I returned yesterday in time to see the news programs showing white smoke emitting from the Sistine Chapel, from a three-day conference for priests. The 'Thornycroft Priests Conference 2013', held at Thornycroft Hall (photo above), in Cheshire.
Over thirty priests, mainly from dioceses in northern England took part, and it was really quite enriching to experience the wealth of talent and priestly contribution which is present in our northern dioceses. Our effect on one another, one springing from priestly fraternity, was an experience of grace in itself and an expression of the value and need for such priestly encounters.
The subjects which we covered, led by a superb range of speakers, are summed up in the title of this post: the morality of economics, an analysis of the last Synod on the New Evangelisation, bio-ethics and the renewal of the mind, the priority of adult catechesis, re-evaluating the relationship of faith and science, and the role of our Catholic Secondary schools. I know that what I learned during this Conference will influence much of what I think and do in the future.
This Conference and then the election of Pope Francis mean that this week has, so far, been almost a life-changing experience. Thanks go, in the first place, to the organisers of the Conference, the priests of the Opus Dei Prelature.