Saturday, December 31, 2011

Epiphany in Hexham & Newcastle

I addition to the Mass already advised at St Mary's, Forest Hall the following EF Masses are also planned:

Coxhoe. SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert
Low Mass at 12noon.

Barnard Castle. St Mary's
Low Mass at 7.30pm

Epiphany in Newcastle upon Tyne

An EF Low Mass will be celebrated at 7pm on Friday 6th January 2012 (the Feast of Epiphany) at St Mary's Church, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne. Following Mass wine & nibbles in the church hall.

Morpeth Masses cancelled

It is with deep regret that Fr Michael Brown has announced the cancellation of future EF Masses at St Robert of Newminster Church in Morpeth. This has been celebrated for many years & was, initially, a monthly Missa Cantata. Sadly the congregation has dropped until recently only Fr Brown & a server remained. One cannot but agree with the cancellation.

We should all, perhaps, learn from this experience that the EF of the Mass can only continue while we support it.

Our thanks to Fr Brown for his years of devoted service to this Mass.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

EF Christmas Masses in Hexham & Newcastle Diocese.

Christmas Eve 24th December 2011
St Mary's, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne
11.30pm Carols followed by Missa Cantata
This is 1 of only 4 Christmas Midnight Masses in England & Wales

Christmas Day 25th December 2011
St Mary's, Barnard Castle
Low Mass at 9.00am
St Joseph's, Gateshead
Low Mass at 9.00am
Sacred Heart & English Martyrs, Thornley
Low Mass at 9.30am
St Dominic's Priory, Newcastle upon Tyne
Low Mass at 11.30am

Theresa & I take this opportunity of wishing all of our readers a Happy and Holy Christmas together with a Peaceful and Healthy New Year in 2012.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Disasters in the Church following Vatican II

Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Michigan (USA) has spoken out about the fact that many Catholics - including bishops & clergy - took liberties with both our liturgy & catechesis in the period following VII. So much so that in many cases we now have Catholics teaching a watered down version of the Faith. They themselves were, largely, brought up in the post VII era & they themselves were taught this version. As Bishop Sample says "a little like the blind leading the blind."

Annibale Bugnini comes in for scathing comment with regard to the way in which he attempted (& largely succeeded) in 'protestantising' the Mass but others went even further in following his lead.

Let us pray for an increase in the celebrations of the Extraordinary Form of Mass which served our Church so well for so many generations & centuries.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Masses for the Immaculate Conception

Holy Mass will be celebrated at SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert on Thursday 8th December for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Low Mass will be at 12 noon and will be followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prayers please

Please remember in your prayers Sister M Agnes OSC a Poor Clare nun now resident with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Newcastle. Although not a member of the LMS (she is still an 'enclosed' nun) she has a great love of the EF & gratefully receives her own copy of 'Mass of Ages' together with the diocesan newsletter put out every 2 months by us.

For most of her religious life she was a member of the community of Clare Abbey in Darlington but when that community merged with another abbey in the south of England she could not travel so moved into St Joseph's Home as a resident - still daily wearing her full habit!

She is over 90 years old & has a very bad chest some much so that she was taken into the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle on Monday evening. She is a wonderful, holy lady with a tremendous sense of humour who is loved by sisters, staff & residents of St Joseph's.

Her own prayer list is huge & very efficacious as many will vouch for. We have added greatly to her list so-much-so that she tells us she has to rise earlier each day to complete it.

Theresa & I have very much taken Sr Agnes to our hearts and beg your prayers for her well-being.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Altar rails & receiving Holy Communion

I would recommend looking at Fr Bede Rowe's blog 'A Chaplain Abroad - Fr Bede Rowe' which deals with the reasons for either the maintaining or replacing altar rails. Few with any sense of what is right would disagree with him.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

No Mass at St Mary's, Forest Hall on Saturday 19th November

There will be no EF Saturday Mass at 10am on 19th November 2011.

Please advise anyone you know who regularly attends.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recently ordained bishop steps in at last moment to enable Latin Mass Society confirmations to go ahead

Rt Rev John Sherrington, newly installed auxiliary bishop of Westminster, conferred Confirmations in the Traditional Rite on 31 candidates at a ceremony organised by the Latin Mass Society (LMS) at St James's, Spanish Place in central London on Saturday 12th November 2011.

Originally, Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster was intending to confer the Sacrament but had to withdraw at the very last moment owing to ill health. Bishop Sherrington stepped into the breach at less than 24 hours notice to ensure a very successful and happy occasion went ahead as scheduled. He was assisted by Fr Andrew Southwell, the LMS National Chaplain, Fr Tim Finigan and the rector of St James's, Fr Christopher Colven.

After celebrating Pontifical Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament the bishop joined candidates and their families and friends in the Parish Social Centre for a buffet lunch where he also cut one of two celebratory cakes.

LMS General Manager Mike Lord said 'We were delighted to have the chance to meet Bishop Sherrington for the first time since his installation and grateful that he was able to help us out at such short notice. It was a joyful occasion for all involved. I understand this was the first time that the bishop had administered Confirmations in the Traditional Rite, but it was a seamless performance, drawing complimentary remarks from the clergy who assisted him, all of whom are experienced hands in the Extraordinary Form. We were very happy that Bishop Sherrington spent time chatting to the candidates and their families afterwards, even delaying his departure for another appointment to ensure that had the opportunity of speaking to everyone. Westminster archdiocese is fortunate to have acquired an auxiliary so pastorally attuned to the needs of ordinary Catholics, whatever form of the liturgy they are attached to.'

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cathedral Mass

Thanks to Cathedral Dean, Fr Peter Leighton, for allowing an EF Solemn High Mass in St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne today, the Feast of the Holy Relics of the Diocese.

The celebrant was Fr Michael Brown (St Mary's Forest Hall) Northern Chaplain of the LMS with Fr David Phillips (St Mary & St Thomas, Stella) as deacon and Fr Shaun Swales (SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert, Coxhoe) as subdeacon. 2 other diocesan priests were in the congregation.

