If it seems that this year’s London Event has come around rather more quickly than usual…it has! This year we are celebrating it on the actual feast day of St Barnabas the Apostle (June 11th) and I hope this will now become an annual tradition whenever it is possible.
The London Event reminds us that the St Barnabas Society is a family. There are those of us who work for the Society at its headquarters in Wolvercote. There are those who serve voluntarily as the Society’s trustees. There are those who are members of the Society and faithfully receive our literature and contribute to its work. There are many others who express an interest in our work and who then give generously to support it. And finally there are our beneficiaries – the principal reason why the Society exists – who, having made the courageous decision to embrace the Catholic faith, often at great personal cost to themselves, rely heavily upon the financial support we are able to offer to them, without which their lives would be an even greater uphill struggle than they are already. So it is important that there is at least one opportunity during the Church’s Year when we can gather together as a family to give thanks to God for the work of the St Barnabas Society, to forge new friendships simply by being together for a few hours, and to re-dedicate ourselves to the work that lies ahead.
The work that lies ahead will be both challenging and exciting as will become clear in time. So I do encourage all of you to make a special effort this year (if it is at all possible) to join us next Monday (June 11th) at 6.30pm at Our Lady of Victories Church, Kensington High Street, in London, for the Solemn Pontifical Mass at which Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham will preside, and the reception afterwards. We all live busy lives and it can be very difficult to make time for everything that is asked of us but your presence at this Mass is so important to the Society and for its work. If you are able to be there we shall be delighted to welcome you. Please try your very best.
In her contribution to the book “The Path to Rome”, which many of you will have read, Ann Widdecombe writes:
“Each (person’s) path to Rome is different. Some paths are straight, others wind and occasionally disappear altogether. Some are lonely, some are crowded. Some are clear, some are brambly. Many are steep. Mine was, but there comes a time when the incline is downwards and the journey gains an almost precipitous momentum.
‘Quo vadis?’ one hears. There can only be one reply. To Rome.”
May we all find inspiration in the truth of those words as we prepare for the celebration of this year’s London Event and may we rejoice together that God has chosen to call us into the fold of His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.