Friday, December 31, 2010

Epiphany Masses in Hexham & Newcastle

Masses for Epiphany (Thursday 6th January 2011) will be as follows: Coxhoe SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert Low Mass & Benediction 12 noon Forest Hall St Mary's, Missa Cantata 7.30pm followed by a shared table There will be no EF Mass at Barnard Castle St Mary's as Fr Elkin is recovering from his day surgery to correct his hernia. We wish him a full & speedy recovery as, no doubt, his dog 'Storm' will be missing his exercise & we are missing a faithful priest. Theresa & I wish everyone a Happy & Peaceful New Year with special prayers for our priests who serve us so well.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Petition concerning the future of Ushaw College

As fellow British Catholics can I urge you to sign the on-line petition regarding the future of Ushaw College. Following the closure of the Scottish seminaries Ushaw remains (for now) the most northerly Catholic seminary in Britain. We are all concerned about the lack of priests & yet our seminary - used for the training of future priests - is being closed. How are they to be trained? By correspondence course? Ushaw College is too important both historically & spiritually to be lost. What about the holiness of alumni who went on to serve their fellow Catholics over the past centuries? This is being ignored. What about the business plans being put forward to keeping Ushaw College open? What about the jobs being lost by those employees of the college? God is more important than Mammon!! Please go to & sign the petition to save Ushaw. When you've signed it send the details to every Catholic both clergy & laity & encourage them to join the swell of disgust at the closure.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

St Joseph's, Gateshead

Please note that in addition to the Christmas Day Mass at 9am the EF Mass on Sunday 26th December 2010 WILL ALSO BE AT 9.00am. Please let as many as possible know.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Catholic Herald

Thank God for the 'Catholic Herald' which published a photograph of our cathedral Mass which actually showed the priests rather than the altar servers (who were shown in our diocesan newspaper 'Northern Cross'). It has been said that maybe photographs of the actual Mass might have proved too much for 'Cross' readers. Whilst one does compliment the 'Cross' in publishing a photograph of such a handsome (& 2/5ths young) group of men it would have been nice to have seen the pictures of the Mass.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Slightly off subject

We have been disturbed this Christmas by the number of cards received bearing non religious stamps. Religious stamps ARE available from post office counters if you request them. I'm sure none of us consider 'Wallace & Grommit' to be suitable subjects to celebrate the birth of Our Saviour & yet we continue to use them. If post offices don't have religious stamps (we've not found any which didn't) then use the ordinary stamps rather than allow the postal authorities to tell us afterwards that no-one purchased religious stamps. Please remember - as the Knights of St Columba tell us - to 'KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS'. Incidentally any Brother of the KSC can obtain stickers for your envelopes bearing this important message.

Ushaw death knell sounded

Announced today the closure of the conference facility at Ushaw College with effect from 31st December 2010. The seminary to close in June 2011. What about bookings already accepted? I know that the LMS had a priests' training course booked for Spring, the summer school was booked for the summer & the Catholic Families had a booking for summer too. I wonder how many other organisations will have had bookings cancelled? Is there any redress? It was said that several business plans had been submitted to ensure the future of OUR seminary including one led by Paul Waddington (LMS Treasurer). What happened to them? So many questions; so few answers!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Only 11 Praying Days Until Christmas!!

As we approach the Holy Season we want to remind everyone to sort their diaries out. Several local churches have special opening hours & good deals so get the details down NOW & avoid disappointment. The following 'branches' are pleased to announce their special opening hours over the holidays. Barnard Castle, St Mary's No EF Mass on Christmas Eve but Low Mass at 9am on Christmas Day Coxhoe, SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert Christmas Eve, Low Mass at Midnight. Christmas Day no EF Mass Forest Hall, St Mary's Christmas Eve, Missa Cantata at Midnight preceded by Readings & Carols from 11.30pm. No EF Mass on Christmas Day Gateshead, St Joseph's No EF Mass on Christmas Eve but Low Mass at 9am on Christmas Day Newcastle, St Dominic's No EF Mass on Christmas Eve but Low Mass at 11.30am on Christmas Day Thornley, Sacred Heart & English Martyrs No EF Mass on Christmas Eve but Low Mass at 9.30am on Christmas Day. Sunday Masses will be at the usual times. We don't want anyone to claim that they weren't aware of the special opening hours over Christmas so please make the 'staff' efforts are rewarding for them with 'full houses' at every Mass. Theresa & I extend our good wishes to all readers for a Happy & Holy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year coupled with Good Health. Our special thanks to our priests who minister to us throughout the year. We couldn't carry on without Frs Michael Brown, Gary Dickson, Adrian Dixon, Wilfrid Elkin, David Phillips, Shaun Swales & Fr Leo OP. Our servers & singers deserve thanks too for the amount of work they put in during the year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bishop McMahon's Pontifical Mass

For anyone not reading Fr Michael Brown's blog (forest murmurs) can I recommend it to you particularly for the pictures by Mike Forbester, which it links to, of Bishop Malcolm McMahon's Pontifical High Mass in Leicester for the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM. Bishop Malcolm complete with cappa magna!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Immaculate Conception of BVM

Missa Cantata was celebrated this evening at St Mary's, Forest Hall - despite the weather!! The celebrant was parish priest Fr Michael Brown with the Schola Sancti Baedae singing 'Missa Cum Jubilo'. The congregation numbered some 20 which was excellent considering our atrocious weather conditions. The weather 'oop north' has been very cold with large quantities of snow. Even the snow melted by the almost non-existent sun simply turns to ice when the weather plummets to minus 15 overnight leaving driving conditions treacherous. Our next big Mass will be on Christmas Eve when Missa Cantata will be preceded by lessons & carols commencing at 11.30pm

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Upcoming Masses

There will be Missa Cantata for the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM (weather permitting) at 7.30pm on Wednesday 8th December at St Mary's, Forest Hall. There will be Missa Cantata for the feast of the Epiphany on on Thursday 6th January 2011 also at St Mary's, Forest Hall again at 7.30pm. This Mass will be followed by a shared table.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Snow cancels Coxhoe Mass

The heavy snow in NE England has caused the cancellation of this week's Thursday 12 noon Mass (2/12/10) We are all suffering badly from the snow with many roads & schools closed. Our bishop, Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham, was in choir at St Dominic's EF Mass last Sunday as part of his parish visitation. Sadly, due to the atrocius conditions, I am told there were only 11/12 in the congregation. Obviously this could have given him a bad idea of a normal Sunday but, hopefully, he had been made aware of the good turnout at the Mass in St Mary's Cathedral the previous weekend when, whilst we had heavy rain, we were not troubled by snow.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Great success at Traditional Rite Confirmations

