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Showing posts from April, 2009

Celebrations for St Catherine of Siena

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In the Society of St Catherine of Siena, we celebrated the feast of our patron saint today. In a paper read to the St Nicholas Study group, Susan Parsons spoke about the moral lessons of the octaves. Various octaves were suppressed during the reforms of the 1950s and we are now left with only the Christmas and Easter Octaves. The octave of Pentecost was a surprising omission from the calendar of the post Vatican II reform, paradoxically coinciding with the proclamation of the "New Pentecost" and the birth of the Catholic charismatic movement.

Dr Laurence Hemming had to hand an Octavarium showing that in the older tradition, not only were there many minor octaves of universal observance, but there were also octaves for local Churches for their patronal feast and the dedication of the Church.

After the paper, there was some intense discussion on the question of the Liturgical Movement in its early stages and the role played by Guéranger's Liturgical Year in bringing people t…

Family and Youth Concern Bulletin

I heartily recommend Family and Youth Concern which campaigns on many issues that are addressed on this blog. the latest Bulletin for Spring 2009 is now available at the website: see Bulletin No. 135.

There is an interesting review of a new book, "The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education" by Kathryn Ecclestone and Dennis Hayes, (Routledge 2009. £18.99. ISBN 978-0415397018). The reviewer observes:The emphasis on often ill-defined concepts such as ‘emotional literacy’, ‘emotional intelligence’, ‘emotional well-being’ and ‘self-esteem’ has encouraged a preoccupation with self which in turn has had a paralysing effect on human initiative and enterprise. Kathryn Ecclestone and Dennis Hayes argue that ‘therapeutic education is turning children, young people and adults into anxious and self-preoccupied individuals rather than aspiring, optimistic and resilient learners’ with a desire to pursue truth, master a difficult subject or learn a new skill.and there is an important warnin…

Pro-Life vigil, Bedford Square 9 May

The Helpers of God's Precious Infants are holding a pro-life vigil near the BPAS abortion facility in Bedford Square WC1 on Saturday 9 May.

The vigil will start from St Patrick's Church, Soho Square with Mass. Programme as follows:9am Mass
9.40am Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
9.50am Prayerful and peaceful procession to BPAS abortion facility, processing with image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Holy Rosary and hymns
11.30am Return procession with prayers and hymns
12.00noon Benediction
12.15pm Break for tea and get-together. (Please bring packed lunch.)If you can't attend for the whole event, you will be welcome for any part of it.

The questions young people ask

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Yesterday after the morning Mass, I went over to Aylesford to give a Day of Recollection for boys in Year 10 (i.e. aged 14-15) from the John Fisher School.

The day was organised by Sir Dan of the Blogosphere along tried and trusted lines: a tour of the Friary given by Brother Lawrence O.Carm, a talk by me, confessions, lunch, "Question Box" and a votive Mass of St John Fisher and St Thomas More. St John Fisher is one of the saints to whom I pray every day and I always love to preach about his heroic life: he is a great inspiration to boys and an example of inner strength and courage in the face of adversity.

The "Question Box" session is always interesting. The boys are invited to write any questions they want on a scrap of paper and it is the priest's job to answer them as well as fielding any impromptu questions. I have often run sessions like this with young people and it is a very good exercise since it gives them the chance to set the agenda. There are rarel…

Flu: dangers of risk compensation

The Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson has been commenting very sensibly and calmly about the outbreak of pig flu and what we should be doing about it. I was struck by his comments about the use of face masks. He was not very optimistic about their effectiveness and worried that if they were used routinely, they might provide a false sense of security and make the problem worse.

Does that sound familiar?

Objecting to advertisements

John Smeaton recently wrote about Hormonal birth control advertised on television. A reader has written to remind me of details for complaining about advertisements. She has found that Channel 4 take complaints seriously: Channel 4 customer services number is 0845 076 0191.

They are keen that people also object to the
Advertising Standards Authority who require complaints to be in writing by post or email:

Complaints Reception
71 High Holborn
London WC1V 6QT

Here is a link to the "How to complain" section of the ASA website.

