Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Cedar (and old chestnuts, circa1970)

 What happens when you bring feminist ideology, selective statistics and the National Board of Catholic Women (an advisory body to the Catholic Bishops Conference),  to bear on the problem of domestic violence?

You get a publication with the title:  'Raising Awareness of Domestic Abuse', which I found on Cedar, the recently announced resource for Catholics who experience domestic abuse.

One section, by Prof. Mary Grey, is packed with helpful nuggets such as these:

"..through its institutions, laws and use of power, patriarchy has sanctioned the control of male over female cross-culturally.."

"Frequently Mary the mother of Jesus is used as a role model as 'Virgin-Mother'. In Mulieris Dignitatem, Pope John Paul II wrote that all women are called to be either real mothers or spiritual mothers[....]To assume that motherhood is synonymous with being female and to lump all women together as mothers, while simultaneously idealizing motherhood, only serves to mask the suffering and vulnerability of many reak mothers, And Christianity's frequent stress on the importance of suffering and sacrifice in Christian discipleship makes it worse."

"The Church must be seen to be facing the truth about the violence in womens' lives[...]and overcome the reluctance to face the truth about female sexuality." 

And there's more:

"Eradicating the roots of violence means facing the truth about patriarchal structures which maintain this violence. It means querying the subordinate position of women both in  Church and society, and exposing false theories of gender and sexuality,"

" Public valuing of women needs to be reflected in the language we use for worship. Sadly, despite a few token changes, the language of liturgy is still exclusive of women.[.....] the tacit message remains powerful: that she is not valued."

Without doubt, the Cedar website has some helpful advice and links for sufferers of domestic abuse, and we would all want battered wives, mothers or girlfriends to get the help and support they need, even volunteer our own support.

 But,   piggybacking aspects of  a rigidly feminist worldview to the tragic problem of domestic abuse, to imply that the Church, in her structure, has responsibility for this evil done by some men (and, incidentally some women),  sounds suspiciously like agenda setting.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Finding space on the 'to do' list

This is for all busy mothers and fathers!

Thanks to Fr. John Bartunek

Ordinations, lots of snow...and prayer request

Phil did get home on Saturday, eventually, and the last mile and a half was on foot. My husband walked down to the train station to meet him, bringing wellingtons and an extra layer or two of clothing against the freezing cold.

They made their way home by the light of the moon and a couple of torches, over snow crusted roads which even the most robust of four wheel drives have hardly attempted.

Earlier, on Saturday, Phil sang in the seminary schola, led by Fr Stephen Dingley, at the ordinations of four seminarians   to the Diaconate by Bishop Kieran Conry. Sadly, Bishop Hollis, who had been expected to ordain the candidates, was taken ill.

Mulier Fortis has some lovely photos of the great day at Wonersh.

Please remember Bishop Hollis in your prayers.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Snowed in!

  This is a view of our village this morning. From upstairs, I can't tell where the village hall car park ends and the road begins!
I don't know how long the white stuff will last; the trouble with being snowed in, is that that others are also 'snowed out'.

We are hoping that Phil will make it home from Wonersh today, but we're not quite sure how......the last mile or so, might have to be on Shanks's pony!
And our daughters are due back from university .....

 (Shanks's pony=on foot)

Monday, 13 December 2010

Anglican Nuns to join the Ordinariate

 Three nuns of the Anglican  Society of St. Margaret in Walsingham, have left their community for a period of discernment with a view to joining the Ordinariate, which was announced by the Holy Father last year, and is about to be established.

"Statement from three sisters of the Society of St Margaret, Walsingham, regarding the Ordinariate:
“On 2nd December 2010, Sr. Wendy Renate, Sr. Jane Louise and Sr. Carolyne Joseph left the Priory of Our Lady in Walsingham for a period of discernment with the intention of joining the Ordinariate when established. We ask prayers for ourselves and for the Sisters remaining at the Priory of Our Lady."

According to the website of The Society of St. Margaret, Walsingham,  one of the nuns, Sr. Carolyn Joseph,  was elected as Mother last year.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for them.

Thanks to  Damian Thompson and the Ordinariate Portal

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Our Lady of Good Help-Marian Apparitions approved


"GREEN BAY, Wis. (December 8, 2010) — Bishop David Ricken announced today that he officially approves the Marian apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion.
The announcement was made during a special Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion.
Declared with moral certainty
Reading from his decree, the Bishop stated, “I declare with moral certainty and in accord with the norms of the Church that the events, apparitions and locutions given to Adele Brise in October of 1859 do exhibit the substance of supernatural character, and I do hereby approve these apparitions as worthy of belief (although not obligatory) by the Christian faithful.”
Today’s declaration makes Our Lady of Good Help at Champion the first and only site in the United States of an approved apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

Thanks to Catholic Vision  and Stella Maris

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Happy Feast Day!

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady,  and  a very special day on which to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Congratulations to John Gilbert, a former Anglican vicar, who became a Catholic today.

May Our Lady continue to guide and direct him to the vocation to which God calls him.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Liberal idealistic notions

I have read of a couple in the last week,  both of which I find not only scary, but quite frightening.

According to a report in the Guardian newspaper, Helen Preece of the London School of Economics,  is proposing that sex offenders ought to be considered as potential adopters, that is, a conviction for a sex offence should not necessarily be considered a contra indication where someone applies to adopt a child, because that would be discriminatory.

"A report by a family law expert argues that some sex offenders should be allowed to adopt or foster children, and claims that the current blanket ban is discriminatory.
"Sex offenders shouldn't all be tarred with the same brush," said Helen Reece at the London School of Economics, who wrote the report. "People need to be carefully screened for adoption and fostering, but each case should be taken on its merits.
"There shouldn't be blanket rules. What somebody has done before is not necessarily what he or she will do again. When someone has served a sentence, as far as you can, you should treat them the same as anyone else."

The UK 2003 Sexual Offences Act spells out  what constitutes a sexual offence. I wonder which category(s)
Helen Preece would have Adoption Panels disregard?

 Then, there's 'Ecocide'

"The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference, which opened in Cancun, Mexico on Monday, has yielded another example of how supposedly idealistic notions concocted by Western liberals, no matter how daft, can be transformed into weapons for international power politics. Bolivia has renewed its call for the establishment of an International Tribunal for Climate Justice that would be able to sanction governments that engage in "ecocide," defined as crimes against biodiversity, nature and Mother Earth."

"The tribunal idea did not originate in Bolivia, but in the United Kingdom last April. It is the brainchild of labor lawyer-turned-Green activist Polly Higgins. Her idea was to prosecute industries such as fossil fuels, mining, agriculture, chemicals and forestry before the existing International Criminal Court at The Hague. Even more alarmingly, some supporters want to prosecute ''climate deniers'' who oppose actions to combat global warming as eco-criminals. It's the stuff from which fears of world government grow." 