Bishop George Stack, auxiliary bishop in Westminster, administered Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Rite) at St James's Church, Spanish Place, London W1 on Saturday 20th November. 39 candidates received the sacrament - 30 children and 9 adults. This was the seventh year of the annual ceremony organised by the Latin Mass Society. Permission for the Old Rite Confirmations had been given by the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. The candidates' day began with a meeting in the Lady Chapel with Bishop Stack. The bishop greeted each candidate individually and then spoke about the importance of Pope Benedict's speech to youth on 17th September at St Mary's University College, Twickenham on the theme of "I have come so that they might have life and have it to the full". The bishop also gave each candidate a prayer card. The Confirmations followed. During the ceremonies the bishop was assisted by Fr Christopher Colven, Rector of St James's, and Fr Andrew Southwell, LMS National Chaplain. Also on the sanctuary, among others, were Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP, Fr Simon Leworthy FSSP, Fr Tim Finigan and Fr David Irwin. The liturgical ceremonies concluded with Pontifical Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The choir and organist of Spanish Place provided the music, and a large congregation of almost 300 family and friends joined them in singing the 'Veni Creator Spiritus' (with alternate verses in the setting by George Malcolm) and the 'Veni Sancte Spiritus'. During Benediction the traditional hymns 'Christus Vincit' and 'Tantum Ergo' were sung and the choir sang Elgar's 'O Salutaris in F'. The vernacular hymns sung were 'Come Down O Love Divine' and Blessed John Henry Newman's 'Praise to the Holiest'. After the ceremonies, a reception for the bishop and congregation was held in the crypt. All those present thanked Bishop Stack for his pastoral concern for those attached to the Extraordinary Form by means of an enthusiastic round of applause. Bishop Stack then spoke briefly and cut the celebratory cake. Whilst having a well-earned cup of tea, he met and chatted with the newly-confirmed and their families. Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form are becoming ever more popular. On 31 July, Bishop Peter Doyle confirmed 9 candidates in his cathedral church of Our Lady Immaculate and St Thomas in Northampton and later in November St Philip's School, Kensington, will have its own Extraordinary Form Confirmations with Bishop Alan Hopes, also an auxiliary bishop in Westminster. For pictures please go to, find the Confirmations Story on the home page and follow the link to the picture set. Additional Comment Here in the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, Bishop Seamus Cunningham has been invited to administer EF Confirmations. This would save great time and expense for candidates by saving them the travelling to London. We await his decision.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Barnard Castle

Please note that over the next few weeks the usual 9.00am EF Mass at St Mary's may not be on due to Fr Elkin's medical problem. Before travelling it is suggested that you telephone Father on 01833 638133. We hope that Father is soon returned to full & blooming health!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Server Training

The LMS in the north is arranging training for servers (adults & boys) in York. The suggested date is 12th February 2011 at English Martyrs Church, Dalton Terrace, York. If that dates proves unviable then the alternative will be February 19th. It is expected to begin at 10.30am and, depending on the attendees, could encompass training for both Low Mass & Missa Cantata. We are looking to attract servers from the northern dioceses. Anyone interested from Hexham & Newcastle diocese please contact me by email at: or by telephone on 0191 264 5771. Paul Waddington (LMS Treasurer) is setting up the session & anyone else wishing to attend should, in the first instance, contact their LMS Diocesan Representative.

Mea Culpa!!!

How did I do that? I omitted Christmas Masses for my own church!! It is St Joseph's, Gateshead & Low Mass will be celebrated at 9.00am on Christmas Day Sorry!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Immaculate Conception of BVM

Missa Cantata will be celebrated at St Mary's, Forest Hall at 7.30pm on 8th December 2010.

Christmas Masses

The following Masses will be celebrated over the Christmas period. Barnard Castle, St Mary's, Christmas Day, Low Mass at 9.00am Coxhoe, SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert, Christmas Eve, Low Mass at midnight Thornley, Sacred Heart & English Martyrs, Christmas Day, Low Mass at 9.30am Forest Hall, St Mary's, Christmas Eve, Missa Cantata at midnight. This Mass will be preceded by Readings & Carols at 11.30pm. Sunday Masses over the period will remain as normal.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Solemn High Mass in the Cathedral

Despite a terribly wet day in Newcastle and despite the usual parking problems a congregation of some 150 attended today at St Mary's Cathedral for only the second EF Solemn High Mass since Vatican II. The celebrant was Fr Shaun Swales of Coxhoe, deacon Fr David Phillips from Stella and sub deacon Fr Michael Brown from Forest Hall who is also the Northern Chaplain for the LMS. The serving team was myself as MC, Aidan McGregor as thurifer, Martin McGregor and Frank Walker as acolytes and Keith McAllister as crucifer. Fr Chris Warren from the cathedral was in choir on the sanctuary. We had expected Fr Wilfrid Elkin from Barnard Castle and Fr Gary Dickson from Thornley to join him but illness prevented it. We wish them both improved health quickly. The newly named Schola Sancti Baedae from Jarrow sang the plainchant Proper for the feast of St Felix de Valois under the direction of Dr Michael Dunn and the choir of St George's Anglican Church in Cullercoats under their director Shaun Turnbull sang Victoria's Missa 'O Quam Gloriosum' with Agnus Dei I & II taken from 'Missa de Angelis'. Their motets were Viadana's 'Exultate Justi in Domino' at the Offertory and Franck's 'Panis Angelicus' at Communion. The organ played Muffat's 'Toccata' at the Offertory and J S Bach's 'Piece d'Orgue' as a Recessional. As is usual at celebrations of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form Holy Communion was received kneeling and on the tongue by everyone communicating. Thanks are due in no small measure to Cathedral Dean, Fr Peter Leighton, who so readily granted permission for the use of the church, Fr Chris Warren of the Cathedral, who has liaised tirelessly during the preparations, and we must not forget the Cathedral Sacristan, Eileen Mitchell & her staff, who made vestments etc available to us with great generosity of their time. Lastly those attending must be thanked for coming out on such an awful morning in such numbers thus showing our detractors that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite with it's prayerfulness does mean so much to us.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Last Reminder

Please remember the Solemn High Mass to be celebrated at St Mary's Cathedral, Clayton Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne at 11.30am on Sunday 20th November 2010. Those of us drawn to the EF of Mass have been accused in the past of not fully supporting Masses arranged and, perhaps, this might be true. Let us show our detractors that we are willing and able to attend this most important celebration in the mother church of our diocese. Sadly Bishop Seamus Cunningham cannot be with us for the Mass but the cathedral authorities have been most helpful with all of the arrangements. The Diocesan Chancellor, Fr Peter Stott, has also been most accommodating and has sent a copy of our poster to all parishes in the diocese. A great deal of thought and effort has gone into this Mass from many sources and it would be a great pity if that effort is not translated into a large congregation. It is also an excellent opportunity to see the cathedral following the work which was carried out over a number of months. The Cathedral Cafe is also now operating again so the chance for coffee or lunch after Mass is there. Parking - as always - will be a nightmare close to the cathedral with many Christmas shoppers thronging the city. Wherever possible we would suggest using public transport as parking charges in Newcastle are horrendous. We look forward to seeing you all supporting the Mass of Ages.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Prayers (& more) needed to save Ushaw

As many of you will be aware Paul Waddington (Treasurer of LMS) is privately trying to put together a business plan to save Ushaw College. I am led to believe that the matter may be drawn to the attention of the Curia as we have to have faith that the college can be saved but that it must be re-constituted so that Latin is a required subject and that both forms of the Mass are taught. We all expected that 'Summorum Pontificum' would solve most of the problems existing for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite but, sadly, not all bishops have taken Pope Benedict's wishes to heart. Some archbishops and bishops have shown support for this form of the Mass and have celebrated it within their dioceses but, again sadly, these prelates are in the vast minority. It seems as if we, the laity, must show more Faith in the future of our Church than do most of the hierarchy (or at least those who are Trustees of Ushaw College). We should be prepared to offer prayers and Masses for the intention of retaining Ushaw College as a seminary wherein our future priests will be trained. We, the laity, pay for the training of our priests through the Priests' Training Fund but we may have to do more, we may be asked to, again, contribute to the support of our seminaries. Please pray for this intention and watch for news of other avenues which might be explored.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Westminster bishop celebrates the Latin Mass Society's Annual Requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral

The Rt Rev John Arnold, auxiliary bishop in Westminster, celebrated a Pontifical High Mass of Requiem in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 6th November for the repose of the souls of all deceased members and supporters of the LMS. Fr Nicholas Schofield was Assistant Priest, Fr Andrew Southwell, LMS National Chaplain, was Deacon and the Sub-deacon was Fr David Irwin. Gordon Dimon of the LMS was MC. A congregation of some hundreds heard the men of the Cathedral Choir sing the plainsong Requiem Mass. The Mass was followed by a homily by Bishop Arnold and then the traditional ceremonies of Absolutions at the Catafalque. The coffin for the occasion was supplied by the Fairways Partnership, funeral directors. Before Mass, a wreath was laid by Dr Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the LMS, and other LMS Committee members on the grave of Cardinal Heenan in the cathedral nave in thanksgiving for the Cardinal's efforts to preserve the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Fr Patrick Hayward read prayers for the occasion. Dr Shaw said afterwards: "This was the second time that Bishop Arnold has celebrated the LMS's annual Requiem Mass and we are most grateful to him. We also thank Canon Christopher Tuckwell, the Cathedral Administrator, and Fr Alexander Master, the Cathedral Precentor, for their help." Note: The Extraordinary Form has now returned to many of our cathedrals throughout England and Wales and the LMS is actively seeking to introduce further Masses. For further information, please contact John Medlin in the LMS office. Tel: 020 7404 7284 Fax: 020 7831 5585


We are delighted to announce that our Diocesan Chancellor - Fr Peter Stott - has circulated all parishes within the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle with copies of our poster giving details of the Solemn High Mass in St Mary's Cathedral on 20th November 2010 at 11.30am. This contrasts well with the reported comment of 1 diocesan parish priest that he was "not interested". Knowing that Fr Peter is a reader of this blog may we say a heartfelt "Thank you" to him and assurances of our prayers for the diocese.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cathedral Mass

It has been suggested that those of us committed to the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass do not make sufficient efforts to attend those Masses which are available. Whilst I can see that this might be the perception in fact it is far from the truth. With our Mass in St Mary's Cathedral on 20th November we have the opportunity to show the lack of fact in that perception. You are being asked to turn out in force to show your support. Not only that but you are encouraged to bring along Catholics who, through no fault of their own, have little knowledge of the Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum' or, even worse, have been given only those snippets of information which it was felt were sufficient for them. It is often said that an informed decision or opinion can only be formed if information is made available and it must be said, sadly, that this information, at best, has not been made available or, at worst, has been witheld. We have asked those diocesan clergy with an email address to put up a poster advertising the Mass and to mention it in their parish newsletters. One priest has already responded that he 'has no interest' but, sadly, is still unwilling to give the information to his parishioners. It will be very interesting in the run up to the Mass to see how much - or probably how little - information is disseminated through the parish network. Please make the effort to attend and ask your parish priests whether they are prepared to advertise a perfectly legitimate Mass.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All Saints & All Souls

On the Feast of All Saints Fr Brown celebrated a Low Mass at St Mary's, Forest Hall and today, the Feast of All Souls, a Sung Requiem was celebrated at his other church, SS Peter & Paul, Longbenton. The Mass was sung in plainchant by our own schola. The next High Mass will be celebrated in St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle at 11.30am on Saturday 20th November - the Feast of St Felix de Valois.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Feast of Christ the King

Yesterday at St Joseph's in Gateshead we celebrated the feast of Christ the King with Missa Cantata celebrated by our parish priest, Fr Adrian Dixon. We used a beautiful new set of gold vestments made by parishioner Margaret Barnes. The Proper and Ordinary were sung by our own schola and at the end of Mass we sang the 'Te Deum' in thanks for our priests and to honour our God and King. We did this as we are entering a month of fund raising for the Priests' Training Fund. Our bishop's letter must have been written before the sad decision to close Ushaw College was made as he looked forward confidently to the future. As this feast followed the Feast of the Blessed Douai Martyrs it was poignant that just as we are aiming to educate and train future priests we are closing Ushaw which follows so closely in the footsteps of Douai where so many of our English priests were trained for a mission that led only to hardship and martyrdom for so many of them. We should pray that in some way Ushaw will be brought back from the precipice and be taken on by those who still believe in the future of the Church.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Douai Martyrs

Today was Recollection Day at St Joseph's Church in Gateshead with Fr Simon Leworthy FSSP giving 2 wonderful conferences on the Holy Rosary. Fr Simon stepped in at the last moment replacing Fr de Malleray who was called to France. About 25 attended the conferences including Neil Walker the representative of Leeds diocese who came up with his son. The southern part of the diocese - Barnard Castle and Darlington - was represented as was Durham and Tyneside and Wearside but we had hoped that more might have availed themselves of this wonderful opportunity. The day included Confessions heard by Fr Simon and our own priest Fr Adrian Dixon. Following the conferences we had a Solemn High Mass for the feast of the Blessed Martyrs of Douai. The celebrant was Fr Leworthy with Frs Phillips and Brown as deacon and subdeacon. In his sermon Fr Brown reminded us that Ushaw College is the spiritual descendant of Douai where so many of our martyrs trained. Each year this feast is celebrated at the college but, due to it's announced closure in 2011, this might be the last year this happens. Following Mass we had a social time together with a shared table and the opportunity so rarely there to get together and share experiences. We are hoping to repeat the experience next year and hope that even more LMS members and friends will avail themselves of the opportunity to be together.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Recollection Day for Laity

Just a final reminder of our Recollection Day at St Joseph's, Gateshead on Saturday 30th October 2010. The recollection conferences will now be given by Fr Simon Lerworthy FSSP in place of Fr Armand de Malleray. The first conference begins at 10am & will conclude with Solemn High Mass at 12 noon. Confessions will be heard during the morning. Please remember to bring food for a shared table; tea, coffee etc will be provided. A retiring collection will be made to offset the costs. Please try to attend & let fellow Catholics know. The day is for ALL Catholics not simply those preferring the EF of Mass.

