Thursday, December 30, 2021

New Year's Eve

 No Mass on Friday 31. January at St. Austin in Wakefield. Apologies for the late notice. I have only just found out.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas! Hodie Christus natus est!

 May I wish all readers of this blog a very peaceful and joyful Christmas.

Masses today and tomorrow for Christmas (third Mass)  and the Sunday within the Octave:

St Ignatius, Ossett - 8.30 a.m.

St. Patrick, Bradford - 1.00 p.m.

Tuesday (feast of The Holy Innocents):

St Ignatius, Ossett - 6.00 p.m.


St. Winefride, Bradford - 6.30 p.m. THIS MASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED - Father is away.

Thursday: (threes Masses today.)

St Anthony, Clayton, Bradford, - 9.30 a.m.

St. Joseph's, Pontefract - 7.00 p.m.

There will be the annual Requiem Mass at the Chantry Chapel in Wakefield. This will be a missa cantata for the Duke of York. The Mass will be at 7.30 p.m.


St. Austin, Wakefield - 7.30 p.m. to which there is a plenary indulgence attached should the Te Deum be it said or sung publicly.

I hope our next Masses at St. Patrick's will be as well attended as the first one was last Sunday. The sound system wasn't quite configured but this has been rectified. I am most grateful to Fr, Columba CFR  for his warm welcome and for Fr. Hall's attendance in white choir. Fr. Hall is now the Episcopal Delegate for the Usus antiquior in this Diocese.

Father Driver's choice of  O purest of creatures  with its poignant words "And the Tempest Tossed Church all her eyes are on thee as they look to thy shining, Sweet Star of the sea", were most apt.

I forgot to ask Fr. Driver to mention that it was Fr. Parfitt's first anniversary last Sunday. Please remember Fr. Parfitt in your prayers. He was a faithful priest.



Saturday, December 18, 2021

Advent IV

Sunday is the last in Advent. 

Masses this week:


St. Ignatius, Storrs Hill Road, Ossett - 8.30 a.m.

St Patrick, Sedgefield Terrace, Westgate, Bradford - 1.00 p.m.


St. Joseph, Martin Street, Brighouse - 6.30 a.m. Rorate Mass.


St. Ignatius, Storrs Hill Road, Ossett - 8.30 a.m.


St. Winefride, Wibsey, Bradford - 6.30 p.m.


St. Anthony, Clayton, Bradford - 9.30 a.m.

St. Joseph, Back Street, Pontefract - 7.00 p.m.

Friday - No Mass at Wakefield.

Christmas Day:

St Patrick, Sedgefield Terrace, Westgate, Bradford - 1.00 p.m. 

Sunday within the Octave of  the Nativity:

St Patrick, Sedgefield Terrace, Westgate, Bradford - 1.00 p.m. 

Monday, December 13, 2021

A new era

Yesterday was our last regular Mass at St. Joseph's as next Sunday (Advent IV) sees our move to St. Patrick's, Sedgefield Terrace, Westgate - our new permanent home. Five years have gone past very quickly and it has been a pleasure to have been there. 

As we continue on our journey I have no doubt it will be as fruitful as it has been in the past. 

The postcode of the church is BD1 2RU. Parking is plentiful. 

Next Sunday the celebrant will be Fr. Kevin Driver who is no stranger to this church as he has often offered Mass there regularly in the past.

Masses this week:

Tuesday - St. Ignatius, Ossett. 6.00 p.m.

Wednesday - St. Winefride, Wibsey, Bradford 6.30 p.m.

Thursday - St. Anthony, Clayton, Bradford 9.30 a.m.

                   St. Joseph, Pontefract 7.00 p.m.

Friday - St. Austin, Wakefield 7.30 p.m.

Sunday - St. Patrick, Bradford 1.00 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY - St. Patrick, Bradford 1.00 p.m.

Saturday, December 4, 2021



Masses this week:

Second Sunday of Advent:
8.30 a.m. St. Ignatius, Ossett
1.00 p.m. St. Joseph, Bradford

6.00 p.m. St. Ignatius, Ossett

6.30 p.m. St. Winefride, Bradford  FEAST of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

9.30 a.m. St. Anthony, Bradford
7.00 p.m. St. Joseph, Back Street, Pontefract

7.30 p,m, St. Austin, Wakefield

Next Sunday (12.12. 21) will be our last at St. Joseph's Bradford. It will be a sung Mass.
Our first Mass at St. Patrick's, Sedgefield Terrace will be on Sunday 19.12.21 at 1.00 p.m.

Server Training:

Server training has been taking place recently at St. John the Evangelist, Cooper Lane, where I served my first Mass in 1975! Above is a picture of our first "graduate" kneeling to the right of Mgr. Grogan on the Feast of St. Francis Xavier. 
Another trainee will be learning to serve the Low Mass over the next few weeks before Christmas, after which we shall be moving on to the missa cantata. It is very pleasing that our serving team is expanding. Thanks to Mgr Grogan for permitting us to use the church. 
We are hoping to have regular Solemn Masses on Sundays when we move to St. Patrick's.

Apologies to Canon Wiley for forgetting to mention this coming Thursday's Mass at Pontefract.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

First Sunday of Advent and other news. UPDATED

Advent begins on Sunday. 

It is the start of the liturgical year as the cycle begins again.


