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Catholics in Healthcare: Men and Women of Conscience: The First Annual Retreat for Young Catholics in Healthcare and Young Catholic Adults

10th March 2018

Why we chose Tyburn to be the location of our first youth retreat:

Tyburn Tree: a short video by Luke Davies on Vimeo


The CMA’s New Evangelization Committee were pleased to work alongside the Latin Mass Society (LMS) at our first annual CMA youth retreat entitled ‘Catholics in Healthcare: Men and Women of Conscience’. Mass was celebrated by Fr Serafino Lanzetta (of the Marian Franciscans) in the crypt of Tyburn Convent. The LMS organised a server and a small choir for the occasion. Tyburn, once the site at which many of the martyrs were hanged is now home to the National Shrine of the Martyrs of England and Wales. It seemed particularly fitting to hear the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the older form of the Roman Rite here as this is the Mass the martyrs risked their lives to say and hear.

The following is a report from a young medical student who attended:

The Blood of the Martyrs is the Seed of the Church

“On the 10th March 2018 the CMA hosted a day conference for young healthcare professionals at Tyburn Convent. The conference started with Mass in the Extraordinary Form, complete with Gregorian chant, a wonderful opportunity to expose young professionals to a beautiful celebration of the Mass they may seldom have encountered in their own parishes.

In the first talk of the conference, one of the Tyburn nuns reminded us of the historical precedents of conscientious objection in a fascinating and moving account of the lives of the Tyburn martyrs. Her talk was a reminder of three important facts: firstly, whilst we may feel challenged at times, our lives are not literally on the line; secondly, the battle has already been won, just as the blood of the martyrs is now glorified, so will our small battles give way to glory in the future; lastly, we have the prayers of so many religious (and lay) people around the world to support us in our endeavours to do what is right.

The ensuing discussion on conscience was thus set up in the context of eternity and placed us in a humbling lineage of figures now gone before us, who had remained true to their convictions to the last – the martyrs of course, but also more contemporary figures such as Dr Jerome Lejeune who fought so voraciously to defend the rights of people with Down’s Syndrome. The two talks on conscience, delivered by Dr Joseph Shaw from the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and Mr John Smeaton from SPUC provided us with a thorough philosophical and practical grounding in the nature of conscience within the healthcare setting, both what it is, and perhaps more importantly, what it is not. The day ended with a panel discussion enabling the attendees to enquire about some of the practicalities raised by the talks and so engage directly with the speakers. The Q&A session also provided the opportunity for various professionals from the floor to offer their insights, demonstrating the diverse range of knowledge and experience present at such a meeting.

Overall, the day was a great success and it was a real privilege to listen to such fantastic speakers in such a beautiful and apt venue.  Many thanks to the Tyburn nuns for their hospitality and prayers, they are, of course, assured of ours. Many thanks also to the CMA for organising such a stimulating conference!”

Holy Mass under the replica gallows in the relic chapel at Tyburn Convent, celebrated by Fr Serafino Lanzetta. Almost 100 people attended Mass, and over 50 people attended the retreat afterwards.



10th March 2018
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The National Shrine of the Martyrs of England and Wales
Tyburn Convent
London, W2 2LJ United Kingdom