Following a Plenary Staff Meeting attended by external professors, the academic achievements of our students in the past year were acknowledged and celebrated during Sunday Mass. Five students, now deacons, who received Bachelor of Theology degrees were congratulated in person. The eight students ordained in the summer were also congratulated by name for achieving the Theological Diploma.
On a beautiful sunny autumn day twenty nine members of the college, staff and students, travelled to the Benedictine Monasteries of Sacro Speco and St Scholastica in Subiaco. An excellent guided tour in both monasteries described the history, art work, significance and spirituality of the place we were in. An informative and enjoyable day was had by all. Click here to see all the photos.
Sixty one years ago today Pope John XXIII came to the Beda to open the new college building. The present community celebrated Mass for the anniversary this morning and later today there will be a reception for invited friends and guests with a buffet supper. We remember especially on this day the students and staff who have passed through the college during that 61 years.
After a prayerful time of Recollection given by Fr John Carlyle at the weekend for the whole house, lectures began this morning. In spite of the rain and a Rome transport strike all was in place for a prompt 9.00am start to the semester. Sensible precautions to protect against Covid are in place but thankfully all classes are 'live' in classrooms. Please keep us all in your prayers as we embark on this year's work.
The new students, together with many returning students, attended the Wednesday Audience of the Holy Father in the Paul VI Audience Hall. Tickets had been obtained for good seats near the front and the Pope came close to our group as he walked about after his address. The college now prepares for University registration and the time of recollection for the opening of year over this weekend.
There have been many opportunities this week to discover Rome and to travel to local places. A walk round central Rome on Wednesday; a day trip to Grottaferrata, Castel Gandolfo and Nemi on Friday; the Catacombs of San Callisto and the Ardeatine caves on Saturday; and Mass in Santa Maria in Trastevere on Sunday. Over 60 photographs of these events can be accessed by clicking the title above.
The opening Mass of the induction for new students took place today in the Basilica St Paul. Of the six students beginning this year, three are resident at the Beda, including one Anglican exchange student, and three are external students resident at other communities in Rome. We prayed for them in the chapel of St Benedict at Mass today and we wish them well as they begin this new stage of their journey.
At Mass in St Paul's Basilica this morning, Cardinal Harvey ordained the five members of Third Year to the Diaconate. Two of the students are from Glasgow Archdiocese, and one each from Liverpool. Melbourne and Argyle and the Isles. We wish them well in their Diaconal placements this summer and on their future vocational paths. Click the pic to see nearly 100 photos of the day. Ad Multos Annos
In spite of restrictions due to Covid, the 2021 Bede's Day was a wonderful celebration. As always, the altar was beautifully decorated by Edna, and Robbie McMahon received the Ministry of Acolyte (postponed from earlier due to illness). We thank all our friends for their good wishes and in return we wish everyone associated with us a very happy feast day. Click the pic for the photos.
Sister Carmel from our FMDM community had the great privilege of proclaiming the second reading of the Papal Mass in St Peter's on Pentecost Sunday. The recording of the Mass is available on the Vatican News YouTube channel. Click the picture above to see the recording. Congratulations to her on giving an excellent clear reading, with no sign of any nerves!
In a short video produced by Philip Bua on the eve of Pentecost, three of those ordained deacon in 2019 reflect on their experiences of being a deacon in a pastoral placement during the pandemic and look back on the past year with the challenges and opportunities it has brought. Visit our Facebook page to see the video or click on the photo above.
At a Mass on 12th May, nine First Year students received the Ministry of Lector in the College Chapel. Two are from Edinburgh Archdiocese and one each from Port-Louis, Portsmouth, Meath, Lancaster, Armagh, Waterford and Lismore, and Ferns. Congratulations to all of them on taking this step on their journey. Our prayers and best wishes go with them. Ad Multos Annos.
At a Mass on 14th April, ten Second Year students received the Ministry of Acolyte in the College Chapel with the Rector presiding. Five are from Dioceses in England and one each from Derry, Goa, Killala, Gboka and Stockholm. Congratulations to all of them on taking this step on their journey. Our prayers and best wishes go with them. ,Ad Multos Annos.
On the Wednesday of Holy Week, 25 students and staff took part in the traditional 7 Churches walk. Fortunately the restrictions in Lazio had been relaxed on Tuesday and after the semi-lockdown of recent weeks it was a relief to be free to walk round the city - albeit in small groups and with masks. Philip Bua wolked futhest, clocking up 29.28 miles in just under seven and half hours. Well done to him and to everyone who took part. Click pic for all photos.
A time of prayerful reflection led by the Rector on the Saturday and Sunday of Palm Sunday got the Beda Holy Week off to a good start. Because of current Covid protocols, the Palm Sunday Mass began with a simple blessing of palms to replace the customary procession through the grounds. As last year, all the Holy Week Services will take place in the College in a simplified form to comply with the current safety measures.
The annual visitation from the committee of bishops who look after the Beda took place via Zoom this week. Archbishop Bernard Longley, Archbishop John Wilson and Bishop Mark O'Toole met with staff and students on Monday and Tuesday. They offered great reassurance to us all and they sincerely hope that next year a visit in person will be possible. We thank them for their enouragement and support and look forward to next year's visit.
The annual college retreats begin tomorrow, marking the start of the second semester. After a successful exam week followed by a leisurely week off, the house assembles again today prior to the retreats. 3rd and 4th years have their canonical pre-ordination retreats in Nemi led by Fr John Carlyle; 1st and 2nd years remain in-house and will be led by Fr Peter Verity. Please keep all our students in your prayers.
In sending greetings for the New Year to the Beda family, Canon Gillespie highlights Mary's example from the Gospel of 1st January. To treasure and ponder the Christmas feasts will be a solid 'centre of gravity' for the months that lie ahead. His full message is below. Photos are from the Beda community Mass of St Thomas Becket on 28th December in the Basilica of San Stefano Rotundo.
In his website message for Christmas, Canon Gillespie urges us, in these difficult times, to keep sight of the hope and vision of the Christmas feasts. Sixteen students, four staff and three FMDM Sisters remain in the college over Christmas while others have returned to their homes and families. The whole community wishes all our friends a Christmas rooted in the Good News which, as the Rector says, will bring much needed joy and warmth into our lives.