3rd Annual Day Conference

Education for Parish Service

Eucharist: Challenge and Possibilities

Thursday 24th May 2012

The Centre for Christian Formation, Tooting Bec




Our speakers from left to right:

Rev. Dr. Ignatius Edet, Assistant Priest at Merton in the archdiocese of Southwark, whose doctoral thesis focussed on ecclesiology.


Elizabeth Elive, STL, MA, whose research interests include the Eucharist in relation to contemporary forms of hunger.


Dr. Marcus Pound, Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University, whose book Theology, Psychoanalysis and Trauma presents trauma as a powerful metaphor for what takes place at the Eucharist




The Day began with a prayer, led by Fr. David Gibbons, Director of the Centre for Christian Formation.   

Dr. Anne Inman, the Director of Education for Parish Service, then welcomed the gathering and explained the aims of the Conference:


·        to give our students and the wider community the opportunity to hear papers from some of the leading theologians in the country;


·        to focus on one theme out of sheer enthusiasm for the subject;


·        to have the opportunity to discuss that theme with some of the leading thinkers in today’s Church.   


EPS encourages and supports dialogue between different sections of the Church, and it was a joy to welcome not only our Foundation Degree students and tutors and former EPS students, but also members of the Catholic Theological Association, several priests from the Southwark diocese, as well as various members of the faithful from Southwark and beyond.



Our first speaker, Ignatius Edet, (seen here on the right) began by reminding us of Augustine’s teaching on the mystery of the Eucharist, including the mystery of the Church as the body of Christ and its members.  Ignatius then went on to explore a Eucharistic vision of the Church with reference to Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes.









   In a powerful presentation Marcus Pound argued that  
   psychoanalysis is the contemporary voice most   
   suited to a discussion of transubstantiation. 


   Trauma, argues Marcus, is a powerful metaphor for what   
   takes place in the Eucharist.  Trauma is that which cannot 
    be assimilated by the symbolic.  As such it invites us to
   step outside of the symbolic systems that sustain us.  
   In the Eucharist God enters into time without being fully 
   subsumed into time. 



Marcus likened anamnesis to the re-living of the traumatic event during psychoanalysis.  Salvation, or healing, takes place through the re-living of the traumatic experience



      After the morning sessions  
    there was the opportunity to
    attend Mass with the staff of
    the Centre for Catholic   
    Formation.  There was also
    time to get to know each other 
    and to share ideas over





  Elizabeth Elive began her paper with a number
    of slides representing various forms of  
    contemporary hunger. 
Elizabeth gave impressive
    witness to the  power of prayer, and spoke of the
    importance of sharing  with our contemporaries the
    joy we receive through the Eucharist.



   The day wound up with a plenary session involving all three speakers













Following this Fr. Paul Mason, the Director of The On-Going Formation for Priests Programme in Southwark led a concluding prayer and a blessing.