Showing posts from October, 2010

Liturgical abuse shocker

Sorry for the title and picture. In fact, it is not a picture of liturgical abuse in the Catholic Church (though it does look remarkably similar to some clips of the same on YouTube.) It depicts druids celebrating something at Stonehenge. I post this after reading Damian Thompson's good post about the Utterly fawning coverage from the BBC of the pagan festival of Halloween or “Samhain”, including an interview with a chief pagan in a sheepskin. “We’ll be continuing with our coverage throughout the day, watching the celebration of the most important festival of the pagan year,” we’re promised. Here is a bland BBC history note on the Roman campaign against the Druids: The druids were the priest-scholars of ancient Britain, but 'druid' also tended to be a 'catch all' name used by the Romans for those who resisted their rule. In order to suppress the druids in the far west of Britain, Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus subdued the island of Mona (Anglesey), but

Last day of a wonderful witness to life

Congratulations to everyone who has been a part of the 40 Days for Life campaign in London by prayer, fasting and action. Today is Day 40 but there will be another initiative next Lent. Lives have been saved directly through the prayerful witness of those who have taken part, and many young pro-lifers have been encouraged by participating in this initiative. 40 Days for Life received an encouraging letter from Pope Benedict's office, conveying the Holy Father's prayers During the week I was in Rome, they arranged the screening of "Blood Money", an inspirational documentary which included personal testimonies of women who have had abortions and abortion clinic staff. The brings home the reality of abortion but also ends on a note of hope. They are screening the DVD "Being Human" at St Mary Moorfield's Parish Hall tomorrow, 1 November at 7pm. I found this picture at Robert Colquhoun's excellent blog Love Undefiled :

Any problems with accessing this blog?

A reader (or in fact prospective reader in the circumstances) has complained that her computer has crashed after trying to read this blog. If anyone else has had problems and solved them, please let me know in the combox if there is a particular element in the sidebar or something that is causing the problem.

The Pope and Dan Cooper

The General Audience on Wednesday in St Peter's Square always has a carnival atmosphere. Every week, tens of thousands of people from all over the world wait in sunshine or rain to see the Holy Father, hear his address and receive his blessing. If you can't go for the whole thing, you can see and hear it from outside the railings on the edge of the Piazza, or go through security beyond the colonnade and watch. You may well be allowed to go into any empty section. When I am in Rome, I never miss it. Apart from the day when I said Mass for Fr Boyle's group of altar servers, I went early into St Peter's to say Mass. Sir Dan of the Nesbitry was there each morning to serve my Mass - he remembered pretty well everything from his boyhood days and was happy with the gravitas . Here he is in the Sacristy of St Peter's: At the tomb of St Peter, we knelt down to say the prayers to gain the pilgrimage indulgence and then recited the school hymn to St John Fisher .

High Mass at Maynooth

Last Saturday, the Latin Mass Society of Ireland held its AGM at Maynooth, home to St Patrick's College for training priests. Solemn High Mass was celebrated in the beautiful chapel. There are more photographs at this flickr set . Last month, I mentioned the seminar for priests in Donegal, organised by the LMSI to teach priests how to celebrate Mass according to the usus antiquior . I understand that this was a great success.

Ibam forte via sacra

Well, not quite. The bus I took from the Porta Cavalleggeri stopped at Ara Caeli so I couldn't resist taking a walk up the Capitoline Hill and looking at the remains there and the view over the Forum. It was not too far to walk down then to make a visit to Santa Maria in Cosmedin and San Giorgio in Velabro, the titular Church of the Blessed John Henry Newman. At Fiumicino Airport I found an internet terminal which I though I would try out. It is useless. You have to spend your first couple of minutes showing your passport to the webcam to satisy Italian security laws and then find that the "enter" key doesn't work. Hence this post will be one paragraph :-) Back to the Cento Storico, it was convenient to pop into the Church of the Twelve Apostles where I made a visit which is traditional for students of the Gregorian University - to say a little prayer of thanksgiving at the monument of Clement XIV. (To my Jesuit friends: only joking.) Also got to see the little Church

