Thursday, 7 March 2013

Dateline London

A two day visit to London on business meant that I could join the Bedford Square 40 Days for Life Vigil on Monday for a little over one hour.

A young man (Jan) was in charge and, in the course of my watch I met Kathy (signing off), Gerald, a philosophy student and Daniel, a French expatriate.

Given that, what the Japanese call "comfort" breaks had to be taken, we were really pretty thin on the ground and more people are needed to register for the remainder of the vigil days. Even if you can only manage 15 or 30 minutes, it will aid the cause tremendously. You can register online HERE.

Jan explained that he had counselled one Nigerian woman that day. She already had one infant and was now pregnant for a second time.
She did not want to abort her child but she was under intense pressure from her parents to do so.
It appears that this is so often the case; the woman wishes to bear the child but the father/parent/'good' friend pushes them into it.

As Jan said: "It is the mother who will carry the burden of pain and anguish, not the parents".

He added that he had offered the woman all the material support and counselling help she might need if she decided to keep the baby.

A priest led us in the Rosary and it turned out that he was no other than the PP of St Patrick's Soho Square, Fr Alexander Sherbrooke. We chatted for a few minutes and when I told him that we and many others in Wales, travelled 70 miles one way to attend a Latin Mass on a Sunday he looked rather bemused.
A hard concept to grasp if you run a city parish.

After my shift I made my way to Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane for the evening Sung Mass and to join Catherine, my youngest daughter there.

En route, I found myself in Soho Square so I called in to St Pat's and lit a candle at the Pieta for family and friends and all bloggers and readers.

On to Corpus Christi, a real haven of peace in an increasingly insane world. Sitting in the church listenening to the shrieks and guffaws coming from outside I was reminded of Belloc's lines:

How I hate the human race
How I hate its silly face

At least, I think they belong to Belloc, someone will put me right no doubt.

The Mass itself was pretty mind blowing; a Requiem mass for the soul of Fr Henty Dodd.

The all male choir were impressive and, although I normally like to hear female altos and sopranos, it was a very professional and moving delivery.
Among the altar servers I spotted one MC from the hallowed ground of Blackfen (he who must be obeyed at the twitch of an eyebrow) plus the usual London gang.

After Mass Catherine and I met up with one of the aristocrats of the blogging world who had been in the congregation. None other than the Marquis of Yns Mon himself.

The three of us trundled off to the now famous Coal Hole, favoured haunt of Frs T & Z when in town.

As it was Lent we sank a number of soft drinks before moving on to eat at Abeno near Charing Cross Road.

Again, with due Lenten observance we went there as it is basically a Japanese fast food outlet although, on this occasion, it took them a long time to produce our order.

Okonomyaki - the Japanese pancake or pizza, perhaps a tad too delicious for Lent but we had to eat something.

One of the highlights of the evening for me was Catherine describing how she and her eldest sister attended an OF Mass recently (no EF being available).
Both girls went to receive Holy Communion wearing mantillas and kneeling to receive. Apparently, the priest and most of the congregation gave them funny looks but, as a father it did my heart good to hear how these two beautiful young women (my words) had the courage to do the right thing. 
And such acts do take courage, believe me.

Quite a day. One with so many highlights. Praying outside an abortuary is something I find strangely uplifting; I don't quite know why.

Attending a glorious Mass.

Meeting up with Catherine and Lord Yns Mon and, yes, the Okonomyaki was pretty good also.


  1. I Wish I Loved the Human Race

    Sir Walter A Raleigh (1861-1922)

    I wish I loved the Human Race;
    I wish I loved its silly face;
    I wish I liked the way it walks;
    I wish I liked the way it talks;
    And when I'm introduced to one,
    I wish I thought "What Jolly Fun!"

  2. It was really good to see you and Catherine after Mass... And thank you for such an enjoyable evening, and for introducing me to Japanese food! God bless. D

  3. Good on you Richard! Too far away (800 miles) to offer tangible support, but will be praying for the work of 40 Days for Life.

  4. Thanks Chris, am I hallucinating or did Belloc produce the spoof version?

    Dylan, it was a great pleasure to meet up again.

    Brian, prayers are the greatest influence over this evil. God bless.

  5. I'm more than 800 miles away but have been praying everyday as I promised. So bless you all. It sounds like it was a good day. I enjoyed today's post very much.