Monday, January 03, 2011

To America... a few days' time, and with much to accomplish before then,

Christmas was glorious, the English countryside glittering in bitter cold, snowy fields, clear starry skies. We stayed in a converted apple loft, cosy under a sloping roof, a skylight window open to the scent of the sea, a warm kitchen below. A round of family visits, church, chatty teatimes, games of charades, exchanges of gifts and hugs. Christmas was not without its drama - I fell headlong down some stairs as I hurried to fetch gifts from a car...and an afternoon was spent in a local country hospital, where I received excellent now bandaged up and coping rather hilariously with the various domestic tasks that usually seem so easy...

We saw in the New Year with old friends, and went to Evensong at Gloucester Cathedral on New Year's Day, driving through countryside now brown and damp after the thaw. Now home, and catching up on tasks while sorting out fresh medical appointments to ensure that I'll be OK to travel in a few days' time...(prayers appreciated...)

Young friends returned enthusiastic about the FAITH Winter Conference, which brought together over 200 young people, including a large number of priests and seminarians, for talks and prayer and daily Mass and more,in the magnificent setting of Stonyhurst, in the days after Christmas. Amazing how the FAITH Movement has grown and grown - back in the 1970s, when it was first starting, we would have 40 or so people at a summer event, and now there are a range of different conferences and gatherings, and a whole new generation is turning out to listen and learn and pray and celebrate...

In America, I'm making some programmes for EWTN. There's a lot to do before I fly, and Christmas isn't fully over yet, we are invited to a party on Jan 5th.

BTW, we were in Oxford on Sunday, and went to a glorious Mass at the Oratory, packed of course and with wonderful music. In accordance with the current arrangement being tried by our Bishops, it was the Mass of the Epiphany, as they have instructed all parishes that this feast must be observed, not on its proper day, but on the Sunday nearest. I have yet to meet anyone who thinks this arrangement has any value at all. It is infuriating for priests and people alike, and this year's Epiphany has a particular absurdity - celebrated in church on Sunday Jan 2nd fully four days before it arrives on the calendar on January 6th. Please, please dear Bishops, listen to your priests and the faithful people: WE WANT OUR HOLY DAYS BACK!


Sheila M. said...

Equally frustrating is the elimination in the US of holy days that fall on Saturday or Monday, except of course for Christmas and the Immaculate Conception. Luckily we found one orthodox parish celebrating on Saturday.

So happy to read you are returning to EWTN. Missed Feasts and Seasons this Advent.

Manny said...

Oh gosh, do be careful. One can really hurt oneself falling down stairs. Big welcome to our country. :) You know I first saw you when you used to do an interview show that was broadcast on EWTN. I really enjoyed that show. I'm always fascinated with Catholics from Britain. I hope you can interview some more British Catholics.

Malcolm said...

Something had to be done, because people weren't showing up for Holy Days of Obligation, and doing something was a lot better than doing nothing.

However I think the source of the problem was that what is intended as a feast had been allowed to degenerate into an obligation - a Mass which the average churchgoer couldn't really distinguish from any other Mass, not a source of joy at all. Add in the fact that work and life is so much more pressured now, and you can see how the situation developed.

Your book of Feasts and Seasons has a really big role to play in putting this right.

John King said...

Hi Joanna, I really enjoy the Feasts and Seasons programmes on EWTN. I have managed to get my family watching EWTN more and they love the Advent, Christmas and Summer Specials you have made. Will you be making more. Is the Feasts and Seasons series available on DVD here in the UK/Ireland. God Bless and Happy New Year

Athanasius said...

If such feasts are supposed to be transferred to the nearest Sunday, why was the Epiphany (proper day this year THURSDAY) not transferred to the nearest Sunday (8th), only 2 days away? Why move it forward 4 days to the 2nd? Makes even less sense than the nonesensical logic our bishops tried to con us with in the first place.

Catherine said...

So sorry to hear of your accident! Hope you are recovering quickly. You are in our prayers.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. Bogle,
I'm so glad you're alright after your fall down the stairs! When you stopped putting up blog posts for almost two weeks I was worried something might have happened to you. I'll keep you in my prayers for a speedy and complete recovery. A warm welcome to our country when you travel here in a few days!

God Bless,