Sunday, 22 April 2012

An amazing week of St. John's Gospel, Catholicism, Ordination and Nightfever


This week was a fantastic week for us. Don't get us wrong... all weeks are amazing here at SPES, but truly, this week was extra special! Firstly, we welcomed Fr. Thomas from the Community of St. John (based in Canning Town, London) who shared his love, passion, and wisdom on the Gospel of St. John. Inspired by his community's founder, we looked at how St. John's Gospel brings alive the blossoming, the struggles and the initiatives of an apostolic life through Christ. Sound deep? Well, trust us, it was... and WE LOVED IT! If you've never heard of the cycle of the Lamb, cycle of the Bridegroom, seven modes of presence of Jesus, and His self-effacement during His last week, then you're definitely missing out on some wonderful Truth that would complete you just that little bit more! We've been totally inspired by Fr Thomas, who was a great witness. Even more so for the boys, who visited the St. John community in Canning Town on Thursday.

On Wednesday evening, the Catholicism series launched at St. Patrick's! Over 80 people registered for the first session, small groups were buzzing, and the energy was infectious with over-abounding positivity. Such is the joy of the Lord when people are gathered together to honour the Glory of God! Many people enjoyed the first session and are looking forward to the next session on Wednesday.

On Thursday, as the boys were trekking out to Canning Town (well... more like tubing out to Canning Town) to visit the peace and serenity of the monks' priory, the girls trekked over to the Carmelite convent in Notting Hill. The girls found the nuns very bubbly and beautiful! Since many of the community are discerning their vocations (all on different levels) the nuns provided beautiful witness and inspiration for them. Honestly, if you are discerning your vocation at all, we can't recommend more highly that you visit some convents, monasteries or priories and have a chat with those holy men and women who dedicate their life to praying for others.

Saturday was a seriously packed day, but by God's grace, it was absolutely blessed and anointed! We witnessed the first Ordination in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham of deacons who hadn't previously been Anglican priests. Deacon James Bradley, a friend of some of us students, and Deacon Daniel Lloyd became ministers of Christ on this special day. Some of us really imagined how much the heavens would be rejoicing at that very moment... especially the saints and martyrs of the Reformation, and those in heaven whose lives were so impacted by the effects of the Reformation.

Then lastly, we had Nightfever last night. This wonderful and stunning apostolate from Germany is making headway and crossing the pond to the states, as well as infiltrating mainstream Europe's Catholic Churches. Beginning with Mass and ending in 4 hours of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Nightfever is the occasion when the doors and heart of the Church is open to the world outside. Teams of evangelisers go out onto the nearby streets to invite people to light a candle at the Sanctuary of the Church, and to enjoy the prayerful candlelit atmosphere complete with gorgeous reflective music. 4 teams of musicians help to lead the Holy Hours over the 4 hours in the presence of Christ. This unimposing welcome into the Church means that no matter where people on the streets are at in their faith, they will be greatly impacted by the beauty and peace which smacks one in the face as soon as you cross the threshold of the Church. As something that SPES are now officially involved in, it pleases us to say that Nightfever is the perfect apostolate to draw people in from the world, into a holy and sanctified space, to experience the presence of Christ for the very first time.

Well, we are now off to Wiltshire for a mini-holiday. A time to chill and relax and enjoy each others' presence. After all, we have only 6 weeks of the school left, and that's really starting to become a reality that none of us have quite got our heads and hearts round to accepting just yet!

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