The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

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

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Fr Brown Saves the Day, and the Baby?

A new Fr Brown Story, clearly not by GK Chesterton but thankfully not by the BBC

Fr Brown always liked to be outside the Church after Mass on Sunday to greet his parishioners, even if he was not the Celebrant. But twenty minutes after this evening’s Mass, the Curate, Fr Crowdy found Fr Brown in his study just ending a phone call with the police. It was a rather small study for the amount of papers and books that Father seemed to need. And why he insisted on using a dull desk lamp instead of the main light is anyone’s guess, as his eyesight was none too good.

Fr Crowdy had no time to consider any of this at the moment, as he had come to tell Fr Brown about a matter of Life and Death. “Quick Father” began Fr Crowdy, “we haven’t a moment to loose, we must act at once, or a new family in the parish will go for an abortion”.

Fr Brown glanced at his watch, opened the study door and said “follow me” as he went into the corridor. This was even quicker than Fr Crowdy had expected. But then Fr Brown passed the front door, went into the kitchen and put the kettle on. “Tea or coffee?” he asked.

“But..” started Fr Crowdy. “Sorry we don’t have any ‘but’ its tea or coffee” interrupted Fr Brown, “sorry, what am I talking about we do have hot chocolate as well” he finished.

Fr Crowdy just stood there totally dumbfounded. He could not believe that his brilliant, if somewhat clumsy Parish Priest could take this matter so lightly. He was very orthodox and quite prepared to have a hands-on approach. Yet here he was talking about tea and coffee. He should not dismiss the danger to the baby as he had not asked for any details yet. As if he had read his mind, or more than likely the look on his face, Fr Brown said “It is 7:30pm, you cannot get an abortion at that time on a Sunday in London, so would you like tea or coffee?”*

Ten minutes later, back in the study, with tea, coffee and a very nice piece of fruit cake Fr Crowdy told Fr Brown what had happened. “After everyone had left after Mass I noticed a chap praying by Our Lady’s side Altar, with what turned out to be his teenage daughter and ten year old son. I waited for them to leave and then spoke to them outside. He explained that they were new to London and were praying at a few parishes to see which Parish to make their own. He told me that his pregnant wife was at home sick. I told him about our mother and toddler group, the soup kitchen and Altar Serving for his son. He then asked if I knew how to get to Whitfield Street. I said “I really couldn’t tell you” and the conversation went on until he asked the way to Mattock Lane in Ealing. Quite worried now I said, “Sorry I cannot help you”. A little later we ended our chat when he asked me “Where is Rosslyn Road, Twickenham?”. I just said sorry I have to go and came straight in here to tell you about it. His wife is clearly going for an abortion. Fr Brown nibbled his cake, dropping crumbs everywhere. While spilling quite a bit of his tea into his saucer. “This would be a great loss to the Parish, we shall go and see them tomorrow”.

Fr Crowdy went to bed with his head reeling. The next evening, the two Priests found themselves sitting talking to the Smiths in their nice little living room. Father Crowdy was quite on edge, but when the couple went to make coffee, Fr Brown quietly said “No television Father” and smiled. Fr Crowdy glanced to the ‘natural’ spot in the room for a tv and found instead a statue of Our Lady of Penrhys, with fresh cut flowers and a well burnt down candle. Father looked over to the dinner table, where the Smith’s son Nathanael was reading what appeared to be a modern fantasy novel, Will Wilder, but the author’s name, Raymond Arroyo sounded familiar. On the coffee table was a book that Mrs Smith had put down as the Priests had entered the room, Frodo’s Journey by Joseph Pearce. ‘More fantasy’, tutted Father to himself. Once they were all seated Fr Brown said “My Curate has related to me the conversation he had with you last night Mr Smith”.
“Do call me Ron, Father” interrupted Mr Smith.
“Thank you Ron” went on Fr Brown “By the end of which I’m sure that you had wrongly decided that our Parish is not for your Family. Would you mind telling Fr Crowdy what you said to your children on the way home last night”.

“Of course Father” replied Ron, “My son and daughter both liked the look of the Parish. But nice Liturgy, a pleasant Priest and a soup kitchen are all very well, but there were over 42,000 abortions in London last year. Fr Crowdy doesn’t even know where any of the local abortion centres are, so he is clearly not going to them to pray and offer help to those desperate Mums-to-be. And so this is not the Parish for us.”

Fr Crowdy looked embarrassed while Fr Brown stared to laugh. “My Curate did not help you to find those three addresses, as he was worried that you were planning to take your pregnant wife to one of them for an abortion. You will find a poster in the Parish advertising the Good Counsel Network’s peaceful, prayerful, pro-life vigils at all three of those abortion centres. You will also see notices in the newsletter asking Parishioners to attend the vigils when Father or myself are there. This cake is very nice, welcome to the Parish”.

* There is unbelievably at least one abortion centre open on Sundays in London, but not until 7.30pm
For more information about The Good Counsel Network’s life-saving work see; www.GoodCounselNetwork.com
The Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage passes through Mattock Lane each year.

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