Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Spent the afternoon...

...dusting and hoovering....

Nothing special about that, of course - except that it wasn't at home, but on the bare wooden planks of an empty church.  The fine new marble floor at Precious Blood Church has been covered for these past few weeks because of building work, which is now nearing completion. We have been having Mass in the night-club opposite, or in the bare church with a makeshift altar. The wooden flooring is very very dusty - my backpack was covered in dust when I picked it up after (stupidly) putting it down during Mass last Sunday.  So...as the planking was slowly unscrewed and removed, we had to hoover each piece before it was carried away to be stacked in the hallway,  or the dust would have settled again on the new walls and ledges and steps etc... and then hoover again the cardboard layer beneath the planking...and in due course we'll finally be hoovering the finally-revealed new marble flooring....

It was warm work, and the tea that finished the afternoon was hugely welcome. Then I hurried across the river to the City, where a group of French missionary priests were meeting...they are busy at St Patrick's Soho for the next few days, at a conference on evangelisation, gathering and sharing ideas and information...we made our way together to  Tyburn. It was a powerful moment as we gathered at the site of the gallows, and knelt to pray there, and to kiss the hallowed site where martyrs shed their blood for Christ and the Church...it's on a traffic island where the Edgeware Road meets the Bayswater Road opposite Hyde Park.

Monday, March 25, 2019

On the subject of Cardinal George Pell...

...it is worth reading an analysis by a man who is no admirer of the Cardinal: read here


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Re that petition to the Dept for Education...

... re the plan to teach small children about lesbianism etc...here's a thoughtful and useful analysis. Read on...


Want to give a child a special Easter gift?

Try "A Book of Saints and Heroes" and/or "A Book of Saints and Heroines". Yours for £5.00p - contact this Blog WITH AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR  POSTAL ADDRESS AT WHICH I CAN REACH YOU.  These are satisfying, readable, stories, attractive paperbacks, about some of the great men and women of the Christian centuries.

Enjoy school-stories? Ask me about "We didn't mean to start a school", a cheerful girls'-school story.

Chocolate eggs are a must for Easter - but a really satisfying book adds to the joy...

SIGN THIS PETITION...

...it is rather urgent.  Join with others to tell the Government to drop this ghastly scheme to teach small children about being lesbians and homosexuals.

Sign here: and pass the word on to friends.

It's important.

And on St John Paul...



... and his pontificate...read this by one who worked with him for years...


Thursday, March 21, 2019

WORTH READING...

...this





Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A fellow Catholic writer and journalist...

... Caroline Farrow, has been questioned by police because she used the pronoun "he" in a discussion about a man who now says he is a woman.

I am not making this up.

Apparently she might be prosecuted under a law that could imprison her for two years.

Today's Daily Telegraph sums up the situation well:
'She is to be interviewed under caution  following a television debate with a transgender activist who took exception to Mrs Farrow's refusal to say "she" instead of "he".This might be a point of issue between the two individuals but by what possible measure of sanity does it become a matter for a police investigation?

'Moreover, what law has she broken? It is not the job of the police to dance to the tune of the aggressively militant and miniscule trans lobby but t uphold the law of the land. Whatever misgendering is, it is not an offence.'

There is something evil around in Britain at present - a spirit of vindictiveness and spite, in an atmosphere of confusion.  Pray for our country.



LET'S HEAR IT FOR MEN!


....read this piece in the Catholic Herald...


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

By lantern-light, a walk exploring history...

...across Richmond Green and through the archway of the Old Palace, and down to the river...

We met at St Elizabeth's  church at 7pm, and I had brought my lantern, and a spare supply of candles for it. The walk took us through the stories of Henry VII, Henry VIII and the Tudor saga...and plunged further back into history with Henry I and the first Royal palace built at what was then Shene...

After the Walk finished, a small core of us went on to a riverside pub...much enjoyable talk...many good things happening at st Elizabeth's, a parish with a fascinating history, and with a sense of evangelism...

Monday, March 18, 2019

Come to DOWRY House, Walsingham, this summer!

