Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back from holiday and back to work (of a sort)

I returned from holidays early on Saturday morning and was then back on the road to take my eldest daughter to the St. Catherine's Trust Summer School in East Sussex. I then drove up to Oxford to help out at the Priests' Training Conference serving Mass and various other jobs. Yesterday I served 2 private Masses and then attended Solemn Mass and Vespers in the beautiful chapel of Merton College where the conference is being held. There are 60 priests here this year learning different aspects of the traditional Liturgy, including four priests from Leeds Diocese and one former Leeds Diocesan priest. There is also a priest from Middlesbrough and a priest from Lancaster and a couple from Hexham and Newcastle.
The atmosphere really is quite remarkable and it is extremely encouraging to see so many (young) priests learning to offer the Mass and celebrate their priesthood. There has been a lot of opportunities to network and renew old acquaintances.
I have only just found the computer room here and as yet have been unable to download any photographs from my camera to upload to this blog. I shall do this in the next couple of days.
Please pray for the priests here that they may take back to their dioceses and parishes what they have learned and that they encourage their clerical confreres to do likewise.
Saints John Vianney and Therese of Liseaux pray for them!

Advance notice

Please note that there will be no Mass at Halifax this coming Saturday (August 2nd.) and the following Saturday (August 9th.) due to unforeseen circumstances. Normal schedule after this.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Holiday break

If I get a chance to do do any posting from France it will be from an internet cafe.
Au revoir!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The newsletter has been posted! After a two hour tour of the new school we are currently feverishly preparing to move into and an extra hour at a meeting this afternoon I got home at 5.00p.m. and printed off nearly 200 labels, 200 double-sided Mass lists and then having stuffed the envelopes, stamped and labeled them, I managed to catch the last post at the central sorting office.

Later I sent out copies by e-mail to those who had requested it after one or two little hitches this too seems to have been a success. If you want a copy of the newsletter please specify if you do not have Windows Office 2007.

Having confirmed the details of the Masses at St. Peter's, Bradford, I received a lovely e-mail from the P.P. Fr. Francis Smith who said that we were welcome to store our things in the sacristy there and that he had arranged for somebody to help us in addition to opening and closing up the church. Many thanks to Fr. Smith and his parishioners. Whilst checking out the Leeds Diocese website for Bishop Roche's blog from Australia, I saw that in June there was a very impressive Corpus Christi procession of the Blessed Sacrament along the mainly Muslim Leeds Road area of Bradford. Had I known about this we would have been there. St. Peter's was my (lapsed) father's parish as a child. My grandmother was a member of the UCM there for many years. My wife's parents were married there (in the sacristy), she, her two brothers and countless aunties, uncles, cousins and nieces and nephews have been baptised, shriven, confirmed, married and buried from this church. I remember appealing there on behalf of SPUC in about 1987-8 and for at least ten years thereafter I regularly continued to go to confession there. The now long gone convent of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion which is now an old people's home saw the likes of the saintly sisters Gemma CP and Attracta CP.

The Sisters of the Cross and Passion have played an enormous role in the education of Catholic children over the last hundred or more years. Many primary and secondary schools have benefited from their presence. St. Joseph's College is a CP foundation and the daughter school, Saint Margaret Clitherow Girls' Grammar School is now Yorkshire Martyrs College.

For the Catholic boys of Bradford, Fr. Arthur Hinsley (later Archbishop and Cardinal) founded St. Bede's Grammar School (originally) near St. Patrick's church. His assistant was Father John O'Connor. Fr. O'Connor was a great friend of G.K. Chesterton who based his famous character, Father Brown, on this real priest.
St. Bede's daughter school was Cardinal Hinsley Grammar School for boys. As far as I am aware, this was always a school with lay staff and under the control of its only Headmaster, the late Walter Earnshaw. In the early 1980s Hinsley/Clitherow amalgamated to form Yorkshire Martyrs Collegiate School.
The link between G.K.Chesterton and Mgr. O'Connor and the much maligned Heckmondwike will be a future feature on this blog.

