...a gathering of teachers and parents keen to train for Teen Star, a programme for schools that teaches about human relationships and the beauty and dignity of the gift of fertility...it's working well in a number of countries but is as yet undeveloped in Britain, and that looks set to change.
Afterwards, J. joined me for a wonderful, joyful lunch with Angela de Malherbe, the lady who has pioneered this across France....we are friends of many years standing, and it was absolutely lovely to catch up on family news, excahnge ideas and thoughts on a whole range of things...then J. had to return to work and so the rest of us went to the nearby Rembrandt Hotel and carried on chatting....and suddenly it was 5 o'clock and I had to rush to my next engagement, which was the annual Mass and Dinner for members of Papal Orders...
I scrambled swiftly into an evening dress, rushed to the Tube...and as it trundleda long I made a mental check: green cloak, badge...aaaargh, forgot to bring mantilla! Hopped off Tube at Victoria, rushed to CTS bookshop which hasd just closed...made a pleading face at the door, and they let me in..."mantilla: small, black cheap?" and they swiftly sold me one. As I already have two or three at home, this makes for something of a surplus. However...taxi from Victoria Street to Kingsway....traffic unbearably slow around Trafalgar Square, but I made it to the Church of SS Anselm and Caecilia in plenty of time. I put on my cloak and mantilla, and joined other Dames and Knights. In fact as it turned out, some of the other Dames weren't wearing mantillas, but almost all had white gloves. Golly, I didn't know that was part of it all too. I don't think I'll bother anyway - too hot and uncomfortable.
A beautiful Mass, with the Schola Cantorum of the Cardinal Vaughan School in splendid voice. Chief celebrant was Archbishop McMahon of Liverpool. To calm myself while waiting for Mass to begin, I read from the lovely new CTS Psalms and Canticles for Morning and Evening Prayer of which I was given a copy last week. It is a pleasing book to use, beautully bound and with gold lettering. Meditations and teachings by Pope St John paul and Pope Benedict XVI.
The dinner was fun - lots of old friends, all the traditions faithfully observed, prayer for the Pope, Loyal Toast to the Queen, report on the year's activities, a cheery speech from the Archbishop, a sense of common ideas and purpose. Some useful conversations and ideas for actoivities - one always ends up writing down email addresses and notes on those small place-cards or on the back of the menu...
A walk back across Wzaterloo Bridge - perhaps the best of all views of London.
Saturday, October 03, 2015
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