St Mary and the English Martyrs.   Posted by Alcuin.Group: 0
Alcuin
 GM, 126 posts
 The Director
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Sat 29 Jan 2022
at 18:47
St Mary and the English Martyrs
This church is huge and it reeks of the centuries that it has stood.  It's a Roman Catholic Church.  If it were an Anglican Church, it would be a cathedral and Father McGinty would be the Bishop of Cambridge with Ely.  It stands on the corner of Regent Street, Gonville Place, Hills Road and Lensfield Road.
Alcuin
 GM, 127 posts
 The Director
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Mon 31 Jan 2022
at 11:23
St Mary and the English Martyrs
Father McGinty sits in the dark of the Confessional hearing the venial sins of his congregation and offering Pater Nosters and Hail Marys as pennances, and in one case, told the sinner in question that he should shuffle on his knees the sixty five miles to Walsingham and beg forgiveness in the name of the Father the Sun and the Holy Spirit.

Once all of the penitents had been bid, go and sin no more, he left the booth and began lighting candles and censors at the altar.  As he did so, he heard something buzzing and a sharp pain as something bit him on the back of his neck.  He slapped at it and looked at his hand.  There was a splatter of blood and the mangled remains of some unidentifiable insect and yet the buzzing had not stopped.  He looked around and set his eyes upon Renee.  "Miss Stewart?", he asked. "How may I help you?"
Renee Stewart
 Sensitive, Emmanuel, 12 posts
 Stewart Scion
Mon 31 Jan 2022
at 23:26
St Mary and the English Martyrs
Renee timidly sits with hands folded over her bag. It is a protective gesture making sure that folks could not potentially see the images she drew and placed in her bag and potentially to make sure that what she drew could not get out and harm those around her. She had to wonder why her mind would even consider such a crazy notion. As the priest emerges and directs a  question towards her, she looks up. "Father, do you have a moment to talk. I don't mean talk." She gestures over to the confessional. "I just mean a conversation. Advice or something like it. Something weird happened and I need a second opinion. You know me and my history and would probably have the clearest perspective."
Alcuin
 GM, 131 posts
 The Director
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Tue 1 Feb 2022
at 15:38
St Mary and the English Martyrs
"Ah, Renee," said Father McGinty, "I've just finished taking confession for the day but it will be hours before Mass.  I was just going to make a cup of tea.  Would you like to join me in the Presbytery?  There's always a spare cup for my parishioners."

Gently the good Father led Renee to the presbytery and made a small pot of strong tea with leaves, not teabags.  He pointed to a seat at the table and took the other himself, giving the pot a short time to brew before pouring a cup for each of them and placing the sugar bowl and a small jug of milk between them.  "Now, what can I do for you Renee?"
Renee Stewart
 Sensitive, Emmanuel, 14 posts
 Stewart Scion
Wed 2 Feb 2022
at 03:25
St Mary and the English Martyrs
"Thank you, Father. I don't know exactly where to begin." She adjusts herself in her seat, taking a posture that is defensive and awaiting a barrage of condemnation. "I had an episode. Back to seeing things again. It may be because I haven't been getting much sleep. Nightmares almost every night. So perhaps, my defenses are weak, but I was completing an assignment in the museum and I saw something. Something that wasn't there." She lowers her head into her hands and then with a lowered voice. "It's happening again."
Alcuin
 GM, 132 posts
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Wed 2 Feb 2022
at 11:33
St Mary and the English Martyrs
Father McGinty added milk and stirred a level teaspoon of sugar into his tea.  "Tell me about it.  Or did you sketch it?  If so, then why not show me, child?  Perhaps that will give us an idea what we are dealing with here.  You don't seem to have the personality quirks for either psychomotor epilepsy or any of the schizoid/schizophrenia disorders so perhaps we need to consider something else." 
Renee Stewart
 Sensitive, Emmanuel, 15 posts
 Stewart Scion
Thu 3 Feb 2022
at 16:35
St Mary and the English Martyrs
With a nod, Renee adds, "Though I have been assured or perhaps warned that each malady of the mind is unique and may progress in its own pathway. It is entirely likely that those personality quirks are inevitable. But yeah, I was sketching both before and during the episode so maybe there could be insight there."

She relaxes her defensive stance pulling the sketchbook from her bag and finally places the bag on the ground. Sliding the sketchpad over the the father, she turns to prepare a cup of tea with just the perfect allotment of milk and sugar to purposefully have her attention focused elsewhere when he begins to look at the images.
Alcuin
 GM, 136 posts
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Thu 3 Feb 2022
at 21:13
St Mary and the English Martyrs
Father McGinty sets down his tea and looks at the sketchpad, turning over the pages slowly then stops and looks back at the previous page.  He frowns and puts on his glasses, squinting carefully at the painting. He swallows and then hands back the sketchpad.

