Showing posts from June, 2019

St. Thomas More + St. John Fisher

We’ve got three significant Catholic celebrations coming up on consecutive days: two Solemnities (the highest rank of Catholic Church celebration) Sunday’s Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ) Monday’s Birthday of John the Baptist and today’s Feast (second rank celebration) of the Reformation martyrs St. John Fisher, a Bishop, and St. Thomas More, knighted, married layman, Lord High Chancellor of England, a close adviser of Henry VIII and an internationally-renowned philosopher and spiritual writer. Both were martyred for taking a stand against Henry’s separation from the Roman Catholic Church.
The famous Hans Holbein painting of St. Thomas More.
I have a particular interest in these two saints for differing reasons:
Bishop John Fisher Up until roughly the mid-20th century, members of religious orders would take a « religious name » which they would be known by within their religious order. One of my teachers (and my form teacher in Yr. 9) at the De La Mennais Brothers’ school in So…

De La Soul, Elton John and the 2 Andreis (Rublev + Tarkovsky) - a personal reflection on the Trinity for Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday - June 16th

“3, that’s the magic number (what does it all mean?)”
Or at least so said American 1980’s hip-hop/rap trio De La Soul (which makes me think the Brothers missed a trick back then not forming a hip-hop skiffle band called De La Mennais!).
But really, Trinity… what does it all mean?
I’d be lying if I told you there was an easy answer. During my 4 years of Theological studies in Paris back in the ‘90s, we didn’t study the question of the Trinity in the  history of the Church until the 3rd year, and spent a whole term (one 2 hour lecture per week) wrestling with this mysterious, but fundamental aspect of Christian belief. You could probably fill our school’s MUGA (Multi-Utility Games Area) from floor to ceiling with all the different written studies, commentaries, mystical reflections and works of art that over the past 2,000 years have sought to express, at least in part, the essence of what it means. It is interesting to note that at no point has the Catholic C…

Pentecost 2019

Staff Bulletin 10/6/19
My mind has recently gone back that glorious Olympic summer of 2012 and my experiences as a Games Maker volunteer Chaplain in the Olympic Sailing Village in Weymouth. In particular, the unforgettable Wednesday evening I spent in the Olympic stadium in London as one of the lucky volunteers invited to attend the final dress rehearsal of the unforgettable Danny Boyle and Frank Cottrell-Boyce-inspired Opening Ceremony. This pairing of an agnostic former seminarian (Boyle) and a practicing Catholic (Cottrell-Boyce) managed to create a spectacle that was, at the same time, intensely personal and deeply British, which nonetheless struck a chord with audiences and critics alike around the world.
Something that Cottrell-Boyce wrote in an article for the Jesuit websitea few weeks after the Games came back to mind the other day when thinking about the theme of Pentecost. He describes the time after that Weds. evening dress rehearsal:
“It must have been the same night, after m…

“The Shores of Normandy” - Jim Radford, D-Day commemoration

Some of you may remember me sharing videos/messages  for Remembrance Day 2015 relating to the 2WW naval veteran, Jim Radford, movingly singing a song, “Shores Of Normandy”, he wrote following his experiences at the D-Day landings. 
After the war he became a folk singer and still takes part in folk festivals and concerts now that he is into his late 80s.

The gentleman concerned, 90 year-old Jim Radford, has re-recorded his song and there is a campaign to get it to No.1 in the charts for Sunday. It is apparently provisional No.1 as things stand. Funds raised from the sale of the single will go towards the creation of a memorial garden in the fields over-looking Gold Beach, Normandy. 
There has been a great deal of media coverage about the song in the last few days. Here are a few links, including the new YouTube video of the song itself:
I contacted J…