The St Catherine’s Trust
for Traditional Catholic Education
Traditio et Veritas
Our 2008 Summer School

Staff Old and New     Afternoon Activities     Evening Activities     Liturgy     Click here for more photos

Our fourth Summer School was our biggest ever, with 53 students and 14 staff. This year we were back in the large chapel of Ardingly College for Rosary, daily Mass and Compline (in 2007 it was being redecorated, and we had to use the crypt). On the Friday we were particularly privileged to have Sung Mass in the private chapel of the Duke of Norfolk in Arundel Castle. Each day began with the Rosary and ended with sung Latin Compline, and included a Traditional Sung Mass. There were six classes each day, afternoon activities, talks and films in the evenings, and a whole day outing to Arundel, where we had a private tour of the Castle, Mass in the Castle chapel, and time to explore the charming town. During the tour we saw the fabulous silver icon of the Virgin and Child made by Fabergé, the original portrait of St Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, and the gold rosary carried by Mary Queen of Scots at her execution.

Staff Old and New  Top

During the week the students were as usual given catechesis by the Chaplain, Fr Andrew Southwell, and were introduced to Catholic history, art, music, Gregorian Chant and Sacred Polyphony, Philosophy, and Church Latin. This year saw the introduction of New Testament Greek, taught by Mrs Shaw, to the oldest group: students learned the Greek alphabet and enough vocabulary to look at the Last Gospel in its original Greek. This was a great success and will be extended in future years. Also new this year was the involvement of a religious sister, Sr Valery Walker OP, who was a very valuable addition to our teaching staff. Other staff members joining us for the first time included Mr Luke Samy, a doctoral student in Economics who taught the students about Catholic Social Teaching, as well as taking a keen interest in the football, and Mr John Simmonds, who taught and conducted the polyphonic motet which was sung at the final Mass of the school, as well as being a member of the liturgical schola we had throughout the week. Mrs Daphne McLeod joined us again this year, as did our redoutable nurse Miss Susan Gollop and Mrs Gwen Sheppard, a retired French and Latin teacher. We are very lucky to be able to draw on their enormous experience, as well as on the enthusiasm and energy of the younger staff members. Although work commitments impinge increasingly on members of staff who are neither students nor retired, we were lucky to have our old stalwarts Miss Tess Sheppard and Miss Aurelia Ratcliffe to help us in the final days of the school, particularly in being able to play a part in the singing of the motet at the final Mass.

Afternoon Activities  Top

The afternoons were an opportunity for serving practice as well as outdoor activities. In addition to football, country walks and tennis, the students were able to do drawing, taught by our art teacher Mr Rory Craigie, and sewing, taken by Mrs Shaw. In the sewing group the young ladies produced beautiful bags, employing techniques of patchwork and embroidery. The tennis players were even joined one afternoon by Fr Southwell, displaying a hitherto hidden talent!

Evening Activities  Top

The students heard two fascinating talks in the evenings, one from the well known blogger priest, Fr Nicholas Schofield, about English cardinals down the ages, and another from Mr Phillip Goddard about the excavations under St Peter's in Rome, which uncovered the tomb of St Peter. At the end of the week there was the usual high-spirited quiz on the things the students had learnt during the week, showing, as always, that they had been paying attention. They were able to identify Gregorian Chant neums, Greek words, the symbolism of Renaissance paintings, methods of execution in penal times and other details from all of their different subjects. On the final evening our Headmaster Mr David Forster directed a staged reading of part of Dorothy L. Sayers' radio play 'The Man Born to be King', covering the Last Supper, the Agony in the Garden, and the Arrest. This was performed to great effect by the students.

Liturgy  Top

The liturgy this year was enhanced by our being able once more to use the impressive chapel of Ardingly College, where we had not only Mass but Rosary in the mornings and Compline in the evenings. We were able to devote an extra staff member to the teaching of the Chant ordinary, and a special session each day to prepare a small group to join in the Chant propers at the final Mass. We are very privileged to have such an expert and sensitive organist in Mr Alexander Morrison, who was able to support whatever was being sung: the Chant ordinaries, Latin hymns, the psalmody of Compline, and polyphony The final Sung Mass, attended by many parents and other family members, included Elgar's Ave Verum Corpus, prepared by the students during the Summer School, and directed by Mr Simmonds.