Showing posts from August, 2009

£1,500 and counting!

I can confirm that St Mary Magdalen's has raised over £1,500 for the Restoration Fund! Thanks be to God! Get in! Thanks be to God also for all who volunteered to support our beloved parish, to those who donated goods and those who bought stuff.

An Agnostic, an Anglican, a Pentecostal and a Catholic Walk into a Bar...

...Barman says, "What'll you be having?" The agnostic says, "Give me a moment, I'm not quite sure." The Anglican says, "Can I have a pint of shandy? I can't take the strong stuff, I like it watered down a lot!" The Pentecostal says, "Give me a spirit! Any spirit!" The barman turns to the Catholic and asks, "And what'll you be having?" The Catholic replies, "Probably a very, very long evening."

The Windmill isthe pub to be seen if you are a St Mary Magdalen parishioner since we usually go over there after Mass on Sunday and have very loud discussions on the Catholic Faith, making several people around us feel mildly uncomfortable or bewildered. I met an Anglican friend in there last night for a drink and a chat. I then went outside for a cigarette and met a Pentecostal lady and a 33-year-old man who heard the Pentecostal lady and I singing a couple of Smith's songs and who decided to join us inside...for wha…

I'm in Trouble!

Someone recently told me about this. A couple of buskers 'narrowly escaped jail' for busking the same song, 'Wonderwall' by Oasis over and over again in a not very appealing manner. Not only does this story highlight the growing police state mentality regarding the issuing of Asbos, but it has huge implications for buskers all round. I hope this isn't the start of a crackdown on buskers in the same way most cities and towns have had a crackdown on beggars. I'm going to have to diversify, since I usually play 'There is A Light That Never Goes Out' and 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now'...repeatedly.

'Wonderwall' is, by the way, one of the most requested songs by pissed up lads on a Friday or Saturday night in the town centre. If you play it, the men gather in a huddle with their arms around each other and sing this into the streetlit night sky at a loud volume. Then, afterwards, they each usually each give you a quid because they are fee…

St Bartholomew's Feast Day

The murderers of St Bartholomew must have had a real skinful to do this...

I have often thought that my Patron's martyrdom was perhaps the most ghastly in the history of the Church, that of being roasted alive on an outdoor griddle, even though it he bore it with such a sense of humour. St Bartholomew, however, takes some beating. The brave and holy Apostle and Martyr, known as Nathanial, when he meets Christ and within whom Our Lord says, "is no guile", willingly accepted his horrendous death at the hands of the early persecutors of the Church. The Gospel of St John recounts that St Bartholomew recognised Our Lord as, "the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel" after Our Lord had told him that He had seen him praying beneath a fig tree. By all human accounts, he got a 'raw deal' in terms of martyrdoms, just because it would be so horrific to see someone literally slicing your skin off. Being murdered for one's faith would never be pleasant but oh my! H…

The X-Piano

Yesterday I sunned it up in Brighton and swam in our refreshing English Channel, all the way out to the furthest yellow bhoy. You get a totally different perspective on Brighton when you swim out. The town actually looks prettier the further you get away from it. Preparations for the St Mary Magdalen Car Boot Sale are well underway, having been advertised in the local press listings pages, but there were plenty of opportunities yesterday to raise more awareness of the event, but I didn't have any blinkin' flyers with me! O woe!

I was on the beach with John when we realised that Brighton Beach was packed and people were just waiting to be told all about the Car Boot Sale. We would have had them eating out of the palm of our hands. Then, realised later in the evening that the Brunswick Festival was on, and not only could I have distributed flyers there, but there were loads of small traders selling apples and soap who could have been interested in the event. It was a Sunday and w…

Obamawatch! Healthcare Bill & Euthanasia

The US is in the grip of healthcare hysteria. But is it 'hysteria' to interpret these pages of the bill as making some hideous 'end of life' plan, a plan to end the lives of the elderly and mandatory? Also, is it me or is the layout and wording of this 1012 page document designed to put the reader off from actually reading it? Here are the offending, and rather offensive pages. Click here to read through the entire document, a task which does seem to make the reader yearn for life to end...I have edited it so that it is actually readable. I wonder how many Congressmen and women will have actually read the thing. Lord, teach us how to ourselves and to care for others.



