Thursday, February 28, 2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

And on the subject of Cardinal Pell.... 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.



Monday, February 25, 2019

MASS in the nightclub... 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 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 Parliament, where we saw the commemoration of the bravery of PC Keith 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... here. This is of real significance.

Friday, February 15, 2019

History... 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... 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

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


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

Monday, February 11, 2019

Save the date...


           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?

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:

Sunday, February 10, 2019

A fascinating day... 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... 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... 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.


...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 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