Friday, 14 August 2009

New Layout, new identity...

...this weekend is one of great importance for me. It is the weekend that I leave the family home and move into my accommodation for the next two years.

As some of you will know, as of September I will be a student at Cardiff University (my home university) which will be a welcome change from Canterbury. I felt totally disconnected from my family, friends and even my Faith. The three important "F" words!

...I promise that I will update the blog as much as I can, obviously for the next week or two I will not have access to the internet, but please don't give up on the blog!!

Ave Maria

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Cassocks and Habits...

...a return to witness!

What greater witness is there for a priest or religious (both male or female) to make than to set themselves apart from the materialistic values of the western world and wear the clothing that is deemed suitable for their role? Answer: There isn't a greater witness...

The cassock? "But they're expensive" I hear some of you cry. This is true, they can be expensive, but you get what you pay for. The cassock (or clericals for that matter) set a priest apart, when I work around Cardiff and see a man in clericals I will acknowledge him and say "good morning" or "good afternoon" why? because there is a certain amount of respect that goes with the 'uniform'

The habit? If it was good enough for the founder, it's good enough for them now! The 60s modifications to some of the most ancient habits (Franciscan, Dominican etc...) are awful! Knee length skirts with woolly jumpers, blouses a cross (not crucifix) and a piece of cloth on the head which doesn't cover the head entirely... I realise that the old habits would be slightly unsuitable for the works some of the Sisters do (soup kitchens etc...) but still! I firmly believe they're showing too much leg! At the very least they should have an ankle length tunic with a scapular and a full 'veil'...

...NOW! The male religious orders, to be fair most have kept the habit of their respective founders (Benedictines, Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites etc...) but why don't they wear them outside their religious houses?! I know a few Dominicans and they refuse, point blank to wear the habit outside their priory and it is most disheartening...

...having said that! There are a few 'good ones' who do bear the witness well, and wear the habit as a witness outside their religious houses! One that comes to mind is the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, such a wonderful, vibrant and young order! Highly orthodox and loyal to the Holy Father, appealing because you get what you expect with them...they are stable!

Pictures: Friars - Traditional Vocations Blog. Sisters - Damian Thompson

They are truly inspiring! Did I mention they're flourishing?? Well they are!


Monday, 3 August 2009

Wonderful news!

Being as it has been mentioned on a few blogs (Fr. Tim Finigan's and Fr. Ray Blake's) I should break the news to readers of this blog, who might not have come across the aforementioned blogs!

The (wonderful) Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate will be moving "up north" this month, actually, they should have moved already! They were, as some of you will now in the London Borough of Lewisham, in the diocese of Southwark. However, the need for an actual church became too great and they began looking around!

It was the incumbant Archbishop of Westminster in his previous position as Archbishop of Birmingham (Most Rev. Vincent Nichols) who had the insight to allow the Friars to take over a parish in the diocese of Birmingham.

I have it on good authority that the church has a beautiful interior!

Anyone who has met the Friars will understand how much of a 'big deal' it was for them.

The official opening mass will be celebrated on Sunday 9th August 2009 beginning at 4pm. The celebrant will be His Lordship the Right Rev. David McGough, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham.

The address of the new mission of the Friars is;

St. Joseph’s Parish Church
Hall Street
Stoke-on-Trent ST6 4BB

I pray that the Friars will sow many seeds in their new parish!!

Ave Maria