Wednesday, 31 August 2011

2012 Ely-Walsingham Pilgrimage Early Bird Offer

Book your place now on the 2012 Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham but only pay 2011 prices

Click HERE

Some Posts on the matter:

Brilliant Success

The 2011 Walsingham Pilgrimage has just taken place over the August Bank Holiday weekend and has been a brilliant success.
People found the event a welcome opportunity to reflect on and deepen their Catholic Faith as well as being a great chance to meet other Catholics taking their religion seriously. It also had its fun moments!
Next year we plan to build on the last two years' experience and make it better in a number of ways, but more of that in the coming months.

Last Minute Surge

We had a sudden surge of late bookings, which was great, but from a planning point of view it's better if people book early. So, to give you an incentive to do just that, we are making an Early Bird Offer: If you book your place for the 2012 Pilgrimage now, we'll guarantee to hold the fee at this year's price. You don't have to pay the whole fee now, just a £20 securing deposit or £10 if you're a F/T Student or U-18yo.

2011 prices (the same in 2012 if you book now) are:
Adults (Non-LMS Members) £60
Adults (LMS Members) £50
Full-time Students or Under-18s* £30
*Under-18s must be accompanied by a parent or other designated adult.

Book now for 2012, and you only pay the 2011 prices above. The deadline for the Early Bird Offer is 15 September 2011. You can pay your securing deposit and book online here.

LMS Ely-Walsingham Pilgrimage: Day 0


Further coverage from the BonesLMSChairman, the Catholic Youth and the Chaplain Abroad. As yet Smeaton's Corner has had nothing of interest to say on the matter, but I have it on good authority that he will do soon.

Part of a Series:

My experience of the pilgrimage was very much like that of Bilbo Baggins' in The Hobbit. I was just a silly, fat hobbit tricked by Smeaton the Grey into going on a long and painful adventure with a bunch of experienced and travel-hardened dwarves. Fortunately there were some other hobbits on the pilgrimage, so I was not alone.

Above: Me on the far right, and in the centre background, Dr Joseph Shawrin (son of Shrain, son of Shror, King under the Mountain). To his right is Fr Balin Rowe.

Above: Smeaton the Grey, planning the pilgrimage and my imminent downfall.
Day 0

Our Lady of Walsingham - ora pro nobis!

The pilgrimage began with me not having packed anything, and thus running around the house with my father having a stress. He furnished me with a useful pair of waterproof trousers and a bag big enough to carry at least 20 cats. Placated, I went on my merry way over to the train station to Balham Tube Station to get the St Bede's minibus from St Bede's Church, Clapham Park. On my way I decided that I wanted to go to Marks and Spencer to get a cheese and tomato roll. This entailed me going to Clapham South rather than Balham, but so be it. When I arrived I realised I'd only had one cup of coffee, and so popped into a coffee shop to have a nice little cappuccino and a lemon-and-poppy-seed muffin. I knew that we would be 'roughing it' in the upcoming days, and that getting a proper cup of coffee would be hit-and-miss so I thought that I'd better enjoy my last bit of indulgence before going on to obtain some actual indulgences.

When I had finished my lunch, I realised that I was lost in Clapham, but thankfully John Tennond Halfelven had my number and guided me to St Bede's, the Last Homely House this side of Norfolk. There I was greeted by Bones, two Australians, Smeaton, two female associates of Juventutem London and Lord Tennond himself. Having been derided for my tattoos by the girls, we hopped into the bus and Lord Tennond drove us on our merry way. On the journey it was revealed that one of the Australians, Ronan, was in possession of a relic of the True Cross, a fact that none of us could really comprehend. This of course led us to comment that if we couldn't comprehend a relic of the cross, how could we possibly comprehend the holy and august sacrament of the Eucharist?

The camp

We got a bit lost, and didn't stop for a coffee or anything. Eventually we arrived at the farm where we were staying. Fr Rowe was there waiting for us, replete with charmcasm and wit. I had decided to bring the cheapest and most glow-in-the-dark plastic rosary with me, which he blessed for me. Smeaton the Grey revealed that I had been exiled from his tent and replaced with an Australian. However, the kindly Bones allowed me to share his, which proved to be auspicious as the Bones Tent was by far the biggest, even bigger than Dr Shaw's Four-Poster tent. After we had pitched up we drove over to the Church, where everyone else was waiting to sup at the presbytery.

'The Tower of Winslow' - Antonio's chariot of fire

At the presbytery, Mrs Shaw and Mr Waddington had prepared supper, a fine array that reminded me of the sort of food we got at St Benet's Hall in Oxford for a garden party. Posh cold meat etc. Here I acquainted myself to new friends and reacquainted myself with old. Mrs Shaw proved herself to be a real mulier fortis by agreeing that we needed to get some proper coffee etc, and so Antonio drove me to Tesco in the Tower of Winslow to buy some.

When supper had ended, and I had put the coffee in the supply box, I had a brief chat with a nice family who were not from Liverpool. There were a couple of Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate there, and we had a brief chinwag, before it was time to turn in. The girls, much to the chagrin of equality-minded Antonio, Baron of Winslow, were sleeping in the presbytery while we were camping, and they wanted to go to sleep. Thus we were exiled to the outer darkness. We returned to the farm, where Smeaton the Grey showed us the woefully inadequate bathroom facilities (a little cupboard on the other side of some dark and creepy stables). From the field we had a wonderful view of Ely Cathedral.

