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Showing posts from November, 2008

We have a Gig at the Albert, Tuesday

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Good Evening Brighton, we are The Astonishing and we are going to rock your World, gently and with a deep sense of melancholy. To listen to our unholy dirge, click here.



Mark Glasby, Keyboardist.



Lawrence Elwick, harmonica, looking genuinely astonished.



Ali Tupman, Drums



Me, Laurence England, in my longer haired days, guitar and vocals, propagating something other than the Catholic Faith, another good reason why being in a band is irreligious.

Fishsticks

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Just gimme fishsticks!
Just feed me fishsticks!
I’m a fishy misfit!
Gimme gimme fishsticks!

Well I don’t mind if
They fail EU Directives!
Mother flippin’ fishsticks
I need my daily fishstick!

Walk into the kitchen
When noone is in
Grab a pack of fishsticks
They’re gone in two short minutes!

I want my fishsticks!
I need my fishsticks!
I don’t care
I don’t care if they’ve been scraped off the factory floor!
I don’t care
I don’t care if they’ve been scraped off the factory floor!

Someone call the sherrif
Put me on the fish list
Someone should arrrest this
Funky frickin' fishstick terrorist

Top of my Christmas wish list
A delivery of sticks o' fish
But its a risky business
Are these really fresh fish?

I need my fish fix!
This could become an illness
People doubt their freshness
I’ll get fishstick sickness!

I want my fishsticks!
I need my fishsticks!
See I don’t care
I don’t care if they’ve been scraped off the factory floor!
Oh I don’t care
I don’t care if they’ve been scraped off the factory floor!

(Middle Eight, …

'Fame! I Wanna Live Forever! I Wanna Learn How to Serve! Fame!'

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I'm the tall, thin, brown haired man at the back of the row with three servers in it. This is one in a selection of pictures taken by a parishioner called Mele at Mass which are available on Fr Ray Blake's blog. Don't worry I won't let fame go to my head, Father.

Top Ten Lies of the Secular World

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At 10, a new release, our Blessed Lord had an affair with the penitent St Mary Magdalen and gave her a child the bloodline of whom exists to this day. The whole point of the sinless Lamb of God is not that He had no sexuality, but that he did not act upon it and took upon Himself, in His Blessed Body, all of our sins, our concupiscience and faults when He died on the Cross.

At 9, another new entry, Judas was doing our Blessed Lord a favour and acting in accordance with His Divine Will in betraying our Lord into the hands of His enemies for 30 pieces of silver and our Blessed Lord thanked him for it. The Mystery of Evil is as mysterious as the Mystery of Faith, however, although our Lord we are told, knew all that was to take place, He was not happy with being betrayed by someone He counted as a friend.

At 8, a stalwart contender which seems to hang about secular society eternally, our Lord Jesus Christ was a 'good teacher' but not the Son of God. As far as I am aware, not only d…

Obama Skips Church Following Election

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Why not come to Mass, Barack? The US could do with a Catholic president since the last one got popped off...you may not be so popular but at least little babies would get a chance to live.

From EWTN

President-elect Barack Obama has skipped church services since his election to the presidency, using Sunday to work out at the gym.

His habits differ from his two immediate predecessors President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, who both consistently attended Sunday church services following their election victories.

An Obama aid explained to Politico.com that the Obamas did not wish to disrupt churchgoers with their large entourage.

“Because they have a great deal of respect for places of worship, they do not want to draw unwelcome or inappropriate attention to a church not used to the attention their attendance would draw," the aide reportedly said, adding the family “look[s] forward to finding a church community in Washington, D.C.”

While campaigning, Obama infrequently attend…

Dear God, Please Help Me

I always post up a Morrissey song every few days. He is a cradle Irish Catholic. When The Smiths rose to critical acclaim and to general stardom in the 1980s he distanced himself from the Church in the media, largely, I expect, because he felt like an outcast. The song 'Bigmouth Strikes Again' has the superb line, 'And now I know how Joan of Arc felt, now I know how Joan of Arc felt, as the flames rose to her Roman nose and her hearing aid started to melt.'

