Yesterday the Order of Preachers marked the eight-hundredth anniversary year of its foundation with a celebration of Vespers in Westminster Cathedral, at which Fr Daniel and Fr Richard were very pleased to be present.
The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster presided, and the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, O.P., preached.
The Oratory has much to be thankful to the Dominicans: St Philip said that everything good in him was learnt from the friars at San Marco in Florence. In Rome, he used to take the Dominican novices for picnics, saying, "Eat! It makes me fat to watch you." Philip had the key to the side door of the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, so that he and his followers could go into the choir for Compline. It was there that the Forty Hours' Devotion was first introduced to Rome, to pray for a favourable judgement on the writings of Fra' Girolamo Savanarola, whose portrait hung in Philip's room, with a halo drawn by the saint himself. During the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at the Minerva, Philip went into an ecstasy and declared that the Pope had ruled in the Dominicans' favour, at the very time when this decision was later discovered to have been made.
Many of our own community have benefited from a Dominican education, and we pray that our brethren at Blackfriars, and the whole Order of Preachers, may continue to flourish for the next eight-hundred years.
On Wednesday the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Mennini, came to visit the Mother Teresa Exhibition in our library.
His Excellency's visit coincided with that of a class from St Aloysius' Primary School. The Nuncio spoke to the children about how he had himself met Blessed Teresa, and explained how her message was that of the Gospel: "Love one another."
Archbishop Mennini examines the displays:
As with the many groups of children and young people who have visited the exhibition, they were interested and moved by it:
Fr Daniel explains one of the photo boards:
The Papal Nuncio with some of the pupils from St Aloysius' and the exhibition volunteers:
Saturday 30th April will be the last day of the exhibition. It is open daily from 10.30am-7pm.
St Aloysius' School was a sea of red, white and blue last Thursday, to celebrate The Queen's 90th birthday.
A special tea party started with a presentation made by Mr. Walker about Her Majesty. Then all the children stood up to sing a hearty rendition of God Save The Queen. When everyone was seated again, staff and parents served the children with various sandwiches, Victoria sponge and squash - everyone agreed that it was all very yummy! We finished with a prayer specially written for the occasion.
Today is the ninetieth birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. We wish Her Majesty every happiness, and pray that she may continue to reign over us for many years to come.
On Sunday 12th June, when Her Majesty's Birthday will be celebrated officially, the Prayer for The Queen will be sung or said after all Masses, at the request of the Bishops and England and Wales. After the High Mass, there will be a 'Street Party' in front of the Parish Centre.
Here is the text of the resolution of the Bishops' Conference:
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Plenary Resolutions: April 2016
Statement on HM The Queen’S 90th Birthday
The Bishops’ Conference establishes that, at all Sunday Masses on 11-12 June 2016, each parish prays for Her Majesty The Queen to mark her 90th birthday by including such an intention in the Bidding Prayers and by reciting at the end of Mass (after the Prayer after Communion and before the Final Blessing) the Prayer for The Queen as follows:
V. O Lord, save Elizabeth, our Queen.
R. And hear us on the day we call upon you.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come before you.
V. The Lord be with you. R. And with your spirit.
Almighty God, we pray,
that your servant Elizabeth, our Queen,
who, by your providence has received the governance of this realm, may continue to grow in every virtue,
that, imbued with your heavenly grace,
she may be preserved from all that is harmful and evil
and, being blessed with your favour
may, with her consort and the royal family,
come at last into your presence,
through Christ who is the way, the truth and the life
and who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Further, the Bishops’ Conference recommends to our parishes the circulation and use of the booklet ‘The Servant Queen and the King she serves’.
Copies of this excellent book have already been made available in our church, and snapped up by the faithful. Should you wish to order more, they are available here: