The Portal April 2018 - Page 4

THE P RTAL April 2018 Joanna Bogle looks at Newman and Walsingham events in 2018 B lessed John Henry Newman’s birthday (Feb 21 st ) Auntie’s diary Page 4 was marked this year with a lecture on Newman’s Idea of a University, by Bishop Philip Egan at St Mary’s University in Twickenham. It was excellent. Newman’s insights are hugely – even prophetically – relevant for today. Theology cannot be a private optional “extra” stitched on for a tiny few people who want it attached to their thinking. The very nature of man requires something more. The lecture was in the rather fine 19 th century Waldegrave suite at St Mary’s: a bust of Newman looked down on us benignly from the mantlepiece, and a portrait of one of the University’s earliest principals, Fr Rowe of the Oratory, from the wall by the tall windows. na Later in the week: another Newman celebration, this time at Littlemore, where he established a small community and where in due course he was received into full communion with the Catholic Church. Here Fr Guy Nichols of the Birmingham Oratory spoke on “ John Henry Newman and beauty”, showing how Newman saw the beauty in nature, music, architecture and worship as a lifting of the veil between us and God. We were in Littlemore’s library, lined with books by and about Newman: the lecture was followed by some lovely music from a string quartet, honouring Newman’s own skill as a violinist, and we finished with a candlelit birthday cake! wri tes was drawn up). It’s fabulous on a warm summer evening with the shadows of the great walls falling on the lawns, and the sound of – mostly young – voices making the Mass responses and singing out the hymns. A hearty supper and Night Prayer follows, and we bed down for the night in the parish hall and school. We all bring sleeping bags and inflatable mats and actually we sleep well. Morning Prayer next day is followed by a transfer of everything to a fleet of minibuses and cars and we head for the small town of Brandon where there is Mass and a good breakfast. And then the Walk starts – tramping along footpaths, enjoying glorious views, sleeping in church halls and school halls. The Sisters organise everything and send an advance party Along with Newman, Walsingham is also very dear to each new nightly destination to prepare supper to the Ordinariate. On the first Saturday of each month, and fill buckets with cold water for hot tired feet. at 10 am, there is a Walsingham Mass at Precious Blood We eat well, talk and joke a lot, enjoy each others’ Church in London: come and join us! We make a sort company, and every day have Mass and Night Prayer of spiritual pilgrimage to Walsingham at our own small somewhere special. The Anglican parishes along Lady Chapel, pray the Walsingham Prayer, and in a the route are most welcoming and it is wonderful to time of silence add our own prayers of petitions and have Mass in glorious ancient churches… Interested? thanksgiving. Afterwards, over freshly-brewed coffee More information and an application form at: www. we hear the latest news from Walsingham…there are dominicansistersofstjoseph.org. lots of developments as the shrine flourishes anew. It is a delight to be even a small part of that. And in September, the Ladies Ordinariate Group (LOGS) will have its own special time at Walsingham. Keen on walking? If you are ready for something We’ll be staying this year at Dowry House in the High seriously challenging, come on the John Paul II Walk Street, with its lovely chapel and its centuries of history. for the New Evangelisation. It’s organised by the We’ll pray at the Shrine, review the past year and its excellent Dominican Sisters of St Joseph and it’s a achievements, confirm our Autumn programme, four-day Walk across Suffolk and Norfolk. The dates: make plans for 2019, renew our commitment to all Thursday 2 nd August to Sunday 5 th – we finish at the that the Ordinariate seeks to do. We’ll relax, enjoy long 12 noon Mass at Our Lady’s shrine at Walsingham. talkative meals, relish the loveliness of Walsingham in The Ordinariate has strong links with this pilgrimage, September. notably by providing chaplains. And then the Autumn comes, and there is John The walk actually begins at Bury St Edmunds, with Henry Newman’s Feast Day, and the Night Walk Mass in the now-ruined Abbey (where Magna Carta through Oxford to Littlemore…