Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Fr. Aladics of this diocese who recently took up residence in Sydney, Australia as chaplain to Campion College reports that he is now offering the Extraordinary Mass each Wednesday and that the students there love it. Please pray for Father Richard and that his work will see an increase in vocations to the religious life.
God bless Pope Benedict!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
On this day I would also ask your prayers for a priest friend of mine who is retiring from official priestly ministry today after over 5 decades of priestly service. Always a good friend to the LMS, and to our family it was he who offered our Nuptual Mass and assisted at our traditional Rite wedding.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Still, it has been very gratifying to receive so many suggestions, requests and offers of help from all manner of people. This morning I received notification from the LMS Office in London that five people have recently joined the Society in Leeds and Salford Dioceses, one of them a Priest.
I have since spoken to this Priest who is worried that introducing the TLM, which he has never offered but is keen to learn, will scandalize his parish or upset his fellow priests. He also realizes that an overnight switch would be confusing and looks forward to preparing himself and his parish for a special day in about twelve months with regular Masses in the EF thereafter..
I shall keep you posted, respecting Father's anonymity, until that time comes when everybody is ready and all will be welcome to attend the Masses.
Tomorrow I shall be dispatching a couple of e-mails to help me organize a Mass at Kirkstall Abbey. Please watch this blog.
Later this month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Mgr. Ronald Knox (Aug 24th.). However I might feel I can always find something in the Psalms to raise up my state to Almighty God. This state may be joyful or sorrowful. So too it is with the Pastoral Sermons and Occasional Sermons of Ronald Knox. I have written before in Facing Forward ( newsletter of the LMS in Leeds) about my elation reading Knox's, The Mass in Slow Motion which I notice is now back in print. THIS BOOK IS A MUST.
The times, they are a changing.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Tonight we were able to have our first altar server training session, which involved a total of 8 young men, from age nine to forty plus. The Cathedral was suggested to me because of its central location by Canon McCreadie and its ease of access by public and private transport. So when the Cathedral closed this evening after the 5.30p.m. Mass the training began. The sister sacristan at the Cathedral was her usual delightful self, she also attends some of the Masses at Batley with some of the other sisters. Everything was laid out perfectly for us as requested. Father Wiley joined us and was able to do the "priest" bits for us! The session ended with the celebration of Mass in the beautiful Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
Canon McCreadie popped his head round the sacristy door to welcome everybody and I thanked him for his generosity in allowing us to have our first training session at the Sacred Heart and St. Joseph altars. The 1962 Missal had been laid out in the sacristy.
Further follow up sessions are now being planned. Please e-mail me if you would like some training.
The Bishop has requested that the Extraordinary form of Mass be offered each Sunday from this Sunday onwards at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford at 3.00p.m. I have just managed to put together a full set of vestments, altar missal, altar cards, Communion plate and other bits and pieces for the Masses at St. Joseph's. (I have only just done the same for the forthcoming regular second Sunday Masses at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Bradford) I am now running out of vestments.
God bless the Pope!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I was also grateful this week when my eldest daughter won her place to read Modern Languages at university. Given the choice she opted for Leeds (the other being Manchester). Interestingly I studied at both these universities over a period of seven years. She really wanted to go to Manchester, but God love her, she admitted to thinking about family finances first, she will stay at home. She also said she'd have regular provision of the Gregorian Mass.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Reminder that there is Mass on Friday, the Feast of the Assumption, at Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, near Skipton at 11.30a.m.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Yesterday we were at Mass at Holy Name in Manchester and were privileged to hear Fr. Christopher Hilton's sermon about the meaning of the Epistle.
It was gratifying to be able to talk with people who had read a recent posting about Salford on this blog. Holy Name always has congregations at its 1962 Rite of Mass well in excess of a hundred, which appears to be a microcosm of the Church with many different ages, races, colours and social classes of people.
I always find it very uplifting.
God bless the Pope!
Friday, August 8, 2008
Late reminder that there is Mass this Saturday morning at Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike, at 11.30a.m. but that there will be no Mass at Halifax. Normal weekly Vigil Masses will resume there next week.
Now having being charged with the task of decorating our double landing and staircase and ensuring that the new carpet is in place, before our Italian relatives come for dinner next week I have now rediscovered a sense of urgency after three weeks of school holiday. My favourite is always curry - but they invariably prefer....Italian. A tin of ravioli from the corner shop with a dusting of parmisan cheese is not what they expect (or will get), simply because it will be an honour for us, once again, to receive our guests,who visit us in thankfully ever increasing numbers.
Chesterton's poem about Heckmondwike will appear later today.
Any other men or boys wishing to learn to serve the extraordinary Rite of Mass should e-mail me now as I now have to propose a date to the Dean of the Cathedral within the next day. Those who have already responded to this and also the September training day at Halifax for the Gregorian Chant Workshop will receive details in due course.
A quick scan through this week's Catholic Times reveals, once again, another of Mgr. Basil Loftus's insidious attack on the modern Church in another one of his increasingly nostalgic and fantastic views of what the Pastoral Council, that Vat II was; and again seems to totally disregard the hermeneutic of continuity of which the Pope has spoken about.
Father Basil, without doubt a wonderfully talented individual, would do well to think about how society here has changed since the heady days of the 1960s. Empty churches, closed parishes, few vocations, falling birthrate, closed schools, huge divorce rates and grotesque levels of abortion. Can we say that to compensate we do have active parish councils and liturgy commissions?
Thursday, August 7, 2008
When I was at Manchester the Salford Rep was Kevin Cave who did an often thankless but always tireless and ultimately productive job in the pre-1988 Indult days. One occasion I remember was a Solemn High Mass in the Norbertine Rite at Corpus Christi, Varley Street. Walter Atkinson, MC in Leeds at the time, spent months researching the Rite and rubrics. The hall attached to the church was full after the Mass as was the church during the Mass. Some of the people at that Mass are some of the people I still see at Masses in Salford nowadays - doubtless similar die-hards. Thanks be to Almighty God for answering all our collective prayers and sacrifices in years gone by. The challenges do not, however, go away and the implementation of the latest laws of the Church with regard to the 1962 Liturgical books remains a priority for this blogger.
An altar card of the beginning of St. John's Gospel ,beautifully handwritten by Kevin Cave for use at some of the Masses he organized now overlooks our dining table.
But how times have changed; a brand new set of altar cards is now easily available for literally next to nothing over the internet simply by downloading a file from any one of several Websites.
My profile on this blogsite lists family history as one of my interests. Whilst stuck in a traffic jam at 10.30p.m. last night on the M62 on the way back from Mass I thought about some of my ancestors from over the Pennines in Lancashire. Primarily there were the Gornalls who go back nearly a thousand years to northwestern English monastic life and whose name has only one origin (and not to Ireland as I initially imagined). Then there were the Edmundsons of Lancaster who were certainly well established in business and eventually related to some of the Catholic Cunninghams of the north east of England around, if memory serves correctly, Sunderland. I have also discovered that one of my mother's descendants was the very last person in England to be (wait for it..) burned at the stake. This took place at Lichfield in the Market Place and I believe a shield marks the spot. He was a puritan by the name of Wightman. Fr. Wiley hopes that this trend doesn't run in the family.
The Wightman family (which was at one point made up of farmers) has graves immediately in front of the south door of All Saints ancient (C of E) Parish Church, Featherstone, which contains a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Walsingham like the one in the baptistry at Holy Spirit (R.C.), Heckmondwike.
Again, the mere mention of the name of the town of Heckmondwike caused much amusement recently, which as I keep saying to increasing numbers of people is much maligned. Now that I have found my copy of the handwritten poem to Heckie's P.P by G.K. Chesterton about this square-mile town and that I am resolved to post a picture of one of the regular Saturday morning Masses there, I shall also endeavour to post my transcript of this lovely little literary frivolity tomorrow.
Needless to say that Heckie's links with Chesterton, who was a regular visitor and friend of Mgr. John O'Connor on whom the Father Brown's stories were based, does make it a point of interest, not least, in the renewed interest in the works of G.K.C.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Father Abberton has now also incorporated the sung collect and post-Communion prayer into the first Sunday Masses at Holy Spirit. Masses at Broughton and Heckmondwike both concluded with the singing of Faith of our Fathers.
Verse 4 of that hymn, "Faith of our Fathers! we will love/ Both friend and foe in all our strife:/ And preach thee too, as love knows how/ By kindly words and virtuous life.... " summed up perfectly the conclusions reached in the sermons at those two Masses. One lady even asked me if we were now allowed to sing this hymn again. As I gladly assured her tht we are as free as ever to sing this hymn I cringed inside upon realization that good faithful Catholics had been so terribly misled by those who should have known far better. My own grandmother was told many years ago, in the Confessional box, to forget all the "rubbish" she had been taught about the Faith at school.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
As well as learning to sing some polyphony, and being thrilled at having the chance to learn some elementary Greek she was visibly moved when telling me that Fr. Southwell said she was welcome to attend next year, when she will be 19. For the first time, the Church's Social Teaching was on the Curriculum and when I immediately referred to Rerum Novarum she gave me a very sideward look, having thought that she might have been able to catch me out on something. Her team was, alas, in third place this year, but she does assure me that got all the Greek right.
As I said in my post last week it was really good to see so many children and teenagers learning about the Faith, moreover less than a hundred miles away in Oxford and at the same time, there were priests who at a far different level, were also learning about the Faith and Liturgy.
We in the North need to get ourselves sorted out to be able to host such events ourselves - for the simple reason that it would be more convenient for the priests and laypeople who live north of Nottingham to attend. Please e-mail me with any ideas you have about this and any offers of financial help. Please let us overcome this sense of northern isolation.