Rome update

On Wednesday I celebrated Mass for the group of altar servers that Fr Stephen Boyle has brought out to Rome. We were at the Salesian Church of the Sacred Heart near Termini Station. St John Bosco himself raised the funds to build this magnificent Church at the request of Pope Leo XIII. Yesterday I was given the altar of St Michael the Archangel for Mass at St Peters, and this morning I was pleased to be able to use the altar of St Pius X. Things have changed a lot since Summorum Pontificum there are now plenty of young priests around the Basilica first thing in the morning celebrating according to the usus antiquior . I like to go around a little before saying Mass and attend the consecration of various other Masses before saying my own. Unfortunately, the charger socket on my laptop has broken and so I am using one of the house computers and can't post any pictures at the moment. There will be a few when I get back, but I must also put up some selections from previous trips o

Lots of friends in Rome for the week

Yesterday morning I celebrated Mass at 7.30am in St Peter's. I got the lovely altar with the icon of Our Lady Mother of the Church. Above is a picture of the altar that I took earlier this year. Dan Cooper served the Mass and it was very good to meet Mr Scully, the Headmaster of the John Fisher School who is in Rome with his wife to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Another couple also came to the Mass after their son told them about it from reading this blog! Where I am staying, there are several Bishops who have been taking part in the special Synod of the Church of the middle East. They have been very interested to hear about the Papal Visit to the UK and particularly the attitude of the media. They way in which things are reported is of great importance to them in the sensitive situation of the Church in the middle East. As it is half term, I have met several other friends who are out on pilgrimage. Frs Nicholas Schofield and Mark Vickers have parish groups. I met

Jon Snow to give CAFOD lecture

I have to cateh a plan in a minute so this is just a quickie but I think that James Preece's post about the CAFOD lecture to be given by Jon Snow deserves publicity. What the heck is going on here?

Off to sunny Rome

I'm taking the 2.15pm flight from T5 at Heathrow this afternoon to Rome where I will be spending a few days of riposo . I'll be celebrating Mass (EF) at St Peter's at about 7.30am on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday so if you want to join me, I'll be at the sacristy door at about 7.20am. On Wednesday, I'll be saying Mass (OF) at the Salesian Church near Termini Station at 1pm for Fr Stephen Boyle's pilgrimage of altar servers. On my "to-do" list is a shopping trip to Barbiconi and Gammarelli to get various bits of clerical gaaaaarb for myself and Fr Briggs. I will remember you all at the tomb of St Peter and at Mass in the Patriarchal Basilica.

Retronaut images

A little fun for Saturday. A correspondent kindly sent me a link to these clever Anachronistic Internet Ads . Have a look at Once upon a time in Afghanistan which is fascinating. There is also a clip showing Star Wars in the Silent Age . The "What year is this?" posts are fascinating (look in the sidebar.)

Dead Sea scrolls to go online

Credit: Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has announced that the Dead Sea scrolls are to be put online. Some high resolution images are already available but this new project, "The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library" aims to make all of the texts available free of charge through a partnership with Google. They will be on a searchable database and there will be meta-data including transcriptions, translations and bibliography. The quality of the images is such that some new letters and words could be revealed by using infra-red light and wavelengths beyond. The project is expected to be completed within five years. The Director of the IAA, Pnina Shor said that once the documents are online, there would be no need to expose the scrolls physically; they can be preserved in the dark, climate controlled storeroom where they are kept when not on display. The IAA has also provided a download of high resolution images (

Please please please please pleeeeeeeze tell me that you're going to

The Catholic Herald reports on Anglicans urged not to accept Pope’s offer : The Catholic group in the Church of England’s General Synod has called for traditionalists to stay, claiming that they have the numbers to ensure provisions for objectors to women bishops. There will, I'm sure, be various serious and worthy discussions of the proposal but I'm afraid I found Fr Z's take on it hilarious: “Oh won’t you staaaaay… just a little bit longeeeerrr…”

Archbishop Ranjith to get red hat

Just a quick post after checking the Bollettino this morning (of course, the entire Catholic world has tweeted it within seconds). The names of the new Cardinals have been announced for the Consistory to be held on 20 November. There are some good people in the list - Archbishop Raymond Burke, and Archbishop Mauro Piacenza to name just two. Just this morning, I was signing school Catholicity forms after Mass. One of the parents who came was Sri Lankan and I enjoyed telling him that there were rumours that Archbishop Ranjith might be appointed a Cardinal and that the announcement might be made today. He was very proud of his Archbishop and delighted to think that he might be a Cardinal. Glory, praise and thanks be to God Archbishop Ranjith is indeed on the list. (Cue: Alleluia chorus .) It is a great blessing for the Church that such a humble, devout, kindly yet courageous prelate should be raised to the purple. If anyone deserves such a position in Holy Mother Church it is him. G

Foolish litigation

Fr Michael Clifton, long time pastor of the faithful, former archivist of Southwark, learned historian, kindly teacher of schoolboys (including me, nearly 40 years ago) cricket coach, model railway enthusiast, and warm friend and mentor of younger clergy now feels that he must close his blog because he has been threatened with legal action by Monsignor Basil Loftus who writes a weekly column for the Catholic Times . Although the proposed litigation is unlikely to be taken seriously by courts in Britain (see my post Singh v Singh and the unlikelihood of a heresy trial in the British courts ) I can understand Fr Clilfton's reluctance to be subjected to all the strain and anxiety that even the threat of such a process might engender but I am saddened to think that we can no longer benefit from his honest, good humoured comments. Fr Ray Blake has also been threatened with legal action. He comments : This is an important justice issue of freedom of speech that affects a fundamenta

"Cardinal Banana" - inadvertent damnatio memoriae?

The above arch can be found in the Roman Forum. It celebrates the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus and his sons Caracalla and Geta - at least it did at one time. Caracalla arranged for the name of Geta to be struck from all monuments and for his statues to be destroyed. This was known in ancient Rome as the damnatio memoriae . So the inscription the tourist sees appears as below: The Rome Reborn website has a full transcription of the inscription and a translation which saves me from posting it all here. The fourth line probably read P(ublio) SEPTIMIO L(ucii) F(ilio) GETAE NOB(ilissimo) CAES(ari). This was scratched out and the words OPTIMIS FORTISSIMISQUE PRINCIPIBUS were substituted. I well remember a sunny afternoon in Rome with Fr Reginald Foster gesturing to the arch and declaiming all this in ciceronian Latin. The reason I mention it now is because of an amusing mistake that the ever vigilant patrician of the Vaticanisti, Sandro Magister has spotted in the proceedings of t

Pope Benedict's fatherly concern for seminarians

After my teaching session at Wonersh today, I checked my Google Android phone for the Vatican Bollettino and was delighted to read the Holy Father's Letter to Seminarians . I thought that both staff and students would be keen to see this asap so I wrote a "tweet" in felt pen on the "Breaking News" noticeboard in the Ambulacrum (the main throroughfare on the ground floor.) It is a beautiful and heartfelt letter addressed to men studying for the priesthood. There is much there for the students to ponder and for others to rejoice in. I felt that it had the characteristic of a father-figure speaking to younger men who might be discouraged or nervous at times because of the assault that some sections of the media have relentlessly engaged in over recent years against the priesthood. The beginning of the letter is striking since Pope Benedict recalls his own military service for which he was drafted and the Lieutenant's contemptuous dismissal of his vocation

US Bishops prepare materials for worldwide vigil for human life requested by Holy Father

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that on Saturday 27 November, the Holy Father will celebrate a “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” at St Peter’s Basilica, coinciding with first vespers of the First Sunday of Advent. The Holy Father has also requested that: all Diocesan Bishops (and their equivalent) of every particular church preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements. Cardinal DiNardo, the chairman of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) Pro-Life Committee said that the request from the Holy Father was unprecedented and encouraged all Americans to participate in the event whether at home or travelling (the weekend is part of the US Thanksgiving holiday.) Parish Priests in other countries may appreciate a reminder at this stage to prepare something for the evening of 27 November in order to participate in this worldwide vigil requested by the Holy Father. The p

Bad vestment of the day

Many thanks to regular commenter Zephyrinus (who was recently basking in reflected glory on the feast of St Callixtus) for reminding me to take a look at Christopher Johnson's Bad Vestments blog . As it is the weekend, you may have a little idle time to go back through some of the archives. The aims and objectives of the blog are described succinctly: This site is dedicated to subjecting particularly awful Christian liturgical vestments to the ridicule they so richly deserve. Contributions are welcome and can be e-mailed to websterglobe at juno dot com. The comments boxes are quite fun. The above creation is a cope worn by  a minister of religion: there was some discussion over whether he is Episcopalian or Lutheran. Beady-eyed readers spotted that the vestment is set off appropriately by the minister's grey trousers and brown shoes. Others related it to the Episcopalian "Eucharistic Prayer C" which includes the deeply moving lines: At your command all things came

