October 1 - Saturday
LONDON 20S THINK TANK. LIKE OPUS DEI?
Good turn-out at the London 20s think-tank meeting on Saturday, and apologies received from several who are making a valuable contribution to the group. Over the summer we had lost our diary secretary and some of the events were not that well attended (were the bombs a factor?), so I had billed this meeting as a kind of re-launch. Anyone from the group can attend a think-tank and everyone should feel equally valuable and able to make their contribution to the group. I didn't want to say too much, but at the beginning I appealed to people to keep it simple, don't ask too much of yourselves or adopt ideas that no-one will be able to put into practice. A few years ago there were all kinds of ideas floating around and people took on tasks they were not able to fulfill which led to a certain disenchantment. The basic idea is that we get together and do various things that are of interest to the group. If it works it works. If it doesn't, we try other things.
As ideas started to surface I was still saying too much so I suggested someone else chair the meeting and Jenny was volunteered. From then until near the end I managed to keep stum even though I was tempted to come in with information, explanations or we've tried that alreadys. A great energy rose from within the groups with lots of good ideas and good sense. There are a lot of gifted and experienced people around. Some of the issues that arose were: aims and potential of the group, advertising, use of the new website (which is almost ready to be launched and is now being tweaked by a small group of members), use of university chaplaincies to attract those finishing their studies, openness to non-Catholics who accept ethos of the group, good balance of spiritual and social events (London 20s always surprise me with their appetite for the spiritual), building up links with other 20s groups, trying to create sub-groups around London with area reps who can be contacted through the web page, designing a poster that can be emailed to members to put up in their local parishes with their details for contacting.
At the beginning of the discussion and later I posed the question of the 20s relationship with the 30s group in London. I have wondered at times if keeping a clear separate identity was more my issue, but it would seem that it is a non-issue. Many of the 20s had been at the recent party organised by the 30s and had enjoyed it very much, thank you, but the only thing that was said by anyone at the meeting was that joint events with the 30s should be kept to a minimum. It was obvious to me that this group of 20s had a clear and separate focus.
Sean agreed to be diary secretary. Catherine and Helen will work out a pattern of going to different churches for Sunday Mass to be followed/preceded by a meal, drink, walk, etc. They will also get some dates and a venue to hold a regular prayer meeting, which they later said in the pub that they wanted to base on dehonian spirituality even though they confessed to having only a rudimentary idea of what it's about. We'll email the group looking for volunteers to be local contacts for their parish/deanery/ town/area. Some were already making plans for their own area.
After the meeting we had Mass in the chapel of More House. The amount and quality of food that people had brought for the 'shared table' exceeded all expectations. Most of us were still around to go for a drink later. The discussion and energy continued. Someone produced a copy of the Catholic magazine, 'The Pastoral Review', where an article by Karen North on Young Adult Ministry listed us along with groups like the Focolare, the Neo-Catechumenate and Opus Dei as evidence that there was still a lot of young adult ministry going on. She called us The Twentysomethings-Thirtysomethings project. See www.thepastoralreview.org
October 2 - Sunday
DUBLIN 20S THINK-TANK
I must admit that there have been times in the past 4 years that I thought we would be meeting (or not meeting) to declare the Dublin 20s dead and to prepare suitable rites of farewell. But somehow the flames have kept flickering and even returned to quite a flame. Today, Sunday, was one of those days when you suspect that nobody might turn up at the think-tank meeting, but we were pleasantly surprised and there were good ideas and enthusiasm for the way forward. I've noticed from these 20s meetings in London and Dublin that the people who come along are more likely to be those who have had a good experience of joint events and travelling to other groups. The World Youth Day crowd were well represented. These are some of the points that came up at the Dublin 20s:
October 3 - Monday
20'S REVIEW MEETING - MALPAS
These are the minutes from the 20s review meeting as they
appeared on the flipchart sheets.
1. Who we are
2. What we
1. Also need interaction sometimes.
start 40s group.
1. Use Internet to advertise events on new website.
ideas- forum, network.
1. Cards / flyers to advertise.
2. Need to
‘word’ the adverts carefully.
October 4 - Tuesday
WORLD YOUTH DAY 2005
Aidan has emailed the first six pages of his report on the World Youth Day. The rest is still to come and will be emailed round the groups later. Here is the first page. Imagine the Irish humour and just go with the flow.
The World Youth Day is always an experience that if you ever get or got the chance to experience you do have to take it as for one thing it’s only every 4 years but at them you get everything, fun, friendship, and an experience that would last a life time.
This would be my 2nd World Youth Day. I went to the one in Paris in 1997 with my parish in Clondalkin the Immaculate of Conception to Our Lady, I was also only 19 and I know what I would achieve and experience and one was the friends that you always make on the trips. The trip was from the 10-22 of August.
I had to get up quite early 5:15am on the Wednesday and the day was going to be a very very long one as the flight to Frankfurt-Hahn (HHN) was at !5:40pm the flight I had booked was at 8:10am to London Stanstead and I would get there at 9:20am very early and how would I pass my time well I did not know, I had no walkman. The last time I had one I felt I was not sociable to all on the flight and on the trip to Germany.
I was also not the only Irish man on the trip there was competition also from Ronan Wall whom I met at the group review in September of 2004.
The plane over I played cards with Michael Gorak and was winning too which was and is always fun.
The trip itself there were 4 of us from the last time in Germany a preparation for the World Youth day back in 2003, there was Me (Aidan Pidgeon), Ann Rycroft, Michael Gorak and Father Hugh Hanley, then we travelled to Neustadt and Handrup. This time we went to at first a village by the Mosel and then on to Bonn, a place near it called Obarkassel.
Anyhow back to me and the waiting and it
was long I did not know what to do, I thought I'd try and sleep a bit but that
was not a good as I could not do it. So at around 11am I did a walk thinking I
may see someone I'd know but nope so I went to another area and I did sleep this
time and when I awoke it was a bit better 1:15pm so I waited a few more minutes
and then I went to the check in gate and I saw a few I knew, Liam Williams from
Wales, Father Hugh from Scotland but living in Stockport, Helen Reynolds from
Liverpool whom was hiding after Everton’s start of the season and it would
worse for her too poor Helen, a few I did not know, Kier and Michael Sarr,
Thomas and Emily, elsjeace whom was coming to us on
the Wednesday, Adam, James were coming too and they went to Germany in 2003,
Jenny who was a bit too mad into the cricket,
Ronan and the lovely Stacy and last but not least also the lovely
Catherine Hopkins whom I did not know before either but by the end I think she
saw enough of me to last a long time, and let me add she was a bit mad into her
camera taking photos of anyone and anything. In Germany I was told by a
certain Adam Coeur De Lion I was worse than the paparazzi. Well she nearly was as
bad, but you cant beat me in Germany as I took loads of photos of everyone and
like now everyone had a lasting effect of me to last forever.
