Thursday, February 23, 2012

Catholics on BBC4

I enjoyed the first of the programmes on Catholics tonight on BBC4. I thought it was a very good insight into seminary life and was rather impressed by life at Allan Hall. I only wish Ushaw had been something like that. If you missed it, it will be on the iplayer here for three weeks.

Thos without access to the iplayer can find some of the programme content here on the bBC news magazine site.


English Pastor said...

Hmmm... a square deal table for an altar...on a single very insignificant single step....candle stubs in mini candleholders as a minimalist nod towards Pope Benedict’s example of reform; a chapel of comfy chairs with no kneelers; Our Lady’s image moved in and out of chapel for devotions...less silent and prayerful than expected with a more academic approach...psychological testing which remains somewhat subjective in its conclusions...a seminarian apparently replacing the homily in a parish setting in disregard of Redemptionis Sacramentum? I cannot say that I was uplifted by this programme at all. In fact, it depressed me and left me thinking the UK has not advanced at all since I entered seminary in the late 1980’s.

Fr Michael Brown said...

I agree not everything was perfect but it was a lot better than my time in seminary. It was good to see Latin lessons, practical advice in pastoral classes,clerical dress, the OF celebrated with dignity and a new priest elevating the host and chalice at the consecration,and a feeling that they knew what a priest is for and that he is more than an animator of the laity as we were told. Was the semiarian replacing the sermon? I assumed he was speaking at the end of Mass and he at least was dressed as a seminarian which would have been frowned on in earlier decades. I thought the seminarians ere good and was impressed by the staff,a couple of whom I recognsed.

Sixupman said...

No kneelers, my initial impression.

I recall a final year seminarian preaching at a church in the Clifton Diocese, wherein he defended that status of the ordained priesthood against that of the laity. I was constrained to pass on my congratulations to him via the parish priest. I wondered how he had slipped through the seminary net. Mind you he did preach at a TLM!.

Rubricarius said...

Thank you for the 'heads up' about the programme. I watched it on i-player and can only assume Ushaw must have been very bad.

I did like the comment from the seminarian about the chasuble he had bought on a visit to Rome and how Roman chasubles were "like a bib."

I will look forward to the next episode.

Richard Collins said...

Sorry Father but I thought it unremittingly bland and shallow as did my wife who is a much more charitable soul than me.
I would expect young men after 5 or 6 years of teaching to be eloquent and confident - as opposed to diffident.

worcester fragment said...

English Pastor... don't rush in to criticise. The chapel at Allen Hall is soon to be renovated. The current altar was in the centre of the chapel for some years with chairs on all sides - the altar has been moveing increasingly eastward in recent years. There have been several steps forward in the restoration of the dignity of the chapel and these are continuing.... step by step.
The Seminarian was making the annual appeal for the Priests Training Fund which takes place at the end of Mass at the time of the notices. Not "in disregard of Redemptionis Sacramentum".
We are priveledged in the Archdiocese of Westminster to have an increasing number of Seminarians, and Allen Hall has it's highest number of students for over a decade (not all Westminster).There is a lot to be thankful for.

motuproprio said...

Like the curate's egg, the programme was good in parts. The Seminary Rector is taking a brick by brick approach to re-Catholicising Allen Hall, and the quality of the new young priests that are now being ordained is increasingly impressive. The influence of the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation and religious students from communities such as the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal should not be underestimated.

Sadie Vacantist said...

These seminarians looked and sounded like miserable old men. None of them smiled, laughed, jokd or exuded any joy.