About 100 former students of the English College in Rome gathered in Westminster Cathedral last Friday for a special Mass to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the college.
Cardinal Hume was the chief concelebrant at the service, which was the first of several events to mark the anniversary. The day had been chosen because it was the feast of St Thomas of Canterbury, the principal patrol of the college.
The highlight of the year's celebrations will be a pilgrimage to Rome at the end of September, and the college is hoping that Pope John Paul will visit the college about that time.
The English College was for 200 years a hospice for English pilgrims coming to Rome before Pope Gregory XIII turned it into a training college for priests.