Monday, September 16, 2013

To London

With some of the participants at the Benedict XVI community Reflection Day in London.
I had a very encouraging experience in London last week. I was in Strawberry Hill near Twickenham. Strawberry Hill is home to St Mary's University College, a Catholic third level institue which traditionally has served as a teacher training college but now offers many degress and postgraduate courses. I was there to help lead a reflection day for a group of students from "Benedict XVI House".

Benedict XVI House is a lay community just across the road from the College. It was established in September 2010. The goal of the House is to provide a space for about seven students and a member of staff to follow a life of prayer, study, community and service to the wider St Mary's community.

The house being used by the community previously served as a Presentation Brothers community so we've built up a link with the community.

I was there to facilitate a day of reflection as the academic year approaches. We went to the House of Prayer run by the Sisters of the Christian Retreat in East Molesey. It was a chance for some prayer, discussion, input and an opportunity to come together before the hustle and bustle of term time kicks in.

It was great to witness the faith of the students. It reminded me of the importance of coming together to form faith groups where one can be supported in trying to live out the Christian life. It ain't easy. We need to support one another.

PS Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI visited the College in 2010 during his successful tour of Britain. Take a look at the Big Assembly held at the College....