I have just returned from the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy Colloquium, held at the Oratory School in Reading, with about 100 clergy in attendance - twice the number of last year's colloquium. Apart from the opportunity of fraternity ("Convivium" on the schedule whenever there is free time after meals!) and the general atmosphere of hopefulness in support of the Holy Father and the many good things going on in the Church, we were truly inspired and uplifted by the speakers.
Fr Uwe Michael Lang, consultor for the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff and official of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship whose topic was "Fifty Years After Sacrosanctum Concilium: Towards a New Liturgical Movement". Fr Lang asked us to re-asses the whole purpose of the original Liturgical Movement - are the things we are doing expressing more clearly the holy things they signify? In other words, there is nothing wrong with the true principles of the Liturgical Movement and the call to implement them through the Council but has something gone awry in their implementation? (No prizes for guessing the answer.)
Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, O.P. Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" addressed "What is the New Evangelisation and why does it matter?" He's a great and impassioned speaker with an obviously immense and insightful overview of what he speaks about. I must say, I was really very impressed with him.
Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, O.P.
Entertaining and inspiring!
Fr Stephen Langridge, Chairman of the Vocations Directors of England and Wales, gave a presentation that gave us all some hope for Vocations in this country.
Fr Stephen Langridge
Bishop Philip Egan processing in for Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Archbishop Augustine Di Noia celebrated a Mass of Christ the High Priest, at which Mgr Kieth Newton, Head of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, preached, challenging us to remember how much was expected of priests - by Our Lord himself.
Mgr Kieth Newton
Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett of Lismore, Australia, brought greetings from the Australian Confraternity of Clergy, who have been assisting us here in the UK as the model from which we are working.
Due to the long journey home, I had to leave before the final conference, given by Fr Andrew Pinsent on "Science, Grace and Catholic Enlightenment."
The Confraternity in the UK now has about 200 members and as well as this national event each year has local meetings for mutual support and on-going formation and spiritual input throughout the country. I'd encourage any priest to join and come along to something. In Australia it has grown to be a really widespread movement - now counting four bishops drawn from among its members. You can access the UK website here.