Archive for September, 2013

See this article by Fr Martin Boland at Jericho Tree:

Opening “a liturgical Pandora’s box”? A parish priest reflects on the “family Mass”

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I’ve just received this information from the Young Catholic Adults group:

During the weekend of the 18-20 October 2013, Young Catholic Adults will be running a national weekend at Cold Ash Retreat Centre just up the road from Douai Abbey (which was booked up this year).

* It will be include the following speakers:- Fr Goddard FSSP, Fr de Malleray, Fr. Pearson O.P. and Br. Gabriel O.S.B..

* There will be a Marian Procession, Rosaries, Sung/High Mass, Low Mass, Confession and socials.

* Gregorian Chant Workshops will also be running, this year led by the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge

Weekend rates: £99.00 for adults, £69.00 for Students and U/E ( weekends starts on Friday evening with supper and finish on Sunday after lunch.

Saturday night only – £60.00 for adults, £50.00 for Students and U/E Full Board

B & B – £35.00 for adults, £30.00 (for student – U/E) per day

Non – residential and full board – (Friday & Saturday) – £45.00 for adults, £40.00 for (for student – U/E) per day

Non residential (includes meals) – £30.00 for adults, £25.00 (for student – U/E) per day

Non residential & no meals – £20.00 for adults, £15.00 (for student – U/E) per day.

To download a booking form please see :- http://www.youngcatholicadults.co.uk/events.htm


For general enquiries about the weekend please ring Margaret on 07515 805015 or Damian on 07908105787.

How to get to Cold Ash Retreat Centre (near Thatcham, Berkshire)

Car – Roughly halfway between Reading and Newbury, Cold Ash Retreat Centre is within easy reach of these towns as well as London, Oxford, Bracknell, Winchester and Basingstoke. The A4 (Bath Road is a couple of miles and the M4 is just 4 miles away.

Trains – The nearest railway stations are Thatcham and Newbury, with a regular service on the line from Reading to Taunton. It’s just c. 45 minutes from London Paddington. The local railway station, Thatcham, is a couple of miles away (and has plenty of taxis available). Timetables and other information are provided by http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.

Buses – Weavaway operates a bus service from Newbury Town Centre via Thatcham Broadway to Tilehurst, which stops at Cold Ash along the way.


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brentwood cathedral

The parish of Brentwood Cathedral has just posted some ideas for parents who are bringing their babies, toddlers and children to Mass each Sunday.

Some of these ideas were tested here on Bridges and Tangents a couple of months ago, which generated a great discussion in the comments section. You can see the final results at the Jericho Tree site.

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See the new post on the Jericho Tree site.

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The New Evangelisation: What it is and how to do it. I’ve just had this posted on the Jericho Tree website – you can read here.

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I’ve been involved in a new Catholic website called Jericho Tree.

You can visit the site here. Do subscribe to the email list in the right-hand side-bar.

You can visit the Facebook page here. Please do publicise the site by liking the page.

And you can follow the Twitter feed here @jerichotree.

If you’ve got any feedback it’s most helpful to leave it on the site itself – on the feedback page here.


Here is the blurb from the ABOUT page.

Jericho Tree is a magazine-style website bringing together articles and videos about faith, culture, lifestyle and news – from a Catholic perspective.

The title ‘Jericho Tree’ refers to the meeting between Zacchaeus and Jesus in Chapter 19 of the Gospel of St Luke. As Jesus enters Jericho, Zacchaeus longs to see him, but he is too short, and the crowds are too big. So he climbs a tree in order to get a better view.

“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax-collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way.

“When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him.

“All who saw it began to grumble and said, ‘He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.’ Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ‘Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’”

The idea is to create a forum for great Catholic writing, mainly from a UK perspective, but with some international contributors as well; and to link to other articles and videos that take a fresh look at the world from a Catholic perspective. Quiet a few people have promised to write, and a few have already started. We’ll see how it develops over the next few months!

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I had a ten minute interview with Jumoke Fashola on BBC London this Sunday morning. The topic was confession – what it means, how to go, and in particular why many Catholic churches are reporting an increase in the number of people going to confession over the last few months.


You can listen to the interview here, my bit starts at 3:08:40. [It’s available until 14 Sept].

This is from the Telegraph article by John Bingham that got the discussion going:

An informal survey of clergy based in cathedrals across England and Wales found that two thirds had noticed an upturn in numbers taking part in the sacrament, something many of them attributed to a papal “bounce”.

The Church said that the greater willingness by people to “unburden” themselves and deal “issues” than in the past had also given the centuries old practice a new relevance for some, including those who might be put off by public services.

The polling of cathedral deans or priests-in-residence found that around a third had seen an increase which they attributed to a combination of the impact of the new Pope and the continuing impact of the Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain three years ago.

Respondents spoke of having to make special arrangements to accommodate extra demand for confession this summer.

One respondent replied: “Some people are coming in saying I don’t know what to say or do because they haven’t been since they were at school or for 30 years, and are asking for help with the words to say.”

Another said: “This summer there has been a marked difference in demand compared to last summer … We don’t usually offer confessions in August but have done this year.”

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I moved to Newman House last week, and I haven’t had a chance to post since then. It’s great to be here after all the anticipation of the summer. Things are pretty quiet, in the sense that most of the students have not arrived for the new academic year yet. There is a handful of medics (those who have begun their clinical training start at the beginning of September), departing students from last year, and summer guests. The rush of the new year begins properly in about two weeks.


It’s a fascinating part of London to live in. Euston and Regents Park to the north; Bloomsbury, the British Museum and all the university colleges to the east; the hubbub of Covent Garden, Soho and the West End directly to the south; and the high energy of Tottenham Court Road (and the restaurants of Charlotte Street) to the west. I’m having great fun exploring the local streets, working out where to get my hair cut, where to post a letter, which cafe is good for reading or meeting or surfing the net.

And above all, I’m beginning to get my head and heart round what it means to be involved in university chaplaincy. I’ll report back in a few months…


The local landmark is the BT Tower. Not a pretty building, but one that seems to hold its place in the affections of Londoners, if for no other reason than that in its Dalek-like way it has always been there (i.e. been there for most of our lives). You can see the top of the tower from my bedroom window. (The photo is from the street round the corner). Now I get a thrill whenever I see it from some distant part of London and think ‘that’s my home!’

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