During the second week of August the Parish of Calvario thanks to the collaboration of Fa-ther Rafael were truly blessed with a special vi-sit by a group of God’s earthly shepherds from England. The group included Father Philip de Freitas the parish priest, of” Our Lady and Saint Peter’s Church “, which is situated in Wimbledon Common in the vicinity of London, two recent-ly ordained deacons, Dominic Jenkinson who is currently preparing for the priesthood at the English college in Rome and Sean Gough who is studying at Oscott college, the Roman Catholic seminary in Birmingham.
Among the group of visitors was young Thomas Kent soon to be ordained as a deacon who is undergoing formation to the priesthood at Saint John’s seminary in Wonersh through the direc-tion of Father Kevin Dring a well- known face and valued preacher in our parish.
What made the week extra special was the fact that none of these men knew that the other was arriving at the same time in Marbella and that together they would celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, this was truly an act of Divine Providence and one of the most spiritually enriching and uplifting weeks I have ever experienced. The International Parish spent an extremely enjoyable time among these men of God who were kindly hosted and led by our much loved parish priest Father Rafael. Du-ring our time with them all we shared our fai‑
th openly, developed our theological knowledge and recognised the importance of unity between brothers and sisters in Christ for the growth of God’s kingdom and conversion of souls, the Holy Spirit was clearly at work in abundance!
The feast of the Assumption is one of the most important Marian feasts where we can pay ho-nour to our Lady for her obedience to God , her humility and her essential role in God’s plan for the salvation of the world, as Saint Teresa of Calcutta says, “ no Mary, no Jesus”. The As-sumption of Mary due to the fact that she was completely human offers us hope for our future at the time of the fulfilment of the Kingdom when those who are worthy will be united with their glorious bodies for eternity through the ul-timate sacrifice Christ made for us on the Cross and his Resurrection.
This beautiful Mass was celebrated by Father Philip who delivered a very soul inspiring homily, Deacon Dominic personally composed and read the prayers of the faithful and our young semi-nary Thomas sang the most captivating rendition of Shubert’s Ave Maria, his angelic voice which echoed throughout the church was inundated with complete love, purity, and gratitude for the Mother of God. The moment was so moving that it actually brought tears to many of our eyes.
The majority of the International parish have been enthusiastically following Dominic’s and Thom’s priestly formation since they both be-gan their studies at the English college in Valladolid in northern Spain in 2013. It was in 2013 that Pauline and Stephen Haywood my Godpa-rents first brought them both to Calvario parish, throughout the last six years many of us have developed a firm Christian friendship and bond with them. Priests are precious as they are God’s chosen shepherds integral to our faith and to the deliverance of the Seven Sacraments, it is the-refore very important that we continue to offer them our total support, respect, and prayers, as Jesus says in the Bible “ The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” Matt 9.37, unfortunate-ly this is particularly true in our present climate.
The group of very special visitors would like to greatly thank Father Rafael and the Parish of Calvario for their wonderful hospitality and they assure us that they in turn will keep us in their hearts and prayers.
Below are a few personal words written by Dea-con Dominic Jenkinson .
“Recently I had the blessing of spending ano-ther week with the parish community of Calvario. Considering it was just a few weeks after my ordination to the Diaconate it was wonderful to share the joy of my vocation and preach the Gospel among friends. This is the sixth year that I have visited the parish now through my friends Pauline and Stephen Haywood whom I met du-ring my first year of seminary at the Royal Engli-sh College in Valladolid in Spain. Pauline and Stephen came to visit the college with a priest who was a good friend for our celebration of the college martyrs during this time the whole colle-ge was decked out in red banners in honour of the blood of the martyrs, it also just happened to be the Haywood’s Ruby wedding anniversary at
the same time .Soon we made good friends and they invited me to stay with them in Guaro and introduced me to the International parish, I have since made many friends here and it is a blessing in my life. After my first year in Spain my Bishop invited me to go to Rome to the Venerable Engli-sh College , here I have just finished my theology degree and I am about to begin a Licentiate in Spiritual Theology at the Dominican University in Rome known as the” Angelicum”. Please God in summer 2020 I hope to be ordained a priest, I look forward to visiting Calvario again in the future to celebrate Holy Mass with you”.