All posts filed under: Religion

Politicians sometimes surprise me…

Every now and then, politicians surprise me. For instance, The Rt Hon Peter Robinson MP MLA is supporting religious freedom and freedom of conscience. This has been highlighted by Faith and Pride: Glad @dupleader is taking a strong stand for freedom of conscience. — Faith And Pride (@FaithAndPride) March 9, 2015 Perhaps you should read what Faith and Pride has said about his comments… Support Religious Freedom, Support Same-Sex marriage Advertisements

Positive Catholics: a peer support group

Although I live in Belfast, I am in contact with a Positive Catholics, a peer-support network of women and men, who are living with HIV and have a Christian faith. Within the Roman Catholic tradition they offer peer ministry of support and fellowship for each other. All who identify as Christian and living with HIV are welcome. Anyone living with HIV who is interested in exploring Christian faith is also most welcome to join them. They are supported by CAPS UK – Catholics for AIDS Prevention and Support whose website is

Mellifluous Doctor, pray for us.

Today is the Feast of St Bernard of Clairvaux, O.Cist., the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian Order. He wrote the Memorare, a very familiar and traditional prayer to Our Lady: “REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.” The Bishop of Rome, Pius VIII proclaimed Bernard a Doctor of the Church. On the 800th anniversary of St Bernard’s death in 1953, The Venerable Pius XII issued an Encyclical, Doctor Mellifluus (the Honey-Sweet(-voiced) Doctor), which can be read on the Vatican website. In the Encyclical, The Venerable Pius XII, writes that the three central elements of Bernard’s Mariology are how he explained the virginity of Mary, the “Star of the …

WAD service – Belfast

I’ve been planning a short service for use in St George’s Parish Church on Friday 30 November 2012 the eve of World AIDS Day in conjunction with The HIV Support Centre The service will begin promptly at eight o’clock in the evening. The aim is to remember those who have gone before, those living now, and those still to come who live with or are affected by HIV.

December 25 – Christmas Day

It is just after midnight, I am not out at Midnight Mass, but I am watching it on BBC1 from the Metropolitan and Cathedral Church of the Most Precious Blood, Westminster. The Mass is being celebrated  by The Most Reverend Vincent, His Grace the Archbishop of Westminster. The music is uplifting, I just wish that I were singing the introits and the chants as I have done in the past. I hope that this year, I shall renew my faith in the child that came down from heaven, born of Our Blessed Lady, in that stable in the City of Bethlehem. “The child that is at the heart of this celebration, who will disclose the truth, not only of truth but of our own humanity.” “This child is both truly God and truly man.” The Most Reverend Vincent, His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Westminster, Sermon at Midnight Mass, 2009.

October 8 – St Thérèse of Lisieux

St Thérèse of Lisieux Today the Relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux sometimes known as “The Little Flower” are being venerated in the Oratory Church of St Aloysius Gonzaga in the University City of Oxford. To those who of my friends who are in Oxford, I ask that they pray for me, and ask St Thérèse to pray for me to have the courage to face the difficulties that my diagnosis have placed upon me. To quote one priest friend I asked to pray for me while she is in the Oratory… You will indeed be given the courage and the grace you need. Once Thérèse starts praying… Some other thoughts on relics, which though written for the visit of St Thérèse to Ireland in 1994 are just as relevant now, as she is in Oxford. Preparation for this timely visit involved a deepened understanding of the saint’s doctrine, in particular her teaching on God’s merciful love, on the Little Way of spiritual childhood which is a way of unending love. The teaching of this …

June 23

St Etheldreda’s Day Today is St Etheldreda’s Day. The day that the Church remembers a holy Abbess in Ely, Cambridgeshire. It is the day I remember a friend of mine called Etheldreda. And remember that I have forgotten to send a card to her – I’ll have to do that later this afternoon. Hospital Clinic Last month when I was given the date for today’s appointment I mentioned that it was St Etheldreda’s day and the doctor looked at me a bit funny. I’m rather good with dates – name a day and I’ll probably be able to know what saint’s day it is – if it is at all. Fortunately the doctors are good at getting their work done regardless of holy days. And the good news is that my CD4 count has finally started to go up. On the day the last bloods were taken it was 150. And the Viral Load has continued to come down: 330. Vampires continue Of course the vampires continue at the clinic – and more bloods were …

Day 14, part 2

Didn’t think that I would be posting again so soon. But I was greeted by post when I got back to my house after lunchtime today. Now normally post is just bills, bank statements, and various magazines to which I subscribe. But… In the last two days, I’ve received some books from friends from all around the country. The Way of the Cross for those who have AIDS and have HIV. Delia Smith’s One is Fun The Penguin book of Metaphysical Poetry To the friends who have sent these… Thank you very much. It is great to have your support.