Starts: Friday 9 August 2019 @ 5pm
Ends: Sunday 11 August 2019 @ 2pm
A weekend celebrating Catholic culture – and how to use it to evangelise.
Talks and practical activities to celebrate and spread the Faith
To book, contact Dowry House Tel: 01328 801018

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Good to be back in church...

...for Mass, instead of in a night club. But the Church of the Most Precious Blood is still a building-site. Masses of dust on the floor - but not on the seats which a team of good parish volunteers cleaned carefully and energetically beforehand. The proper pews will be back soon - with some new ones added as the congregation is growing substantially. The children's choir sang enchantingly.

In the afternoon I led a cold wet History Walk from Westminster Cathedral down to Parliament.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

PRAY...

...for Cardinal George Pell,     Watch this for a useful discussion.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

I've been asked...

...to publicise this Retreat, which seems of value...


A Retreat with a Difference
A Foyer de Charité Retreat will be held at Hinsley Hall, the Diocese of Leeds Pastoral Centre, from Sunday 21 July (6pm) – Saturday 27 July (2pm) 2019. The theme is God’s Plan for the Fullness of Time, and the preacher will be Mgr. Keith Barltrop, with help from past retreatants. Foyer retreats are held mainly in silence, with three talks a day, and offer a holistic way of deepening our faith in the Church’s teaching and our life in Christ.  The Foyers are communities of consecrated lay people living with a priest in order to help others grow closer to Christ and live the Catholic faith more fully. For further information or to book a place, contact Mgr. Barltrop:keithbarltrop@rcdow.org.uk07879 953953; St. Mary of the Angels, Moorhouse Road, Bayswater, London W2 5DJ

In bright sunshine but a bitterly cold wind, we walked around an ancient palace yard...

...and along the Thames at Richmond, learning about Edward I and Edward II and  Henry VII and Henry VIII, and an ancient Carmelite Friary, and more...

Sunday afternoon History Walks are proving popular.  See here for future walks...


Saturday, March 09, 2019

The bogus rubbish ...

...that calls itself International Women's Day needs to be exposed. I did so, last time this nonsense came around. In case you missed it, read here...

Thursday, March 07, 2019

The latest issue of FAITH magazine...

...can be read here...

Or, if you send a Comment (which I will not publish)  to this Blog WITH A FULL POSTAL ADDRESS, I will post you a copy.

ASHES...

...and churches are always crowded. I went at lunchtime at the University and the chapel, though not full, had good numbers.

If you want a good cause for your Lenten alms, then the good sisters at this thriving community would value some help - they have an old building which is in a poor state and needs various repairs...

Spring is here. Come to the HISTORY WALK on Sunday in RICHMOND. Meet 3.30pm at St Elizabeth's Church, The Vineyard.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

and in answer...

..to the anonymous correspondent who wrote in to this blog:
 Dear Sir, No - the whole point about the Cardinal  Pell case is that the jury - and all of us -  must  not leave the facts aside and talk only about child abuse affecting various families, or about the Church, or about our feelings on these or related matters. We must, on the contrary, stick to examining the facts alleged about a particular event at a particular time. That is what a court is asked to do, and all concerned must remove all other considerations from their minds. So: was the Cardinal in the sacristy at the time alleged or was he, as witnesses have stated, in a procession walking through the crowded  cathedral and then greeting people outside?   How did the man who now makes the allegation explain his ability to go to his place in choir, unhurt, and sing as if nothing had happened? Why, if attacked as described, did he not shout or scream for help, especially as there were a large number of people nearby? Why did his friend not do so? These are among the many questions.

Our entire justice system rests on the understanding that the facts of a case must be established, on evidence given and examined. Whatever your opinions about a man's work or about events in the news, or about religion or race or nationality, you must leave these aside as you concentrate on listening to the information about the incident and establishing what occurred.

I am honestly appalled - and slightly frightened - by the realisation that in Australia today this is not the common understanding of what a court should do.




And you need to read this...

...on events in Australia...

Anglo-Saxons...

...and their prayers and poetry came alive for us this evening at this church at London Bridge. An evening led by Sarah de Nordwall and organised by LOGS - the ladies group based at the church, in conjunction with CATHOLIC HISTORY WALKS...we heard the history of Roman Britain/Saxon invasions/Vikings/Normans  and we listened to, among much else, some Beowulf, and some of the Song of the Rood...