The Proper of the Mass was sung in Gregorian Chant by the Schola Sancti Baedae and the Ordinary of the Mass "Missa L'Hora Passa" by Viadana was sung by a choir directed by Shaun Turnbull. Both choirs also contributed motets, Brunkner's "Locus Iste" and "Attende Domine". Shaun Turnbull also played the entrance & recessional voluntaries on the organ.

There were 150-200 in the congregation.

Sadly our diocesan bishop, Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham, was unable to be present due to a full diary but we continue to hope that he may join our celebration in 2012.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Solemn High Mass at Cathedral

Just a final reminder of the EF Solemn High Mass on Saturday 5th November 2011 - Feast of the Holy Relics - at 10am in St Mary's Cathedral, Clayton Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne.

The cathedral is situated directly opposite Newcastle Central Railway Station and the area is very well served by mainline trains, Metro and local bus services. It is suggested that wherever possible these public services are used as city centre parking is both scarce and expensive.

The Cathedral Cafe will be open after Mass for those requiring refereshments. We look forward to welcoming a big congregation.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Holy Day Masses

My previous blog led to some confusion regarding Masses at Thornley. Although I mentioned Thornley I did not give Mass times.

I am asked to confirm - which I willingly do - that EF Masses are only celebrated at Thornley on Holy Days which fall on Sundays. The normal Sunday Mass continues of course.

With apologies to anyone who may have been misled.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

All Saints & All Souls

Masses will be celebrated in our churches in Longbenton, Thornley, Coxhoe & Barnard Castle for the Feast of All Saints on Tuesday 1st November 2011. All will be Low Masses.

SS Peter & Paul, Longbenton, will celebrate Low Mass at 7.30pm.
SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert, Coxhoe, will celebrate Low Mass & Benediction at 12noon.
St Mary's, Barnard Castle, will celebrate Low Mass at 7.30pm

On the Feast of All Souls on Wednesday 2nd November 2011, Low Mass will be celebrated at St Mary's, Forest Hall at 7.30am

Friday, October 28, 2011

LMS Calendars & Ordos 2012

Now available from LMS Diocesan Reps.

The 2012 Wall Calendar with all Sundays & major feasts together with beautifully produced photographs. Kept at the same price as 2011. £7.00 each.

Also the complete Ordo for 2012 at £6.50 each.

Please contact the representative for your local diocese.

We are the DRs for Hexham & Newcastle Diocese & orders (with cheques payable to D&TA O'Neill) can be sent to:

34 Morston Drive
Dumpling Hall Estate
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE15 7RZ
Tel: 0191 264 5771

Please don't delay, they are both exceptional value

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Funeral arrangements for Fr Vincent Melia

The arrangements announced on the diocesan website are:

Sunday 30th October 2011 Fr Vincent's body received into St Matthews Church, Ponteland at 6pm. Mass will be celebrated.

Monday 31st October 2011. The Requiem Mass for Fr Vincent will be celebrated at 12 noon followed by interment at the local cemetery at Prestwick.

Requiescat in Pace.

Letters of condolence & cards may be sent to Fr Vincent's brother at:

Rev Fr Michael Melia
St Joseph's Home
Westmoreland Road
Newcastle upon Tyne

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fr Vincent Melia RIP

There is sadness in the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle today following the death of Fr Vincent Melia, a resident of St Joseph's Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Newcastle. He and his brother, Fr Michael, had been resident here for only a short time following Fr Vincent's health problems which forced his move from his parish of St Matthews in Ponteland just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Fr Vincent was a regular celebrant of EF Masses in the diocese especially when a weekly Sunday Mass was allowed at St Dominic's Priory in Newcastle by permission of the then Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB (RIP) overseen by Jack Harvey, the Diocesan Representative of the LMS, and with kind permission of Fr Colin Carr OP then the Prior. That Mass continues even today.

Fr Vincent was a much loved PP of St Matthews and was a staunch pro-life supporter. He was also a Member of Honour of the Knights of St Columba and fully supported, with his parishioners, the work of that Order.

Details of the funeral are still to be made but we ask your prayers and Masses for the repose of the soul of a good and holy priest. Requiescat in Pace.

Reminder of Solemn High Mass in Newcastle

A reminder about our upcoming Solemn High Mass in St Mary's Cathedral, Clayton Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5HH.

On Saturday 5th November at 10.00am a Solemn High Mass will be celebrated. The music for the Ordinary of the Mass will be "Missa L'hora Passa" by Viadana while the Proper will be from Liber Usualis.

Sadly our bishop is unable to attend on this occasion but we hope that he might be in choir for a possible celebration in 2012.

There are parking difficulties in the centre of Newcastle, especially at weekends, so we suggest that where practical public transport be used. The cathedral is directly opposite Newcastle Central Railway Station which is served by both mainline & Metro services. The area is also well served by buses from across the city and beyond.

We look for a good congregation.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

LMS Training Conference in April 2012

The Latin Mass Society will be holding its eighth training conference in the older rite of Mass from 16th - 19th April 2012. With the assistance of Fr Thomas Regan OSB, it will be held at the Church of Our Lady and St Michael in Abergavenny, Wales. Accommodation will be across the road from the church in a former convent which has been converted to a conference centre. Abergavenny is not far from the English border and is conveniently accessed by road and by rail from the East Midlands and beyond. By rail it is approximately 2 hours from London and 2.5 hours from Manchester.

Tuition, which will be arranged in small groups, will be tailored to suit the needs of all attendees and instruction will be given by priests well versed in the 'forma extraordinaria'. It is expected that there will be training available for priests wishing to learn the celebration of Low Mass, Missa Cantata and of Missa Solemnis.

The fee for attending will be £120, although there will be a concessionary rate of £60 for those unable to meet the full cost.

For further details and to download an application form please visit the LMS website at

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monthly Missa Cantata at St Joseph's, Gateshead

Just to advise that the regular monthly Missa Cantata at St Joseph's, Gateshead will - for October only - be celebrated on Sunday 30th (Feast of Christ the King) instead of the 3rd Sunday of the month.
Just a further reminder too that our Solemn High Mass in St Mary's Cathedral, Clayton Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne will take place on Saturday 5th November at 10am. Please remember how difficult (and expensive) public parking can be in Newcastle city centre and try to use public transport. The cathedral is very well served by bus, Metro and railway, just aim for Newcastle Central Railway Station, the cathedral is just across the road from the main portico.
We look forward to welcoming you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Congratulations to St Mary's

We offer congratulations to Fr Michael Brown and his congregation on the 50th Anniversary of the opening of St Mary's church in Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne. Priests who either served the parish or lived in the parish concelebrated the Anniversary Mass with Fr Brown.

