Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Masses tomorrow, for the Feast formerly known as the Circumcision are at Broughton Hall at 11.30a.m. and at St. Mary of the Angels, Batley at 3.00p.m.

Mass at Broughton on Friday at 9.30a.m. BUT NOT AT BATLEY. Apologies for the short notice.

It is now 12 minutes to midnight. The academic /work year began in September, the Church year began on the First Sunday of Advent and now it's nearly 2009.

Let us continue to pray for peace, a sound appointment in Westminster, continued health of our Holy Father Pope Benedict and increased positive interest and participation in the 1962 Rite of Mass and Sacraments.

With every good wish to all of you who take the time to check out this blog and appreciate its content and intention.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back to normal

I heard a delightful quote recently on Radio 4. A fellow announced that his new year's resolution was to live each day henceforth as if it were his last, his pal was quick to point out that this would be a lot like his present existence where he already spent most of the time in bed slipping in and out of consciousness.
I have had that sort of Christmas and I feel fully refreshed, just about. I have a lot to squeeze in over the next few days, but it is mainly things I enjoy doing anyway.
Back to normal.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Gloria in excelsis Deo

Christmas greetings to everyone. It was lovely to hear the Gloria sung at our Mass at Batley, the First Mass of Christmas, a Missa cantata. Nearly 90 parishioners and members turned out for the Mass which was sung by Fr. Wiley. The Epistle and Gospel were chanted in English, as provided for in Summorum Pontificum. It detracts not one iota from the solemnity of the Mass.

Thank you to everybody for your cards and gifts. I shall get round to writing this year's cards before the Epiphany! Seriously, I have never been so behind. God bless us all at this time of the year and give us more time to get ready next year!

Mass on Friday at Broughton at 9.30a.m.
Mass on Saturday at Broughton at 9.30a.m., at Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike at 11.30a.m., at St. Mary's, Batley (Vigil) at 3.00p.m. and at St. Marie's, Halifax, (Vigil) at 6.00p.m.

On Sunday Mass will be offered at Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardigan Road, Leeds at 3.00p.m. and at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Rd., Castleford also at 3.00p.m.

Mass on Monday and Wednesday at Broughton at 9.30a.m.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fr Abberton at full force

Today at Mass at Castleford, Father Abberton gave an absolutely astonishing and beautiful sermon on our Blessed Lady, the Arc of the Covenant and the link with the unborn John the Baptist, who began his vocation by leaping in his mother's womb when Our Lady carrying Jesus in her womb visited St. Elizabeth. Mary carried in her virginal womb the Word of God, the Priesthood , and the Blessed Eucharist.

The richness and sumptuousness of Fr. Abberton's sermon made it more enjoyable than the finest Christmas pudding I could ever wish to eat.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


When we got to St. Marie's in Halifax tonight the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and there was a lot of activity near the confessional. Fr. Lister and Fr. Smith and possibly other clergy had heard hundreds of confessions during the day between them. A good crowd at Mass and the opportunity to go to confession as well as receiving Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, made it a personally very special start to the drama and joy and sorrow and glory of the Christmas Season, when I can drop the purple background to this blogsite and brighten it up. The colours have to be a bit insipid so that the text is legible.

Today on Radio 4 I listened to a very interesting account of the story of the Magi by Ian Hislop; having been only 10 feet away from the reliquary of the Magi in Cologne Cathedral just a week ago, and as a former citizen of Cologne, I was fascinated to hear Ian describing a special inspection he was allowed to make of the huge reliquary. He saw three skulls.
The reliquary is believed to be the finest example of the talents of medieval goldsmiths in existence.
My class could not believe how precious and fine it was, in the same way they couldn't fathom how the three gift bearers could all be together again.
But their example of offering gifts at Christmastide has become embodied in the Christmas tradition. The gifts they offered were deeply symbolic, as a foretaste of what was to come for their Divine recipient. These men were gentiles, how special then, that sacrifice and offering from non-Jews was one of the first recorded acts associated with the birth of Christ.

I now have time to see if I can download an i-podcast of Ian Hislop's programme!

Please pray for an old Priest friend to the Latin Mass Society, who before retiring never refused to let his church be used for celebrations of the Old Mass - moreso when attitudes were far less positive to those with those rightful aspirations referred to by Pope John Paul II. Father's only ever request, which was to complete the traditional 40 hours devotion celebrations with Low Mass was, in my opinion, shamefully refused by Bishop Konstant.
Father has been in hospital, but as far as I can understand is now at home, but I've been unable to speak to him. Father wouldn't thank me for mentioning his name. So I won't.

Holidays at last

A hectic and quite troubling week is over. The internal workings and decisions of the Committee got onto some of the blogs this week following a leak to the journalist Damian Thompson. I have been inundated with calls about this and it has been really interesting to hear so many ideas and opinions about the direction the Society should now take in these post Summorum Pontificum days.

I have also spoken to Walter Atkinson, our former long time MC who is very well but quite frail these days. He is looking forward the the next Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes, Leeds on the last Sunday of the month.

I have also recieved calls and letters from people saying that they had been too ill to get to the Masses at Bradford and Castleford last Sunday. Attendance at St. Peter's was dismal with only a quarter of the congregation of the time before when we had our sung Requiem.

One person who was at St. Peter's was an excellent new blogger JT of the my heart was restless blogsite I am delighted to be able to permanently link her blog from this blogsite. This was her first Mass in the 1962 Rite and it had a deep effect on her, which she recounts on her blog. Please take a look.

Mass tomorrow at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford at 3.00p.m. for the Fourth Sunday in Advent.
Mass on Monday at Broughton at 9.30a.m.
Mass on Wednesday at Broughton at 9.30a.m.
and First Mass of Christmas at St. Mary of the Angels, Cross Bank Road, Batley at 3.00p.m.
Mass on Friday at Broughton at 9.30a.m.

For those in the western extremeties there will be a traditional Midnight Mass at St. Osmund's, Long Lane, Bolton, preceded by carols from 11.15p.m.

On New Year's day there will be Mass in the morning at Broughton, at 11.30a.m. and in the afternoon at St. Mary of the Angels, Batley at 3.00p.m.

Isn't God good to us?!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

After gale force 9 at sea

Back home.

Tired. Still bunged up with an unshakable cold but delighted that our pupils' behaviour was excellent on the recent trip to Cologne.

Had things gone to plan I ought to have gone over to Stydd Chapel, Ribchester for Mass this afternoon. After force 9 gales for six hours over the North Sea last night (which does not bother me in the least) but with 8 hours of consoling any number of over 30 worried 11 year olds, wiping up vomit and avoiding the T word (which on an aeroplane is the B word, where B=bomb and T= Titanic) and 2hrs waiting to disembark left me with 20 minutes to drive over 60 miles.
I was there in spirit.

Mass at Halifax tonight saw familiar and welcome faces from Middlesbrough diocese with a decent spread of parishioners and members who turned out for the first Gaudete Sunday Mass.

Fr. Smith, in his sermon, eloquently likened the end of the world to the end of our own personal world - i.e. at the moment of our death. The message that the act of rejoicing should be active and not simply passive acceptance was a common thread through Fr. Smith's sermon.