Sunday Masses:

8.30 a.m. St. Ignatius, Ossett

1.00 p.m. St. Joseph, Bradford

Tuesday - 6.00 p.m. St. Ignatius, Ossett

Wednesday - 6.30 p.m. St. Winefride, Wibsey, Bradford

Thursday - 9.30 a.m. St. Anthony, Clayton, Bradford

                  Parish confirmations at Pontefract - no Mass

Friday -     6.30 p.m. St. John the Evangelist, Buttershaw, Bradford

                  7.30 p.m. St. Austin, Wakefield

Confessions are usually available before or after Mass at call

PLEASE NOTE THAT MASSES AT ST. WINEFRIDE'S AND ST. JOHN'S WILL NOW BE CELEBRATED AT THE LATER TIME OF 6.30 p.m. This will avoid the rush hour through the city. 

Moving to Saint Patrick's church.

Preparations are well under way for a smooth transition from St. Joseph's to St. Patrick's. We are set to leave St. Joseph's church, Pakington Street after 5 very happy years, on the third Sunday of Advent. 

Already I wish to thank the clergy - specially Fr. Angel, the Parish Priest, sacristan Mr Hirst, staff and parishioners at St. Joseph's church for their unfailing hospitality and kindness over these past years.

The first Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's will be at 1.00 p.m. on Sunday 19th December, which is the fourth Sunday of Advent. There will be Masses at 1.00 p.m. on Christmas Day and Boxing Day at St. Patrick's. The address of the church is: St. Patrick's, Sedgefield Terrace, Westgate, Bradford BD1 2RU.

We remain within the territory of St. Joseph's parish but not in the parochial church. 

I had a meeting with the Local Servant, the Rector and the Sacristan/Celebrant last week and they are very much looking forward to us going there. 

There are a few small practical issues still being addressed but nothing onerous. 

The scariest bit for me was the cupboard with the lighting and sound equipment looking like something with which you'd land a small jet. 

I hope that with the Franciscan presence the Portiuncula indulgence of 2nd  August (and/or its nearest Sunday) will be an occasion of shared joy. 

Sunday street parking is very easy on Sundays in addition to which the Rebecca Street carpark is a minute's walk from the church. 

The 617/618 buses run regularly to stop S1 at Sedgefield Terrace - to and from the Interchange and the Bradford Royal Infirmary. The Forster Square and Interchange railway stations are within reasonable walking distance.  

I would like to thank Bishop Stock for his pastoral solicitude since the Holy Father's motu proprio.

Rorate Mass

Once again we will be having the candlelit Rorate Mass at 6.30 a.m. on Monday 20th. December at St. Joseph's, Martin Street, Brighouse. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

We're on the move

 We are on the move. 

After over 5 years at St. Joseph's church, Bradford the Bishop has offered us the opportunity to be in the only church in the diocese where the only regular Sunday Mass will be the the old Mass. 

We will be moving in due course to St. Patrick's church in Sedgefield Terrace, which is still in St. Joseph's parish boundary and nearer to the railway stations. It is on the regular and frequent bus route to and from  the Royal Infirmary hospital. 

There will be no restrictions on the celebration of Mass including the Sacred Triduum and the possibility of regular Masses during the week. This is in addition to those which already take place in this deanery and the Wakefield deanery. 

St. Patrick's church is in the custody of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, whose Father Frantisek is already on the Sunday rota at St. Joseph's. 

I remember being the cross bearer at the re-opening of the church following extensive renovation when the bishop re-dedicated the church at a very dignified concelebrated Mass with diocesan priests and Franciscans. 

My daughter reminded me of my being quoted on Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog when we were established at St. Joseph's when I had in my mind's eye the possibility of the Triduum there. The following is from June 2016 Fr. Zuhlsdorf's  blog as he comments on my remarks quoted in the Catholic Herald. His "Ah hah!" comment made me smile. 

Happy news from Bradford | Fr. Z's Blog (

The bishop offered us any liturgical paraphernalia we might need during the transition to St. Patrick's as St. Joseph's has everything! 

As instructed  by Traditionis Custodes the bishop has appointed Fr. Michael Hall to be his delegate in the spiritual, pastoral and technical matters pertaining to the old Mass. 

The friars themselves have not overtaken such care of those who will attend the old Mass. 

I have lately been arranging a series of non-polemic talks about the history, development, symbolism, spirituality etc. of the old Mass. Fr. Kieron Walker at St. Walburga's has agreed to host these talks which are scheduled to take place in the build up to Easter.

The bishop wants to see a more public profile of the old Mass at the Cathedral. The thitd Sunday Masses at 8.00 a.m. which have been suspended since lockdown will not now continue. Instead there should be the opportunity for a Corpus Christi Mass and procession, Marian devotional processions and suchlike.

Details of the move and details about the talks will appear here in due course.

This week:

This Tuesday there will be no Mass at Ossett

Wednesday Mass at St. Winefride's at 6.00 p.m.

Thursday Masses at St. Anthony's, Clayton at 9.30 a.m. and at St. Joseph's, Pontefract at 7.00 p.m.

Friday Mass at St. Austin's, Wakefield at 7.30 p.m. 

Monday, November 8, 2021

St. Mary's, Bradford

I have just seen on the Facebook page of The Regency Hall Yorkshire that this retired church will be open from 10.00 a.m. until 12.30 p.m. on Sunday:

Previously St. Marys Roman Catholic Church, We open our doors for those who wish to pay their respect to those that have died in the line of duty. The doors to the war memorial will be open. We will also be providing tea / coffee for those paying their respect.
Remembrance Day (sometimes known informally as Poppy Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.
This is also a chance to have a look around the hall. Originally the first Roman Catholic Church in Bradford. some pieces of significance found during the refurbishment will also be on display. 

We have signed up to attend. My family has many happy and sorrowful memories associated with this church. 

Mass at St. Joseph's, Bradford on Sunday will be a sung Mass of Requiem for the War Dead followed by the now traditional censing of the cenotaph from the old Saint Ann's church in Guy Street.

