...where I had the great delight of staying with the Hester family - Eric Hester is a distinguished former headmaster, and a current Catholic writer, and we all sat agreeably over a delicious dinner talking and talking until late...
On Monday I went to St Charles Primary School at Rishton to present prizes won in the Schools RE Project run by the Association of Catholic Women.A happy morning. The children came quietly in neat lines to morning assembly, looking very cheerful in their red-and-white uniforms, and there was a friendly chorus of "Good Morning!" when I was introduced. They all knew about the Holy Father and his forthcoming visit - great eager forest of hands when I asked his name, and that of the first Pope - and considerable excitement as I announced that children from this school had won prizes and certificates in the special nationwide project to mark his arrival. Warm applause as the prizes were preesented...a happy, heartening morning.
The countryside was glorious in summer sunwhine as the train took me back to London. At Westminster Cathedral various groups were filming in preparation for the visit of the Holy Father, One team was from Channel Four and were distinctly chilly and not friendly when we went over to chat. Another was from Sky News and rather more human.
Why not pray for all involved with Channel Four News? They have souls too and will have to meet God one day...
St Paul's Publications have produced a delightful book to mark the conclusion of the Year of Priests. It's Our Priests, (£6.95p) written by children, and would be the perfect present for your parish priest, seminarian, or ordinand. There are some gems in it, some comic, some very sweet, some surprisngly thought-provoking.
"A Priest is a person who gives his life for Jesus. At Mass it's like Jesus climbs into a Priest's Bbody and does all the work."
"A priest is some one very important in the church, they can be hardworking. I think that a job of a priest is hard, they help the poor, they help at funerals and weddings. Priests worship God and help people get close to God.They tell people to try to confess the bad things they have done, however being at church can be happy because people sing and pray."
Not all the results of a priest's work are satisfactory:
"Thanks for praying for my baby lizards but only 3 out of 10 survive"