Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Antonio the Olive Tree
Time for another picture of my favourite tree in my Mother's garden: Antonio the Olive Tree. I have been spending a quiet time with my Mother and family, catching up with my sister,nephew, niece, a cousin, my Uncle and, at the weekend, my brother. I took the advice of various folks and have not rushed about, mainly due to intense weariness. However, yesterday I had a very enjoyable study day with some priests in Clapham. Together with my friend Father John Boyle, formerly the infamous blogger 'South Ashford Priest,' the notorious 'Hermeneutic of Continuity,' and about 25 other priests, mainly from the Archdiocese of Southwark, but including some FSSP priests, an Opus Dei priest and some brethren from the Diocese of Brentwood, we had a wonderful talk for the "Year for Priests" from Father Anthony Doe, of the Archdiocese of Westminster. This initiative was most impressive; a group of priests, led by our generous host, Fr. Chris Basden, organizing their own ongoing formation, and gathering both for intellectual and spiritual input and priestly fraternity. Although some of the brethren seemed to have rather rose-tinted spectacles about how wonderful everything is in the Church in the good old US of A, I think this gathering was a sign of good things happening in the Archdiocese of Southwark. On Friday, my Mother and Father John will accompany me on a little pilgrimage to West Grinstead, to the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation, where we will celebrate Mass in the secret Chapel used by the hunted priests during the previous Elizabethan persecution of the Church (another one is coming) and venerate the tomb of Hilaire Belloc.