Final Day in Canterbury
Canterbury continues to hold its charm even after coming back here and spending another month. Each time I walk to the bus line and see the city spread out at the foot of the hill with the majestic cathedral as its highlight, I am moved by the beauty and history of this place. (The picture on the left is of the newer part of the city which still has a rather medieval look while the picture on the right is of the front entrance of the Canterbury Cathedral.) For more pictures of the enchanting city see this blog May and June of last year.: http://vocationvibes.franciscan.org/2006/05/index.html and http://vocationvibes.franciscan.org/2006/06/index.html.
This year I did more traveling around England itself and found much beauty to enjoy. The magnificent architecture that I found in London, exemplified in the House of Parliament in London pictured on the right, and the scenery and buildings in Dover, Deal, and Durham all made the time and effort of travel worthwhile. (See the posts from the past few weeks for further photos of this year's travel.) Of course, the ease of train travel in this country makes getting around so much more enjoyable.
But the real gift of both visits to Canterbury is the Franciscan International Study Centre itself. I have posted a number of reflections about the variety of people and cultures represented in this place. We all speak English but with many, many accents, and some do far it more fluently than others. We are also all tied into Franciscanism in one way or another. These facts have been brought home to me again the last few days as the students leave for foreign lands. Franciscans all heading back to their native lands or palaces of mission having benefited from the experience here of study and personal sharing. It is a privilege to have been a tiny part of their lives and the working of this place.
I fly back to Cincinnati tomorrow (Monday, June 25th); the day that Richard Goodin and Dennis Geib and Christopher Leigh will be received at Cedar Lake, IN as members of the new novitiate class of Friars. My prayers go with them and all of the students of FISC--they really have a great deal in common as developing Franciscans.