Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Oct 26th

Just off to do a radio phone-in programme with Radio Five Live, about Church schools - or, as we are now supposed to call them, Faith schools - debating with various people from the British Humanist Association and so on......but while I am waiting for the cab to come, there is time to write my blog.

Extraordinary coincidence - providence, call it what you will.......a message sent to this blog (see comments, yesterday) from America, from a lady who knows my cousin Patricia and her husband Mark.....so I immediately telephoned Patricia who said "Joanna! I was just about to telephone you!!" It turns out that Tricia - who designs beautiful architectural extensions to houses - is designing a layout for a "virtual tour" of the Catholic Distance University to put on the website, and it is all run by this nice lady who has contacted me. As there are umpteen million people in the world, it is rather fun when there is this sort of contact/coincidence via the Internet..... I'll write more about this when I've learned about the Catholic Distance University, which sounds a great idea and well worth discovering....

Tricia and I seem to deal in extraordinary coincidences. Here's another one: my niece L. is at university, where Tricia's daughter is also studying, and they are at the same college....that would be coincidence enough, as the two girls had never met, and each went quite independently to the college......but then, earlier this year, L. was looking for new accomodation for herself and a group of friends, and she learned of a house to let, and telephoned the number.....and it was Tricia, who recognised the name and said "Er.... we're related! I'm your father's first cousin!"

Spent the day in London, cycling first to Sloane Square where I had coffee at Peter Jones (big shop, wonderful panoramic view over London from its 6th-floor coffee shop) with Josephine Robinson chairman of the Association of Catholic Women....lots of useful plans for the next months, including some fund-raising for help with families who have children with Downs syndrome, ideas for our 2007 Schools Religious Education Project, etc. Then on to the Catholic Truth Society bookshoop, where I picked up some booklets on the Reformation which I will take with me to the Coming Home Network conference in Columbus, Ohio, at which I am speaking.....hurrying home with the rain falling, I took a phone call from the BBC and said "Can I call you back? It's raining here and I've got washing on the line....." so it was only after I'd rushed around getting the laundry safely into the house that I was able to sort out the plans for a Radio 5 programme later this evening.

At the CTS I bought - and will probably give to Mother for Christmas (she doesn't read this blog so it doesn't matter my whispering it here!) a copy of the superb new book about the Holy Father by Peter Seeward (Ignatius press). It's wonderful, with lots and LOTS of beautiful colour-plate pictures of our dear Holy Father and a great deal of information about all the things he has done.....what an extraotrdinary and remarkable mind he has, and what a gift to the Church he is at this stage of our history.....and every day, this man is still working and accepting the massive responsibility of an office with burdens from which anyone would shrink, let alone some one of almost 80.....

1 comment:

Augustinus said...

Joanna - great blog - reminds me of the column you used to write in the Catholic Times.

In connection with the Catholic Distance University, it will be good to read more about it. I assume you are familar with the wonderful work of the Maryvale Institute, which provides degree level courses (BA and MA) - all by Distance Learning - across a wide range of Catholic subjects, here in the archdiocese of Birmingham, but readers of this blog may not be as familiar. Worth checking out.