This sense of being an outsider has always permeated all of his material, which is why his following is pretty devotional and fanatical. He has always kept his sexuality to himself though he once claimed to have a supernatural grace of being beyond sexuality, almost transcending it. However, his solo material in recent years has revealed a reawakening of his Catholicism as suggested by his comment in an interview, "Those Catholics, they sear you, they do, sear you." He always maintained that whatever …

Tybun Convent & Tyburn Martyrs

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The Tyburn Convent in London has a rather flash new website with a lovely pictures section of sacred relics from the 40 martyrs of England and Wales. It also has a tiny description of the lives and ends of the martyrs who shed their blood for Christ and the Catholic Faith. I believe they are called Sisters of Perpetual Adoration which means that at any time, 24 hours a day, at least two sisters are praying before the Blessed Sacrament for the salvation of poor sinners.

Lovely website, click here for more.

Go on Mozzer, my son

The Good Pope

Lovely video on Pope Johannes XXIII

Feast of St Leonard of Port Maurice

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Saint Leonard of Port Maurice was a most holy Franciscan friar who lived at the monastery of Saint Bonaventure in Rome. He was one of the greatest missioners in the history of the Church. He used to preach to thousands in the open square of every city and town where the churches could not hold his listeners. So brilliant and holy was his eloquence that once when he gave a two weeks' mission in Rome, the Pope and College of Cardinals came to hear him. The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus were his crusades. He was in no small way responsible for the definition of the Immaculate Conception made a little more than a hundred years after his death. He also gave us the Divine Praises, which are said at the end of Benediction. But Saint Leonard's most famous work was his devotion to the Stations of the Cross. He died a most holy death in his seventy-fifth year, after twenty-four years of…

Today is the Feast of St Catherine of Alexandria

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St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr whose feast day is November 25th. She is the patroness of philosophers and preachers.

St. Catherine is believed to have been born in Alexandria of a noble family. Converted to Christianity through a vision, she denounced Maxentius for persecuting Christians. Fifty of her converts were then burned to death by Maxentius.

Maxentius offered Catherine a royal marriage if she would deny the Faith. Her refusal landed her in prison. While in prison, and while Maxentius was away, Catherine converted Maxentius' wife and two hundred of his soldiers. He had them all put to death.

Catherine was likewise condemned to death. She was put on a spiked wheel, and when the wheel broke, she was beheaded. She is venerated as the patroness of philosophers and preachers. St. Catherine's was one of the voices heard by St. Joan of Arc.

Maxentius' blind fury against St. Catherine is symbolic of the anger of the world in the face of truth and justice. When w…

Lap Dancing Is Just A Bit of Innocent Fun Chairman of Lap Dancing Association Tells MPs

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This story fromThe Guardianis verging on parody. I scoured google images looking for an unerotic picture of a lap dancer (research purposes only of course, your honour). Strangely I couldn't find one...

I suppose you could measure sexual stimulation by the amount of men paying a visit to the lavatory after the lap-dancing show to jack-off...no, there must be another way of quantifying it. Perhaps, I'm the only man who lacks self-control...I'm no prude, but this guy's argument is hilarious.

Lap dancing "is not sexually stimulating", the chairman of the Lap Dancing Association told a parliamentary committee today.

Simon Warr made the claim, which was greeted with scepticism by MPs, while he was giving evidence to the Commons culture committee as part of an inquiry into the operation of the Licensing Act.

The government is under pressure to change the act so that lap dancing clubs have to be licensed as sex encounter establishments.

At the moment, they are licens…

US Bishop Tells Catholic LGBT Community What They Do Not Want to Hear

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A US Bishop stunned a Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries Conference 2008 by firmly proclaiming the Gospel. If our Blessed Lord had told people merely what they wanted to hear, in His Earthly Ministry, not only would He have lost the many souls He had won, but He would have been giving them falsehood, rather than Truth. I do not recall an English Bishop saying something so radical for a long time...

