Wednesday, April 10, 2013
More about the Retreat and Chant Course
Our Retreat Giver this year was Fr John Hunwicke of the Ordinariate. He was brilliant - as I knew he would be. He was also rather heroic in taking it on, since he has not fully recovered from a very nasty broken shoulder.
Fr Guy Nicholls of the Birmingham Oratorty, and Scott Tanner, a seminarian of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, joined us on Saturday, making Solemn Mass possible. Fr Matthew Goddard of the Fraternity of St Peter also came over (from Reading) to hear confessions one afternoon.
Among the events of the Retreat, we always have a Marian procession; this goes from the Oratory School's main chapel to the smaller 'old' chapel. After this we have tea; St Philip's Books, the well-known Oxford Catholic bookshop (second hand and new), had a stall.
The liturgy of the weekend included Mass, Sung or Solemn, plus Compline on the two evenings, and Vespers and Benediction on Saturday. The presence of the 25 or so singers on the Chant course at these liturgies meant that these were all accompanied with great confidence and gusto. I'll do another post on the chant.
The special point of the Retreat is that, as parents can only attend a spiritual talk if someone is looking after their children, we have activities for the children, both 'older' and 'younger' (the dividing line is about 12). The culmination of the younger children's activities is an Easter Egg hunt on Sunday morning. The activities include talks for the older children, including (this year) one from Scott Tanner ICKSP about seminary, and one from me about miracles, as well as fun creative things for the younger ones - they cut out and coloured in some very cleverly designed vestments this year, which could be put onto a cut-out priest. We are very grateful to the volunteers who looked after the children in these sessions.
This is bit of real Catholic life and community, spiritual and social.