Thursday, April 30, 2009

A good lead

Fr. Abberton has an excellent little set of posts about veiling at the moment on his Stela maris blogsite. See


May is the month of our Blessed Lady.

Certain pieces of very exciting pieces of information have come my way in the last couple of days which will give me plenty more to pray for during this month dedicated to our Blessed Queen and Mother.
Prayer for England
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother look down in mercy upon England, thy dowry, and upon us who greatly hope and trust in thee.
By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more.
Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the cross, O Sorrowful Mother, Intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold, they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son.
Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith, fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee in our heavenly home.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Feels like Heaven?

This picture from another LMS link of the recent Northern Conference should go down in history.

One priest said that the Mass pictured above was like heaven to him. I would love to see this picture on the front of a future edition of Mass of Ages. Another person said it would be a wonderful Christmas card.

There is a traditional pulse beating strongly in the frozen north and the torrid south.

Deo gratias!
God bless the Pope!


There is to be a solemn sung Requiem on Monday June 15th. at 7.30p.m. at St. Marie's Gibbett Street, Halifax. This will be for the repose of the soul of Fr. Charles Holmes who died in early April. This date was chosen as it also marks the 52nd. anniversary of Fr. Holmes' ordination to the priesthood in Lisbon, Portugal in 1957.

Mass at Bewerley

During half term there will be a Mass for the feast of St. Augustine at Bewerley Grange chapel, Pateley Bridge on Tuesday May 26th. at 11.30a.m. It will be a sung Mass. Thanks to Fr. Parfitt (pictured at our October Mass).
Reminders to follow.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Walking on sunshine

Ushaw was a wonderful success and even during the short time I was there I was able to do a lot of valuable networking and start to arrange several things in this diocese. The clergy who attended seemed to really enjoy themselves and clearly learned a lot.
To see nine altars being used simultaneously for morning private Masses was a wonderful and memorable sight.
A letter was read out from Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in praise of the LMS's endeavours to offer training in the rubrics of the 1962 Rite of Mass.
The ripples of Ushaw 2009 will be felt for quite a while.

Deo Gratias!
God bless the Pope!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On the road

Tomorrow after school I shall be travelling straight up to Ushaw College in Durham to attend Vespers and Benediction and dinner, to be followed by the Solemn High Mass on Thursday morning, before packing up the twenty sets of red, white and gold vestments along with missals and stands for 10 altars and lots of other things I had to put together and transport to the Sacristan for the week on Sunday, to bring them back home.

Fr. Wiley and Father David Smith are both on the staff with a good number of Leeds priests attending as students. Fr. Wiley e-mailed me earlier today to say how well things were going and said that yesterday's High Mass was as he imagined heaven to be.
I am looking forward to going up to Ushaw and to re-establishing links with clergy who attended the Oxford Conference in the summer, who have returned to learn the next step and to get to know the new faces with a view to providing support in the future as they make the EF of the Mass a part of their regular ministry, as do so many of our clergy now in these post Summorum Pontificum days.

God bless the Pope!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Divine Mercy Sunday

Holy Mass will be offered tomorrow - Sunday at 3.00p.m. at the hour of the Divine Mercy at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford. Quasimodo Sunday, or Missa in albis, or Low Sunday and dedicated by Pope John Paul II as Divine Mercy Sunday is a source of many graces.

In the same deanery but at St. Joseph's , Pontefract later at 6.30p.m. there will be the reception of the body of Fr. Holmes followed by Holy Mass in the OF. Bishop Roche will officiate at the Requiem Mass on Monday.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Easter

Firstly may I thank everybody who enabled the Sacred Triduum to take place so smoothly at Notre Dame chapel, Leeds. Thanks to Father Kravos the University Chaplain, Fr. Hall the celebrant of the entire Triduum whose singing of the Exultet was spine-tingling and whose kindness and patience were more than touching. Thanks to Mike Forbester and his very kind co-cantor for the singing and to Paul, Michael and Joe for the serving. Thanks also to Mr. Rutherford for acting as reader and collector on Holy Saturday.

On Good Friday I woke up with gout.
This has been extremely painful. I have been unable to drive and have spent the best part of the last two days in bed with an uncovered elevated foot, -perhaps also feeling slightly relieved at the rest it has afforded.

I now have to prepare and wrap 20 sets of Vestments, 10 sets of candlesticks, cruets, lavabo bowls and towels, having already dispatched 6 missal stands. I now need to print and laminate 10 sets of vesting prayers, prayers at the foot of the altar and Leonine prayers, prepare markers for 10 missals and set the missals and prepare these for dispatch for Low Week training conference for priests to be held next week at Ushaw.
I hope it's wet tomorrow!

God Bless the Pope!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Holy week begins

There have been several Masses over the weekend in the Traditional Rite for Palm Sunday.

Mass in the newly decorated resplendent church of St. Marie's Halifax was preceded by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament on Saturday.

This morning in beautiful weather we had an open air procession at Broughton. The beautiful Mass witnessed the collapse of a regular attendee before Holy Communion. I have since been in touch with him and he is back at home. Father Parfitt administered a particle of the Host to him and he came round.

There was also Mass at Castleford this afternoon. This church has some of the most beautiful windows I have seen in a church of this era.

The Passion read at Mass today is a preview of what we are to re-live this week. Preparations are well underway for the Triduum to be held at Notre Dame Chapel, Leeds. See the sidebar for details.

Sad news

It is with great sadness that I report the death of Fr. Charles Holmes, the last Parish Priest of Holy Family, Chequerfield, Pontefract upon its absorption into the Parish of St. Joseph when Father retired aged 76 last August.
I have known Fr. Holmes for 35 years, he officiated at our marriage, at our request in Latin, when things were less straightforward than they are today.
Long before this, Father had requested permission to offer the old Mass when he was PP in Old Goole, to conclude the 40 hours devotion. Such permission was refused on the grounds that this should not be a parochial event.
He never mentioned it again, but at a time when the TLM was a taboo subject, Fr. Holmes was one of a very small number of priests who never refused us. He let us use the church for Low, Sung and Solemn High Mass. After one such Mass I remember a collection being taken in Chequerfield, where there were well over seventy at Mass. When I gave the basket to Fr. Holmes after Mass I remember his eyes rolling up to the ceiling. "Take it boy!", he said without reserve or hesitation. (I was 34 at the time.)
At Mass this evening at Halifax, Fr. Smith had before him the set of Mass cards given to him by Fr. Holmes which had belonged to the late Canon Bernard Shaw.
When he retired, Fr. Holmes gave me the only set of vestments he actually owned ,which he had taken from parish to parish, hand made for him from a wedding dress by an old nun who was partially blind. Doing this he said that I would know what to do with them. When recently he realised that the burse, veil and possibly maniple were still in the sacristy he made arrangements with me to get it. I had already got a bar of diabetic chocolate and book to take to him over Easter for our holiday meal.
Of your charity please pray for the repose of his soul.
Fr. Charles B. Holmes. April 3rd. 2009. R.I.P.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Archbishop Nichols

At the first LMS Training Conference in 2007 at Merton College I acted as crozier bearer to Archbishop Nichols, who opened the Conference. I also sat opposite to him afterwards at lunch. He said he had spent a lot of his holiday preparing his sermon for the occasion and then chatted away thereafter.
He put me very much at ease with his totally natural humility and sincerity.
At the very least we have a man who has the intelligence, determination and Faith to bring Catholics together, regardless of their preference for the EF or OF of the Mass in an orthodox way whilst allowing all that the Faith allows, and moreover in the face of rampant secularism.
I pray that he will increasingly embrace and promote the Benedictine reform of the reforms (especially in light of Cardinal Hoyos' rebuke of the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila for his rejection of the norms laid down by Summorum Pontificum, reminding him that nobody has the right to regulate what the Pope has allowed in what is now part of the Universal Law of the Church).
God bless the Pope!

A productive meeting

Tonight I had a co-ordination meeting with Fr. Wiley, diocesan co-ordinator for the TLM. As ever we were able to exchange news and views and to make further plans for the direction we are taking to become increasingly more mainstream.

Top of the agenda was arrangements for the Priests' training conference at Ushaw in Low week.

Several Leeds priests have signed up for the conference and two are on the staff. Fr. Wiley will be the sacristan, a position he held as a student there in the 1980s and Fr. David Smith, PP of St. Marie's Halifax who will be a tutor.

I have had a good number of people contacting me by 'phone and e-mail about the Sacred Triduum, to be held at Notre Dame Leeds, for the first time in many many years. Please pray for this event if you are unable to attend yourself.

Please remember also our Holy Father Pope Benedict and the new Archbishop of Westminster in your prayers.

Our Lady, Mother of the Church, pray for us.