The theme for Christian Unity Week this year is DO GOOD; SEEK JUSTICE (Isaiah 1:12-18). At the Beda we highlighted the theme linked to Day 8 of the ecumenical prayer cycle ‘The Justice that restores Communion’, using Ephesians 2:13-22 and Luke 18:1-8 as the other inspirational passages from Scripture. Our celebration took place on the evening of the Saturday in the Unity Octave. We were joined by many guests and members from other Christian communities in Rome. Fr Martin Brown osb, an official at the Dicastery for Christian Unity (Holy See) preached the homily. He has studied in Durham where he found a great affinity for St Bede. As a shared Symbolic Action we crafted sprigs of olive branch into a mesh-woven cross. The olive tree takes more than twenty years to produce fruit - indeed the one in the Beda orchard has only fruited in the last couple of years - and its branches betoken a climate of friendship in which that growth can happen. After the Service in church we joined our guests for a delightful Buffet Supper in the student common room.
The College brought the first term to an end on Friday 16 December at 18.15 by celebrating an Advent Service with the theme of Via Lucis. This enabled us to process between the three main gathering spaces in the College. We started in the Common Room with the Psalms of evening prayer, Readings and Advent songs. From there we processed into the corridor and from there to the Chapel. During exposition we heard five single voices singing carols in different languages, sang the Magnificat and received the blessing. Finally, we processed to the Dining Room where we shared intercessions, blessed food for a festive supper, and sang the Alma. Several guests attended.
Nine members of Year 3 were called to Candidacy (becoming a named ‘candidate’ for ordination to the priesthood) by Bishop Paul Tighe (Secretary at the Dicastery for Culture and Education) on Wednesday 7 December 2022, at 18.00. The core of the Rite is quite short. Bishop: In response to the Lord’s call, do you resolve to complete your preparation so that in due time through Holy Orders you will be prepared to assume ministry within the Church? Candidates: I do. Bishop: Do you resolve to prepare yourselves in mind and spirit to give faithful service to Christ the Lord and his Body, the Church? Candidates: I do. Bishop: The Church receives your declaration with joy. May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment. All: Amen. We continued the celebration into supper at 19,30
Year 1 have had a few days at Palazzola, for a period of recollection and reflection. The resouces for the weekend were the members of the group themselves and their experience – so far - of ‘being at seminary’. Everyone was savouring a first taste of the unique setting of the convento Pallazola. The group photo shows the Library as the convivial setting for the group meetings.
On Sunday 6 November the College gathered to give thanks for achievements of the previous academic year. All the teaching faculty – internal and external professors – met at 10.00 for one of their bi-annual meetings. This was followed by Mass at 11,30. At the end of mass individual students, who had received academic awards in June through St Mary’s University Twickenham, were congratulated by the Rector and received the warm appreciation of all. A joyful lunch ensued at 13.00. It was a beautiful day.
The opening Mass of the induction for new students took place in the Basilica St Paul. We were joined this year by 11 new students and 3 Anglican Exchange students. The Induction Period also included an early morning Mass in the Crypt of St Peter's. There have been many opportunities to discover Rome and to travel to local places. A walk around central Rome; a day trip to visit the Papal Palace and Gardens of Castel Gandolfo and Nemi; the Catacombs of San Callisto and the Ardeatine caves; and Mass in Santa Maria in Trastevere. The new students, together with many returning students, attended the Wednesday Audience of the Holy Father in Saint Peter’s square. Tickets had been obtained for good seats on the Sagrata near the Holy Father who also welcomed the new students during the audience. The college then prepared for University registration and the Period of Recollection for the opening of year was held this last weekend while lectures began on Monday.
Eight Third Year Beda students were today ordained deacon in the Basilica of St Paul's outside the Walls by Bishop Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury. The new deacons are for the following dioceses: Southwark, Shrewsbury, Derry, Down and Conner, Killala, Leeds, Stockholm and Westminster. Congratulations to all the new deacons and thanks to everyone who helped to make this such a special day. Ad Multos Annos. 100 photos of the day can be accessed here.
The Beda anticipated the celebration of two Golden Jubilees on Sunday. During the summer, Sister Patricia celebrates 50 years of Religious Profession and Fr Peter celebrates 50 years of Priestly Ordination. The joyful thanksgiving for those milestones was marked with a sadness in the college as Fr Peter finishes as spiritual director at the Beda this summer. Drinks before lunch, presentations to both Jubilarians, and a relaxed meal together gave everyone the opportunity to express their thanks for the past and their best wishes for what lies ahead. Ad multos annos.
