Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Back to the blog

At last. I am back blogging again! These past few weeks i have suffered severe withdrawal symptoms as my broadband connection was none existent. The details - more than 40 phone calls and still no adequate response - would bore you in the extreme.

On 21st September I was supposed to transfer from BTinternet to Sky Broadband. The promised service from Sky should have started just a few hours after BT cut me off.... Even today, 21st November, they still can't connect me, and - to cut a very long story short - basically blame BT. It is an 'ongoing problem'.

In the meantime I've been able to get connected through Talk Talk via another telephone number in the house. There service has - so far at least - been excellent.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Dangerous Dogs

Parishioners probably know that in the Presbytery there are two vicious and dangerous dogs, who go by the names of Ben and Joe, but whose full names are Benedict XVI and Joseph Ratzinger.

Their viciousness knows no bounds. Not only have they been guilty unspeakable violence wreaked upon several items of clothing belonging to this serene household, but in the past week their crimes reached a new and unprecedented horror.

The first attrocity took place on the afternoon of Monday 31st July. Having returned from the funeral of a dear friend, the lady of house removed a new and expensive pair of shoes, specially purchased for this sombre occasion, and placed them carefully and neatly in that place in the house where shoes are safely kept. Imagine her horror, when several hours later the vicious vandalising canines were discovered, relishing the said items, which were now gnarled, ripped and disfigured, almost beyond recognition, and most certainly beyond repair.

But that was not all. A second and more severe attrocity followed on Wednesday 1st August, which caused much greater shock, appalling the master of this house this time by the wanton destruction which was wreaked.

In the evening of the said day, the master and mistress of the house were sat in their drawing room relaxing after the labours of the day and discussing quiet and trivial matters as is their customary wont. The master of the house had earlier met with his episcopal superior in the dining room of the house, and had discussed several matters, including important dates, during which discussions he had cause to make use of his expensive and sophisticated portable computer, which serves as an electronic journal and organiser. As the lady of the house spoke quietly and placidly to a family member on the telephone, she noticed that Benedict XVI, having been allowed to roam the house as part of his evening constitutional, was sat calmly in front of her chewing something which appeared to be lighting up the inside of his mouth. She felt it appropriate calmly to draw this to the attention of her recumbent husband, who glanced, at first idly, in the direction of this uncaring and hideous hound. She - and the aforesaid family member - were then terror-struck by the blood curdling scream which suddenly emanated from her husband's mouth, as he leapt from his relaxation to inspect the extent of the damage. His exclamations were soon followed by sobs, the like of which had scarcely been heard in the normally tranquil household.

Other words were also uttered by the distraught owner of the now destroyed electronic organiser, but these cannot be recorded here, for reasons which be obvious to any reader who has ever suffered a similar shock or loss.

The penalty which ought to be exacted on the malicious, vicious and destructive dogs ought to be severe, but the aggrieved master is a compassionate, forgiving and foolish man, who simply repaired to eBay to replaced the damaged item. The lady of the house may have to wait a little longer for another pair of shoes.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Let the bells ring out in the heart of the city!

This week we had a set of digital bells installed at the Church. The speakers are discretely located on the outside of the Church, and I am impressed myself by how authentic the bells sound.
They were working for the weddings which we had this Saturday afternoon, and after the morning masss of Our Lady we had Immaculate Mary (the Lourdes Hymn) floating out into the city air.
I've been a little concerned that the neighbours might object, but it seems the bells are hardly audible indoors (we are being cautious, keeping the volume down at the moment) and some have actually said they like them. I suppose next to the sound of emergency vehicles, more general traffic, drunken shouting, screeching tyres, the bells sound fine.
Almost everyone in the parish was delighted. There are always one or two, of course, who are wet blankets. One couple pulled a face and said 'It's all very well in a little village, but what it the point in a city?'
Well, my response is 'More to the point'! Sometimes people locally don't even realise that the Church is open - in fact, we are the only major denomination with a major presence in the city centre. The anglican church is a ruin, the old methodist church is surrounded by scaffolding, besides the catholics there is only a small baptist and salvation army building.
Let the bells ring out in the heart of the city!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

St Maria Goretti Day

Last Weekend (Sunday 9th July) I was back with the good people of St Maria Goretti, in Bentilee, for their 50th Anniversary celebrations. It was a wonderful day. The Archbishop celebrated the Mass, and it was lovely being with so many old friends at the reception afterwards.

The picture here was also in the Catholic Herald this weekend (16th July 2006) and I guess it will also be in Catholic Today, the diocesan newspaper. A little oddly, abouthalf the group hyave been cut off from the left of the picture, including Fr Philip Griffin, who was my predecessor at Maria Goretti. In the diocesan website the picture is accompanied by the press release, which was used word for word in the the Herald.

Article in Diocesan Website (link valid on 15th July 2006)