Monday, 20 September 2010

The Pope has gone.....

......and now it is our responsibility to reap the fruits of his Visit. And what a visit!

400 000 people saw our Holy Father at some stage.

He met with the Queen, the Prime Minister & the Deputy Prime Minister, spoke to Parliament, stood on the spot St Thomas More was tried, presided jointly with Rowan Williams over an ecumenical evening prayer and of course, beatified Cardinal Newman.

I have travelled with the Pope since early Saturday morning, which is why Dani has been doing all the posting! The Mass at Westminster Cathedral was stunningly beautiful and reverent, a reverence that flows from the Holy Father's own profound holiness during the celebration of Mass. After that we walked through eerily quiet streets to Hyde Park for the prayer vigil. There was a great atmosphere, more akin to a festival than a religious service, and the arena was full, which made for fantastic images.

The Pope's reflections on Cardinal Newman during the Vigil were deeply impressive, just as everything he has said has been: you must get copies of all his talks and read them carefully! He also invited all the young people present to World Youth Day, which was excellent. That's the next project!

I then slept on a sofa at Holy Ghost Balham before joining the parish's pilgrims for Cofton Park. We left at 1.30am. It was definitely worth it, though: the Beatification Mass was absolutely amazing and once again the atmosphere was both exuberantly joyful and deeply prayerful.

This is a weekend that will stay with us all for a long time.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

A sensational day- interview with Carmela Tucker

Whilst waiting in a queue to get into Hyde Park, I caught up with an old friend, Carmela Tucker to find out how she was finding the day. Carmela is a 20 year old from a small parish in Whitstable Kent in the Archdiocese of Southwark who has just finished her gap year working for Southwark Catholic Youth Service in the residential centre and is currently preparing to start university. I asked her six quick questions to get her thoughts on this historical state visit.

So what are you enjoying most about the day?

I've really enjoyed the opportunity to see the Pope, being part of the crowd and experiencing the frenzy that surrounds the leader of my Church. I also value his wisdom and inspired words that produce thoughtful doctrines.

Why did you want to be here today?

I wanted to see the Pope! I also wanted to see friends again from WYD and be part of something massive and historical. WYD- World Youth Day is a massive gathering of young Catholics and it's a chance to celebrate our faith together. I was at the last one in 2008 in Sydney. It was just amazing.

Justin Turner, Greenwich Deanery leader, spoke of the encouragement the visit gives young people to get involved in the life of the Church. "I belive that the most valuable thing young people can take away from a huge Papal Event like this is a renewal of their faith. Saturday's events were not only uplifting but also very inspirational. The Holy Father spoke directly to us as young people and gave us a new courage that as the future of the church we are of high importance and he has given us the hope that with our faith we can be all we want to be. We saw the Pope in a different light in that he seemed very at ease communicating with the youth and was very happy in our presence. Again this has given us more encouragement that the Church needs us and that we have a mission to get further involved."

What are your reactions towards protestors, do they bother you?

Well they have their opinion and that's cool. I saw a poster saying 'Condoms save woman's lives' which is a bit frustrating as I don't think that's the right message. One condom can save one lady/man's life I agree- but it also prevents life. 1 condom, 1 person but millions of babies are prevented from living.

Pope Benedict XVI or John Paul II?

I prefer JP II but I like the Pope in general as an inspirational figure. This state visit is a part of history and I was a part of that!

Do you think the young people here understand or appreciate the magnitude of this event?

Yeah, I think so. I reckon most people here REALLY get it, just look at the amount of people here- there's loads of them! It's a testimony to the fact that everyone wants to be part of history. Faith is a big element of people's lives here- they wouldn't be here if it wasn't. I suppose there are also some young people here who are very curious about experiencing faith on this kind of scale, perhaps that is their reason for being here today. Nonetheless, it's a massive witness to our faith- showing and telling people that this is our Church and we are proud.