So, being off-message, having a different point of view or simply disagreeing, would become a prosecutable offence?

Matthew Archbold cautions:

"remember that liberal ideas start off as being jeered at as crazy but they just keep returning again and again until they're taken seriously and finally enforced."

Thanks to Creative Minority Report and Orwell's Picnic

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Bishops' Conference and the Magic Circle

 Among the comments made by Dominic Scarborough, in an article with the title 'Outside the Magic Circle' , are the following:

"Where an English bishop has dared to step out of line and question the BCEW’s liberalism, the result has been criticism and ostracism by colleagues"

"One of the most controversial issues affecting the BCEW is its continued support for the so-called “Soho Masses” in the Westminster Archdiocese, Masses that minister to “homosexual Catholics.” The current archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, has made several public interventions in interviews recently where he speculated as to whether the Church might in time approve gay marriage.

He also confirmed that when the Labour Government introduced civil partnerships legislation, the BCEW made a deliberate and conscious decision not to oppose it 
.He continues to support the “Soho Masses” and told a radio program that those who do oppose them should be silent. He also declined to disagree with a fellow panelist’s assertion in a television debate after the papal visit that the policy of the BCEW on homosexual rights follows a markedly different line from that of the Vatican’s policy."

"The BCEW also organized three-week-long “training” classes for Polish priests and other foreign priests who intended to work in England. These classes were delivered by the then-president of Ushaw Seminary (which is shortly to close), Msgr. Terry Drainey, who has said, “Some foreign priests working in Britain tend to be too dogmatic about the Church’s moral rightness on just about everything.” He added, “That’s not how we do things here. This course shows how we deal with a whole range of issues affecting Catholics, including the role of women, divorce, the lay ministry, and homosexuality.” Shortly after delivering the courses, Msgr. Drainey was selected to be the bishop of Middlesbrough."

 Disturbing? Yes, I think so; the link to this article is above, do take a minute to read it yourself.

I hope and pray  our Bishops would be Shepherds, in unity with the Chief Shepherd, the Pope, thinking with the mind of the Church, teaching what She teaches, upholding the Magisterium and witholding nothing of the Truth.
But, as Dominic Scarborough puts it:

"No observer of Catholic affairs in England is in any doubt that the BCEW in its current form has pursued policies that distance itself from the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI and criticize and marginalize those lay Catholics who openly support papal teaching."

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Pope Benedict: The Church must be free to preach the Faith....

There is much in the Holy Father's Address given on Monday to the Bishops of the Philippines on their Ad Limina visit, and so  much of what he says applies far beyond the geographical boundaries of the Philippines.
The full text is here.

Pope Benedict touches upon a number of themes including one we heard recently, during his visit to the UK, concerning  the voice of the Church in the public square:

"..the Church’s prophetic office demands that she be free "to preach the faith, to teach her social doctrine ... and also to pass moral judgments in those matters which regard public order whenever the fundamental human rights of a person or the salvation of souls requires it".
 The Holy Father also gave some encouragement to Catholics working in the vineyard of social communication...a contemporary example of which is of course, the the blogosphere:

 "A specific area in which the Church must always find her proper voice comes in the field of social communications and the media. The task set before the whole Catholic community is to convey a hope-filled vision of faith and virtue...........
............It is important that the Catholic laity proficient in social communications take their proper place in proposing the Christian message in a convincing and attractive way."

Say a prayer for those Bishops, they are great defenders of life who have just had their Conference's  website hacked. 

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Advent Wreath...

Thanks to the kindly Curt Jester who has provided  this year's Advent wreath.

Censorship and the Internet

Should law enforcement agencies i.e. the police  be given powers to require the taking down of a website, without a court order?

It seems this is under consideration by the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which has asked nominet (which runs the.uk part of the internet) to discuss ways of dealing with domain names used in connection with criminal activity.

If by 'criminal activity'  they mean things such as money scams, terrorism, child porn,  I would have no problem with such sites being closed. Even so, I think the police should be in possession of a court order. This would go some way to protect them (the police) from the suspicion of acting arbitrarily   and it reinforces the notion of the police service as being accountable.
Richard Baron at Analysis and Synthesis has some apposite comments on this proposal, particularly this:

"Fourth, there are sites that express extreme political, social or religious views, or that give general advice (as for example www.fitwatch.org.uk , which was recently closed down at the request of the police, and soon afterwards reappeared).
It would be totally unacceptable for Nominet ever to close down such a site at the request of law enforcers, without a court order. This is so, however extreme the views expressed.
If law enforcers could close sites like this, it would hand them a huge power of censorship. Of course they would promise not to abuse it, but future law enforcers might well abuse it. The power would also lead to self-censorship, as people moderated their comments for fear of provoking the authorities into asking Nominet to act.
So as far as this fourth category goes, the only acceptable policy for Nominet to have would be that it would always reject requests that were not in the form of court orders".

Fr Finigan mentions difficulties which could be faced by Catholic (and other Christian) bloggers:

  "The danger for Catholic blogs is that "equality" legislation is increasingly opposed to the free expression of Catholic doctrine. Pope Benedict reflected on this in some of the less controversial parts of his recent interview "Light of the World" and in his excellent book "Truth and Tolerance". If law enforcement agencies are allowed to decide motu proprio that a site must be closed down, we have then moved another step nearer to a police state. "


Monday, 22 November 2010

That Interview given by the Holy Father...

The Holy Father gave an interview.. a series of interviews.....which are about to be published in the form of a book, "Light of the World". The book is embargoed until Tuesday 23rd November, but the Vatican's own newspaper, 'L'Osservatore Romano' drove a coach and horses through the embargo yesterday, by publishing extracts from the book.

Among the extracts were some relating to the problem of prevention of AIDS by the use of condoms.

The Pope's remarks were quoted, out of context, by L'Osservatore Romano, and this has given rise to huge media speculation and comment, mostly of the  'Pope OK's Condoms'  kind.

An interview given by the Pope is an interview...given by the Pope.

It is not an official teaching of the Church.
It is not part of the Magisterium
It is not a Papal Bull, an Encyclical, or a Motu Proprio

The Holy Father  is permitted to have personal opinions (which are fallible, not infallible, just as mine or yours  are), isn't he?
The Pope's personal opinions will certainly be of much more interest than, say, mine, but they remain personal opinions.

