Thursday, 21 May 2015

Look

Look what they did to Jesus!

That's Parisians for you. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Little shoe horn?

Rosary... Check.
Pilgrim cross... Check.
Holy Water... Check.

Little shoe horn... Check.


Spiffy new UK badge to annoy the French... Check.


Monday, 18 May 2015

Which cotta?


I am faced with the age old problem of which cotta to take on the Chartres Pilgrimage. It might be the one with roses on,

Or it might be the one with lots of crochet...

Hmmm...

Monday, 11 May 2015

A Woman's Right to Choose


Do We Still Believe in… a Woman’s Right to Choose?

How interesting a title is, and how easy it is to modify words and phrases. Because it is most often used in a certain context, most people would automatically think that I am referring to a woman’s right to abort (kill) the life in her womb. I am not.

Believe it or not, women are not to be defined simply as human beings with the legal right to end a life if they want to. No, the choice that I want to think about is whether or not a woman has the right to choose to stay at home as a mother, or indeed the right to go to work as a mother.


This is an odd subject. You can usually tell if something is contentious by the language which is used about it. And here, let me assure you, it is a minefield. What do you call a mother who does not go out to work? A stay at home mum? This implies a passivity, a lack of engagement with the world. A housewife? This has the woman’s life revolving around her husband and family – her only identity coming from others, either her husband or children. A homemaker? Beloved of the Americans, this implies that if she does go out to work, then a woman who is a mother is not making a home – her home is somehow ‘less’. A domestic engineer? Too technical, too mechanical, too weird!


This is not me being an unreconstructed male dinosaur, all of these definitions and critiques come from women’s own voices on websites which address this question, whether or not a woman should stay at home and look after the children, or whether she should go to work. None of this comes from me.

It is often said that it used to be the case that when a woman became pregnant she would simply leave her job, and there would be no expectation at all that she would ever go back to work. Or if she did come back to work, then it would be a number of years later. However, I suspect that this was actually only ever the case for the equivalent of the middle class. I know of many women of my grandmother’s generation who simply had to work, or there would be no food on the table. And throughout the whole of history there have been a fair few women who have been left by their husbands, either wantonly or because of circumstances beyond their control. So the waters are a little muddier than some would have us think. And nowadays there is a financial argument for some men staying at home, or single mums having to manage family finances.


There are as many individual cases as there are families.

But what do we believe? Well, we believe that a family is a mother and a father, and that this is the place where children should be brought up. And we believe that if women wish to stay at home, then they should be allowed to with no persecution, either financially or psychologically.  And if they wish to work, then the work and the working environment should bend to the good of the family. It is not simply a matter of ‘getting women (and specifically mothers) into the work force’ – which seems to be a fixation of our politicians – and the family, the children, can go hang.

The other children are at school,
some are upstairs because they have had their meal,
some are now at university. 
Our society should change. At the moment there is help towards childcare costs if you work, but not if you are at home. And the pension arrangements are similarly discriminatory. And if you do go back to work, then the hours and terms are not always helpful to spending time with the children. If our society values women, then we value them whether or not they work in the home or out of the home. And if we value children, then we facilitate the best environment possible for their nurture.

“In this way, women who freely desire will be able to devote the totality of their time to the work of the household without being stigmatized by society or penalized financially, while those who wish also to engage in other work may be able to do so with an appropriate work-schedule, and not have to choose between relinquishing their family life or enduring continual stress, with negative consequences for one's own equilibrium and the harmony of the family.”

CONGREGATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, The Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World, §13, 2004.

-------------------

Published in the Latin Mass Society Magazine

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Walsingham

From Dr Joseph Shaw's photo stream

The bookings for the Walsingham Pilgrimage will soon be up and running. It seems to go from strength to strength.

Link here.


Monday, 4 May 2015

Hail Mary in English

Composer Fr Bede Rowe
Here is my musical version of the Hail Mary. After years of walking the Chartres Pilgrimage and singing the Hail Mary in Latin and French, I finally had had enough, and decided that the English should have their own setting.

So I composed this. You can just sing the top line, but it is better if you have two groups of people. It is quite easy. The only tricky bit is to remember that "Holy Mary Mother of God" is in unison, harmonises for a bit, and then splits again.

I like it... but then I would.

Feel free to download, use and sing. This is how I wrote it, so don't change it too much, and it would be nice be credited as well!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Walsingham Video

A Journey to England's Nazareth: The LMS Walking Pilgrimage from Ely to Walsingham from LMS on Vimeo.

This is a video about the Walsingham Pilgrimage, I saw it on the LMS Chairman's site, link here. It is copyrighted, to Mike Lord and the LMS. I hope that it is OK that I put it here. If not, I'm sure someone will tell me.

The Pilgrimage is excellent I have done it for a number of years (sadly not last year), and this video gives a great flavour of it.

Also the beginning has the Hail Mary being sung in English to my own setting, so I'm very pleased about that.

I'll dig out a version of the music and put it up here.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Our Lady's Vestment in May


It is coming on OK, but this is only the back, and the rest has still to be made.


Our Lady's chin still needs a bit of work.


Headless saints! Note the coat of arms...

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Where's my megaphone?


I need it to lend to a certain high up clergy man so that he can shout all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. I speak of course of the need for Cardinal Nichols to give us helpful advice and his desire that priests never say anything that he does not approve of – here the fact that we should follow Christ and defend marriage (here).


It is good that we have limited spheres of influence. I am not a priest of his diocese, so though I always listen attentively to men in red, I have no need to pay him the slightest heed. Now if Bishop Lang (whose courage we have had cause to mention before, here, etc.) were to say anything, then I would immediately write to him, because he is my Bishop. However I credit Bishop Lang with a more sophisticated and diplomatic appreciation of the faith than others I could mention (he is, after all, the Minister in charge for Foreign Affairs).


So I am not entirely sure how our American cousins are going to react when Cardinal Nichols starts telling them to shut up, as he thought he could do with all the ordained in England and Wales. Link here. He will have to issue a statement, of course. Those naughty Americans! Standing up for the teaching of the Church and in solidarity with little old us! It would be wrong to give advice to those outside his diocese here in England and Wales, and not to give his advice to those in America.


So I am going to hunt around and dig out a megaphone. He could try the old Jonah trick and preach quietly, hoping that no one makes a fuss.

A megaphone to the waves should do it.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

I say nothing


but I do think that this whole ensemble works!

It just works.

The coat of arms was painted for me by two of the boys in my school, see here.

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