UPDATE: Address of ITV who have also run the ad:

ITV Network Centre
Grey's Inn Road,
London
WC1X 8HF

Caption competition heaven

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Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles attended a conference on the environment yesterday at the Italian Parliament. they also had a meeting with the Holy Father in his private library.

There are photos from Getty, and photos from Reuters (these are searches on DayLife so they will get overlaid soon.)

One of these photos just has to end up on the front cover of Private Eye, surely?

Film clip: priestly ordination

From the 1963 film "The Cardinal". As the Bishop anoints the left hand of the priest:Consecrare, et sanctificare digneris, Domine, manus istas per istam unctionem, et nostram bene + dictionem.
O Lord, deign to consecrate and sanctify these hands through this anointing and our blessing.As the Bishop anoints the right hand:Ut quaecumque benedixerint, benedicantur, et quaecumque consecraverint, consecrentur, et sanctificentur, in nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi.
That whatsoever things they shall bless shall be blessed and whatsoever things they shall consecrate shall be consecrated and sanctified in the name of our Lord jesus Christ.As the Bishop hands on the chalice and paten:Accipe potestatem offerre sacrificium Deo, Missasque celebrare, tam pro vivis, quam pro defunctis. In nomine Domini.
Receive the power to offer sacrifice to God and to celebrate Masses, both for the living and for the dead. In the name of the Lord.Here is a link to the full text of the rite of ordination o…

Belated St George's Day pictures

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Mulier Fortis took some photos at our Mass for the feast of St George and I have only just had time to select some and edit them. She has posted some on her blog as well as some photos from the Rogation Procession and Mass.

For St George's Day, I was celebrant for the Mass, assisted by Rev John Harrison (Deacon) and Fr Charles Briggs (Subdeacon).

It is always good to be able to use our magnificent red set which is a 19th century French High Mass set made in velvet with gold braid. the chasuble has needlepoint embroidery with a large Agnus Dei in the centre.

After Mass, we had Benediction. Three very keen young lads who are making their first Holy Communion on Saturday are not allowed to serve Mass until then but I have allowed them to be torchbearers for Benediction. They are looking forward to joining the team of servers at Mass next Sunday.



The statue of St George was fetched from the Parish Social Club to be venerated in the Church. Sadly, St George has lost his sword on account o…

St Fidelis Church, Kansas

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In response to my post about St Fidelis, Mary from Kansas left a comment referring to this magnificent Church known as "the Cathedral of the Plains" (though it is not actually a Cathedral).

It is known as one of the "Eight wonders of Kansas"; when it was built, it was the largest Church west of the Mississippi river. the exterior of the church is constructed with blocks of local limestone weighing 50-100 pounds each.

Above the High Altar there is a painting of the martyrdom of St Fidelis:

Parish website here
More photos here

Vocations and the home

Kate, mother of eight children, writes an excellent blog called "At home in my Father's house" (now added to the blogroll). She has followed up on my recent post about The importance of a "culture of vocation" with her own thoughts on the culture of vocation at home. One of her sons is in the "Quo Vadis" group organised by Fr Stephen Langridge, the vocations Director for Southwark (see: Southwark Vocations)so say a prayer for him and for the others in the group.

I was at Wonersh today for my last session of the academic year. The students have various pastoral and other courses before the summer break. First of all, though, they have to take their exams so a prayer for them to St Joseph Cupertino would not go amiss.

"I came to extirpate heresy"

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Friday was the feast of St Fidelis of Sigmaringen. There is a biography of him at the Catholic Encyclopaedia. St Fidelis was a lawyer who entered the Capuchin Franciscans at the age of 35. He spent his apostolic career in untiring efforts to convert those who had fallen into the errors of Calvin and Zwingli. On his mission to the country of the Grisons, he was met everywhere with the cry "Death to the Capuchins!" After one sermon, he was surrounded by Calvinists who offered him his life if he would apostatise. He said "I came to extirpate heresy, not to embrace it" and was struck down.

My attention was drawn to St Fidelis by the blog Canterbury Tales which is written by Taylor Marshall, a convert to the Catholic Church and a former Episcopal priest.

