The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

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

Sunday, 4 August 2019

GK Chesterton Prayer

Please say the #Chesterton Prayer in English, #Igbo, Latin, #French, Hungarian, #Croatian, Portuguese, #Urdu, Lithuanian, #Irish, Welsh, #Maltese, Spanish, #Polish, Romanian, #German, Latvian, #Russian, Slovakian, #Catalan or Italian https://t.co/RVAPTsmjQ3 #GKCWalk

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Read The Convert by GK Chesterton on his anniversary.

After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white.
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead
The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.
Today is the 97th Anniversary of GK Chesterton's reception into the Catholic Church, a good day to say his prayer for the Conversion of someone you know. The prayer is below, or you can print copies of in many languages here; https://www.catholicgkchestertonsociety.co.uk/Printable-Prayercards.html
And a good day to buy the book; https://www.chesterton.org/shop/my-name-is-lazarus/

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 [and especially for……] so that his holiness may be recognized by all and the Church may proclaim him Blessed. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen. Catholicgkchestertonsociety.co.uk

Thursday, 20 June 2019

We received the following message just before Easter;

"Something wonderful happened 🙂 I went on GKC pilgrimage just once. It was hard and after 2 or 3 hours it felt like my toes will fall off. I thought I will not be able to continue walking nor finish, but I was very motivated as I had some really special intentions: I was praying for my sister-in-law, who is a Christian, to become a Catholic. Well, I saw her today and found out she will be received into the Catholic Church this Easter 😀! I am just so happy, grateful and overjoyed 😀🙏"

The 9th Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage will take place on Saturday 27th July. There are several ways you can join us, either in prayer, or by joining us in walking a short section of the pilgrimage or even in walking the whole 27 miles! To be involved and maybe help members of your Family into the Catholic Church you can;

A. Send prayer intentions for us to pray for along the way, we will not make the intentions public; catholicgkcsociety@yahoo.co.uk 

And/or

B. Join us on the day of the Pilgrimage, Saturday 27th July, for a Low Old Rite Mass, 2.30pm at The Bridgettine Convent, Fulmer Common Road, Iver, SL0 0NR, email us if you need a lift from West Drayton or Uxbridge to get to the Convent. BRING A PACKED LUNCH.

C. And if you like you can walk 6 miles after Mass to GK Chesterton's Grave. If you leave your car at the Convent the minibus can take you back for it at the end of the day.

D. Or meet us at 9.15am outside Ealing Town Hall to walk on to Mass (approximately 12 miles).

E. Or, to do the whole 27 mile walk, meet us at 7.30am to walk 21 Miles to Mass. And 6 miles after Mass if you want. 

The minibus will drop Pilgrims back to Uxbridge Station, after popping to GKC's pub after the prayer at the graveside.

F. And say the GK Chesterton Prayer on the day wherever you are. Find the prayer in a number of languages here; https://www.catholicgkchestertonsociety.co.uk/Printable-Prayercards.html

G. Invite friends to join us. The best way to do this is to click, Going or Interested/Maybe on the Facebook event and them click on Share and on Invite Friends and select those you wish to invite to join us for any of the above. https://www.facebook.com/events/2293417357382659/

Monday, 1 April 2019

Self Publicists Really Can Annoy Me

Many years ago, I was very happy to see a tweet which said, "Self Publicists Really Can Annoy Me, I'm one of the speakers at the Latin Mass Society Conference, but come anyway" or something like that. I forget exactly how I phrased it. Then a couple of years ago I saw a chap interview a publisher of a very good children's book series, on television. No problem with that, except that the interviewer was the author of the books.

So here is me interviewing myself about a book which I wrote part of.

So Stuart could you tell the reader of your blog how this book came about?

Well Dale Ahlquist, President of The American Chesterton Society contacted me and said 'Stuart you're really famous and important, why don't you write your autobiography?' Or something like that. Being really humble I thought it best to agree with him.

But Stuart, it seems that some others have also written some of the book.

Well yes, when I'd finished, bearing in mind that I still cannot type, Dale said it's a little short for an autobiography. So I suggested he ask some totally unknown writer to do an introduction, which would no doubt help their career. Dale very kindly agreed to write it himself, I'm sure he will have a lot of success as a writer after this.

Sorry, I wasn't just thinking about the excellent introduction by Dale, I was also thinking of the other 33 Converts who contributed chapters about their Conversion stories.

Well it seems that Dale struggled to write a long enough introduction, so I helped out again with another idea. Which is very good of me as I'm sure most authors don't have to help out their publishers quite this much. I suggested that Dale find some other Converts, whose stories would never get published in their own right as they are not as famous and important as myself and use them to pad out my book.

But the book is called My Name is Lazarus, not 'Stuart's Autobiography'.

I remember that Chesterton had a simular problem with a publisher at least once, he had come up with a very good name for one of his books, only to have it turned down by the publisher. Something about 'too long', 'won't help sales'. I thought this book should be called "A bit of the life of the very important and famous Stuart, written by himself". No one has actually explained why we didn't end up using that, but there you go. Ruins the sequel and the prequel though, 'A Bit More...' and 'A Bit Earlier...."

So, any last points?

Buy yourself two or three copies of the book, one to keep nice, one for making notes and at least one to give as a gift. Order your copies here. And remember to stay away from self publicists, I'm just giving this interview to support Dale and the 33 unknowns who have written in this great book. As I saw on twitter earlier this year; 

"It's only January and we already have a winner of the Best, Most Important Book Published in the Whole of 2019 Award! Order your copy here."



Monday, 30 July 2018

8th Annual GK Chesterton Walking Pilgrimage Report

The last G.K. Chesterton Pilgrimage before Canon Udris hands in his report to Bishop Doyle of Northampton, on the feasibility of opening the cause for the Beatification of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, took place on Saturday 28th July 2018.
The Pilgrimage started as always outside St George’s Anglican Church in Notting Hill, where Pilgrims
read the opening paragraph from Chesterton’s Autobiography and said the GKC prayer at 7.30am. We then walked along the Uxbridge Rd to Ealing, where we would normally stop and pray outside the abortion centre there. Because of the draconian PSPO (Buffer Zone) brought in by Ealing Council in April, which criminalises pro-life prayers, we can no longer do this, so we stopped briefly at Ealing Town Hall instead, where we were greeted by an elderly Polish woman who had come to wish us well. We then walked on to Hanwell, where we joined the canal. After walking for 5 hours, we stopped in the Malt Shovel Pub, for a quick drink and a packet of crisps, before leaving the canal to walk through the countryside and past Pinewood Studios to the Bridgettine Convent in Iver. Fr O’ Donohue was waiting there to say Mass in thanksgiving for Chesterton’s conversion. 
Mass ended with us singing Chesterton’s Hymn, “O God of Earth and Altar”. There were about 40 people in attendance for the Mass, which considering the lack of public transport, was very good. 23 of these were walking Pilgrims. After a brief lunch, we set off walking again, through Fulmer, where we stopped at the Black Horse pub and then on to Beaconsfield where GKC is buried. For the last few miles Malcolm, who has now walked the full Pilgrimage four times, and has thus clocked up over 100 miles, was leading the way. As we approached Beaconsfield, he stopped at the corner of Candlemas Lane to ensure that nobody missed the last turning into Shepherd’s Lane, where the cemetery is located (a turning that we did miss on the first walking pilgrimage!) After a few brief words at the graveside, those followers of the cult of G.K. Chesterton who were gathered, said the GKC prayer, before staggering into The White Hart Pub, which was Chesterton’s local public house.
As usual large numbers of people submitted hundreds of prayer intentions for the Pilgrims to pray for along their route.

One participant had attended previously and had walked the first half of the Pilgrimage 2 years ago with her husband. She returned with her son this year and completed the Pilgrimage in thanksgiving to Chesterton for his role in converting her husband.
The huge diversity of those taking part on this 8th Annual G.K. Chesterton Pilgrimage was again in evidence. There were people aged from 7 to 70, a number of different races, more than a dozen nationalities, with people travelling to the Pilgrimage from Reading, Maidenhead, Berkhamsted, Northampton, Hertford, Bedford as well as from all over London.
Special thanks to Ken for driving the support minibus this year and arriving at the cemetery first, where he placed a note upon the gate (See photo) as a joke! It read “Notice to all Walkers, Sorry, closed today. Please come back another day.”
The Chesterton Library contacted us to inform us that Chesterton Manor, a new property development in Beaconsfield was having it’s Open Day on the same day as the Pilgrimage and that the property had been named in Chesterton’s honour.
Stuart walked the Pilgrimage in part to raise funds for The Good Counsel Network you can donate here; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gkchestertonpilgrimage18 

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.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

World Cup Without Wales, Northern and Republic of Ireland and Scotland

Who to support as Wales, Northern Ireland, The Republic of Ireland and Scotland failed to qualify? Well I've just picked three teams randomly, Belgium, Panama and Tunisia. You can support them as well if you like. "But that's only three teams not four", I hear you say. Don't worry in the very unlikely event that I need to support anybody in the 2nd round, I will 'randomly' pick another team then 😉