Showing posts from March, 2011

A video we've been waiting for...

This is a very punchy video and should be widely used. Maybe it's because I'm the youngest fogey in London, but the soundtrack grated somewhat on me.

Twitch of the mantilla to Mulier Fortis' blog; where I gleaned this video.

B16: The Pope who wanted to be a humble librarian

The footage of John Paul II and Benedict is very touching; theirs was a truly great friendship.

Pro-lifers should be wary of mandatory counselling before abortion says Francis Philips

Ina previous post, Nadine Dorries made a powerful case for overhauling the policies on obtaining an abortion. Dorries is not pro-life per se, and so she does not work to make all abortions illegal. Dorries has, however, pushed for new criteria to be met before someone may get an abortion; such as a woman seeking an abortion to get advice and counselling from some sort of organisation that does not perform abortions. This, in effect, would be mandatory counselling.
Over at The Catholic Herald website, Francis Philips has given some sage insights on why this may not be so hot an idea:

'Some pro-life campaigners are wary of this, for good reason. It would establish a condition to be met in order to qualify for an abortion. What information would be given to women? Who would give it? If counselling were required, some sort of certification would also be required. If pro-life groups were to give this counselling they would have to issue certificates. This was the very situation in Ger…

'Taliban Catholic'? Moi? You don't know the meaning of the word...

I do not agree with every point that Micaheael Voris makes in this video, and ideally the video could have been more succinct, but it does make a vitally important point that all Catholics may agree on. Some of our fellow Catholics, who throw around the grave insult 'Taliban Catholics', don't know the meaning of the word 'Taliban', or for that matter what it signifies. Indeed the word 'Taliban', and Islamic terrorism are metaphors for each other. Or at least they were before people in our fold borrowed it! Perhaps Catholics-who-lambast-other-Catholics with 'Taliban Catholics' are like the mother in 2001 who called her baby 'Bin Laden' - people had to point it out to her that this was not the most prudent choice of names!
A better acquaintance with actual victims of Islamic extremism might be needed.
In August 2009, John Pontifex of Aid to the Church in Need reported:  Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad in Pakistan has spoken of his people’s…

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant of All - Movie Trailer

Twitch of the mantilla to LeadKindlyLight where I first saw this trailer.

Padre Pio: “If you suffered what I suffered for more than one minute you would be dead”


Padre Pio: “If you are that curious why don’t you take a trip to the other side and find out for yourself!”

A concerned lady was asking Padre Pio about her dead parents. Padre Pio assured the woman that they were in heaven. The woman persisted in asking where her dead mother and father in law were – to which Padre Pio replied “If you are that curious why don’t you take a trip to the other side and find out for yourself!” The woman did not take up his suggestion.

Padre Pio's intercession won a cure for a seriously ill child from West Cork

Ireland 1976. A child from the town of Bandon, West Cork was terribly ill – he was born with a blocked tube going from the kidney to the bladder. This meant that all the impurities of his body came up and into the kidneys and badly damaged them. But this wasn’t discovered before Kieran was two and half – by this time his kidneys were extensively injured and there were nine stones in one kidney. He needed a serious operation. After which, he would have a 50/50 chance of survival, but without the operation, there was no hope for him. The little toddler had an operation on both kidneys. Still, there was also the grave possibility that he would need his kidney’s removed.
Kieran’s mother, Kathleen took him to the Mercy Convent in Clonakilty to be blessed with the relics of Padre Pio. After the blessing, Kieran had a better colour, had more energy, and every time Kathleen took him to St Finbarr’s for his check-up his results were getting better. The best news came in November 1976, when the…

Who are you in this Lent study group?

I'm the humorist - I can't count the amount of very devout Catholics who have told me that I'm too cheerful for the Lenten season. My cheeriness is not deliberate - I promise!

I gave up being cranky and obnoxious...

Twitch of the mantilla to Catholic Cartoon Blog.

Fr Corapi's on dating: "don't think with your hormones"

Clearly Fr Corapi is a very gifted orator.

‘Myself am moved to woo thee for my wife’

Why oh why isn’t this movie used in Catholic wedding preparation courses? The young men could be instructed to say ‘myself am moved to woo thee for my wife’.

Elizabeth Taylor's best film role? 'That wench is stark mad...'

Zefferelli's The Taming of the Shrew.

