Written by Liam Carpenter
I began the summer vacation from Oscott by spending 4 weeks in the parish of St Joseph’s in Derby. Pastoral placements are an integral part of formation for pastoral priesthood, and provide us seminarians with an opportunity to put into practice that which we learn in the seminary. Spending some time experiencing parish life also helps us to get to know different parts of the diocese, and provides an opportunity to work collaboratively with different priests, religious, and lay people.
Over the 4 weeks in Derby, I visited the schools, hospitals, and took Holy Communion to the sick and housebound. I also was fortunate to have been able to join the pilgrimages to Rodsley (birthplace of St Ralph Sherwin) and Padley (the chapel in which Blessed Nicholas Garlick and Robert Ludlam were arrested). The kindness, prayerful support and encouragement I received from the parish made a deep impression on me. Although I was invited to give several post gospel reflections, I suspect that I’ll be remembered not for my mellifluous preaching, but rather the two giant trifles I made for the shared table following the very joyful International Mass celebrated on my final Sunday in the parish. I am extremely grateful to Fr John Trenchard and the people of St Joseph’s for a very happy and valuable four weeks.