The room was packed - we had just about enough space for everyone to cram in. LOGS did us proud with snacks and wine and pancakes  and pancakes and pancakes...it was a perfect way to mark Shrovetide, and one ofthe most successful-ever LOGS evenings...

Monday, March 04, 2019

The Sisters...

...at Minster Abbey in Kent  are inviting young women to a "Come and See" weekend, April 12th-14th .

They are delightful nuns:they live a contemplative life, have restored a Saxon convent, sing the Offices daily together in chapel, lead retreats, and have a welcoming  guest house. They offer weekends where you can learn various crafts, and have retreat-times for people who have been bereaved and for families with special needs.  I recommend a visit.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

This past week...

...each evening I have been listening to CS Lewis' That Hideous Strength  as an audio book. It is some 45 years since I first read it.  It is, in the real and not the attempting-to-predict-the-future sense of the word, prophetic. And important.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

And on the subject of Cardinal Pell....

...you must read this excellent analysis which looks at the whole subject,.

The issue at stake is justice: the jury is not meant to give an opinion on whether or not they like Cardinal Pell, but whether or not he committed the deeds alleged. One correspondent to this Blog wrote to me about this: his point was that it didn't matter whether or not these particular crimes had been committed: he just felt that the Cardinal seemed an unsympathetic character and so it was "karma" that he should go to prison. If that's a common view in Australia, then the justice system there cannot work.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

...and here is why:

1. The allegation was that he had committed a sexual act in the vestry. At the time stated, he was actually walking in a procession in a crowded cathedral  accompanied by a number of other people, and then greeting people outside, watched by a large crowd. Witnesses gave evidence to this.

2. He was not in the vestry at the time described, nor could it have taken place later (see 3). He was fully robed and it would not be possible for him to perform the act described in the way described. On returning to the vestry after greeting people he was accompanied by other clergy, who were present with him until all left the cathedral together. They gave evidence to this.

3.The man making the allegation stated that it took place in the vestry while he was a chorister. Choristers did not use the vestry  nor could they have been drinking Communion wine as claimed as it was locked away elsewhere. At the time of the alleged act, the then-chorister and his companion (who has since died, and before doing so admitted that the whole event had not occurred) were with the rest of the choir, rehearsing for a Christmas recording. Had they been absent, this would have been noted.

4.All of this was established at the first trial when the Cardinal was acquitted. Attempts to invent other incidents have failed.


INNOCENT.

CARDINAL GEORGE PELL IS INNOCENT.





Monday, February 25, 2019

MASS in the nightclub...

....in The Siding, opposite Precious Blood Church - was  extremely packed,the somewhat catacomb-like atmosphere enhanced by the decorative style, which in this particular part is deliberately distressed-spooky-shabby with no windows.  The overflow congregation spilled out into the corridor and hall and entrance-way. The club had offered their largest space but it still wasn't big enough...it will be good to have the church back in use!  We all peered in later.... gathering in groups around the doors...the walls are now being painted and it will look beautiful, light, and dignified, with the magnificent font and marble floor leading the eye to the sanctuary and altar.

I had planned...

..that this weekend's History walk would include a wander around Southwark and finish at St George's Cathedral, but , while sticking with Southwark and tackling  The Borough, St Olaf, Saxons and Vikings and more, we decided to finish by crossing the river and visiting the site of Bl John Henry Newman's birthplace, at the back of the Bank of England.  Most satisfactory.

The weird, unusually warm, weather made this a pleasant but tiring walk.I was very thirsty as it finished, and dropped into St Mary Woolnoth where there is a tea-and-coffee place.  This was closed but very lively Evangelical service was taking place, with young people from St George's Holborn singing and praying...they were super and readily brought me quantities of water and a brew of good tea...and I was glad to have a quick prayer there with them.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

To St George's Cathedral...

...Southwark for the Mass welcoming the arrival of the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham in its Dowry Tour.  Traditional Marian hymns,and the main part of he cathedral full. Main focus of the display is a reconstruction of the Holy House, flanked by candles, with a box into which people can drop cards listing their prayer petitions...and all around the Cathedral displays tell the story of Walsingham and the Dowry dedication...