So, what did he say? The CWR has a report here

Jimmy Akin has a helpful perspective here

My comment would be that the Holy Father's personal view, if I have understood it correctly,  seems to be that the prophylactic use of condoms against sexually transmitted diseases is not a solution to the problem of STD's.
The western world has been awash with condoms for years and they haven't helped. Even the manufacturers of condoms admit that condoms are not, by themselves, effective.
We need to have an honest look again at the whole  truth and meaning of human sexuality.
A first step towards this, in some cases, might be  a recognition that to knowingly risk the passing on of such a disease might  itself be immoral.

Thanks to Jimmy Akin
The Bones

Saturday, 20 November 2010

I write like......

I've been having some fun with the 'Analyse your Writing' website, following Mulier Fortis's latest post.
Using a fairly random selection of my blogposts has produced a certain lack of consistency in the results: 

I apparently write like: PG Wodehouse,  Edgar Allen Poe,  Stephen King,  James Joyce,  Dan Brown,  Ian Fleming,  David Foster Wallace,  HP Lovecraft,  Vladimir Nabokov  and  William Shakespeare!

It seems I do not write like any authoresses... should I be concerned about that?

Friday, 19 November 2010

Prayer Request

Of your charity, please say a prayer for my elderly uncle- he's had a fall which has put him in hospital. Probably he has a broken hip, together with some dehydration and hypothermia.

Thank God my brother called in earlier today, to visit him.....because of that unannounced visit, my uncle is now being looked after on a warm hospital ward instead of lying on the cold floor of his front room, semi-conscious and immobile.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Not quite Advent......

............But it's not far away. I found the lovely unborn Baby image ( in the sidebar) on Fr. Z's great blog, and promptly 'borrowed' it.

Many thanks to Fr Z.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Please pray for the Reverend John Gilbert

Please say a prayer for Rev.John Gilbert, an Anglican vicar who has informed his parish that he is to join the Roman Catholic Church.
It appears that Rev. Gilbert will not be crossing the Tiber on board the great ship, Anglicanorum Coetibus, but under existing provisions.
After he announced the news to parishoners, Rev. Gilbert received  a spontaneous round of applause.
So, maybe...others might  be inspired to join along with him....?

The parish he leaves behind  is listed on the Forward in Faith website.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

It could be said.....

"It could be said that the bits and pieces of each day’s jigsaw puzzle are put together at the altar;that the separate, often discordant notes of a day in our life are fused into one flowing symphony;"

"...at Mass we are astonished at the nearness of a God who comes to us disguised as our emotions, our bodies and our needy lives..."

"The Eucharist guarantees that every relationship is sacred; "

But would that be true.....?

Fr Finigan has a great fisk (I think that's the word) of an article in a diocesan paper, from which the statements above are quoted.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Founder of Mary's Meals needs your vote!

From  the website of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal:

Feed 10,000 hungry children for a year without spending a dime?
A click of your mouse here is all it takes http://heroes.cnn.com/vote.aspx to cast your vote for Magnus MacFarlane–Barrow for CNN Hero of the year.
Magnus is the founder of Mary's Meals: a grassroots charity feeding more than 420,000 impoverished children in their place of education in 15 countries. It only costs $10 USD  to provide a daily meal to a school child in Malawi. The $100,000 CNN prize will enable Magnus to offer nourishment and hope to 10,000 new children through Mary’s Meals. Learn more ways to help at www.marysmealsusa.org

I don't know much about current exchange rates, but the Mary's Meals website mentions that it costs about £6.15 to feed a hungry child for a year. Mary’s Meals provides daily meals in school for over 400,000 children in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. 

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Plymouth Diocese launches Vocation Survey

A vocations survey has been launched in the Plymouth Diocese with a questionnaire about how we promote vocations in our communities. Members of the laity are invited to participate in this survey.
Bishop Christopher writes: "Vocation is basic to understanding the Christian life, rooted in the gift of God's grace in baptism. There is no one living their Christian life, who has not received a personal calling from God to do some service for the Lord's Kingdom. This thought was very dear to our newly beatified John Henry Newman.
"This survey has a narrower but very important focus - the calling to priestly ministry, or diaconate ministry, or consecrated life. The community of the Church needs these more particular vocations in order to maintain its true character. It needs, above all, the ministry of the priest so that the whole community can become more and more the Body of Christ built up through the Eucharist, a community of faith, hope and love.

More information and link to survey here

Monday, 1 November 2010

Half Term Visitors

It's been a lovely, if slightly crazy, half-term week.

In fact, I could rename this year's October break from school as 'Family Week', as we were visited by five families, most of whom stayed for a few days (though not all at once!) and, of course, our own student son and daughters managed to get home for most of, or part of the week.
There was a great deal of cooking...  meals for up to twenty people at a time. Arranging seating at the dining table, with a garden table to supplement worked very well, and no-one seemed to notice if the crockery or the cutlery didn't match...
There was laughter, conversation, walking (sometimes of the dog), playing, collecting and dropping off at the train station, food shopping (Sainsbury's might have been a bit puzzled at my repeated visits)and sightseeing. There was the  joyful renewal of  old friendships as well as newer ones, catching up, opening up, exchanging news advice and views.
There was prayer, its highpoint of course, Mass on Sunday, where we managed to fill two pews.....

And  there were the fond farewells- some of our visitors travelled hundreds of miles to be with us at half term; it's the sort of compliment we can't fully repay since travelling for our two disabled sons has to be limited. But they too, need to meet people, make friends, socialize. What a true gift it is, to have family and friends who understand this and are prepared to honour us all with their wonderful company. 

Friday, 22 October 2010

Congratulations to One of the World's Greatest Pro-Life Champions

“Cardinal-designate Burke is one of the Church’s greatest defenders of faith, and one of the pro-life movement’s greatest allies.”
-Lifesite News

"To help celebrate this new step in the Archbishop's career, LifeSiteNews.com has co-sponsored a website (CongratulateBurke.com), along with The Cardinal Newman Society, that allows you to easily send a note of congratulations to the Archbishop. These notes will be personally delivered to the Archbishop at his office in Rome."

Thank you Lifesite News/Cardinal Newman Society, it will be a pleasure...

Return to the Scene...

I spent much of yesterday praying with 40 Days for Life, outside the Marie Stopes abortion facility. It seemed that Marie Stopes was doing a brisker business yesterday, than on the day of my previous visit; we stood our ground and prayed.

Impatient as I often am for results, there was that little hope in the back of my mind, that Almighty God would give us a sign that our fervent prayers were heard; maybe that a pregnant woman or a Marie Stopes employee would cross the road and tell us that they had turned away from abortion. But, yesterday that didn't happen at least, not on my shift. We prayed.

