Saturday, April 30, 2005

Nice Guys Finish First

Footstepsinthesand has just won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. Well done Aidan O'Brien, Kieran Fallon and the Ballydoyle team.

I've just watched Fallon being interviewed on Channel 4, and clearly this victory takes a lot of pressure off him in the new job. TV pictures show Aidan with a big smile on his face, which is a change from his usual worried/concerned look.

The man from Clare kept the horse on the outside, but I admit I was watching the nearside , where Dubawi and Democratic Deficit came with their runs. In fact, Dubawi swerved left and checked DD for a few strides.

One minute 36.10, over a second slower than the record set by Mister Baileys. But well done to all concerned.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Benedict XVI - the REALLY big question is (almost) answered!

And the REALLY big question is, of course, what's his favourite football team?

Go to the ZENIT link on the left, and look up April 25th, and find a story titled "Benedict XVI: Lover of Nature and Sports". It's an interview with Cardinal Bertone, who worked with the new Pope at the CDF; and he spills the beans!!

So after this, this leaves only two more questions:

one, will he be going to the World Cup in Germany next year?

Two, if not, can I have his tickets?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Okay, I'll admit it; I wasn't expecting him, mainly because of his age.

I'm trying to imagine what thoughts were going through his head in that 45 minute spell from election to his appearance on the balcony.

Previously, he ran a department. Now he has the whole world on his shoulders.

Needless to say, not everybody is happy; frankly, I suspect that the critical voices would have being saying much the same no matter who was elected.

But overall, I am happy. Let us all remember in our prayers Pope Benedict XVI and may God and His Blessed Mother be with him every day and in everything that he does.

Meanwhile, some very enterprising people have been very quickly into action.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Good news for West Brits!!!

Photo taken Glasgow Airport Monday 4th April 2005. Posted by Hello

Well, this photo should make some people happy!

Make sure to click on the photo and bring it to full size. I haven't got used to the Picasa yet.

There's no such thing as bad publicity!

Or as Brendan Behan put it, "There's no such thing as bad publicity, except your obituary."

Whoever in Paddy Power's bookmakers thought up the idea of a market on the Papal election, it is doubtful they ever dreamed of the amount of publicity it would generate. Even American-based Catholic blogs, such as Amy Welborn's Open Book, has a link to the market page. Paddy Power himself actually went to Rome at the weekend, and got coverage on CNN!! Not to mention whatever new accounts and new clients they've received.

Now as I write this, Francis Arinze is favourite at 3-1. I was present at Croke Park in 1999 at a rally of the Pioneer Association, where he gave a homily on the subject of temperance. What struck me was his explanation of temperance as a virtue not just in Christianity, but in Eastern cultures.

Not long ago, the first black smoke came from the chimney; this brings up the question. Suppose they fail to elect a candidate, then put the ballot papers in the furnace, but someone forgets to put in the wet straw or whatever they use to make the smoke black?? Actually, can the cardinals themselves in the Sistine Chapel actually see the top of the chimney to make sure they smoke is black?? Just a thought.

Monday, April 04, 2005

John Paul II: 1920-2005

It may be a cliche, but it really is the end of an era.

I got to see him briefly when he said Mass at the Phoenix Park in Dublin, 29th September, 1979. The altar was a long way away, so we couldn't see him except through binoculars (though I didn't have binoculars in those days!). But after Mass, he came around the crowds in his Popemobile, and I did actually get to see him for about one second.

When I heard the news Saturday evening, I was in a hotel in Edinburgh. I really feel privileged for the fact that I grew up during his pontificate, and I doubt I will experience a Pope like him; I also know that every Pope we have for the next twenty years or so will be in his shadow, so to speak.

For what will he be remembered most in future? My prediction is two items: first, the adding of the five Luminous Mysteries to the Rosary; second, the growth of the promotion of the devotion of Divine Mercy.

May God and his Mother welcome him into his eternal reward.