When speaking to one young person, it was clear that liturgy itself was incredibly important to her and when I asked her what was her favourite thing of the day, she said 'the mass'. I must admit, I was scared that the crowd may become apprehensive about the Latin mass, but it was simply gorgeous. Everyone was incredibly reverent and was able to follow it well, the booklets produced were very informative and the Magnificat booklet allowed people to join in with the hymns. The youth of 2010 were truly engaged and involved in a traditional mass, something I wasn't expecting to see.

If you could describe the day in one word, what would you choose?


So there you have it. Yesterday was a sensational day which allowed young people to celebrate their faith comfortably with their peers. People were not ashamed to be there, not ashamed of their faith and in actual fact spectacularly mature and respectful while being excited and full of life, what a balance to achieve! The Church is definitely a place for everyone and the youth really do want to be here. Let us now do what we can to continue to encourage and support each other in our faith journey, carrying forward the message of His Holiness to achieve stillness in our busy lives to find God and ultimately peace.

Young people want more

After mass this evening, the young pilgrims from Greenwich deanery were coming out of their youth group meeting. Clearly there is a strong desire to know and love God, and after a spiritually enriching Saturday, the community that had already been formed amongst the young people want to continue to develop and nourish their relationship with God. The Papal Visit may be over, but the faith that we share will continue to be alive and the Holy Father's visit rejuvenated and highlighted the energy and passion that is present in our Church- particularly among the young people.

Here is a link to a video clip I've uploaded to Youtube that a young person made yesterday

I hope that where ever you saw the Holy Father this weekend (in Birmingham or your front room), it was a special and blessed occasion.

Paving the way for legacy

On the way home last night, many of the young people were talking about how exciting the day had been and when I asked them if they were interested in going to Madrid for World Youth Day many of them started asking when it was and how much it would cost. Our parish have discussed sending three young people to Madrid, but by their reactions yesterday, we may have to consider some serious fundrasiing to ensure as many as possibe get to experence the week long pilgrimage.

I cannot begin to tell you how glad I was to hear Pope Benedict address us yesterday evening with the words 'I hope to see many of you at World Youth Day next year.' The crowd literally went mad and it's now that we must try to encorugae young people to seriously consider an opporuntiy to share their faith with young Catholics from all around the world and a chance to listen and reflect upon inspired words from the leader of our Church. Sadly, it can be difficult to ensure all this information gets to everyone (I didn't know World Youth Day exsisted until last year) and so many people who would benefit and enjoy such experiences don't ever come to know about them, so for the Holy Father to spread that message to 80,000 people was just magnificent. Let's hope social media tools will help us round up the numbers for next year.

For those of you in Southwark, has the relevant information and application forms are now available.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Day Three of the Papal Visit

I'm half asleep but I feel the need to jot down a few reactions to what was a humbling experience. For us the Greenwich deanery group, it was an early start to a packed day and on the way home their was a definite feeling of happiness and contentment. The day for us ran like clockwork and I felt honoured to share today's experience with such a lovely group of people.

The weather could not have been any better, the atmosphere was vibrant and Pope Benedict's message could not have been simpler- put Christ at the centre of everything.

As a young female black Catholic, it was also a great joy to see Paschal Uche address the Holy Father on our behalf; I think it's fair to say he was spectacular and did well to represent the Church of modern Britain: fresh, diverse and exuberant. What a role model for our young people of society.

One of the most touching aspects of the day was hearing Mr and Mrs Mizen speak of how grateful they were to the Church for their support during the grieving of their son, Jimmy Mizen. Their message of living a life of peace not anger was rightly received with a standing ovation, an indication of how relevant the issues they discussed are to life in 2010.

Liam McNally was fantastic and the Holy Father still had everyone eager for his presence- people still had the energy to chant Benedictus at 8.15 this evening.

I remember at our training day, Fr Dominic Howarth of Brentwood was concerned about boundaries between taking pictures to upload onto flickr to give those at home coverage, and people taking pictures and not paying attention to the words of the service. This evening, there was a swarm of people to greet Pope as he arrived in his pope mobile at Hyde Park. It was an enchanting sight for me as every type of phone and camera came out to immortalise His Holiness. We are a modern Church and a modern Britain and as things become easier to obtain at a much quicker pace, it was really heartwarming to see people rushing to do something that will last forever as a photograph. There is a desire, a hunger among the young people of the UK to know and love God and today some of the incredibly lucky ones got to take the technology of the 21st century to capture the representative of a Church more than 2000 years old.

I hope that those of you travelling to Cofton Park have a safe and blessed journey home, you are in my prayers.

The journey to Hyde Park begins...

Getting out of bed this morning wasn't too bad and a hot shower certainly seems to have helped. Hopefully I'll have some coffee in the next ten minutes and I'll be as happy as Larry for the rest if the day. Already I've had a text from a friend telling me that she will be on stage later today and she will be meeting with His Holiness. Joy and excitement has shyly surrounded this visit and it's only now that it is coming into its full majesty. Many people have been warmed by Pope Benedict's genuine genorousity and profound words, suggesting that the message of Christ is stretching even to those of no particular faith. Well that's my romantic hope I guess. Continue to keep up to date throughout the day with the events at Hyde Park at

Friday, 17 September 2010

Flickr- Westminster Abbey

Here are a few of the snaps I got before and after the service. I must admit, they aren't terribly impressive photographs, but they give you a sense of the anticipation before His Holiness arrived, the presence of the Metropolitan police (who did a fantastic job- VERY efficient) and the joy and the desire for more after Pope Benedict has left Westminster Abbey.

To see them, visit

A Survival Guide to Pilgrimage

Whether you're off to Hyde Park tomorrow or coaching it to Cofton Park on Sunday, here are a few tips that I picked up today after my immense day at Westminster Abbey:

1. If you have a driving licence, bring it as well as your passport- it has your address on it and it's better to be safe than sorry.

2. Tickets are a handy thing to have on you well before you get to security checks, just to save time.

3. Bring something that won't take up too much space but will keep you occupied (you may have long periods of time with nothing specific to do).

4. SHOES!!! I made the mistake of wanting to wear heels all day- I've destroyed my feet. Converses or trainers are definitely the way forward.

5. Another mistake of the day- DON'T bring lots of stuff- bare essentials to get you through the day- phone, ID, ticket, pilgrim pack, water, money.

6. The police are incredibly friendly and very helpful- if you're lost don't be shy. They are there to help.

7. London weather is unpredictable and by the time we leave Hyde Park it will be freezing. So thermals would probably be a good idea.

8. Be prepared to see protests. We live in a country where freedom of speech is important so carry on about your day (God loves everyone even if they don't love Him).

9. Get to queues EARLY. 3 hours before the evening prayer started there was a queue that was snaping round Westminster Hall.

10. Avoid jewellery and metal things (I'd packed a brolley, keys, deodrant, bangles, a long pretty necklace...). No one is going to be eyeing you up and it will make the Police's job easier when you go through metal detectors.

Whatever you're up to and where ever you are this weekend- God bless!

Westminster Abbey

I'm currently sitting in the glorious Abbey, waiting to begin our second rehearsal for the ecumenical service taking place this evening. I've never been inside before, so what an occasion to be here. The music is being rehearsed at the moment and from where I'm sitting I can see where the Holy Father will be seated during the service. The unity and strength of our Churches is an important element of this visit and the agenda was set from the word go yesterday as both the Queen and Pope Benedict reiterated a desire for strong bonds between our Churches. Let's hope this service can encourage and reassure people that there is no I in team and we are united in our faith- not segregated in it. The evening prayer will be broadcast live at 6pm this evening on BBC 2.

I love this

A post from Fr Ray Blake (PP, Brighton, A &B) has summarised the events of the day best for me. Enjoy!

Photo Post

The Papal Plane is about to leave Rome.

The Pope is heading through Edinburgh in the Popemobile. 125 000 people were there, according to Jack Valero, who said he had it from the police.

Around 70 000 people were at Bellahouston Park. Amazing scenes.
The Nunciature this evening was amazing....I shall post tomorrow.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Pope is Here

Oh wow. What a day! The crowds went crazy at Eccleston Square when the Holy Father appeared out of the plane. Ever since, the mood has completely changed: it's just an amazingly optimistic and happy moment for our Church.

God bless the Pope!

I don't have long, I am watching the Mass in Bellahouston Park on the TV. The blue skies and the huge crowds are just fantastic and so moving. The Holy Father's homily was simple but effective. Wonderful stuff.

Once the mass is over, I will pop into a fast food outlet and then head to the Apostolic Nunciature. If you're in London, why not join us for a prayer vigil from 9pm, and then to welcome the Holy Father as he heads there to go to bed.

The Holy Father in Scotland

Today really is an incredibly exciting day. I'm currently watching a replay of Pope Benedict's arrival to Scotland and it's now I begin to comprehend how humble I feel to be alive to witness the second visit of a Pope to our country. Just this morning from 8am onwards, people have literally spread the joy of God to everyone and anyone-whether they will listen or not. I'm so happy that so many people are just doing whatever they can to spread this anticipation- twitter will be chogged up this weekend.

For many Catholics in the UK, this weekend is going to be a pilgrimage like no other-but we must also do our best to spread this to our fellow Christians and members of the Catholic community who may not be able to get to any of the events.

The visit is being well televised, as I said I am watching the coverage that was on this morning and I'm aware that the BBC are broadcasting the mass at Bellahouston Park at 5pm (BBC2) and the evening service at Westminster Abbey is also being televised. So people can get involved right from the comfort of their homes. To find out exactly when programmes are on, visit

The Papal Visit (, follow @thepapalvisit on twitter, 'The Papal Visit' on facebook) coordinators have also launched a mobi site which works on just about every smartphone, so for those of you are unfortunately working over the weekend, you too can stay well on track with live footage of this four day visit.

So much time and preparation has gone into this visit, and it's only fair to support fellow communicaiton officers by sharing with you the work that they have done. Gerard Owen and Alice O'Neil have been busy working hard in the diocese of Clifton, creating podcasts to archive their interviews with a variety of people from our community. Visit to listen to these.

Claz Gomez, from the diocese of Westminster has contributed to the preparation of this visit, promoting the visit, working on interviews and producing some insightful blog posts.

Rebecca Ryder of Merseyside has also been spreading joyful noise, doing an interview with BBC Us the Southwark team also have made our presence known on facebook, like our page 'My Papal Visit 2010!'

So with all these different places to go for information, no one should feel left out or go without coverage this weekend.

No more days to go. The Papal Visit is here.
God bless Pope Benedict XVI.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A very nice piece on Channel 4

Go here to see Matt Roche Saunders and Matt O'Gorman talking about the priesthood.

Catholic Women's Ordination

I should say that this piece is entirely my own personal opinion and I welcome comments.

CWO had a demonstration outside Westminster Cathedral this evening. I was passing by there with friends, Ross Kempsell and Matt Roche-Saunders, and this has led me to a quite interesting revelation.

Ross and Matt are both in their late teens: Ross is going to be the Boat-boy for the Pope at Westminster Cathedral (what an honour!), and Matt is a fellow Papal Visit Comms Officer, as well as a key aide to the amazing Fr Stephen Langridge. Our combined age (late 50s) was almost certainly lower than almost any of the protesters (there was possibly one who was younger, though she may have been a journalist).

I hope that this is the message that comes from the Papal Visit: the church is alive, the church is young, and it has moved on from these endless internal debates to look outwards and re-evangelise the world. We are called to be heralds of the Gospel. We are not fulfilling that role very effectively at the moment, I feel.

Oh and by the way, if you are in any doubt on the subject of women's ordination: Roma locuta est, causa finita est. Rome has spoken, the matter is settled. The Church has no authority, now or ever, to confer Holy Orders on a woman.

I was unsure whether to put up such a difficult post today, but I feel that is essential that we use the Papal Visit to move on from the constant reliving of the Second Vatican Council and that period of 'navel-gazing'. It was valuable, yes, but the time has come to change our focus. We live in a fiercely secular age and we must spread the Gospel: of which the essence is the person of Jesus Christ, and the love, mercy and forgiveness that flow from his redemptive sacrifice on the Cross.

God bless, readers.


The Bishop of Rome, for only the 2nd time in history, will set foot on British soil. What will you do? Will you be there when the Pope arrives at the Nunciature tomorrow evening? Will you be lining the streets as the pope-mobile passes? Will you be at the Vigil in Hyde Park? Or at the Beatification in Birmingham?

You decide. Witness to the Faith. Be there.

We pray for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict.

Heart Gives Unto Heart- The official Papal Visit radio station

I've been working closely with Jillie Bracey to promote this amazing website which went live yesterday morning.

With programmes produced from young people in our schools among the diocese, to clergy members sharing their faith experiences to gospel choirs- this radio station has something for everyone. Gerry Coates and Jillie have been working hard on this radio station for quite some time- and decided to launch it to coincide with the visit- giving people a voice and a facility to aid preparation for this weekend.

Yesterday afternoon I listened to a fabulous programme on Cardinal Newman; giving me a chance to learn and reflect on this great man and his motto 'Heart Gives Unto Heart'.

With competitions to enter pictures and voting for favourite hymns, the website is also very interactive; meaning listeners can really express their joy over the next couple of days.

So if you haven't already, visit and have a listen!
They are also on facebook (so become a friend) and twitter- follow @HGUHRadio.

Just one day to go.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A little bit of vanity

You can scroll down here to see a profile of me on the BBC!

This made me smile

After a ludicrously busy at Papal Visit HQ (over 200 messages on our machine this morning, plus emails & facebook posts), followed by a terrifying driving lesson, this has really cheered me up. Hope it does the same for you!

40 hours to go until our beloved Pope arrives. I'm really excited, especially as the weather looks survivable.....

God bless, readers

The Trouble with the Pope

I watched some interesting telly yesterday evening- 'The Trouble With the Pope' on Channel 4 with Peter Tachell exploring the idea that the Holy Father's visit should not be welcomed to our country; laced with accusations that he is of unsavoury nature. Focusing mainly of Pope Benedict's views on homosexuality, scientific reseach and family planning, I was left shocked by the claims that Mr Thachell made and I do feel that he was misrepresenting the Church as an entire community and had chosen to take things out of context, but the doucumentary does rasie healthy debate and highlights that the Papal Visit is filtering its way through the media.

This should mean that when we go live by the end of the week, more people will be curious to watch coverage of the events and get involved as they are keen to see the flip side of Peter's arguments.

We must recognise that this negative and accusatory behaviour is just history repeating itself, people didn't like Jesus and he was persecuted for living a different way. We as a Church should not take this documentary and other programmes presenting themselves this week as a blow, but should welcome them as an opportunity to challenge our faith, to question the Church- something I feel can only strengthen our faith in Christ Jesus. We must see this finger-wagging as our burden, our cross in modern day society that we must carry- in a simliar way to Jesus' own plight that he went thorugh to save us all. We have to relish in this chance to grow spiritually in preparation of the Holy Father's arrival, not allow scepticism to dampen our spirits but refresh and renew our faith.

Just two days to go now.

Monday, 13 September 2010


Come to the Apostolic Nunciature from 9pm on Thursday evening and join in a vigil of prayer. Bring a candle or torch if you can!

64 hours to go!

First assembly of the week

This morning in Bexleyheath I stepped back into my old school to talk to the girls about the events that will take place this weekend.

To say I was nervous is an understatement, but the 200 year 10 girls were warm, responsive and welcoming, making the morning a really exciting opportunity for them to prepare themselves for the weekend.

Accompanied by the youtube video 'Do you know Pope Benedict XVI?', I spent a few minutes trying to illustrate the importance of the visit, the joy that surrounds it and how important it is for the us to share this pilgrimage with other members of our Christian community.

Hopefully the girls took something away from it as the school provides many ways for them to get invovled- having set up a Papal Visit Committee team, the head Mrs Slonecki taking five girls to Twickenham on Friday, 8 girls going with staff to Hyde Park whilst being followed by the BBC and all of the girls will be getting bookmarks specially made to remind them of this weekend.

Onwards and upwards for the rest of the week. Only 3 days to go.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Greenwich Deanery meeting

This evening I popped along to my local deanery preparation meeting with the young people for the Hyde Park event. It was a fabulous time spent together, with the young people having the opportunity to meet with people from different parishes and to ask questions (one young lady enquiring if she could obtain a special blessing from the Holy Father) and get information ahead of next week. What struck me the most was a feeling of genuine appreciation for the privilege that has been graced upon them and a feeling of excitement and the realisation that this chance may never come again.

One thing I feel important to point out however, is how long the day is going to be. Many of the 16-19 year old people I met this evening are used to long days at school and college, but next Saturday is going to be a 7am-11pm day for our group. It is very important that we pilgrims get enough sleep the night before and stay well hydrated throughout the day, otherwise a spectacular day could become unimportant because of a need to go to bed.

Putting negativity aside, we have seven days left to go.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


Get yourselves onto the streets, people! Line the popemobile routes in Edinburgh & London.

Details here.

Photo credit: Mazur/

Update from Monday's Meeting in Wimbledon

I publicised the meeting about the Papal Visit at Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, from Joanna Bogle. She has this update for us:

We offered fresh coffee and Bavarian chocolate cake, suggested a £3.00 donation
(proceeds to Maryvale) and advertised the event in the parish newsletter and in
neighbouring parishes. We expected a reasonable turnout - the parish is a big
one with good numbers for Sunday Masses. We got a magnificent crowd - extra
chairs brought in, standing room only at the back, people sitting on the floor.
The parish priest gave a wonderful welcome, and as people left they were given
copies of the special edition of Magnificat booklet, with all the liturgies for
the Papal visit. It was a simply wonderful evening.

Exciting roles

I ask all you bloggers to keep all the communiction officers in your prayers and thoughts as many of them hurry around to finish final preparations for next week. I myself will be going to my old secondary school (St Catherine's, Bexleyheath) to do some assemblies on the importance of the visit and encoruage the girls to get involved. I have also been privileged enough to be considered to read at the ecumenical service taking place on the Friday of the visit.

There's still many things people can do to get involved. Facebook is home to 'The Papal Visit' and 'My Papal Visit 2010!', twitterers can follow @the papal visit and for radio listeners there is @HGUHRadio.

A new blog, 'Kids quiz the Pope' created by Joanne Hill ( has been set up for primary school aged children and Paschal Uche has been busy talking to BBC Essex about his thoughts on the state visit. It's all happening and there are tonnes of ways you can get involved. Pick your favourtie social media tool and no doubt someone is covering the Papal Visit on there.

So please keep us in your prayers and lets hope for good weather!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Fresh beginnings...

With the start of a new term in full swing and many of our young people starting at new schools, this afternoon I was reminded of the epic journeys home from the place of learning; being allowed to travel by public transport on your own, the scramble to get on the bus and the hassle of having to remember to carry your oyster card. I was taken back to a time of sheer excitement and exuberance.

New beginnings are also marked within the Catholic Church this month as just next week this country will see a historical event take place. Pope Benedict in a way will be refreshing us from our long summer break (and in some ways offer spiritual homework) and will provide the Church with a slightly older, wiser face in the light of recent events that have been highlighted within our community. The 16th September 2010 marks the beginning of new things in the life of the Church including a new missal and preparations for World Youth Day Madrid 2011.

I wonder how we will approach next week. Will it be the same sight as a Tuesday afternoon waiting to get on a bus?

Monday, 6 September 2010

From the Archbishop

When I was in Balham, Fr Stephen mentioned that +Peter Smith, our newly-minted Archbishop, has written to our schools about the Papal Visit.

Here's the full message from the Archdiocesan website:

Archbishop Peter has written personally to every college and school in Southwark
encouraging them to send students to the Papal Vigil at Hyde Park.

school has been offered a substantial allocation of complementary Pilgrim Packs
and Passes for the Vigil.

The Archbishop is particularly keen that all
the young people of our diocese be given the opportunity to attend the Vigil
which will have a particular youth focus.

Passes can also be allocated
to the youth groups and other official organisations of the diocese.

more information please contact the diocesan Vocations Director,
Fr Stephen
Langridge, by emailing him at

In Balham

Tonight I was over in Balham for a meeting with the Balham & Lambeth Deanery groups of young people who are attending the Mass in Westminster Cathedral. It was a lovely and lively evening and the youngsters were very enthusiastic, which was great to see. A big thank you to Laura & Clare for their hard work. I was also able to catch up with Fr Stephen Langridge, the Parish Priest in Balham, who is also Director of Vocations for Southwark, and also Sam, Matt, Hannah, Steve & Marcus, who are all doing a huge amount to make the Papal Visit a success. Thanks guys! It's an amazing parish and it's always very revitalising to be with them all at the end of a long day......

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Papal Visit on Facebook

2049 likes so far. Can we grow that to 2500 in the next 10 days? All bloggers, please remind your readers to like 'The Papal Visit' and also if they want a more Southwark-based approach (which is always a good thing) 'My Papal Visit 2010'.

God bless


Wimbledon seems to be the centre of much action to do with the papal visit, with good reason: the Apostolic Nunciature on Parkside is where the Holy Father will be staying throughout the Visit.

Many of us will be gathering outside the Nunciature on the evening of Thursday 16th September, from around 9pm. If you're in the London area, come along, we will sing hymns, say the rosary, and hopefully enjoy the good weather on Wimbledon Common. Then at some point we will welcome the Holy Father.

Also, this coming Monday, Joanna Bogle brings word of a lovely preparatory event:

If you want to get in the mood for the Papal visit - and find out more about the
Pope, his life, his message - come along to the Sacred Heart parish centre, Edge
Hill, Wimbledon, SW19, on Monday, Sept 6th. We have a superb 60-minute DVD about
the Pope. Coffee and Bavarian chococolate cake. Admission £3.00 and proceeds
will go to the Maryvale Institute (the study centre established in the house
whjere John Henry Newman once lived). All welcome. Just turn up!

Inspirit with Jumoke Fashola

This morning I was interviewed for Inspirit with Jumoke Fashola (pictured, photo from BBC), BBC Radio London's Faith & Ethics programme. It was quite an interesting experience: I was with Neil D'Aguiar and Robert Colquhoun, both from Catholic Voices, who are both excellent and experienced at this sort of thing. It sounds like Catholic Voices has been a big success, which is great news. The conversation with Jumoke centred on my personal 'faith journey' (cradle Catholic) and then moved on to the Papal Visit. Listen in on Sunday 12th September, 6-9am, BBC London 94.9.
Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Southwark's Bishops in Rome

Left to Right: Bishop Paul, HH Benedict XVI, Bishop John, Bishop Pat.

I found this rather nice photo of our bishops (during the sede vacante period) in Rome. Please pray for me as tomorrow morning I shall be interviewed for BBC London 94.9's Faith & Ethics Programme, to go out next week.

Photo Credit: L'Osservatore Romano via Southwark Archdiocese.

The Enquiry Centre

When I'm not busily blogging away for you, dear readers, I am one of the staff at the Papal Visit Enquiry Centre, and I thought now might be a good time to publicise their number.

The Papal Visit Enquiry Centre
39 Eccleston Square
0207 901 4848
If you need help that you can't get from your parish priest, or parish pilgrim leader, or from your diocese....give us a ring! The phone lines are very busy, which makes for an exhausting but fascinating day for our little team.

Newman's Southwark Connections

Did you know that Cardinal Newman offered his first mass in St George's Church, now St George's Cathedral? Find out more at Southwark Archdiocese's new website section on the visit!