Sunday 27 February 2011

Pram Appeal

James Preece (finger on the pulse) brought to my attention that The Sisters of the Gospel of Life need more prams.

Fr Tim has pointed out before that if you have the dosh, you can buy buggies on Amazon and get them delivered direct.

Fr Augustine Tolton

A Reluctant Sinner has a really interesting post about Fr Augustine Tolton whose cause is getting going as America's first black priest.

His widowed mother (truly heroic) escaped slavery with three small children, the youngest 20 months, paddling a boat across a river with people shooting at her, to bring her children to freedom. He started work in a tobacco factory aged 7/8 and so it goes on.

He was rejected by every seminary in America. He was however helped by a number of priests to get an education and studied for the priesthood in Rome, where he expected to become a missionary in Africa. Thus he devoted some of his time to learning African languages, culture and history. Instead, he was sent back to his home diocese. He died aged 43, having collapsed in the street with heat exhaustion.

Well worth following the link and reading his biography.

PS This is another example of where exposure to the TLM is helpful, since when it says he offered his first Mass in StP's Basilica and the server was a Cardinal, it adds up a bit more. Also his first Mass in the US was in a Church for black people in NYC and was a Missa Cantata. The segregation situation in the 19thC was not as absolute as I (with limited info on US History) would have imagined. Aside from congregations being mixed and FrT offering High Masses where the Deacon and sub Deacon were Irish or German, there were descriptions of visiting priests sitting at his table eating meals with him and his family. This in contrast to the novel set in the 1960s, 'The Help,' which I have just read. Ramble Ramble.

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Sister Roseanne Reddy on R4


She says the things you want a religious to say and on the BBC.

Some way second is the Buddhist nun.

Lagging in the distance, in clothes indistinguishable from the laity, Sr Myra Poole.

James Preece has some interesting correspondence from her to the press ....

Sunday 20 February 2011

Spritual Bouquet for Pope Benedict XVI

Details at WDTPRS.

40 Days for Life London

All the details are here.

9th March-17th April, London.

They describe themselves;

'40 days of peaceful prayer, fasting, and outreach to bring an end to abortion. We will help any person, whether mother, father, relative or friend, facing difficulties and considering an abortion. We also care about those that work at the abortion clinic. We pray for them and hope for their release from the culture of death, recognising that they too are wounded by abortion. We work for a change of hearts and minds, and a culture that defends life from conception.'

Friday 18 February 2011

Tuesday 15 February 2011

The Borg have landed

here Illustrating what too much Star Trek can do to architects. Fortunately, in Italy it can't be that hard to find something baroque to avoid the prospect of assimilation. Maybe they could trompe l'oeil it, inside and out, into a masterpiece of Gaudiesque elaborateness.

The windows remind me of the locked adolescent psychiatric unit I once had to visit to attend a case conference on a pupil. Couldn't help thinking how high they were and how the windows lacked ledges, so you couldn't climb out. That was the time when I only got to see the pupil by chance, to have a chat and hand over the card and box of Quality Street from her form. One of her ailments was paranoia and she knew I was visiting.

But I digress...

The architecture reminds me of a trip to Holland a few years ago when one of the concerts was in a similar construction. We arrived as Mass ended to do a concert. (Don't ask...) Anyway, I remember looking round and considering just how inhospitable the design was. Grey is just dreary, depressing. Overcast skies, school uniform, gruel, dust. Name anything beautiful that's grey.

The floor was concrete (of course) with those little sharp pointy stones. There were no kneelers. I'm not alone, I'm sure, in having knelt on marble. That's hard, but concrete with pointy bits? That's actively preventing people from kneeling. What next? barbed wire? A mine field?

The seats were those plastic ones that attach to the floor via a metal post, so rather like a bus station or airport. Functional and not very comfy. Actually, not functional because benches allow you to squeeze lots of people on and small children can get easily from one parent to the other.

The amazing thing was how nice the people were in this church.

Saturday 12 February 2011

An old friend

One of the pleasures of my job is that I get to play, or sing and sometimes conduct great music.

On the stand this term is the Mozart Requiem. This time I play viola. The last two occsions I sang, so an old friend from a new perspective. It's just wonderful stuff.

Here's the opening with John Eliot Gardiner. A bit quick, but that's period instruments for you. I'm still recovering from the lack of rit at the end of the Brandenburg 2 he did at the Proms last summer. It just slammed into the buffers.

Having received my education in reverse on the Requiem texts, in that I sang the Faure and Mozart Requiems and played the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique with the Dies Irae quote in my teens, then heard the Requiem Mass in its liturgical setting in my late thirties, things are beginning to come together at last.

Allotment News

This is a post to try and drum up thoughts of digging etc, not to mention round three of the battle of Leutgeb v the couch grass.

I have some seeds and should really get those egg boxes out and plant some tomatoes in the airing cupboard. I've just started my last good jar of tomato chutney and if you don't plant stuff at the right time, you don't get to harvest it.

Friday 11 February 2011

Sunday 6 February 2011

'The deep crisis of our Church demands that we address even those problems which, at first glance, do not have anything directly to do with the abuse scandal and its decades-long cover-up. '

Say some theologians in Germany.

Anyone would think the Pope was going there soon or something. Oh, he is.

Great logic. Bad things have happenened and been handled very badly, ergo we can change stuff we don't like.

20 years ago, when I was a student, the Anglican chaplain of a neighbouring college told me he was sure that the Catholic Church would have women priests in 10 years. Right.

Proper Welsh

We may have lost the rugby on Friday, but who sang their national anthem the best? Quite.

Meantime, Rob Brydon teases someone from Dolgellau.