Monday, 19 July 2010

Walk for Vocations

The weather held out for the Walk for Vocations, which attracted more than 100 people from all over the Middlesbrough Diocese.

We set out from Madonna House at about 2.45pm and made our way to the sea front at Robin Hoods Bay. The seven mile walk along the ciff top up to Whitby was absolutely stunning. The route is part of the Cleavland Way. The coastline is rugged and there is plenty of wildlife to spot.

From what I could see the youngest participant was just a few years old while the oldest could have been in their 70s. In total, there were three seminarians from our diocese and myself, with two students for other dioceses also joining in. It was great to receive words of encouragement ahead of my start at the Royal English College in Valladolid in September. Several people said they would keep me, and the other students, in their prayers.

For the younger participants, there was an opportunity to chat with the several priests who took part, including Bishop Terry Drainey, the Bishop of Middlesbrough. Some clusters of walkers prayed the rosary together while others walked alone for a while to pray.

The weather was not too hot and there was a nice breeze along certain stretches. As we hit the outskirts of Whitby, we met some other people from Middlesbrough who had been busy and were only able to join later.

We arrived at St Hilda's, that has a papal flag flying high on a pole outside the church. There was about an hour and a half before Mass started and some of us went for fish and chips in the town I consider to be the universal home of the popular meal.

It was great to be asked to serve Mass with three seminarians. I've never served for a bishop at an official occasion before so I was kindly prompted by the other servers on when to take and receive the bishop's crosier, the job that was assigned to me.

As well as my interview on BBC Radio Humberside, Philip Cunnah, a good friend and second year student at Ushaw College, appeared on BBC York and Tees yesterday morning. He was fantastic at answering the questions in depth and managed to do so without stuttering, which I find difficult to match. Phil said some great things about the walk as being a kind of pilgrim journey towards Christ in the Mass. He was also asked about his own journey. From BBC York, he faced some challenging questions about women priests as well as the love and the sacrifice involved with Holy Orders. He gave some impressive answers. To listen to the BBC Tees interview, click and fastforward to 2.12.40. For the BBC York interview click here and fastforward to about 0.48.18.

(p.s. I forgot to take some pictures while actually on the walk. This one is outside the Church after Mass. I'm sure some of the walk will appear on Facebook and elsewhere soon.)


Et Expecto said...

Well done to the seminarian who was interviewed on the radio. Well done to Bishop Drainey and the organisers of the walk. Well done to all those who walked.

This is the most encouraging bit of news about the Diocese of Middlesbrough that I have heard for years.

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