Saturday, October 29, 2011

Confraternity of Catholic Clergy: the joy of Bishop Davies

I'm just back from the first Colloquium of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, at the Oratory School in Reading, it was brilliant. About half the 120 members of the CCC managed to turn up.
Mgr Andrew Wadsworth (Director of ICEL) gave a fascinating address on the new translations, revealing some of the backgound and Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett of the Australian Conference of Catholic Clergy interrupted his return journey from the Australian ad Limina visit to be with us, he had lots of encouraging things to say.
But it was Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury who almost had us, well, in tears, actually. He spoke about faith, responding to God's goodness in faith, about priests living according to faith, about prayer and penance, about basic Catholic truths. There was nothing new that he had to say, just a bishop with evident faith, imbued with scriptures, with the lives of the saints. It was wonderful to hear an English bishop so obviously aware of his own weakness and deficiencies and yet so obviously full of Catholic faith and a sense of joy in the Lord and joy in the sacred priesthood, it was infectious.
Several times during his talk I felt tears welling up, other hard bitten priests said they felt same.
The whole two days were incredible, there was lots of time for prayer and lots of time for friendship. I came away with a tremendous sense of hope, especially if Bishop Davies is the type of Bishop who will be appointed in the future but it was the clergy too who gave me a sense of hope, young religious, and priests who have been ordained a few years as well as the old and retired; three priests from my diocese, priests from all over the country, all deeply committed to the Church and the Magisterium. I came away thinking how fortunate I am to be a priest today.
Most of the blogging clergy were there so there should be other accounts and even pictures.
Have a look at Fr Sam's pictures and read Fr Tim's account.

5 comments:

universal doctor said...

God bless our priests, and God bless Bp Davies. The richest blessings in my life have come from such good and holy men.
ad multos annos!

Anthony Radice said...

I too was deeply moved (and at the same venue) when I saw Bishop Mark Davies preach a homily during the Evangelium conference in August. It wasn't just what he said (which, as you say, was solid Catholic teaching about loyalty to the Magisterium and genuine devotion): it was the expression of joy and peace on his face as he spoke. I felt I had encountered a saint.

Gigi said...

"I came away thinking how fortunate I am to be a priest today" - Father Ray, you've seemed despondent in some of your posts at times this year; it's lovely to see this comment. Father Sam's photos are really evocative too.

An honest Catholic said...

"it was the clergy too who gave me a sense of hope ... three priests from my diocese..."

Oh dear, my reaction was, "There were only three priests out of many in the Arundel & Brighton diocese" - still a long way to go.

tommo said...

What a wonderful post. God Bless all our faithful priests. Thank you Father for all your work and witnessing to the faith.