Saturday, 21 August 2010

Final Profession On Papa Stronsay...

Brother Martin Mary, F.SS.R., made his final profession on the Feast of the Assumption. The photos, especially of the chapel, are wonderful!

I confess to doing a double-take on seeing this one... I thought for a moment that Brother Martin Mary was lying on a black rug, being covered in white, with his arms outstretched...

And am I the only person who thought "Ooooh, that would make a great scene for a murder mystery..."?


Ooops. Ok. My bad...


Eastbourne Pier

I promised to put up some photos from my trip to Eastbourne.

Our Lady of Ransom 5I was surprised at how few I'd actually managed to get - I took several photos each day - but there is a limit to how many photos of the same High Altar one wishes to look at, if there's nothing actually happening. I didn't take any photos during Mass because the priest seemed a little unhappy when I mentioned photos, until I promised that they would just be architectural shots... added to which, the versus populum Mass just isn't as appealing, photographically speaking.

The best photos are now on Flickr, in the Eastbourne 2010 set. Feel free to use them, but I do ask for a link to the blog (or at the very least, the Flickr page) in return.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Home, Sweet Home...

I am now back home again after my brief visit to Eastbourne.

I didn't sleep well during my stay. This is not totally my own fault...

At home, I sleep in a double bed. At my parents' place, it's back to sleeping in a single. Normally this isn't too much of a problem. This time, however, I had my leg in a brace (to help stabilise the knee joint at night.) The brace is a huge, hinged, plastic-metal-foam-and-velcro affair, which leaves Tower Bridge looking under-engineered. Turning around in a double bed while wearing the brace is a major undertaking... in a single bed, I practically have to get out of the bed first...

The next bit is my own fault: I expect little in the way of sympathy. I'm just too soft-hearted... (bet you never thought you'd hear me say that!!)

On the first night my parents were gone, one of the yorkies crept into my room. I'd left the bedroom door open, because the animals normally sleep in my parents' room at night, and they were feeling unsettled because the routine had changed... I didn't have the heart to push Molly off the bed when she sidled over and squeezed between me and the wall. I should have known that this was the thin end of the wedge.

On the second night, Molly and I were joined by Jess, the cat.

Jess took up far more room than Molly, being at least twice the size, but it didn't seem fair to kick the cat out when the dog was allowed to stay... and I was missing Sylvester... and I defy anyone to resist a purring cat.

Finally, last night, Max, the smallest of the yorkies, couldn't stand my parents' absence any longer and he crept in to the room. I had to give him moral support - he gets intimidated by the cat - but he was off his food and really looked miserable. So, up onto the bed he came.

Two yorkshire terriers, one large cat and an even larger woman (with one leg in a brace) do not fit comfortably into one single bed...

Tonight, Deo gratias, I am back in my own bed. Admittedly I still have one very large, insecure and demanding moggie and the leg brace to contend with, but I'm so tired, I might not notice.

I shall upload my photos tomorrow. I need an early night!

Learning The Chants For The Papal Mass...

James MacMillan's new Mass setting has been made available online by the the Archdiocese of Edinburgh and linked to by the organisers of the Papal Mass in Glasgow. Apparently some bits will be repeated only at the Papal Mass itself, but the original format has also been made available, so parishes will be able to have a go too.

It's a little hard to follow without the musical notation, but practice, as they say, makes perfect. I think it's a brilliant idea to release it all early so people have a chance to become familiar with it.

The Catholic Herald has a brief interview with James MacMillan, discussing some of his thoughts on the Mass... though I think I have the better photograph!!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Coffee Break Mini-Blognic !

I'm usually visiting my family when I'm in Eastbourne, and that doesn't normally leave much time for anything else. This time, however, I was left to my own devices - one cat and two dogs don't make for scintillating conversation, and after two days of silence, I was ready for some real human interaction.

I had originally planned to drive down to Brighton to see Fr. Ray Blake and possibly Bones (if he was around) but the knee is still very sore, and I didn't want to drive around too much. The drive down from London on Monday was quite taxing enough, and I need to be able to get back in one piece on Friday.