All Saints & All Souls

Please note that Low Mass will be celebrated at St Mary's, Forest Hall at 7.30pm on Monday 1st November 2010 for the Feast of All Saints. Missa Cantata will be celebrated at SS Peter & Paul, Longbenton at 7.30pm on Tuesday 2nd November 2010 for the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Souls) The celebrant of both Masses will be Fr Michael Brown

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Opinion

I have been taken to task by 2/3 people regarding my comments regarding Bishop Cunningham's unavailability to attend the cathedral Mass & about the closure of Ushaw College. I wish to make it perfectly plain that whatever postings appear in this blog they represent my own PERSONAL opinions & feelings on the subjects & may in no way be attributed to the Latin Mass Society even though Theresa & I are Joint Diocesan Representatives. I accept that my postings may not sit comfortably with some readers but, as I accept other opinions, so must mine be accepted.

Cathedral Mass

Regretfully, due to costs & logistics, there will be NO BUFFET OR MEETING following the Mass at St Mary's Cathedral on 20th November. The costs were quite horrendous &, of course, we were unable to advise numbers. We looked at alternatives outside the city centre but again numbers presented a problem as did the logistics of transporting people to the venue. Sorry.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cathedral Mass

The plans are ongoing for the Solemn High Mass at St Mary's Cathedral on SATURDAY 20th NOVEMBER 2010 at 11.30am. One great disappointment is that our diocesan bishop Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham will not attend since his "diary is extremely busy and unfortunately due to other engagements" he is unable to attend. Are we second class citizens in this diocese? Has Bishop Seamus attended ANY EF Masses? I recall him once sitting in choir during Sunday Low Mass at St Joseph's, Gateshead when carrying out a visitation as Vicar General.

Ushaw College to close

We have had information that Ushaw College is to be closed as a seminary. My blood boils when thinking how much was spent on the creation of the "Youth (or YOOF?) Village" in the diocese. So much was subscribed by honest Catholic laity to have this monstrosity of Modernity thrust upon us to train(?) our young people. Surely less money could have been expended in renovating & continuing the modernisation of the historic fabric of Ushaw College with all it has given to the diocese & Church. What can we do? I have heard that some are writing to Northern Cross (if they publish such letters) but this isn't something having an effect on those who love the EF of the Roman Rite it is important to ALL Catholics throughout the north whose diocesan priests were trained there - however badly some turned out rubrically! Archbishop Kelly tells us that it was "a difficult decision" to agree the closure but were the alumni consulted? Surely they are due some consideration. Perhaps we should consider a petition against the move. Please let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mass in St Mary's Cathedral

We are delighted to announce that agreement has been reached with Fr Peter Leighton (Cathedral Dean) for an Extraordinary Form Solemn High Mass to be celebrated in St Mary's Cathedral on Saturday 20th November 2010 at 11.30am, the Feast of St Felix de Valois. We are hoping to follow the Mass with a social get together, probably in a local hotel. We aim to provide a buffet but regret that we will need to ask you to pay. The intention is to have the Proper of the Mass in Gregorian Chant and the Ordinary in polyphony. Our own diocesan priests will be the sacred ministers. Please encourage everyone to attend. Priests will be made most welcome and are invited to attend in choir. Bishop Seamus Cunningham has also been invited to attend in choir. More details will be given as we progress.

Monday, September 20, 2010

October at St Joseph's, Gateshead

As Theresa & I will be on holiday from the beginning of October (yes, AGAIN!!) we thought to update you re the happenings at St Joseph's. The monthly Missa Cantata on the 3rd Sunday of the month will, in October, be moved to 31st October, the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King. As usual the Mass will be celebrated at 12 noon. Also in October we have arranged a 2-day Recollection on Friday (29th October) for clergy & on Saturday (30th October) for laity. The Saturday programme will be: 10.00 First Conference 10.40 Confessions 11.00 Second Conference 12.00 Solemn High Mass The conferences for both clergy & laity will be given by Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP in St Joseph's Church, High West Street, Gateshead NE8 1LX. The church is situated immediately opposite the Metro Interchange where Metro trains & buses from Newcastle & south of the Tyne arrive frequently. Please make every effort to attend as Fr de Malleray is putting himself out greatly to make himself available.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Papal Visit

Having just finished watching the EWTN programmes on today's ceremonies I was surprised to see female servers both at the Mass in Westminster Cathedral & at the Prayer Vigil & Benediction in Hyde Park. Fr Robert Sorico - an EWTN commentator - made a very valid point regarding the use of 'acolettes' at a papal ceremony. He felt it could only be the local organising committee kow-towing to political correctness & a sop to those wanting female ordinations. He further went on that the cassock & cotta are male garments & that it is more usual to employ seminarians in these roles. Why, oh why do not our bishops & priests follow the line of the Holy Father & return to the practise of communion on the tongue & kneeling. An Anglican friend once said to me that "if I believed, as you do, that the host was the Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity of Jesus Christ I would approach communion on my belly!!"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Solemn High Mass at Brinkburn Priory

On Saturday 11th September 2010 about 100 congregation attended the celebration of this Extraordinary Form Solemn High Mass celebrated by Fr Shaun Swales of Coxhoe with Fr David Phillips of Stella as deacon & Fr Michael Brown of Forest Hall as sub deacon. The music for the Ordinary of the Mass - Mass for 4 voices by Thomas Tallis -was provided by The Rudgate Singers of York who also sang the motets 'Adoramus Te Christe' & ' Ave Maris Stella' both by Monteverdi. This being Our Lady's Saturday they ended Mass with the York Salve Regina. The Proper was sung in Gregorian Chant by our own schola from Jarrow. The organist was Peter Lock. A full serving team was led by Leo Darroch with thurifer David O'Neill, acolytes Kenneth Miles & Patrick Talbot. Torchbearers were Keith McAllister & Paul Hammond. Brinkburn Priory was founded as an Augustinian priory by William Bertram, Baron of Mitford, in the reign of Henry I. The exact date is nor known but it cannot have been later than 1135 as Henry died that year. About 1180 Brinkburn became an independant house, & the building of the monastic church was commenced. The priory was never particularly wealthy & it was known to have survived some difficult times. Indeed, as late as 1419, it was raided & robbed. In 1535 the value was recorded as £69 & the priory, having an income of less than £200 per annum, was not finally dissolved until 1536. Before 1700 the roof had collapsed & it was reported to be in a state of decay. In the 1750s Thomas Sharp, Archdeacon of Northumberland, tried to effect repairs but was thwarted by a dispute between the owner, William Fenwick, & the vicar of Felton. In the 19th Century the Cadogan family, owners of Brinkburn, revived the restoration of the church & work began in 1858. The roof was completed in the space of a year & the stained glass windows had been installed by 1864. The furnishing was completed in 1868. The priory is situated between Morpeth & Rothbury in a bend of the River Coquet. A truly idyllic site but not easy to access. Following Mass we had a shared table in the early 19th Century manor house, itself the subject of renovation. The weather was wonderful & all enjoyed a relaxing afternoon in superb countryside. The site comes under the overview of English Heritage who are always most welcoming to our group, for which we thank them.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Success of Downside EF Training

