Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In London...

...for a meeting at the excellent Billings Family Life Centre run by Veronica Pierson. This Centre has helped to many couples, and Veronica is a person of immense commitment, courage and faith who has been working with dedication and skill since she founded the Centre in the 1980s.

This has been a week for friends. Yesterday a delightful lunch with a fellow member of the Association of Catholic Women, who had just returned from Rome, full of news and joy. She gave me a most beautiful scarf, and some medals and pictures and a lovely calendar with pictures of the Holy Father and we talked and talked. She is busy launching a Trust to raise funds for the school for blind children in India where her daughter has been working...a reminder that there are some wonderful young people who challenge and inspire us. (I'll be publicising more about this Trust in due course - a project hugely worth supporting).

And today an unexpected bonus - meeting a friend whom I had planned to see yesterday evening ...we had missed one another at the Cathedral but then were able to meet instead today. She has been working on the excellent Alive to the World series - amid all the controversy over Govt plans for Personal, Social and Health Education in schools here is something you can really trust as use while the debates rage. It really is a wonedrful resource, with modestly-priced books which children will love, use, read, and enjoy. Do visit that link for a closer look.

And then on to Tyburn, where I was visiting the nuns to make arrangements for the Martyrs Walk. (Book the date: June 20th: details from Continuity/Miles Jesu.) The Sisters at Tyburn are a tonic: I was welcomed with tea, the arrangements for the Walk were discussed with cheerful friendly efficiency, we chatted over dozens of other things, and I felt surrounded by affection and care.

Decided to drop in at Mass at Westminster Cathedral before I went home. We sang some wonderful traditional hymns as well as all the usual glorious Latin chant with the choir, and in honour of its being the vigil of the feast of the Annunciation made a special prolonged genuflection in the Creed. Huge congregation, Archbishop processing down the aisle with crozier blessing people... the Mass honoured Archbishop Oscar Romero, on the 30th annniversary of his death. He is not some one I have ever really studied: interesting info on the Mass-sheet - he prayed the Rosary daily, wore the Carmelite scapular, pleaded with people on both the political left and right in attempts to foster peace in his country. Those who have tried to portray him as a liberation-theologian seem to have rather missed the point.

On arrival home, a bonus - a simply wonderful email message from the dear Sisters at St Cecilia's on the Isle of Wight, with a copy of the message they have sent to the Holy Father. If I get their permission, I'll reprint it on this Blog.

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