Had a great visit to the Hereford Catholic Conference on Friday and Saturday. Very impressed with a speaker who was new to me - Derek Williams (right), a Catholic lay evangelist who specialises in scriptural teaching. Visit his website here. I think my talk on Friday evening went OK. I connected Catholic Charismatic Renewal to Vatican II, to the sacraments, to the Mass and so on, and people seemed to appreciate it. On Saturday I preached at Mass continuing my theme from Poland of not letting the wounds of life deflect us from our tasks. This time I went on to distinguish between wounds and scars, quoting my two ankles as examples!
However, by the afternoon, when there was time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, my voice was failing. By evening, when I got home, it had disappeared, and when I got up this morning it was nowhere to be seen. Somehow I got through 9 o'clock at St Paul's and 10.30 at St Brigid's. I suggested at homily time we all take a few minutes' silence to run through in our minds those things and people for which we wish to thank God. Several wags thought it was my best homily ever, hahaha.
This afternoon our St B & St P Liturgy Group had suggested we have Rosary and Benediction, which went very well. I thought it was clever of Ol' Nick to have a go at my voice the day I should be leading Our Lady's prayer and giving her Son's blessing, however, with five people leading the decades and everybody praying together, it was all very dignified, and my voice even managed to sing the Collect pray in Latin! However, that's done it in now, and so I'm back to croaking....
On the way up to Hereford on Friday afternoon, we diverted to Hay-in-Wye, partly because it's a nice route via Abergavenny and Talgarth, and partly to try tea at the highly recommended Old Stables Tearooms, only to find it shut at 3 and this was 4. No tea after 3? What kind of tea-room is that? Blow me, Oscar's, where I've had a nice lunch or two, was also shut. Luckily Shepherd's Ice Cream Parlour and Cafe was open and I had a tasty panino and cappucino. Well done, Shepherd's - you get a picture on Fr M's blog !