Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Remembering Joseph

Back in May Pope Francis decreed that the name of St Joseph be inserted into Eucharistic Prayers ll, lll and lV, as it in EP l.  With all that was going on that month, I completely forgot about it (sorry St Joseph and Pope Francis!).  So we eventually got around to it this weekend, and I took the opportunity to speak about Joseph at the Sunday Masses.
There was a good response from people - many were grateful because they said we don't hear much about St Joseph. One chap said he didn't even realise we had a statue of him at St Brigid's. He is indeed a little hidden away in Our Lady's Chapel, where he is turned towards his wife. 
So, a renewed effort to remember that he is very much part of the Family - of Nazareth and of the Church, of which he is Guardian. He is also patron of workers as a carpenter, and of the dying, as we assume that Our Lord and Our Lady were both present at his death.
So... "Blessed Joseph, her spouse" it is!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Tulips in...

Good news in the last few days, as Fr Frederick from Bangla Desh confirmed that he can come to spend some time with us in the next month or so. Talking purely selfishly, this means that I can have some time off, not having had a Sunday free since last September (bless!).
So Father comes next Tuesday, and the following day I'm off on the next of my get-to-places-I-always-meant-to-visit jaunts, this year to Amsterdam. So I fixed it all up yesterday over the internet, including tickets for the newly-refurbished Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House. The wonders of the internet never cease to amaze. The same room at same hotel was quoted at hugely different rates. Going for the cheapest (by far), however, I paid the penalty because Barclays then stoppd my debit card. Apparently the hotel site was based in France, and as I then proceeded to book an Eurostar ticket in UK, their computers suspected fraud, and stopped it. Anyway, Barclays were very good and all was sorted in five minutes. Later I did remember noticing a little statement on the website saying "This bill will be paid in Euros" Caveat emptor!
After that I'm attending a charismatic weekend in Carmarthen and then having some family time. So, plenty to post about coming up...

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Vallely on Francis

I read Paul Vallely's new biography of Pope Francis this week - very good and Fr M approves. Glad to see the Tablet agrees with me!  Moving around some of the Catholic blogosphere over the last months since he was elected, I can't help noticing that while many folks are very approving, some are critical of some aspects. But the ones who fascinate me are those who seem particularly quiet. I don't know if it's because they have reservations but their self-professed loyalty to Rome is being stretched, or whether they have little or nothing to say... I don't know. 
Paul Vallely is a respected journalist and has done his homework, especially on the period in Pope Francis's life when he was Provincial of the Jesuits. With some of the media sniffing problems, I was glad to be able to get a clearer picture of that time, and in the end a clearer picture of where he is now.
I was also glad to see comments about teh Pope's evident connection with so-called popular piety - pilgrimages, images etc. As a devoted pilgrim myself, I found much to identify with here. 
Most people I speak to in the parishes speak very highly of their first impressions of the Holy Father. Indeed so do people not of our faith too! And most end their comments with something like - "Hope he keeps it up... We shall see!"  Indeed we shall. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has said, apparently, to give him four years and we'll never be the same.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Silence at Copacabana

I watched a lot of World Youth Day on TV. The Saturday evening Prayer Vigil was particularly creative. Its style was obviously Latin American, but included other music too. Here is Matt Maher singing during the Adoration part of the evening, with a couple of million in silence...

Saturday, 3 August 2013

3 Churches Mass Video

Our parish website master, Simon, has put together a video from this year's 3 Churches Mass. The soundtrack is the last two hymns from the Mass. Enjoy!