During 2019, our Partnership held a number of very successful open days at our churches, but 2020’s lockdown restrictions meant that we were unable to hold face to face events. So the Partnership’s Spirituality Group organised a series of events on Zoom.

Our theme was the Spirituality of the Orders, an opportunity for us all to hear more about the many orders in the Catholic Church, and what gives them their different characters and traditions.

We have had 5 sessions so far:

  • The Spirituality of the Franciscans: Our speaker was Fr. Liam Kelly OFM, who spent some time at the university in Durham, but joined us on Zoom from Ireland.
  • The Spirituality of the Dominicans: Fr. Benjamin Earl OP was the parish priest at St. Cuthbert’s in Durham until 2016, and he joined the call from Rome.
  • The Spirituality of the Benedictines: Scholastica Jacob, who lives as a Benedictine in Durham, conducting research at the Centre for Catholic Studies on the experiences of English Benedictine nuns in the early 19th century, shared her experience of Benedictine spirituality.
  • Ignatian Spirituality: this session was part of a week long retreat in daily life, which is an annual event at St. Cuthbert’s. The session (and the retreat) were led by the team from St. Beuno’s, and gave us an insight into the spirituality of the Jesuits.
  • The Spirituality of the Oratory: Bishop Robert CO joined us to talk about the Oratorians. The Bishop said that it was the first time since he arrived in the Diocese that he had been asked to talk about the Oratory.

We are conscious that online talks are not accessible to everyone, but during lockdown the talks have been very well received by those who are online, and we have been pleased with the numbers attending. One of the advantages of Zoom is that we have been able to invite speakers who are not local, and benefit from their insight into the spirituality of the orders.