Bring back the guillotine!

In 1998, Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo, two graduates of the 1997 Women’s Leadership Institute at The Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut gave birth to a ministry as a result of their experience in this program of applied Feminist Spirituality under the direction of Professor Miriam Therese Winter, MMS. Compassion and the love of knitting/crocheting have been combined into a prayerful ministry and spiritual practice – at – which reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace, as well as in celebration and joy. Many blessings are prayed into every shawl. Whether they are called Prayer Shawls, Comfort Shawls, Peace Shawls, or Mantles, etc., the shawl maker begins with prayers and blessings for the recipient. The intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl. Upon completion, a final blessing is offered before the shawl is sent on its way. To make a shawl personal, the giver or the recipient may want to adorn the shawl with beads, shells, feathers and charms. A blessing or ritual may be offered when the gift is presented. The sort of thing they mean? Try this: Holy One, Whose womb is threaded and waiting, guide us to pick up the thread and walk the spiral

The sort of thing they mean? Try this:

Holy One, Whose womb is threaded and waiting,
guide us to pick up the thread and walk the spiral
through the dark and difficult passages.
Life Cord, Who sustains us as we move to our center,
give us courage to meet our souls.
Comfort us through our dismantling, wrapped in
Your loving embrace.
Mantle of Love, Rebirth us with Wisdom,
as we are knitted once again back into wholeness.

Bitter Pill

Editorial staff at the right-on, well-trendy, Catholic journal The Tablet must have been in seventh heaven when they published this letter in their issue dated 11 April 2009:

Just before our 10 a.m. Sunday Mass, John, one of our eucharistic ministers, explained that our priest had phoned to say that he had trouble with his car and would not be able to get to us. The priest had asked that John lead us in a Liturgy of the Word and then distribute Holy Communion from the tabernacle.

Veronica, our other eucharistic minister, then came forward to say that she had taken Holy Communion to the housebound parishioners on Saturday and she thought that there was only one small consecrated host left in the tabernacle. We had a brief discussion about what we could do. One gentleman said we should just listen to the readings and then go home. A lady suggested we place the one consecrated host on the altar and have a short period of exposition. Another gentleman suggested that we say the rosary. And then a lady spoke up and said, “Jesus said, ‘Do this in memory of me’.” We asked her what she had in mind and she explained.

And so we listened to the Sunday readings. The eucharistic ministers placed sufficient altar breads, the chalice with wine and a little water on the altar as we have so often seen done by the priest. Then, in unison, we read the second Eucharistic Prayer. We said the Lord’s Prayer, exchanged the sign of peace and shared in Holy Communion. The ministers cleaned the sacred vessels and we all prayed for God’s blessing on each other before leaving.

We have a midweek Mass on Wednesday – when we look forward to explaining to our priest what we felt able to do. Michelle Street Lower Grasmere, Cumbria

What a disappointment it must have been for them to have to pen the following for The Tablet of 15 May:

A letter from Michelle Street entitled Act of memory’ was published in The Tablet on 11 April. It described a moment in a church where parishioners took over the celebration of the Eucharist when the priest was unable to attend to celebrate Mass. This letter caused great interest, as well as consternation, among some readers. We published the letter in good faith, but it has since emerged after lengthy enquiries that the address in Grasmere, Cumbria, given on the letter does not exist, which causes us to be concerned that the letter might not have been genuine. We therefore apologise to readers and assure them that there will be even greater vigilance in future to establish that correspondence is authentic.

If 30Days had a heart, it would go out to them!

Inclusive View

30Days has been besieged with expressions of concern following our report

last month that Inclusive (sic) Church is strapped for cash. You’ll recall that IC needed to double its monthly income from £1,000 to £2,000, and fast, as all the money it raised two years ago runs out, er, this month. Well, the great news is that everything is sorted! For, on Friday 26 June, there is to be a three-hour IC Private Viewing at the National Gallery with a former Director of the gallery and the Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Apparently, the evening will afford ‘a unique opportunity to view some of the famous works hung in the National Gallery’ (!) and there’ll be ‘a reception buffet with wine at St Martin-in-the-Fields’ afterwards! All this for just £75 a throw! It’ll only take 100 odd people to sign up for this exciting initiative and IC will be safe till Christmas!


Lest we provoke the Croydon clergy to take up their pen again to give us the sort of savaging they recently gave our dear friend Samuel Davidson on the pages of New Directions, we hesitate to mention the Bishop of Croydon who, writing on his blog last month, opines that the real scandal surrounding the Honourable (sic) Members and their addiction to gravy is the behaviour of The Daily Telegraph, which ‘should be sued for incitement to criminal activity, if it is demonstrated that they (sic) paid for this leaked information (which was due to be published in the autumn anyway)! Golly. Talk about catching the real mood of the person on the Croydon omnibus. He goes on: ‘They are also responsible to the public whose moral purity they claim to uphold – arrogating to themselves an unchallengeable priestly power! Golly again. Petty rhetoric indeed.

Stop Press

The Inclusive (sic) Church ‘Directory of Inclusive Churches’ has shot from last month’s cracking 36 up to a stupendous 39.

Copy for 30 Days should reach FiF office by the 10th day of the month: 30days@forwardinfaith. com