October 5 - Wednesday
has sent us in another poem written by a terminally ill young girl in a New York
Have you ever watched kids
Do you run through each day
October 6 - Thursday
THE UPS AND DOWNS OF BIORHYTHMS
Last year in the early days of the diary I made references to the Enneagram and Myers-Briggs, two systems of looking at personality from different directions which help us to understand ourselves and how we relate to others. At the time I thought I would write quite a lot about these and they would be good fillers when I ran out of ideas or there was nothing much happening. But that hasn't happened.
Last week I suddenly started thinking about biorhythms (which I've not mentioned before in detail). When I was in Paris two weeks ago I had to drag myself up the stairs to the third floor and took the lift more than I'd like to admit. Then last week back at Stockport I found myself bounding up the two flights to the office. What's the difference? Could be a whole host of factors: diet, health, sleep, circumstances, particular situations, general attitude at the time, etc, etc. The theory of biorhythms is that there is a 23 day physical cycle. For half of it we are re-charging our batteries and not feeling very energetic. Then for 11 days or so we have more energy to discharge and feel stronger from a bodily point of view. If you walk or do some other regular daily exercise, notice the difference. Of course you might have more spring in your step on a Friday than you do on a Monday, but some Mondays you will have a better sense of well-being than others. Watch over the next month and see what happens.
There are two other rhythms. The intellectual cycle follows a 33 day pattern. I began to notice this by the way I did the quick crossword. Also sometimes I'm reading the newspaper and I'm taking nothing in, followed by periods when I can remember the GDP of Zambia or how many were at the Stranraer v Gretna game. The emotional rhythm has a 28 day cycle. This is the easiest to follow because it goes on a weekly pattern. There are highs and lows of energy in the middle of each 'charging' and 'discharging' period, and when we move between the 14 days of being more emotionally balanced to the two weeks when we are more sensitive there are wobbly days when we can feel out of sorts and be more accident prone. This applies also to the physical and intellectual rhythms as well.
When I went 'blind' for a few months then tried to guess where I was on the different cycles I could guess them to within a day, but the emotional cycle was always a week out. Maybe that's because I use my heart least when I am making decisions. Don't try and guess where you are on the three rhythms at the same time. That would be like trying to catch three cats at once. You can get more info by googling 'biorhythms'. It depends on the day we are born. The theory is that our rhythms kicked in the day we were de-umbilicalled. These differences were first noted at the end of the 19th century by a doctor who worked for years in a mental institution. He noted that his patients, even though they followed the same pattern day after day, month after month, had very discernible swings in their energy and emotional patterns. The intellectual cycle was then shown by the different kinds of results that students had doing similar kinds of exams at different times.
There used to be books that gave you tables of your rhythms over several years, but these stopped being printed when the web took over. If you know someone's date of birth you can see how they are in relation to you. If they are not close to you on the cycle they might want to walk when you are zonked or you are feeling so switched on mentally that they don't want to talk to you. Biorhythms were popular with athletes in the 70s, but fell out of favour when Seb Coe won his Olympic gold when he was at the bottom physically, but if you see pictures of him crossing the line he looks totally whacked with no energy even to smile.
October 7 - Friday
FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF PRIESTS
Last month (see 9 September) I invited readers of the diary to send in a few words of encouragement for priests that I could use for a talk that I have to give to priests on Tuesday. Here is what I received:
I would like to thank priests for giving their time.
- Priests are people too and need our help, support and encouragement.
For me, most of the most influential people in my life, people who have
provided care and direction and to whom I've been able to confide, have been
priests and religious. While I've been fortunate in meeting some exceptional
people, I think that the office of priest also
offers something to us. It's a unique role. You tend to feel assured and
that he carries with him a truth and an authority that we need.
- I guess
priests often provide leadership and/or the 'shepherding'. Both are important. I
feel a strong need for pastoral care but also to be challenged.
I don't think we're challenged enough and I think it would be great if
priests felt confident enough to do so.
October 8 - Saturday
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
The following is something I received by email from a Londoner a while ago.
"Not my idea but...maybe it's a good one...?
Or maybe I just don't want to think too long about such scenarios....
Following the disaster in London... East Anglian Ambulance Service have launched a national "In case of emergency" (ICE) campaign with the support of Falklands war hero SImon Weston.
The idea is that you store the word "ICE" in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency".
In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly find out who your next of kin are and be able to contact them. It's so simple that everyone can do it. Please do.
Please will you also email this to everybody in your address book, it won't take too many 'forwards' before everybody will know about this. It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest. For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3, etc."
I've just done this myself. If you are making people emergency contacts it is only fair to them to let them know what you've done.
October 9 - Sunday
TALKS TO PRIESTS
Last week I gave a day of retreat to priests from a diocese where Project 2030 has not been set up. I used the quote that people had sent in as words of encouragement for the priests to hear, coming from yourselves (see Friday, October 7). These are some of the points I made:
October 10 - Monday
ASSISTED SUICIDE. NOT A GOOD DEATH.
Today in Westminster there was a debate on assisted suicide. The Chief Rabbi spoke clearly against it this morning on BBC Radio Four, based on the experience of his own father's death. The Church is firmly against it. Archbishop Smith of Cardiff was interviewed about it on Sunday. So we need to do something about it to make our views known. Doctor Chris from the group has sent us details of a questionnaire we can fill in to try and stop people who are sick or elderly feeling pressurised into saying that they want to have help to end their life:
hope you are well. I don’t know whether you feel that it is appropriate to
circulate this to the project2030 mailing list? The proposed development will
have a profound effect on al of us, whether health professionals, patients or
relatives. There is a real risk of vulnerable patients being harmed. If you are
agreeable, please circulate. If you cannot do this, please keep the matter in
you may know, there will be a debate in parliament later this month on the
subject of physician-assisted suicide. This is a very worrying development. Even
more worrying are the tactics used by our opponents to try to win the argument.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Compassion in Dying is circulating a
questionnaire (composed by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society) in the hope of
obtaining views that support their cause. The form is freely available on www.politics.co.uk
(if anyone has difficulty downloading this drop us a line at email@example.com
and we can email it to you) but I do not think they are keen to circulate it among individuals who hold
could you consider completing this as an individual (whether you are a health
professional, patient, potential patient or carer) so they cannot use this
questionnaire to support their own ends. It should be sent directly back to Joan
Ruddock at the House of Commons.
could you circulate this to other people who may be interested in completing
this form? Time is short, as replies need to be in by 21st October.
you do not feel able to complete the form, please keep the matter in your
October 11 - Tuesday
RONAN DOES IT AGAIN
People still talk about the report that Ronan did for the first group visit to India last year. Now he's done it again with his description of the World Youth Days. His vivid description and sense of humour mean we easily forgive his writing six pages. We just give the introduction here, but the full account will be sent out by email to the group. If you would like a copy (with or without photographs) then let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org
"Venimus Adorare Eum"
We have Come to Worship Him
World Youth Day 2005
Tag, do you remember me from the Project 2030 gathering in Malpas? And my friend
Michael, do you remember Michael, the German Jesus?"
course! We played twister at 5 in the morning...!"
international, cross cultural, eye opening, faith affirming encounter began, one
of many on this pilgrimage. This time it was between ourselves and some of our
German friends that had participated in the Dehonian European gathering Passion
Play last Easter up in Malpas.
Project2030 went International again but this time we were joined by a few
buddies - 1.1 million young Catholics to be precise. However, being exposed to
so many Holy Spirit-inhabited beings all in one go would surely induce some sort
of Holy Stroke so we started in the age old practise of building up immunity to
something - in small doses. Over the 12 days, the crowd grew by factors of ten.
From just our Project 2030 selves in our host village, to hundreds in the local
region, to thousands in Trier, to tens and hundreds of thousands in Bonn and to
finally a cool million in Cologne.
But before all
of this, it was only really after getting to Stansted airport that I had asked
the question - what actually am I signing up for? Concerns like "They are
all going to be much holier than me"; "I don't speak German" or
"I'm going to run out of clean underwear" were bearing heavy on ones
mind. Fr Hugh, of, course, was his wonderful welcoming self and obviously
looking forward to "trying to teach the world to sing" so it eased one
into a (false?) sense of security. Asking for a few more details, we realised
that yes, we are staying with German families, yes, you will be on your own and,
no, they don't all speak English. We spent the flight imagining long evenings
putting mime king Marcel Marceau to shame...
But it was a
non-issue when we met our hosts. You know, a smile is an amazing thing. Just one
and the worries disappeared. In fact, more than that transpired, just one smile
and we were adopted into German families, with new brothers, sisters, mums,
dads, and vineyard-owning uncles (what a result!).
October 12 - Wednesday
Monday's diary gave details of a survey that was being done on proposed legislation to allow assisted suicide in the UK.
Here are some of my responses to the questionnaire.
There might be a small minority who would want an assisted death, but would this small percentage be any higher than the percentage of people who would naturally be inclined to suicide in other circumstances. Too much pressure would be put on people to request an assisted death if this bill became law. Like many pieces of legislation in recent decades, this bill is responding to the demands of a small minority of hard cases and would just make life more difficult for the majority of people.
We shouldn't be encouraging the Shipman Syndrome. It would seem that a significant minority of medical staff feel that their patients would be better off dead, or that they see seriously ill patients as consumers who are using up too many resources.
I would not like this bill to be law. If it does become law then regular medical staff should not be asked to be involved in helping people commit suicide. This should only be administered by specially trained staff under the NHS. If not, all medical staff should be able to opt out of all procedures relating to the patients self administered suicide.
If it becomes law it should only be allowed for an experimental period, then the practice should be reviewed. This review would include consulting (at least offering consultation) to all who have been involved i.e. medical staff, family, lawyers, patients who changed their mind, patients who had even initiated a request for assisted suicide, people who felt they had become more pressurised to request this option.
The introductory letter from Joan Ruddock MP says that this subject is a very private matter. It is not private because each assisted suicide would affect a wide range of people and ultimately would undermine our sense of the dignity and value of each human life.
Your group is called 'Compassion in dying'. What about 'Compassion in living'?
October 13 - Thursday
LONDON 20S THINK TANK MINUTES
The following issues/themes were discussed at the meeting on 1 October.
The general situation
It was agreed that since losing James as diary
secretary, and since people in their early thirties have no longer been involved
in organising events, the group has gone through a quiet period.
Who the group is open to
It was agreed that the London 20s group needs to
continue to cater for everyone – those that dip in and out, and those who
The under 25s
There have always been fewer people of this age
group in the London 20s. The following ideas were discussed to attract more
people in this age group:
University Chaplaincies and Cathsocs. In
May or June, Hugh could contact all chaplains to remind them to tell students
who are about to graduate about Project 2030. Also, members of Project 2030
could visit Cathsocs to make face to face contact with potential new members.
Hopefully this would make newcomers feel more at ease attending their first
event. We could also organise an event in August to welcome new graduates and
other newcomers. Other suggestions were to concentrate on London universities,
and attend Freshers Fairs. However, it was acknowledged that the scope for
recruiting from Chaplaincies was limited, and that we need to continue to
advertise more widely anyway.
A special poster will be designed to attract new
members, and it was suggested that we ensure that priests and catechists running
RCIA courses make people aware of us.
It was agreed that regularity and continuity of
events and nurturing the faith of group members is critical to enable people to
build relationships with each other within the group. It was felt that this
would attract new members and increase our membership.
Local area contacts
The London 20s group attracts people from London
itself, greater London, and some areas as far away as Kent and Sussex. Given
that we need to serve as many people as effectively as possible in a very large
geographical area, the idea of local area contacts was discussed.
People who act as local area contacts would have two functions.
Also, if local area contacts were successful in
building up support groups for young Catholics at a parish level, this would
mean that more Project 2030 events could take place locally and people would not
have to make the long journey in to London to attend events. Having several
local area contacts for one geographical area would mean that the workload could
be easily shared.
Eddie Hopkins will write an email about the local
area contacts and send it to Hugh, who will forward it to the whole of the
It was agreed that the London 20s group must have
regular events to maintain people’s interest in the group. We must also keep
the balance between religious and social events. It was agreed that two weekends
every month would be kept for a Mass and a prayer group, and the other two
weekends would be kept for social events, and any other events on the main
Suggestions for events included: salsa dancing, quiz
nights, parties, visits to cathedral cities and a pub crawl.
It was acknowledged that few people from the London
20s group attend events outside London, and they should be encouraged to do so.
It was thought that part of the reason for this is that events organised by
other groups are not advertised well enough.
We will continue publicising the group through
parishes, and hopefully the area contacts will enhance this.
The web site needs to be updated as soon as
James Aukett will design a new poster. This could be
sent to all members via email, who could display it on staff noticeboards at
work, and ensure that a copy is displayed in their church. Business cards for
the group were also suggested.
Increasing the number of web links to similar
organisations was also suggested.
Shared Email Account
James Aukett will set up an email account
specifically for the London 20s. In order to share the workload of responding to
emails and sending out new ones, several people could have access to the
Sean Oliver has taken over from Steve Davies as
Diary Secretary. He will collate the newsletter and send it out.
People feel that the London 20s group is a blessing,
and people must continue to pray for its success.
October 14 - Friday
OFF ON A THREE MONTH COURSE
Members of our community can ask to do a year's sabbatical. In the past I've had breaks of 6 months and 3 months, so I've always felt that I had another 3 months coming. Last year I'd thought of asking to do something different for the first three months of 2005, because that time was the quietest of the year. I didn't apply for it, but then regretted it to some extent as I seemed to have lots of ideas in the past year, but have not been able to put them into operation - starting the group in other areas, targetting university leavers, having sub-groups to get people together from different countries who are living here, etc. One thing that put me off new ventures was the fact that quite a few groups are going through a transitional period, and the lack of clarity about the age differences in the groups was also a factor.
