Thursday, 4 September 2008

Saints of old and saints of our own times!

Today is the feast of St Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne. Because of my time in the North East this is one of the saints that I feel close to. I have been to Melrose, Ripon, Bamburgh, Lindisfarne, Lastingham, Holy Island and obviously many times in Durham Cathedral, his final resting place. These are all places connected with him. I admire the manliness of Cuthbert, his long vigils in freezing water, his closeness to nature, his common sense and his vision. His legacy is still felt in the North East as one of those great Northern Saints. Although at St John’s we are offering the day for seminarians, I pray also for the Church in the North East, that it may be inspired by the zeal of Cuthbert and that aided by his prayers it may continue to be faithful to Christ.
After some meetings this morning, some time for reflection and administrative issues. This afternoon Office of Readings and Vespers followed by the chanting of the Salve Regina at the Walsingham altar, this a devotion that Fr Mark and I started last week so that every day we entrust to Mary our Parish, ministry and life. I will remember all blog visitors during the Salve, today the blog visitors have reached 20,000 since starting the count on 2 January 2008! Later on a family visit which should bring to an end another day. Fr Mark is busy organising the Vocations Conference which will happen in Oxford during Holy Cross week end, and this morning he took Holy Communion to the residents at Alpine Residential Home.
Sadly, we had to cancel the Walsingham Day which was planned for October 11. Walsingham being in an interregnum we could not find a preacher for that day. So wheels are in motion to have the day in 2009, when hopefully Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS will come and lead our Walsingham Day.
However, many things are happening in the coming weeks, wedding of the year, if not of the decade, here at St John’s when Amy and Michael, both staunch members of this congregation will tie the knot on the eve of Holy Cross Day. On Holy Cross Day we shall welcome Bishop David Silk SSC who will be our celebrant and preacher. We look forward for his visit among us. At the end of September another long standing friend of St John’s will visit us. This is Hegumen Father Martirii (Bagin) photo below who is the spiritual director of the Collegium Orientale in Eichstaett. Father Martirii is a Latin Priest of the Oriental rite and he is joining us as part of our Sesquicentenary to celebrate and strengthen the cherished by all links he has with this Parish. Father Martirii has given most of his life to the poor and the needy, at great personal cost and even, at times, grave danger. On the night of Sunday 28th September he will lead our congregation in Lesser Compline, and this will be followed by refreshments. Obviously, if you are anywhere near on that day you are most welcome!

No comments: