Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Useful analysis...

...of the situation in which the American bishops have now been placed...here...

Difficult days for the Church. Pray...

The work of the Church goes on. Today, a gathering in Parliament organised by Catholic MPs and peers, at which Cardinal Peter Turkson spoke, tackling issues of human dignity and human trafficking. There is some good work being done by Catholic groups on this...including nuns who run places of refuge for young women caught up in this ghastly life of prostitution...

The recent Catholic Women of the Year lunch raised funds for Bakhita House...

Today's meeting was in the Speaker's House, approached via a rather grand staircase and entrance just off New Palace Yard. We gathered in rooms lined with enormous portraits of bewigged former Speakers. A gentle reflective  moment of history before the talk turned to the matters in hand:  Cardinal Turkson recalled singing "God Save the Queen  at school as a child in Ghana...

...and this is what it is like...

...going on a Catholic History Walk with some of Mother Theresa's nuns...read here...

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Glasgow Herald newspaper...

...has printed a short feature about the FAITH Movement, written by the Editor of the magazine. Might be of interest: read here...

Sunday, November 11, 2018

REMEMBRANCE DAY..and ONE HUNDRED YEARS...

...since the Armistice of 1918 was signed.

J. joined his regiment for the march-past in Whitehall. I went to the local ceremonies at London Bridge. Later, to Westminster Abbey to hear the great pealing out of bells and to see the beacon lit, one of a great number across the whole country.

The bond that unites people in Britain for a short while each November is something quite extraordinary - and ordinary. People feel somehow normal: there is a sense of neighbourliness. In a packed pub, a kilted piper started to play and everyone applauded and called for more. Older men wearing medals - and especially really elderly men wearing  a row of medals - were greeted everywhere with respect. At Waterloo, taxi drivers wearing special "poppy rides" jackets offered free transport to Remembrance events to any Forces chaps, serving or retired.

People chatted, spoke of family members who had served in the Great War for the Second World War.. I thought of my grandfather, wounded twice on the Western Front...he reurned home finally to his wife and baby son...my Uncle John who in turn went on to serve twenty years later with the RAF in the Second World War and was killed, shot down over the North Sea...

As I write this, the beacons are still burning. When I am very old, I will remember that I was in London to mark the centenary of the Armistice, and that I remembered conversations with my grandfather who fought in that war.



Thursday, November 08, 2018

NEXT CATHOLIC HISTORY WALKS...

...will be:


SUNDAY 18th November, 3pm:  on a ROYAL theme, starting 3pm Westminster Cathedral, finishing at BUCKINGHAM PALACE



Monday Nov 26th   A tour INSIDE Westminster Cathdral: meet at the main doors 3pm



Tuesday Nov 27th  INSIDE St George's Cathedral Southwark:  meet at the main doors, 3pm


NO NEED TO BOOK: just turn up!

On the USA Bishops' crisis...

...read this comment 

Thursday, November 01, 2018

ALL SAINTS DAY...

...and  evening Mass at Precious Blood Church at London Bridge - not as crowded as the lunchtime Mass, but beautiful  with music (Merbecke - the Mass was in Ordinariate Form) and a cheery gathering afrerwards for anyone who wanted, with prosecco and chat before going out into the rainy night...

Come and hear the LOGS group sing carols:  Flat Iron Square, Dec 17th, from 5.30pm.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

And a meeting...

...with a longstanding colleague from Christian Projects. Over 25 years ago, we established what is now the annual Schools Bible Project. The young winners of the 2018 project will be coming to London in December to receive their prizes at the House of Lords. There is a sense of achievement about this, but the whole venture is always a work-in-progress. The internet has changed things, not least with the publicity. Local newspapers, radio etc used to report on the project and the prizewinners etc....but it is one thing to have a cheery report in a local newspaper, and another to plaster a child's name and school over a worldwide massive system.  And - more importantly - we have to check for plagiarism in the children's work. In the days when all the entries were hand-written, very few children simply copied out something from a textbook, and it was easy to detect it when they did...today the internet offers massive scope for cut-n-past jobs. In a sense, I think that, in all this as in much else, there has been a sort of loss of innocence...

A day...

...at Aylesford Priory, established by Carmelite monks by the Medway  over 800 years ago, destroyed under Henry VIII, revived in the 20th century...and glorious on a golden Autumn day, with bright leaves fluttering down beneath a blue sky in crisp fresh air...

After Mass we lunched in the ancient, thick-walled Pilgrim Hall, and then enjoyed the library in its gallery...much to discuss, given the state of the Church and so on...

Monday, October 22, 2018

...and pondering...

...the need for prayer for the Pope, that he may do what is right and stand firm for the Church's teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual acts, and take action as required... read here...

Celebrating St John Paul's FEAST DAY

...and praying very much for the Church today....

Confession and then MASS at Westminster Cathedral where, as Canon  Christoher Tuckwell reminded us with a sweeping gesture of his arm to point it out, a great stone set into the floor before the sanctuary commemorates, with a Latin inscription, the fact that Saint John Paul  - many of us remember it - came to the Cathedral  and celebrated Mass there in 1982.

Then, with colleague Sarah de Nordwall, a visit to the superb celebration of Anglo-Saxon life and literature - glorious  illuminated books of the Gospels, psalters, and more - in the British Library. A working lunch there, planning joint history/poetry/cultural events for 2019 with the Catholic History Walks and the Bard School....

...and then, a celebration Tea to honour St John Paul and talk about what he taught us, with sharing of books by and about him...

And may St John Paul the Great intercede for us all in the Church today...we need his prayers badly...