Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Thursday 23 August 2012

Fr Hugh Thwaites RIP

Fr Hugh Thwaites at our wedding.
The great pro-life stalwart Fr James Morrow is behind him.
A few years ago, about 10 actually, Fr Thwaites accompanied my husband Stuart and I to Youth 2000 in Walsingham. It was not exactly his scene, to say the least, but he had been tempted there by reports of mass confessions and vocations.
There were many things he did not like about the festival - as you might imagine. He was only saying the Old Rite Mass by that time and so he said Mass everyday at the friend's house he stayed at. And, while praying each day in the marquee, he said the general goings on - loud music, loud sermons and so on - meant it was the most distracted praying of his brieviary that he had ever experienced.
But Fr Thwaites was always a gentleman and always looking for ways to bring souls closer to Christ. He also said the whole festival was totally geared to bringing forth vocations, which he loved. And he made himself available for confessions morning, noon and night. Not a bad effort in a damp field for someone in his mid eighties and definitely out of his comfort zone!!!
The most amazing thing for me was to see how everyone knew him. Here he was, an old man, often saying the Old Rite Mass alone in a private chapel, and here we were with a load of youngsters, mostly New Rite Mass only ones at that, and everyone knew him. And if they didn't know him personally their mum knew him, he had converted their dad to the faith, he had married their aunty and uncle or I don't know what. And they flocked to him.
He was overjoyed to meet seminarians and his advice to them was, if you want to always have enough money, always buy rosaries and have them in your pockets ready to give out. That way, he said, Our Lady would always make sure you would have enough money for more :).
I remember when he used to stand at the back of the Church at the end of Mass in Spanish Place when he was there. He would have a table laden with bottles of holy water, a large handful of Miraculous Medals and would be given them out wholesale. And he was wonderful with children.
He was a really saintly person. Someone who succeeded in bringing hundreds, probably thousands, to the faith. I look forward to the first good biography of him.
I wish I had a better picture of him. We always thought that you could see heaven in his crystal blue eyes.
It's hard to imagine him being anywhere other than in heaven, but no doubt he would be the first to ask for prayers for the repose of his soul.

Monday 13 August 2012

New Intake for Good Counsel's Intern Programme

Following on the success of our first Intern Programme, we plan to continue the Programme for men and women of all ages who want to make a full-time temporary commitment to our work.
The Programme allows those wishing to get hands on experience in frontline pro-life work, such as pavement counselling and working in a Catholic Pregnancy Centre, to do so.
All interns will receive expert training. Interns receive free accommodation and living costs and will live together in a community, praying and working together. There are two houses, one for men and one for women.
Although we are strapped for cash at the present, we have decided to continue the programme as so far the Interns have helped to save many, many lives, including 4 turnarounds from Whitfield St marie stopes in one week.
Intern placements are available for periods of 2 to 6 months commencing on 1st September. Please email me if you are interested info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk
If you have applied previously, but we didn't have enough places available, you are welcome to apply again.
Clare McCullough

Wednesday 8 August 2012

£800 raised for Good Counsel, on GK Chesterton Pilgrimage

After last year’s Chesterton Pilgrimage, I said, 'next year we'll walk'. The plan was simple, walk from St George's (c of E) Kensington, where GK Chesterton was Baptised in 1874, to Beaconsfield where this great man is buried. I planned to do this on 14th June the Anniversary of his death, this date had to be abandoned. And so we re-booked for 28th July, the nearest Saturday to the 90th Anniversary of GKC's Conversion to The Catholic Church. No doubt this was Chesterton's plan all along!

A few days before the Pilgrimage, I noticed that I had got the distances wrong! It was too late to change the start time, as 9am had gone out on posters, newsletters and blogs. So having allowed myself four and a half hours to walk nine miles from Kensington to Mass in Uxbridge, stopping for breakfast on the way, I now found that I had fourteen miles to do! So I started at 9am sharp, I read the first paragraph of GKC’s Autobiography out loud and said the GK Chesterton Prayer and 'we' were off.

I stopped to buy knee supports in Shepherd's Bush, as my knees have not been right since my Stroll on Rome 12 year's ago, Belloc's fault. Then I got a phone call from The Good Counsel office, "Stella, is outside Saint George's!" Stella was amazed to find that a Catholic event had started on time, as she was there by 9.10am. I called her with my location, she caught up and off we went. We walked in a straight line along the Uxbridge Road until we got Ealing where we turned into Mattock Lane to say the GKC Prayer outside that abortuary, and then on to Hanwell, where we joined the canal to Uxbridge. Fr Schofield kindly delayed the 1.30pm Mass, until 2pm and we arrived just after Mass had started! (You can read Father's excellent Sermon here)

My long suffering Wife had packed me a wonderful lunch. But as I had not announced a plan for lunch, we now headed back into Uxbribge to find a shop. I say 'we', for after Mass our Pilgrimage had doubled in size for the second time that day, as William and Lucy were joining us for the walk on to Beaconsfield. There were a number of others at the Mass (Old Rite) offered in thanksgiving for Chesterton's Conversion.

After we had eaten, we left Uxbridge following country foot paths, as many of these were overgrown, it was at times very slow going. William pointed out that, "All walk leaders are liars!" and then we lost the footpath! (Photo shows us re finding it). Each time we crossed a bridge we made William the walk leader, as he has a ritual for walking across bridges, which varied depending on what the bridge crossed. But I would remember that "All walk leaders are liars!" If you attend next year's Pilgrimage then you will learn these rituals as well as some of the songs from William's drinking songs book. We did say a Rosary at some point in the day.

And so finally we turned into Candlemas Lane in Beaconsfield, I put away my map, only to realise at the end of it, that we should have turned into the small lane on the left as entered Candlemas Lane. And so back we went! The gate to the cemetery was still open. I then remembered that Lucy had, a number of hours before, when I said my feet & knees were hurting, said something about getting to his graveside before me, so off I ran and won the race. 9.30pm! Next year we will start earlier and take a different route in the afternoon, all walkers cheer! But remember that, "All walk leaders are liars".

(On a 'silly' footnote, I've written this post over a number of days, but 'am finishing it at 4am while filling a hot water bottle for my Wife, who has toothache!)

So far I've raised £800 of my £1000 target from this walk, for Good Counsel.

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