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.
On the first day of our pilgrimage to the Seven Churches of Revelation in Turkey, we visited the Church of St Polycarp where we were welcomed by the Archbishop Lorenzo Piretto of Izmir. We also celebrated mass at St John's Cathedral.
As is our great tradition, the VEC academic year ended in a special way with the ordinations of six men to the diaconate by The Right Reverend Terence Drainey of the Diocese of Middlesbrough. The ceremony took place this morning (12 July 2017) in the church of Santa Maria ad Nives at Palazzola. Please pray for our new deacons: Joakim Breding (Stockholm), Tristan Cranfield (Arundel and Brighton), Richard Marsden (Middlesbrough), Francis Murphy (Southwark), Antonio Pineda (Westminster) and Michael Rakowski (Northampton).
Bishop Alan Hopes of the Diocese of East Anglia instituted four of our seminarians to the Ministry of Acolyte today (9 July 2017) in the church of Santa Maria ad Nives at Palazzola. Please pray for our new acolytes: Alexander Balzanella (Westminster), Dominic Jenkinson (Hallam), Matthew King (Portsmouth), and Piotr Wygnanski (East Anglia).
Congratulations to our six new lectors who were instituted today by Bishop Peter Doyle of the Diocese of Northampton. The lectorate mass took place at 11:00 am in the church of Santa Maria ad Nives at Villa Palazzola. The new lectors are Andrew Coy (Northampton), Joshua Dixon (Liverpool), Sean Elliott (Leeds), Alan Wasowski (Leeds), Oliver Welsford (Portsmouth) and Henry Woodhouse (Hallam).
Fr John Flynn celebrated his first Founders' Day as Vice-Rector on Sunday, 21 May 2017. Every year, we celebrate Founders' Day to remember the foundation of our College and our dual tradition of hospitality and forming priests. It is also the day on which we give recognition and thanks to all the organisations and individuals who help the College function efficiently from day to day. As is the tradition, the day was led by the College Vice-Rector. Fr John, who joined the formation staff this year, presided at Mass and formally welcomed and thanked our guests during the festal lunch that followed.
Members of the Roman Association are in Rome this week for their annual general meeting. Yesterday (17 May 2017) the group of VEC alumni celebrated mass and enjoyed supper with current students and members of staff at the College.
Mgr Sean Healy, current chair of the Roman Association, presided at mass. In his homily, he said that he was encouraged to see the current generation of seminarians and that the tradition of training for the priesthood is still very much alive.
After supper, the Roman Association had the opportunity to examine the first volume of the Liber Ruber which lists every student that attends the VEC. In 1577, St Ralph Shewrin, our protomartyr, was the first to sign the Liber Ruber where he is recorded as saying that he was ready "today rather than tomorrow, at a sign from his superiors to go into England for helping of souls."
The Roman Association exists to foster love for alma mater and keep up old College friendships. Members support current students through prayers and substantial donations which have funded major projects such as the refurbishment of student rooms.
A group of around 30 formators from all over the world joined the College community for mass and supper on 3 Mary 2017. The formators are current participants of the Monastic Formators' Programme which aims to provide a deeper appreciation of the monastic tradition and its values among those working in the field of monastic formation. Fr Mark Butlin OSB, associate director of the programme, led the group.
The Venerable English College hosted the staff and students of the Pontifical Irish College on 27 April 2017 for mass and supper. In his speech during the meal, Mgr Philip Whitmore (VEC Rector) formally welcomed his guests and highlighted the friendship and shared history of the two colleges. Mgr Ciaran O'Carroll, Rector of the Pontifical Irish College, thanked and presented the VEC community with a gift afterwards.
A few images from our informal Saint George's Day celebration.
A round-up of events at the Venerable English College.