Showing posts from October, 2013

Let's Get a Christian #1 For Christmas!

Fr. Martin Boland is suggesting a Christian Coup this Christmas. What about getting a medieval hymn sung in Latin to the Christmas number one spot...oh, and it's being sung by one of the great groups of the 80's?

Time to slyly use the culture around us, subvert it and make Christ the talking point of this Christmas. Get on line and download it now, and spread the message! We're taking Christmas for Christ this year.

Turbulent Times at Maryvale

Like many it seems, I was shocked and saddened to hear the news that Dr. Petroc Willey, acting director of Maryvale since the departure due to ill health of Mgr. Paul Watson, has tendered his resignation.

There is a lot of publicity and talk surrounding the news, it has even been picked up by the Telegraph. Damian Thompson voices the concerns of many people when he asks "What's going on?"

What is it that makes someone so talented, someone who has dedicated so much of his life to Catholic education, resign from his position?

Maryvale is very dear to my heart. It is an extraordinary place which provides educational opportunities, through its distance learning programme, that allows for a level of education many would otherwise struggle to attain. It is also thoroughly Catholic, joyfully spreading the faith in a faithful, intellectual way.

Now you would think this is an excellent thing that should be embraced and encouraged, and you would be right. What is shocking, and ha…

A Pilgrimage West—The Way of the Cross

About 19:00 hours on Sunday night, "Team Lambert" fell-in to battle formations and headed into the eye of the promised apocalyptic storm. We were heading West, far West, As West as it gets. We were heading home to Mayo.

Unusually, we haven't made it back over for about 12 months, so this trip feels long overdue, and it is always an emotional experience to be here.

One of the first things we always do is rush down to the family grave where Ruth's ashes are interred. Lou really feels drawn here and coming to the grave is a real need.

For me, it does not make me feel closer to Ruth. It is somewhere peaceful, with long association with my family, where I can pray and think about Ruth. I always think about her a lot, but on family holidays it is always particularly difficult, because you feel that she should be here and yet she is not. You feel a gaping hole inside and you know that you can't plug it. You will never be able to plug it.

Seeing the grave and looking ou…

Southend Catenians Enjoy a Master Class on Faith & the Ordinariate

Last Thursday was the 1189th Circle Meeting of the 19th Circle of Catenians ~ Southend-on-Sea, of which I am proud to be a member.

We had a great night commencing with a fraternal meeting where we joined together in prayer for our brotherhood, community, and friends and family. This was followed by a lovely meal with an opportunity for great chat from gentlemen from all different walks of life, and topped off by the presence of two visiting priests.

Fr. Aloysius Kpiebaya (don't ask me how to pronounce that—Fr. Alo seemed to suffice) is from Ghana. He is covering at Rayleigh Parish at the moment while Fr. Martin is on holiday.

Introduction by Brother David Micklewright to Father Aloysius Kpiebaya

Father Aloysius cares for a group of orphans food, accommodation, and education. In order to carry out this ministry, he has to rely on small amounts of funding received from England, as he has no money of his own.

The parishioners in the area are extremely poor, and are not able to put m…

Pope Francis' First Bishops

Yesterday, Pope Francis ordained his first two bishops of his pontificate.

At a Mass at St. Peter's, he ordained French Bishop Jean-Marie Speich, the new apostolic nuncio to Ghana, and Italian Bishop Giampiero Gloder, president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the Vatican school for diplomats. Gloder is a 55-year-old Italian priest appointed as president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy a month ago, and Speich, 58, Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana since August.

Rome Reports has this video:

A Royal Baptism

Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Jn 3:5-6

There has been a lot of reporting of the Royal Baptism this week. I have to say my first thoughts were purely spiritual ones: thank God! Thank God that Prince George has been Baptised, that he has entered through "the door of the Church".
Some have suggested that the BBC, which seems increasingly over-run with secularists, has been criticised for not covering the event, and indeed, seems determined to diminish the event in whatever way possible. "Christening", as they are intent on referring to the Sacrament as, has changed. Many fewer people are bothering with it at all, those that do have many more God Parents. Reluctant to relinquish all vestiges of Church tradition despite their rejection of God, the British Humanist Association reports that "naming ceremo…

Co. Cork Powerfully Shows it's Love for St. Anthony

RTE News reports that hundreds of people queued in the rain outside Holy Trinity Church in Cork on Sunday, to venerate the relics of St Anthony of Padua.

Just one more example of the extraordinary strength of the faith and Catholicity of Irish Catholics--very powerful witness! I think this demonstrates, as I have stated previously, the deep rooted faith of the Irish people, which desperately needs nourishing, after the scandals of recent years. I often find myself discussing (as indeed I did earlier today) how and why so many Catholic devotions seem to have declined over recent years. Many of the practices I remember from my own childhood are alien to youngsters today. You rarely see a holy picture, or hear of a family praying the Rosary together. Even grace before and after meals is infrequently observed. Outpourings of faith like this one in Cork demonstrate the hunger for these and other Catholic devotions which provide simple little ways for us all to show our love for God.