Then I remembered that Annie, who runs the Arundel & Brighton Latin Mass Society blog, had mentioned Eastbourne more than a few times. I left a comment asking if she was based in or around Eastbourne, and whether she wanted to meet up. Luckily for me, she did, and suggested the coffee bar opposite the church of Our Lady of Ransom as a convenient meeting place.

I spotted Annie at Mass - she was the only other woman wearing a mantilla, which is a bit of a giveaway - and afterwards was introduced to her friend, Amette, who reads (and comments) on blogs, though under a pseudonym. So no photographs will be forthcoming...

I had a wonderful time, chatting about liturgy (and the abuses thereof) and the traditional Mass, and how it has deepened our spiritual lives. During the conversation, I realised just how very fortunate I have been in having Blackfen as my parish, where the TLM is offered every week, at regular times, and not relegated to different churches around the diocese, on the third Sunday in the month if there's an "r" in it, and only at 4:30pm in the afternoon...

For the first time, I was able to appreciate the problems of parents who, having seen what the Extraordinary Form has to offer in the way of spiritual nourishment, are desperate for their children to experience this, instead of the watered-down, Eucharist-as-a-celebratory-meal, Novus Ordo Mass... but unfortunately, it just isn't always practical for a young family to travel for over an hour just to get to the one Extraordinary Form Mass available in the diocese...

It was also a tremendous relief to be able to talk about the things which irk and irritate - such as really determined sign-of-peace givers - and to find that one is not alone in being irritated! Whoever said that blogs are stopping us interacting on a human level was definitely barking up the wrong tree.

I kept Annie and Amette talking for far too long (I probably should have appended a health warning to my email, stating that I can consume unlimited cups of tea and coffee) and finished by extending an invitation to my Renewal of Vows in December - more details on that to follow soon.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Don't Equate Paedophiles With WomanPriests...

I spotted this link in the com-box of the inimitable Fr. Z...

It was so funny, I nearly spat coffee over the computer keyboard.

BBC Radio 4 Asking For Comments...

Fr. Stephen Langridge, the excellent Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Southwark, alerted people to the fact that BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme has a "Get on your Popebox" section on the website, asking people what they would say to the Pope:

"If you could get on a soapbox and have the Pope as a captive audience for 30 seconds, what would you say to him? Email us and let us know and every week between now and the Papal visit we will broadcast a selection of your thoughts."

There's a link to the comment form below the Popebox section, which you an also access from here. I'm certain that any negative comments will be given more than enough air-time (note that they'll broadcast a "selection" of our thoughts) so let's all make sure that there are plenty of positive comments to edify anyone listening in.

The editorial slant for the Papal Visit appears to have been declared: this week's introduction to the Sunday programme, on the website, starts off by stating that:

"With little over a month to go before Pope Benedict's historic visit to the UK, thousands of tickets for key events are being returned to organisers because dioceses are finding less people than expected want to go."

Well, I know for a fact that all our parish's tickets for the Birmingham event have been allocated, and we're busy trying to get spares, and I'm pretty sure that the tickets for Hyde Park have gone too.

Go and leave a comment for the Holy Father, and let him know that there are still faithful and loyal Catholics in the country once called Our Lady's Dowry.

Holy Father's Itinerary...

The Holy Father's itinerary for his state visit to the UK in September has been published, and you can check it out at the Papal Visit Website.

I was amused to note that there is 20 minutes between the courtesy call of the Prime Minister to the Holy Father at Archbishop's House and that of the Deputy Prime Minister, but only ten minutes between the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Acting Leader of the Opposition... presumably she'll get five minutes before the Holy Father prepares for Mass...

Cat Plays Piano-furr-te

This made me giggle...

Thanks to Fr. Martin Edwards, who posted it on Facebook.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Tell Me Your Favourite Blonde Joke...

...apart from me, that is!

I've been sent two jokes recently by friends who know my delight in publishing blonde jokes... unfortunately, I've already published them - the last one can be found here.

Which made me wonder if there are any other (clean) blonde jokes out there that I haven't heard already. And so I shall issue a challenge for you all to tell your favourite blonde joke, in the com-box... or leave a link in the com-box to the joke on your own blog if you prefer.