As many of you know Fr Brown is the Northern Chaplain of the LMS and EF Mass is celebrated at St Mary's Monday-Friday morning at 7.30am and at 10am on Saturdays.

Whilst the church was severely 're-ordered' it is still possible to have the EF Mass celebrated.

Ad Multos Annos to the parish

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Afternoon of Prayer & Recollection

There is to be an afternoon of Prayer & Recollection at the Immaculate Heart of Mary church, Harrogate Road, Moortown, Leeds on Saturday 15th October 2011 from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.
The session will begin with Missa Cantata followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary and Confessions.
The themes of the talks will be 'The Spirituality of Holy Mass and the Holy Rosary'
More details are available from LMS Leeds diocese.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Missa Cantata at Gateshead

Please note that the monthly Missa Cantata at St Joseph's in Gateshead in October will be celebrated on Sunday 30th October (Feast of Christ the King) instead of the usual 3rd Sunday of the month.

The Solemn High Mass in St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle will be celebrated on Saturday 5th November at 10am.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oath against Modernism

In 1910 Pope Pius X issued a motu proprio "Sacrorum Antistitum" against modernism. He then required EVERY CLERIC to sign an oath against this evil. The full oath can be read on 2 blogs - Fr Ray Blake and Fr Zuhlsdorf - and we are all - lay & cleric - urged to sign this.
Modernism has crept into Holy Mother Church insidiously and we should all be on our guard against it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Communion under both species

The diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, USA has reportedly reverted back to Communion only in the form of bread as the norm. In certain specific instances Communion under both species may be administered but it will no longer be accepted as the norm.
The reasoning behind this decision is that a 'temporary' permission for Communion under both species was granted to the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Oceania in 1975. This permission was granted until 2005 at which time it was not renewed by the Holy See.
One asks how and why we in the UK accept the reception under both species when it is, clearly, illicit and has been since 2005.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Brinkburn Mass

Today we celebrated the annual EF Solemn High Mass at Brinkburn priory in Northumberland. The celebrant was Fr Shaun Swales with Fr David Phillips as deacon and Fr Michael Brown as subdeacon. The Rudgate Singers sang the Ordinary of the Mass while the Proper was sung by the Schola Sancti Baedae.

It was sad to note that the numbers attending was well down on previous years possibly due to a forecast of wet and very windy weather. Happily this did not occur and we enjoyed warm sunny weather both during and after Mass. We did, however, run into some very wet weather on the journey homeward.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Solemn High Mass at Brinkburn Priory, Northumberland

A last reminder about the EF annual Solemn High Mass at Brinkburn Priory near Rothbury on Saturday 10th September 2011 at 12 noon. The celebrant will be Fr Shaun Swales, deacon Fr David Phillips and subdeacon Fr Michael Brown. All interested priests have been invited to be there in choir.

The music will be Hassler's "Missa Secunda" sung by The Rudgate Singers of York and the Proper will be sung by the Schola Sancti Baedae in plainchant.

After Mass there will be a shared table in the priory house adjacent to the church and those wishing to take part are reminded to bring food and drink and, most importantly, chairs as these are non-existent in the house.

The priory is situated on the banks of the beautiful and peaceful River Wansbeck. You can imagine the idyllic surroundings enjoyed by the Augustinian monks in the heyday of the priory.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Seminarians and the Extraordinary Form of Mass

It is rumoured that seminarians are being questioned regarding their interest/preference for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. How wonderful - or is it?

It would be wonderful if our bishops were raising this question to ensure that seminarians are aware (officially) that the two forms of Holy Mass are equally valid and that bishops wish to ensure that there is continuity into the future for those of the faithful who have a love of the 'usus antiquior'. Sadly this seems not to be the case. Seminarians are, it seems, being prejudiced against because of their wish to be involved in the Extraordinary Form. Yet it seems as if priests who are inclined towards this form may be more true to Catholic doctrine that those who lean towards liberalism and trendy 'happy clappy' liturgy.

What of the future????????

Monday, August 22, 2011

WYD success for Latin Mass Society

The Latin Mass Society (LMS) has teamed up with Juventutem, the international youth movement that supports the Traditional Latin Mass, and funded over twenty young people from England and Wales to attend two weeks of events in Spain culminating in Pope Benedict's visit to Madrid.

Juventutem organised a week-long 'pre-retreat' event based at the Carmelite monastery of Amorebieta-Etxano near Bilbao in the Spanish Basque Country, that combined daily Traditional Mass and talks about the Catholic Faith from priests of the Fraternity of St Peter with fun social and recreational activities around the region.

The Juventutem group then went on to Madrid to attend WYD, where the English and Welsh pilgrims mixed with many other Catholic youngsters and clergy, many of whom had not come across the Extraordinary Form Mass before. It was a wonderful experience for all those who were there.

Teresa Nevard, one of the English pilgrims, and WYD co-ordinator for Juventutem in England and Wales said:

"We had a fantastic time in our pre-retreat in Bilbao and in Madrid itself for WYD. All 22 of us from the UK Group are really grateful to the Latin Mass Society for the sponsorship which enabled us to attend and show our support for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and for the Pope, by joining in some WYD events as well as our daily Pontifical Masses. These Masses were attended by close on 1000 people with standing room only and included those experiencing the beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass for the first time. The numbers of young people attending Juventutem Masses and events in the UK have risen a lot over the last year and we anticipate another increase following the great time had by all of us who attended WYD with Juventutem."

For further information, please contact Michael Lord, General Manager, on: (T)020 7404 7284 (F)020 7831 5585 (email)

Communion kneeling & on the tongue

Once again our Holy Father shows his wishes graphically.

At the WYD Mass for Seminarians in Madrid this week Pope Benedict once again showed his will with regard to the reception of Holy Communion. All communicants knelt before the Blessed Sacrament and communicated on the tongue. We hope that our bishops note this and act.

