Sunday, October 30, 2011

Colloquium for the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy

Ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum habitare fratres in unum "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity
Yesterday and the day before (October 27-28, 2011) were days that will nourish and illumine my priesthood for a long time.  I spent them at the Oratory in Reading, UK, for the first ever Colloquium for the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy.

There were three great speakers, two of whom are bishops of the Church.  Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett spoke about the impact that the confraternity of catholic clergy had on the Church in Australia.  Msgr Andrew Wadsworth spoke about the gift of the new translation of the Roman Missal.  However the highlight of the whole conference was certainly the exhortation preached by Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury.

One comment stood out to me among the rest of the inspiring words and meditations, "The New Evangelization means that bishops and priests first must accept that they need to be newly evangelized and converted before speaking of anyone else."  I went away from his talk wanting to be evangelized, wanting to be holy, wanting to become a saint.

The other powerful gift of this meeting was encountering so many holy priests whose witness has deeply touched my life and showed me how much I am in need of repentance and growth.  Particularly touching were the different times we prayed together, offered the holy sacrifice of the Mass together, and knelt in quiet adoration of the Blessed Sacrament together.  When I heard the sound of the priests singing the ancient Latin hymns of the Church, it was almost as if I could hear that holy harmony of the everlasting hills, the communion of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Here are the photos from flickr:

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