Showing posts from March, 2016

The joy of the Lord is indeed my strength!! + Rend Collective’s latest album

It’s funny how sometimes an album/cd or song can hang around in your iTunes or near your cd player for sometime and get hardly any plays, and then suddenly one day you put it on and the penny drops and it starts to make perfect sense to you and you wonder why it didn’t before and you can’t stop playing it… and… and… :-)Well, that’s happened to me today with Rend Collective’s most recent album, “As Family We Go”, which was released just over 6 months ago. I am a massive fan of this group and use many of their songs in our school worship band and as form period resources, as well as in my own personal prayer. Somehow this most recent album didn’t click with me when I first heard it. None of the tracks made it onto my “Best Bitz 2015 Megmixtape” (an annual thing of mine!). Not because it was bad in any way, I just think now that I had to be ready for it, and I wasn’t.And then this morning I was looking for fresh Eastertide-themed musical resources to send form teachers in my work as a sc…


Christ is risen!! Let the whole world sing ALLELUIA!!!!

Here’s an excellent article by the American Jesuit Fr. James Martin sj on the challenge of Easter.

The activism of composer Sir Michael Tippett

I've been a fan of Sir Michael Tippett's music since my Music student days in the late '80s. He was someone who showed that artistic creativity can be a powerful force for good when allied with political activism. This article by his biographer and former personal assistant/manager, Meirion Bowen, (Tippett died in '98) describes very well how his creative life as a composer and his compassion for the sufferings of others were inseparable. The one fed the other. His profoundly moving 2nd WW oratorio, "A Child Of Our Time" about the real-life plight of a young Jewish boy, is still performed regularly around the world today and is one of the great classical works of the 20th century. We need people like him today to give voice - as he did in "A Child..." - to the oppressed, the persecuted, the marginalised. I will add after the article a link to the final section of the oratorio in which he uses the negro spiritual "Deep River" (one of a numb…

How he loves us!

Oh, how he loves us!!!… and I love this song and video (cover version by Eddie Kirkland of the John Mark McMillan song). It cleverly foreshadows the events of the Passion narrative through the story of Jesus’ temptations in the desert at the start of his ministry.

The Prodigal Son

This retelling of the Prodigal Son story relates it to the Passion narrative through the question “What would you do for the person you love?” It’s a hard-hitting, wonderfully moving short film that certainly got a reaction when I used it during the Reconciliation services we had in school the past 2 weeks (used it only with Yr. 10s upwards due to the content).

Definition: the Big Bang

When marking a pupil's book earlier in the week I came across this....

"The Big Bang = the idea that a cosmetic explosion caused the creation of the universe."

A quantum lipstick?

Longing for a home - part 2: my response to Andrew Peterson’s mailing

I myself was born in England to Irish parents, but 2 of my great-grandparents on my mother’s side were German and came to settle in Ireland in around 1860. Two years ago I did a sponsored cycle from Lourdes (S. France) to Fulda (central Germany - the shrine of St. Boniface), passing through Triberg in the Black Forest region of Germany, the home town of my great-grandfather, Stefan (Stephen) Faller. Though I didn’t meet any relatives, I spoke to local people who knew the clan of the Fallers. The surname actually originated from the town of Triberg itself (it’s to do with a mountain waterfall…). The whole experience felt so much like coming home that arriving in my final destination of Fulda felt like an anti-climax in comparison. An added element in the whole story is that he and his family were all Jewish, converting en masse to Catholicism when they arrived in Ireland, something my mother only told us siblings about 5 years ago, a couple of years before her death. Stephen Faller’s j…

Longing for a home - Easter reflections from Andrew Peterson (Christian singer/songwriter)

I’m on the mailing list of this Christian singer/songwriter. I found his latest missive, received today, rather moving, as is his latest album, actually. Here’s a large part of that mailing (and click here for the complete text):"As I’ve blabbed about before, my great-grandfather was from Sweden—a place called Kalmar, which may sound familiar to you Wingfeather Saga readers—so from my first visit till now my connection to that part of the world has steadily deepened. I did so much research into Peterson family history that on my last tour I was able to stand in the ruins of the cottage where my great-grandfather was born. This time around we saw so many friends that we’ve made there over the years and experienced that sweet fellowship that only the church can provide. But check this out. Last Sunday the connection deepened even more because I was able to locate a second cousin—a Swede who had been trying to locate our branch of the family tree in order to find out what happened t…