Monday, July 28, 2008


Please visit Father John's blog - South Ashford Priest - and leave a comment - "put the hat on" - he'll know what you mean - it was a condition of his birthday gift from Gammarelli's that he wear it -- on the blog!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

St. Sharbel's Feast

Interested readers will be glad to know that there were no fleas to greet me in my new Rectory (which is a flat or apartment, as they say over here). The first weekend went well, people were very kind and welcoming. It is quite unusual to be in a parish where 80% of the congregation at any Mass are visitors - Stowe is now an all-year tourist destination. I am still climbing over boxes - and I know where my alb is! I'm wondering what I will lose this time? Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Sharbel Maklouf, the great hermit of Lebanon and the patron of my birth - yes, the Owl is 45 tomorrow in earth years! I will be attending the blessing of a Well dedicated to St. Sharbel and then, I hope, be entertained royally, as befits someone of my advanced years and wisdom.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bidding Adieu

I fly back to Vermont tomorrow - leaving home for......? It was a great joy to see family and friends - now the new ministry in the new parish begins - prayers appreciated.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On Eulogies

The new Archbishop of New York

The next (projected) Archbishop of New York, the sainted Pastor of Park Avenue, has sent me quite the finest article I have ever seen on the hypocrisy of the modern eulogy at the Catholic Mass - check out Crisis Magazine online - November 1997 issue.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Prayer for the Beatification of Venerable Servant of God, Antonietta Meo

O God, Father of the humble, we thank you because in Antonietta Meo (Nennolina) you gave us a living image of your Love and your Wisdom, revealed to the meek. You, who gave her the grace to be joined to the Cross of the Lord Jesus and to suffer with fortitude and joy, make her glorious also at this time on earth, that she may be for all a shining example of faithfulness to the Gospel. Grant us her same simple love that burned for the Eucharist and the Church; come to us in our poverty and, by her intercession, according to your Holy Will, give us the grace which, with trust, we ask You. Amen. (Pater, Ave, Gloria)

"Dear Jesus, I love you so much, dear Jesus, I want to abandon myself in your me with your grace, help me, because without your grace I can do nothing." (from the letters of 'Nennolina,' aged six.)

Headquarters of the Cause : Basilica S. Croce in Gerusalemme, Piazza S. Croce in Gerusalemme, 12 - 00185 Rome - Italy

(With Ecclesiastical approval.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Roman Pilgrimage

The Maternal Presence and I returned from Rome last night, after an exhausting overnight train ride from Rome to Paris, which included the joy of the train breaking down in Switzerland, getting into Paris 5 hours late, missing our Eurostar and waiting an hour for a taxi! Still, they say pilgrimages are meant to be a bit of a strain! Rome was wonderful, extremely hot, but we paced ourselves. We stayed at the magnificent Residenza Paolo VI (photo at the top) where, from the roof terrace you can look directly into the Holy Office. With binoculars, I managed to see on the desk of the Prefect, Cardinal Levada, the document officially condemning a whole list of 'AmChurch' horrors. Actually, we could see that the decorators were in: I wonder if that means a change of hands come the end of the Summer holidays? The line into St. Peter's was nothing like as bad as two years ago, when it circled the Square two times. One could actually walk in around 5.00pm with no wait! We had a beautiful visit to Santa Croce, where Brother Ryan, an American member of the Cistercian community, kindly showed us around, through the good offices of Father Mark at Vultus Christi. We prayed especially at the tomb of 'Nennolina,' the little six year old who is soon to be beatified. Her tomb seems to be becoming a real centre of devotion - a large group of Italian school children were praying as we left. Other than that - the Pauline Year visit to St. Paul's Outside the Walls (Plenary Indulgence gained) - some very enjoyable meals - and the new parish placed in the hands of the Prince of the Apostles!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Jubilee Day

Today I had the great joy of celebrating the Golden Jubilee Mass for two Sisters of the Assumption, my Aunt, Sister Mary Simon of the Word of God and Sister Katherine Anne of Jesus. Together they were celebrating 100 years of vowed commitment to Christ; promise-keeping in a world of promise breaking. I had the great pleasure of meeting, after the Mass, Sister John Mary, who is the great-niece of my hero, Hilaire Belloc. Tomorrow we are off to Rome, travelling by train - Eurostar to Paris, then Paris to Rome overnight. All prayers appreciated - and prayers will be offered for all my good readers - it's going to be hot - 91F!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I arrived last night after a delayed flight from Montreal - heavy rain and thunder. I am back in the Garden of England, enjoying a little rest. The last week in the parish was very exhausting - three funerals, moving all my stuff to Stowe, a diocesan meeting and then flying home! Once again, I will sup with fellow blogger and friend Father John Boyle, otherwise known as South Ashford Priest, on Wednesday night. We leave for Rome by train on Sunday - back on Friday. We will be staying at the Paul VI Residence, which is literally next to St. Peter's Square. I will put my new parish into the hands of the Prince of the Apostles - also we will make the Pauline Year pilgrimage to St. Paul's Outside the Walls -I think a plenary indulgence is on the cards! Other than that, we have a few particular favourite Churches we like - Sopra Minerva, Santa Croce and I want to try and get into the Chapel at the English College - I have never been able to before. We also have a particular little restaurant in Trastevere, in one of the back streets, that we are very fond of - specializing in boar (that's not roasted 70's liturgist, that would be 'boor' and 'bore,'- but wild boar!)