James MacMillan lambasts the Tablet, defends bloggers

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James MacMillan has a cracking letter in this week's Tablet in defence of Catholic bloggers. A sample:The bloggers that appal you so much are united in an obvious love and pride for the counter-cultural challenge of being Catholic in the modern age. No wonder they feel shame that the nominally Catholic Tablet shows no evidence of a similar love or pride. The Tablet seems out of touch, not just with the new enthusiasm for faithfulness and tradition blossoming in the Catholic world, but also out of step with the new participative media technologies.You can read the whole letter over at Damian Thompson's Holy Smoke. You can read more about James MacMillan at Wikipedia and at the Boosey & Hawkes website which describes him as "the pre-eminent Scottish composer of his generation."

Petrol, molten wax and altar servers

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Fr Z go this really good tip from a reader:Fr Z. now that altars are becoming higher and higher, so to speak, some practical difficulties ensue.

I heard this practical tip on how to light really high candles from an old priest … . It makes me think that this is not something you should try at home, lest you burn your house down!

I might try it myself, though...

Take a little chunk of wax, melt it in a pot. An electric stove is safer for this… Then put a tiny amount of petrol (gasoline[this is where things get interesting] into the pot away from the stove. [Good tip.] Mix it well. Let it dry. Put tiny globs of this on the wicks of the impossibly high candles to be lit long before Mass. When it comes time to light them just before Mass, one merely has to touch the flame to the wick and it begins to burn nicely immediately.I have three boys itching to serve the old Mass after their first Holy Communion next Saturday. I have granted them concessions over the past few months, allowing them …

Liturgy debate beginning

A recent book by John Baldovin SJ, "Reforming the Liturgy: A Response to the Critics", published by the Liturgical Press of Collegeville, Minnesota, is reviewed in this week's Catholic Herald by Alcuin Reid. (See: At last, the liturgical establishment is taking on its critics. Let the debate begin. Dr Reid pertinently quotes the saying of Mahatma Ghandi:"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."He notes that in Baldovin's critique of Klaus Gamber, he does not dispute Gamber's claim that there has been "a radical reform of the liturgy" which represents a "radical shift in Catholic theology and piety". For Baldovin, such a radical discontinuity is not an issue.

Baldovin also offered a critique of the work of Dr Reid, stating that he denies many of the principles of Sacrosanctum Concilium. He has apparently since accepted that this was inaccurate and that Dr Reid nowhere denies the principles of S…

Family: school of obedience and environmnent of true freedom

On St George's Day, the Holy Father celebrated Mass in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, with organizers of January's World Meeting of Families, which took place in Mexico City. (Some lucky children made their first Holy Communion at this Mass.)

In his short homily, the Holy Father spoke about the virtue of obedience, saying that it was not a mere subjection or following of commands but the fruit of an intimate communion with God. He said that Christian families that live in the light of faith are schools of obedience and the environment of true freedom.

Original text of homily (Italian)
Summary from Zenit

New Bible from Baronius Press

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Baronius Press recently sent me a copy of their magnificent new Bible. I have kept it carefully on the table in my reception room downstairs and shown it to some admiring parishioners after weekday Mass.

The Bible has the Clementine Vulgate in parallel columns with the Douai-Rheims translation with the notes by Bishop Richard Challoner. The Clementine Vulgate is named after Pope Clement VIII: the Council of Trent taught that the Vulgate was authentic and ordered that a standard text should be produced. The first effort, by Pope Sixtus V suffered from a number of errors and the revision produced under Clement VIII became the standard.

The Douai-Rheims translation was a faithful and literal translation of the vulgate, making it an excellent tool for those who wish to follow the Latin text. The production of a bible with both versions side-by-side is a great gift to the Christian faithful.

The Bible is beautifully produced: it is bound in dark green leather with ornate gold blocking on the …

Walsingham Prayer Book

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Family Publications have published "A Walsingham prayer Book" to mark the 75th anniversary of the declaration of the Slipper Chapel in Walsingham as the National Shrine to Our Lady in England.

