After our propaedeutic course ended, the College took up its “other life” as a home-from-home for visiting groups from Scotland and elsewhere (i.e. we even had a few from Ireland this summer!).
First up was a group from Holy Cross parish in Glasgow, led by their Parish Priest, Mgr Hugh Bradley, along with their former parish assistant Sr Pauline Dempsey and former Parish Priest, now retired, Fr Neil Donnachie. It is a parish which has visited often before, so they know their way round the College and Salamanca. Visits to Ávila and to the Peña de Francia and La Alberca were organised, with Mass celebrated in the Carmelite and Dominican monasteries in each place.
Later in July, a group from St Augustine’s parish in Milton (also Glasgow) stopped with us for a few days as part of a longer trip, which included a few days in Fátima, marking the centenary of the apparition of Our Lady there in 1917. Several other visitors over the summer were also with us for a few days en route to or from Fátima marking the centenary this year. A small group from Limerick in Ireland completed July.
In the autumn, our regular group from St Ninian’s High School in Eastwood stayed for a few days, learning a little more about Spanish culture, about the spiritual traditions in this area – particular about St Teresa of Ávila and the Camino de Santiago, of which they walked a small part – and practicing their Spanish. That and a cooling splash in the College pool each day, given the warm summer weather we were still enjoying well into September (unlike home!). Their visit ended on the feast of “La Virgen de le Vega” (September 8th) which is marked as Salamanca’s main feast day – the celebrations lasting a full week – and which begins with processions, dancing and fireworks, all of which were much enjoyed by the group.
The final group of the summer came in early October, from St Francis Xavier’s parish in Falkirk and a few other parishes nearby. Full day visits to Ávila and Segovia as well as visits around Salamanca’s major sites (for most this was their first visit) were among the highlights.
All in all, 2017 was a beautiful summer and our various groups enjoyed their stay immensely. 2018 is already well booked up for groups, so we hope they enjoy everything as much as these did this past year!
For more on visiting or staying at the College, click here.