Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wed Nov 15th
A correspondent to this blog asks why I didn't mention that Tamezin magazine was started by a youth group connected to Opus Dei. I gladly rectify this ommission. I think that Opus Dei doesn't get enough credit for the excellent work that it does among young people. The enterprising bunch of girls who got Tamezin off the ground were indeed part of an Opus Dei group, and the magazine still gets input and support from people inspired by Opus Dei or connected with some of its youth work. They are a great bunch and I love working with them.

Incidentally, they seem to be thriving despite or as a result of all that Da Vinci code rubbish.....perhaps that cliche about there being no such thing as bad publicity.....

Today lunch with Angie, a close friend of many years' standing, an Evangelical Christian with whom there have been so many shared hours of talk, fun, envelope-packing, praying, leafleting, event-organising, campaigning, and much more. Today, as ever we packed in lots of talk about families (we each have a widowed and much-loved parent) husbands (we both have very nice ones, and we are both grateful), friends, church, God, current events, the horrible things the Govt has done and is doing to the social fabric of the country we love, and more.....Angie works with me on the committee of Christian Projects (PO Box 44741 London SW1p 2XA - send SAE to find out more.....) running a Schools Bible Project which enables pupils at secondary schools across Britain to study the New Testament. The Prizegiving for the 2006 Project is coming up in December and we have been working on the final is always held at the House of Lords as one of our Trustees is the excellent Baroness Cox, and the young prizewinners are given a tour of Parliament, and tea, and prizes are distributed with suitable congratulations and so on....

On to tea with a nice member of a new Catholic group, the Heralds of the Gospel. Heard of them? No, nor had I until I came across them when I was speaking at an event a couple of summers ago. They are based at 35 Lower Teddington Rd Hampton Wick KT1 4HQ and have just launched a magazine....which looks like a good read and focuses on the idea of celebrating the Faith through's lavishly illustrated with some wonderful examples of Christian art going back to early mosaics and on to medieval crucifixes, wonderful churches, etc.....

Later I ran into Sister Roseanne Reddy, of the Sisters of the Gospel of Life. They are based in Glasgow and are about to celebrate 10 years of the Cardinal Winning initiative. The Cardinal announced that help would be available to any woman facing a problem pregnancy and threatened with the possibility of abortion....Roseanne took on the task of actually running the resulting network of help and care, and through this found her own vocation, and started this new religious can reach them at She was in London for a meeting of the FAITH Movement and we breathlessly caught up on news.....Sister Roseanne is always so jolly, and exudes the sort of good cheer that makes life feel larger and more enjoyable all round. I think that is exactly what a nun ought to be like.

All around Westminster there were still barriers up and traffic redirected because of the State Opening of Parliament......I usually try to get a glimpse of it, because the gold of the carriage and the crown and so on, and the people in ermine, and all the clatter and jingle of the horses, is so splendid against the backdrop of November and russet leaves and greyness and the sense that darkness will fall at teatime. But it's all tainted with the knowledge that the poor Queen will have to say all sorts of idiotic things in her speech: "My Government will legislate for homosexuals to have babies...." etc.

And so that my computer seems to have hiccuped itself back into normal working mode (maybe it just wanted a rest, or something?) I have lots of emails to answer, including a delicious one from a dear niece, whose long newsy letter is so full of good things that it makes one wriggle with be young and at university and having a great deal of fun, and to be able to pass it all on to relatives sitting with mugs of tea at home, is a great thing. I brewed a fresh pot of tea and settled down to enjoy it again at leisure, and will write back with joy.

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