and eggs and coffee was seminary student Jack Berkers' reward
for knocking on the wrong door in St Helens."
Jack, a student in the White Fathers' International College
near London was attending the seminarists' Summer school organised
by the YCW last week and mis-read the reporting instructions.
Unannounced, he turned up at a St Helens' Catholic home and
when he introduced himself, talked of his visit, was fed and
put in the right direction for YCW headquarters.
Jack, whose home is Kaukana, Wisconsin, USA, mentioned the
incident during the last session of the Summer school, when
the week's work and impressions were being summed up.
a student from Germany, also stressed the important part that
the people from St Helens, who provided accomodation for the
students, had played in making the conference so successful.
"We have really felt as if we were members of the family"
said Gunther, and went on to ask for the prayers of the families
and promised them the prayers of the students from seven different
countries, many of whom should soon become priests.
an Ushaw student, summed up the main conference items and
said that the week had given all the students a new idea of
how people live, what some of their problems are and how the
priest can help, and the important role of the Young Christian
Workers Movement in creating a lay appostolate to help.
Canon Arbuthnot, YCW National Chaplain, made the closing
speech of the session and urged the seminarists to practise
the conclusions of the conference when they left their seminaries.
Too many left the seminary full of energy and wilted when
they started their work. A possible reason for this was a
lack of humility, considered the Canon. A priest working with
people had to be prepared for many reverses but even if he
had only one lay apostle he had not failed.
Often under these circumstances priest became builders and
administrators because dealing with such matters was easier
than dealing with people.
Another reason, claimed Canon Arbuthnot, was that the clergy
was the most isolated part of the Mystical Body. Seminarists
who had never experienced a layman's life should try to understand
the problems of such a life and make their judgements carefully.
How wonderful it would be, concluded the Canon, if the 56
seminarists at the conference left with the intention of making
apostles of Christ and not "spiritual capital" intent
on storing grace for themselves. "