St. Marie's Halifax, is one of the increasing number of parishes in this Diocese where the Extraordinary Form of Mass, according to the Liturgical books of 1962 is a regular part of parish life. This parish is vibrant. As well as the 1962 Mass, Mass is offered in the OF in English, Polish and Italian with confessions in Spanish at call.

Mass tomorrow at ST.PETER'S, LEEDS ROAD, LAISTERDYKE, BRADFORD AT 3.00p.m. This will be a Missa cantata. This is one of our latest regular venues with a Mass every second Sunday at 3.00p.m.

Low Mass will be offered at the same time of 3.00p.m. at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Rd., Castleford .

Thinking about the meaning of storm when at sea, Saints Peter and Paul , the Papacy and the Blessed English Martyrs spring instantly to mind.

Pax vobis .

God bless Pope Benedict XVI.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Good news from Rome...less so from Bradford

This week has been very unpleasant so far. I have spent two days in bed suffering the effects of the the latest bug to be doing the rounds. Tomorrow I have to take 43 children and four staff to Cologne, via Hull and Rotterdam. The idea does not fill me with joy at the moment!

However 2 very interesting pieces of news from Rome have cheered me up today.

Firstly the Pope has elected Cardinal Canizares aka "Little Ratzinger" to replace Cardinal Arinze at the Congregation for Divine Worship. As some wag commented.....tick, tick, tick.
Secondly the Holy Father has invited all the Benedictine Abbots and Abbesses of the world to join him for Mass and Prayer of the Church on Ascension Thursday, 24th. May 2009 at Montecassino.

No posts until Saturday.

Auf Wiedersehen.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December 8th. Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Maria, conceived without stain of original sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I am the LMS rep for two dioceses. Leeds and Salford. My telephone number is no secret.
Usually those people who telephone me are totally courteous and patient when it is not me, but one of any of our five children or their grandparents, aunties, uncles or even friends who pick up the telephone. In the last few days and weeks members of my family have been subjected to rudeness and being hung up upon.
This seems to have mainly been because those answering the 'phone didn't know if I knew this or that or who was speaking or who was celebrant at such and such a Mass, but far worse because the person in question was asked to leave their name und contact details.

This is for me a cross. I am happy to carry this cross for myself.

My family is something else.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Priest Training Conference

Plans are well under way for the Priest Training Conference to be held at Ushaw Seminary in Low Week 2009 and already several priests have registered to attend. I received a call from a Priest in the South of England this evening requesting further information.
Such a conference would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, as would have been the two Oxford Conferences held over the last two summers.
A glance at blogs like the New Liturgical Movement, Rorate Caeli and the LMS website paint a very positive picture, locally, nationally and internationally.
The genie is out of the bottle.

God bless Pope Benedict XVI!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

First Friday Masses

Mass at Broughton on Friday at 9.30a.m. with confessions at call.
In the evening Mass at St. Mary of the Angels, Batley at 7.30p.m. Preceded by confessions.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Lift up your heads because your redemption is at hand

Tomorrow there will be two Masses for the First Sunday of Advent, a time when we are encouraged to wake up, to smell the coffee and start thinking about the last things and doing something about it. We sometimes get into the Advent is preparation for Christmas mentality, spiritually I think this is only a very small part of it. The light at the end of the tunnel sometimes prematurely obscures the solid glow of the advent crown candles as they grow in number for this glorious season.

Mass at Batley, St Mary of the Angels, Cross Bank Road. 3.00p.m.

Mass at Halifax, St. Marie's, Gibbet Street, 6.00p.m.

(Saturday Masses at Broughton at 9.30a.m. and Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike at 11.30a.m.)

On Sunday there is Mass at St. Joseph's, Castleford at 3.00p.m. the celebrant will be Mgr. Steele, whose gift of preaching, few could or would deny, is an occasion in itself. His sermons are manifest examples of Faith, Hope and Charity rolled into one, invariably thought-provoking, inspiring and always spiritually gratifying. Mgr. Steele brings Scripture to life in a way which makes your mouth water because you can almost taste the air Our Lord breathed 2000 years ago. Mgr. Steele who never obscurs the Truth invariably gives those who hear him a sense of real hope.
Also, Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardigan Road, Leeds at 3.00p.m.
I hope to be able to announce further positive developments in the provision of Mass over the next couple of weeks, for this reason I am delaying sending out the latest issue of the newsletter Facing Forward. Rather more a case of looking forward!

Invitations have this week been sent out to clergy in several northern dioceses advertising the forthcoming Ushaw Seminary Training Conference to be held during Low week 2009. The original dates clashed with another booking which had already requested use of the magnificent chapel - this would, it was felt, have been too restrictive. Some clergy in this diocese are already involved. Others here and in Salford have already expressed interest.

As November comes to an end I feel slightly better than I did at the end of October having remembered to pray for the Dead far more than offering the Rosary. Advent means time for me to make another good Confession - more of a "big shop" than the "usual list". Penance is thankfully a very personal Sacrament - we have it to decide how we wish to conduct it and with which confessor we choose. It is under an amazing seal, a privilege, a humility, a cleanser deeper than any high cost lotions and potions, a direct line with God the Father and Redeemer. It can be anonymous or totally personal and face to face or behind the grill.

The new confessional in Leeds Cathedral is one of the most comfortable public confessional "cubes" I have been in - it is traditional and futuristic and everybody-friendly.

Confessions also at call at Broughton, Halifax, Bradford and Batley before or after Masses.


I was saddened to learn of the death of Middlesbrough Rep and Committee member's mother, Mrs. Waddington in Sussex. She died on Sunday at the age of 93. My daughter had the privilege to have lunch with her after the final Mass of the St. Catherine's Summer School at Ardingley College earlier this year. Please remember Mrs. Waddington and the family in your prayers. I shall request Mass be offered for the repose of her soul on the first Sunday of December at English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York at 6.00p.m.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Green shoots

It is good to see that some other blogsites have picked up on the great news about the Trappists in Germany starting to use their traditional liturgy once again, as I posted about yesterday.

Upon reflection during the day I began to realise the significance of this "gamble", as one blogger referred to it. With about a baker's dozen (which is no bad number to start off with) monks, it will be very interesting to watch how the numbers change over the coming years. I am not a betting man, but.......

There seems to be so much happening in the Church, so much for Her good; increased acceptance of the TLM from priests and laity alike, strong parish bonds between devotees of both Rites, a re-introduction of Eucharistic adoration and Benediction in many parishes, more eastward facing Masses in the New Rite, big space in the Catholic media (see Latin Masses section in the latest Leeds freebie Catholic Post), chant workshops here, there and everwhere etc.

