Fiorella Nash Soars Into The Blogosphere!

Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 04 December 2008 - 15:51:32 | by admin

facebookpic.jpgSeveral years ago, during the course of our pro-life work, we met a strong pro-life speaker and writer called Fiorella Sultana de Maria.

We recently met her again at the Faith, Family, Future conference in St. Albans. Since our previous meetings, Fiorella had married and thus taken the name Nash, and had two small pre-school children.

Fiorella struck us as someone who would have a worthy blog-site; she is an author of exciting novels, a thoughtful pro-life writer, and a convinced Catholic.
Well, as we alluded to below, we were greatly pleased to learn from the blog Mulier Fortis that Fiorella is now blogging!

Check out Fiorella's new blog at -

And read Mulier Fortis at -

Another Dissenting Speaker...

Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 04 December 2008 - 15:03:43 | by admin

777701e4-b311-17b0-54db0950fe187f75.jpgIt seems that hardly a day goes by without yet another public figure, who dissents from the beautiful and salvific teachings of the Holy Catholic Church, being given special recognition and a platform to speak by those who represent the Church and therefore should know better. 

Only last month Clare Short was prevented from speaking at a Catholic Girl's School. This only occured however after many faithful people made balanced appeals to reason and truth.

After a day away from blogging we have now learned from John Smeaton's SPUC Blog that Mrs. Cherie Blair has been invited to speak at a forthcoming conference on 'women and rights' by the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, more commonly known as the Angelicum in Rome. That one of the leading Catholic universities in the world should pick Cherie Blair to speak beggers belief. Like her huband Tony, Mrs. Blair claims to be a Catholic whilst promoting abortion. 

Cherie endorses CEDAW and its claim for 'reproductive rights' for women; a euphemism for abortion on demand. She is also a public dissenter from the life giving Church teaching on contraception. She states this in her own life story; has been publicly photographed, gleefully waving a barrier method of contraception at a camera on a Family Planning Association stand; and hosted an event at 10 Downing Street for the radically anti-life and anti-family International Planned Parenthood Federation. 

Cherie also dissents from the teaching of the Church on the issue of women's ordination.

What can be done?

First -  PRAYER for her and Tony to be converted and for our bishops to truly care for the eternal souls of themselves, their flocks and politicians (who make future-changing decisions for our nations), by teaching them the fullness of the truth with compassion and courage, in season and out of season; no matter what the cost.

Second - Please e-mail the following ASAP!;

The organizing secretariat for the conference at

The Dean of the Faculty of Social Services at

The secretariat of the university at

And please write to :-

His Eminence Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski,
Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
Piazza Pio XII 3
00193 Roma

It is very important that we make this stand together to bear witness to the truth of Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church.

Let us reiterate - One CANNOT be Catholic and pro-abortion!

As we said during the Clare Short debacle; why choose dissenting speakers when there are so many orthodox and articulate speakers to choose from? We can think of any number of sincere, interesting and thoughtful women who could give presentations to such a conference on the dignity of women and the rich teachings of the Church.

Why not Alice Von Hildebrand, Joanna Bogle, Dr. Josephine Treloar, Fiorella Nash (who has just started her own blog site), or someone like Mary Healy who has done a brilliant job of presenting Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body to the masses?

We think we should be told!

As the Americans Say - Do the Math'

Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 02 December 2008 - 22:17:24 | by admin

kidz.jpgSex education for little children in primary school does not add up either!

There is an on-line petition to the Bishops of England and Wales asking them to make a stand against this imposition of radically secularist, anti-family ideals. 

The petition is at;

Stand up for the little ones! 

Father Werenfried on Advent

Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 02 December 2008 - 22:11:06 | by admin

b2830d05934f53aa.jpgThe late, great Fr. Werenfried, who gave us Aid to the Church in Need, once said,

Soon it will be Christmas. The brightness of the crib and the old familiar carols will remind you of the unforgettable story of Mary and Joseph, who travelled in winter through trackless mountains to Bethlehem, where there was no room for them at the inn. So began the story of our salvation. 

These simple, yet powerful, words remind us that this is a season of fasting, penance and prayerful preparation to cultivate in our hearts a longing to receive Jesus Christ. Let us ask the Lord for a fruitful Advent, spent well in His service. 

