Sunday, March 25, 2012

Holy Week schedule

Palm Sunday
Saturday 31st. March. Notre Dame Chapel, St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds. 4.00 p.m.
Saturday 31st. March. St. Mary's, Gibbet Street, Halifax. 6.00 p.m.
Sunday 1st April. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton. 11.45 a.m.
Sunday 1st April. St. Joseph's. Pontefract Road, Castleford. 3.00 p.m.

Holy Thursday
5th. April. Notre Dame Chapel, St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds. 7.30 p.m.

Good Friday
6th. April. Notre Dame Chapel, St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds. 3.00 p.m.

Holy Saturday
7th. April. Notre Dame Chapel, St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds. 7.30 p.m.

Easter Sunday
8th. April.  St. Joseph's. Pontefract Road, Castleford. 3.00 p.m.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


The Solemn High Mass in the presence of Bishop Drainey of Middlesbrough at St. Wilfrid's, York today was very well attended, the music was sublime and the clergy and ministers soon relaxed into the complex ritual. Many thanks to Monsignor Smith, and Revv Hall and Brown of this diocese for attending his Lordship as assistant Priests and acting as subdeacon. The procession from the Minster to English Martyrs stopped outside the Shrine of St. Margaret Clitherow in the Shambles at the end of the fifth Joyful Mystery where the Salve was sung with much gusto. The veneration of the relic and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament were again delightful with more sublime music and finished off our pilgrimage in honour of our national LMS patroness most suitably.
There were many faces I knew from Middlesbrough, Hexham & Newcastle, Liverpool, Nottingham, Birmingham and Leeds Dioceses. It was also good to see our chairman (with camera) and his family including their latest little baby.
The weather was more than good to us in York as it was way over the Pennines in Merseyside on the Wirral, at the grand opening of Sts. Peter and Paul and Philomena in New Brighton. I am reliably told that there were well over 1000 people in church and dozens of clergy to greet the Bishop of Shrewsbury, Mark Davies. Mgr Wach celebrated a High Mass in the presence his Lordship at 10.30 a.m. this morning and so we now have a new shrine to the Blessed Sacrament and a permanent home to the EF Rite under the care of the Institute of Christ the King in the north of England.

"Brick by brick" as the saying goes. Today I think two more foundation stones have been laid for the EF Rite of Mass to be regarded ever increasingly as part of the everyday life of the Church and moreover without rancour. For this I give thanks to God - for those clergy who readily involve themselves in celebrating it, for those who say it's not for them but are happy to encourage others and help in whatever way they can and moreso for those who simply don't oppose it in plain obedience to the Universal Law of the Church.
Above all I thank Almighty God for the Bishop of Rome, the Pontifex Maximus who has bestowed upon us Summorum Pontificum and who clearly sees the EF as part of the new Evangelisation.

Christus Vincit!
St. Margaret Clitherow, pray for us.
Sts. Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Joseph, pray for us

St. Joseph

St. Joseph,
Renowned offspring of David,
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster father of the Son of God,
Diligent protector of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most strong,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of artisans,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the wretched,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,
Pray for us.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Some things are mischievous, others naughty*, some are abnormal and some are utterly wicked and yet they all involve some degree of defiance. Even after the Reformation our own country's laws were based on God's Laws until the erosion of both following the liberalism which ensued after the world wars and moreover after the devestating effects of fascism in Holland, Germany, Italy, France and ultimately Britain. The end of communism has had a similar effect in the Ukraine, Poland, Czekoslovakia and all the rest of those former iron curtain countries. The deliverance from intrinsically evil empires, which had also torn up the Commandments, was perversely repaid by the new free world also tearing up the rule book but more gradually and less obviously than any brutal dictatorship had. Stunde Null Literature (zero hour or new start) which developed in Germany after 1945 takes on a deeply sinister meaning in this light. What exactly could have begun at that point - and where will it end?  Leading figures of all religions have always  all too readily cosied up to political monsters of every colour and shade at home and abroad and at best have left us impoverished as a result. Eugenics, hedonism, "positive discrimination" etc. rule the day.
Now the Government has presented proposals to rewrite the defenition of marriage. This astonishing desire was no part of Cameron's manifesto.
In America President Obama plans to violate religious freedom for Catholics and Ireland has snubbed the Vatican.

* in Shakespeare's time naughty had the sense of being really heinous - now it is reduced to the level of playground silliness.

Please do what you can to attend Mass on Sunday to pray for the Church and her mission on earth.

Traditional Latin Masses fulfilling the obligation include:

Saturday - 6.00p.m. Halifax, St.Mary's, Gibbet Street.
Sunday - 3.00 p.m. Castleford, St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road.
                4.00p.m. Heckmondwike, Holy Spirit, Bath Road - but please check beforehand on  01924 402579
                5.10 p.m Leeds, St. Augustine's, Harehills Lane.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Upcoming events

Saturday March 24th sees two important events for the north of England, both involving English bishops.

At York's St. Wilfrid's Bishop Drainey of Middlesbrough will preside and preach at a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of St. Margaret Clitherow. This will begin at 1.30 p.m. and will be followed by a procession to English Martyrs Church where the relic of St Margaret Clitherow will be venerated and followed by Solemn Benediction. Several Leeds priests will be involved as well as from other northern dioceses.

At New Brighton, Bishop Mark Davis of Shrewsbury will preside at a Solemn High Mass to mark the opening of the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament at Sts. Peter, Paul and Philomena. This will begin at 10.30 a.m. to be followed by a social event. Sts Peter and Paul, known as the dome of home to mariners,  will be a centre devoted almost exclusively to the use of the Extraordinary Form and run by the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sunday Masses

Again a reminder that there is to be NO MASS at St. Peter's tomorrow. Instead the Mass will be offered at St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford. This is next to the Lidl Supermarket in Manchester Road. Mass is at the earlier time of 2.45 p.m.
                                            St. Joseph's viewed from Manchester Road, Bradford.

Today I was privileged to serve at the "first" Mass of Fr. Peter Kravos at the chapel of Notre Dame, Leeds University. Father took to it as "a duck to water" as Fr. Wiley commented after the beautiful Mass. Given that Father Kravos is about 6'6" and made both me and the chasuble look a bit small I still understood perfectly what Father Wiley meant. After the Mass Father Kravos looked visibly stunned by the occasion. All the anxiety of the dry Mass on Thursday we went through together dissipated as soon as Father uttered the words Introibo ad altare Dei. I felt at ease and the other servers did too. One server, a gentleman called Mark also served the Mass for the first time and also seemed to relish the experience. I have served many priests' "first" Masses in this Diocese and in Salford as well as at 4 LMS training conferences - and each one is always better then the last. This was no exception.
The servers and Fr. Wiley knelt for the blessing in the vestry after Mass and Fr. Kravos asked if we should now receive his blessing, which he gladly gave in faultless Latin. I was humbled by his humility, especially when I asked him if he would offer our Assumption Mass at the Chantry Chapel in Wakefield in August. He was extremely gracious in his acceptance and said that he should have done this years ago and that it has changed the way in which he will celebrate the Ordinary Form, which is exactly what Pope Benedict said should happen.
Father's joy brightened my Lenten experience. I was even able to arrange a drink this week with a friend, who was at the Mass, after twelve months in the planning! My spell in hospital last year just after Easter put paid to the last arrangement.

Monsignor Smith of Halifax is preparing to establish the Benedictine arrangement on the altar of St. Mary's Halifax and has found a very suitable crucifix to this end. He will also be assisting at the Mass in York on Saturday 24th. March at St Wilfrid's, in Duncombe Place, in the centre of York, close to the Minster. This will be followed by a procession to English Martyrs for the veneration of the relic of Saint Margaret Clitherow. Bishop Terence Drainey, the Bishop of Middlesbrough will preside and preach at the Mass. Mass starts at 1.30p.m.
Mr. Forbester who leads the Rudgate Singers has sent me the poster below. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mass tomorrow at Notre Dame Leeds

An extra Mass will take place tomorrow (Saturday) at 4.00p.m. at Notre Dame Chapel, St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds. This large chapel formerly belonged to the Sisters of Notre Dame and their school. It is now part of the University chaplaincy.
Our celebrant will be the Chaplain to the University, Fr. Kravos - and this will be his first public Mass. It will be a Missa cantata. Some of the students will be present at the Mass and the music will be provided by the Leeds Schola Gregoriana directed by Mr. Murphy.

The windows in the chapel are utterly stunning and are by Harry Clarke.

REMINDER - no Mass at St. Peter's Bradford on Sunday. Instead there will be  Mass at St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford (next to the Lidl Supermarket) at the earlier time of 2.45p.m. Mass will be in the chapel of Our Lady which contains the exquisite statue of our Lady, which was formerly in the now defunct St. Mary's in East Parade.

If any parish in Bradford is a reflection of the last half century in these parts it is St. Mary's, Bradford. The huge parish church was built with the pennies of the poor Irish immigrants who often initially lived in utter squalor in the mid-nineteenth century and who were the main cause of the "boom" in Catholicism after both world wars, along with many Poles and Ukrainians. All these people settled and integrated and continued to build Catholic nursery, primary, secondary, special and private schools.

According to the desire and foresight of the bishops of Leeds such schools provided for (and helped to establish and perpetuate) the newly emergent Catholic middle class. This helped their pupils to help themselves whilst bettering and improving society in a Catholic way. This did not leave others behind. Some excellent Secondary Modern (and later Middle Schools), St George's and St. Blaize and St. Edmund Campion spring to mind.
The city's Catholic Grammar schools were; St. Bede's (founded by Cardinal Hinsley), St. Joseph's College ( founded by the Sisters of the Cross and Passion), and in the latter boom years Cardinal Hinsley ( which only had one headmaster in its history - Walter Earnshaw, who was a great devotee of the Tridentine Mass) and Bl./St. Margaret Clitherow (a daughter school of St. Joseph's always headed by a sister of the Cross and Passion).
Now St. Mary's church is derelict, but the parish centre (a former cinema) remains a place devoted to helping the lonely and homeless, started in Fr. Abberton's time. Christ's love remains even if the Mass has gone.
In days gone by the landlords of  local pubs in this parish (most of which are also gone) would contact the parish priest to restore order on their premises if trouble started. This often avoided the ensuing bloodshed if the police were called.
The area surrounding the church is now lightly industrial and the remaining houses are inhabited mainly by  Muslim families ( as opposed to Irish families) and some non-Catholic slavonic families.
The Catholics have now mostly gone.

Monday, March 5, 2012

IMPORTANT - change of schedule and extra Mass

The Mass scheduled to be at St. Peter's next Sunday (March 11th.) will now take place at the earlier time of 2.45 p.m. at St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford in the beautiful Lady Chapel (you may remember we were there in November last year for Remembrance Sunday). This is due to an oversight on my part and I am very grateful to Fathers Newman and Hall for so readily agreeing to this. Please pass the word.

ALSO there will be an extra Mass on Saturday (March 10th.) at 4.00 p.m. at Notre Dame Chapel, Leeds University Catholic Chaplaincy, St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds. This will be a sung Mass.

So in summary- Masses for Lent III:

Missa Cantata, Saturday March 10th. at Notre Dame, Leeds at 4.00 p.m. (Vigil)
Low Mass, Saturday March 10th. at St. Mary's, Gibbet Street, Halifax at 6.00 p.m. (Vigil)

Low Mass, Sunday March 11th. at St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford at 2.45 p.m.
Low Mass, Sunday March 11th. at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford at 3.00 p.m.

Plans are well underway for the Triduum celebrations at Notre Dame and the Palm Sunday Mass at Broughton will be a Missa cantata at the slightly later time of 11.45 a.m. as has been the case on previous occasions.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lent II

This evening at Halifax Mgr Smith  delivered a wonderful sermon about the occasion of the Transfiguration recounted in today's Gospel. I use the word wonderful because I lost count of the number of times he used the word to describe the Transfiguration. The forty days between the feast of the Transfiguration (6Aug) to the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14 Sept) are redolent of Lent. The Transfiguration looks to the cross and past the cross. The Transfiguration foreshadowed not only the cross bearing Jesus climbing Mount Calvary for a shocking death but also Him shattering the order of nature by his Resurrection.

Masses for Sunday

Missa cantata ; Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, near Skipton. 11.30 a.m.
Low Mass ; St. Joseph's, Pontefract Rd. Castleford. 3.00 p.m.

Shortly after the my reporting the death of Gerry Lyons I received an e-mail from Fr. McCaughan in Rome to say that he had offered Mass for Gerry's soul on hearing of the death. Both Gerry and Father were at various times my predecessors. Srange and beautiful that one should now offer Mass for the other. Another former rep also recently died. Mrs Christine Ackers formerly the long serving rep of Lancaster died this week in a hospice in Lancaster. May she rest in peace.