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!