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 ( – 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.” 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 "