Columbans attend 'Living Theology' in Birmingham

23rd July 2018 - by Nathalie Marytsch

On 21-22 July, Columbans Fr Ray Collier, Fr Tom O’Reilly and Mauricio Silva attended a Living Theology course in Birmingham. Nearly 50 people from different organisations and parishes were at St Paul’s Convent in Selly Park for this two-day course.

‘The Parables of Jesus’ was the first course we attended. It was delivered by James Crampsey, a Glasgow-born Jesuit, lectured in Biblical Studies at Heythrop College for twelve years after which he became Provincial of the British Jesuits for six years. These stories of Jesus embedded in the Gospels are a source of encouragement and challenge to the contemporary world. “What is the Kingdom of God like?” asks Jesus, and gives his answer through the parables. This course looked at the parables of Jesus and how they have been received. Do they continue to make us think? Have we heard it all before?

‘Practical Theology’ was our second course. It was a reflection on what we know about God and the world we live in. It was an exploration of our understanding of God, and the ways in which that affects the world. The course was delivered by Michael Smith a Jesuit priest who has spent most of his life in education. He now specialises in adult education, and lectures in several places on theological topics.

The final course was entitled ‘Introduction to the Psalms was also delivered by James Crampsey. In this course we looked at the variety of Israel’s individual and communal prayer and asked whether we can make these prayers our own. There are poems of praise, poems of lament, remembering poems, dark poems with elements of violence. The Psalms have been described as a conversation with God conducted in public. The course invited to reflect whether Psalms challenge our own ways of praying.

More information about the Living Theology course can be found at

Mauricio Silva
Inter-religious dialogue Coordinator
Columbans in Britain