Saturday 6 October 2007

I Must Be Crazy...

Somehow or other, a couple of months ago, in a moment of weakness, I allowed myself to be ambushed by two priests. Taken unawares, I foolishly agreed to give a talk at the Southwark Diocese Altar Servers' Reunion which happened in Gravesend this afternoon...

In reality, I didn't actually agree to anything... I suspect that the priests in question cooked up a co-ordinated pincer-movement attack, and I was effectively presented with a fait accompli...

I've been rather busy and very preoccupied lately. Last night I realised that I needed to rustle up a decent PowerPoint presentation and perhaps some sort of activity. So, I eschewed the blogosphere and settled down to work.

Unfortunately, as I was rather tired, I failed to take my usual precaution of saving things every couple of minutes or so. The inevitable happened. My previously reliable and co-operative computer decided to have a conniption at the very point I wanted to save the whole shebang...

I lost the lot. Not really wanting to face a room full of teenagers without any sort of visial aid, I decided to start again from scratch... and finished at about 2:30am.

The talk I eventually gave was a brief overview of the Rosary. I'm not entirely sure what the kids made of it...

My talk aside, the afternoon went very well. The youngsters had fun playing pool, ping pong and other things, and the majority took the opportunity to go to Confession. After the talk there was a bit more time for games, and we then prayed the rosary in the church and finished up with Mass. There were about thirty young people present: not too shabby given the number of major sporting events which were going on...

How Very Interesting...

Not that I'm trying to claim credit or anything, but...

Back in June, I posted a snippet on what a "kick-ass" Cardinal the Aussies in Sydney had. In addition to the idea of starting a Cardinal Pell fanclub (there are at least two now on Facebook) I also suggested that we might want to petition for him to sort out the Church in England & Wales when Cardinal Murphy O'Connor resigns...

Today's Catholic Herald therefore makes for very interesting reading: Cardinal Pell has been added to the list of possible successors by Paddy Power, the Irish bookmakers. And at 10-1, he's not exactly an outsider...

...excuse me a minute, I just need to go and place a bet...

Thursday 4 October 2007

40th Anniversary (Oh The Shame Of It...)

The 40th anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act is going to be marked on Saturday 27th October by a rally in Parliament Square, London, followed by a march down Victoria Street to Westminster Cathedral where there will be a service of remembrance, healing and hope. The rally starts at 2pm and the service at 4pm. We need to make sure that there are as many people as possible to draw media and public attention to the pro-life cause.

More information can be found at the Time for Change website.

I Couldn't Resist This One...

Yes, ok, I am showing off...

You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Twitch of the mantilla to Newhousenewjob...

I Want One...

...I don't care if it's a children's book. I want a copy: the Pope's life story as seen by his cat.

The more I hear and read about this guy, the more I love him. I mean, an "authorised" biography (must be... Monsignor Ganswein wrote the foreward) written from the point of view of a cat. That is just so cute...

Unfortunately I have to wait for the English translation. I wonder if it will take as long as the English translation of the Missal?

Tuesday 2 October 2007

Guardian Angels

Another of my favourite feasts: celebrating the fact that we have a Guardian Angel each. It's the Guardian Angel's job to help you reach heaven safely, and so, in times of temptation, or when in doubt as to the best course to take, we should always remember that our own angel cannot lead us astray, and we should implore his aid.

I'm really tired, so this is a short snippet, but I just couldn't let such a feast day go by unremarked: my own Guardian Angel has certainly been working overtime, and he's far from finished... if Guardian Angels had hair, mine would have torn most of his out, and the little remaining would have turned white by now... I also suspect that he'd also have hit the vodka-and-valium cocktails a while back (I must be a sore trial, what with all my wayward wanderings...!)

Oh, and Fr Ray has another excellent post on angels... the writings of St. Bernard, from the Office of Readings for today's feast... I was planning to put in a few quotes, but Fr Ray has done the lot!

Also, I remember posting the lyrics for the hymn to one's Guardian Angel: so I'm linking to it HERE.

Kolbe's Gift

I went to visit a neighbouring parish this evening: the Ten Ten Theatre were performing Kolbe's Gift. It had been advertised in our parish as a Deanery event, and I had been lucky enough to snaffle a ticket before our parish allocation sold out.

I very nearly didn't go: I'd had a long day at school, had missed lunch, was tired and aching (damp weather does this to me) and I was contemplating a meal out instead, or possibly a takeaway, but in the end, curiosity got the better of me.

I'm very pleased that I changed my mind: the acting was superb (and the chap playing Kolbe was uncannily like him to look at) and I hardly noticed the time whizz by. The play was in two acts (I think... I'm not really into the terminology) with the first act concentrating on a brief "biography" of Kolbe and the events leading to his martyrdom. There were one or two scenes with the chap who was saved by Kolbe's heroic act: anyone unfamiliar with the story would have found the changes from one time period to another rather confusing: in my tired and befuddled state I took a while to cotton on, but soon got the hang of it. I am rather hampered by my preference for stories to progress in a linear fashion!