The LMS residential training conference for priests wishing to learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) held at Downside Abbey in Somerset from Tuesday 11th August 2010 to Friday 13th August 2010 was a great success. The highlight was the Solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated at the Faldstool by Bishop Athanasius Schneider (Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda in Kazakhstan) on the Thursday. Fr Andrew Southwell (LMS National Chaplain) & Rev Matthew McCarthy FSSP were deacon & subdeacon with Canon Marcus Kunkel ICKSP as Assistant Priest. There were 30 priests in choir & a congregation of more than 100. During the conference 20 priests received intensive tuition in the celebration of the 'Usus Antiquior' & 11 laymen were instructed in serving the Mass. Bishop Schneider gave a well-received keynote lecture on 'The priest as Eucharistic man' & was also the main speaker at the closing conference dinner. His book 'Dominus Est', which advocates receiving Communion on the tongue whilst kneeling, has attracted worldwide attention. The conference included daily Sung Mass, Lauds & either Vespers or Compline in the evening; there was Benediction after Vespers. Fr Ray Blake, the well-known blogger, who attended the conference, said "Downside was a tremendous experience. Most of all I enjoyed the sense of fraternity amongst the priests, the solidarity, the sharing of our love for Holy Mother Church & her liturgy." Dr Joseph Shaw (LMS Chairman) said; "This conference was the sixth to be organised by the LMS during the last 3 years. Over 100 priests have now attended, of whom about 85 now regularly celebrate Mass in the 'Usus Antiquior'. The LMS will organise a further 2 conferences in 2011."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Amendment to figures re last posting

It has been pointed out to me that the figures I quoted (and which were quoted in Catholic Herald) were not quite accurate. I am grateful for the correct figures which I am happy to quote: The poll was conducted by Harris Interactive France for 'Paix Liturgique Association' the client. The survey was conducted on-line from 21st-28th June 2010. It was addressed to a sample 6153 UK inhabitants among which 800 considered themselves as Catholics. The respondants were randomly selected among the Online Access Panel. The first question was: Do you consider yourself a Catholic? The response was Yes - 800 - 13% No - 5249 - 85.3% Refuse to answer - 104 - 1.7% Second question: Do you attend Mass: The response was Weekly - 194 - 24.3% Monthly - 62 - 7.8% Holydays - 81 - 10.1% Occasionally (Weddings etc) 365 - 45.6% Never - 98 - 12.3% Were you aware of 'Summorum Pontificum'? (I have shortened the question) The response was Yes - 315 - 39.4% No - 485 - 60.6% Third question: Would you consider it normal or abnormal for both liturgical forms to be regularly celebrated in YOUR parish? The response was Normal - 359 - 44.9% Abnormal - 168 - 21% No opinion - 273 - 34.1% Fourth question: If Mass were celebrated with Latin & Gregorian Chant in it's Extraordinary Form in YOUR parish, without taking the place of the Ordinary Form in English, would you attend it? The response was Weekly - 125 - 15.6% Monthly - 86 - 10.8% On Holydays - 89 - 11.1% Occasionally (Weddings etc) - 369 - 46.1% Never - 131 - 16.4% The next question applied to those who said they were weekly or monthly practioners only (regular churchgoers) In July 2007, Pope Benedict XVI restated that the Mass could be celebrated in it's modern, "Ordinary" or "Paul VI" form - (in English) with the priest facing the faithful, communion received standing - or in its traditional, "Extraordinary" or "John XXIII" form - (in Latin & Gregorian chant, with the priest turned towards the altar, communion received kneeling). Were you aware of this? The response was Yes - 161 - 62.8% No - 95 - 37.2% Would you consider it normal or abnormal for both liturgical forms to be regularly celebrated in YOUR parish? The response was Normal - 141 - 55.1% Abnormal - 78 - 30.5% No opinion - 37 - 14.4% If Mass were celebrated with Latin & Gregorian chant in its Extraordinary Form in YOUR parish, without taking the place of the Ordinary Form in English, would you attend it? The response was Weekly - 110 - 43% Monthly - 60 - 23.4% Holydays - 20 - 7.8% Occasionally - 45 - 17.6% Never - 21 - 8.2% THE WEEKLY AND MONTHLY TOTAL IS 170 OR 66.4% OF TOTAL It isn't really strange that so few have heard of (or understood) the Pope's Motu Proprio when you consider that few bishops or priests took the trouble to explain it to their congregations. Only with FULL knowledge can people make a considered decision. We realise that there will always be a stubborn minority who - for whatever reason - will not accept the Extraordinary Form & I have heard some use the excuse "It is my choice." Thankfully it is (or should be) OUR choice but we are still, largely, denied that choice. Our own diocesan bishop recently told us all not to hearken back to the past. My question is, why not go back to the past when it is so much better than the present? One of my favourite sayings is "If it ain't broken, don't fix it!" Is that not exactly what happened with VAT II? We broke something (the Church) by trying to fix it when it wasn't broken!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Half of Mass-goers would attend older form

The 'Catholic Herald' of 3rd September had a front page article by Anna Arco headed just like that. A survey, using a sample of 800 people, identyfying themselves as 'Catholic', showed that 66% of practising Catholics would be happy to attend the traditional Latin Mass once a month if it were celebrated in their parishes. The survey was commissioned by the French group 'Paix Liturgique' and showed that Britain had a higher percentage of regular Mass attendance than France, Portugal and Germany. Although only 19% of Britain's population identifies itself as Catholic, 32% of Catholics attend Mass at least once a month, if not more often, compared with 19% of French Catholics and 10% of German Catholics. Again according to the survey, 43% of those Catholics who practice regularly would attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form once a week. 50% of the Catholics questioned said that they would find it normal if Mass were celebrated in the Extraordinary Form alongside the Ordinary Form in their parishes. The survey also found that 66% of Catholics were unaware of Pope Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum' which lifted restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass in 2007. John Medlin of the LMS is quoted as saying: "Broadly speaking these results are the same across Europe. They indicate that among Catholics who take interest in their Faith, although there is great ignorance, once people are made aware of the Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum' there is a willingness for people in large numbers to accept the Extraordinary Form." Such news as this should fill us with hope for the future.

