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Responses to Totus2us podcasts given by Brits with Christian names beginning with H - many thanks to you all       ♥


"'Full of grace' - that to me is the most pertinent aspect of Mary's life and witness to me.  She is a woman who heard God speaking his secret wisdom in the depths of her heart and, inspite of all the opposition outside there in the world, she remained true to the secret wisdom spoken in her heart and did what God commanded and brought His living body down from heaven to earth to redeem mankind. So it's the aspect of grace and responding to grace that makes Mary so special for me. She was unafraid to go where God called her and to take on the establishment and all the conventions of Jewish culture of the day, to be a faithful witness to God's calling and to live out the message of the angel Gabriel when he said 'Hail Mary'."

TOP CHAT about the band Ooberfuse      

Hal St John chat's about playing at the opening ceremony of World Youth Day Madrid with Cherrie Anderson, having been chosen through the song competition Madrid Me Encanta, the all night vigil at JMJ 2011 and World Youth Days past & future - in the Philippines & Brazil.


"For me, Mary is a lot of things but most of all she’s an inspiration, just in the way that she said yes when I don't know if she fully understood what she was saying yes to, but just her trust, I find that overwhelming. Trust is something that I find difficult so Mary's like an inspiration to me and she's awesome."


"The Blessed Virgin Mary for me is the blessed heavenly Mother that we have that we also call to in need to help us at times of difficulty."


"Through the rosary we receive so much grace through Mary's hands."


"I love Our Lady because she brought Our Lord into the world by saying 'yes' to God."


"Our Lady is my mother and she is the person who brought me back to the Church, after being a lapsed Catholic for many, many years, when I was visiting with my family in Lourdes. It was a great gift, just being in her presence, and I've never looked back since that day when she brought me back into the Catholic Church."


"Mary is for me my loving, heavenly mother, and someone who guides and leads you back to her son Jesus when you're maybe a bit lost in your ways. And she brings a lot of peace in my life, through the holy rosary through which she gives me personally a lot of grace."


"For me, Mary is my role model. From that very first moment of the annunciation where Mary gave her fiat, from her faithfulness, from the fact that she was the mother of the Church, the Church in Christ was formed in her womb. The way she followed Christ on his way. She was there, she shared all of his sufferings, she shared all of his joys. And she was there at the foot of the Cross and she held the body of Jesus in her arms."


"The Eucharist is a really important part of my life, and I get great joy and encouragement from spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. And for me Jesus is just incredibly present there and it's an amazing way to spend time with God. I don't find I need to say anything or do anything, I can just sit and spend time with God, and that really refreshes me and builds me up. It's an amazing gift to have in the Church."

Helen's Word on the Street      

Philippians 4, 13 - I can do all things in Him who gives me strength:
"This is an amazing verse and it always gives me encouragement. Whenever I feel like everything's on top of me, whether it's a huge thing or a little thing, I know that I can just turn to God and his strength working in me, if I say 'God, I need your help. or I just can't do this. then I know that God will be there every time. Whatever it is I need help with, whether it's huge or little, God is there and He is the strength that I need to do that and that's an incredible gift."


"Mary means a lot to me because she’s such a good role model for women because she gave up her life for the Lord and just said like ‘Your will be done.’ And she just did it, without any questions really. And she was so chaste and so pure and loving, and she's just such an inspiration. Any time I feel like I'm struggling or anything, I just have to look at a picture of Mary and just think, 'That's what I'm doing it for. I'm doing it for Jesus.' And she brings me so much closer to him."


"Our Lady is to me my eternal mother, so when I am away from my mother, Our Lady is always there. Our Lady is also the reference in which I try and base myself, and who I try to form myself to, to be an image of Our Lady to those on earth."


"I don't think I realised just how much Our Lady meant in my life until my mother died on 15th August. She was then buried on Feast of the Queenship of Our Lady. So Our Lady suddenly in my life became very, very special."


"Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, Mary Mother of Jesus, means to me the beginning, the start of my journey, my own personal journey, as I don't think I would have encountered Jesus without her."


"Mary to me is the person who gave the gift of Jesus to the world. Her ‘yes’, when she didn’t know what was going to be involved, made Christ coming possible, made everything that followed possible for us."


"It brought something straight to my heart to know that the Virgin Mary, wherever we are - whether we're in Medjugorje or St John's Wood or India - she is our mother and she is there to guide us and to love us through and help us."


"I find perhaps the most important, poignant element of Mary is the status of mother, and the status that she has as of a mother looking after many vulnerable children, children like her own son. The very fact that He died like a man, tortured, scourged and crucified, reminds us once again that He took her flesh in the life that He lived. For me, if you like, it heightens the fact that Jesus is our brother, and that we are His siblings and Mary is our mother."


"I think that Mary is important because when Jesus was born, she was there with Jesus."

Father Hugh MacKenzie      

"I think my vocation to the priesthood is rooted in my prayers as a small child with my father. He was ill during my teenage years and he didn't continue it then and maybe I didn't want to anyway, but the quite strong experience of knowing God as a small child, particularly praying with my Dad, I think rooted much of my priesthood and my vocation. As a teenager I still went to Mass and for some reason when I was under the stars, looking up at the beautiful sky, I had a real sense of the Creator behind this amazing universe. But outside of that, as a teenager, I didn't really pray and I drifted. But I still enjoyed discussing philosophy and the existence of God, a bit. Then, as I was leaving school in my sixth form, I have the distinct memory of praying under the stars again actually, saying 'Look, you're there God, but where are you? I don't know you. I know you're there but surely you're not just beyond the universe. Have you come into the universe?' Even though I was going to Mass, I didn't link the two at all. .. I do remember saying 'I'm quite happy to give up being Catholic in order to know you, so where are you?'  … I've sensed that this type of family, this type of fatherhood, this type of commitment that is the priesthood is the one that I happened to be called. .. I just never really lost for more than a few hours this basic peace and excitement of loving people and being loved by God."

Father Hugh MacKenzie is a priest of Westminster archdiocese, currently serving in a hospital & studying a PhD at UCL. He gave his vocation story two days before the 20th anniversary of his priesthood (21st July 2015) - happy, blessed anniversary, Father Hugh - here's to the next 20!