"Tell me," he asks, "Is the painting you were basing these sketches on in a backroom somewhere or is it on display and if so in which gallery?"  His eyes are wide as his gaze meets Rene's own.  "I promise you at least that you are not mentally ill or if you are, these sketches are not symptoms."
Renee Stewart
 Sensitive, Emmanuel, 16 posts
 Stewart Scion
Fri 4 Feb 2022
at 22:11
St Mary and the English Martyrs
"I was in the Fitzwilliam. The painting was visible to the public, I was walking up one of the staircases, that's when it drew my attention. I decided that it would be a good subject to my study. And so, I was on the stairs for I don't know how long. Well long enough to do all of this." She says as she retrieves the sketchpad. She wraps her fingers on the surface before continuing. "Would you say the same thing if the sketches were not the only thing? What if I saw something that wasn't there? What if I saw and heard flies that were not there? Seeing phantom bugs is a common disorder. Also, the second skeleton was not in the art. It was something I hallucinated in the darkness of the image."
Alcuin
 GM, 148 posts
 The Director
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Thu 24 Feb 2022
at 16:19
St Mary and the English Martyrs
"Tell me my child," asked Father McGinty in his most priestly voice, "were the sounds of buzzing flies accompanied by strange or unusual smells?"

He sniffed.  "I am not minded to suspect mental illness, Renee.  This puts me more in mind of a sensitivity to the spiritual"
Renee Stewart
 Sensitive, Emmanuel, 19 posts
 Stewart Scion
Fri 25 Feb 2022
at 13:41
St Mary and the English Martyrs
Lowering her head and closing her eyes as she took herself back to the shocking incident. "I don't think there was a smell. I don't recall any smell. Maybe there was, but maybe I was distracted by the beckoning harbinger of death. I don't know if it makes me feel any better if that was really a spiritual entity rather than simply my personal delusion."
Alcuin
 GM, 150 posts
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Fri 25 Feb 2022
at 14:00
St Mary and the English Martyrs
"I recognise this," said Father McGinty.  "Both are uncomfortable for the sufferer but the difference is in the way we manage our conditions.  Prayer helps and so does alcohol, but it's much better to seek training in controlling our gifts.  If you'd like, I could put you in touch with Brother Ladislao when next he comes to Cambridge.  He is a sensitive himself and has much practice in controlling the entities that threaten him.  He says they're demons but he knows as much as we that such a designation is purely cultural.  I've met demons and these spirits are, from what I've heard, something completely different."
Renee Stewart
 Sensitive, Emmanuel, 20 posts
 Stewart Scion
Sat 26 Feb 2022
at 18:52
St Mary and the English Martyrs
Renee exhales deeply, "Father, people have been trying to help me for over a dozen years. I cannot tell you the number of specialists my parents consulted. They of course all had their own approach to the situation, none of them successful and few of them pleasant at the end. I am sure you can understand, I have some hesitation about inviting someone else to try and help. But prayer brought me here, if you think he can help, please let me know when he is in town."
Alcuin
 GM, 152 posts
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Sat 26 Feb 2022
at 19:57
St Mary and the English Martyrs
Father McGinty nodded. "I will do that because I believe that Brother Ladislao's techniques could work for you as well.  If that doesn't work, then I suggest some kind of 'scientific' approach but I have no idea who could help with that.  You'd need a scientist who believes in Spirits.  Sadly, most such are American at the moment.  Obviously there's Koestler but last I heard he was dying of Parkinsonism.  Let's hope Brother Ladislao is of help."
Renee Stewart
 Sensitive, Emmanuel, 21 posts
 Stewart Scion
Wed 2 Mar 2022
at 04:31
St Mary and the English Martyrs
"There are scientists that believe in spirits?" Renee asks incredulously. "Who is Koestler? I am not familiar with him?"
Alcuin
 GM, 153 posts
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Wed 2 Mar 2022
at 09:56
St Mary and the English Martyrs
"Koestler," said the Priest, "is a writer, a novelist, a philosopher, a populariser of science and an advocate of some scientific ideas such as ESP and psychokinesis which are way outside the established scientific paradigms and yet he believes in the scientific method. I think he's based in Edinburgh.  Don't tell Brother Ladislao I mentioned him, they're both from Budapest and I understand they don't get on."
Renee Stewart
 Sensitive, Emmanuel, 22 posts
 Stewart Scion
Wed 2 Mar 2022
at 15:55
St Mary and the English Martyrs
"I will not." Renee firmly agrees, "You mention that he is a writer. Do you know any of the titles he has written?"
Alcuin
 GM, 154 posts
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Wed 2 Mar 2022
at 16:10
St Mary and the English Martyrs
"His most famous is the novel, Darkness at Noon," says Father McGinty, "It's an anti totalitarian dystopia written in German in 1940, which I think took some bravery even though he'd moved to England by then."

After a moment, he continued, "We're getting a bit side tracked, I only mentioned him because there's a rumour that he plans to endow a chair in parapsychology in his will."
Renee Stewart
 Sensitive, Emmanuel, 23 posts
 Stewart Scion
Wed 2 Mar 2022
at 17:19
St Mary and the English Martyrs
"I am so sorry, I had thought he had written on the the topic. I was hoping I might be able to read something in the interim until Brother Ladislao returns. Please forgive the mistaken impression. Would you have any recommendations between now and then?"
Alcuin
 GM, 155 posts
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Wed 2 Mar 2022
at 18:08
St Mary and the English Martyrs
Father McGinty considers this long before finally saying, "Nothing I can in good conscience recommend, the likes of Edgar Caycee are ninety percent nonsense, while Nietzsche and Teilhard are ridiculously complicated.  Perhaps a biography of St Theresa of Avila would be the least bad option."