Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LONDON: History....

...with a visiting American priest  who will be bringing a big group later in the summer. We walked around St Thomas More's Chelsea, and included a visit to the seminary, Allen Hall where we were made most welcome. The seminary  numbers are going up and they are having to rearrange accomodation to find the neccessary rooms this Autumn. This is good news...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hurry and book your place...

...on the John Paul II Pilgrimage to Walsingham. 6th-9th August, starting with an open-air Mass in the ancient abbey at Bury St Edmunds - where Magna Carta was first drawn up.

Easy to book - simply email sister.hyacinthe@googlemail.com


More info here

Sunday, May 24, 2015

"You can't go there - the roof's fallen in"...

...was what friends said when I announced my intention to go to Mass at Blackfriars, Oxford. Well, actually, the roof hasn't fallen in - but the chapel does need some work and restoration, and so at present Masses are celebrated in the Refectory.  It's a good sized  long room, formal, panelled, with a fine ceiling - but it is smaller than the church and so Mass was absolutely packed and it all got rather warm. But it was a most delightful and inspiring Mass - whereas the Sunday morning Masses attrract families with children, this evening Mass in Oxford of course  sees large numbers of young people, They filled every available space, including the Medieval-style long benches lining the walls on either side. Splendid singing - the Mass is combined with Vespers, so the psalms rang back and forth, the strong voices of the young Dominicans (there are lots of them!) mingling with those of the young congregation. A young girl was being confirmed, ands we all joined in the reaffirmation of Baptismal promises: "Do you renounce Satan?" "I do" "And all his works, and all his empty promises?" "I do"...

It was a delight, afterwards, to exchange news with Fr Richard Conrad, a longtime family friend and coincidentally one of my lecturers when I was doing my first Degree at Maryvale. and with Br Samuel Burke...

And then I hurried to the station and am writing this on the train to Paddington, looking out from time to time at the  most glorious glowing sunset over the passing countryside.

OXFORD...

...and the celebration of a new Chesterton Library, based at the Oxford Oratory (St Aloysius).. Speeches, wine, delicious food, lots of lively talk.  There was a reading of a 1909 debate between George Bernard Shaw and Chesterton, with Dr William Oddie taking the part of the latter.  It made one realise how utterly faraway is that Edwardian England...

The evening was cheery, convivial, celebratory and gently academic, much greeting of friends and general enjoyment.

Afterwards, out into the Oxford summer night, with "hen party" girls shrieking and wobbling on their spiky stilt-heels, and joining groups of undergraduates in drunken vomiting and staggering about in the pedestrianised shopping centres. Police hovering about in their ugly heavy anti-stab jackets, with siren cars at the ready, lights flashing.

A bus out through the Oxfordshire countryside, and an overnight stay with relatives. In the morning, news, expected but still depressing, of Ireland's collapse into absurdity.  Over the past few years, I have learned much, of  the bossines and deficiencies in the old-style Irish Catholicism...it offers no joy to note that now Catholicism, in any style at all, seems to be treated with derision there...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A walk along London's river...

...with  lots and lots of history on thee way...

Several kind readers of this Blog have sent me comments about the EWTN series currently running, about London's Catholic history. I am glad that the programmes are giving so much pleasure...the team working on this included some fine camermen and a great producer, and all the people interviewed gave of their very best too, making it a most satisfying project.  I loved doing it all, and the answeer to the frequently asked "Will you do more of these features?" is most certainly "YES!".  There is so much rich history to explore, and it all has so much to teach us.

More info on all this can be obtained from EWTN: best to enquire there about broadcast times etc...I don't have this information.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

And meanwhile in a Kent village...

...something good is happening too....read here. And admire Auntie's handiwork too...

You might need cheering up a bit...

...so read this.

Male and female...

...and why there are two sexes...and whether it's important...and why there is a male priesthood...and more...

Fascinating talk by Fr Roger Nesbitt at the Evening of FAITH held at Golden Square, Piccadilly, on Tuesday evening...

These are regular evening talks...more info here...


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Looking ahead to the Synod in Rome in the Autumn...

...this is a rather useful read...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Tyburn Lecture...

..is an annual event organised by the splendid nuns at Tyburn Convent.  Each year it is given by a prominent figure in British public life. This year's lecture, held a few days ago,  took up the theme of freedom, on this 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. A superb address - read here, examining the trial of  the heroic St Edmund Campion, and his defence of freedom, especially freedom of expression.

It is always a crowded gathering: I only just squeezed in at the back. Afterwards, the beaming nuns serve drinks and delicious food and there is a great chatter of talk...it's a grand gathering of men and women of the Church in England. It was particular pleasure to be greeted by Sister Margaret - who taught me at St Philomena's,...and to talk to Br Samuel Burke of the splendid young Godzdogz team...

A warm London evening, and it seemed a pity to hurry to the Tube. I set out to walk, sharing part of the route with Mgr Keith Newton of the Ordinariate, going bac to Warwick Street. Lots to talk about, after a great lecture with a sweep of history and large ideas...


Cardinal Pell and St John Paul the Great, and the great Tradition...

...of the Church. The Synod this October will not and cannot change the Church's teaching on marriage. Read here.

We began in the Mary Garden...walked along the riverside...saying the Rosary...

...on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady  at Hampton Wick.

This is an annual walking pilgrimage, begun after discovering a story about St John Paul the Great.

In the 1970s, concerned about finding enough priests - in the difficult years under Communism - for his diocese of Krakow, he made a promise to our Lady that he would walk to every  Marian shrine within walking distance  of the city, if she would grant him one new young priest for each such pilgrimage. Soon his seminary was full...

So we've started a walking pilhgrimage... an adapted form of the Krakow idea.  Rather than go to various Marian shrines, a walking group starts in the Mary garden at this church, and  walks into Kingston,  crosses the Thames there, and then follows the river down to Hampton Wick,

We prayed the Rosary along the way, and sang the Regina Caeli at the shrine, and were given splendid refreshments and a happy social time  before departing to our homes...