Friday, 29 August 2014

Confessors for the Faith

Fr Tim drew attention to this article by Simon Caldwell a day or so ago.

Two weeks ago , Zero and I visited Vienna. On the Sunday morning, we joined the Vienna English Speaking Catholic Community - a kind of "personal parish" meeting the needs of English speaking Catholics in the city - for Mass. As it happened, St Francis of Assisi Church was just 5 minutes walk from the hotel we were staying in. It was quite an impressive Church building, though Mexikoplatz in which it was located was a bit untidy in appearance. The apse end of the Church overlooks the Danube river in quite an imposing kind of view. The square is named as it is because Mexico was, according to a stone in the square, the only country to speak out against Adolf Hitler's annexation of Austria. Five minutes in the other direction from our hotel was the Prater - but that was for later in the day, with the Reisenrad and Praeterturm as highlights.

After Mass we were asked to greet a Syrian family who had recently begun to attend Mass with the community. It is one thing to have followed the stories of the persecution of Christians in Syria and Iraq, but it is quite another to meet a family that have themselves experienced that persecution. Fortunately, Zero kept herself rather more together than I did .... Though this experience was totally unexpected, it was certainly an irreplaceable part of our visit to Vienna.

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