Archive for November, 2006

Understanding the Catholic Faith

Tomorrow we will have our first session of catechesis using Evangelium, the new resource for teaching the Catholic Faith to adults created by Fathers Marcus Holden and Andrew Pinsent and produced by the Catholic Truth Society. You can read more about the programme here. We will have three sessions before Christmas (29 November, 6 and 13 December) and will then continue after the New Year. Sessions will begin at 7.30 p.m. in the parish Hall.

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This week we have graduations at Glasgow Caledonian University, where Sister Maureen and I are the Catholic wing of the University Chaplaincy. I attended two ceremonies today (morning and afternoon) and will take part in another one tomorrow morning. Most of today’s graduates were from the School of Nursing, whose academic year is different from the rest of the University.

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Feast of the Presentation of Our Lady

Today’s feast is of particular significance to Passionists and is known among us as the “Birthday of the Congregation”. This painting of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, by the eighteenth-century Neapolitan painter Sebastiano Conca, was commissioned by the Grazi family (through Cardinal Lorenzo Altieri) for Saint Paul of the Cross’s new Church of the Presentation on Monte Argentario. For more information about this feast, the Passionists and Saint Paul of the Cross, click here.

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How English Are You?

HT for this quiz to Mulier Fortis who, in spite of being fortunate enough to have had a Scottish father, was unable to score less than 90%.

You are 71% English.

You are either native and stupid, or you are foreign and knowledgeable.

“And did those feet
In ancient times,
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
In England’s pleasant pastures seen?”

Well, no, but it’s a cracking good tune.

How English are you?
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I usually don’t do quizzes, but this one was too much to resist;
I am, of course, foreign and knowledgeable.
(I think it was the cricket question that found me out. Sorry, Recusants!)

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Blessed Grimoaldo

GrimoaldoToday Passionists celebrate the feast of Blessed Grimoaldo (Santamaria) of the Purification, who was a member of the Passionist community at Santa Maria di Corniano, near Ceccano, south of Rome, where he died of meningitis at the age of nineteen. Father Gary has a number of interesting posts on Grimoaldo, including one on the miracle approved for his 1995 Beatification. I remember hearing about it in Rome at the time it was being examined. This is a very unusual miracle in modern times, as it was not a case of someone being cured after an illness, but was rather a miraculous escape from certain death in a tractor accident. You can read about it here.

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Supremi Apostolatus

Yesterday, 16 November, was the anniversary of Pope Clement XIV’s signing of the Bull Supremi Apostolatus in 1769 (-apologies, as I have already shown the above photograph of the document in my post on the Passionist General Archives). This document is considered the Magna Carta of the Passionists by which our Congregation was solemnly approved by the Church and given all the rights and privileges of the older Orders, the first Congregation to be recognised in this way. Father Gary at The Passionist Charism has two posts on Supremi Apostolatus here and here.

BTW, my father had his operation on Wednesday and is recovering well; thank you for your prayers.

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Day Trip to Dublin

I had a meeting today at our provincial house, Saint Paul’s Retreat, Mount Argus (above). I left Glasgow at eight o’clock this morning and was back here at ten o’clock tonight. Today in Dublin was the feast of Saint Laurence O’Toole; it was also the ninety-first birthday of Father Andrew, who is the oldest man in the community. Here is a picture of the inside of the monastery; I took these on the day of the 150th anniversary celebration last September, which explains the flowers!

The meeting was on our Passionist charism and spirituality; we met in the “Long Room” on the ground floor, gathered around the table shown below. In this photograph, the table had been turned sideways, as on the anniversary day the room was used to receive the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese.

The case of this fine clock in the Long Room, like the table, is said to have been made by the brothers of the community when the house was first opened.

You can see more Mount Argus pictures here and here.

When I returned home tonight, I went across the street to the hospital to see my father; he told me that he will probably have his pacemaker operation tomorrow afternoon; please remember him in your prayers.

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Blessed Eugene Bossilkov

Today in the Passionist Calendar is the feast of Blessed Eugene (Bossilkov) of the Sacred Heart, the first beatified martyr of Stalinism. As a young Passionist priest, he studied in Rome at the same time as Father Christopher (Coleman) who was vicar of our Crossgar community when I was a novice. After his studies, Eugene returned to his native Bulgaria. In 1947 he was appointed Bishop of Nicopolis, a Latin-rite diocese of Bulgaria where Passionists were bishops continuously from its establishment in 1789 until the martyrdom of Blessed Eugene in 1952. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1998, and in 1999 the Bulgarian Supreme Court exonerated him of the charges of counter-revolutionary activities and espionage for which he had been sentenced to death. For more about Blessed Eugene, click here.

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Light Blogging

My blogging has been light recently; my father had a heart attack two weeks ago and is still in Glasgow Royal Infirmary waiting until he is well enough for an operation for a pacemaker. In the meantime, I have been spending more time with my mother; this has been made possible by the generosity of my Passionist brothers in this community who are taking my share of the work as well as their own. Please keep my father in your prayers.

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I have added a new section to the sidebar called “Soundbits” which is a series of links to talks given by me and other Passionists, including this year’s Novena of Hope at Mount Argus (which was on Blessed Charles) and this year’s Our Lady of Sorrows Novena at Saint Mungo’s.

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