Wednesday, 30 September 2009

How religious is your blog?

A little background to this post:

Recently, our younger disabled son became the owner of a new computer. This wasn't because we bought it for him, but because, under a government scheme, disabled children are deemed to be in need of better access to IT/computers etc. The computer comes with some specialist gadgets such as a touch screen, suitable software for games and some switches (which he can use) that would replace the keyboard or mouse (which he cannot use). The techie guy will visit next week to show us how install/use the specialist gadgets, which will be really great, as at present, we can't work them out!
I thought I should at least try to familiarise myself with the new computer, as far as possible, or at the very least, see if I could find my own blog on it.
Success! Here I am typing up this post.

Then, trying to access some of the blogs linked to mine, the computer came up with an
 ' access denied- Religion  '  message for five of the blogs I enjoy!

These were:

Catholic and loving it
Curt Jester
Hermeneutic of continuity
What does the prayer really say
Inside Catholic
(Sorry I can't link them, computer won't permit)

Of course, I know our child's computer must have come with some sort of filtering program designed to block  material unsuitable for childrens' eyes....such as religion(!)
......but how does it distinguish between, for instance, a blog named 'Catholic Commentary' (allowed) and 'Catholic and Loving it' (blocked)?
Or, Catholic mom of 10 (allowed) and 'Inside Catholic' (blocked)?

Maybe there's an award out there, for great Catholic blogs identified as being too religious for children!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Fr. Stephen Wang on Radio 4

It's always good to hear Fr. Stephen Wang, and today he was offering comments on Radio 4's 'You and Yours' programme. The general theme of today's programme was ' What part does organised religion play in your life?'

'You and Yours' can be listened to for the next seven days here is the link to today's broadcast.

Fr. Wang's first comment comes at about 9.40 minutes into the programme. In answer to  the question
'How do you see attendance at organised church services?', Fr. Wang, whilst ackowledging a downturn in church attendance over previous years, spoke of a turning point reached. He spoke of the often vibrant faith of Catholics who have immigrated to the UK, and the signs among young people, who are open to and searching for truth, where perhaps 20 years ago, they were much less so.

Amen to that- and let's hope to hear more from Fr. Wang on TV/Radio in the future.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Prayer and Fasting for Life

John Smeaton has given a timely reminder of the need to pray and fast for life:
 ' Tomorrow is a national day of prayer and fasting for life, organised by the Good Counsel network'.

Further details available here.

For Papists who are facebook fans!

My attention has been drawn to a new Facebook group:

'British Catholics (who would) welcome the Pope to England'

It's a group for 'everyone who wants to welcome His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to England', and members are encouraged to:

1) Promise to pray for the Pope
2) Promise to pray for the conversion of England

So far, there are 591 members.The promises above sound like the sort of thing I should do, so I think I'll make that 592 members!

Here is the link

Receiving Holy Communion on the tongue

Our diocese was among the first to adopt the swine flu regs., which require communicants to receive Holy Communion under one kind (the Sacred Host), and on the hand.
Up till then, I hadn't received Holy Communion in the hand for some years, preferring to receive directly on the tongue, and kneeling, if possible. We didn't complain or ask for special consideration, we just did what was asked.
So I was delighted to read in this week's parish newsletter that from next week, special arrangements can be made for anyone wishing to receive on the tongue, provided that the parish priest has had prior notice.

Now, I've just got to remember to contact our P.P. before the next Mass....

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Holy Father to visit the UK next year!

                                                                                                                                                                          It is being reported in various places that the Holy Father is to visit the UK in 2010. This is wonderful news for British Catholics and for all people of goodwill in the UK, a real boost to the sometimes flagging morale of the faithful who are living through the atheist, materialist secularization of our times.
Laurence England, over at the Bones, has  suggested an interesting schedule for the Holy Father's visit! Do go and see for yourself....

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Following the Relics of St. Therese...

As Catholics in the UK know, the Relics of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, are currently visiting our country. Last Friday, the Relics were at St Teresa's Church in Taunton, Somerset, which was for us, the nearest visiting point.
So, my husband and some of our children made the journey to St Teresa's Church in time for Mass and a service of Healing.
In the photo above, courtesy of St Therese's Relics blog, my husband and one of our sons are pictured near to the Relics.
After Taunton, the Relics proceeded to the Diocese of Birmingham; and shortly after, I found myself hurrying up the M5 to take one of our daughters to the university of...Birmingham, for the start of the academic year.

I believe the final opportunity to visit the Relics will be next month, at Westminster Cathedral. Two of our youngsters will be involved in playing the music for that occasion. After that, the Relics return to Lisieux, and one of our sons will have the privilege of assisting in escorting the Relics home.
God is good.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Time for a laugh!

'And you thought the music at your Mass was annoying.'

I found this over at the blog of the great American Papist!

What a tidy world it would be...

...if conservative bloggers would only post comments about conservatives who have acted outside their conservative principles,
if liberal bloggers would only post comments about liberals who have acted outside their liberal principles,
if Anglican bloggers would only post comments about Anglicans who have acted outside their Anglican principles,
if Catholic bloggers would only post comments about Catholics who have acted outside their Catholic principles
and if pro-lifer bloggers would only post comments about pro-lifers who have acted outside their pro-life principles.

Catholic News Agency has a piece headed 'Murder of Michigan pro-lifer a 'non story' for Obama Catholics'.

