Sunday, July 08, 2012

On Saturday night... weather that could only honestly be described as Extremely Cold, a great crowd of young people carrying candles followed the Blessed Sacrament round the lanes and lawns and woods of Oscott College, singing gloriously and apparently oblivious to any discomfort. At the front of the College, all sank to their knees on the gravel for Benediction. The silence was profound, the young faces glowed in the candlelight, the College's noble facade made a dramatic backdrop to the scene beneath the dark and starless sky. Next morning, an overflowing chapel for Mass, and I squeezed in next to a young Benedictine novice, all crisp white veil and sunny smile, alongside some young Franciscan sisters who grinned a welcome. Around us were seminarians and sisters, students and school-leavers. At the Sign of Peace, the sight and sound of all these young people greeting one another with quiet dignity was extraordinarily moving - no gimmicks, no false displays of bogus friendship, just genuine solidarity and a sense of values shared and forged. After Mass, everyone spilling out on to the lawns where packed lunches were being distributed for the journey home as the InVocation 2012 event slowly and reluctantly drew to its close. Lots and lots of talk and much swapping of emails and contact details, much talk of "next year" and many promises of prayers. Two of the young people with whom I spent time this weekend will be in Religious Orders by next year, another will have completed his first year in seminary, another will be a deacon. InVocation 2012 has been a memorable and inspiring experience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the chapel at Oscott, I hope you saw the small museum they have with all those wonderful vestments and books, going back to pre reformation days