If living the Gospel were easy we'd all be Saints in a day or two. The Gospel is not easy at all and God never promised us an easy ride in this life!

Coadjutor Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento shocked his unsuspecting audience at the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries conference with a keynote speech that gently but firmly condemned the homosexual lifestyle as sinful, and celebrated extra-marital chastity, according to the California Catholic Daily. "Sexual relations between people of the same sex can be alluring for homosexuals," Bisho…

Franciscans Telling It Like It Is

Are We Born Believing in God?

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Click here for a quite interesting discussion on the Today programme this morning about a Cambridge University lecture this week Dr Justin Barrett, who will argue it is the natural default position of children to believe in God.

This challenges the view of some atheists that religion is learned through family indoctrination. Dr Barrett, from the Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, discusses whether religion or atheism is learned with scientist and writer Professor Lewis Wolpert.

Looking for a Patron?

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I've found a good website which details an A-Z of patron saints.

Abandoned Children: Jerome Emiliani
Academics: Thomas Aquinas
Accountants: Matthew
Actors: Genesius; Vitus
Advertising: Bernardine of Siena
Advocates: Ivo
Agricultural workers: Watstan
AIDS Sufferers: Therese of Lisieux
Air travelers: Joseph of Cupertino
Altar boys:John Berchmans
Altar servers: Tarsicius
Anesthetists: Rene Goupil
Angina sufferers: Swithbert
Animals & birds: Francis of Assisi
Animals (sick): Beuno
Apologists: Justin
Apothecaries: Nicholas
Appendicitis: Elmo
Archaeologists: Jerome
Archers: Sebastian
Architects: Barbara; Thomas the Apostle
Armorers: George; Laurence
Art: Catherine of Bologna
Artists: Luke
Astronauts: Joseph of Cupertino
Astronomers: Dominic
Athletes: Sebastian
Authors: Francis de Sales
Aviators: Joseph of Cupertino; Therese of Lisieux Babies: Zeno of Verona

For B - Z click here.

Vatican Confirms: All You Need is Love

Story courtesy of BBC

A Vatican newspaper has forgiven the late English singer John Lennon for saying four decades ago that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

In an article praising The Beatles, L'Osservatore Romano said Lennon had just been showing off.

Lennon told a British newspaper in 1966 - at the height of Beatlemania - that he did not know which would die out first, Christianity or rock and roll. At the time, the comparison sparked controversy in the US. The semi-official Vatican newspaper marked the 40th anniversary of The Beatles' "White Album" with an article praising Lennon and the Fab Four from Liverpool.

The paper dismissed Lennon's much-criticised remark that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ as a youthful joke. The paper described the remark as "showing off, bragging by a young English working-class musician who had grown up in the age of Elvis Presley and rock and roll and had enjoyed unexpected success".

L'Osservat…

Self-Interest Will Destroy World, Says Pope

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Zenit reports today that Pope Benedict XVI gave his homily on the words of the Gospel on the Feast of Christ the King.

Do good and the Kingdom of God will be realized in our midst, act according to self-interest and the world will be destroyed, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this today, the solemnity of Christ the King, in a reflection on the Final Judgment before praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Referring to the parable of the Final Judgment in Matthew's Gospel -- "I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me" -- the Holy Father said the passage "has become a part of our civilization."

"The images are simple, the language is popular, but the message is extremely important," he said. "It is the truth about our ultimate destiny and lays down the criteria by which we will be judged."

"Who does not know this passage," the Pontiff asked.…

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

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On Friday I went with my parish priest to the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rottingdean, as he was hearing Confessions and the Community of St John were there giving a talk on the healing nature of the Sacraments. There was Holy Hour for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I expect this is one aspect of Catholic worship of which non-Catholics are mostly unaware. That we bow in veneration and adore what to non-Catholics would appear as a large white wafer in a jewelled and golden Mmnstrance must seem absurd. Yet to us Catholics, we believe that what is held in the monstrance is no longer that, but our Blessed Lord Himself.