As the Church springs back into life let us see what Advent brings - the start of Her year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Light in the dark

A bright light shone out to me tonight as I read that the Trappists of Mariawald in the Diocese of Aachen in Germany have received permission for a return to the liturgical books of 1962 , under the guidance of their young Consecrated Abbott, Josef.
Not only is this truly wonderful news for the future of the Church in Germany and monasticism in general but it sends out the signal that the older rites are prevailing and in the places that matter. Regular Sunday Masses in London, Cologne, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Duesseldorf, Edinburgh, Sydney, Manilla, Birmingham, New York, Rome, Amsterdam, Brussells....and on an on the list goes. Thanks be to God. But these, as great as they are, are not where it matters really.
Where it matters is in the hearts, minds and souls of all those people who in some small way help to continue the celebration of the Old Mass the world over. This is not just the clergy, some of whom still take risks to be seen publicly offering the Mass and the regular attenders, who sometimes go well out of their way to hear the Old Mass. I go to Mass in a lot of parishes.
I was recently thinking about how good so many parishioners have been and continue to be to us. It amounts to a lot of excellent genuine goodwill and of labour- the servers, the singers, the person responsible for opening the sacristy and safe, the person who has to move the flowers to accommodate the ad orientem celebration, the person charged with purifying the sacred linen, the person who advertises Masses on the parish bulletin / website, the person providing refreshments and hospitality, the person who rings the church bell , the person who stitches torn vestments and linen, the person who makes the vestments, the person who prints the propers, the person who takes the collection - all or none of whom may be devotees of the TLM. One might ask, so what?
What has happened gradually since Pope John Paul II's document Ecclesia Dei of 1988 and until only recently, is a gentle re-emergence and acceptance of the 1962 liturgical books. The Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict has since fuelled the fire of the Faith and the Holy Ghost appears to be breathing life into areas of the Church which would have been almost utterly unthinkable only a decade or two ago.
And so now here in Leeds there are no longer the hostile glares from those who happened to be around at the same time as a quiet Saturday afternoon Mass in an out of the way church or chapel, and usually offered by Frs. John Cooke OMI and Michael Cresswell or Mgr. Diarmuid Scannell (all now deceased. RIP). These were often Masses at which those involved in the teaching of Religion in Catholic schools met in almost subdued silence but always in the knowledge that despite the crisis - and it was a dreadful time, that often going miles out of their way to give witness to something which they saw as a focal point of the Faith and whilst often having to professionally endure the awful excesses school liturgies often spew forth, it was quite simply worth it - if not essental.
The LMS in Leeds seems to have gradually become a normal part and parcel of life in the Diocese, like the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal at St. Pio Friary situated on the edge of Bradford's nightlife. Another shining light in the darkness of increasingly dark days.

What have we got if we do not live in hope?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Salford week and a couple of fayres

This week I have been busy dealing with matters in the Salford Diocese, including mailing my first newsletter "Renaissance" and putting together one or two other letters. I have already had responses from people who have had the newsletter passed on to them .


On the first Sunday of December NO MASS at Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike because it's the .......parish fayre.

I have almost finished compiling the items for Facing Forward which will be my weekend project and should be out next week. If you would like an e-copy please e-mail me

Friday, November 14, 2008

Masses this weekend

Saturday 9.30a.m., Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, near Skipton.

Saturday 11.30a.m., Holy Spirit, Bath Road, Heckmondwike.

Vigil Mass Saturday at St. Marie's, Gibett Street, Halifax, 6.00p.m.

Mass on Sunday at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford at 3.00p.m.

Low Mass at Holy Name of Jesus, Oxford Rd., Manchester, Sunday at 4.00p.m.

Mass at English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York, Sunday at 6.00p.m.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The things children think

I recently gave my pupils a quiz about Germany for homework. One of the 25 questions was, "Who or what is Joseph Ratzinger better known as?"
Most of them got the answer right. Some were rather off the mark, however with answers like; The Pied Piper of Hamlin, a very old man, the Foster-father of Jesus Christ, a famous chemist and one very sinister - the false prophet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A response with a buzz

The blogs are buzzing with the news that the LMS has received a response to its dubium to the Ecclesia Dei Commission in Rome. This dubium requested clarification about the celebration of Mass on Holydays of obligation. This response merely ratified what Cardinal Hoyos stated during his visit earlier this year to Westminster Cathedral. I shall summarize Rome's response;

Mass may be offered as prescribed in the 1962 calendar but no obligation is attached to those feasts which the bishops have legitimately appointed to be now heard on the nearest Sunday.

Masses offered in the EF and OF should therefore coincide on those feastdays.

This is what has been happening here in Leeds anyway. I hope more people will continue to attend the Masses -on their original days - especially the biblically recorded feasts of the Ascension and the Epiphany. The latter feast is surely a beautiful example and attack on greed and power which continues to tear us apart - a true manifestation of humility and moreover of God Himself. Can we not put that day aside as a a Holy Day?

"t"raditional Catholics could yet "win the day" on this one however. The Document from Rome says that this decision is not to prejudice or override any future document or decision from Rome. This may have something to do with the eagerly awaited clarification of Summorum Pontificum. Many seem to bemoan this long awaiting, but whether the document is on the Holy Father's desk or still under Cardinal Hoyos' pillow, we can be sure that all reactions to the motu proprio will still be being monitored and considered as part of that clarification. This response may also conclude that the initial three year trial period be extended, reduced or negated or that altar girls be allowed. It could say anything, it is in the heart and mind of the Pope. Whatever it says will have no little impact on the life of the Church.

Let us wait and pray. Let us pray for the Holy Souls.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our latest altar boy

Tonight at Halifax there were three servers. Me, my nine year old son Josef and making his debut at the altar, my five year old son Fabian. Fabian did very well and remembered to keep his hands joined and to stand, kneel and sit still - it was a promising start.

This morning at Heckmondwike Father Abberton pointed out how disobedience leads to more disobedience and cited some disturbing examples of this sort of thing in America in relation to the pro-life message being ignored by clergy. On this Our Lady's Saturday he asked us to redouble our efforts in submitting to the will of Almighty God. Father was sporting some new exquisite gold vestments with blue orphreys with matching maniple and burse and veil. Father has also been included on the Castleford rota of celebrants.

Reminder that Mass is offered every Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall near Skipton at 9.30a.m..

Tomorrow the Mass at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Bradford at 3.00p.m. will be a sung Mass of Requiem for all those who lost their lives in the world wars. R.I.P.

Mass will be at 3.oop.m. at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford.

At Holy Name, Manchester, Oxford Rd., Manchester there will be Low Mass at 4.00p.m.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Since being made rep for the Salford Diocese I have been busy preparing a new TLM blog for that diocese. The blog is now up, though not quite yet "running" having only a couple of postings. The Blog is under the patronage of Our Blessed Lord, Christ the King. My next task is to make contact with His Lordship the Bishop of Salford.

I shall link the blogsite to this one. Please browse from time to time - especially if you are able to attend any of the Masses in Salford.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The war to end all wars

I have a particular interest in family history. I have some very interesting ancestors, one of them was the last person in England to be publicly burned alive for heresy at Lichfield, another was involved at a highly technical level in making the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, others (the Gornalls) all hail back to one particular family in the northwest of England.

One of my favourite ancestors, however, is my father's maternal grandfather who fell in October 1917 close to Ypres in Belgium. I have visited the Tyne Cot Cemetery many times, his name James Edward Cannon is inscribed on a slab, but he has no known grave. The devastation his death caused my great-grandmother and her three children (with two already in the grave), one of whom was my grandmother was indescribable. My great-grandmother had to rule the family with a rod of iron and in addition they ate, slept, rested, holidayed, lived and breathed the Faith.

For these reasons alone, without beginning to even contemplate the devastation of the millions of others who suffered loss in both world wars I have always been grateful to hear a Requiem Mass on Remembrance Sunday for the repose of the souls of those who gave their lives. We will shortly be remembering the 90th anniversary of the end of Great War.

Sung Mass of Requiem, St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Bradford, 3.00p.m. Sunday 9th. November.

Monday, November 3, 2008

All Saints & All Souls

November is already here. The Feast of All Saints has been celebrated this weekend. I have heard three sermons, all first rate, and witnessed a former Anglican being received into the Roman Catholic Church using the Rite of 1962. It was public, very solemn and yet very personal, between priest and convert.

At Broughton we were reminded of the indulgence attached to visiting a cemetery over the next few days.

At Castleford it was once again great to see Mgr. Steele whose sermon was as captivating as ever. Part of his sermon today related the fact that for practical and humble reasons Mother Teresa of Calcutta once sat on his knee on a trip to the English College in Rome where he was spiritual director. Given her tiny stature Mgr. was clearly impressed at the sheer strength of will this woman exuded.

I was unable to get to the Heckmondwike Mass as I was serving at Castleford but as I know Fr. Abberton reads this blog, I didn't want him to feel left out. Happy Feastday Fr.!

This evening my daughter who has been off-colour for a day or two (stress of a Saturday job and thought of school again) said she felt well enough to go over to York for the 6.00p.m. Mass at English Martyrs. This is where we saw the convert being received. I had never seen this (in either EF or Novus Ordo) and it made a big impression on me. Numbers seem well up in York at the moment.

Mass for All Souls will be at 11.30a.m. at Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton, and on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 9.30a.m.




Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This is half term. I have always said that the weather doesn't bother me but when it is beautiful, as it was this morning when I went up to Pateley Bridge for Mass for the Feast of Ss Simon and Jude, it gives cause to rejoice.
The Mass at Bewerley Grange Chapel was a Missa cantata and everybody seemed to be in fine voice. Celebrant was Father Parfitt, who gave a scholarly account of the roles of Ss Simon and Jude interwoven with the local role of the Cistercians of Fountains. Father Wiley, who came specially for the Mass sat in choir and the local PP Canon O'Hara, a recent Golden Jubilarian sat in the Congregation. Also present was Sister Mary, the resident Anglican sister.
Following Mass some of us went to lunch at a local pub. My toenail (or what's left of it) caused a bit of a stir - especially when Fr. Parfitt thought I'd had the whole toe removed!
I was also amused after the procedure at the clinic to see what I was offered by the nurse to cover my foot when showering. A "waterproof letter" might be a good name it.

I was unable to get over to Ashton-under-Lyne this evening. I hope Fr. Francis Wadsworth's Mass was as uplifting as this morning's Mass.

Masses in the EF form attracted well over 100 souls last weekend in the Leeds Diocese. Pre Summorum Pontificum my eyes would have boggled at the thought of 50. It has also been very nice recently to see people who would normally attend Masses offered by Priests of the Society of St. Pius X .

I have another co-ordination meeting next week with Fr. Wiley. Again we will have a big agenda.

Tomorrow I have lots of holiday desk work - assessment, marking, a professional translation, and two newsletters to finalise and print as well as picking up the paint for the decorator and a couple of little DIY jobs to keep everybody happy.

If not too careful I shall start wishing I'm back at school. Well, perhaps not!

The gentleman from London about whom I posted recently, requesting I take some photographs of Bewerley Grange, to help him as part of his doctorate actually e-mailed me on Sunday evening to say that he had already been there earlier that day. (Had he since learned of my previous misfortunes with photography?) It was strange to see his name as the last one in the ecclesiastical equivalent of a visitors' book at Bewerley.
At lunch Father Parfitt recalled that there were some ruins of another grange of Fountains in the vicinity now built into the fabric of a farmhouse but still showing distinct evidence of Huby in bits of the stonework.

God bless Pope Benedict and reward Keith, Cardinal, O'Brien of Edinburgh and St. Andrews for his courageous open letter to "Gordon" (the PM) about the monstrous HFE Bill.
Will Gordon take note? Please pray that his heart be touched.

Friday, October 24, 2008

CHRISTUS REX - Masses this weekend

Masses this weekend;

Saturday, 9.30a.m. Broughton Hall - Sacred Heart Chapel, near Skipton.

Saturday 11.30a.m. Holy Spirit, Bath Road, Heckmondwike.

Saturday 3.00p.m. St. Mary of the Angels, Cross Bank Rd. Batley.

Saturday 6.00p.m. St. Marie's, Gibbet Street, Halifax.

Sunday 3.00p.m. Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardigan Road, Leeds.

Sunday 3.00p.m. St. Joseph's, Pontefract Rd. Castleford.

Sunday 4.00p.m. Holy Name of Jesus, Oxford Road, Manchester.

Masses on Tuesday 28th. October. Feast of Ss. Simon & Jude. Apostles and Martyrs.

Bewerley Grange Chapel, Pateley Bridge, Missa cantata, 11.30a.m.

St. Anne's, Burlington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Missa cantata, 7.30p.m.

October 2008 comes to its end shortly- month of the Holy Rosary. My October devotions this year have been quite dismal; I have become so pre-occupied with matters temporal that I feel devotionally crippled. November- month of the Holy Souls- will, I pray, give me a chance to "catch up". Meanwhile a good confession is the order of the day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Shock...tempus fugit

I was horrified when checking out Father Brown of the Forest Murmurs blog to see that it is 5 days ago since my last posting. I don't know where this time has gone even though I am running on empty.

I realised then that for the last two evenings I have been busy preparing the newsletters for both Leeds and now, Salford dioceses. Newsletters seem so dated these days, but I always enjoyed receiving the quarterly newsletters from my predecessors, Kevin Cave, Agnes Rutherford (who always gave explicit public transport directions), Gerry Lyons, Damian McCaughan and more recently Beryl Hartley. I have several meetings planned later next week in Salford and I hope to report on these in due course.

Fr. Francis Wadsworth has e-mailed me to ask that I advertise his next Mass at St. Anne's, Burlington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne near Oldham which will be on the Feast of Ss Simon and Jude, on Tuesday 28th. October at 7.30p.m.. This will be a Missa Cantata. Normally I would have been able to attend this Mass, but having to endure having my toenail extraction the day before, I will be resting up until Wednesday. I hope to speak with Fr. Francis in the next couple of days. His restoration work at St. Anne's is most tasteful and easily accommodates both Rites of Mass. His re-positioning of the lectern is inspired.

The young lad I asked you to remember in your prayers seems a bit more back to his usual self, but please continue to remember him and his family in your prayers. Thank you.
I recently came across the postcard shown above on e-bay (I hope I'm not infringing any copyright) and was immediately struck by it. I have never been to Coventry, but would like to see this statue. St. Michael looks so untroubled by the whole business.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nice e-mails

I have been fortunate enough to be the recipient of some really positive and cheering e-mails this week. One regarding the Ushaw Conference, one from a Priest looking forward to offering Mass for us, one from another priest requesting instruction in the rubrics and one from an ex-St. Michael's College Lad from these parts now living in London. He is researching Fountains Abbey and the Cistercians as part of his doctoral dissertation and asked me if I would be so kind as to photograph parts of Bewerley Grange chapel. I told him that I would be delighted to (God forbid my young sons getting their hands on the camera again. Closer inspection of their last photographic shoot revealed that they had actually also painted the dog's claws bright red).

