Monday, 8 March 2010

Pork, peace and pardon

Well it was a delight to have Archbishop Peter on our premises three times between Thursday and Sunday - but, on the other hand, it was a bit of a relief to see his car pull out of St Brigid's after a hearty roast pork lunch on Sunday courtesy of housekeeper Mary, who came in specially.
Thank God, both of our Confirmation celebrations went very well, with no major hitches at all. The young people always impress me and I know we have a very dedicated team of catechists. What struck me this year in particular was the quality of the worship, and especially of the music, at both Masses. I think those who complain about a lack of reverence or dignity at modern celebrations should have been present. 
Saturday we welcomed Justice and Peace people from dioceses all over England and Wales to the Justice and Peace Network, a quarterly gathering held alternately in London and out. A great gathering of such dedicated folks. And, again, our own United for Justice and Peace Group turned up trumps. The hall looked bright, welcoming - and Welsh, with plenty of daffs and welsh cakes for those from across the Severn Bridge to enjoy.   Everyone was commenting on the warmth of the welcome. Fr M a proud parish priest this weekend...
Back to parish and canon law business today. This afternoon I was taking evidence for an annulment case - not my favourite pasttime. It was 1 3/4 hours of concentrated work, drawing out the witness's knowledge of another sad story of a broken marriage.   Then straight up to Corpus Christi High School where the team who are planning our 3 Churches Mass of the Lord's Supper for Maundy Thursday were having a site meeting. All is building up well there.  Then back to base for a cuppa and to prepare for this evening's Lenten Bible group, which was looking at Judas. Look at Caravaggio's stunning depiction of the betrayal, with that hard, shiny unrelenting metal armour sprawled across the centre of the painting. Very interesting discussion took off on the question of forgiveness. Are there people who are beyond forgiveness?  And betrayal - how do we handle it in our own lives?  It's great when these sessions really get down to some basic human predicaments and we try together to bring the light of the Gospel to bear on the mess of life...

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