Monday, April 23, 2012

Masses this coming weekend

For the third Sunday after Easter Mass will be offered at the following locations

Saturday 28th. April 6.00 p.m. at St. Mary's, Halifax.
Sunday 29th. April 3.00 p.m. at St Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford.


Preparations for Bishop Rifan's visit are now well underway. I had a meeting with Fr. Wiley early last week to start the ball rolling and it dawned on us that the Administrator of the Apostolic Administration of St. John Vianney was visiting the parish of St. John Vianney which also incorporates the church of St. Paul on the feast of the Commemoration of St Paul. 

Mass at Castleford today was offered for the repose of the soul of Mrs. Moira Brown, the mother of Fr. Michael Brown, northern chaplain of the LMS and a Priest of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese. At Mass we were also asked to pray for the repose of the soul of Canon Martin Forde, the Parish priest of Yeadon who died suddenly this morning. May both these souls rest in peace.

I was able to come by some rather nice old vestments over the weekend which after a clean and a few minor repairs will be ready again for use at Mass over the coming months.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

7 years ago

                                                                     Habemus Papam!
                                                                     Ad multos annos!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Low Sunday, Quasimodo, Divine Mercy Sunday

Thanks to Fr. Lawrence Lister, a very active retired priest of the diocese who covered for Mgr. Smith in Halifax this evening.
Tomorrow there will be Mass at Castleford St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road at 3.00 p.m. and at Leeds St. Augustine's, Harehills Road at 5.10 p.m.

On Monday the Holy Father will celebrate his 85th. birthday. Ad multos annos!

My trip to Turin was very fruitful and I can highly recommend the Shroud Museum if you have a spare three hours. Run by dedicated volunteers we really felt that we had VIP treatment. The attached chapel is not a parish and the Blessed Sacrament is not reserved there, the crypt is the museum part and there are some multi media rooms.
I was also able to visit the Oratory, the Don Bosco Institute (Salesian HQ) and of course the Duomo which has custody of the Shroud. Many fine baroque churches are located in central Turin and I was heartened to see that posters for vocations abound in them with images of seminarians and priests in cassocks and even the odd biretta.
One church had a tape of Gregorian chant playing all day and there is a strong community of traditional Mass goers, where my eldest daughter has been able to regularly attend since September. At the moment there is a series of lectures about the Eucharist and how Catholic understanding and teaching differs from protestant understanding with talks about the Eucharist in the early Church, the Middle ages, the post Tridentine and post Vatican II periods.

Linguine for lunch tomorrow!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Our Triduum got off to a very shaky start with a fire that wouldn't stay lit, so we eventually had 2 fires to see which lit first, causing my sons much amusement in pre-paschal pyromania. I realise that setting things up early (11.00 a.m.) can now lull me into a false sense of security (I'll take a bottle of meths next time!)
Numbers were up again tonight on yesterday and there were many young people there. Father Hall, to whom I should like to thank on record for his outstanding ministry over the last three days, sang the Exultet in a dark church save for the warming and comforting glow of the surrounding candles standing before the light of lights - the Paschal candle with its apian theme. Interestingly Pope Benedict referred to bees in his homily in St. Peter's tonight. In his sermon, Fr. Hall concluded his spiritually pregnant and thought-provoking discourse on Christ in time, in eternity and our salvation in and because of His humanity and Divinity.The Gospel account is one of the absence and not of the presence of the body of the suffering Christ.
Father Hall thanked Fr. Kravos (in his absence) for his kindness in allowing us to use the chapel again. You may recall my reporting Fr. Kravos' first EF Mass in March. Due to him covering in Carlton he was unable to join us this year, but I would like to second Fr. Hall's thanks.
Mr Burton sang everything singable with great dignity and Messrs Janko and O'Dowd were as accommodating as ever in giving their time and their expertise. The lads, Joe and Fabian, remained extremely alert throughout - especially Fabian who at nine years of age held the specially light processional cross for over an hour with meticulous dignity - spoiled only by him blowing out his brother's candle in singing of the Exultet .

I shall be calling upon all these aforementioned gentlemen (apart from the Pope) again in June.

I am pleased to announce that on Saturday June 30th. Bishop Roche has readily and graciously granted permission for Bishop Fernando Rifan from Campos to offer a Pontifical Mass at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Moortown, Leeds at 3.00p.m. North Leeds Dean, Fr. Timothy Wiley is happy to host us for the afternoon and has again given us disposal of the excellent facilities there. Thanks to him too. The Mass will be of the Commemoration of St. Paul.
Bishop Rifan will go to Holywell in Wales on Sunday July 1st. for a Mass in the parish church.

I have a lot of pictures to process before putting them on this blog of the Triduum and will need some technical expertise - so these will appear later this Easter week.

Mass for Easter Sunday is at 3.00 p.m. at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford.
Reminder that there is no Mass at Bradford.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Holy Week update

The Solemn Liturgy of the Passion took place at 3.00 p.m. today and was indeed a solemn occasion. The Passion and everything else possible was chanted with great skill and precision by Fr. Hall and our cantor. Numbers were also up on last night - please help to make the congrgation even larger tomorrow.

The collection for the Holy Places realised over £70. I have left this with Fr. Kravos. Thanks for this.

The Easter Vigil tomorrow starts with the ceremony outside the church building - this will be in St. Mark's Avenue. Please do not park in the spaces in front of the gates as this is where the action will begin with the blessing of the fire at 7.30- 7.40  p.m. Candles for renewal of baptismal promises will be on the table near the chapel entrance.

Water is traditionally blessed at this Mass and those present are sprinkled with this lustral water. Since last year's ceremony the water then used then has been used to baptize at least seven children of which I know. One in the Notre Dame chapel, three at Immaculate Heart Leeds and three at St. Joseph's Bradford.

Please bring a suitable container if you wish to take home some of the water from this year's ceremony.

The offertory collection is for the celebrant and there will be a retiring collection for the Latin Mass Society.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

On disobedience

Recently a group of priests from a European country issued a summons to disobedience, and at the same time gave concrete examples of the forms this disobedience might take, even to the point of disregarding definitive decisions of the Church’s Magisterium, such as the question of women’s ordination, for which Blessed Pope John Paul II stated irrevocably that the Church has received no authority from the Lord. Is disobedience a path of renewal for the Church? We would like to believe that the authors of this summons are motivated by concern for the Church, that they are convinced that the slow pace of institutions has to be overcome by drastic measures, in order to open up new paths and to bring the Church up to date. But is disobedience really a way to do this? Do we sense here anything of that configuration to Christ which is the precondition for true renewal, or do we merely sense a desperate push to do something to change the Church in accordance with one’s own preferences and ideas?

But let us not oversimplify matters. Surely Christ himself corrected human traditions which threatened to stifle the word and the will of God? Indeed he did, so as to rekindle obedience to the true will of God, to his ever enduring word. His concern was for true obedience, as opposed to human caprice. Nor must we forget: he was the Son, possessed of singular authority and responsibility to reveal the authentic will of God, so as to open up the path for God’s word to the world of the nations. And finally: he lived out his task with obedience and humility all the way to the Cross, and so gave credibility to his mission. Not my will, but thine be done: these words reveal to us the Son, in his humility and his divinity, and they show us the true path.

From Pope Benedict's sermon at this morning's Chrism Mass in Rome.

Last night I attended the Chrism Mass in our own diocese and witnessed many of our priests re-affirm their commitment to the Priesthood in a very dignified Liturgy and the blessing of thei oils.
This evening we began our Triduum at Notre Dame and although numbers were down on last year it was all carried out with ease and decorum.

There is no problem with parking in St. Mark's Avenue - or in the car parks opposite or below the church.

The Liturgy of the Passion begins at 3.00 p.m. tomorrow and there will be the traditional retiring collection for the upkeep of the Holy Places.
Thanks to our photographers this evening - please snap away tomorrow and Saturday.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Procedamus in pace

I have served at four Palm Sunday Masses (without wishing to sound virtuous) over the last two days. In each Mass I saw something different in the symbolism of what was being recalled and re-enacted. I have heard different things in the readings yet the words were the same, and I have seen different things although the actions were the same. I have enjoyed the whole thing enormously and the outdoor procession at Broughton was a highlight in glorious sunshine and the singing was excellent.

Tomorrow I have to ensure that all the vestments and linen are pressed and washed in readiness for setting up Notre Dame chapel on Thursday for the Triduum including the altar of repose and to get together all the other things we will require like clappers, candles for the people, kindling wood for the paschal fire and all the rest.

On Tuesday I have to go into school to mark the French controlled assessments of an absent colleague's GCSE classes and do all the administration for submitting speaking and writing tests for my own and my colleague's classes. 

One thing we reps are being encouraged to do is to photograph ceremonies and special events for the annual calendar and the blogs. Previous attempts have been frustrated by the inadequacy of my/the family's attempts with a happy snap camera. It is beyond me.
I wonder if anybody reading this with a decent digital camera who will be at some or all of the Triduum would be willing to take some shots and then e-mail them to me?
Also if anybody would like to bring a bunch of spring garden flowers on Thursday or Friday to decorate the church for the Vigil Mass that would also be very acceptable.

Reminder that the Mass on Maundy Thursday is at 7.30 p.m. with watching until no later than 9.00p.m. Watching will continue after this down the road at St. Anne's Cathedral however.

On Good Friday the Liturgy starts at 3.00 p.m. There will be the traditional collection for the Holy Places.
Please pray for clement weather so that on Holy Saturday we can savour the fire and blessing of the candle instead of perishing in the wet or cold. I estimate driving 230 miles this week just preparing things and attending the ceremonies. I'm very glad that there is no strike with petrol delivery operatives this week.

Next week I am going to Turin to visit our eledest daughter who is studying Italian and Spanish at the University. She contacted us today to say that the domestic drainage in her flat has drained its last and even sulphuric acid down the plugholes hasn't done the trick. Moreover, could I bring that thing I keep in the cellar I use to unblock sinks?! Here I am ploughing my way through Ian Wilson's writings on the Shroud of Turin and reaping the benefits and she has blocked sinks on her mind and sees me as the primary drain unblocker of Western Europe. Oh Dad (I hear.)... Oh dear (I say.)... How must God see me? (I ask myself.)