The c…

Addressing Atheism—Jonathan Sacks: The Great Partnership

In January 2009 the British Humanist Association paid for an advertisement to be carried on the side of London buses as above. Perhaps the biggest consequence of this action is that it seems to have been the catalyst for the former Chief Rabbi, Dr. Jonathan Sacks to write an extraordinary book: The Great Partnership. It is for this reason that I will be eternally grateful to them.

Sacks seems to have been incensed by the poor logic of the statement "because it raised the greatest of all existential choices: How shall we live our lives? By probability? Or by possibility?" (p. 267).

Lord Sacks was Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from September 1991 until this year. He was educated at Cambridge where he obtained first class honours in philosophy. He went on to gain a PH.D in 1981 and rabbinic ordination from Jews' College and Yeshiva Etz Chaim. He also holds 14 honorary degrees including a Doctor of Divinity conferred by the Archbishop of…

Violence in the Bible

This Sunday, (29th in Ordinary Time, year C) the first reading is about the Israelites conflict with the Amalekites. In a new video, Fr. Robert Barron addresses the claims of the New Atheists (Dawkins, Hitchens, et al) that the God of the Bible is a dreadful entity because of the violence in the Old Testament, which seems so out of step with the God of the New Testament.

Of course, this is not a new problem in the Church. The Marcionites, founded in 144 AD, thought that there were two gods, the horrible god of the OT and the cuddly god of the NT and they jettisoned the OT from their Canon of Scripture. They taught that Christ was not the Son of the God of the Jews, but the Son of the good God, who was different from the God of the Ancient Covenant. They anticipated the more consistent dualism of Manichaeism and were finally absorbed by it (both were condemned as heresy of course).

Fr. Robert here states that if you read the Bible in such a way that you think violence is OK you have ip…

Sing Joyfully to the LORD!

This is a great homily from Fr. John Hollowell about the role that music plays in Mass.

Mass, he says is not about eliciting an emotional reaction. It isn't just about seeking to make us feel a certain way. This speaks to the 'emotionalism' which is a product of the 'Spirit of Vatican II' attitude: religion should make us 'feel nice'. No. Rubbish. Mass is an encounter with Our LORD and the music at Mass should stir our minds and souls with faith and give praise to Him.

If we add music to elicit an emotional response, we hi-jack the Mass and we fail in the mind of the Church, turning the Mass into a commercial enterprise in order to elicit an emotional response. In other words, the act of worship, which should be ordered to God, becomes an act of self adulation, where we become focused on ourselves and our own cleverness.

H/T Creative Minority Report

A Journey to England's Nazareth

The fourth annual pilgrimage by the Latin Mass Society to the ancient English shrine of Walsingham took place over three days in August 2013. Around ninety people took part in the 55-mile walk, with Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form each day, and traditional Catholic devotions along the way.

This video is well worth watching as it presents a valuable insight into the friendship, beautiful liturgy, and the Catholic fellowship that abounds at such events.

A Journey to England's Nazareth: The LMS Walking Pilgrimage from Ely to Walsingham from LMS on Vimeo.

Nuns and Vocations

I love Catholic Memes, whoever is behind it is brilliant and, I think, really uses social media to spread the Gospel with witty, intelligent. 'memes', and also, perhaps most importantly, to get us thinking and talking about our faith.

OK so you might not agree with everything they post, but you can't argue that it's failing to engage people, with literally thousands of 'likes' and hundreds of 'shares' on each 'meme' they post on Facebook.

A meme is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures. In this context (i.e. Catholic Memes), the memes are a picture with some quip or fact.

The Devil is in the detail

Recently, Pope Francis spoke at morning Mass about the devil. This is something you probably won't find reported on mass media, it is really disquieting that the head of 1.1 billion Catholics, a man of science, a man with such a wealth of experience, a man with such an inspirational, humble, way about him, should believe in the reality of evil spirits. Here's the homily:

Pope Francis brilliantly preaches on an important topic. It is a topic to which he seems often pressed to return: the reality of the enemy, and the necessity of resisting him. Really important things to take to heart, here, things we need to think about.

I posted the video on my Facebook page and it sparked off a rather valuable theological discussion.
There is no doubt that the devil is a bit of a touchy subject in modernity, and I think it would be fair to say that we have quite limited knowledge about that sort of thing. It is interesting to note, however, that every culture in human history has believed in…

Cardinal Bertone: Parting Comments

CNS carries the story of the exit of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who has been the Vatican secretary of state. What struck me about his speech was his stress on the continuity between the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI and its continuity with that of Pope Francis.
"What stirred our passion with Pope Benedict XVI was to see the church understand itself deeply as a communion, and at the same time speak to the world, to the heart and to the intelligence of all with clarity of doctrine and a high level of thought," the Cardinal said. The retired pope "suffered greatly on account of the ills that plagued the church, and for this reason he gave her new legislation in order to strike out decisively the shameful phenomenon of pedophilia among the clergy, without forgetting the initiation of new rules in economic and administrative matters," he said."I see today in Pope Francis not so much a revolution but a continuity with Pope Benedict XVI even with their differences…