Monday, June 18, 2018

The Eucharistic Congress...

...takes place in Liverpool in September and I'll be there...the ticketing seems unecessarily complex - there are meant to be 2 delegates from each parish, but of course that means lots of discussion and checking and fuss... Why don't they just say:"All welcome! Buy a ticket!"

Anyway, my ticket is all organised, and I'm looking forward to it all, especially as Bishop Robert Barron is to be a keynote speaker.

MASSIVE History Walk on Thursday...something like 100 people. We began at Westminster Cathedral and although we had a formal completion at the gardens alongside the Houses of  Parliament,  a large crowd wanted to continue down along the Thames to the Tower. A great atmosphere and a wonderful afternoon. Some of us peeled off at London Bridge for Evensong and Mass at Precious Blood church...and then afterwards I hurried across the river to the the pub near the Tower where the final group had agreed to meet for supper....and things finished at a very late hour...a hearty meal, prosecco,  lots of lively talk...and then out into the summer night and I caught almost the last Tube trundling out to the suburbs...

It was a busy week...a LOGS meeting at Norwood on Monday evening...excellent talk from Fr James Clark, chaplain at the John Fisher School.  A family connection with the school goes back a good many years...and in the chapel there are some altar-kneelers worked by Auntie Joanna...

LOGS has some good plans for the Autumn, starting with a three-day pilgrimage to Walsingham, staying at Dowry House.

At the weekend, a wonderful Silver Wedding party given by a couple whose wedding J and I attended...golly, it just doesn't seem 25 years ago...Saturday's gathering was joyful and full of friends and fun...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Meanwhile in Ireland...

...what on earth do the organisers of the World Meeting of Families think they are doing by inviting  this priest to be among the speakers?

Ireland badly needs a large-hearted, open and joyful gathering to celebrate God's plan for love and life. For far too long in the last century,  there was more than a hint of Jansenism in the approach to married life and to sexual communion. It created a whole sort of myth about the true nature of the Church's message, that bore sour and poisonous fruit in more recent years, with this ghastly result in the referendum on abortion.  It's time for a fresh new approach...not stale rubbish from an American talking about lesbianism.

FOR GOODNESS' SAKE, IRELAND!  Wake up! Look to the truth and beauty of the Christian teaching - and give it a fair hearing with open hearts!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

and for more on that Arundel procession...

...read Auntie Joanna here...


Tuesday, June 05, 2018

"Why haven't you written up your blog recently, Auntie Joanna?"

I am flattered that people have been asking. It's only been a few days.  But they have been busy days.

Minor adventure in Arundel. After a glorious Corpus Christi procession - packed cathedral, wonderful music, excellent sermon from the Bishop, fabulous procession across the moat and through the castle grounds, glorious gardens and meadowland, Benediction there and then again in the Cathedral - I took a lingering walk through this lovely Sussex town, dallied over a glass of wine, tackled some emails. Then went on to the station - and found there were no trains!  A substitute bus would take me to Billingshurst, and the driver was kind and went on to Horsham for me. But the station there was also bereft -  must have been engineering works, or something. Another stranded passenger said a mate ran a good hotel not far away and gave me the number...I phoned, got a room, and spent a very comfortable night with an excellent breakfast in the morning.

Trains were running by then, so on to London to meet a colleague to map out some more History Walks.Pub lunch at the Mitre, after Mass at  St Etheldreda's...it was good to be back there, a favourite haunt when St E's was the Guild church for the Catholic Writers' Guild...

The weekend saw the regular First Saturday Mass at this church, honiuring Our Lady of Walsingham: I had invited a friend and we had an agreeable chatty lunch afterwards near the river. Then on to Night Fever at St Patrick's, Soho.Sunday saw another History Walk, and then the Procession from St Patrick's through Soho with the Blessed Sacrament, and giving out devotional cards to all the crowds...Benediction in the churchyard at St Giles-in-the-Fields and then, chatting afterwards, a sudden late-night and enjoyable Chinese meal nearby.

There's more. But that's roughyly why I didn't have much time to blog.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

On the train to...

...Arundel, where every year there is a glorious Carpet of Flowers in the cathedral to honour the feast of Corpus Christi. Things culminate in a procession through the town, with Benediction in the castle grounds. I'm on the train whooshing through the London suburbs and in due course we'll be in the Sussex countryside. Knights and Dames of St Gregory take part in the procession and I have my green cloak etc with me.

Yesterday evening an excellent meeting of the Catholic Writers' Gyuild, held as usual at Farm Street.    Topic was  Hanna Chrzanowska.  No, I hadn't heard of her either. But it's a fascinating story: she is the woman who, among much else,  organised and ran a system of home-nursing  in Krakow in the difficult years under Communist rule, transforming the liives of sick and handicapped people who were marooned in grim conditions in dingy flats, unable to get out and lacking proper care. With teams of volunteers, Hanna  gave practical care and also organised day-trips, singalongs, gatherings for prayer and celebration...all this with the support and encouragement of Archbishop Karol Wojtyla. We in the West are now only just beginning to grasp the significance of how the Church provided for human and spiritual needs under Communism, and these stories are emerging...lessons for us to absorb and examples to follow......

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A tragic...

... and alas not unexpected, result in Ireland.

One of the most baffling comments in the post-referendum round-up of interviews: a jubilant lady who announced that she had voted  for repeal "for my daughters...I have two daughters, and I want it for them"  Can she really be saying that she cheerfully assumes her daughrers will want to abort their babies?  Does she really want to tell the world that is how she expects her daughters to behave? Ugh.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

After the Royal Wedding...

...read Auntie's take on the subject: here...