Faith Summer Session

Since Monday afternoon, I have been at Woldingham School in Surrey for the Faith Summer Session. This is an annual conference for students and young people – we have about 240 here this week, including about 30 priests and 16 seminarians. Each day, there are two principal lectures, the theme this year being “Male and Female, He Created Them”, looking at the role of the sexes in the plan of God. There is Mass each day, as well as Lauds and Compline in common. One evening there is a Penance Service with individual confessions.

There are plenty of social activities too, sports in the afternoon, or trips out. One evening is given over to entertainments and another to a Ceilidh.

There is always a very good atmosphere. The youngsters have great fun in the company of other Catholics; friendships made at these events are lasting. For the priests and seminarians, there is an opportunity to share experiences, get advice and generally enjoy each other’s company.

Faith is not a traditionalist group as such: the Sacred Liturgy is in the newer form but always celebrated with great reverence; the sermons are always first-rate, too. This year, I will say a private Mass each morning early and then attend the principal Mass in choro to be part of the priestly community and participate in the liturgies.

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