It is usual now at the Faith Summer Session to have a newly-ordained priest with us. Such a priest will always be invited to be the celebrant at the Mass on one of the days and give his "first blessing" afterwards. This year, we were all delighted to welcome Fr Sean Riley who has been on the Faith Conferences for several years. Trained at Oscott, Fr Riley was recently ordained for the Archdiocese of Liverpool.
Here is Richard Marsden of the Bashing Secularism blog. He is wearing a Hull City shirt and is proud that they have been promoted to the premiership for the first time in their history.
Being a real print journalist as well as a blogger, he could not do without the daily newspaper. Here, he is holding a copy of yesterday's Times with the front page headline "Archbishop believes gay sex is good as marriage" (Archbishop of Canterbury, that is). Here is the online version of the story.
Fr John Boyle, the South Ashford Priest is pictured here during one of the question sessions:
The Mulier Fortis was also in attendance but there is, as you might expect, no photo to show.
Non-bloggers, Fr Richard Whinder and Fr Chris Basden are also here. Parish commitments limited Fr Whinder's attendance but he drove over several times from his parish. Fr Basden, parish priest of St Bede's, Clapham Park, valiantly drove a minibus with a group from his parish. Clapham Park is well-known in the South of England as the first parish to offer the usus antiquior on a regular basis, alongside the usus recentior as part of the regular schedule of parish Masses.
Another non-blogger is Fr Luiz Ruscillo who has worked closely with Bishop Pat O’Donoghue on the excellent “Fit for Mission? Schools” document which I reported on in January (cf. Lancaster diocese smokes out the secularists.) I hear that there is another document in the “Fit for Mission” series soon to be published and that it will be well worth reading.
Fr Ruscillo is pictured over tea with Marianne Cuthbertson, the director of catechetical formation at the Parish of St Benedict's, Ealing which I visited in March. Marianne works closely with the excellent Maryvale Institute and came over for the day at my suggestion and made the most of the good opportunity for networking.
We had a number of seminarians with us this week. They help out with organising queues for confessions on the Tuesday night when we have about 20 or so priests hearing confessions. They also assist in various other ways as needed and are always generous with their time. They are a great example to the young people and give boys and young men the opportunity to ask about the priestly vocation and life at the Seminary. There were several whom I know from St John's Seminary, Wonersh but also plenty of others from elsewhere:
And here are the priests:
The Sisters of the Gospel of Life were the last to be snapped in the official our photograph session yesterday. They are a great example to the youngsters of the consecrated apostolic life, helping mothers to keep their babies and providing the necessary help for them to resist the temptation to have an abortion. They have a number of young helpers and I pray earnestly that God will call more women to join them in this so necessary apostolate.
The conference was arranged to help young people know and love Jesus Christ, learn more about the Catholic faith from the excellent lectures that were given during the week, celebrate the Sacred Liturgy with devotion and reverence, have fun together and make friends. (We have had many good Catholic marriages over the years and this is a lasting joy to all of us.) Here are just a couple of random photos of the young participants: