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Showing posts from January, 2012

Irish bishops beware, The Roman Missile is coming

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Once upon a time the role of Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland was reserved for aging, stooped Italian clerics with broken English. It was a ‘peach’ of a job: elderly priests who were tired of the traffic and never-ending tourism of Rome were only too happy to spend their last years among docile, obedient Catholics in Dublin. They would stroll around Dublin’s O’Connell Street dreaming of lasagne and prosecco, while grannies and teenagers alike would line up and go on bended knee for a blessing from the Vatican’s representative in Ireland.  The days of incense wafting through the air and subservience to clergy are a hazy memory.  Few in Ireland can conjure up a mental picture of the last few Apostolic Nuncios.  For many of the faithful in Ireland, the authority of The Holy See means long time, no See.   After the commotion caused by the Irish Government’s vengeful decision to close down Ireland’s Embassy to the Holy See, the assumption was that the curtain was coming down on diplomat…

Santorum attends the Novus Ordo in Latin, and has attracted vibrant young people including Evangelical Christians to manage his campaign

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Blimey! Is it conceivable that a ‘Traddie’ will be the next president of America, and go with his kids to live in The White House? There can only be one person that fits the description of goes-to-a-Mass-in-Latin, home schools six of his seven kids, and is also running for president: Rick Santorum. The question is; might he home-school in The White House? Until recently, conservative Catholic Santorum has been under the radar. And in all honesty, when I heard a description of him I thought, ‘that can’t be, there must be some mistake, no one who is Catholic-of-a-traditional-mindset and totally pro-life could ever even think of becoming the president of America!’ Like a lot of ‘Traditional Catholics’, I endure my Holden-Caulfield’esque inferiority complex and I often think that the highest positions in politics are somehow off-limits to us devout Catholics. Thank you, Santorum, for proving me and your cynics wrong.

There is something mesmerising about Santorum: is it the perceived absen…

"I fell in love with the Latin Mass"

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It’s a baffling mystery to our secular society: why would a young, good-looking, talented and highly qualified young man such as IanVerrier give his life completely to the Lord and pursue a vocation to the priesthood? For many Catholics, perhaps, an even bigger question is why Ian is learning to offer Mass in the Extraordinary Form and has gone to Lincoln, Nebraska, to do so. Lincoln is a bleak, flat region in the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. Ian jokes that “it’s a giant chessboard”. But he has persevered in this dry, dreary climate and is delighted to be in his fourth year of seminary with the Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP). Ian chose the FSSP when he was 25.
“I really felt God wanted me to have this form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as the centre of my priesthood,” he explains. “I met priests from the Fraternity of St Peter and discovered that they centre not only their idea of the priesthood but their very lives on the traditional Latin Mass. So I entered O…

I was going to keep quiet about St Anthony finding lipstick…

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Isn’t it Shakespeare’s King Lear who declares; ‘vanity thy name be woman’? Well the mad King Lear summed me up; I’m a woman and vain. I’m all for the simple Snow White look; powder-white pale skin with red lipstick and a dark sweeps of hair. But Snow White wore the same dress every day.  And I found myself wanting a specific type of lipstick that would coordinate with burgundy/reddish-purple suede skirts and wool sweaters. But finding the right shade that’s not too pink and not too red is so trying that it could turn you into a loony. It involves doing the rounds of the make-up counters in lit-up by million-watt bulbs department stores and chemists. Then one must meet over-anxious sales people who always have imploring, never-blinking eyes that implore you to buy, buy, buy! Then one must inspect tray after tray of gooey neon pink and yellow lipstick, smear it one your fingers until your hand looks tie-died, but you must say something nice about the lipstick. And usually you come to th…

It's still Christmas....

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I'm persevering with the Christmas spirit, and will listen to carols until the 6th.

For the love of dogs... Part 2

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There has been renewed interest in how the St Benedict's medal cured my sheepdog Pollly of a huge, sprawling wound on her back. While I expressed the opinion that dogs don't go to heaven, I have modified my views; A Jesuit was asked if there would be dogs in heaven, and he replied, "if dogs are necessary for your happiness, then there will be dogs in heaven."

Between this life and when we go to God, we can use the St Benedict's medal to relieve the pains of the dumb animals that walk through this life with us. Polly not only survived the ordeal of the skin on her back splitting open and suffering a temporary doggy bald spot, but went on to have fifteen pups. My favourite of all Polly's yapping black and white sheepdogs was Juliet, pictured here for the world to admire her silky sleek black fur, badger-esque face and spotted nose.  I used clasp my hands around her chest because I would feel the pulse of her heart through my hands. Juliet went to a farm where he…

May all my readers from Guam, to New Jersey, to Denver and to Brazil - have a happy and better-than-ever new year!

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The last week has seen a surge in the number of my blog readers; from a few hundred every day, to nearly 11,000 in the past week. I've been the recipient of some very kind e-mails from readers from all over the world. I regret that time has not allowed me to reply to all your e-mails. After celebrating the new year with a glass of champagne in one hand and a fist full of fruit cake and after seeing the London fireworks explode from Big Ben and the London Eye, I returned to my room and moderated comments until the early hours and even at that late hour it was a joy to read all the many promises-of-prayer that were flooding in for Paul Birch, a young father battling with cancer. Paul's wife, Tracy left a comment on the post concerning Padre Pio's favourite painting of Our Lady.

I'm still drafting the 'perfect e-mail' to reply to the relative of Padre Pio's who got in touch with me, and who remembers the process for Padre's beatification and canonisation. …

Happy New Year? Are we finished with the old one...

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It's a Wonderful Life...

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