Kuukausittainen arkisto:kesäkuu 2008

Rome June 24th and the speech to the President of the EU Parliament

On the 24th of June 2008 I had the privilege to address the President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, on behalf of the international students of a youth forum held in Rome. It was not allowed to take pictures in the room near Piazza Venezia, so all I can provide for now is a post factum transcript of the speech together with a small commentary in English:


Later, a more detailed account of the trip to Italy will follow.

Kesäkuun alku/Beginning of June

Here I am on my first day of being 22 with the funniest present I got, a melon from my uncle:)

That was the 3rd of June. This is the 4th at the TV7 studio in Helsinki, I participated in Pasi Turunen’s discussion program (probably the best one on the channel) on the topics of mission and inclusivism. The show will air in the autumn.

My dad got my brother and me to go for a walk around Kuusijärvi, a nearby lake. Here we pose together, the males of the Anton family.

Kielot kertovat syntymäpäivistäni, ne kuuluvat perinteisesti yhteen, kirja taas Paavali-projektini intensiivisyydestä – oli pakko ottaa lukemista kävelyllekin mukaan;)

Above Jason and Saila in Teerenpeli, perhaps the best place in Helsinki to get a snack and a drink. We celebrated Jason having passed his last exam which nearly impeded his graduation party.

Yllä on Tornion pastori Juhani Holman perhe Juhanin väitöstilaisuuden jälkeen. Hän on nyt teologian tohtori. Juhani oli se, joka opasti meitä Lapin-matkalla viime syksynä. Matkakertomus löytyy arkistoista.

On Sunday the 8th I went to Stella Maris for a summer camp organised by the Church. I had a wonderful week enjoying the nature, playing with the kids and focusing on my Paul project, completing about 40 pages of writing. Above, the lake, below, the Rosary candle circle.

Leiriviikon aikana kävimme visiitillä mm. kalkkikaivoksessa ja hevostalleilla.

And I rode a horse.

Vain päivä leirin jälkeen matkustin jo toiselle puolelle maata, nimittäin Pieksämäelle sukujuhliin, joiden gaalashown juonsin. Keksin ex tempore kaikenlaisia filologivitsejä (Jason olisi räjähtänyt) ja sain yleisön aika ymmälle, mutta vaikka katsojat olivatkin suureksi osaksi vanhempaa väkeä, hyvää palautetta tuli. Ihmeellisin esitys oli varmasti paikallisen tanssiurheiluseuran henkeäsalpaava taidonnäyte.

Huomenna lähdenkin sitten Italiaan. Kaiken mennessä hyvin palaan 26.6. Hyvää kesäkuun jatkoa kaikille!

Ylioppilas Evy

Englannin-matkalta tulin suoraan serkkuni Evyn ylioppilasjuhliin. Tässä sieltä kuvia. Juhlakalu Evy.

Enot tuli samaan aikaan ja yhteiskuvassa kummitusenoni Timo pelleilee kustannuksellani.

Kolme suurta miestä, Evyn veli Daniel ja eno Markku kuvaamassa ja isä Andre katselemassa.

Veljeni Alex ja Australiasta palannut serkkuni Mikko kuin kaksi marjaa, ikäeroa vaivaiset 10 vuotta.

Onnea Evy!

In Memoriam Adam Mekarski

My dear friend Adam Mekarski
Rakas ystäväni Adam Mekarski
Moj drogi przyjaciel Adam Mekarski

Mt 27:46
1 Kor 5:5
1 Kor 2:9
Ps 116

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.

+ R. I. P. +

Cambridge-London 30.5.2008

Sorry for the break, I spent a week at a summer camp. Briefly on my last day in England. It was the birthday of Agnese and there was a nice party and I did magic tricks which were much liked. But I lost my mp3 player, which was then later found mysteriously and posted to me some days ago. I gave Agnese a children’s Bible and a Finland map with stickers. She had taken the Bible to school and told people it was given to her by a magician who makes coins go through his hands and stuff…:)

Michele took me to the trains and my trip to London went well. I went back to Ewan and Heini’s place but nobody was there. I waited and waited and took a photo of the beautiful view behind the house.

I waited some more, phoned people in Finland, talked to a neighbour, decided to leave for the airport and stay there overnight but just then I saw my dear friends, coming home from downtown London can sometimes take more time than one would have thought… anyways happy end, good night and home safe&sound.

Cambridge 29.5.2008

On Thursday I stayed home, played hide-and-seek with the girls and such. For lunch the whole family met at a nearby park, where we ran around and played some more.

I had also brought some of my Pauline books and when on the way back we went by a library, I stayed there for some time to do some reading. After some time a woman sat in front of me and a funny thought came to my mind semi-consciously, ”what if she was Finnish”. I didn’t look at her properly but she sort of might’ve seemed Finnish. Without giving it more thought I went on reading but after some time she was staring at my books and then suddenly asked me ”ootko sä suomalainen?” – are you Finnish? Imagine that – a tiny library in Milton near Cambridge, exact same time, same table, a Finnish woman. But it gets better. Where in Finland do you live? Vantaa. Me too, where? I bet it’s western Vantaa. No, eastern. Really, where? Havukoski. Korso! No way! That’s only a mile or two away!

