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Showing posts from June, 2015

The heroism of St Peter and St Paul still has power to win souls

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Over at the Herald, I have a post that was done for the feast of Ss Peter and Paul, celebrated yesterday June 29th.  Were they alive today,  I think Paul would have fallen victim of a PR guru who would have told him to soften his words and not rebuke the Pope in public...


The dangerously contradictory elements of Laudato Si'

Over at the Herald, I wrote a piece on saints who could be models for the green movement, even if they didn't intend to be. 

I share with Pope Francis a devotion to the Little Flower and St Francis who had a great role in the formation of my favourite saint, St Anthony. 

I don't, however, subscribe to climate change theories and so I am at odds with Pope Francis here. 

But even if I did agree with the Pope on 'human induced climate change', it is still a cause for great concern that Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is so close to the Holy Father and exerts such an influence on His Holiness.  Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is pro-population control.  William Oddie's latest piece raises a disturbing issue, regarding Hans Joachim Schellnhuber's views on educating young girls to use contraception so that they may have smaller numbers of children and thus limit population growth.  I would go one step further than William Oddie and say that Schellnhuber does not state any oppositio…

"Nobody else can offer Mass, nobody else can absolve sins"

I think there ought to be many more videos made just like this. It is something that I would love to do. For starters, I would like to learn film-editing so that I can made very short films like this.  The content is what sets it apart, the structure and the detailed and clear answers make it as good as anything on commercial TV.  Brogan Martin is the film-maker and her film series is called Modern Lives. 

Short, succinct and straightforward. Fr Jonathan's precise sincerity won him credibility. 

Twitch of the mantilla to both Fr Ray and Bones who posted this video on their blogs, where I first saw it.

A simply marvellous time at the Oremus garden party...

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Yesterday, I popped along to the courtyard behind Westminster Cathedral for the Oremus summer party.  It was hugely enjoyable. A high summer celebration of the magazine Oremus and the people who make this magazine such a success.  Oremus is Westminster Cathedral's monthly magazine.  It became free in 2013.

On arrival, we were greeted with glasses of Pims, but I sought out a glass of dry white wine and soon I had a plate that was heaped with delicious salmon sandwiches, canapés of mushroom and goats cheese and strawberry shortcake. My only regret is that I did not take a photo of the lovely spread. 

Oremus is edited by my friend of many years, Dylan Parry who commissioned my piece on Padre Pio's vocation story. Dylan made it onto The Catholic Herald honours list at Christmas 2011 for his role in founding the bloggers' guild. 











Dylan spoke a few words, in the presence of Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Reflecting on the role of Cardinal Vaughan who died 112 years ago that day, Dylan s…

Underwear Parade

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When I was a child, and leafing through the British Sunday papers, I used to see reference made to 'the underclass' in the headlines, and I thought this meant men and women who wore only their underwear in public! It struck me as an impossible fashion choice because Ireland is notoriously wet and windy, so anyone who would go out so exposed to the elements would surely have a pneumonia wish. 

Now that I'm enjoying a warm summer in London and walking through Green Park and St James' Park as often as possible, I have written a type of diary-entry for the Herald that seeks to draw attention to the ever worsening fashion trend of men not wearing belts, letting their trousers/shorts fall down around their hip bones and showing off underpants. Or just wearing underpants as they sun-bathe by the Round Pond in Princess Gardens. 

I'd like to add that reasonable standards of modesty for both men and women (neither extreme of puritanical drowning in clothes or skimpy clothes) i…

Happy Feast of St Anthony - the perfect saint for generation debt

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During the winter just passed, I was out with a friend. The temperature dropped and there was a bitter chill in the air. Silly me, I had come out without a hat and the cold was freezing my skull.  My friend kindly gave me a loan of their hat, which was made of deliciously soft grey cashmere.  When we met up again, I returned the hat to my friend, but missed it, so I asked St Anthony if he could find me one.
Then a funny thing happened.  On my birthday, another friend of mine gave me a grey cashmere hat with the words, ‘I saw it and knew you’d love it.’  I had not said a word to her that I was on the look-out for this exact type of hat. True, I love warm hats.  But it is very ‘coincidental’ that I would pray for a grey cashmere hat and be given one as a gift. Perhaps it is not so out-of-the-ordinary when you consider that I prayed to St Anthony.  
Now, on the whole, the 13th century Franciscan Friar is renowned for his intercession in finding lost or stolen goods. In the past, I’ve been …

Did a Corpus Christi procession stop a deadly plague in France?

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At the Herald, I did an article in honour of the feast of Corpus Christi where I related a miraculous turn of events that happened in France after a procession took place.  In my own estimation, I think it is one of my better pieces, but then I've been advised that writers are often the last people to judge their own work correctly. Nip across to the Herald and decide for yourselves. 

Here are photos from the 2013 Corpus Christi procession at my parish church, the London Oratory, which is five minutes from Harrods and a hop, skip and jump from the V&A, so the procession took place where crowds of tourists could see. Twitch of the mantilla to New Liturgical Movement for posting these gems of photos. 









































Flannery O'Connor wrote as though there were a skull on her desk

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Today, I did a piece on Flannery O'Connor in honour of her gracing a new US postal stamp. In 2012, I included her on a list of Amazing Catholic Women Who Changed the World.  A proper reading of O'Connor means understanding that she was obsessed with the mortality of the body and the immortality of the soul - that the body will turn to dust but the soul will live forever. It's not an accident that O'Connor would send peacock feathers to her friends and admirers - the peacock is a symbol of the eternal soul. 

O'Connor was destined for literary stardom - but she was an outlier Catholic among her peers in the Deep South of Georgia - who were predominantly Bible Belt Protestants.  In contradiction to her Protestant peers, she didn't believe that one was instantly "saved" but that a person had to spend their entire life earning their salvation and that the fear of death and contemplation of The Four Last Things made someone a better person.  No where is this…