Advance Care Planning Consultation: ...the term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner...regarding advance care planning, if...the individual involved …

War Poetry Emerging from Afghanistan

I'm not a great fan of protest songs, but this is not too bad, Bob Dylan doing Masters of War. It looks, however, as if those serving in Afghanistan have a 'voice of a generation' of their own, within their ranks.

A soldier serving in Afghanistan has penned a poem on Facebook which attacks the politicians who do not have to suffer what soldiers are suffering in Helmund Province.

Staff Sgt Andy McFarlane, 47, of the Adjutant General's Corps condemns the MPs who do not attend parades in Wootton Bassett...

'Politicians usually have much to say/No sign of them near here this day/They hide away and out of danger/Much easier if the hero is a stranger.'

It is hardly surprising that such poetry is emerging from brave soldiers in Helmund. Apparently, according to a friend of mine who knows some soldiers serving there, other soldiers' Facebook walls include such posts which go something along the lines of, "This war is pointless and horrendous," "It is Hel…

Flog it for St Mary Magdalen!

Are you a Brightonian? Are you a parishioner of St Mary Magdalen Church? Are you neither Catholic, nor interested in any way in the Church, preferring to think of it as an outdated institution that exists only to irritate you and brainwash others, but need a clear out of your stuff?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you, yes you, could really be of assistance to the Building Restoration Fund of St Mary Magdalen's Church, assisting in the renovation of a beautiful Grade II listed building in the heart of Brighton. If you've got a load of stuff you now consider not particularly useful, don't throw it away! Give it to us!

St Mary Magdalen Church will be hosting a Car Boot Sale on Saturday 29th August where stuff will be sold. Proceeds will go towards the Building Fund to return the Church to its former glory.

CDs, books, DVDs, jewellery, crockery...anything, really, that you don't want anymore, drop St Mary Magdalen's a line and a special envoy from St…

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs

Zenit reports today that...

An Academy Award-winning director is planning a movie on Japanese Christians martyred in the 17th century.

Martin Scorsese will film the movie in New Zealand and release it in 2010, according to the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun. Names of actors linked to the project include Daniel Day-Lewis, Gael García Bernal and Benicio Del Toro.

Scorsese is known for his work on films including "The Age of Innocence," "The Departed," "Gangs of New York," "Casino" and the controversial "The Last Temptation of Christ."

The film on the Japanese martyrs is based on the book "Chinmoku" (Silence), by the Catholic Japanese author Shusaku Endo. The novel tells the story of a Portuguese missionary in Japan at the beginnings of the 17th century. "Silence" refers to the silence of God before the cross of Christ, in telling of the missionary's forced apostasy in the midst of horrendous torture.

Endo (1923-1997) was…

Eugenics with a Friendly Face?

Safe and sorted...for condoms and pregnancy 'advice'

Ed West has posted an interesting piece on his Telegraph Blog. I commented that Moulescoumb (I can never spell it right) is one of Brighton's most deprived estates and, as far as I know, the only region of Brighton to have its very own free condom and sexual health/pregnancy 'advice' centre. Take a look at the 'Swish' website. You can travel through the centre and also see how the place is ran. Click for a more general overview of the work of the Council in combating teen pregnancy including how to top up your 'C-Card' (condom credit cards!), advice on 'Pregnancy Options' and other such information...if you can stop yourself from putting your head through your monitor because yours or other people's children are having this stuff rammed down their throats...

Still whatever the faults with Brighton & Hove City Council's obvious wish to see that less Moulescoumbers come into this W…

BBC's 'Saints & Scroungers'

Nazi Propaganda depicted the sinister 'enemy within'...It has long been asserted by many sceptics that the BBC has been fast becoming the official mouthpiece of the Government, a Government which is fast becoming less enthusiastic about truth and transparency and more enthusiastic about social control and lies. As the recession kicks in (apparently the number of unemployed claiming benefit is actually 6 million, see Sky News here) the Government is looking for scapegoats for its catastrophic management of the economy and the effects of the Global recession for which it takes absolutely no responsibility whatsoever.'Saints and Scroungers' is a new BBC documentary, showing at 9.15am, a time, incidently, when the working population are at work and the unemployed are at home watching daytime TV. Here is a blurb from the BBC website:'Two fraudsters so confident of their ability to get away with it appear in newspapers and even on the radio while investigators are closin…

Lose the Pews!

