Place to Begin
Today, 12 December, is not only the Third Sunday of Advent, it's also the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. According to California newspapers, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the second most-frequently-visited Christian shrine in the world, after St Peter's in Rome. It was the destination of Pope John Paul II's first overseas trip in 1979.
Our Anglican tradition does not commemorate the event in AD 1531 in which the Virgin Mary appeared to an Aztec born Quauhtlatoatzin, who had been baptised with the Christian name Juan Diego. But she is the patron saint of most of Latin America. The Good News of Jesus Christ was first brought to the people of Latin America by Spanish soldiers, whose style managed few conversions. Acts 2 says that Peter converted 3000 people in one day. As a result of the appearance of Nuestra Seņora de Guadalupe, 3000 people were converted every day for seven years. The Anglican Communion is undergirded by scripture, tradition, and reason. California, where Anglicans Online is published, is much closer to Guadalupe than to Canterbury. Other traditions are slowly finding their way into parish churches. For example, the Diocese of El Camino Real, in the heart of Silicon Valley, operates La Mision Episcopal Nuestra Seņora de Guadalupe as an Anglican mission in this heavily-Hispanic diocese.
This week's News Centre carries the story that the Synod of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn has asked Bishop Browning to reconsider his resignation, and he has done exactly that. We at Anglicans Online have always fretted that there is too much fuss about sex and sexuality in our church, and that we need to find a way to move beyond that. We think that this could turn out to be a fine step in that direction.
We've added a 'Fridge Art' link to our Advent Resources page: you'll need to have a look to see just what this is... A special Advent gift for us (and we suspect for many of you) is the appearance, at last, of BBC Radio 3 via Web audio stream. The home page for Radio 3 is filled with complete information, from programme details and composer biographies to tips on building a music library.
Finally, Anglican Motorcar Trivia: Do you know whether Archbishop Michael Ramsey (of blessed memory), Lord Coggan, or Lord Runcie ever drove a 1963 Rover 95 (P4) during their tenures as Archbishop of Canterbury? We've an enquiry from a reader, whose 95 provenance may trace back to one of these distinguished prelates. If you can assist, please email us.
See you next week.
updated: 12 December 1999