This will be the final posting on this blog as we demit office on 31st December 2014 & pass the flame to our new Local Representatives of the Latin Mass Society in the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle. We are remaining within the traditional flock & have promised Philip, Andrew & Jayne whatever assistance they may request. No doubt a new blog will be forthcoming very early in 2015 &, it is hoped, that the 2 monthly newsletter will continue to be sent both to local LMS members & to others who might find the contents useful and/or interesting. Our last official duty was to attend the annual meeting of LRs in London last Saturday & to meet those of our fellow representatives who managed to attend. It is always good to hear how others overcome difficulties which seem insurmountable initially.
We are coming to the end of our time as Local Reps for the LMS in the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle having (the old man) reached the age when the LMS statutes lay down we should offer our resignations. Having reached this milestone in May 2013 we were asked to remain in post for a further year. That year expires on 31st December 2014 & we are happy to be handing over to 3 younger people. They are Philip Dillon & husband & wife team Andrew & Jayne Armstrong. Not only are they taking on the roles of LRs but they have set up the first chapter of Juventutem in the diocese based at St Joseph's in Gateshead, begun Rosary & Adoration each Thursday prior to midday Mass, Arranged with Fr Michael Brown for Latin classes each Tuesday evening & are hoping to resurrect the First Friday devotions. For those unaware Juventutem is an organisation for young Catholics who have a love & preference for the EF Mass & all 3 are ardent members of the LMS. We are happy to be handing over the reins to 3 such keen young people who can only progress the Society further in this diocese. We wish them well.
At the same time we would like to thank the clergy who have supported us in our endeavours over the years & to thank the laity for supporting both us & the clergy. We will continue to support the LMS & have promised Philip, Andrew & Jayne that we will be there to assist in whatever way they require.
I recommend strongly that everyone goes to the 'Rorate Coeli' bog page which includes the complete Mass celebrated by His Eminence. If only liberals could see what they have tried to destroy! This touches on how the Mass should be celebrated AMDG (for the greater glory of God)
We are grateful for the mention of Andrew, Jayne & Philip as our new LMS Reps in Hexham & Newcastle. Everything said is absolutely accurate but there is an omission. In addition to taking on the responsibilities of LMS representation they have between them begun a chapter of Juventutem to encourage younger attendees (of which there is a growing number) to take up the opportunity to meet together,socially, with likeminded people. Additionally they have asked Fr Michael Brown to restart his weekly courses in Latin, begun Eucharistic Adoration every Thursday lunchtime and are looking to start the devotion to the First Fridays. They are - all 3 - a great example to all in the parish, not just the youngsters!
Today (Saturday) Theresa & I had the great privilege & pleasure of attending a Solemn Requiem Mass at the church of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Liverpool. The Mass was under the auspices of the Order of St Lazarus & was offered for the intentions of past members, friends & benefactors of the Order & the Latin Mass Society.
What a splendid occasion at St Joseph's, Gateshead this evening with a Sung Requiem for All Souls. The celebrant was Fr Michael Brown with the Westland Singers from Sunderland singing Faure's Requiem. A wonderful female choir under organist Paul Dewhirst & conducted by his wife Theresa. The choir were absolutely superb with some quite exceptional voices. The 'In Paradisum' was especially moving & the 'Dies Irae' was sung antiphonally by Paul & the ladies. We hope to be able to persuade them to sing here more frequently. Many of the girls were students of Paul & Theresa when they taught at St Anthony's Girls' Academy in Sunderland. It was good to see a good congregation including a party of students from Newcastle University who obviously knew their way around the EF of Mass if not so obviously around the EF Requiem Mass which is seen too infrequently. We hope that more people will be persuaded to go to God with such a wonderful send off.