Sunday 15 June 2014

Chevagnes International College

High Mass during the Octave of Pentecost

I had the great experience of visiting Chevagnes International College for a few days last week.  Set up in 2002, it offers a traditional English Public School education but in very much in the Catholic Tradition. Pupils come from various European countries but the everyday language in the school is English - apart from in church, of course!  The boys attend Mass every day as well as morning and night prayers in the lovely chapel. Mass can be experienced at varying times in the week in the Traditional Form, in the modern form and even - once a week - in English.

A boarding school - particularly if it styles itself as "traditional" can summon up a rather severe picture in some minds but it seemed to have a very happy atmosphere where the boys were as happy jostling to serve Mass in the sacristy as they were to be running out to the football field.  It was a novel experience to be in a school where chatting to the priest and talking of matters of Faith was perfectly normal.  Would that all the schools proclaiming themselves "Catholic" were managing to truly put the Faith at the heart of the school.  It seems that it is possible to celebrate Mass every day in a school and still have time for lessons, exams, house jobs, sport and running wild occasionally as well!

The purpose of my visit was to talk to the boys about the work of the Order of St Lazarus. As the school could be said have the education of children into Catholic Gentleman as its purpose, the link with an Order of Chivalry and knighthood was an easy one to make.

 Ite, Missa est.

 The Chapel - part of the complex that was once a Junior Seminary for the diocese.

 (Photos courtesy of Martin Gardey de Soos.)

There's even a School cat - Coco - so what's not to like?

Some of the boys had just returned from the Chartres Pilgrimage, so were pretty footsore and weary.  I couldn't find any photos of that but here's a clip of the College Choir singing in Rome a couple of years ago.
They also have a Facebook page.

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