Sunday 30 September 2007

Angels and gardening

Fr Ray has the text of the Homily the Holy Father gave at the episcopal ordinations yesterday, which if you are as ignorant as me (you probably aren't) is very instructive and soothing to read.

Somewhere else (that's helpful isn't it?) I read about Michelmass Daisies and the harvest.

I dug up a 2x2m patch of my lawn over Easter and turned it into a vegtable patch. It's been moderately successful, given the weather, but I've really enjoyed doing it and as it's right outside the back door and easy to manage even when I've had a lot of concerts on a work. I used some tomatoes, courgettes and rosemary in a stew I made today. I also planted a few flowers between patches of different veg so it's more like a cottage/kitchen garden and it has looked attractive at various points in the season. (Bit raggy now.) My parents and Grandma have had beans, carrots, peas, and I've had lots of rocket (they don't like it.) The 5 parsnips that kindly germinated are in the ground awaiting a special occasion. Growing my own stuff has made me more restrained as you can't just get more if you eat it, though the patch has produced about as much as I've needed per day. Think Manna in the desert except you pop out before meal for a few toms, beans, herbs, a carrot (big treat) and if it's been at all sunny a courgette.

OK Eco evangelistation over. I'm doing it cos I like gardening and cooking and it tastes good and you can cook folks nice dinners. I'm a woman and looking after people is what we do.

Anyway, I'm sure that if I bought Joanna Bogle's book on Saints and Seasons I could fill in a few more gaps about how the agricultural year and seasons link into the liturgical year. (Yeah, or what got lost at the Reformation, Huh.)

So, I see that now is when things flake out in the garden and that this has of course been know for some time by people in the past. And who was it who sorted out agriculture in this fair isle? Monks.

Saturday 29 September 2007

Catholic Blogger Quiz

I've been thingied by Mac.

1. Do you attend the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo?

The Novus Ordo because that's what there is in my parish. (Although it would just be called the Mass because we don't know about fancy stuff out here.) No silly stuff, though I fear that may be trickling in. The old parishoners who are really great people and have, for example, furnished the church very beautifully are dying out leaving some of the silly stuff. Bit out of step with the blogosphere and the HF. Though the PP is a top man, the silly stuff, such as it is, comes from parishoners.

We do have the Syro-Malabar Rite too though, thanks to some scheme whereby we get a different Indian Priest each year as the assistant priest. There are lots of Indian families in the parish who seem very serious and devout in Church. Good thing. Great priests too. I should go to that too sometime.

For TLM I could/should pop over to Blackfen on Sats (Yes Mac) and could get to the odd one in Central London during the week.

2. If you attend the TLM, how far do you drive to get there?

A couple of miles to Blackfen, a couple of tube stops from work to Brompton Oratory et al in London.

3. If you had to apply a Catholic label to yourself, what would it be?

One who blogs much and prays too little. (Is that a label?)

Glancing through my new Missal says a rubbbish one.

A friend of mine once said he didn't want to have any label, just an ordinary Catholic who goes to Mass on Sunday etc, but that seems to put you into an extreme category in England now.

If Catholic means universal, how can you then put a label. Surely, it should not be qualified otherwise we get into a Protestant, ' Are you a proper Catholic?' type situation which is not what we are about. What happened to the 'all in it together, everyone's very welcome' attitude?

There was a nasty article in the Catholic Herald last week about lapsed and shadow Catholics. What a corrosive concept shadow Catholic is. (Basically defined as there to get their kids into a Catholic School, whilst not believing it or even trying to believe it.) I know there are people who do that, or maybe it tips the balance for them to go to Mass (?) but I don't want that thought in my head when I shake someone's hand at Mass, thank you very much.

4. Are you a comment junkie?

I often write comments and then delete them.

I'm very opiniated and the rest of the world doesn't need that inflicted on them. (See above.)

5. Do you go back to read the comments on the blogs you’ve commented on?

Yes, because it's good to know how other people react and some people are very funny.

6. Have you ever left an anonymous comment on another blog?

Yes. Is that a bad thing? Shyness really.

