Auntie Joanna at Blackfen

During the past week, we had the "Dowry of Mary" week in my parish. Each evening, from Monday to Friday, there was a Holy Hour, followed by a talk on some aspect of the faith, related to conversion or to our English Catholic heritage. The parishioners were most impressed by the men of Miles Jesu who led the prayers during the Holy Hour and introduced the talks.

As I mentioned before, I gave the talk on Thursday night about our English Martyrs. I love to tell people about these saints; they are such great characters, full of humour, courage and love for the Blessed Sacrament and the Church.

On Friday night, Joanna Bogle (Auntie Joanna) came to speak about our English Catholic heritage. She told us about the many forgotten links with our Catholic past that we can see throughout England - even in something as mundane as pub signs. Where there is a pub called "The Angel", "The Salutation", or "The Flowerpot", we can be sure that it was originally dedicated to the Annunciation. Where we see "The Crossed Keys", it tells us of English Catholic devotion to St Peter. "The Lamb and Flag" tells us of the sacrifice of the Mass.

Since Friday was the feast of the Immaculate Conception, we thought it would be a good idea to have a little extra celebration afterwards. Mary from the UCM baked a delicious fruit cake which is here being cut by Auntie Joanna. I bought in some sparkling Harvey's Pinot Noir for those who like a glass of wine. (I refuse to buy "champagne" - I am not interested in supporting the effective cartel which makes often inferior wines three times as expensive simply because of a brand name.)

Several of the young men from Miles Jesu knew of St John Cantius Church in Chicago. It was great to be able to share with them my knowledge of this astounding parish from my blogging friends and the Christmas music that Ma Beck sent me on two CDs along with the scrumptious pound cakes.

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