It might seem strange to retreat into the Seminary and into silence for the feast of Pentecost, but that’s what the House calendar allowed. We welcomed Father Alban Hood OSB, Prior of Douai Abbey, as the leader. Father Alban seized the opportunity of the feast of St Matthias occurring the day before Pentecost to guide us into reflecting on how community in the seminary and in the parish reflect that outlined by St Benedict in his Rule. He did so with humour, brevity and a range of thought-provoking quotations. These he left with us in printed form for further absorption.
Perhaps the most challenging of these comes from Father Christopher Jamieson: ‘St Benedict wanted a community where people can express individuality rather than individualism. He defines individualism as “simply doing your own thing in your own way and blanking out other people”, whereas individuality involves bringing your particular contribution to bear on the life of the community, even if this contribution is not always appreciated but evokes criticism from others.’