|The St Catherines Trust|
for Traditional Catholic Education
Traditio et Veritas
St Catherines Trust held its second annual Family Retreat, in the glorious weather of Low Sunday weekend, 13th-15th April 2007. It was attended by 121 people of all ages, including many families with their children, couples, and single adults, from all over the UK. Fr Andrew Southwell gave a series of spiritual conferences on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, and special talks to the children, and Fr Benjamin Durham FSSP attended on two of the days to hear a great many confessions. Traditional Sung Mass was celebrated each day with great solemnity in the impressive chapel of Ardingly College, the boarding school in West Sussex which was the Retreat Venue. The Retreat also included Sung Vespers on the Saturday, Sung Compline on the Friday and Saturday nights, and daily Rosary. Before Mass on the morning of Low Sunday we all processed into the chapel to the singing of the Salve Festa Dies.
During Fr Southwells conferences for the adults the children were engaged in activities related to the theme of the talks. The older children were introduced to Ignatian meditation on the Joyful Mysteries, and the younger children made Marian grottos, rosaries for sending to the missions, and Easter collages, as well as pictures of the Stations of the Cross, which were used during an outdoor service of the Stations of the Cross led by Fr Southwell.
Mr David Foster, founder of the long-running International Summer School which takes place at the Oratory School near Reading (which was the inspiration for the St Catherines Trust Summer School), was a visiting speaker, and gave an interesting talk on the nature of Christendom. Southwell Books had a very popular book stall on the Saturday afternoon.
The Family Retreat is a unique event for Traditional Catholics in the UK in terms of the liturgy, and as an opportunity for both adults and children to meet like-minded people, including many friends made on the Summer School. We are very grateful to the volunteer staff who devoted their time and energy to ensure the smooth running of the Retreat, to Ardingly College for their hospitality, and to Fr Southwell and Fr Durham.
The dates for next years Family Retreat have been fixed for Low Weekend, 28th-30th March 2008.