches and says about Evangelising. It was a real treat to have again with us Mgr. Keith this past Wednesday. It is quite the privilege to have someone as knowledgeable as himself to grace us with all of his wisdom and insight. He has brought a document, Evangelii Nuntiandi, which is many year’s old very much alive. He’s filled with great joy and is so encouraging being in his presence! This coming Wednesday we will have the honour of Father Paul Keane with us who will be speaking on Apologetics and how to handle the different objections people have about the Catholic Church! Come join us as well on Friday evenings at 6:45 pm to put into practice all that is being taught. We will be going out into the streets of Soho. Have courage to give it a try! We are called to evangelise and give witness to the love and joy that we have in our lives and to share it with others! Evangelisation is not an ‘add on’ to our faith, but is essential to it!!! We are in the process of getting things planned and organized for our Advent Mission, so please if you could remember to pray for all that needs to be put into place that would be greatly appreciated! Continue to support the 40 Days for Life campaign through prayer and fasting and giving that witness outside the Abortion clinic. As it states in Matthew 25:40 “Whatever you do for the least of these brethren, you do for me.” Pray for the grace to not be afraid! Life is precious and deserves to be valued and protected! Have faith and trust in God! This past week was the start of First Holy Communion. It is a new opportunity for me to have the privilege to teach the little ones. I am looking forward to this opportunity very much. This is a special time for them in each of their lives, so please pray not only for their Catechesis, Deanna and Magdalene, but for all the Communicants. Pray that they are open to God’s graces and blessings and all that He wants to reveal to them. Thank you for all your support thus far for this year! Have a fabulous week and don’t forget to share the faith. You are in our prayers! God bless!

Friday, 15 October 2010

UK Premiere of the Film Blood Money

Wednesday 27th October 6:30pm Coronet Cinema, Notting Hill, W11 3LB Nearest Tube: Notting Hill
As part of the 40 Days for Life London campaign of prayer, fasting, witness and outreach to end abortion in the UK, we are showing the UK premiere of a stunning and inspirational new documentary. With personal testimonies of women who have had abortions and personal testimonies of abortion clinic staff, the film brings home the reality of abortion and its effects on real people. It ends on a note of hope. The film will be preceeded by a short presentation by Robert Colquhoun, Campaign Director, 40 Days for Life, London. There will be opportunity for discussion after the film
For tickets, call 07832 113614 or email 40daysforlifelondon@gmail.com. You can watch the trailer of this stunning and utterly inspiring film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYaTywSDmls

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Hope you had a wonderful week! Maria, a faithful parishioner of St. Patrick's has passed away. Her funeral will be at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane today, Wednesday, at 1:05 pm. May Maria and all the faithfully departed through the Mercy of God rest in peace. Amen!

Farewell

We sadly have to wish Vincent and Monica farewell. Monica is heading back home very soon to Australia where she will be with her loved ones who are very excited to have her back with them. Vincent is soon to be married to a lovely girl. Thank you for your dedication and commitment throught the years at St. Patrick's. We do wish you all the best for your futures! You will be missed for sure, but it is not goodbye, it is see you later. Know that you will be in our thoughts and prayers. May God bless you both and all your future endeavours abundantly and may our Blessed Mother watch over and protect you always!!!

Talks

The first Talk: Evangelisation – The Challenge in the Modern World by Mgr. Keith Barltrop was fantastic! It was not only engaging, interactive, but gave much food for thought. It’s exciting knowing he will be returning this week on Wednesday, 13th October to continue to share with us the wealth of knowledge he has on this topic. Thank you so much Mgr. Keith for all your insight, it will absolutely go a long way. We hope and pray that it not only gets people thinking about the way they evangelise in their daily life, but may have the courage to witness in their life daily! Please join us for the next talk. Come along and see for yourself exactly what you are missing out on. 6:30 pm for light supper at St. Patrick’s Presbytery with the talk starting promptly at 7 pm. Don’t miss it and bring a friend!