Many of the Saints now venerated by the Church learned the Love of God in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. St Teresa of Calcutta, St Joseph Benedict Labre and countless others had an enormous devotion to adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist. It is not surprising. To be before the Blessed Sacrament is to be before God. To gaze upon the Blessed Sacrament is t…

Happy St Cecilia's Day

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Angel to St Cecilia: "No, you don't tune it like that. Oh, go on with you, pass it here."

From The Lives of the Saints by the Rev. S. Baring-Gould, M.A., published in 1914 in Edinburgh.

The story of S. Cecilia is not without beauty and merit. There was in the city of Rome a virgin named Cecilia, who was given in marriage to a youth named Valerian. She wore sackcloth next to her skin, and fasted, and invoked the saints and angels and virgins, beseeching them to guard her virginity. And she said to her husband, "I will tell you a secret if you will swear not to reveal it to anyone." And when he swore, she added, "There is an angel who watches me, and wards off from me any who would touch me." He said, "Dearest, if this be true, show me the angel." "That can only be if you will believe in one God, and be baptized."

She sent him to Pope S. Urban (223-230), who baptized him; and when he returned, he saw Cecilia praying in her chamber, an…

Community of St John

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Fr Ray Blake has posted this piece on his blog for St Mary Magdalen's Church. I'm going to give him a lift and attend the Friday talk on Confession and Holy Mass in Rottingdean, which is a stone's throw from Brighton.

Friday 21st November
7.30pm Talk and Ministry ‘The Healing Power of Mass and Confession’
followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with the
opportunity for confession or spiritual guidance… Church

Saturday 22nd November
9.30am Rosary for Life
10.00am Holy Mass
10.45-12.15pm Pro-Life Meeting
Opportunity for local groups to share experience, information
and support after the HFE Bill.
5.45-6.15pm Confessions
6.30pm Vigil Mass of Christ the King
8.30pm-10.00pm Candlelit Vigil ‘The Power of Prayer’
Meditation, music, quiet Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Korean Child Guitar Genius Sungha Jung

Incredibly this child plays the melody and the vocal arrangement at the same time. He even plays Canon in D! Slightly depressing, I am a 31 year old guitarist and he's about 5 and he can do things I wouldn't even try! Still, that's child prodigies for you!

St Thomas Aquinas Converts Abortionist

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Courtesy of Catholic Online

The Spanish daily “La Razon” has published an article on the pro-life conversion of a former “champion of abortion.” Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia, after 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country.

“The medical textbooks of the Communist regime said abortion was simply the removal of a blob of tissue,” the newspaper reported. “Ultrasounds allowing the fetus to be seen did not arrive until the 80s, but they did not change his opinion. Nevertheless, he began to have nightmares.”

In describing his conversion, Adasevic “dreamed about a beautiful field full of children and young people who were playing and laughing, from 4 to 24 years of age, but who ran away from him in fear. A man dressed in a black and white habit stared at him in silence. The dream was repeated each night and he would wake up in a cold sweat. One night he asked the man in black a…

Should the Church be Ashamed of the Crusades?

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Excellent article on the Crusades from Jerrilyn Szelle Holladay on Catholic Online.

“What about the Crusades?” The question seems more like an accusation, implying that the powerful Europeans attacked a simple and peaceful people on their home turf for no reason.

Using the Crusades as a club to bludgeon the West into guilty silence is a modern practice that has more to do with twentieth century events like the First and Second World Wars and the strains of passivism these engendered, than with the reality of the 12th and 13th centuries.

In fact, the Muslims were proud of the Crusades. After all, they won. And the Europeans? The Crusades were the first stirring of coordinated defense against centuries of attack by Muslim forces. Until the 20th century the Crusades were viewed as honorable wars, by all sides.

So, be ready when someone flips you the Crusades trump card. The historical context is the key to this puzzle, not 20th century sensibilities. The events leading up to and following th…

What Happens If You Sing Hymns at Night in San Francisco?

With thanks to Creative Minority Report

Homeless Brighton Couple in Cemetery Not 'In Need'

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A high density of homelessness is a well known statistic to Brightonians. The couple pictured above however, who are sleeping in a local cemetery in a tent have hit the headlines of the Argus however because of the Council's insistence that they are not 'in need' of supportive accommodation.

For the full story click here.

A homeless couple face spending the winter living in a tent in a graveyard because council officials say they do not need urgent help.

Karen and Richard Smith pitch their tent after dark each night in a Brighton cemetery so they do not become a target for gangs. At dawn, they pack up and begin their daily routine – washing in public toilets and selling magazines to Brighton shoppers.

Now they are preparing to spend a second Christmas outdoors after being repeatedly turned down for housing by Brighton and Hove City Council because they are not in “priority need”. They claim that if they were addicted to class A drugs they would be whisked into bed and brea…

US enters into the Heart of Darkness

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For full story click here.

Obama's transition team is busily preparing a thick sheaf of Executive Orders for the President-elect to sign the day he takes office. And in a reprise of what happened when Bill Clinton took power 16 years ago, the pro-life policies of the Bush Administration will apparently be the first to go.

Obama appears set to reverse existing Executive Orders that protect taxpayers from having to fund abortions at home and abroad. Moreover, Bush’s prohibition against the vivisection of tiny humans (aka embryonic stem cell research), will almost certainly go by the wayside.

Another pro-life policy on the ideological chopping block involves the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), which unabashedly supports China’s inhumane one-child policy.

We know. It was the Population Research Institute whose investigation in China led the Bush administration to cut off funding to the UNFPA for the past seven years. We have continued to monitor the situation in China, and we stand by our a…

Heartwarming Maradona Story

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Lovely story about the Argentine infamous in England for his legendary footballing talent and gratuitous cheating in the 1986 World Cup.

Courtesy of Times Online

While Diego Maradona has maintained a rather distant and aloof presence on his first return to Scotland in 28 years, his mood lifted in one magical moment for Adam Brown, a 13-year-old ball boy, last night. As Argentina trained at Celtic Park in preparation for the friendly with Scotland at nearby Hampden Park on Wednesday, a message on the giant electronic screens read "Celtic welcomes Diego Maradona and the team of Argentina to paradise". But it almost turned into a nightmare for Maradona, who had misplaced a St Christopher's medallion he had been given to look after by Fernando Gago, the Real Madrid midfielder. The stocky 48-year-old led a frantic ten minute search for the lost pendant, as his staff and a dozen ball boys - Celtic's Under-14 squad – formed a police-style cordon and walked down the pitch b…

Bishop of Lancaster Blasts Liberal Catholics

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Click the link for the full story from The Telegraph

The Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, the Bishop of Lancaster, has claimed that graduates are spreading scepticism and sowing dissent. Instead of following the Church's teaching they are "hedonistic", "selfish" and "egocentric", he said.

In particular, the bishop complained that influential Catholics in politics and the media were undermining the Church. While not naming names, he suggested that such people had been compromised by their education, which he said had a "dark side, due to original sin".

Prominent Catholics in public life include Mark Thompson, the BBC's director general, and Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister. Bishop O'Donoghue, who has recently published a report on how to renew Catholicism in Britain, argued that mass education has led to "sickness in the Church and wider society".

"What we have witnessed in Western societies since the end of the Second…

Graffiti Just Outside My House

I just popped out for my first cigarette of the day and suddenly recognised the dark grey wall just to the right of my flat has been daubed with graffiti. The wall as far as I know, has never been used for this so this must count as something of a first for my street. The culprit has put a rather large and very rude message up for the residents of the neighbourhood to admire. Basically it depicts a huge penis with semen coming out of it. It is a great shame that someone's property has been defaced like this and also that the 'artist' who goes by the name of 'stupid youth productions' has gone in for the crudest imagery possible.

