Then tomorrow I go on my annual retreat to St Michael's Abbey, Farnborough in Hampshire. It will be an interesting time for a retreat since today is the Abbatial Blessing of Dom Cuthbert Brogan, who has been Prior for nearly a decade. I wish I could have gone but I had three Masses to say here in Hackney. I'm sure the celebrations will continue this week (including the odd Pontifical ceremony to aid my meditation?) and I believe the guests may include the odd Australian bishop. Anyway, hopefully Joee Blogs will provide some reports of today's grandeur on his blog.
I've been a regular guest at Farnborough since 1996, when I visited as a University student. I was there when my Finals results were announced a few days earlier than expected and the Prior kindly opened a bottle of champagne that just happened to be sitting in the monastic fridge. I stayed at the Abbey for a few days during each of my seminary vacations, co-authored a book which the monastery press produced (The Forty-Four: Martyrs of the Venerable English College, Rome) and most recently took a group of confirmandi there.
I find it a handy place for retreats and recollections, especially since it's such an easy journey from London and because it makes no difference to the community whether you concelebrate or say Mass quietly at a side altar.
So, folks, I won't be blogging this coming week. Oremus pro invicem!