Thursday, 29 October 2009

Celebrity? What celebrity?

The BBC carries a rather sad story about the house where the X Factor finalists are living whilst they continue to be part of the show.

When did the celebrity ‘culture’ get so bad? Could it have been with the advent of reality T.V. shows? I think so! What does this mean? Does it detract from parts of our life with real meaning? Simply, yes.

The ‘crazy’ fixation the young have with the celebrities has gone beyond mere fascination.

I’m quite happy with one ‘celebrity’ in my life;

In Domino

"you're on board...

...or you're not on board"

I'm not going to beat around the bush, I am infamous (amongst friends and family) for making fun of people, it's highly un-Christian of me, and I try and turn the other cheek, but sometimes they bring it on themselves...

Tom Cruise.... no comment.

H/T Damian Thompson for the link to the video

**OK I couldn't resist; he seems to talk a lot, but does he actually 'say' anything?!**

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

I'm back...

Alas, I forgot my camera so there is a distinct lack of pictures. I shall 'vet' my fathers and brothers photographs as and when! It was hot, very hot, and alas I got a bit burnt...

...the main reason I wish I would have taken my camera was because of the local church; St Theresa of Jesus... it was dreadful! It was a 'modern' building, with a pretty plain sanctuary and a pillar blocking the view of the Tabernacle... if that wasn't bad enough it was a 'Eucharist service' instead of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Apart from that I read quite a bit and enjoyed receiving the funny looks from fellow holiday-makers as I laughed whilst reading the "Yes, Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister" books.

Thursday, 22 October 2009


I'm off to Spain at 6.30 this morning (flight from Bristol to Alicante.) A family holiday is always nice. I will be away from 22nd - 28th...

Prayers for a safe journey would be appreciated!

In Domino

Monday, 19 October 2009

Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St David, Cardiff...

OK, I realise that is a rather long post title, but, well... this could be a long post! I have a book on my shelf and it’s the history of the above mentioned church, St David’s Cathedral, Cardiff. It contains some beautiful pictures (black and white) of how the cathedral looked before the bombing in the 40s. There is also an ‘after’ shot, which I will also post; but let us first begin with a picture of how the cathedral looks now....

Pretty non-de-script, nothing of any actual interest, apart from the cathedra. I have it on good authority that it is in fact the original Abbot’s ‘throne’ from Belmont Abbey, and that there is a part missing, the missing part is said to be an Abbot’s mitre! **note no high altar**

So, what is the point of this post? I'm not just going to 'bash' the cathedral at which I attend Mass.. I am going to praise it for what it used to look like, and what, with a little care and attention the cathedral could look like again...
I know the picture is black and white but you can get an idea of what the cathedral looked like. This too had problems, the sanctuary was far too small for a cathedral, however it wasn't built as a cathedral or even intended to be one at all. St David's was the principal church of Cardiff, but the archdiocese wasn't constructed until 1916, the church was built in the 1800s.
How amazing it would be to have the last two pictures in colour! I am told that the cathedral was truly beautiful, one can get a taste of the beauty by looking at these pictures. The next picture may shock you...

After the incendiary bombing all that was left was a shell, the sheer beauty of the pre-WWII church disappeared and what was replaced was pile of rubble.

Cardiff has quite a rich history, quite a rich religious history. With one of the most powerful Catholic families in Briton (well they were converts) owning most of Cardiff, I speak of course, of the Bute's.

I pray that sooner, rather than later the people of the archdiocese will return to the faith.

Our Lady Help of Christians
pray for us

St David
pray for us

Sunday, 18 October 2009

No electricity...

I woke up this morning (at 6am) to face every Westerners worst nightmare... no electricity.

There had been a leak over night from one of the upstairs apartments and as the water trickled down each floor it took that floors electricity with it.

So I went about my business, using the candles from my 'devotional area.'

Morning Prayer this morning was blissful, none of that background noise which usually accompanies my supposed "quiet" moments! It was utter bliss.

My point? I think it did me the world of good, too often we take electricity for granted, and when it's gone we don't know what to do. I got more uni work done this morning (by candle-light) than I have most of the year, so far!

My advice, take a little time out of your day, turn off devices that can be turned off and sit in silence, say a few prayers, pray a few psalms, then sit and listen. God is all too often inundated with our requests but we too frequently don't listen for the answer.

Friday, 16 October 2009

She's gone...

St Therese has gone, but the memory of the visit of her relics will live on for generations! I will always remember the flocks of people making their pilgrimage to Cardiff's Cathedral to spend a few minutes with the Little Flower, asking her intercession or thanking her for prayers being answered.

