Firefighter nun will carry Olympic Torch

A nun will carry the Olympic Torch today as Catholic parishes across Britain prepare for a series of Masses and other events to mark the opening of the Olympic Games in London on July 27.

Sister Mary-Joy Langdon, of the Sisters of the Infant Jesus, will join the Olympic Torch Relay in the Kingston to Ealing leg. She is no stranger to flames, having been Britain’s first female firefighter when she joined the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service in 1976.

Past Olympians and sports professionals who are Catholic have been invited to the July 28 Mass at Westminster Cathedral to celebrate the start of the Games.

“They are being invited to join the rest of the Catholic community in giving thanks to God for the many opportunities that the Games present not only to our nation but to the whole world at this time,” said James Parker, the Catholic executive co-ordinator for the Games.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has proposed seven different ways that Catholics — as individuals, groups or schools — can connect with the Games, whether within the Catholic community or jointly with other churches.

Prayer for a peaceful and trouble-free Games tops the list. Other ideas include:

  • bringing an Olympic theme to both the inside and outside of church buildings;
  • volunteering to serve the local authority or a local social project;
  • putting on a simple big screen event to show live sporting events;
  • planning an activity for Super Saturday, the second Saturday of the Games;
  • organising an Olympic-related quiz night for family or members of the local community; and
  • showing basic hospitality to others.

From Rome, Pope Benedict has sent greetings to the organisers, athletes and spectators, with his prayer that “in the spirit of the Olympic Truce, the good will generated by this international sporting event may bear fruit, promoting peace and reconciliation throughout the world”.

Independent Catholic News

The Catholic Church in England and Wales

Vatican Insider

Image: The Catholic Church in England and Wales

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