Thursday, 24 January 2013

Anne Widdecombe and Redefining Marriage

Here is a video of the address given by Anne Widdecombe at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference sponsored by the Coalition for Marriage. While of course I am not suggesting support for any political party, I think this is a good example of Miss Widdecombe's oratory and gives an idea of what it would be like to hear her speak.

In February (20th), the Plymouth Catholic Student Society is hosting a talk by the Rt Hon Anne Widdecombe at Plymouth University which is open to members of the public to come along, and in particular local Catholics. It will take place at 12.30pm and is in the Rolle Building (room 605). The title of her address will be "Catholics going to prison for their faith? Could it happen in Britain today?" It is likely to be a lively and rewarding address.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Confirmation conferred by the Ordinary

The Ordinary invites the confirmands forward
It was an enormous pleasure to welcome our Father in God, the Ordinary, Monsignor Keith Newton, to Buckfast Abbey to confer the sacrament of Confirmation on three children of the Ordinariate here at the Abbey. It was a splendid occasion and one of those times when we all said to one another it is so good to be here. Full of thankfulness in our hearts for all the blessings we have received through the provision of the Ordinariate by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, we also rejoiced that the new generation were receiving the strengthening of the Holy Spirit through the sacrament of Confirmation.

Monsignor Keith spoke in his homily of the ordinariness of the water of Cana which was transformed into wine. The water was ordinary but what happened was extraordinary. And this is the pattern of our Lord's actions. In every mass the ordinary is taken and made extraordinary - the sacred body and the precious blood of our Lord. At the confirmation he bid us all to remind ourselves what Christ can do if we open our hearts to Him.
Monsignor prays for the sevenfold gift of the Holy Spirit

The extraordinary transformation at Cana was also an extravagant one - and this enormous generosity of the actions of our Lord, remind us to place our trust in God who can make a dramatic difference in our lives, if only we allow the Spirit to work in us. God can act and transform a situation - He can turn water into wine. "So often," he said, "our motto is:  Blessed are they that expect nothing for they will not be disappointed. Rather we should heed the words of the Baptist missionary William Carey inscribed under a lectern in Westminster Abbey, Attempt great things for God - Expect great things from God." Renewal in our own lives, he went on to say, can only happen when we can say "we have no wine", in other words recognise our own need. If we let Christ in, the possibilities are endless- with Christ there is always more and better to come.
The Ordinary prayed the blessing

Following the Mass we retired to the VE Hall for refreshments supplied by the good offices of the ladies of the group. (Particularly noteworthy was the moist fruit cake favoured by Father Abbot, and the chocolate cake, favoured by the children!) We also rejoiced in the presence of our brothers and sisters from Torbay Ordinariate Mission who supported us on this memorable day.

More photos can be viewed on the Abbey website here .

Thanks be to God for all His blessings.

DAY NINE (Eve of Pentecost)