Mrs Margaret Mizen visited the parish of Blackfen today. Margaret's son, Jimmy, was killed last May. (See Jimmy Mizen RIP) Margaret and her husband Barry have given outstanding witness to their faith, choosing to use the interest of the media in the death of their son as an opportunity to speak about their faith and love of God. It is a particularly difficult time for them at the moment because the trial is in progress of the man accused of their son's murder. Please remember Margaret, Barry and their family especially during the coming week. I'll be singing the Mass at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane on Monday and will offer it for their intentions.
Margaret's talk left many of us in tears and was a magnificent start to our "Faith, Family and Future" day in the parish.
It was one of those gloriously relaxed and slightly chaotic days, blessed with great weather.
We managed to use all our available space today. Daphne McLeod spoke to the Grandparents in the sacristy; Greg Clovis of Family Life International spoke to the parents in the Large Hall, Bro Michael OFM Cap spoke to the children in the Small Hall, and I spoke to the teenagers in the Church. I talked about "Eternal Rome" with slides of St Peters, the Holy Father and various Churches, giving a little history and catechesis on the papacy. Afterwards, we went into the sunshine for some amateur film-making. (The YouTube video will be up shortly.)
In between times, there were things like beefburgers, tea, impromptu rugby, volleyball, toddling around trying to eat anything colourful, chatting about the state of the Church, taking it in turns to hold various babies, giggling, and painting the working sacristy - activities varying roughly according to age and ability.
At the end of the day, we said the Rosary, I preached a little ferverino, and then blessed the children using the blessing from the Pocket Ritual. The devil hates these days but Our Lady loves them and protects them. Try one in your parish!