Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Olivetan Parish of Cockfosters to Close

What a sad day for the OlivetanBenedictine parish of Cockfosters and especially considering  the legacy of Dom Constantine Bosschaerts. His vision for renewal in the church alongside Angelo Roncalli, whom he served as secretary whilst Roncalli was nuncio in Bulgaria, were the inspiration leading towards the second Vatican Council.  Church Unity, Church art and Liturgy were at the heart of his vision.

Perhaps Dom Constantine is aware of the work of the Holy Spirit at work in the church at the moment.  St Ignatius of Loyola said “if the Jesuits were to be suppressed it would take me 20 minutes to get over it.”  I hope the Olivetan Benedictines are not too downcast over the loss of this parish founded by such a visionary as Bosschaerts.

Dom Constantine founded the Parish of Christ the King in 1936 at Cockfosters. One of his confreres Dom Placid Meylink (1926 – 2003) appears to embody Dom Constantine’s vision. After the Second Vatican Council opened the Roman Catholic Church to modernity, Meylink with his fellow Cockfosters monks and nuns toured Britain with innovative exhibitions communicating the exciting and radical new thought spreading through the Church.

Later ecclesiastical revisionism frustrated him but, with his Dutch determination and tenacity, rarely deflected him. The monastery guesthouse, the Benedictine Centre for Spirituality, a Christian Meditation Centre and in 1995 a new monastery building were the enduring fruits of his prime years.

Meylinks ideas continued to develop. For 10 years he served on the guiding board of the World Community for Christian Meditation which teaches contemplative prayer worldwide in the Christian tradition. Meylink saw in this movement a complement to Abbot Constantine's emphasis on liturgy as a way to Christian unity.

Unity remained his keynote, but increasingly he recognised it as a unity stretching across all religions and cultures that needed a contemplative foundation.


Turvey Abbey continues Bosschaerts legacy as a place of liturgy and spirituality in the service of Christian unity between churches of the East and West.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

"The Trouble with St Mary's"

The Community of “St Mary’s in Exile,”  Brisbane, Australia are proud to present an exciting DVD package!

“ In February 2009 St Mary’s church in Brisbane is the centre of the biggest rifts in the history of the Australian Catholic Church. 72 year old, Parish Priest Father Peter Kennedy is sacked by the Catholic Church for unorthodox practices. The fight that ensues will result in the exodus of an entire Catholic community as they follow their priest into the unknown.”

The DVD contains 3 extra chapters that go with the 75 minute version of the film:
1, Discussion following the May 2011 premiere of the film at the Hawthorne Cinema;
2, A retrospective interview with Peter Kennedy and Terry Fitzpatrick about the film, the community and spirituality.
3, Peter Hegedus' homily to the St Mary's community about the film.

More information and reviews of the film can be read here and the website of the films producer is here

If you would like to register an interest in obtaining a copy of the film you could email Richard Ortiz at the St Mary’s Community.

The website for the Community of St Mary’s can be found here.
Watch the Preview

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Fr Gregory Winterton Cong. Orat.

So sorry to hear of the death of Fr Gregory Winterton of the Birmingham Oratory on wednesday 18th January 2012. 

I remember the frugality of his room at the oratory.  Mind you, I last sat and chatted with him there in the 1980s.  He had an iron framed bed and a wardrobe with day clerics and best clerics, day habit and best habit and very little more. 

He came across as a zealously pastoral man.  He loved people and liked to share his enthusiasm for Newman and his experience of his relationship with God regardless of who they were, their status or rank.  Relationship with God, so it seemed to me, came before everything for Fr Gregory.   

He gave me a great love of Newman and Newman’s fidelity to the kindly light that led him on.  Thank you Fr Gregory for your fantastic example of Christian life.  

Friday, 6 January 2012

Writing Icons

Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting : Aidan Hart.

If you are interested in writing icons, this new book by Aidan Hart is a must. Don’t take my word for it but have a look at the preview here. 

This book goes into fantastic detail, in a way I’ve never found in one single tome before.   I ordered the book last week for £40 and when it arrived the size, quality and content in the book was outstanding. If the book cost half as much again it would still be a bargain.  It can be ordered via Aidan Hart’s website or through Gracewing 

Thank you Aidan for a treatise of quality, full of learning, technique and much needed spirituality.  I’ve dabbled in writing icons for about 12 months now.  Some of them can be seen way down this blog page.  This book will help so much with many of the pitfalls I encountered and hopefully drag my writing standard up out of the gutter !