Saturday, 27 August 2011

Ushaw College

Just a quick post on Ushaw College. The Ushaw Catholic Heritage Group has produced a newsletter to update the news - such as it is - on what is going to happen to St Cuthbert's Seminary at Ushaw in Durham. At least they are trying to put out some information - although I'm not sure that they are being given very much. However, information of any sort is hard to come by from any other source. The Ushaw College web-site seems blissfully unaware that the college has in fact closed down and is no longer a seminary! It would appear you can still book it for your conference and apply to become a seminarian there!

There have been rumours about Durham University taking over part of the seminary for a Catholic Study Centre. It seems a great pity that funds and initiative can be found to study Catholicism but not enough to actually practice it and carry it out. Almost as though we were some extinct species - a museum specimen or something studied in an ancient history class.

I say this not because Ushaw is my Alma Mater. Actually, I have rather mixed feelings about my time there. I say it because it is a place a of beauty built for the glory of God and a testament to our forebears in much worse economic and religious times than we currently endure. (Although perhaps the faith was much stronger in the past 200 years than it is now - even when we were still being persecuted in more overt ways than we are today.)

I still think that it's a tragic and short-sighted decision to close Ushaw and that the Church itself wants to sell it off. I know it's only a place but it is often places that unite people. Our lives don't happen in a vacuum but in particular places and with particular people in them. The loss of a place of meaning cuts us off from one another and from our tradition and history, which for Christians is tragic as we think of ourselves as a community not just of the present but of all generations past, present and future. To say nothing of the fact that we are a people rooted in the history and tradition that is the Incarnation - we cannot get away from looking back to all that connects us to that great historical (and cosmic) event.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cardinal Merry del Val's alma mater!!!