Thursday, 26 August 2010

A Postcard from Valladolid!

Stephen O'Brien from Arundel & Brighton Diocese talks about his vocation to the priesthood and his first year of training in a Seminary:

Looking back on the last year, I cannot believe how much we managed to do in such a short time! Thirteen people, from several dioceses, set off last September to the Royal English College in Valladolid, knowing neither each other nor much about what we were going into. Now we are all good friends, and most of us are preparing to move on to the next stage of our formation.

The training in Valladolid is designed to give those beginning their training a firm footing for their studies. Academically, Father John, the Vice-Rector, did a fantastic job by taking us through the Catechism, and thus giving us the best possible knowledge of our faith. The Rector, Father Michael, complemented this by preparing us for the challenges which face us as humans. We also, for more practical reasons, studied Spanish!

The Spiritual Director, Father Tony, helped to form our prayer and devotional lives, while we received guidance from Sister Amadeus in parish life. This was enhanced by a month spent on parish placement. This took place for me, not in the Diocese, but in St Annes in Lancashire, and was a delightful time.

We also became steeped in the distinctive Spanish spirituality of the College, through our celebration of College feasts, and a pilgrimage to Seville.

So a good time? Yes, but so much more! I now am ready, together with my fellow “Vallisoletans”, to move on in our studies, prepared for our work, and confirmed in our belief in our vocation.

Stephen is off to Rome shortly to continue his training at the Venerabile English College. His first job will be to learn Italian so he can study at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Good luck and many prayers for the years ahead!

No comments:

Post a Comment