Friday, August 01, 2014

Read about...

...Walsingham and a forthcoming Pilgrimage, in The Portal, August edition just published...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A bookshop window...

at St Paul's Bookshop by Westminster Cathedral.  The family of my co-author, Clare Anderson, were impressed to see their mum's book on display, so took a pic...

2nd shelf down, "John Paul II:Man of Prayer". And we've started to get some nice reviews on Amazon too...

And shortly...

...I will be off to Walsingham, staying at the Anglican Shrine, with this group...

We are having a study weekend, and most will be arriving by train and car...but I will be walking part of the way, as I'll start my trip by meeting fellow-members of the John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage, gathering at Bury St Edmunds for Mass (4.30pm - come and join us!) in the Abbey Ruins. This is where Magna Carta was first drawn up. All are welcome at the Mass, and you cannot imagine how beautiful it is to pray there, in this place of peace and of such huge significance...

After the Mass, we John Paul Walkers will stay the night at Bury St Edmunds (sleeping  on the floor in the Catholic parish school) and the next day after morning prayer in the church  will be taken into Norfolk to start our Walk to Walsingham. The first day's walking will take us as far as Swaffham. From there, the Walkers will go, over the next two days, along the lanes and meadows, and via a Mass in the ruined abbey at Castleacre, to Walsingham. But I  am unable to join them for the full Walk this year, as I am committed to this Study Weekend. So I will be given a lift straight to Walsingham...

There's still time to join the John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage - just click on that link.  It has a special significance this year, as we are celebrating his canonisation...

Heat...

...London sizzling in harsh summer sun, everything sticky and uncomfortable. Grim news from the Middle East, harsh headlines.

The cool peace of Westminster Cathedral as I lead a pilgrim group around, telling the story of the various chapels and mosaics. Earlier, Canon Christopher Tuckwell was amused to find me barefoot and carrying my shoes, by the Lady Chapel, enjoying for a moment the deliciously cold marble of the cathedral floor...

Dinner and an overnight stay with a kind friend in her beautiful flat overlooking the Cathedral, sitting with a cold drink and my sewing, out on the balcony.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Horror...

..was expressed by a Sunday newspaper last weekend. The newspaper revealed that a Member of Parliament had links with a group that sought to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Outrage was expressed. The Christian group involved has apparently been quite blatant about its opinions, acting as though it had a right to speak openly on this and related subjects.

I wrote to the newspaper, but the letter hasn't been printed. Here it is:

Dear Sir

Your reporter (Sunday Tel. July 20th 2014)  writing about the Member of Parliament linked to a Christian group that "actively supports and encourages marriage between a man and a woman" seems appalled that politicians should uphold such support, especially as it is opposed to current official policy.

There are precedents for taking firm action. A former prominent Member of Parliament was deemed to have committed treason for refusing to adapt his views on marriage: his last words were before execution were that he remained "the king's good servant, but God's first". 

What punishment is the Sunday Telegraph proposing for the current Member of Parliament, denounced by this newspaper for having "failed to distance" himself from Christian teachings on marriage?

Incidentally, I think you should also know that there are a number of centres around Britain where "marriage between a man and a woman"  is frequently publicly taught and affirmed. There is one near me attended by over 1,000 people each week.  Should politicians be penalised for attending such places? Should the ban be extended to others who hold public office? Should such places be subjected to police investigation, or simply closed down? I really would be most interested to know your newspaper's stance on this.




Filling the shelves...

...through God's bountiful generosity at this time of year.

While in the kitchen on such tasks, it's useful to think  about large things, otherwise one finds the brain is asking "Why am I standing in the kitchen washing rose petals?"

The shelves are filling up with jams and jellies that will go to various fetes and fairs and Harvest Festival gift tables and so on...and the prayers are for peace in the Middle East, in line with Papa Francis' anguished plea at his Sunday Angelus...

Incidentally, I came across this website, which I found of interest...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Prayers for the persecuted Christians in Iraq...

...at Mass this evening (Oxford Oratory). Today people were gathering in London to stand in solidarity with the Christians suffering under militant Moslem-Caliphate rule. How fearsome it is to write those words.

I am in Oxford to lead a group of visiting Americans to places associated with Bl John Henry Newman. Oriel College, and the University Church...history, beauty...packed streets, noise, searing heat... and then calm prayers of a parish Mass, and supper by the river, and much to talk about...

Do read this...

...review about the plight of the Jews in Rome in World War II in L'Osservatore Romano.

The Australian ambassador to the Holy See has written a review of Auntie's book Courage and Conviction.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Auntie on travels...

...to America, as part of the EWTN FAMILY FESTIVAL later this month. Info here...

American readers of this blog...I look forward to seeing you there!

BERRIES AND PLANS...

...always the stuff of summer.  Picking blackberries in the summer heat, the great thick fruit making the brambles hang down with their weight.  And blackcurrants in a generous friend's garden, plump and juicy and ready to turn into fabulous jam. And - for the most delicate and lovely jam of all - rose petals, fresh and enchanting, gathered swiftly and hurried into the kitchen, to cook up gently and very very slowly with water and lots of sugar and then - magic moment - a tablespoon of lemon juice added and the sudden transformation of greyish mush into beautiful rose-coloured syrup to be poured into jars...

And plans. Busy with plans. The TOWARDS ADVENT Festival, Saturday November 22nd. PUT THE DATE IN YOUR DIARY NOW!!   Westminster Cathedral Hall: stalls and displays from a great range of Catholic groups and organisations from across Britain, books, DVDs, music, craft goods and more on sale. Glorious music, top speakers: it is not to be missed.  Summer sees the posters arriving from the printer and much emailing back and forth making plans for the great day...

And the "TWO CATHEDRALS" great Blessed Sacrament Procession through London. DON'T MISS THIS DATE!!! Saturday October 18th, starts 1pm for 1.30pm at Westminster Cathedral. Come and swell the crowd to make this a great procession of witness as it crosses the Thames...

In this hot and stifling weather...

...spare a prayer for prisoners.  If you are a prison-visitor,  you will know what it is like in a heatwave, even in a modern, clean and well organised establishment.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What's London like...

...at the moment?  For a snapshot of it all,  with a Catholic slant, try here...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tea...

..an absolutely glorious Tea, with sandwiches-with-the-crusts-cut-off, and scones with jam and cream, and a towering four-layered  lemon drizzle cake...all organised and hosted by Frances Scarr and a team of Catholic ladies to welcome ladies from the Ordinariate. A wonderful and happy afternoon - and a useful one, as we sat overlooking Westminster Cathedral and talked of a great many things, ranging from the recent "Our Father"  prayer project for schools (entries from children across Greater London), to pilgrimages and processions and prison work, and craftwork and confession, and Sunday Schools, and singing at stations, and enthusiasm and evangelisation.

We drank cups and cups of fragrant tea, we planned activities and pilgrimages, we swapped jokes and stories: the perils of a procession ducking under railway arches and trailing down The Borough High Street,  the howlers in children's careful writing out of prayers ("MY will be done on earth...").  The Cathedral Bell rang for the Angelus and we stopped to pray it all together. Teatime morphed gently into evening, and we finished with glasses of cold white wine, and then goodbyes and lots of good plans for the future.