Showing posts from May, 2008

Sponsored cycle '08 - departure approaches....

Santiago 06 - Day 4: St. Malo to Rennes - 8, originally uploaded by bro_james. Well, in 12hrs time I'll be (hopefully) getting out of bed in readiness for the start of my 8-day sponsored cycle for children in Uganda. Preparation has not been ideal, what with smashing my big toe nail (left foot) during a staff vs. Yr. 13 (18 year-olds) football challenge match last Monday, leaving my sock soaked in blood, then putting in extra hours preparing sound effects, backing tracks, etc... (all on my Mac using the Apple iLife GarageBand software which is a joy to use) for tonight's Performing Arts Dept. Beatles show, as well as long days of rehearsals this week. Oh and the Yr. 13 Leavers' mass this morning which, as Chaplain I have to organise, with music led by us in the staff/pupil worship band as usual (band + PA equipment being carried back + forth, upstairs and down...).

It's now 6.00pm. First break all day. Final packing of my bike bags. Tonight after the show (probably abou…

Amazing Tales for Making Men Out of Boys by Neil Oliver

Neil Oliver is a Scottish historian, archeologist, writer and TV presenter, perhaps best known as the presenter of BBC 2's "Coast" . His new book is an unashamedly nostalgic look at stories of quiet heroism from the distant past to the present day. I heard him interviewed on the Simon Mayo show on BBC Radio 5 the other day and it was one of the best things I heard (or seen) for a long, long time. He is a consummate storyteller and is clearly passionate about his subject. Together with the drama of these moving tales of quiet heroism, this made for quite spellbinding radio.

The below review gives you some idea how powerful the radio interview was. I was moved to tears by his retelling of the Penlee lifeboat tragedy and the heroism of those involved. I'm pretty sure you can download it as a podcast from the BBC web site. I will try to do so myself and post a link to it if I succeed.

Return of the He-manLast Updated: 12:01am BST 18/05/2008
James Holland reviews Amazing Ta…

Sponsored Cycle for 2 schools + an orphanage in Uganda: Liverpool to Notre Dame de la Salette (S.E. France - 900 miles in 8 days)

After the success of last year’s Educational Project trip to Togo with 11 young people running summer camp activities for children in a secondary school and an orphanage (for which I did a sponsored cycle in 2006), I am this year taking another 11 SFX pupils to Uganda for a 17 day project.

To raise funds for the 2 schools and orphanage where we will be working in Kasasa and Ibanda (sports equipment and audio-visual equipment) we have been having fund-raising events in school and a charity concert at the famous New Picket venue in Liverpool.

To raise further funds, I, Brother James, undertake to cycle solo from Liverpool to the shrine of Notre Dame de la Salette at 6,300 ft altitude in the southern French Alpes (900 miles, 8 days) from May 24th to 31st.

If you wish to sponsor me you may send donations to:

Brother James Hayes,
St, Francis Xavier's Community,
Beaconsfield Road,
L25 6EG

Cheques payable to "Brothers Of Christian Instruction". All funds raised …

"A Jesuit Off-Broadway" by Fr. James Martin s.j.

This book sounds like it could be an interesting read. Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin s.j. got to work with a New York theatre company as a theological consultant and guide to help them prepare for a performance of "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot", directed by well-regarded actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (a favourite of Brit film critic Mark Kermode).

Here's the blurb from a YouTube video clip:

"A Jesuit Off-Broadway recounts Fr. James Martin's thrilling six months with the LAByrinth Theater Company, as it created and performed The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, which had a sold-out five-week run in New York. As the occasionally profane and worldly playwright, director, and actors struggled to understand theological issues and ideas, they strove to convey them in an artistically convincing way to a largely secular audience. Through it all, Martin learned lessons about theater and life, about how the sacred and the secular aren't always that far apart, and how que…