The UNITED KINGDOM
Christian names beginning with E & F
3 2us on Our Lady of Walsingham
"Today's the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, calling us to prayer for Christian unity. Why this connection between Mary's appearance in Britain and Christian unity? Because Our Lady's appearance was not accidental but a moment of grace and the start of a chain of events connected to England's conversion which involves, I believe, the implementation of the ordinariate in our day. To better understand, let us travel back together to the day it all started. The year is 1061 and, under a Catholic banner, England is known as Our Lady's dowry and its flourishing like never before. This was a great golden era, a time of renewal: cathedrals are built, churches are erected and they're going to define the landscape for so many different generations. Catholic devotion suits the English people and it leads to a great cultural flowering, producing in my opinion the greatest art, music and architecture that this land has ever seen. And in a tiny Norfolk village we find a noblewoman, Richeldis de Faverches, deep in prayer. To her amazement, the Blessed Virgin appears to her in a vision 3 times, instructing Richeldis to build a replica of the Holy House of Nazareth. Richeldis undertakes this work with obedience and soon a spring of living water is unearthed. Once built, the priory shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham became the beating heart of Catholic England. From all over Europe people flocked, to be healed, to pray, to receive the sacraments, to give devotion to the Lord. Peasants and kings were equal here, in this place of profound grace, miracle and favour."
3 2us on Blessed John Henry Newman
"Newman declared that he would not convert, that he couldn't convert, until someone walked barefoot from Rome to convert him. Elsewhere in Italy and because God has a sense of humour, another inspirational character, Bl Dominic Barberi, was praying for England with a truly missionary heart. He had received visions from Our Lady and told he must love this nation, which he came to do. And so, with barely a word of English, he approached the Vatican, asking permission to establish a Passionist order in this place. On a bleak October day, this rather shabby little monk arrived at Folkestone in what is probably comical attire. Having corresponded with Newman some years previously, he decided to make for Oxford and as he entered Newman's lodgings, soaked from the rain of a terrible storm and with his sandals removed, Newman realised with incredible awe that the Holy Spirit was at work. Here he was, Newman, and he was facing one who had come barefoot from Rome. Newman fell to his knees and there at the hands of Blessed Dominic he was received into the holy Catholic Church."
Father Ed Tomlinson is a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
"A word about Our Lady - wow, amazing, beautiful, beyond, and the love for everybody. Doesn't matter who you are, it really does not matter who you are, she loves us. Amen."
World Youth Day Madrid 2012: "It was such a fantastic experience to see all these young people here for the Pope, here for the Church, here for Jesus, here for the universal Church. There were so many translation barriers but we all had in common: adoration, the Mass, the rosary, the set prayers, praise and worship songs. This was our language, this was the language of the Catholic Church and it was just fantastic to see."
"When I think of Our Lady, I think of her in terms of the Hail Mary: ‘Holy Mary, Mother of God’."
Isaiah, 46 - From the beginning I foretold the future and predicted beforehand what is to be. I say 'My purpose shall last, I will do whatever I choose. No sooner is it said than done, no sooner planned than performed. Listen to me, faint hearts, who feel far from victory, I bring my victory near, already it is close. My salvation will not be late.
- "It reminds me that everything that happens in my life is part of a plan that God has given me and that His victory is near at hand. So when my heart is faint, I know that he is bringing his victory near to me."
"Just to say thank you to Our Lady for all the gifts and blessings she has bestowed on me after I say a prayer to her."
"I had a real struggle a couple of years ago with self-worth and just seeing yourself as beautiful .. and I really struggled with body image, I suppose most girls do. Anyway I kept coming to the New Dawn conferences and there you can feel the Holy Spirit in you, He's working in you and He's giving you the strength. You're told by society you're something that you are not and it gets into your head. But at these conferences, you are just taught that Jesus loves you, no matter what you look like, no matter how much you weigh, He loves you so much. And this brings me on to Mary - I feel like Mary has been really strong in my life. If you look at her as a woman, as a woman of Christ, how much she just loved Jesus and how beautiful she is. She has really helped strengthen me. Anyway, I went through a rocky part in my life - I took Philosophy & Ethics A level and I felt that really put me off my faith. I had 5 hours of lessons a week and for that 5 hours I was told why God is not omnipotent, why God isn't omnibenevolent, why God isn't this, this and this, which I was told to believe. And then I came to these conferences and I really felt like God was just telling me the truth, the absolute truth. And I went to confession. .. And that's when I knew that Jesus truly loved me for who I am."