Let's put the pew where it belongs! In! Yeah!A new campaign has been started called 'Lose the Pews: Pews Lead to Snooze, Drools and Booze'. The pew has long been thought to have been an invention of the Devil, introduced into Catholic Churches, probably as a result of masonic infiltration of the Church, a wicked scourge of holiness among the laity, a cause of untold numbers of lapsations and general, in-Mass sloth and mindlessness!How much more room would there be in Catholic Churches if there were no pews but for a few around the side of the Church for the elderly and infirm? Even if Church attendance is down overall, at least all the Poles would fit into your local parish Church if you removed the pews and they wouldn't have to be queuing half a mile down the block hearing Mass, the pious Poles that they are!Let us examine, in brief, the disasterous effect of the pew upon the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass...1. We can say that the pew has had a negativ…

A Sponsored Walk?

St Jude, Patron Saint of Hopeless Cases, models the staff look. I've got a medallion but the beard might be a difficulty...Moses had one, Abraham had one and probably every Old Testament prophet had one. They still hadn't gone out of fashion by the time we get to the Apostles as St Jude clearly had one because the picture above was taken around the time. I can confirm that Our Blessed Lord might have had one. Then, St Francis of Assisi had one and used it to miraculously make a spring of water in an Italian town the name of which I forget. Every self-respecting Catholic, should therefore have one. The staff. An essential accessory for the Catholic. I've just recently got into sticks, otherwise known as staffs with my Polish ladyfriend. They're very useful as a support for legs and also to beat thorn bushes out of the way, as well as striking down heretics with just one swift blow.John, another parishioner of St Mary Magdalen has suggested a parish sponsored walk for th…

St Mary Magdalen's Featured in Catholic Herald

Malcolm Gregory: Homeless, suffering paranoid schizophrenia and begging to survive"I know homeless people who've taken a beating. Sometimes it's from other homeless people and sometimes it's from people just on their way home. It's scandalous that poverty is seen as something only in developing nations; it's true, Africa does have problems, but there's a lot of poverty here in Britain."The Catholic Herald report this week on St Mary Magdalen's Church, Brighton and poverty.I had thought that this quote at the beginning of the Catholic Herald article on poverty and the Catholic Faith was a bit over the top. Then after I read it, I walked out and met a man called William who used to beg outside the Council Offices where I had worked a year ago. He had a week ago been beaten severely by two men in George Street, Hove, suffering profuse bleeding above his eye and two broken ribs. His crime? Begging. It is notable that nearly every police force in the c…

The Bitter Pill?

The Telegraphreports on some of the health risks associated with some contraceptive pills. I'm not sure such information has been widely available until now. There is doubtless much we are not told about a great deal of pharmaceutical products in terms of adverse side effects. I've never heard about any dangers with the pill before but I do sometimes wonder how strange it is that in an age obsessed with health and organic food, that few publicly challenge or question the fact that women are encouraged to pump their bodies with hormones, chemicals and pills that alter quite dramatically, the body's natural fertility cycle...This article suggests that if the pill were a brand of margarine, it would have been removed from the shelves long ago, yet it is sold as 'reproductive health'.In the first study claiming to conclusively rank the health risks associated with the different types of contraceptive pill, researchers found that some raised the chances of developing cl…

Explain That, Scientific Community! Part II

We have seen for ourselves that at our worst we are worse than animals. For when man stoops to his basest levels and gives into his most dark temptations, the result is general mayhem, murder and mutilation, as the soul, created good by God becomes drenched in vice and the bitter sting of sin. But wait! That is not the full story of humankind! Man is not mysterious just because of his capacity to commit random acts of gross evil! Man has been redeemed and is always capable of choosing Good! Even more so when he beseeches God's Grace! Man is as mysterious for his ability to sacrifice his own needs for his kind as he is for sacrificing everyone elses needs for his own. Unfortunately for the stridently atheistic department of the scientific community, the man most famous for doing just this, for acting totally contrary to His own interests in this World for the sake of all of mankind was no ordinary man. That Man was God, the Second Person of the Trinity, Our Lord Jesus Christ. He ma…

Franciscans Need a Car Appeal!