Next year some of us could be in the Holy Land in January, and then the following year there was the possibility of the World Youth Days being in January in Australia (now more likely in the summer) which would have meant that I could not take my three months until 2009 at the earliest. So a few months ago I wrote to our Provincial Superior, Michael Walshe, and asked if it would be possible to do a course from January - April 2006. Yesterday I got word that my request had been accepted. There was some concern how the groups would manage, but with the help of Celia and Clare at Malpas, Adrian in the office at Stockport, and the diary secretaries, we can keep the show on the road. Every day there are issues that arise by email or phone, but I will still be in touch with the offices for emergencies.
I haven't officially applied for the course yet, but previous contacts sounded positive. The course is at the Tantur Institute near Jerusalem and it is made up of the following:
Tantur was founded in 1871 by Pope Paul VI with an ecumenical flavour. You can see more what I'm up to on www.come.to/tantur
The dream of Tantur began during the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s. Delegated observers from the other Churches shared with Pope Paul VI the dream of an international ecumenical institute for theological research and pastoral studies. After the pope's 1964 pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he purchased the Tantur terrain, then leased it to an ecumenical board. Over 3,500 Orthodox, Protestants, Anglicans and Catholics have participated in the Institute's programs.
October 15 - Saturday
LONDON 30S RETREAT
This is part of Beatrix's report from the London 30s retreat last Saturday and Sunday:
Father Ian started the talk on the Resurrection, emphasising the fact that it happened and that we’re reliving it every time we celebrate mass and communion.
How do we see our horizon?
Which colour is our Soul?
And the most important for me was that we could choose the colour of our Soul. I really experienced this: Going to darkness has been sometimes an easier path for me even if it was painful… But the light and bright colour of the soul and the openness of the horizon is so much fruitful! And Father Ian, I’d like to thank you for having pointed out to us that we could choose our colour and our horizon!
Then he asked us to meditate on those 4 points:
Relationship with God
Everybody we meet is a gift from God (even if that person is impossible!)
The concept of dish that receives and offers (compared to the millennium dome that contained achievements, in this instance)
And Time. We have our priority in life. Do I have time to give to God? And when? And how often?
Father Ian had such an inner joy and happiness in himself that I could see the Holy Spirit working through him and this happiness was very contagious and I wouldn’t be wrong by saying that we all caught the disease!
We had about half an hour to explore the surroundings or/and meditate on the 4 points he just gave us before going for lunch.
Ah!! Lunch!! We heard quite a few praises! Cordon Bleu! We appreciated the meal with all our heart or rather “palate”: prawn cocktail to start with, followed by a chicken casserole with rice and stew vegetable and a chocolate crepe with its fruity cream. All this was accompanied by a lovely organic “rosé” … Apple Juice!
We then had free time until the 2nd talk. I personally took a quiet time in my room reading and meditating on the 4 points. And at 3.30 we all met in the meeting room for the second talk.
Father Ian started to teach us a game of hand coordination that he learned in Venezuela. Game that I actually won’t describe – too complicated to put in words... But we all laughed as we never could get it right till the end … Although Father Ian always had a way about him to compliment us about our performances.
He then talked about the different ways people pray. We read passages of what those people wrote about their way of praying.
prayer of giving, reconciliation
prayer of discernment
prayer of friendship with Jesus
prayer of intercession
I have been very enlightened by the last one as it is not always easy to help a friend or member of family with words but meeting that person in your heart where Jesus lives, I thought that was a wonderful way!
Sometimes you don’t know what to say, you just need to meet!
October 16 - Sunday
A 2030 GROUP IN THE USA?
This contribution from someone in the States should have been in the diary over the summer while I was on holiday, but somehow got overlooked. Here it is now. SInce then we have Stacey who has gone back home to the USA and Fr Charlie Brown who was with us in Germany looking at the possibility of setting up Project 2030 in America.
Hi! My name is ........ and I am a new member of Project 2030. I live in the United States and I am starting a 2030 group here. I work as a college instructor and freelance writer.
It is very difficult to meet other Catholic young adults on one's own. Your group seems to be bringing them together to become a community of friends. When I was in my early 20s I made a real commitment to being a faithful Catholic. I have always been very happy to be part of the Church but one thing was missing - Catholic friends. I joined different parishes, I volunteered, I went to Catholic events, but I never met any other Catholics my age. Most Catholics who go to Church seem to be older people and there are also some families with young children.
I read a book about young adult Christians which mentioned that many Catholics belong to groups which meet for prayer and social events, so I decided to do some research on the internet and find some groups. The groups I found were mainly limited to a parish or city and most seemed to offer only social events, or if they had spiritual events they were more for people who were just starting to learn about Catholicism. There are also many more groups for teenagers and college students than for young adults (I am in my 30s and I want to meet people in my own age group).
Then I found Project 2030 and it seemed like the ideal group. I liked that it is faithful to the Church and offers a variety of spiritual and social events. The activities scheduled - pilgrimages, retreats, walks, sightseeing - are exactly the types of things I enjoy doing. The only problem was that your groups are in England, Scotland and Ireland!
I started reading Fr Hugh's diary every few months and found it quite interesting. You have some very talented writers in your group. I especially liked Duncan's essay on walking, Jeremy's talk on being single, Lucia's account of attending Pope John Paul II's funeral, and Helen Marie's beautiful poems.
I called Fr Hugh on May 20, and he gave me some excellent advice, put me on the London 30s mailing list, and suggested that I write to the members. I came up with ideas for the American group and I plan to contact a Dehonian priest this week. If anyone would like to contact me with suggestions, I would be happy to hear from you (Fr Hugh has my email and postal addresses). I also plan to go to England this summer or fall to meet Fr Hugh and members of the group to learn more about Project 2030. I'm looking forward to meeting you.
October 17 - Monday
THE NEXT MAGAZINE
Chris, Bernadette and Marius are busy working on the next Project 2030 magazine. They certainly have plenty of material go on from events, reports and other contributions from the group. One of the questions we are discussing at the moment is what to put on the front page. Last time we had lots of cheery faces, a short explanation of what the group is about, contents, etc. I have this theory that the front page is the most important to attract new people who might see the magazine at the back of Church.
This time however the editorial committee are looking at the possibility of just having the group name(s) on the front and using a painting by Elizabeth Wang.
At the first magazine meeting we had a couple of weeks ago we did some thinking about the next front cover. When we were producing the first issue and you had requested something 'sublime' we very much wanted to use something from an artist called Elizabeth Wang. She has had many exhibitions of her work in London and some of the paintings have been used by the Westminster diocese to illustrate the 'At Your Word, Lord' materials.
When we approached her a couple of years ago, her son replied and said no. However as we liked them so much and wanted this issue's cover to look completely different from the first two, we tried again and this time got a positive response.