Friday, February 22, 2019

For over 50 years...

...a penfriend and I have been corresponding, following a link established when we were both Girl Guides!  We now have an annual get-together...and by tradition, this is always on or near THINKING DAY, the annual day on which Guides across the world think of each other in gratitude for this great movement and all it has achieved...

I met A. at Paddington as arranged, and we had a happy day in London...in Parliament, where we saw the commemoration of the bravery of PC Keith Palmer....in Westminster Abbey where we prayed together and lit candles...and in Westminster Cathedral where A. was amused to see me featured in the current issue of Oremus magazine...

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Come and meet Auntie Joanna...

...and enjoy a weekend celebrating our heritage, with cookery, rhymes,  stories, history, and more!!
Find out about it here..and book in!  And tell your friends!

Everyone is welcome...come on your own (you will quickly make friends!) or with family...

Sunday, February 17, 2019

England re-dedicated to Our Lady...and on a grand scale...

...read here. This is of real significance.

Friday, February 15, 2019

History...

...in the making, as we made our way on an afternoon Catholic History Walk, starting at St Mary Moorfields (a packed lunchtime Mass!  Lots and lots of office workers...and it's like that every day!) and making our way along London Wall and down towards the Bank etc...

We explored Roman, Saxon, Norman, Medieval and Tudor history, and then as we reached our final goal there was a gently celebratory mood as as a new chapter of history sparkled: at the birthplace of John Henry Newman we rejoiced at the news of his coming canonisation.

SUMMER SCHOOLS...

...at the School of the Annunciation in the glorious surroundings of BUCKFAST ABBEY in Devon. Dates: Aug 8th-11th 2019/ for  DISCIPLESHIP AND THE HOLY SPIRIT  with  sessions on:

❖ The Holy Spirit ❖ Theology of Grace ❖ The Sacrament of Confirmation ❖ The Gifts of the Holy Spirit ❖ Authentic Christian Discipleship ❖ The Sacramental Life & the Love of Jesus ❖ Meditation & Contemplative Prayer ❖ The Effects of the Holy Eucharist ❖ St Therese & the Martyrdom of Love


or Aug 12-15 for CHURCH HISTORY AND THE FATHERS  with sessions on:

❖ The Founding of Christendom ❖ Fundamental Themes in Medieval Church History ❖ Themes in Modern & Contemporary Church History ❖ The Apostolic & Pre-Nicene Fathers ❖ The Post-Nicene Fathers of the Church

Or: Aug 15th-18th for PHILOSOPHY AND APOLOGETICS with sessions on:

❖ Philosophy and the Existence of God ❖ Can we know the truth? ❖ Can we know Christ Who is the Truth? ❖ Philosophy, Catholicism & Moral Questions


You can find out more from:enquiries@sota-edu.com

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Just been introduced to...


...THE VALUES FOUNDATION, an excellent organisation:  find out more about it here

They endorse this Statement of Values agreed by a group in Parliament led by Lord Alton.

This is an initiative that is badly needed. Why not contact them, show some support, and help give this group an effective voice?


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

REJOICE...

...our beloved John Henry Newman is to be formally declared a saint. Read here...

Monday, February 11, 2019

Save the date...


THE GENDER AGENDA

           A conference sponsored by the Association of Catholic Women
What does it mean to be male or female? How – and why – are the two sexes different?
Come and explore a Catholic perspective.

WEDNESDAY June 12th 2019      
                 St Mary Moorfields, Eldon Street London EC32M 7LS

11 am Coffee and welcome  

11.30 am Kerri Christopher, The Humanum Institute.
What does it mean to be human? Discovering an authentic understanding of the uniqueness of human personhood and human identity.

1.05pm Mass, followed by buffet lunch

2.30 pm Louise Kirk Alive to the World.
What are the current trends in schools on teaching about human identity and human relationships? How can we help children understand and value the truth about human beings and our responsibilities and care for one another?

