The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue
"Oh PLEASE say I'm the Archbishop of Canterbury!"

Monday, 26 May 2014

The 3rd Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage Did Take Place

Here is my long awaited report of the 3rd GK Chesterton Pilgrimage, which took place on Tuesday 30th July 2013. After last year’s fiasco about the distances, we started almost an hour earlier this year. I arrived five minutes late at St Georges Church of England Church, it was raining, I could see no one outside! Strange I thought, as I was sure Malcolm would be there as he popped along last week just to check on the starting point and Elvira had flown in from Madrid for the Pilgrimage. As I approached the gate of the Church, I could hear voices, I found nine people sitting in the outside porch. “Sorry, are you all here for the Chesterton Pilgrimage?” I asked, “Of course, why else would we be here?” You would need to read last year’s report to understand my surprise.

We said the GK Chesterton prayer and off TEN of us went, taking the first steps on the 27 mile walking Pilgrimage! (My phone then stopped working, so I put no updates on Twitter and took no photos). We talked, walked and prayed our way along the road, in the rain to Ealing. We stopped to pray outside the abortion centre, with the unbelievable history. Here we were joined by more Pilgrims, including Stella from last year. We all said the GK Chesterton prayer in English and Spanish (Charis was happy to let Elvira do the Spanish) with the great folk from Good Counsel who come here all day, five days a week to pray and offer hope and support to the Mums tempted to abort.

By now we were running late! We left the road to walk along the canal to Uxbridge. We spoke to Father Schofield and he delayed the 1.30pm Sung Old Rite Mass a bit. (Last year we had a low Mass, but thanks to the Latin Mass Society we were able to have a Sung Mass, as they sponsored the music.) There were more than FIFTY people at the Mass, we sang Chesterton Hymn at the end and then had lunch in the church hall. Then we were off again with a few extra pilgrims, being led by Fr. Schofield the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael’s Uxbridge. And so we charged on and invaded Northampton Diocese, with a Westminster Priest giving us a History talk about Southlands Manor (Father writes a weekly Catholic History column in the Catholic Times). It had stopped raining, but I still was not dry many hours later when we reached Beaconsfield. We cut across Country towards Tatling End and then as we were leaving Gerards Cross we needed to go under the M40 heading South. We were a bit spread out at this point so those in front turned west along the road! I had to run 500 yards or so to catch and stop them (YES Mum, I ran 500 yards!)

It was great a few hours later to stand at the grave of Chesterton in Shepherds Lane Beaconsfield with about twenty others. We said the prayer in English, signed our map and gave it to Eric, who said the prayer in French. Some of us then fell into the White Hart for a drink, and unlike the first pilgrimage, some even had a drop of alcohol.

Just a few days after this Bishop Peter Doyle announced that he was appointing a Priest to look into the probability of opening the case for the Beatification of Gilbert Keith Chesterton. So if GK Chesterton has had an impact on your life or Faith please email Canon John Udris at Chesterton@oscott.org

The 4th Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage will take place on the 30th July, details hereIf you are on Facebook please sign-up (at least as maybe) here and invite your friends.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Don't Read Dale Ahlquist, Says Dale Ahlquist!

"I am sometimes asked if I ever read anything besides GK Chesterton. The answer, unfortunately, is yes. I wish I had a better answer--- something more along the lines of no." Dale Ahlquist, in the Introduction to The Complete Thinker, The Marvellous Mind of GK Chesterton.





So if we should only read GKC, then we should not read Dale Ahlquist‎. But as my long suffering Wife got me the book for my Birthday, it would have seemed ungrateful not to read it. Also I don't just read GKC, there's Belloc, Tolkien, Pearce, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Belloc, Cecil (GKC's brother) etc.





So, unless you're only going to read GK Chesterton, ignore Mr Ahlquist's advice and read his book.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Sermon For The 3rd Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage


The 3rd Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage has taken place! I hope to write a report shortly, until then here is Fr Schofield's Sermon from the Mass. (Photo shows, Father giving Pilgrims a Catholic history lesson on the way)

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you once again to Uxbridge as you make this third Annual Chesterton Pilgrimage.

Your final destination is Beaconsfield , G. K. Chesterton’s home from 1909 until his death in 1936. A year or so after his wedding he and Frances went on an excursion which he described as ‘a sort of second honeymoon’. He later recalled in his Autobiography:

I saw a passing omnibus labelled “Hanwell” and, feeling this to be an appropriate omen [for Hanwell was the location of a notorious lunatic asylum], we boarded it and left it somewhere at a stray station, which I entered and asked the man in the ticket-office where the next train went to. He uttered a pedantic reply, “Where do you want it to go?” And I uttered the profound and philosophical rejoinder, “Wherever the next train goes to.” It seemed that it went to Slough; which may seem to be singular taste, even in a train. However, we went to Slough, and from there set out walking with even less notion of where we were going.

Without intending to, he reached Beaconsfield and realised that ‘this is the sort of place where someday we will make our home’.

That passage is very telling. Chesterton spent his life searching for the Truth. It involved, if you like, catching trains without knowing exactly where they were going, trying different routes, until he was led through agnosticism, sceptisicism, spiritualism and Anglicanism to the bosom of the Catholic Church – in a humble room at the Railway Hotel in Beaconsfield, then serving as the town's mission.

It was in Beaconsfield that Chesterton lived, far away from Fleet Street; there that he wrote some of his most famous works, and eventually there he died and was laid to rest. Beaconsfield and Catholicism perhaps came to be closely-intertwined – they were simply ‘home’.

Chesterton is still admired today not only for his writings but his holiness of life. Many hope that one day he will be raised to the altars of the Church. Perhaps the most appealing aspects of Chesterton’s holiness were his wit and his humility. He was not just a ‘funny man’ but even developed a sort of theology of Christian humour. He thought it very telling that ‘alone among the animals, he [man] is shaken with the beautiful madness called laughter.’ Humour was linked to an appreciation of reality, of truth. ‘Honesty always laughs,’ he wrote, ‘because things are so laughable. Of course life is a serious business and we cannot shrug off important matters with a smirk or a laugh, but, on the other hand, to take everything seriously is to make everything into an idol.’ Chesterton thought that a common theme in comedy is ‘the primary paradox that man is superior to all the things around him and yet is at their mercy.’ Stand-up comedians are always observing the ridiculous side of human existence. And if we have the sense of the ridiculous in the things around us and, crucially, in ourselves then we are acknowledging that these things are not the centre of the universe, that (in most cases) these matters that consume so much of our time are passing away. Why can the angels fly?, Chesterton famously asked. Because they take themselves so lightly.  

Closely linked to this gift of joy, this lightness of being is the virtue of humility. One of my favourite stories with regard to this is told by Maisie Ward:

During the [1932 Dublin Eucharistic] Congress an Eastern priest accosted G. K. with praise of his writings. His own mind full of the great ideas of Christendom and the Faith, he felt a huge disproportion in the allusion to himself. And when later the priest asked to be photographed at his side it flashed through G.K.’s mind that he had heard in the East that an idiot was supposed to bring luck.

Chesterton was a gentle giant, a man with a sharp intellect but completely without guile, who gave his gifts freely for the service of the Lord and knew exactly his place in the order of things. Let us pray that we defend the Faith with the same wisdom and live our life with the same innocence:

God Our Father, Thou didst fill the life of Thy servant Gilbert Keith Chesterton with a sense of wonder and joy, and gave him a faith which was the foundation of his ceaseless work, a charity towards all men, particularly his opponents, and a hope which sprang from his lifelong gratitude for the gift of human life. May his innocence and his laughter, his constancy in fighting for the Christian faith in a world losing belief, his lifelong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his love for all men, especially for the poor, bring cheerfulness to those in despair, conviction and warmth to lukewarm believers and the knowledge of God to those without faith. We beg Thee to grant the favours we ask through his intercession, the end of abortion in this Country so that his holiness may be recognised by all and the Church may proclaim him Blessed. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Fr Schofield 30th July 2013

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

3rd Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage Tuesday 30th July!

Today is GKC's Birthday! So the 3rd Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage will be held on Tuesday 30th July. After the first Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage, someone pointed out that we couldn't call it 'annual' as we'd only had one! Well we can now, as we are into our 3rd year! (Report, with photos, of the 2nd GKC Pilgrimage can be read here)

"Why on a Tuesday?" Well. William & Lucy, of last year's Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage, are getting Married on the nearest Saturday. And Fr Schofield couldn't do that Saturday. And Bishops are not often available on Saturdays. And the Metropolitan Police force said "it is to be hoped that less people will attend on a weekday, and thus we will be able to control the crowds........"

As Tuesday 30th July is the 91st anniversary of Gilbert Keith Chesterton becoming a Catholic, the theme and prayer intention of this year's Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage, will be the Conversion of my Mum. Oh, and the Conversion of anybody you would like us to pray for along the way! You can leave names of people to be prayed for in the comments below (they will not be published) or you can send me a DM on twitter (@Stuart1927).

Dale Ahlquist of The American Chesterton Society has a list of over two hundred people Converted by GKC. You can read Dale's Conversion story here. The result of GKC Converting Dale to the Catholic Church is amazing, hundreds of thousand of people, or maybe millions, have seen him promote Chesterton on EWTN. You can learn a lot about GKC by watching Mr Ahlquist each week on www.ewtn.co.uk or sky 589, on Tuesdays at 5pm, Wednesdays at 6.30am or Thursdays at 10pm.

BRING A PACKED LUNCH! After Mass last year we had to go back to the shops to buy lunch for 75% of those attending the Pilgrimage! We will not be doing this again. BRING A PACKED LUNCH! Some unkind sorts last year blamed this on the organiser (who had bought a PACKED LUNCH) as they claimed that LUNCH had not been mentioned in the posters, blogs, etc! BRING A PACKED LUNCH!

Plan for the day; Meet outside St George's C of E Church, Aubrey Walk, London, W8 7JG, where GKC was Baptised as a baby. Then at 8am start walking to Uxbridge (15 miles approx).

1.30pm Old Rite Mass (which will be a Sung Mass due to the support of The Latin Mass Society), in thanksgiving for Chesterton's Conversion, which took place 91 years ago on this day. Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael, Osborn Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1UE. You are welcome to attend the Mass even if you are not doing the walk. Walk on to Beaconsfield (10 miles approx) where Chesterton lived, converted, died and is buried. Then we will say the prayer for the Beatification of GK Chesterton at his graveside. You can find the prayer here; http://www.catholicgkchestertonsociety.co.uk/

For more details or to join the pilgrimage email catholicgkcsociety@yahoo.co.uk or DM on Twitter and/or follow on the day, @Stuart1927 or sign up on Facebook.

"Have we now, [seventy-eight] years after Chesterton's death, reached a kind of tipping point in his reputation, of the same kind that Newman's reputation reached, leading to the opening of his cause in 1959, seventy-eight years after his death?" Dr Oddie

Saturday, 23 March 2013

"Abortion Is Safe", "What's That Ambulance For Then?...And That One? And..."

Safe, Legal Abortion?


Above: Marie Stopes Ealing - ambulance is called for client in the first week of 40 Days for Life, 13-22nd February 2013.
 
Ambulance Marie Stopes Ealing 28th February 2013
 
 
 
Paramedics and Ambulance attend Marie Stopes Ealing 1st March 2013
 
 
 
 
Ambulance Marie Stopes Ealing 9th March 2013 
 
 
 
Paramedics and Ambulance Marie Stopes Ealing 14th March 2013


Abortion Providers are always striving to portray Pro-lifers as liars, especially when we talk about the risks of abortion. marie stopes, that bastion of honesty and integrity, take it upon themselves to take our leaflets from girls as they enter their centres. And BPAS can be seen here on Twitter attacking that same leaflet.



Yet as the above pictures of ambulances show, abortion is far from the safe, simple procedure with no after-affects that these groups pretend it is. Since BPAS and marie stopes deny almost every complication of abortion, it is hard to believe that the women who were taken away in these ambulances were forewarned that this was a possible outcome.

Our volunteers have helped sick and faint girls to their feet outside the abortion centre when they are vomiting or weak and sick on leaving on several occassions.

So as we reach the final two days of the 40 Days for Life Campaign, we are aware of well over 20 women who have kept their babies, just from the vigils at Whitfield St and Ealing, not including those from the Bedford Square campaign. Please sign up here to join us this Saturday and Sunday.
For the Whitfield St Vigil: http://vigilcalendar.com/london_whitfield/login/login_page
For the Ealing Vigil: http://vigilcalendar.com/london_ealing/login/login_page
It looks like the weather will be terrible, so please come out and support those who have been suffering this weather all week at the vigils, especially if you haven't been able to be involved much up till now. Those who are seeking to destroy life don't take time off when the weather is attrocious.

Please support our work via the Pro-Lifers Give Double During 40 Days for life appeal by following this link http://www.justgiving.com/Good-Counsel-Network1 or visit our website here for all the options to donate via http://www.goodcounselnet.co.uk/Donate.html This helps us to provide ongoing support and help to the Mothers we have offered help to.

As always, we have ensured that any women entering the abortuary were NOT captured in any of the pictures taken.

Please note: These photos belong to the Good Counsel Network you may reproduce them on condition that you include a link to this original blogpost.(http://mariastopsabortion.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/ambulance-arrives-at-abortion-centre.html)
Clare McCullough

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Pro-Lifers Give Double In Response, To pro-abortionists

Having spotted pro-death supporters on twitter, in Cardiff planning to give money to bpas, because of 40 Days for Life, I thought I'd re-post this blog post from Good Counsel. Do keep an eye on their blog at the moment, as their When Pro-Choice Means No Choice, articles are very good.

"Dear Friends,
It's back, our fundraising campaign which runs during every 40 Days for Life Campaign.
During "40 Days", women are called away from the selfish act of abortion to a selfless and sacrificial acceptance of Motherhood in difficult circumstances.
Can we pro-lifers match their sacrifice?
This is why we are asking pro-lifers to give double during 40 Days for Life.
We have already had 7 turnarounds in the first 4 days of 40 Days for Life. We also had 2 turnarounds today from a Helper's of God's Precious Infants Vigil. All 9 of these women need concrete practical and financial support, and that is on top of another harvest of turnarounds just before 40 Days started as well as our normal stream of visitors seeking assistance in difficult pregnancy situations.
Can we help them?
Yes with a little support from you.
And please sign up for our 40 Days Campaigns at Whitfield St and Ealing [see here for other locations]
Thank you and God bless"

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Highly Successful First London GK Chesterton Meeting

The first 'meet up and discus' your favourite Chesterton piece of work, took place in Wandsworth on Sunday 3rd February. As 50% of the members attended, more than expected, we had to move to a different Public House, so that we could all be seated!

It was brave of Rick to risk this venture, as he had no idea if anyone was interested. William arrived with a bag full of books, which he was told, by me, was against the rules (bring your favourite piece of work). He told us that he is to Marry later this year, and is getting rid of one copy of any books that he and Lucy both own, for a small donation to the Chesterton Society, much cheering! And so I went home with a Chesterton and Belloc book!

Rick went for GKC's, The Ball and The Cross, as his favourite, William opted for the poem, A Hymn of The Church Militant and I after much agonising went for The Nepoleon of Notting, and even read a small bit about the meeting with the President of Nicaragua.(http://ecumenicaldiablog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/nicaragua-will-be-pro-life.html) And one Priest sent in via email; "My top three (I think) - 1. Anything in 'Orthodoxy', 2. Lepanto, 3. Thomas Aquinas"

When will the next meeting be? I don't know, but a Saturday would be good for me. Where will it be? I don't know, but Wembley would be very good for me, but Central London would be fine. Just sign-up here and you will be informed.

And let's have no talking while I read the menu! I saw 'Pasta' looked up chatting away, glanced at the menu and spotted duck and Stilton in the same meal, put my finger on that and continued to talk/listen. The waiter arrived, I ordered the duck & Stilton thing and was horrified when a salad come back!