Saturday 20 November 2010

Confirmations At Spanish Place...

I made it to the Latin Mass Society's Confirmation service at St. James' Church, Spanish Place, but, due to the closure of the Blackfriars' underpass, I was rather late. Still, I got to see a good bit of it, and was able to get some photos, though not many.

Bishop George Stack administered the Sacrament of Confirmation according to the usus antiquior... I have to say that I find St. James' to be a very appropriate setting - lots of altars around the church, and gilded statues and votive candle stands... a feast for the senses! The interior is rather dark - they could probably do with more candles - but it just adds to the atmosphere. I did wonder whether any of my photos would come out - I don't use a flash during Masses or other church services, as I feel it is too intrusive. However, my trusty little camera didn't let me down, and, although I had to run the photos through Photoshop to lighten them a bit, the results were quite beautiful IMHO!

The music at the service was beautiful... once again, I found myself wishing that I'd had singing lessons when I was younger. The acoustics in the church are really spine-tinglingly good...

Having spotted the post by His Hermeneuticalness yesterday, I was aware that the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer (previously known as the Transalpine Redemptorists) were bringing a postulant along to be confirmed, and that Fr. Anthony Mary was planning to say Mass after the service. I spotted one of the brothers among the congregation - he had a very snazzy camera - and promptly went over at the end of the service to find out where the Mass was going to be held.

The Mass quite took my breath away. I had been warned that Communion might not be given out - it was a private Mass - but I was keen to hear Mass anyway, and, as it happened, Communion was given out after all. The Lady Chapel was beautiful and the whole atmosphere intensely prayerful.

There were only a few people present for Mass - maybe because people didn't know about it (sadly, not everyone reads blogs!) I was interested to discover that the Reluctant Sinner had been among those present - but I can't figure out which one! After Mass I went down to the Crypt for a cup of tea - I hadn't planned to go down, but I was chatting to a couple of the brothers, and I figured that the vast majority of people would have left already (I'm not that good in crowds while on the crutches.) It also gave me the opportunity to take a photo of the brothers and Fr. Anthony Mary, FSSR. I was flattered to find out that they knew of my blog, and even got round to reading it on occasion! I was presented with a copy of the Calendar - and it really is beautiful. Advance copies can be obtained for £7 on Ebay, or via their blog.

I can heartily recommend subscribing to their paper - The Catholic Newspaper - which is an excellent read! The subscription button (it's a PayPal link) is in the sidebar on the left hand side of the blog, just above the live traffic feed. The brothers were truly wonderful men, full of joy and faith, and it was a real privilege to be able to meet them (after all, my chances of going over to Papa Stronsay for a retreat weekend are pretty slim...!)

As I left, I encountered Moira (whose blog I plugged in a previous post) and then I bumped into Fr. Armand de Malleray, FSSP... I'd never met him before, despite hearing so much about him, so it was fun to put a face to the name. It's also quite handy, as I shall be going to visit my sister over Christmas, and, since she lives in Pangbourne, I shall have to sort out a Mass to attend for the Sunday. It'll be a treat to go to the FSSP church (and means that I don't need to worry about encountering any happy-clappy liturgy to sour my Christmas spirit...) After I had bemoaned the fact that my sister isn't practicing the Faith, Fr. de Malleray advised me to pray to Blessed Dominic Barberi... as well as receiving Blessed Cardinal Newman into the Church, he also died in a train at Pangbourne Station...

All in all, a wonderful day...

Before The Spin Goes Global...

No, the Holy Father did not say that using condoms was ok in the case of HIV infection. His comments really do need to be read in context. The Curt Jester has an excellent analysis of what has been published in an excerpt from the book interview... and he has also explained why it's not being reported properly...

Interestingly, Jeff refers to this as the Ginger Factor: no, not a variant on blonde jokes, but a reference to Ginger the dog (in the Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson) who only hears his own name... it's the ratio of words said to words heard and understood...

A New Catholic Blog To Check...

I attended the Confirmations at St. James' Church, Spanish Place earlier today (I promise to post something later.)

As I left the hall, I bumped into a woman who had spotted me taking photos, and, putting two and two together, decided that I must be "that Mulier Fortis."

Most gratifying!

Anyway, Moira happened to mention that she was starting her own blog, while claiming that it wasn't worth reading yet, because it was just a bit of a rant... Au contraire - having checked it out for myself, I think it shows great promise... and anyway, my own blog started because I wanted to rant about inclusive language. There is nothing wrong with a good rant.

Have a look for yourself - Moira's blog is called On a Wing and a Prayer... and tell her I sent you!

Oh, and congratulations to one of her sons, who was confirmed earlier.

Friday 19 November 2010

Writing Style (Or Lack Thereof...)

I write like
James Joyce
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I tried quite a few blog posts, and a fair chunk of the book chapter I wrote on St. Anne Line, and I got the same result. I don't know if this is good or bad - I have never read any of his work. At least I can feel smugly superior to the Pastor in Valle - he apparently writes like Dan Brown. Shame indeed... though, of course, Dan Brown earns a lot more than James Joyce ever did...

Interesting Advice...

A lot has been said about the need for reform of the libel laws in England. If you haven't signed the petition, do so as soon as possible.

It is worth noting that, no matter where your blog is based, or where you (or your claimant) happen to live, if your blog is read in England, then you can be sued under English law. There is now some information on what to do if you receive a letter threatening libel action. It isn't much, but it is a start.

If you missed the relevant posts, go back and read Red Maria (she has three posts which link to several other blog posts on the issue - 1. Catholic Bloggers for Libel Reform - Fight for Free Speech; 2. Catholic Bloggers for Libel Reform & 3. The Catholic Blogosphere Demands Libel Reform.)

Normal Service Recommencing...

Yes, I have had rather a lot of cat posts of late. However, as even His Hermeneuticalness has admitted, cats have featured rather prominently in my life over the past few weeks, so it is hardly surprising that I have written plenty about my feline friends.

Now, however, I shall endeavour to restrict the kitty-stuff. This is, after all, meant to be a Catholic blog, not a cat-o-holic blog. Sorry, Genty.

One major exception to this rule will be a re-run of the feline orthodoxy test for Catholic publications - the im-purr-matur - this time between the Catholic Herald and The Suppository.

I don't know when I'll be able to run the test, though, as I refuse, as a matter of principle, to purchase a copy of the latter publication, and will therefore have to wait for someone to donate one. I don't actually know any friends who read a print copy, so it might be a long wait...

Involve The Laity...!

Isn't that what every Bishop in England & Wales claims to want? An informed and involved laity? Is it not the constant refrain that Vatican II was all about empowering the laity and getting on with collaborative ministry?

Well, how about their Lordships putting their money where their collective mouth is.

Transparency and accountability are the latest buzzwords, or so I'm reliably informed. It is about time that the laity in England & Wales got to hear what their Bishops are pondering... and not just after the event.

The Bishops' Conference of England & Wales is currently meeting in Leeds. I must have blinked, because I only found out that they were meeting because of the comparison with the U.S. Bishops' Conference - they have had their meetings, votes, discussions and what-have-you openly broadcast on TV, live-tweeted, blogged and sent round the internet.

Now, the proceedings of the Bishops' Conference might possibly be as exciting as watching paint dry... but we really ought to know what is being discussed. It will affect us, the laity. I suspect that quite a few priests might like to know what is being discussed as well... certainly Fr. Ray Blake thinks it would be a good idea to have more transparency.

I want to know what the Bishops are doing with regard to the new translation of the Missal, among other things.

If their Lordships really want an empowered laity, and want to engage in collaborative ministry, they need to provide information to the laity so they can be involved in discussions when it actually matters, not just after the event, when the decisions have been made. Knowledge is power, as the saying goes.

Time to get round the table and share...

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Uh Oh...

Outright hostilities appear to have ceased, mainly because the two kittens have set up a coalition to defeat my toes. Skirmishes are still in evidence, however, and the two of them are currently charging around the flat after each other.

I fully expect to find the flat trashed in the morning. That is assuming they allow me to sleep...

Thanks for the prayers.

Monday 15 November 2010

The Need For Free Speech...

I have been neglecting the blog of late, apart from a few kitty-updates, and so haven't posted anything on this subject sooner - though I did talk to a few people.

However, I just want to add my support for the petition to reform the libel laws in England. I'm not going to say anything more about it - it's been said already, and far more eloquently, by Red Maria, (she's written two other posts on the subject) James PreeceFr. Finigan and others.

If you haven't done so already, go and sign the petition...

Sunday 14 November 2010

Kitty Capers...

I'm still unable to name my new arrival - T.S. Eliot really did have a point - and, checking the com-box of my previous post, I see a few possibilities...

Monsignor Guido Miaowrini
Cardinal Miaowro Piacenza
Sister Cat E Chism (or Kitty Chism)
Cardinale Miaowrini Timorous (or Miaowrini Timorpus)
Sister Carmel
Mother Angeliclaw
Mother Catbrini
Mother Priorpuss
Mother Superipaw
Sister Cat
Cardinal Pawtoghese
Cardinal Grotti

Several people have commented favourably on Monsignor Miaowrini, but I'm not sure it suits her. I shall wait to see if I get a few more suggestions.

By the way, it appears that she is a keen mouser...

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