We are delighted to share some of the many highlights, as well as articles that stem from these events or are fine, standalone pieces, from our packed 30th-anniversary year in this special edition of the MBA Pearl Jubilee Journal. Our 2023 anniversary calendar included events connected with our patron, Lady Margaret Beaufort; a silent retreat and a Julian of Norwich pilgrimage; a gala fundraising concert held in the chapel of Fitzwilliam College; a Garden Party for the Cambridge Alumni Festival weekend in the beautiful grounds of Blackfriars Priory; a Mass celebrated by the Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Rev. Peter Collins for the holy souls of MBI; an Abrahamic Religions panel at the Faculty of Divinity; and a keynote lecture, buffet, and Compline at St Edmund’s College as our anniversary finale. It was a hugely enjoyable and successful accolade to this wonderful institute and an opportunity to connect with friends old and new. We now look forward to the next 30 years!
As an addendum to the MBA Pearl Jubilee Journal, here is a reflection from our Acting Director of Research, Rev. Dr. Dominic White OP.
As I come to the end of my second year as Acting Director of Research, I wanted to express my immense pride in, and gratitude to, our now 50-strong MBIT Research Community. We take a “whole Church” approach: we welcome people and questions from every group, movement and opinion within the Church – we don’t do “labels”. Instead, an approach of synodal deep listening enables us to approach urgent and difficult topics in a dialogical way. Two examples: the Women & Daikonia conference, on women’s access to the diaconate, for which the Synod on Mission has called for a continuation of research, and the Views from the Pews conference from 2022, seeking to effect reconciliation in the tension over Old and New forms of the Roman liturgy – this is now being turned into a book for publication with St Mary’s University Press, hopefully in 2024.
Being dialogical, we are therefore also ecumenically “outgoing” from a strong Catholic centre: we welcome researchers from other Churches to our community and our seminars. And we find ourselves in a graced convergence with Pope Francis’ vision for Catholic theological institutes as pastorally focussed, transdisciplinary and outward looking.
Rev. Dr. Dominic White OP