St. Edmund Campion

Torch of The Faith News on Monday 01 December 2008 - 19:30:00 | by admin

tyburn.jpgDivine Providence intervened in 2004 when we had to go to London to apply for study visas for the U.S.A. It was our second wedding anniversary and we had nowhere to stay until we discovered the Tyburn Convent in Marble Arch. This convent is run by the nuns from the Benedictine Adorers of the Sacred Heart and is dedicated to the English martyr's who died for the Catholic Faith at the infamous Tyburn gallows which used to stand in the area. The above picture shows the convent's Martyr's Altar and its inbuilt replica of the original gallows.

We mention this because on this date, the first day of December in 1581, the great priest Edmund Campion was hanged, drawn and quartered on the original gallows for the Catholic Faith and for his sacred priesthood.

After his capture, St. Edmund Campion had been visited in the Tower of London by Queen Elizabeth I. She offered him wealth and titles if he rejected his Catholic faith. He refused and was ill treated during several months in the Tower. In response to his eventual sentence of death for being a 'traitor', St. Edmund replied;

In condemning us, you condemn all your own ancestors, all our ancient bishops and kings, all that was once the glory of England; the island of saints, and the most devoted child of the See of Peter. 

St. Edmund spent his final days in prayer and intercession. 

Some vestments reputed to have been worn by him to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass prior to his capture are kept in a glass case in the reliquary room at Ladyewell near Preston. We recently blogged from there, but could not get the image of the vestments to come out clearly. Thankfully this problem can now be overcome by clicking on our links page to Fr. Richard Aladics' Friends with Christ blog; where an excellent article and picture of the vestments has been posted today. (Fr. Richard is presently serving 'down under' at the marvellous Campion College in Australia).

What a great way to begin Advent by contemplating one of Great Britain's greatest martyr saints. This would be a good season to read Evelyn Waugh's Edmund Campion - Priest and Martyr. It's on our 'To Do' list!

St. Edmund Campion - Pray for us and the re-conversion of Great Britain in the New Evangelization!

Advent Begins

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 30 November 2008 - 20:11:46 | by admin

advent_001.jpgWe made the annual pilgrimage today through the 'outer darkness' of the loft to dig out the Advent wreath. You would think that we would have learnt by now to keep it in a clearly marked bag to avoid the inevitable dimly lit rummage! 

advent_002.jpgIn any case, it was well worth the hunt to allow us to illumine the candle for the First Sunday of Advent. We picked our wreath up across the Atlantic Ocean in Ohio a few years ago, when we had to stay in Steubenville for Christmas due to financial and study pressures. A kind friend who was returning to her family in Canada loaned us her miniature Christmas tree and lights to allow us to have a thoroughly Dickensian Christmas!

The theme of this holy, penitential season of Advent seems well expressed in the third antiphon for Evening Prayer of the First Sunday of Advent;

Behold I am coming soon to reward every man according to his deeds, says the Lord. 

Torch of The Faith - Blogging for Jesus!

Torch of The Faith News on Friday 28 November 2008 - 19:55:25 | by admin

bloggin_for_jesus_002.jpgWe love to blog because we're doin' this whole thing for Jesus!

A Family Tree Bearing Wonderful Fruit!

Torch of The Faith News on Friday 28 November 2008 - 19:44:32 | by admin

divine_mercy_group_002.jpgOur friend Ray from Chester (pictured here with his wife Maryla) has been tracing his family tree as a hobby. His research has unearthed a beautiful history about his father's saintly Catholic cousin; Dorothy Loseby. This is even more remarkable as Ray is himself a convert to the Catholic Faith.

In 1921 Dorothy, then aged 14, went to live in South Africa. In 1926 she became a Catholic with her mother, sisters and brother. As she grew to maturity, relatives, friends and colleagues noted that she was a person of integrity and sincerity, with the rare power to see below the surface of matters and a keen sense of humour.
She went to study medicine at the fine Stellenbosch University; where she became a conscientous student. This is a picture of the picturesque Stellenbosch region taken from Wikipedia;


During her studies Dorothy became an active member of the University Catholic Society and the Catholic Women's League. The Group President of the latter said;

Our group is definitely the poorer, for characters of Miss Loseby's fine calibre are rare in these days of pleasure seeking and selfishness. Quiet and unassuming in manner, there burned in her soul the fire flame that lights the way to great deeds for God and suffering mankind. To see her, praying before the Blessed Sacrament, was to realize that there was a soul most dear and beloved of God.

Towards the end of her studies, Msgr. Demont came to the university seeking help at the Mission of Aliwal North, in the wake of the death from typhus of the brilliant Dr. Pattis. When no fully qualified doctor was forthcoming, Dorothy was excited to be allowed to volunteer for a long vacation working at the mission.

