Sunday, 25 September 2011


I suppose I am not the only Catholic who finds it hard to go to Confession; if the queues for Confession are anything to go by, it seems that very many of those whom I would recognise as parishioners, are absent at this weekly slot. Perhaps they too, experience that silkily persuasive inner voice which reminds them of the 101 things which need to be done, the fact that no major transgressions have taken place, or  a fulsome reminder of  virtuous accomplishments in hope of lulling the soul into a false sense of security and placing Confession somewhere low down on the priorities schedule.
If that doesn't work the next step often seems to be  throwing confusion on attempts to examine the conscience. Did I do/say/will that?
Did I really, or is it just the product of an over-scrupulous conscience?
Am I trying to get myself off the hook? So, if I witnessed someone else do/say those things, would I believe it was wrongdoing or not? Surely it should be the same for me?
Is it sin that is so complicated, or is it me?

The only way to find out is  to bring such issues to Confession; this is where a priest acting in the person of Christ, can bring light, forgiveness and healing.

I have recently been reading and re-reading ' The Warfare of the Soul' by Rev. Shirley Hughson, published I think, in 1909.So, this publication is over one hundred years old, yet as fresh as a daisy.
It feels a bit like holding up a mirror to the inner life, the spiritual life.

On Confession, and the temptation to almost despair of ever making progress in the spiritual life, Rev. Hughson has this to say:

"I do not know whether I have done this or not.I know not if my life is changed for the better,or if I am living more as Christ would have me live than I did a year ago.Moreover, I am not concerned to give you, God's enemy and mine, any answer to these questions. I have no account to render to you. But one thing I know; when I sin I can come back to Him. I kneel at His feet, I put my hands in His, I look up into those eyes brimming with love, and I say, 'Dear Lord, here is my poor heart all full of sin again; I lay it at Thy feet. Wash it in Thy Precious Blood, and make me strong to serve Thee better. I am sorry and I purpose to amend, but I am weak. Be Thou my strength; fight Thou against them that fight against me, and let me be the victor in the end.' 
I speak to Him thus, and leave it all with Him. I sin again, and again I come and kneel at His feet;and though I have come daily to Him with the same burden, His embrace is never less tender, His words not less sweet, His eyes are ever full of the same old love.
Am I amending my life? I know not-He knows. Is my soul a saintlier thing than it was a year ago? I know not-He knows. All I know is that I love Him, and I want to love Him more; and that when I think on Him my heart is at peace,"

Are you still there!

The last few weeks have been very busy on the domestic front, so much so that I have really had no time to construct a post. It's a poor excuse, I know, but the truth all the same.
With everyone back at school/college/university/seminary, I hope from now to be able to resume....and hope further that I still have some readers!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

A partial comment on Fr Ray's post

                              Hoodie available from Catholic with Attitude

In his latest post, 'Coercion', the great Fr. Ray Blake raises a number of questions about how Catholics who fall short of or deny aspects of Catholic teaching/practice, should be encouraged to live fully their Catholic Faith. Such encouragement, as the title of his post suggests, might involve a degree of insistence on the part of those who have authority over those subject to such authority.
I won't presume to comment on all the examples Fr. Ray gives, just  the first one, because it falls within my sphere as a Catholic mother, to have authority and responsibility, jointly with my husband, for our children.

So, this is the question posed:
"Should a parent insist his child goes to Mass? Obviously if child is seven but what about seventeen?"

Catholics believe that the Sacrifice of the Mass is the source and  summit of the Christian life (CCC1324). The action of the Holy Spirit during the Mass confers graces on those who are open to receiving them.
At every Mass, we, His creatures, are united with the ultimate sacrifice, the Sacrifice of God the Son, on Calvary. His life for our salvation.
At every Mass, Heaven touches earth and we are in the presence of Almighty God who loves us with a love which knows no bounds.
At every Mass, Jesus, the Son of God, desires to be united with us through our reception  (in a state of grace) of Holy Communion.
Attending Mass is not an action done in isolation from living the Catholic life, as if being a Catholic only counts for one hour of the week. It is from the Mass that we receive the help we need to meet those difficulties, problems, challenges and crosses that He permits, before we meet Him next.
Perhaps we have a tendency to  regard the gifts that the Lord would give us through the Mass as optional. Well, it is true that they are optional in the sense that we are not forced to receive them. God knocks at the door, we open the door, or leave it shut. But they are not optional in this sense: that God only gives us what we need to live a faithful life in an unfaithful world.By ourselves, we cannot live this life in preparation for the next life, the life of heaven, without His help. We are simply too weak.We need His help. The Mass, summit and source of Christian life, is where He chooses to give us this life giving help. We could think of it as kind of a spiritual life-support system.

On the particular question of  a teenager who doesn't want to go to Mass...dare I say it....the trick is to not allow dissent to develop to a point where the teenager believes with confidence that he doesn't need the Mass.
Start early, no child is too young (and no teenager too old), to receive the gifts and graces available at the Mass.
Be the devout Mass attender that you want to encourage your children to be, explain the Mass to them (not during Mass) before, and after.
If necessary, (how can I put this delicately?) find a Mass which is offered in a most dignified way, and where the homilies do not patronise, tell us how wonderful we are, but challenge us to be the saints God wants us to be.
Have a strong prayer life at home. Daily prayer is essential, Organise things so the children have experience of leading family prayer. Make sure they are all involved in the daily prayer, let it become a habit. Remember Grace before and after meals. Don't think that you can't introduce spiritual topics during meals, of course you can! Encourage your children to join in the conversation.
Be vigilant about the influences in your child's life: friends, school, social media, books.Don't be afraid to insist that the book/film/website is unsuitable, but explain why.
Take care that your young children understand the importance of being sorry for wrongdoing, (receive their apologies gracefully), and when they are old enough, the primary importance of the great sacrament of Confession. Keeping your children close to the sacraments is as important as doing the same for yourself.
Use the saints!
Have some good quality spiritual reading at home, read it yourself and pass it on to your children.
Make sure to teach your children that everything they receive, including life itself, is a gift from God, who gives because He loves. 

Back to the stroppy teenager; he needs to understand that when tempted to omit doing something which God through the Church, and through the legitimate authority of his parents, asks of him (going to Mass), such a refusal without a just cause i.e. illness, would be a kind of disobedience, and it would be sinful.
Yes, the 'S' word.
Sometimes you have to call a spade, a spade. To deliberately avoid Mass on Sunday is sinful. There, I've said it, but the Church said it first.

What would you do to avoid your child falling into a sinful habit such as Mass avoidance?

Rocco Buttiglione: A call for truth in politics

                                photo courtesy of Fr.Ray Blake's blog

Leading Catholic political thinker calls on new generation to defend Christianity

Rocco Buttiglione,the vice-president of the Italian Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies,has called on a new generation of politicians to defend and promote Christianity. Rocco Buttiglione is widely known for having his nomination to the European Commission blocked for upholding Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
Rocco Buttiglione stated:

‘We need people with conscience in politics. And,I think the great reservoir of values today is in the Christian people and we must tell them,you must make politics,you must enter into politics,you must make with your hands the future of the land.
‘Good things have a high price,but they are worth it,of course. If you want to be Catholic in politics,sometimes you have to make sacrifices and value your conscience more than your position,more than your seat in politics. But,would you trust a man that put his political career higher than his conscience?’
‘I think that we very often forget that democracy is a very delicate creature,” he stated pointing toward the first flourishing of democracy in ancient Greece which collapsed after 171 years.
“And,what is the reason that Greek democracy died? Because of moral relativism,corruption,” he said adding that the moral relativists of today are,in fact,the intellectual descendents of the sophists of ancient Greece.
“Western democracies run the danger of dying because political activity is not based on principals.”
Despite the dire predictions,the 63-year-old academic and politician is not without hope for the future. The key to success,he said,lies with a five-letter word – truth.
“We must bring truth to politics again. We must be able to tell the truth to the people. Very often politicians don’t tell the truth. Very often politicians tell the people what they want to hear. And,what the people very often want to hear is not the truth.”

The Catholic News Agency reports:

‘Already several young Catholic politicians in Italy are responding to the challenge laid down by Buttiglione and others.
“Politics must be done by heroes,” said Simone Budini,the 24-year-old co-founder of a new Italian political party,Giovani Liberi e Forti (Young,Free and Strong). The new party is based on Catholic social principles.
“Heroes are men who are in politics because they love their city and they are ready to give their lives for their city. And,nowadays,we have the opposite example. We’ve got people who are ready to sell their city to have pleasure for their lives.”

Protect the Pope comment:

Ideology has replaced truth in western culture as soft totalitarianism becomes entrenched in political institutions,the judiciary,the media,health services,education,and even sections of the Church,such as dissenting development agencies,and dissenting clergy,for example in Austria,Ireland and England.
The response of compromised institutions to those who speak the truth is often silence,a refusal to even recognize those who speak the truth.
If people persist in speaking the truth then the compromised institutions start whispering campaigns,attempting to discredit the truth speakers by insinuations of fanaticism,even insanity.
The next response of compromised institutions is to ridicule and demonize those who speak the truth,to portray them as dangerous,unreasonable,and wicked.
Rocco  Buttiglione is right when he says we need a new generation of Catholic politicians who have the courage to speak the truth,but we also need such courageous individuals in the Church,where sometimes the silence is deafening.

Thanks to Deacon Nick Donnelly of Protect the Pope 

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Congratulations, Mr and Mrs Hince!

                                    Photo by John Pollard
On Saturday 23rd July 2011, our daughter Maria, married Will Hince.
Their nuptial Mass took place in the stunningly beautiful Birmingham Oratory,( picture below thanks to Catholicism pure and simple).

The bride with her bridesmaids:

                                            photo by Julie Hince

More pictures later as they become available....

Monday, 27 June 2011

Aid to the Church in Need : Petition

Aid to the Church in Need, a great Catholic charity which supports Christians in many countries, will be presenting a petition to the (UK) Prime Minister in support of justice and human rights in Pakistan.

The petition reads:

We, the undersigned, petition the Prime Minister to call upon the government of Pakistan to take action to promote justice and equal human rights for all irrespective of faith or any other diversity.

The Blasphemy Law of Pakistan (sections 298A and 295 B&C of the penal code) is being used to settle personal vendettas. We ask that the Blasphemy Law provide universal protection for all faiths, with better auditing of authorities involved with its practical application, or that the law be repealed in its current form.

It would be great if as many as possible would sign the petition which is after all, just one small way of  demonstrating our solidarity with Christians and other suffering minorities in Pakistan. Here is the link:

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Invocation 2011

There is lots more about Invocation 2011 at the website here , including a wonderful sermon, given during the final Mass of Invocation 2011, by Archbishop Antonio Mennini the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain.

Here's a little of what the Archbishop said:

In time we discover that the longing within us cannot be fulfilled by what we accumulate, experience, or by the power we wield. If we want happiness we must resist the temptation to act in ways that will alienate us from God and from our neighbour. Without God something will always be lacking. This was the experience of St Augustine who in his youth looked for excitement in external pleasures. It was only when he found that he remained unsatisfied and started to look within that he was able to recognise the presence of God and so discover true happiness and deep joy.
Never forget too, that when God calls us by name and asks us to follow him, he offers us true freedom, which is not just a freedom from..important though that be. Rather we are being offered a positive freedom and loved and trusted enough to be his workers in the world. God asks us, in the face of all that seems wrong in our world, to be positive, to build up his Kingdom and to change the world for the better. There is no place for pessimism here, for his call to each one of us is, in fact, liberation.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Our daughter's wedding....

Will, if you're looking, this is NOT the dress!

 .....Is now a matter of weeks away; and is one of the reasons that things have been rather quieter than usual on this blog.Some months ago, I offered to make my daughter's wedding dress, which we have designed from scratch as we couldn't find any dress patterns that she liked. It's almost there, now, and I have so enjoyed making it! (pictures to follow, after the big day)

Fr. John Corapi...

The disturbing news about Fr. John Corapi is now all over the Catholic blogosphere, and I keep bumping into the many views and commentaries on what Fr. Corapi has done/hasn't done. Clearly, Fr. Corapi is in a difficult and dark place; and others are affected by the events which seem to epicentre on him.
I don't want to comment on reports about reports, but I do want to draw your attention to two of the most charitable posts I have read on this sad matter. Try Fr. Finigan and Fr. Zuhlsdorf, and if you can, remember to pray, pray and pray for priests.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Congratulations, Mary and David!

My niece Mary, and her husband David, have announced the arrival of their first baby, a daughter, Margaret Mary.

As well as being a name that appears in several generations of my family, Margaret Mary is the name of the great saint who made known to the world  the wish of Our Lord to be venerated under the title of the Divine Mercy.
The Church has always encouraged the faithful to name their children after  saints because of the powers of intercession that saints have, and because, to use a modern phrase, saints are the real 'role models'.

St Margaret Mary Alacoque, now there is a patron!

Baby Margaret Mary has the further distinction of being the heaviest baby of my extended family (11lb12oz) as well as the first of this new generation.