Last day of term is here and still an enormous amount to do.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New regular venue

I am delighted to announce that Mass will be offered every second Sunday of the month from September at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Laisterdyke, Bradford at 3.00p.m.(Just down the road from St. Francis church at Eccleshill, where Mass was offered last Sunday.)
September 14th., also marks the first anniversary of the coming into force of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, so the occasion will be one of thanksgiving in more ways than one. The celebrant will be Father Hall who readily agreed to offer the Mass - many thanks to him and to the P.P. Father Francis Smith for so readily agreeing to accommodate these Masses at St. Peter's.
I am hoping that this will be a sung Mass.

UPDATE; I have (at last) today heard from the authorities at Kirkstall Abbey about the procedure for having Mass there. I think I have a celebrant and a donor who wishes to remain anonymous has already told me that finance should pose no problem to organising this Mass.

REMINDER; Mass on Saturday at 6.00p.m. at St. Maries, Gibbett Street, Halifax. THIS IS THE FIRST OF THE HENCEFORTH WEEKLY VIGIL MASSES AT HALIFAX.

Mass at Markenfield

Mass for the Feast of St. Henry was sung tonight in the chapel of the historic Markenfield Hall by Fr. Parfitt. As well as being something of a very interesting history lesson, Father's sermon focused on the role of Catholicism and the Saints of the Age (St. Henry, for example) in forming the very heart and soul of European culture and life, which continue to be under attack by immorality and the forces of paganism and secularism. At the start of the sermon Father Parfitt made reference to the anniversary of the Motu Proprio and said that we should rejoice that Pope Benedict has given any priest who wishes, the right to celebrate the Sacraments according to the Rites of 1962.
Mass concluded with a hymn for the Pope and the Salve Regina.

God bless the Pope!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Newsletter printed

The Summer Newsletter, Facing Forward, is literally hot of the press. Having read it three times and then carrying out the perfunctory grammar and spell check, followed by running off 200 copies to post out by Wednesday I immediately spotted 4 mistakes. Mea culpa.
For LMS work I have invested in a printer (on special offer) which works like a photocopier, by using powder instead of ink to reduce photocopying costs and to enable me to buy value priced paper. Cost of printer and spare cartridge £120 with at least 8000 black and white copies; 1000 sheets of decent paper (on special offer) for £4 at the local supermarket, postage stamps £42.12 for 13 books of 12 second class stamps ( quite a few still left in the stamp box following gifts of stamp books by people often outside of the diocese), envelopes - bought last time round on buy on get one free, envelope labels - bought last time round on buy one get one free
If you are reading this blog and wish to receive a now corrected electronic version of the newsletter, please forward your e-mail address to me (lmsleeds@googlemail.com) - this request also appears in the newsletter. These will be sent out on Thursday onwards. It is far more cost effective and much less time consuming. This will also enable me to alert those interested to any extra Masses I receive information about.

Does anybody know who is the patron saint of printers?

A reminder that there is Mass for the Feast of St. Henry on Tuesday evening at Markenfield Hall, at 7.00p.m.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Forgive us our trespasses

The culture of death in which we live is a very frightening thing. Human life is dispensable, a foetus is not safe, less so an embryo. People who work in hospitals might tell of things which would horrify the public about the way people are killed there. Knife, gun and gang culture has recently reared its ugly head with devestating consequences in several murders. Once again we hear those in authority promising "tougher laws" in a country, where only recently the prisons were unable to take any more prisoners. So much of the legislation in this country is rank - it is ubridled putridity - its stench must revolt even the very God who created life itself. How can life be even remotely valued if children are brought up to believe that destroying it at any of its several stages is quite often perfectly acceptable for "social" reasons?

