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.