Thursday, September 30, 2010
I am composing a Novena and will post it day by day, starting with Day 1 tomorrow. I intend to include in it, points for meditation via quotes from both Blessed John Henry Newma and from Pope Benedict's recent UK homilies and speeches. I can't publish the Novena all at once because of the thought, study and prayer this will involve in order to proceed. I began the work yesterday and with God's help, and yours through prayer, am confident of being able to post each each evening 1st-9th October.
ITM have a happy and holy feast of St. Therese everyone.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
For my friends Msgr. Calkins; Mark Miles; and Mac at Mulier Fortis: 'To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven...'
Monsignore Calkins has been in the service of the Holy see in Rome for 22 years. His last day at 'Ecclesia Dei' is at the end of this month. He is then going back to the United States and will take up his new ministry as chaplain to nuns who run a retirement home in Saint Louis, MO.
Ad multos annos Monsignore, and with prayers always.
Also at the end of this month, Mark begins a very special venture. By St Teresa's day he will, God willing, have entered his Seminary of choice in Germany. I offer him undying gratitude for all the help he has tirelessly and unceasingly given me with my blogs. God speeed Mark. With my love and daily prayers.
Mac's friends all know that she recently lost her beloved Sylvester. Cat lovers amongst us who have experienced separation from a beloved feline companion know what she is going through. God bless and comfort you Mac, with loving and prayerful condolences.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
In early April this year I wrote to the Holy Father humbly asking him to consider the addition to the Litany of an invocation of Our Lady Queen and Mother of Priests. On April 30 I posted here about my intense disappointment in the 'standard' letter of response I had received from the assessor at the Secretariat of State. (See blog archive 'Reply received to my letter to the Holy Father')
Acting on the advice of Fr Mark Kirby OSB, on May 5, enclosing copies of the relevant correspondence, I wrote to Archbishop Piacenza at the Congregation for Clergy, and to Msgr Calkins at Ecclesia Dei (CDF). About a fortnight later Msgr Calkins replied to me by email explaining how the Secretariat of State operates with regard to correspondence addressed to the Holy Father, and how it sifts is. (see the June 1st post on my Spiritual Mothers of Priests blog 'email from my contact in Rome'. Link to that blog and its archive in the sidebar here, 6th item down from the Pope's picture at the top.)
Once July ended I didn't expect to hear from Archbishop Piacenza until after the Roman summer recess, but continued to pray daily about the Litany, along with my usual devotions, including daily Novena and Rosary for the Holy Father and his visit to UK. The Archbishop's gracious, kind and informative letter arrived on the morning of the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, a devotion which has been special to me for 50 years. I gave special thanks to her this year. Here is the text of the letter:
"Vatican City, 9 September 2010
Dear Mrs Fulthorpe,
Thank you for your kind letter of 5 May last, expressing your desire for a new title in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be inserted into the litany.
The Dicastery wishes to inform you that your correspondence has been transferred to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the discipline of the Sacraments, since it is of their competence. Please be assured that your letter was read with appreciation, particularly with regard to your devotion and prayer directed to the spiritual motherhood of priests.
With an assurance of prayers and best wishes, I remain,
Yours sincerely in Christ
(signature in black pen)
Titular Archbishop of Vittoriana
Profound gratitude to Archbishop Piacenza, Monsignor Calkins and Fr. Mark, and to all of you who have prayed about this matter.
Now we know where my letter is. let's pray for a reply from the appropriate dicastery, shall we say, in time for the Presentation of Our Lady on November 21.
Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for our intentions regarding the Litany of Loreto.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sent Monday 20/09/10 13.38
" OUR HEARTFELT THANKS
My dear 'C',
It's difficult to find words that satisfactorily express the depth and strength of our thanks to you for taking the time to email me about the experience of Cofton Park. You must be exhausted, and have school today. I expect though, that the peace, serenity and joy that you drank in yesterday, are still alive in their freshness, and will always remain with the four of you. The very atmosphere that you describe transmitted itself to us via the official Papal Visit live webcast.
We too saw the papal helicopter appear in the skies; and I thought of you amongst the crowds waiting below. My heart was bursting with joy. I'm so glad you saw it on the giant screens, and then the landing and transfer, first to a car and then to the Popemobile. Even at this distance it was so exciting, and difficult to sit still, that is until the Mass began. Your presence there with 'P' increased my own sense of 'being there'.
