Sunday, 27 December 2009
Saturday, 26 December 2009
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Monday, 21 December 2009
For me personally, it was the the tableau that was the high point. Instead of the usual children portraying Mary, Joseph and the shepherds and kings, we had adults. They came into the sanctuary slowly and with extraordinary dignity as Tanya played some classical choral music on the CD player. Simon from Christ the King and Sue from St Brigid's were Joseph and Mary, while the shpeherds were from St Brigid's and the wise men from the Catenians. Then I called all the children present to gather around in front of the scene for "Away in a Manger." Simple, moving, beautiful. And you know how you can tell something is a success? It's when the people don't want to leave. And loads came across to the Hall for mulled wine or tea and mince pies.
Big thanks to Stephen, June and Tanya who were the steering group with me. Not for the first time since the summer, Fr M is a very proud parish priest...
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
It seems that some kind of major "reorganization" of the Church in Ireland will be promulgated in the New Year, including, presumably some high-ups being "reorganized" out of a job. It does seem impossible to imagine continuing as a bishop with such negligence behind you, and the consequent lack of trust around you.
Personally, I believe that all these horrific matters must come out. The New Testament urges us that the truth will set us free. Sounds nice - until the truth hurts. In early 1998 when I was in Penarth, with the wonderful parishioners there handling their parish priest being on trial for abuse, the Lord seemed to give me a line from the letter of St James "Humble yourself before the Lord - and He will lift you up." I decided that God wants a truly humble Church, and if we don't do it ourselves, he will allow others to do it...
Sunday, 13 December 2009
"The Lord will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love; he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival."
And the "you" is you, and me, and all of us, and in His love we can all be ever new, and we are all celebs in His eyes.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Today we had a particularly bulky case to judge. Usually the 3 judges are faced with up to 80 or 100 pages of evidence, but this one had over 150. I'm always a bit edgy on judging days - it's a huge responsibility affecting the rest of people's lives - and I'm equally relieved to get it over with! It was great tonight to switch into a completely different mode and give the repeat of my first Advent Reflection on Our Lady. There were 25 or so there, so with the 20 at Tuesday's group that's a very healthy 45+ The folks are very appreciative, and I love breaking open the scriptures with the people. So, with finishing and emailing my bits of the newsletter and answering various emails and phonecalls, many of them about the forthcoming Carol Service, plus Mass, prayer and the daily routine - a good day!
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
To celebrate the feast here is a Bruckner setting of an ancient prayer for today "Tota pulchra es" (Wholly beautiful are you). For something equally beautiful to read for the feast, follow this link to Rocco Palmo's blog in order to read the Pope's excellent sermon given at today's traditional ceremony at Rome's statue of the Immaculate in Piazza di Spagna, adjacent to the foot of the Spanish Steps. The posting is headed "Dear brothers and sisters, we are the city!"
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Then straight into C the K parish council and a special meeting to look at the forthcoming refurbishment and extension of the Parish Centre there. After gaining the diocese's approval a few weeks ago to use money that we have deposited with them, things are forging ahead and we learned last night that it is hoped work will start in January. Excellent!
Sunday, 29 November 2009
Friday, 27 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
When Susan Boyle sang it, it was such a different take on the song that I didn't even recognise it until the chorus came along. I have to confess I found her version very beautiful and moving. If you missed it - or even if you didn't - give it a listen... Fr M approves
Monday, 23 November 2009
We were invited for lunch, along with four others, at the house of the family of someone whose Requiem I celebrated earlier this year. A little thankyou I suppose. As usual, I enjoyed a meal at the home of parishioners. When we do this we meet people literally on home ground, we are admitted to that sacred place, and share for a few hours in the warmth of their family life. Tasty food, good wine, great company. A lovely feast of Christ the King.
Saturday, 21 November 2009
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Monday, 16 November 2009
Saturday, 14 November 2009
Thursday, 12 November 2009
As a city parish we had to set out walking at 3 or 4 in the morning, and the youngsters insisted on singing our way through Grangetown and Riverside. "Our God Reigns" was the favourite - but not with one irate resident who flung the window open to complain, only to be told by one, er, fervent lad "We're Catholics, we're gonna see the Pope, and we don't care!"
One priest from each deanery could join the Pope up on the podium for the Mass - and yours truly, secretary of the deanery at that time, pulled my own name out of the hat - honestly!
Any of you got memories of The Day the Pope came to Cardiff??
Monday, 9 November 2009
Gorbachev, Pope John Paul and many others were all credited with igniting the events of that year. But in that crucial year of 1989 in an exhibition hall in Switzerland, and for the first time ever, the Christians of Europe had prayed together. Coincidence? I don't think so...
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Friday, 6 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Monday, 2 November 2009
Sunday, 1 November 2009
Friday, 30 October 2009
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
And so outside to the Hayes. I see from the St Davids website that they wanted to turn the whole of the Hayes into a kind of European-style piazza. There are certainly more people around making it a lively space rather than the backwater it was once you got past the cafe on the island. I'm not sure however if it's quite the Piazza Navona in Rome, the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, or the Grand' Place in Brussels. The outside of some of the buildings especially around the bottom end towards the new library I find look a bit brutal and not very friendly. I read somewhere that out of the six or seven towers of New Luxury Apartments (aren't they always?!) only one is being done up for occupation at the moment. Sign of the times...
Monday, 26 October 2009
David was born in 1841 in the small town of Pontyberem in the Gwendraeth Valley of south-east Carmarthenshire, between Carmarthen itself and Llanelli. His father, John, was from a local family well-known in Calvinist Methodist circles, and numbered not one but two CM ministers among his uncles and great-uncles. Like many in the nineteenth century David headed for the industrial areas of Glamorgan, and I found him in 1861 working, like his father, as a tailor in Maesteg. However, by the mid-1860s my father recalled hearing that David was a policeman, and records show there is indeed a policeman called David Jones in Penarth at that time.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
After tea and coffee at the Abbey, I settled us down with a little imaginative exercise on the hands of God the Father, then offered my thoughts on the two Newman passages, giving everyone a sheet with them printed on that I'd run off during James' Mass! Then I asked everyone to go and find a quiet spot for half an hour and focus on a word, phrase or sentence that spoke to them from the two passages.
I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.
Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me - still He knows what He is about.
Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Your Spirit and Life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that my life may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others. The light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine. It will be You, shining on others through me. Let me thus praise You in the way which You love best, by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching, not by my words but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for You.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Friday, 2 October 2009
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Sunday, 27 September 2009
Friday, 25 September 2009
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
The first picture shows the relics being brought into the Cathedral, while the second is a scene during veneration at the altar. More pictures of the Cardiff visit can be seen here and here.