Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Confirmation class... my local parish last night, and then another one in a nearby parish this morning. It's good to see teenagers coming in good numbers. Last night's group was very lively - much end-of-week exuberance - and I was impressed by the energy and commitment of our young curate, and two seminarian volunteers who were in charge. Fr Richard spoke about the Church: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, using a flip chart to help focus on the various points. There were talks about young saints, with thoughts being directed to choosing a Confirmation name. All the young people were going to go to confession the following week as part of their preparation for Confirmation. A lot of thought and care goes into the whole of the Confirmation programme. My contribution, both at last night's session and this morning's, was to talk about how we got the annual calendar and the round of the Church's seasons, with linked information which always leads on to all sorts of things ranging from names of flowers and origins of old customs to pub signs and place-names and more...along with the bigger information about things like the foundation of Oxford and Cambridge universities and the great London hospitals...being a Catholic isn't a private sort of "add-on" to life, something stitched on at the edges. It means being part of the Church that has shaped our country and our world, and we need to know how much, and on what a deep scale, our country owes to its Christian roots...

This afternoon, a very different audience, a conference organised by the Union of Catholic Mothers. This was in Billingshurst in Sussex, a charming town in one of my favourite parts of England. Sussex was enchanting in spring sunshine. Again, we looked at feasts and seasons, old traditions and customs, and the value of the "domestic church"...

It's exhiliarating to speak to such different groups in one day. Home to mugs of tea and the ironing, phone calls, arrangements for next week. Oh, and sound common sense from Rome on feminist language and baptisms.


Anonymous said...

Some wonderful posts Joanna although I know you've been very busy..

Unknown said...

Mrs. Joanna Bogle,

The demographic winter is coming to Europe.

Aging workforce.

Good information on the subject. Welcome for a visit.
Have a nice day.

Solange Miller