This week there will be the usual Masses at St. Ignatius, Ossett on Tuesday at 6.00 p.m. and on Wednesday at 6.00 p.m. at St. Winefride's, Wibsey. 

Mass at St. Anthony's, Clayton, on Thursday at 9.30 a.m. but no Mass at  St. Joseph's, Pontefract as Canon Wiley cannot  trinate on that day. 

Mass on Sundays at 8.30 a.m. continue at St. Ignatius, Ossett.

Friday, October 29, 2021

All Saints and All Souls

UPDATE   Please remember we revert to GMT early on Sunday morning so don't forget to reverse your clocks by an hour. 

This Sunday is the transferred feast of All Saints.

Masses for All Saints:

St. Ignatius, Ossett at 8.30 a.m.

St. Joseph's, Bradford at 1.00 p.m.

Mass for All Souls:

St. Joseph's, Bradford at 5.00 p.m.

St. Ignatius, Ossett at 6.00 p.m.

Wednesday - St. Winefride's at 6.00 p.m.

Thursday - St. Anthony's, Clayton, Bradford at 9.30 a.m.

                - St. Joseph's, Back Street, Pontefract at 7.00 p.m.

I will confirm Friday's Masses later.


Friday - St. John's, Buttershaw at 6.00 p.m.

            - St. Austin's, Wakefield at 7.30 p.m.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

This week

Good news from Right to Life UK sent out on Friday afternoon

The Second Reading debate of Baroness Meacher’s assisted suicide Bill has just ended. Following mass opposition from over 60 Peers who spoke against the Bill in the debate, Baroness Meacher has not taken her assisted suicide Bill to a vote!

This is an excellent outcome.

The assisted suicide lobby would likely have pushed for a vote at the Second Reading if they felt they had the numbers to win. However, it looks like they realised that they would be unlikely to have sufficient support to win a vote today.

The Bill is now unlikely to be given time in Parliament to be debated in the House of Commons and become law, given that it is not supported by the Government.

Sunday Masses at Ossett (8.30 a.m.) and St. Joseph's, Bradford (1.00 p.m.)

Tuesday at Ossett (6.00 p.m.)

Wednesday at St. Winefride's (6.00 p.m.)

Thursday at St. Anthony's, Clayton, (9.30 a.m.) and St. Joseph's, Pontefract (7.00 p.m.)

Friday at St. Austin's, Wakefield (7.30 p.m.)

Reminder that a Mass of requiem (English and Polish) will take place at noon at St. Walburga's on Monday for Christina Niczyperowicz. Please see other details in my last post.

Mass next Sunday will be the transferred Feast of All Saints. Mass on All Souls at St. Joseph's at 5.00 p.m.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Life and death

The date of the Lord's debate on assisted euthanasia has been put back a week to this Friday 22nd October. Such a change would be a very slippery slope. If it becomes enshrined in law it will enable anyone who has less than six months to live to end their own lives. Please see my previous post about who to contact.

Listening to a programme on the radio last week,  I was reminded of the ease with which David Steel was able to get his nefarious bill through Parliament in the late sixties. Everything would be restricted and yet people now regard abortion as a "contraceptive".

At school whenever euthanasia was discussed we smirked at the idea that one day someone would knock at granny's door and tell her to roll up her sleeve. . 

We'd heard all that in history lessons about Germany in the Hitlerzeit, it couldn't happen again. 

We're not smirking now. 

On Monday 25th. October there will be a requiem Mass in the Ordinary Form for Christina Niczyperowicz who lost her valiant battle with cancer last year during lockdown. Christina was always a champion for the pro-life cause. Her son Richard sometimes plays the organ for us at St. Joseph's and her husband Jan also serves there. Mass at noon at St. Walburga's, Shipley. May Christina's soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.


Friday, October 15, 2021

Pentecost XXI

Firstly I would ask your prayers for the repose of the soul of Catholic pro-life MP Sir David Amess who was appallingly and disgracefully murdered at his constituency surgery this lunchtime, in similar fashion to Jo Cox,  MP for Batley and Spen five years ago. May he rest in peace and may our Lady comfort his mourning family. 

Masses this Sunday for the  Pentecost XXI:

8.30 a.m. St. Ignatius, Storrs Hill Road, Ossett (NB no Mass here on Tuesday.)

1.00 p.m. St. Joseph, Pakington Street, Bradford

This week there will be Mass as follows:

Wednesday 6.00 p.m. St. Winefride's, Wibsey, Bradford

Thursday 9.30 a.m. St. Anthony's, Clayton, Bradford

                7.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Back Street, Pontefract

Friday 7.30 p.m. St. Austin's, Wentworth Terrace, Wakefield

*Confessions usually available before Mass.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

This week &c.

Firstly apologies for those who turned up at Ossett a couple of weeks ago for the Tuesday evening Mass. It had slipped Father Aladics' mind to let me know that he was away and so I was unable to post the information on this blog. There will be Mass tomorrow (Tuesday at 6.00 p.m.) but not next week (19th. October) as Father will be away. Sunday Masses are unaffected - (8.30 a.m.) Father informs me that the congregation is growing here on Sundays.

No Mass on Wednesday at St. Winefride's as Mgr Grogan is on holiday.

Masses as usual on Thursday at 9.30 a.m. at St. Anthony's, Clayton and at 7.00 p.m. at St. Joseph's, Pontefract. 

Mass on Friday at St. Austin's, Wakefield at 7.30 p.m.

Fr. Aladics has also alerted me to the fact that he will also be offering Mass on Wednesday December 1st at 11.00 a.m. at Lyford Grange in the south of Oxfordshire. I remember reading about this place in Evelyn Waugh's biography of St Edmund Campion. It is in honour of St. Edmund Campion that the Mass will be offered followed by a picnic, short talk about the life of this heroic martyr and a Rosary Walk. Please contact Fr. Aladics if you are interested in attending this event as places are limited.

It is also hoped that in the spring we shall be able to have Mass in this diocese in honour of  one or some of our own Yorkshire Martyrs. We are not short of them. 39 are listed in the Diocesan Year Book.

Holy Martyrs of Yorkshire pray for us!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Pro- life

On Friday 15 October, members of the House of Lords will be debating the Second Reading of Baroness Meacher’s ‘Assisted Dying Bill 2021’ – YOUR letter or email to a member of the House of Lords asking that they attend the debate and oppose the Bill could save lives – and souls!

‘Assisted Dying’ and ‘Dignity in Dying’ are simply euphemisms for ‘Assisted Suicide’.

There are many ways in which we can rightly and properly assist people to die with dignity: by offering them our love and care, by supporting them and their families with our prayers, and through the services provided by palliative care and hospices. Advanced age, sickness, or improperly-managed pain, should never be the reason for someone to want to commit suicide; least of all with the help of the very healthcare professionals who care for them, and the families who love them.

There are a few members of the Lords who live in our region, some of whom are from Catholic backgrounds and some others and may be presumed to be pro-life because of their good record on how they have voted in abortion debates and also on previous Bills regarding ‘assisted dying’. As well as praying that they will speak and vote against the Bill, please consider sending them a personal letter or email, from the heart, about how and why you believe life is sacred even as it comes to a close. Ask them if they would kindly attend the debate on 15 October and voice their opposition to the Bill.

If you feel able to, share with them and others your own inspiring stories of friends and loved ones who have approached the end of their life in faith and hope and have gone to God fortified by the Sacraments and Rites of Holy Mother Church.

As Catholics we believe in the dignity of all human life throughout its natural span. Living with the fear of death and pain is part of our human condition – if that natural fear is met with compassion, prayer and the best medical, pastoral and spiritual care, all people can live – and die – with true dignity.


Apart from members of the House of Lords who we know are Catholics and very likely to take part in this debate (e.g. Lord Alton and Lady O’Loan), just a few other active members of the House of Lords from our own region include:

The Rt Hon. Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate –

The Rt Hon. Lady McIntosh of Pickering –

All members of the House of Lords may be contacted by post via their Westminster address: House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW

The Rt Hon. the Earl Peel lives in the Diocese and is an Amplefordian, so may well take a Catholic view on this issue

The Rt Hon. the Viscount Eccles of Moulton has spoken eloquently and voted against similar ‘assisted dying’ issues in previous debates. His wife is Baroness Eccles in her own right.

(NB – Whatever a peer or peeress’s title, a letter or email to them should simply begin Dear Lord/ Dear Lady plus their Surname – e.g. Dear Lord Kirkhope … Dear Lord and Lady Eccles …)


This is the Year of St Joseph; he is the Patron Saint of making a ‘Happy Death’.
St Joseph: pray for us. 

LIVING WITH DIGNITY: YOUR Letter Can Save Souls! | Diocese of Leeds

Monday, September 27, 2021

Masses this week

Thank you to Mgr. Grogan who offered Mass for the first time at St. Joseph's, yesterday. It is refreshing to see so many priests on the rota now at St. Joseph's.

This week Masses are as follows:

Tuesday - 6.00 p.m. St Ignatius, Ossett

Wednesday - 6.00 p.m. St. Winefride's, Bradford

Thursday - 9.30 a.m. St. Anthony's, Clayton  AND  7.00 p.m. St. Joseph', Pontefract

Friday - 7.30 p.m. St. Austin's, Wakefield   BUT NO MASS at St. John's, Buttershaw.

Sunday Pentecost XIX  :

St. Ignatius, Ossett at 8.30 a.m. 

St. Joseph, Bradford at 1.00 p.m.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Very promising news

Today when I arrived at St. Joseph's, Bradford, the parish Priest told me that one of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal from the nearby St. Pio friary was waiting to have a word with me.  He introduced me to Fr. Franciszek who was ordained in May and has since being a minister at a solemn Mass and has said the old Mass on many occasions since his ordination. Fr. had already contacted the bishop to seek permission, which he duly received,  to say the Mass. He wanted to know if he might join the rota - and so we now have six or seven regular celebrants who are willing and able to celebrate the Mass for us on Sundays at St. Joseph's and in their parishes. It was very moving at the end of Mass for the people to kneel individually to receive his first blessing. Ad multos annos Fr. Franciszek. Originally from Nebraska, Fr. trained for the sacred priesthood in New York. We wish him God's blessing in his priestly ministry.

This week there will be Mass as follows: 

Tuesday, St. Ignatius, Ossett, 6.00 p.m.

NO MASS on Wednesday at St. Winefride's

Thursday, St. Anthony's, Clayton, 9.30 a.m.

                 St. Joseph's, Pontefract, 7.00p.m.

Friday, St. Austin's, Wakefield, 7.30 p.m.

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost , St. Ignatius, Ossett, 8.30 a.m.

                                                          St. Joseph's, Bradford, 1.00 p.m.   

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Pentecost XVI &c

Sunday is the 16th Sunday after Pentecost and we have 2 Masses:

8.30 a.m. St Ignatius, Ossett

1.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Bradford

On Tuesday there is no Mass at St Ignatius and no Mass at St. Joseph's, Pontefract on Thursday as the clergy are on retreat.

Mass as usual on Wednesday, St. Winefride's at 6.00 p.m. , Thursday, St. Anthony's at 9.30 a.m. and Friday at St. Austin's, Wakefield at 7.30 p.m.  

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

New week - news.

I am very pleased to say that we are adding two "new" priests to the Sunday and Holy Day rota at St. Joseph's, Bradford, starting from September. 

Mgr. Paul Grogan who regularly offers Mass at St. Winefride's and St. John the Evangelist churches in Bradford will join us in September. Monsignor is certainly no stranger to the Extraordinary Form having offered his first EF Mass way back on 19th. December 2019. He has offered the EF Mass ever since.

Mgr. Grogan's first EF Mass. Fr. Hall assistant priest. St. Joseph's, Brighouse.

Also re-joining the rota is Canon Tim Wiley, who offers Mass regularly at Pontefract and until his move there from Immaculate Heart, Leeds was a regular celebrant in the earliest days at St. Joseph's, Bradford and before then at St. Mary's, Batley and St. Columba's in Bradford where he also regularly offered the EF Mass. 

Fr. Wiley offering Mass in  Leeds Cathedral's Blessed Sacrament chapel for the repose of the soul of Bishop  Wheeler. 

I cannot let this post go without mentioning the kindness and unconditional acceptance at St. Joseph's for those who come to the old Mass, the Ordinary Form and the Ordinariate Mass. In central Bradford we are not going to achieve the dizzy heights of the Parish of Saints Eugene and Celia in central Paris, where the old and new rites happily co-exist, with a choir which could bring a tear to a glass eye and an astonishingly beautiful Gothic interior.

I only wish St. Joseph's were in Paris at the moment as foreign travel has lost its appeal for the moment..

This week's  EF Masses as follows:

Tuesday - St. Ignatius, Ossett,  6.00 p.m.

Wednesday - St. Winefride, Wibsey, Bradford, 6.00 p.m.

Thursday - St. Anthony, Clayton, Bradford, 9.30 a.m. AND St. Joseph, Pontefract, 7.00 p.m.

Friday - St John the Evangelist, Buttershaw, Bradford, 6.00 p.m. AND St. Austin, Wakefield, 7.30 p.m. 

I am sure that before too long there will be a public daily Monday and Saturday Mass in the diocese to re-complete the daily provision since Fr. Parfitt's death last year and the effects of lockdown.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

A worthy response

I don't make a habit of copying and pasting from other blogs but I thought this had to be shared. I thank the American  Rorate Caeli blog for this post. It is a very fair and eloquently translated response to the TC motu proprio  from a retired Argentinian Archbishop who has never celebrated Mass in the EF in his nearly fifty years of priesthood. It is well worth reading, even if the photograph of his grace  is a bit strange given the context.

An up to date photograph of Abp. Aguer. 

 A Regrettable Step Backwards

Archbishop Héctor Aguer*
Emeritus of La Plata, Argentina
for Infocatólica

The current Pontiff declares that he wishes to pursue even further the constant search for ecclesial communion and to make this purpose effective, he eliminates the work of his predecessors by placing arbitrary limits and obstacles to what they established with intra-ecclesial ecumenical intention and respect for the freedom of priests and faithful! It promotes ecclesial communion in reverse. The new measures are a regrettable step backwards.

I was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires on November 25, 1972; I celebrated my first Mass the following day in the parish of San Isidro Labrador (Saavedra neighborhood), where I resided all that year, exercising the diaconate. Obviously I celebrated according to the Novus Ordo promulgated in 1970. I have never celebrated "the ancient Mass," not even after the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum; I would have to study the rite, of which I have distant memories, having served as an altar boy. Recently, while attending the Divine Liturgy of the Syrian Orthodox Church, I seemed to notice a certain resemblance to the Latin Solemn Mass, with deacon and subdeacon, in which I often assisted, especially at funerals, which in my parish were often celebrated with special solemnity. I insist: I have always celebrated, with the greatest devotion I can muster, the rite in force in the Universal Church. When I was Archbishop of La Plata, I used to sing the Eucharistic prayer in Latin every Saturday at the "St. Joseph" Major Seminary, using the precious Missal published by the Holy See. We had formed, according to the recommendation of the Second Vatican Council in the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium n. 114, a schola cantorum, which has been eliminated at my retirement. In Traditionis custodes (Art. 3§ 4) it speaks of a priest delegated by the bishop to be in charge of the celebrations of the Mass and the pastoral care of the faithful of the groups authorized to use the Missal prior to the reform of 1970. It is stated there that he "should have a knowledge of the Latin language". It should be remembered that it is possible to celebrate the Mass currently in force in the whole Church in Latin. The Council affirmed in Sacrosanctum Concilium 36 § 1, "The use of the Latin language in the Latin rites is to be preserved, except by special law." Unfortunately, the "particular right" seems to be to prohibit Latin, as in fact it is done (this is not a boutade). If someone dares to propose to celebrate in Latin, he is looked upon as a misguided, unforgivable troglodyte.

Latin was for centuries the bond of unity and communication in the Western Church. Today it is not only abandoned, but hated. In the seminaries its study is neglected, precisely because it is not useful. They do not realize that this closes off direct access to the Fathers of the Western Church, who are very important for theological studies: I am thinking, for example, of St. Augustine and St. Leo the Great, and of medieval authors such as St. Anselm and St. Bernard. This situation seems to me to be a sign of cultural poverty and willful ignorance.

I wrote down those stories about my beginnings in the ministry to show that in my priestly life I have never nourished nostalgia for not being able to use the previous rite, which so many priests and saints celebrated for centuries. However, my theological studies and many readings and constant reflection on the ecclesial liturgy allow me to judge and maintain that instead of creating a new Mass, the previous one could have been updated in a discreet reform that strongly marked the continuity. In this regard, I recall an eloquent anecdote. The eminent theologian Louis Bouyer relates that the president of the Consilium ad exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia, Bishop Annibale Bugnini (frequently and widely reputed as a Freemason), commissioned the members of that Commission to present as an exercise projects of Eucharistic prayer. Bouyer tells that he, with the Benedictine liturgist Dom Botte, composed in a trattoria in Trastevere, a text that to his astonishment was included in the new Missal as Eucharistic Prayer II. It is the one chosen by most priests, because its brevity gives them the impression of shortening the Mass by a few seconds. It seems to me a very beautiful text, I only regret that the word sacrificium does not appear in it, but the notion of memorial, and indirectly, since after the consecration it is said memores; the faithful cannot identify the memorial with the sacrifice that is offered.

What has been written so far is a kind of prologue, by way of justification, to the rapid critical commentary that follows the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, dated July 16 of this year, which establishes new dispositions for the use of the Missal edited in 1962 by St. John XXIII. It is recognized that St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI wished to promote concord and unity in the Church, and that they proceeded with paternal solicitude towards those who adhered to the liturgical forms prior to Vatican II. The current Pontiff declares that he wishes to pursue still further the constant search for ecclesial communion (Prologue of Traditionis custodes) and to make this purpose effective, he eliminates the work of his predecessors by placing arbitrary limits and obstacles to what they established with intra-ecclesial ecumenical intention and respect for the freedom of priests and faithful! It promotes ecclesial communion in reverse. The new measures imply a regrettable step backwards.

The basis of this intervention - the prologue says - is a consultation of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith addressed to the bishops in 2020 on the application of Benedict XVI's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the results of which have been carefully considered. It would be interesting to know what were the auspices formulated by the Episcopate.

 Thus, in the first article, the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite is eliminated. The purpose of Benedict XVI in making official the free use of the 1962 Missal was - as I understand it - to attract or maintain within the unity of the Church those who, scandalized by the universal liturgical devastation, had turned away or risked turning away because they did not wish to accept this de facto situation; an affection for ecclesial communion determined the opening of a reasonable way for the liturgical practice. It is now in the hands of the diocesan bishops to grant authorization for the use of the previous missal. Everything begins anew, and it is to be feared that the bishops will be greedy in granting permissions. Many bishops are not traditionis custodes, but traditionis ignari (ignorant), obliviosi (forgetful), and even worse traditionis evertores (destroyers).

I think it is very good to demand not to exclude the validity and legitimacy of the decrees of Vatican II, of the liturgical reform and of the magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs. For those who already used the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, was the ordinary vigilance of the bishops and the eventual correction of offenders not sufficient? It would be necessary to use charity and patience with the rebels; there is no lack of good arguments. This approach would complete the just requirement expressed in Article 3 § 1.

The limitation of places and days for celebrating according to the 1962 Missal (Art 3 § 2 and § 3) are unjust and undesirable restrictions. Every priest should be able to use the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite (this implies going back from the interdiction), in the first place when celebrating alone and also in public where the faithful are already accepting it if the priest has explained that he would use that Ordo while emphasizing its venerable antiquity and religious value. The bishop's vigilance would suffice to ensure that this faculty is not exercised against the pastoral usefulness of the faithful. Article 3, § 6, is an unjust and painful restriction by preventing other groups of the faithful from enjoying participation in the Mass celebrated according to the 1962 Missal. It is curious that while officially promoting a "polyhedral" structure of the Church, with the ease that this attitude implies for the spread of dissent and errors against the Catholic Tradition, a liturgical uniformity is imposed that seems to have been chosen solely against that Tradition. I know that many young people in our parishes are fed up with the liturgical abuses that the hierarchy allows without correcting them; they desire a Eucharistic celebration that guarantees a serious and profoundly religious participation. There is nothing ideological in this aspiration. I also find it unpleasant that the priest who already has the permission and has exercised it correctly, must manage it again (Art. 5. I). Is this not a ploy to take the permission away from him? It occurs to me that perhaps there are more than a few bishops (new bishops, for example) who are reluctant to grant it.

All the provisions of Traditionis custodes would be gladly acceptable if the Holy See would attend to what I call the devastation of the liturgy, which is verified in multiple cases. I can speak of what happens in Argentina. In general, it is quite common that the Eucharistic celebration assumes a tone of banality, as if it were a conversation that the priest has with the faithful, and in which the sympathy of the priest is fundamental; in certain places it becomes a kind of show presided over by the "entertainer" who is the celebrant, and the children's Mass becomes a little party like those for birthdays. Among us there has been an event that I hope is exceptional; I have no news that something similar has happened in other parts of the world. A bishop celebrated mass on the beach, dressed in a beach habit on which he wore a stole; a small tablecloth on the sand (or a corporal), and instead of the chalice a mate. Clarification for foreigners: mate is a dried and emptied gourd used to drink an infusion of yerba mate, and mate is also called the act of drinking the infusion through a bombilla; it is usually a community exercise: the mate is circulated among those present and someone is in charge of priming it. Other cases that have become known show the celebration as the closing of a meeting; papers, glasses, soft drinks are left on the table; the faithful help themselves to the communion. In general, it can be said from this geographical angle of vision that each priest has "his" Mass; the faithful can choose: "I go to Father NN's Mass". The bishops are not concerned with these realities, but they are quick to react against a priest who with the utmost piety celebrates in Latin: "it" is forbidden. Could this prohibition be the "particular right" referred to in the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium 36 § 1, in the passage where it speaks of the preservation of Latin? By virtue of this criterion, Latin chants that were commonly sung by the simple people in parishes, such as the Tantum ergo at the Eucharistic blessing, have disappeared from use. The lack of correction of abuses leads to the persuasion that "this is how the liturgy is now." It would suffice simply to enforce what the Council determined, with prophetic wisdom: "that no one, even a priest, should add, subtract or change anything in the liturgy on his own initiative" (Const. Sacrosanctum Concilium 22 § 3).

It cannot be denied that the Eucharistic celebration has lost accuracy, solemnity and beauty. And silence has disappeared in many cases. Sacred music (sacred?), according to Chapter VI of Sacrosanctum Concilium, deserves a separate chapter. I insist: Rome should concern itself with and pronounce itself on these disorders.

To conclude, I seem to notice a relationship in the tone of the Resolutive Decree and the speech given by the Holy Father last June 7, addressed to the community of priests of Saint Louis of the Frenchmen in Rome. I perceive in both texts (I could be wrong, of course) a lack of affection, despite certain appearances. It is true that the motu proprio, by the nature of its genre, does not allow for pastoral effusions; however, in its conciseness it could have been presented as a sign of pastoral love. The comparison does not seem arbitrary to me; in both cases it would be desirable to notice that merciful attitude that is so celebrated in the current Pontiff. It would seem that the judgment that the Church renders, in its highest instance, of the course of ecclesial life proceeds according to two weights and two measures: tolerance, and even appreciation and identification with heterogeneous positions with respect to the great Tradition ("progressive", as they have been called) and distance or dislike with respect to persons or groups that cultivate a "traditional" position. I am reminded of the purpose that a famous Argentine politician [Juan Domingo Perón] brutally enunciated: "to the friend, everything; to the enemy, not even justice." I say this with the utmost respect and love, but with immense sorrow.

[Translated by E.F.]

Abp. Héctor Aguer is a well-known Argentine bishop, characterized by his very broad culture, his conduct openly favorable to the Natural Order, and his struggle against the enemies of the Faith and the Church. After a fruitful ecclesiastical career, he became Archbishop of the City of La Plata, capital of the Province of Buenos Aires. His relationship with Pope Francis was always correct, obedient, and in accordance with his authority.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

This week and Pentecost XIV

Apologies for the late posting. We have been away for a few days enjoying the sea air and sunshine near Heysham and now our youngest daughter has been taken to hospital. Please say a prayer that they find out what is the matter.

On Thursday there will be Mass at St. Anthony's, Bradford at 9.30 a.m. BUT no Mass at Pontefract as Canon Wiley is on holiday.

Mass at 7.30 p.m. on Friday at St. Austin's, Wakefield, will be in thanksgiving for Cardinal Burke's continuing recovery from pneumonia due to the coronavirus. Deo gratias.

It has been very heartening to see so many new and young faces at Mass on Sundays recently at St. Joseph's, Bradford. An occasional visitor said to me that the congregation was a real cross-section of society. 

Mass on Sunday at St. Ignatius, Ossett at 8.30 a.m. and at St. Joseph's, Bradford at 1.00 p.m. 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Signum magnum apparuit in caelo


This Sunday is the feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady, defined as dogma by Pope Pius XII in 1950 and codifying traditional belief and practice regarding the dormition or assumption of the Mother of God or Theotokos.

I am really very happy that our regular 1.00 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph's will be a Low Mass followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and prayer of Consecration to Our Lady.  I am happier still that Fr. Kevin Driver will be the celebrant following his recent recuperation. Not a pair of crutches to be seen I hope.

I cannot remember the last time we had Benediction on Sunday after Mass at St. Joseph's but I think it was Fr. Driver who was the priest then. 

I am pleased to say that Low Masses are now again followed by the Leonine prayers for the Church. I think we need them in this Covid world as much as ever.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Saturday, August 7, 2021


Fr. Aladics at Ossett contacted me as I was at a wedding in Bradford this afternoon to say that he has cancelled all Masses at St. Ignatius this weekend except one because he is unwell. He is keen to point out that has nothing to do with Covid19. This means no 8.30 a.m. Mass at Ossett in the morning. Apologies for the late notice but I have only just returned.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

The feast of the Assumption

I am delighted to report that Fr. Driver will be back to his third Sunday slot on the feast of the Assumption  at St. Joseph's, Bradford, following his recent surgery. He has readily agreed to offer the prayer of consecration to our Blessed Lady after this Mass and I am hoping that this will be in the context of  Benediction post missam.


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Polite request

Fr Angel, the Parish Priest at St. Joseph's Bradford, has asked that congregants at all Masses remember to either sign in electronically or to voluntarily sign in, on the paper list at the back of church to confirm with latest Covid-19 guidelines. 

I shall ask Fr. Hall to announce this on Sunday.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Ossett &c

From the Wakefield Deanery:

Fr Aladics has asked me to point out that as it is the summer season there will be no EF on Tuesdays, 3rd, 10th and 17th but the Sunday Masses will continue at St. Ignatius, Ossett.

Reminder that there will be Mass at St. Joseph's, Back Street, Pontefract on Thursday 5th August and on Friday at 7.30 p.m. at St. Austin's Wakefield.

From the Bradford Deanery:

Mass on Wednesday at 6.00 p.m. at St. Winefride's. Thursday at 9.30 a.m. at St. Anthony's, Clayton and on Friday at 6.00 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist, Buttershaw. Sunday at 1.00 p.m. at St. Joseph's, Pakington Street.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

A word of thanks

It was a pleasure to welcome the Dean of the Bradford Deanery, Fr. K. Walker, as a congregant at Mass at St. Joseph's today. He rang me shortly after the publication of Traditionis Custodes to express his dismay at the contents of the document. He said he would visit us soon and today he came. It was a very welcome gesture. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

This week

Firstly I must apologise for the error in my last post - Regina Polonia should of course have read Regina Poloniae. 

Mass on Wednesday at St. Winefride's, Bradford is at the usual time of 6.00 p.m. 

The following appeared on the Mary Mother of God Parish bulletin on Sunday:

"With permission from Bishop Marcus, following the publication of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter “Traditionis Custodes,” we will continue to celebrate the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form at 6pm on Wednesdays at St Winefride’s and at 6pm on First Fridays at St John’s."

Many thanks to Mgr Grogan and the Bishop for this.

Mass on Thursday at St. Anthony's, Bradford at 9.30 a.m. and on Friday at 7.30 p.m. at St. Austin's, Wakefield. 

This blog has received thousands of hits this month - more than ever before. There were many new and old faces at Mass at St. Joseph's on Sunday. 

This coming Sunday's Mass - Pentecost X - will be offered at St. Ignatius, Ossett at 8.30 a.m. and at St. Joseph's, Bradford at 1.00 p.m.

I rarely refer or direct people to blogposts from other countries. The following response to the Pope's Traditionis Custodes from the Bishop of Wichita follows this - it fills me with hope. I thank my Catholic friend who sent this link to me. She has no hat in the ring as she is happy with the OF but thought the Pope's latest motu proprio was incredibly harsh.

Bishop Kemme Issues Diocesan Directives for Pope Francis's Traditionis Custodes, Apostolic Letter - Catholic Diocese of Wichita  

Friday, July 23, 2021

A response

Over at The Latin Mass Society Diocese of Middlesbrough ( Et Expecto posts, “The Consequences of Traditiones Custodes”

Here is my response to that post:

Here in the parish of St. Joseph, Bradford, Mass is offered according to the Ordinariate Rite, OF and EF. I can freely attend any Mass I wish. I attend all Rites at various times but obviously mostly the EF.

My Catholicism doesn't change even if I feel more or less spiritually engaged, challenged, enriched, educated or edified at any one or the others. I had had no experience of the Ordinariate and never thought I would until it appeared on the parish schedule. The choice and availability at St. Joseph's of authentic Catholic Rites is nothing new as several Eastern Rite Catholics have regularly held their Divine Liturgies there in my immediate memory. Many years prior to this, before the exiled Poles established their own church, they had a home and a slot with the sermon and Sacraments in Polish at St. Joseph’s. The beautiful Regina Polonia shrine is testimony to this.

My interest in the Ordinariate Mass stemmed primarily from curiosity at first but I have learnt much from the richness of its liturgy, just as some OF attendees have been drawn to the EF and some of our EF regulars have been impressed with the dignity and music at the OF - including one of my daughters. It's a win win situation all round. Moreover the OF is offered regularly ad orientem and attended by people who wouldn't think of going to the EF or Ordinariate Masses other than because it is not on their spectrum. I imagine it is the same at the York Oratory and any other church where both EF and OF Masses are regularly offered on the same altars and by the same priests in many cases.

We all say or sing Credo in unum Deum...- in whatever language the Mass is celebrated. The fact that the old lady over the road who is Ukrainian and has been hearing Sunday Mass since the end of the Second World War in that language here in Bradford doesn't mean we aren't really singing from the same hymn sheet. The University students who originate from many countries and continents are obviously not bothered by the EF because they keep coming back. Mr. Waddington says it is the same in York.

I was sadly amused when I was told that some bishop in Puerto-Rico has not only enforced the ban immediately (as is his right) but also forbidden Roman style vestments and birettas at the OF (as is not his right). Such a degree of pettiness (if true) is however, on another level, quite disturbing. What could cause such a personal hatred?  My fear is that the wounds of liturgy wars (remember those), which were showing very good signs of healing may now start to suppurate because of the sudden introduction of poison.

One question I would ask others having read this latest motu proprio and having already referred to our local St. Joseph's, Bradford and St. Wilfrid's, York and countless other regular churches in many dioceses is; if because the EF is integrated (even if only through the weekly collection) into that diocese through those parishes, how can it be a group? It's now a healthy part and parcel of parish life in many ordinary parishes.

I am sure that there is nothing original in what I am saying but this motu proprio could cause far more disunity than even a percentage of the unity it purports to achieve - at least in the short term. But perhaps in some ways the moto proprio is calling for exactly that unity i.e. where the EF is a natural part of the diocesan life and as such is not regarded as separatist.

This might explain Article 3 - paragraph 4 of Traditionis Custodes:

 § 4. to appoint a priest who, as delegate of the bishop, is entrusted with these celebrations and with the pastoral care of these groups of the faithful. This priest should be suited for this responsibility, skilled in the use of the Missale Romanum antecedent to the reform of 1970, possess a knowledge of the Latin language sufficient for a thorough comprehension of the rubrics and liturgical texts, and be animated by a lively pastoral charity and by a sense of ecclesial communion. This priest should have at heart not only the correct celebration of the liturgy, but also the pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful.

Just such a provision had long existed in Leeds even prior to Summorum Pontificum under Bishops Konstant and Roche and so when Summorum Pontificum was published the transition was seamless and there was not even a question of point scoring. Fr. Geoffrey Parfitt (RIP) helped to train a lot of good priests well in both Leeds and Middlesbrough dioceses pre and post Summorum Pontificum.  

Similarly, the late Mgr. Peter McGuire VG whose kindness to those who were legitimately attached to the old Mass and attentive to the Magisterium of the Church and to whom Bishop Konstant had given the responsibility to rehabilitate, probably had the easiest job in England.

Even when “the group” (that was the language THEN) were asked by him at Killingbeck Cemetery chapel if we would like the 1970 Lectionary he jokingly made the point that he was wasting his breath asking. 

Long gone are the days when the celebrants at Killingbeck were placed on the rota simply by virtue of the fact that they lived in that deanery.  

We have come an awful long way since 1988 and to suggest we are still separate is as offensive as it is wrong.