Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Saints near and far

It got very busy recently, especially in the bereavements part of ministry. We have three funerals coming up in the parishes, and also that of Rita, wife of Billy, my close friends who run our September Pilgrimages, that mean so much to me and to so many others. I've known them for thirty years. Rita passed away on Monday evening, and I was privileged to be present with Billy and some of his family. Lord grant her - and the others of course - eternal rest. And if you need any typing, Lord, I can recommend Rita.
I was reading the magazine of the Companions of the Cross, a religious congregation, friends of mine, based in Ottawa, Canada, and came across a link to an excellent site on saints. Now I know that the saints are not exactly the absolute centre of our faith, but I love them. The more "human" the better! And people ask  questions about them surprisingly often - who's the patron of this, what do you know about Saint that? So I can recommend Saints at SQPN.  SQPN seems to be a large site covering all kinds of Catholic stuff, much of it hosted for individuals, as is the case with this saints section. It seems to cover everything you want to know about them all! Another huge saints resource is at
Some people seem to think that interest in, or devotion to the saints is somehow old-fashioned. Rubbish! They are our friends, part of the family. Just like we keep photos of our own family, so we have images, shrines etc of the Christian family. I've got a whole list of my special buddy-saints - Peter, John, Teresa of Avila, Matthew (of course!)... Many of our September pilgrimages have centred on shrines and places associated with saints - Francis and Clare (Assisi), Benedict (Subiaco and Monte Cassino), Teresa and John of the Cross (Avila, Segovia, Alba de Tormes), Therese (Lisieux), James (Santiago de Compostela), and so on.  Love 'em all.

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