40 Days for Life

There are a couple of ways to take an active role and answer to the call of being witnesses here and now. One way is praying outside the abortion clinic, 108 Whitfield Street at the Mary Stopes Clinic, during the 40 Days for Life Campaign. This is a prayerful peaceful vigil where many are uniting themselves in prayer and fasting together around the world. The campaign is currently taking place in 238 cities. Do not be afraid to stand up for what is right and speak the truth in love! Being that public witness in support of life which God has created so beautifully in the womb is an encouragement to many. Please continue to pray for all men and women contemplating to terminate the life of their unborn baby, for all those working in abortion facilities, for all people who are suffering the affects of abortion and who are in need of healing. Pray that many lives and souls are saved and that there is a respect for all life from the moment of conception to natural death! Thanks be to God for His unconditional love and infinite mercy!

Street Evangelisation

The second way is joining us on Friday evenings to go into the streets of Soho. The evenings begin at 6:45 pm and finishes around 9 pm. This is when we have the opportunity to meet many people and share with others of the joy we have within ourselves and explain to people what we are so happy about and why. It’s not only a time to engage others in conversation, but to shed a little light of Christ’s love on them through a smiling face, a kind gesture or just to be there with a listening ear to those that need it. We also offer them the chance to come to our chapel here at St. Patrick’s to meet the Risen Lord who is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Throughout the evening we will also pray with them then and there or let them know they will be in our prayers as are their intentions. This is not an easy task, but is very much needed! If you desire to come along and feel called to participate, please do! Feel free to give us a ring to find out more.

Pray

Please continue to pray for the life of SPES, for Father Alex, Edna and I coordinating, our outreaches, missions and the work of Evangelisation, the benefactors, friends, and lecturers, the past and future students of the school and for all of our intentions. Thank you for your support especially in prayer. It is much appreciated. God bless you all!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Evangelisation Talks

Please join us for a series of talks on Evangelisation starting with tomorrow!!! All are welcome. There will be 4 talks in the series for the Month of October, every Wednesday!
6th October - Mgr. Keith Barltrop -
Evangelisation - The Challenge of the Modern World
13th October - Mgr. Keith Barltrop -
Evangelisation - Is that Catholic
20th October - Fr. Paul Keane -
Apologetics
27th October - Fr. Emmanuel CFR -
Practicalities - How to Evangelisation
Talk will start at 7 pm.
Light supper will be provided at 6:30 pm.
Venue: St. Patrick's Church Presbytery
21 a Soho Square W1D 4NR
Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road
Come along if you would like to learn more!!! This will help you to become more equipt to be a witness in your daily life. We look forward to seeing you!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Evangelisation

Edna and I are keeping very busy with much to prepare, plan, and organize this Month being dedicated to Evangelisation. Starting this week is the first Talk in our series on Evangelisation. Every Wednesday of this month the evening will begin with a light supper and fellowship at 6:30 pm with the talk starting at 7:00 pm here at St. Patrick’s Presbytery. If you fancy coming along to learn more about Evangelisation, please do come! You will be warmly welcomed with open arms! The schedule is as follow: 6 October: Mgr. Keith Barltrop – “Evangelisation – Challenge In the Modern World”, 13 October: Mgr. Keith Barltrop – “Evangelisation – Is that Catholic?”, 20 October: F. Paul Keane – Apologetics, and 27 October: Fr. Emmanuel CFR – “Practicalities – How to Evangelise?” Hope to see you there!!! Every Friday we will be putting into practice what we are learning through these lectures by going into the streets of Soho overflowing with joy to share with others Christ’s love.

This past Friday was the first of our First Friday Vigils of the year. The First Friday’s of each month is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This will be marked with an overnight prayer vigil praying for young people, vocations and the School of Evangelisation. It was beautiful to have Jesus at the centre of our prayer, praise, and worship! Thanks to all those who came out and took part. Your support is very much needed and appreciated. If this is something that interests you and you would like to get involved please do not hesitate to contact us.

40 Days for Life is well on its way, please continue to pray and fast during this 40 day campaign for an end to abortion. God is smiling on you for your efforts as are the babies!!! If you are able to participate please do! Go to www.40daysforlife.com/London to get involved! If you would like to hear all the amazing stories and testimonies of God’s grace and blessing please take a look at the 40 Days for Life blog: http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=1050.

It was lovely to have our Welcome Mass, this past Friday, on the Feast of St. Therese where we committed ourselves to another Year at SPES as Coordinators. Please keep us and all the intentions of the school in your prayers. God bless and have a wonderful week full of many blessings!

