Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Where does the family start?" mused Sir Winston Churchll...

"...It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl. No superior alternative has yet been found."

Today he would be roundly denounced for saying that, and probably made to retract the statement.

Oh, please let's bring back sanity to Britain, so that people can make kindly remarks about blindingly obvious truths on marriage and family without fear of formal censure .

On a crisp, cold London January morning...

...we walked from church to church around The Borough as part of Christian Unity week. Southwark is so rich in history, and I've mostly known about London Bridge and the river, and Saxon battles against the Vikings, and so on...but there's simply lots and lots to explore as you walk through the network of streets that lie between the Borough High Street and Waterloo station.

St George the Martyr is all  18th-century-with-high-pulpit, then tucked away in a side-road is a Welsh Chapel, built by the substantial Welsh community that settled in these parts in the 19th century - it's largely disused but, pleasingly, it does host occasional services which the local MP, Simon Hughes is invited to address as he speaks good Welsh...  Not far away is the charming garden which marks where a big and once popular "High Church" Anglican parish thrived: the church was hit by enemy bombing in WWII and only one part now remains,  owned by the Anglicans but now closed...and then only a few streets from that is another former High Church bastion which also suffered from WWII but has a small house with some Anglican Franciscans in it, who kindly invited us to visit  a charming tiny chapel restored in the 1970s...

And of course there is the great St Saviour's Cathedral - a glorious peal of bells every Sunday - and then the Church of the Precious Blood which will be familiar to readers of this Blog...

I had a dozen things that needed doing at home, but am so glad that this cold day of bright winter sunshine was given over to a throrough exploration of a corner of London I have come to love. I first knew Southwark as a young woman, visiting my father's office at Tower House, Hopton Street, next to Blackfriars Bridge. I remember a tall rather bleak building but with superb views over the Thames, and, excitingly, down below, magnificent printing works gloriously clattering and rolling with a satisfying noise, and the smell of ink...

Friday, January 23, 2015

for family reasons...

...this tune came back into our lives today. It has a charm that hasn't faded.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

THE FIRST CATHOLIC HISTORY WALK OF 2015...

...will take place on Wednesday January 28th, starting at 6.30pm (after the 5.30pm Mass), at Westminster Cathedral. Meet on the Cathedral steps. All welcome - no need to book, just turn up. Wear suitable clothes and shoes for walking! We'll be going down to the river, discovering the origins of the Greencoat Boy pub, the Virgin on the Westminster City coat-of-arms, and the name "Westminster" itself, among much else.   Come and join us!

And book these future dates in your diary:

WEDNESDAY February 11th - a lunchtime walk. Meet at the 12.45pm Mass at St Patrick's, Soho.,

MONDAY March 2nd, 6.30pm  - a tour INSIDE St George's Cathedral, Southwark. Meet at the door of the Cathedral. Nearest tube: Lambeth North or WATERLOO.

and, looking further ahead:  SUNDAY JUNE 21st, the Martyrs' Walk through London.    Starts 1.30pm at the churchyard of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, (near the Old Bailey - nearest Tube is St Paul's).  Finishes with Benediction and Tea at Tyburn Convent.)

"Our Father, who art in Heaven..."

...a prayer that every child in our country ought to know.

And if you are teaching at a Church of England or Roman Catholic primary school in Greater London, your pupils can take part in the great "Our Father" project. Send a Comment to this Blog, WITH AN EMAIL ADDRESS AT WHICH I CAN CONTACT YOU, and I will arrange for you to be sent details.

Faith, freedom, human dignity...

...and a young priest whose cause for canonisation seems to be drawing nearer...read  here.

Auntie feels, along with many other people, a personal link with this because of adventures taking aid to Poland back in the 1980s...

Monday, January 19, 2015

AAARGH!!! SPAM!!!

...by which I mean not the pink squares of meat that we used to have fried in batter as Spam Fritters, but that sort of junk email that begins "Dear Friend, I am In Need of Help and Kno That you will be of Good Kindness" and asks for your bank account details.

