Monday, August 06, 2007

Faith Summer Session 2007

As promised here is Orthfully Catholic's official report of the greatest Catholic Conference.

The People

There were 238 people at the Conference this year, including 20% of the seminarians on England & Wales and Scotland. Those in the know knew who we were straight away so we were introduced to other faithful bloggers such as, the East Anglian Seminarians, Northampton Seminarian and Mulier Fortis . It was great meeting other seminarians and hearing about Faith seminarians of the past who are now priests and meeting seminarians of the future, we met a few men who are joining our seminary in September so hopefully you will meet them when they join Orthfully Catholic.

The Liturgy

As I'm sure you can imagine the Masses were perfect, it was a little difficult finding good hymns as the school hymn book was as bad as the typical parish hymn book but they were their. Some of the traditional hymns had been Politically Corrected but the entire congregation sang the proper words. And yes, the entire congregation (made mainly of teenagers) sang because they weren't expected to do silly actions or sing heresies.
The greatest liturgy was the Reconciliation Service. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed, a penitential Gospel was proclaimed and a homily on the importance of Confession given. Then the invitation for individual confessions was made and the chapel emptied. In my cynicism I thought, 'Here we go, they're all off to their rooms or to muck around outside' but no, they all went to confession.
The final Mass was said by Fr Roger Nesbitt and at the end of Mass he gave a passionate thank you to the priests, religious and seminarians present. He had to struggle to keep the tears back and so did we. It isn't very often Seminarians are thanked for what they are doing for Jesus Christ and His flock. The Seminarians at Orthfully Catholic would like to return their thanks to Fr Nesbitt and all priests who have inspired us and are supporting us in all that we do.

The Talks

All the talks were well done and frankly inspiring. Fr Dominic Rolls' talk was especially important for me because I have never understood the whole Jesus would have come anyway argument and have always proudly proclaimed my Thomistic views because whenever I ask a Scotist why Jesus would have come anyway the answer is always, 'To bring us closer to God.' And I always reply, 'Rubbish' because if we were perfect we would be perfectly close to God, after all did not Adam and Eve not walk in the cool of the evening with the Lord. However, Fr Dominic said we would not be perfectly close to God because to do so we would have to have perfect communication with Him and to do that He would have to take on flesh. Therefore even if sin had not come into the world the Incarnation would still have taken place. Besides, to quote Fr Dominic, 'Even Thomas was a Scotist'.
The most awe-inspiring Talk for me though was Sr Roseann Reddy's. Sr Andrea gave the same talk at the Winter Conference and I wasn't at all convinced by it. I thought the Sisters of the Gospel of Life should not exist and if it didn't die out in their lifetime it would die with them. I even refused to link their blog to this one, despite my brothers' pleading with me. When Sr Roseann spoke about her own journey to pro-life campaigning having started as a pro-choicer I was so incredibly moved that my views changed. I now pray hard for more vocations to the Sisters of the Gospel of Life and have linked their blog. At the end of the talk the priest sitting next to me asked, 'I know you support pro-life but do you do anything active?' And I don't, I support those who do and get others to join them but don't do anything myself. So we at Orthfully Catholic have decided that we are going to put forward a motion at the seminary to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae and mourn the same anniversary of the Abortion Act by founding a Pro-Life initiative, which will include prayer vigils outside the local abortion clinic, counselling women with crisis pregnancies, letter writing campaigns etc. Please, dear readers, pray for this initiative. It will have to go forward for a house vote and sadly not all members of the house will support it so we need a clear majority.

8 comments:

Mae said...

Sr Roseann's talk was indeed very inspiring. Just to point out though- Sr Andrea's talk at the Winter Conference was entitled 'Multiculturalism and the Possibility of Mission' or something similar (the deatils are no longer available on the FAITH site), it wasn't actually about the Initiative. I'm curious though, why were you so opposed in the first place?

Mark said...

Sounds like a very good conference. I promise to come next time; remind me!

My prayers for the vote.

Orthfully Catholic said...

Mae

I know the talk wasn't supposed to be on the initiative but it did include some aspects of the daily work of the Sisters. The reason I was opposed to it was because there didn't seem to be any religious aspect to their religious life, it sounded as though they got up in the morning, went to work, came home, went to bed. There was no description of their prayer life or work for vocations to the community. That along with the fact that they wear no veil simply made me think, 'No wonder you have no vocations'. Basically, like Pharoah, I was hard of heart. I still wish they would adopt the veil but am now praying hard for vocations to their community.

Mae said...

Ah,
HAve you looked at this?

http://gospeloflifesisters.wordpress.com/about-us/

"The one thing that never changes is our commitment to, and desire for, prayer in community. At the heart of each day wherever we are and whatever we do, is Mass, Holy Hour, the Divine Office and Rosary. The times and places may change, the necessity never does."

I'm glad the talk changed your mind. Having been lucky enough to spend time with the Sisters I can attest that prayer, particularly as a community is very much central to everything they do.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify: the sisters do not wear a veil because they have not yet taken any vows, because they can't because you need three stable vocations to found a religious congregation - although they are recognised by the Holy See. There are a couple of vocations in the pipeline, and when the time comes when there are a sufficient amount of sister to establish a congregation, the veil will be taken.

Anonymous said...

They will adopt a veil when the community grows... Until then pray earnestly. The work that they do is life giving, not only for the unborn, but for all those who come into contact with them. Their lives are very much religious lives... Thank God for your conversion of heart and for your prayers for them!

David said...

Actually, once they are canonically recognised as a religious order they will wear a habit. They very much want to wear a habit. I believe that they need just one more member in order to gain that status under canon law.

Sr Andrea gave a talk recently for young Catholics in Glasgow and she spoke about the life of prayer and the striving for personal sanctity in the Community being the most important aspect of their vocation. The Pro-Life work is how that vocation is actually lived out.

But then again - I'm biased as I think they're both terrific women!

Anonymous said...

I think another commentator may be wrong about only being able to wear the veil once vows are taken..as other orders have novices wearing veils and they only take vows at the end of the novitiate. However, I am not an expert on such matters but as so many more orthodox women would only consider joining an order where the veil is worn I hope they wear them as soon as possible. I have only ever been to one profession. That alone (listening to the beautiful words about the meaning of the veil) convinced me of it's great worthiness and attraction.