Monday, May 31, 2010


Having left South Ashford at 5.30am by minibus, we arrived at the Divine Mercy Shrine at Łagewniki in Krakow on time, as planned for lunch, after which we met with Sister Gaudia - as the name implies, a very joyful and youthful sister - who is, of course, Polish, but speaks excellent slightly Americanised English.

She explained something of the significance of the message of Mercy that was entrusted to Saint Faustina, Jesus' Secretary of Divine Mercy. She particularly explained about the 3 o'clock prayer, and wanted it to be known that Our Lord did not ask that any particular prayer be said at 3 o'clock but that rather we pause at that time - for a few seconds, a few minutes, longer if possible - to meditate on the suffering and death of Jesus. Of course, one can say a prayer, the so-called '3 o'clock prayer', for instance, or even the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, but there is no intrinsic link between these prayers and keeping the hour of Our Lord's death.

Sister Gaudia also spoke about the humility of Saint Faustina, and how she is another example of how the Lord chooses the lowly of this world to be entrusted with something great. St Faustina's diaries are at once simple and profound. Simple souls say how easy it is to understand because of its simplicity, wise souls say how profound the diary is. Here we are by the wall just outside the convent chapel where the Chaplet is written in various languages:

I remarked to Sister Gaudia how much we need sisters like her and her order in England, dressed like sisters. She replied with some enthusiasm: "Yes, you do, you do!" Wouldn't it be wonderful if these sisters were established in the UK.

Just outside the convent chapel can be seen the window of the cell where St Faustina died, decorated with flowers:

Following her brief talk with us, we went to the Convent Chapel where the relics of St Faustina are preserved and joined in the 3 o'clock prayers which consisted of a meditation and some prayers in Polish (which naturally we did not understand) followed by the recitation of the Chaplet, one decade of which was done in English for our benefit.

After venerating the relic of St Faustina, we went to the Chapel of St Faustina beneath the basilica for Mass. Today is, of course, the feast of the Visitation, a very appropriate feast for considering lowly and humble creatures chosen by God for great things.

This afternoon I took the opportunity to meditate on some of St Faustina's Notebook VI from her diary, and it truly is profound. Here is what I just happened to read as I sat in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament:
My heart is drawn there where my God is hidden,
Where He dwells with us day and night,
Clothed in the White Host;
He governs the whole world. He communes with souls.

My heart is drawn there where my God is hiding,
Where His love is immolated.
But my heart senses that the living water is here:
It is my living God, through a veil hides Him.
St Faustina is surely speaking of her own mystical experience of ecstasy when she writes:
During meditation, the Lord gave me knowledge of the joy of heaven and of the saints on our arrival there; they love God as the sole object of their love, but they also have a tender and heartfelt love for us. It is from the face of God that this joy flows out upon all, because we see Him face to face. His face is so sweet that the soul falls anew into ecstasy.
On February 13th 1938, she
saw how unwillingly the Lord Jesus came to certain souls in Holy Communion. And He spoke these words to me: I enter into certain hearts as into a second Passion.

Later this afternoon I took a walk round the grounds and visited the Convent cemetery. Here Sr Faustina was buried until her remains were removed to the Convent Chapel.

There appears now to be a large vault where the sisters are buried, with a wall on which the names of those interred are recorded. It must be wonderful to be able to contemplate daily the place where you will be laid to rest.

In the evening there is a beautifully prayerful atmosphere in the convent chapel, which is really the heart of the shrine (I'm afraid I don't much care for the modernist architecture of the basilica). There are evening prayers with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (followed by distribution of Holy Communion which, I must say, I found a bit odd but which I also observed in my visit to Czestochowa earlier this year), Rosary for needy families, night prayers, etc. It is heart-warming to see so many sisters, including numerous novices, and ordinary lay people - many children too, gathered together for these times of prayer, with of course beautiful devout singing.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Off on a parish pilgrimage tomorrow

First Communions 2010

Eleven of our young parishioners received Our Lord for the first time in Holy Communion today at a special Mass at 12 noon. (Two others had returned to Poland to receive theirs in the home parishes of their families.)

Amongst the group were three boys. In this year of priests, among other things I managed during the homily to elicit from the youngsters the link between the Mass, Communion and the Priesthood. I asked the girls to say if they thought any of the boys would be good priests. All got the votes of most of the girls (but no hands went up when I asked if they would make good husbands!) Just trying to sow the seed of vocation, particularly as this is the last time I shall celebrate First Communions in the parish. As my parishioners know I am on the move, and will post more details later.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Are you late? The Marie Stopes ad.

I'm not doing publicity for Maries Stopes but this is the controversial ad that was aired for the first time on Channel 4 this evening:

Does it advertise abortion? No. What does Marie Stopes specialise in? Abortion. As their own press release states:
In 2008 a total of 195,300 abortions were performed on women living in England and Wales and 91% were funded by the NHS.

Some 90% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation, while 73% were under 10 weeks.

Around 80% of the 65,000 abortions provided by Marie Stopes in 2009 were carried out free on the NHS, with 20% being paid for privately.

Marie Stopes International chief executive Dana Hovig said: "Last year alone we received 350,000 calls to our 24-hour helpline. Clearly there are hundreds of thousands of women who want and need sexual health information and advice and access to services.
It is lamentable that an abortion-provider bearing the name of a reknowned eugenicist is seen as the compassionate and caring organisation that women (no men in the ad) should turn to for help.

But why cannot we, pro-lifers, garner sufficient funds and unite in our cause to put out a similar ad with the same message: "If you're pregnant and not sure what to do, Life/SPUC/Cardinal Winning Initiative/Good Counsel Network can help." Or is there a law against this? It's not enough just to wring our hands.

Bishops (and priests) - hear the voice of the laity

In conversation with some laity today, the request of our Bishops to dedicate the Fridays in May to
deep prayer of reparation and atonement
for the abuse scandals in the Church came up. They were not sympathetic. Why, I was asked, should the Bishops impose upon the laity penances for the errors of Bishops and priests?

A very persuasive initiative might have been for the Bishops to declare that each one of them would spend one hour before the Blessed Sacrament, in addition to the time they normally spend in prayer, on the Fridays in May, and maybe ask the priests to do the same. Lay faithful could of course be invited to join the Bishops and priests in this act.

It is true that
we are bound together in the Body of Christ and, therefore, (the personal sins of only a very few)touch us all
but the Bishops themselves
recognise the failings of some Bishops and Religious leaders in handling these matters.

In this instance what I hear is that the laity would really appreciate some sign of repentance from the clergy and, it has to be said, they look particularly to the Bishops. It is the filth in the ranks of the clergy, the impurity within the sanctuary, that is the true threat to the Church. As the then Cardinal Ratzinger declared in his meditation on the Ninth Station of the Cross for the Annual Good Friday Via Crucis in 2005:
How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him!

Referring to the scandal of sexual abuse of minors, Pope Benedict also referred to the sin within the Church as the greatest source of Her sufferings on the flight to Portugal for his recent apostolic journey:

... the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church, and that the Church thus has a deep need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness on the one hand, but also the need for justice.

In his letter to the Irish Church, the Pope's toughest words were addressed to his brother Bishops:
It cannot be denied that some of you and your predecessors failed, at times grievously, to apply the long-established norms of canon law to the crime of child abuse. Serious mistakes were made in responding to allegations. I recognize how difficult it was to grasp the extent and complexity of the problem, to obtain reliable information and to make the right decisions in the light of conflicting expert advice. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that grave errors of judgement were made and failures of leadership occurred. All this has seriously undermined your credibility and effectiveness...

Only decisive action carried out with complete honesty and transparency will restore the respect and good will of the Irish people towards the Church to which we have consecrated our lives. This must arise, first and foremost, from your own self-examination, inner purification and spiritual renewal. The Irish people rightly expect you to be men of God, to be holy, to live simply, to pursue personal conversion daily. For them, in the words of Saint Augustine, you are a bishop; yet with them you are called to be a follower of Christ (cf. Sermon 340, 1). I therefore exhort you to renew your sense of accountability before God, to grow in solidarity with your people and to deepen your pastoral concern for all the members of your flock. In particular, I ask you to be attentive to the spiritual and moral lives of each one of your priests. Set them an example by your own lives, be close to them, listen to their concerns, offer them encouragement at this difficult time and stir up the flame of their love for Christ and their commitment to the service of their brothers and sisters.

I do not doubt that our Bishops of England and Wales are also applying to themselves the request of Pope Benedict to undergo self-examination, inner purification and renewal. The message I get from the laity, however, is that they would like some clear manifestation of this process rather than asking them to do more prayer and penance. It is, I think I hear them say, about leadership.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

International Mass Pentecost 2010

Today we celebrated the gift of tongues present in the Church today as the Gospel is communicated in the many languages spoken in our parish, including: English, Gaelic, Malayalam, French, Ibo, Swahili, Maltese, Polish, Italian, Tamil, Nyamje. That's eleven which, for a small parish like ours, is pretty impressive!

Much of the Mass was said/sung in Latin: the proper prayers (Collect, Super Oblata, Post Communionem), Sequence (Veni Sancte Spiritus), the conclusion of each bidding prayer (Dominum precemur, Te rogamus audi nos), the Preface, Eucharistic Prayer III, Pater Noster and embolism, Dismissal, Regina Caeli.

We were also please to baptise Jan Kasimierz.

Following Mass there was an international shared lunch.

Here's a slideshow to give some flavour of the celebrations. It was a very happy morning indeed. (My shirt was a present from a Tanzanian parishioner! Photo at the end taken by our professional paparazza Maureen A.)

Or a video:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pentecost and Harmony

Last Pentecost (2009) the Holy Father said the following in his homily referring to the unity of the apostles gathered in prayer with Mary (it was 31st May, feast of the Visitation):
The music and singing that accompany this liturgy help us likewise to be with one accord devoted to prayer, and for this I express my deep gratitude to the Cathedral Choir and the Kammerorchester of Cologne. Joseph Haydn's Harmoniemesse has very appropriately been chosen for this liturgy on the bicentenary of his death, the last of the "Masses" composed by the great musician and a sublime symphony to the glory of God.
I have put a couple of tracks on autoplay in the mixpod on my sidebar. Hope you enjoy it. How sublime it would be to have this at our Pentecost Mass tomorrow! (If it blocks your dial-up, just let me know and I'll set autoplay off.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Unusual Family Life video

New book on Pope Benedict and the Sexual Abuse Crisis

Our Sunday Visitor has published what it describes as
an honest, critical, and Catholic look at the criticism of Pope Benedict XVI and his response to the sexual abuse crisis.
In addition, to keep up with this unfolding story, a companion blog will follow new events, provide critical analysis, and provide a place for civil, cogent discussion.
Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis is a groundbreaking, critically objective assessment of the criticism facing the pope as well as a review of his real response to the victims, abusers, bishops, media, and the millions of Catholics worldwide who continue to be justifiably horrified by the scandal. The first and foremost objective for this book is the truth -- no matter how difficult to face -- and letting the pope's record speak for itself.
More information here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The New Translation

When Father Ray 'came out' about using the new translation, in a previous version of this post I too confessed that I used the new translation of the Roman Canon a week last Sunday. I am now informed that perhaps we are not quite as at liberty to use it as perhaps I thought. However...

First the effect it had on me: similar to Fr Ray, I found myself having to resist the instinctive tendency to do such things as the repeated blessings over the gifts and kissing the altar towards the end of the anamnesis. I also found it natural to hold my thumb and index finger together from the consecration onwards. Altogether it filled me a sense of something extremely 'priestly' and reverent. It also emphasised the prayer and offering of the people in a way that the current translation does not. The new translation of EP1 gives full and distinct honour to cleric and lay.

And the people? One asked me why things had to change again. But others said they couldn't wait for the new translation to become normative.

I hear rumours that the Pope will use the new translation during his Masses here in the UK. Surely we should already be preparing the people? I can't see why we must wait until next year.

We are told that before implementation of the new translation we must wait until adequate catechesis has been given to the people. I really think we should just get on with it and I'd really llike to introduce people to other parts of the Mass (e.g. the other Eucharistic Prayers) that pertain to the priest. The responses of the people could possibly wait until an official promulgation. Otherwise they would get confused when they go to Mass elsewhere, and visitors would find it harder to participate.

Busy Day at Marie Stopes

Is Monday usually busier than other days? There was a steady flow of clients going in and out of the Maidstone branch of one of Britain's major abortion providers this morning. A small number of us prayed while two counsellors sought to enter into dialogue with some of those entering and leaving the premises.

There is certainly no indication that MS wants to reduce its provision of abortion services. They are, after all, a business, and as long as promiscuity continues to be promoted through Sex Education, their commercial success will be assured at the cost of the lives of unborn children.

Why is the Catholic Church so silent? Why so few who join us at these prayer vigils? Pope Benedict said in Portugal last week:
Perhaps we have placed an excessive trust in ecclesial structures and programmes, in the distribution of powers and functions; but what happens if salt loses its flavour?
The salt has lost its flavour and there is corruption in the Church that our Holy Father wishes to counter. The "Church" is too preoccupied with commissions, presentation and image, and is failing in its proclamation of the Gospel of Life. The Church is, of course, more than bishops and priests. All the faithful need to be engaged in this, without waiting for "ecclesiastical structures and programmes" to organise it, although scenes such as this one from from Detroit, Michigan, occuring in GB would be a great encouragement.

A priest once said he thought I was very brave to pray outside an abortion clinic. What's so brave about it? Just look at the people in the photo at the top of this post? Is anyone likely to enter into any serious battle with them? The worse abuse we get is being told we are deluded, or some choice language, nothing compared to the suffering of the unborn child and the future suffering of post abortioners. These people are the fearless lowly faithful of the Church, who teach me so much about dedication to God's Precious Infants. And my conscience is far from satisfied when all I do is pray.

After today's vigil and the procession back to the nearby parish church, I returned to my car which I had parked near the abortuary. I saw a young woman get out of a SUV. She had a few words with the driver of the vehicle (boy friend? mother?) She left the vehicle. She looked unhappy. I walked by. I looked back. She had gone into the abortuary. Should I have stopped to ask if I could do anything? After all, how could I know she was going in for an abortion? Usual excuses for not getting involved.

I walked by...

I couldn't put the car radio on for some time as that girl's unhappy - and lonely - face remained before my mind's eye. I am no better than the millions of other catholics who remain silent.

I walked by...

Clifford Longley: Pope Benedict has problems getting his message across.

On Thought for the Day this morning (listen here, transcript here), Clifford Longley suggested that, on his apostolic trip to Portugal, Pope Benedict should have said:
Let me assure you - God loves gay people. In fact he loves them especially because they have suffered persecution and discrimination in their lives, and Christ's message of liberation and justice applies particularly to people like that.
Pope Benedict should have gone on to say that
The Catholic Church regrets its historical role in encouraging prejudice against homosexuals, and is anxious to do what it can to correct that, now.
Longley also affirmed that the
Catholic Church in England and Wales no longer opposes civil partnerships, though it resisted the legislation when it first came in. Not long ago it was specifically stated that a Catholic would not be refused a job as a head teacher in a Catholic school simply because he or she was in a civil partnership.
In this Mr Longley is using a highly clericalised view of the Church, one that I thought that promoters of "the Spirit of Vatican II" would reject. The fact that Bishop Malcolm McMahon has promised that the Church will not investigate the private lives of applicants for the headships of Catholic schools does not mean that the whole of that part of the Body of Christ which is located in England and Wales no longer opposes civil partnerships. Many Catholics, cleric and lay, were profoundly disturbed by Bishop McMahon's statement.

However, Clifford Longley's observations point to the profound difficulty the Church in this country now faces in presenting with integrity the Church's teaching on marriage and family.

If the Church in England and Wales has a view which is not consistent with the one which is maintained by the rest of the Church in communion with Rome, how can it continue to claim to be part of that Body? As I recalled in my blog post Catholic Education - a nail in the coffin? the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Considerations Regarding Proposals to give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons reminds us that
all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions.
This is not to be uncharitable towards 'gays' but simply to uphold the natural law.

Far from failing to get his message across, Pope Benedict was extrememly clever in conveying precisely the message he wanted to get over. I have read the Holy Father's Portugal homilies through and found the following, some of which I quoted in my homily yesterday, Ascension Sunday.

The Holy Father did indeed say that (my emphases):
Initiatives aimed at protecting the essential and primary values of life, beginning at conception, and of the family based on the indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman, help to respond to some of today's most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good.
In this he implied that the legal recognition of homosexual unions is a threat to the common good.

The Pope spoke to the Portuguese Bishops about those who are silent about their faith, ashamed of their beliefs and co-operating in the promotion of secularism:
Authentic witnesses to Jesus Christ are needed above all in those human situations where the silence of faith is most widely and deeply felt: among politicians, intellectuals, communications professionals who profess and who promote a monocultural ideal, with disdain for the religious and contemplative dimension of life. In such circles are found some believers who are ashamed of their beliefs and who even give a helping hand to this type of secularism which builds barriers before Christian inspiration.
Without a doubt Pope Benedict is referring to politicians and others (including catholics) involved in forming public opinion who wish to promote public policies that undermine the observance of the natural law. By contrast are those in those same professional milieux
who defend the faith in these situations, with courage, with a vigorous Catholic outlook and in fidelity to the magisterium.
He urged the Catholics of Portugal to
maintain a stong prophectic dimension, without allowing yourselves to be silenced.
and reminded them that
if you do not become his witnesses in your daily lives, who will do so in your place?
He says:
Often we are anxiously preoccupied with the social, cultural and political consequences of the faith, taking for granted that faith is present, which unfortunately is less and less realistic.

I take this to mean that we must not allow the possibility of 'adverse publicity' or the fear that the media will focus on the 'wrong message' to make us afraid to proclaim the truth.

To priests, religious, seminarians and deacons, he said:
Many of our brothers and sisters live as if there were nothing beyond this life, and without concern for their eternal salvation.
and so the witness of consecrated men and women to the eschatological Church by observing the evanglical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience is all the more necessary.

Of course the Holy Father was not only referring to the fact that in a country where the vast majority of the population (and, presumably, its politicians) is catholic laws against such fundamental institutions of marriage and the family are to be passed. He wanted to invite the Portuguese to
proclaim anew with vigour and joy the event of the death and resurrection of Christ, the heart of Christianity.
But this proclamation contains within it the whole Gospel and an integral presentation of the whole of the natural law. I believe Pope Benedict certainly succeeded in getting his message across, contrary to Clifford Longley's assertion.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blood Money - Planned Parenthood and Abortion

The way to promote abortion: Sex Education!

I received an email today about a new film that has been made about the abortion industry: BLOOD MONEY. I am told it is an independent film which needs our support to expose the corruption of Planned Parenthood. In order for the producers to get it into cinemas they need to show that millions of interested people have visited their website. You need only visit the website; there is no need to sign-up as a supporter unless you feel compelled to do so. The second link is the trailer for the movie.

Statue of Our Lady of the Taper will travel to London for Papal visit

News from

The statue of Our Lady of the Taper normally resides in the Catholic National Shrine of Wales in Cardigan but, this September, it will be taken to London for Pope Benedict XVI to bless and light a candle in the hand of the Virgin Mother. This is seen as a great honour for the Catholic Church in Wales and recognition of the National Shrine as an important site of pilgrimage not just for Welsh Catholics but also for those from around the world.

The design of the statue is based upon a medieval image believed to originate in Arras, France which had a thriving trade with the then sea port of Cardigan. Now the shrine is listed as one of the ‘taper’ shrines of Europe.

Bishop Thomas Burns of Menevia Diocese has confirmed the role of Our Lady of the Taper in the Papal visit and stated:

“This is a great honour not just for Welsh Catholics but for everyone in Wales”

The Rector of the National Shrine, Father Jason Jones will lead a group of parishioners from Cardigan to accompany the statue in September.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What I would do with £84.4M

A ticket holder has won £84.4m in the EuroMillions draw, smashing the record for the largest jackpot won in the UK.

I haven't done the sums, but these are some of the things I'd like to spend it on:
  • ensure no woman feels she has to resort to abortion because she can't afford to have the child by supporting organisations such as Good Counsel Network and the Sisters of the Gospel of Life who help women in these situations;
  • assist SPUC and other pro-life organisations in their important work of campaigning against abortion and promoting chastity in schools;
  • support the campaign of any parliamentary candidate who undertakes to vote consisently against abortion, IVF, euthanasia, 'gay marriages' etc;
  • provide assistance to families who are in genuine trouble financially so that they can get on track;
  • build a church of the finest materials and of architectural and artistic merit that would be a temple truly fit for the Sacred Liturgy and worthy of God's people, preferably in a poor area of the diocese;
  • establish a foundation to promote singing and music in the parish that would realise the potential of youngsters who might not otherwise get the opportunity to sing/play beautiful music for the worship of God;
  • establish a school which would be staffed by committed, faithful practising Catholics that would not be in hock financially to the State; the school would be open to all who desire for their children an education inspired by the Catholic faith and its social teaching; bursaries for those who couldn't afford fees, but those who could would be asked to pull their weight financially, thus promoting responsibility;
  • establish a centre for catechesis and evangelisation;
  • establish counselling and educational service to assist families in any kind of difficulty and to promote authentic family values in society.
And I haven't even begun to think of aid to projects abroad with bodies such as Aid to the Church in Need etc.

Would I have any change left?

Would any of the above meet with opposition from the politically correct elite? Maybe I'd fall foul of diversity legislation?

Would winning the Lottery change my life? In the light of the above, most probably. But I'd still be happy to drive my 10 year old dented but absolutely (at least up to now) reliable Corolla. I'd also love to remain a parish priest, although the money might also enable the parish to support one or two more priests who would have plenty of pastoral and educational work to carry out.

Any other ideas? How can we help lottery winners ensure their lives are not destroyed by having to deal with unearned millions?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ascension Sunday

I have provoked a rather terse reaction to a comment I made in the combox to a previous post about obedience and the transfer of the Ascension and other Holy Days to the nearest Sunday.

The Latin Mass Society's 2010 Ordo for the Liturgy celebrated in the Extraordinary Form is published on the website of the Liturgy Office of the Bishops Conference of England & Wales.

In that Ordo one reads the following:
External Solemnity of a Holyday of Obligation in England and Wales
The Bishops of England and Wales have requested that any Holyday of Obligation in England and Wales that is transferred to a Sunday in the New Rite (the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite) should likewise be celebrated on that same day in the Old Rite (the Extraordinary Form). Subsequent to the production of last year’s Ordo a reply by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (N107/97 20 October 2008), to a dubium from the LMS, was received. This confirmed that such an external solemnity is regulated according to the General Rubrics of the Missal (356-361). It further confirmed that it is legitimate to continue to celebrate the Mass and Office of these holydays on the days prescribed in the 1962 Calendar. The solutions in Appendix 2 have been compliled in accordance with these norms.
In Appendix 2, the following is set out:
External Solemnity of a Holyday of Obligation
Only 2 Low Masses, or 1 Low and 1 High or Sung Mass, are allowed.

Sun          In all DIOCESES of ENGLAND & WALES
16 May    ad lib EXTERNAL SOLEMNITY of the ASCENSION of the LORD
                VM 2 Cl W
                Gl Cr Pr of the Ascension Proper Communic
                (No commem of Sunday)
There is a contradiction between the above and the following statement which appears on the Liturgy Office's website:
Following a request for information the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales submitted a dubium to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei which confirmed that in the Roman Rite, whichever Form of the liturgy is being celebrated, the Holydays of Obligation are held in common. Where the obligation has been removed and the Holyday transferred to the Sunday, the Epiphany of the Lord, the Ascension of the Lord and Corpus Christ, this is to be followed in both Ordinary and Extraordinary celebrations of Mass.
Where there is a doubt of law the law does not bind. The Liturgy Office publishes neither the text nor the protocol number of the dubium and the response. The LMS Appendix at least gives the date and protocol number of the reply to their dubium and gives details. It would appear therefore that one can celebrate either the Mass of the Sunday after the Ascension or the Mass of the Ascension.

