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.