Monday, 27 September 2010

A big welcome back to Edna and Deanna who have teamed up to Co-ordinate SPES this year. We are full of enthusiasm, very eager and excited to begin our journey of SPES together. Even though we are not taking on any new students this year the life of SPES is very much a live and active.

We were off to a very quick start with the visit of the Holy Father last week. We were blessed and privileged to attend the vigil in Hyde Park and the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman. It was a time full of many blessings and graces! We continue to pray and hope for many hearts to be open and receptive to all that was bestowed upon us all during these days.

With our day focused around prayer we are in the middle of getting our Evangelisation team organized. We want to go out not to only proclaim the Good News to others, but to share the love of Christ with them, to be compassionate and caring in not only our words, but in our actions too. It is important to be a light to those who are in darkness especially in this culture of death.

The 40 Days for Life Campaign has started this week as well. This campaign is a peaceful and prayerful vigil taking place from the 22nd of September to the 31st of October. It is a time to be united together through pray and fasting for an end to abortion, a time also for conversion and healing, to support life and those in need. Please go to www.40daysforlife.com/London and get involved. God will reward you because Our Lord is never out done in generosity!

This Thursday we started a nine day Novena to St. Therese of Lisieux. To conclude our Novena, but to also celebrate a brand new year of SPES we will be having a Welcome Mass on 1st of October 2010, the Feast of St. Therese. Mass will begin at 7 pm in the Chapel of St. Patrick’s Presbytery. You are all warmly invited to join us, support us, and celebrate with us on this special day. Hope to see you there! God bless you and may Our Lady keep you! Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to keep you in ours!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Seeing the Pope this Friday

We are excited to welcome the Holy Father to the Diocese of Westminster, only a mile or so from St Patrick's. Groups from St Patrick's will be attending the Youth Vigil at Hyde Park on Saturday, and the Beatification of Cardinal Newman on Sunday near Birmingham. As well as these important events in the life of the Church, the Holy Father will also be addressing British society as part of his State Visit, the first by a pontiff. He will be speaking on Friday evening in Westminster Hall (at Parliament Square) in a speech which is sure to be closely followed. He will be travelling by Popemobile, from Lambeth Palace, 5pm-5:15pm. We would love to show him our support and affection by lining the route. We will meet at 4pm outside the Red Lion pub on Whitehall (near the Cenotaph and Ministry of Defence). This is a short walk from the route itself, and will give us the chance to meet without too many crowds, and then to find a good spot from which to see the Holy Father. If you cannot find us, you can contact Vincent on his mobile on the day. A map here will show you the expected route, and our meeting point. Please bring signs, banners, guitars et cetera and your enthusiasm to show Pope Benedict how welcomed he is in London and Britain. Do invite friends to come and join us. Above all, please keep the visit in your prayers, that it may be a time of grace and conversion for the English Church, and all British society.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

SPES@21st Youth Festival, Medjugorje

Blog from Teresa Vaughan-Spruce (SPES 2007/08) Last week, Edna and I travelled to the 21st Youth Festival held in Medjugorje. There were around 40 000 young people from all over the world there, and Edna and I were lucky enough to be apart of it, representing SPES. It was a truly blessed pilgrimage with lots of powerful testimonies, talks, for example on Theology of the Body, and prayer. The people living in Medjugorje were so welcoming and hospitable. One night, we had a candlelit procession with 40 000 of us, through the tiny streets of Medjugorje. The people living there stood outside their houses holding candles, and gave us drinks of water as we passed. Their driveways were lit up with candles and small shrines to Our Lady that had been made especially for the procession. It really was an unforgettable experience. Edna and I stayed with a lovely young family just outside of the centre; Maria and Dalibor, and their daughters Gabriela, Lana, and Matea who is only four days old! Maria gave birth while we were staying with them, and Dalibor took us both to see Maria and Matea in hospital; Matea was so tiny, beautiful and perfect! It was really special to visit both of them. On our first day in Medugorje, we met up with Aisiling (who graduated from the school this July) who was with a group from Craig Lodge in Scotland, led by Fr Augustine of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Together we climbed up Apparition Hill, praying the different mysteries of the Rosary. When we reached the top of the rocky hill we had time to sit and pray in front of the statue of Our Lady. The place was completely silent, and filled with such a great atmosphere of prayerful peace and calm. I think we could have sat up there for hours! Edna and I had a truly blessed pilgrimage in Medjugorje. We prayed a lot for the past students, and especially for the future of SPES, and future students.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Summer prayer schedule

