Tag Archives: Saint Anselm’s Catholic School Canterbury

13 September: ‘Her Father Took Some Persuading’.


Mr Noah

Mr Noah

‘Her Father Took Some Persuading’ – that’s what I wrote about Saint Eanswythe yesterday. Eanswythe wanted to found a monastery for women, a place of prayer, community and scholarship.

Thank God these gifts are available freely now to women in many parts of the world. In Eanswythe’s Kent Saint Anselm’s Catholic School offers all three. My daughter is now a teacher herself, working with four- and five-year-olds.

Did I take much persuading to act as Mr Noah for one of her projects? Why hit on me for the job, anyway? Judge for yourself and then enjoy the Lord’s sense of humour.

 And he said to them: Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him. And he from within should answer, and say: Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth.

And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. 

And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him?

Luke 11: 5-13.



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August 7: Out of Focus: Saint Anselm


On St. Anselm’s day, back in April, the pupils and staff of St. Anselm’s School celebrated their feast inside Canterbury Cathedral. Watch out when you introduce modern technology into revered places, though! People can get alarmed, and photos go out of focus. I wanted to present the people in the background: Franciscan Study Centre Principal Tom Reist joined the guest preacher, in the centre here, Fr. Dermott Donnelley, who had travelled all the way from Newcastle to share his thoughts. Fr. Derrmott is related to the TV presenters Ant and Dec, which may be why he was thinking about how obsessed people are with celebrities and selfies.

He began his homily by holding up an iphone, to reassure the teenagers that he was not some stuffy, out of touch cleric. What did we think about when we looked at our pictures over and over on Facebook?, he wondered. It’s a bit cheesy, he admitted, but isn’t it as case of ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall’? Like Princesses we want others outside our own reality to tell us how fair we are, what we could be, whether out lives matter of not. But that is fatal. It’s just a way of not being our true selves. We mustn’t compare ourselves to other people.  We can end like the foolish man in the reading from Matthew 7: 24-27, who built his house on sand: floods rose, gales blew, and our house crumbled and fell.

So let’s have a rhyme to remember about how not to think:

“Tell me quickly, Instagram!

Who do you really say I am?”
Look inwards and God will show us our genuine self.

It is what St. Anselm himself would encourage, as the foundation in faith: letting Christ bring our true selves back into an authentic focus.



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Interruption: Foot Washing – a Tradition Updated.

I walked into Canterbury City Centre yesterday, only to be greeted by our own Sister Marcellina (see  our FMSL sisters on the Contributors page). Would I like my shoes polished as an act of Christian service on the day Jesus washed his disciples’ feet? Sister Susan was watching, so I agreed and sat down.

Ruby from Saint Anselm’s Catholic School did an excellent job – thank you, Ruby, and thank you, the school, and thank you, Sisters and the other volunteers. This service  was led by Churches Together in Canterbury; it’s good to belong to the wider Christian Family, and to be doing such things together. I heard conversations about Christianity and Church as well as about the School in the short time I was sat there. One sows, another may reap.


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