So, now I'm a great-aunt.....

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Abstain, be faithful, choose chastity, not condoms

The Catholic Truth Society (CTS) will be shortly publishing a report about the world wide Aids crisis.

From The Catholic Herald:
 The report, The Catholic Church and the Global Aids Crisis, cites research estimating that if, instead of condoms, fidelity and abstinence were promoted across sub-Saharan Africa some six million new infections would have been averted in less than a decade, with four million fewer Aids orphans created. Such programmes might have saved 3.2 million lives in South Africa alone from 2000 to 2010, and prevented 80 per cent of HIV infections in the hardest hit areas of the continent, the report says.

The overwhelming body of epidemiological evidence tells us that we have very little to show for all the investments in risk reduction measures, despite assurances that they were the indispensible solution to the problem,” said the author, Matthew Hanley, an American public health expert who has worked on HIV prevention programmes in Africa. “Many would be surprised to learn that condoms … have not delivered as promised in the fight against Aids.
“They have, quite simply, not accounted for declines in HIV prevalence that their advocates had expected. Though condoms have been the priority intervention, and been promoted time and time again, they have a rather poor track record in general – for Aids in Africa as well as a range of other sexually transmitted infections in the West. Quite simply, each of Africa’s declines in Aids rates are most attributable to … changes in sexual behaviour – especially fidelity or what the public health community sometimes calls ‘partner reduction’.”

Pope Benedict XVI was severely criticised after he publicly doubted the efficacy of condoms to combat Aids during a visit to Cameroon in 2009. Among the few public figures to defend him, however, was Professor Edward Green, an adviser to US President Barack Obama and the director of the Aids Prevention Research Project at Harvard University.
The best evidence we have supports the Pope’s comments,” said Dr Green. (my emphasis)

Thanks to the Catholic Herald

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Will not sin or Will try not to sin...

I will not sin again

I will try not to sin again

When saying the act of contrition during Confession, I use the simple act of contrition which I was taught many years ago in preparation for 1st Confession:

O my God, because You are so good, I am heartily sorry that I have sinned against You and with the help of Your grace, I will not sin again.

I have always understood that the last words of this prayer,  I will not sin again, show my intention at the moment of confession, to reject sin. At this precise, holy moment, it is my will that I do not commit any further sins.
Some years ago when I was saying this act of contrition at confession, the priest corrected me saying that as I would commit sins in the future, it would be better to substitute I will try not to sin again for the original words I will not sin again. This substitution would better reflect that owing to  my fallen nature as a sinner, the likelihood is that that I will commit sins in the future.

I have found it difficult to go with this correction:  'try not to' seems a weaker intention than 'will not',  and, to receive absolution , the penitent needs to express a firm intention (at the point of confession) to avoid sin (in the future), doesn't he?
In saying will not, the penitent fully intends at the present moment, not to fall into future sin, even though he realises that he may eventually succumb to which case he would seek the Sacrament of Confession at the earliest opportunity, and having confessed, make an act of contrition, in which he would restate his intention not to sin again.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Mary's Meals - feeding over half a million children

Mary's Meals - The Difference A Meal Makes from Mary's Meals on Vimeo.

Check out the new website of this excellent charity.

The Pastoral care of couples who are cohabitating...

                                                 Archbishop Sheehan

I probably wouldn't have come across this letter had it not been pointed out to me, (thanks J), and it is a great letter because it gives clear, authoritative and succinct direction (no waffle) to any Catholic party affected by the monster that has insinuated itself into the precious, intimate, God ordered relationship, that we call the vocation of marriage,  between man and woman.

Most Reverend Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of the Diocese of Santa Fe,  has written to his flock on the subject of the pastoral care of couples who are cohabitating.

Here's a snippet, with some emphasis and (comment in brackets) from me.

  " there are only two lifestyles that are acceptable to Jesus Christ for His disciples: a single life of chastity or the union of man and woman in the sacrament of Matrimony. (the Bishop reminds us that it's about conforming ourselves to Christ, not Christ to us. I note that matrimony itself is also understood as a chaste lifestyle unmarked by adultery, infidelity)
There is no third way possible for a Christian. The Bible and the Church teach that marriage is between one man and one woman and opposes same sex unions." (You are either married or you are not)

" We have three groups of people who are living contrary to the Gospel teaching on marriage: those who cohabit, those who have a merely civil union with no previous marriage; and those who have a civil union
who were married before.These people are objectively living in a state of mortal sin and may not receive Holy Communion.They are in great spiritual danger.(Does that sound urgent?)

At the best and this is, sadly, often the case, they are ignorant of God's plan for man and woman.(And they are ignorant because...) At the worst, they are contemptuous of God's commandments and His Sacraments.
(how often is  this 'contemptuous'  related to this  'ignorance'?)

  Archbishop Sheehan reminds his flock that "Christ loves all these people and wishes to save them not by ignoring their sin or calling evil good but by repentance and by helping them to change their lives in accordance with His teaching."
Christ cannot ignore sin: it is dangerous and, unchecked, leads to a separation of the soul from the life giving source of grace, God. Without God, separated from Him,  we have nothing, we are nothing.Our situation could not be worse.
The tool that is used to make judgements about, and discern, what is good and what is evil, is the conscience, given to us by God for that purpose.We have a duty to educate our conscience in accordance and in the light of the teaching of the Church. 
Calling evil good, evil which the Church has always taught is evil, creates confusion and  distortion in the conscience.Anyone who, in the name of the Church, distorts its teaching, in such a way as to make what is evil appear as a  good, does a grave injustice to those who hear him.

These are serious matters, and the Archbishop is right to show such concern for his people by employing
 a  truly pastoral approach which encourages people to look at  their situations, in the context of the  truth about marriage, instituted by God, and taught by the Church through the ages.We can and should, hope and pray that more Bishops will emulate him.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Monday, 9 May 2011

Admissions criteria in Catholic Schools: Round II?

Damian Thompson has an interesting piece concerning the admissions (oversubscription) criteria of a leading Catholic school -The London Oratory School.
It seems that the London Oratory School  revised its oversubscription criteria.

So,where the Oratory School previously had followed the advice of the Diocese of Westminster's Education bosses,(see what  Cardinal Vaughan  School's parents thought of  this advice, here and here), it seems it will now be asking prospective parents about their committment to  parish life, over and above Sunday Mass attendance. The idea, I think, would be that parents and families who are demonstrably committed to the Catholic faith, might be prioritised ahead of those who are, well, er, not.