The Walsingham Prayer Book includes traditional prayers and hymns to Our Lady with a particular but not exclusive focus on Walsingham, making it an excellent companion for pilgrim groups.

The 64 page glossy booklet is illustrated with colour photographs throughout. It is available from Family Publications at £4.50

Questioning the value of a peerage

Francis Davis (a fellow of Blackfriars, Oxford) had an article in the Guardian yesterday: The cardinal must not become a peer. Davis argues thatBritons should put pen to paper to protect O'Connor from the (well-evidenced) ruthlessness of the Labour machine.He suggests that the acceptance of a peerage would be a "political coup" for Labour, providing an opportunity for doorstep campaigners in marginal seats.

St George's Day

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Normally on Thursday evening at Blackfen, we have Rosary and Benediction, followed by the Novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Today being St George's Day, we are going to change the evening programme, having High Mass followed by short Benediction.

The Parish Social Club is open to non-Catholics provided that they do not form more than 50% of the membership. Hence we have a number of people from the surrounding streets who like to come out in the evening to a safe environment where they can relax with their families after a day on the building site, play pool and have a couple of pints.

We always have a big celebration for St Patrick's feast day but there are sometimes murmurings along the lines of "Why don't we do more to mark St George's Day?" We do in fact have a social evening with music on Saturday but when I mentioned to the Club Chairman that we were having a "Latin Mass" for St George and we might like to cook up some hamburgers and ho…

The Pope and Condoms in Africa

One thing about blogging is that after you have been in the bear pit of a heavily biased television show, you can later write at length on any of the questions raised and dealt with in a few seconds of live TV.

James Preece has done this in an excellent article:The Pope and Condoms in Africa

2009 Cannonball Awards

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Carolina Cannonball at The Crescat blog has invited nominations for the 2009 Cannonball Awards:
... consider this the blog awards for us "minor" bloggers... a blog award not dominated by the usual suspects. The results from last year's awards brought those quieter less visited blogs some much needed attention... even the little guy deserves some recognition. Having lost my fair share of Blog Awards... Ok, all of them, I did what any other sore loser would do; create my own!Some examples of categories:
BEST BLOG BY A RELIGIOUS WHO'S NOT FR.Z
SNARKIEST CATHOLIC BLOG
BEST UNDER APPRECIATED CATHOLIC BLOG
although you are invited to suggest others. You can put nominations in the combox of the post and the nominees are...

Incidentally, Carolina's blog is a good mix of the entertaining and spiritually nourishing with some down to earth humour. I particularly liked the way that she blogged about her return to academia and "all the joy that a liberal college provides"…

Training conference at Ushaw

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The Latin Mass Society of Middlesbrough has posted some great photos of the sacred liturgy celebrated at the society's training conference for priests at Ushaw over the past few days and I expect there will be more for today and tomorrow.

Fr Michael Brown of Forest Murmurs has been involved with the conference and he celebrated the Solemn High Mass on Monday. Above you can see a photo from the Mass which was celebrated in St Cuthbert's Chapel.

Petition against abortion advertising on TV

Melanie Jane has started a petition to 10 Downing Street regarding. It reads:We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Stop abortion advertising on the television.Further information:Abortion is the easy way out and the young and general public need to be educated on the consequences of having sex. The government need to take action to help unite families and lower the pregnancy rate by raising the moral standards in this country. Abortion is murder.Sign the petition.

(Deadline 14 October 2009. You have to be a British citizen or resident to sign.)

The importance of a "culture of vocation"

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An article in USA Today can serve as a reminder of the importance of encouraging a culture of vocation. (See: Study: Nearly half of new priests were discouraged against seminary)

A survey produced for the US bishops by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University found that almost 45% of Catholic priests planning to be ordained this year said that they had been discouraged from considering the priesthood.Of those, nearly 6 in 10 said a parent or family member was the source of the discouragement. Fifty-one percent said a friend or classmate had counseled them against the priesthood, and 15% said a priest or other clergy had. The percentages add up to more than 100 because respondents could select more than one category.This does not surprise me and I expect the percentages would be larger in England.

