Thursday, May 21, 2015

And meanwhile in a Kent village...

...something good is happening too....read here. And admire Auntie's handiwork too...

You might need cheering up a bit...

...so read this.

Male and female...

...and why there are two sexes...and whether it's important...and why there is a male priesthood...and more...

Fascinating talk by Fr Roger Nesbitt at the Evening of FAITH held at Golden Square, Piccadilly, on Tuesday evening...

These are regular evening talks...more info here...


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Looking ahead to the Synod in Rome in the Autumn...

...this is a rather useful read...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Tyburn Lecture...

..is an annual event organised by the splendid nuns at Tyburn Convent.  Each year it is given by a prominent figure in British public life. This year's lecture, held a few days ago,  took up the theme of freedom, on this 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. A superb address - read here, examining the trial of  the heroic St Edmund Campion, and his defence of freedom, especially freedom of expression.

It is always a crowded gathering: I only just squeezed in at the back. Afterwards, the beaming nuns serve drinks and delicious food and there is a great chatter of talk...it's a grand gathering of men and women of the Church in England. It was particular pleasure to be greeted by Sister Margaret - who taught me at St Philomena's,...and to talk to Br Samuel Burke of the splendid young Godzdogz team...

A warm London evening, and it seemed a pity to hurry to the Tube. I set out to walk, sharing part of the route with Mgr Keith Newton of the Ordinariate, going bac to Warwick Street. Lots to talk about, after a great lecture with a sweep of history and large ideas...


Cardinal Pell and St John Paul the Great, and the great Tradition...

...of the Church. The Synod this October will not and cannot change the Church's teaching on marriage. Read here.

We began in the Mary Garden...walked along the riverside...saying the Rosary...

...on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady  at Hampton Wick.

This is an annual walking pilgrimage, begun after discovering a story about St John Paul the Great.

In the 1970s, concerned about finding enough priests - in the difficult years under Communism - for his diocese of Krakow, he made a promise to our Lady that he would walk to every  Marian shrine within walking distance  of the city, if she would grant him one new young priest for each such pilgrimage. Soon his seminary was full...

So we've started a walking pilhgrimage... an adapted form of the Krakow idea.  Rather than go to various Marian shrines, a walking group starts in the Mary garden at this church, and  walks into Kingston,  crosses the Thames there, and then follows the river down to Hampton Wick,

We prayed the Rosary along the way, and sang the Regina Caeli at the shrine, and were given splendid refreshments and a happy social time  before departing to our homes...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

English spiritual writers, and a great tradition...

...are combined in the CALLED TO BE HOLY Novena of Prayer. Find out more about it all here...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Auntie writing about...

...London and recent events...see here...

ASCENSION DAY...


...PLEASE PLEASE

Dear Bishops

Please may we have Ascension Day back to its proper day??

I don't want - or need - to be told that I can go to an Extraordinary Form Mass or  Byzantine Rite or something. WE NEED TO HAVE  OUR ORDINARY CALENDAR BACK. We need to have the feast days on their proper days. We want our  feast days! We want our Sundays!

ASCENSION DAY IS A MOST IMPORTANT FEAST DAY...and it just doesn't work to move it to the nearest Sunday.

Today, I went to a midday Mass at a London church. It was well attended. This was partly because several people there thought they were celebrating Ascension day. All were regular Massgoers. All were conscious that some feast days had been moved. BUT THEY ALL ASSUMED THAT ASCENSION DAY WAS...ASCENSION DAY!!! So they came to Mass.

In the evening J. and I  had an invitation to the Ascension day service at the Guild Church of St Margaret Pattens, with the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers.  The Worshipful Company marks Ascension Day each year with this special service - members wearing robes etc.

Pattens are those high blocks that for many years women wore beneath their shoes when walking in the sloppy mud - especially on the banks of the Thames. As I hurried across London Bridge in driving rain to the City, up Pudding Lane and along Eastcheap, I was walking where thousands and thousands and thousands of Londoners have gone before me...many of them, along ago, wearing pattens...

Today the Worshipful Company keeps up the footwear link by providing, among other things, orthopedic shoes for soldiers injured in battle,  and scholarshps for young people engaged in the shoe trade....

It was beautiful to be welcomed into the warm church and to sing glorious old hymns and  be inspired by a superb choir. Afterwards, a drinks reception in the City Library by the Guildhall, with a feast of history:  letters, seals, photographs, telling the story of the  public meetings and Parliamentary debates and  massive work that led to the Penny Post and a proper postal service, with  lots of original letters from Sir Rowland Hill, and splendid proclamations to postmasters couched in forthright Victorian language.

It is a very satisfying thing to celebrate a feast day in style. It lends itself to all sorts of traditions, celebrations, and trimmings. If the Church of England can do it, why can't Catholics?


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The election, the new government, the things that matter...

...you might be interested in this overview...

Cardinal Vincent Nichols...

...had just finished celebrating Mass at westminster Cathedral when I arrived to meet my fellow History Walkers on the steps. He greeted me very cheerily and wished us a good walk, adding that he hoped I wouldn't make everyone go too fast...a weeks back I bumped into him when I was hurrying across the piazza.  It's true that I do walk v.v. quickly - more than once I've had Walkers begging me to slow down a bit...but I always feel so keen to show everything that is along the route, as London as so much fabulous history!

It was a beautiful May evening, and our Walk took us into St James Park, and on down to Horseguards. The Houses of Parliament were bathed in a sunset glow and then slowly the darkness fell and the lamps came on.

So much of London is ugly now: the revolting "walkie talkie" in the City, the blank, faceless soaring Shard, the horrible concrete and glass slabs destroying any possibilty of a pleasant walk down Victoria Street (always a dull road, and available for some imaginative changes, but no...)

But things move and change...one day the vile ugly buildings will come down, to be replaced by something different again. London once had slums where cholera festered, and a public executiuon site where people crowded to view the hangman and his butcher assistants.  And those things seemed normal at the time.

More Walks planned...meet Sunday June 7th, 2.30pm  at Holy Redeemer Church, Chelsea, for a walk in the footsteps of St Thomas More....Sunday June 21st for the big Martyrs Walk starting 1.30pm Stepulchre's churchyard, near the OLD BAILEY...Monday July 6th, meet 6pm (after Evening Prayer) at St Patrick's, Soho....


ON A TOPIC OF SOME IMPORTANCE...

...the Catholic Union is organising an evening lecture and discussion. All are welcome - especially parents, teachers, and clergy. Schools governors and local councillors should come along too.


Teaching Sexuality Following the Mind of the Church: 


a lecture by Louise Kirk

a lecture by
Louise Kirk
on Thursday, 18th June, 2015 at 6.30 pm
at Trafalgar Hall, Notre Dame University
1 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG
more info here....



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

CALLED TO BE...

HOLY.

Under this title, there is a Novena of Prayer, starting on Friday (May 15th) to Saturday May 23rd, organised by the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, and focusing on  some of the great Eng;lish spiritual writings.

A booklet has been produced. It's a feast: The Cloud of the Unknowing..., The DREAM OF THE ROOD...some lovely pieces by Bl John Henry Newman and by Julian of Norwich...Thomas Ken...Lancelot Andrews...

Some of  my readers are not Catholics, or even practising Christians. But you will still love this booklet, because it has some of the most beautiful Eng;lish writing.  Enjoy it: you can get a copy of the booklet by contacting the Ordinariate (24 Golden Square London W1F 9JR tel 020 7 440 5750 ), collecting a copy from the stack at Precious Blood Church (O'Meara St, London SEI - nearest tube The Borough or London Bridge). Or by contacting the Called to Be Holy website...