Thursday, May 23, 2019

WENT TO VOTE...

...and there was something a bit odd.. Very long (almost 2foot!) ballot paper. First came the Parties: top of the list was Animal Welfare Party, and next would logically be Brexit. But no.  For some reason, it had been decided that Brexit begins with T,  Thus: The Brexit Party. But this did not apply to Labour, Lib-Dem etc. Weird.

After the list of parties - finishing with Women's Equality - came a long list of independent people standing.

I duly cast my vote and also had a proxy for another family member. This was arranged efficiently. But it is strange that one is not asked for any identity: when I arrived and gave my name and address they simply checked me, plus proxy arrangement etc, on the list. Trusting, and in its way atractively British. But in today's Britain...

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A day...

...with Clare Anderson, co-author of John Paul II:Man of Prayer.  So good to be talking in the sunny garden, catching up on news. When we first met, years ago,  I was an Army wife just returning to Britain after years abroad and establshing a new home, and C. was the mother of a young family....today the Anderson  children are grown up and married, and she and husband L. are joyful grandparents, with two more babies due this year...

Our mutual writing projects over the years have been fun and satisfying. At one point we'd meet up at Paddington station - convenient for both of us - and work on the JPII book together. Staff there at The Mad Bishop and Bear were friendly and interested, and even brought us extra free cups of tea as we worked away...today I dropped in  there for coffee en route to the Andersons, and thanked the team.  The book sells well...I've just ordered some more for some forthcoming events...

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Trawling the internet...

...for some other material, I came across this and  loved it. ENJOY!





...and meanwhile back in London...

...this feature tells a story...




WE WALKED UP GLASTONBURY TOR...

...and sang "Jerusalem" at the top, with the most glorious view of the countryside all around.

This was a  Catholic group gathered for a for a day conference at the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Glastonbury. There was a most beautiful Mass, then a time of silent adoration,  finishing with Benedction...and then a welcome in the parish hall, and I spoke about the Glastonbury Story. Joseph of Arimithea, the Holy Grail, the Arthurian legend...and the Abbey and the centuries of prayer, and the martyrdom of the last Abbott...and today, and all of us gathered to pray for our dear country...






Thursday, May 16, 2019

Come to Walsingham...

...for a special weekend this summer:

Jam, cakes, History, Heritage and Evangelisation 
9th to 11th August. A weekend exploring Catholic culture and history, and how to use it to evangelise. For more details, and to book, contact dowryhouse@walsingham.org.uk

Sunday, May 12, 2019

and Pope Francis...

...meanwhile has pointed out an essential home truth to women from religious orders who asked him about the possibility of female deacons.

Essentially, the answer is: no, women deacons are not a possibility, though no one minds having some more research and discussion in order to help us understand that fact more fully.

“In regard to the diaconate we must see what was there at the beginning of revelation, it there was something, let it grow and it arrives, but if there was not, if the Lord didn’t want a sacramental ministry for women, it can’t go forward. For this reason we go to history and to dogma."
“We are Catholics,but if anyone wants to found another church they are free [to do so].
Which is rather what some of us have been saying for years.

Thank you, Papa.

Another History Walk...

...and again I was late, this time delayed by a demo in Parliament Square...

But I made it to Westminster Cathedral, and  some of us were able to set off for what turned out to be a lovely walk, taking in St James' Park and Whitehall etc etc...

And here we are on the bridge across the Serpentine, with Buckingham Palace in the background:





...

A garden for Mary...

...and a wonderful book launch. It was a joy and priviledge to be invited to write for the Foreword for  A garden for Our Lady by Felicity Surridge, with its enchanting illustrations by Malcolm Surridge. The book was launched with a wonderful party - wine and talk and neighbourliness on a summer evening...and the Mary Garden that the Surridges have created at St Joseph's Church, New Malden,is a joy. The Surridges have done careful research and discovered the old Marian names for many of our flowers and plants - did you know that snapdragons were once known as "Baby Jesus shoes" and that Rosemary is "Our Lady's nosegay"?  And find out about the legend of the juniper tree, and about irises representing the spear that wounded Mary's heart...

You can order the book here, and it would make a delightful present for any Catholic friend - and anyone who enjys gardening or loves gardens.  And just buy it for yourself to enjoy. It combines gentle gardening advice with lovely stories and legends, and is a delightful book to browse through as well as one to consult for specific information - and for prayers and Rosary meditations. Best book that has come my way this year.

Friday, May 10, 2019

NEXT WEEKEND...

...come to Glastonbury!

It's known for a vast expensive noisy rock festival for rich people on some land outside the town.   But its real significance lies elsewhere: the town is linked with Joseph of Arimithea, the Holy Grail, the story of King Arthur, saints including St Patrick and St Dunstan...and much more, including the martyrdom of the last Abbot of Glastonbury, up on Glastonbury Tor.

Come to a prayer-festival organised at the church. Info from the parish: read here...

Thursday, May 09, 2019

WORRYING...

...a planned new law in California  stating that priests must reveal  sins that are confessed to them.

This is evil.

Obviously, priests will refuse.

But think how such a ghastly law, if passed, would be used!
Read here...