I just spotted this on At Home In My Father's House...Anyone got a spare car?The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in Bradford have need of a car. Their current one, a Fiesta, sounds as if its had its last oil change...
The Friars say, "We took it round the clock and around most of the country. But soon it will have to retire. For this reason if anyone has a car they'd like to give us, for the love of God, we would gratefully receive it as long as it's over three years old and doesn't have 'a look of luxury'! Also, if there was room for three broad shouldered men in the back, that would be helpful..."If you can help at all, here are the contact details:

The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
St. Pio Friary
1, Sedgefield Terrace
Tel: 01274 721989
Make sure you add a disclaimer to your car donation saying that they will only receive your car if they start celebrating Mass in the Extraordinary Form with immediate effect and …

Hildegard von Bingen

O Jerusalem
Fr Ray Blake told me about the music of an Abbess called Hildegard von Bingen a week or two ago. I've had a dig around my Dad's CD collection and it turns out he's got a stack of beautiful Gregorian and religious music CDs. I found a quite bizarre one of Benedictine Monks singing 'Gregorian Chant By the Sea', not I presume, Goring-By-Sea, although it is quiet enough here to set up a monastery. The CD was, quite literally, recordings of Benedictine monks chanting Gregorian Sea with the sound of waves washing against the shore. The waves, unsurprisingly, ruined the whole thing. How odd. Anyway, I really like the Hildegard von Bingen CD I discovered. It turns out that she was up for Canonization by no less than four Popes; Pope Gregory IX, Pope Innocent IV, Pope Clement V and Pope John XXII. Canonisation, however, never came to pass, unless some later Pope has done it on the sly without the World batting an eyelid, yet she is recognised in the Roman Martyro…

That's Heaven to Me

Mulier Fortis has tagged me to ask for 7 things I love. I think Sam Cooke puts it better than me. Other than his sentiments, which I share. I also love,1. Holy Mother Church, especially St Mary Magdalen's Church. Our love for God can be feeble or strong, but our love for His Church remains a constant!2. Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough Ice Cream, sliding in at number two - a new entry!3. The Smiths and playing guitar in the style of their guitarist, Johnny Marr, while smoking a cigarette, in the style of their guitarist, Johnny Marr.4. Polish Beer, oh yes.5. Rowing a boat on a lake with my sweetheart.6. Altar Serving, especially at the Traditional Latin Mass7. Blogging, of course.Apparently I now have to tag another few people or something. I'll try.

Tears of St Lawrence

Stargazers are preparing for the annual Perseids meteor shower which takes place around the date of the feast of St Lawrence. They are so named because of the 'burning tears' of St Lawrence who was martyred by the Emperor Valerian. Lawrence, a Deacon of the Church was asked to bring to Valerian the treasures of the Church while the Church was under persecution and brought to him the poor, sick and lame of the Church and presented them before the Emperor as the true treasures of the Church, having sold or distributed the earthly vessels of the Church and given to them to the Poor. For his faith and loyalty to God he was grilled to death. His martyrdom took place in 258 AD on an iron outdoor stove. During this torture, Lawrence was said to have cried out, “I am already roasted on one side and, if thou wouldst have me well cooked, it is time to turn me on the other.”

The saint’s death was commemorated on his feast day, Aug. 10. The great number of shooting stars seen annually be…

Explain That, Scientific Community! Part I

Body hair, Art, Altruism, Adolescence, Picking your nose, Superstition, Dreaming, Kissing, Laughter and Blushing. The Telegraph reports that these are, according to New Scientist magazine, the aspects of human behaviour which science cannot answer. But are these the only mysteries of the human condition that science fails to answer? No! Join me, Laurence England, as I take you through the heights and the depths of humanity according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a reference guide to Divine Truth revealed by Almighty God to His Holy Church. Mysteries of our condition unexplained by scientists, then, include the seven deadly sins and their opposite virtues.

1. Other species in the animal kingdom do not suffer the sin of Pride. Even the lion, the strongman of the jungle, while striding majestically through his domain, does not go around saying, "Everybody! Check out my style and fear me because I could eat you at any time. Check out my coat and my massive paws. Basically, …

The Norbertines

Fr Hugh (3rd in from the left) came to visit St Mary Magdalen's yesterday and I served a low Mass for him at the Altar. I am beginning to feel more comfortable serving the Latin Mass now that I know the movements better, where to be, left or right of the Priest. I think the server is meant to always be on the Epistle side of the Altar. This time, I even remembered to lift the Priest's chasuble at the Consecration! What I did forget to do was light the candle's before Mass. Pretty basic stuff really but without a mistake here or there we don't learn.