In my diocese, Fr Stephen Langridge, Southwark Vocations Director has been working hard to encourage a "culture of vocation" in which a vocati…

Sacred art and chant for primary schools

The Association of Catholic Women have sent me notice of this event for Catholic primary school teachers. There was a similar event in February, at Coloma School in Croydon, which was a great success.
ART & MUSIC IN R.E. TEACHING
A Study Day for Teachers in Catholic Primary Schools
Wednesday 24 June 2009

At Westminster Cathedral Choir School
(by kind permission of the Headmaster)

12.30pm Sandwich Lunch
1.45pm Teaching Christ Through Art – illustrated presentation by Lionel Gracey

Lionel Gracey studied medicine at Cambridge and Harvard. He was Consultant Surgeon to the Royal Free Hospital, London, from 1966-91. Following his retirement, he studied theology at the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, where he now lectures in Religious Art.

3.00pm Tea
3.15pm Enriching School Masses through Gregorian Chant - Workshop with Jeremy de Satgé.

Jeremy de Satgé is a singer, composer, choral director and music publisher. He is a fellow of Trinity College of Music, London. Through his music publi…

Good Counsel worker on Chartres Pilgrimage

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I have often mentioned the Good Counsel Network which is a 100% Catholic, pro-life groups in the UK. They work directly with women who have already decided to have an abortion. Instead of abortion they offer counselling, advice and support (including housing, childcare, regular ongoing financial support, baby goods such as clothes, food, baby milk, prams, toys etc, and in getting their life back on track) in order to help to save the life of their unborn baby.

The value of their work is incalculable: 70% of the women and girls that The Good Counsel Network see choose life for their babies.

I regularly go over to the Good Counsel Network to celebrate Mass or Benediction which they try to have in their centre every day. Yesterday afternoon I was there and heart that Conor Carroll who is 21 and works with The Good Counsel Network is going on the Chartres Pilgrimage this June. Many of you know of this traditional 75 mile pilgrimage which features Mass in the usus antiquior and concludes wi…

Cardinal Cañizares Pontifical Mass at St John Lateran

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Earlier today, Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, celebrated Pontifical High Mass in the usus antiquior at the basilica of St John Lateran, assisted by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

It is quite significant that there have been two high-profile solemn Masses according to the usus antiquior at the Lateran Basilica within less than a week. It is particularly inspiring to see the Franciscans of the Immaculate, both assisting their own superior last Thursday, and assisting the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship today.

Here is a slide show of photos from the Mass. (I have had a closer look at "Slide" and found that if you click the "view all images" button, you can then pick any of the pictures and view them in higher resolution.)


H/T Rinascimento Sacro

Keep abortion ads off the telly

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John Smeaton has a post today: Alert public to TV abortion ads consultation by ordering SPUC's new flyer. You can email John to get copies of the flyer to distribute to friends, post through letterboxes or put in your Church (ask the parish priest first, of course.)

I think that this will be an effective campaign. Even people who have been hoodwinked by "hard case" arguments are likely to be uneasy about abortion being advertised on the television.

Latin and English Altar Cards

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Altar Card Artistry, the website of Myriad Creative Concepts, offers a selection of altar cards for the usus antiquior. The above image is the "Vintage Diamond" set - click the picture to enlarge. They also sell cards for the vesting prayers, the prayers after Low Mass and the prayers at the foot of the altar (only to be used temporarily while you learn them by heart, Fathers!)

Interestingly, they also have the same texts in English translation under the heading "Protestant English Mass Materials". Some Anglicans still use the "English Missal", an English version of the older form of the Roman Rite but with the cycle of readings taken from the Sarum use. The Anglican Use parishes that have come into communion with Rome under the 1980 pastoral provision use the "Book of Divine Worship" which has elements of the newer form (such as the "Blessed are you..." prayers in the current ICEl translation although the Canon is given in an older tra…

Beautiful devotional cards

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One blog that escaped my blogroll until now is Holy Cards For Your Inspiration by Micki from Fort Wayne, Indiana. She posts beautiful pictures of (mainly vintage) holy cards. I would only warn you that it is possible to spend far too much time browsing this site...