Amendment to Morpeth Mass

Please note that, with immediate effect, the Mass at St Robert's in Morpeth will be celebrated on 4th THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH at 7.00pm instead of 4th Wednesday at 7.15pm. Fr Brown will continue to be the celebrant.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rosary for the bishop

A few months ago I responded to a website promising to say a rosary for our bishop. To date it hasn't produced any spectacular results but in the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle I can find only 2 who are praying for Bishop Seamus in this way. Can I suggest that, if you feel our bishops need our prayers, you log on to & sign up? This applies to the bishop of every diocese so don't be shy, get it done. Whilst I said that no spectacular results have been seen, Bishop Seamus did promise, following a recent letter from me to him, to give consideration to 2 of my requests viz that he look at allowing the imposition of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the EF here in our diocese to save our children the costly & time-consuming trip to London, & to consider attending our next Solemn High Mass in St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle in choir. Get those rosaries started.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Successful Summer School at Ardingley College

The St Catherine's Trust for Traditional Catholic Education held its sixth Annual Summer School from Sunday 1st to Sunday 8th August 2010 at Ardingley College in West Sussex. It was attended by 40 enthusiastic students aged from 11 to 18, and a volunteer staff of 16 including a chaplain Fr Andrew Southwell. The students studied a range of subjects covering every aspect of Catholic belief, history and culture and heard a piano recital by the professional pianist Matthew Schellhorn, and a talk from the Catholic journalist Dominic Scarborough. There was daily Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form, including a Mass in Arundel Cathedral, by permission of Bishop Kieran Conry. As part of the Summer School the Latin Mass Society held its first residential Latin course, directed by Philip Goddard, the LMS's adviser on Latin, which made use of the LMS's teach yourself Latin primer,'Simplicissimus'. The course was based on the Latin in the liturgy, and examples and exercises were taken from liturgical texts. Students were divided into 'Beginners' and 'Intermediates', although all joined together for lectures on psalmody and liturgical poetry, the history of liturgical texts, and Latin in Philosophy. Students were delighted with the amount of Latin they were able to absorb, describing the course as "transforming" and "enriching" their engagement with the liturgy of the Church. Doctor Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the LMS, said: "The Summer School is always exhausting but exhilarating; it is inspiring to see so many children being so prayerful. This is surely what Pope Benedict wants as part of the re-evangelisation of Europe." The St Catherine's Trust Summer School is financially supported by the Latin Mass Society and other benefactors, and accepts students regardless of their ability to pay. Next year it will be held in Ushaw College in Co Durham from Sunday 23rd July to Sunday 30th July 2011: see for more details.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Brinkburn Priory, Northumberland

We now have all confirmations for the Solemn High Mass at Brinkburn Priory, Northumberland on Saturday 11th September 2010 at 12 noon. The Mass will be that of Our Lady's Saturday (5) and the Celebrant will be Fr Shaun Swales of Coxhoe, Deacon Fr David Phillips of Stella and Subdeacon Fr Michael Brown of Forest Hall. The Proper of the Mass will be sung in Plainchant by our own Schola from Jarrow. The Ordinary of the Mass will be "Mass for 4 Voices" by Thomas Tallis with motets "Ave Maris Stella" and "Adoramus Te Christe" both by Monteverdi. After Mass the choir will sing the Solemn "York Salve Regina". The choir will be The Rudgate Singers from York. This will probably be the first time since the Reformation that this Mass by an English pre-Reformation composer has been sung in it's correct context during the celebration of the Traditional Mass, certainly in this part of the country. The "Salve Regina" is also pre-Reformation and was written for a monastic community which was dissolved at that time. The Monteverdi motets speak for themselves. Following Mass there will be a shared table in the priory house and all are invited to bring along sweet and savoury food (not forgetting something to drink). We strongly advise bringing along folding garden chairs as there is no seating in the house. Seating is, of course, provided in the priory church. We will warmly welcome those attending and clergy are invited to be on the sanctuary in choir dress. The priory is situated on the A697 between Morpeth & Rothbury on the banks of the River Coquet. We have always been blessed with good weather and the situation of the priory is idyllic. Should you have any queries please feel free to contact David & Theresa O'Neill, LMS Diocesan Reps on 0191 264 5771 or email

St Mary's, Forest Hall

Please note that Fr Brown will be away next week and that there will be no morning Masses from Monday 23rd August 2010 to Saturday 28th August 2010 inclusive.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Assumpta est Maria

Gaudeamus omnes......Thus begins the Introit of today's feast of the Assumption of the BVM which we celebrated at St Joseph's Church in Gateshead as a Missa Cantata with celebrant Fr Adrian Dixon. We all rejoiced as we were enjoined in the Introit. Our own small schola sang the Proper & Ordinary in plainchant with our team of servers Richard Rainbow (thurifer), Mark Rainbow (his son) & Martin McGregor (acolytes) & yours truly - David O'Neill - as MC. Supported by our usual 30+ congregation we enjoyed the chance to praise Our Blessed Lady as Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven both body & soul. We ended Mass by singing the Salve Regina.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New organisations backed by the LMS

Gregorian Chant Network (GCN) This was announced in the February & May issues of Mass of Ages. It is a training & information network of scholas & individuals devoted to studying & spreading plainchant as a spiritual resource of the Church. The LMS was instrumental in its foundation & has provided some funding. Full information from its website: Society of St Tarcisius (SST) This is announced in the August issue of Mass of Ages & is a sodality for altar servers in the Traditional Latin Rite (Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) & like the GCN will promote training & mutual support so that servers may attain the highest standards in service at the altar. The LMS directly founded this & has provided funding. Full details from its website:

Mass for the Assumption

Sunday 15th August (being the 3rd Sunday of the month) will be Missa Cantata at St Joseph's Church in Gateshead at 12 noon. As it is also the Feast of the Assumption of BVM we are especially pleased that it will be a Missa Cantata. As always our own schola will provide Proper & Ordinary in plainchant. Please diarise Saturday 11th September 2010 for our annual Mass at Brinkburn Priory (situated between Morpeth & Rothbury) at 12 noon. This will be a Solemn High Mass with celebrant Fr Shaun Swales, deacon Fr David Phillips & subdeacon Fr Michael Brown. The Rudgate Singers from York will provide a polyphonic Ordinary whilst our own schola will sing the Proper in plainchant. I always feel that this combination of polyphony & plainchant adds so much to the celebration of the Mass. We are hoping to have a shared table following Mass so please bring along a selection of sweet & savoury food - not forgetting something to drink - & a folding chair. Please encourage as many as possible to attend - including your clergy in choir dress - as the setting is magnificent & the sanctuary large enough to accommodate them. We are (usually) blessed with good weather & the riverside setting is so peaceful.