Bishop and parish confirm plans to join ordinariate

The Anglican Bishop of Fulham, John Broadhurst, has announced that he will resign before the end of the year to join the Ordinariate provided for by the Holy Father's Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus . (H/T Catholic Herald ) At the Forward in Faith website, you can listen to Bishop Broadhurst's speech which he gave as the keynote address at their National Assembly. He said that he had intended to continue in his post until he was 70, but that he will now resign in order to smooth the way for the appointment of his successor. He then said that he intended to join the Ordinariate as soon as it is established. This announcement was met with warm applause. The Bishop quipped that the applause was from those who are not going to join the ordinariate and would be pleased to see the back of him. Obviously it was not - he has stepped forward as the first senior figure to commit himself to the Ordinariate and there are likely to be many who will follow his leadership.

Teenage Pregnancy Advisory Service to go in quango cuts

A leaked document has revealed that the Coalition Government is to scrap 117 Public Bodies, possibly merge 129 others to reduce them to 57, keep 94 under review, and retain 350. The Daily Telegraph has the full list . Among the bodies to the axed are: the Air Quality Expert Group (provides advice on complying with the British "Air Quality Strategy" and the EU Directive on ambient air quality assessment and management, or "Air Quality Framework Directive"); and the Darwin Advisory Committee . This helps poor countries to meet their objectives under one or more of the three major biodiversity Conventions. The mysteriously named "Committee on the Safety of Devices" is to go, as is the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Advisory Board - that really sounds like getting rid of waste. Of more serious interest is the proposed scrapping of: the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority , the Independent Advisory Group of Sexual Health and HIV , and,

Archbishop Nienstedt defends and supports marriage and the family

Archbishop John Nienstedt and the other bishops in Minnesota have sent out over 300,000 copies of a DVD giving the Catholic Church's teaching on marriage and the family. The intention is that every Catholic in the diocese should receive a copy of the DVD "Preserving Marriage in Minnesota." Mirroring the opposition to the Holy Father on the occasion of his visit to the UK, this teaching initiative has been opposed by secularists, gays and liberal Catholics . They even got whole dozens of people out to protest. The Catholic Online article reporting the release of the DVD makes the pertinent observation: Augustine once compared a Bishop who lacked courage to preach the Gospel and defend the faith to "a scarecrow standing in a vineyard." Archbishop John Nienstedt is a Bishop who understands his vocation as a teacher and demonstrates Episcopal spine in an age which desperately needs to witness it. The secular coverage of the DVD has billed it as "anti-ga

Discussion on sacred music

H/T Fr Ray Blake

#anathemasiturday "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine"

I was surprised to hear the other day that the hymn "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine" is sung in some Catholic Churches. It is apparently popular among devotees of a more charismatic kind of worship. Although at a push, the hymn could be interpreted in a Catholic sense, it is certainly not intended to be so understood. "Blessed assurance" is a watchword among evangelical protestants, referring to the certainty of predestination and certainty of the gift of perseverance for those who are among the elect. As Catholics we do believe in predestination, in the sense that God has prepared eternal bliss for those whom he foresees, in his infinite wisdom, will merit eternal life. Here on earth, we are not certain of our "election" or of final perseverance. Such supposed certainty is a sin of presumption. We pray with confidence to our heavenly Father, knowing his mercy but not taking it for granted. Hence, the Council of Trent condemned the following errors:

Lectures for free download

Every week I have an hour's journey round to Wonersh on Sunday night and an hour back on Monday. Quite often I have a journey of a similar length to Parkminster. Some time ago I realised that this time could be well used in listening to good talks that have been recorded. For a while, I had one of those radio transmitter mp3 thingies which don't work very well because an FM frequency that is free at Blackfen becomes busy at some stage along the M25. So I recently got Halfords to fit me a new but reasonably cheap car radio which has a phono socket and a USB socket, enabling me to plug in any mp3 player direct to the sound system. No more Radio 4 - bliss! It also has lots of very mod looking flashing and whirly blue lights and something called "Zap" (IIRC) which might even give me some street cred. Nice to hear Hamish Fraser and Michael Davies coming through that kit :-) For some time, I have been downloading lectures from Keep the Faith . Their audio downloads are r