A man walked along the pavement on which we stood and spat rather aggressively as he passed. A young woman  shouted accusations at us, beginning with ' You should be ashamed of yourselves....!'
Another made mocking gestures as he passed, but for the most part, the passers by simply passed by. In the late afternoon as the temperature began to drop, we prayed as we shivered.
The spitter came back and spat aggressively once again, one of the counsellors attempted to speak with him but was met with a response I wouldn't wish to record here.

And it dawned on me that Almighty God  was answering our prayers as we made them:  in granting us that peace which remains despite angry verbal and non verbal gestures and in the certainty that our prayers will  help someone, though He may not grant us the satisfaction of seeing the results, because God always answers our prayers.
All that the verbal aggression, mockery and spitting amounted to was that a hornet's nest in hell had been stirred into action, because one of the  'successful' operations of the father of lies was being threatened by the power of prayer.

Clare from Battlements of Rubies has also posted about yesterday's experiences outside Marie Stopes.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Pope Benedict's Letter to Seminarians

From Pope Benedict's Letter to Seminarians  on the Vatican Information Service website

"1. Anyone who wishes to become a priest must be first and foremost a “man of God”, to use the expression of Saint Paul (1 Tim 6:11). For us God is not some abstract hypothesis; he is not some stranger who left the scene after the “big bang”. God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ. In the face of Jesus Christ we see the face of God. In his words we hear God himself speaking to us. It follows that the most important thing in our path towards priesthood and during the whole of our priestly lives is our personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ. The priest is not the leader of a sort of association whose membership he tries to maintain and expand. He is God’s messenger to his people. He wants to lead them to God and in this way to foster authentic communion between all men and women. That is why it is so important, dear friends, that you learn to live in constant intimacy with God. When the Lord tells us to “pray constantly”, he is obviously not asking us to recite endless prayers, but urging us never to lose our inner closeness to God. Praying means growing in this intimacy. So it is important that our day should begin and end with prayer; that we listen to God as the Scriptures are read; that we share with him our desires and our hopes, our joys and our troubles, our failures and our thanks for all his blessings, and thus keep him ever before us as the point of reference for our lives. In this way we grow aware of our failings and learn to improve, but we also come to appreciate all the beauty and goodness which we daily take for granted and so we grow in gratitude. With gratitude comes joy for the fact that God is close to us and that we can serve him."

Friday, 15 October 2010

Catholic Schools Admission criteria: church cleaners need not apply!

Oona Stannard, Chief Executive and Director of the  Catholic Education Service has written to the Tablet  regarding admissions criteria for entry to a Catholic school.
In her letter Oona Stannard says:

"When Father Beck talks about writing additional references and asking parents to complete a “pre-reference” form detailing their involvement in the parish he is being discriminatory and undermining the Admissions Code.  The definition of Catholic is baptism.  The opportunity of the priest to note the level of practice of the faith for the purpose of school admissions should be limited to worship and must not be extended to other activities such as those suggested by Father Beck.  Too often other activities and involvement in the life of the parish would favour those who are already advantaged by time and other resources; luxuries not open to everyone in an even handed way.  Interviews are, whether intended or not, an exercise in discernment way beyond baptism and worship.  Both interviews and additional form filling can place unfair burdens on families, for example, disadvantaging those new to this country or for whom English is a second language."

Oh dear! 
Soon any parent who brings their child to Sunday Mass at all, and who can read, will be stigmatised as being 'already advantaged' and therefore not in the target client group! 
 James Preece over at Catholic and Loving It has a couple of relevant questions for Oona, 
I'm intrigued by Oona's assertion that:

"Too often other activities and involvement in the life of the parish would favour those who are already advantaged by time and other resources; luxuries not open to everyone.."

 Assisting with church cleaning, parish youth group, school governance, UCM, CWL, care of the housebound, parish council, KSC, are among the many  voluntary activities which generous Catholic parishioners undertake week in week out on in service of the parish, and often to raise funds for the parish.Surely the desire to help out in  parish activities arises from the Christian  call to love our neighbour, therefore to serve?

The Church does not call us to consider our luxuries and resources, but to love our neighbour as ourself. To love others is to serve them. It is open to Catholics to 'love their neighbour as themselves' by voluntary activities within the parish, sacrificing their time and energies for the good of others.
Love is sacrificial; the one who loves does not seek his own advantage, but receives an advantage nevertheless:  the advantage of becoming more Christ-like.  Is that really the sort of advantage Oona Stannard disapproves of?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

John, I disagree...

Here in the epicentre of the culture of death it's not often that I find myself in disagreement with the leading pro-life advocate, John Smeaton, whose organisation, SPUC,  does such sterling work in the pro-life battle.
But,  the  news that the Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group is to be axed  (part of the government's quango cull),  prompts me to call for three loud cheers!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Communicating the Church's Truth on Sexuality in a Hostile Culture

This is one of those really excellent talks that deserves to be as widely circulated as possible, so I'm doing my bit by quoting a little (below), and encouraging you all to take a little time to read the whole thing.

"Where can we begin to reverse the cultural tsunami of distortion of sexuality? 
We must begin with CARITAS IN VERITATE. It is the answer of Christ, of His Mother and of the Church. 
It is not love to allow your children to rampantly misbehave without correcting them.  Speaking as a father of seven children I will admit that it is often easier to turn the other way and purposely fail to notice misbehaviour.  But out of love parents must correct and discipline their children. 
So too the Church, especially Her shepherds – the fathers of souls - must feed the flock, must teach the truths however difficult and politically incorrect.  That is true love."
 - John-Henry Westen, co-founder and editor of Lifesite news,  in a powerful and challenging talk to the Fifth Annual World Prayer Congress for Life in Rome.

Read the full text of J-H Westen's  talk here

Thanks to Lifesite news and Love Undefiled

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Handicapped Babies: God's answer to prayer.....

I was prompted some months ago, by this post on Gerard Nadal's excellent blog, to consider putting some of my own experiences  as a mother of three handicapped children out there, in the blogosphere. What held me back? Not sure if I have a complete answer, but there was a desire to protect my family's privacy and a feeling that perhaps this aspect of my daily life was so ordinary, so day-to-day normal and natural as to render it un-newsworthy.

When I read Gerard's piece, there was one sentence which struck.  In all the many words that are spoken about handicapped children, pro-life or pro-death,  I have never heard any one else say :

“If God has a set number of handicapped children who need to enter the world, then He can send one our way.”

I was about thirteen, a schoolgirl, when I first understood  the meaning of the word  'abortion'. It was discussed in the cloakrooms and on the netball courts at school, the consensus among my then third year (now it would be year 9) peers  being that abortion was repugnant as it involved killing unborn babies.
Gradually I came to understand how handicapped babies were particularly at risk of abortion, targetted for no other reason than that they were handicapped.

I didn't know any handicapped people, but I knew of them;  the brother of  one of the girls in my class had Down's Syndrome, the severely disabled  brother of another lived, not at home, but in a special home,  and before that, I could recall a boy at primary school who wore calipers to both legs. I knew that handicapped people often needed more help than non- handicapped people. They were more vulnerable.
 It seemed to me that aborting babies because they had handicaps or disabilities, must be utterly wrong; surely the most vulnerable of all required the greatest protection and help?

Without knowing anything about the reasons women give for having an abortion, it was at least clear to me then,  that killing the weakest and most vulnerable did not solve  the problems they face.
I prayed about it, and this was my prayer:

Dear God,
If  You are going to send any more handicapped people into the world, when the time comes, send one to me. I will look after him/her and I won't abort him/her.

As good Catholics know, God always answers prayers!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

40 Days for Life

                                           London: 40 Days for Life

 I hadn't ever thought about praying the Rosary (out loud) in the middle of a London street, but yesterday I spent some time outside the Marie Stopes abortion facility in London, doing just that. For about five hours, it was my privilege to join others in the 40 Days for Life initiative, in constant prayer for an end to abortion, specifically at this Marie Stopes abortion facility.It was particularly humbling to see a prayer volunteer, an elderly woman, join us for over an hour of prayer, on her knees.
 Those five hours (which slipped past very quickly) were a time of great peace and grace: there was a  recognition of the need to surrender to God the evil that man does so that He can heal us of it; a sense of abortion as one of the enemy's most vicious tools in a spiritual battle.  There was also a sense of our need to pray, especially to Our Lady  to plead for her intercession for the lives of the unborn as indeed, for their mothers.
I hope to join the vigil again,  soon, God willing.

40 Days for Life began in the States, about three years ago I believe, and I found the picture at the top of this post  on their website's blog, together with the following information about how it's been going in London.

“We had the first member of staff tell us she has quit her job there,” said one of the 40 Days for Life prayer volunteers outside the Marie Stopes abortion facility in London. “We should continue praying and being there for the rest.”
In addition, at least three more babies have been saved from abortion!
The London campaign is receiving a lot of support — though not every passerby has a favorable view.
“I am used to abuse in the hospital,” said one volunteer, who is a nurse. “But the anger I heard out of the businesswomen was difficult to take. ‘Stop abusing women!’ I heard repeatedly. They seemed completely unaware that I am a woman, too!”
The London team has received inquiries about the campaign from interested people in Russia, Ghana and Colombia. I’ve also gotten e-mail from people in France and Spain, asking about to bringing 40 Days for Life to those countries.
Let’s see what God has in store!"

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

'Don't wash your car before going to that church.....'

It's been a very busy few days, and I don't seem to have got  much done; the domestic intray overfloweth, so to speak.  So  I really need to get on....

But before I do, I just have to post this picture, which I found at the irrepressible Bad Vestments blog:

Does anyone know if,   no, just...   why?

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Youth2000- young folks' view

Praying for the Holy Souls- with the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

Having lost three members of our wider family this year, my eye was caught by a post over at Rorate Caeli.
Briefly, it's publicising an opportunity for the readership (pretty large, I would think) of Rorate Caeli to pray for deceased souls.  All that's required is for the name(s) of the deceased to be  forwarded  to  Rorate Caeli for inclusion on the list.

An update from Rorate Caeli:

Just 24 hours ago we announced the new Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society (see previous post below). I would like to personally thank everyone who has wished us well on this new apostolate and offered prayers for its success.
In terms of the response, we have already received names to be enrolled by nearly 40 people, most of whom each sent numerous names of passed loved ones.
Possibly even more remarkable is that we also have already secured three holy priests to offer weekly Traditional Latin Masses for all the souls enrolled in the Society! I will make two of the priests' names known on Friday when the first listing of souls is posted (one of the priests must remain anonymous for now). The first TLM will take place this Friday, October 1, at 11 a.m. CST for those here who would like to unite themselves spiritually to the Mass. If there are other priests who would like to do the same, please email me. Also, for our readers, please remember these good priests in your prayers as well. 

That's starting  this Friday-  better get that list of deceased family members in quickly! 
Rorate Caeli has details of 'how to' .

Monday, 27 September 2010

Special needs

I haven't posted about disability related  issues for a while; things have been going relatively smoothly on that front, however it seemed appropriate to do so today, since we have so far, fielded about eight phone calls in relation to:

1)  our elder disabled son's  pressure relieving mattress -(it broke down)
2)  both our disabled sons' feeding systems- (the local NHS has appointed a different supplier)
3)  our disabled daughter's Statement of Special Educational Needs- (her statement is being amended i.e. the wording is being changed, and as with all legal documents, the wording is very important.

1.The mattress:-   he has been supplied with a temporary substitute which is too short! However, the engineer promised that " someone will come out with something that will close the gap".

2. The feeding systems:- the caller introduced herself and said that the new system to include pumps, feeds and plastics would start from 1/10/10 and she would send someone out to train us and we had been sent a letter to tell us, and have a nice day.....whoa....hang on there!  What's this all about? What letter? we haven't  a letter!

3.The lady from the County Special Needs Team:- our daughter changed schools 12 months ago, the county would now like to change (amend) her Statement to reflect the change of school and changes in the way her SENs are met.

We have appealed no less than three times to the Special  Educational Needs Tribunal where we have believed our childrens' SENs are not being statemented, or met,  properly, and will have to be quite vigilant over the new proposed Statement, to ensure that the Local Authority fulfils its duties properly.
  Sorry to lapse into jargon: SEN means 'special educational needs'; where children have a Statement of Special Educational Needs, the Local Authority is legally bound to meet all those special educational needs. For parents of affected children, it's imperative to ensure that the description of the child's Special Educational Needs on the statement is comprehensive, and that the statement has provision to  meet each and every one of those special educational needs. As I said earlier, it's a legal document, and binding on the Local Authority.

An excellent source of help and information for parents of children with SEN in the UK is IPSEA. They have a dedicated helpline advertised on the website, and some very experienced advisors.
(If you experience difficulty in getting through, persist, IPSEA is an invaluable source of help.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Empty Catholic cradles and empty Catholic schools

"ROME, September 22, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Europe will grow more “Islamicized” if Christian Europeans do not start having more children, and going back to Church, a senior Vatican official said this month. Msgr. Piero Gheddo, a famous missionary and an official with the Vatican’s Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, told Zenit news service that Europe’s indigenous inhabitants have abandoned Christianity and are becoming “paganized.” 
“The fact is that, as a people, we are becoming ever more pagan and the religious vacuum is inevitably filled by other proposals and religious forces,” said Msgr. Gheddo, who founded AsiaNews, the Christian missionary news service. As religious practice diminishes in Christian Europe, “indifference spreads; Christianity and the Church are attacked.”
“If we consider ourselves a Christian country, we should return to the practice of Christian life, which would also solve the problem of empty cradles.”

Hmm..is that scaremongering?  Someone trying to force Catholic parents to have more children ?

No;  actually it's quite simple: if there aren't enough Catholic children of school age there's less justification  for  Catholic schools. So, there will be less of them.

"Sacred Heart primary in Blackburn could become the first Catholic school in Britain to be converted into an Islamic faith school following a dramatic change in the pupil population.
More than nine-in-10 of the school's pupils were Catholic a decade ago but that number plummeted to just three per cent this year....

In the latest case, the Diocese of Salford has informed the local council that it no longer believes it is appropriate to continue running the school as the number of Catholic pupils has dropped to just “five or six”. 
Daily Telegraph

Thanks to the Daily Telegraph and Lifesite News

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Bishops' statement on the Papal Visit

"The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales are delighted at the success of the recent Visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.

The Bishops wish to express their sincere appreciation to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for extending the invitation to the Holy Father to make this State Visit and their thanks to the countless number of people who came to express their affection and support for His Holiness. Particular tribute must be paid to all those who helped to organise and implement the Visit, both nationally and locally.

Most specially, the Bishops extend their profound gratitude to the Holy Father for the time that he spent among us. His four day visit has been remarkable in so many ways and has given new life and hope to people both within and beyond the Catholic community in these lands. There is much to be gained, in many different ways, from further reflection on this Visit not only for Catholics but for our wider society too."

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Blogwalk Fashion!

Did you know :-

"To be a devout and faithful Catholic blogger, there are some simple fashion rules that ought to be followed, with no exceptions!!! Women must wear skirts or dresses while blogging, and their shoulders ought to be covered, and absolutely no cleavage! Men's beards must not be shorn, and a shirt and tie are required. Priests must wear their clerics on-line, and bishops ought to be wearing their miters. Nuns have to be in full habit, unless they're fauxrdained. That bunch will wear tacky polyester pantsuits no matter what the rules say.

This is all in the Catechism, you know. There are some bloggers out there who believe that these rules can be abrogated. Foolish people.

AoftheA is honored to have been awarded the "Faithful Catholic Blogger Fashion Seal Of Approval". After all, how we dress for others while blogging is just as important as how we address others while blogging. By displaying this button on your blog, then readers will have the assurance of knowing that you are 100% faithful to the dicta of uber-conservative Catholic culturecrats the Catholic Church, and won't be assailed by immodesty while visiting your site."

Thanks to Acts of the Apostacy from where this came!

Why women cannot become priests..!

Reason no. 89,734- Why women cannot become  priests of the Catholic Church:

At ordination, there is no promise of 'loyal dissent' to the Bishop or Superior.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Petition to Thank the Holy Father for His Visit to Britain

Jeffrey Steel over at De Cura Animarum, has started a petition of thanks to the Holy Father for his recent visit to the UK. It's beautifully written, as I'm sure you will agree:

We, the undersigned, wish to express our warm gratitude to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, for a very successful and encouraging visit to these isles. We are very grateful to you, Your Holiness, for faithfully and charitably challenging us in our journeys with our Saviour. You have modelled humility, compassion, and in the spirit of Blessed John Henry Newman, the grace of 'heart speaking unto heart'. Thank you for coming to Scotland and England and blessing us with your presence. We promise our full support and prayers for you as you lead and guide us into the joy of our salvation. God bless you, Your Holiness, and may the prayers of our Lady be effectual for giving you the grace to continue building up the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do go over and  show your support!

'He came for everyone'

I've just returned from school having dropped off our daughter after her appointment with the optician.
 As we waited for the teaching assistant to arrive at reception,  the school secretary and I chatted for a few moments: she  wanted to know if I'd been to see the Pope, explaining that although she herself was a Methodist, she had followed the TV coverage of the Papal visit and felt it  had been a wonderful occasion for the whole country, not only the Catholic  element of the population.
In her own words: 

" Like David Cameron said,  he (the Pope) came for everyone."

Monday, 20 September 2010

Early fruits from Pope Benedict's Visit?

A commenter over at Damian Thompson's blog reports:

"Returning to our bus at Cofton Park we find that someone has given our driver a pile of commemorative Tablets to distribute. By the time he gets to the top deck our affable but somewhat puzzled driver is asking what is wrong with the Tablet as he cannot even give them away. Multiply that by 400 buses in each coach park"

Update: the link is now reset and the comment (above) can be found on the third  page about 3/4 down.

Joy in the Park

The joy of yesterday's celebration of the Beatification Mass was evident on the faces of all who came; there was a strong sense of being one among a vast group of friends which neither  rain, wind, lack of sleep nor hours of  waiting could dim. Pilgrims shared what they had: their stories, food, drink, chairs, umbrellas, a spot on a piece of tarpaulin...people made way for each other, there was no pushing or shoving, just a deep contentment and gratitude at the privilege of being there.

For the Church, and in a special way for  Oratorian Fathers, the announcement of our new 'Blessed' is  a  moment of great joy, hope and grace.
One could feel the warmth of the joy that radiated from the Holy Father, though I was not close enough to him  to get a decent picture.

 I did however manage to snap these  two beaming priests who I believe, are Oratorian Fathers.
Those smiles I saw repeated a thousand times, on the faces of the pilgrims all around me.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Just a note..

It was a most wonderful experience to be somewhere among that huge crowd of pilgrims in Cofton Park today!

I arrived home just about an hour ago, and to be honest, I'm way too tired to write anything sensible about today.
For now, I just want to thank God that He made it possible for me to be there.
I'll try to post more tomorrow...

Saturday, 18 September 2010

And I'll be travelling shortly...

....on the first leg of the journey to Birmingham, where tomorrow,  at Cofton Park the Holy Father will beatify
 Cardinal Newman.

The excitement has been building all week, together with a sense of just how great a privilege it is, to be present at this beatification, itself an historic moment, given that beatifications have always taken place in Rome.

As I write this, the Holy Father is arriving at Hyde Park, to the sounds of a tumultuous welcome!

The Pope is travelling to Hyde Park....

....Where, according to Skynews, some 80,000 young people await him!