She quickly learned the Sesuto language and the work that she was required to do. The children, the poor and the elderly soon came to love her deeply. At Christmas she gave the youngsters all her sweets and the hospital received her Christmas table wine. She baptized several dying babies and adapted swiftly to the privations at the mission, whilst seeking ways to work effectively within them. 

During conversations with the German doctor Miss Heukamp, Dorothy came to realise that she need not become a nun to follow Christ. Instead, she could live a religious life as a missionary doctor under spiritual guidance. 

Towards the end of her tour she wrote in her diary that she thought she had come down with the flu. Tragically she had actually contracted typhus fever.

When a priest came to administer the Last Sacraments, Dorothy was surprised and whispered 'Then I am going to die?' The priest asked if she would offer her life to God for the cause of the Catholic Church in the Garip mission. Dorothy answered fervently 'Gladly, gladly, gladly!' 

When Doctor Heukamp asked if she was resigned to die, she replied 'Oh how happy I am. I'm so happy!' At one point, in the midst of great pains, she whispered to one of the nuns 'Jesus suffered so much more.' One of the missionaries said that she died the death of a saint and, after her death, many people wrote touching accounts of her personality and loving actions.

Dorothy Loseby had a beautiful Catholic funeral and was buried next to Doctor Pattis. The ceremony touched the hearts of non-Catholics who were present. As her biographer wrote, in a fine old booklet which is now in Ray's possesion; 'They never die who die in a good cause and surely the propagation of the Faith is the greatest of causes.' 

It just shows what you can turn up when doing your family tree! May Dorothy Loseby be an example to encourage us in our own daily trials and infirmities; in our attempts to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ; and as we each continue to face the persecutions against Christians, which seem to increase by the day in contemporary British life.  

Catholic Mom of 10 Comes to Wales!

Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 27 November 2008 - 19:29:13 | by admin

st_winefrides_guest_house.jpgWe've had an amazing day today, because we were able to meet the famous Catholic Mom of 10, Jackie Parkes on her retreat at the Bridgettine convent in Holywell!

Regular readers will recall that we recently suggested Jackie for Catholic Woman of the Year after her courageous, and successful, stand against the proposed visit of the pro-abortion MP, Clare Short to St. Paul's Catholic Girl's School.

jackie_011.jpgHere's Jackie at the entrance to her 'pile in the country'! (Really the peaceful guest house run by the Bridgettine Sisters).

jackie_005.jpgWe enjoyed a lovely lunch together and had a good old natter in the lounge.

jackie_009.jpgThe Bridgettine Sisters positively shine with the love of Jesus. It is great to see religious sisters happily wearing their habits and thus bearing public witness to the presence of Christ in our world today.

jackie_010.jpgJackie is having a well earned rest but she will be back blogging after her retreat ends in a couple of days. In the meantime check out her recent posts on -

Visit from Fr. Harris

Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 26 November 2008 - 21:38:54 | by admin

fr._harris_008.jpgWe were very blessed today with a visit by Fr. John Harris from Holy Spirit parish in Netherton, which is north of Liverpool. Over the years Father has ministered to us with the Sacraments of the Church, his wise counsel, and good sense of humour.  

After a spot of lunch we headed down to the ancient St. Winefride's Well to pray and get a few photographs.

fr._harris_004.jpgThis display, in the shrine museum, portrays St. Beuno restoring St. Winefride's head, (and therefore her life!), after she had been killed defending her purity against Caradoc in 660 A.D. at this site. In the foreground is a representation of St. Beuno's stone; the actual stone is in the outdoor pool at the holy well itself. If you look closely you will notice the scar on St. Winefride's neck; which is also seen on stained glass images of this great Welsh saint. (For the full story check out page 6 of this blog).  

fr._harris_001.jpgAbout a mile down the road from the ancient shrine at Holywell, in the area called Greenfield, stand the remains of Basingwerk Abbey. 

fr._harris_017.jpgThese atmospheric ruins are all that remain of this, once great, abbey; which originally dated from 1131/2. The first monks were Benedictines from Savigny Abbey in France. In 1147 the community came under the control of the Cistercians, and Basingwerk thus became a daughter house of the remarkable Citeaux Abbey in France. The monks continued here and ministered to the pilgrims to St. Winefride's Well for a further, incredible 389 years, until 1536 when the community was plundered in the wake of King Henry VIII's Dissolution Act.

fr._harris_019.jpgFr. Harris inspects the ancient structure; hopefully good enough to still be going strong for another Christian millenium... and the walls too!  

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