Weekend of Recollection

We are pleased to announce a Weekend of Recollection for priests & laity here in the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle. The dates are 29th & 30th October 2010 & the venue will be St Joseph's Church, High West St, Gateshead NE8 1LX. Both days will be under the direction of Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP with Friday 29th reserved for clergy & Saturday 30th for laity. Times have not yet been finalised but details will be published here as soon as possible. Please try to attend & encourage friends - priests & laity - to do so too.

Male only Altar Servers in Rome

'Orbis Catholicus' reports that at the recent International Gathering of Altar Servers in Rome (60,000+ attending) only male servers were allowed in the Sanctuary. Those girls present were in the front pew along with The Madonna & angels. We must remember that the traditions of both East & West restrict service in the Sanctuary to males & that the term 'acolyte' means 'follower, assistant' & is one of the minor orders leading to ordination to the priesthood. Hopefully the inception of the Society of St Tarcisius will help in reversing the trend of female servers at Mass. Please encourage all servers - both young & not so young - to join.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

LMS introduces a Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham

The Latin Mass Society is organising a Walking Pilgrimage from Ely to Walsingham from Friday 20th August to Sunday 22nd August. There is a noble tradition of walking pilgrimages to Walsingham which the LMS wishes to revive. The pilgrimage is inspired by the great Paris to Chartres Traditional annual walking pilgrimage which attracts thousands of young participants. The LMS pilgrims will leave Ely on Friday 20th August after a 7.00am blessing in Ely Cathedral. Accommodation will be in tents. There will be daily Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite concluding with a Traditional Mass in the Chapel of Reconciliation at Walsingham at 2.30pm on Sunday 22nd August. This will be open to all. The pilgrimage will be restricted to adults for this year whilst any practical problems are ironed out. It is hoped to be much larger next year. Dr Joseph Shaw, LMS Chairman, said, "I am very excited by this pilgrimage - it's the sort of practical and challenging devotion which young people in particular find of great benefit. This is just one of the evangelical activities by which the LMS is responding to Pope Benedict's call for a fresh presentation of the Faith in Europe. For registration and full details potential pilgrims should email the organiser, Paul Smeaton, on or telephone the LMS office on 020 7404 7284.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bishop Athanasius Schneider to attend Conference

The LMS has today announced that Bishop Athanasius Schneider ORC, will attend the forthcoming priests' training conference. The release states: Bishop Athanasius Schneider to attend conference The Latin Mass Society has announced that Bishop Athanasius Schneider ORC, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganga in Kazakhstan, will be attending the forthcoming priests' training conference held at Downside Abbey from Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th August. Bishop Schneider will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the Abbey Church at Downside on Thursday 12th August at 11.00 am. He will also deliver a lecture as part of the conference. Around 30 priests are expected to attend the conference where tuition will be given in the celebration of Mass in the older form. Some will be beginners, and will be studying Low Mass; whilst others with more experience will be expanding their skills to include Missa Cantata and Missa Solemnis. Tuition will also be provided for altar servers. Bishop Schneider is best known for his defence of the traditional practice of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling. His book, Dominus Est, originally written in Italian but now available in English, deals with the subject in some detail. The public will be able to attend the 11.00am Mass in the Abbey Church each day of the conference, but will be particularly welcome at the Pontifical Mass on the Thursday. There are a few last minute places available at the Downside conference. Priests and potential servers interestedshould contact the Latin Mass Society by telephoning 020 7404 7284 for further information and an application form. This will be the 6th conference to be organised by the LMS during the last 3 years. Earlier ones have been held at Merton College in Oxford, Ushaw College in Co Durham and All Saints Pastoral Centre in London Colney, Herts. Over 100 priests have attended these conferences, of whom about 85 now regularly celebrate Mass in the Usus Antiquior. Practically all restrictions on the use of the Usus Antiquior or Extraordinary Form were lifted by Pope Benedict XVI in his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, published in July 2007. Since then the number of both Sunday and weekday Masses celebrated in the Usus Antiquior has increased in all dioceses of England and Wales. The website of the Latin Mass Society includes listings of Masses celebrated in this form. See

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Good congregation at Dilston Chapel

This evening Fr Michael Brown celebrated the annual EF Missa Cantata in Dilston Chapel nr Corbridge in Northumberland. The chapel really is tiny, so much so that a full altar team of MC, thurifer & 2 acolytes cannot be used. Instead the MC & Thurifer between them cope with the bells & cruets in addition to their own duties. The Ordinary & Proper were sung by our own Schola with the congregation joining in the final Salve Regina. We were honoured to have Fra Matthew Festing Grand Master of the Military Order of Malta in the congregation as usual. The intention of the Mass was the repose of the souls of the Derwentwater family

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Franciscans aiming for Darlington

Good to read in 'Forest Murmurs' that Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate are aiming to take over the Carmel in Darlington. It seems to demonstrate that Orders using the EF are beginning to noticeably flourish as it is only very recently that the Carmelites & Poor Clares (also Franciscans) left Darlington. The big question (apart from the availability of some £1.5M) seems to be whether there is a local priest able to celebrate Mass in the EF for them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Amendment to Dilston Mass time

There has been some confusion over the starting time for Mass at Dilston Hall, near Corbridge on Thursday 22nd July 2010. Please note that Mass will begin at 7.00pm not 7.30pm as previously stated. We hope this will reach all who intended to be present.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mass at Dilston Hall nr Corbridge

Missa Cantata will be celebrated on Thursday 22nd July 2010 at 7.30pm. This annual Mass was begun by Fr Michael Brown a number of years ago in recognition of the Faith of the Derwentwater family. An Earl of Derwentwater was executed for the Faith. In more recent times the chapel came under the control of the Church of England but more recently has simply been a tourist site. Because of the lack of space in the chapel the Mass is celebrated without acolytes using only the MC & Thurifer. The congregation is housed both in the tiny nave & in the slightly larger balcony. The celebrant will be Fr Brown & the Gregorian chant provided by our own schola.