Living in Bradford as I do, where mosques are springing up all the time and Catholic churches and parishes are in decline, it was touching to hear of the young Muslim girl who was attending another event at Ardingly College and who attended recitation of the Rosary in the College chapel on two evenings. Afterwards she told my daughter how much she had enjoyed the prayers; needless to say we now have to pray for this girl to convert. At the same time I would ask you to pray for a young man in the Manchester area who is a described by a a very reliable source as a good Christian man who needs Rome, but doesn't yet see this. Please pray for all those people who are presently considering converting to Roman Catholicism and invoke Our Lady of Walsingham and St. Nicholas Owen when doing this.
A priest in Bradford told me of a young Muslim couple he had instructed, baptized and confirmed, yet before this the couple had already received death threats from their respective families. This couple has since left the UK.
I have just found my copy of the original facsimile of G.K.Chesterton's observations of Heckmondwike in the form of a poem, probably penned on the train on his way to visit his friend Mgr. John O'Connor, who was under Fr. Hinsley in the early days of Bradford's St. Bede's Grammar School. As mentioned before Heckmondwike will be the subject of a future posting. Mgr. O'Connor was responsible for the building of the "Round church" of the First Martyrs in Heights Lane, Bradford. Fr. O'Connor was Chesterton's inspiration for the Father Brown stories.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Football is something that has never interested me, but this does not keep me looking at the career of one of my ex-pupils Andy O'Brien, who played for Bradford City, Newcastle and now plays for a southern team. According to the Leeds Diocese Website Andy was back in his native Knaresborough recently to open a nature pond at his old primary school, St. Mary's. When I taught Andy his GCSE German at St. John Fisher in Harrogate, and he passed it with flying colours, he was one of the first pupils to personally contact me to thank me for inspiring him in the classroom. His mum was like a dog with two tails at the year 11 parents' evening when I told her he would "walk" the exam.
My handwritten reports could be worth a fortune in years to come if he should ever play for his country!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Apologies also for the errors which have appeared in the Mass listings. I shall sort this out a.s.a.p.
Sorry also that the Halifax Masses yesterday and next Saturday have had to be cancelled.
Judging by my daughter's telephone calls things have been a great success down there and I am looking forward to catching up on all the news when she gets back later today. I must thank Paul Waddington, rep in neighbouring Middlesbrough and fellow Committee member for so readily agreeing to bring her back from the Summer School. Paul is spending time with his relatives near to Ardingly.
I shall be serving the Mass at English Martyrs, York at 6.00p.m. for Paul as well as at our regular Leeds Masses at Broughton (11.30a.m.) and Heckmondwike (2.30p.m.)
As ever please do what you can to attend our Masses.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I arrived back from Oxford last night just in time to serve the First Friday Mass at Batley, where two of the sisters from the neighbouring convent were again in attendance with several other parishioners who continue to attend in ever increasing numbers. It was good to catch up with Father Wiley again who returned from World Youth Day when I was in France last week. Since then a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. Merton was an enormous success - the atmosphere was positively electric and after the second day I had lost count how many Masses I had served. I had to rise at 5.30a.m. to take a coach to the Oxford Oratory where Masses were offered at each of the altars in the church, at the altar in the house chapel and at a makeshift altar in the parish hall. In the afternoons I served Masses at makeshift altars at Merton and the stories priests told of their joy at learning to say the traditional Mass were as humbling as they were inspiring. The picture above shows part of the procession before Friday's Solemn Pontifical High Mass offered by the Abbot of Lagrasse. The sermon at this Mass was preached by former Leeds Priest, Father John Osman who was chaplain to the University of Bradford. It was wonderful for me to catch up with him after so many years.
Other Leeds priests at the conference were Canon McCreadie, Father Billington, Father Hall and Father Lawler. Canon McCreadie and Father Billington had previously had only limited exposure to the traditional Mass but I have no doubt that they were impressed with the liturgy they encountered and the training they received. I doubt it will be long before these priests are regularly offering the traditional Mass in their parishes. Father Hall will be our celebrant at the Masses at St. Peter's, Bradford starting in September. Father Hall attended as a beginner last year and this year was on an advanced course.
As well as serving Mass and attending vespers each day and compline on Wednesday evening I had a great opportunity to meet lots of interesting new people and make lots of new contacts, as did everybody else there. The lectures given by Rev. Dr. Hemming and Rev. Dr. Reid were quite outstanding and will be published in due course by the LMS.
Bishop McMahon of Nottingham came and offered pontifical Vespers on Thursday and joined us for dinner afterwards. He gave an extremely uplifting and hilarious speech after dinner and received a rapturous standing ovation from his mainly clerical listeners.
From my time at the conference I see that after less than a year of its implementation the Motu Proprio is not going to go away. It is now the law of the Church and despite those who would rather wish to see it not being implemented by pretending it doesn't exist I cannot help but think - probably for the first time in my life - that the future is bright. The 60 priests who benefited from the conference would, I'm sure, testify to this.
Deo gratias! God bless the Pope!