Sunday Nov 19th
Westminster Cathedral. Academic Mass to mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of Newman House, the Catholic chaplaincy for the University of London. Superb sermon from Cardinal Francis Arinze who celebrated the Mass (cathedral packed, with lots of young people. My nephew G, a postgraduate student, did one of the Bidding Prayers...they had them in lots of foreign languages to emphaasise the international nature of London University, and he was the English one at the end.....). His Eminence noted that it is fashionable today to suggest that all religions are of equal value, so long as people believe in them with sincerity:"Does that mean that every student entering for a maths exam should pass, regardless of any mistakes made, because all the students are sincere?" He stressed that Catholics need to know their faith "an ambassador first of all needs to be a good citizen of his country. No one would appoint an ambassador who did not recognise his country's flag, or know the names of its kings and queens, or understand its laws, or who did not know how to sing its national anthem."
Afterwards the Cardinal was almost mobbed by enthusiastic people who wanted to meet him. I had been invited to the reception in the Cathedral Hall, and there were lots of people I knew, esp. students from Newman House where I have given a couple of talks.....There was a sense of buzz and life in the hall, which you get when there are lots of young people together. It makes me feel rather agreeably middle-aged, because one looks on all these young Catholics with great delight.
Lunch with niece-in-law F. whose first novel has just won an award - she had just flown in from the ceremony in Malta. A talkative and happy time over pizza. She was staying overnight in London to do some work with a pro-life group the next day.
The Catholic Times has run my piece about the Coming Home Network. In answer to an enquirer to this blog who asks about the papers for which I write, they are the Catholic Times (based in Manchester) and the Catholic Herald (based in London). I don't think either is available on the Internet, but they do have websites....I also sometimes write for the National Catholic Register in the USA, and also for VOICES, published by Women for Faith and Family in St Louis, Missouri, USA.
Memo to anyone who sends in a comment or enquiry to this blog which they don't want published, but which asks for a personal reply: I DO BADLY WANT TO REPLY TO YOU!!!! BUT I CAN'T UNLESS YOU INCLUDE AN EMAIL ADDRESS!! There is no means of automatically replying to you - the system doesn't allow me to do that. YOU HAVE TO GIVE ME YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!!!!!