Quarant' Ore at Blackfen 21-23 October

One of my responsibilities in the Archdiocese of Southwark is to be the Dean of Bexley ( Vicarius Foraneus ). Whenever I think of this title, I wonder whether I should get a horse and ride around the Deanery in a frock coat or something. We have recently completed a Year of Mission for the Deanery during which we tried, with some measure of success, to increase communication and co-operation between the different parishes for events of a spiritual, charitable or social nature. One of the contributions of Blackfen was to hold the Forty Hours devotion for the first time in living memory. It was such a success that we have decided to make it a yearly fixture. So from Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 October, the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary at Blackfen will be holding the Quarant' Ore devotion of forty hours uninterrupted exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The devotion will begin with the sung Mass of Exposition ( usus antiquior ) at 8pm on the Thursday. There will b

Our Lady widens our vision

Here is the text of the sermon given by Fra Lawrence Lew OP at last night's Mass at Blackfen for our patronal feast of Our Lady of the Rosary: Last month I had the opportunity to visit the cell of Saint Pius V in Santa Sabina, the oldest Dominican priory in Rome. And there in his cell, which is now a chapel, we were surprised to see that he had a wide-screen television! Well, actually… to be precise, what we saw was a fresco on the ceiling of the cell, showing the pope praying the Rosary… and as he does, an angel pulls back a curtain, and he appears to be watching the outcome of the battle of Lepanto on a wide-screen television… I think this is entirely appropriate because today’s feast widens our vision. And it is also appropriate that we celebrate this feast using the form of the Mass essentially codified by Pope St Pius V. This beautiful liturgy is itself a widening of our Catholic vision, of our hearts and minds. As Our Holy Father said: “Let us generously open our hearts a

Celebrating the parish feast day

I am a little tired after the feast day yesterday fortunately it is a quiet day and I have been able to take things fairly easy. For the first time in a long while, I actually went and got some fish and chips. This is something I must do more often on a Friday evening because I had a chance to talk to several parishioners in the lengthy queue at the local fish shop - it seems that Friday fish and chips is still going strong in these parts. At the morning English Mass in the parish, we honoured Our Lady by singing "Daily daily sing to Mary" and "O Mother Blest" which are both favourites at the parish Prayer Group. In the afternoon, the school Mass was delightful as always. Then in the evening, it was time to gear up for the Solemn High Mass. Frs Schofield (Deacon), Whinder (Subdeacon) and Fra Lawrence Lew OP, the preacher, all arrived in good time, for an excellent dinner of roast lamb which Patricia, the chef de cuisine of our parish Lunch Club manages to make

Where the hell is Matt

Someone posted this on Facebook and I found it amusing so I thought you might too. Where the Hell is Matt gives some more information about this guy who does a dance in different places round the world. His site says Matt is quasi-famous as "That guy who dances on the internet. No, not that guy. The other one. No, not him either. I'll send you the link. It's funny." Well I don't know about the "quasi" bit, since the above video has had over 31 million views. I scheduled it for 9am so that you can have something to smile at when you hit the desk in the morning.

Archbishop Piacenza to head Congregation for Clergy

There is a significant announcement in today's Vatican Bollettino Il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha accolto la rinunzia presentata, per raggiunti limiti d’età, dall’ Card. Cláudio Hummes all’incarico di Prefetto della Congregazione per il Clero ed ha chiamato a succedergli nel medesimo incarico S.E. Mons. Mauro Piacenza, Arcivescovo titolare di Vittoriana, finora Segretario dello stesso Dicastero. [my translation] The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation, on grounds of age, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, from the post of Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and has called to succeed him in the same office His Excellency Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, Titular Archbishop of Vittoriana, until now Secretary of the same Dicastery. Readers may remember Archbishop Piacenza's gracious letter to Bishop O'Donoghue on the occasion of the publication of "Fit for Mission? Church" and his commendation of the Handbook for Pari