Many bishops throughout the world have come to the realisation that standing to receive Holy Communion and then taking the sacred host into the hand is an unworthy way to approach our Lord and God. The situation has reached the state where laity consider it their 'RIGHT' to receive Communion in this manner. Wrong!! It is not a 'right' but a practice allowed by our bishops. The reception in this manner was allowed by Rome retrospectively following the unauthorised institution of the practice by some European bishops. In other words a wrongful act was legalised.

Perhaps we, the laity, should set an example to our hierarchy by insisting on receiving the Body of Christ in an respectful and adoring way - on the tongue and kneeling.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Priest new to EF

Today we had the great pleasure of welcoming Fr Paul Tully as celebrant of our noon EF Mass at St Joseph's in Gateshead. Fr Tully was supplying for PP, Fr Adrian Dixon, who is on holiday.

Fr Tully is chaplain for a number of hospitals in County Durham and resides in a parish in Easington. His knowledge of the EF was unknown to us although Fr Dixon knew that he celebrated his early morning private Masses in this form. Whilst Fr Tully has no objection to concelebrating in the OF he told me that it was best reserved for occasions when large numbers of priests concelebrate. He had tried celebrating his private Masses in the OF but found it lacking in spirituality. Thus he was drawn to the EF and taught himself. He finds that the EF gives him a closer relationship with God.

Today, in our diocese, we celebrated the Dedication of our Cathedral and Father's sermon was based on the readings of the Mass "Terribilis est.." telling us that the presence of God in the tabernacle is "terrible" in the sense that it is awesome to realise how close to us God is. He contrasted the beauty and silence of our churches with the Old Testament temple where bloody offerings were the order of the day, where the cries of animals being slaughtered for sacrifice mingled with the shouts of the sellers and moneychangers. The smells of blood, animal droppings and incense mixed up too outside of the Holy of Holies where God resided. Our Lord's death on Calvary changed that so that we have the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence of God in our midst.

We hope to welcome Fr Tully again soon and thank him for his Mass today.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cathedral Mass

We ask that you put Saturday 5th November 2011 at 10am in St Mary's Cathedral, Clayton Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne NW1 5HH in your diary for the EF Solemn High Mass. The cathedral is directly opposite Newcastle Central Railway Station and is easily reached by train, bus and Metro. Parking is quite difficult in Newcastle particularly on Saturdays so we recommend the use of public transport wherever possible.

Refreshments can be obtained following Mass in the Cathedral Cafe and this year they have been advised that the Mass will be held.

Further details regarding music etc will follow as soon as arrangements are completed.

Also please remember the annual Solemn High Mass at Brinkburn Priory, nr Rothbury in Northumberland at 12 noon on Saturday 10th September. Following Mass there will be a shared table and you are requested to bring a chair as seating is restricted in the house. There will, of course, be adequate seating in the priory church for Mass. Any priests intending to be in choir are asked to make themselves known to the MC prior to Mass.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dilston Mass

Tonight Fr Michael Brown, the Northern Chaplain of the LMS, celebrated Missa Cantata in the EF in the small chapel of Dilston Hall, nr Corbridge in Northumberland. The Mass is an annual event celebrated close to the Feast of St Mary Magdalene under whose title the chapel is dedicated. The Mass was offered for the repose of the souls of the Radcliffe family. The third Earl of Derwentwater (head of the family) was executed following the Jacobite Rebellion when he sided with Charles Stuart.

The music for the Mass was provided by the Schola Sancti Baedae who sang the Plainchant Mass 'Cum Jubilo'. Mass ended with the congregation singing the 'Salve Regina'.

Among the altar team was FSSP seminarian James Mawdesley and in the congregation - as always - was Fra Matthew Festing the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta who lives in Northumberland.

The next Mass will be the Solemn High Mass at Brinkburn Priory nr Rothbury in Northumberland at 12 noon on Saturday 10th September 2011.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Upcoming Special Masses

Please note the following EF Masses in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle

Saturday 10th September 2011 12 noon

A Solemn High Mass will be celebrated at Brinkburn Priory nr Rothbury, Northumberland. The sacred ministers & music are yet to be agreed.

The Mass will be followed by a shared table to which all are invited. Whilst the after Mass celebrations will be held indoors attendees are strongly recommended to bring their own seats. There are, of course, an adequate number of seats within the church.

Saturday 5th November 2011 at 10am

A Solemn High Mass will be celebrated in St Mary's Cathedral, Clayton Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne. The sacred ministers & music are yet to be agreed.

The cathedral is very well situated in the centre of the city & is immediately opposite Newcastle Central Railway Station. It is well-served by public transport including Metro and buses. Car parking is always at a premium &, wherever possible, it is suggested that public transport be used. We hope to arrange the availabilty of self purchased refreshments in reasonable proximity to the cathedral.

More information on both Masses as it becomes available.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reminder of Missa Cantata at Dilston Hall

Just a reminder that Missa Cantata will be celebrated by Fr Michael Brown in the chapel of Dilston Hall (nr Corbridge, Northumberland) on Wednesday 20th July 2011 at 7.30pm. The music will be provided by the Schola Sancti Baedae from Jarrow.

The chapel is set in the grounds of Dilston Hall, once the home of the Catholic Earls of Derwentwater, and is a very small chapel so please come prepared to be very cosy with the rest of the congregation.

Friday, July 8, 2011

LMS appoints new Editor for 'Mass of Ages'

The LMS has appointed Gregory Murphy as its next editor of 'Mass of Ages'. Based in Liverpool, where he works as a freelance editor and PR professional, Mr Murphy is a regular member of the congregation at the Traditional Latin Mass celebrated at St Anthony's, Scotland Road.

Gregory Murphy comes to his new role with over twenty years' experience behind him as a professional journalist, editor and PR consultant. He learned his trade on local newspapers and Catholic publications, such as the 'Catholic Pictorial' until, in the mid-1990s, he joined the staff of the 'Catholic Times' where he was News Editor and subsequently Editor. He spent five very valuable years as Corporate Communications and PR Manager for the Littlewoods Organisation, before deciding to go freelance. Mr Murphy now provides journalistic and editorial services to a range of commercial, public and voluntary sector clients around the UK.