The London Oratory School, unlike Cardinal Vaughan School, is not run by the Diocese of Westminster Education Department, which presumably  puts it in a stronger position  to make its own mind up,  when it comes to decisions about whom to admit.
At least, I hope so.

Monday, 2 May 2011

While I was waiting for the rice to cook....

.....I picked up a Catholic diary, one of those pocket sized, plastic covered mini books which are distributed by parishes all over the UK, at about Christmas time.
They usually contain some helpful information including which cycle the Sunday readings/weekday readings are from, feastdays, days which are marked 'Feria', the address of the local church and its Mass/confession times, Parish Priest contact details and in this case, notable dates for the year 2011.

Among the notable dates are bank holidays, important days within the liturgical calendar such as Easter Sunday, days of national importance such as the Queen's birthday and .......the first day of Ramadan.

So there you have it: there is no excuse for Catholics in my area at least, to neglect the Muslim season of Ramadan, which apparently begins on 1/8/11, even if they did think they were going on holiday!

Blessed John Paul II

"Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people. Amen." -from the closing words of Pope Benedict's beatification homily

Thanks to the Catholic Herald

Monday, 25 April 2011

Christ is Risen

Christ is Risen Alleluia!

I hope all readers have had a very happy and Holy Easter and that God's blessings may continue throughout this joyful Eastertide.
I have been very busy-no time at all time to post anything over the last week or so, or catch up on other blogs. I'd love to add that the busyness was because we all attended every Holy Week Mass, liturgy or service available as special effort for the holiest week of the year, but it was not so.

It seems God had a different Holy Week in mind for us.
Our eldest had a respiratory crisis in the small hours of Tuesday morning: gasping for breath, a grey/blue pallor hovering over his face.
The ambulance staff arrived  very promptly with oxygen mask, suction kit, blood tests and heart monitor.They whisked us off to A+E where he and I spent the rest of the night: more blood tests, X-ray and various monitoring machines.
He was admitted to a ward and treated for a chest infection- antibiotics, paracetamol, physiotherapy and continued with the oxygen throughout the next few days.
And, thank God, the treatment worked!
So, we're home again taking special care of our eldest son who, we are advised, is at risk of further respiratory crises, owing to his complex disabilities and health needs.

Please remember him in your prayers, if possible, at Holy Mass.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

What does the 'Youcat' really say?

I suppose I'm just too simple really....

Just about everybody who isn't a Catholic knows  the Catholic Church teaches that the use of contraception is considered sinful. They might not agree with the Church on this matter, but that isn't the point.

How is it that when the Church publishes a 'youth Catechism'  aimed at those who will attend World Youth Day in Madrid this year, different language translations  come up with such errors as this?

Who does the proof-reading?

Just asking..,,,

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

'Not responding'...'.waiting for'.....'cannot find the server'....

                                                   Picture from eHow

There are some very interesting developments in blogland at present, the Vatican blognic, an alternative (also Roman) blognic, and a proposed Guild of Catholic Bloggers.
My humble laptop chooses this moment, when I might prefer to post some updates about these things, to display disorderly symptoms, extreme sluggishness and a frequent sulky refusal to connect to the internet.

I'll have to take some action- show who's boss and all that.
Apologies meanwhile,  for scanty posting while I try to get things sorted out.

Something to do with de-fragging...? maybe..? 
Speak to the nice people in the computer shop.

Thanks to Fr Finigan, Orwell's Picnic and A Reluctant Sinner

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Bishop Alan Hopes to lead pro-Life Vigil

This really good news comes from Maria Stops Abortion.

 Bishop Alan Hopes, an Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of  Westminster, is to lead a pro- life prayer witness outside a BPAS abortuary in Twickenham, this month.

I know of one other UK Bishop who has attended a pro-life vigil such as this, Bishop McMahon of Brentwood.
We all understand that Bishops have heavy schedules and responsibilities. The needs are very great in every diocese. Time is often short, therefore things have to be prioritised.
How great it is therefore, that Bishop Hopes has made time in his heavy workload to give this witness, he has prioritised the need to pray for the victims of abortion, and for the conversion of those who perpetrate this evil.

Thank you, Bishop Hopes, may your witness be emulated widely.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Michael Voris on 'Taliban' Catholics

Ok, you know who you are!
Thanks to Linen on the hedgerow

Cell lines from aborted babies used in food flavour enhancing tests

"LARGO, Florida, March 29, 2011 ( – Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup, Solae and Nestlé are among the corporations partnered with a biotech company found using aborted fetal cell lines to test food flavor enhancers. 
The internationally recognized biotech company, Senomyx, boasts innovation and success in “flavour programs” designed to reduce MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products.  Senomyx notes their collaborators provide them research and development funding plus royalties on sales of products using their flavor ingredients.
Pro-life watchdog group, Children of God for Life (CGL), has called upon the public to target the major corporations in a boycott, unless the company ceases to use aborted fetal cell lines in their product testing.
“Using isolated human taste receptors,” the Senomyx website claims, “we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.”
“What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors,” stated Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director for CGL, the watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years."

Lynn Stratton,  freelance writer and independent investigative reporter based in the U.S.  sheds some further light on the activities of Senomyx, including its collaborating companies, i.e. Nestle, Cadbury, Tropicana, Campbell Soup and others, here

And as she further points out, it's all about making money:

And why is Senomyx collaborating with the largest companies on the planet? From an annual report dated February of this year: "Our current collaboration agreements provide that we will receive royalties of up to 4% on our collaborators' sales of retail and food service products, and in some cases higher on our collaborators' sales of ingredient supplies containing our flavor ingredients." I recommend taking a look at that document (a link follows this article), especially Page 5, where you'll see that Senomyx has noted that worldwide sales of products that might potentially include their products are in the hundreds of billions. So 4% of that is, let's see . . . a lot.

Thanks to Lifesitenews   and Lynn Stratton

Campbell Soup has said it is no longer in partnership with Senomyx
Source: Catholic Culture

Monday, 28 March 2011

Go Sisters!

I've just found the blog  iBenedictines, and it looks very good.

