Monday, 24 September 2007

I'm sorry but I had to laugh...

So we're now having the bare-faced audacity to atempt to train foreign clergy to adapt to British society when the majority of Our home-bred priests are distinctly 'out of sorts' with their own communities - refusing to consider pastoral visiting; and precluding the confessional to a few minutes before a vigil mass...Shouldn't we be training our own priests first ?

Overseas priests offered course for life in England and Wales
A new course specifically for foreign priests wishing to serve the Catholic Church in England and Wales has just started at the northern seminary of Ushaw in Durham.
The three week induction programme, endorsed and recommended by the bishops of England and Wales, aims to provide the priests with practical advice and information that will enable them to integrate into UK life and make effective use of their pastoral skills in an alien culture.
As well as input on the cultural and historical context of the English Catholic Church, students will get the opportunity to experience life in a parish, meeting with parishioners and joining in liturgical celebrations. The course will seek to dispel unhelpful notions of Britishness, such as maids cycling across village greens, warm beer and drinking tea to address questions of contemporary cultural identity and complex social issues in a modern liberal democracy. The aim will be togive the visiting priests a practical understanding of what life is like for priests ministering in the UK's diverse and changing society.
Students will look at issues affecting the Church in England and Wales in the third millennium - power, authority, the role of women, lay/diaconal ministry, ecumenism and much more. This is important preparation for future pastoral work and liturgical celebrations.
Top-up English classes will also be available, but students will need to have achieved a certain level of proficiency in spoken and written before enrolment. This year's course has attracted students from Eastern Europe, India and Africa.
The Rector of Ushaw Seminary, Fr Terry Drainey said:
"Having spent 18 years of my adult life living and working in Spain and Kenya, I have been immensely grateful to all those who helped me become aware of the rich differences of other societies and cultures. This is especially true in the sensitive area of pastoral care and ministry."
Fr John Dale, National Director of Pontifical Mission Societies added: "There has always been an exchange of clergy between countries; this year we celebrate 50 years of Fidei Donum - priests from these islands sharing their ministry in Africa and Latin America. This exciting new course will help clergy become confident and effective pastors in England and Wales. In turn, we will be reminded that we belong to a universal Church which is alive and full of hope."


WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

"power/authority, the role of women..."

Phil said...

Perhaps there should be a collection plate that has a sign saying "cash only".

How do we stop the rot where pastoral visiting and adequate Confession time is concerned? It's my experience that if you ask a priest round here for a visit, you have a knock on the door from an Extraordinary Minister instead.

Anonymous said...

You seem to have a thing about pastoral visiting.

Apart from taking Holy Communion to the sick and housebound etc., in two different parishes over 15 years I've tried several times to systematically visit my parishioners . After a few weeks of mostly fruitless knocking on doors I have given up in frustration.
I've offered to visit people and bless their homes - only 5 asked for it. Even my requests to visit to prepare the way for baptisms, funerals etc. are being increasingly shunned.

What do you advise?

On the side of the angels said...

pp - will answer this in a new posting...