Mike Lord, LMS General Manager, said: "We were fortunate to have several strong candidates at interview, but were particularly impressed by Gregory's professional experience, his grasp of what is required in revamping the magazine and by his personal commitment to the Traditional Mass and Faith. We are delighted to have Gregory on board and look forward to seeing the first issue of 'Mass of Ages' under his editorship in November.

Gregory Murphy will take over from John Medlin, who retires from the editor's post in August after eight years in the job. Next month's edition of the magazine will be John's last and his presence in the LMS will be much missed.

The appointment of a new editor and the forthcoming redesign and relaunch of 'Mass of Ages' is the last of major changes that have taken place at the LMS over the past two years. The move to new offices, the appointment of a new General Manager, the launch of a new and much-praised website, the use of social media such as Facebook, the adoption of a new constitution and other changes are part of a longer term strategy to enable the LMS to promote the Traditional Mass and the orthodox Faith that accompanies it more effectively following Pope Benedict's liberation of the traditional liturgy four years ago.

For further information please contact John Medlin, Publicist, or Michael Lord, General Manager on (T)020 7404 7284; (F)020 7831 5585; (e)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

LMS High Mass and AGM at St George's Cathedral Southwark 2nd July 2011

The Latin Mass Society was warmly welcomed at St George's Cathedral, Southwark, London on Saturday 2nd July by the Cathedral Dean, Canon John O'Toole, and the Administrator, Mr Alex Scott, for its Annual General Meeting and AGM Mass. The LMS is grateful to all the cathedral staff for their help and encouragement in making our AGM arrangements.

The day commenced at 11am with High Mass of the Visitation of Our Lady celebrated by Fr Andrew Southwell, LMS National Chaplain, assisted by Fr Michael Cullinan as Deacon and Fr Gregory Kilaja as Sub-deacon.

The men of the Cathedral Choir sang Victoria's Missa Quam Pulcri Sunt. The Gloria was from the Missa de Angelis, the Creed was Credo I and the Offertory motet was Victoria's Ave Maris Stella.

After lunch the LMS AGM convened in the cathedral's Amigo Hall to hear reports from the Secretary, Mr David Forster, the Treasurer, Mr Paul Waddington, and the Chairman, Dr the Hon Joseph Shaw. The LMS National Chaplain, Fr Andrew Southwell, had opened the proceedings with a prayer and after the reports gave an address in which he discussed Pope Benedict XVI's admirable work in the fields of doctrine and the liturgy. The meeting then sang 'God Bless Our Pope' to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of Pope Benedict's ordination to the Sacred Priesthood and closed with the singing of the Credo.

This year's AGM was relatively low key and in a new venue. However, Dr Shaw, in particular, was able to update those present on the increasing level of work being carried out throughout England and Wales by the LMS and its local representatives. The LMS is now more focussed on providing support to those many priests and faithful throughout the country who are gradually reintroducing the Extraordinary Form into their parish life. Its aim is to publicise the liturgical initiatives of Pope Benedict and to support and encourage the growing number of young people and young families who are discovering the Old Rite.

For more information, please contact John Medlin, Publicist, or Michael Lord, General Manager on (T) 020 7404 7284 (F)020 7831 5585 (e)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Requiem for a bishop

On Friday 1st October 2011 the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle celebrated a Requiem Mass for Bishop Emeritus Ambrose Griffiths OSB, KC*HS before his body was transported to Ampleforth for burial in his home monastery.

There was a goodly crowd there to bid him farewell including Archbishop Mennini the Apostolic Nuncio and Archbishop Vincent Nicholls of Westminster. About 9 other bishops and abbots together with a number of diocesan priests concelebrated.

The music in the Mass was not 'happy-clappy' and the Introit from the Missa pro Defunctis was sung in Latin as was a version of the In Paradisum. The strange thing was that a small schola was brought in at the last minute to sing this Plainchant as, it must be thought, it was beyond the capabilities of the Diocesan Choir.

Bishop Ambrose, whilst he was liberal in many ways, was the first bishop of our diocese to allow a regular Sunday Mass at a specific church and that Mass was arranged by former LMS Diocesan Representative Jack Harvey. Previously Sunday Masses were allowed only when they were moved weekly from parish to parish.

Requiescat in Pace.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More on the Cathedral Mass

Having already been told that Bishop Cunningham is unable to be present at the Cathedral Mass it was felt that it would be counterproductive to again advise of the date and request his presence. Instead it is now suggested that we PRAY that our bishop may attend an EF Mass, arranged for the diocese, to show his solidarity not only with those of the faithful who prefer this form of the Roman Rite but with our Holy Father who has said that both forms of the Roman Rite are equally valid.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cathedral Mass

We are delighted to announce that the date for the Solemn High Mass in St Mary's Cathedral has been agreed as Saturday 5th November 2011. Whilst the starting time is still to be announced we expect it to be 12 noon.

We are grateful to Fr Peter Leighton, the Cathedral Dean, for his speedy agreement.

Although our diocesan bishop, Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham, has previously said he would be unable to attend due to a full calendar, we are advising him of the confirmed date hoping that, following the Holy Father's Instruction, he might find a 'window' which allows him to join with those of his flock who prefer Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite which Pope Benedict has instructed should have an equal place with the Ordinary Form.

Further details will be published as they become available.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Reminder of High Mass

Just a reminder to everyone that there will be Solemn High Mass for the Feast of SS Peter & Paul on Wednesday 29th June 2011 at 7.30pm at the church od SS Peter & Paul, Benton Lane, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 8PB. The Proper will be sung by the Schola Sancti Baedae & the Ordinary will be Mozart's Credo Mass sung by the choir of St George's Anglican Church in Cullercoats. The intention of the Mass will be in Thanksgiving for the 60th Anniversary of the Priestly Ordination of Pope Benedict XVI. The celebrant will be Fr Michael Brown.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Comments from Mgr Marini the Papal MC

Mgr Marini has been commenting on several aspects of the ancient tradition of focusing on Christ either through eastward orientation of the Eucharistic Prayer or where the crucifix or other image of Christ 'stood in for' eastward orientation.

