Tag Archives: SPES


Dear readers, it’s that busy Autumn term again and I’ve been out of the blogging loop. This past month I have been…

Sadly not eating too much apple pie…

  • Launching a formation course for new catechists in our deanery/area
  • Teaching some inspiring young people from Salisbury about how they can be great catechists
  • Missing the heat and my friends of Kansas City, Kansas 😦
  • Planning a series on the CCC for January onwards… (watch this space!)
  • Geeking up on teaching strategies and classroom management in this brilliant book
  • Enjoying a delicious luncheon with the Catholic Women of the Year
  • Crying as I saw Dr Caroline Farey receive the message for catechists from the Pope – and knowing that she was praying for all of us catechists
  • Burrowing away in the library working on the literature review for my dissertation
  • Taking advantage of the wonderful Wholefoods store which is even more wonderfully near the library I’ve been using
  • Meeting the new students at SPES and giving them an introductory lecture on prayer
  • Receiving an email each day with a little chunk of the Catechism, specially for the Year of Faith
  • Reading this fantastic book with my book club
  • Seeing for myself that Come Follow Me really does work as amazingly effective children’s catechesis
  • Making Delia’s yummy cottage pie with cheese-crusted leeks
  • Hanging out at the new Vocations Centre for the Archdiocese of Southwark
  • Embarrassing my 16-year-old brother by weeping as he starred as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
  • Wondering whether I’ll need to take out a loan for the number of weddings I’ve been invited to next year

…and relishing my time with family and friends, which, after all, is what life is mostly about 🙂

What’ve you been up to? Share in the comments!

The New St Patrick’s!

Yesterday I was at the absolutely crammed reopening Mass at St Patrick’s church Soho. We were so squished down the side aisles the archbishop could barely get through to bless the church. And what a magnificent transformation it is. It took my breath away yesterday as we walked around it in the afternoon before the Mass. The painters were putting on the finishing touches, and it felt a bit like Holy Saturday – the church was bare – and even more than that, it needed to be reconsecrated. The Liturgy of last night was moving and beautiful. All of the hard work, the prayer and sacrifice, was being crowned and perfected in the Liturgy, where God pours out grace – His own life. For me, it was a beautiful illustration of how salvation history works: grace – the sheer gift of God himself – perfects, ellevates and transforms nature – the hard work and sacrifice we offer. And I felt last night that this was an important event in the history of evangelisation in our little corner of the world.

Here are a few photos of the reopening Mass and church interior, courtesy of Andrew Stuart.



I would really recommend going to have a look at the transformation. St Patrick’s School of Evangelisation relaunches in September – would definitely recommend it for any young person wanting to take a year out for formation, discernment and opportunity to deepen their relationship with God.

This evening George Weigel gave a lecture at St Patrick’s on Pope Benedict and the future of the west. There were many tangents of questions afterwards, but one of them was on the need for a renewed catechetics in this country. One person recounted that his child’s First Communion preparation did not mention the word ‘sacrament’. I think Weigel’s response hit the nail on the head: “preparing for First Communion without mentioning the word ‘sacrament’ is like training for cricket without using the word ‘bat’.” Too true. I pray that leaders – clerical and lay – will open their eyes to the need for a renewed catechesis in this country. There is so much work that needs to be done and not enough people trained well enough to do it. Without a solid catechetical centre, the new evangelisation cannot flourish.