Young Catholic Adults and Schola Gregoriana Retreat

Douai Abbey 28th to 30th October

For some years Associates of the Schola have been joining with the YCA on a weekend retreat, usually in the autumn at Douai Abbey. The YCA is a group which promotes the spirit of orthodoxy with charity; it has a deliberately non-divisive outlook, and uses the Church’s devotional heritage in order to aid souls. It promotes celebration of Masses in the Extraordinary Form, Adoration, the Rosary, and other devotions. The YCA aims to promote a spirit of beauty and reverence in the Sacred Liturgy. This aim accords with the similar aim of the Schola to proclaim the word of God through the divinely inspired music of the chant. At these retreats the Schola leads the singing at Mass and the daily Offices, and encourages YCA members to join in rehearsals. The lecture programmes of the YCA and Schola rehearsals are linked and timed to allow members of either organisation to attend both. Each day ends with a social gathering at which old friendships are renewed and new ones made.

At the outset Christopher Hodkinson distributed music books covering the entire weekend, as usual beautifully prepared with translations alongside the Latin, coupled with full rubrics. On the Friday evening we sang Compline of the Feast of SS. Simon and Jude, ending with a Procession and Aspersion with Holy Water during the singing of the solemn Salve Regina. Next morning we sang the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday (EF) at a High Mass in the parish church according to the Roman rite. Later in the morning rain curtailed the Marian Procession in the Abbey grounds in honour of Our Lady of Fatima. That evening we sang First Vespers of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King, and after supper Compline in the Abbey Church sung with the Community. On Sunday morning the Missa Cantata for the same Feast was celebrated in the parish church by Fr. Thomas Crean, the Chaplain to the YCA, according to the Dominican rite.

Douai Abbey is a splendid venue for these very successful retreats. Food and accommodation are excellent, and participants benefit from the peaceful atmosphere of the Abbey and the beautiful surrounding country. Everyone left hoping for a repeat visit next year.

Grey Macartney