At 4.00p.m. today there will be Mass at St. Francis church, Norman Lane, Eccleshill, Bradford. I shall ask Canon Boyle to offer a Votive Mass for the Forgiveness of sins at his earliest convenience on behalf of the Society. This is probably the last Mass to be held in this church as the P.P. Fr. Stephen Brown, friend and celebrant of the Society is shortly due to take up his new post as chaplain at the University of Bradford. I shall ask Father Brown to offer Mass for the Propagation of the Faith in the traditional Rite at his convenience, again on behalf of the Society.

Novel tip?

I have served a lot of Masses where the priest has had to rely on reading from bits of paper or cards or booklets, when saying the prayer for the blessing of incense at the introit and before the Gospel. For years at Broughton the words of the prayer have been stuck to the inside of the flip top lid of the incense boat. What would archbrubrician Fr. O'Connell have thought? A liturgical blessing for sticky tape?
It never occurred until me recently that others might share this good idea until the priest is able to recite the prayer without reading it.
Just for the record this is the prayer:
Ab illo bene+dicaris in cuius honore cremaberis. Amen.
(From him in whose honour you will burn, receive a blessing)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New schedule

A hectic week at school is now over. The newsletter will be ready to print tomorrow after a couple of slight changes.

The Saturday morning Masses at Heckmondwike continue and it is nice to see numbers into the teens there each time - made up of regular parishioners. After last Sunday I was pleased to hear one of the parishioners say that it would be lovely to have "this Mass" there every Sunday. Father Parfitt will be delighted to learn that his former tutee, Father Abberton, is doing very well and now sings part of the monthly Sunday Mass.

I hope that the good people of St. Marie's, Halifax are rejoicing at the news that their P.P. Fr. David Smith has announced that from next Saturday there will be Mass in the Extraordinary Form every Saturday at 6.00p.m. This will be a Vigil Mass. Those people at the workshop in September will be singing at one of these Masses.

Every fourth Sunday of the month there will now be Mass (again in anticipation of Sunday) at 3.00p.m. at St. Mary of the Angels, Crossbank Road, Batley.

Every last Sunday of the month there will be Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardigan Road, Leeds.

There are other regular Masses in the pipeline, particularly in Bradford and Leeds, including the Cathedral. The recent clerical moves have caused a delay and some changes to the original proposed schedule.

Bit by bit, Mass by Mass, week by week we are growing in numbers and in confidence and one hopes in Faith and holiness.

Thanks be to God.

Monday, July 7, 2008

This and that

I notice tonight that the Anglican Community has elected to appoint women bishops from 2014.
I have no desire to comment on what this group chooses to do but I do often wonder what the "Church of England" is. It all seems very vague. Even those relatives and friends of mine who are Protestants don't really seem to know. What will be of interest is how many of its followers decide to cut and run and where they will head for.
No long postings for the next couple of days. I am currently preparing my next newsletter which should be ready by the end of this week and sent out before next week.
I have just sent in my report to the LMS Office in London for publication in Mass of Ages along with the next quarter's (incomplete) list of Masses. There is still a bit of behind the scenes work going on arranging other regular Masses. Please watch this blog and the Catholic Post for details of extra Masses.
I shall be in France during the first week of the six week holiday - absolutely by chance we are staying in a small town with not one but two monasteries, one for Doms and the other for Dames. The men have daily sung Mass and the liturgy of hours with Gregorian chant (OF). I shall be interested to visit these places.
The second week I shall be at the Oxford Conference at Merton College whilst my eldest daughter is at the St. Catherine's Summer School near Haywards Heath, down south!
I have now received details from the office in London of nearly 60 people who have joined the LMS over recent weeks - a big welcome to them. It will take me an age to type out mailing labels
to get their copies of the newsletter to them.
Finally a first reminder that we are to have Mass again next Tuesday, July 15th. at Markenfield Hall at 7.oop.m. Markenfield Hall is situated just outside Ripon on the main Harrogate to Ripon Road.
On Sunday there will be Mass at Our Lady and St. Francis, Norman Lane, Bradford, at 4.00p.m. The celebrant will be our old friend Canon Boyle of the Archdiocese of Glasgow who is once again spending his holidays in this area. Thanks to him, it was good to see him at Mass at Broughton yesterday.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Before serving Mass tonight, where once again there were new faces - some people even came from near Haworth, I was shown a letter by Fr. Wiley from the Bishop announcing the new clerical moves, now available on the diocesan website. Our friend and celebrant Fr. Stephen Brown is to be chaplain at Bradford University, although I never studied there, this is where I met my wife, and where we attended SPUC meetings when Fr. Osman was chaplain to the University. I must confess to having somewhat pestered him to offer the "Old" Mass, a request which in my presence he never did. Imagine my joy when I learned that he is now a regular celebrant of the Gregorian Mass at his parish of St. Birinus in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Our friend Father Kravos is going to the chaplaincy at Leeds University, where, he says, the French gothic style chapel lends itself beautifully to the EF.
Father Wiley himself was finally listed as Co-ordinator for the Extraordinary Rite of Mass.
After 40 years, we now have a priest of this diocese, who was not even ten years old when the final version of the new Mass of Pope Paul VI was promulgated. At the same time we are privileged to have Fr. Geoffrey Parfitt of Sacred Heart, Broughton, who celebrated his Ruby Jubilee earlier this year as our clergy trainer and mentor for the 1962 Rite, at the request of Bishop Roche.
At our meeting tonight Fr. Wiley and I were able to not only "chew the fat", but to thrash out a lot of ideas. I shall post about these in due course.

Please, any priests reading this post , if you are interested in learning how to celebrate the Sacraments and offer the Mass according to the Books of 1962 (beginners to advanced level available) consider attending the Oxford Conference and/or get in touch with Fr. Parfitt

Mass will be offered at Sacred Heart, Broughton on Sunday morning at 11.30 (Missa Cantata)and later in the day at 2.30p.m. at Holy Spirit, Bath Road Heckmondwike. Low Mass is also offered in York at 6.00p.m. at English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace each first Sunday of the month.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

First Friday

A reminder that Friday is the first Friday of the month and as such there will be Mass at St. Mary of the Angels, Batley at 7.30p.m. I shall be meeting Fr. Wiley after Mass and there is a thick agenda! Fish and chips supper likely!
Confessions before Mass (EF) from 7.00p.m.

For those nearer to Skipton there is Mass at Broughton Hall at 9.30a.m. Confession available at call.

Busy busy

The last few weeks of term are always hectic. These weeks are no exception given that the children at my school will have an extra two weeks summer holiday this year, finishing at the end of next week and not returning till September 8th., on account of us moving to a brand new school building . Planning and preparation are naturally essential. This "Hektik", as the Germans say, is not reduced by the busy time afforded by recent events in the Church and my responsibilities as rep.

I was contacted at 7.00a.m. on Tuesday morning to request that I assist at a Solemn High Mass in a neighbouring diocese as a server that same evening. By noon I had received an e-mail from a reporter from the Tablet asking about developments in this diocese re. the TLM. When I got home there were 26 e-mails and 3 letters from people re. the TLM.

The upshot was that when I got home, after a very tedious departmental meeting, I was no longer needed as a server and it wasn't necessary to grab a sandwich and beetle off. So I had a long sleep, waking up to watch the Solemn High Mass on EWTN of the Solemnity of the Precious Blood, after which I had a cup of cocoa and went back to bed.

After school today I replied to the fellow from the Tablet and will do "the mailing" after school on Thursday.

The News about the Redemptorists in Papa Stronsay, the Orkneys, entering into full communion with Rome is very promising, especially in light of the recent reaction of the Society of St. Pius X. to the letter from Rome.

Let us pray that all non-heterodox believers unite behind Pope Benedict XVI so that when Pope Benedict is no longer here (and distant may that be) his legacy will remain and that it will be impossible to dismiss or disregard that revived orthodoxy or orthopraxis masterfully recreated in light of the true intention of Vatican II instead of its hideous "spirit".

God Bless the Pope!