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Showing posts from February, 2012

This one comes with a warning...

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…it may be a Lenten temptation hazard. But there is no sincerer love than good food and friendship. Fortunately, my birthday fell on the 21st of February, the day before the onset of Lent. For my birthday treat, I was taken for afternoon tea to Betty’s teashop in York where I am holidaying. Here my friend Mimi and I are studying the menus. It was a tough choice between the blueberry dotted mini meringue or the brioche. I choose the éclair and had rose flavoured tea. Mimi choose the cheese scone. I was presented with a hand-stitched lace birthday card. While we ate, another friend N, read out a passage from Anthony Trollope's The Pallisers, the novel that's set in the 1860s, amid the swirl of Victorian high society.

Welcome to Fawlty Towers

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American readers have been in touch to say that they are not familiar with Fawlty Towers  the TV series / situation comedy that was the cream of British comedy. Here is a taster, and there's plenty more on BBC i-player.

A pearl found on the blogosphere...

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London School of Economics whizz-kid student Jimin Kang has just set up a blog dedicated to spreading love for Our Lady. London pro-lifers know Jimin for his involvement in 40 Days for Life. I asked his help when I was preparing to appear on Korean TV.

Visit him and check out his fascinating blog on Our Lady and Lent.  His blog has an ethereal, blue colour scheme to coordinate with Marian themes.  

Jimin's surname 'Kang' means pearl in Korean.

Hello Lent, Goodbye Chardonnay, Pinot and the coffee kick

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For us: to live Lent is to live in atonement for less than one-ninth of the year. Lent is a time when we unite our sufferings with that of Jesus. It can make us feel down when we realise that each soul, even our own soul must feel the weight of the cross.
Padre Pio had volunteered to live in an all-year-round perpetual Lent.From the time that he was a newly ordained priest, Padre Pio offered himself as a victim soul. The wounds of Christ’s crucifixion appeared miraculously on the young Pio’s body. He later confided in a handsome young priest Fr Karol that the deep furrow in his shoulder made him suffer the most.
The simple pleasures in life and the things that we enjoy make our crosses easier to bear. The bar of chocolate during a busy day or sharing a can of beer with a friend after a stressful day. It is when we separate ourselves from ‘the comfort factor’ and our padding-with-pleasure that our cross digs into our shoulders. Before Lent, we take a look at our lives and ask ourselve…

The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma enjoys fruits of the 2007 Motu Proprio

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The Guild meeting on Saturday stands out as key highlight of 2012. My fellow Catholic bloggers and I got together in Blackfen, the parish made universally illustrious by Fr Tim’s blog. The day started with low Mass, followed by Adoration.


Fr Sam Medley was unable to get to Blackfen and give a talk, so the night before the Guild meeting, our founder Dylan Parry invited me to prepare a talk.
I wore a long, lace skirt for the talk, not because I wanted to prove some liturgical point about more lace, more grace. But because of the advantage of wearing a skirt: no one saw my knees knocking.
The theme for my talk was the follow-on effects of that which we write on our blogs. So, I spoke about the controversy in ‘real-life’ that my self-description of ‘I strive to go to the Tridentine Mass every day’ has caused. How people have got in touch with me asking me to take this fact off my blog. How people have told me that it offends priests who offer the Ordinary Form. How when I requested a pla…

What do you get when you mix 3 Favourite Literary Adventures and 5 bloggers? Mulier’s Meme

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Mulier Fortis recently got a Kindle and is overwhelmed by the amount of books that she can download. She started a meme where us bloggers can chose our favourite books. I was tagged by Linen on the Hedgerow, who writes an exceptional blog. He has great blogging stamina and posts so promptly about current Catholic affairs that his blog would rival a news site. Here are the rules: You link the person who tagged you.  You decide which three books are ‘essential reading’ for someone with a Kindel. Then you tag five people. You also tell them that their blog has been tagged. Don’t forget to post the rules on your blog.  My choices may not be 'essential' but they very dear to me. 1. The Other Side Of The Story  Marian Keyes This book is from the chick-lit hall of fame, but set in the world of publishing, which means that men who want a giggle and to learn more about publisher-politics would enjoy this book.  See the video underneath to hear Marian reading an extract. The book holds a…

Ireland gets its equivalent of Catholic Voices – ‘Catholic Comment’

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Ah sher, it’s a good day to be Irish. Here’s one more reason to support a possible papal visit to Ireland: Senator Rónán Mullen, 41, has been crucial to the founding of a group called Catholic Comment. It was inspired by ‘the successful model adopted by Catholic Voices in the UK…We want to promote better public understanding of the teaching of our Church, its wisdom and heritage.’ Catholic Comment will specialise in training lay-people as speakers who will confidently put forward the case for the Church.

Rónán has already mobilised young, dynamic Irish lads and lassies who are willing to step up to the plate and clarify the Church’s teachings on radio, TV, and public debates. For too long the young generation of Irish people have been characterised as hating the Church. True, among my generation of twenty-somethings there is a lot of apathy about Catholic teaching and bitterness towards priests. This was evidenced for me when I was at university, training to be a schoolteacher and t…

The gutsy Sister who defied the IRA

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Sister Genevieve was born Mary O'Farrell to a humble farming family in the Irish Free State in 1923. She was the youngest of their five children, and each morning went with her family to Mass. But as a girl she had no inclination towards religious life.

She said that the lifestyle of nuns 'revolted' her. In time, however, she became one the most dynamic nuns ever to teach in Northern Ireland, improving the lot of generations of Catholic women.

Her call came suddenly one day in secondary school. She heard a classmate talk about the Daughters of Charity. At that moment when she learned of a religious community so devoted to the poor she realised that her soul ached to be at the service of the destitute. In 1941, at the age of 18, she entered St Catherine¹s Seminary in Dublin.

As a postulant she hated the idea of becoming a teacher, feeling that life in the classroom would take her away her society¹s most marginalised people. But her superior directed her to train f…