We are in danger of losing this as in the past everyone (including the priest) prayed towards the same point - showing that the Lord was coming and that, together, we all looked towards Him.

He also posited that kneeling before the presence of the Lord makes it all the clearer that it is really Jesus and implies our adoration of Him. Not just that we receive Him but that we kneel before Him.

Mgr Marini asked us to listen anew to what the Holy Father says in his writings and by example in the Papal liturgies. The Holy Father distributes Communion ALWAYS to communicants kneeling and ALWAYS on the tongue because such remains a law of universal character more than just his personal choice. He expects priests and people to follow his example.

Friday, June 17, 2011

40 Hours devotion at St Mary's, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne

Fr Michael Brown announces that in response to Cardinal Piacenza's request that every parish & religious community should offer 60 hours of Eucharistic Adoration in June to mark the 60th Anniversary of the priestly ordination of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, the Forty Hours Devotion will take place at St Mary's Church, Great Lime Road, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne beginning at 6pm on Sunday 19th June 2011. Everyone is welcome and are encouraged to attend to celebrate this anniversary.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB, KC*HS, RIP

Michael Griffiths was born in London on 4th December 1928 and attended a prep school in Brighton and then moved north to attend the Ampleforth Preparatory School at Gilling Castle in North Yorkshire and from there he moved to Ampleforth School for his secondary education.

In 1946 he won a place at Balliol College in Oxford where he obtained a First Class BSc Honours Degree in Natural Sciences, majoring in Chemistry. Seven years later he obtained his MA.

On 24th September 1950, after completing his studies at Oxfoed, he joined the Benedictine Community at Ampleforth Abbey and was given the religious name Ambrose (after the saint who was Bishop of Milan in the fourth century.)

He was sent to the Benedictine House of Sant' Anselmo in Rome where he studied Theology and was ordained priest on 21st July 1957.

He taught Science, RE and woodwork at Ampleforth from 1958-1972, and became Head of the Science Department at the School.

From 1963-1971 he also taught Dogmatic Theology to the young monks of the community.

In 1972 he was appointed Procurator (Bursar) of the Abbey and was responsible for the day to day running, and the financial matters of the Abbey.

In 1976 he was elected Abbot of the Abbey by the Community and was in charge of Ampleforth for eight years until he was appointed as parish priest of St Mary's Parish in Leyland, Lancashire. As parish priest he was involved in the usual day to day activities and societies of normal parish life. After finishing his term as Abbot he was appointed as Titular Abbot of Westminster.

On 11th January 1992, Pope John Paul II announced that he had appointed the Rt Reverend Ambrose Griffiths OSB as the 11th Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle to succeed the Rt Rev Hugh Lindsay who had tendered his resignation as Bishop of the Diocese on the grounds of ill health.

On 20th March 1992, Ambrose was Ordained as Bishop by the Archbishop of Liverpool, Most Reverend Derek Worlock, in St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Bishop Ambrose tendered his resignation at the age of 75 to Pope John Paul II, a requirement necessary for all bishops. He was succeeded by Bishop Kevin Dunn (d 2008).

Bishop Ambrose Griffiths died peacefully on Tuesday 14 June 2011 aged 82.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ushaw College Update

At their meeting on Thursday 9th June the Trustees of Ushaw College, the Bishops of the Northern Province and Shrewsbury Diocese, agreed to commission a detailed feasibility study to identify appropriate future uses for the College.

This proposal has the full support of Durham County Council and of English Heritage. The Trustees have also agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Durham University to explore, as part of the feasibility study, a proposal put forward by the University to create a Centre for Catholic Scholarship and Cultural Heritage at Ushaw under the auspices of the University's existing internationally regarded Centre for Catholic Studies.

The intention is that the Centre for Catholic Studies (then renamed "The International Centre for Advanced Catholic Studies") would continue to have its primary academic home within the University's Department of Theology and Religion on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palace Green, situated between Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle (University College), but would expand to include the proposed Ushaw Centre for Catholic Scholarship and Heritage within its total operation and mission.

It thus envisaged that the library, archives and other collections will remain at Ushaw and will be used as part of this facility and be made available to a wider public.

These decisions follow the recommendations of the Steering Committee which the Trustees established in January to advise the Trustees of the future of the College. The Steering Committee was charged with giving advice and providing a report to the Trustees about options for the future. The Steering Committee, under the chairmanship of Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury, was asked to look strategically at the entire estate including its buildings, land, libraries, archives and collections. Meetings have taken place with Durham County Council and English Heritage and other expert advisors.

The Right Reverend Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, said "We are looking forward to working in partnership in this way with Durham University and with the other public bodies towards securing a new future for Ushaw. The College can no longer provide for the training of priests but true to its inheritance across more than two hundred years on this site can continue to be a centre for Catholic scholarship and be accessible to the wider community."

Monsignor Marsland, President of Ushaw College, said:
"We are delighted that the work and efforts of the Steering Committee have resulted in a proposal that will allow the heritage of Ushaw College, its collections and library as well as its educational traditions to continue and secure a future for this very important estate within the Roman Catholic community."

Professor Chris Higgins, Vice Chancellor of Durham University, said:
"Ushaw College and its collections have a very special place in the Christian heritage of Durham and the North East of England. Together with the special collections in Durham University and Cathedral they comprise one of the most important and distinctive collections of books, manuscripts and other atrefacts in the world.
We look forward to working with the Ushaw Trustees to ensure that these collections and remarkable buildings are not only preserved intact in Durham, but are also made more widely known and available to the community as well as to educators and researchers from Durham University and around the world."

Professor Paul D Murray, Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University, said:
"The Trustees' decision demonstrates vision and care and holds real promise and potential for this region, for the UK and the international Catholic community.
Ushaw College and its holdings are of unique, if hitherto, largely unknown significance. Bringing them into formal relationship with Durham University and the proposed International Centre for Advanced Catholic Studies will provide a secure means of opening them to international attention and usage.
Ushaw is now set to become a beacon of possibility, of light, life and learning. We look forward to working with the Catholic community and other key partners to realise this vision and potential for the good of all."

Taken from the website of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle.

