The St Catherine’s Trust
for Traditional Catholic Education
Traditio et Veritas
Our 2009 Summer School

Staff     Timetable     Click here for more photos

Sung Mass
From Sunday 2nd to Sunday 9th August, St Catherine's Trust held its fifth annual traditional Catholic Summer School for boys and girls aged 11 to 18. This took place once again at Ardingly College near Haywards Heath in Sussex, and was attended by twenty-two boys and fourteen girls from as far afield as Shetland, Ireland and Luxembourg.

The school included daily Missa Cantata, Rosary and Sung Compline in the college chapel, which is extremely well suited to the traditional rite. Subjects taught included Catechism, History, English Literature, Philosophy, Latin, Gregorian Chant and Sacred Polyphony.

Mrs Shaw once again taught New Testament Greek to some of the students. the alphabet and enough vocabulary to look at the Last Gospel in its original Greek. A Greek wordsearch (with English clues) featured as part of this course.

The play on the final evening
The boys also received tuition in altar serving, and gained serving experience at the daily Masses - several of them as Master of Ceremonies. Afternoon activities included football, tennis, sewing and country walks. Evening talks were given by Fr Rupert McHardy of the London Oratory (on St Philip Neri) and Mr Jamie Bogle (on Blessed Emperor Charles of Austria). On the penultimate evening there was the usual high-spirited quiz on the things the students had learnt during the week, showing, as always, that they had been paying attention. On the final evening our Headmaster Mr David Forster directed a staged reading of part of Dorothy L. Sayers' radio play The Man Born to be King, covering the Carrying of the Cross and the Crucifixion. This was performed to great effect by the students.

On the Feast of the Transfiguration we enjoyed a day outing to Lewes, including a Missa Cantata in the church of St Pancras, by kind permission of the parish priest Fr Richard Biggerstaff.

Mr Simmonds leads a chant practice
A special session each day was devoted to coaching a group of the students to join in the singing of the chant Propers on the final Sunday, and a larger group was similarly prepared by our old stalwart Miss Aurelia Ratcliffe to sing the polyphonic motet O Sanctissima at the final Mass. Our expert organist Mr Alexander Morrison accompanied this, the chant ordinaries, hymns and psalmody with his usual sensitivity and aplomb, in addition to playing a wide range of uplifting voluntaries.

Although student numbers were fewer this year than previously (due to the school dates being unavoidably later) the quality of the students was high and the school was judged to have been one of the best so far.

A Typical Day's Timetable  Top
12.05-1.20Sung Mass
Afternoon and Evening
2.20-4.20Country walk, football, tennis or sewing
(Boys: Serving or chant practice till 3.20)
5.40-6.20Polyphony or Gregorian Chant
7.15-9.15Film, or talk by visiting speaker
9.20-9.50Sung Compline
10.00In boarding houses
23.00Lights out

Staff of the 2009 Summer School  Top

  • Mr David Forster (Headmaster, boys’ Housemaster) is Director of Studies at the Oratory School, Reading.
  • Fr Andrew Southwell (Chaplain) is a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark based at St Bede’s Presbytery, Clapham Park, London. He offers Mass exclusively in the traditional Roman Rite.
  • Mrs Lucy Shaw (Girls’ Housemistress, New Testament Greek, Sewing) is a linguist and a professionally trained cook.
  • Dr Joseph Shaw (Academic Organiser, Philosophy) is a Fellow in Philosophy at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, and currently Chairman of the Latin Mass Society.
  • Dr John Tennant (School Secretary, Gregorian Chant) is IT manager of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) and teaches Gregorian Chant for the Traditional Catholic Family Alliance.
  • Miss Theresa Sheppard (Latin) is a Classics graduate.
  • Miss Aurelia Ratcliffe (Sacred Polyphony) is a Music graduate.
  • Miss Susan Gollop (School Nurse, Assistant Girls’ Housemistress) is a retired nurse.
  • Mrs Gwen Sheppard (Literature) is a retired Latin and French teacher.
  • Mr Anthony Ozimic is Communications Manager of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).
  • Mr Alexander Morrison (Latin) is an Oxford graduate, and a week after our 2009 Summer School, entered the novitiate of the Premonstratensians at St Philip’s Priory, Chelmsford.
  • Mr Ashford Clovis
  • Miss Magdalena Czarnecka
  • Miss Caroline Marris
  • Mr John Simmonds (Gregorian Chant, Polyphony) is a Cambridge graduate and member of the St Bede’s traditional Mass choir.