Everyone was actually going to sleep, being hardened dwarves who knew what to expect. Bones and I (being stupid, fat hobbits) thought it best if we kept the first watch, and also decided to have a little a night-cap. We were joined by another pilgrim and Lord Tennond, though eventually both these retired leaving us to put the world to rights over a pair of tealights. Oh how the darkness pressed in on us! We were lit simply by two tealights and a mobile phone propped up against a bottle of mouthwash, and with very little artificial light around. We were alerted to the onset of the rain by the pitter-pattering, but we were protected by the tree under which we were seated. Once we had accomplished the righting of the world, Smeaton the Grey re-emerged from his tent, unable to sleep. We saw him through the darkness because he had a head-torch on. Soon however, we were all back in our tents, dozing off to the sound of the rain.

Continues with Day 1.

Ely-Walsingham Pilgrimage 2012 Early Bird Offer: Book your place on 2012 Pilgrimage but only pay 2011 prices! I've just done it!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Response to Fr Blake

Fr Ray Blake (second from left) at the last Juventutem London Mass to hear confessions, June 2011

The affable and charming Fr Blake has posted about the Michael Voris lecture here. Though Voris' visit to the UK was not a Juventutem event, there certainly was a crossover in terms of personnel. However, if it came under any banner it was under Pro Ecclesia and the legendary Mrs McLeod.

However, in his post, Fr talks about the philosophy of the young men and women involved in the organisation of Voris, of Juventutem, of the LMS Walsingham pilgrimage and on the internet. This post is a friendly response to his writing about 'us' [incorporating a group wider than the organisers and attendees of Juventutem London]:
I think in many ways they are all prophets [...] I mean, they struck me as being people who had a voice, that was at times critical of the Church today. They are often highly critical of laxity in the Church, even of individuals, they have a tendency to be impatient, to denounce infidelity and to be divisive - divisive, in the sense of dividing sheep from goats. Left to them I think the Church would be leaner, they expect their bishops and priests to be holy and orthodox. 
Their vision of the Church is one that many of us priests might find disturbing, it is radical maybe not so much a school for sinners, or a hospital for the wounded, and certainly not about "cultural" Catholicism. It is militant. I don't mean to give a caricature, they are kind and compassionate. What I find exciting about them all is that Christ and his Church's teaching is something they find exhilarating and demanding. It is something to build a life on.
The only point I really want to address is Fr's claim that 'we' do not so much see the Church as "a school for sinners, or a hospital for the wounded". This is untrue, I think, of the people involved with Juventutem, Voris, and those who brought him here. Absolutely the Church is a school for sinners, of which we are the chiefs. Thank God for the holy sacrament of Penance, which is sadly neglected.

If 'we' were to be angry about anything in this department, it would be against those who de facto deny the Church's status as a 'school for sinners and hospital for the wounded' by their eschewing of this most beneficent gift from Almighty God. It is not those who see the Physician who deny the hospital. Rather, those who refuse to seek the aid of the Physician deny both him, the hospital, the prescribed remedy and even the illness.

And if we were to be angry at this, absit that it be in a malicious way - it would be anger first in terms of justice at the offence given by sin to Almighty God; secondly because so many of us have not been taught the importance of recourse to the sacrament of Penance; thirdly in the circumstances (rare, Deo volente) of those souls who consciously despise the sacrament. And all of this anger is the anger of fellow wounded sinners who simply wish to see their brethren visit the Physician and receive his forgiveness and healing.

If 'we' are brash, perhaps 'we' should reconsider 'our' approach [I'm getting tired of these scare marks, they are to indicate that we are not a homogenous group, but I'm dropping them now], but our approach is still that of the Forerunner and Our Lord, which is: "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand". Heterodoxy is a different matter however.

We do not wish to see a leaner Church. I cannot speak for all of the others in this 'group', but I do not buy into this supposedly positive phenomenon of the Church shrinking into a purer remnant, purged of heterodoxy. Some take this and cheerfully proclaim it as if it were a good thing, which to my mind shows a degree of callousness for the souls that would be lost should this happen. Would it not rather be better for the Church to grow, as she was continuing to do recently, and still is doing, albeit not in the West? Would it not be better for those who at the moment deny truths of the Faith to lay aside their errors and beg Almighty God for the gratuitous gift of faith, which they may even presently lack and against which they are sinning? Is it not also reasonable to suggest that if the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Faith was proclaimed in such a way that avoided ambiguity, prevarication and equivocation, there would be a rich harvest of converts, as there always were until recent years?

We are however, guilty as charged in terms of wanting our priests and bishops to be holy and orthodox. Why are they being ordained if they are not orthodox and struggling towards sanctity?

Here concludes the post, greetings and goodwill to Fr Blake, who very kindly heard confessions for us at our last Mass in June, and who hopefully will join us again in future. Pax!

Update, 31 Aug 16.34: Fr Blake has responded further with an interesting post.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Michael Marshall's Good Counsel Network Fundraiser

Michael Marshall, second from right
Michael Marshall has announced that he shall be running the Southend 10km Run to raise money for our other friends, the pro-life, pro-woman charity Good Counsel Network. GCN provide material support to women who feel they have no other 'choice' than abortion. They are thoroughly Catholic, rooting their apostolate in prayer and the Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, whilst offering their aid without condition to any who need it.

Juventutem London has had a strong link with GCN since we began, tagging our social onto the end of the Mass that they arrange (every second Friday of the month, at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane). Now that we have moved to St Patrick's, Soho, we continue to maintain that link by having the Masses we arrange offered for their intentions.

Please support Michael generously by donating here.