Monday, July 23, 2012

Good news

I have just been speaking to Father Parfitt of Sacred Heart Broughton.

He will be offering Mass on the Feast of the Assumption at 11.00 a.m. which means we will have two Masses on this Feast. The other being at Wakefield Chantry Chapel at 7.30 p.m.

Also the regular Sunday schedule at Broughton will also change as from the first Sunday in September.
Mass on the first Sunday of the month will now be at 11.00 a.m. This Mass will continue to be Missa cantata. Then on every other Sunday of the month Mass will be offered at 10.00 a.m.
I hope this will also benefit the people living in the north eastern part the Salford Diocese.

I hope to be able to announce other changes before too long. One casualty in the changes is the discontinuation of the third Sunday Mass at Leeds, St Augustine's with immediate effect. I should like to thank Fr. Jackson, the PP, for having been so welcoming to us over the last few years, both at St. Augustine's and our Lady of Lourdes, his previous parish.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Masses this weekend and the Assumption

 The seventh Sunday after Pentecost will be celebrated as follows:

Saturday (Vigil) St. Mary's Gibbet Street, Halifax. 6.00 p.m.
Sunday St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford. 3.00 p.m. This will be a sung Mass.

It was great to see so many new faces at Castleford last Sunday.  I hope to see these people again.

I now have tickets for this sung Mass at the Chantry chapel in Wakefield (pictured) on the Feast of the Assumption (August 15th). Please let me know if you would like tickets for this Mass, which are issued simply to meet health and safety requirements.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A good read

This is the last week of term for this academic year. Come Friday there will be much rejoicing as I have six weeks to cram in as much DIY, travel, reading and spiritual and physical refreshment  I can muster. With the pressure already being off, having prepared all the paperwork for next year I have started reading Cardinal Heenan's "A Crown of Thorns". As with everything I've ever read by Dr. Heenan, I find it difficult to put down once I start reading it. His "Our Faith" is as fresh today as it was when he wrote it fifty odd years ago. "A Crown of Thorns" begins with his appointment as Bishop of Leeds and continues the fascinating story of his life which he began with "Not the Whole Truth".
I have not yet finished reading "A Crown of Thorns"  but what strikes me about Heenan is that he was very media savvy - and he knew it. Of course I know many people who knew him and remember him with fondness. In his book he recounts the death of a young priest from St. Malachy's Parish in Halifax and the joy with which the young priest went to meet his Maker. The chalice of this priest, Fr. Harrison, who originally hailed from Eire is still regularly used at one of our Masses. In the early fifties Heenan sang a Pontifical Mass in St. Anne's Cathedral, Leeds, which was televised by the BBC. This was a first and by all accounts was very well received by people from all sections of the wider community including Methodists and Jews.
At an LMS conference at Ushaw a few years ago I remember watching a video of another first - namely a Solemn High Mass from the college chapel for midnight Mass at Christmas 1958. This was on ITV. The chapel was crowded with boys of the junior seminary and the seminarians including deacons Wilfrid Elkin and Lawrence Lister. Fr. Elkin is a regular celebrant at his parish in Barnard Castle and Fr. Lister is a retired priest who occasionally offers Mass for us at Halifax to cover for Mgr Smith.  The celebrant at Ushaw was the President, Mgr Paul Grant who was there from 1950 to 1967.
If memory serves me right I believe that the young Heenan also spent two years at Ushaw prior to ordination.
Roll on Friday - I've got a couple of cracking spy stories (by Stella Rimington and Daniel Silva) to get my teeth into as well as finishing Malachi Martin's "Vatican" and Dom Prosper Gueranger's commentary on the Holy Mass, published by the Benedictines of Farnborough. The Dulux colour chart has already lost its appeal - DIY might actually mean getting the decorators in!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pentecost VII

Masses this weekend for the Seventh Sunday of Pentecost:

Saturday St. Mary's, Gibbet Street, Halifax. 6.00 p.m.
Sunday St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Catleford. 3.00 p.m.
             Holy Spirit, Bath Road, Heckmondwike. 4.00 p.m.
             St. Augustine's, Harehills Road, Leeds. 5.10 p.m.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 7th Joy

Today is the fifth anniversary of the Holy Father's issuing of his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. I regularly find myself saying things like nobody would have believed it eighteen months or three years ago that this or that has happened.
Each week a look at the blogs like Rorate Caeli and New Liturgical Movement reveal some new initiative or Mass venue often celebrated by some bishop or cardinal.
Things have moved on since 2007 but this has not stopped dirty tricks being played to hinder the wish of the Holy Father and now enshrined in Church Law. Provision remains acceptable in many places whereas promotion is frowned upon or positively discouraged in others.A few years ago Cardinal Hoyos said in his sermon at Westminster Cathedral that it was the wish of the Holy Father that the traditional Mass be offered in every parish.

In the meantime we continue to pray for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

Ad multos annos!

Friday, July 6, 2012


My eldest two computer savvy daughters are having a great time in Italy so I'll have to wait until Monday to put up my pictures of the Easter Vigil and Bishop Rifan's Mass. In the meantime I have been very taken aback by the amount of feedback I have had from people and the interest it has generated, I am now preparing a report of the occasion at Fr. Wiley's request to submit to the diocesan newspaper.

One thing I have not had the chance to mention in any detail was the singing. Our own schola comprising of Messrs Murphy, Burton and Forbester, who sang the Gregorian propers were again joined by the St. Austin's Choir of Wakefield who sang some beautiful motets including the Ecce Sacerdos as the Bishop entered the Church . The recessional hymn, "For All the Saints" raised the roof. My sincere thanks to Mr. Patrick Ganley and his fellow choristers from St. Austin's.

Reminder - Sung Mass on Sunday at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Bradford, at 3.00 p.m.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Masses this weekend Pentecost VI and a request

This time of year involves clergy moves and sometimes these affect our regular Masses ( for example we now have no Masses at all in Batley, whereas a couple of years ago it was almost daily). This year some of the clergy moves will affect our number and venue of traditional Masses, but hopefully for the better.

If you are a male reading this and would like to serve at the Mass at Castleford on Sunday, but need training or retraining please e-mail me at the address in the sidebar.

If you are a priest and would like to start offering Mass in the EF please e-mail me or Fr. Wiley for any assistance.

I hope to expand things further at this stage but we need servers to come forward so I can develop extra projects. I am happy to serve three Masses each weekend and even four but perhaps we might draw up a rota of altar servers, using this blog to display the rota so that we can have other Masses, based on the model of Holy Spirit Heckmondwike and Broughton Hall, where the priests have their own servers without having to worry if I am available to serve for them. This is how things run in Salford, where four churches operate without much - if any, involvement with me.

If any clergy or laymen (from 7 to 70) would like me to organise a training session in the autumn for serving Mass please e-mail me.

Similarly I would like to be in a position to have more High Masses - we have two planned already, one in the Dominican Rite and one for Mgr Smith's silver jubilee. It would be good to have an expanded regular team to call on.

Masses for Sunday (Petecost VI) :

Saturday Halifax St. Mary's, Gibbet Street 6.00 p.m.
Sunday Bradford St. Peter's, Leeds Road, 3.00 p.m. (sung)
Sunday Castleford St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, 3.00p.m.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bon voyage

When I agreed to organising Bishop Rifan's visit to this diocese last October I had no idea what I was letting myself in for.

Today the hours of preparation of many good people came to fruition as our Pontifical High Mass went ahead. I was very touched when the bishop thanked Fr Wiley and the LMS for making his visit so pleasurable as we wished him bon voyage.  I was delighted to see so many people at the Mass whom I knew and just as many people I had not seen before. Over a hundred people came to hear the Mass and given the awkward layout of the sanctuary for the EF things went very smoothly.

I should like to thank our clergy, Mgr Smith, Fr Hall, Fr Wiley and Revv Mgr Grogan, S. Brown, G. Parfitt, M Brown - LMS northern chaplain of the LMS and Fr Antonio of Campos.
His Lordship was most amused to learn that I am a teacher of German and kept trying out his knowledge of German with me. He told me that when he is in Germany he speaks French because it is easier than English for him.

Bishop Rifan's sermon at the Mass dwelt upon the fact that the Church is made up of the Divine and the human - the sinfulness of the human part should not make us any less fervent in our Faith and belief in the Sacred. You can't have Paul without Peter and vice-versa.

I am not renown for my IT skills but I hope to post photos from our Easter Triduum and the visit of Bishop Rifan as soon as my eldest daughter returns from her year abroad in Italy next week.