With the impending removal of my own big toenail in little over a week from now nails and claws are starting to play on my already busy mind. The worst nightmare now is Santa Claus (sorry!) and the horrors that an utterly bastardized spin off of the Nativity will inevitably bring over the coming weeks, before which we will be pestered by kids dressed as demons threatening tricks, and then firework night, as I hear it increasingly called, which is at best the usual deplorable waste of money.

The Feast of All Saints this year will be celebrated on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd November. Check posting later in the week for details of Mass times.

There will be no First Friday Mass at Batley in November - the only First Friday Mass I know of will be at Broughton Hall at 9.30a.m.

Looking at the blogs recently there seems to be a lot of activity around the world at the moment, with the Traditional Mass springing up in more and more places. Even Ampleforth Abbey in the diocese of Middlesbrough hosted Mass last week according to the 1962 Missal, by one of the bretheren there.

I was extremely impressed by the quality of the content and delivery of Bishop Drainey of Middlesbrough's sermon at the recent Batley Torchlight Procession held earlier this month. The (new boy on the bench) Bishop preached on the famous and much loved traditional hymn Hail, Queen of Heaven by Fr. John Lingard. I hope to contact His Lordship shortly to request a copy of his sermon to meditate upon. Bishop Drainey was well at home with the people and did Lingard proud.

Rumours and counter rumours abound in Rome about forthcoming Papal appointments. Two new Bishops have been announced in our own Isles, one in Wales and one in Scotland. Neither struck me as being particularly remarkable, other than that an existing (Military) Bishop is to become the next Bishop of Menevia. Who has the Pope got in mind for the next Bishop of the Armed Forces? Of course the same could be asked of Hexham & Newcastle and Westminster which seems to be rather more a case of Guessminster for the moment.

Your prayers, please, for a very thoughtful and intelligent young lad in one of my classes who is having a lot of problems at home. I have rarely seen a child so paralysed with fear and anguish to the point of trembling constantly, whilst being able to maintain a great sense of humour.

Our Lady and St. Margaret Mary, pray for us.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offences and negligences, have mercy on us.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Future events

Mass at Bewerley Grange Chapel on Tuesday 28th. October at 11.30a.m.

Sung Mass of Requiem at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Bradford on Remembrance Sunday 9th. November at 3.00p.m. I have asked, at Fr. Wiley's request, the clergy in Bradford to advertise this regular Mass and the Requiem in particular.

Mass every Saturday at Halifax, St. Marie's, Gibbet Street at 6.00p.m.
Mass every Sunday at Castleford, St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road at 3.00p.m.

There will be NO First Friday Mass at Batley in November.

Mass every Sunday at Holy Name, Oxford Road, Manchester at 4.00p.m.
Mass every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month at English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York at 6.00p.m.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Still here.....and alive and "kicking", for the time being

Another hectic and unpleasant week, made worse by the fact that I have to have my ingrowing toenail removed in a fortnight!

Mass this evening at Halifax was well attended and the Gospel prompted Fr. Smith to reflect, in these turbulent times, in his sermon, what the world actually has to offer us. Inevitably - not a lot. He pointed out that we are in pagan times and this is in direct conflict with traditional Christian life and culture. Our help is, in deed, in the Name of the Lord.

Masses tomorrow (Sunday) are at St. Peter's, Leeds Rd.. Laisterdyke, Bradford. It will be a Missa cantata.

Low Masses at St. Joseph , Pontefract Rd. Castleford at 3.00p.m. and at Holy Name, Oxford Rd. Manchester at 4.00p.m.

Fr. Lister was at Mass in Halifax tonight, having said three dry Masses this week, as he is to offer Mass here next Saturday as Fr. Smith will be in Rome. Fr. Lister said to me that he is looking forward to offering the Mass of his ordination and that he will be able to cover for Fr. Smith in the future.

I understand that Mass was offered at Ampleforth Abbey in the crypt this evening at 5.00p.m. by one of the community. This is another first and I'm only too pleased to flag this up to people.

My co-rep, committee member and friend Mr. Waddington was there and I look forward to hearing his account of the event.

The torchlight procession which again attracted 1500 faithful souls at Batley on Monday was an occasion to remember. Bishop Drainey of Middlesbrough gave a wonderful sermon on the famous Marian hymn by Fr. John Lingard, Hail Queen of Heaven, which was sung with no little gusto before the sermon, in this small former heavy woolen district town of the West Riding.

I recently e-mailed the editor of the Catholic Times to tell him why I could no longer take his paper. He very quickly and politely acknowledged my communication. So far I feel quite liberated having not to wade through the gloomy drivel I have been subjected to for quite some time. Basil Loftus is the straw that broke the camel's back. This said, the Cafod article leaves me cold and drab articles, with the only exception of Fr. Marsden, do nothing to inspire me.

Reminder that there will be Mass in half-term at Bewerley Grange chapel, Pateley Bridge on
Tuesday 28th. October at 11.30a.m. We expect this to be a Missa cantata. The co-ordinator for the TLM, Fr. Wiley, hopes to be able to attend this Mass, which will be offered by Fr. Parfitt, the diocesan trainer priest for those priests and deacons wishing to learn the rubrics of the 1962
Rite of Mass and Sacraments. Again I would appeal to any priest reading this, who is considering offering the TLM to contact Fr. Parfitt in confidence. (I have of course only ever reported that information which Fr. Parfitt and any named priest is happy to be divulged.)

There is however news in the making and I hope to be able to announce another regular venue very shortly, with others in the pipeline.

God bless Pope Benedict XVI!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I have had one of those weeks. A busy and at times a very trying week. My e-mail inbox has had in it some vile correspondence which I have had to deal with and this has taken its emotional toll on me. It was lovely for me to be able to go go to Mass and Holy Communion last night for the First Friday Mass and again tonight at Halifax.

Torchlight Procession.

On Monday evening there will be the great opportunity to publicly profess our Faith and give witness to it at the Batley Torchlight procession. Starting at 7.30p.m. in the market place at Batley following a short service and sermon, this year to be preached by the Bishop of Middlesbrough the people then process reciting the Holy Rosary and singing Immaculate Mary with the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes held aloft to the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, Crossbank Road, where His Lordship Bishop Roche will give Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The P.P. Fr. Wiley (who is diocesan co-ordinator for the TLM) has arranged for a huge screen in the church grounds to relay the events in the church to those unable to squeeze into this large church which last year saw standing room only and many forced to remain outside.

Batley has a large population of non-Christians and such a witness is as extraordinary as it is touching. I hope to get a few pictures to put on this blog. If you are unable to attend please pray for the success of this occasion which takes a year to prepare and involves a lot of hard work. St. Mary's Batley is a beautiful church with fine mosaics showing pivotal occasions in the life of our Blessed Mother.

An extra Mass

Father Parfitt will offer Mass again, later this month at Bewerley Grange Chapel, Pateley Bridge on Tuesday 28th. October at 11.30a.m. We expect this to be a Missa Cantata. This is half-term week so if you are on holiday in the area make a detour. It will be well worth it.

Bewerley has strong links with Fountains Abbey and although no longer in Catholic hands lends itself perfectly to the celebration of the TLM.


Mass tomorrow (Sunday) at Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall (Missa Cantata) at 11.30 a.m. and Low Mass at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Rd., Castleford at 3.00p.m.

Low Mass at Holy Name, Oxford Road, Manchester at 4.00p.m. and at English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York at 6.00p.m.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A good Sabbath

I rarely get a chance to have a lie-in. This morning was a lovely exception, from about 9.00a.m. to 11.00a.m. I was able to listen to the digital wireless and read the first few chapters of Stella Rimmington's latest spy novel, now in paperback which I picked up at Borders yesterday. This was the first weekend I have been able to this for well over two months. The lovely weather and good moods convinced us that a trip to the coast for tea after Mass was well in order. So after Mass we set off to Whitby.

The Mass in Leeds attracts quite a large group of members, I saw at least fourteen. I was also able to meet and thank the new P.P. Fr. Jackson who is happy for us to continue to have use of the church on the last Sunday of the month.

A reminder from Fr. Smith in his sermon last night that October is the month of the Holy Rosary - and that saying even one decade a day is a worthy way to celebrate this month (and I would add the victory at Lepanto).

Father Abberton will be in Lourdes next week and so there will be no Mass at Heckmondwike next Sunday (5th. October)

Reminder that there is Mass every Sunday at Castleford, St. Joseph's at 3.00p.m. and at Manchester's Holy Name, directly opposite the University in Oxford Rd. at 4.00p.m.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stunning picture

I came across this beautiful picture on the FFSP website advertising their American workshops in the rubrics of the Extraordinary Mass.

The Catholic up

Having retired to bed taking LAST week's Catholic Times I spotted Mgr. Basil Loftus's latest diatribe against the Old Mass. I have been having trouble lately with my newsagent's unreliability. I suddenly asked myself, having read Basil's Vatican Counsel article, why should I be wasting a pound a week on this drivel. Meanwhile for £38 a year I can get and then keep copies of The Catholic Herald electronically. So I shall now e-mail the Catholic Times to say that I am cancelling my order because Basil's articles make it an increasingly drab and faded effort. It reminds me of the Universe in the 1970s. I shall then sign up with the Herald. This will save a further £14 a year. Total saved £66.
In the morning when my annoyance has passed I shall go to the newsagent's to see if THIS week's papers have come. Regardless of whether or not they have I shall cancel my order with them. Problems solved.
After Mass tomorrow afternoon at Batley, I expect a trip to Borders at Birstall for coffee and browsing. A school trip to Cologne before Christmas is now in the offing so I shall also be preparing the necessary documentation for this at some point tomorrow and I have to establish links with possible partner schools in Germany.

My tiredness has now passed!

Masses this weekend

This has been a hectic week at school. Thursday was our all singing all dancing open evening, which took what seemed like eternity to prepare for. As the kids settle in to the brand new school they are getting choppier and more difficult to deal with and of course the books need marking.

Mass tomorrow at St. Mary's, Crossbank Rd., Batley is at 3.00p.m.
and at St. Marie's, Gibbet Street, Halifax at 6.00pm.
And on Sunday at Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardigan Rd., Leeds at 3.00p.m.
and at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Rd., Castleford also at 3.00p.m

Next Friday is First Friday. Mass preceded by Confessions at St. Mary's, Batley at 7.30p.m.
October is the month of the Holy Rosary, please remember to offer a decade or two for the Holy Father.

8.15p.m. and I'm ready for bed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Training and Mass in Halifax

After a last minute slight change of plan at 10.40a.m. we decided, having waited until after 11.00a.m, to go down to St. Alban's, the chapel of ease, which was warmer, brighter and had a smaller and more functional organ to introduce, intone and accompany the chant. Singing in this very tasteful little church also helped acoustically and created a cosy but not stifling atmosphere in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. 17 out of an originally expected 24 people came to learn to sing the Mass Cum Jubilo, with psalm-toned propers, Credo III, the Asperges and Adoro te devote. The programme was really quite exhausting. At 5.00p.m. we headed back to St. Marie's to run through things once again and to set up the Sanctuary for the Missa Cantata. St. Marie's is one of those churches where everything seems to run like clockwork. On popping into church at about 10.45 a.m. I was greeted by the sight of a beautiful rosy faced blushing bride and her proud new husband, along with their friends and relatives, and Father Smith waiting patiently in procession for the photographer to open the second half of the door, which I duly did, allowing for the well proportioned photo flicker to start snapping.
Five minutes later Father Smith was engaged in attending to the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament to the strains of O Salutaris, before heading to the confessional for 40 minutes. At 11.05 I took the milk and music scores down to St. Alban's. Back at St. Marie's for 11.25a.m. I went to Confession and then headed back to St. Alban's having checked that there were no late-comers.
St. Marie's is a Parish where the Sacraments predominate. As well as welcoming and encouraging the Traditional Latin Mass each week there are Masses offered regularly in Polish and of course in English. The parishioners are warm-hearted people and Bridget and Tony who act as sacristans are wonderfully efficient and devoted people.
Mike Murphy worked us very hard - and himself even more so. At lunch he was able to recall his fond memories of Dr. Mary Berry at whose Requiem he sang in May at St. Birinus, Dorchester-on-Thames, where our old friend Fr. John Osman is P.P. .
Fr. Smith joined us immediately after lunch and sang his parts - namely the Asperges, intoning of the Gloria and Credo and the Ite missa est. We decided we would sing Faith of our Fathers after the prayer for the Queen.
The Mass itself was very uplifting and the newly formed little choir sang confidently and with expression under the direction of Mike Murphy.
Mike has agreed to lead another day probably in early 2009 - this time for the Mass Orbis factor, with Credo I and the Christus Vincit. Something in honour of our Blessed Lady will also be included. As the saying goes, please watch this space. This event will be in a different deanery. It has been suggested to me today that we take a different Mass setting to a different deanery each quarter - what could we do at the Cathedral's deanery Mass?
It was wonderful to hear the relatively large congregation raising the roof in singing Faith of our
Fathers at the end of Mass and thereby sounding the end of a busy and rewarding day. The day was initially financed by a bequest from the late Dorothy Simpson of York, who had strong links with Bradford, speaking both architecturally and clerically. But, without wishing to sound over-parochial, I must thank Angela and Jim for supplying the excellent snacks and nibbles and Joan's great organizational skills. I felt I was putting on weight looking at the coffee cake. Friday's lentil curry had (quite naturally) left me feeling somewhat full, but the coffee cake was too much of a temptation. I shall request a Mass be offered by Fr. Smith for the intentions of all those who made the day such a worthwhile experience.

So............ what went wrong?
I remembered the camera - but the batteries were flat (I have since found more pictures of our mental parsnip eating dog and the boys than I could shake a stick at on the camera - all taken before 7.00 a.m. this morning!); I remembered I had a cotta in the car, but forgot that my cassock and 25 new red Mass booklets and my cheque book were in a carrier bag under my desk as we breezed out of the door at 9.40 a.m. this morning. During Mass it occurred to me that my daughter could use her mobile 'phone to snap a few pictures - but as I was Master of Ceremonies it was impossible to even think of getting a message to her.
So what? It was a beautiful Mass.

Thanks be to Almighty God for such another busy and productive day.

Sorry about the absence of photos again.

God bless Pope Benedict XVI.

Friday, September 19, 2008

To update you: a busy day is a happy day :)

This week I have been busy preparing to send out letters to the Salford members. Having received details of the members upon my official appointment last week I have been engaged in typing up the labels and writing the letter itself. With a combined membership of over 300 in Leeds and Salford an up to date database is now even more essential. A very kind colleague at school spent a good deal of his time showing me how to manipulate spreadsheets to filter required information earlier today. I shall have to play with a mock spreadsheet over the weekend. This means that eventually I shall be able to group members deanery by deanery or parish by parish etc to alert those without access to the internet/e-mail by post.

Meanwhile I have again been in contact with several people in Salford and I have discussed the Ushaw Training Conference with Mr. Waddington at length. On Thursday evening I attended the first Leeds Diocesan co-ordination meeting for the Extraordinary form. Interest has already been expressed by a number of parties about the Ushaw Conference. There is to be extended training of altar servers and plans for another chant workshop day even before we gauge the success of tomorrow's chant day in Halifax. There will be a Missa cantata at 6.00p.m. at St. Marie's, Gibbet Street, (behind PC World), Halifax.

I pray that the Leeds diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham tomorrow (a glance at the clock tells me that tomorrow is already today) will win our Blessed Lady's favour and help those reading this blog to pray that this country be returned to her.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.

God bless the Pope!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Looking to the weekend

This coming Saturday sees the Leeds Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham, as well as our Gregorian chant workshop day concluding with the Vigil Mass at St. Marie's, Halifax at 6.00p.m.

As Father Abberton is joining the Pilgrimage to Walsingham there will be no Saturday morning Mass at Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike.

On Sunday there will be Mass at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford at 3.00p.m.


Holy Name, Oxford Road, Manchester at 4.00p.m.

English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York at 6.00p.m.

Reading one or two blogs this evening I came away with the impression that some people in the South do believe that Masses in the 1962 Rite are thin on the ground in these parts. Untrue.

I was speaking to Mrs Rutherford after the Mass in Bradford yesterday and we commented again, as we often do, how different things are since the early days. Her early days began before I was born, but when I joined the LMS in 1982 before even having done my O Levels we were fortunate to have Bishop Wheeler who was always sympathetic to requests for the Mass (under the Heenan Indult and the 1984 instruction).

Broughton Hall was a regular monthly Mass - always the first Sunday, and continues to this day

and there was the second Saturday Mass at Ss. John Fisher & Thomas More at Burley-in- Wharfedale. We were also fortunate enough to be one of only two dioceses in the country with access to regular traditional pilgrimages to Knaresborough and Hazlewood and the Easter Vigil and Midnight Mass. There was also a yearly Mass at the Cathedral. Apart from this any other Masses involved endless preparations which as rep, Mrs. Rutherford tirelessly made.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since those earlier days and a look at the right hand strip on this blog showing regular Masses will show how much. Lasting and fruitful change is not best served by knee-jerk reforms and overnight changes as we have learned to our dismay since those "early" days had to begin over four decades ago.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Feast to remember

This afternoon saw the first Mass of our regular second Sunday of the month Masses at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Bradford. It was a Missa Cantata for Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and celebrated by Father Hall. Fr. Wiley sat in choir. We were made to feel very welcome by the sacristans who are both already looking forward to the next Mass, which will be a Missa Cantata. Fr. Wiley took the photo above before Mass began. Not visible in the photograph is the painted coat of arms of Pope John Paul I high above the tabernacle. I think this is the only church in England with such a painting. Incidently this church received a direct hit from a nazi bomb during the war. It dropped through the roof but failed to explode. In more recent times it has survived attempts to burn it down by local youths.

I shall be spending valuable time and resources to promote this regular Mass over the next couple of weeks especially in the local press.

Fr. Hall will be glad to offer the next Mass and we are most grateful to him. One lady told me she thought he was a right grand priest. In Yorkshire praise seldom comes better than that.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Missa cantata in Ashton-under-

Fr. Wadsworth preached a very thought-provoking sermon this evening about the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary to nearly forty others of us who braved the grotty weather. This was a Missa Cantata and I am sure that it filled those there with a sense of joy. Father Wadsworth has done some fine work in the sanctuary in this very fine little church which saw some nasty business in the anti-Catholic riots of the 19th. century.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ushaw 2009

The Northern Priest's Training Conference about which I blogged a couple of days will take place at St. Cuthbert's Seminary, Ushaw near Durham from Tuesday 17th. - Friday 20th. February 2009. Further information and registration details to follow. Please pray for the success of this initiative which, like the Oxford Summer Conferences, would just a few years ago have been a mere fantasy. As Mr. Dylan sang many years ago - "The times they are a changin' ". How true. Deo gratias!

Reminder that there is a Missa Cantata this coming Friday at St. Ann's, Burlington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, near Oldham at 7.30p.m.

Mass on Sunday - Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, a Missa Cantata, to celebrate the anniversary of the coming into force of the Motu Proprio. This Mass will be at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Bradford at 3.00p.m. It is to be the first of our regular second Sunday Masses at this church. Please do all you can to join us and raise the roof at the end of the Mass singing Faith of our Fathers! Clergy wishing to join us, please bring choir dress.

Diocese of Salford - Missa Cantata

On this coming Friday, 12th. September there will be a Missa Cantata at St. Ann's Church, Burlington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne at 7.30p.m. If this as as beautiful as the Mass there on the Feast of the transfiguration of our Lord, then it will be an occasion to remember.

At this point I would like to thank Mrs. Hartley, my predecessor, who has, over recent years done a great deal to keep the traditional Mass alive in the Salford Diocese. It will be a hard act to follow. I shall be at the Mass on Friday - so please make yourself known to me. I shall shortly be writing to all members in Salford to introduce myself - the office in London has just sent me the members' details, so when I have created the necessary mailing list in the next few days from the spreadsheet I shall get the letters out. Please continue to be patient and pray for the work of the Society and the reforms of His Holiness, the Pope especially in the Northern dioceses of England.

A lady from Sheffield telephoned me on Monday evening to say that she had just attended a traditional Mass at the Cathedral of St. Marie, in Sheffield. Again this was wonderful positive news. Let us pray that this too continues. The lady who telephoned me has been in regular correspondence over the years without actually having spoken to me. Her joy was positively tangible. Things like this make a rep's difficult job so much more worthwhile.

There is no doubt in my mind that our prayers over recent years have not gone unheard and this fills me with joy.

God bless the Pope and please remember to pray for him as he heads off to France shortly. One or two blogs have referred to the news that he is to wear vestments belonging to a traditional French order. I wonder how long it will be before he offers the extraordinary form?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Please note that there will be no Mass in the Extraordinary form this coming Saturday (September 13th.) at Heckmondwike. Next Mass 11.30 a.m. on Saturday 20th. September which is the same day as the Gregorian chant workshop day at St. Marie's, Halifax (10.45 - 6.00p.m. Mass). Places still available please e-mail for details or to reserve a place.

Reminder that this coming Sunday sees our first Mass at St. Peter's, Leeds Rd., Laisterdyke, Bradford. This Mass also marks the coming into force of the Holy Father's Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. The Mass will be a Missa cantata (sung Mass).

God bless His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Here's a scoop!

The LMS Committee agreed today to sponsoring its first Northern Conference to train Priests in offering the 1962 Rite of Mass. Mr. Waddington, who acknowledged my own input in the proposal presented the paper which was received enthusiastically for a variety of diverse reasons.

The Conference is scheduled to take place in February in one of the most northerly English Dioceses. Issues and suggestions raised by the clergy who attended Merton in the Summer will be addressed at this Conference as good practice demands.

This Conference is not instead of the Oxford Conference but in addition to it.
There is in other northern dioceses, other than Leeds, renewed interest in the traditional Rite amongst the laity and clergy. This is very fertile soil in terms of the Faith. How many of the Saints of the Church came from these parts? Saints Cuthbert, Bede, Hilda, Wilfred, Robert of Newminster (born in Gargrave), Margaret Clitherow, John Fisher (born in Beverley), Edmund Arrowsmith, Ambrose Barlow and the martyrs of Padley and all the other wonderful Blessed Lancashire and Yorkshire Martyrs.

I shall request Fr. Parfitt offer a Votive Mass for the propagation of the Faith in recognition of that same Faith for which our English Martyrs shed their blood.

In my absence (due to a delayed train) the Committee appointed me as LMS Representative for
the Diocese of Salford. I shall now have to think of ways to integrate the 1962 Rite into the life of that Diocese, as has been achieved in Leeds over recent years thanks initially to Mrs. Agnes Rutherford. Watch this space!

I am meeting Mr. Waddington before Mass in York tomorrow afternoon, I shall then be able to give further details about the Northern Conference.

God bless the Pope!


The first week back to a brand new school, even without any sign of a child, has already taken its toll on many. Many have lost patience with the literally thousands of snags noted by staff alone - and that's before 1600 children arrive next week. For two nights this week I have literally dropped off to sleep having sat down when I got home, but I am hopeful that this new building will bring new opportunities for the children in an area of mixed fortunes and aspirations.

This evening saw over a dozen at the First Friday evening Mass at Batley in the most atrocious weather I have seen for a long time. There were several confessions before Mass and I was later approached by a nineteen year old member of the congregation asking about how she might go about becoming a Catholic. Prayers for her, please.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I have to attend a Latin Mass Society Committee meeting in London and so will not be at the Halifax Mass at 6.00p.m. (Thanks to Fr. Hall for offering last week's Halifax Mass - Fr. Smith is back this week and asks me to remind everybody about the Gregorian Chant training day at St. Marie's on September 20th. Please see previous postings.) It is so gratifying to see people attending the Halifax Masses in increasing numbers - LMS members and parishioners alike. I hope that the Chant Day will give extra impetus to the liturgical life of this wonderful parish, where the Consecration is sounded by bells not only from the altar but also from the hand pulled bells in the bell tower which also call the faithful to Holy Mass in this very decent little town.

On Sunday local Masses according to the 1962 Rite include;

11.30a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, nr. Skipton

2.30p.m. Holy Spirit, Bath Road, Heckmondwike ( sanctuary before Vat II shown in photo above)

3.00p.m. St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford

4.00p.m. Holy Name, Oxford Road, Manchester

6.00p.m. English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York

I have also received requests for "further information" from three more priests wishing to offer the 1962 Rite of Mass.

God bless Pope Benedict!

Monday, September 1, 2008


Sunday 14th. September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, sees the first anniversary of the implementation of the Holy Father's Motu Proprio and also sees our first Mass at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Laisterdyke, Bradford at 3.00p.m. This will be a Missa Cantata. Please do all you can to attend this Mass to show your support for the Holy Father's initiative and to support our new regular monthly venue. Thanks again to Father Francis Smith's for his readiness in welcoming us to the church and for allowing a regular monthly Mass in Bradford again.
God bless Pope Benedict XVI!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Holiday's over

Back to school tomorrow with an easy transition - the children aren't going to be there for another week !
On a totally different matter are we the only family in England with a dog which eats raw parsnips?
Reminder that Friday is the First Friday of the month; Mass at Broughton at 9.30 a.m. and at St. Mary of the Angels, Batley at 7.30p.m.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Masses this weekend

Mass will be offered this weekend as follows:
Saturday 30th. August 9.30a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton, near Skipton.
Saturday 30th. August 3.00p.m. (Vigil) St. Mary of the Angels, Cross Bank Road Batley.
Saturday 30th. August 6.00p.m. (Vigil) St. Marie's, Gibbet Street, Halifax.
Sunday 31st. August 3.00p.m. Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardigan Road, Leeds.
Sunday 31st. August 3.00p.m. St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

News from Sydney

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

Remembering Mgr Ronald Knox

Today, feast of St. Bartholemew, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Mgr Ronald Knox. Knox was a convert whose father was the Anglican Bishop of Manchester. I have written before on my profound joy when reading Knox, be it his detective stories, reflections, meditations, sermons, essays, or translations - most notably of the Bible.

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.
Reminder that today (Pentecost XV) sees the first of our regular Sunday Masses at St. Joseph's Church, Pontefract Rd., Castleford at 3.00p.m.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Chesterton link(s)

I have failed to reach even my own goal of publishing a copy of G.K. Chesterton' s musings about Heckmondwike (much maligned in my opinion). Not, I hasten to add through sloth, but to the fact I was alerted to this , which has saved me a lot of time. If the link doesn't work please google the Website of Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike. (or try and follow the history section).

Mass in the Extraordinary form is offered here on the first Sunday of the month at 2.30p.m. and on the second, third and fourth Saturdays of the month at 11.30a.m.

I must confess to being totally fascinated by the G.K.Chesterton links with Heckmondwike, Mgr. O'Connor (who was responsible for building an ovalish sort of round church in Bradford long before Vat II), the Father Brown stories, Cardinal Hinsley (and the school named after him), and St. Bede's Grammar School, Bradford.

G.K.C's Orthodoxy arrived through the letterbox from the excellent Southwell Books ( a few weeks ago, which I had determined to read after doing the decorating. It is now next on the bedside book pile.

Vive la famille!

I am delighted to say that I have just about finished the decorating and short of getting the carpet people tomorrow the job is now done. A bit of decorating usually means moving the statues around, to give us a fresh face. After nine years the Sacred Heart, St. Therese and the crucifix I rescued from a burning confessional box need a change of scene too! Love of St. Edmund Campion and all he stood for has grown following visits to Oxford, and so we are going to put the statue of him at the foot of the ground floor staircase. The kids can decide the rest. This is sure to cause a row and lots of huffing and puffing for ten minutes. Vive la famille!

Masses this Saturday

Low Mass at Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall near Skipton at 9.30a.m.

Sung Requiem Mass at 11.00a.m. at Markenfield Hall. Mass will be offered by Fr. Ronald Creighton-Jobe of the London Oratory. Some of the monks of Ampleforth will be chanting the Requiem Mass for the members of the Markenfield family.

Mass at 11.30a.m., Holy Spirit, Bath Road, Heckmondwike.


Vigil Mass at St. Marie's, Halifax at 6.00p.m. (Pentecost XV).
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Patroness of the Diocese of Leeds, Queen and Mother, pray for us.
God bless the Pope!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Salford news

I have recently received a lot of e-mails from members and friends in Salford Diocese as word has gone round that I am taking on the role of Rep in this diocese. For the time being I am helping out and will continue to do so.
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.

Deo gratias!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thank you Canon McCreadie

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!