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.