Here on Stronsay we have been privileged to enjoy a wonderfully full week of Holy Week ceremonies. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, in Our Lady's chapel Stronsay, we had the traditional Latin Mass with a sung Passion each day, and a sung 'Proper of the Mass' taken directly from the Liber, together with the appropriate plainchant Mass. On Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, the ceremonies were held in the chapel of Golgotha Monastery, Papa Stronsay, again with full plainchant accompaniment. The weather was kind to us, if perhaps a little breezy in midweek, and the boat crossing to and from Papa Stronsay - particularly during the hours of darkness, added yet another dimension to our unforgettable Holy Week experience. All the members of the 'Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer' (F.SS.R) community from Papa Stronsay attended the Masses in Our Lady's chapel, Stronsay, which were celebrated by Fr Michael Mary F.SS.R and Fr Anthony Mary F.SS.R. We were very fortunate to have Br. Martin F.SS.R home on a short break from the seminary at Nebraska, who assumed the role of Musical Director and leader in what proved a most demanding but very fulfilling musical week. We were without four additional seminarians who remained in Nebraska over the Easter period, and of course Fr Clement F.SS.R and Br. Paul F.SS.R who are in the Mission Church in Christchurch, New Zealand. All these were with us in spirit if not in person.
Easter Sunday saw us back in Our Lady's chapel, Stronsay, a day of rejoicing and gratitude to Our Lord Jesus Christ, for all He has done for us, and for all our blessings spiritual and material.
Many superb photographs of the Holy Week ceremonies can be seen on the blog-site of the 'Transalpine Redemptorists' ( see link), viewing strongly recommended.
On a rather different note, many will have seen in their newspaper - 'Nurse who filmed suffering is struck off'' (D. Telegraph April 17th). It would appear that a nurse - Margaret Hayward, secretly filmed the neglect of elderly hospital patients at the Royal Sussex Hospital, Brighton, recording patients suffering in appalling conditions, later shown in a Panorama programme screened in July 2005, subsequently leading to a public apology from Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. Apparently on 16th April, 2009, some 4 years later, at a hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the nurse was found guilty of misconduct and ordered to be struck off, on the grounds that her actions constituted 'a major breach of the code of conduct' regarding patient confidentiality. The nurse's defence was that she considered the filming to be in the public interest, and she received support from the shadow Health Minister Anne Milton, who said, "She took extreme measures because she felt she was in an extreme circumstance where her concerns were not being litened to." Now clearly I know nothing more than appeared in the Daily Telegraph, and which I have quoted. But I do know that the more I think about this the more my hackles rise, and the more convinced I become that a major injustice has been done to this nurse. Immediate questions that come to mind include; Why has it taken 4 years for this decision to be made? The facts and film provided by the nurse were clearly true, as is shown by the public apology of the hospital Trust. It appears that this harsh punishment is for daring to tell the truth. Is the truth an outmoded and unfashionable virtue in the view of the Nursing and Midwifery Council? The nurse, a 58 year old woman, would clearly have been aware of the implications of her actions, and would presumably not have taken such action unless she felt it was the only way that the truth could be known and accepted, and that this was the only option left to her, as her concerns were not being listened to by those in immediate authority. Using 'breach of patient confidentiality' in this case, as grounds for striking the nurse off the nursing register, and effectively preventing her working in her trained career and vocation, is to me maliciously spiteful, unjust and totally out of proportion to any 'technical misdemeanour' of which she might be guilty. This lady clearly acted in the best interests of her patients, and I don't believe for one moment, that these patients were not grateful to her or that they made any serious complaint against her for her actions. When I think of the legalised evil carried out by doctors and nurses in the abortion clinics, and the lies and malice publicly proclaimed by so many supporters of abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic cell research and experimentation, my blood boils! Nothing happens to these people, yet one honest nurse doing her best to improve the appalling conditions of elderly patients in the hospital in which she works, is treated as a common criminal. I intend to write to the Nursing and Midwifery Council to express my disgust at this sentence, with a request to reconsider the case, and I would ask that others who share my view, do the same.
My final remarks concern the possibility of 'abortion facilities' and 'contraceptives' being advertised on the television. This is truly appalling and has already been strongly and publicly condemned by Archbishop Nichols, the newly announced Archbishop of Westminster, and other Church representatives. This matter became public several weeks ago and I rather expected that a Petition would appear on the internet condemning this proposal, and inviting signatures which would ultimately be forwarded to the appropriate body with a view to trying to prevent such advertisements from appearing. Surprisingly, to my knowledge no such Petition has appeared. Let me say straight away that I would be happy to set up such a Petition, but technically I just do not know how to start. I think it important to do something even though it is a bit late in the day. If someone out there is prepared and able to set up this Petition, please take courage and do so. Alternatively if someone could advise me how to do it, I would be most grateful. To facilitate this, my email address is 'email@example.com'.
Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat. Alleluia, alleluia!