Friday, 1 August 2014

Thoughts from our Chaplain - Go for the goal!

When I was the Parish Priest in Aberystwyth I came across a book with the title “Faith for the Future – a new illustrated catechism.”  It was based on the New Catechism of the Catholic Church, but much more readable. In order to get a greater understanding of the faith I recommended it to young couple getting married and young couples coming to have their first baby baptised. It had of course the old creed etc. and therefore became out of date once the new liturgy of the Mass was introduced. Unfortunately it has never been updated.

Recently the Redemptorist Publication sent round a leaflet on “Your Faith – a popular presentation of Catholic belief”. The leaflet states, “Your Faith presents the fundamental truths of the Catholic faith in a simple and popular way. It has been completely revised and updated with beautiful images and illustrations to link faith with daily life”.

On 31 July, we commemorated St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), the founder of the Jesuits. After a deep conversion from military service he dedicated himself competed to Jesus. He could be quite radical. We read in Magnificat. “Thus as far as we are concerned, we should not want health more than illness, wealth more than poverty, fame more than disgrace, a long life more than a short one…, but we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we were created”.

I’m sure “Your faith” can assist us with that.  

Fr Piet Wijngaard, O.Carm.

Photo of the month - August 2014

The reliquary which stands in the inner shrine is known as the Augsberg Reliquary. It is a modern copy of a silver monstrance dated 1547, and it has been modified to display the relic, a bone fragment, of St. Jude. The veneration of relics raises all kinds of questions in the modern world.

To read an excellent text about relics by the eminent Carmelite theologian Fr. Christopher O'Donnell, O.Carm., please view here.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

811 "likes" on Facebook

Our Facebook friends are all amazing! We now have 811 likes on our page - thank you to everyone for supporting us!  

For reaching this milestone, we have ten prize winners!

CONGRATULATIONS to the following winners: 
Kate Atkin
Hashan Chathuranga
Percy Griffiths
James Harkins
Maureen Hurst
Sasi Kethi
Beverley Parry
Jaque Russell
Sam Sundar
Michael Tannion

Please can you all send us your postal address to and we'll then send you your gift.

Thank you to all our Facebook, Twitter and Google + friends. We will pray for you at the Shrine.

Matt Betts

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Thoughts from our Chaplain - “Pray for us sinners!”

If the 27th July hadn’t fallen this year on a Sunday, we would have celebrated the feast of the Dutch Carmelite Blessed Titus Brandsma.

I have written about him before, but as many of my brethren have recourse to pray to him on my behalf, I like to recall his life, especially his latter days.

He was born in Bolsward (Holland) in 1881 on a Frisian farm, he entered the Carmelite Order and was ordained 1905. He obtained a doctorate in philosophy, lectured (including mysticism) at the Nijmegen University, stood up for the freedom of the press and opposed the Nazis for their treatment of the Jews. He was arrested in 1942 and was killed in Dachau.

Whilst at Dachau he reached out to fellow prisoners, was always friendly to and prayed for his brutal guards and made a deep impression on the nurse, Titia, who gave him the fatal injection in the infirmary block. In her testimony she said that she wanted to speak about him, because he had helped her so much. “Titus asked me how I came to work in this place. Once he took my hand and said ‘What a poor girl you are, I pray much for you.’ He also gave me his rosary, but I said that I couldn’t pray. He replied, ‘Pray then at least the last words: pray for us sinners’. I laughed.

Instead of laughing, let us say then, because we are sinners – at least I am!

Fr Piet Wijngaard, O.Carm.