Thursday, 27 May 2010

Holy Father: present the young with the exalted and transcendent measure of life as vocation

 From the address (27/5/10) of the Holy Father to participants in the general assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference:

"The inner thirst of the young is a call for meaning, for authentic human relationships which can help them not to feel alone in the face of life's challenges. ... Our response is to announce God, the friend of man Who in Jesus approached each one of us. The transmission of the faith is an indispensable part of the integral formation of the person. ... The personal meeting with Jesus is the key to understanding God's relevance in everyday life".

"never to lose faith in the young. ... Frequent all areas of life", he told them, "including those of the new communications technologies which now permeate culture in all its expressions. It is not a question of adapting the Gospel to the world, but of drawing from the Gospel that perennial novelty which, in all times, enables us to find the best way to announce the Word that does not fail, fecundating and serving human life. Let us, then, again present the young with the exalted and transcendent measure of life as vocation". 
Thanks to VISnews


Congratulations to Richard Marsden who has been accepted by Bishop Drainey ( Diocese of  Middlesbrough), as a student for the sacred priesthood .
May God bless him abundantly and strengthen him in his vocation, St John Marie Vianney, pray for him, and may we all remember to pray for seminarians who will serve the Church as our future priests.

 Here's the announcement on Richard's great  blog, 'Bashing Secularism'.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Papal Nuncio suffers stroke

"The Pope's ambassador to Britain, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, suffered a  mild stroke yesterday.  Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster said today: “I am very sorry to inform you that the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency the Most Reverend Faustino Sainz Muñoz, has suffered a stroke and is at present receiving medical care in hospital. Please do keep him in your prayers.”

See Independent Catholic News 

Monday, 17 May 2010

Some 'orthodox Catholic doctrine'- from Clifford Longley

Speaking on the Radio 4 'Thought for Today' slot this morning Clifford Longley commented on a speech given by the Holy Father, during his recent visit to Portugal. You can listen again here ( or read the full  transcript)
Here's the first part of what Clifford Longley said:

"As we in Britain will find out next September, when Popes visit foreign countries they make many speeches. But of the tens of thousands of words he uttered while in Portugal last week, one remark from Pope Benedict XVI received widespread attention elsewhere. Under headlines like "Pope slams gay marriage", he praised those how work to uphold family life against, quote, "insidious and dangerous threats to the common good".
I've read the whole speech, and nowhere is gay marriage mentioned. Journalists assumed that was what he meant, given that Portugal is about to pass a law permitting them. But its main point, as in other speeches by him in Portugal, was a plea for solidarity, social justice and human rights.
But not unlike a recent prime minister of Great Britain, Pope Benedict has problems getting his message across. If he didn't wish to be reported as engaging in an anti-gay attack, which is how it came over, it's a pity he didn't say something like this: "Let me assure you - God loves gay people. In fact he loves them especially because they have suffered persecution and discrimination in their lives, and Christ's message of liberation and justice applies  particularly to  people like that." The Catholic Church, he could have gone on to say but didn't, "regrets its historical role in encouraging prejudice against homosexuals, and is anxious to do what it can to correct that, now."
Dream on, you might say. But if what I've just said surprises you, every word of it is orthodox Catholic doctrine. And then, if he wanted to add something about defending family life, he might have got a sympathetic hearing."

 Right, so the most important aspect of what the Pope has to say, must be what journalists say he said/meant.  They say the Pope's words were an anti-gay attack, and  Clifford Longley agrees. Journalists must be right, even though Clifford also thinks the main point of the Pope's speech was  'a  plea for solidarity, social justice and human rights.'
Recent prime ministers of Great Britain have been Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, neither of whom could hold a candle to Vicar of Christ (and head of State), Pope Benedict. Unlike many politicians and  journalists, the Holy Father does substance, not spin.
The substance is real, it is truth, and truth outlives every attempted  subversion, manipulation or destruction. It outlives journalistic swipes too.

"And by the way, the Catholic Church in England and Wales no longer opposes civil partnerships," 
As between practicing homosexual men? - between practicing homosexual women ? Really? Is Clifford trying to persuade us that the Catholic Church  recognises civil partnerships as valid in the same way she recognises civil marriages between non Catholics as valid ? Are we going to hear talk of the 'vocation to civil partnership?

Clifford's final piece of advice:
"The lesson of all this is quite simple. People will not hear you if they think you're their enemy. They'll only listen if you approach them as a sincere friend. And if you need a perfect example of how successful that can be, well - read the Gospels."

Wait....did he just tell the Holy Father to approach people with more sincerity....?
           Did he invite the Holy Father the Gospels?

Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Department for Education is back!

"Michael Gove has started as Education Secretary by ditching Labour's rebranding of his department.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) will be known once again as the Department for Education.
The DCSF's rainbow logo has also disappeared from the department's website and Westminster headquarters.

The new Education Secretary Michael Gove has told his staff in an internal e-mail he wants to "refocus" the department "on its core purpose of supporting teaching and learning".
Mr Gove has also signalled his plan to free up controls on schools within the next few months has not been watered down by the coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats.

In an e-mail to civil servants he said: "In the weeks ahead, I want us to offer all schools the chance to enjoy academy-style freedoms so that heads and teachers across the country can be liberated. This will be the focus of the legislation we hope to bring forward later this month."
The 2007 rebranding exercise is thought to have cost several thousand pounds.
There has been speculation about other government departments being rebranded and reorganised by the new coalition government."
 Source: BBC

Hopefully, a return to the earlier name of this department also signals  a change of philosophy and direction;  the Ed Balls rebranding in 2007:   'Dept. for Children Schools and Families'  was a sign of his desire for the state to have greater influence in the raising and formation of children, and  it became the government department whose policies were designed to achieve this.

Time will tell...  can  we be hopeful that Mr Gove at the very least, will not antagonise parents, in the way his predecessor did by trying to impose  sex education ideology on children as young as five, against the will of their parents? Or require schools to provide contraception and abortion referrals, without parental knowlege?

Back in the day...

While I was browsing through my late mother's 1948 Roman missal, a number of prayer cards, memorial cards and small newspaper cuttings slipped out from between the tissue thin leaves.
Among them was a small cutting from what I think must have been a Catholic publication, and though there is not a date on it, I estimate it to  be pre 1950.It gives a set of 'Ten Commandments' suggested by a Fr. John O'Brien, then a lecturer at Notre Dame University, Indiana. 

  For Happy Marriages
  Ten Commandments

"Thou shalt make thy promise of mutual love and loyalty a vow to God, binding until death.
Thou shalt abstain from the angry word which wounds more deeply than the sword.
Thou shalt respect the personality of thy mate and not seek to dominate or tyrannise.
Thou shalt allow no in-law to interfere with the running of thy home.
Thou shalt abstain fron drink where alcohol is a danger to either party.
Thou shalt make a family budget and observe it.
Thou shalt eschew pettiness, nagging, selfishness, jealousy and false pride.
Thou shalt grow in consideration and love each day and share thy interests and pleasures to a maximum.
Thou shalt love thy children as God's supreme gift and rear them to be good citizens with a sense of honour, tolerance and fair play.
Thou shalt kneel together in prayer each night, knowing that the family that prays toghether, stays together."

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Pope Benedict XVI at Fatima

I wish I'd found this picture in time to include it in my previous post!
You can almost hear the plea of the Holy Father as he prays to Our Lady  before one of her most well known images, that of the 'beautiful lady' who appeared to three young children in Fatima, in 1917.

Essentially, Our Lady's message, given at Fatima, was a call to prayer, penance and sacrifice in reparation for our sins which so greatly offend God. The need to pray, do penance and make sacrifices  has been recently echoed by the Holy Father.

The Holy Father consecrates all priests to the Immaculate and Maternal Heart of Mary

In Fatima, the Holy Father Pope Benedict, in the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, entrusted all the priests of the world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