This is the Presbytery Chapel, arranged in what was the dining room of the parish house. It is open 7am-7pm, Monday-Friday. There is adoration 7am-8am for the intentions of the School of Evangelisation, Morning Prayer at 8am, Mass 12:45, and Evening Prayer at 5:45. Saturday evening Mass is here at 6pm, and Sunday evening at 5pm. Sunday 11am Mass is around the corner at the Chapel of the House of St Barnabas in Mannette Street. Edna and I have been praying the Rosary for the School at 11:45am, but that will stop when we depart for the summer. Furthermore, the chapel is the venue for SOS Prayerline from 7pm-11pm every night, including weekends. Hopefully, you can tell that although the church is closed, we are still very much 'open for prayer'. A lot of that prayer is specifically for the School's work of formation and evangelisation of young people. Please keep all these things in your own prayers.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Where is the church?

If you have visited Soho Square recently, you cannot have failed to notice the scaffolding surrounding St Patrick's church. The church itself is closed to the public; there is a chapel open in the presbytery next door for our parish liturgical life and individual prayer. Many visitors ask "why is the church closed?" or "is it a big building project?" For both of these questions ... judge for yourself from the photo above. It's taken from the sanctuary area, towards the choir gallery at the back of the nave. Underneath the entire nave has been excavated to increase our basement space for parish gatherings, work with the homeless, and the Evangelisation School. SPES will contine to occupy the area underneath the church sanctuary, but with much-improved facilities.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Martyrs of China

Today we celebrated the memoria of Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and companions; martyrs in China . Relations between the Church and the government of the People's Republic of China are slowly but surely improving. We have had three SPES students from China ; please keep them in your prayers.

Cardinal Joseph Zen, Bishop of Hong Kong, visiting SPES in 2006

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

InVocation weekend

Benediction following a Eucharistic procession around the seminary.
I've just got back from a great weekend at InVocation, the national vocational discernment weekend at St Mary's College, Oscott. There were hundreds of young people and religious there (as well as three Archbishops) responding to God's call. The Lord calls us all to holiness, and each to a particular vocation in the Church; the conference encouraged us to seek and follow both callings. There was plenty of prayer time, including adoration through the night, and talks and workshops on different subjects. It was good to meet up with so many friends of SPES, and keep them up to date on everything happening here. Also, I was pleased to talk about SPES to many new people. There was, quite rightly, a lot of emphasis at InVocation on seminary formation and the religious life. As I said to someone at the conference, one of the aims of SPES is to provide a similar formation in the Christian life, to young adults who may have a lay vocation, or are still discerning their vocations.
You can see more photos from the event here. See if you can find the one of my back...
Left: SPES graduate Henry, serving as thurifer for the Feast of St Thomas the Apostle

Friday, 2 July 2010

InVocation 2010

The SPES house is fast emptying post-Graduation. Deanna has just flown home for the summer, to spend time with her family and renew her visa. She will be returning here to coordinate the SPES programme from September. Shi Rui will go home this week to China; we will be sad to see her go, but will keep in touch by prayer and email. We will miss her a lot.

Vincent is going to InVocation 2010, a vocations conference at Oscott College, Birmingham - one of four seminaries in England - expected to attract hundreds of young Catholics discerning their callings from God. Please keep this event in your prayers. We are hoping to meet young people who may be interested in SPES as part of their discernment process, when we open to new students from October 2011.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

SPES 2010-2011

Thank you for your support for Saint Patrick’s Evangelisation School this year, particularly as we have been ‘homeless’ since April as the long-awaited restoration works have begun in our church and basement, forcing us to rely more than ever on the Lord’s providence and guidance.