7. Which blogroll would you most like to be on?

Mulier Fortis and Fr Justin because I am! Thank you!

8. Which blog is the first one you check?

Fr Tim is blog central, but I like the blog and links to the more girly blogs from Mac.
I like reading a mixture of news, spiritual stuff and family, cooking, kids, domestic things.

9. Have you met any other bloggers in person?

Mac, Fr Tim, Fr John Boyle, The Sisters of the Gospel of Life, Joanna Bogle (once), a couple of Fr Ray's parishoners.

10. What are you reading?

My new old Missal.

Bonus Question! Has your site been banned by Spirit of Vatican II?

The links from my blog, plus too many pictures of the Holy Father (smiling) and a Music Degree are probably enough to convict me! And I listen to Radio 3. Shockingly elitist!

Mac has already tagged everyone I read and it seems rude to raddomly tag people who don't know me in any sense. If you read this and want to have a go, then please consider yourself tagged. Let me know and I'll read it.

Friday 28 September 2007

St Vincent de Paul

Whilst whiling away yesterday afternoon on my sofa of sickness (not a pleasant image I grant you,) EWTN had a prog on ST V de P. My knowledge of him is hazy and the most startling fact was that he was captured by pirates and sold into slavery in Tunisia.

Then he and a companion made their way to Rome and things improved somewhat. Boring his life was not.

Fr Dwight has a proper run down on him.

New Missal

Or do I mean an old one or an Extraordinary one maybe.

Anyway, I decided to buy a 1962 Missal from Farnborough Abbey -more Fair Trade than Amazon and I bet you don't get a lovely Holy Pic of BXVI from them nor your book packaged by a monk.

I hope I haven't got the wrong one. Just checked on Southwell Books site where they have a very good table showing what's in each Missal, which ones have leather covers etc. A bit like the Which Report for Missals really.

Mm, well I thought I'd ordered the Baronius Press one -leather binding, text of the MP etc, but what has arrived is one published by Angelus Press. I was surprised it arrived as I thought it was being reprinted. Must have clicked the wrong thing.

Judging by the ticks, it's much the same but plasticy and the same price. Oh well.

Still stacks of stuff in it, prayers, explaining all the actions of the Mass and beautifully laid out. Yes, I know everyone else in the blog world has one and has been using it for years, but it's new to me. So much to learn. p.1867 says every church has its guardian angel. Didn't know that and my primary school at least was the land where time stood still. We even had a lesson on indulgences once from the Head who was covering for our normal teacher. Colouring in - no way we were learning the difference between partial and plenary!

In other news, I went back to work and had a very good day. Fridays are easy and my HoD is very upbeat as various plans of his are taking off. Good place to work. Only found a couple of consecutives and one unprepared 6/4 this afternoon when I was teaching harmony.

Thursday 27 September 2007

Jesus of Nazareth

Saw this on Dad with noisy kids blog and thought it was funny.

I paraphrase

Books I am reading, 'Jesus of Nazareth,' though the Pope doesn't follow the film exactly.

Canon B

My Mum has written to Grandma's retired PP Canon B. He married my parents (1967) and spoke at Grandpa's Requiem Mass (1975) so he knows Grandma well. He is now in his 80s and retired close by to her. Anyway, he has written to my Mum and to Grandma, along the lines of, 'I was thinking about you the other day MrsF and wondered how you are?' So hopefully that will also bring cheer to Grandma, who is now showing more interest in food and such like.

Good on Canon B. My Mum is 'thrilled,' according to my Dad.

Wednesday 26 September 2007

EWTN and other ramblings

Finding myself at home ill, I thought I'd watch a bit on-line.

I don't tune in too often and the 5 hour time difference can be a little strange.

I could get a taste for it though and it must be great if you are ill on a more permanent basis. (Watching EWTN that is, not being ill.)

It's so different from any UK TV and I like the globe thing with St Peter's in the middle. 'Bringing you the splendor of the truth.' It's all confident and upbeat.

