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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

'Restoring the Sacred' - 'A Party to Remember'


Fr Hunwicke,  'Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment',  has pointed out that Fr Tim Finegan, parish priest of Margate has recently resumed posts on his blog 'The hermeneutic of continuity'. This is really good news, for it would indicate that Fr Finegan continues to make a good recovery after his heart surgery last year, also it means the return of a blog which has consistently been at or very near the top of everyone's favourite blogsite over many years. Welcome back Fr Finegan and long may 'The Hermeneutic of continuity' continue!

On 20 October, the feast of St John Cantius, Fr Finegan published a post about the church in Chicago dedicated to this Saint and administered by the Canons Regular of St John Cantius. Included in this post was a video entitled 'Saint John Cantius: Restoring the Sacred', which in the words of Fr Finegan 'gives an idea of the amazing life of the parish'.

I found this video very encouraging, with the revitalising of the Saint John Cantius parish assuming a symbolism for the future revitalisation  of the Catholic Church worldwide, and providing a positive antidote to the rather depressing diet of Catholic news currently offered to the faithful. I strongly recommend you view, it will make your day!  Please find the link immediately below:-

The hermeneutic of continuity: Happy feast day to our friends in Chicago

ack. Fr Tim Finegan 'The Hermeneutic of continuity' 

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On a rather different note, I recently enjoyed a birthday party at home, a somewhat genteel party rather than a 'hokey-cokey' type, as befits a certain  'mature' age on my part, and the esteemed company with me, when I was presented by one of my guests, with a somewhat unusual and interesting member of the 'cephalopoda' family. In case you are wondering what strange creature this was, and I hope still is, let me introduce - an octopus! Now I have always imagined octopusses, or should it be octopussi, or even octopi, as large and rather ferocious sea creatures who either sting or crush to death any human who comes within range. Well this particular specimen was in a bucket partly filled with sea-water, and measured approximately 6" in diameter, and was alive and well and blowing regular bubbles! Our guests at the party included Father Michael and Father Magdala, and several Brothers and a postulant from Papa Stronsay.  The temporary guardian of this terrifying creature was the postulant, Augustine, who had seen it on the foreshore on Papa Stronsay, apparently stranded above the low-water line. He bravely (my description) rescued it at great risk to life and limb, and I suspect, on his own initiative, coolly placed it  in a bucket half-filled with sea water.



  Small Common Octopus - Octopus Vulgaris, in bucket of 
sea-water!

 As the monks were virtually on their way here, the octopus came too, and very pleased I was  to make his or possibly her acquaintance. With considerable difficulty 'we' managed to take a photograph, although I doubt that it would win the 'Wildlife Photograph of the Year' award, but it is a genuine photograph of a live octopus, a creature quite new to me although probably not to many others.
Our reference book on 'Coasts and Estuaries',  links  octopuses with cuttlefish and squids, members of the Cephalapoda family. Body sac-like; head with large well-developed eyes; mouth with pair of horny jaws, also rasping tongue (radula). Front part of foot fused with head, extending into circlet of suckered tentacles surrounding mouth. Shell internal, reduced. Sights prey and seizes it in tentacles.
The Common Octopus - Octopus Vulgaris, can grow to 1 metre diameter. It has eight tentacles, each with two rows of suckers. Grey-brown or greenish, can change colour to match background. Sublittoral -  found below the low-water mark.  Britain, Ireland, France. 


 The party had a happy ending, with the octopus  returned safe and sound to its watery home on the beach, and the postulant responsible for its rescue no doubt receiving an appropriate commendation from Father Michael!  For me it was a party to remember, my first live octopus!  Thank you Augustine.
                                         
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'Humiliation is the touchstone of Sanctity. You will acquire more merit by meekly receiving an affront than by fasting ten days on bread and water.'    

 'Thoughts from St Alphonsus' compiled by Rev C McNeiry C.SS.R. - Burns, Oates, Washbourne. 1927.