Wednesday, July 10, 2024

A First Holy Communion


Last Sunday saw a beautiful occasion at St. Patrick's, Bradford, as young Thea received her First Holy Communion at a sung Mass with almost seventy others in attendance.  A good number of the congregants joined Thea and her family after Mass for the traditional Communion breakfast - in the early afternoon.

I was pleased to see that, as usual,  there were no Vat II deniers who revel in pushing an anti-Vatican II agenda and distributing seditious propaganda, denying the validity of the papacy of Pope Francis at the Mass. There were no slogans on the toilet walls or leaflets left on car windows as was sometimes the case at St. Joseph's in Bradford.

When, after Thea's mother made her first Holy Communion at Scarthingwell in the mid 1990s, her father (me) was summoned to Cathedral House at the insistence of Bishop Konstant, to be told that this sort of stunt should never happen again. Our non-Catholic relatives were astonished. As were we. 

Thea's little brother, Dominic, is already asking when he can start serving Mass. I have a lot of vestments and paraphernalia for use when celebrating the old Mass but not a cassock and surplice for a six year old. Can anybody help making such an outfit in the Leeds Diocese area or is able to spare such things? Dominic's two uncles were over seven when they began to serve Mass. Their cassocks and surplices are now in a suitcase in the loft.

Mass at St. Patrick's on Sunday (Pentecost viii) at 1.00 p.m. will be a Low Mass followed, I hope, by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with the Litany of the Precious Blood. 

Confession at call.

The rumours that the Mass is to be supressed again is gaining traction. My prayer continues to be that such a thing will not come to pass. 

Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom and Mirror of Justice, pray for us!  

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Pentecost vii

This Sunday's Mass at St. Patrick's is the seventh Sunday of Pentecost and will be a missa cantata at the usual time of 1.00 p.m.

Confession at call.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Saints Peter and Paul

This Sunday is the sixth Sunday of Pentecost but as June 29th. is no longer a Holy Day of Obligation in this country the feast is transferred. This Sunday's Mass at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford, at 1.00 p.m. will be Mass for the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul. This is classed as an External Solemnity.

Confession at call.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Pentecost V

Mass for the fifth Sunday of Pentecost at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford, will be at the usual time of 1.00 p.m.

At the time of writing speculation and rumours are rife that Rome is preparing to further restrict celebration of the old Mass. Let us invoke Our Lady, Mirror of Justice and Seat of Wisdom that such further restrictions do not come to pass.

Friday, June 14, 2024

David Adolph requiem Mass &c

 David's requiem Mass has now been finalised. It will take place at St. Walburga's church, Kirkgate, Shipley at 12.30 p.m. on Friday 28th. June to be followed by interment at Undercliffe Cemetery in Bradford. May he rest in peace.

Mass this Sunday, 16th June, for the fourth Sunday of Pentecost will be at the usual time of 1.00 p.m. at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Pentecost III

 This Sunday's Mass at St. Patrick's is at the usual time of 1.00 p.m.

Confessions available before Mass.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Corpus Christi

As Corpus Christi is no longer a Holy Day of Obligation in this country but is transferred to the next Sunday and is observed as an external solemnity, so this Sunday's Mass at 1.00 p.m. at St. Patrick's will commemorate this beautiful feast.

Confession at call.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Of your charity

Of your charity please pray for the repose of the soul of David Adolph who died this afternoon in Shipley and fortified by the Rites of Holy Mother Church,

Many will remember David who was a regular at our Masses for many years. Decidedly eccentric and always with an impeccable manner, David would often pop up at events all over the country - due partly to his love of railways. Last year when his flat was cleared there were over four hundred used train tickets on his desk categorized and grouped together with elastic bands - displaying a large range of destinations far and near.

A mutual friend told me that when David walked the Paris-Chartres pilgrimage many years ago, he did so with his umbrella, briefcase and a red dressing gown which he carried over his arm for the entire route. In over thirty five years I only ever saw him once without his raincoat on.

David received Extreme Unction on Saturday and the Parish Priest went again to see him again this afternoon. David died very peacefully five minutes later.

Thanks to Canon Walker for attending so speedily on Saturday and for going again today. Thanks also to Dr Dorothy Spencer for regularly visiting him since his move to the nursing home. By taking the parish weekly bulletin and praying with him,  her visits brightened his existence confined to bed. 

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

Funeral arrangements will follow.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Trinity Sunday

This Sunday is the feast of the Blessed Trinity. Mass at St. Patrick's, Westgate at 1.00 p.m. will be a Low Mass. After this Sunday we return to green vestments and the salve Regina is the Marian Antiphon until Advent.

Friday, May 17, 2024



Sunday is Pentecost. It is the feast of the birthday of the Church.

The 1.00 p.m. Mass at St. Patrick's, Bradford will be a missa cantata.

Confessions at call.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension

This Sunday's Mass for the Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford will be at the usual time of 1.00 p.m.

Confessions before Mass.


I have just requested that my MP sign the amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill which would reduce the abortion limit to 24 weeks for babies with Down's Syndrome from its current 40 weeks. 24 weeks is certainly dreadful but 40 weeks is profoundly obscene. 

Please would you email your MP by following the link below?

Ask your MP to vote to stop abortion up to birth for babies with Down’s syndrome (

Monday, May 6, 2024

The Ascension

Thursday is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass at St. Patrick's, Bradford is at 7.00 p.m.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Easter V and the Ascension


This Sunday's Mass at St. Patrick's, Bradford at 1.00 p.m. is a missa cantata. 
We offer special remembrance to our Blessed Lady in this month of May. 

Sunday is also the feast of Pope St. Pius V  whom we thank for codifying the foundations of the missal we use today and the accompanying Quo Primum.  

Confessions at call.

Thursday is a holy day of obligation for the feast of the Ascension of our Lord. 
At Mass we see the extinguishing of the Pascal Candle after the Gospel to simply and visually dramatize the historic events we have just had read to us.

Mass at St. Patrick's is at the relatively new time of 7.00 p.m

Confessions at call.

In your prayers would you please remember the family of a friend of my daughter's whose adult son was found dead in bed earlier this week?

I have only just recently been told that Professor Bernard Richards of Salford Diocese has died.

Bernard was Professor of Medical Informatics at UMIST when I was at Manchester Victoria in the mid 1980s. I got to know him when serving the strictly restricted old Rite Masses under his leadership when the formidable Kevin Cave was the LMS rep. Many years after Kevin's death Bernard himself became the LMS rep and regular server at the  Sunday Masses at Holy Name and St. Chad's, as well as his home parish of English Martyrs, Whalley Range, Manchester.    
When Bishop Rifan came to England it was Bernard who acted as MC at the Pontifical Mass at Immaculate Heart, Leeds. 
What was not public was that Rita, his wife and their daughter has both died within a day of each other that same week. He wouldn't be dissuaded from  fulfilling a commitment he had made.
May he rest in peace. 

An ex-patriot now living in Germany, who always came to the Mass at St. Joseph's when he was over here visiting his family, has contacted me through a friend to request that I look at livestreaming Mass from St. Patrick's.

I am  seeing what might be done. 

When I was in my teens I remember only ever being able to hear the old Mass on LPs (The Mass from Downham Market and Requiem from Westminster Cathedral). Then came cassettes and then CDs, DVD's, MP3s and then downloading. 

Now we have livestreaming. In these days when some seek to severely re-restrict the Mass of Pius V, I still marvel that technology gives us the opportunity to share the treasures of the Liturgy in so called real time. 

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Easter IV

Tomorrow is the fourth Sunday of Easter and we have Low Mass at St. Patrick's, Bradford at 1.00 p.m.

It is always gratifying to see new members of the congregation assisting at Mass.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Easter III

Thanks to those of you who expressed concern over my lost mobile. I have now managed to use something called Cloud to repopulate data on my new phone and am able to use the old number. This means I shall now be able to download the Triduum photos.

Mass for Easter III on Sunday will be at St. Patrick's as usual at 1.00 p.m. I have been given to believe that one of the two Traditional Order seminarians from this diocese will be joining us from the ICKSP seminary near Florence. Our other seminarian is studying at Wigratzbad with the FSSP. I mention this because Sunday is Vocations Sunday.

A couple of us have been going to visit David Adolph regularly since he moved to his nursing home. Although he is very frail he does keep asking me about St. Patrick's and wishes God's blessing on everybody.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Easter II - Good Shepherd Sunday

Unfortunately my lost phone has not turned up. This is not for want of trying. I even discovered that our local police station is not now open for public enquiries. I will have to find another way of getting the Triduum photos from my daughter's phone. What a faff!

Mass for the Second Sunday of Easter at St. Patrick's, Bradford will be at the usual time of 1.00 p.m.