The paintings can be viewed on their website at www.radiantlight.org.uk/art - let's know what you think. Not just about the paintings, but whether it would be good to give the whole cover of the magazine over to it. I'm still not convinced.
It's certainly the most expensive if you ask a magazine or newspaper to put an advert on the front page. Sometimes you only get a few seconds, and if you don't attract people in that time then you've lost them. But maybe the painting would do that as well.
October 18 - Tuesday
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. THE OUR FATHER.
Next in line of the Glasgow 20s questions is:
When Jesus taught the Our Father did it have in it: 'For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever? If so, why do we only say it in the Mass and why do we separate it even then? Do the Protestants have it 'right' because they always say it all?
When Jesus taught the Our Father it did not have 'for thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen.' You can see the original words of the prayer in the Gospels (normally when we are saying it we finish with Amen) but it is quite common in the Church to add other prayers on to the end of the Our Father. In the Prayer of the Church/Office/Breviary the concluding prayer is said immediately after the Our Father without an Amen in between. You hear some people adding the Amen in, and also at Mass, as if trying to tell us all that we are making a mistake by leaving it out.
'For thine is the Kingdom etc' is quite an ancient way of ending the Our Father, though I think its origins are lost in time. After the Reformation it was adopted almost universally by Protestants and not used regularly by Catholics, so it became a symbol of the differences between us. I remember after the Vatican Council in the 60s being mildly shocked the first time I heard a Catholic belting out the 'Protestant' ending, but gradually Catholics became more used to it because it was about this time the Mass, now in English, included the response: 'For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever'. This addition to the Mass seemed quite daring at the time. Maybe the liturgists were scared to go the whole hog and put it immediately after the Our Father.
Most Catholics now would have little problem saying the 'Protestant' version. In fact in Germany at the WYD when there were just Catholics present they added this ending regularly, even during Mass if I remember rightly. I'm sure this was begun as an ecumenical gesture to other Churches to eliminate unnecessary differences. But it can still be embarrassing at Mass when you suspect that Protestants present are going to put their foot in it. I've seen myself come in quickly with the next prayer: 'Deliver, Lord, from every evil....' And maybe that's why that prayer comes in there because it follows more naturally on the final words of the Lord's Prayer: 'But deliver us from evil'.
Dara O'Briain recently did a funny skit on this when he appeared on Jack Dee's comedy programme on BBC1. At mixed marriages, as they were called, with Protestants on one side and Catholics on the other, the Our Father was used as a weapon against each other, amidst the glares and tuts and embarrassment. I don't know who asked the question, but does it call for another letter to the Pope, who would likely be sympathetic now that Germany has moved to Rome.
October 19 - Wednesday
GLASGOW 20s. OFF PROGRAMME EVENTS.
We all talk in different ways to different people. Think how you speak to parents and venerable ancients, or to your friends (even here there are big differences) or to children, depending on their age. The Indonesians have virtually three different languages for talking up, down, or across. Recently I've noticed that I talk differently to the Glasgow 20s. That's because I'm more at home with the Scottish language. The main differences are that I worry less if I'm going to be understood, even though I'm more inclined to use some older words or adolescent language from before I got anglicised (?). I'm also more likely to tell the Scots 20s off, especially about off-programme events (I've never made an issue of this in other groups, even though I know it happens and it upsets people who are left out or makes them less inclined to come back to the group). The Glasgow 20s were reflecting this evening that numbers were not high for events over the summer, though the barbecues were successful. What barbecues? That's the first I'd heard of them. Oh, they were just spontaneous last-minute events that grewed and grewed. They weren't exclusively 2030 events, but it was mostly the group who were at them. Last year it was 'girls only evenings' and then the women were wondering where had all the men gone.
I've also been pushing those in Glasgow in their early 30s to begin thinking of the day when they need to move into the 30s group to leave space for the younger 20s. To my shock I discovered this evening that all the 20s had turned 30. No one in their 20s had come. What else did I need to say? The writing was on the wall. As we talked they agreed that future planning meetings should be open only to those in their 20s. This led them to consider moving on to the 30s group, but only if the 40s were prepared to start a separate group, which is an issue which is likely to arise when I meet the 30s tomorrow evening.
OFF PROGRAMME EVENTS
Recently been looking at the ethos and principles that we emailed around last year, with a view to putting them up on the new web page. There was a good response to the ethos and principles, with no serious objections. Tonight's discussion with the 20s made me work on the following guideline for off-programme events:
Private off-programme events are discouraged. Experience shows that they make people less inclined to go to programmed events, there is a danger of becoming too cliquish and those who don't get invited to the closed event can feel excluded from the group.
If you get a bright idea to do a last-minute event which is not near another event, email details to Project 2030 office and it can be sent round the group. If you don't have email it is advised to ask someone who does to keep you informed of any additions to the programme, etc.
Obviously there will be special personal occasions like birthdays and house-warmings when you can't invite everyone. But if you know that most of the people at the party are going to be from the group you could consider informing everyone by email that there are only 5, 10, or 15 places available.
October 20 - Thursday
Met with Euan from the Glasgow 30s after his work to discuss the web page which he has been busily constructing. Some of the group have already been asked to look at it to surface any problems and they have found it excellent. There is still a lot more that has to be filled out, but we've committed ourselves to going public next week. There are already 36 designated pages. Each of these can be expanded and there are virtually limitless other possibilities. My only worry is that there might be too much to choose from and non-webbies like myself will find it too much and not come back.
The main pages under Project 2030 are: Home, About Us, Latest News, The Twentysomethings, The Thirtysomethings, Join Us, Contact Us. People will be able to sign up for one of the groups through the 'Join Us' page.
Everyone will need to register for the Members Area which includes: My Details, User Listing, Events Calendar, Discussion Forum, Subscribe Newsletter, Contact List. There will be discussion forums for each group as well as forums for the 20s and 30s and a general discussion page. Once you are registered there are all sorts of other things you can do.
Each group will have its own page where there will be a description of the group, the newsletter (minus personal contact details) and photographs that can be uploaded by the individual group's web page master. Then there are sub-groups and forums for different interests: music, justice and peace, those interested in going to different main events, like the Holy Land or Sydney. There will be a prayer page where you can post your intentions. These will remain up for a month at a time.
Under Resources there will be: Search, Articles and Essays, Photos and Images, File Downloads, Useful Links. Help will have: FAQs, Tutorials, and Feedback, and there will be other sections for the administrators. We are also exploring the possibility with the bank for a page where you can send payment as a contribution to the group, subscription (?) to the magazine, a response to disaster appeals, money for India, etc.
There are lots of other aspects of the web page which I still do not fully understand, but we will have a great facility which we can advertise widely and will be a good gateway to the group for new people as well as giving the opportunity to build up a strong internet community that will attract people from other areas and other countries.
Later I met up with some of the Glasgow 30s. This was my first formal meeting with them since they asked to be affiliated to Project 2030. There were not many there, although there were some good apologies. I was wary of raising the age issue, but it came up naturally. Those in their 30s felt it would be necessary to have a group where it was the 30s who took responsibility and those in their 40s this evening were surprisingly open to a separate 40s group. Because many of the people who have put a lot of effort into the 30s were not present, it was decided to consult with them by email before proceeding to calling separate meetings for those in their 30s and those in their 40s.
October 21 - Friday
DUBLIN 30S INFORMATION EVENING
In Dublin for the 30s newcomers meeting/information evening. Reflecting on what the 20s said recently, "Let's have newcomers parties instead". You know that at least half are not going to come back. What makes the difference. Someone said that if people connect with a few other newcomers on the first night they are more likely to get involved. It doesn't matter as much how welcoming the old-stagers are. If you don't connect with someone you are less likely to give it another shot. After the 'presentations' and the various spiels, I noticed that it was all women at one table (we were meeting in the Bridge Room of the Bankers Club) and they were getting on very well together, so I suggested they might want to quietly swap phone numbers so they could check up in the coming weeks if anyone else was going to an event. I was trying to be as light-hearted as possible to create a relaxed atmosphere, though you wonder if someone is going to assess: "It was okay, except for the poor attempts to be humorous". At least they laughed when I said that I was just the mascot.
Later in the bar one of the group mentioned that they were having second thoughts about the subscription. The Dublin 30s send out the newsletter every month and charge 20 euros if you receive it by email and 30 euros if you get it by post. They also cover the mailings to the parishes and have done their own poster. I was never convinced about the subscription as I felt it had changed the nature of the group. I'm always surprised to find that certain people have left the group, i.e. did not renew their subscription, and yet I would still consider them part of the Project 2030 family and still keep in touch with them. Some even read this diary. In the groups in Britain people can disappear from things for a long time then come back again as if they had never been away. That doesn't happen in Dublin the same. We're making it too easy for people to escape. It seems as well that some don't renew their subscription but still come along to the events. We could make the subscription anonymous / voluntary. The other groups are subsidised by central funds. But more needs to be done generally to generate funds for the kitty and I would hope Dublin 30s could do some fundraising as well if we decide to drop the charge.
There are a few other issues floating around, and the next AGM is not due until May. So I'm going to suggest we have a think-tank meeting before Christmas. There is a committee in Dublin, but it is basically those who have a job with putting together the newsletter, printing it, sending it out, looking after the group phone and the money. They don't feel the need to meet formally as the machine runs itself. This is better than a few years ago when the committee was set up and met fairly often, but took on too much of an importance, but it could be good to meet up with everyone else invited to come along and raise issues and not leave everything until the AGM.
We also committed ourselves to doing a Question and Answers sometime at the Dehonian Community. Some said they would feel bad asking me the hard questions, but they are not difficult. Rarely does anyone come up anything that has not been asked before. It would be great if they did. We also decided to try and book an overnight retreat at Roscrae Monastery in the summer, and do an afternoon retreat, carol service, Mass, and 'bring to share' party before Christmas.
October 22 - Saturday
LETTER FROM AMERICA
Our Project 2030 correspondent in the States (see Diary 16 October) has written out a detailed response to some of the things that have been mentioned in the diary. It's good to get a view from outside the group. Here is the first instalment of her reactions.
January 2005: The idea of helping the elderly is excellent. I think one reason people don't do the works of mercy is because they aren't comfortable doing them alone. I think it's easier if they can volunteer with a friend or group of friends. Project 2030 could provide members with opportunities to volunteer together.
February: I like the idea of an all-night vigil on the Feast of the Sacred Heart - I hope you did it. As the group is sponsored by the Dehonians, you might want to include devotion to Jesus' Sacred Heart. Perhaps members of the group could get together for Mass on First Fridays. As it is the year of the Eucharist, people in the group might want to meet in church occasionally for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
I like the story of the person who went to confession in the pub. Some people are afraid to go to confession or don't go because they don't know about its positive benefits. Perhaps if members scheduled a few Saturday afternoons every year where people could meet, then go to confession and Mass it might encourage people to go. I thought it was helpful that you included instructions on the examination of conscience on your Nov 17 1004 page; this is a good way to prepare for confession.
I agree the atheistic media is a serious problem. A solution is to be very selective about what one reads, watches, and listens to. Because of the media, the general public is very confused about Catholic doctrine - especially on pro-life issues. I wonder if there is a way the groups can promote the truth about the Church's teachings.
I think it would be good if the groups could help members find apartments (flats), Catholic room mates, and assist in other ways such as finding jobs. When I visited England I met a Catholic young man who said that some priests helped him find a flat and a job opening. He asked them for help because he had attended a college run by their Order.
October 23 - Sunday
MISSIONS. DUBLIN 20S. TAOISEACH.
Today said one of the Masses at the parish which the Sacred Heart Fathers look after in Dublin, St John Vianney, Artane. It is Mission Sunday when we think particularly of what we can do to help the Church's Mission abroad. In the information and prayer leaflet I was surprised to see how many Irish missionaries had been martyred in the past century. The Irish were famous world-wide for the numbers who went to other countries. There are still many Irish priests in the English, Welsh and Scottish missions. Today there are less new missionaries from these shores, but we have the financial resources to help the new Churches grow in countries where there are vibrant communities and lots of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. That's why we are encouraged to give generously in the second collection.
In the first reading we heard words of advice from Moses to the people. The Judaeo-Christian peoples have a message to bring to the world, which is not to constrain people in unnecessary laws from God but to provide a framework for living and help to release people from practices that are detrimental to individuals and communities, whether they be ancient traditions that have a twisted idea of what the deities might want, or new secular attitudes which are equally enslaving.
St Paul in the second reading reminded us that we must always be prepared to give reasons for what we believe. Elsewhere he reflects that we Christians are the most to be despised people if our hope is only for this world, if there is no resurrection from the dead and promise of a life to come.
In the Gospel Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment. "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind. And love your neighbour as yourself." Later, at the last Supper he gives us a new commandment. "Love one another as I have loved you." St John, the beloved disciple, and his community reflected long on the meaning of the love of God, and came to the conclusion in his letters that the most important thing was to know that God loves us and accept it. This is the message that the world needs to hear through the missions, through us. If we don't accept that God loves and cares for us, how can we bring that to others. So our duty on Mission Sunday is not just to give money but also to go out from Mass and bring that good news to others by showing that we believe in God's love and spread it to others. The term 'Mass' comes from the Latin phrase that is still used after the blessing: "Ite, missa est." "Go, you are sent." Mass and mission are the same thing.
Had arranged to meet up with the 20s at the 4.00pm Mass at the Immaculate Heart in Dublin Centre. I arrived early and was surprised to see Bertie slip in a few benches ahead. I knew for certain it was the taoiseach when his single bodyguard, a few benches behind him, gave me the look over. I thought he was in Killarney for the weekend at the party's Ardeis. I'm not usually starstruck, and I wasn't, until Mr Ahern went out ahead of me to communion. That must mean he is no longer living with Celia. It was moving and humbling to see him take part so simply in the Mass, and why shouldn't he. I said a prayer for his mission. Louise, who was nearer to him that me, did not notice him. Must have been lost in her prayers. She was obviously disappointed she didn't have a sighting to report back to the family in Donegal. "Ah, so that's why there was the big car outside." Has he ever been to Mass with Tony Blair? Except for the Pope's funeral.
October 24 - Monday
FROM GLASGOW Q AND As. POSSESSION.
Are people still 'possessed'? What is the modern term for it? Can illness be cured by prayer?
In the Gospels there are many instances where Jesus cures someone who is possessed and casts devils out of people. Mary Magdalene is described as having had 7 cast out. Jesus was accused of casting out devils by the power of the devil. He responded that this was a ridiculous assertion. How could the devil be divided against himself? And by whose power do your own people cast out devils, he asked. It does seem to have been quite a phenomenon in Israel at that time, the number of people who were possessed. You don't get it to the same degree in the Old Testament, and St Paul only makes a few passing references to it.
People can still be 'possessed' but the Church is very careful how it approaches this today. Until the 1970s students preparing for the priesthood were initiated as exorcists (as well as other minor ministries) before they were made deacons. This was not taken very seriously at the time, but was more of a reflection of a previous age. I missed this by a couple of years. At baptism we still say a prayer of exorcism over the one to be baptised. This recognises the power of Satan but more so the powers of baptism over evil. The parents and godparents or sponsors are still asked: "Do you renounce Satan, and all his works and all his empty promises?" Only a priest today can perform an exorcism and he must have the Bishop's permission to do this. Each diocese usually has a nominated exorcist who is chosen for his prudence, understanding and quality of life.
Today we would still call it possession, but we appreciate that some manifestations which were previously considered to be possession are in fact psychological problems or mental illness. This must be ascertained before the exorcist would proceed. Exorcisms are fairly rare, but they do occur. Films like The Exorcist have some foundation in reality. I was once asked to come and bless someone's house because they felt that there was some spirit like a poltergeist in operation. I did not quibble about it, but said the usual prayers and sprinkled the rooms of the house with holy water. I didn't feel any strange presence. The person was grateful and reported later that the incidents had stopped. I have come across situations where kids got spooked because they had dabbled with ouija boards, and they felt in the grip of an evil spirit. Some people can make an option for evil and explicitly side with Satan against the powers of good/God. Most of us don't encounter anything like this, but we need to be aware that we can let spirits that are not beneficial begin to rule parts of our lives, but fortunately this does not last long or go very deep, and we soon come to our senses.
Can illness be cured by prayer? I have seen reports where doctors have said that people who pray and recognise a higher power have a better chance of being healed in certain cases. One illness can bring on another if we do not respond positively to it, so by placing our trust in God we are less likely to make our ailments worse. As Catholics, we believe that miracle cures do happen. Last week there were reports that Cardinal John Henry Newman, who famously became a Catholic in 1845 after leading the catholic revival of the Church of England, could soon be beatified because of a miracle attributed to prayer through his intercession. It was also reported that Cardinal Murphy O'Connor had asked Pope John Paul a few years ago if nothing could be done to speed up Newman's cause, "because we are not big into miracles in England", or something similar to that.
While writing this I have been monitoring myself to see if I felt any greater sense of evil around or within me, because even to talk about evil in a spiritual environment can leave ourselves more open to the very evil we reject. I haven't noticed anything (I'm writing this on the train going to London), but you have been warned. If you notice anything let me know. Don't give evil a chance. Change the subject. Do something positive. Have a cup of tea. "Father, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. For thine is the Kingdom...."
October 25 - Tuesday
LONDON 30S THINK TANK
To London today for the 30s Think Tank meeting. For the first time have gone up and down to the city in one day. In fact did not leave the house until 3.15 and now at 9.15 writing this on the train back to Stockport. With the new perdolinos the journey just takes over 2 hours.
These are some of the topics that came up at the meeting:
October 26 - Wednesday
We often get enquiries about setting up the group in other areas, but never as heartfelt an appeal as we have had from X who was part of the 2030 group in another city. Below is an extract of what X wrote to me and a copy of the letter she sent to the local Bishop, with all names removed.
Maybe we could try again to get something up and running in ..... as I am willing to do the work and make contacts, etc. I could approach the parishes from a different angle, coming from part of 2030's? I know 5 Catholics already who would be interested and I could find out if there are any others by advertising in the local parishes. Trying is important as there could be others like me. Let me know what you think.
I am writing to you regarding my experience since moving to ....... in relation to the Catholic Church and the group of people between the ages of 20-35 whom are not clergy or religious, married or at university.
I come from a strong Catholic family. My grandparents met the late Pope during a private mass celebrating their marriage, in Rome, a year before he died. My parents met doing voluntary work for a Catholic centre, in their early 20s. My youngest brother is currently studying at ..... and is planning to become a Religious Studies teacher. He is very involved with a Church group, as is my entire family. When I lived in ..... I was involved with Catholic groups including Project 2030. My parents' own strength of faith reflected in the way we were brought up and it has been and still is a major part of my life. I was a member of a church in ..... for 29 years until I moved to ..... in 2004. I attended a Catholic primary and secondary school, college and university. This paints a brief picture of my Catholic background.
When I arrived in....... one of the first things I did was start attending St Y's on a Sunday. I attended the church for approximately six months before approaching 3 priests, asking about having a prayer group in the city. I had done my research by this time and contacted various other parishes asking if a prayer group could be set up. I contacted Z and she said that there wasn't a group in the city. I even contacted the Youth Ministry Team who were busy with the young people, doing a fantastic job. I contacted over 30-40 people, both priests and religious and also other married and single Christians. For a year I have experienced only a negative response and I am completely baffled as to why. Fr A did recently inform me that due to a member of the previous prayer group (from approximately 2 years ago) being sent to prison for a serious crime, it has caused a lot of distrust within the Cathedral for starting up another one. He did also say to me that if I gave him the names of 4 people interested in joining the group he would look into it, which I have done. This is very hopeful news.
I would be very happy to volunteer my time to help, and know 3 other girls who also would be willing to help. Some groups (Project 2030 was not mentioned) have materials to help structure these groups.
I would be very happy to receive feed-back from all those I have included within this email regarding suggestions for moving forward and making the Catholic faith in ..... a place which is alive with the Holy Spirit.
I pray that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Mother Mary and all the Angels and Saints will send forth their assistance.
God bless you all.
October 27 - Thursday
MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
One of the Glasgow 20s questions recently was about marriage and annulment. A couple of questions have been sent in about divorce.
Q: According to the web page www.weddingguide.co.uk if a former spouse is now deceased (which does apply in this situation) a divorced Catholic can remarry in a Catholic church. Is this correct today?
