Saturday 18 April 2009
The Tyburn Walk this year has been moved from the first Sunday in May to the second Sunday, so the date of the Walk is Sunday 10th. May.
It will be the 100th Tyburn Walk, and Monsignor Anthony Stark told me today that it would be the last, as numbers have been dwindling of late. I think it's a real shame if this turns out to be the case: the Tyburn Walk, organised by the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom, has been responsible for teaching me (and many others) about the English & Welsh Martyrs, correcting my very sketchy impressions of the Reformation period provided by a Catholic education (what hope has your average schoolchild got when the Religion Section of the Millennium Dome Experience described the Reformation as "a time when Catholics and Protestants agreed to worship God differently"...??)
I've described the Walk HERE and HERE, and last year's post gave brief details of the route. Fr. Tim, who gives the final Benediction at Tyburn Convent, has also put up posts about the Walk HERE and HERE.
This really is too funny. The Suppository is continuing its campaign against blogs. The editorial board must really have managed to get its collective underwear in a twist after the negative reaction in the Blogosphere to its underhand little piece about Blackfen.
The Editorial in this week's issue starts off with a high moral tone: those nasty political bloggers causing problems for Number 10. Tut, tut! The editorial then goes on to explain that blogs "were invented in America, where they still thrive, particularly among the political and religious right wing."
The tone of astonishment here is rather amusing... The editorial then settles down to its main thrust... "In Britain, too, there are Catholic bloggers, again often right-wing, polemical and vituperative."
Then a note of hysteria can be detected in what follows... "The targets in this case often seem to include The Tablet, in some sort of fantastical conspiracy with the bishops."
Oh dear. The Suppository feels a little bit "got at" does it? I wonder why that might be? After all, until Elena Curti did her (badly written) hatchet piece on Fr. Finigan and the parish of Blackfen, the majority of bloggers outside the UK had never heard of the publication.
The only "conspiracy with the bishops" is the one which allows The Suppository to call itself a Catholic publication despite consistently attacking the Holy Father and continuing to dissent from Catholic teaching in matters regarding marriage, sexuality and contraception (among other things) without being called to account by those Bishops... in fact, so far is it from being called to account by the Hierarchy that this dreadful rag is even on sale in our Cathedrals...
Two sentences in particular had me laughing until the tears ran: "Generally, blogs are far from an idealised forum for an exchange of intelligent ideas that would be constructive. More often they indulge in straight poison-pen character assassination without reference to any requirements of accuracy or balance."
Pots. Kettles. 'Nuff said!
Friday 17 April 2009
Robert Mickens, the Rome correspondent of The Suppository, decided, last week, to indulge in a little petulant whining:
"...it is extraordinary that ordained ministers can find so much free time and energy to "feed a blog". Is it possible that they have no housebound, hospitalised or imprisoned parishioners in need of their presence and ministry? It is also extraordinary that their bishops allow this. But then again we are living in extraordinary times."
I know that The Suppository, like most tabletista-oriented organisations, hasn't quite caught up with the idea behind the whole interweb thingy... they expect people to pay to read their online drivel, for heaven's sake! But this comment from Mr. Mickens is really pretty pathetic...
Anyone who actually blogs knows that it doesn't take very long at all to type up a post or two. You only need one or two posts a day to keep the stats up. Obviously, one has to have something interesting to pass on, or at least something mildly amusing, or no-one will bother to read the blog. The content also has to be reasonably well-written: poor grammar and poor punctuation get pretty short shrift from fellow bloggers. There is a whole world of would-be sub-editors waiting to catch you out.
But the point about blogging is that it's a minor diversion: it isn't one's whole life. If it were, one would soon run out of anything original to write, and no-one wants to read a mere re-hash of what everyone else is saying.
As for Mr. Mickens bewailing the lack of ministry to housebound, hospitalised or imprisoned parishioners, well, it's obvious he's stuck in some sort of parallel universe. Very few people appreciate being called on unexpectedly, and visits before 9am or after 8pm would, in my estimation, probably be as welcome as a dose of 'flu. In a similar vein, hospital nurses are apt to get shirty with visitors outside the hours of 9:00am - 8:00pm unless the patient is actually in extremis. And, somehow, I suspect that prisons are not too keen on out-of-hours visitations...
...computers and the internet, on the other hand, actually work pretty well outside office hours, and if one is clever enough to have mobile broadband, they work pretty well just about anywhere.
The comment is rather obviously directed at our more high-profile priest-bloggers, so I strongly suspect that a few journalistic knuckles may have been rapped after the Blackfen blunder...
Thursday 16 April 2009
My electricians have very kindly offered to leave me alone for the remainder of my Easter holiday!! They will return next week, while I am safely at school...
Obviously my being present in the flat yesterday proved inconvenient... a bit like moving into a house before the builders have quite finished in order to keep their minds focussed. Definitely a tactical move of sheer brilliance on my part.
Either that, or they have another job somewhere else which has suddenly proved to be urgent.
I am rejoicing at the return of my flat and the (partial) restoration of my electricity supply. I can blog and make myself a cup of tea without having to unplug either the computer or the fridge.
Everything is a mess, and completely covered with plaster dust, but that is a small price to pay. It also means that I cannot even consider doing any housework for the remainder of my holiday. Such is life...
Wednesday 15 April 2009
I am beginning to wonder just how prophetic that Flanders & Swann song might turn out to be...
I had thought that they would start in one room and work their way around the flat, room by room, allowing me to maintain some semblance of normality, albeit without electricity for seven hours a day.
No such luck. I returned from Mass this morning to find furniture in every single room had been moved away from walls, and bits of wire and cable sticking out of holes in those walls. I will be better off: the single plug sockets with which the flat was furnished are being replaced with double sockets, reducing my dependence on extension leads. As the chief electrical chap said, three electrical sockets in the living room is just not practical in this day and age. And, as an added bonus, all the sockets will now have on/off switches (that might give you an idea of how necessary the work was!)
Unfortunately, it has left my flat looking like a bomb site. A thin layer of plaster dust has settled on everything, and the air is full of it... I put my mobile down on a table, picked it up an hour later and found that it was covered.
To be fair, the chaps are trying to leave the place tidy each evening, but it actually is more hassle moving the furniture back and forth each day: the less furniture they have to move, in my estimation, the faster the work will progress, so I've told them to leave it where it is. Similarly, the landlord provided dust sheets... but I think he was expecting the room-by-room approach as well. It's just not practical to cover everything in the flat.
Sylvester is really unhappy. He made rapid use of the cat-flap fairly early on in the proceedings, and came back once the workmen had gone for the day, but he's all unsettled and jumpy.
I have been left with two extension leads: one which is in the kitchen (with the fridge attached) and one which I am supposed to move round from room to room with me, which is how I'm able to blog now: the modem and the computer can both be plugged in.
I'm not quite sure what will happen tomorrow: apparently today was the "noisy" day for drilling and whatnot... and I am not sure how soon the plastering and redecorating will get done...
The Press Complaints Commission has, unsurprisingly enough, decided that the cartoon depicting Pope Benedict XVI with a condom on his head did not breach the Code of Practice.
Several people complained that the cartoon discriminated against the Catholic Church as a whole: this takes it out of the remit of the Code, as Clause 12 was designed to protect the rights of individuals. The Holy Father would have to complain personally before the PCC could investigate an alleged discriminatory reference to his religion.
So that's ok then. As Phil says, let's wait and see what happens when a cartoon of, say, the Prophet Mohammed is published...
Tuesday 14 April 2009
...I now feel ever so slightly pathetic. Here am I, grousing because I am without electricity for a short period each day, and Paul, from Beyond Brussels, has sent me a You Tube video, via Facebook, to cheer me up.
Why should this make me feel like a complete wimp? Well, Paul had a little accident involving a doorframe, Easter eggs and an excited youngster - I think the youngster is fine, but Paul managed to fracture his finger in a most spectacular fashion...
This means that typing anything at all must be pretty ghastly. So I shall try and be positive, and offer up my little inconveniences... and hope that the You Tube video isn't a prophecy...
I am not a particularly happy bunny...
I'm having to have my flat completely rewired. The landlord arranged it (something to do with safety certificates and insurance) and at first I thought it was a marvellous stroke of luck, because I was on holiday at home, and so it wouldn't interfere with work.
I was a bit slow on the uptake here, never having had a flat rewired before.
I am now realising that work on the electricity supply in the flat means that the electricity supply has to be switched off, unless one wants to have the inconvenience of clearing up fried electrician.
Microwave ovens use electricity. Unfortunately, so do electric cookers. Just as well that I went out for lunch.
Kettles also use electricity. No cups of tea or coffee.
No CDs. No radio. No DVDs.
Most importantly, no computer during the day.
So, no internet. No email. No blogs.
I'm not entirely sure I'll survive the rest of the week...
Monday 13 April 2009
This morning I bumped into some friends preparing to go for a family day out to Lullingstone Park. They advertised it in the parish, and so might be meeting up with other families - I do hope the weather improves for them. So far it is a typical Bank Holiday Monday: cold, and drizzly damp... not a proper downpour which would justify curling up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book, but a miserable dampness which seeps into one's bones...
I was particularly intrigued by the tandem bike which has an extension built on...
Sunday 12 April 2009
It is strange. I have only been attending Mass in the usus antiquior for a relatively short while, and we've only had the full Missa Cantata on Sundays for a year (we had the Novus Ordo readings for a short time, while people got accustomed to Mass in the Extraordinary Form), and I regularly attend the Novus Ordo too, but having the Triduum according to the usus recentior has been incredibly difficult.
For a start, it's so "wordy"!
It was quite a relief to attend the Extraordinary Form Mass this morning.
I'm not the only one who felt it: "Ahhh, yes, we're back to normal this morning," as one friend put it.
Jesus' Facebook page is doing the rounds by email. I thought it was rather amusing, and so saved it on Scribd so that I could share it...
UPDATE: In case you hadn't noticed, many of the names (which are bright blue) are actually links, and they really work, which is fun!!
Face Book Passion
Face Book Passion
Just back from the Easter Vigil (and a post-Baptism party!)
Yes, I know I should go to bed, but I couldn't resist putting up a post before Karen sends the boys round to find out why I haven't blogged anything. She's already in shock at getting her Good Friday photos up before I did...
The truth is that I didn't really take any photos... I'm sorry, but the Novus Ordo Mass is simply not as photogenic as the usus antiquior... and so, sadly, the phone camera was not switched on.
I did manage to take a photo of the Altar of Repose on Maundy Thursday...
I did try taking a photo of the Easter fire, but my phone camera just couldn't cope with the conditions. I may have to splash out on a super-dooper digital camera some time, but not just yet.
Fr. Tim's sermon for the Vigil Mass was excellent, focussing on the role of St. Mary Magdalene. She was always one of my favourite saints, but I hated the fact that she was hijacked by Dan Brown for his ghastly fantasy, and then appropriated on the back of the novel by anyone who wanted to push for women priests. Anyway, the sermon really redressed the balance, and I hope that Fr. Tim will publish it on his blog soon.