Following a summer break, the seminarians of the Scots College returned this week for the traditional Pastoral and Retreat period before University lectures return in October.
Every year for the community of the Scots College in Rome, the last two weeks of September, are a period of preparation for the year ahead. Next week, the seminarians travel to Assisi for a retreat before the normal college timetable resumes on the 3rd October.
This week, the college has welcomed various speakers who have presented various topics to the students. The week began with Brona McGee talking about the wide ranging field of Palliative Care. Brona spoke about the work and her experience of her time at St. Vincent’s Hospice in Howwood.
Monsignor Hugh Bradley, secretary to the Bishops Conference of Scotland and Parish Priest of Holy Cross, Glasgow spoke on Wednesday about Scottish church history. Over the course of a morning, Monsignor Bradley covered the early centuries of Christianity in Scotland.
The input from outside speakers finished on Thursday, with Fr. David Conroy from the Bishopric of the Forces, and a Diocesan priest of Galloway talking about leadership and his experience as a Navy Chaplain. The afternoon session was led by Phil Sparke, the Chief Executive of HCPT, who spoke about the work of the trust, it’s seminarian programmes and his experience of leadership.
Then on Friday, the community travelled for it’s annual start of year Mass in the Borghese Crypt at St. Mary Major. The crypt is the final resting place of two Popes who were central to the formation of the Scots College at the start of the 17th Century, Pope Clement VIII and Pope Paul V. This year, the group included sisters visiting our resident Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and Monsignor Bradley. The visit was also a chance to continue our Holy Year Pilgrimage to the four Papal Basilicas of Rome. This was our third, and before entering through the Holy Door, the community gathered in a few moments of prayer led by the Rector, Fr. Dan Fitzpatrick.
From Monday next week, the focus for the community will turn to the retreat, this year led by Fr Mark Butlin OSB, a monk from Ampleforth Abbey.