With the end of year exams completed, the Rector's Gita always provides a time to relax and wind down. For the first time this year, on 9th and 10th of June, the Gita took in an overnight stay near the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi. This extended visit was to mark in a special way the contribution which the FMDM Sisters have made to the life of the Beda during their 62 years here. The photographs which can be accessed here show various events during a wonderful two day visit. An 8 minute video of the visit is available on Facebook.
On a very hot June 2nd, the National Holiday for Republic Day in Italy, Deacon Philip Bua travelled on his bike to many of the sights of Rome. Philip is due to be ordained for the Diocese of Argyle and the Isles on 21st June so this day was a last chance to visit some of the places which have become familiar to him in his four years as a Beda student. How many of the sights you can recognise from the photos he took? Click here for the photos.
The joyful celebrations of Bede's Day were tinged with sadness this year as the FMDM Sisters, after 60 years of service in the college, leave for the final time in the summer. Their Community Leader, Sr Jane Bertelson joined us for the day, as did two former Rectors, Mgr Brian Dazeley and Mgr Rod Strange. Sincere thanks and appreciation were given for the wonderful contribution the FMDM Community has made to the students and to the college over those many years. Click here for photos
At Evening Mass on Wednesday 18th May, three members of first year received the Ministry of Lector and eight members of second year received the Ministry of Acolyte. A celebration meal for the college and guests took place afterwards. The Ministry of Acolyte was delayed this year due to Covid so both Ministries took place on the same day. Congratulations to all who received these Ministries. Ad Multos Annos. Click here for the photos.
This year, Fourth Year went to Rocca di Papa for their weekend away. This took place in a retreat house which the Beda hasn't used for several years. Our previous visit was for a retreat in February and at nearler 700 metres above sea level it is a cold place in February. But in May it was a different story and everyone enjoyed the visit, the retreat house and the environment. Click to see photos of the visit.
Holy Week at the Beda was successfully concluded last night at a prayerful Easter Vigil. The ceremonies of the Triduum were able to take place this year for the first time in three years. Over a glass of Prosecco and some Easter chocolate, the Rector congratulated and thanked everyone for all that had been done over the past few weeks in so many areas of college life. As we begin the Easter break, we wish all our relations, friends and supporters a very happy and blessed Easter. Click here for all the photos.
After two years of curtailed Holy Week ceremonies, it was good to begin this year with the blessing of palms and procession from the garden to chapel for the Palm Sunday Mass. Although the sun shone brightly, a strong northerly breeze kept the temperatures down. Earlier in the weekend Fr Peter had led a few hours of Recollection for the community to prepare in a prayerful way for the week. Click here for photos of the blessing of palms and the procession from the garden to the chapel.
As is traditional, the Beda played a major role in the Station Mass in St Paul's at 7.00am on the Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent. This year, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster was the principle celebrant and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool preached - both are staying in the College this week. The Beda provided refreshments afterwards in the Monastery cafeteria - the college refectory being too small to accommodate large numbers in these Covid times.
A Mass to give thanks for 40 years of full diplomatic relations between the UK Government and the Holy See was celebrated this morning in St Paul's Basilica by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin. The Mass was served by Beda students and the college choir joined the monks of San Paolo to provide the choir. A reception for all present was held afterwards in the monastery cloisters. Many thanks to all for being a real credit to the Beda at this important diplomatic event.
The tradition of inviting the other colleges to the Beda for mid-Lent Sunday, had to be suspended for two years due to Covid restrictions. As the restrictions decrease this year, we started up again by inviting the Scots and Irish Colleges to share a 'Lent Oasis' meal with us. After two years of restrictions, it was great to get together again to share our common concerns and friendship. Thanks to all who contributed to this wonderful occasion.
A discernment weekend for men between the ages of 30 and 55 will take place 2 to 4 September 2022. Organised by the Beda and held at St Beuno’s in north Wales, the weekend is to encourage men who may feel a calling to priestly vocation later in life to take the next step of their journey. All friends of the Beda are kindly asked to promote this to anyone who may be interested and through parish newsletters and notices. Further details by clicking here.
Fr Louis Rieunier from Plymouth Diocese has been appointed as spiritual director at the Beda from the summer. He replaces Fr Peter who is returning to active retirement in his diocese of Lancaster after eleven years at the Beda. The announcement was made in Plymouth Diocese this morning. Fr Louis said: "I am happily looking forward to returning to the Beda, where I undertook my own formation to the priesthood, and taking-up my new appointment." We keep Louis in our prayers as he makes his preparation.