Pope Benedict:: Every day we have to choose love

I haven't been able to follow as much as I would like of today's media coverage of the historic visit of Pope Benedict  to the UK- domestic responsibilities needed to take some priority. However, I did manage to catch the address given by Pope Benedict to the young people gathered outside Westminster Cathedral, this morning.
They gave the Holy Father a massive welcome, and could be heard chanting 'we love you Benedict' -  seeing their joyful delight in the presence of  the Holy Father ought to dispel any lurking doubts about the ability and desire of the young to relate to their Pope. They  love him and it was abundantly clear for all the world to see.

As ever, the Holy Father had some words of great wisdom, the full text of his Address is here, once again, thanks to the Catholic Herald,  below I offer a few short quotes:

“I ask you to look into your hearts each day to find the source of all true love. Jesus is always there, quietly waiting for us to be still with him and to hear his voice. Deep within your heart, he is calling you to spend time with him in prayer."

“It is in silence that we find God, and in silence that we discover our true self. And in discovering our true self, we discover the particular vocation which God has given us for the building up of his Church and the redemption of our world.”

“Every day we have to choose to love, and this requires help, the help that comes from Christ, from prayer and from the wisdom found in his word, and from the grace which he bestow on us in the sacraments of his Church.”

Friday, 17 September 2010

The Pope's Speech in Westminster Hall

The full text of the speech given by the Holy Father in Westminster Hall is here, with thanks to the Catholic Herald.

It's  a superbly crafted speech in which the Holy Father invites our political representatives to see and be informed by the necessary relationship between reason and faith.There's too much to reproduce here, so I  contented myself with this extract:

"The central question at issue, then, is this: where is the ethical foundation for political choices to be found? The Catholic tradition maintains that the objective norms governing right action are accessible to reason, prescinding from the content of revelation. According to this understanding, the role of religion in political debate is not so much to supply these norms, as if they could not be known by non-believers – still less to propose concrete political solutions, which would lie altogether outside the competence of religion – but rather to help purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles. This “corrective” role of religion vis-à-vis reason is not always welcomed, though, partly because distorted forms of religion, such as sectarianism and fundamentalism, can be seen to create serious social problems themselves. And in their turn, these distortions of religion arise when insufficient attention is given to the purifying and structuring role of reason within religion. It is a two-way process. Without the corrective supplied by religion, though, reason too can fall prey to distortions, as when it is manipulated by ideology, or applied in a partial way that fails to take full account of the dignity of the human person. Such misuse of reason, after all, was what gave rise to the slave trade in the first place and to many other social evils, not least the totalitarian ideologies of the twentieth century. This is why I would suggest that the world of reason and the world of faith – the world of secular rationality and the world of religious belief – need one another and should not be afraid to enter into a profound and ongoing dialogue, for the good of our civilization.
Religion, in other words, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation. In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalization of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance. There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere. There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none. And there are those who argue – paradoxically with the intention of eliminating discrimination – that Christians in public roles should be required at times to act against their conscience. These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square. I would invite all of you, therefore, within your respective spheres of influence, to seek ways of promoting and encouraging dialogue between faith and reason at every level of national life.
Your readiness to do so is already implied in the unprecedented invitation extended to me today. And it finds expression in the fields of concern in which your Government has been engaged with the Holy See. In the area of peace, there have been exchanges regarding the elaboration of an international arms trade treaty; regarding human rights, the Holy See and the United Kingdom have welcomed the spread of democracy, especially in the last sixty-five years; in the field of development, there has been collaboration on debt relief, fair trade and financing for development, particularly through the International Finance Facility, the International Immunization Bond, and the Advanced Market Commitment. The Holy See also looks forward to exploring with the United Kingdom new ways to promote environmental responsibility, to the benefit of all."

Just spotted my niece...

....being interviewed along with another 'Catholic Voice'  by the BBC!
Both spoke up very well for the Pope, for truth and for the Church.

The Pope at Twickenham

The Holy Father spent this morning at St. Mary's, Twickenham with thousands of schoolchildren many of whom, God bless them, travelled through the night to be there, and their warm welcome for the Holy Father was very enthusiastic, sincere and full of joy. It was truly wonderful to watch. 
On  the BBC's coverage, a number of children and young people were asked questions by the BBC journalist, who seemed to be trying very hard and repeatedly so, to elicit negative responses from them, but all to no avail! I thought the interviewees communicated without fuss, from the heart, their great joy at being present with the Holy Father, meeting him, or just seeing him at today's 'Big Assembly'.

The Holy Father addressed  Teachers and Religious, reminding them of their task of assisting in the formation of the person, imparting true wisdom which is inseparable from knowlege of the Creator, and paying tribute to their vital work and apostolate. And he added:

"Indeed, the presence of religious in Catholic schools is a powerful reminder of the much-discussed Catholic ethos that needs to inform every aspect of school life. This extends far beyond the self-evident requirement that the content of the teaching should always be in conformity with Church doctrine. It means that the life of faith needs to be the driving force behind every activity in the school, so that the Church’s mission may be served effectively, and the young people may discover the joy of entering into Christ’s “being for others” (Spe Salvi, 28)."

You can find the full text here

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Queen welcomes the Holy Father

  The Palace of Holyroodhouse where the Holy Father was welcomed by the Queen

I was rather impressed by the Speech of  Her Majesty the Queen  today, (full text here) as she welcomed  the Holy Father on behalf of the people of the United Kingdom. In particular she spoke of  the work, outreach and ministry of the Catholic Church :

"Your Holiness, your presence here today reminds us of our common Christian heritage, and of the Christian contribution to the encouragement of world peace, and to the economic and social development of the less prosperous countries of the world. We are all aware of the special contribution of the Roman Catholic Church particularly in its ministry to the poorest and most deprived members of society, its care for the homeless and for the education provided by its extensive network of schools."

And defending the freedom to worship:

"Your Holiness, in recent times you have said that ‘religions can never become vehicles of hatred, that never by invoking the name of God can evil and violence be justified’. Today, in this country, we stand united in that conviction. We hold that freedom to worship is at the core of our tolerant and democratic society."
(My emphasis)

Alistair (we don't do God) Campbell attempts a backtrack

 Baroness Warsi, Conservative party Chairman,  has been speaking to a number of Anglican Bishops in Oxford about the importance of faith in the UK  and has said :

"If anyone suggests that this government does not understand, does not appreciate, does not defend people of faith, dare I even say, does not 'do God', then I hope my schedule this week will go some way to banishing that myth."
She told the bishops that under the Big Society idea, churches, faith groups and charities would have more power, responsibility and choice over how to get involved in local communities.