I'll start.

Two blondes walk into a bar...'d think one of them would have seen it!

Excellent Advice For Husbands & Wives...

Teófilo de Jesús writes an excellent blog - Vivificat! A family man, Teófilo has shared his thoughts on how best to stay chaste within marriage... and much of this advice can apply to all of us, married or single.

Ooooooh... A Computer !

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my parents have been dragged into the twenty-first century (probably kicking and screaming) and have gotten rid of the old computer that they had. The new one is a vast improvement, though the keyboard isn't as sensitive as mine, so I'm having to bash the keys a bit to make sure the letters register.

At least that's going to be my excuse for any typos.

I also won't manage to post any of my photos until I get home, basically because I don't have any software for cutting the photos down to a suitable size for the web. I could have altered the size of the photos on the camera, but I like having my originals a decent size and resolution. I've discovered that Flickr is best kept for displaying the best photos one has, rather than putting them all up and selecting a few for the blog. And uploading the original files directly onto the blog would make the blog load even more slowly than usual. So no new photos until I get back.

The weather has been vile - cold and wet. I contented myself today with taking photos of the inside of the church of Our Lady of Ransom, Eastbourne. The priest I saw after Mass said he was happy for me to publish them on the web provided I didn't say anything horrible about the architecture... and I'm not going to do that, because I think the church is quite beautiful.

Jess has just come in, soaking wet, demanding that I dry her off, which makes me think of Sylvester, who does the same thing. Molly and Max, the yorkies, are doing their best to look cute, which indicates that it's feeding time...

More later.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Summer Holiday...

Well, I'm off to Eastbourne for a few days, dogsitting on behalf of my parents. Yorkshire terriers are not my favourite breed. Luckily I shall have Jess the six-toed cat to keep me from going totally insane. Fear not, Sylvester will be well looked-after in my absence, though I shall probably get into severe trouble when I get back.

I don't know what internet access I will have (if any) while I'm away, so posting may be sporadic (no change there, then!) but I shall take my camera and do my best to capture a little of my surroundings.

Knowing my luck, it will rain constantly. I think we had Summer early - like May and June - and now we're well into Autumn. Oh, no... sorry, that was last week. So it's back to winter again.

I spotted the following picture on the I Has A Hotdog site (the "Goggie" companion to the I Can Has Cheezburger? site), and it just sums up the relationship between Max (the younger, and darker, of the two yorkies) and Jess (the cat) that I had to post it.

Enjoy !

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Busy Day In The Parish...

Today we had a wonderful Missa Cantata in honour of Our Lady's Assumption into heaven. The choir came back from their "holiday" to sing the propers, and the congregation joined in joyfully with the Missa de Angelis and Credo III. One of the parishioners had managed to find a crucifix which matched the candlesticks for Our Lady's altar, and he and two friends chipped in to acquire it, and then kindly donated it... it does look much better than the brass one we had before.

It was a little disconcerting to find that a team from BBC Radio 4 were recording the Mass as background for a programme they intend to do for the Holy Father's visit. The size of the microphone stand made me feel much better about my discreet little camera monopod... I had brought the latter along, but decided that it was just too unwieldy with the crutches in the way. I did, however, manage to take a few good photos, even without the monopod.

After Mass, I had a chance to talk to Daniella Adams and James Blythe, who are responsible for co-ordinating blogging, facebooking and tweeting (on behalf of the Southwark Archdiocese) in the run-up to, and the duration of, the Holy Father's Visit.

We went in to the Parish Club for a few cups of tea (and something a little stronger once the bar had opened) only to find that the Radio 4 team were actually carrying out interviews. They started off quite near me, interviewing the youngest of the Treloars who cycled to Rome, but they soon gave up because of noise levels, and retreated to a quieter part of the club. I gather that they had intended to interview His Hermeneuticalness, but decided to try to do so on another occasion... either they were in a hurry, or the noise levels were playing havoc with the sound equipment!

I have put up the photos from the Mass on my Flickr page, so do go and have a look. Remember, all photos can be used for non-profit-making purposes, providing that you credit me for them (preferably with a link to my blog.)
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