Coming to the end of term + taking stock

Well, today is the last day of my first term back teaching at my old school and living back in the town where I grew up (that I left 22 years ago). It's been a strange but very fulfilling experience, at times quite surreal. A lovely side benefit has been making contact with old family friends, people who knew my parents or my brothers and sisters and even old friends from my primary school (the latter via a reunion we had 10 days ago).

St. Mary's College with our community house (known as the White House) at the far end.

Of particular delight has been meeting up with a couple that were very good friends of my sister Mona (their daughters went to school with Mona and my other sister Helen): Frances + Bernard Weaver. They have been involved in charismatic prayer groups for many, many years and Mona used to play guitar in one with Bernard back in the '70s. They also played guitar together at my brother Shaun's wedding in N. Wales. Through them I have got involved with a local charismatic group, which is something I was hoping to do after my wonderful experiences with the Prince of Peace community prayer group in Liverpool these past few years.

Bernard + Frances Weaver

The last few weeks have been filled with marking end of term exams, writing pupil reports, preparing + leading one day retreats for each of our 2 Yr. 9 classes (13-14 year-olds) at Park Place Diocesan Centre in Wickham (each time the nuns forgot to turn the heating on until we got there so the building was pretty freezing), the traditional Advent Festival concert and full school evening Carol Service, Christmas meals (Catenians' "Clergy" Night, prayer group meal, staff meal, etc...). With the exam marking + reports now all done, it just remains to finish writing my Christmas cards :-)

The College chapel

We're off to our Liverpool brethren for Christmas this year, then I'll be going to our Mother House in Brittany, France for our annual Study Session (with about 50 other Brothers from the Province), followed by a few days break in one of our French communities.
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