He was kind enough to take Fr Ray and myself out for a lovely meal at a classy french restaurant on Western Road. He was very good to talk with and has an excellent sense of humour. Every now and then a Priest from another place in the UK just pops in to St Mary Magdalen and wants to say a private Latin Mass, which I think is wonderful. He told me about the Norbertines, their founder St Norbert, the history and current stand…

Our Lady of the Snows

Yesterday was the Feast of the Dedication of St Mary Major, Basillica in Rome. It is also known as Feast of Our Lady of the Snows, because God basically made it snow in August on a hillside in Rome so that a Church be dedicated in honour of Our Blessed Lady.

Courtesy of Magnificat's Lives of the Saints

There are in Rome three patriarchal churches in which, on different feast days, the Pope officiates. These are the Basilicas of Saint Peter on the Vatican Hill, Saint John Lateran, and Saint Mary Major on the Esquiline Hill. The last-named, the Liberian Basilica, was founded in the time of Pope Liberius, in the fourth century; it was consecrated to the Virgin Mary by Sixtus III in the year 435, under the title of Saint Mary ad Nives, or at the snow, because the Mother of God Herself chose, and indicated by a miracle, its site to be that of Her first church in Rome.

In the fourth century a patrician by the name of John and his pious spouse had no children; already advanced in age and wi…

The Funniest Picture You Will See Today

"Eureka! I saw it! It flinched!" L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, uses his Hubbard Electrometer to determine whether tomatoes experience pain, 1968. Photo: Hulton Archive

The Telegraph today reports that L.Ron Hubbard's qualifications as a doctor were less than credible, having obtained a PhD from a dodgy source. Scientology, as we know, is well dodgy, as exemplified by the fact that it is revered by Hollywood celebrities, enough to pour discredit upon any religion or philosophy. Just as an aside, it is worth remembering that the founder of Scientology famously said, "You know how to become a millionaire? Start a religion." At some point he decided to act upon his assertion, having perhaps realised that there was not much money in his research into whether tomatoes actually feel pain. Having now seen at first hand, photographic evidence of his groundbreaking research, I'm never going to look at a salad the same way again.

Thurible Training

I was instructed on the ideal way in which to hold a Thurible today at the 10.30am Sung Mass at St Mary Magdalen. I scouted YouTube looking for a formal instruction video on Thuribles: The Ultimate Guide to Being a Thurifer. I couldn't find one. The best Thurible action I have seen recently is the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate using the Thurible absolutely immaculately.

I did, however, find the World's largest Thurible in action at Santiago De Compostela. Watch this! Imagine the Health and Safety Executive getting ahold of this in the UK!

Archbishop Vincent Nichols Interview

The Telegraph has interviewed Archbishop Vincent Nichols in Lourdes...
Standing in the shade of a magnolia tree in the garden of the Gallia Londres, a four-star hotel in Lourdes, Archbishop Vincent Nichols is deep in conversation with two teenagers.They are among a group of 800 pilgrims from the diocese of Westminster whom he has brought with him to the French market town that is home to one of the most important shrines in the Christian world.However, their discussion is devoted not to spiritual questions, but to the forthcoming football season. The Liverpool-supporting archbishop has been trying, unsuccessfully, to persuade the young pilgrims of the error of their ways in following Chelsea.Archbishop Nichols is a rare Church leader, equally comfortable talking about the transcendental as the trivial. It is a different scenario from only a matter of weeks ago, when he was drawn into the child abuse scandal that had engulfed the Irish Catholic Church. Despite condemning the catalogue o…

How to Nurture Your Inner Dark Side

Join Facebook's 'The Tablet Appreciation Society', in order to sin gravely against Charity and rubbish Britains most outdated and brazenly anti-Catholic Catholic publication! The Telegraph blogger and Catholic Heraldian, Damian Thompson has encouraged all Catholics to voice their appreciation of The Tablet. Do so here. In order to support the Archbishop Vincent Nichols recent statements on Facebook, Bebo and Twittering, I've posted a Facebook discussion group in support of his comments.