Saturday, 16 December 2006

The Friars of Canning Town

Looking back at this blog, there aren't many posts about my parish and the activities that take up 95% of my time. Of course, it wouldn't be appropriate to publish posts about many aspects of priestly ministry since it would be an abuse of the 'internal forum.' However, I will write a little about today, when I took 21 of our teenagers to Canning Town (East London) to visit the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal for a Confirmation recollection day (see group picture above).

The Friars are based at St Fidelis Friary on Killop Close, in the midst of a housing estate. The building was originally a parish hall and is used by the Friars, amongst other things, as a soup kitchen for the poor.

I greatly admire the Friars, partly because they are so good at talking to young people - the American accents, long beards and radical lifestyle all helps to make them appear authentic and appealing as followers of Christ. We had a series of talks on the meaning of Confirmation and the importance of Mass and Confession. We then had an opportunity for Confession and, as far as I know, every young person went - inspired, no doubt, by the talk one of the brother's gave, mentioning things like pornography, sex, drugs, alcohol and bad pop music. Here is a photo of Br Martin in full flow. Note the very Franciscan life-size crib behind him. We later said Mass beside it, which I found quite moving:

In the break there was an opportunity to play basketball. I chose to remain a spectator but took the following pictures, just to show that the Franciscans know how to combine praying with playing:

And finally here's an exclusive video of a Friar playing basketball (apologies for the quality).

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Blogger Fr Tim Finigan said...

St Margaret's, Canning Town, was my father's parish when he was a boy. He was one of a small group of boys who were allowed to serve Mass at the Convent in Bethell Avenue.

Great video!

5:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you show us your relic collection?


6:50 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

OK, my dear anonymous reader - I'll do a post on relics as a little Christmas treat. Watch this space!

9:40 pm  

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