Sunday, June 21, 2009

And to Birmingham...

...for the annual summer gathering of the Catholic Union. A most stimulating and useful day. A very good talk by the Chaplain to Birmingham University, drawing inspiration from John Henry Newman's Idea of a University and applying them to challenges facing us today... A tour of the Birmingham Oratory led by Fr Paul Chavasse, with a most interesting talk about Newman, and news that the final decision on his beatification is now with Papa Benedict in Rome...

The Catholic Union was established in the 19th century as a forum for Catholics in public life, through which a strong Christian voice can be brought to the fore in public debate. Current President is Lord Brennan and the Union is active in many fields - recently in Parliament and the media in defence of marriage, family, and the protection of life especially in the face of the threat from euthanasia...today a new development was the arrival at this summer gathering of numbers of young people, drawn via a a new initiative specifically aimed at students. An excellent lunch, lively talk, and much useful networking...I came away with two major new projects on which to work, of which you'll be hearing more on this Blog in due course...

I remember going to my first Catholic Union event back in the 70s. It was at Arundel Castle and seemed very grand. A lot of grown-ups. Today, a different feel - somehow more active, more engaged, a greater sense of urgency. When discussing, eg, the Govt's new Equality Bill, and the threats to Catholic schools, a sense of battles ahead and a quiet determination not to walk away...

1 comment:

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Never heard of it! How was it advertised? Mind you we were having a special Mass at 12 noon in st Philip's chapel to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary..& party afterwards..