Yes, I'm sure the Holy Spirit was present, and countless Guardian Angels too. Yours and 'P''s must have been working in tandem. As for the rain stopping when it did, when I saw that it was raining befort the Holy Father's arrival my heart sank but somehow I knew that it wouldn't continus. We weren't aware of exactly when it stopped, and only realised it whn we noticed that the plastic ponchos a lot of people had been wearing seemed mostly to have disappeared. But now you have told me exactly when it stopped, I like to think that from Heaven it was Blessed John Henry Newman welcoming his friend Pope Benedict to Cofton Park.
I would love to share what you have told me with my blog readers. Have you any objection? As you know I would keep names a secret as I have done in the past. With your permission I will do a post about it tonight.
Colin and I are still not 'down to earth', but I really must do some housework. The webcast coverage over the four days was so extensive and more of less continuous that one didn't dare leave the screen for fear of missing something!
The hostile aspect of much media build-up to the visit had really got to us. As it was, and the Visit unfolded, the fear and anxiety in our hearts gradually melted, and by the time our Holy Father went down the Vatican flag and Union Jack bedecked Mall, we could see and hear that those there to cheer him on were in a definite and vociferous majority. We were amazed that so many people had turned out to see him. I think it was at that point that we began to experience our Pope's visit with a joy unalloyed by earlier anxiety and dread. We could see it turning into a tour de force before our very eyes.
After his welcome into Hyde Park, the atmosphere changed yet again, this time to one of prayer and contemplation, leading up to Adoration and Benediction. And we witnessed again what happened at the Eucharistic Adoration during his visist to Lourdes two years ago. That stillness and silence of a vast crowd being led to adore Jesus by His chief shepherd, and theirs. But on this occasion, by the time of Exposition, it was dark and the monstrance containing the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, was set, seemingly in the night sky, lit by the stars which He created. It was literally breathtaking.
Now, I'm looking forward to what the Holy Father will say about the trip at this Wednesday's General Audience...................My dear 'C', I must leave you now, but thank you once again for keeping me close yesterday. The knowledge that you and 'P' were there and doing so, made the Beatification Mass of our dear Blessed John Henry Newman, the most personally special liturgical event of the Visit. I will always treasure that memory, and also the written record of the occasion as you experienced it.
With lots of love and prayers
In lumine vultus Iesu
Monday, September 20, 2010
Underneath the surface of the Catholic blogosphere, it is an example of how we express our Catholic faith; of how we privately encourage and support one another via the Internet. I am sure that there is a lot of it going on beneath that surface. I thank God for the grace and privilege of being able to show you one tiny aspect of what it was like at Cofton Park, in the presence of our truly Holy Father, and how its beauty and truth was communicated and confirmed to me.
Monday September 20 2010
My dear 'sister' took the trouble to email her report to me before going to work this morning. It was a beautiful and totally unexpected gift, as you will see, and for which i will be eternally grateful. I knew beforehand that she and another of my spiritual 'sisters' would be at the Mass, both from different Parishes close to Cofton. A fourth 'sister', who is the blood sister of the second one mentioned above, would stay at home for health reasons. As you all know, I had to be in physical exile in France for this Papal visit. Nevertheless, the four of us had agreed beforehand that we would be spititually united at this Mass. This way of witnessing to our spiritual bond is not new to us. For example I may one day tell you about what happened when the relics of St. Therese were in Birmingham. But for now let me and my 'sisters' share with you what happened yesterday. All you need to know before reading the email is that the first sister is referred to as 'P', the 'sister correspondent is C. and her husband is J. Here is the email:
The Holy Spirit indeed accompamied us on our pilgrimage to Cofton Park. P. and I were travelling to the Park via City Council buses, but from different points in Birmingham. When we arrived at the coach and bus park, there were already hundreds of vehicles - some had arrived at midnight. Amazingly as J. and I, and my (blood) sister were walking with the crowds out of the bus/coach park, we met P. who had become detached from the other pilgrims on her bus and was a little distressed. It was wonderful that we met each other. So we walked together up the long hill and into the top of the Park, and then began to search for a spot where we could 'set up camp' and wait for Mass to begin. By that time the Park was already very, very full......... and so we looked for a space at the top of the hill
The first space we found seemed okay, but as the rain became heavier, more and more umbrellas appeared (even though I thought they had been banned!) and our view of the altar was completely obliterated. Then J. (God bless him) went on a walkabout and soon returned, suggesting that we move camp...to a space a little to the left, where we would be able to see both the altar and the two huge choir areas which were situated on either side of the altar.So we moved, and yes it was much better. and with the aid of the several large screens dotted around the Park, we were able to view everything. As the rain became heavier, P. gave my sister a fleece blanket to help her keep warm and we trid to keep our 'Magnigicats' dry,
9.40am - everyone began waving their flags as the papal helicopter flew overhead. From the big screens we could see that it landed on the fields belonging to the Birmingham City footbsall training ground which is five minutes walk from where I live. Then we were able to track the progress of the Papal car from the training grond to Cofton Park. The Holy Father then travelled in the Popemobile, and although we were too far away to see him, we waved our flags and joined in the welcome of cheers and applause.
Something wonderful happened then.; the rain ceased and the sun appeared and the whole Park was bathed in warmth.
The Mass was simply wonderful - a combination of traditional and modern, both in terms of language and music and there seemed to be at all times a most prayerful and serene quiet which permeated the Park................I thought of how.........people flocked to see Jesus. as we had flocked to the Park this morning. How they had hungered for His words and how He had fed them.. Yesterday we were fed and nourished by the words of Jesus in the Gospel, fed by the Holy Father's words and fed by the Eucharist.
When Mass ended, P. decided to walk home rather than walk all the way back to the bus park. We decided to do likewise. So we parted company,. J. offering to take P's chair so that she could travel light. It was a slow and quite strenuous walk home, weighed down as we were with all the equipment we had needed for our Pilgrimage, but it was good to walk and a fitting way to end our Pilgrimage journey.
Jane, P. and I remembered you and Colin as we partiipated in the wonderful Mass and we spoke of your being with us in spirit, both in your prayers and through the medium of television.
Thanks be to God.
Love and God bless,
More tomorrow, but I must mention that I had another 'sister' at Cofton Park, as yet unknown to the others. She was pilgrimage leader of a group from Somerset. The Lord knows what time they arrived and what they endured on the way. I'm sure she will let me know tomorrow, but I am certain that whatever they went through, that warm sun will have shone on them too. God bless you Mary. Be in touch soon.
God bless our Holy Father. As Archbishop Smith said to him on Saturday night in Hyde Park, 'Your visit has done us so much good. Thank you Holy Father.'
Sunday, September 19, 2010
IF YOU ARE FEELING RATHER FRAGILE AFTER THE AMAZING VISIT OF OUR DEAR HOLY FATHER, DON'T LISTEN TO THIS UNTIL YOU'RE STRONGER. IT'S A BIT OVER THE TOP, TO SAY THE LEAST OF IT BUT I JUST CAN'T RESIST IT.
GOD BLESS ALL MY READERS.
GOD BLESS OUR POPE
At almost 7pm GMT, our beloved Holy Father took to the skies over Birmingham en route for Rome. I dearly wish he could have heard this motet whilst he was with us. As it was,Tallis only had a brief look-in at Westminster Abbey when they sang 'If you love me'. Actually I suggested that months ago on this blog. We Catholics tend to sing this Tallis tune to the words of 'Bone Pastor'. When I know for certain that Christ's chief shepherd on earth is safely home, I will post a Te Deum.
In the meantime thanks to you Holy Father for coming among us with great courage and joy, but thanks most of all to Our Lord Jesus Christ, and His blessed Mother, for keeping you safe whilst in our hands.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I intend to continue this policy over the next four days, unless anything truly dire should happen. Therefore you will find here, during the visit, music mostly written before the dawn of the 20th cntury, some of which I dearly and truly wish our beloved Pope would be going to hear whilst on British soil. So between Papal events come here. You may find salve to your soul.
Now Handel was a Protestant, but not as Protestant as some modern Catholics! He wrote a Carmelite Vespers after all. But he was originally German as well, and I'd like to welcome Benedict XVI to Britain with 'How Beauriful are the feet' from 'Messiah'. (See next post)
Benedict preaches the Gospel of peace; he brings glad tidings.
If only one British person listens to him and changes his/her attitudes and ways, there will be great rejoicing in Heaven. I believe that it will be many more than just one.
For now, I pray the dear and holy man a good night's refreshing and energising sleep.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Either the wrong dates have been put in the Pope's diary, or someone at VIS has been shockingly careless and shouldn't be in the job.
One expects that the latter is the case, but either way one prays that confusion will be avoided and that VIS will publish a correction as soon as possible.