To find but lilies there…

There are various traditions surrounding the where and how of Assumption of Our Lady (Feast 15th August). Even in Jerusalem, one such version has it happen at the site of the present Church of the Dormition, (the Eastern Church’s alternative name for the Assumption), south of the Old City, while another shows you the cave-church dedicated to the event, close to the Garden of Gethsemane. One such tradition says that on the day of the death (and Assumption) of Our Lady, St Thomas the Apostle was not present, just as he was at the appearance of Our Lord on Easter Sunday evening. It was said that they opened the new grave for him to gaze on her one last time…

They bore her in a reverent group To a holy place,
Left her body in the earth –
Her body, “full of grace”.

But Thomas, tardy, slow of foot, Absent when she died,
Spent with sorrow, craved to see Her of the Crucified.

There was a swift intake of breath,
A hurried silent prayer;
Startled they opened the new-made tomb To find but lilies there.

Sister M. Angeline

Truly good, a gift from God

Pope Francis on the internet

I sometimes in this newsletter refer to various websites, and I know people follow them up. However, I suspect many will think, “Well I haven’t got time for that.” But in the lazy hazy days of summer I would really like to recommend one for your browsing. It’s a large site called New Pilgrim Path
It’s a huge resource coming from Ireland, a “portal” in internet language, beautifully put together and covering many aspects of our faith and its expression in the arts, music, liturgy, spirituality etc.

As their opening page says, Pope Francis describes the internet as “offering immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is truly good, a gift from God”. They hope that the site and the resources “help you as you seek encounter with the person of Christ, the Word of God in our midst.”

The menu gives an idea of what kind of thing you’ll find: Website of the Week; Music for July; Sacred Music; Poem of the Week; July Book of the Month; Daily Prayer; Inspiration; Online Retreats; Broadcast Resources.

Just taking “Sacred Music” as an example, I came across a spine-tingling setting of the Lord’s Prayer sung by Andrea Bocelli (not usually a huge fan) and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Another example: the “Inspiration” page will take you to Henri Nouwen, Daniel O’Leary and many, many other top writers of our time.

So – why not have a wander through the upside of the internet, and enjoy this “gift from God”

Archbishop George on the oche

Well, what’s a frazzled Dean of Cardiff to do – I can hardly keep track! Last week our Archbishop was appointed to ‘mind the gap’ and look after Menevia diocese until a new bishop is appointed. Now this summer he is on the oche*, chucking his priestly darts, scattering his clergy all over the dartboard of our deanery. It started with Canon John Maguire retiring and Canon Peter Collins replacing him at Canton. Fr Daniel Stanton from Newport will replace him at the Cathedral.

However this week we learn of more clergy moves affecting the city. Fr Paul Millar is to leave St John Lloyd in Trowbridge and Blessed Sacrament in Rumney for leafy Herefordshire, where he will be parish priest of the farthest parishes from Cardiff – Leominster and Bromyard. Fr Brian Gray of St Cadoc’s (and formerly St Brigid’s) will now take over those two neighbouring parishes, and he thereby joins the exclusive ‘3 churches club’! Sisters Marie de Montfort and Maureen Davies continue at Blessed Sacrament.

Now the latest is that Frs Phil Scanlan and Mike McCarthy are leaving St Alban’s in Splott. Fr McCarthy will move to serve St Peter’s and Fr Scanlan to St Joseph’s in retirement – for the second time! The Rosminian Fathers are handing over St Alban’s and will be replaced by the members of the Oratorian Community in formation, presently at the University Chaplaincy.

Oh and course we are gaining Fr Andy Bord at our 3 churches – that’s what I call a bullseye!

Fr Matthew

*For those not familiar with the world of darts: The oche (or throw line or toe line) in darts is the line behind which the throwing player must stand. Interesting (useless?) fact – for steel tipped darts the oche is generally 7 ft 9 1/4 inches (2.37m) from the face of the dartboard measured horizontally. So there!