We have just finished our eighth year of the School, with five young women graduating on 15th June at a Mass celebrated by Bishop Alan Hopes, in Notre Dame de France Church, Leicester Square. It was a wonderful occasion to celebrate the hard work and progress of our students with so many of our friends. Aisling, Christina, Deanna, Lissette and Shi Rui have had an excellent year, journeying with the Lord to strengthen their faith, spreading the Good News, and discerning their vocations.

Our building work has forced us to take stock of our situation, as since April we have been ‘making do’ with a variety of temporary and inadequate facilities as the School has been evicted from its classroom, chapel, offices and dining room. While the students have coped magnificently, it seems that it would not be possible to give the same experience to our students next year as we have always endeavoured to provide in the past. Therefore it is with a heavy heart that we have decided not to run the School as a full-time programme for new students in 2010-2011.

I fully intend, however, that the work that we have been doing – evangelisation, forming young Catholics, being a praying presence in the heart of London – continue here until our refurbishment is complete. It is very important to me that we keep alive the ‘Spirit of SPES’ that the Holy Spirit has created here over the past eight years. I hope that you will take this chance to continue to support the work of SPES as we call upon your gifts. Edna dos Santos (’08) and Deanna Joy (’10) will coordinate all these activities and continue the SPES community life, so please keep in touch with them through the year.

The restored church and new parish centre are on course to be reopened by Archbishop Vincent Nichols on 31st May 2011. Exact details will follow, but I do hope that you can put this date in your diaries now.

God willing, the School should open the doors of its new purpose-built facilities to the next cohort of students in October 2011. Therefore our recruitment process will continue.

I hope that you will continue to support SPES, particularly with your prayers in this time of transition. We keep you in our prayers.

Yours in Christ,

Father Alexander

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Graduation 2010

The Graduation Mass 2010 was a wonderful occasion, with so many friends from the year. Congratulations to Christina, Deanna, Shi Rui, Lissette ande Aisling, on this exciting moment in their ongoing journey with the Lord.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Graduation Mass

To mark the end of the 8th year of SPES the annual Graduation Mass is to be celebrated by Bishop Alan Hopes as our current group of students complete the programme.
Tuesday 15th June, 6pm Mass at Notre Dame de France (on Leicester Place, off Leicester Square)
PLEASE NOTE change of venue as we had originally anticipated going to Farm Street.
You are warmly invited to be with us.
If you plan to be with us please kindly RSVP: spes@stpatricksoho.org or 0207 434 9965
We look forward to seeing all our friends there.
Please pray for Deanna, Aisling, Christina, Lissette and Shi Rui (Linda) as they come to the end of
their time at SPES; as they move forward and continue their discernment.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Day of Fun, Sunday 30 May

We spent a day in Ascot with Dan and Anne Hill, two wonderful friends of the School. Having the day to spend with them truly was a blessing. They shared with us the story of how they got to know and become friends with Mother Teresa and the profound impact she made on them and their children. We enjoyed a day of relaxing, chatting, sitting in the sun and taking in the beautiful gardens with lilacs and rhododendron. We have been spending the majority of our time preparing for our Graduation Mass and getting things ready for Spirit in the City, which begins this Thursday. As the time gets closer to the threeday event, the more excited we become. We are looking forward to the talks, time of prayer, singing, Adoration, reflection, street outreach and live music. By being a witness for Jesus we will not only share our faith with everyone we encounter, but we will also help to show that the Spirit is truly alive in the city. We hope you are able to join us for this fantastic event. Have a blessed-filled and holy
week. God bless!


