Friday, March 02, 2007

Wednesday & Thursday this Week

On Wednesday this week I celebrated the 6.45am Mass and then got things together for a trip to St. Andrew's University in Scotland where I was to address the Catholic Scoiety on the topic of vocations. I had been given the rather cumbersome title of "Where have all the vocations gone and how do we get them back?"

I flew from Gatwick to Edinburgh coincidentally meeting a parishioner as we boarded. From Edinburgh I took the train to Leuchars where I was met by Jamie, the president of the Catholic Society and Chris, from Boston, who kindly gave me a lift into town in his car.

The chaplain of the Catholic Society is also the parish priest. He was away attending the deanery Lenten Station Mass so I was asked to celebrate the Wednesday evening 7.30pm Mass in the chaplaincy. It was good to see the chapel, which can take fifty people, pretty well full. There were people from the parish there but I'd say that the majority of those present were students.

After Mass we had the meeting of the Canmore Society. After the talk there were questions and then the chance for a cup of tea before we retired to a local watering house for something more refreshing.
It was a good trip and I enjoyed myself very much. I was pleased to meet such an impressive number of students and find that some of them are indeed thinking about priesthood and religious life.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Recent Publications

Vocations News
From time to time I produce a newsletter with information about what's been happening vocationswise in the Archdiocese. It began as a newsletter for priests to encourage them to be positive and pro-active about promoting vocations. After many requests we decided to produce it also for parishes. Currently we print about ten thousand which is roughly ten percent of our Mass going population in the diocese. We've not produced a Vocations News for a while and so our latest is a 'bumper edition' running to eight pages with all sorts of interesting news articles.
You may have seen some copies at the back of the Church.

Lenten Reading
Also at the back of the Church there are copies of Walk with Me and My Day by Day for sale. Walk with Me contains prayers and reflections for every day of the week during Lent. My Day by Day contains the daily scripture readings.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Tomorrow, Monday, there will be another meeting of our fledgling Catenian Circle. The Catenians are a group of Catholic men who meet regularly to support each other with their friendship. We live in quite a hostile world and it's important for Catholic men to come together in this way.
Of course, it's important for Catholic women to come together too but as yet no one's come up with a female version of the Catenians. Traditionally we've had the UCM (Union of Catholic Mothers), the CWL (Catholic Women's League) and more recently the excellent ACW (Association of Catholic Women). Anyone wishing to start up one of these groups in the parish would be most welcome.
For more details about the Catenian Circle email us by clicking here.


Parishioners will know that I spent Wednesday and Thursday last week being filmed by EWTN for a series of Holy Week reflections. It was a fascinating experience. First of all because it took so long. Lighting is, of course, very important. The Church lights weren't used because they create a flicker on screen, so much of the time was spent setting up special filming lights in order to look as natural as possible. With extra lights shadows become an issue so lots of things in the Church had to be moved to eliminate the shadows they might cast. Then, because it's Lent, there are no flowers in the Church and the Sanctuary looks penitentially bare. On camera, however, it just looks empty so other pieces of furniture had to be moved to break up the empty spaces a bit. Finally, the Sanctuary had to look like Holy Week which is when the meditations will be broadcast. For Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday it meant simply having the statues and Crucifixes covered. For Maundy Thursday, of course, the Altar Crucifix had to be veiled in white and the best vestments had to come out. For Friday everything had to be stripped bare.

We had a good group of people present to be filmed listening to the first meditation. They spent the whole morning in the Church and so we treated them to an Ash Wednesday lunch of soup and a roll. We filmed four meditations on Wednesday and one on Friday. By Wednesday evening I had a much clearer idea of what was required and more familiarity with speaking into a camera - so I re-wrote the next day's reflection: the one which will be broadcast on Maundy Thursday.
You no longer need a special satellite for EWTN, it can be obtained on the Sky network.

In the photo you see Paul the cameraman who had come over with Lesley and Niall - an ever patient and hard-working crew!