Archive for the ‘11 Joanna Bogle’ Category

Jesus Comes to Me – First Communion Book

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2012/05/10 at 11:11 AM

…new book just out from Family Publications. It’s by Dora Nash, Head of RE, mother of four, and it’s for children preparing for First Communion and it’s really excellent. Order it from Family Publications here.Dora Nash is my sister-in-law. Her book on Confirmation has already proved its worth and been popular with lots of parishes, families, and youth groups, and we’ve all been waiting for one on First Communion. This new book is beautifully presented, with lovely illustrations, all the information from Scriptures to explain about Confession and Holy Communion, prayers to learn by heart, quizzes, word-searches, even a cut-out priest to dress in different vestments! It tackles everything, from how to go to confession through to words and phrases to study and understand…all in a bright, easy-to-read style with clear print and a fresh feel. It’s exactly what a Catholic child needs and will be of use in every parish – even for children unfamiliar with all sorts of basic concepts for whom First Communion is perhaps the first real contact with systematic Christian teaching…very, very highly recommended.

Has Europe Lost Its Soul? by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2012/03/02 at 9:11 AM

“Has Europe Lost its Soul?”

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks

Delivered at The Pontifical Gregorian University on 12th December 2011

As the political leaders of Europe come together to try to save the euro, and with it the very project of European Union, I believe the time has come for religious leaders to do likewise, and I want to explain why.

What I hope to show in this lecture, is first, the religious roots of the market economy and of democratic capitalism. They were produced by a culture saturated in the values of the Judaeo-Christian heritage, and market economics was originally intended to advance those values.

Second, the market never reaches stable equilibrium. Instead the market itself tends to undermine the very values that gave rise to it in the first place through the process of “creative destruction.”

Third, the future health of Europe, politically, economically and culturally, has a spiritual dimension. Lose that and we will lose much else besides. To paraphrase a famous Christian text: what will it profit Europe if it gains the whole world yet loses its soul? Europe is in danger of losing its soul.

I want to preface my remarks by thanking His Eminence Cardinal Koch for not only inviting me to deliver this lecture, but being so graciously helpful throughout my trip and private audience with His Holiness.

I want to thank Father Francois-Xavier Dumortier, Rector of the Gregorian University for his kind words of introduction as well as Father Philipp Renczes of the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies and Dr. Ed Kessler of the Woolf Institute in Cambridge for hosting this lecture and for all their support in arranging this visit. These two institutions represent the best of European thought, wisdom and spirituality. Through collaborative work, my hope is that these two institutions will help build a European platform to showcase and apply the resources that this continent with its rich heritage has to offer to build a better future for the world.

I am also honoured to see a number of Ambassadors and many other distinguished guests join us here this evening; I thank you all very much for coming.

I want to begin by saying a word about the relationship between the Vatican and the Jewish people.

The history of the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jews was not always a happy or an easy one. Too often it was written in tears. Yet something extraordinary happened just over half a century ago, when on 13 June 1960 the French Jewish historian Jules Isaac had an audience with Pope John XXIII and presented him with a dossier of materials he had been gathering on the history of Christian antisemitism. That set in motion the long journey to Vatican II and Nostra Aetate, as a result of which, today, Jews and Catholics meet not as enemies, nor as strangers, but as cherished and respected friends.

That is one of the most dramatic transformations in the religious history of humankind and lit a beacon of hope, not just for us but for the world. It was a victory for the God of love and forgiveness, who created us in love and forgiveness, asking us to love and forgive others.

I hope that this visit, this morning’s audience with His Holiness, and this lecture might in some small way mark the beginning of a new chapter in our relationship. For half a century Jews and Christians have focused on the way of dialogue that I call face-to-face. The time has come to move on to a new phase, the way of partnership that I callside-by-side.

For the task ahead of us is not between Jews and Catholics, or even Jews and Christians in general, but between Jews and Christians on the one hand, and the increasingly, even aggressively secularising forces at work in Europe today on the other, challenging and even ridiculing our faith.

If Europe loses the Judaeo-Christian heritage that gave it its historic identity and its greatest achievements in literature, art, music, education, politics, and as we will see, economics, it will lose its identity and its greatness, not immediately, but before this century reaches its end.

When a civilisation loses its faith, it loses its future. When it recovers its faith, it recovers its future. For the sake of our children, and their children not yet born, we – Jews and Christians, side-by-side – must renew our faith and its prophetic voice. We must help Europe recover its soul.

Reprinted from Joanna Bogle’s Blog


Epiphany traditions

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2012/01/20 at 9:11 AM

…is a glorious feast:”the wealth of nations will come to you; camels in throngs will cover you, and dromedaries of Midian and Ephah, everyone in Sheba will come”…and we had golden vestments and the Kings in the crib-scene in church moved in, edging out the shepherds adoring the Christ-child. An email from a friend in Ukraine reminded me that today is Christmas Day in the Julian calendar – he sent seasonal greetings from a sparkling snowbound land several degrees below zero…Jamie and I dressed up in our best yesterday evening and went off to my cousin’s for a party…only to find, on arrival, that the party had been on Friday! Ooops…however, we were warmly welcomed, and Angela poured drinks, lit candles on the dinner-table and we were given a delicious supper (“we’ve got stacks of food left over – come and help us eat it!”) with a variety of wonderful puddings, and we talked and laughed and all enjoyed ourselves hugely!
On Friday I was actually at a party at Mothers – all the residents of the flats where she lives gather together each year for a congenial celebration, at which I traditionall provide a Quiz, and the son-in-law of another resident sings, and there is a lovely buffet…it all went extremely well, with the Quiz getting everyone talking, especially the bits about English history, kings and queens, who married who, Alfred burning the cakes and Queen Victoria’s daughter marrying the Crown Prince of Prussia, and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and all those Hanoverian Georges, and so on.
A correspondent to this Blog asked about hymns for St Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day, Dec 26th). I just happened to notice something useful in the hymn-book at Mass today: (Laudate hymnal, published by Decani music, 1999) – there is a hymn beginning “By all your saints still striving/for all your saints at rest…” which has a whole set of extra verses for various different saints, with the feast-days listed, and there is one for St Stephen: “All praise, O Lord, for Stephen/who, martyred, saw you stand/to help in time of torment/to plead at God’s right hand…” The author is given as “Jerry D.Godwin, based on H. Nelson (1823-1913)”. I don’t know the tune, but the words to fit to a number of standard tunes including, for example “The Church’s one foundation”…

And now this evening I shall take down the cards and decorations, and the wreath from the door, and start dealing with dull things.

Death of Marriage…Joanna Bogle

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2012/01/07 at 12:00 AM

“In the valley of the shadow of death…”

…The words of the Psalmist came into my head today as I read the headlines. The psalmist promises that, with the Lord as our shepherd, we need not fear…Today our country walked into the valley of the shadow of death. Parliament has voted that a family does not consist of a mother and father who transmit life to their children. It banned any statement that a family needs a father, and agreed that two lesbians who want a child can decide to have one using artificial means. It rejected calls to tighten up the abortion law even after hearing the descriptions of how children are dismembered as small perfectly-formed babies at 22 weeks. It passed legislation which treats a human person as something that can be used for a utilitarian purpose.If some one, in whatever civilisation replaces ours, writes about these days, those who passed this legislation will be treated with savagery. The evil that will result from what Parliament has now permitted is clear enough even at this stage – but it will generate more evil, and terrible things will be done.No civilisation has ever survived, let alone prospered, when it failed to understand that human beings are at the heart of it all, that human existence has a value. Nor can any civilisation work that is based on a lie: and everyone knows that it is a lie to pretend that human life is not generated through the union of a man and a woman, and that this creates a family.

Re-Christianizing Hallowe’en from Auntie Joanna (Bogle) writes

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2011/10/26 at 1:11 AM

Traditional Hallowe’en

Cycled through London yesterday, a crisp Autumn evening, from Waterloo to a committee meeting of the Catholic Writers’ Guild at St Mary Moorfields, via the CTS Bookshop to get some small gifts for the choir at Saturday’s Festival. The choir is from More House School – come and hear them sing! Excellent meeting, with dinner provided by our Chaplain Fr Peter Newby: we have all sorts of good ideas and plans for the Guild in 2008. Our AGM is always on January 24th, in honour of our Patron, St Francis de Sales.Today I went to our local parish in New Malden as I needed to photocopy some things for the Festival – arrived at 12 noon and the little team at the presbytery were saying the Angelus. Somehow this gave the whole day a nice, villagey feeling. Valuable help with photocopying, and a cheery chat with the lady organising the parish Hallowe’en festivities, which celebrate a “Night of Light” with prayers in church, then a procession of all the children dressed as saints (they’ve been preparing their costumes over the past weeks) with home-made lanterns. They go through the local streets, and all passers-by get a little leaflet with a pumpkin picture and an explanation of Hallowe’en as the Eve of All Saints’ Day. Then back to the parish hall for games (apple-bobbing and buns-on-a-string, all the traditional things) and party food.Now that’s the way to re-Christianise Hallowe’en.

London’s Annual Rosary Rally

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2011/10/09 at 1:00 AM

London’s annual Rosary Rally takes place this Saturday, and has been advertised in parish newsletters across London, the suburbs, and the further afield, so there should be a good crowd. The procession starts at 1.45 pm from Westminster Cathedral, and ends at Brompton Oratory with hymns and Benediction.It is remarkable that, while 150 years ago there might have been some controversy about Catholics marching a statue of Mary shoulder-high through Westminster and Kensington, today no one turns a hair. In fact, people rather like it – if they notice the procession at all (and many people are so used to various groups in today’s London that they barely remark on yet another one) it is generally with mild interest and pleasure. Whereas, if we walked through the streets with banners affirming that two men can’t marry one another, or that babies shouldn’t be deliberately killed by abortion, we would provoke massive – possibly violent – opposition…yet 150 or even 50 years ago, such opinions were mainstream. A complete reversal of things. What a weird world this is at times…

auntie joanna quote

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2011/09/24 at 6:06 AM

I came across this quote

…from the Holy Father and I love it.”The generally prevailing idea is that Christians have to observe an immense number of commandments, prohibitions, precepts, and other such restrictions, so that Christianity is a heavy and oppressive way of living, and it would therefore be more liberating to live without all these burdens. But I would like to make it clear that to be sustained by this great Love and God’s sublime revelation is not a burden, but rather a set of wings – that it is truly beautiful to be a Christian. It is an experience that gives us room to breathe and move, but most of all, it places us within a community since, as Christians, we are never alone: first of all, there is God, who is always with us; secondly, we are always forming a great community among ourselves: a community of people together on a journey, a community with a project for the future. All of this means that we are empowered to live a life worth living. This is the joy of being a Christian; that it is beautiful and right to believe!”

Lunch with an Evangelical Christian

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2011/07/13 at 8:08 AM

Today lunch with Angie, a close friend of many years’ standing, an Evangelical Christian with whom there have been so many shared hours of talk, fun, envelope-packing, praying, leafleting, event-organising, campaigning, and much more. Today, as ever we packed in lots of talk about families (we each have a widowed and much-loved parent) husbands (we both have very nice ones, and we are both grateful), friends, church, God, current events, the horrible things the Govt has done and is doing to the social fabric of the country we love, and more…..Angie works with me on the committee of Christian Projects (PO Box 44741 London SW1p 2XA – send SAE to find out more…..) running a Schools Bible Project which enables pupils at secondary schools across Britain to study the New Testament. The Prizegiving for the Project is coming up in December and we have been working on the final plans….it is always held at the House of Lords as one of our Trustees is the excellent Baroness Cox, and the young prizewinners are given a tour of Parliament, and tea, and prizes are distributed with suitable congratulations and so on….


Two Converts

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2011/07/04 at 6:34 AM

A while back, Joanna Bogle wrote about two now famous converts.

“Dr Scott Hahn has been among the speakers this weekend, talking about Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, and particularly emphasising the scholarship of each of these remarkable men, and the contribution they made to culture and learning even apart from their martyrdoms…..I had not really thought of this before, never having read any of Fisher’s works, and only knowing some of More’s letters. Fisher was something of a Ratzinger figure in his day, a brilliant mind given to the service of the Church, deep in theological knowledge which he communicated well.

Dwight Longenecker, soon to be ordained a priest, is an old friend and we have worked together on various projects over the years. He trained at a very anti-Catholic Evangelical college here in the USA, but went on to think things through for himself and, loving all things English, was ordained as an Anglican and eventually became vicar of a parish on the Isle of Wight, with an English wife and the care of an enchanting old church rich in history……but the pull of truth was strong and he and his family eventually became Catholics……after an odyssey which saw him writing a number of excellent books, and becoming well known as a speaker and writer, he is now back in the USA – and becoming a Catholic priest and a school chaplain near the College where he was initially trained! He has given a excellent lecture here this weekend, explaining the history of Christianity in Britain, going back to Roman times – with illustrations from his former parish on the Isle of Wight, showing features from the different eras of our history…”

Fr. Longenecker is now a pastor in South Carolina.  He speaks often at Belmont Abbey in North Carolina.

Joanna Bogle Recommends

In 11 Joanna Bogle on 2011/05/26 at 9:42 PM

I am very much enjoying Genevieve Kineke’s The Authentic Catholic Woman (Servant books).  It is a realistic, well-informed and thoughtful book which looks at modern life and the modern Church sees the tasks facing Catholic women. It’s rooted in the Church’s teachings, has a sense of joy about it, and doesn’t carry any pious or unattainable goals.

It has often seemed to me that feminist campaigners over the past thirty years have raised some useful questions but failed to listen to the answers. The Church – and this book brings it out beautifully – is a mother who cherishes her daughters and wants to see their talents developed and used widely.  Pope John Paul’s “Theology of the Body”, a rich understanding of the Church as Christ’s Bride, and a sense of confidence and identity, are all important ingredients in recognising the vocation of being a Catholic woman today.  Calls for women to be ordained priestesses are calls from people who are getting the whole picture wrong.

I particularly like the chapter on sanctifying time, on seeing the importance of feasts and seasons, family events and anniversaries.  I have always noticed that it is women who are the keepers of a family’s heritage – and I don’t just mean mothers here either – and recognise the value of passed-on memories, traditions, snippets of family history.  This doesn’t mean endlessly harking back to the past or attempting to fossilize traditions or keep up childish things….it involves celebrating each passing year, noting it, remembering things as part of something alive and valuable.

I really recommend this book.


Joanna Bogle is a British author, journalist, and broadcaster who resides in London