But I discovered today, following an anguished phone call from a work colleague "Why haven't you answered my emails?" that a number of emails from friends and colleagues have, over the past three to four  weeks, gone into the SPAM folder on my laptop. AAAAARGH!!!

I have now tackled all the emails - not without embarrassment and difficulty - but the Comments sent to this blog have proved impossible to recover. One can't post them once they have been deemed to be Spam. Alas...

While I was tackling this, a colleague had to deal with the horrible mess resulting from his email having been hacked...

And we both agreed that the whole Internet thing is, at best, a very very mixed blessing.


A joyful celebration...

..for the fourth anniversary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. See here...

Approximately seven million people...

(according to TV and internet) attended Mass celebrated by Papa Francis in the Philippines, in horrid weather but with huge enthusiasm. Golly.  Even if it was half or two-thirds of that number, it's an awful lot of people.

Next time you are told the Church is dying, remember that.

The Church is growing and growing: 653.6 million Catholics worldwide in 1965, and the latest figure is 1.229 BILLION.

BTW, an interesting analysis of the situation of Catholics in the USA is here...

To the author in George, USA...

...who would like to send me the outline of his book: I would love to be in touch about this but PLEASE SEND ME AN  EMAIL ADDRESS AT WHICH I CAN REACH YOU.

I am unable to reply to a Comment on this blog. The system is specifically designed so that it is impossible for me, or anyone else, to contact you via the Comment.

It is necessary for you to send me a Comment - which I will not publish - which includes you email address.  I can then contact you.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Evening with the FAITH Movement...

...this week at the church hall at 24 Golden Square WI (near Piccadilly CIrcus) was excellent. The speaker was Fr Stephen Dingley, who lectures at St John's Seminary, Wonersh, and looked at the whole question of human life and its meaning, tackling the deep questions. Do human beings have an eternal destiny? Are we different from animals? Why is the universe here? And even: what makes us want to ask these questions?

The hall was full. These Evenings of Faith conclude with wine and pizza and much talk.  Lots of young people, mostly students. Older people are welcome too, of course. The hall is in the crypt and . on a winter night, going down the iron steps in the dark  and into the warm glowing room has a slightly early-Christians-meeting-in-secret feeling to it...

Next meeting is on Tuesday Jan 27th, 7.30pm - all welcome.   Speaker: Mgr Keith Barltrop. More info here

"Love is...

...patient and kind...love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things...Love never ends."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

This blog...

...will be absent for a few days.

Please pray for the dear soul of Jenny Bogle, beloved wife of Professor David Bogle, and mother of their young daughter. Jenny, a much-loved sister-in-law of this writer, died this morning after a long illness.

 A loving wife and mother, a gifted musician, a woman of courage and kindness.

"We do not mourn as those without hope".


Monday, January 12, 2015

On Saturday January 31st...

BISHOP PHILIP EGAN will be the speaker at a special day conference on

THE PARISH AND THE NEW EVANGELISATION

looking at the message of

Evangelii Gaudium

at St Patrick's, Soho, London W1

Other speakers will include Fr Alexander Sherbrooke (St Patrick's) and Dr Caroline Fairey (School of the Annunciation).

The day starts with coffee at 10 am, and includes Mass and Vespers.

To book, contact: guildofourladyandstjoseph@gmail.com

More information from The School of the Annunciation

Young members of the National Association of Catholic Families...

...are organising a YOUTH RETREAT for the weekend of Feb 14th/15th. It will be led by the priests of the Community of St John and will take place in Ipswich, Suffolk.  The theme will be The Mass, with teaching sessions on  what the Mass means, liturgy, sacrifice...

Ipswich is easily reached from London Liverpool Street and from Cambridge. Cost of the weekend is £30, with reductions for siblings. More info from  Mary Lennon on 01449 723636 or email  paulmichaelkeennan@hotmail.com