|22 March 1990 - Ali on the Isle of Wight with Pooh Bear (right) and Linden Lee (left)|
Just over a year later she would be received into the Catholic Church, but at that time Ali felt totally unwelcome in and excluded from the Church. We didn't go to Church as she felt there was no place for her. Ali often said she wished there were in Churches a "leper place" - where the lepers would be tolerated - where she could sit, if not welcome at least not shunned.
On the Isle of Wight we found ourselves passing Quarr Abbey, and for the first time in some months Ali entered a Catholic Church, though with some trepidation. We arrived a little late (perhaps helpfully late) for Vespers. Ali wrote to me later that day:
"We were late (not by accident, I think) and no one noticed us at all. In a funny way I felt as relaxed as if I had found a spiritual "leper place" where I could be unnoticed and easily, happily with Mama and Jesus - cradled, loved, accepted, really who I am. You being by my side bore me to Mama and Jesus. You took me to the place and "carried" me in. I felt fully alive...It was a special present just for today. It's not yet time for the Church to accept me or learn to love my brokenness. We must await that in patient hope."