I don't however, harbour real resentment of those who commit the crime of defacing walls or facias with graffiti. It seems to be an aggressive outlet for young people who were failed by the education system to express a talent to a society that gave up on them long, long ago. It is the cry of those whose voices are seldom heard. I…

Pro-Lifers Defend 'Italy's Terry Schiavo'

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Terry Schiavo died when her feeding tube was removed at her husband's request in 2005.

Courtesy of Zenit

Italian associations are making last-minute appeals for the life of Eluana Englaro, after Italy's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that her father's wish would be granted and her feeding tube will be removed.

Englaro, 37, has been in a coma since 1992, when she suffered a car accident. Her case has been called Italy's version of the Terri Schiavo battle that raged in the United States in 2005, and ended in Schiavo's death by dehydration and starvation.

For 14 years, Englaro has been in the care of a group of nuns who, according to Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, are the only ones "close to the young woman who still fight for her life." Her father has led the legal battle to have her feeding tube disconnected.

"Many words have been said in Eluana's case," the cardinal stated. "The most beautiful an…

Today's Saint

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St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, Virgin

Born in Grenoble, France, in 1769, Rose joined the Society of the Sacred Heart. In 1818, when she was forty-nine years old, Rose was sent to the United States. She founded a boarding school for daughters of pioneers near St. Louis and opened the first free school west of the Missouri. At the age of seventy-one, she began a school for Indians, who soon came to call her "the woman who is always praying". Her biographers have also stressed her courage in frontier conditions, her singlemindedness in pursuing her dream of serving Native Americans, and her self-acceptance. This holy servant of God was beatified by Pope Pius XII in 1940 and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988.

The Ecstacy of St Francis

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"Look, Holy Angels, its four in the morning and you think you can just barge in here with your lute and play a gig! I've got to get up early tomorrow you know! Oh all right, one more and that's your lot! Anyway, that last one was meant to be in D major."

Pope Benedict XVI on the Parable of the Talents

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Courtesy of Zenit

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

The Word of God this Sunday -- the penultimate of the liturgical year -- invites us to be vigilant and active, in awaiting the return of the Lord Jesus at the end of time. The Gospel passage tells the parable of the talents, reported by St. Matthew (25:14-30). The "talent" was an ancient Roman coin of great value and precisely on account of the popularity of this parable it has become synonymous with personal gifts, which everyone is called to develop.

In reality, the text speaks of "a man who, going abroad, called his servants and handed over his goods to them" (Matthew 25:14). The man in the parable represents Christ himself, the servants are his disciples and the talents are the gifts that Jesus gives them. For this reason such gifts, apart from natural qualities, represent the riches that the Lord Jesus has left us as a legacy, so that we bear fruit with them: his Word, deposited in the holy Gospel; baptism, which renew…

Today is the Feast of...

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St Elizabeth of Hungary
"She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretches out her hand to the poor; yes, she reaches forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes fine linen, and sells it; and delivers girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excel them all."

St. Elizabeth was born in Hungary in 1207, the daughter of Alexander II, King of Hungary. At the age of four …

The Public Outcry on 'Baby P'

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As Catholics, we condemn outright the taking of human life whenever it is found. We pray for the families who have lost their children to the brutality of man's violence. We condemn utterly the actions of those who have either acquiesced in, or committed by hand, child murder.

Speaking personally as a Catholic, however, it seems to me that there has been much in the news this week about the slaughter of innocent life, of lives whose promise was snuffed out by evil and also by the mental illness of those who have perpetrated the crimes that have been brought to light this week in the news.

What I find frustrating about the news coverage of the horrifying stories of child abuse and murder this week is the complete blindness of those in public office who now, at the despatch box in the House of Commons denounce the taking of innocent human life as if they are moral guardians of the country, while, at the same time, renounce not their endorsement and active support for the existing abo…

Parish Priest at Risk of Excommunication Over Ordination of Women

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From Catholic Online

Fr. Roy Bourgeois is a Maryknoll Priest, ordained to the priesthood in 1972. From the beginning of his priestly ministry he has worked with the poor and the oppressed. He has taken public and sometimes controversial stands against Latin American leaders who have not respected human dignity or demonstrated concern for the oppressed or the poor.