Singh v Singh and the unlikelihood of a heresy trial in the British courts

Neil Addison at the Religion Law Blog has an interesting post on the recent case of Singh v Singh . He summarises: Mr Hardeep Singh (Defendant) had written an article in the Sikh Times questioning the religious validity etc of His Holiness Sant Baba Jeet Singh Ji Maharaj (Claimant), accusing him of being the leader of a Cult a Blasphemer and of engaging in religious practices which were incompatible with Sikhism. In response Jeet Singh sued Hardeep Singh for Libel. You can read the case at this link: Singh v Singh [2010] EWHC 1294 (QB) Mr Justice Eady, in his judgement, pointed out that on what was intended to be the first day of the trial, a preliminary issue has to be resolved on the second defendant's application to stay the claim, either wholly or in part, as being non-justiciable He then said: That issue was pleaded in the defence on 16th November 2007 and is founded on the well-known principle of English law to the effect that the courts will not attempt to rule upon d

Parish feast day

As it is just after midnight, I thought I would put up a quick post to promise you all prayers on our parish feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary. I'll be saying Mass in English in the Church at 10am, and at the school at 2.30pm. We then have Solemn High Mass in the usus antiquior at 8pm. Please remember me and the parish in your prayers.

No - take the mitre away!

Yesterday I was in choir at the Carthusian Monastery of Parkminster for first Vespers of their founder St Bruno, after giving my class. (We're doing grace at the moment.) The altar was beautifully decorated for the feast and everyone was looking forward to the clothing of five new novice brothers which took place today. St Bruno was more than once pressed to become a Bishop. Hence the statue in St Peter's Basilica depicts him shunning the Bishop's mitre which is offered to him by the cherub. I always stop to say a prayer for the Carthusians at this statue. It also strikes me as amusing to see it at the heart of the Vatican as a warning against careerism.

Warming up for a heresy trial

Now this could be fun. Mgr Basil Loftus, who writes a weekly column for the Catholic Times, has threatened to sue Fr Ray Blake for "suggesting that he is a heretic" if various comments are not removed from his blog within seven days. Fr Blake is standing firm by the principle of free speech for his commenters and says that he relishes the thought of a trial in a British court for heresy. (See: British Heresy Trial ~ Coming Soon! ) My guess is that the public gallery will be full. UPDATE : it seems that Fr Mildew has been threatened as well.

Things I don’t know and things I do

Don't knows Does human activity cause global warming? I have read some of the scientific literature and I'm inclined to think that it probably does. But I don’t know for sure. Should the Government make markets a little more free, or increase regulation and taxation a little? Not my field, I’m afraid. I don’t know. Should we all use low energy light bulbs to save the planet? We don’t have much choice now and I’m happy enough with the softer light they give. But on the question of whether they contribute much to saving the planet, I just don’t know. Do knows Will the Church one day say that we can be racist? No. Although it has not been formally defined, the Church’s condemnation of racism is part of the universal ordinary magisterium and therefore infallible teaching. So we know for sure that the Church can never say that. Will the Church one day say it's OK to be in a homosexual civil partnership? No. Although it has not been formally defined, the Church’s

Seminar for Priests in Donegal

I just received notice of an event which is being organised by the Latin Mass Society of Ireland . They are holding a Seminar for Priests who wish to learn to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite or who would like to do a revision course in the basics of liturgical Latin and formation in the rubrics. The seminary will be conducted by Fr Simon Leworthy FSSP at the Ards Capuchin Friary, Cresslough, Co Donegal. The friary is located in superb surroundings on the Atlantic coast. Wednesday 20th October to Friday 22nd October 2010 Cost 110 euro including full board It is still possible to book. Contact Pronsias 074 97 37 307

Brian Gale's lecture at Westminster

Brian Gale – author of the novel ‘ Fatherless ’ which has become widely known after being promoted by the pro-chastity, pro-life website One More Soul . Brian was interviewed by Joanna Bogle for the Catholic Herald. On 14 September, he gave the Annual Theology of the Body Lecture at Westminster. Here is a video of the lecture: Here is the question and answer session:

St Francis of Assisi in "misguided attempt to motivate the faithful"

Happy feast day of St Francis of Assisi. In his honour, I would like to quote a verse from the Canticle of the Creatures: Laudato s' mi Signore, per sora nostra Morte corporale, da la quale nullu homo vivente pò skappare: guai a quelli ke morrano ne le peccata mortali; beati quelli ke trovarà ne le Tue sanctissime voluntati, ka la morte secunda no 'l farrà male. Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them. This verse is sometimes glossed over in popular renditions of the hymns of the holy founder. After all, the language of mortal sin is now seen as a " misguided attempt to movitate the faithful ."

