Centres to keep Catholics abreast
THERE cannot be many -ICatholics today who do not occasionally suffer from pangs of puzzlement or downright bewilderment. So much is happening, so much has changed, so much is discussed that was completely unthought of in their Catholic school days, 30, 50 or even 70 years ago.
• Why are we changing our ideas. laws, systems of warship? Even those of strongest faith cannot help wondering why it is happening and where it is all going. So much is said and written. that all save the most literate can he forgiven for wondering where they are now—or where even they are supposed to be! Not everyone has the time or inclination to read deeply of every shade of religious publication, and many priests to whom we were used to turn are frankly just as confused.
Many say Tittle of current and most of all, get the audience there?
With a view to helping people to find their way in today's Church, two Dioceses have set up what are termed Pastoral Centres in the last few years. One is Park Place near Fareham in the Portsmouth diocese, the other Wood Hall, near 'York in the diocese of Leeds. Both these are large, modernised country houses. with attractive grounds and every facility, with fulltime priest directors and devoted staffs of nuns who keep the wheels turning.
Since starting off they have necessarily been experimental, hut they have provided a base where courses and lectures of all kinds can be arranged for priests, nuns, men. women. 'teenagers and children. on every aspect of religious life today. They are not retreat centres, more places of further education.
Every big organization to weekends and CWL retreats cussion groups and 23 children I spent a most happy and informative weekend. says that several thousand people of all kinds visit Park Place each year. Some come for days others for weekends or midweek courses.
There are school courses, Clergy courses, study days for nuns — even Methodist conferences. Liturgical music all find a place. The terms are moderate — far less than an inexpensive hotel for very comfortable accommodation.
More details of what is offered at Park Place can be obtained front Fr. A. Faulkner, Park Place Pastoral Centre, Wickham, Nr. Fareham, Hants. For those who live in the North, Mgr. Buckley is the director of Wood Hall, Nr. Wetherby, Yorks.