Wednesday, March 23, 2011


...and the Oxford Oratory, where great plans are afoot to create a shrine to Blessed John Henry Newman, and a cloister garden plus much-needed extra accomodation for the rapidly-expanding Oratorian community. Mass, a good number of people in the congregation, and several pews filled with children in bright yellow school uniform teeshirts, looking rather sweet. They were all going one by one to confession, the confessional door opening and shutting with its quiet click.

Then coffee with Elizabeth Mills, who is part of the fund-raising team for the Building for the Future campaign. We are having a gathering in London in May to reach potential donors, and have been emailing and phoning to arrange this: it was good to be together and working on lists and plans in a sunny springtime day in Oxford.

On to the Caldecott family and the team presenting the forthcoming play celebrating John Paul II. A contagious sense of joy and enthusiasm - and a lot of hard work ahead as they rehearse. This looks like a play well worth watching: click on that link to get details.

Appropriately, I'm reading Why he is a saint: The Life and Faith of Pope John Paul II. The information on JPII's prayer life is intensely powerful. It really challenged me: this is the bit of life that really matters...

Dusk falling as the train takes book and Bogle back to London...

1 comment:

Sheila A. Waters said...

Joanna, Your charming description of a "sunny springtime day in Oxford" is quite a contrast with the wintry snow, sleet, and rain we are still having in NY! The unsettled weather matches our mood.
Congress is on holiday this week, and Pres. Obama has been in South America;but, political talk abounds informally in the neighborhoods of Westchester Co., NY. Conversations begin with the words: "Can you believe the mess we are in over in Libya?" Cable TV ratings for Libya coverage have soared all over the USA since March 19, and I suspect that many Americans echo the questions being asked locally, to wit: Why are we involved in what may be a civil war? Why are we still trying to solve disagreements among allies after combat operations have begun? Former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has mentioned on TV that he "wants the operation to succeed now that troops are in harm's way." He discussed that, early on, "mission determines the coalition," so you must "clarify the mission and proceed to attract countries in agreement with the mission." You also need to figure out "who has the ability (politically & militarily) to lead the mission." Neighbors are wondering WERE ALL THOSE STEPS CAREFULLY TAKEN IN THE BEGINNING IF A HEAD OF A COUNTRY IS RELUCTANT TO LEAD...why not drop out instead of dithering for three weeks? Former Secretary of State Kissinger opines in TV interviews: "What if Gaddafi leaves? It will take an international effort to create political structures for people who have been governed for many years by a King and then a dictator." Kissinger warns that we must not become so distracted by this operation "that we ignore an important question elsewhere: WILL IRAN DOMINATE THE GULF? Keep your eye on that."
We all have more questions than answers these days. Church services are crowded as we pray for guidance for our country, our world, during this turbulent spring and, of course, for the protection of coaliton troops.
Sheila A. Waters
Bronxville, NY