The Faith group at the John Fisher School continues to thrive under the guidance of the indomitable "Sir Dan of the Blogosphere". Dan acts as a kind of human version of Google Reader, phoning me up regularly with carefully chosen snippets from Rorate Caeli, LifeSite News, Fr Z, NLM, St John's Valdosta and others. He is a great example of a "Silver Surfer" - he was a teacher when I was a boy, and has carried on in a pastoral role at the school since his retirement.
Last evening, I went over to talk to the Faith Group at the school on the subject of "What makes man unique?": the principal thesis being "We have a spiritual and immortal soul [De Fide]". Sadly, Takapuna, the house where priests used to live when there were many teaching at the school, is now boarded up and surrounded by mesh fencing. Nevertheless, the new venue in the Sixth Form Centre is good. One advantage of the new venue is the projector and interactive whiteboard with a live internet connection that actually works. So we could have a look at some blogs and YouTube channels before and after the talk.
The mix of boys was a bit daunting; there were some "Year 7s" (11-12 years old) and a couple of sixth formers (16-18 years old) but one of the healthy characteristics of the school is that the older boys have a good pastoral relationship with the younger ones and so the mix of quick-fire questions from elementary ones about what the soul is to advanced ones involving the relationship to God, free will and Pelagianism, could all be dealt with in due course with nobody getting impatient.
One good indicator of how this school continues to produce vocations (4 currently in seminary) is that the Headmaster, Mark Scully, on a Friday evening, after a week of bureaucracy and day-to-day problems, took the opportunity to come in and then to stay for tea and toast and an informal chat with the sixth formers with the occasional admonition to the younger ones to be careful with the snooker cue.
Recently, in the school newsletter, Mr Scully posted this photograph of one of the boards in the School Hall. Many schools have rugby, football and cricket honours. John Fisher has a board listing those who have been ordained priest or deacon or who have entered religious life. (Click to enlarge - I'm proud to have my name on there!) On the sports front, I should mention the recent glorious victory of the First XV over Whitgift in a match which attracted over 1000 spectators; the local people come along for this as well as parents and friends.
With a live internet connection, a couple of the boys were determined to show me the YouTube video of Potter Puppet Pals in "The Mysterious Ticking Noise". I resisted for a bit but then gave in out of curiosity; it has had over 70 million views which is impressive. I found it quite funny.