Sunday, 12 June 2011

Pentecost - my parish's patronal feast!

It is a great privilege to belong to a parish dedicated to The Holy Spirit. I think this is now the only church of that name in my diocese (Leeds) - I can't think of any other at the moment. Our church was built by Fr. John O'Connor who was a friend of Chesterton. Fr. O'Connor was the model for Fr. Brown. There is much work to be done here. We have just been awarded a grant through English Heritage and the Lottery although the parish will have to raise close on £100,000 as its share of the cost. The refurbishment will be extensive. The style is unique, being a combination of the Romanesque and Byzantine. if anyone is interested in more information click on the "My Parish" link on the right.
Happy feast day!


  1. I checked out the "My Parish link".
    Good to see the photographs of the parishioners and yourself. The inside of the church is so light and quite different from how I imagined from the outside view in the sidebar.
    Do you have a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, of Fatima?
    I like the old snap of the egg and spoon race. Bet they don't do that now.
    You look very happy there. Your parishioners are fortunate to have an orthodox priest who is also open-minded to the Spirit.

    Someone said Chesterton was anti-semitic, like many in his time. Is this true?

  2. The charge of Chesterton's anti-semitism is dealt with in the new biographies by William Oddie and Fr. Ian ker. I think the answer is more complicated. For example in recent times it is possible to be anti-zionist (and there are some orthodox Jews who are!)without being anti-semitic. Do I agree with all the policies of the Israeli government? No, I do not. I am not against the Jews having their own country, in fact I believe it is God's will for them, but I do not agree with the way it was done - and neither until recently, at least, did the Vatican. In Chesterton's day there were other issues. Perhaps there was also some confusion. I suggest you Google the question. I don't think it is fair to suggest that Chesterton particularly singled out the Jews from any other group.

  3. The fact is Father, what do people understand by the name Jew. Originally it meant the Tribe of Judah, descended from the Twelve Tribes of Israel. See my yahoo site where all is explained to the best of my ability. Also read, if you haven't done already, The Invention of the Jewish People by Shilomo Sand. He tried to unravel the issues of racial purity--very doubtful anyway if you read the OT historically- and the ligitimacy of converts claiming land--and cars!!! on this history--Abrham said it was ours.

    I am very aware that we have to understand the OT which is wonderful if at time dreadful stuff,to understand the message Jesus was on about--without this background its hard to understand both the message of Jesus and what is going on in the sadly the Holy Land today


  4. I have looked at your nice parish pictures and see those to whom my words below would apply.

    Will you give me your opinion on the ageism displayed by an American priest blog and on which I have felt the leadings of the Holy Spirit to respond.
    Scroll down to see the use of disability equipment and the aged as objects of humour to further a particular agenda

    The blog is second from last on your blog list and I notice a representative of the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers says she "does not go there".

    Another priest blogger, not on your list, says:

    "I don't find that very offensive, I think [it] is pointing out the aging of Liberalism, not showing disrespect to the lame."

    On behalf of many "lame" Catholics, a category which will apply to most of us in time, please offer your view. I am currently led to consider reporting this to the American Catholic hierarchy.

    Thank you.

  5. Fr Z has a good reason for showing those things - however, like most of us he sometimes makes mistakes and on this occasion he may well have stepped over the mark a bit. But in fairness one of his points is surely that liberal Catholicism is stuck in the 60's and 70's and what followed from those decades was often just annoying repetition - in other words, "nothing new". Now, some of the elderly who, in their young days, would have been regarded as very conservative are "stuck" in the days of their own adolescence. I think he is making a good point and does not have any intention of being tasteless or disrespectful. Having said all that, I think you have a point in that he has gone a little too far with this one.

  6. Thank you.
    In view of his motive I will get off my soap-box and hope that aged Americans will have objected to his use of their deteriorating bodies and mobility aids to make his point.
    Our Lord on the Cross committed his ageing Mother to St.John and to us, and in doing so indicated His care and protection of the vulnerable throughout their lives.
    I would still like the priest to consider the photograph of the walking aid. Perhaps the person was walking to the altar to receive Our Lord, a painful journey.

    I will, however, leave it to others who, through the Holy Spirit, might lead the priest to empathy and understanding.

    Warm regards.