Friday, 29 April 2016

High Mass in York this Saturday for St Margaret Clitheroe


I'm honoured to be the celebrant for High Mass this Saturday at St Wilfrid's Church in York, home of the Oratorian Community there, in the shadow of the great Minster. It is the annual Latin Mass Society pilgrimage to honour St Margaret Clitherow. Long wanted to get along there ever since the pilgrimage started but this is the first time I have managed it. Many tell me it is always a great occasion, so come along if you can. Mass is followed by a procession through the streets, which  is a wonderful witness for the Faith in these days.

 Saturday, 30th April

Solemn Mass at 1.30pm
followed by a procession through the streets of York, 
via the shrine of St Margaret Clitherow in The Shambles,
the Ouse Bridge, site of her martyrdom, 
returning to St Wilfrid's for 
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The St Wilfrid's Rectory Garden 
will be open the same day for viewing the late spring flowering,
from 12 noon until 4pm.
Refreshments will be available.


Thursday, 28 April 2016

Cardinal Pell in Cheshire

I've just spent a few days away at Thornycroft Hall in Cheshire, an elegant late 18th century house, now a retreat centre run by Opus Dei. 
One of the speakers was George Cardinal Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy of the Vatican. An excellent few days with good priests and good company. Thank you to the Fathers of Opus Dei for organising this yearly conference. They also have monthly retreat days for clergy and run retreats for laity as well - men, women and for schools and young adults.

The Chapel at Thornycroft.

Some time ago the Cardinal had a TV encounter with celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins some time ago. Mr Dawkins seems to get rather riled at some points - a sure sign of the frustrated looser. You can see a clip below, focussing where Mr Dawkins seems to be making little sense, and below that the full programme.

A robust defence of the Faith - particularly in the form of Christian Apologetics is often lacking these days, so its good to see it here. In days gone by gentlemen could disagree robustly but with honour - take the example G K Chesteron and all the intellectuals of the day that he publicly engaged, such as George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and Bertrand Russell. 

I understand that the Maryvale Institute does a very good MA in Apologetics.



Wednesday, 27 April 2016

St George's Day Mass and Chapter Meeting

 Members and friends of the Grand Priory of Great Britain 
gathered in North Yorkshire at St Mary’s Church in Crathorne 
on St George's Day for Mass and the Annual Chapter Meeting.
We celebrated Holy Mass for the feast of St George
- a suitably fitting Christian military saint for Order to invoke 
on the day of its Chapter Meeting.

More pictures at the St Lazarus site.



Sunday, 24 April 2016

Benedictines to leave St Mary's at Brownedge


I've just read via Facebook that a neighbouring parish, St Mary's Brownedge, is heading for major changes. If true, how very sad for the people there and for the Benedictines of Ampleforth. Do pray for them.

Bishop John Arnold of Salford and Abbot Cuthbert Madden OSB of Ampleforth Abbey were unexpectedly present at Masses this weekend at St Mary's, Brownedge, Bamber Bridge. During each Mass it was announced that the Ampleforth Benedictines would be leaving the Parish by the end of this year and handing over responsibility for the Parish to the Diocese of Salford, breaking a link stretching back to 1780 in the parish itself and to the late 1600s in terms of a Benedictine presence in the area. Abbot Cuthbert stated that he had no choice and that the decision was made with regret. At present it is understood that the Benedictines will continue to serve their other parishes in the locality, i.e. Our Lady and St Gerard Majella, Lostock Hall (Diocese of Salford) and St Mary's, Leyland and and St Joseph's, Brindle (both Archdiocese of Liverpool). However an ageing community at Ampleforth and falling numbers means that eventually Ampleforth will also withdraw from these parishes as it has done so in its other parishes in recent years (e.g. St Mary's, Warrington). It is assumed that St Benedict's Monastery, Bamber Bridge will close. Whilst the parish had been forewarned last year by the Abbot that a withdrawal would inevitably happen at some point in the future, the sudden and, at this time, unexpected news has been met with shock and dismay. Please pray for the Parish, the Ampleforth Community, particularly those serving in the Parish, and the Diocese of Salford.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Local War heroes remembered


In the park next to the church here in Farinton there is a new Memorial Garden, commemorating the 55 men of Farington who gave their lives in the First World War. It was completed just recently, when I was invited to bless the silhouette of soldiers that now frames the memorial stone on which the names of the fallen are commemorated. Relatives of those men were present for the occasion as was the Mayor of South Ribble, Councillor Mary Green and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Allan Jolley.


Pictures from the Lancashire Evening Post.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Charismatic fervour


Fr Ray Blake has posted about Vocations - or rather, for the most part, the lack of them. Except when it comes to communities - be they Diocese or Societies and Institutions - which are unashamedly orthodox and traditional (Here for example). It seems to be the case that a diocese where the bishop welcomes the orthodox and the traditional, he finds that he has a great increase in vocations. Fr Blake points out that: 
"young religious communities have a sense of mission and growth, a hopefulness about them. I was speaking to a young SSPX priest some time ago, he was full of hope and spoke about the development of their mission about rising numbers, he had an almost charismatic sense of excitement about him."
My own experience echoes that. Certainly the young traditional communities I have come across are full of very hard working people with a great sense of mission and zeal, wanting to make contacts, start new endeavours and reach out to new audiences. There is a sense of excitement and building for the future - they are charismatic, in the secular sense of the word. 

Considering the word derives from the Greek χάρις (charis), which means "grace", this seems entirely appropriate. It is God's grace, freely given, at work. Traditionally, in the terms of Religious Communities, each one has a particular "charism" - nursing, preaching, material poverty, etc. Since the Second Vatican Council there has been a call for Religious to look BACK and rediscover their original charism. It seems to me that very few appear to have done this.  The charism that charms and attracts throughout the new communities is, strangely, orthodoxy and tradition. It is this that gives the driving force to their various ministries - because it is new and different from what we see all about us.

How strange that a particular charism should now be orthodoxy and tradition in a Church which has defined itself by these principles since its earliest times.
With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.
Thessalonians 2:15

Monday, 18 April 2016

Missa Cantata for the Feast of St George in North Yorkshire


If anyone is in the North Yorkshire area there will be a sung Mass 
in the Traditional Form for the 
Feast of St George this Saturday, 23rd April 2016
at
St Mary’s Church, Yarm Road, Crathorne, North Yorks. TS15 0BB

11am Mass  - Missa Cantata in the Tradirional Form
for the Feast of St George, Protector of England.


The Mass will be celebrated by Parish Priest, Fr William Charlton and is being organised by the Order of St Lazarus, in conjunction with their annual Chapter Meeting being held later that day - the Mass is, of course, open for everyone to attend and all are most welcome,

The present St Mary’s Church (1819) replaced an adapted cowhouse used for Mass from about 1777. But Mass was celebrated in the area some considerable time before that. The Crathorne family maintained the Catholic faith after the Reformation and Mass was celebrated in the manor house. The present chapel, the work of the ‘resident missioner’, Fr George Corless, using funds donated by Ralph Crathorne in 1742, was completed by 1821.  The present chapel is ‘of outstanding importance on both historic and architectural grounds. The exterior is modest for a Catholic chapel of its time, but the interior is a remarkably complete example of box pews, gallery and rich Gothick decoration of the highest quality.’