Discussion
4pm Tea and depart

Admission by ticket, £15.00p Send cheque made out to Association of Catholic Women to: ACW, Flat 2, Salamander Court, 135, York Way. London N7 9LG

Kerri Christopher holds an STB and STL from Pontifical University of St. Thomas through the faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Michigan, focusing on the New Feminism. In 2012, she became the first woman in the world to receive a Licentiate in the New Evangelisation. As part of her doctoral studies at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, she researched the nature of gender and the vocation of woman. She regularly teaches courses on the thought of St. John Paul II, systematic theology, and issues of sexuality.

Louise Kirk is the UK Coordinator of the character education programme Alive to the World.  and author of  Sexuality Explained: a Guide for Parents and Children. She serves on the Commission for the New Evangelisation in Shrewsbury Diocese and  is a member of the Lords and Commons Family and Child Protection Group and co-author of its latest report on sex education schemes in Britain’s schools.

I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but…who know their religion, who enter into
                    it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not…
John Henry Newman
                             
                                 Association of Catholic Women: acwconference@gmail.com


Sunday, February 10, 2019

A fascinating day...

...in glorious Sussex countryside, with the Bruderhof community. Established in Britain since the 1970s, flourishing for long years before that in Germany and elsewhere, it is full of young families. Find out more here...

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Horror in New York...

...read here.   The Catholic Bishops have rightly denounced it.  But where are the other voices? Evangelicals seem to be less vigorous than 20 years ago.Episcopalians have long ceased to be a moral voice.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

In response...

...to enquiries about getting my books, especially the one on John Paul II  - you can use this link...or, if you want a signed copy, send a COMMENT to this blog, with an email address to which I can reply and I will give you the info.

Candlemas...

...and, it being the First Saturday of the month, we had our regular Mass and spiritual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. At the door of the church, before Mass began,  we each took up a candle and Father Chris blessed them all, and us, with holy water, and we processed, singing, around the church...

It was all rather dramatic because the church looks extraordinary at the moment - bleak wooden planking on the floor covering the fine new marble, scaffolding along the walls, notices proclaiming "DANGER - keep out" at strategic points...

After Mass, we enjoyed pancakes, produced by Auntie Joanna following a French tradition...to eat large round pancakes is customary on this day because it marks the slow ending of winter and the re-arrival of the sun...

Today at Mass, more blessing of candles...this time the great boxes of them, stacked in the sanctuary. These are the candles to be used in church through the year ahead.

I love Candlemas...but am not enthusiastic about the slow disappearance of winter. I love cold, bright days like today. The Thames is magnificent in wintry grey with sparkles of sunlight, the pub windows glow and there is good cheer within, buses look splendid trundling through the dusk. I am in no hurry for the heat and glare of summer.

Friday, February 01, 2019

At St Mary's University, Twickenham...

...continuing work on the History of this remarkable institution. The Library and the Refectory are warm and cheerful while icy rain lashes down outside. 

On the first Saturday...

...of every month, we have a special Pilgrimage Mass honouring Our Lady of Walsingham here.  10am.  We make a spiritual pilgrimage to Walsingham, and say the traditional Walsingham Prayer. Afterwards, we have some tea and snacks and hear the latest news from the Shrine.

On the ghastly topic of sexual abuse...

...there is a lengthy but important contribution here.

We need to understand the truth, and grasp what has really happened, and is happening.

St John Paul...

...and a most enjoyable evening lecturing to a large gathering at St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Interested in the book? Contact me, or read here

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Anglo-Saxons...

... were a most remarkable people, and you can connect with them  now at the British Library.Thousands of people have been doing so..

Once baptised and made Christian,  the Anglo-Saxons - barbarians from outside the Roman Empire, who invaded Roman Britain as that Empire crumbled -  produced the most magnificent books and illuminated manuscripts,  and in an extraordinary once-in-a-generation event, the most important of their prayer-books, psalters, Bibles and missals have been gathered as part of this magnificent exhibition.

I visited this superb collection with Sarah de Nordwall right at the beginning - the exhibition runs until mid-Feb - and we were riveted by it all. We had already been planning to offer a day of discovery of Anglo-Saxon Christianity, and this exhibition strengthened our enthusiasm. You can enjoy discovering Anglo-Saxon Christianity with us on March 4th, with pancakes too as part of Shrovetide. You will need to book: details here.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Scotland...

...and a meeting of the Editorial Board of FAITH magazine.

