Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Family Retreat

IMG_9771The St Catherine's Trust Family Retreat was led by Fr Andrew Southwell, the LMS' National Chaplain, and Fr Thomas Crean OP, who is the regional chaplain for the Midlands. As always we had Sung Mass each day, Compline on Friday evening and Vespers and Benediction, and Compline, on Saturday, all sung with the help of the nearly 30 singers on the GCN Weekend Chant Course which ran alongside it. On Saturday the presence of the Rev Mr Scott Tanner, a seminarian with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, made it possible for us to have Solemn Mass. IMG_9817
One of the highlights of the Retreat is always the Procession through the grounds of the school, from the New Chapel to the Old Chapel. It was a Procession of Thanksgiving, beginning with the Re Deum; for the first time (because they are new) we had the LMS banner and the processional statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. The banner had its first outing on the Pilgrimage to Walsingham last August, and the statue at the Oxford Pilgrimage last October. IMG_9828
After the procession there is a break, with tea and a bookstall. This year the stall was supplied by Cenacle Books, although we manned it ourselves, in the sunny Entrance Hall of the schoolIMG_9634
 We have various activities - and spiritual talks - for both older and younger children. Here are the younger ones making Easter baskets.
Which they used for the Easter Egg hunt.

Vidi Aquam
I think the Family Retreat is unique - certainly I'd be very interested to hear of similar events. While unattached adults are very welcome, we make special provision for children by having activities for them to enable the parents to attend the spiritual conferences without distraction; everyone can attend the liturgies, which are sung to the highest standard. Each year it attracts well over 100 people, including a lot of children, and as well as the spirtual side it is a valuable opportunity for like-minded families to meet. This year we had a number of families we have not seen before. We also had a number of people on both the Retreat and the Chant Course who live close enough to join them for the day, without staying the night.

IMG_9837The Oratory School is a wonderful venue; there is plenty of space, and very beautiful grounds. It is well connected, not far from Reading and a few minutes away from Goring and Streatley railway station. we are very fortunate also to have the use of two chapels: having two priests meant that confessions could be heard in the confessional in the Old Chapel while the spiritual conferences took place in the New Chapel.

If you missed it this year, don't miss it in 2013!

More photos.

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