Thursday, August 06, 2009

A wonderful, wonderful ... at the Faith Movement's Summer Session, packed out with young people (they had to turn some away simply because there wasn't enough accomodation)and bathed in hot sunshine. An excellent talk from Bishop Patrick O'Dononhue, who recieved warm sustained applause following his clear affirmation of Christian teachings centred on the theme of faith, hope, and love.. Lively talk over supper. Young people streaming to the chapel for evening prayer. Young priests and young seminarians. The delightful Sisters of the Gospel of Life who somehow always seem to be joyful and are such great fun to be with...

The event was happening in the magnificent surroundings of Woldingham School, and Auntie was among many day-visitors who arrived and got swept up into the activities...a good number of young families - including several couples who met through the Faith Movement - were picknicking and talking and playing and chatting and laughing on the great lawns, with children running about...young relatives greeted me and I was soon accompanying a three-year old to explore the fabulous grounds: he has just discovered the joys of rolling down a grassy hillside and in this glorious occupation somehow captured the joy of a true summer's day.

We lingered long on the lawn after supper, us middle-aged types and marrieds-with-babies, and while roars of laughter and applause rang out from an evidently hugely successful Talent Show and Concert taking place in the panelled library beyond the mullioned windows, we drank gin-and-tonic and swapped news and cuddled babies. Dusk fell and a great moon shone out. A beautiful statue of the Sacred Heart, arms outstretched, stands illuminated on the lawn, shedding light on us as we talked. It was good to chat to Fr Patrick Burke, visiting from Rome, and to the Treloar family, long-time friends and fellow-campaigners on various issues over the years. As we left, young people were still talking on the terrace in the warm summer night. "The Church is alive, and the Church is young".

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