Last weekend saw a group of 38 young people gather together at Downside Abbey for a joint Downside and Clifton Vocations Discernment Retreat.

The weekend offered the opportunity for those attending to consider what a vocation is. Sr Elizabeth Mary Mann gave a talk on the Universal Call to Holiness. Separate talks were then given on religious life, marriage and priesthood.

For a month leading up to the retreat, Rina Bird, of Downside parish, organised perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament specifically praying for this retreat. This led to a real spirit of openness with those attending, with lots of deep conversations and sharing taking place.

Fr Matt Anscombe, Vocations Director for Clifton comments, “This was a super Spirit-filled retreat. I am very grateful for all those who responded to the call to join us. Special thanks to Rina Bird, the monks of Downside, Sr Elizabeth Mary and Sr Ewa and Anitra and Chris Rawlins for the part they played. Let’s keep praying that we all deepen in our awareness of our vocations and that more young people will step out on faith on the journey of marriage, Priesthood or religious life.”

Phil Gibbons spoke with Hanna and Ben about the weekend: