By ANN KIMMEL
T00 many Christian students are unable to make contact with others because they do not understand their own religion deeply enough, declared Fr. T. A. McGoldrick, Catholic chaplain to Liverpool University, at a three-day conference of Catholic and Anglican university chaplains this week. The average undergraduate was theologically illiterate, he said.
ONE DA V TO FIND
But the fault was not normally that of the student, as the theology presented to him was not in most cases a living theology, he added.
The conference, whic 11 opened on Wednesday at Leicester University. was the first of its kind between chaplains of the two faiths. Theme of the conference was "Christian Presence in the University", with the emphasis on how Christians could communicate with fellow students who were unbelievers.
Eager for unity
Fr. McGoldrick said theology was not presented to the student for his personal life: it was information rather than formation. As a result, students of various Christian faiths tended to be eager for unity, without taking the trouble to find out what had separated them.
Mutual understanding could only come when we reflect deeply, from a lull recognition of the truths we hold in common, upon that which really divides us", he continued.
Such reflection would "achieve far more than any superficial glossing over differences for the sake of presenting a seemingly united front".
At the same time, he said, Christians needed to realise that charity was the most important thing in their lives.
"A Christian community should make clear that it cares about human beings. I find the injunction that Christ laid upon us to love our neighbour as ourselves quite staggeri ng.
"Christ didn't make any qualifications. I am sure that the trouble with many Christians is that they ask: 'Who is my neighbour?' and don't pause to listen to the very uncomfortable parable which follows."
The Rev. Martin Jarrett-Kerr, who belongs to the Anglican Community of the Resurrection, told the conference he did not think Christian students could communicate with the unbelievers by sending out "a rather belligerent task force to make inroads into Pagan territory.
"Today's evangelism is a matter of settling down in the non-Christian world, simply being present, loving and raring for the world," he said.
Mr. Jarrett-Kerr added that Christians needed to realise that "Christ is present in the best of non-Christian faiths, in the best of the modern world. He is present when men are open to truth, when they honestly seek to understand how man thinks, when they are compassionate—even though they are unconscious of His presence." BRILLIANT use of stained glass, designed and made by the monks themselves, is one of the most attractive features of the striking new Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament at Buckfast Abbey, Devon.
The architecture is simple and functional and the glass is used as an integral part of the building, not just holes filled with coloured glass. The glass walls face the four points of the compass and as the sun goes round, the prophecy of Malachy — "From the rising of the sun until the going down thereof . . ." is brilliantly illustrated. The designs are predominantly abstract in character and set off to advantage the great East Window (above), a large figure of Our Lord at the moment of the inauguration of the Eucharistic Mystery at the Last Supper. This simple figure, about five times lifesize, dominates the chapel and its meaning is direct and arresting, The windows were designed by Dom Charles Norris and made by him and his monk assistants at Buckram Abbey. The glass used is one' inch thick and set in concrete and resin composition. The Buckfast monks have made numerous examples of these windows and installed them at some twenty different churches throughout t h e country.
The interior of the chapel itself is a perfect example of the modern liturgical layout. The true proportion and relationship between the sanctuary and the nave, priests and people, is observed; the altar faces the people with the tabernacle on a shrine behind the altar.
The spacious new chapel, sealing a congregation of more Than 150, is a complete breakaway in style from the old Gothic Revival structure of the Abbey but care has been taken to blend together the old and the new.
Architects are Messrs Walls and Pear", Plymouth.