The end of the first act is Kolbe's death... several of the audience hadn't realised there would be an interval, and so when refreshments were announced, we were rather surprised at the abrupt "ending." The second act concentrated on Franciszek Gajowniczek, the person saved by Kolbe, and his reaction to being saved.

This was one of the most moving parts in a very moving play. Quite apart from the amazing story, the bit that brought tears to my eyes was the scene between a journalist and Franciszek. She was very hostile, and asked, in a sarcastic manner, what he'd done with his life since being saved by Kolbe. On finding out that he'd been a civil servant in the local town hall for twenty years ("err, twenty-one years" corrected Franciszek) the journalist asked why he had been saved by Kolbe, when Kolbe was such a great man, with such a fine intellect, and with so many achievements to his name, and all Franciszek had done with his life was to "push a pen around!"

"Why you? What's special about you? He could have saved anybody..."

"That's precisely the point," Franciszek answered: "He could have saved anybody. He chose to save a nobody..."

I spoke to the person in charge of sound and lighting at the interval, and asked for permission to use the pictures on my blog: I also asked if there was a website. The Ten Ten Theatre visits schools and community centres, and they seem to do a couple of pro-life/pro-chastity plays. They have a website, but there doesn't appear to be anything up on it yet... I was also told to check out Ten Ten Productions (but that's similarly afflicted.) I did manage to find a leaflet that gave an email address:

Anyway, the blurb on the back of the leaflet explained that:

"ten ten theatre exists to advance the social, moral, spiritual and cultural education of children, young people, young offenders, prisoners, teachers and the general public through drama and the performing arts.

"We visit schools and community venues throughout the UK and are a non-profit-making company."

I would heartily recommend seeing anything this group put on!

UPDATE: Whatever was wrong with the links appears to have been ironed out, and both of them are now active. Information on Kolbe's Gift can be seen via the Ten Ten Productions link above, or directly from HERE.

Monday 1 October 2007

New Pro-Life Site

I've just heard that there's a new website to check out: Life. It looks pretty snazzy (though to be honest I haven't had a chance to look at it in any detail, but it was recommended by a friend who's pretty hot when it comes to websites...)

I'll also plug a few more pro-life sites...

First and foremost (it's my first port-of-call for all things pro-life in the UK) is the SPUC website. They also send out email alerts to make sure that you know what horror story is happening next... (the Mental Capacity Act comes into force today: what a disaster!)

Then there is LifeSite (which is another roundup - but a little more transatlantic in its focus)

The Sisters of the Gospel of Life have their blog, of course, but it is sometimes a little slow in being updated (as they're rather busy, I should imagine...)

I used to have a link for the Good Counsel Network, but I checked it, and it appeared to have been taken over for advertising... if anyone knows where their link has disappeared to, I'd be very grateful if you could let me know in the com-box...

Ok, I'm rather tired. That's the lot for Monday! Back again tomorrow, after I've had a chance to go to a play about St. Maximilian Kolbe...

Sunday 30 September 2007

Awards, Awards...!

Heheheheh... I've been awarded a "Mathetes Award" (ha, not just a nomination, an actual, bona fide, real goodness-to-Betsy award!)

No, I didn't know what a Mathete was... I was rather dubious at first, as it sounds altogether too energetic, so not at all my kind of thing. However, my award came from White Stone Name Seeker (to be fair, she got it in first) and from the Catholic Warrior...

Anyway, what is a Mathete when it's at home?

It seems to be a brand new award being passed out. It is the Mathetes Award, created by Dan King of Management by God to recognize those who take to heart the Great Commission and further God’s Kingdom by creating more disciples for Him. According to Dan, mathetes is the Greek word for "disciple".

The rules for the award, as posted by its creator, are as follows: Winners of this award must pick five other "disciples" to pass it on to. As you pass it on, you are asked to mention and provide links for (1)the post Dan King of Management by God as the originator of the award, (2) the person that awarded it to you, and then (3) name and sites of the five that you believe are fulfilling the role of a disciple of Christ.

Ok, not easy, as nearly everyone I know seems to have been "done"... apologies if you get double awards as a result!

1. Newhousenewjob (because she's been doing the disciples stuff for aaaages, in person as well as on blog!)
2. Leutgeb (simply because she is determined to focus on the positive)
3. Fr. Owl of the Remove (he's feeling insecure!)
4. Orthfully Catholic (seminarians definitely fulfil that role, Orthfully does it even more so!!)
5. My favourite Roman Neanderthal because he's cute.

It was a really difficult choice... I just went through the blogroll and checked quickly to see if they'd been "done" already...
Enjoy, and spread it around a bit!!
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