Confessions at call.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

St. Patrick's gets a mention

I was very pleased to see the latest news from St. Patrick's, Bradford featured in a post on the Diocesan Website following Fr. Jones' first Mass at this church as a priest on the regular rota on Low Sunday. Here is the link:

New Priest for the St Patrick’s Mission Sunday Mass Rota! - Diocese of Leeds

I did have all the pictures of the Triduum on my mobile which I very annoyingly lost today. Visits to the supermarket, filling station and police station haven't been productive yet. Please don't ring me!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

A poem for Easter

 My friend Leo Darroch recently sent me an Easter poem he wrote some years ago. I very much enjoyed it and thought to share it. It is called  A Traditional Easter Day.

A Traditional Easter Day.

Solemnitas Solemnitatis,

This is, for us, our Easter Day.

The great feast rings with age-old chant,

The Credo, Sanctus, Kyrie.

Where’ere a Catholic finds himself,

Throughout the Christian world,

The words are chanted in one voice,

From ev’ry tongue unfurled.

The mighty and the meek give praise,

In words that time has blessed,

In praise of Christ who from the tomb,

Has risen from His rest.

Through centuries to present day,

Our forebears - priest and lay,

All glory in a common tongue,

Their Mass and prayers to say.

The Word made flesh has risen again,

Our hope and God eternal,

We praise our Lord for evermore,

His majesty supernal.

Leo Darroch. May 2006.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Low Sunday

Tomorrow is Low Sunday, also called Quasimodo Sunday, Missa in albis and Divine Mercy Sunday. The Gospel narrative tells of doubting Thomas' reaction when he sees the Risen Christ for the first time after the Resurrection.

Mass at 1.00 p.m. at St. Patrick's, Westgate.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Happy Easter!

 Many thanks to Fr. Frantisek CFR who undertook the task of offering the Sacred Triduum for us again this year. Things went very smoothly. At the Vigil this evening he said that at the Chrism Mass Bishop Stock had thanked him for his willingness to be the celebrant and that the bishop was very happy that we could again have the Triduum at St. Patrick's.

Thank you also to our team of servers who helped to ensure that everything went like clockwork.

Tomorrow we have the Easter Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's at 1.00 p.m. Fr Winn will be our celebrant. Next week (Low Sunday) we have a new celebrant joining the rota; Fr Darren Jones is the Parish Priest at the neighbouring parish of Our Lady of Lourdes and Saint William. A warm welcome to him.

Remember that the clocks go forward by one hour tonight.

I shall publish some photos of the Triduum as soon as I can. Thanks to our photographers for undertaking this task. I hope my eldest son will be instrumental in helping me to download the photographs from my mobile.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Easter Vigil

The Sacred Triduum will conclude tonight at St. Patrick's, Bradford at 7.00 p.m. with the Easter Vigil Mass and ceremonies. I hope that the traffic around the church will be less taxing as it was on Good Friday. (I am told that Bradford City won their match.)

Friday, March 29, 2024

Good Friday Liturgy of the Passion


Our Triduum continues at St. Patrick's, Bradford with the Liturgy of the Passion of our Blessed Lord at 3.00 p.m.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Mass of the Lord's Supper

The Sacred Triduum begins today and Mass for the Lord's Supper will take place at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford at 6.00 p.m. 

If anybody wishes to bring any flowers for the altar and sanctuary at Easter these will be very gratefully received in the sacristy at any of our Triduum celebrations.


Friday, March 22, 2024

Palm Sunday

Holy Thursday is just a week away. The Triduum is in sight. Sunday - Palm Sunday - marks the start of the holiest week in the Church's year.

On Sunday our Mass at St. Patrick's, Bradford at 1.00 p.m. marks the start of Holy Week and at the moment it looks as if the weather will again be favourable to us. We are hoping to have an outdoor procession as part of the observance of this feast. Last year cars slowed down to watch the procession and one elderly Muslim gentleman stopped and bowed his head as we walked round the block back to the church singing All glory praise and honour whilst bearing our palms.

Masses for Holy Week at St. Patrick's (BD2 1RU):

Holy Thursday - Mass of the Last Supper - 6.00 p.m.

Good Friday - Mass of the Presanctified - 3.00 p.m.

Holy Saturday - Easter Vigil Mass - 7.00 p.m.

Easter Sunday - Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord - 1.00 p.m.

Tonight I have spent an hour and a half watching the third of a series of videos produced in America about the Traditional Mass. It was on You Tube and was well worth the time spent watching it. Here is the link:

Mass of the Ages — GUARDIANS OF TRADITION - YouTube

I am mystified as to why there are subtitles in Russian!

Continuation of Bishop Wheeler's booklet, "Let's get this straight".

The Mass

it doesn't really matter weather the mass is in English or Latin. It is the mass itself that matters. This is primarily a sacrifice but also a sacred meal. You cannot begin to understand it unless you remember 3 great days: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. The mass is not only a meal: it is a sacrifice and death, and also a resurrection. It is the presence of all these things. Christ is present in the congregation. Christ is present in the Scriptures. Christ is present in the priesthood. And the climax and fullness of his bodily, physical presence is uniquely with us in the Blessed Sacrament. By Holy Communion his presence is deepened and strengthened in all his people. God is with us. This is the source and apex of the Christian life. The Mass is so great a mystery That it can never be entirely grasped. But to enable us to understand it's different aspects more fully, the church emphasises now 1 aspect and then another. Sometimes she stresses the sacrifice: Christ’s  self offering on Good Friday. At other times (as when the altar faces the people) she stresses the family meal which is also the Paschal Meal; The night of Maundy Thursday.

The Priesthood

The mass is an act of Christ, of Christ the great High Priest: It is also the act of the priest who, by the Sacrament of Holy Order, shares in a special way in the high Priesthood of Christ. That is why we should venerate and love the priesthood. For this is the office of men chosen by God and set apart to perform with him the sacrifice. In a way that is unique, Christ the Priest is Christ the Shepherd. The priesthood is a loving service because it is an identification with the Good Shepherd who gave his life for the sheep. It is necessarily therefore a life of sacrifice, coupled with the joy which comes from the resurrection. Priestly service is the call to be as Christ: all things to all men. It gives a new dimension to all earthly forms of service, which in the priesthood our sacramentalised and exercised on a plane that is different from all else. Priestly joy and priestly identity may be found only in that happy sacrifice which is shared with Christ the great High Priest of all the human race.


The Mass is also the act of God's people: for each and everyone by Baptism shares in this priesthood too. All Christians are called to offer this sacrifice. We should participate to the full and so the Church in our time helps us to do this, perhaps with full understanding in the language of our day. We should make full use of new approaches but never despise or underrate those who have gone before us and participated according to the insights of their times in full measure. Never delude yourself in this life that you have understood the Mass to the full. Christ is in his people, but the Mass is more than the congregation: Christ is in the word, boot the Mass is worship as well as edification: Christ is in the priest, but the priest will have his imperfections: Christ, after the consecration. Is present substantially and completely in the species off bread and wine: present as he is now in Heaven, risen, ascended, glorified.


If the Church has simplified the ceremonies of the mass, those things are done two leaders to the fundamentals, to render the scriptural events before our eyes in starkness and reality. We would fail the Church’s purpose If our reverence decreased. As our understanding grows, our attitudes must deepen. We must become a holier people.

 The community

Another insight about the Mass comes from the awareness of community sense. Together we are the people of God. The community sense must deepen our faith, deepen our hope, deepen our love: make us aware of our obligations to all men in Christ. But we are individuals of infinite worth as well. Each is made different. Each is known and loved by God. No man can therefore afford to neglect his own communing with God. As well as being part of the Christian community, we must enter, as the gGspel tells us, into our rooms secretly and pray to God: a man who thinks that prayer is solely a community exercise performs a disservice to the community itself and imperils his own soul. We must become a holy people to bring Christ to the world of our time. We cannot become a holy community without realising, each one, his individual responsibility of prayer.

Original sin

We should delude ourselves if we minimised sin. We have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory. First there is original sin which all men inherit, accept the Blessed Virgin, Who by her Immaculate Conception and through the merits of her Son was preserved from ever incurring it. In us it is destroyed by baptism, which is a death to sin and a putting on of Christ.

Actual sin

Secondly there our own sins actually committed. Saint John in his first Epistle English distinguishes sin which is mortal from that which is not Saint Paul tells us we must not go to Holy Communion if we are in a state of grave sin. Such a man eats and drinks, he says, damnation to himself.


Our Lord is ever waiting to forgive us when we are sorry for our sins. He does this whenever we make an act of perfect contrition, which includes the desire to go to confession. In the sacrament of penance, when we have acknowledged our sins with true sorrow, with real purpose of amendment and readiness to make satisfaction, he forgives our sins in the words of absolution spoken by his priest, to whom in the Gospels and in the Sacrament of Order, he gives this power.

Next time: indulgences, frequent confession and conscience.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Passion Sunday

From Sunday we notice two differences. First, the Mass is pruned of the Judica me, psalm 42 and the recital of the Gloria Patris which punctuate the Mass and second, the crucifix and statues are covered in purple veils. The Church is preparing us for the week which marks the passion and death of our Lord.

Mass at St. Patrick's, Bradford at 1.00 p.m.

Confession at call.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Laetare Sunday

Tomorrow is the fourth Sunday of Lent and (like the third Sunday of Advent) the vestments are rose,  and so permit us a little lightening of the mood before we commemorate the passion and death of our Lord.

The 1.00 p.m. Mass at St. Patrick's will be a missa cantata. Confessions available before Mass.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Lent III

 Mass for the third Sunday of Lent. 1.00p.m. at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford. 

I was dismayed to hear about the events surrounding the celebration of the Triduum this year in Westminster.

In years gone by, it was usually the case that, thanks to Bishop Wheeler and his legacy, that Leeds was one of the very few places in the country where the fist Masses of Christmas and Easter were regularly offered.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Sacred Triduum & "Let's get this straight"; Extract 3 of Bishop Wheeler's pamphlet

I now have details of the timings for this year's Paschal Triduum at St Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford. 

Maundy Thursday - Mass of the Last Supper - 6.00 p.m.

Good Friday - 3.00 p.m.

Easter Vigil - 7.00 p.m.

Many thanks again to the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal for permitting us to use the church and moreover for permitting Fr. Frantisek to be the celebrant.

These details have also been posted on the Leeds Diocesan Website under the Mass in Latin section.

Continuation of extracts from Bishop Wheeler's 1969 pamphlet "Let's get this straight".

Catholics and Non-Catholics

This Church will attain her full perfection only in the glory of Heaven. But already she possesses a ‘fullness’ surpassing that of any other body. And so the greatest grace in this life is to be a member of the Catholic Church. Once a man sees this, he must in consciousness become a Catholic. Members of other Christian bodies, believing that Christ is God and baptised in his name, are brought into a certain the imperfect communion with the Catholic Church. It is our privilege to accept them as brothers with respect and affection. They possess insights from which we may learn. They stand with us, proclaiming Christ in the face of a pagan world. The differences between us are far less than the agreements. It is Christ's will that we should all be one. This does not mean the glossing over of differences or the watering down of Faith. We can only grow together through truth and love: these two together, for truth without love is intolerance and love without truth is often just sentimentality.


True unity

We can only help true unity by being better Catholics;  by showing changes of heart by becoming more holy; by pursuing the truth; by avoiding the scoring of points; by expressing ourselves humbly and lucidly, and by sharing together in good works; praying together all the time that we may be one. Let us be clear: it will hinder and not help unity if we act rashly and independently, or if we try to explain away our Faith. Unity does not mean finding an LCM but an HCF. And the factor is Christ. The more we study him the more we shall see the full dimension of his Body which is the Church. Our Faith needs no apology; it is the greatest gift of the love of God to man. It possesses already the mark of unity given by Christ himself, who placed Saint Peter over the other Apostles: a permanent and visible source of unity, of Faith.


The Pope

You would be wrong if you thought that the Council diminished the role of the Pope in the life of the church. On the contrary it made clearer his true primacy and infallible teaching authority in the scriptural context of his relationship with the rest of the Apostles, the Bishops of the universal Church. The Church in her Councils is always preserving a balance. In the early days she stressed the Godhead and now the humanity of Christ. In Vatican II (in clear and scriptural terms), she shows the collegiality of the Bishops, never without Peter, and always with and under him. Thank God that you have the Pope and always pray for him.


Next time: the Mass and the Priesthood.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Lent II

The Transfiguration account is the Gospel for the second Sunday of Lent

Mass for the second Sunday of Lent will be at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford at 1.00 p.m.

New Pilgrimage

I have copied this from the Diocesan Website. I have decided to have a go at this as part of my own Lenten Penance.

The new, short pilgrimage is for the intention of ‘Vocations to the Priesthood’. It will take place almost exactly 120 years after Fr John O’Connor (1870-1952), a Diocese of Leeds priest, became the inspiration for GK Chesterton’s famous ‘Father Brown’ stories which, even on today’s BBC TV adaptations, still illustrate the priest’s humane wisdom, understanding and compassion as well as his spiritual and sacramental role.

The two men first met in March 1904 in Keighley, where Fr O’Connor was a curate at St Anne’s Catholic Church. GK had just delivered a lecture in the town and was on his way to visit a German Jewish friend in Ilkley, whom O’Connor also knew. It was in a walk together along the Roman road which crosses Ilkley Moor that Fr John O’Connor first set Gilbert Chesterton on the ‘Path to Rome’ – and would eventually receive one of the world’s most renowned literary figures into the Catholic Church in the summer of 1922.

The new Pilgrimage Walk for Vocations will take place on Saturday 16 March 2024. In keeping with our journey towards sustainability, public transport is recommended as there is a railway station and other good public transport links in both Keighley and Ilkley. After 9am Mass at St Anne’s Church, walkers will set off following in ‘Father Brown’s Footsteps’, up Keighley Gate, over Ilkley Moor, and upon reaching the Ilkley Parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, will walk up to the Myddelton Grange Calvary for Stations of the Cross. The total distance will be around seven miles, which includes two steep uphills – so walking all the way will not be suitable for those with serious health or fitness issues, although the Keighley/Ilkley Road is metalled for a short distance at each end. This Lenten pilgrimage walk for Vocations is not yet an official diocesan event, so please contact for more details.

Bishop Wheeler 2 extracts from his booklet: Let's get this straight.

God's people

Remember, however, that we are a people on the move. Don't be a stick-in-the mud, and, on the other hand, don't allow yourself to slip. To reassure you: you are perfectly safe if you follow the Council's decrees. Sometimes they may seem advanced but they are always carefully measured. Christianity is a revolution but it also leads to peace. Men will only realize this when it has been truly applied. If you see the restlessness and anarchy you are on the wrong path. These are not the prints of the Spirit. Where charity and love is, God is.

The Living God

When people speak of the death of God, or the death of the Church, they are trying perhaps to convey the idea that the old thoughts about God held by some individual Christians were very wide of the mark and gave fiercely wrong impression. God is not a despot, gaoler or cajoler, After all, he gave us our free will. Christians have sometimes forgotten that Christ said to Philip: "He who has seen me has seen the Father."  A study of Christ in the Gospels gives us the true image of God. A death to wrong images is therefore good. And from this death (as from the Death on the Cross) proceeds , new understanding. new life. Of course a lot of 'new' thought is as old as the hills. But sometimes the kaleidoscope of the Spirit brings a new pattern,, that may be more helpful than what has gone before and anyhow, men tend to forget the lessons and message of history, and need the old again in a form that is new. The encounters of men with Christ are ever new. Being men of faith, whose learning is of the Kingdom, we must wait patiently. Time will show how wisely the Spirit draws from the treasury of the Church truths old and new.

The Church (2)

The Council describes the Church in New Testament terms as the People of God: a Chosen Race, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, a Purchased People.

Next time; True Unity and The Pope.  

Friday, February 16, 2024

Bishop Wheeler Continued 1

 The Council

The Council, only the 21st in the Church's life, is the Spirit of God speaking to us: God in dialogue with our time. It is the cause of interest and uncertainty, but the answer, God's answer, to the present troubles. We should listen, then, to all the Council tells us. We should read and study its decrees if we want to know what the Holy Spirit is saying to the world in our time. Not that the Council has all the answers (it is never good for men to have all the answers: sometimes God wants him to work them out for himself), but if we listen to the Council it points the path that we should tread. In most ways the path is well-worn, sometimes the track is new. Christ brings forth the old and new together. We can never afford to despise the old nor should we fear to follow the new when God's spirit shows the way.


As we tread this path there will be many new vistas. Some will be mirages, and we must take care of the traps and precipices . The Devil will make his ambushes no less, perhaps more easily, than he did before. But the spirit of adventure is a God-given the thing, and if we are seekers of the Way, Christ is with us. We must not cling intransigently to the past., but neither must we take new paths until our footing is sure.

Next time; God's people and the Living God.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Lent I

+William Gordon Wheeler (5.V. 1910- 21.II. 1998)

It was good to see a healthy number of people at Mass for Ash Wednesday this evening. I think this new later time will work better than the earlier teatime slot. Lent has got off to a good start. 

My grandchildren were parading round the supermarket after Mass apparently proud of their ash crossed foreheads. The cashier asked them if they had been to church.

Mass for the first Sunday of Lent will be offered at St. Patrick's, Bradford at 1.00 p.m. and confessions will be available for those wishing to perform part of their Easter duties.

Many letters, pamphlets, books and papers of various types are always on my desk demanding my attention and I usually have two or three projects on the go at once to keep me occupied when I am not teaching.

At the moment I am preparing lectures on the use of English Idioms and another on the history of the Berlin Wall with one about the Bradford Beck's contribution to the the life of the city is in the pipeline.

Recently somebody sent me an old CTS pamphlet which I had never seen. It is called "Let's Get This Straight. The Church after Vatican II". It is by Bishop William Gordon Wheeler who was the Bishop of Leeds from 1966 to 1985. 

I remember him with great fondness. not only because he confirmed me, but because in my possession I have a lot of his personal correspondence with Mrs Agnes Rutherford, who was the rep for the Latin Mass Society during Bishop Wheeler's time and beyond. It is clear to me that if every bishop in the Church had been like Bishop Wheeler we wouldn't have been in the situation in which we find ourselves today, where it is almost as if the Church itself has become a scourge in the hand of God and we have to make more sacrifices to fulfil our baptismal promises. 

To illustrate what I mean, I am going to produce excerpts from the bishop's pamphlet throughout Lent.

Bishop Wheeler's optimism and belief, when he produced the pamphlet in 1969,  that there was a thirst for growth and development and that the implementation of the Council could feed these needs seem incredibly na├»ve today for those of us staring through the lens of hindsight. But Wheeler only knew how to look at things through the lens of the hermeneutic of continuity in the light of Tradition. This is something about which Pope Benedict frequently spoke. 

The pamphlet is made up of nearly forty paragraphs. Each one addresses an issue about which we need "to get straight". Remember the pamphlet was written in 1969 before the introduction of the Pauline Mass and after Humanae Vitae. Abortion in England had already been legalised.

The World Today

Many people are saying, 'We are living in times of great uncertainty, and we don't know where we stand. Before the Council, our feet were on a rock. Now, we are moving on shifting sand. Nothing seems to be sure, nothing safe. Men say that God is dead; let us put back the clock before we lose everything.' You can not put back the clock and you shouldn't want to, for the new chaos, the doubt and uncertainty, come not from the Council but from the world of our time: from the affluent and 'all-sufficient' state, from the misuse of nuclear fission, from the failure to share the world's resources, from the pride and arrogance of twentieth century man.

The Church

The Church is the Good Samaritan who does not pass by on the other side, but by her loving encounter with the wounded world of our time pours out the oil and the wine, but also has to pay the price of the convalescence as in the Gospel. 

It is almost 26 years to the day since Bishop Wheeler died. (21st  February 1998). RIP.

Next time - the Council and Opportunities.

Thursday, February 8, 2024


Mass for  Qinquagesima Sunday will be at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford at 1.00 p.m. This is the last of the Gesima Sundays meaning that next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday.

Mass for Ash Wednesday will be at St. Patrick's, Bradford at 7.00 p.m. We are no longer having Masses for high days and holy days at 5.00 p.m. to enable people to avoid the teatime traffic and rushing to pick up children from school etc. Ashes will be imposed at this Mass as we enter the season of Lent.

Confessions will be available before Masses on Sunday and Wednesday. 

Also, I am delighted to announce that we will be having the Sacred Triduum again this year at St. Patrick's and details of the times will be announced in due course.

I wish everybody a productive and truly penitential season of Lent as we await the ringing of the bells at the Gloria on Holy Saturday.

Thursday, January 25, 2024


Already the pre Lent season is upon us, starting this Sunday with Septuagesima. The first Sunday of Lent is in three weeks and before we know it, it will be Easter.

Mass this Sunday at 1.00 p.m. at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford.

Confessions available.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Epiphany II

This week we are back to green vestments but only for a couple of weeks. Easter falls early this year and the feast of Septuagesima falls on January 28th this year when we will be back to purple vestments in this short season of preparation for Lent.

Mass on Sunday at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford at 1.00 p.m.

Confessions available before Mass.

Thursday, January 4, 2024


This year the Epiphany the Epiphany is transferred to the Sunday in line with the Church in England and Wales. The Mass will be on Sunday 7th. January at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford at 1.00 p.m. It will be a low Mass