When I happened upon the Papal Mass in Vienna, I really liked the commentator's occasional, 'and you join us here for the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time...' because let's face it we are rather starved of that sort of thing with the BBC. Ah, the special sneering tone, yawn.

Fr Ray (of happy and renewed bloggings) has a post about the positive influence of the Poles. Grandma has a Polish cleaner called Betty. I'm convinced she's biding time before becoming a brain surgeon. In the mean time however, she's so polite and respectful, cheery and hard working. And she's from Crakow, so Grandma's pic of JPII that she got in '79 when she went over to Ireland for the Papal Visit hopefully makes her feel a bit at home.

Sunday 23 September 2007

Yup more content shamelessly borrowed from other blogs.
This time it's American Papist.

Too good a pic to pass by.


Just copied this from a comment on The Cafeteria is Closed.

Always good to have those Papal facts to hand.

"From an article in The National Catholic Register (1/24/07):

In 1462 Pope Pius II declared slavery an “enormous crime” (magnum scelus).

In 1537 Pope Paul III forbade the enslavement of native people in the New World.

Pope Urban VIII forbade slavery again in 1639.

Pope Benedict XIV condemned slavery in 1741.

Pope Pius VII demanded the Congress of Vienna suppress the slave trade in 1815.

Pope Gregory XVI condemned the slave trade in 1839.

In the bull canonizing Jesuit St. Peter Claver in 1888, Pope Pius IX branded the slave trade summum nefas or “supreme villainy.”

Pope Leo XIII sent out the encyclical In Plurimism on the abolition of slavery in 1888 ordering Brazilian bishops to abolish slavery."

Yup, that's every century since the 15th.

Unrelated but interesting facts.
Pope Pius XII had 500 Jews staying at Castel Gandolfo during the war whom he was providing with kosher food. (Says so in the CTS Booklet on him.)

And, Castel Gandolfo is twinned with Chateauneuf du Pape. Cool eh! Good wine at their dinners hopefully.

My parents tend to get a bottle of the above mentioned plonk if a Priest comes for meal . Fr Torre was very partial to it and my Mum's Lasagne.

End of wittering. This isn't one of those clever series of statments that ends up where we started.

Wednesday 19 September 2007

Things to keep you Catholic

Just for Mac - she who reads this gubbins. (thank goodness someone does!)

The two for me are

1 The Sacraments. Where else can you go for the Blessed Sacrament and Absolution and that's only 2/7.

2 The teaching authority of the Church.

Everything else follows in no particular order


All the people I really admire

Music - too much to list.

Being made welcome like another member of the family in all sorts of occasions


Reading St Bede and seeing nothing much has changed.

Feeling more at home abroad than in England. (France, Italy, Austria, Poland)

Reading about St John Fisher and seeing nothing much as changed (alas).

Pope Benedict XVI (last but by no means least) What great books. Wish I'd read them ages ago. JPII was a great man, but I find his writing really hard work.

I read all those blogs describing the sometimes appalling things being done in this country and I've decided that on my blog I'm going to avoid the rent-a-rant. (Believe me FR Zs red I like alot. It's the teacher in me!)

The rest of the time apart from the prayers, I'm trying to support everything/ one, that or who are doing the good stuff. So, Aid to the Church in Need, SPUC, Sisters of the Gospel of Life etc big support. Certain 2nd collections, nothing. Petitions in Church for SPUC, raffle tickets for the primary school, jam in aid of Life etc I'm there. Basically, all the small 'boring' things that hold the Catholic infastructure together, I'm really trying to do. Some poor person standing at the door at the end of Mass needing some sort of support, that's me. Any other ideas? Bring them on. When the charity law gets changed so that contemplative orders loose money I'm adopting one - should probably do that now anyway.

The catalogue of things I don't do and opportunities missed is huge, btw.

Oh yes and I once left a CTS pamphlet about Pius XII on a train because Joanna Bogle suggested it. Only I'll have to get another one now because I'd like to re-read it!

OK Mac. Nuff ramblings. Bedtime for tired teachers. The sniffles are threatening and I need my voice and strength. First Orch String Sectional + Madrigals + teaching tomorrow. Night Night.

Sunday 16 September 2007

14th September

Yes, I had noticed on Friday that the big day had arrived. Vast hoards of visitors, that pop over here, usually having googled something unrelated to anything Catholic. Random Evangelisation.

The matter of work got in way of going over to Blackfen and some visiting familiy meant no trip to Brompton Oratory in the evening.

So I was very happy to read Fr Z's homiliy at the Mass.

I always think of him as Fr Zed, but Mac corrected me when I mentioned him, and said that he is of course Fr Zee.

(My mind wanders to Seasame Street at this point brought to you by Pope Benedict XVI the number 14 and the letter Zee. That isn't meant to sound disrepectful, btw.)

Anyway, being a mere serf in the blogosphere, I'm hoping that this is the beginning of better times. Lots of inspiring stuff to read at least. All those old plainsong books on musica sacra alone are worth some study. I lurve the ones with questions at the end of chapters. 'Is this an authentic or plagal mode?' etc. Great. ABRSM eat your heart out.

Parish BBQ

We have some of those Mission people in the parish at the mo and so had a BBQ to get everyone together. People have always been very kind to me here, so I hope others have found the same. (We've been told to be more friendly etc.) We all came with different food and as usual it all came together into a very enjoyable 'do.' Chatted to quite a few people I know by sight but have never exchanged more words than , 'Peace be with you' with. Start with the important stuff... The weather was really good, which is a real blessing after the dreadful summer, so we were all able to sit out in the huge garden and the children could all run around.

Fr S the PP had his Kerry flag up and green and orange bunting because they were in the All-Ireland Final today. Top stuff. He also had the Papal flag up at half mast when JPII died. All important occasions marked by flags over here.

Not entirely taken with the tenor of the Mission, but they are very sincere people ( and I don't think they are dodgy,) and it's not good not to support stuff. Sometimes it can seem as if things are hanging on by a thread in this country, so not good to knock what is going on.

In einem neuen Fenster

Mac is right (as usual.)

This is like when I bought 'Into Great Silence' from German Amazon and had to click Kaufen, etc to buy it. Mm wonder who I leant that to ... Not a film where language is much used as it goes.

An Equal Music

Am currently re-reading Vikram Seth's book, which is just brilliant in its description of playing in a string quartet. Aspects of the plot will cause disquiet to Catholic readers (plus the protagonist is miserable and self indulgent most of the time,) but if you can ignore them and focus in on the main character's relationship with his violin it's wonderful.

Wednesday 12 September 2007

More Papal Encouragement for Music

Just read this via Fr Zs blog about the Mass in Vienna on Sun and about the Pope's continued attitude to popular culture, young people and music.

Sounds great to me.

I went to Mass on Ash Wed at Westminster Cathedral and the huge congregation ( like it took 5 mins of queuing to get into the aisle to start queuing to receive the Ashes - this is England it's in the culture,) were perfectly at home with the Allegri Miserere. This is our music, our tradition. Bring on the beautiful stuff.

Monday 10 September 2007

100th Visitor

Up to 99 now so who will be the 100th?

Recent visitors have been from Cyprus and Japan, so which exotic location will be next?

Sunday 9 September 2007

The Holy Father In Vienna

Happened to switch on EWTN,via the web, hoping there might be some coverage and got the whole Papal Mass and Angelus from Vatican Television. Fantastic music of course, a Haydn Mass with full choir and orchestra. A huge crowd in the square outside too. Good commentary, said what needed to be said and then was silent for big chunks. Will definitely be tuning in again.

Saturday 8 September 2007

First week back

Well we all got the end of the first week. It is somewhat of a calm before the storm, because next week the teaching really cranks up and all the rehearsals get going.

There have been a few of those unexpected and yet urgent tasks that keep things interesting (uhm).

Ajorned to the pub on Friday, though I popped off pretty quickly as I had to collect some tickets from someone. The usual big turn out for the beginning of term. We have the advantage of being able to get there before the office workers, though often people mark a set of books and then go. (Yes, it's not all long holidays and finishing at 4!)

The weather, having taken a turn to the sunny side, has caused my tomatoes to ripen suddenly. Thus I shall be spending some time engaged in tomato based activities this weekend. They are beautifully sweet, so it seems a shame to cover them in balsamic vinegar and roast them, though that is a favourite. If the late courgettes could hurry up a bit, I could make ratatouille. Me crops are out of synch, you see.

I read a gardening column in a newspaper last week. Seasonal problems - gluts! Time for a tomato fiesta.

Radio 3 are now playing the Schumann Piano Quartet. Just checked out the first movement. Handy. Good to know which bits are important in my part in the grand scheme of things and which bits covered in flats are indeed in octaves with the violin. No escaping some work there then.

Wednesday 5 September 2007

Bara brith

Oh dear. The rather obscure title of this blog, is causing me to have visits from poor folk searching for bara brith.

I bought some in a new tea shop in Borough Market for my Dad and it was very good but quite stunningly expensive. I've also had it sent from a shop in Llanrwst - very nice and still fresh on arrival. Failing that, Delia Smith's latest how to cook series book 1 has a recipe for tea bread which involves soaking the fruit over night in sweet tea and my Dad 'thoroughly enjoyed' it, which is a very firm recommendation.

The real answer is of course go to Wales, which is where my parents are now, lucky things, enjoying fine weather in Snowdonia and having a bite to eat in a pub near Beddgelert.

Tuesday 4 September 2007

St Wilfrid on the train

I travel to work by train and this gives me the chance to read, think about the day ahead, pray and at the end of term snooze.

After a holiday in the North East, I am reading a Penguin book, The Age of Bede, which includes the life of St Wilfrid. We visited Hexham Abbey ( now a CofE Church, you know the back story,) where he is buried and I wish I read all this before I went there.

Amazingly for the 7th century, he visited Rome on a number of occasions, at least once to petition the Pope to get his diocese back after various baddies had forced him into exile. (They were up to John VI even then!) He enjoyed great success and peaceful times as well as being imprisoned. Whatever his circumstances, he just carried on. Wherever he was he sought to convert people and often healed them too.

I haven't got to the end yet, but it certainly puts my worries into perspective.

Also in this book is Bede's life of St Cuthbert. I was a student at Durham and they are both buried in the Cathedral there. Whose feast day is it today according to my calendar? St Cuthbert of whom I have become very fond.

It's a very engaging translation by a Catholic priest, so all the phrases used are very familiar. The chapters are very short too, making it ideal for reading and snoozing on the way to work and everything I have read so far suggests people who were full of energy and zeal.

Looking forward to the Voyage of St Brendan.

Sunday 2 September 2007

Sunday Lunch

Well they've gone now.

We got to sit in the garden, which given this summer, was a treat. My Mum opened her birthday prezzies and we generally flopped about.

Nothing fancy for lunch, just plain old roast chicken, apple crumble and a Victoria sponge, which they took away because they were too full to eat it! Lots of left overs, so cold crumble for breakfast tomorrow, a real delicacy, I recommend it!

The dishwasher is now on shift one of two. Better iron some clothes and yes Mac, practise the viola.

Last day of the holidays

It's finally arrived.

The plan. Walk to early Mass, get Travelcard on way home to avoid Monday queues at the station, cook Sunday lunch for family, enjoy having folks over for my Mum's birthday on Wednesday, final ironing, early night (with predictable sleeplessness,) up at 6am tomorrow for neew term. We'll see....

Saturday 1 September 2007

Oh Dear

Just heard 'Thought for the Day,' with the editor of the Tablet going on about conscience. Her final conclusion? That though Cardinal O'Brien has left Amnesty, other Catholics would decide to stay.

Not this one. I left when they started slagging the Church off in their magazine over the death penalty. We used to send Christmas Cards to political prisoners at my first school, mainly because the chaplain, who was the uncle of Bishop Michael Evans, was very into Amnesty. And, to think it was started by a Catholic.

PS If any clever blogger reads this and knows which collection funded that Caritas Book, if that's how it's done, then please let me know, so that I can give the money to another Catholic cause.