Saturday, May 12, 2007

Catholic Places

Fr. Dwight has asked for a list of favourite Catholic places in England. He says we can't include anything that was "nicked by the Anglicans!" I'm going to disobey him on that one - they are only holding these places temporarily and, if it is a question of a place sanctified by the martyrdom of a saint - or even with a saint's body still present - it is STILL holy - despite the new landlord.
1. The Martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. If you can find a brief moment when the hordes of Japanese tourists and French schoolchildren depart, a little prayer at the actual site of the martyrdom of one of England's greatest Saints is very powerful. I go every year when I am at home.
2. The Chapel of the Benedictine Nuns at Minster Abbey. The oldest inhabited Benedictine convent in Britain, at Minster on the Isle of Thanet, is a very special place. I used to regularly make my retreat there when I was training for the priesthood and after I was ordained. They are a delightful community of real nuns, and there is a powerful sense of history in the place, even though the Chapel is new.
3. The Blessed Sacrament Chapel in Westminster Cathedral. An oasis of prayer in the heart of London.
4. Tyburn Convent. The English Martyrs - need I say more?
5. St. Dunstan's Church in Canterbury - for one reason, and one reason alone: knowing that under your feet, in the Roper vault, is the head of St. Thomas More - come in and pray to England's second greatest canonized Lord Chancellor!


Mac McLernon said...

errr..., sorry for my ignorance, but if St Thiomas More is the second-greatest canonised Lord Chancellor, who is the greatest?

the owl of the remove said...

St. Thomas Becket! He was Lord Chancellor before he was the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker said...

The Two Toms