Monday, June 6, 2011

High Mass on the Feast of SS Peter & Paul

Solemn High Mass will be celebrated at the church of SS Peter & Paul, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne for the church's patronal feast on Wednesday 29th June 2011 at 7.30pm.

The sacred ministers are expected to be Frs Brown, Phillips & Swales.

Details of the music will be announced soon.

Masses for the Feast of Corpus Christi

Masses in the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle:

Coxhoe, SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert, Low Mass at 12 noon
Morpeth, St Robert's, Low Mass at 7.00pm
Barnard Castle, St Mary's, Low Mass at 7.30pm

Sunday, May 29, 2011

St Joseph's, Gateshead

Please note that in June the Missa Cantata will be on Sunday 12th June at 12 noon. This is Pentecost Sunday and this Mass replaces that which would normally be celebrated on 3rd Sunday (19th June) which will now be a Low Mass.

Ascension Day Masses in Hexham & Newcastle

The following churches will have EF Masses on Ascension Thursday (2nd June)

SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert, Church St, Coxhoe, Co Durham DH6 4DA
Low Mass & Benediction at 12 noon

St Mary's, Great Lime Rd, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 7AB
Low Mass at 6pm

St Mary's, Birch Rd, Barnard Castle, Co Durham DL12 8NR
Low Mass at 7.30pm

ICKSP takes on SS Peter & Paul, New Brighton

Great news that Bishop Davies of Shrewsbury has agreed to priests of the Institute taking on the defunct church in New Brighton.

Perhaps the FSSP (which has 2 houses in the UK) might be asked to take on some churches scheduled for closure in other dioceses.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mass at Biddlestone Chapel

The annual Mass will take place on Saturday 18th June at 12 noon. It will be a Missa Cantata & the celebrant will be Fr Shaun Swales.

The chapel is situated near Netherton in Northumberland & is a Grade II listed building. The Selby Family were granted the manor of Biddlestoneon in 1272 & lived there for 600 years. In the 14th Century they built a pele tower which was incorporated into a tower house in the 17th Century. In 1715 it was describbed as a freestone structure in the form of a cross.

The Georgian style mansion was built about 1796 on the site of the old house & in about 1820 Walter Selby commissioned architect John Dobson to design a private chapel to be incorporated into the Hall.

The Hall deteriorated following the Selbys leaving in 1914 & was demolished in 1960 leaving only the chapel now in the custody of the Historic Chapels Trust.

Mass at Dilston Chapel

This years annual Mass at Dilston Chapel will take place on Wednesday 20th July at 7.30pm. It will be Missa Cantata celebrated by Fr Michael Brown.

The chapel forms part of the estate of the former Dilston Castle built in the mid 15th Century when border raids were common. In the late 16th & early 17th Centuries the Radcliffe Family transformed the original tower house into a more comfortable Elizabethan/Jacobean manor house which, the following century, was incorporated into Dilston Hall, a palatial mansion owned by James Radcliffe, the 3rd Earl of Derwentwater. The Hall was demolished in 1768.

Dilston Chapel is a rare example of a Post-Reformation recusant chapel, built in 1616 reputedly with money raised for financing the Gunpowder Plot. It was designed specifically for Roman Catholic worship even though that was illegal. Sir Francis Radcliffe, who owned the manor at that time, was arrested on suspicion of complicity.

The Radcliffe Family were the wealthiest & most prominent Roman Catholic family in the north through their connection by marriage with the Royal House of Stuart. Sir James, the 3rd Earl of Derwentwater, took up arms in support of his cousin Prince James Stuart in the ill-fated Jacobite Rising of 1715 following which he was tried for High Treason, found guilty & beheaded on Tower Hill.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lain Mass Society welcomes the 'Instruction' from the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei' on the application of the Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum'

I quote in full the press release from the LMS on the recent Instruction from Rome 'Universae Ecclesia'.

The Latin Mass Society has welcomed unequivocally the publication by the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei' of its Instruction on the application of the Holy Father's Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum'.

The Instruction is a resounding justification for the work of the LMS and other adherents of the Extraordinary Form in insisting on their right to the Traditional Liturgy and Sacraments of the Church. There are many bishops and priests who should feel chastened for the way they have treated those attached to the Extraordinary Form over the years - as the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger once wrote, they were treated as "lepers".

However, 'Summorum Pontificum' establishes a new and authoritative basis for the reintroduction of the Extraordinary Form into the heart of the Church and the LMS is determined to look forward rather than back.

Just as with 'Summorum Pontificum' there is a great deal in the new Instruction which will be teased out with time. And here the LMS notes that the authoritative Latin text of the Instruction is, in crucial areas, more strongly worded that the unofficial English translation.

The LMS draws attention to these selected points:

*The Instruction stresses that 'Summorum Pontificum' is the universal law of the Church and cannot be ignored. (Art 2)

*The Instruction confirms that the Extraordinary Form is not a poor relation of the Ordinary Form but is an "expression of the same lex orandi of the Church""alongside""the ordinary form". (Art 6)

*'Summorum Pontificum' is "an important expression of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff and his 'munus' for regulating....the Church's Sacred Liturgy" and offers to "ALL THE FAITHFUL" (LMS emphasis) the use of the Extraordinary Form, "effectively guaranteeing...the use of the 'forma extraordinaria' for all who ask for it". (Art 8), ie this is not just for the elderly or those previously attached to the Society of St Pius X.

* The Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei' now exercises the power "as hierarchical superior" to decide upon complaints referred to it regarding any "administrative provision of an Ordinary which appears to be contrary to the 'motu proprio' subject to final appeal to the Apostolic Signatura (Art 10.1)

*It is the task of the Diocesan Bishop to undertake all necessary measures to ensure respect for the 'forma extraordinaria' of the Roman Rite, according to the 'Motu Proprio' 'Summorum Pontificum'.

*A stable group of the faithful who request the use of the Extraordinary Form is simply constituted by "some people" who come together and can "be composed of persons coming from different parishes or diocese" (Art 15).

*Priests are are to be considered "qualified" to offer the Traditional Mass if they have a "basic knowledge" of Latin "and have celebrated it previously". Among others this would refer to priests who have taught themselves the Old Rite and celebrated it privately or, for example, have learned it at an LMS training course (Art 20).

