Friday, December 31, 2010
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
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 www.ipetitions.com/petition/ushaw & 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
Saturday, December 18, 2010
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.