Monday, January 05, 2009

Mourning Cathedral College, by Kathy Staudt

My friend and former teacher, Dr. Kathy Staudt has written a wonderful and beautiful piece about mourning the loss of the Cathedral College, formerly called the College of Preachers. I have my own thoughts and reflections about my time living nearby and spending time at this institution, and about the wonderful people that I got to know who work there, and those who visited there in my time around that place. However, I have not been able to write about it just yet, for reasons that are a bit unclear to me. In the meanwhile, I commend Kathy's piece to you, her observations are something like my own.

~ The Rev. Peter M. Carey

I've posted a bit below, and you can read it all HERE or HERE.

(Also on Episcopal Cafe)
By Kathleen Staudt

Like many people I have felt great sadness at the news that the Washington National Cathedral will be “suspending” programs at the Cathedral College beginning March 31, and until further notice. Sad, certainly, about beloved staff members who will be laid off. Two programs that I’m involved in with Esther de Waal, are still a “go” for the month of February – “Approaching God Through Poetry” from February 2-6, and a weekend conference on “Faith, Art and Poetry in a Post-Christian Age” February 27-1. I wouldn’t ordinarily “plug” these except that I think people may not realize that the conferences being offered before March 31 are still a go this year, and may offer a last chance for awhile (we hope not forever) to be in this very special place. But the closing of the College feels to me a bit like a death in the family – and it has me reflecting on what the place has meant to my own spiritual growth over the years.

The College has been a part of my inner spiritual landscape for many years. I first visited there on a Saturday in June, perhaps in 1995 or 1996, for a Quiet Day in honor of Evelyn Underhill, a yearly event that we have held at the College whenever we could reserve the space. We met in the book-lined library, with its black chairs and red cushions, worn but homey rugs, and those high casement windows, facing out on the “garth” at the center of the place, and the thick stone walls that turn out to be soaked with prayers. Especially as we shared communal silence, I was aware that this was sacred space. If you have been there when there aren’t many people around, you may know that feeling—walking into the foyer of the place, one experiences a resonant silence, and a sense of being at home.

Read the rest HERE or HERE.

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