Rosary Crusade of Reparation

Just a reminder: The Rosary Crusade of Reparation, in its Jubilee Year, takes place this year on Saturday, 16th October 2010. The Abbot of Farnborough, the Rt Rev Dom Cuthbert Brogan OSB, will lead this year's event. The Procession starts at 1:45 PM on Saturday, 16 October 2010 outside Westminster Cathedral in Central London (nearest underground station is Victoria). The procession makes its way through Westminster and Knightsbridge to South Kensington, ending at the the Brompton Oratory (nearest Underground Station: South Kensington). At the Oratory, following prayers and hymns, there will be Solemn Pontifical Benediction and an opportunity to enroll in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Do support this wonderful event in honour of Our Lady! You may also like to revisit the Rocket Science Examination .

Ex ore infantium

A lovely family that has occasionally come to my parish, recently moved into the area. I saw Mum & Dad and the children today and, as usual with newcomers, made sure that they knew they could come into the parish Social Club after Mass. Having another good Catholic family move into the parish is always a bonus but today I was given an extra boost. The children are quite young and understandably a bit confused about moving house, and everything that involves. One of the girls (aged 3 I think) asked Mummy "Are we going to our normal Church today?" Mum replied "No, we're going to our new Church." The little one then said "Oh, is that the Pope Benedict Church?" That made my day! Viva Pope Benedict!

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary at Blackfen

This coming Thursday 7 October at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, there will be Solemn High Mass ( usus antiquior ) at 8pm. Music : Victoria Missa Ave Maris Stella Lobo Ego flos campi ; Croce O Sacrum Convivium ; Schubert Salve Regina Celebrant : Fr Timothy Finigan, Deacon : Fr Nicholas Schofield, Subdeacon : Fr Richard Whinder, Preacher : Fra Lawrence Lew OP, Choir : Cantores Missae , directed by Charles Finch. I am very much looking forward to celebrating this Mass. We rarely have a polyphonic Mass at Blackfen (though my parish choir have in their repertoire a Viadana Mass which they sing very well). Frs Whinder and Schofield are well-versed in the ceremonies and it is a particular honour to have Fra Lawrence Lew, a Dominican, to preach on such a feast day. Many of you will know Fra Lawrence via the blog Godzdogz and his superlative flickr photostream . You are all, of course, most welcome to attend the Mass. Our Lady of the Rosary is at 330a Burnt Oak Lane, Blackfen DA

Once an island of saints

It has been a busy few days, liturgically speaking. On Friday, in addition to my morning English Mass, I celebrated a Missa Cantata at the chapel of the Good Counsel Network . Above is a photo (courtesy of the Ecumenical Diablog ) taken from one of my previous visits there. You can see that the chapel is quite small, so it was down to the skill of Paul Smeaton, the MC, that elbow-bumping was kept to a minimum. Yesterday was the anniversary of the dedication of Our Lady of the Rosary at Blackfen. In the morning we had Missa Cantata : Then (after I had celebrated a wedding) we sang Vespers: Vespers was followed by Benediction: Then it was just a question of evening confessions and Mass to finish off the day. Today is Rosary Sunday and so in the morning our Missa Cantata was of the external solemnity. this afternoon, we had the Rosary, a devotional procession of Our Lady, and Benediction. The photos above from yesterday are by  Mulier Fortis and I expect she will post some p

Gregorian Chant Course at Portsmouth

The Gregorian Chant Network is offering a course at Portsmouth Cathedral. Here are the details: GREGORIAN CHANT COURSE This brand new Course consists of seven 1-day Workshops at St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth, commencing on Saturday 30 October and continuing on the 3rd Saturday of subsequent months from November 2010 to April 2011 inclusive. The dates are given below. The Course is aimed at both complete beginners and those who already are experienced at singing chant. It is being led by Abbot Cuthbert Brogan OSB of Farnborough Abbey and Christopher Hodkinson, a Director of the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge. The Course is flexbile so that if you cannot attend the whole course, then it is possible to register for any number of the individual Workshops. The course fee is £85 for 7 Workshops and includes a Course book (the 'Parish Book of Chant'), or £15 per Workshop plus a fee for the Course book. To register for the Course contact:

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