Among the comments on this piece, is one from Austin Ivereigh, former press secretary and public affairs advisor to the then Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.
Here's what Austin says, with my emphasis:

"As one of the 'America' bloggers singled out for criticism for 'ignoring' the murder of Jim Pouillon, I should be allowed to respond. First, my post on civility was put up the night before I heard about this murder -- I accept the murder may have happened before I posted, but I did not hear about until the following morning (I'm in London). When I did read about it, I didn't think it affected in any way the points I was making -- which followed on from a previous post on the same subject. Third, when I did read about it, I didn't think it was worth posting on. I had nothing to say about it that wouldn't have been obvious. It was clearly a deplorable act; what else is there to say? The point you miss in this article is that pro-lifers act (most, anyway) in the name of God and faith; that is their primary motive (which is incidentally why I, too, am strongly anti-abortion). And that is why, when they commit violent acts, or conduct their campaigns to further the pro-life cause in ways contrary to the precepts of their faith, that is worthy of comment, especially by others of the same faith on a Catholic blog. The same does not apply to people of no faith or who are opposed to Catholic precepts. That's why the murder of Tiller was worthy of comment (by me on America) and the murder of Pouillon was not."

Friday, 11 September 2009

Elderly Pro-lifer gunned down in USA

I have just picked up this terrible news from Lifesite.
Here's some of the Lifesite report:

Locals say that the victim, James Pouillon of Owosso, was well-known in the area for his pro-life activities. Columnist Doug Powers wrote on his blog that Pouillon, called “the abortion sign guy" by Owosso locals, was known for standing on street corners holding up signs with pictures of aborted children.

Pastor Matt Trehella of Missionaries to the Preborn said today that Pouillon had joined his organization for a few stops of a pro-life tour less than a month ago. "Jim was a selfless, soft-spoken, kind-hearted man. All who knew him, knew this," he said. "Please pray for Jim's family."

Trehella said that Pouillon was an elderly man who needed constant use of an oxygen machine.

Troy Newman, the President of Operation Rescue (OR), said that Pouillon was a friend of OR. "We are stunned by Jim's murder," he said. "We extend our condolences to the family and share in their grief over his loss. His life was characterized by his love and concern of the vulnerable, and he will be greatly missed.

May he rest in peace and may his killer(s) be brought to justice and repentance.

The Martins: A dysfunctional Family?

The devout (in the proper sense of the word) Martin family, into which Therese, Saint and Doctor of the Church was born in 1873, and of which, there were five vocations to the Religious Life, the parents of whom were beatified just a year ago, has been described as dysfunctional in an article in this week's Tablet.

At least, I suppose, the writer, Joanna Moorhead, didn't label the Martin Family as 'fundamentalist'.

There's more here

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Our Lady's Birthday

Happy Birthday, Queen of Heaven!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Prayer Request

Of your charity please say a prayer for the repose of the soul of Geoff, who has died.
Geoff was a good man, a devoted husband and father, and though not a Catholic he was very supportive of his wife and family who are.
May he rest in peace.

There she goes again!

"I feel that if you look at what progress women have made in the world one of the reasons they have been able to make progress is because they have been able to control their fertility."

"I personally don't think there is anything wrong with that, and indeed without being able to control I wouldn't have been able to achieve the things that I've been able to do. I think it's a really important issue and personally I would prefer it if the Catholic Church took a more positive attitude towards contraception because I think there's a lot of difference between preventing a life coming about and actually extinguishing a life when it has come about."

I'm sure I could find a spare copy of Humanae Vitae for Cherie.It seems she has no idea of just how positive the Church's attitude to contraception truly is.

The Catholic Herald reports Cherie Blair's remarks above under the heading:
'Church harms career women, says Cherie.'

I wonder if the truth is more likely to be that married career women, in putting their worldly careers ahead of motherhood, are harming both themselves and the Church.

A Taste of The Youth2000 Retreat at Walsingham

The tent filling up with young people

When we go on retreat at Walsingham with Youth2000, there is a sense of being removed from the world and what is going on in it. A complete absence of radio, TV. newspapers, internet and so on. Separated from so much that can distract our attention, we are freed to focus on the Presence of Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament, exposed throughout the retreat.
This Presence brings a profound sense of joy, lifting our hearts closer to His own; we only have to open our hearts and invite Him in.
The Blessed Sacrament has the power to heal wounded hearts, hearts in which old ills fester, hearts which have grown lukewarm, hearts which are divided between the things the world can offer and the life that God offers.

The Blessed Sacrament, exposed throughout the retreat.

Many young people find in the Healing Service a moment of great and life-changing Grace.During the Healing Service, the Blessed Sacrament is processed among the people and we are invited to touch the humeral, asking Jesus to heal us, just as the Gospels tell us, He healed the woman who touched his garment,some 2000 years ago.

Rev. Charlie Conner, a Permanent Deacon of the Leeds Diocese, officiating at the Healing Service

Looking around at the hundreds of young people who came to Walsingham, there is a great sense of hope for the future Church; as the Holy Father says " The Church is alive, the Church is young!"

About twenty priests from different dioceses in the UK, were in attendance. They all give so generously, their valuable time to this work of evangelisation.Many say how much these retreats help to renew their Priesthood. One priest told me that it had transformed his own Priesthood.
Youth2000 retreats could not happen without the generous support and presence of priests; in fact, without priests there would be no retreats, and no Church either.
But they need the support of our prayers, and this year, the Year for Priests, seems a good opportunity to acquire the habit of praying regularly for the Priesthood and for vocations to the Priesthood or Religious Life.As Fr. Stephen Langridge,Vocations Director for Southwark says, there is no shortage of vocations, but God's call is not always heard.
With that in mind, I had been trying to find a statue of St. John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, to help remind us to seek his intercession, but without success.

However, the day after we arrived home, there came in the post...a statue of St.John Vianney!
My niece bought it for us when she was in Lourdes recently. Thank you Poppy!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

It's good to be back

We arrived home very late in the evening, a couple of days ago, after our wonderful break in Walsingham, at the Youth 2000 Retreat.I'll try to post more about that later. For now, I'm muddling through a mountain of washing, and sorting uniforms for school...