He founded the “School of the America’s Watch” in 1990 to call attention to what he has long maintained was American complicity in some of the very unjust activities he had dedicated his life and ministry to expose, oppose and change.

Thus far, though Catholics of various political persuasions could - and often do - disagree with him and his political leanings, he has certainly been within his rights to engage in this work. He has also not veered from Catholic teaching in so doing. However, all that changed on August 9th when Fr. Bourgeois chose to become a “concelebrant” and homilist at the attempted ordination to the priestho…

More Sad News from India

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From Asia News

The government of Orissa has permitted today's demonstration by Swami Laxmananda Saraswati Sradhanjali Samiti in Bhubaneshwar, despite New Delhi's concern that it could unleash further inter-religious violence. Meanwhile, anti-Christian violence continues in Orissa, with churches demolished and Christians arrested under the false accusation of "instigating conversions."

The extremist Hindu group called for the march in protest against the failure to arrest the killers of Laxmananda Saraswati, leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), murdered on August 23. Although the police maintain that Maoist groups are responsible, the Hindus have used it as a pretext for anti-Christian pogroms.

At least 1,500 policemen will keep watch to prevent incidents. But in Kandhamal, there is great fear that the march is a pretext for a resumption of the attacks, which have never really ceased. At least 50,000 participants are expected, and the organizers have posted flyers …

Oh the Eighties!

Good Backing Vocals too...

Kirsty McColl RIP

Lovely Marianne Faithfull Song

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Someone asked me yesterday whether I had an obsessive compulsive disorder.

I said, "No, no, I washed my hands of that only minutes ago. Give me a second, I've just got to go to the bathroom."
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Lord, they say only the good die young.

I knew there was a reason I was still in the land of the living.

Today is the Feast of...

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St Lawrence O'Toole

As a boy, he was taken away to a distant area. On being recalled from exile, he offered himself to the Bishops of Glendaloch. He was made Abbot, and by his humility and the warmth of his love, provided a shining example of goodness. After becoming Archbishop of Dublin, he reorganized the Cathedral clergy from a Secular into a Regular body, and himself shared their Common Life. In this Office, he was most conspicuous for his wonderful gentleness and his special love towards the poor. He was the mediator of peace between Ireland and England, and while attending the English King on a visit to Normandy, he was taken with fever and died in the Monastery of the Regular Canons at Chiemsee in 1180.

Doh!

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I just called my Dad to wish him a happy birthday...it's on the 21st. Today is the 14th.

If anyone does It will be because...

If No One Ever Marries Me

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If No One Ever Marries Me

If no one ever marries me
And I don't see why they should,
For nurse says I'm not pretty,
And I'm seldom very good

If no one ever marries me
I shan't mind very much,
I shall buy a squirrel in a cage
And a little rabbit-hutch;

I shall have a cottage near a wood,
And a pony all my own,
And a little lamb, quite clean and tame,
That I can take to town.

And when I'm getting really old
At twenty-eight or nine
I shall buy a little orphan-girl
And bring her up as mine.

by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

St Christina the Astonishing

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"St Christina the Astonishing, Come on down!"

My band, who've got a gig tonight at Hove Town Hall, were named after St Christina the Astonishing. An act of profound hubris on my part, something which is regularly my downfall, but I formed the band at a time when I had been learning about the life of this Saint and wanted to name my band after her.

I would imagine that Heaven takes a rather dim view of modern pop/rock music, no matter how good people's intentions are simply because pop/rock bands are inherently idolotrous, often ludicrous and very often, not very good. If there is music in Heaven, and we hope there is, it is the sound of choirs of saints and angels singing in their adoration of the Blessed Trinity. We know this because Pope Benedict XVI denounced it publicly relatively recently. Rock music that is. I do intend to renounce it one day, but at the moment I am a bit hooked. I love my band, I love rehearsing with them, music gives me an outlet for my …