We've had an amazingly relaxing week! It began with a lovely retreat out in Whitstable with Fr Stephen. He gave us some inspiring talks to help us prepare for Advent and we took advantage of the beautiful surroundings to go for walks. Trevor and Marcus, the two Australian seminarians, joined us on retreat and we showed them a little of the English seaside – a bit colder than what they are used to. We will update a little more about the retreat and some pictures in a couple of days.
Wednesday we were back at St Patrick’s for a long but most enjoyable day. Trevor and Marcus gave us some music lessons, teaching us some beautiful chants, which hopefully we can put into practice during this year. Wednesday evening saw a lot of cleaning taking place – not only did we have our monthly Church cleaning but Ambrose also had a bath! Thankfully Thursday was another relaxing day with a trip out to Greenwich Park where we had a lovely walk and a picnic before having a look around the Maritime museum.
Last night (Friday) we took part in our first LumiNations night. LumiNations is an event which SPES helps to co-ordinate and takes place at Notre Dame de France, the French Church in Leicester Square. There is Adoration in the Church and some beautiful music on the steps outside the Church. Notre Dame de France, like St Patrick's, is located in a busy area of Central London. With all the noise, bright lights and craziness of a Friday night in Central London we try to be that gentle light to the nations and invite people into the quiet of the Church to meet Jesus. There's also an opportunity to offer some tea, coffee or biscuits to the passers-by or those who stop to listen to the music. We all had a good night and are looking forward to the next one.
Next week will be a quiet week with regards to lectures but there will be lots of work done to prepare for next weekend, which is our Advent Mission weekend– a weekend of Adoration, Prayer, Music, Evangelisation with Hot Chocolate and Mince Pies to prepare for the coming of Our Lord at Christmas. It will be a great opportunity to remind ourselves and others that Advent is a time to prepare and to wait on the Lord's coming. Please keep it in your prayer. More information and details will be uploaded to our blog tomorrow (I hope). On Tuesday we will take a break from the preparations to join Joanna Bogle on another of her Catholic History Walks around London. If you would like to join us we will be leaving from St Patrick's at 1.30pm. There is Mass before at 12.45pm.