Friday, August 03, 2007

Faith Movement

A couple of evenings this week have been spent at the annual Summer Session of the Faith Movement, in the lovely surroundings of Woldingham School. Biggest-ever such event, crowds and crowds of cheerful young people, groups chatting in the lovely grounds, sense of energy and activity, sound of young voices praying together. I arrived in time to hear a sparkling talk from Sister Roseanne Reddy of the Sisters of the Gospel of Life - powerful, inspiring, amusing, challenging. This is a new religious order, based in Glasgow and emerging from Cardinal Winning's Pro Life Initiative, and doing good work with women and babies in a spirit of great goodwill and generosity. Sister Roseanne always arrives with a crowd of enthusiastic young Scots who have given their own distinctive stamp to the whole Faith Movement - yesterday evening saw a splendid ceilidh, a vast improvement on the traditional disco. Here, the dancing was lively and continued non-stop until late: a really delightful sight with people quickly getting a grasp of the dance and twirling partners and forming circles and jiggling round the room in terrific style to traditional Scottish music. It was a joy to watch.

Sister Roseanne and Sister Andrea look great in their religious habits, though I sometimes spare a thought for the vision allegedly first discussed at one of the early gatherings of interested young women: tartan veils!

For Jamie and me, it was a time to meet old friends - the talk and laughter greeted us as we approached the (beautiful, ??? vaguely Jacoebean-style) school building with its wide steps leading down to the lawn. In the evening cool children ran about and their giggles and shrieks made a background to the adult chatter - a nice feature of the Faith Movement is the arrival at this summer gathering of young couples who met through the movement and now return with their families for this agreeable get-together. An even more noticeable feature is the large numbers of priests who arrive here - men whose vocation has been directly or indirectly formed with and through the Faith movement, now active in parishes across Britain. And among the young people taking part, an even larger number this year seemed to be training for the priesthood, or just off to the seminary this Autumn.

We stayed until much too late - Jamie had joined in the dancing and both of us were also hugely enjoying the company of young relatives among the attendees. As we left, people were wishing me well for the Sponsored Cycle Ride. One young cycling enthusasist assured me that I ought to be able to do 20 miles in about two and a half hours. Hmmmm.


Anonymous said...

Sounds amazing! Thanks for the write up...

Mulier Fortis said...

Good luck with the sponsored cycle ride... I'll be praying for you!