05 July 2011

Lift the City - a Catholic Eucharistic flashmob in Preston, England

I found this video on CathNews, Australia. I've been to Preston, which means 'Priest town', a number of times while based in Britain from 2000 to 2002, doing mission appeals. Most of the town is in the Archdiocese of Liverpool but part of it is in the Diocese of Lancaster.

I made a friend in another part of the Diocese of Lancaster who was seriously contemplating suicide. But one Good Friday the local Catholic parish held a Way of the Cross. She happened to see it and it led her away from her depression and eventually into the Catholic Church.

What the Capuchin Friars in Preston did on Ascension Thursday this year is a variation on the traditional Corpus Christi processions that used to be so common in many parts of the world. The processions were expressions of faith by the community. This was partly so but also a form of evangelisation, raising questions in people's minds. The Friars run a chaplaincy at the University of Central Lancashire.

At the chaplaincy

One person commenting on CathNews expressed some concern for the safety of the Blessed Sacrament being carried in a duffle bag. But I don't think there was any irreverence whatever.

This comment reminded me of a post I made a couple of years ago, Christ in a second-hand car. Poet
Seán Ó Leocháin wrote in Irish Gaelic about the priest making his First Friday Communion visit to his father.

Nuair a tháinig an sagart     When the priest came
chuig m’athair inniu,     to my father today
mar a thagann de ghnáth     as he usually comes
i dtús na míosa,     at the beginning of the month,
le lón na beatha     with the food of life
a thabhairt d’fhear     to give to a man
nach bhfágann an chlúid     who’s been bed-ridden
in aon chor le tamall,     for some time now,
ní hé an gnás ab ait liom féin.     it wasn’t the custom that was strange to me.

Ní hé ba mhó     What really
ba bhun le m’iontas     caused my wonder wasn't
fear dá chlú,     a man of such repute,
dá chleacht, dá éirim such experience, such intelligence
ar cuairt na sean     visiting the sick
i dtús na míosa     at the beginning of the month
le comhairle a leasa     with good advice
a chur ar dhream     to give to those
nach bhfágfadh clúid na haithrí choíche,     who would never leave the cover of repentance again,

ach Críost a theacht     but Christ coming
i gcarr athláimhe     in a second-hand car
a cheannaigh an sagart     the priest bought
ó fhear i Ros Comáin.     from a man in Roscommon.

I think there's a connection between Christ being present to the people in High Street, Preston, and his going in a second-hand car to a sick man in the Irish midlands. The Irishman knew Who was coming to him as the Bread of Life. Some of those in Preston knew Who was among them. Maybe others, as a result of this, will come to know Him too.


TASCeramics said...

Hi Father, I was part of the group that wonderful day. I am the Secretary of the University Catholic Society and must admit at first was a bit worried about taking part. I am so glad I did because it was a wonderful way of giving witness to Our Lord. We all felt His peace, His Love and His grace that day. It has been amazing and inspiring to read some of the comments this has caused. We have a beautiful Christian family here at the University Chaplaincy and are blessed to have three wonderful spiritual Brothers to lead us. Thank you for your lovely comments. Teresa Smith (I am at the front in blue (blond hair) and help a lady up at the end. God Bless you.

Fr Seán Coyle said...

Thank you, Teresa, for posting your comment. May God bless all of you at the Chaplaincy. It's encouraging to see young people witnessing to the faith.