Back to Londn on the Caledonion Sleeper, a most agreeable way to travel.

This evening, to an excellent production of The Hiding Place, telling the story of Corrie Ten Boom and her family who hid Jewish people in their house in Haarlem, Holland,  in WW2. Her father was a watchmender and with her sister Betsie, Corrie led a quiet busy life, taking a special interest in the needs of mentally-handicapped children for whom she ran projects at their church. Then the Nazi invasion came, and there were people in Holland who were sympathetic to Nazi ideas and were also openly anti-Jewish. The Ten Boom family risked their lives to help Jews...eventually they were arrested, and taken to prison and from there to concentration camp. Betsie died in Ravensbruck. Corrie survived to tell the story and, especially, the Gospel message of love, mercy and forgiveness...

A powerful story, and one that we need to hear today.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Finally...

...the reputation of Bishop George Bell has emerged untarnished following a report into the unfounded allegations made against him. A statue of this great man - a truly noble figure, who helped refugees fleeing Nazi oppression and spoke up for true justice and decency in war - is to be installed in Canterbury Cathedral.

It would be right for the Archbishop of Canterbury to offer a proper apology for the way in which the memory of Bishop Bell was smeared. An opportunity will present itself when the statue is installed, and we must hope that he takes it.

I was glad to chair a meeting at Church House, Westminster, defending the reputation of Bishop Bell last year. Worth doing, and I found it moving to hear people who knew him, and/or knew of his life and work in detail, speaking of him.

The name of George Bell House in Chichester should now be restored, and a school bearing his name should now use it once more with honour.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Visited...

...this school to give a talk on the life and message of St John Paul II to the VI form.  A warm welcome, and a very enjoyable morning.  It was a particular pleasure to be greeted by a pupil who, when younger, had been a prizewinner in the Schools Bible Project. Info about this year's Project is here...open to pupils at all secondary schools in Britain.

The train journey back to London goes via Richmond, so I hopped off there to do some further research for the Catholic History Walks I am leading during the next weeks. Henry VII...a royal palace and the story of the Tudors...the Friars...Bl John Henry Newman...St Elizabeth of Portgual...and more...come and learn all about it! There are several Walks organised in this lovely riverside town...a place I know well as I began my journalism, long ago,  as a junior  reporter on the local newspaper, based in the main street...

Saturday, January 19, 2019

A museum in Israel...

...had a display on the theme of religion and commercialisation. One item displayed a Cross and a McDonads figure: Christians objected and it was immediately removed.

When offensive material has been on display in Britain, Christians have often protested in vain. It seems that our sacred images are better respected in Israel.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Been visiting...

...the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham, at their new convent - in a converted barn! - at Dereham in Norfolk. A happy, peaceful time. They are very busy and hard-working,  running Dowry House in Walsingham, but have a structured life which includes a free day each week...and this week  they invited me to come and teach them how to make cross-stitch kneelers for their chapel!

It was fun tackling this together in their pleasant  and well organised craft-room. I think the resulting kneelers - each one dedicated to one of their varius Patron Saints - will look well in the community chapel up in the rafters of the former barn.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

CALLING ALL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION TEACHERS...

...do make sure you know about the 2019 SCHOOLS BIBLE PROJECT. Open to every secondary school in the United Kingdom.  There are prizes to be won for individual pupils and for schools.

Find out about it here...






A delight...

...to lead members of the Sion Community through London on a Catholic History Walk. They are a wonderful team of people...doing excellent work in schools, and to my pleasure I learned that they have recently carried out a mission to my old school, St Philomena's in Carshalton.

We began at a section of the London Wall, and went on to the Tower, All Hallows, and then other churches including St Margaret Pattens and St Mary-at-Hill, and then finally crossed the bridge and finished at this church for Mass...it looks a bit bleak at the moment, but will look superb when the restoration work is completed. At present the new marble floor is hidden beneath protective wooden boards, and scaffolding is around the sanctuary sides...

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

I AM FED UP.,.,.,

...with campaigns against men.  So it was a relief to read this excellent feature.

This morning I led another History Walk around London. We stopped to pray at the site of St Thomas More's martyrdom on Tower Hill. Its stands in a small secluded garden, with his name listed along with those of others who were executed there.  It adjoins the large garden area that is sacred to the memory of the hundreds of men who died at sea serving in the Merchant Navy in two world wars.  These were the men who died bringing food to our beleagured country. They included boys in their teens. People like me were born into a free country because of men like that.

I AM FED UP WITH CAMPAIGNS AGAINST MEN.

Monday, January 14, 2019

A weekend of History Walks...

...first with a delightful group of young people, members of the Order of Malta Volunteers, from various European countries. We met at Westminster Cathedral and walked down to Parliament. A most enjoyable and happy afternoon. After I left them, a quick Tube dash to London Bridge, where another group of young people, led by Fr Hugh Mackenzie, based at St James, Spanish Place,   gathered for an evening History Walk, taking in the southern bank of the Thames, with stories  of St Olaf and Saxon/Viking battles. This was preceded by a cheery pizza supper with quizzes and games...

On Sunday, another group met at The Monument, and we walked to the Tower, taking in St Magnus the Martyr, St Mary-at-Hill, stories of the Great Fire, and more...

Jan/Feb issue of FAITH magazine has arrived.Copy sent on request: send an email to this blog, whuch I will not publish, with your name and FULL POSTAL ADDRESS...

Monday, January 07, 2019

Read Auntie Joanna on...

...the anniversary of Catholic Emancipation.  190 years.    Read here...

Sunday, January 06, 2019

MASS for the Epiphany...

...and Father C. blessed pieces of chalk for us to take home for our house-blessings  with  the C+M+B inscription.  . I have duly replaced last year's date with 2019 over our front door, saying the traditional prayer...

J. unwell with a bad cold, so I took our Advent wreath and big Christmas candle into the bedroom for  him to enjoy a last lighting of the candles before it was all put away until next year...

Pleasant quiet Christmasssy days with books and visits now give way to the reality of neccessary work and worries...I have kept up with various writing and with other projects over the holiday, but things now continue in earnest.

Twelfth night...

...and a party at the home of an Anglo-Polish friend, Gosia Brezinska. Wine and bigos and delicious cakes...lots of friends...and we had the Polish tradition of the "Fourth king", and sang carols in English and in Polish. The chosen "king" also supervised the collection of funds, which will go to help London children needing special care...

Gosia is illustrating my latest book, due out in the spring (info on this Blog in due course...I'm not putting details yet - you will have to wait!!) and we have enjoyed working on this project together.  Her own book on Polish WWII nurse Bl. Hanna Chrzanowska has been highlighted this year with the latter's beatification by Pope Francis...

For the fun of it, I went to this Twelfth Night party carrying a small candle-lantern: it is lovely seeing this mellow light in suburban streets and is useful in checking names of roads, and house-nu,mbers etc. It also made for friendly contacts: pleasant conversations on the Tube and at bus-stops...



Thursday, January 03, 2019

...and you may be interested to read these predictions for 2019...

...read here...





Looking ahead to the summer...

...already the travel brochures and websites are urging holiday plans...

Give yourself a treat at Walsingham, and come and enjoy this weekend with Auntie!  Read here...

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

On New Year's Day...

...an evening Mass at this church, very crowded. Beautiful Christmas garlands highlighting the fine gothic interior.  For the sheer pleasure of it, I walked part of the way there carrying a lantern. Met some friends at Mass and exchanged New Year greetings...they offered me a lift back which I accepted...candle in lantern now nearly expiring.

Mulled wine at home, supper, and gratitude for a beautiful Christmastide with rest and relaxation, family and friends.

I'm busy with various writing projects...and have another History Walk tomorrow...

Looking at the reality of Britain as 2019 opens...the collapse of  important social and moral values in community life, the inanity and vulgarity of so much of our common culture, the problems facing the Church...and more...there are plenty of serious things about which to pray...and there will be a need for courage among Christians in the years ahead. This Christmas has been a time to be grateful for everyday mercies and to stock up, as it were, on Christian inspiration, with lots of faith hope and charity for whatever is coming.

An important read - with thanks to a reader who drew my attention to it...

... a forthright and neccessary comment on a disgraceful situation in Australia...