Your London correspondent is currently in Alabama, and is writing this having just finished a TV programme with Father Mitch Pacwa on “EWTN Live”. It was fun, and we managed to cover a wide range of topics, from the state of things in Britain (same-sex marriage, restrictions on freedom of speech, the future for the Church, the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham…) to the minutiae of celebrating various feasts and seasons. The latter included a number of questions from the audience: one lady asked if I ever used Holy Water in my cookery (I must frankly say it had never occurred to me to do so!) and other queries were about celebrating St Martin’s Day, and the Saxon/Viking Battle of London Bridge in 994.
Life at EWTN is a mix of busy activity and an almost monastic routine of Mass and prayers and meals and rest. The chapel bells chime for Mass and for Evening Prayer and Benediction. Meals for those working on various shows take place in the St Clare dining-room and are freshly cooked by a kind and friendly team: there is a hot breakfast served after the 7 am Mass which is very welcome.
Discussions over supper are lively – so many interesting people gather at EWTN from different parts of the world. I met a wonderful team of evangelists from Canada, and we swapped ideas on (in no particular order), the value of celebrating feasts and seasons, the Alpha Course, family meals, paganism, the dangers of the occult, and the writings of Pope Benedict XVI. There is a sense of relaxing into one another’s company – values shared and no need to feel guarded. Among much else, EWTN is a sort of year-round informal conference on current projects in the Church – a lot of good things must flourish quietly from contacts made and ideas shared.
Part of me doesn’t at all want to go home yet – Id like to stay on just for the fun of it all. But London and responsibilities, and family and the ironing all beckon. Domesticity calls, and the next missive from your London correspondent will be from her own desk…