Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another year over

After admitting one man to Candidacy for Holy Orders and two to the Ministry of Acolyte the Academic Year has finally come to an end. We now have a two month break by the end of which we should be ready to take on another year. We are expecting 10 men in September and 5 men are going out to their respective Dioceses for their Extended Pastoral Placement.

Please keep us in your prayers,

God Bless,

The Seminarians

Marthe Robin: Patron of Orthfully Catholic

During the Retreat we were introduced to a veru holy woman; Marthe Robin, foundress of the Foyers de Charite. Born on 13th March 1902, the youngest child of a French peasant family she lived a normal childhood until 1918 when she was taken by an unknown illness that slowly took over her body until she was left completely paralysed, blind and unable to eat or drink - between 1926 and 1981 her only sustenance was the Eucharist, which she received once a week after confession to her Spiritual Director Pere Finet. She died on 6th February 1981 and her funeral was attended by 6 Bishops, over 200 priests and thousands of people.

We have decided to make her Patron of Orthfully Catholic despite the fact that she has no Sacred Title because she loved the priesthood, she said the Foyers could never work without priests; she is a model of the Theology of the end of life, if she had become ill today doctors would simply have given up on her and done all they could to end her life; she is a deeply holy person, she received regular visions of our Blessed Lord and Lady, she wrote incfredible prayers and in 1930 she received the stigmata sharing in the Passion of Our Lord every Friday for the rest of her life - she was in intense pain from Thursday evening until 3pm on Friday when she went into a coma until Sunday morning. She would receive visitors until she lost the ability to speak in 1980 and created many vocations to the priesthood simply by saying, 'God wants you to be a priest'.

We at Orthfully Catholic are praying hard for her Beatification and Canonisation and for a Foyer to be founded in the UK. Please join us in those prayers.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Update on life

The Seminarians are now returning from our Pastoral Placements and are preparing to go on retreat for the next week, which means there will be a significant amount of silence in blogland.

Please keep us all in your prayers.

God Bless,

The Seminarians

Thursday, June 12, 2008

HLI pledge of assent to Humanae Vitae

We have just read a post on The Hermeneutic of Continuity and felt it important to link to it and ask all Clergy and Seminarians who read this blog to download the pdf file, sign the pledge and send it off.

Pontifical High Mass

Don't forget Cardinal Hoyos will be celebrating Pontifical High Mass at Westminster Cathedral this Saturday at 2:00.

The Dean of Students is being ordained priest that day in another Diocese so no one from this Seminary will be able to attend this historic occasion but please pray for him and offer up your Communion for him if you do attend - its a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Reality Seminarians

With the final of The Apprentice declaring Lee McQueen the winner last night we got to thinking about why Seminarians are so interested in reality TV shows. You may remember our excitement at the beginning of the year over X-Factor, since then we have been watching every episode of 'I'd do anything', 'Britains's got Talent' and 'The Apprentice' sharing the joys and the sorrows of each and every contestant and praying hard for our particular favourites to win. But why?

The shows provide a perfect opportunity for us to share an hour or two each week with eachother, debating who's going to be fired this week or who will be trying to hit that vibrato in 'He needs me'. We all suddenly become experts in professional singing and business enterprise when we point out people's mistakes and shout phrases like, 'Muslims don't sell Kosher chicken idiot' and 'Diction dear' at the television.

One theory is that these people are on the same kind of journey as we are. They are ordinary people trying to enter into an industry that will catapult them into a world of fame and fortune. We are ordinary men who believe we have been called by our Creator to go into the world and make Him known to all His creation. Seminary and reality TV both take an ordinary person with an, as yet, unrecognised talent and form him/her to become extraordinary person with a highly acclaimed talent.

We have no interest whatsoever in shows such as Big Brother, which debase humanity turning God's most significant creatures into mere animals, because that is the complete opposite to Priestly Formation and the pastoral care of a priest.

It is an interesting thought and we look forward to hearing what you think about this phenomenon - particularly from Seminarians in other Seminaries.

God Bless,

The Seminarians

Monday, June 02, 2008

An Extraordinary Weekend

Those of us still at the seminary over the next few weeks are given a Free Weekend every weekend, so those of us who are son inclined go TLM Hunting.

On Saturday I went to London for the CIEL UK Annual Conference. The day began with a beautiful Solemn High Mass for the Titular Feast of the Immaculate Heart in the Basilica said by the Provost. As I used to live in the parish I went to visit a couple of places I haven't seen since entering Seminary. Then in the afternoon I attended the Conference given by Rev Dr Alcuin Reid, a defence against the accusation that Pope Benedict XVI is not a trained liturgist. A marvellous and inspiring talk. The day ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the Little Oratory.

Yesterday, as there were only three of us in the house we decided to go to Mass at Farnborough Abbey. When we got there we discovered the Abbot was away and were a little disappointed becasue usually on these occasions Mass is said in English. As we were preparing for Mass a young man in cassock and collar was darting about the Santuary and, thinking he was a Seminarian, we began kicking ourselves for not taking ours along. However, as the organ piped up the 'Seminarian' processed in wearing a Gothic green chasuble and maniple - he was a priest. He and the servers bowed to the altar and went over to the Quire for the Asperges. After that he went back to the altar with the servers who knelt down and began the old Confiteor. The three of us gasped with delight as we realised we were about to be treated to Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The priest turned out to be from the Society of St John visiting from Rome and we thanked him afterwards for Mass and particularly for his beautiful homily on the Introit of the Mass. After Mass we went to the nearest restaurant for a slap up lunch and a celebratory bottle of champagne - I know, the lives we Seminarians lead today!

What an Extraordinary weekend.

God is Good!