Elizabeth Taylor died today at 79 - the star who nearly became Catholic

Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor passed away today at the age of 79. While she had a chequered history with religions, she did consider becoming a Catholic, when she was preparing to marry Roman Catholic Nicky Hilton. Francis Taylor, Elizabeth’s American father didn’t agree with Elizabeth’s thoughts of converting to Rome. And before the wedding to Hilton, Elizabeth changed her mind upon learning that she’d have to sign an oath promising to bring her children up in the Church. She did have a Roman Catholic wedding to Hilton in 1950, which not only the celebrity wedding of the wedding, but set the tone and style for 1950’s superstar weddings.  She married Hilton at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills, which was also known as 'Our Lady of the Cadillacs' because of the affluence of the parishioners. After Tridentine Mass, Nicky placed a $10,000 wedding band on Elizabeth’s finger, and they kissed so long that Monsignor Patrick J Concannon said to Elizabeth, “I think that’…

Polly's greatest moments

Click here for Polly impersonating Mr Stubbs.
This has long been a favourite You-Tube interview of mine with clips from Polly's best scenes. Can't wait till after Lent to watch all these episodes in full again!


Forgive me for posting humorous posts among very serious posts, such as the comment piece on abortion guidelines from Nadine Dorries. It might seem bad taste to couch comical cartoons alongside posts that are achingly serious. It’s just that a blog, taken as a collective work has the mixed flavour of a weekly newspaper in that there is the grimly acidic news, the sober commentary and the light-relief afforded by such cartoons as these.
And the cartoon below did strike a chord with me. Some days, I get an average of ten Facebook friend requests from people who I have never met. Up till now, I have made some wonderful friendships over the net, from good friends and family who I know around the world. I’ve made contacts with others who share my goals of transmitting the faith, share love of Our Lord and especially love for Padre Pio. But, I’ve learnt to my cost that pushing ‘confirm’ too fast on Facebook isn’t always wise. 
There is something to be said for being wary of ‘friending’ someon…

"It is time for self interest in the £60 million abortion industry to cease" says MP Nadine Dorries

On this fascinating post for ConservativeHome, former nurse, but current MP Nadine Dorries makes a few bold points in support of the case that abortion guidelines need to be drawn up by an independent body which is accountable to Parliament. Including: “We are concerned with the legality of the procedure used for drafting the guidelines and the make up of the RCOG [Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists] working group for a number of reasons:  Of the eighteen members in the working group who have drawn up the draft guidelines, eleven are immediately and easily identifiable as abortionists who make their living wholly or partly through the abortion process…. The draft guidelines failed to include a declaration of interests from members of the group including a declaration of monies acquired through abortion industry related activities. The public have a right to that at the very least…. A review into the mental health impact of abortion upon women by the Royal College of P…


With a boss like Basil who says 'fa-fa-fa-fire' instead of 'fire', poor Manuel doesn't have a hope of learning English!

Manuel: "I can speak English..."

I was reminded of this clip today because I filled out the British census form, and one question enquired of me if I spoke English...
See here for another post where Manuel's English pronunication gets him into hot water with Irish builders.

"You know nothing about the horse...."

Check out a previous post where Basil grapples with home improvements.

Are all the Irish ready to meet St Patrick? St Patrick: "I myself will sit in judgment over the men of Ireland."

Saint Patrick's Vigil on the Reek: 441 AD.

The following is the true account of Saint Patrick's Vigil on the holy Mountain of Ireland over the Lenten Season of 441AD. It is recorded, among other places, in the book known as "The Tripartite Life of Patrick" based on the account by his nephew… As will happen, some of the later stories embroider the original narrative, sometimes with rather silly episodes…. If any proof were needed, if anybody will not accept the testimony of witnesses, the proof lies in the subsequent 1550 years of Irish history. In the words of the psalm: "He hath not done thus for every
And now Patrick travelled West to the townland of Achaghower - "Achadh Fhobhair" "The field of the Springs". . . He stayed there some days and wished to remain there.
"Here, in this little land Between the mountain and the lake I could find content. Having travelled over so many mountains and lochs I am weary at last And w…

Beautiful Tridentine Mass in Cork on St Patrick's Day!

Fr. Anthony Boucheron of the Institute of Christ the King celebrated Tridentine Mass in Ss Peter and Paul's Church yesterday.
Can you spot the double of Blessed John Henry Newman? This is Fr Pat Mc Carthy, a fomer barrister, who is parish priest at Ss Peter and Paul's.

Twitch of the mantilla to New Liturgical Movement for posting these photos taken by Michael O'Brien.