Friday, 28 May 2010

Mission, Study, and Fun, Sunday 9 May

We are still in excitement after our mission in Scarborough. We really enjoyed applying all the knowledge and experiences from this year into the different ministries. Along with street evangelisation twice a day we were able to put on assemblies for local primary schools, run a few youth nights and contribute to a prayer group for First Communion parents. We were grateful to have the opportunity to go to daily Mass and Holy Hour which gave us the strength we needed to do our mission. Going into the schools and interacting with the students was very enjoyable for us all. The message we brought to the students was “Jesus loves you!” They were challenged to be witnesses to that love, not only in their words, but by their actions too. We were delighted to be able to evangelise in such a beautiful location and were so heartily welcomed by the parish of St. Peter’s. Fr. William Massie, the parish priest, kindly arranged for us to stay with loving families. Their hospitality and generosity was overwhelming. They made sure to send us off each morning with an abundance of support and prayers. The kindness of our host families was an invaluable blessing. Our last day of street evangelisation we had a procession with an icon of Our Lord, as Christina played her guitar we sang songs of praise and worship. Many people were looking on curiously and were very much interested. As we engaged in conversation many hearts were touched. Along with asking if they had any prayer intentions we also offered them Scripture verses and miraculous medals. There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit was present and at work throughout the entire mission. Overall our mission to Scarborough was a huge success and it was humbling to be used to plant the seeds of God’s love. This week we have been working extremely hard to complete our fifth essay on Moral Theology. This section of the Catechism has been very interesting because we are learning the reasons behind the morals we uphold. This knowledge better equips us to witness to our faith and by the grace of God to “always be ready to give an account of the hope that is within us.” (1 Peter 3:15) Next week we will be treated to a short break in the Wiltshire countryside. We will be going with Fr. Alex to the home of his friends, Sarah and Paul. When we return we will be making preparations for our upcoming mission Spirit in the City, which will be held mainly in Leicester Square from 3-5 June. (Mark your diaries!) Throughout this month of Mary we pray that she continue to bless you and your loves ones. Have a wonderful, grace-filled week. God bless

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Pentecost, Sunday 23 May

This week flew by with most of it spent learning and writing about the Ten Commandments. It is sad to think that this year is quickly winding down and we are coming to the end of our journey. This makes us very sad, but excited at the same time. Many of us are still quite undecided as to what the future holds, but we trust that in God's time all will be revealed to us.
We finished the week off with a BBQ in our back garden which was enjoyable. We relaxed and soaked up the sun then attended a Vigil Mass in Balham to celebrate Pentecost, which is the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles. The night was filled with prayer, music, testimonies and Adoration. It was great to see so many young people gathered together giving witness to their faith.

Next week we are looking forward to preparing and publicising for Spirit in the City. On Tuesday we will be going to the home of Dan and Anne Hill for a retreat where they will be speaking to us about marriage and love. It will also be a wonderful opportunity to get to know such great friends of the School. There is also a good-bye party for Anna Stefaniak, a former SPES student. We will be saying farewell and wishing her all the best for the future back home in Poland. We hope you are filled with the Holy Spirit this day and always.

We would like to leave you with a prayer: Father, pour out your Spirit upon your people, and grant us a new vision of your glory, a new experience of your power, a new faithfulness to your service, that your love may grow among us and your Kingdom come. God the Holy Spirit, Comforter and Sanctifier, melt our hearts that we may accept your love. Renew our minds that we may know your truth. Strengthen our wills that we may serve you faithfully. Amen

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Time to relax in the Countryside, Sunday 16 May

This week was a real treat for us all. The countryside of Wiltshire was absolutely amazing, picturesque home, huge garden, and lovely hills covered with yellow blossoms, making it a real getaway. We really enjoyed taking very long walks through the woods. In these walks, we were able to revel in the carpets of bluebells, ivy-covered trees, and to witness God's creativity in nature. The serene environment provided a beautiful backdrop for heartfelt conversations within the community. While watching deer run across the meadow, we reflected on the paths God has led us this year. This trip, so close to the end of our programme, presented us with an opportunity to pause from our active lives and look back in appreciation of God's bounteous blessings throughout the year. Sarah and Paul's generous invitation to their beautiful home was another one of these blessings. They kindly welcomed us into their house and made us feel a part of the family. Thanks to their daughter, Emilie, we never had a dull moment. She energetically engaged us in tennis, badminton, ping pong, and trampolining. A couple courageous girls even braved the frigid swimming pool. We also relished quiet time drinking hot chocolate around the fire place chatting, laughing, reading, and watching films. We were happy to have the family join us during our prayer times. Father Alex celebrated Mass each day in their sunny conservatory. Last night Christina had her German culture night assisted by former German student, Marcus. We indulged in sauerkraut and apple strudel to our hearts content. We also had a yodelling lesson and discovered some of us have a hidden talent. The German atmosphere brought out a fun-filled evening with laughter and camaraderie.

