Saturday, 27 January 2007

Day with Mary

Today we hosted the 'Day with Mary' (DWM) here at Kingsland. This happens every Saturday in a different church (normally in London) and has been going since 1986, when the first DWM was held in Arundel Cathedral under the patronage of the then bishop, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

We began with a DVD about Fatima and proceeded to a procession and crowning of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima (it's always a bit awkward climbing a stepladder in a heavy cope - the first year I did it I nearly fell off). The day is then spent with prayers and Marian hymns, talks and conferences and Eucharistic adoration. Solemn Mass is celebrated just before lunch.The day lasted from 9.45am to 6pm.

As you can imagine, it's quite a tiring day (with two hours spent in the confessional in addition to Mass, Benediction, etc) but hugely edifying. I forget which priestly author spoke of the 'reflected grace' that a priest enjoys during his ministry - but that was certainly evident today as I led devotions and said Mass amidst so many fervent Catholics. There were about 400-500 in the church (including, much to my delight, some parishioners from my former parish).

The Association is closely linked to the Franciscans of the Immaculate, founded in 1990 and inspired by St Maximilian Kolbe - one of their priests preached today and spent hours in the confessional, and their sisters (see below) helped with the music. They are based in Brockley (South London) and next month will be opening a new bookshop in Catford. The FI's also have a fine video blog (vlog - the only Catholic one I've come across). Talking of blogs, the DWM is doing its round of bloggers for next Saturday Fr Tim will be hosting them at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen.

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Blogger Mac McLernon said...

Hey, we've got them coming over to us next Saturday!

Aren't they fantastic?

10:37 pm  
Blogger Mac McLernon said...

Ooops, just spotted the last line. Disregard my last comment!

10:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr. Nicholas. The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate aren't opening a 'new' bookshop in Catford as such: they've taken over 'Holy Cross Bookshop' from the previous owners and have been very busy these past months refurbishing and stocking up, as well as building a Chapel and other facilities in what used to be the 'warehouse' at the back of the shop. It's worth a visit if anyone is interested :c). If anyone has been to Holy Cross Bookshop before they won't recognise the place!!! =D. I suppose that, because it's so different from the old place, you could, technically, argue that it was 'new'. The Sisters there are very welcoming and truly radiate Franciscan joy.

11:24 pm  
Blogger elena maria vidal said...

Those Francsicans of the Immaculate are a wonderful community. One of their older priests, Father Peter Damian, is a living saint. What a blessing to have them around even for a short time!!

8:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the theology of Days With Mary a little suspect? Aren't they campaigning for the definition of Mary as Co-Redemptrix? That was avoided by a squeak in Pope John Paul II's reign. I doubt if it has much milage with the present Holy Father. Perhaps I'm wrong. Incidentally, I'm neutral, but I think it might have adverse ecumenical repercussions. best left as a pious, if defensible, opinion. What do you think?

10:13 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Yes, the Franciscans of the Immaculate et al are closely involved in the campaign to get Mary Coredemptrix infallibly defined as 'the fifth Marian dogma.' I have no problems with the theology, based as it is on Catholic tradition and the writings of the likes of St Bernard and St Alphonsus. It was mentioned in the speeches of Pius XI and JPII. However, it does need to be explained to people carefully so as to avoid misunderstanding.

Nor would I have any issue with an infallible definition, although it's not something I feel particularly passionate about - there are a number of things I'd rather see the Holy Father say and do first!

10:54 pm  
Blogger Fr Tim Finigan said...

I met Fr Fehlner and many other priests at the Co-Redemption conference. Theologically suspect they certainly aren't! The papers from these conferences are well worth reading - especially Fr Fehlner's. He is a Scotist theologian who has been teaching sound theology for many decades and is immensely learned.

The have several papers defending the title Co-Redemptrix against all the usual arguments (ecumenical problems, "mariolatry" etc.)

I'm looking forward to Saturday - they are always a great boost to the parish and to me personally. They are also a most excellent example of genuine co-operation between the priestly ministry and the lay apostolate.

4:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am fascinated by the two clerical responses to this question. Fr Nicholas seems willing to accept the teaching of the Church as it stands. Fr Tim seems to want to mould it to his point of view. Sacred tradition is a powerful strand in influencing papal declarations, it could not be otherwise, but, in the end, the Holy Father speaks and we are in conscience bound to follow. So far he has been silent, despite allusions, rather than infallible declarations, by previous Pontiffs. Before making a declaration he would have to widely consult the views of the bishops and theologians. Isn't that the procedure? It was followed before the declarations of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption. Is it likely that they would support this pious opinion, logical and substantially true though it is? Is there any need to define it?

11:02 pm  

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