Ann Widdecombe to be special envoy for ACN

I was at the Aid to the Church in Need (‘ACN’) press conference yesterday, where it was announced that Ann Widdecombe will become ‘ACN’s’ special envoy. On behalf of the charity, Ann will be travelling, reporting and monitory religious freedom. The former government minister, famous convert to RC-ism, and Strictly Come Dancing star will put her considerable media savvy and political acumen to use as Christian minorities’ champion. The post has a ‘global remit’ and Ann Widdecombe will travel to difficult areas where Christians are persecuted for their faith. See here for news on the ACN report that reveals that 75 percent of religious persecution is against Christians.
The great boon about this is that Ann is a very gutsy commentator and does not mince her words. The unknown sufferings of millions of Christians may become better known over here in the UK, perhaps as a direct result of Ann Widdecombe’s reports.
I was very impressed by Ann Widdecombe when I was introduced to her last N…

The person who got sidelined on St Patrick’s Day?

My tiny efforts to celebrate the feast included; wearing a green velvet dress, and matching green suede shoes with cream-coloured floral lace tights. Going to Westminster Cathedral where Archbishop Vincent Nichols celebrated Mass, and during Mass I sat by the St Patrick’s chapel in the cathedral and saw the candles flicker gold onto the green marbled shamrocks in the chapel. 
Later, the queues for Irish pubs were a hundred metres long in Soho. It's good to celebrate, and have everyone pat you on the back for being Irish. But yesterday, I lost count of the amount of people who said to me ‘this is your day for getting drunk! You Irish just drink all day on Paddy's day.’ People from all around the world commented that they had studied 'the myths of St Patrick' in school. 
From Ecuador to Italy to New York, many people in their twenties said that they had learnt the ‘legend’ about how St Patrick drove out the snakes in Ireland. St Patrick obviously has a firm place on sc…

Sybil: "It's Mr O'Reilly, Basil... O'Reilly is a cut-price, cock-up artist"

Check out this post for the rest of The Builders episode.

Little Flower St Therese finally reaches Jerusalem

The relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux, a widely-revered 19th-century Roman Catholic nun, made a solemn entry into Jerusalem on Wednesday, the start of a tour of the Holy Land until May 31.
While the relics, fragments of the French saint's femur and foot bones, have been on a world tour for many years their arrival in Tel Aviv on Monday marked their first time in the land she longed to visit in life.
About 1,000 clerics, Catholic boy scouts and lay believers accompanied the wood and gold chest containing her remains in a procession through the walled Old City to the seat of Latin Patriarch Fuad Twal, who heads the Catholic church in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Cyprus.

The relics of what Twal described as "the greatest saint of modern times" received an emotional welcome from the crowd, which included many Palestinian and Israeli Arab faithful.
Therese, born in Alencon, Normandy in 1873, entered the Carmelite convent at nearby Lisieux at the age of 15…

Give up yer aul sins - St Patrick

"All them prayers made him a saint..."

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig - a blessed and Happy St Patrick's Day

Hail Glorious Saint Patrick


What do Ireland's St Gobnait and England's John Bradburne have in common?

They were both friends of bees. When John Bradburne lived in a cave in Africa, it was surrounded by bees that gave him privacy and protected him from unwanted guests.Appearances of bees are associated with the intercession of John Bradburne, and may indicate that prayers have been answered. When I read this first, I thought it a bit far-fetched. True - roses are associated with praying to the Little Flower – but bees have a malevolent reputation. Since then, I’ve been proved wrong. The numerous and unusual ‘bee experiences’ that I have had when a prayer has been answered through the intercession of John Bradburne have a key place in my memory. 

Approaching two years ago, I was invited to interview a lady for an Irish newspaper. The lady had distinguished herself by going to the to Our Lady of Good Counsel novena for fifty years in a row, without fail. She had even attended the novena when she was pregnant with Siamese twins, which had caused her much distress. The year that I interview…

The Ireland after St Patrick: a slave girl is the mother of St Finbarr - Cork's first bishop and St Gobnait scares away rapacious chieftains with beehives

I published this article last week in the Catholic Herald, and got permission to reproduce it here.
A mighty thunder storm shook Cork the night that St Finbarr was born in 550 AD. Finbarr’s parents thought it a blessing. His mother was a slave girl. Unbeknown to the chieftain to whom she was subordinate, she had married a metal worker. The night of the tempest, the young parents and their golden-haired infant fled into the deepest recesses of West Cork. The lashing rain washed away their tracks and they settled in the mountainous region where the River Lee rises, and where the chieftain did not reign. Little did the young couple suspect that this place of epic rural beauty would be named Gougane Barra after their son.
Gougane Barra means “Finbarr’s retreat”. The lake is surrounded by forested slopes and the horizon trimmed with the lace of the mountain tops. St Brendan, who travelled there and baptised Finbarr, was certain that the young man was destined for great things. St Brendan w…