A: Yes, a divorced Catholic can remarry in a Catholic church if the former spouse is now deceased. The marriage vows are for life: 'for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part', but once the spouse has died a Catholic can remarry. Sometimes a Catholic might go through a civil divorce for legal clarity, but in their own eyes and in the eyes of the Church they would still be married to that person even if there was now no longer any contact.
If a divorced Catholic was remarrying after the death of their spouse and they were conscious that the divorce had been partly their fault, then if would call for repentance (receiving absolution before entering into the sacrament of marriage a second time). It might be that they had already got civilly married again. If their first spouse died, they could then go and ask to renew their marriage before a priest and receive the blessing of the Church.
Q: Can a divorced practicing Catholic woman remarry a non-practicing Church of England man in a Catholic church when the divorce was due to domestic violence?
A: A divorced Catholic cannot remarry anyone in the Church unless there has been an annulment (there is an exception to this when the divorced person remarrying was previously a non-Catholic and entered into their first marriage without an appreciation of the holiness of marriage, which they now have). Likewise, a divorced Catholic cannot marry anyone in another church or registry office. They might go through a civil ceremony but they would not be married in the eyes of the Church. They might not even feel married in their own eyes. This is not just a makesy-upsy rule the Church has introduced just to be awkward and make life difficult for people. Jesus said: "What God has joined together let no one put asunder (split)". It's part of our human nature. We can kid ourselves some of the time, but not all of the time. I knew a Catholic who was divorced and 'remarried' who said: "I know this is not a marriage". She knew it in her bones. You only get one good chance.
If it's the non-Catholic who was divorced and if they were truly married the first time, then it will never be the real thing. Besides the moral aspects, the divorced person will have too much baggage. The links and the bond between people who have been married (or even if they have just had sex once with someone without any question of marriage) can never be fully disentangled. Our society today is beginning to re-learn some of the psychological and other implications of sex and marriage, but many people would say that the Church's teaching, based on millennia of experience is too difficult. But you just need to look around at the tragic fallout from the lack of faithfulness in sex and marriage to realise that it is the narrow path that leads ultimately to happiness.
The question said that the divorce was due to domestic violence. This might give grounds for annulment if it can be shown that the person of violence was actually incapable of entering into marriage in the first place or had seriously deceived their spouse as to their true character. Some Catholics who are divorced are quite convinced their first marriage is a true one, but if you are in any doubts go and speak to a local priest about it. If the case for an annulment is impossible to prove and the priest is convinced that morally there was no first marriage, then in private (or in the internal forum as it is called) he can give you permission to go to Communion even if you have "remarried". But if you know in your heart of hearts that you were truly married the first time, do we have what it takes to resist the temptation to enter into another marriage. it might not be easy, but we need to keep believing that it is easier in the long run for ourselves, our second partner, other people in both your lives, and society in general.
October 28 - Friday
LAUNCH OF NEW WEBSITE
Today we launched the new webpage. It is not complete yet. There are lots of other things that we could add to it and we are looking for your ideas. Have a look at it: www.project2030.org.uk and let’s know what you think and if anything is not working or could easily be improved get in touch with the Administrator (via the webpage).
This blog will be moving soon across to the new webpage. This will give us the possibility of posting photographs and also having feedback comments and responses to whatever is written which can develop into a discussion between users and the webpage.
This is what was sent out to the groups on Friday:
Our new Webpage
is up and running www.project2030.org.uk
There is still a lot of work to be done on it, so have a look now at the various
new features and get back to us with your suggestions.
In order to use
many of the facilities on the new Webpage you need to register via the
website. You have now been cleared for registration on the new Webpage, so
register now and enjoy! This allows you to get involved in the
Discussion Forums, add messages to 'The Wall', add your own Profile details,
Please use the
Discussion Forums with respect for each other, for the group and for the Church.
If you see anything inappropriate that has been posted please let us know. The
Administrators will also be keeping an eye on things. We can withdraw people's
registration if necessary.
There is a
Discussion Forum for each group and also between the groups, there are other
pages that can be added, so if you have any suggestions of how to develop the
Website let us know.
Please give us
your feedback by posting on the forum and posting on 'the Wall'.
Webmasters for each individual 20s and 30s group. These will be able to upload
photos, reports, new events, keep an eye on the discussion Forums etc
(although we will still not be posting contact people's personal details).
So if you can be the Webmaster for your group let us know ASAP.
A big thanks to
Euan from the Glasgow 30s who has set up the new Webpage and is going to keep
servicing it along with Adrian from the Project 2030 office. They have
worked very hard on it, so please use it and develop it. Euan has a great dream
of developing a vibrant Web Community.
WARNING - THIS
WEBSITE CONTAINS A SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE!
October 29 - Saturday
GLASGOW WEEKEND AND CEILIDH
This is the programme that had been worked out for this weekend in Glasgow:
(am) - West
coast hike. For those interested in doing a serious walk. You will need
to be in Glasgow on Thursday evening to participate. I'm hoping we can do Goat
Fell on the Isle of Arran (874m/approx 2850 ft) but we might do Ben Venue (729m
/ approx 2,400ft) or Ben Arthur (881m / 2850ft) if the weather is poor. If
interested, please call Martin and/or
meet in Cooper's Bar, Central Station between 8 and
8.15am (no joke!!!) on Friday morning.
Meet Wetherspoon's, Bothwell Street from 8pm.
It's 200m west from Glasgow Central Station.
Optional visits westbound to Glasgow West End (contact Katie) -
visiting Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow University, the Botanic Gardens etc. - or
eastbound to New Lanark (contact Veronica), a carefully
restored 18th century mill village and world heritage site with an award winning
visitor centre. If you want to make either of these trips, meet in Coopers'
Bar, Central Station at 11am.
can of course make their own arrangements and check out the City bus tours or
trips to Edinburgh or Stirling which are all worth doing.
(pm) - Group
dinner at Massimo's Italian restaurant on Elm Bank Street just off
Sauchiehall Street at 6pm.
Book in advance with Martin. Expect £20-£25.
(pm) - Ceilidh, Garnethill Multicultural Centre, Rose Street, just off Sauchiehall
Street from 7.30pm. Pentland ceilidh band. Please note that
this will be our own ceilidh as we've hired a hall and band this year. Approx
cost will be £8. Bring
your own bottle. Ops for
clubbing afterwards for those interested. PLEASE REMEMBER TO PUT YOUR
CLOCKS BACK ONE HOUR to make sure you get an extra hour's sleep.
(am) - Mass
at Convent of Mercy, 62 Hill Street on corner of Hill Street and Scott
Street at 10am. Enter by rear entrance. Bring an instrument if
you can play. Hugh will say mass.
(am) - Loch
Lomond Shores. After mass there will be an opportunity to lunch at Loch
Lomond and visit its new shopping complex on the Loch. Other possibilities there
for the afternoon including visiting the tower or going on a boat trip.
(pm) - West
End evening. For those still around, we can check out some of the
eating places and bars of Glasgow's fashionable west end.
Call Martin if you are interested.
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