Next week we will be working on our last and final essay on the Ten Commandments. This will complete our course through the Maryvale Institute in Adult Studies of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We also look forward to attending a Vigil in honour of Pentecost. I hope you are all filled the Holy Spirit and share in the outpouring of His gifts. God bless!!!! Pray for us as we continue to pray for you.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Abbotswick House of Prayer Retreat, Sunday 25 April

This week we had a lovely retreat in the countryside of Essex with our Spiritual Director, Fr. Matt. It was just what we needed to escape from the busyness of city life. The countryside and surroundings of the Diocesan House of Prayer in Abbotswick were very beautiful with a calm and extremely peaceful atmosphere. The serene environment was perfect for quiet walks in prayer. Fr. Matt's talks gave us plenty of things to pray about and contemplate. It was great to have the time to reflect upon the year and what it has done for us in our lives spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. He helped us to see how we have grown individually and as a community. Our time of retreat continued when we attended the Youth 2000 retreat, Healing@Ealing. It was a wonderful time to pray, reflect, and socialize. This time of retreats has been an invaluable opportunity to reenergize before our mission in Scargborough this upcoming week. We will be doing street evangelisation during the day and working with local youth ministries in the evenings. SPES is excited to teaming up with Fr. William again. We are looking forward to applying all of the experience and knowledge that we have gained from this year. We are most especially excited to share our love for Jesus Christ to others. Have a week full of graces with lots of love and prayers. God bless!!!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Follow us on Twitter!

Now you can follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SpesSoho . We will be letting all our friends know what we are up to, so you can keep us in prayer.



Sunday, 18 April 2010

Acts of the Apostles and Mission Preparation, Sunday 18 April

This week we had lectures on the Acts of the Apostles given by Fr. Neil Ferguson which was perfect for this time of Easter. It was interesting to learn and hear about the History of the Early Church. We also took time to prepare for our missions in Scarborough and here in London, Spirit in the City. We are looking forward to evangelising within both of these missions. A couple of us managed to take time out to give a helping hand at Open House. It was great having the chance to be there and to interact with all who came. It was nice to be able to share the joy of the season of the Risen Christ with those who are less fortunate with a warm welcome, friendly faces, and delicious food bringing them a bit closer to Christ. It's also been nice having the opportunity to reflect on the scripture during our time in the morning with Lectio Divina. Using scripture to see how God is speaking to us and where the word of God is alive and active in our life.

Next week we will be off to Brentwood for a retreat with our Spiritual Director, Fr. Matt Blake. It will be wonderful to have three days to pray, relax, and to reenergize after a busy Easter Octive. Have a blessed week, may God bless you all!!!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Celebrate Conference, Rejoice Alleluia Christ has Risen!

This week at the Celebrate Conference in Devon was incredible. It was a great place to be to rejoice, give thanks, praise and worship to the Risen Christ. It was certainly a time filled with happiness, joy, and peace in our hearts. It was amazing to be there amongst a couple thousand people from all around the world and of all ages. There were many great workshops with incredible speakers who were full of wisdom and insight that gave us much to contemplate and reflect upon. The atmosphere was positive, uplifting and very energetic which made it quite difficult to be in a bad mood. It was nice to have met so many new people. We also enjoyed the time we had to pray together, giving praise to God with lots of singing, and daily Mass. There was a bit of time for relaxation too where we were able to go out for a walk, jog, and even a swim. It was a wonderful week to have together especially the week after Easter to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection.

This week coming we look forward to getting back into the swing of things at St. Patrick’s with our lectures which now will be at the French Church in Leicester Square, daily prayer of the Divine Office, Rosary, Mass and Adoration. Have a blessed week and enjoy this Mercy Sunday!!! You’ll be in our prayers and please continue to keep us in yours!!!! God bless.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Prayer Vigil, Easter Holy Week

This past week one evening we as a community had an all night vigil praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament for recruits, future students, but also remembering all the past and present students. It is always nice having the opportunity to pray together especially in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the middle of the night where many graces and blessings flow. We also had the amazing opportunity to attend the Chrism Mass at Westminster Cathedral where 250 priest from the dioceses gathered to celebrate mass and to renew their priesthood. It truly was astonishing and beautiful to see so many priest in one place celebrating mass together. We were outside to greet them with friendly faces, but also to thank them for all there hard work they do in serving the Church with posters and prayer cards. The Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Holy Friday and Saturday) was a great time to embrace, be still and reflect upon the Passion of Christ and all that Jesus endured for our sake, a complete self-giving of Himself in order for us to be saved. We not only had the Lord’s Super on Thursday where Christ instituted the Eucharist, but on Friday we did the Stations of the Cross and celebrated the Lord’s Passion praying together. We had the privilege to attend the Passion play in Trafalgar Square which really brought to life Christ passion. Christ death and resurrection gives us much hope and encouragement knowing He loved us so much to lay down His life for us. It was great having the opportunity to get to Confession this week too. The unconditional love and infinite mercy of the Father is unfathomable, but is nice to know that no matter what we have done in the past, God is there waiting with open arms for us to repent and say we are sorry. We also started on Friday a Novena to the Divine Mercy in honor of Mercy Sunday coming up next week.

We are very excited about the week to come because we are heading to Devon to spend a week in the South West of England to help out as stewards at a week long charismatic conference called Celebrate. There we will be meeting all sorts of people from all ages and many different countries. It will be a new experience for many of us, but one we are looking forward to very much!!! We are hoping and praying for sunny weather. Have a blessed week everyone, may God shed His light upon each one of you! God bless and Happy Easter!!!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Celebrations...Our Lady's Yes and a 21st Birthday

We started this week off in prayer with Fr. Angelus Houle and Kate Moir inviting the Holy Spirit into our hearts to become a more active person in our lives. We have been learning about the different Sacraments starting with a lecture on Reconciliation given by Fr. John Edward, another one on Priesthood by Fr. Terence McGuckin, and the last Sacrament we took a closer look at was The Eucharist by Fr. Patrick Doyle. They were not only enjoyable, but also very insightful. We also went to the final profession of Sister Camilla COLW. It was very beautiful and encouraging to see such a young women commit her whole life to the Lord surrendering to His will. Thursday was not only the Feast of the Annunciation where Our Lady gave her yes to the will of God, but also Aisling's 21st birthday. We celebrated together in thanksgiving of Our Lady's Fiat, but also for Aisling being such a huge blessing to our community here at SPES!!! The workshop we had about Catholic Art and learning Gregorian Chant put on by the Association of Catholic Women was very interesting and a lot of fun!

This week will be a very busy one with it being Holy week and and preparing for the Lord's passion. Tuesday will be the Chrism Mass at Westminster Cathedral, Maundy Thursday will be the celebration of the Lord's Super, and Good Friday we will be processing through the streets of Soho doing the Stations of the Cross. The work around the church is well on it's way. Please keep us in your prayers while were in this time of transition and be sure to know you are in ours! God bless and have a wonderful week everyone!!!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Full of Fun

This week we have been learning about the actions of the Holy Spirit. James Parker has given wonderful testimony on same-sex attraction and the God-given purpose of human sexuality. This is a very important topic that we look forward to being able to share with our confused world. Fr Mike Gwinnell offered Mass for the healing of our deceased family members, and Fr Angelus Houle and Camillo (of the Shalom Community) have spoken about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and how we can be more open to allowing His love into our hearts. We enjoyed dinner at Allen Hall seminary (where many past SPES students lived), meeting the brave men studying to serve us as priests. We will certainly keep them in our prayers.

This week, we will enjoy lectures on the Sacraments; and the final profession of Sister Camilla COLW, praying for her as she dedicates her whole life to the Lord’s service. We also benefitted from a workshop on Gregorian Chant, which is “specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, Vatican II). We look forward to enriching our prayers in this way.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

All Yours, Mary


We have recently been visited by Ruth from the Totus 2us website. This is an exciting new website that takes its title from John Paul II's episcopal and papal motto. It means 'all yours', reflecting his dedication of his life to Our Lady. The website is full of great resources, particularly podcasts, on the Christian life. If you look closely you will find reflections from our own Fr Alexander on Our Lady of Lourdes, and Fr Francis on Lent, as well as short testimonies from some of our students. The podcasts can be downloaded via iTunes, or heard straight from the website. Do check it out.

above: John Paul II's coat of arms, inlaid marble in St Peter's Basilica