Thursday, March 26, 2009

Learn liturgical Latin?

If you would be interested in participating in a summer school devoted to liturgical Latin, an idea only in its infancy at the moment, please let me know at , it will probably take place in the south of England. At the moment we are just trying to gauge interest.



Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton, 11.45a.m.

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

(N.B. No Mass at Heckmondwike)


Notre Dame Chapel, 5 St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds (near university) 7.30p.m.


Notre Dame Chapel, 5 St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds (near university) 3.00p.m.


Notre Dame Chapel, 5 St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds (near university) 7.30p.m.


St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Bradford. 3.00p.m.

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


Monday, March 23, 2009

New LMS Chairman and Treasurer

At the LMS Committee meeting on Saturday 21st. March Dr. Joseph Shaw was elected as Chairman and Mr. Paul Waddington was elected as Treasurer.

I am looking forward to working with both of these men who, like me, are active diocesan representatives. Dr. Shaw is the rep in Oxford and organizer of many events there as well as the St. Catherine's Trust Summer School and chant training days. Mr. Waddington has been responsible for organizing the two southern priest training conferences and the training conference at Ushaw to be held after Easter.

I have every confidence that the Society will now be able to move forward. A lot of time was spent discussing the way ahead to help implement the Holy Father's Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Another first

There will be a sung Mass in the chapel of Notre Dame, St. Mark's Anenue, Leeds on Wednesday 25th. March, for the feast of the Incarnation at 7.30p.m.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Feast of St. Patrick

Eight years ago today our fifth child died only seconds after I had baptized him. As the cleansing waters of baptism touched his forehead he opened and closed his eyes for the only time in his short life. Although we rejoice at him being our own Saint, young Patrick's rapid entry into Heaven still causes us periods of grief which can and do hit at any moment.
I still remember when towards the end of the pregnancy serious abnormalities were detected we were offered "an alternative" procedure. The sheer bloody injustice of it revolts me to this day. Killing the patient is not the answer. We detested the work the consultant was doing and told him so politely but firmly. No abortion, thank-you.

The feast of St. Patrick also is a time when I think of those members of my family tree now long gone who came to England from Mayo and Sligo in the mid 1800s. The Churches of Ss. Mary, Joseph, Ann, Patrick and their daughter churches, schools and convents here in Bradford were all testimony to the Faith and sense of community of those often desperate and impoverished people.

Patrick is also one of my baptismal names, so I'm celebrating with a not so Irish curry!

Patrick Benedict, born and died March 17, 2001.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mass at Seacroft

Fr. Billington of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Seacroft, Leeds has e-mailed me to say that his weekly Friday Mass at 9.15a.m. (funerals and suchlike excepted) will be according to the EF of Rite of Mass.

Please pray for the success of this Mass and for Fr. Billington, who attended the LMS Summer Conference last year and had follow up sessions with Fr. Parfitt almost immediately.

Frs. O'Reilly and Harrison are both former P.P.s of this parish and were regular celebrants of the EF at Killingbeck in the time of Bishop Konstant.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rome has spoken

The Universe weekly newspaper will from Sunday feature a regular page devoted to the TLM - activities, Masses and other events and related news items and by no means reserved to LMS activities.

I shall try submit events to this venture myself and for the first time in over twenty years buy a copy this weekend of the Universe, which was always a favourite with my great grandmother, who died in 1956. I'll carry on taking it if I like what I see. Regulars to this blog will be aware that I have long since stopped taking the Catholic Times because of the bitterly offensive stance against the Tridentine Mass and those who prefer it, as taken by its regular columnist and self styled Vatican Counsellor, Basil Loftus.

Basil's quaint views, usually directed with sarcastic vitriol disguised as humour or in personal recollection are common among a small minority of a particular generation of clergy, who realise that their desire to chop the tree from its roots and be masters of the new church are now proving to be an exercise in humility and they now know how those old and young priests in the late sixties felt when all that they had presumably held as true was quickly dismantled.

Thanks be to Pope Benedict the "Old Latin Mass" is still Mass, is still Latin (with vernacular readings if desired) but is now no longer old. The Holy Father's letter to the bishops seems to assume that the reintegration of the EF is now to be accepted as over. Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Papal letter to Bishops with the fire and charity of St. Paul the Apostle

I have just read an astonishingly humble but extraordinarily powerful letter from the Pope. Not to me, but to the world's bishops about the lifting of the excommunications of the four SSPX bishops and the Williamson affair.
I did read the letter in German and so the following is only my recollection. The advantage of reading it in German for me is that I can also hear the Pope's voice.
The Holy Father makes no secret of the fact that the whole episode was badly handled, that there will have to be improvements in the future and that those who have sought to make things worse are those claiming to be champions of ecumenism, but show no such desire to extend their love to those in danger of schism and who are validly but illicitly ordained. The Holy Father reminds his bishops that Vat II wasn't the start of something different but a continuation of all that had gone before it. He likens a tree being severed from its roots and how this is destructive.

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will henceforth be part of Faith and Doctrine and not Worship. It is I suppose now felt that the Liturgy of 1962 has been sufficiently absorbed or kick started back in to the mainstream life that the process continues. It is totally assumed that the EF is now part of the norm (which he probably well knows is not the case) and the letter sends out this message without saying it.

It will be fascinating to see who is appointed to take over Cardinal Cormac and according to some blogsites this may be very soon. Let us pray that he will be a Pope Benedict's man.

God bless Pope Benedict!


The planning for the Training Conference at Ushaw is now well underway. At the last count there were 5 priests from the Leeds Diocese involved. We are grateful to the Diocese for alerting clergy to the Training Conference.
I have been charged by Mr. Waddington, chief organizer, with working with the Father Sacristan to co-ordinate the simultaneous celebration of Mass at 10 altars up to four times a day.
I am on the hunt for ten sets of Low Mass Vestments in red and white along with cruets, linen, candlesticks, candles, bells, lavabo dishes, chalices, cards, Missal stands and Missals with ribbons. I have one or two people in mind to help me. If you regularly read this blog you might be asked for a favour!

Until I get the gadget to download photos from the camera replaced, you will just have to imagine what a magnificent setting Ushaw is. The St. Cuthbert's chapel is totally stunning. Father Abberton asked me what I thought about the altar used for celebration of the New Mass. Having hardly noticed it I said that it hardly imposed. What did impose was the old high altar. It was quite a marvellous sensation to feel humbled before it. The altar represents Christ, the Lord. This is why it is blessed, consecrated, venerated, kissed, anointed with holy oil, doused in water, dressed, undressed, veiled and unveiled. In the tabernacle we behold the Manger in Bethlehem, the blessed fruit of Mary's womb, Christ crucified and resurrected. Like those wise men in search of the Manger so to we go to the tabernacle - to Christ - to the altar to find the Lord, we encounter Herods, Pilates and hostile people all the way to the tabernacle - whoever we are. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the obstacles. For me the words of a modern hymn spring to mind, when this is the case - "But then Lord I think of You and I am given strength, Walk with me O my Lord..." . When I was Head of Year at my last school I had the children sing this at exam times in assembly.

This Lent like every Lent, the days seem to to get longer sooner and yet things always seem harder. Through regular fast and abstinence I do believe we gain spiritual strength, even when we are hanging on by the tips of our fingers to resisting that glass of scotch, that cigarette, that chocolate, that keema dansak or bag of crisps and that when we fail we are no worse for starting again.

Tomorrow I have the second of a series of meetings to make arrangements for the Sacred Triduum as well as liturgical research and...yes more year 9 reports.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A restful Sunday

Today was one of those when my mood is in harmony with the lovely weather. Although it was cold the sun was shining and it was dry. I stayed in bed for as long as I dared before the sarcastic reminders of the time from anybody going upstairs or downstairs started.

Mass at St. Peter's was sung by Fr. Hall who gave a very interesting insight into the Transfiguration. I love the Transfiguration and I could share Father's amazement at the sheer power of the presence of God at that moment in time and replicated for us in the Gospel.

The late afternoon sun shone beautifully into the lovely church. Father had heard several confessions before Mass and at Mass Fr. Wiley sat in choir and acted as bell ringer! There were several students at Mass (half the congregation was under 25) who were able to help Mike Murphy sing the wonderful Attende Domine at the Offertory and Communion. Fellow Blogger, Jane Theresa, of the excellent My Heart was Restless blog was at the Mass and she was able to make contact with Frs. Hall and Wiley as well as Mike Murphy who has roped her in to singing there again on Easter Sunday!

A LMS Committee meeting yesterday prevented us celebrating my eldest daughter's birthday together so we went out for a meal after Mass. It was nice to be able to eat some meat, even if it wasn't curried.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Normal sevice....

I have been encountering a lot of difficulty accessing the internet , with crashing e-mails and lots of access errors. Having prepared the slide show of typical LMS activity in the diocese and trying to download photos from my camera was the last straw.
There is excellent news about the Sacred Triduum about which I'll post in the next couple of days.
On Sunday there is the regular monthly Missa Cantata for Lent II at St. Peter's Leeds Road, Bradford at 3.00p.m. Mass will be preceded by Confessions and the Diocesan co-ordinator for the EF, Fr. Wiley will be in choir. Our regular celebrant Fr. Hall will sing the Mass.
At Castleford, also on Sunday, at 3.00p.m. we will welcome a new regular celebrant. Please make every effort to attend one of these Masses.