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Showing posts from August, 2012

I was helped, my heart rejoices and I praise him with my song

Being outside of my community and my daily routine of prayer and the Eucharist for most of the past month, and being on my own in community for the previous two weeks while Bro. Francis was away has made me realise just how precious it is for me to live in a religious community, especially one where my confrère(s) know me and my story pretty well, know my weaknesses, and yet seem to love me for who I am.
As I write this, I am on my own in an otherwise empty presbytery in Weymouth where I have been for most of the past month, working as a Chaplain in the Olympic Sailing Village. I have driven back to Southampton for my days off as much as possible to try and have at least an occasional connection with my normal daily routine. It has taken a lot out of me, but it has been important to make that effort, I feel. I've discovered here, more than at any other time in the last 22 years of religious life, that I most certainly do not have the vocation to be a hermit. I am very bad at organi…

Olympic Opening Ceremony - bringing people together

Here's part of a very interesting article from the Thinking Faith website by Frank Cottrell Boyce: screenwriter, author + long-time collaborator of Danny Boyle, who worked with Boyle in putting together the Opening Ceremony. From my own perspective of having been a GamesMaker volunteer Chaplain down in Weymouth I understand completely his point that the most important thing about the Opening Ceremony - and indeed the whole Games - was the idea of bringing people together. More about my own experiences a little later... Click here for the full article.Writing History: The Opening Ceremony in its Author’s WordsI am still having flashbacks to some of the best moments of working on the Olympic Opening Ceremony.One evening, some months ago: I was alone on the platform at Bromley-by-Bow when it was invaded suddenly by hundreds of volunteers heading home from their rehearsal for the Olympic Opening Ceremony: Londoners of every shape, size, age, race and ability, each carrying a little bo…

Togo 2012 - Rolo's slideshow

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Here's a terrific slideshow from our Togo trip put together by Rolo to the sound of "History Maker" by Delirious, one of our favourite Team Win! tunes.

Togo 2012 - Day 11

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It's about time I got round to finishing these Togo articles... so, Day 11.

The next day saw us take a drive with Fr. François along the coast to Togo's former capital, Aného, to visit our De La Mennais Brothers school, the Lycée Saints Pierre + Paul which I first visited with a group back in 2007. This was actually the first place I ever stayed at in Africa with a group in back and was probably the most challenging of all the places we have stayed in over our 4 Afican adventures due to the difficult sleeping conditions in the tiny rooms of the boys' boarding wing where we slept. I'll never forget that first night there, sharing a room with our Br. Francis. It was a credit to those in our group back then that nobody complained, just taking it in their stride.

This time we weren't sleeping there, though we did take our group round for them to see for themselves. We had put aside some of the funds raised prior to the trip so that we could make a donation to a deservi…