Friday, December 31, 2010


Thursday evening saw a beautiful sung Requiem at Wakefield's medieval chantry chapel and marked the exact date of the death of the Duke of York in 1460 at the Battle of Wakefield.

Fr. D. Smith was celebrant and Fathers Hall and Kravos attended in choro.

The Parish Priest, Fr. Swinglehurst was in the congregation which filled the chapel to capacity.

St. Austin's choir and members of the Leeds Schola Gregoriana sang excellently.

Fr. Smith preached about the occasion and about the relevance of prayer for the dead, the efficacy of the Holy Sacrifice and the timelessness of Almighty God.

Absolutions at the catafalque followed the Mass.

New Year's Day will see three public EF Masses:
+ Gl Cr Pr of the Nativity
Pl Ind Proper Communic diem sacratissimum

9.30a.m at Broughton Hall
NOON at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Harrogate Road, Moortown, Leeds.

6.00p.m. St. Mary's, Halifax - Vigil for observation of the external solemnity of the Epiphany.

Happy New Year.
God Bless the Pope!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Already the new year beckons

Physical preparations for the Mass on Christmas Eve began at the start of last week as did they for this Thursday's sung requiem Mass at Wakefield Chantry Chapel and for the New Year's Day Mass at NOON at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Moortown, Leeds. Mass at Immaculate Heart will be also be missa cantata.
St Austin's Church choir of Wakefield will sing at the Chantry Chapel Mass and our old friend Mr. Mike Murphy will be the main cantor at Immaculate Heart and the celebrant will be Dean Wiley, VF.

I have a couple of tickets available for the Wakefield Mass if you wish to contact me at the address in the left hand bar at the top.

Many thanks to Fr. Kravos for his excellent welcome to us at Notre Dame. His kindness was matched only by that of our celebrant Fr. M. Hall whose kindness and good counsel I value very much.

Please continue to pray for our priests and all those others who continue to help facilitate the Extraordinary Form of Mass in our Diocese.
We are one small piece of a large jigsaw which is getting larger in this, the glorious pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Not Father Christmas

No. Not Father Christmas, but Christ.

During all six pregnancies of my wife neither of us could wait until that moment when nature dictated that the baby was on its way into the world.
I saw a blog earlier rejoicing the feast of the birth of salvation. And I rejoiced in my heart, like Mary must have done at the Annunciation. The invisible would become visible and the God man would be amongst us.

First Mass of Christmas at 6.00p.m. at Notre Dame chapel, Leeds University chaplaincy, St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds. PARKING should not be a problem in the spaces outside Notre Dame school and St Anne’s Community Services over the road.

Mass at English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York at 8.30a.m.
Mass at noon on Christmas Day at English Martyrs, Alexandra Rd. South, Whalley Range, Manchester.

On the morning of Christmas Eve (Friday) the Holy Father will speak for the first time on the Thought for the Day slot at 7.50a.m. on the BBC Radio 4.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

From the latest FSSP newsletter

First Solemn High Mass back in England of then-Fr Matthew McCarthy, FSSP:
Saturday 28thMay 2011, 3pm;
at St James‘s Church, Spanish Place,
22 George Street, London W1U 3QY -
kindly welcomed by Parish Priest Fr, Christopher Colven.
Followed by First blessings, and refreshments in Parish Hall. Come and pray with and for this newly ordained British priest and for more priestly vocations.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Petition.... and important announcements

A petition has been set up protesting at the manner in which the trustees of Ushaw College have announced its closure. It urges the trustees to defer the closure until such time as proper consultation has taken place and schemes for its survival have been considered.

To sign the petition, go to:

There is a fair bit of background information about the closure of Ushaw College on Fr Brown's blog, Forest Murmu
rs and Fr Elkin's blog, Let the Welkin Ring.

(Above courtesy of Middlesbrough LMS Blog)

I have signed the petition and would encourage you to do the same. I would be keen to read the reasons for closure of this place which could, once again, play a pivotal role in restoring the Faith to our isle.
A walk round town today left me shuddering - literally and spiritually. Both involved coldness. Freezing temperatures and horrid, superficial and empty excesses. Christmas is for the children, people say to me. If the way we squander money and debase ourselves during winterval is anything to go by it is little wonder society is how it is.
Moreover Bradford city centre is and for a long time has been redolent of 1980s East Berlin with about as much heart as a plastic pink rocking horse (now with already 20% off at one store).
I bumped in to one of my cousins who told me that she and her husband had both lost their very good jobs at the same time in October, I was really sickened for them, they are both younger than me.

I am looking forward to our First Mass of Christmas at Notre Dame Chapel. Leeds University Chaplaincy, St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds at 6.00p.m. on Friday. This will be a sung Mass.
Much of Monday was spent preparing for the Christmas Mass at Notre Dame, Leeds, the Requiem at Wakefield Chantry Chapel on Thursday 30th. December and for the New Year's day Mass at noon at Immaculate Heart, Moortown, Leeds.

There will be no EF Mass at Batley or Halifax on Christmas Day nor will there be the regular Mass at 3.00p.m. at St. Joseph's, Castleford on Sunday, Boxing Day. Sincere apologies for this.

The nearest EF Masses on Sunday 26th. December (Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus) are at:
Holy Name of Jesus, Oxford Road, Manchester. 4.00p.m. (very apt, given the feast.)
English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York. 6.30p.m.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


There are still copies of the 20011 LMS calendar available at St. Paul's Bookshop opposite the Cathedral in Leeds. I have sold all the ones I had.

Advent IV

Masses on Sunday for the fourth Sunday of Advent;Sun 19 FOURTH SUNDAY of ADVENT 1 Cl V
No Gl. Cr Pr of the Holy Trinity
Sunday Office:
At Vespers Mag Ant O radix Iesse

St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford at 3.00p.m.
St. Augustine's, Harehills Road, Leeds at 5.00p.m.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Priesthood

I was delighted to learn that a young man of our acquaintance has put himself forward as a candidate for the Priesthood. He is assured of my prayers and Masses will be offered this coming year for our seminarians, for vocations along with those for the propagation of the Faith . I have met several of our seminarians over recent months and couldn't wish to meet a greater group of dedicated and well balanced men.
I understand that my old friend from University days at Manchester, Rev Mr M. McCarthy FSSP will be ordained to the Sacred Priesthood next year. When times were very much more desperate we attended Mass together in some odd places and met some equally odd people just to hear those sacred words and witness those sacred actions. (I was probably odder than most!)
A consecrated Bishop will lay hands on and anoint Rev. McCarthy who will then be able to administer the Sacraments

At Confession tonight when my confessor gave me absolution, the only part of him I saw was his hand through the grill.
Reflecting on the advice I had received on the way home, I suddenly recalled the words of a little devotional leaflet I discovered in my great grandmother's missal, now long gone.

Two minutes of googling helped me find the words contained on this leaflet ...

The Beautiful Hands of a Priest.

We need them in life's early morning,
We need them again at its close;
We feel their warm clasp of true friendship,
We seek it while tasting life's woes.

When we come to this world we are sinful,
The greatest as well as the least.
And the hands that make us pure as angels
Are the beautiful hands of a priest.

At the altar each day we behold them,
And the hands of a king on his throne
Are not equal to them in their greatness
Their dignity stands alone.

For there in the stillness of morning
Ere the sun has emerged from the east,
There God rests between the pure fingers
Of the beautiful hands of a priest.

When we are tempted and wander
To pathways of shame and sin
'Tis the hand of a priest that absolve us.
Not once but again and again.

And when we are taking life's partner
Other hands may prepare us a feast
But the hands that will bless and unite us,
Are the beautiful hands of a priest.

God bless them and keep them all holy,
For the Host which their fingers caress,
What can a poor sinner do better
Than to ask Him who chose them to bless

When the death dews on our lids are falling,
May our courage and strength be increased
By seeing raised o'er us in blessing
The beautiful hands of a priest.

Deo gratias!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gaudete! Advent III

This weekend there will be three Gaudete Masses.
Sun 12 THIRD SUNDAY of ADVENT (Gaudete Sunday) 1 Cl V/ROSE
No Gl. Cr Pr of the Holy Trinity
Sunday Office

Halifax, Low Mass, Saturday at St. Mary's. 6.00p.m. (Vigil)
Bradford, Missa Cantata, Sunday at St. Peter's, Leeds Road. 3.00p.m. Confessions available before and after Mass.
Castleford, Low Mass, Sunday at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Rd. 3.00p.m.

Reminder - Mass at Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike at 7.30p.m. on Friday and on Saturday morning at Broughton Hall at 9.30a.m.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Advent II

Numbers at Halifax were probably the lowest ever tonight as the weather continued to maintain its feverish grip.

I spoke over the telephone to Fr. Parfitt this evening who lives where temperatures fell to -13 degrees earlier this week. The regular Missa cantata at Broughton at 11.30a.m. will go ahead as usual tomorrow and there will be Mass as usual at 3.00p.m. at Castleford.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday. Mass at Batley, 6.45a.m. and Broughton at 9.30a.m.

Reminder that there is Mass on Christmas Eve at Notre Dame Chapel, Leeds University R.C. Chaplaincy, St. Mark's Ave, Leeds at 6.00p.m.

December 30th. at 7.00p.m. will see a sung Requiem Mass at Wakefield chantry chapel. Please let me know if you would like a ticket for this Mass and civic event, as the Lord Mayor of Wakefield will be in attendance. Celebrant - Rev Fr. D. Smith, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy.

On 1st January 2011 there will be a Missa cantata at Noon at Immaculate Heart, Moortown, Leeds. Celebrant - PP, Rev Fr. T. Wiley VF. This will be the first public Mass in this church for at least twelve years - the penultimate Mass we attended as a family there saw me locking the car keys in the car with the baby whilst her two sisters looked on highly amused!

That baby is now in her last year of school but I still remember clearly how easily the car was broken into by the rescue man without causing any damage to save the situation and to let us get on our way.

Immaculate Heart church was a "regular" venue for the old Mass especially in the days when the great Bp Wheeler was the Ordinary of the Diocese.
Several young men who went on to study for the Priesthood used to attend Masses here from the very early 1980s. One such lad was the present Parish Priest - well, what goes round comes round.

On Monday I have an appointment with a high ranking member of the local Polish Community. I hope he will be able to help me formulate an advert for Polish migrant workers and residents who would like to attend the TLM in this part of the world.