Saturday, November 18, 2006

Today's Wedding

Congratulations to Naomi Bull and Andrew Greenwood who were married today in a splendid ceremony at the Holy Ghost. Here they are photographed signing the register. their mothers, in the background, were the witnesses. Music for the ceremony was provided by Jeremy de Satge and members of his schola Cantamus.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Back from Ireland

I flew back from Dublin airport on Wednesday evening having been at a priests' conference in Meath since Monday. I was invited over to speak on Fostering Vocations in Today's Culture. It was a good meeting and was well-attended. I met a number of interesting people over there including the Bishop of Meath and Fr Vincent Toomey, former professor at Maynooth, the Irish seminary, and personal friend and ex-student of the present Holy Father.
I travelled with Ryanair and was impressed by its efficiency. We were a bit late leaving Gatwick, but that was nothing to do with the airline. On the return journey everything from check-in to arrival went smoothly and efficiently.

Richard Dawkins meets his match

Richard Dawkins continues his personal crusade against religion in his latest book. Recently, however, he met his match in a debate on Irish Radio with the philosopher David Quinn. I have transcripts of the debate but they are too long to put on this blog. You can, however, hear it for yourself by clicking this link. Once there, scroll down to Monday 9th October to hear the programme in question. The debate is from minutes 8-25 or so of the 59 minute programme.

Mongeham & Sandwich

On Saturday I was giving a Day of Recollection to the Folkestone Deanery. The theme was Vocation and about thirty people attended. The photo is of two young lads who served on the day. The Catholic Church in Mongeham is very interesting. It is quite small but a lot of care has gone into its design. Many of its early parishioners worked in the local coal mine (there were about five coal fields in Kent) and the Sanctuary Light is converted from an old miner's Davey Lamp.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fr Benedict Visits Balham

On Thursday evening we were very pleased to welcome Fr Benedict Groeschel to the parish. During an Evening of Recollection Fr Benedict spoke to a packed Church about the 'Spirituality of Pope Benedict XVI'. He spoke with his usual candour and good humour. If you weren't there you missed a real treat!
Fr Benedict was very badly injured in a car accident some years ago and has only recently resumed his weekly television show on EWTN, so we were exceptionally lucky that he came to Balham. It was a great grace to have him here.

One of the impressive things about the evening was the sheer number of young people who turned out to meet him, as you can see in this photo. During his inaugural Mass Pope Benedict said that one of the legacies of Pope John Paul II was a more youthful Church. Fr Benedict speaks of the "John Paul Generation". We certainly saw them present this evening.

After Benediction Fr Benedict met people as they left the Church and then went into the school hall to talk to more people while coffee and tea were being served. We'd like to thank all those who helped out in various way and contributed to making this evening such a significant one in the history of our parish. Fr Benedict was greatly impressed by our parish. As he said when he walked into the Church his first thought was, "Thank God! A CATHOLIC Church!".