Monday, October 15, 2018

And in a private conference...

...a most useful series of talks on this ghastly promotion of propaganda - in our schools and with complete disregard for the truth - about how people can "transition" from being male to being female, and vice versa, simply because they have a feeling that they should.

Excellent input from medical experts, explaining how wrong this all is...but the most worrying aspect  is that there is no possibility of a serious discussion of this subject in medical journals as there is so much fear surrounding it. When a distinguished doctor wrote an important analysis in a major publication he was denounced by "trans" and homosexual/lesbian lobby groups because he did not share their ideas...and the journal formally apologised for oublishing his work.

It's horrible...like the ghastly staged trials in Eastern Europe in the 1950s with people bullied into denouncing their friends and colleagues, and retracting their own ideas on freedom and democracy.  What on earth is going on?

On the way home, I picked up an Evening Standard...a chatty feature by a young columnist described how she was "having a baby with a friend" with sperm from a donor, and was wondering how many unknown siblings the child might have.

The Britain of the near future is going to be a frightening place.

A visit...

...from Bishop Lopes, of the North American Ordinariate, who celebrated Mass at the Church of the Most Precious Blood at London Bridge this morning...all this week the three Ordinaries are meeting, so this was a chance for him to see this parish. Opportunity for a celebration...a glass of fizz afterwards along w. the usual coffee etc. For after-Mass gatherings, the parish now uses space at The Sidings, the nightclub under the railway arches where we had Mass during the summer when the church's new floor was being laid...

Meanwhile in Rome, St Paul VI canonised, along with St Oscar Romero and others...saints whose help from Heaven we can now invoke...orate pro nobis...

Paul VI was a man of courage. He was savagely attacked in his lifetime by critics who tried to spread calumnies against him, and now even when his holiness has been recognised by the Church for all time, there are crude voices raised against him. He is a saint for all who are maligned and villified for upholding the truth of the moral law and for loving and serving the Church...read here...










Saturday, October 13, 2018

To Richmond...

...and to this church, which has seen a substantial rise in numbers over the past couple of years...it is across the river from St Mary's University, where I am often to be found busy with my research work.  Lovely to be in Richmond - a place with strong family asociations for me - on an Autumn evening.

Long ago, a young man made a film - in the early days of home cinematopgraphy in the 30s - about the Autumn tide along the Thames, bringing the Autumn to this roverside town. It  featured his parents and siblings: Autumn walks, his schoolgirl sister crunching into a ripe apple, the first leaves scattering down along the paths... and it won an award, and is now of course a period piece. If he had lived, I think he might have been a successful director/producer/writer...  But he did not live to do that. When war broke out, he volunteered for the Royal Air Force and was shot down somewhere over the North Sea.....he was my uncle and his name is on the big RAF memorial overlooking the Thames at Runnymede. And  you and I owe to him, and others like him, the duty of keeping our country a good and happy one, where truth and freedom are upheld and where we can worship God on an Auytumn evening and practise our faith without fear...

To Bexleyheath...

...in Kent, for a morning assembly, tp present prizes gained by pupils at St Columba'sCatholic  Boys School in the 2018 Schools Bible Project.  One pupil has won a major prize and will come to the House of Lords in December to receive it fromour Trustee Baroness Cox.

It was a pleasure to be at this school. The boys were smart in their uniforms, friendly and courteous to a visitor, and attentive to the Scriture reading and prayers ked by their teacher. At the prayer "St Colmba. pray for us" they touchinglyput their hands on their hearts as they echoed the response.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

And the latest FAITH magazine...

...can now be read on-line here...

Bl John Henry Newman...

...is commemorated annually on  the eve of his Feast Day with a Night Walk through Oxford, marking the night when he was received into full communion with the Catholic Church by Bl Dominic Barberi.  This year's Walk was  particularly splendid - a glorious Autumn evening, Oxford glowing in lamplight,  leaves russet and brown beneath our feet, and  a large crowd of walkers - including many young as this is Oxford.  The Walk begins at the Oxford Oratory and among the prayer-intentions was one for more vocations for the Oratorians - an apparently unnecessary prayer as there are a good number of young ones and it is all thriving...

I'm doing a good deal of walking at present. The next day, back in London, there was a Westminster History Walk. Again, large numbers. We start at Westminster Cathedral, walk down Ambrosden Avenue, learn about the Choir School and the Archbishops of Westminster from 1850 to the present, and head  down towards the Horseferry Road via the pubs and streets named after charity-schools (Green Coat Boy, Grey Coat Hospital etc), and on to Parliament...

Sunday, October 07, 2018

WALKING....

...and walking....

After Mass this morning I walked around  Southwark and The Borough  to check the route for the afternoon's History Walk. Then lunched, and met the batch of walkers waiting at Precious Blood Church - a lovely friendly group - and off we set.  On every walk I learn new things...this time about St Olaf, of whom there is an unexpected statue in this church which I attended recently when weekday Masses were not possible at Precious Blood because of the renovation work.  St Olaf was the great Viking king who teamed up with Saxons to fight pagan Viking invaders and saved the city of London... I knew the story but until today I had not fully explored the memorial on the rather pleasing Art Deco office block that bears his name...

Friday, October 05, 2018

THE SYNOD...

...has opened in Rome, and THIS contribution by Archbishop  charles Chaput is of great importance. NOTE IT, ask your Bishops to follow it up: the issue is a central one, concerning truth, integrity, and the value of the human person.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Rose hips at Walsingham...

...and plenty of serious things in our hearts as we gathered to pray.

I gathered the rose hips along the Holy Mile, and am taking them home to turn into rose hip syrop for the winter. We of the LOGS group  had gathered at Precious Blood church at London Bridge and  were sent off for Walsingham with a pilgrim blessing after Mass. As we approached Walsingham we  stopped for tea with an Ordinariate family who have recently settled there and our pilgrimage began with a cheery catching-up of news and a real sense of welcome...and of course we met them again the next morning for Mass at the Church of the Annunciation where there is a good-sized congregation for week day Mass...

Our days of pilgrimage included a Rosary Walk along the Mile, a priviledged visit to the ruined Francican friary - the Franciscans are now back in Walsingham and much in evidence at the Shrine - and a most useful afternoon meeting for planning our future activities for 2019 and beyond...

There was also the unexpected pleasure of a splendid Pilgrimage Mass celebrated with pilgrims - and their Bishop - from the diocese of Lancaster, plus pleasant evenings one of which included a glorious long walk along by the coast at Wells.  The sun was setting in rose-ink glory beyond the sands, and the halyards  of the dozens of little  boats in the harbour were making that faint bell-like sound against the masts in the evening breeze. Kathie said "I'd like to sing 'The day thou gavest Lord...'"  and so we did, turning for home with the cheery lights of the town promising a welcome and a good meal.

A happy time, and a good pilgrimage. We had carried ourpetitions in prayer to the shrine of Our Lady and left them there. Plenty of concerns, and mostly not trivial ones: these are not easy times for the Church and the world.and a pilgrimage isn't an escape from reality but a way of connecting our own duties and responsibilities with reminders of God's providence...

Sunday, September 30, 2018

THE GREAT RETURN...

...to church this mornng, as the Church of the Precious Blood at London Bridge opened its doors wide  to reveal its gleaming new marble floor and sanctuary and the congregation poured in.  Candles glowed and incense wafted up. The children's choir sang from the gallery, the  September sunshine streamed in through the windows, and Father C. blessed the new font and we renewed our baptismal promises with great vigour and were splashed with the newly blessed water. It was glorious and solemn and joyful and a new chapter of the Church's long and splendid mission in London.  I hadn't expected to find it so moving...

Tomorrow members of LOGS, the ladies group based at Precious Blood, will  set off on pilgrimage to Walsingham, where we will place our plans and our hopes - and our concerns and worries and personal prayers and more - into the hands of Christ's mother at the shrine where people have been doing the same for a thousand years.

The Catholic Women's League...

...in the diocese of Southwark invited me to speak at their conference, held today at St Joseph's, Roehampton,  and I was given a warm welcome. I spoke about the recent  ADOREMUS Eucharistic Congress, and it was great to share memories of this splendid history-making event, and especially of that grand Eucharistic procession, the crowds, the atmosphere...

Today was a golden September day, and simply travelling by bus along by the Common was glorious.

My only regret about speaking at the conference was that I missed the annual "Two Cathedrals" Blessed Sacrament Procession, held each September to mark the anniversary of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain...but I looked up the pics afterwards and it went well, as always...beginning at Westminster Cathedral, crossing the Thames  to Southwark and finishing with Benediction at St George's Cathedral...