It was raining when I left the library and I got a bit soaked but I found my way to the bus stop and back home although I almost got off at the wrong stop. The rest of the evening was peaceful, I watched another nice DVD, this time on St. Francis of Assisi. I especially like the music. After this peaceful day there was a very exciting day coming up, namely, Agnese’s birthday, celebrated together with Rachele (she had turned 3 earlier, now Agnese’d turn 5). So stay tuned.

Cambridge 28.5.2008

On Wednesday the 28th I spent another day in Cambridge experiencing some fascinating stuff. First off I’d like to show you a shocking churchaurant- yep- a medieval church made into a restaurant:

Almost as shocking was when I went to Great St. Mary’s, a beautiful Anglican church in the centre, and bought a ticket to go up the tower to see Cambridge from up high. The woman who sold me the ticket asked me if I was a student and where I came from. I showed my student card with ”Helsinki” on it and told her to guess where I came from. Her first guess was one of the former Yugoslavia countries, can’t remember which, and her second guess was Sweden! I don’t know which was more shocking/offensive!;)

So here (above and below) are two photos of Cambridge looking down from Great St. Mary’s tower.

At 2 pm I met the chaplain of Magdalene College, Rev. James. He showed me places related to C.S. Lewis who was once a Fellow at the College. I saw the place where Lewis used to sit at morning prayer and a part of the place where he lived, I walked where he would’ve once walked and contemplated the motto of the college, Garde ta foy. Here are some photos.

Those 15 minutes were definitely one of the climaxes of my time in the historical centre of Cambridge. Later, another beautiful moment was attending the Evensong which was actually a Sung Eucharist at King’s College Chapel. There is a famous choir there and they sang the ”Mass” beautifully. It seemed almost more Catholic than Catholic Masses, eg. with ”and with thy spirit” (cf. et cum spiritu tuo) instead of ”and also with you”. But of course there was the pain of the schism, and I had to leave at Communion.

My bus took me back to Histon where I watched, in two consecutive evenings, a DVD about St. Paul in the Bible series. The film was of great help in my St.Paul research project, it made the religious events, teachings and problems come alive as a true real-life story. Yesterday I found the same DVD with Finnish subtitles in Helsinki at a much lower price and bought it:) Another coincidence was that Wednesday evening I attended a local Bible study group with Michele and we discussed Acts 10-11, whose contents coincided with those of the St. Paul movie… Here are some of us in front of the parish after the study.

And here are the girls brushing their teeth… stay tuned for my last full day in Cambridge.

Cambridge 27.5.2008

My first full day in Cambridge began with an early breakfast and bus ride to the centre. After visiting several bookshops and attending Mass at a student chaplaincy I met up with David and Hilary Larkins, my Irish friends. Actually my first contact with the Larkins family was Andrew, their brother, whom I met in Lithuania. Then I met David in Rome. Then I met Andrew and David in London. Then I met Andrew and Hilary in Cologne. Then I met Andrew in Rome. And now I met David and Hilary in Cambridge.

Thus all possible combinations done, except meeting only Hilary somewhere. How strange – it’s only this family that I keep meeting abroad, never at my place, never at their place, but we often end up in the same place (and none of these meetings were planned in the sense that we’d go there simply to meet each other). David’s English was very English – otherwise nobody back home would know he studied at Cambridge university;) but Hilary has kept her Irish accent – or at least she spoke Irish English with me, which pleased me very much indeed:) It was through the Larkins I had the chance to enter King’s College. Here are some photos from both inside and out, chapel and other.

David also showed me Trinity College and St. John’s College, big competitors. Everyone obviously thinks their college is by far the best one. But these are some of the most famous. First Trinity, then St. John’s below.

After meeting David I went punting, which one can only do in Oxford and Cambridge (at least in England, Venice is another story altogether:). I went on a guided tour where the chauffeur would tell stories and explain the histories of the buildings and places we saw on the way…

Then I took a bus back to Histon (where the Marchetti family’s house is specifically located) and we went

Cambridge 26.5.2008

So on Monday I arrived in Cambridge, the first visit there in my life. While waiting for my host family to come and get me from downtown I was drawn and attracted (actually that’s twice the same word in a German and Latin form;) by King’s College, whose fame and glory I was rather unaware of at that time still. As all the other colleges (there are 31 in Cambridge!), King’s was closed to visitors due to the exam period (but I got around that later as you’ll see – with more photos then:).

I met the Marchetti family in front of the Fitzwilliam museum after a couple of years’ break. The family lived in Finland but then moved to England and now live there happily, Michele, Anna Maria, Agnese, Rachele and ”baby”, who will be born soon and might be named Paolo thanks to the upcoming Pauline year:)

The girls are really sweet – here they are with some princess stuff I brought them from Finland (originally from Iraq through my grandmother)…

One of the funniest things was that while Frida said ”Emi” instead of ”Emil”, these girls said ”Mil” instead of ”Emil”, so both omitted one letter, just from the opposite ends. To the Italian version, however, there’s a pretty reasonable linguistic explanation, so bear with me. My name in Italian is actually Emilio, where the E is closed (and rightly so) because of the open syllables following. But since the real version of my name is Emil, carrying with it a closed syllable following the E, the Italian tongue can’t keep the closed E there but changes it into an open È pronouncing it Èmil, close to what in Finnish would sound like Ämil.

But if the Italian mind is sharp enough (like my host family’s) it realises that the E in my name should be closed as in Emilio, but since there’s no -io but it’s simply Emil, then the accent or stress has to be shifted onto the i from the E. This way the E stays closed but now you almost can’t hear it since the stress is on the i. And this leads naturally to the E disappearing totally, making my name ”Mil”. Since both Agnese and Rachele repeated Mil all throughout the day for a couple of days, when I’d go to bed in the evening this sweet Italian ”Mil” sound would play inside my head… so here it is for you:)

London 25.5.2008

Day 3 was Sunday and also the feast of Corpus Christi. I went to Orme Court, the headquarters of Opus Dei for morning Mass and breakfast. There I met, among others, Jack Valero (see previous post) and Neil Pickering, who is my model of the perfect stereotypical (in a very positive sense) English gentleman. Actually, on both my visits to England I’ve found the same thing – whereas usually you have stereotypes and then the actual very different reality, in England all the stereotypes are simply fulfilled right in front of your eyes:) Extreme politeness, high tea, black taxis, red buses, rain, fish and chips, the English accent, everything… So here I am with Neil Pickering.

After it had stopped raining I left for Hyde Park with Jack Valero. On the way we saw a chapel in memory of the English martyrs where benedictine nuns have perpetual adoration. We visited Speakers’ Corner which runs on Sundays almost all day – I was to return there twice more during the day. Here’s a collection of the different kinds of people speaking or preaching there…

… the fellow in the picture above was wearing devil’s horns and preaching something about politics… whereas the next group was sharing the basic evangelical gospel: you’re a sinner and deserving of God’s wrath, Jesus died to pay for the punishment of your sins, now you can have forgiveness, so put your faith in Jesus Christ. One of the missionaries came to Jack and me. Jack aroused his appetite by saying ”We’re fine, we’re very good Catholics, very committed, I’m a member of Opus Dei” (which to a Catholic would work but for an Evangelical is just proof of the Catholic’s self-righteousness and trust in ”religion” instead of Christ)…

… and so when he asked us to share our idea of the Gospel with him, I went ahead and made reference to the synoptic concept of the Gospel being the Kingdom of God restored and that being found in the Church. It was obvious the man didn’t expect such a response at all and awkwardly went on to ask about what Jesus did to our nature. After my ”correct” response he used the last weapon and went for the classical ”as Catholic’s you’d believe in Purgatory, right? then Christ’s Cross isn’t sufficient” and ”you’re earning your salvation”. Duh. I pointed out his misunderstandings and theological and historical problems and said the conversation could go on for hours which we didn’t exactly have…

…later on when I returned there was another long discussion going on which I was very tempted to join but didn’t in the end (perhaps fortunately so), between a Muslim and a Christian end-time-preacher… these were not the only Christian and Muslim preachers around, there were several:

… but there were others there, as well… including a Marxist…

… huggers…

… and a guy with no message at all…

Yep, that’s Speakers’ Corner on Sundays in London. A lot of noise and extremely bad argumentation, basically. But I did go other places as well on that Sunday. Actually I did quite a lot of sightseeing. I visited the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral (where 2 Finns sat next to me) and read about St. Paul (a project of mine going on currently, in preparation for the upcoming Pauline year).

I also visited the British Museum where I saw the famous Rosetta Stone which allowed scholars to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs for the first time because of the Greek text in it. It was quite an accomplishment. There was an explanation next to the stone that the hieroglyphs actually marked both sounds and concepts, for example the word ”cat” first has 3 signs that represent sounds and then at the end a picture of a cat representing the whole word/concept.

I then went to Baker Street to see the famous Sherlock Holmes house and Big Ben. Here are two photos – and what did I say about stereotypes… is there anything more English than what you can see in these two pictures?

Then I saw the impressive Westminister Abbey and visited the Westminister Cathedral, where there was a beautiful evening service on the occasion of Corpus Christi. After a moment of rest and recollection I went to Trafalgar square and the National Gallery (entrance was free but a donation was kindly asked for to keep it free:)

In the evening I returned to Ewan and Heini’s place. Since it was my last evening at their place before leaving for Cambridge (although I did come back after the trip for the last night), it’s time to share a few photos from ”home” as well. This is Heini doing her work/study on the computer with little Anselm, sweet dreams…

And here is Ewan the wonder-man, Jewish boys, English literature, history, Ressu, piano, guitar, Christianity, singing, feeding, Finnish, laughing at funny YouTube videos, personal training in punting techniques… you name it, it’s Ewan:) Here speaking on the phone (but he has no cellphone, and that’s another story for the last post when I come back from Cambridge to London…):

Stay tuned for Day 4 and Cambridge.