Translation of the text on the above card:
[At the top:] The pause on the journey -- or the daily visit.
[At the bottom:] It is only there that my heart is at rest. Everything is taken away from my sight before that tabernacle. If someone were to ask me, "Where is your happiness?" -- I would answer, "Look! Jesus, through a miracle, has placed His home in the midst of my exile."

James Preece on the telly

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James Preece, who writes Catholic and Loving It volunteered to go on the BBC programme "The Big Questions". (iPlayer link here for a few days.) To give you an idea of the moderation and balance so characteristic of the BBC, here is my transcript of the intro from Nicky Campbell:
Well! It's been a week of celebrations for Pope Benedict: he was 82 on Thursday and today is his fourth anniversary as Pontiff. Not everyone's celebrating. Our first Big Question is: "Is this Pope a liability?"The show kicked off unambiguously; very first comment was from Sir Stephen Wall, former diplomat, Private Secretary to John Major, and EU Advisor to Tony Blair. From June 2004 to June 2005 he was Principal Advisor to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor.
Campbell: Sir Stephen Wall, is this Pope a liability?
Sir Stephen: Yes, I think he is. Sir Stephen also referred to the Holy Father's comments to the Roman Curia last December in which he said that the rain forests deserved o…

The Ceremonies of the Freemasonic Rites Described

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Baronius Press have re-published Walton Hannah's classic book: "Darkness Visible. A Christian appraisal of Freemasonry." At the time of writing the book, Hannah was an Anglican clergyman. He was later received into the Catholic Church.

In 1951, Hannah wrote an article in the journal Theology, entitled "Should a Christian be a Freemason?" which caused considerable controversy in England, particularly since King George VI and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, were both freemasons. As a result, the Church Assembly of the Church of England later that year discussed the issue. The Rev R Creed Meredith, a freemason himself, proposed that a commission be appointed to report on Hannah's article. This was overwhelmingly rejected and the Assembly did not reach any particular decision on the matter.

Following this, Hannah wrote "Darkness Visible". In the first part of the book, he explains how he obtained his information about the masonic rites (p…

Bishop O'Donoghue with the Holy Father

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At the close of the General Audience last Wednesday, Bishop O'Donoghue presented "Fit for Mission? Schools" and "Fit for Mission? Church" to the Holy Father. The Lancaster press office observed:The Holy Father departed from the usual protocol and spent quite some time going through both documents with Bishop Patrick expressing his obvious delight at the wide-ranging scope of the work. The Holy Father and Bishop Patrick were joined by Mgr Georg Ganswein - Private Secretary to the Pope – and Archbishop James Harvey, Prefect of the Papal Household.The Holy Father thanked Bishop O'Donoghue for his work of renewal in the diocese. As the bishop will be retiring next month, this is a fitting tribute to his groundbreaking work which has inspired so many people.

Just yesterday I received a review copy of "Fit for Mission? Marriage" which is an marriage preparation course. It is published by the CTS - here is a link to the notice for the Course Presenter'…

Well Known Saints DVD - volume 1

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Mary's Dowry Productions have sent me a DVD with five-minute biographies of several saints, illustrated with classical works of art. The DVD has lives of Saint Therese of Lisieux, Saint Paul, Saint Joseph, Saint Faustina, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Anthony of Padua. This is volume 1 of Well Known Saints: volume 2 is in production.

One use of the DVD would be to show at Confirmation classes to help young people choose a patron saint. I would suggest that it would also be useful as an introduction or conclusion to Family Prayers, perhaps on the feast of each of the saints. Each short biography ends with some scripture or a prayer that parents or an older child could read to the others.

The DVD is £9.99 from Mary's Dowry Productions Online Shop.

The same team have now released "St Edumund Campion: a hero returns" and have sent me a copy. I'll do a post about that when I have had a chance to watch it.

