Since our tour throughout the Irish province that we completed at the beginning of last week, the novices have been at home and following the normal timetable most of the time.
On Thursday evening the Birmingham Jesuit Volunteer Community (http://www.jvcbritain.org/Jesuit_Volunteer_Community,_Britain/Home.html) joined us for Mass and dinner. Then we took a walk together in a nearby park followed by a chat with refreshments. Our families had an opportunity to visit on the weekend. For a variety of reasons not as many were able to accept the invitation this year as were last year. I was pleased that one of my sisters was able to come for the day on Saturday.
Each of the novices is making a presentation to the rest of us on a topic and based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM) at the moment. I’m glad to do my presentation on prayer this morning. It is a good opportunity to try to present something to an audience that gives feedback, is tolerant and polite, although the audience might feel aggrieved that they can’t vote with their feet.
We have been home for over a week now, but travel is in the air. Besides the guests last week, the novice master and socius were away at different commitments last weekend and more of the community will be away this weekend, for various things, but a highlight is the priestly ordination in Amsterdam of a Jesuit who made his novitiate here in Birmingham. Bart, we wish you every blessing in your priestly ministry. The novices are also in the middle of preparations to go on our summer experiments next Friday or Sunday.