Friday, May 30, 2008

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

Today is the great Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of the Clergy. I was once told by one of my parishioners that she thought very few parishioners actually prayed for their priests. I don't know whether that is true or not, but it might explain why so many priests get into trouble (apart from the fact that they are not praying themselves). Please pray for us today - and every day - God knows we need it!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Clinton goes from strength to strength

Senator Clinton speaks a few well chosen words.

Words of Wisdom

Two good quotes from recent reading:

"The most fundamental division within the Church at present is between those for whom the traditions still do possess vitality, although they may sometimes take newer forms, and those who regard the Catholic past as largely irrelevant and even pernicious. The latter group, who often enough do not see the fullest implications of their own attitudes, have had disproportionate influence, intellectually, in the process of 'reform'. Consciously or otherwise their goals with respect to the Church are often suicidal."

James Hitchcock - 'Years of Crisis, Collected Essays, 1970 -1983.'

"The parish, the living cell of the Church, must also really be a place of inspiration, life, and solidarity that helps people build centers in the periphery.......wherever the Eucharist is celebrated, wherever the Tabernacle stands, there is Christ; hence, there is the center."

Pope Benedict XVI - Meeting with Young People, Loreto, 2007.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Flying Owl

The Owl will be on his travels again at the end of June; I have been appointed Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Stowe and St. John's Parish in Johnson. The Lord has given many blessings during the year here in the North of Vermont, I am grateful to all my parishioners for their support. I pray my ministry in the tourist centre of Vermont (Stowe is a year-round vacation resort) will be filled with blessings - I don't think I can go wrong with a parish dedicated to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament - announcing the move on the Feast of Corpus Christi!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Island of the World

Michael D. O'Brien

Just finished Michael D. O'Brien's huge new novel 'Island of the World' - two plane journey's help with an 800 + page book! It is a truly remarkable novel - it is really the story of a soul, encompassing the life of one Croatian man who lives through the horrors of the Second World War, Communism and finally the false peace we now live in. O'Brien is a very interesting man - he is, as Ronald Knox said in his panygeric for Belloc, such a man who sees "the evils of our time in a clear light." Looking at his website, he speaks and writes eloquently and with great passion - he is an artist and a novelist. He also clearly believes we are living in, if not the end times, times dangerously close. He, along with Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict (he keeps good company!), sees the great danger of the apathy of the Christian West as consumerism and materialism prepare the way for the tyranny of the dictatorship of relativism. As Great Britain just passed laws allowing the creation of human/animal hybrids, denied the role of fathers and continued to allow the murder of babies, even though the chattering classes, both outside and inside the Church, will roll their eyes and sigh at all this apocalyptic nonsense, a quote from Pope St. Pius X comes to hand: "In our times more than ever before the greatest asset of the evilly disposed is the cowardice and weakness of good men, and all the vigour of Satan's reign is due to the easygoing weakness of Catholics." We could add: the "easygoing weakness of Catholics" - Bishops, priests - and people.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

FA Cup

I was able to see the FA Cup live for the first time in nine years - a wonderful win for the English team, Portsmouth. Tomorrow we celebrate the 'special' birthday, after Mass in South Ashford. Father John, the blogger from South Ashford, has decided that his blog should die - visit it and urge him, like Lazarus, to emerge from the tomb - tell him that you miss him!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Garden of England

Home for a brief visit in honour of my Mother's 'special' birthday ( not allowed to say how old except the biblical "three-score and ten" may apply!) Kent is looking absolutely wonderful, extremely green and fecund. However, given the poor exchange rate, prices are about double what they are in the USA - for all the complaints about gas prices at nearly $4.00 - try $9.00 a gallon! Will sup tomorrow with fellow blogger and friend,South Ashford Priest, Father John Boyle.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


One of my favourite images.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Senator Clinton Vows to Fight On

Senator Clinton speaking in West Virginia today.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Our Lady St. Mary's Month

"Spring's universal bliss/

Much, had much to say/

To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple/

Bloom lights the orchard apple/

And thicket and thorp are merry/

With silver-surfed cherry/

And azuring-over greybell makes/

Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes/

And magic cuckoocall/

Caps, clears, and clinches all -/

This ecstasy all through mothering earth/

Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth/

To remember and exultation/

In God who was her salvation."

Gerard Manley Hopkins - 'May Magnificat.'

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Exhausted Project

Check out a fascinating article at Time Magazine online - entitled "Is Liberal Catholicism Dead?"

The premise is that the baby-boomers were running out of steam until the sex-abuse crisis gave them a new rallying cry for Church reform. However, the writer states, quoting, among others, a Commonweal theologian, that Pope Benedict's visit has completely changed the dynamic. He also writes about the "looming demographic tsunami" of the Millennial generation, who do not have the "baggage" of the post-Vatican II generation. It is not all music to conservative ears, but it is a confirmation of what Cardinal Francis George so famously said a few years ago, that liberal Catholicism was an "exhausted project," because it had failed to give life - in marriage, vocations and religious life. Pope Benedict's call for unity and the healing of divisions in the Church here in the United States is going to be one of the great challenges of the next few years, and, in my opinion, that will only come when people stop regarding the institutional Church as the enemy: if the Church is the enemy, who is a friend?