Blogging news for Low Week

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Last year, as is fairly well-known, the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, at their Low Week meeting, discussed the phenomenon of Catholic blogging. Since then, the Tablet newspaper launched an attack on my parish because one of our four weekend precept Masses and one of our six weekday Masses is said in the extraordinary form. From the vast correspondence sent to me, much of it including copies of perfectly well-balanced and reasonable letters sent to the editor of the Tablet (and not published), I hazard a guess that the subsequent correspondence published on the letters page was far from a fair reflection of the correspondence received.

Be that as it may, the Catholic blogosphere responded with great generosity, enabling me to pay for our new rose vestments in full with some money left over to save up for some silver candlesticks for our Lady altar.

A further consequence of this debacle was that bloggers around the world were left in little doubt about the character of the…

A commenter problem

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I received this message today from a reader.I have registered a Google account, but having posted once the next time I try to do so the wretched system refuses to recognise my password. I then reset it, make one post, then the whole sorry business starts again (invalid password, reset, post; attempted post, invalid password, reset...)Can anyone help here?

My "workaround" suggestion was to get an Open ID which might in any case be useful for other things. I see that some people do in fact use Open ID to comment.

FI Mass at the Lateran Basilica

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Yesterday marked the eighth centenary of the approval of the rule of St Francis by Pope Innocent III in 1209. To Mark the occasion, Fr Stefano Manelli, founder and superior of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, celebrated a solemn High Mass in the usus antiquior at the papal altar of the Basilica of St John Lateran.

The Franciscans of the Immaculate routinely celebrate Mass according to the newer form although I understand that many of the Sisters prefer to have the usus antiquior celebrated and the superiors are quite open to this. The FIs are therefore in the vanguard of the response to Pope Benedict's Summorum Pontificum, offering both forms of the Roman Rite with exemplary reverence.

Many thanks to NLM (Solemn Mass in the Usus Antiquior at the Lateran) for the heads-up.

Thanks also to Rinascimento Sacro: FFI: Padre Manelli per gli 800 anni della Regola celebra nella forma straordinaria in Laterano for their report and this slide show:

Pro-Life walk near York

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A parishioner who is studying at York passed this on to me and I'm happy to publicise what looks to be an excellent afternoon's activity:

Walk for Life- A prolife walk of witness and prayer
Sunday 10th May

Organised by Catholic parishes in York, with blessing of Bishop Arthur of Leeds and Bishop Terence, Middlesborough

1.15 - 1.30pm- Assembly at the west front precinct of York Minster. The walk passes through the city to the Margaret Clitheroe Monument, Ousebridge, and to grounds of the Bar Convent, where the relic of St Margaret Clitheroe will be venerated.

The walk ends with 5pm Mass at the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, followed by refreshments.

Total distance of the walk is about 2 miles. St Wilfred's Church, Petergate, and English Martyrs Church, Dalton Terrace, are open for prayer all day.

Further details - email Pat

Saints and Blesseds blog

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The new blog Saints and Blesseds"celebrates the saints and beati of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (some of them, I hope, all the more interesting for being fairly obscure), with a bias towards those of the British Isles."Recent entries include St Godric of Finchale, barefoot pilgrim and devotee of St Cuthbert; and St Milburga of Wenlock, a saintly foundress and abbess.

Wenlock Priory

Visit to St Andrews

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St Andrews was beautiful, as ever, though rather cold and windy. The Canmore Catholic Society is in very good shape with an enthusiastic committee who are organising a Barbecue for the Pope's birthday today.

Last night, I was treated to dinner at "The Dolls House" and then joined the students for Mass at the chaplaincy (above) before giving my talk on "True and False Ecumenism" which was followed by some intelligent and challenging questions. Afterwards, Fr Halloran, the parish priest and university chaplain (who celebrates his Golden Jubilee this year) led Compline before we repaired to the Lord Russell Hotel for more discussion over a drink. In a striking example of "fusion" cooking, the hotel was offering Haggis Nachos as the "Chef's Dish of the Day" but nobody was too enthusiastic about that.

The Catholic Chaplaincy at St Andrews has been a prolific source of vocations over the years and I was glad to see that this tradition is continu…

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