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Visit by Young Dominican Pilgrims

Posted by on Monday, October 6, 2014 Under: Community

Visit by Young Dominican Pilgrims

Visit by Young Dominican Pilgrims

I was contacted some months ago by a young man my son knew at the Math School Rochester. This "boy", Matthew Jarvis, had gone on to Cambridge and then, as he told me, had entered the Roman Catholic Dominican Order. He came to see me, now in a cream habit, to talk about bringing a group of pilgrims through Aylesford. So in mid August they arrived: 20 young men and women, mostly in their twenties and thirties, some in habits but mostly ordinary lay people, from Canada, the US, Ireland, Ukraine, Italy and this country. They were walking from Arundel to Canterbury over a week. Kathy and I got to know them a bit as they came to us for supper and then for breakfast the next day, since they were sleeping overnight in the Brassey Centre. They had enormous appetites; but then they were walking about 30 miles each day! They were great fun: highly intelligent, full of conversation and teasing each other. At the same time, they were evidently committed in their Christian faith.

As a thank you to us, they sang Vespers (Evening Prayer) and Lauds (Morning Prayer) in our church, and after both services they got into lively conversation with members of our church who came along.

I found it really stimulating chatting to young, intelligent men and women really committed in their faith and yet not stuffy. Apparently the Dominicans are one of the Roman Catholic orders that is not shrinking, and one of the Dominican's main emphases is on preaching the gospel. It was wonderful to meet people from completely different backgrounds and an utterly different tradition, and yet have so much in common, and to share with them same desire to tell people about Jesus.

Chris van Straaten

In : Community