"Immaculate Mother,
in this place of grace,
called together by the love of your Son Jesus
the Eternal High Priest, we,
sons in the Son and his priests,
consecrate ourselves to your maternal Heart,
in order to carry out faithfully the Father’s Will.
We are mindful that, without Jesus,
we can do nothing good (cf. Jn 15:5)
and that only through him, with him and in him,
will we be instruments of salvation
for the world.
Bride of the Holy Spirit,
obtain for us the inestimable gift
of transformation in Christ.
Through the same power of the Spirit that
overshadowed you,
making you the Mother of the Saviour,
help us to bring Christ your Son
to birth in ourselves too.
May the Church
be thus renewed by priests who are holy,
priests transfigured by the grace of him
who makes all things new.
Mother of Mercy,
it was your Son Jesus who called us
to become like him:
light of the world and salt of the earth
(cf. Mt 5:13-14).
Help us,
through your powerful intercession,
never to fall short of this sublime vocation,
nor to give way to our selfishness,
to the allurements of the world
and to the wiles of the Evil One.
Preserve us with your purity,
guard us with your humility
and enfold us with your maternal love
that is reflected in so many souls
consecrated to you,
who have become for us
true spiritual mothers.
Mother of the Church,
we priests want to be pastors
who do not feed themselves
but rather give themselves to God for their brethren,
finding their happiness in this.
Not only with words, but with our lives,
we want to repeat humbly,
day after day,
Our “here I am”.
Guided by you,
we want to be Apostles
of Divine Mercy,
glad to celebrate every day
the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar
and to offer to those who request it
the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Advocate and Mediatrix of grace,
you who are fully immersed
in the one universal mediation of Christ,
invoke upon us, from God,
a heart completely renewed
that loves God with all its strength
and serves mankind as you did.
Repeat to the Lord
your efficacious word:
“They have no wine” (Jn 2:3),
so that the Father and the Son will send upon us
a new outpouring of
the Holy Spirit.
Full of wonder and gratitude
at your continuing presence in our midst,
in the name of all priests
I too want to cry out:
“Why is this granted me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:43).
Our Mother for all time,
do not tire of “visiting us”,
consoling us, sustaining us.
Come to our aid
and deliver us from every danger
that threatens us.
With this act of entrustment and consecration,
we wish to welcome you
more deeply, more radically,
for ever and totally
into our human and priestly lives.
Let your presence cause new blooms to burst forth
in the desert of our loneliness,
let it cause the sun to shine on our darkness,
let it restore calm after the tempest,
so that all mankind shall see the salvation
of the Lord,
who has the name and the face of Jesus,
who is reflected in our hearts,
for ever united to yours!

Thanks to Fr. Z

Monday, 10 May 2010

For the love of God!

Online busking over at Laurence England's blog in order to raise money for such basics as a proper mattress and some dental work for George, the vocalist in the video clip above.

Fr Finigan is confident that bloggers will, between them, sub the mattress and dental work, and I'm sure he's right. I have promised a donation which will be sent as soon as Laurence lets us know if it's to be paypal, or another route.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Donkeys, tails and voting!

Which would be the most disappointing way to lose your chance to vote in an election :
  1. a shortage of ballot papers
  2. time ran out 
  3. your name was not on the list of eligible voters
The correct answer is the one you give by closing your eyes and pointing at the screen.

Tweet from the Norwich Evening News:
"One of the returning officers in Thetford saw a father ask his daughter who he should vote for.She closed her eyes and picked a box."

 Pin the Tail on the Donkey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pin the Tail on the Donkey is a game played by groups of children. A picture of a donkey with a missing tail is tacked to a wall within easy reach of children.[1]
One at a time, each child is blindfolded and handed a paper "tail" with a push pin or thumbtack poked through it. The blindfolded child is then spun around until he or she is disoriented.[1] The child gropes around and tries to pin the tail on the donkey. The player who pins their tail closest to the target, the donkey's rear, wins.[1] The game, a group activity, is generally not competitive; "winning" is only of marginal importance[clarification needed].
Pin the Tail on the Donkey is suitable for children who are old enough to walk and to know better than to eat the small sharp tacks. 

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Some questions are more important than others....

Yes, I know there is a general election tomorrow, and all parties are promising to heal the patient after a suitable dose of medication and period of convalescence, but:


Will Cardinal Pell become the next Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops?
If he does, how will that affect the Catholic Church in England and Wales?

Fr. Corapi: 'How to make a good confession' Parts 1,2 and 3

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Yet another Christian prosecuted for expressing his Christian beliefs

 The Christian Legal Centre reports:

"A Christian street preacher in Cumbria has been arrested and charged with a crime after he expressed his religious beliefs about homosexual conduct.
Dale Mcalpine, of Workington in Cumbria, appeared before local magistrates on Friday and pleaded not guilty to breaching section 5 of the Public Order Act.
Mr Mcalpine is being supported by The Christian Institute, a leading national defender of Christian religious liberty.
He was preaching publicly in the town on 20 April this year but he insists he never spoke about the subject of homosexuality during his public sermon.
He says two Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) approached him and one identified himself as a homosexual.
According to Mr Mcalpine, that PCSO warned him not to say homosexual conduct is “sinful” because it would be a crime."

Solicitor-advocate for The Christian Institute, Sam Webster, says it is not a crime to express the belief that homosexual conduct is a sin:

“A Christian who stands in a public place and expresses his religious beliefs in the hope of persuading passers-by of his views – that is freedom of speech.

“Case law has ruled that the orthodox Christian belief that homosexual conduct is sinful is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

"Yes, the police have a duty to maintain public order but they also have a duty to defend the lawful free speech of citizens. It's not for police to decide whether Mr. McAlpine's views are right or wrong."

So why are Christians being prosecuted for peacefully exercising their lawful right to free speech?