Friday, 31 May 2013

Pope Francis Calls the World to Adoration

Very sorry not to have posted anything for such a long time. I have felt rather drained for quite a while, beginning with the abdication of Pope Benedict and continuing through the election and the first few months of Pope Francis, a good man who is nevertheless a big change from Benedict XVI.

Once or twice during Pope Benedict’s reign, some of those who loved him dearly will have had a moment now and then in which they thought, “Oh, I wish he hadn’t said that, or done that!” I’m thinking, for example, of the Assisi III gathering, and even more of the interview in which his finely-tuned words on the question of prostitutes and condoms were interpreted as a green light in certain quarters. And yet those who loved him, have continued to love him, and this is just as it should be.

We have a new Pope who is more informal in his style. I am bothered by the tendency to hang on his words, uttered off the cuff in his daily homilies, and to work overtime trying to interpret them.  Some of them are creating more than a few ripples, not to say more serious problems and potential divisions. But he has said some very edifying things, and I think it is impressive that certain governmental decisions (Think of the Scottish hierarchy, and the American nuns of the LCWR) have shown a flash of steel.

Well, that’s a rather long introduction to a post that is in fact about the Pope’s declaration of a Holy Hour throughout the world, on the transferred-to-Sunday feast of Corpus Christi. It will be from 5 to 6pm Rome time, 4 to 5pm British Summer Time.

I am really delighted to see that the website of the Diocese of Clifton (Bristol) has publicised this initiative:


This Sunday afternoon from 4-5pm in Clifton Cathedral we shall have an hour of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. We end with Evening Prayer of the Church at 4.45pm. In response to the Pope's request we are uniting with all Cathedrals round the world, synchronised with Rome as the Pope prays: "For the Church spread throughout the world and united today in the adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist as a sign of unity." The Pope's second intention is: "For those who suffer from slavery, and victims of war, human trafficking, drug running, slave labour and children and women suffering from every kind of violence. This is a historical event, the first of its kind. Please do come along for all or part of this time of prayer which is part of the Year of Faith.

Homing in on the part of the diocese centred on Cheltenham, I am very happy to see that the church of St Gregory the Great, in the centre of the town, will have its own Solemn Exposition and Benediction at the same time.

Eucharistic Adoration - Corpus Christi

Pope Francis is marking the Feast of Corpus Christi during this Year of Faith with a period of Eucharistic Adoration on Sunday, 2nd June. Here at St Gregory‟s Exposition and Benediction will take place between 4-5pm on Sunday.

Cheltenham also has a church on the south-eastern outskirts of the town, The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, but unfortunately this time is already booked for a regular Mass in Polish. So St Gregory’s is the place to go.

Lovely picture from, via Google Images.