Sunday, 5 August 2007

The 'Very Modern Priest'

Fr Tim has said in a recent post that I won't easily live down being described as a 'very modern priest' in this week's Catholic Times and that my friends should go and buy me 'some patterned jumpers and fawn-coloured slacks to go with his new image'.

Well, I rather like my new title, although there is some truth in what he says. Funnily enough, I'm not going to be wearing clerical dress for the next few weeks. I can imagine lots of shocked gasps all around the blogosphere. But let me explain.

On Friday I'm travelling to the Persian Gulf to conduct an eight-day retreat to some Carmelite teaching sisters. As I'll be in a relatively strict Muslim country, I'll only be able to wear clerical dress in the church compound where I'm staying (although, since I'll be in the compound most of the time, I suppose I will mostly be wearing clerics). However, on my rare expeditions into town, I won't exactly be seen sporting 'patterned jumpers' or 'fawn-coloured slacks' due to the intense heat and humidity.

It will be exciting to visit an Apostolic Vicariate (as opposed to a diocese). Many of the papers in the Westminster Archive concern the English Vicars Apostolic, who provided episcopal government in this country between the reign of James II and the Restoration of the Hierarchy. And it's easy to forget that many 'missionary' areas still have Vicars Apostolic, such as those of Kuwait and Arabia (the latter includes the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Yemen). To read more about the Catholic situation over there, click here, here and here.

So, I'll be away from blogging for a bit - I intend to rest over the next few days in preparation and I'll be popping over to Paris for a quick break. If I find a computer in the Middle East (and if my hosts judge it prudent to do so) I shall let you know how I'm getting on. In the meantime, prayers please for a safe journey and a successful retreat!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do have a good time, a safe journey, and a fruitful retreat. :)

7:42 pm  
Blogger Fr Tim Finigan said...

It is great that you are going over to help out in the Vicariate of Arabia. I had contact with them some years back and am full of admiration for their work.

Perhaps you would have an excuse to get a white cassock for your work in the compound :-)

10:11 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Actually, Father, I'm working on that one!

10:13 pm  
Anonymous Judith said...

Stay safe Fr. Nicholas, each day my prayer's will be with you.

11:45 pm  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Fr. Schofield, you may visit my home parish in the U.A.E., since that's where the seat of the Apostolic Vicariate is.

I wish you a pleasant stay, and you will probably find a computer there. The attached convent school, where I began school, is very well kept.

8:01 am  

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