Pastor Iuventus

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June 28, 2018
I had been due to arrive in Milan around lunchtime but, thanks to the world’s self-appointed “favourite” airline, I didn’t reach there until evening. By the time I had transferred to Milan Central station and the train had wound northward through the countryside for nearly two hours, I didn’t arrive arrived at Domodossola station until
June 21, 2018
Over the weekend I provided cover in a parish which had recently lost its resident priest. I was hearing about this sad situation from a lady who stopped to chat as she came out of Mass. “Of course,” she said of his replacement, “they’ll have to be married priests.” She proceeded to rehearse the usual
June 14, 2018
Something I read as a teenager has always stayed with me. A French Carmelite, when asked about her motivation for entering the cloister, replied simply: “I must respond to His ‘Sitio’ ” (the “I thirst” of Jesus Crucified). Last Friday I witnessed such a desire explicated in the most eloquent and heart-stirring way as Sister
June 07, 2018
If architecture can be frozen music, it can also surely capture something of the soul of faith. The upward soaring vaults of Burgos Cathedral, in northern Spain, recently inspired me with a new vision of God, not just because it is a beautiful building, but also because it shows how the medieval mind understood the
May 31, 2018
On the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, I reflect on the darkness engulfing Ireland. It is the feast of feasts because, unlike what has preceded it, it’s not about what God does for us. At the end of a cycle of Easter and Pentecost, to celebrate it feels, if you will forgive a slightly
May 24, 2018
On Monday I celebrated the newly instituted feast of Mary, Mother of the Church. I think it is a beautiful title, but I would take issue with what various Catholic news agencies are reporting, eg “The title dates all the way back [sic] to the Second Vatican Council”, or with bishops ascribing the idea of
May 17, 2018
There is a comic novel by AN Wilson called Kindly Light in which Norman Shotover, a priest from the fictional Catholic Institute of Alfonso (CIA), wants to leave his order, but fears it is so powerful and controlling that it won’t release him. So he devises schemes he hopes will result in disgrace and expulsion.
May 09, 2018
I have been asked to give a talk on Benedict’s XVI’s theology of the liturgy. I am not quite sure why, since I am not a liturgist, nor much of a theologian for that matter. But on considering material for the talk I reflect that the study of liturgy as a discrete specialisation is a
May 09, 2018
Ordinary Form Divine Office Week III Sunday, May 13: Seventh Sunday of Easter Acts 1:15-17, 20A, 20C-26; Ps 103; 1 Jn 4:11-16; Jn 17:11B-19 Monday, May 14: St Matthias Acts 1:15-17, 20-26; Ps 113; Jn 15:9-17 Tuesday, May 15: Weekday of Easter Acts 20:17-27; Ps 68; Jn 17:1-11A Wednesday, May 16: Weekday of Easter Acts
May 02, 2018
I offered my Mass intention on Monday for the parents of Alfie Evans. It is almost impossible to imagine what they have been through. Alfie himself, I am sure, rests in the loving arms of his heavenly Father, a significant consideration to temper the grief for those who have faith, but not one that could
April 26, 2018
For my last days in Australia I stayed at Mary MacKillop Place in north Sydney, on the opposite side of the Harbour Bridge from the Opera House. Mother Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first saint, moved here in 1884 to open her order’s novitiate in a simple cottage, and here she died in 1909, aged 67. A
April 19, 2018
On the Third Sunday of Easter I visit St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, for High Mass. I was last in the city for the World Youth Day in 2008 and never imagined that I would return. What a short time ago it feels, and yet the young people I brought with me are now established in
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