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What Are We Missing?


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 03/02/2014

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.  The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother pulled him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on. In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.  No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theatre in Boston and the seats average $100. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context? If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

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New Volunteer from Chile


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 01/02/2014

We would like to welcome our new volunteer from Chile Sebastian Pinéda who intends to come for a year to the Shrine at St John Fisher’s. Hans left today, 1st February on his return journey to Chile where he will resume his university studies. Unfortunate there has been a major ‘hiccough’ in Sebastian’s arrival; he was was refused entry by Border Control at Heathrow airport and had to return to Chile on the next available flight because he needed a visa to stay for a year and do voluntary work. This meant he had to use his ticket for his return. We can report that he arrived back safely in Chile on Saturday morning: “tired and dirty but fine” as he said in his e-mail.  As soon as possible he will apply for a visa. The difficulty is to pay again for his ticket from Chile to come to England. Together with St. John Fisher’s Parish we want to sponsor Sebastian’s flight cost (about £1300.00). Please give a donation towards this good cause. Please contact Brian Madden <madden-brian@sky.com> or Fr. Bryan <fr.bryan@schoenstatt.org.uk>.

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Taste and See Family Mass in February


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 01/02/2014

Welcome to Taste and See Mass ion Sunday 9th February. All are welcome. Holy Mass begins at 3.30pm. After Mass we will have input for the adults and the children will have their own programme Then you are invited to share a meal. We plan to finish by 6.30pm. We seek to develop our faith following the Year of Faith and the invitation of Pope Francis to missionary conversion and becoming apostles of the joy of the Good News. The topic for our input will be “Apostle – who me?” The founder of Schoenstatt Father Kentenich said we are part of the Church standing on the new shore. Our task is to become family apostles of this Church  reaching out to the present and real members of society and giving them a share in the joy of the Gospel. We look forward to welcoming you to our Mass.

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