Tuesday, June 19, 2012

St. Michael's Conference, Southwest


Last week was taken up with St. Michael's Conference, Southwest, which is an unashamedly trad Anglo-Catholic event for young people. Each day's quite long, starting with Morning Prayer and Solemn High Mass, followed by three classes and lunch. After lunch the kids get to play around for several hours before reconvening for Evening Prayer, a talk, then dinner and more activities ending with Compline at 10.30 pm. All make their Confession, many for the first time, and that alone is incredibly moving, to say nothing of the intensity of classical liturgy entered into with great fervour. I'd say it was a life-changing event and I look forward to it year by year.

Hoist it higher, Dr. Keyes
I taught courses on prayer, Lewis' Great Divorce and something called Survey, which is a kind of round up of basic catholic Christian doctrine. I also lead a few discussion groups, which take place after dinner: Do Aliens Get to go to Heaven? was one, and the kids thought they probably did. You will be taken from this place... to be hanged by the neck until you are dead and may God have mercy on your soul. Is capital punishment right? Most children thought it wasn't, interestingly, and Why Communism is Evil. Marx got the thumbs down, especially from the many Latinos who seemed to have an issue with Cuba.

just me and the pygmy pony
Then, seemingly just as things had started, the conference was over. I'd say it's the best thing of its kind in America; there's no English equivalent.

St. Michael, defend us in the day of battle.



Adrienne said...

Okay - I got all the good parts about the prayer, confession, et al - and I think it's wonderful!

Buuuuuuuuut - is that really you in the picture????

Holy carp! You never told me you were so handsome.

(Not to worry, I'm not a creepy crazy stalker chic. I'm a bit past that at age 66. My age, however, does give me license to point out great looking men.)

Silverfiddle said...

Sounds like good, honest fun.

Kids today (and adults for that matter) don't want watered-down, anything-goes gruel, we want substance, and that is why fluffy feel-good churches are dying.

Christianity should be fun, but there is substance there that if ignored, drains the enterprise of its meaning, and eventually, its life.

Lewis, Chesterton, the saints all tell us that its not easy, faith is something to be struggled with, not emotionally, but intellectually, and with plenty of prayer.

LSP said...

It is me, Adrienne, busy welcoming the clergy to the conference.

Did you notice the miniature horses? Vicious little beasts.

God bless.

LSP said...

It's a great event, Silverfiddle, and one which should be replicated by Anglican converts to Rome fairly shortly -- in the Ordinariate.

And for sure, watered down variants of Christianity are on a hiding to nowhere. "Plenty of prayer" = crucial.

Infidel de Manahatta said...

Nice. I particularly liked the ad orientem photo.

Hopefully one day the Catholic church will get rid of versus populum and go back to facing the lord.

LSP said...

Thanks, Infidel.

The versus pop business hasn't been very helpful. Remember how it was going to make the liturgy really "of the people"? Well, you know the old saying, "Vatican II? Empty pew."

Things seem to be moving in the right direction though -- at last.