 From iBenedictines 'about' page:

"The World seen from the Cloister . . .
This is a blog written by Benedictine nuns from Holy Trinity Monastery, East Hendred, UK. We prefer to call ourselves cloistered rather than enclosed because the word “enclosed” may suggest a closed mind. We have a special interest in using contemporary technology to reach out to people who would never otherwise come to the monastery.
Our community web site is at (desktop and large-screen devices) and at (small-screen mobile devices). Our Online Retreat Service will be found at"

Thanks to the Anchoress

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Archbishop Dolan on the seriousness of sin

From St. Patrick's Day Pastoral letter to the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of New York:
+ Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York

"If the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance are at the very heart of the Christian life, why is the latter neglected? It is a lamentable characteristic of the Church’s life in our time. Almost thirty years ago, soon to be Blessed Pope John Paul II convoked a Synod of Bishops addressed to the very topic of Reconciliation and Penance in the Mission of the Church. The penetrating analysis of the Holy Father’s subsequent apostolic exhortation retains its force today. He wrote in 1984 that, in an age when God is pushed to the margins, the awareness of our need for forgiveness will diminish, for “the loss of the sense of sin is thus a form or consequence of the denial of God: not only in the form of atheism but also in the form of secularism.”[4]
We do not only observe a diminishing sense of sin in the secular culture around us. We find it in the Church herself. Perhaps it is an over-reaction to an earlier period, as the late Holy Father suggests:
“Some are inclined to replace exaggerated attitudes of the past with other exaggerations: From seeing sin everywhere they pass to not recognizing it anywhere; from too much emphasis on the fear of eternal punishment they pass to preaching a love of God that excludes any punishment deserved by sin; from severity in trying to correct erroneous consciences they pass to a kind of respect for conscience which excludes the duty of telling the truth.”[5]
Fair enough. Not everything was perfect decades ago when most Catholics routinely went to confession – perhaps too routinely. But whatever problems existed in the 1950s are now a half-century in the past, and subsequent generations have grown up without any knowledge of whatever excesses may have existed. They have indeed grown up without what belongs to them as part of the patrimony as Catholics – the liberating, joyful experience of God’s mercy in the sacrament of penance.
We receive the gift of mercy to the extent that we realize our need for it. We desire forgiveness only if we acknowledge the seriousness of sin. The recently-beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman expressed the magnitude of sin with his characteristic literary force:
“The Catholic Church holds it better for the sun and moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions on it to die of starvation in extremest agony, as far as temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one wilful untruth, or should steal one poor farthing without excuse.”[6]
Do we think today that Blessed John Henry Newman is right? How many of us would argue that opposite – that a little sin here and there is no big deal? How many, both inside and outside of the Church, argue that a little sin here and there is worth this technological advance, or that public policy goal, or is an acceptable means to some desired end?  As someone jokingly observed to me, “It’s the Lamb of God, not our culture, that’s supposed to take away the sins of the world!”
We just heard this past Sunday, the First Sunday of Lent, the account of the temptations of the Lord Jesus. Satan offers to Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would just bow down in worship. A little “devil worship” and Jesus would have the whole world! Wouldn’t that be more efficient than God’s own plan – the passion, death, resurrection, ascension, Pentecost, and two thousand years of evangelization? But no sin is worth even all the kingdoms of the world.
Blessed Cardinal Newman is only one in a tradition of saints who have spoken with great ferocity about the horror we should have for sin – including our own beloved Saint Patrick, who emphasized the essential role of penance in his conversion of Ireland.
We can speak so boldly about the horror of sin because the good news is that the Lord Jesus did not just die for sin in general, but for my sins, and yours. So our horror at sin should be accompanied by a serene confidence that forgiveness is ours should we ask for it with true contrition. Together with Saint Paul we can give thanks that where sin increases, grace abounds all the more (cf. Romans 5:20)!  We’re not “hung-up” on guilt and sin; no, we’re obsessed  with God’s mercy."

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Church in the public square: Bishop Crispian Way

"The road outside Bishop’s House, Portsmouth and St John’s Cathedral was re-named Bishop Crispian Way on Sunday, to mark his forthcoming retirement after 22 years service.

The road naming was a surprise for the Bishop and was revealed to him after Mass on Sunday morning by the Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

Bishop Hollis was installed as the seventh Bishop of Portsmouth on 27 January 1989.

Bishop Crispian said: "I am overwhelmed by the honour that is being done to me by the renaming of what I might call our section of Edinburgh Rd. As far as I know, no such honour has been done to any of my predecessors and I am still at a little bit of a loss to know what I have done to deserve this honour.

"I have now lived in the city of Portsmouth for nearly 23 years and I have come to love it as my home. I have always tried to engage myself in the life of the wider community of the city and when the time comes for me to leave, I will do so with great sadness.

But I don't want to dwell on that today. Suffice it to say that I thank the Leader of the Council and his colleagues for the honour that they do me and the honour that they do to the whole diocese at the heart of which is our great city of Portsmouth."

Congratulations to Bishop Crispian on receiving this well deserved honour.
I wonder if other councils are contemplating similar honours for Catholic bishops who are likely to retire over the next  few months or years?
Might we see a Bishop Thomas Avenue,  or a Bishop Christopher Close,  or possibly an Archbishop Patrick Walk?

Thanks to Independent Catholic News

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Equalities and Conscience Petition

An Equalities and Conscience Petition has been launched by Christian Concern, following the recent case of Owen and Eunice Johns.

The Petition reads:

Recent Equalities legislation and its interpretation in the courts has led to several individuals who hold to mainstream Christian teaching being barred from different areas of public life and employment, running counter to our country’s long heritage of Freedom of Conscience, and creating a serious obstacle to the Christian community's full and active involvement in the Big Society initiative.

We call on the Prime Minister to act decisively to address this situation, securing the change necessary to ensure that the law provides a basis for widespread involvement in serving society whilst properly upholding the dignity of every individual, including those who seek to live with integrity to Christian conscience and teaching.

(The petition can be downloaded and printed, so if you are feeling brave, you might ask your parish priest to give it some space at the back of the church).

Thursday, 10 March 2011


O Jesus who for love of me
did bear Thy cross to Calvary
in Thy sweet mercy grant to me
to suffer and to die with Thee

I remember this prayer from my childhood, it was said during the Stations of the Cross, between stations, as the priest walked from one to the next. I knew the prayer by heart, but, as a small child, I was a little worried about the 'suffer and die with Thee' part, imagining the pain and torture of death by crucifixion. So, there was always a certain reserve in the way I prayed: how could  God want me to suffer and die a horrible death? After all, He loves me. When you love someone you want good things for him/her: in my childish mind, good things were always nice things-sweets, treats, trips out and so on. It would not occur to me until sometime later that suffering can be a blessing in disguise, almost always so, when freely undertaken for the love of God.
The season of Lent calls us to accept  freely a degree of suffering through renunciation of  self. We deny ourselves something that we enjoy or  find pleasurable. Choosing to 'give up' or deny ourselves, helps us on the road to gaining mastery over our selfish desires. It teaches us to say 'no' to our own will and 'yes' to God's will for us.
For many of us, I suspect, the 'giving up' of something for Lent can mean  certain savings to the wallet or purse.In Lent, we are often encouraged to donate what we have saved to  charity, which is one way to help others. On that subject, I  agree with  Fr. Ray Blake:

"One of the things that annoys me is that Lenten discipline; fasting, abstaining, even almsgiving, has been taken over by Catholic aid agencies. Despite sharing many people's problems with Cafod, I have to ask where else do we send money for emergency relief?
I do resent the notion that fasting and abstainence should be presented, especially in our schools, in terms of the cash value to aid charities. "I fast in order to save, in order to give to an orgainisation that gives to the poor", has a hint of commercialisation, literally the cash value of fasting.
Primarily fasting and abstainence are acts of worship, they go together with prayer. A by product is a strengthening of the will, a cutting loose of ties that bind us to Self, much less important might or might not be more spare cash, health benefits etc. Almsgiving is important too but Jesus expects us to use it as a way of getting involved with the poor, using a "agency" of some kind seems a bit like "buying in services" to distance ourselves from face to face giving."

Happy Lent to all readers- just think of the riches you will be storing up in Heaven by self denial and the taking up of your cross to follow Jesus!

Monday, 7 March 2011

News of the Ordinariate in the Southwest

Southwest Ordinariate Clergy give notice of their resignations

"As part of the preparation for the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham arising in the West Country the following stipendiary clergy gave notice of their resignations at their parish churches today, Sunday 6th March. They are as follows:

Rev Fr David Lashbrooke, Vicar of St Mary's, Marychurch and pastor of the Torbay Ordinariate group who will be attached to the Catholic Church of the Holy Angels, Chelston (TQ2 6BP). Tel 01803 329054. The group will be meeting this Ash Wednesday at Holy Angels for 7pm Mass.

Rev Fr John Greatbatch, Vicar of St Paul, Charlestown, St Austell and pastor of the St Austell Ordinariate group who will be attached to St. Augustine of Hippo, St Austell. Tel 01726 73838.

Rev Fr Ian Hellyer, Rector of the United Benefice of Moretonhampstead, Manaton, North Bovey and Lustleigh, and also Priest-in-charge of St John's, Bovey Tracey, and pastor of the Buckfast Ordinariate group who will be attached to Buckfast Abbey. Tel 01626 833451 or email: The group will be meeting for mass on Ash Wednesday at Buckfast Abbey (12noon) or Chelston, Holy Angels (7pm) or in local catholic parish churches. The group is also meeting on Thursday at 2pm (contact us for more details), and for Sunday Mass at Buckfast Abbey at 10.30am.

Rev Fr Simon Chinery, Asst Curate of St Peter and the Holy Apostles, Plymouth, and assistant pastor of Torbay Ordinariate group meeting at Holy Angels, Chelston (see above).

God-willing they will be ably assisted by four 'retired' clergy also entering the ordinariate in the area, including Fr Robin Ellis (former Archdeacon) and Fr Colin Furness. It is estimated between 50-80 members of the laity of all ages will be joining them.

The Rite of Election held at Plymouth Cathedral (Sunday 13th March, 3pm) will also welcome the prospective members of the Ordinariate for the first time."
 The Southwest Ordinariate blog has a number of final sermons and statements from Anglican clergy in the region who have now resigned their offices, starting with  one given yesterday by Fr. Lashbroke. He includes the main reason for his decision to join the Ordinariate:

"I believe that The Church is not a human institution but a gift of God perfectly expressed on that wonderful day of Pentecost. I believe that bishops are the successors to the Apostles and that Saint Peter and his successors have a unique role within The Church. I believe God calls the bishops to lead and to help us be faithful to all that we have received especially what we receive through Word and Sacrament.I believed that through our ordination rites the Church of England, with the exception of the Petrine Ministry, held that view. I believed that with the work of ARCIC and with The Papal visit in 1982 that the Church of England was serious in her desire to find unity again and anything less than the full visible unity of The Church is not good enough as The Church should reflect the perfect unity of The Trinity and should strive ‘to be one’ and anything less is a scandal.

However, this important desire for unity became sidelined when a new understanding emerged within The General Synod and over these last years the General Synod has taken powers upon itself which it had no right to do which has moved us further away from unity. Many are now of the opinion that The Church of England is ‘Episcopally led and synodically governed’ and that the power is within The Synod and in 2010 The Synod refused to listen to the Archbishops and was not prepared to be episcopally led Like other parts of the Anglican Communion The Synod is paying scant regard to Scripture and Tradition and is consequently making decisions that both the Catholic and Orthodox Church regard as moving the prospect of visible unity further and further away. I believe that Synod is trying to make The Church conform to the culture rather than being faithful to New Life found in Jesus Christ."
May God bless these clergy who have in this particular way, left everything to follow Christ. May they find a warm welcome in the Catholic Church and may God richly reward their trust in the Lord who calls them to  
" Follow Me".

Monday, 28 February 2011

"Britain is now leading Europe in intolerance against religious belief.”

                                                   image courtesy of Being is Good

 The Christian Legal Centre reports on today's High Court ruling in the case of a Christian couple who wished to foster, but were refused by their local authority because the couple were not willing to promote homosexuality to a young child:

"In a landmark judgment, which will have a serious impact on the future of fostering and adoption in the UK, the High Court has suggested that Christians with traditional views on sexual ethics are unsuitable as foster carers, and that homosexual ‘rights’ trump freedom of conscience in the UK. The Judges stated that Christian beliefs on sexual ethics may be ‘inimical’ to children, and they implicitly upheld an Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) submission that children risk being ‘infected’ by Christian moral beliefs.

Today’s ruling relates to the dispute between married couple Eunice and Owen Johns and Derby City Council. The Johns applied to the Council in 2007 to foster a child but the Council blocked their application because they objected that the Johns were not willing to promote the practise of homosexuality to a young child. In November 2010 both parties jointly asked the Court to rule on whether the Johns were able to foster children, or whether they could be excluded from doing so under equality law because of their Christian beliefs.

Today (28th February) that judgment has been released. The judges declined to make the statement that the Johns, wanting to re-establish their fostering application, had sought. Instead, the judgment strongly affirms homosexual rights over freedom of conscience and leaves the Johns currently unable to foster a child as desired, despite their proven track record as foster parents. There now appears to be nothing to stop the increasing bar on Christians who wish to adopt or foster children but who are not willing to compromise their beliefs by promoting the practise of homosexuality to small children.