Requiescat in Pace

Theresa & I ask your prayers for Fr Eric Woodhead of the diocese of East Anglia who died on 8th July 2010. Theresa worked as Fr Eric's administrator & secretary while she lived in the parish of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Lowestoft before our marriage in 2006. Fr Eric came to Newcastle to perform the wedding ceremony & was deacon at our Solemn Nuptial Mass at St Joseph's in Gateshead. He had some problems over the last 2/3 years &, as an inveterate smoker, ruined his health. He died quietly in his chair at home after reading his daily office. God grant him a merciful judgement.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Feast of SS Peter & Paul

The church of SS Peter & Paul (1 of Fr Brown's 2 churches) celebrated it's patronal feast with a Solemn High Mass celebrated by Fr Brown with Fr Phillips as Deacon & Fr Swales as Subdeacon. The choir was that of St George's Anglican Church, Cullercoats who performed Joseph Haydn's "Little Organ Mass" superbly. The Proper was sung by our own Schola from Jarrow. We were grateful to have a full altar team. We were grateful to St Joseph's, Gateshead for loaning us the full red High Mass set for the Mass. This is the 3rd Solemn High Mass celebrated in the diocese this year & goes a long way towards the aim of our EF priests to have a Solemn High Mass in each of their parishes. It is hoped that St Dominic's, Newcastle may have a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of Christ the King in October leaving only St Mary's, Barnard Castle, Sacred Heart & English Martyrs, Thornley & St Joseph's in Gateshead still to be arranged. Watch this space! We are still anxious to recruit more servers (especially the younger ones) & are hopeful that the newly formed Society of St Tarcisius might help. The possibility of putting on a training day somewhere easily reached is under discussion with the LMS Rep of Leeds diocese. This day would be aimed at training on a very basic level for beginners &, hopefully, some deeper training for more experienced servers. Our next extra Mass will be a Missa Cantata at Dilston Hall which is just outside Corbridge. The chapel is tiny & was formerly the family chapel of the Derwentwater family one ancestor of which was a martyr for the Faith. The Mass will be on Thursday 22nd July 2010 at 7.30pm. Please also put in your diaries the annual Mass at Brinkburn Priory nr Rothbury on Saturday 11th September 2010 at 12 noon. It is hoped it will be a Solemn High Mass & the Rudgate Singers from York will provide a polyphonic setting of the Ordinary whilst the Proper will be sung in Gregorian Chant by our own Schola.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mass Times in Hexham & Newcastle

Just a note of Sunday Masses in the diocese & other regular Masses celebrated in EF: SUNDAYS: Barnard Castle St Mary's Low Mass at 9.00am Thornley Sacred Heart & English Martyrs Low Mass at 9.30am Newcastle upon Tyne St Dominic's Missa Cantata 11.30am Gateshead St Joseph's, Low Mass 12 noon (Missa Cantata every 3rd Sunday of month) OTHER REGULAR MASSES Coxhoe SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert Low Mass every Thursday 12 noon Forest Hall St Mary's Mon-Fri 7.30am Sat 10am Barnard Castle St Mary's Low Mass every Tuesday 7.30pm (Missa Cantata 1st Tuesday of month) Ryhope St Patrick's Missa Cantata every 3rd Wednesday of month 7.30pm Morpeth St Robert's Low Mass every 4th Wednesday of month 7.30pm Future Masses Dilston Hall Missa Cantata 22nd July 7.30pm Brinkburn Priory, Northumberland Annual High Mass Sat 11th Sept 12 noon

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fr Gary Dickson in Catholic Herald

Can I recommend that you read Fr Gary Dickson's article in this week's 'Catholic Herald' entitled (not his choice) "Why the Old Form thrives in my parish". It shows what can be done in a normal parish & could well begin many conversations.

Celebrating Mass with the Holy Father

Just heard today that Fr Michael Brown, PP of St Mary's Forest Hall, Northern Chaplain of the LMS & regular celebrant of the EF of Holy Mass, is to concelebrate with Pope Benedict during the Papal Visit later this year. It has been said, ridiculously, that this denigrates the EF of Holy Mass but looking at Summorum Pontificum what the Holy Father is saying is that the EF is equal to the OF & that, therefore, priests can, & indeed should, be celebrating both forms of the Mass. Surely all those of us who love the EF (priests & laity alike) should be glad that His Holiness has made the EF more available to us. Please don't let us go down the road of so many 'liberals' who simply denigrate the EF, let us be grateful to the Pope for what he has done. We have to remember that "the Mass is the Mass is the Mass" in whatever form it is celebrated.


Already within the diocese there are 3 choirs providing polyphonic Mass settings- St Mary's, Barnard Castle, St Patrick's, Ryhope & St Dominic's, Newcastle. There is also a schola from the Jarrow area & based at St Joseph's in Gateshead, which provides Gregorian chant Masses at St Joseph's plus the Proper of the Mass in Gregorian chant at other venues. What could be of great benefit to the whole diocese is a diocesan choir which could provide polyphonic settings at the less frequent Solemn High Masses celebrated at various venues throughout the year (notably Brinkburn Priory & such celebrations in parishes). If you think you could be interested please contact me & we can look further into the possibilities. Servers are always in short supply & it is hoped that the recently incorporated Society of St Tarcisius set up under the auspices of the LMS might encourage more boys & men to offer their services. We are fortunate in this diocese to have experienced servers who are only too willing to pass on their expertise to new starters or to those wishing to resurrect their former skills.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Welcome to the very first posting on this our new blog!!! The Latin Mass Society has David & Theresa O'Neill as it's diocesan representatives in the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle. We are based in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. We consider ourselves relatively fortunate in this diocese as we have Sunday Masses in 4 centres. They are St Mary's in Barnard Castle at 9.00am, Sacred Heart & English Martyrs in Thornley at 9.30am, St Dominic's in Newcastle at 11.30am & St Joseph's in Gateshead at 12 noon. Additionally we have daily Mass at St Mary's, Forest Hall, Newcastle at 7.30am Mon-Fri and 10am on Saturdays. At SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert in Coxhoe we have Mass every Thursday at 12 noon. At St Mary's in Barnard Castle we have Mass every Tuesday at 7.30pm with Missa Cantata on the first Tuesday of each month. At St Patrick's in Ryhope we have Missa Cantata on 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm At St Robert's in Morpeth we have Mass on 4th Wednesday of each month at 7.15pm We have a monthly Sunday Mass at St Mary's in Forest Hall on the 1st Sunday of each month at 6pm. On a less regular basis we have Solemn High Mass as often as possible. The last was at SS Peter & Paul Church, Longbenton on Tuesday 29th June 2010 (the Feast of SS Peter & Paul) with celebrant Fr Michael Brown, deacon Fr David Phillips & subdeacon Fr Shaun Swales. Haydn's 'Little Organ Mass' was sung by the choir of St George's Anglican Church in Cullercoats & the Proper was sung from the Liber Usualis by our own Schola. The organist was Peter Locke & the serving team was MC David O'Neill, Thurifer Leo Darroch & Acolytes Aidan McGregor & Kenneth Miles. Earlier this month on 21st June 2010 Solemn High Mass was celebrated at SSJoseph, Patrick & Cuthbert, Coxhoe in thanksgiving for the 50th birthday of Fr Shaun Swales who celebrated with Fr David Phillips as deacon & Fr Michael Brown as subdeacon. A Mass which has become an annual event was celebrated as Missa Cantata at Biddlestone in Northumberland Our annual High Mass at Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland will be celebrated on 11th September 2010 at 12 noon with The Rudgate Singers providing a polyphonic Ordinary & our own Schola singing the Proper. The diocesan cathedral of St Mary's in Newcastle is presently being refurbished & we have agreement in principle from the Dean, Fr Peter Leighton, to celebrate a Solemn High Mass sometime in the autumn.