"I want to thank Our Lady for the many wonderful trips we've had to Lourdes, I want to thank her for St Peter's Woolwich, where Our Lady of Woolwich is so active, bringing so many blessings to the people that go there, and I want to pray that we go to Medjugorje. So thank you very much for all you're doing on this earth and may we all be together in heaven one day."
"Mary is my mother. She speaks to your heart. She only wants your good. She wants to lead you on the path to eternal life through her son Jesus."
"For me our Holy Mother is the mother of the Church and the mother of everyone who goes to Church and who prays in the Church; and she is a symbol of femininity and she looks out for women in the Church; and I think that it's important for us to know where we belong in relation to Christ and our role in relation to Christ, and for Mary symbolises that - she's meek, mild but she's a strong woman who does what God wants."
"My husband and I have been on an amazing journey together, falling in love really with the Virgin Mary .. and through prayer and through her mercy we have been blessed with a beautiful child."
"I think of Mary especially in that moment at the foot of the cross as somebody who teaches us in a profound way how the gladness, the joy that come through a life of faith can be sustained even through deep sorrow. So even in the most difficult moments, somehow through the mystery of those difficult moments, we can unite to Christ's suffering, we can experience a very profound joy; through the poverty that we experience in those moments, we can open ourselves up to the love of Christ and abandon ourselves more fully to God's plan for our life - those are the things that Mary teaches me first and foremost."
"For me, Mary has always been an all-loving and safe and trustworthy and reliable presence in my prayer, who I've always known I can turn to."
Go in Peace
"I suppose confession can be a struggle and difficult and sometimes embarrassing but I know that God has really used it in my life to affirm me of his love for me. And suddenly I find myself not thinking about my failings and my faults but somehow realising quite how much He loves me and has reached out to me in the Sacrament through his priests, for which I am always deeply grateful and so touched."
"The Eucharist is so important to me because I believe that it is the most intimate gift that God has given us."
Word on the Street
Romans 5 - Let us exult too in our hardships, understanding that hardships develop perseverance and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope and a hope which will not let us down because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us. - "It encourages me in times of suffering that God will be with me and He's given me the Holy Spirit which will lead me to hope."
"Our Lady is a blessed intercessor and a strong protector of our souls and she really is our Blessed Mother."
"Mary is a mother and I most run to her when I'm in trouble or struggling."
Fr Emmanuel talks about 3 priests who have helped & inspired him: Fr Harry, from his childhood parish, and CFR Fathers Glenn Sudano and Jean Fulton
"So this is for me a priest: someone who's normal, someone who's in touch with the Holy Spirit … and also and primarily a father, one with whom you can be yourself, through whom you experience the love of God the Father."
Father Emmanuel Mansford is a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal
"Confession is liberating. It allows you to speak from the soul and gives you inner peace. So, who doesn't want that?"
"Mary is the one that teaches me about womanhood. She teaches me to appreciate the beauty of it and to appreciate the gift that it is. And she teaches me what I can offer the world and what I can offer God through my own femininity."
"Mary is an honourable woman, she's very sacrificial. I think it's really hard to give up your only son, for the world that's not even worthy. So I feel like she's an amazing woman."
"For me, Mary is the mother of Our Lord and, just as I turn to my mother, I turn to her when I need reassurance and guidance, and I pray to her every day and ask her for her help and support essentially. So for me I am particularly aware of her role as a mother."
"Mary is the motherly guardian of Jesus .. and at the same time she takes care of us because she is our mother as well."
"For me, Mary, Mother of Jesus, the holy Mary Mother Virgin, she's a big focal point of guidance. When times are tough, she gives me reassurance and just a way to meet Jesus, and the Lord and God, because when I separate myself through sin, she's always there to meet me half way."
"When I think of Our Lady, I think of someone who was completely pure in heart and so able to just totally love God, open herself to God. And I guess she teaches me how to love."
"It has been just such an incredible blessing in my life to be part of this parish trip to Lourdes for the last 22 years as a helper with the elderly who we take with us... The Lourdes week for me is the week around which the whole of the rest of my year revolves. And very year I've gone I have learnt more and more about the love of Our Lady, and the really special place she has for us as our intercessor, and she has become my first port of call for intercessory prayer. And I think of it really very much like just asking one of my friends to pray for me, but the difference is that this particular friend has got a very special place in the heart of God, and we know how much He will listen to her and how much He will react to anything that she asks of Him. And it's a real honour for us to be able to give her that special place in the hearts as well."
"Mary is important to me because my research work and my campaigning work take me to some very dark places and the foot of the Cross is a very lonely place to me. But Mary was there first and she reminds us that we're never alone, even in the darkest moments."
Fiorella De Maria is a Catholic writer & researcher.
"I’ve recently joined what is called ‘The Apostolate of the Legion of Mary’. So I’m very pleased to know the Virgin Mary more and for her to be my mother and I want to serve her, and I love her."
"I can truly say Our Blessed Mother is my best friend. I love her, I certainly pray to her, I ask her many favours. She is my closest friend because so often, when I don't know what to do or where to turn, I immediately call on her, knowing that she will help me. She is our greatest intercessor, she loves us with such a motherly love that none of us, until we get to heaven, will begin to understand the depth of our Mother's love for us."
"It was most definitely Our Lady who showed me how to bring out in my son everything that a mother should."
"To me Mary is not only a physical but also spiritual healer and provides us with love, strength and courage in times of need. I'm a firm believer that she guides us on our journey through life, unseen, unheard, but listening to our every word."
"Our Lady means to me mother, and generally compassion, and intercession, a lifeline to God, like an umbilical cord to Jesus."
"Our Lady is just amazing, pure and simple. I was introduced to her through the Legion of Mary and one of the things we always say in the Legion: whenever you knock on Mary's door, you find Jesus. As St Louis Marie de Montfort said himself, 'Mary's a short cut to Jesus'. How do you get Jesus to come to you? You just knock on Mary's door. That's why having a devotion to her is amazing."
"The words I heard was not the elm
But someone else who spoke to me
Who loves the rustling of leaves amongst a million, million trees
And everything that lives and breathes in heaven directed harmonies.
Her head is crowned with stars that shine
Beyond reach of space and time
She wears the sun and treads the moon.
May I obey her late and soon."
Father Francis reflects on his priesthood
"One way of being a man for others is to be a priest. A priest quite clearly gives up some of his life for others. It is probably true to say that no-one can lead a life for others without making some sacrifice. This is not just true of priests or religious, but what the priest gives up is so that he may bring the source of all life, Christ himself, through the Mass and the Eucharist, to others.. A priest not only gives up things in his life, he receives consolations.. The greatest consolation is simply to offer the sacrifice of the Mass every day. Every time that I hold up the Host before communion and say 'This is the Lamb of God', these words are still as fresh and full of wonder as on the first day that I celebrated Mass on my own. The great thing is to have gratitude to God for one's vocation, every day."
"Our Lady reaches out to people and brings them closer and nearer to her Son."
Frankie describes 92 year old Father Jimmy Collins, his Man for Others
"You see this self-sacrificing love which is the route and heart of any good priest - they follow in the footsteps of Christ, "persona Christi" … He just lives his life sacrificing himself for the needs others and I'd certainly say he's one of the world's modern day heroes."
Frankie was at World Youth Day Sydney with Benedict XVI
"Love is the light." - BXVI
"As you get nearer and nearer to the Grotto, you can feel the peace, you can feel the quietness and I really do think Our Lady literally leads you by the hand to bring you closer to her son's heart in Lourdes. And I think it's a great place of challenge, but also as well in the silence realising what's important, what's worth living for and fighting for. I've been very blessed as well to witness young people go to confession out in Lourdes, young people go to confession who haven't been for a number of years, and I've really seen them be touched by God's spirit of love; the Holy Spirit has really touched them in the Sacrament of Confession and I've really seen lives changed. I think it's to do partly with the powerful intercession of Our Lady, who invites people to come closer to the face of love, which is the face of Christ Himself as they encounter Him, not only in the Eucharist and in the Sacraments but in the face and love of other pilgrims."
"My incredible is St Catherine who was from Siena in Italy and she was quite an extraordinary lady. She was famous for saying: 'If you are what you are meant to be, you will set the whole world ablaze.' St Catherine certainly lived that message in her life even though she died at just 33. Catherine was a lay lady who was a Third Order of the Dominicans; she never quite joined an Order because she felt that God was telling her that He had plenty of work for her to do in the world. One of the most famous stories about Catherine is that she travelled to France to see Pope Gregory XI who at that time resided in Avignon and it was through Catherine exhorting him energetically that he effectively moved back to take his proper chair of Peter back in Rome, and she did this through a prophecy she had for him. She said to him: "Fulfill what you have promised to God.'"
Frankie Mulgrew was ordained a priest for the diocese of Salford on Saturday, 13 July 2013, along with Nathan. Praise be to God! It was a very blessed, happy day & there was much to give thanks for.
Totus2us would never have even started if it hadn't been for Frankie & his podcast ideas.