The nature of the judgment means that Christians who hold orthodox Christian views on the family, marriage and sexuality will continue to face difficulties in the fostering and adoption process and the Courts will not intervene to stop this from happening. In fact, the summary contained in the judgment sends out the clear message that orthodox Christian ethical beliefs are potentially harmful to children and that Christian parents with mainstream Christian views are not suitable to be considered as potential foster parents.

In their judgment, the judges stated:

• That if children are placed with parents who have traditional Christian views like the Johns “there may well be a conflict with the local authority’s duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of looked-after children”, [1]

• That there is a tension between the equality provisions concerning religious discrimination and those concerning sexual orientation. Yet, as regards fostering, “the equality provisions concerning sexual orientation should take precedence”, [2]

• That a local authority can require positive attitudes to be demonstrated towards homosexuality, [3]

• That there is no religious discrimination against the Johns because they were being excluded from fostering due to their moral views on sexual ethics and not their Christian beliefs (This is incredible and very disingenuous as the Johns moral views cannot be separated from their religious beliefs), [4] and

• That “Article 9 [of the European Human Rights Act] only provides a ‘qualified’ right to manifest religious belief and ... this will be particularly so where a person in whose care a child is placed wishes to manifest a belief that is inimical to the interests of children”. [5]

Equality and Human Rights Commission

The tax payer funded EHRC played an important role in this judgment. They intervened in the Johns case, and they suggested to the Court that a child should not, in their own words, be ‘infected’ with Christian moral beliefs. Suggesting that Christian moral beliefs on sexual ethics could ‘infect’ children is an extraordinary position for a statutory body to take. It is also deeply insulting both to the Johns, who have a proven track record of successfully raising children, and to Christians in general."


Johns Reaction

The judgment was greeted with disbelief and sadness today by Eunice and Owen Johns. In a statement, the couple said:
“We wanted to offer a loving home to a child in need. But because of this ruling we are unsure how we can continue the application process. We have been excluded because we have moral opinions based on our faith, and a vulnerable child has now probably missed the chance of finding a safe and caring home. We do not believe that our ordinary Christian moral views are infectious, contrary to what the Equality and Human Rights Commission believes. Being a Christian is not a crime and should not stop us from raising children. Today, it looks as though a child has missed out on a home.”

Christian Legal Centre Reaction

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre said:

“The Johns are a mild mannered, ordinary Christian couple, yet they may never be able to foster children again. They were willing to love a child regardless of sexual orientation, but not willing to tell a young child that practising homosexuality was a positive thing. Now, a child has likely missed out on finding a home, at a time when there is a desperate shortage of willing parents.

“Eunice and Owen Johns have been humiliated and sidelined and told by a Government body (the EHRC) that their mainstream Christian views might “infect” children. They have also effectively been told by British Judges that their views may harm children.

“The Judges have claimed that there was no discrimination against the Johns as Christians because they were being excluded from fostering due to their sexual ethics and not their Christian beliefs. This claim that their moral beliefs on sex have nothing to do with their Christian faith is a clear falsehood made in order to justify their ruling. How can the Judges get away with this?

“What has happened to the Johns is part of a wider trend seen in recent years. The law has been increasingly interpreted by Judges in a way which favours homosexual rights over freedom of conscience. Significant areas of public life are now becoming out of bounds to Christians who do not want to compromise their beliefs. If Christian morals are harmful to children and unacceptable to the State, then how many years do we have before natural children start being taken away from Christians?

“At the Christian Legal Centre our clients have included, amongst many others, a nurse suspended for offering prayer; a Council worker suspended for talking about God to a client, a teacher suspended for offering prayer; a nurse forced off frontline nursing because she wouldn’t take off her cross. We have dealt with Civil Registrars who have been demoted because they did not want to officiate at civil partnerships, and a Christian counsellor who lost his job for not wanting to give sex therapy to homosexuals. In the last few years, several Catholic adoption agencies have been forced to close because they refused to place children with homosexual couples.

“There is a great imbalance in the law at the moment, resulting in ordinary people suffering. The situation must be addressed by Parliament as the Judiciary have failed to stand for civil liberties but have capitulated to the agenda of the homosexual rights lobby. We cannot have a society where you are excluded just because you don’t agree with the sexual ethics of the homosexual lobby. Britain is now leading Europe in intolerance against religious belief.”

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Lifted at Harrogate

Lifted@Harrogate 2011
"Fri, 02/18/2011 - 18:00 - Sun, 02/20/2011 - 14:00
The count-down begins.... for Lifted@Harrogate! Don't miss out
Does your faith need a kick start? Are you looking for a weekend with a difference?
Would you like to meet new people?
Yes?... then come to Lifted@Harrogate -  Starts Friday 18th February at 6pm
 A Youth 2000 weekend for young adults – with a difference!
Time for discussion, deepening faith and meeting other young people! The inspiring talks will help us to understand different aspects of our faith, the adoration and the lively music will give us new ways to pray and the workshops on real life issues will challenge us and help us see how faith can be part of everyday life... Come along - be lifted! We can’t wait to see you there."

 More information at the Youth2000 website

We are off to Harrogate tomorrow, for this Youth2000 weekend retreat, the young folk can't to go and pack....
....and thanks to my lovely husband, who made a great job of cleaning the campervan ready for the journey.
Campervan? Well yes, it's spacious, very comfortable (particularly in the driving seat), on long journeys, and caters very well to our disabled daughter's needs.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Southwark Vocations blog back on blogger!

I knew there was a reason for the delay in facelifting/springcleaning my blog!

Now I don't have to find the link to the newly re-activated Southwark Vocations blog, which I never got round to deleting when Fr Stephen took the blog to Apple. It's still there, or indeed,  here!

Why has Southwark Vocations come back to blogger?

 Fr Stephen explains:

"Over the last few months many people have asked me what has happened to the Blog? The answer is surprisingly mundane: having updated the website on Apple's excellent iWeb, I found I couldn't update the newly integrated Blog unless I was at the office computer. This meant that a lot of potentially interesting posts got delayed and eventually the Blog fell into disuse.
However, since so many people have asked me, and since quite a few have said they found it helpful, I've decided to go back to the more flexible Blogger in order to start posting again."

Welcome back Fr. Stephen!

Did I miss something?

Is it April Fools' Day?

 'Food fight' parties - when things don't go according to plan, there's always plan B- recourse to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Has someone informed  'elf 'n'safety?

Thanks to the Daily Telegraph

How to write a love letter....(a man's guide)

If you haven't already penned a beautiful, heartfelt, St. Valentine's Day declaration of your love for your wife/fiancee, or the woman you hope to persuade to become your wife, help is at hand,(and there's still time).
Here's the how-to...

 Get busy now!

Thanks to First Things

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Una Voce report on the Implementation of Summorum Pontificum

 Una Voce has presented its report on the progress of the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, to the Pontifical Commission, Ecclesia Dei, In fact it was presented last September, and thanks to Laurence England, , I just found it.
I haven't read the entire report yet, just looked at  those parts which pertain to the UK.

As part of its report, Una Voce commissioned a UK survey, conducted by a professional and independent institution, the results of which show that 43% of weekly Mass goers would attend the Traditional Mass if it were offered in their parish.
For those who attend Mass every week together with those who attend Mass one a month, the percentage rises sharply to 66.4%.
60% of Catholics are still not aware of the Motu Proprio's existence,

I certainly would not have known about the existence of the Motu Proprio, had it not been for the Catholic blogs! It hasn't received publicity in my parish, and not as far as I am aware, in my diocese.

One sometimes hears of priests being told that they cannot 'advertise' the Traditional Mass in the Parish newsletter-why not, if not to discourage attendance?
Some enquirers are still being told that there would need to be 25+ attendees for a Traditional Mass to be offered.
Mostly, there is just silence on the matter.

The best source of information regarding the local availability of the Traditional Mass is still the Latin Mass Society.

Among Una Voce's conclusions:

"In Great Britain as elsewhere, the argument resting on the lack of interest among the Faithful for the application of the Motu Proprio is unfair. When their point of view is solicited in an opinion poll, the results are quite different to those obtained when one merely speaks in their name...all the while taking care not to consult them, unless it's through parish councils, which as a matter of principle(whether because of ideology, fear or simple post-conciliar conservatism) are not inclined to favour the reform of the reform undertaken by Benedict XV1."

"Above all, this new survey underscores the(in this case British) Bishops' astounding deficiency-to put the best face on it-when it comes to communication.Indeed a full three years after the publication of the Motu Proprio on 7th July 2007, only 40% have been informed of it. In fact one must call a spade a spade, particularly in so serious a matter as liturgical and sacramental life: in Britain as elsewhere, the issue is pastoral blindness to the expectations of the Faithful. This blindness on the part of the Bishops has once again been measured and put into figures."

(def. Oxford Dictionaries)



  • 1 [mass noun] the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium:television is an effective means of communicationat the moment I am in communication with London
  • [count noun] a letter or message containing information or news.
  • the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings:there was a lack of communication between Pamela and her parents
  • social contact:she gave him some hope of her return , or at least of their future communication
  • 2 (communications) means of sending or receiving information, such as telephone lines or computers:satellite communications[as modifier] :a communications network
  • [treated as singular] the field of study concerned with the transmission of information.
  • 3 (communications) means of travelling or of transporting goods, such as roads or railways:a city providing excellent road and rail communications

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Who's next in the facelift yer blog mexican wave?

It might be me!

Well, mine is beginning to look quite tatty by comparison with so many including this one and this and this, and plenty others, too.
Sooo... I'm going to spend a little time looking at what can be done..

Light text/dark screen, dark text/light screen, I get that bit.
Background picture of my choice, yes, I can do that.
We'll see.

Whatever happens, and to almost quote Fr. Finigan,  'It'll still be the same blog'!

Prayer request

Of your charity, please say a prayer for the repose of the soul of Kathleen, my husband's aunt, who died yesterday.
 Kathleen lived to the grand age of 91, she was a lovely woman and a great mother, who was widowed when her  children were still young. Despite the grief of bereavement and the challenges of motherhood combined with widowhood,  Kathleen continued to dedicate her life to her family, her sons and daughter, eventually making her home with one of her sons, together with his wife and children.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Cardinal Vaughan Prayer Vigil on Youtube

600 people, parents, Old Vaughnians and young people left the Governors in no doubt that:

" This school should be protected, cherished, left free to continue to do the fantastic job of educating young Catholics that it's done for nearly 100 years. This legacy, this inheritance, cannot be sacrificed on the altar of here today, gone tomorrow ideology and social engineering. This is too precious to squander. It must be guarded, protected, cherished and maintained, now, and in the years to come."

And, one might add, emulated as widely as possible in the Catholic Education world.

Are the Governors/Westminster Catholic Education Service listening?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

'The boys stand up when anyone enters the classroom..'

BBC News has some coverage of the ongoing dispute about the Vaughan School opening with:

 "The Vaughan in Holland Park feels like a grammar school (grammar schools can select children by ability, The Vaughan is not a grammar school), boys stand up when anyone enters the classroom (shock horror!),  teachers wear gowns, lines are still a punishment,"(they punish misdemeanors).

 The Catholic Education Service Archbishop Vincent Nichols has issued a statement:

"I am fully committed to the flourishing of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School. This includes maintaining its fine traditions of academic rigour and musical excellence. I thank God for the work and achievements of the school which are always to be understood as an expression of Catholic faith and a part of the life and mission of the Diocese of Westminster. The Catholic character of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, of which it is rightly proud, should be evident in all aspects of its life."

Will the Vaughan parents be reassured by the Archbishop's  words?
Given that he has made no mention of the parents' role as primary educators of their children, I think not.
It looks as though the Archbishop will be backing the Diocesan Education Service all the way, despite an apparent conflict of interests by virtue of its Director, Paul Barber, being recently appointed by the diocese to the Governing Body of the Vaughan.

Catholic parents may be left wondering if their primary role in the education of their children is reduced to that of  providing children for Catholic schools, and, as one headteacher once said to me: 
"leave it (education) to the professionals".


Thursday, 27 January 2011

Good news

It was heartening to read this good news from the Christian Legal Centre.

Any chance of  NHS managers who act unjustly in such cases as this, being suspended or sacked?

Thought not.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

New Mass Translation to be used from September

Perhaps the Bishops do read the Catholic blogs after all!!
As the Mulier Fortis speculated recently, isn't it time we got down to the business of preparing for the new, improved English translation of the Mass? 
Well, we are about to be instructed, no, catechised.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of E+W has announced that the new English translation of the Mass will be introduced into parishes from September. This will allow some time for  “in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration”, before the expected publication of the new Missal in Advent.
On the Bishops conference website, there is some further information about the introduction of the new translation and interactive DVD

                                             Bishop Roche- with thanks to the Catholic Herald

“The new translation is a great gift to the Church. The Mass is at the heart of what the Church is, it is where we deepen our faith in Christ and are nourished by him so that we can glorify the Lord by our lives.

“In the new translation we find a text that is more faithful to the Latin text and therefore a text which is richer in its theological content and allusions to the scriptures but also a translation which, I believe, will move people’s hearts and minds in prayer.” 
-  Bishop Roche, chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL),