Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A busy bank holiday

Not being one to let a Bank Holiday go to waste, my past three days have been pretty busy. Some of the interns, staying in Newman House for our 11 day holiday (or 7 for those with those three days working!) were perfectly placed to get a spot for the Royal Wedding. Danny, ever the early bird, bagged a good spot as a reward for his 3am start. I headed down a bit later but still got near the Abbey on Parliament’s Square. We didn’t have a TV near, but had a lady with a radio, and listened to the vows being said over the large speakers in the Square. I normally hate jostling to get a space within huge crowds, but the day was exciting and we got quite into the party spirit! After getting back to Newman House we re-watched the whole days’ events on TV, spotting ourselves behind Fiona Bruce! We had been behind the BBC cameras, spotted Bruce, Andrew Marr and some sky reporters as well as some celebs as they entered the Abbey.

Sunday saw the Beatification of John Paul II. Attending Mass in the morning, I skipped watching the coverage online, but headed down to Westminster Cathedral in the afternoon for the special screening of the Beatification Mass. There was a polish choir – it was set up by the Catholic Polish Mission - as well as the Cathedral community.
There was an emotional documentary on John Paul II, then the re-transmission, with prayers from Bishop Stack (Archbishop-elect), and a Polish Rector. After toasting JPII in the pub we headed back to Newman House.  

Following the Beatification there was a lot of discussion on twitter debating miracles and the process of beatification, which led to me being able to write a few articles on the topic. I submitted a blog post for the Youth Blog too, which hopefully should be available soon.
On Monday I got up early to travel to Southwark Cathedral, south of the River, for the Mass for Migrants. The Mass was colourful, the hymns were sung joyously and there was a great celebratory mood! The procession saw people of many different nationalities celebrate their diversity, representing migrants across London.
Afterwards the groups processed across Waterloo bridge to the London Assembly marking 10 years since London Citizens launched a campaign for a fair wage. Over 2000 people attended the Mass, and many continued on for the procession. It was great seeing the work people do, to help others – and in this case – while also celebrating their roots.
All in all a very busy bank holiday! Next stop Rome…

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