...just off London's Leicester Square, is something of a hidden gem. It has a most beautiful image of Our Lady, as a young bride in white dress and veil, in a springtime garden, in the sanctuary. The church was full on Tuesday evening for the Graduation Mass for the latest batch of students from the St Patrick's School of Evangelisation...the Mass had to be held here because St P's is currently a building-site, undergoing massive renovations beginning with excavations of the crypt and basement area.
It was good to be at the Mass - I was with the students at various points during the year, giving them talks and leading them on history walks around London. Bishop Alan Hopes celebrated Mass, and gave the students their diplomas, and then afterwards there was a buffet and much talk.
When Catholics get together in large numbers, topics that come up: a good deal of strong feeling about the Pope's visit: when and where do we get to see him, cheer him, hear him?; continued - and actually increasing - strong feeling about the abolition of our Holy Days, especially in this season when we've missed Ascension Thursday and Corpus Christi. NOTE TO OUR BISHOPS: WE WANT OUR HOLY DAYS BACK, PLEASE!!!! No one is convinced that there has been any merit in moving the Holy Days to the nearest Sunday: members of new groups such as the charismatic renewal feel especially strongly about this, as part of the whole message opf the New Evangelisation is that BEING A CATHOLIC ISN'T JUST FOR SUNDAYS!