Showing posts from December, 2019

Christ/Messiah - the “anointed” or “chosen one” and our call to be him in the world

Some holiday thoughts on an idea that I often came back to when teaching R.E.: the origins and meaning of the words "Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah" (Hebrew). Let’s start with a quote from the YOUCAT (youth cathechism) book and app: 'The brief formula “Jesus is the Christ” expresses the core of the Christian faith: Jesus, the simple carpenter’s son from Nazareth, is the long-awaited Messiah and Savior. (Cath. Catechism 436-440, 453) Both the Greek word “Christos” and the Hebrew word “Messiah” mean "The Anointed One”. In Israel kings, priests, and prophets were anointed. The apostles learned that Jesus was anointed “with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 10:38).' We are called Christians after Christ, as an expression of our exalted vocation.' (Click here for the YOUCAT app). For Jews, the Messiah is one who would be chosen and anointed by God and would come to our world to save God’s people. We receive this vocation or calling through our baptism during which we receive the …

Frère Adolphe, aka "Carl Fredricksen"

Arrived in Douarnenez on the W. Brittany coast this evening with Bros. from our house here who had attended our Study Session in Ploërmel. A few days break in Finistère. Lovely to spend time with old friend Fr. Henri, Frs. Yvon + Alexis... and Frère Adolphe, recent addition to the community, former missionary in W. Africa, aka "Carl Fredricksen" (character from "Up"). He was given this nickname by teens during our "Team Win" Educational Project trip to Senegal in 2010. #legend #lamennais

Psalm 33: God is close to the broken-hearted

For those who understand French, this clip is magnificent: a French author who has suffered the deaths of two daughters, asked to comment on a quote from Psalm 33 - "God is close to the broken-hearted". She explains quite beautifully how she has experienced both those who simply didn't know what to do or say when they met her in the aftermath of the tragic events and others - like the nurse she mentions - who brought consolation by simply being there at her side, keeping her company, manifesting God's loving presence through their sensitivity and compassion, but barely saying a word. She finishes by describing such an encounter, saying, "An encounter between two human beings; one whose heart is bleeding, the other whose heart is open." There is immense beauty in her words and in her calm dignity.

Glory to the newborn King!

Glory to the newborn King! We've been to Midnight Mass and returned to our usual post-Midnight Feast ("réveillon"). Time for bed. But first... may you all be filled with God's graces of hope, peace, joy and love now + throughout the coming year. 🎄🥂😇💚

via Instagram

Post-Election Blues and Advent Joy

Well, the results are in and after weeks of campaigning, tv debates, fact-checking, etc...
...Labour won a landslide victory with 83% of the vote…
… in our school Elections (big thanks to colleague Josephine and her team of Election Elves). Nationally, things didn’t quite turn out the same, but what’s done is done and now we have to move on.
With this week’s theme in our School Mission Programme combining the celebratory aspect of our end of term rewards assemblies with the theme of this 3rd week in Advent which is Joy, it’s good to remind ourselves that being joyful, truly joyful, is a conscious choice. It’s the attitude of someone who not only sees the glass as half full, but who also then decides to express their gratitude and thanks for the contents of that glass, either inwardly or outwardly. We re-joice, the “re” bit basically meaning that we actively engage in joyousness.

For those who, like the majority of our students, wished for a different outcome of the General Election, it wo…

I am the Vine, you are the branches


De La Mennais Brothers' Founder's Day - Nov. 26th 2019 - from Bulletin 25th Nov.

Founder’s Day - Father Jean-Marie De La Mennais (1780-1860)

Nov. 26th is the day when we, the Brothers, and the members of our worldwide network of Brothers’ communities, schools, youth movements, educational projects and friends commemorate the life of Jean-Marie De La Mennais, a dynamic, charismatic Breton priest who helped reignite the Catholic faith in post-Revolution France, especially Brittany. The actual date of his death was Dec. 26th 1780, but traditionally we commemorate him a month earlier due to the proximity to Christmas.

Pupils at our secondary school in Bunia, DR Congo.

Our Brothers in Tahiti/Polynesia.

Pupils in Derval, Brittany.

Our trainee/Novice Brothers in Dapaong, Togo

Brothers and lay people from Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.

Pupils in Portugalete, Spain.

This year, being our Bicentenary year as a religious congregation, the children, laypeople a

Kermode + Mayo's BBC Radio 5 Live Film Review radio show/podcast (aka Wittertainment)

My life is now complete...

A few weeks ago, I had a message read out on Kermode + Mayo's BBC Radio 5 Live Film Review radio show/podcast (aka Wittertainment), the country's flagship film show. Click on the below image and scroll to 44m45s.

By the way, what I wrote has absolutely nothing to do with film 😆. It makes reference to some of the in-jokes and language that the presenters and fans have come to use over the years in a spiritual context (yes, really!) especially the word "birdsong". It is a reference to the fact that in the podcast version of the show the producer replaces any questionable language and anything politically controversial with actual birdsong. It's also become a euphemistic, humorous alternative to swear words, e.g. "Oh, what the birdsong!?"  My signing off comments are also a running joke  "Love the show, Steve... Tinkety tonk... And down with the...".