Thursday, 24 October 2013
A great day with the Confraternity
Fr Frank Marsden, Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett and Fr Jerome Bertram yesterday gave us food for thought at the Autumn Colloquium of the British Province of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. At the last minute the Colloquium had to be moved from the Oratory School at Reading and the Fathers of the Oxford Oratory kindly made their facilities available, including the well-appointed and recently established Hall and their beautiful Church of St Aloysius.
The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Jarrett (Bishop of Lismore, Australia): modern rite ad orientem in English but with Propers and Ordinary sung in Latin with Gregorian chant. Later in the day, there was a time of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by Benediction. Meals were taken at Browns restaurant next door thanks to a special "deal" with a set menu - it is rather posher than I remember it as an undergraduate.
There were about 60 clergy present during the day. Here is a group photo of some of them (you can never get a group of clergy all together at one time!)
At a mercifully brief and efficiently conducted business meeting a revised Constitution was approved and Officers and Trustees elected. A significant change to the Constitution allows for Deacons (permanent or transitory) and seminarians to be members of the Confraternity. If you are a cleric and agree with the objects of the Confraternity, I do encourage you to join and to come to the meetings either nationally or in the various local groups. They are a great opportunity to meet with other clergy, and to support each other in our life and pastoral work.
There is also a provision for lay people to become Friends of the Confraternity and this will be developed in due course.