Maybe I am being pernickety but I do feel it is important to be seen to want to obey and to take the trouble to find out what the Church permits/recommends. The attitude of some appears to imply a general disrespect for the Bishops of England & Wales which is not healthy. Now I have taken the trouble, I am content with either solution. But I daresay there will be those who would not be happy to find a priest celebrating the Ascension in the Extraordinary Form this Sunday.

Good Counsel Network needs your help

As I am one of their benefactors in one way or another (say Mass or give Benediction for them occasionally, Trustee, etc. etc.) I received this plea for help yesterday. If you can make a donation, please contact them for their bank details or donate on line.
Today Good Counsel has £50 in the bank, we needed £445 to buy this week's food vouchers. We are supporting fourteen Mothers and their children at the moment, whose only support is this small weekly voucher. Please pray the following prayer for the next nine days and if you can help, donate on line at or transfer money into our Bank account (phone + 44 (0)20 7723 1740 or email for details). As times are hard, our income has gone down and our expenses have gone up.
Please forward this message to anyone who you think may help. For more information about Good Counsel see our blog.

Helper of the hopeless

Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita, you were humble, pure and patient. Your pleadings with your divine Spouse are irresistible, so please obtain for me from our risen Jesus the request I make of you, that Good Counsel will raise the funds they need and my own request (mention it).
Be kind to me for the greater glory of God, and I shall honour you and sing your praises forever.
Glorious St. Rita, you miraculously participated in the sorrowful passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Obtain for me now the grace to suffer with resignation the troubles of this life, and protect me in all my needs. Amen.

Our Father, Hail, Mary, Glory be to the Father..

Maybe any priests reading might consider making a donation from the parish poor box.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Our Lady of Fatima

This feast is included as an optional memorial in the universal calendar of the revised missal of Pope John Paul II. Our Lady first appeared to the three children Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco on this day in 1917. Also on this day in 1981 Pope John Paul II survived an assasination attempt in St Peter's Square thanks to the protection of Our Lady of Fatima.

Pope Benedict is in Fatima right now. When he arrived in Portugal on Tuesday, he said:
I come as a pilgrim to Our Lady of Fatima invested from on high with the mission of confirming my brothers and sisters as they advance on their own pilgrimage towards heaven.

The Virgin Mary came from heaven to remind us of the truths of the Gospel which for humankind - lacking in love and without hope of salvation - represent a source of hope... The relationship with God is a constituent part of man who was created and ordained for God, who seeks for truth within his own cognitive structures, who tends towards good in the sphere of volition, and who is attracted by beauty in the aesthetic dimension.

A conscience may be described as Christian in the measure to which it is open to the fullness of the life and wisdom we have in Jesus Christ. The aim of this visit, which I am now beginning under the sign of hope, is to be a proposal of wisdom and of mission.
In an interview with the Press on his flight to Portugal, referring to the current scandals afflicting the Church the Pope said the greatest threat to the Church comes not from without but from within. He also identified himself as a suffering Pope.
Apart from the great vision of the Pope's suffering, which we can primarily ascribe to Pope John Paul II", said Pope Benedict, the apparitions "indicate events of the future of the Church, which develop and are revealed little by little. Thus it is true that, apart from the moment indicated by the vision, we see the need for a passion of the Church, a passion naturally reflected in the person of the Pope, but the Pope stands for the Church and thus it is the sufferings of the Church that are being announced.

As for the novelties we can discover in this message today, we may see that attacks against the Pope and the Church do not only come from outside; rather, the sufferings of the Church come from inside the Church, from the sin that exists in the Church. This was always common knowledge, but today we see it in truly terrifying form: the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from external enemies, but is born of sin within the Church. Thus the Church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness but also the need for justice. Forgiveness does not replace justice.
The Vatican is updating its coverage of the Pope's visit here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Raquel Welch blames the pill for breakdown in morals

In yesterday's Daily Telegraph, Simon Caldwell reports that the former Playboy favourite has distanced herself from the sexual revolution of which she was a protagonist. John Smeaton of SPUC compares her words as reported by Simon Caldwell:
Miss Welch said the widespread use of oral contraceptives had led to a breakdown in norms of sexual morality and fuelled the growth of rampant promiscuity among the young.

with those of Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae:
Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection. (HV17)
Will people listen?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Could our new Parliament be more pro-life than the previous one?

Several anti-life MP's have lost their seats and been replaced by more pro-life ones. John Smeaton of SPUC analyses the gains and losses.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Abused, but still loves priests

So there we were, two priests, invited to join two women in Derry's City Hotel foyer as we had a late night drink before retiring.

The ladies, from Belfast, had come to Derry for a shopping trip. They remarked on the number of priests and sisters they had noticed in the hotel and we explained we were here for the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland annual conference. We talked about their love for Padre Pio, their interest in Medjugorje, their doubts about Charismatic Renewal, their respective families and, in my case, our mutual Irish origins.

After a while, I asked them how they were finding things in the current climate of the clerical abuse scandal. One of them replied: "I was a victim of abuse." Well, you can imagine how that reply hit me! And yet she loves the Church. They both said that God meant them to meet us last night. They asked us to pray for them - I said I'd offer Mass for them the following day - and we asked them to pray for us and all priests.

I was touched and humbled by the faith of these good Irish Catholics who continue to believe in God and the Church, continuing to ensure their children prepare for First Communion etc. And yet this has been my constant experience - that Catholics love and pray for their priests, especially when they are in trouble.

The mass media are not reporting the faithfulness of loyal Catholics and the love they have for their priests. Of course, the abuse of priests (a very small number of them) is a terrible thing. But the witness of these two women testifies to faith and grace and to light (without which there would be no shadows).

I should also add that I had an interesting conversation with a Methodist gentleman on the flight from London to Belfast. As I was clearly identifiable as a priest in my clerical collar, it didn't take long for the conversation to come round to the current troubles. This man was full of admiration for us as priests, remarking on the challenging mission we have, and the privilege also of sharing in people's lives and therefore the terrible effects when that trust is betrayed. I was very able to assure him, as he questioned me, that I have never had any doubt about my calling to the priesthood.

