...is the seminary for the diocese of Westminster, and stands on the site of St Thomas More's garden in Chelsea. I had taken took a small group of youngsters on a walk there on Friday, but the big day was on Sunday, with our main Catholic History Walk. We were a good crowd, some 60-70 of us, and walked along by the river, with talks on the history as we went (using a microphone, all v. efficient). The excellent sacristan at Holy Redeemer Church stepped in at the start when I was delayed, and showed everyone round the church, and then we set off to see More's statue along the Embankment in the gardens, and to explore Chelsea Old Church (v. nice team of volunteers there who showed us round and were most friendly and informative)...and then we reached the seminary,to a wonderful welcome from the Rector, a delicious tea, and a talk about Cardinal Allen and Douai and an awesome heritage...we met a good number of the current students for the priesthood, and I have to say they are an impressive bunch of men, who divided us into teams and took us round the seminary and told us its history and were a powerful boost to morale. In these days when we seem to hear so much that is gloomy about the Church, it was cheering to see the future: young, dedicated, and committed to a life of service to God. There was a moving and impressive hour of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, culminating in Vespers and Benediction. The seminary invites parish groups to come to these times of Adoration to pray for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life...and it seems to be working!
Next event for your diary: June 20th, the Martyrs' Walk. Starts 1.30pm for 2pm at the Old Bailey - we are gathering in the churchyard of St Sepulchre's-without-Newgate. We'll be walking all the way to Tyburn, so wear comfortable shoes. Bring your rosary. We'll stop at St Anselm and St Cecilia's in Holborn and we'll reach Tyburn in time for Benediction and tea at about 5 o'clock.