I have trawled through the Flickr page of the Bishop's Conference, looking mainly at pictures from the visit to Cardiff. I have a few favourites, which I will put up in this post. The pictures are all from the Flickr page, so full credit goes to them!
This is the first of my favourite pictures. It features one of the sisters from the Dolgellau Carmel, they were certainly most welcome! Most of them seemed quite frail, but they were so full of Love! They were all smiling!
Here is my second favourite image, why? Well it features three flags of great importance to me as a Welshman, a Briton and a Catholic. They are; the Welsh flag, the Union flag and the standard of St David. Also, Canon Peter Collins (with the biretta) is in full choir dress, a rare glimpse of a by-gone era.
The last image is of Archbishop Peter Smith during the preparation of the gifts. Mainly because it's a good picture, but also because I'm baffled by why the book is facing the wrong way... I was on the sanctuary and didn't notice a thing!!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Modern technology.

Modern technology. This “phrase” conjures up so many thoughts and so much feeling. Mobile phones, computers, television, the internet etc... they all fall into the collect idea of “modern technology.” You are reading this blog because of two of the “modern technologies” mentioned by me namely; computers and the internet.

My question is; do we rely too much on it? Have we forgotten what *real* silence is?

I was listening to a homily today; the homilist was a Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate. He spoke briefly about today’s Saint; St. Teresa of Avila. He spoke of her vocation, what she was eventually called to do. But he spoke about what lead to this, a life of prayer. A life of silent prayer.

It is hard for many of us to pray during the day, harder still if the television/radio/computer is on; if we have an e-mail we have to send to someone or a phone call which has to be made by the end of the day. “I can always pray later” I often tell myself, I usually forget, but when i do eventually pray he who is always ready to listen is attentive, He never goes away, I praise him for staying close!

Too often our lives are filled with ‘hustle’ and ‘bustle’ how are we supposed to hear the Lord if we don’t take a few minutes out of our day to sit in silence, before a lit candle, crucifix or even the Blessed Sacrament, if you’re fortunate enough to live close enough to a church with regular adoration? The answer for many of us is we don’t or we can’t.

I beg, beseech and implore you to take the time, as the friar said in his homily, set aside a few minutes of your day, every day, for prayerful reflection.

St Teresa of Ávila
pray for us

Flat blessing!

The flat blessing took place on Sunday 11th October. Canon Peter presided over a short ceremony in which he blessed all 4 'rooms' including the hall. He then stayed for a cup of tea and some cake.

I plan to take a photo of the focal point of the flat, It will be posted sometime soon.

In Domino

Vocations video... most students I can trawl the internet for hours, looking at all sorts of nonsensical rubbish, however, recently I came across quite a good video. It’s a vocations video for the Archdiocese of New York, with extracts from a homily of the new Archbishop of New York, Most Rev. Timothy Dolan.

I realise that the US Dioceses have a lot more money than our Diocese but seriously, where are our truly inspirational/mind blowing vocations videos?! On second thought, where are our truly inspirational/mind blowing bishops?

Thursday, 8 October 2009


Readers! Your help is required; my walls are plain and boring, what I need is something for the walls. If you know of any websites where one can buy appropriate images please comment! (by 'appropriate' I mean religious prints)

I hope you are all well, stay tuned for regular postings!

In Domino

Thursday, 1 October 2009

It's official...

the Holy See has announced the new Archbishop of Birmingham (England and Wales' second see)

"Il Santo Padre ha nominato Arcivescovo Metropolita di Birmingham (Inghilterra) S.E. Mons. Bernard Longley, finora Vescovo titolare di Zarna ed Ausiliare di Westminster."

Huzzah! The Holy Father had nominated the Rt. Rev Bernard Longley for the See of Birmingham! A self professed 'conservative' I get the impression from a few blogs I've read that he is the favourite of those who are orthodox.

"What are the seven things that we, as Catholics, want or would like to see happen?"

I was "memed" in a blog post recently (well in the last few months) as a result of that I shall try and do as requested by the blogger.

So here goes;

1. Male Altar Servers - You may say this is sexist of me, but I genuinely believe that the 'corps' of altar servers should be all male. It is a fact that the role of altar server leads many young men to discern the possibility of a vocation to the Priesthood; woman can never be ordained priests.

2. A sensible distance between the hands of the celebrant during the opening prayer, Eucharistic prayer, Pater Noster and post-Communion prayer. None of this "I believe I can fly" rubbish [picture to follow].

3. Every parish church (in England and Wales... actually universally) offering both 'forms' of the Mass.

4. A return to beautiful vestments and the abolition of 'over-lay' stoles.

5. Priests wearing cassocks (even if it's just worn during the Mass, or when they're in a church) and religious wearing their habits.

[A note on habits especially women’s Religious Orders; a return to the habit of the founder, not the post-Vatican II dress]

6. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in EVERY parish.

7. Priests not just saying the Mass but praying it! Taking the time to prayerfully recite the Order of the Mass, and not doing a rushed job!

Most of these seem to be liturgical, but as an Altar Server you do notice liturgical abuses more than most other things.[exactly what i'm on about! "I believe I can fly"]

UN and the special status of the Tango...

Wow. It's nice to know that the UN can use it's time and resources well by deciding that the Tango is deserving of a 'special status'.

It's just a pity there haven't been any world disasters recently!

[note the sarcasm]