I would encourage every priest never to seek to hide his priestly identity. People need to witness this certainty and absence of ambiguity in our calling. Being identified as a  priest marks one out as a servant, available for the people at all times, even if, sometimes, one may become the subject of abusive comments. (Maybe some people have just cause to vent their anger at Christ's representatives just now, who knows?) I have no problem in priests dressing down, having some 'time off' as it were retreating from the crowd by sometimes being one of the crowd. I do so myself. But we should never set out to conceal our identity day to day, whether we are travelling, shopping or just taking a walk.

Irish TD almost right on abortion

I found out via my subscription to Family and Life's ezine that Leo Varadkar, a young 31 year old half-Indian half-Irish TD with a medical background and apparently a somewhat controversial figure, accepts "a lot of Cahtolic social teaching" even though "not a practising religious person", specifically that abortion in the case of rape should not be legal since the child is the innocent party.

So reports the Irish Independent. This particularly significant given the Irish Labour party's intention to modify the Irish Constitution to make abortion legal if it gets into power at the next general election.

Despite his medical background, his views on some controversial medical issues are quite black and white -- such as abortion. "I would accept a lot of Catholic social teaching. I'm not a practising religious person, but I would accept that. I wouldn't be in favour of abortion. The only thing that would be a grey area is if there's a genuine threat or risk to the life of the mother."

What about the provision of abortion services for rape victims? "I wouldn't be in favour of it in that case, and, you know, first of all, it isn't the child's fault that they're the child of rape. You can say the same thing about disabled children. You know, some people would make that argument in favour of abortion. It's not their fault they're disabled. I wouldn't be in favour of it in those circumstances either.

"Even, how would that work practically? Would someone have to prove that they've been raped? I think where that's been brought in in countries it has more or less led to abortion on demand," he adds.

Is it not double standards to have more than 5,000 women a year travelling to the UK and elsewhere for abortions? "I don't think that's double standards. People travel overseas to do things overseas that aren't legal in Ireland all the time. You know, are we going to stop people going to Las Vegas? Are we going to stop people going to Amsterdam? There are things that are illegal in Ireland and we don't prevent people from travelling overseas to avail of them."

Mr Varadkar can be contacted via email or post (37A Main Street, Ongar, Dublin 15).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May: a month of Rosaries for priests

This from Mayfeelings

Mgr Harbart on the New Translation of the Missal

As Father Finigan informs us. An excellent 11 minute video - well worth listening too.

There's a fault with the embedded code so click on this link

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Views of Derry

St Eugene's Cathedral where we had Mass this morning celebrated by the Bishop, Seamus Hegarty:

The walls of the city:

The view from the walls, overlooking the Bogside and the Catholic Cathedral:

And down at the Bogside:

I was a youngster of 11 years of age when 'The Troubles' broke out and Bernadette Devlin (pictured above on the murals) led the civil rights marches. Being of an Irish family, I was imbued with the ideals of Republicanism and we naturally took the side of the civil rights movement. The movement led, as we know, to terrible acts of terrorism by people claiming to act in the name of Catholics or Protestants. It was fascinating to visit the site of tensions but where there is now peace.

A young Catholic man who works in the hotel where I am staying said how the past is now very much the past. He has friends, both Catholic and Protestant. No one today wants a return to those times of violence.

Two Scottish Bishops' excellent pre-election pastoral letters

H/T to the Sisters of the Gospel of Life for this one.

Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow points out the problem of finding a party that Catholics can support and asks the people of his diocese to vote for the candidate, not the party. He writes:
no mainstream party is ready to uphold the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. None wants to stand up unambiguously for the marriage-based family as the essential building brick of society which cannot be put on a par with civil partnerships. None appears to consider the rights of conscience as paramount.

No manifesto distinguishes properly between inclusivity and uniformity. This key concept impacts on the right of parents to choose faith schools as well as the right to expect that a child, if adopted, is adopted in line with the principles of the Church to which they belong. No manifesto explicitly defends the rights of the terminally ill against those who would advocate euthanasia. None would seem to support full and proper funding for hospice care and palliative medicine.

We might look in vain for manifestos addressing other moral issues of concern to us …concern about the immorality of the use or threatened use of weapons of mass destruction, such as Trident; concern about the unfair treatment of refugees; concern about the assumed role sometimes exercised by the press in condemning people and institutions without a right of defence; concern that citizens should be able to depend upon honesty and integrity among politicians, bankers and media barons; concern that on issues of conscience, party members should be free to vote according to their religious beliefs, free from unjust pressure.

Our task is made all the harder because it is virtually impossible to distinguish one party from another in respect of many of these key moral issues. In these circumstances my advice is to set aside party political considerations and to recognise, where you can, the integrity of individual candidates and vote according to your belief that they can be trusted in those matters which our faith tells us are the most fundamental of all.

Bishop Tartaglia speaks of the civilisation of love:
* The civilization of love upholds the sacredness of life from conception to natural death: abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia are against the common good of society and do not contribute to a civilization of love.
* The civilization of love upholds the fundamental human rights of every person, not least the right to life, to freedom of conscience and to freedom of religion.
* It acknowledges that marriage and the family are the foundation of the human project: the common good is not served by policies which make the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman just one possible form of the basic social unit. It recognizes the sanctity of human sexuality and that God has reserved to marriage the acts of love proper to husband and wife.
* The civilisation of love also promotes a moral and ethical conduct of the economy such that the creation of wealth serves the integral development of the person, of society and of the common good of peoples and nations. This calls for some kind of regulation of financial practices in order to discourage the greed and reckless speculation which contributed to the present recession and its damaging effects on peoples’ lives and wellbeing.
* The civilization of love upholds and defends the dignity and equality of every human person, while celebrating in a special way the rich and profound complementarity of man and woman.
* The civilization of love is one in which there is peace among nations. It strives for an end to war and conflict. It seeks to remove weapons of mass destructions from the face of the earth.
* It strives for the eradication of injustice, poverty and disease in all its forms throughout the world.
* It puts the good of human beings at the heart of its commitment to the integrity of the created world and to the protection of the environment.
* In a word, the civilization of love recognises that the God whom we encounter in the person of Jesus Christ is the source, good and goal of the entire human project.

Bishop Tartaglia condemns the heavy-handed use of equality legislation which has, in fact, inhibtied the freedom of Catholics and other Christians:
Let your candidates know that these rights have been under threat in modern-day Britain from a heavy-handed use of equality legislation which claims to sit in judgement upon Church doctrines which have guided Christian belief and practice for centuries. This same legislation tends to inhibit Christians and faith groups from freely expressing and acting upon their own religious and moral convictions.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Legionaries of Christ - encouragement and renewal

VIS carries news of the results of the work of the visitators to the Legionaries of Christ. Pope Benedict has assured the Legionaries that
their vocation, which originates in Christ's call and is driven by the ideal of being witnesses of His love to the world, is a genuine gift from God, a treasure for the Church, and the indestructible foundation upon which each of them can build their own future and that of the Legion.
This is a good light in which to read the whole report.

Pope Benedict: the Shroud of Turin reveals 'the mystery of Holy Saturday'

Pope Benedict made the following remarks after venerating the Shroud of Turin yesterday (translation provided by Zenit):
Dear Friends,

This is a moment that I have been waiting for for quite some time. I have found myself before the sacred Shroud on another occasion but this time I am experiencing this pilgrimage and this pause with particular intensity: perhaps because the years make me more sensitive to the message of this extraordinary icon; perhaps, and I would say above all, because I am here as Successor of Peter, and I carry in my heart the whole Church, indeed, all of humanity. I thank God for the gift of this pilgrimage, and also for the opportunity to share with you a brief meditation, which was suggested to me by the title of this solemn exhibition: “The Mystery of Holy Saturday.” One could say that the Shroud is the icon of this mystery, the icon of Holy Saturday. It is in fact a winding sheet, which covered the corpse of a man who was crucified, corresponding to everything that the Gospels say of Jesus, who was crucified about noon and died at about 3 in the afternoon.

Once evening came, since it was Parasceve, the eve of the solemn Sabbath of Passover, Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy and influential member of the Sanhedrin, courageously asked Pontius Pilate to be able to bury Jesus in his new tomb, that he had made in the rock not far from Golgotha. Having received the permission, he bought linen and, taking the body of Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in the linen and put him in that tomb (cf. Mark 15:42-46). This is what is related by the Gospel of St. Matthew and the other evangelists. From that moment, Jesus remained in the sepulcher until the dawn of the day after the Sabbath, and the Shroud of Turin offers us the image of how his body was stretched out in the tomb during that time, which was brief chronologically (about a day and a half), but was immense, infinite in its value and its meaning.

Holy Saturday is the day of God’s concealment, as one reads in an ancient homily: “What happened? Today there is great silence upon the earth, great silence and solitude. Great silence because the King sleeps … God died in the flesh and descended to make the kingdom of hell (‘gli inferi’) tremble” (“Homily on Holy Saturday,” PG 43, 439). In the Creed we confess that Jesus Christ “was crucified under Pontius Pilate, died and was buried; he descended into hell (‘negli inferi’), and the third day he rose again from the dead.”

Dear brothers and sisters, in our time, especially after having passed through the last century, humanity has become especially sensitive to the mystery of Holy Saturday. God’s concealment is part of the spirituality of contemporary man, in an existential manner, almost unconscious, as an emptiness that continues to expand in the heart. At the end of the 18th century, Nietzsche wrote: “God is dead! And we have killed him!” This celebrated expression, if we consider it carefully, is taken almost word for word from the Christian tradition, we often repeat it in the Via Crucis, perhaps not fully realizing what we are saying. After the two World Wars, the concentration camps, the gulags, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, our epoch has become in ever great measure a Holy Saturday: the darkness of this day questions all those who ask about life, it questions us believers in a special way. We too have something to do with this darkness.

And nevertheless, the death of the Son of God, of Jesus of Nazareth, has an opposite aspect, totally positive; it is a font of consolation and hope. And this makes me think that the sacred Shroud acts as a “photographic” document, with a “positive” and a “negative.” And in effect, this is exactly how it is: The most obscure mystery of faith is at the same time the most luminous sign of a hope without limits. Holy Saturday is the “no man’s land” between death and resurrection, but into this “no man’s land” has entered the One, the Only One, who has crossed it with the signs of his passion for man: “Passio Christi. Passio hominis.” And the Shroud speaks to us precisely of that moment; it witnesses precisely to the unique and unrepeatable interval in the history of humanity and the universe, in which God, in Jesus Christ, shared not only our dying, but also our remaining in death. The most radical solidarity. In that “time-beyond-time” Jesus Christ “descended into hell” (“agli inferi”) What does this expression mean? It means that God, made man, went to the point of entering into the extreme and absolute solitude of man, where no ray of love enters, where there is total abandonment without any word of comfort: “hell” (“gli inferi”). Jesus Christ, remaining in death, has gone beyond the gates of this ultimate solitude to lead us too to go beyond it with him.

We have all at times felt a frightening sensation of abandonment, and that which makes us most afraid of death is precisely this [abandonment]; just as when as children we were afraid to be alone in the dark and only the presence of a person who loves us could reassure us. So, it is exactly this that happened in Holy Saturday: In the kingdom of death there resounded the voice of God. The unthinkable happened: that Love penetrated “into hell” (“negli inferi”): that in the most extreme darkness of the most absolute human solitude we can hear a voice that calls us and find a hand that takes us and leads us out. The human being lives by the fact that he is loved and can love; and if love even has penetrated into the realm of death, then life has also arrived there. In the hour of extreme solitude we will never be alone: “Passio Christi. Passio hominis.”

This is the mystery of Holy Saturday! It is from there, from the darkness of the death of the Son of God, that the light of a new hope has shone: the light of the Resurrection. And it seems to me that looking upon this cloth with the eyes of faith one perceives something of this light. In effect, the Shroud was immersed in that profound darkness, but it is luminous at the same time; and I think that if thousands and thousands of people come to see it -- without counting those who contemplate copies of it -- it is because in it they do not see only darkness, but also light; not so much the defeat of life and love but rather victory, victory of life over death, of love over hatred; they indeed see the death of Jesus, but glimpse his resurrection [too]; in the heart of death there now beats life, inasmuch as love lives there. This is the power of the Shroud: from the countenance of this “Man of sorrows,” who takes upon himself man’s passion of every time and every place, even our passion, our suffering, our difficulties, our sins -- “Passio Christi. Passio hominis” -- from this moment there emanates a solemn majesty, a paradoxical lordship. This face, these hands and these feet, this side, this whole body speaks, it is itself a word that we can hear in silence. How does the Shroud speak? It speaks with blood, and blood is life! The Shroud is an icon written in blood; the blood of a man who has been scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and wounded in his right side. Every trace of blood speaks of love and of life. Especially that large mark near the side, made by blood and water that poured copiously from a great wound caused by a Roman spear, that blood and that water speak of life. It is like a spring that speaks in silence, and we can hear it, we can listen to it, in the silence of Holy Saturday.

Dear friends, let us praise the Lord always for his faithful and merciful love. Departing from this holy place, we carry in our eyes the image of the Shroud, we carry in our heart this word of love, and we praise God with a life full of faith, of love and of charity.

Thank you.

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

CIEL-UK Annual High Mass and One-day Conference. London, England

I have received the following which I am happy to pass on to readers:

CIEL-UK (Centre for International Study of the Liturgy) is holding the Annual and One-day Conference this year on Saturday, 29 May. As was the case last year, the venue for Mass is the London Oratory, 232 Brompton Road, Kensington, London, SW7 2RP. We are most grateful to Fr. Ignatius, the London Oratory Provost, in allowing use of the superb Oratory Church again this year. The celebrant will be the Very Rev. Richard Duffield, Cong. Orat., M.A. (Oxon) and John Henry Newman Distinguished Fellow, the Provost of the Birmingham Oratory.
The Mass will be a High Mass starting at 11 am. Of course, the rite will be that of the “Old Mass”, according to the Missale Romanum of 1962. In a departure from previous Annual Masses (which it is hoped will prove to be popular) Mass will be sung in plainchant, facilitating the participation of the congregation in song. It is also hoped to include a motet composed by James MacMillan. Once again the choir will be directed by Patrick Russill, Director of Music at the London Oratory. Patrick will be known to many Friends, but those who do not know about him will be interested to learn more.
We are most fortunate that the Head of Choral Conducting, Royal Academy of Music and Chief Examiner, Royal College of Organists, who was invited in 1987 by the Royal Academy of Music to found Britain’s first conservatoire church music department, supports our Annual Mass. The conservatoire was further developed in 1997 to provide the first UK specialist postgraduate choral direction course in the United Kingdom. This course now attracts students from around the world. Patrick is in demand as a visiting teacher at major European conservatoires and has been Visiting Professor of Choral Direction at the Leipzig Hochschule für Musik und Theater since 2000. He made his Royal Festival Hall organ recital debut in 1986 and has since played in Europe, Asia and throughout the UK.
His scholarly writing includes important articles on early Tudor liturgical organ music, Howells’s Latin church music and Dupré’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin of 1920. He was Musical Editor of the acclaimed Catholic Hymn Book (1998) and contributed the chapter on Catholic Germany to The Cambridge Companion to the Organ (1999). In 1993 Patrick was made an Honorary Patron of the Herbert Howells Society in recognition of his research and rediscovery of the early Latin music of Herbert Howells written for Westminster Cathedral. He is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music and an Honorary Fellow of both the Guild of Church Musicians and the Royal College of Organists – the highest accolade of each institution.
Patrick believes this Mass will be an exceptional musical and liturgical event. The Conference will take place in the afternoon in St Wilfrid's Hall at the Oratory at 2.30 pm. Entry will be £5.
Our principal speaker at the Conference is Dr James MacMillan CBE, who will present a lecture on Liturgical Music pre- and post-Vatican II. This renowned Catholic Scottish musician, a classical composer and conductor, was born at Kilwinning, in North Ayrshire on 16 July 1959. He studied musical composition at the University of Edinburgh as well as Durham University and gained his PhD in 1987. After lecturing in music at Manchester University he returned to Scotland, composing prolifically to become Associate Composer with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
His first work to attract attention was The Confession of Isobel Gowdie at the Proms in 1990 which gained great acclaim and brought more high-profile commissions, including a percussion concerto for fellow Scot Evelyn Glennie entitled “Veni, Veni, Emmanuel” in 1992, which has become his most performed work. He was also asked by Mstislav Rostropovich to compose a cello concerto, which was premiered by Rostropovich himself in 1997.
Not confining himself to classical music, he has worked occasionally with the folk band The Whistlebinkies, for whom he set and performed the William Soutar poem, "Tryst".
His Catholic faith has inspired many of his sacred works; for example, Magnificat (1999) and several Masses, which inspired a was uniquely marked by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in early 2005, with music entitled “From Darkness into Light”.
Scottish traditional music has also had a profound musical influence and is frequently discernible in his works. When the Scottish Parliament was reconvened in 1999 after 292 years, a fanfare composed by MacMillan accompanied the Queen into the chamber.
Amongst his many accomplishments and interests are his patronage of St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh and the London Oratory School Schola Cantorum. He was awarded the CBE in 2004. Married to his childhood sweetheart Lynne Frew, they have two daughters and a son.
As well as celebrating holy Mass, Father Duffield is now Actor (postulator) of the Cause of John Henry Cardinal Newman and he is our second speaker. Most will know the beatification of Cardinal Newman is expected during the Holy Father’s visit to the UK next September. Fr Duffield will make a short address on the status of Cardinal Newman’s cause. Fr Duffield took up his new post as Provost of the Birmingham Oratory in early February.
The afternoon will conclude with Solemn Benediction in the Little Oratory, followed by a reception in the Little Oratory. Nicole Hall’s “Granny” books will be offered for sale by Peter Hall at this time. Nicole was the foundress of CIEL-UK.
Flyer for 2010 Annual Pontifical High Mass Conference_2

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tomorrow to Northern Ireland

I'll be off to Derry, Northern Ireland, for the annual conference of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Back on Friday.

Annual crowning of Our Lady

We always crown our statue of Our Lady after the morning Mass on the first Sunday in May and hold a procession outside the church. However, due to very inclement weather, we had a shortened procession for the children which went out one door of the church and back in through another but remaining under the cover of our cloistered path. Our paparazza Maureen A was on hand and took a couple of snaps:

This year, for the first time, the crown was made of real flowers and will be renewed regularly during May. Grateful thanks to the Shamoon family for arranging this with a local florist.


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