Alistair Campbell appears to be (rather sniffily) suggesting that Lady Warsi misunderstood his infamous claim:
'we don't do God'.
Alistair, the previous government's communications chief at the time he made this claim, would now like us to believe that his words were misinterpreted and that it was all the fault of the journalists at the time:

"For the umpteenth time, Baroness Warsi, ‘we don’t do God’ was not a major strategic statement, but an attempt to bring to an end an interview in which an American journalist was asking ‘one final question’ after ‘one final question’ and ‘finally, finally’ asked TB (Tony Blair) about his faith. "

Alistair continues on his blog :

"Nice to hear the Pope showing a bit of manners to the previous government just now."

I expect he's like us to think that was some kind of compliment to the Holy Father..........

He's coming!

In twenty minutes, or so, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, will be stepping down on Scottish soil at the beginning of his historic state visit to the UK.....the great day has arrived!
We are delighted and proud that four of our elder sons and daughters will be at Hyde Park and/or The Beatification of Cardinal Newman at Cofton Park, one among them will meet with the Holy Father as a seminarian- what a privilege!
I 'll also be attending the Beatification Mass in the company of our good friends who kindly invited us to share this wonderful occasion with them.  I can't wait......!

 I'm going to be spending as much time as I can over the next few days, following the Papal visit on the various media sources (thanks to Fr Finigan for providing links), but for now, it's time to prepare for Mass which we will offer up for the Holy Father's intentions and the success of his visit.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Fail: 'Some Helpful Terms'

This list of helpful terms comes from the Papal Visit Office of  the Catholic Bishops Conference:

   It appears to be aimed at non-Catholics in government, police, technical support who are involved in events   during the historic papal  visit.  

It looks as if someone up at head office needs some basic instruction, can anyone recommend a good  Preparation for First Holy Communion course?               

UPDATE: The great Vincenzo has supplied a number of terms which were somehow missed from the
original !                                   

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Popemobile spotted in London....

Fr. Finigan has exclusive  details of the latest popemobile, supplied  to Ecclestone Square. With its  contemporary lines and stylish design, this vehicle is bound to turn heads  and it comes fully loaded with the usual refinements.
But don't take my word for it- read Fr. Finigan's scoop!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Plymouth Diocesan Priests on BBC Radio Cornwall

 "We feel honoured but we also feel we want to share our faith with him and to be strengthened by his presence among us."- Fr. Chris Findlay-Wilson

In these last few days before the State visit of the Holy Father to the UK, BBC Cornwall has recorded some radio interviews with a number of Catholics of that lovely county, including Frs., Jon Bielowski and Chris Findlay-Wilson. To be aired on Sunday 12th September during 'Donna's Breakfast Show',  0600-0900am.,  the programme can be heard again on the BBC iplayer.

Thanks to Fr. John Boyle

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Our Lady's Birthday

Mary Immaculate, star of the morning,
  Chosen before the creation began,
Chosen to bring in the light of thy dawning,
  Woe to the serpent and rescue to man
Here, in this world of both shadow and sadness
  Veiling thy splendour, thy course hast thou run:
Now thou art throned in all glory and gladness,
  Crowned by the hand of thy Saviour and Son.
Sinners, we worship thy sinless perfection;
  Fallen and weak, for thy pity we plead:
Grant us the shield of thy sov’reign protection,
  Measure thine aid by the depth of our need.
Bend from thy throne at the voice of our crying,
  Bend to this earth which thy footsteps have trod:
Stretch out thine arms to us, living and dying,
  Mary Immaculate, Mother of God.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Nearly half of Mass goers would attend Mass in the E.F.

 The main findings of a study  of Mass goers, commissioned by Paix Liturgique, are:

  • 32% of Britain's Catholics attend Mass at least once a month
  • 43% of those Catholics who practise regularly would attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form once a week
  • 50% of the Catholics questioned would find it normal if Mass  were celebrated in the Extraordinary Form alongside the Ordinary Form in their parishes
  • 60% of Catholics were unaware of Pope Benedict XVI's Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum which lifted restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass in 2007
Of course, statistics should never be wholly relied upon as being absolutely accurate and true, but this study would seem to indicate that Catholics are much more open to attending Mass in the E.F.,  than  some people,  for instance, would have us believe.
I wonder if that figure of 43% could be interpreted as a 'stable group'..... ?
( Some while ago, it was said that requests for Masses in the E.F. would need to be made by a stable groups of parishioners.)  
Thanks to the Catholic Herald

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Aid to the Church in Need Annual Mass and ‘Hope Without Fear’ Event

I posted a few weeks ago about some aspects of the great charitable works undertaken by Aid to the Church in Need,  (one of the best Catholic Charities, in my humble opinion). I am happy to reproduce in full this comment on my earlier  post.

"We would be most grateful if you would kindly display this information regarding Aid to the Church in Need’s Annual Westminster Event on your Blog and pass it on to anyone else who may also be willing to display it. Pictures of the speakers can be sent, should you wish.
Many thanks and God bless
Mike Cowie (Area Secretaries Co-ordinator, Aid to the Church in need (UK)

Aid to the Church in Need Annual Mass and ‘Hope Without Fear’ Event, taking place at Westminster Cathedral and Hall, Ambrosden Avenue London, SW1P 1QW
on – Saturday, 16th October Mass of Our Lady (Feast of Margaret Mary Alacoque).
The day begins with Sung Latin Mass in Westminster Cathedral at 10:30am. Mass will be followed by an afternoon of talks in the cathedral hall. We are delighted to welcome some very special guests from the suffering Church in Sudan and Siberia.

Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio, south Sudan is leading his people in south Sudan through a time of great uncertainty. Despite the country’s fragile peace agreement, he has seen his people fall victim to atrocious attacks, including crucifixion. Benefactors are helping to provide hope, funding Christian education at the Save the Saveable schools, training seminarians, Sisters and catechists, and helping priests reach Christian communities with new vehicles.

Father Michael Shields from Magadan, Siberia is a long-time friend of Aid to the Church in Need. An American from Alaska, he chose to serve in a former communist gulag camp in Magadan, Siberia. Millions died here. Father works for those who survive, ensuring their stories are told and their suffering acknowledged by the authorities. He is the author of the Aid to the Church in Need publication Martyrs of Magadan – a book that tells the stories of 15 survivors of the gulags. Earlier this year, Aid to the Church in Need paid tribute to Father Michael’s work by including him in the book Heroic Priests.

Neville Kyrke-Smith, UK Director, Aid to the Church in Need
has travelled extensively in Eastern Europe and, this year, he will give an update on the help benefactors are giving to Christians in Ukraine, where he recently visited.

John Pontifex, UK Head of Press and Information, Aid to the Church in Need
will speak about suffering, faith and hope in Pakistan and how benefactors are helping to nurture this hope.

For more information please visit our Website http://www.acnuk.org/events.php/223/aid-to-the-church-in-need-annual-mass-and-hope-without-fear-event-westminster "