Friday, September 08, 2006

The Birth of Our Lady

Today I am in the parish of Santorcaz just outside Alcala de Henares, Madrid. This evening I will preside at a special patronal Mass, impose scapulars, and lead a procession of the image of Our Lady round the town. Welcome to Spain!

To those of you who are still reading this blog after ten days´silence I recommend doing something special to mark today´s feast. The protestant reformation may have robbed us of our processions - but the faith remains intact after all! (By the way - although I´ve got use of a computer in Santorcaz, I don´t have access to my email account, so Istill can´t reply if you´ve tried to contact me).

Until yesterday afternoon I was staying in the parish of Our Lady of Cana, Pozuelo (see the photo). It´s the Holy Ghost Parish of Madrid -although admittedly on a somewhat larger scale.
While the Holy Ghost boasts a weekly Mass attendance of eleven hundred, Cana has the rather more impressive figure of eleven thousand! Baptisms take place on Saturdays and Sundays with three ceremonies of three babies each on both days. In addition to the four Masses it is not unusual to have two funerals and a wedding on a weekday. Confessions consist of four priests occupying the four confessionals for half an hour before Mass begins and ending when all four have to help with the distribution of Holy Communion.

The parish already boasts a number of seminarians and this month Emilio, an eighteen year old, begins his studies at the diocsan seminary. Let´s keep him in our prayers as well as the eight Southark men also starting this month.

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