The College welcomed 30 vocations directors and vocations promoters from the dioceses of England and Wales on 8 November 2017 for mass and supper. The vocations directors were in Rome for their annual conference. Photo shows them in the College church after mass with formation staff and student priests of the College.
The 2017 edition of the College's annual journal, The Venerabile, is now available and judging from our students' reactions so far it's well worth the read! Highlights include Lord Alton's reflection on JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, renowned composer Sir James MacMillan's piece which tells of his experience of producing liturgical music in the present age, a student's account of his first encounter with the writing of Elizabeth Jennings and much more. The regulars are also all there, including a pictorial review of the 2016-17 academic year and the Diarists' (yes, there are two this year) edifying and often amusing commentary on the goings-on over the last twelve months. Copies are available to purchase at €15 by post or by calling the College.
Last night was a big night for our new students as they performed in the New Men Show. The evening began with Vespers, followed by refreshments and supper. The evening concluded with the show itself in which the New Men showcased their diverse talents in a series of acts. The New Men Show is a traditional rite of passage by which our "New Men" transform into "First Years", making them fully fledged members of the College community.
Last week, the VEC held a mass in memory of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, former Rector of the Venerable English College and former archbishop of the Diocese of Westminster. Archbishop Paul Gallagher (the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States) presided while Archbishop Arthur Roche (Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship) gave a moving homily. Continuing our tributes to Cardinal Cormac, here is an interview by Philippa Hitchen from Vatican Radio in which the Cardinal talks about his recollections of the College as a student and then a rector, Pope John Paul's visit to the UK in 1982 and his hopes for Pope Francis' pontificate.
On Wednesday 4 October the College was joined by over 50 of the Friends of the Venerabile for Mass and supper. The Friends pray for the College students and provide funding for a series of projects which in recent years have included a car for student use, the resurfacing of the tennis courts at Palazzola and the upholstering of the sofas in the Common Room.
On the sixth and final day of our pilgrimage, we went to Istanbul where we visited St Sophie (Aya Sofya) Museum and the Topkapi Palace. We closed the pilgrimage with a mass at the Church of Santa Maria Draperis which is one of the most ancient Roman Catholic parishes of Istanbul. We thank Canon Mervyn Tower and Mine Gezen for directing and guiding our pilgrimage to Turkey, and Nicholas and Pamela Coote and the Friends of the Venerabile for making the pilgrimage possible.
On the fifth day of our pilgrimage, we visited the most important of the Seven Churches of Revelation: Ephesus, where St Paul lived for some years and where, in 431, the Council of Ephesus honoured Mary with the title Theotokos (God Bearer). We visited the Celcius Library, the Great Theatre, the Basilica of St John and the house where, according to tradition, Mary lived with St John.
Day 4 of our pilgrimage to the Seven Churches of Revelation. We visited the Hierapolis Archaeological Site. In addition to interesting classical ruins, the site offered a thermal Sacred Pool, a view of the spectacular white terraces of Pamukkale, and a museum. Other highlights included the Temple of Apollo, the Theatre and the Martyrium of St Philip.
On Day 3 of our pilgrimage, we visited three of the Seven Churches of Revelation. We started with the site of Thyatira in the town of Akhisar, then to Sardis to see the famous temple of Artemis, the ruins of the Byzantine Church and the Synagogue. The third church was Alasehir in Philadelphia where very few ruins are visible today.
We spent Day 2 of our pilgrimage to the Seven Churches in Pergamum. Travelling via cable car, we visited Acropolis to see the Great Theatre built into the hillside and extended upwards, Temple of Athena, Agora and Altar of Zeus. We also went to see the medical centre of Pergamum, Asclepieum.
A round-up of events at the Venerable English College.