The Coal Hole on the Strand was buzzing last night when about 30 Catholic bloggers descended to the downstairs bar at the invitation of Fr Zuhlsdorf. Beforehand I celebrated Mass at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane: the regular Latin Mass Society Mass which happens every Monday at 6.30pm.
Fr Selvester of OMNIApost was there along with Fr Ray Blake and Deacon James Bradley of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. We all had the chance to swap stories and chat about the issues that are creating news on the blogosphere. Part of this conversation always involves the things that we know about but choose not to put on our blogs in order to avoid scandal.
It was really a great success in bringing together Catholics who have a love for the Church and a real desire to evangelise using the new media. Conversations revolved around liturgy, pro-life politics, lay apostolate, marriage, families, bishops, blogging, vocations, the ordinariate, gay masses, prayer, preaching and more.
It was an evening of Catholic action in the best sense and I for one, as a priest, came away revitalised by contact with good fellow Catholics who want to do their best to help the Church fulfil her mission. For me as a priest it is most consoling to be in the company of so many devout and committed lay people who want to be active in the work of the Church and promote her dogmatic and moral teaching.
I don't know what the Coal Hole made of it all but I think at least the staff were treated with kindness and consideration - they always say that they like Monday evenings when we come in.
Here's a good photo of three clerical friends of mine:
(L-R Fr Ray Blake, Fr John Zuhlsdorf, Deacon James Bradley)