After a little time scoping out the location of some Wren churches in The City, I took the tube to the Soho area.
One the recommendation of His Hermeneuticalness, Fr. Finigan, I strolled over to St. Patrick’s on Soho Square to see if I could find the pastor, the PP, Fr. Sherbrooke.
On entering the church, I discovered an Italian Archbishop, whom I had met before in Rome, saying Mass for a group of pilgrims. A priest who is living at St. Patrick’s came in at that moment, providentially, and offered to show me some interesting vestments in the sacristy.
To my delight I found two chasubles which had been preserved by a recusant family. They had belonged to Queen Catherine of Aragon, poor thing, and were used in her chapel. Card. Pell had helped to pay for the restoration. Research was done on them at the Victoria and Albert to help date and find their provenance.
You can see the rose, an eagle and a pomegranate.
Then I had an interesting experience. Someone came to the door pretty intent on having a confession heard. Since I knew the language in question, I offered to hear the confession and, having been given a stole by the priest, went off to the box. On getting out of the box, someone else showed up. Etc. Finally, returning to the sacristy I heard that that was the confessional which figured in a well-known story about Fulton Sheen who had spent a lot of time at St. Patrick’s between the 20′s and 60′s.
You just never know.
Afterwards, I had the pleasure of taking some tea with the priests in the rectory.
St. Patrick’s seems like a very busy place.
Then it was off to grab a quick bite and hit the tube to Clapham Park.