*Ordinaries are to offer their clergy training in the Extraordinary Form and are also urged to provide training in seminaries (Art 21).

*Dioceses without qualified priests should ask the Traditional Orders such as the Fraternity of St Peter to provide priests or training for diocesan priests (Art 22).

*The particular law and customs of the 1962 books are protected from subsequent law and therefore SUCH PRACTICES AS COMMUNION IN THE HAND, COMMUNION UNDER BOTH KINDS AND FEMALE ALTAR SERVERS ARE NOT PERMITTED IN THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM (LMS emphasis) (Art28)

*The Sacred Triduum can be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form and where necessary these celebrations can take place in churches where the Sacred Triduum in the ordinary form is also celebrated (Art 33).

*Individuals of the religious Orders may use the Order's liturgical books in effect in 1962 (Art 34).

Doctor Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the LMS, said "This is a wonderful day for the Church. With this Instruction the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei' has confirmed what we all knew - that 'Summorum Pontificum' is a gift to the whole Church designed to end the 'litugy wars' and establishing the full membership of the Extraordinary Form in the family of rites. The LMS will be urging its diocesan representatives to liaise with the diocesan bishops to maximise the reintroduction of the Old Rite in their dioceses. We will also keep records of any problems so that recourse may be made to the disciplinary function of Ecclesia Dei if necessary. There is a tremendous task to be carried out to improve the standard of liturgy in England and Wales and the LMS pledges its its full cooperation in this cause so close to Pope Benedict's heart."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Extraordinary Form Mass in St Peter's in Rome

Having just watched Fr Brown's blog (forest murmurs) showing today's EF Mass in St Peter's I was struck by the beauty & solemnity of this form of the Roman Rite. Whilst I accept wholeheartedly that 'the Mass is the Mass is the Mass' how can we not be moved to realise that this form of the sacrifice of the Mass is so much superior to the banality of so many celebrations of the Ordinary Form? Here we saw a large number of priests processing together with 2 bishops & 3 cardinals to the altar of sacrifice to give glory to Our Lord & God. None of that happy-clappy rubbish which is, frankly, more suited to an entertainment centre. Here we saw priests & people gathering to give glory & honour to God using Man's best, but less than perfect, offering in splendour of music & liturgy.
I trust that the bishops of England & Wales see this and realise that this is the form of Mass they should be encouraging among the Catholics of this land. Why? Ad Majorem Dei Gloria - To the greater Glory of God!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Back to Abstinence on Fridays

From mid September, marking the anniversary of Pope Benedict's visit to Britain, the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales is reimposing the law requiring abstinence from meat and meat products on Fridays. For those who do not consume meat they will be required to give up some major part of their normal diet.

Whilst this is a man-made ruling it was always accepted that Catholics did this as a self mortification and as a penance for our sins and the evils of our world.

Perhaps we should all offer up this penance in reparation for the way in which God has been sidelined in our increasingly secular society.

Universae Ecclesiae

We must all be delighted with the new instruction from Rome clarifying Pope Benedict's motu proprio.

It seems as if we are now in a position where we know that certain things are not permissible in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. For example:

1. Communion is to be received only under the host and only on the tongue & kneeling (if that is physically possible).
2. Female altar servers may not be imposed on celebrations of Mass under this form.
3. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are not acceptable.

I'm sure that for many of us it comes as a great relief that we will not have to see some communicants nonchalantly receive the Body of Christ in dirty hands nor will we see the disrespectful way in which an admittedly small number walk away carrying the host.

Thanks be to God

Monday, May 9, 2011

The LMS's Seventh Training Conference for Priests & Servers successfuly concluded

Over 30 clerics & laymen attended the Latin Mass Society's seventh residential training conference for the training of priests in the Traditional or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. This conference took place from Tuesday 3rd May to Friday 6th May at Buckfast Abbey in Devon, courtesy of Abbot David Charlesworth and the Benedictine community.

The programme, as in recent conferences, also provided training of altar servers. Fifteen servers were trained. This included a number of young men, three of whom are discerning vocations to the priesthood.

The twelve priests came from across the UK: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were all represented. Two of the priests were Polish and one was an Army chaplains who has recently seen active service in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Training was given at various levels under the leadership of Fr Andrew Southwell, National Chaplain to the LMS. There was basic instruction (including Latin pronunciation where required), through to intermediate training culminating in instruction in the celebration of High Mass.

The servers followed a similar progression, learning to assist at celebrations up to High Mass.

Each day sung Mass was celebrated in the abbey church and the quality of the polyphonic singing and Latin plain chant was outstanding. The choir and schola were led by Michael Vian Clark. Abbot David Charlesworth presided in choir at the closing Votive Mass of the Holy Cross on the Friday and led to the veneration of the Relic of the True Cross.

As usual at LMS conferences, the food and accommodation were appreciated for their high quality throughout.

The LMS would like to express its profound gratitude for the welcome and ready assistance given by the monks of Buckfast Abbey.

Pictures of the Buckfast conference are available from the LMS website here:

The next training programme, the eighth, will be a one-day event on Tuesday 23rd August at Holy Cross Priory, Leicester. This will be for priests and servers wishing to study the rubrics of the Mass in its Solemn Form and who are already familiar with Low Mass. The day will start at 9.30am and finish around 5.00pm. The fee for attending will be £5.00. For further details or to register, contact the LMS office on 020 7404 7284 or email

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ushaw advert update

I am reliably informed that the advertisement I mentioned previously for Ushaw College as our Northern Seminary simply slipped through & there is not some information regarding its remaining open in the pipeline. Don't you find it strange that even at this late stage nothing concrete has been released following the last meeting of the trustees.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Masses off at SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert, Coxhoe

I am advised that the following Thursday noon Masses are cancelled.

!2th May, 19th May, 26th May & 30th June 2011.

For more information please contact Fr Shaun Swales on 0191 377 0542

Latest on Ushaw????

It was quite surprising to see in the May issue of our diocesan monthly newspaper (Northern Cross)an advertisement which said under the general heading of "Vocations Announcements":

"Ushaw College & Seminary
Hexham and Newcastle Diocese is the home of Ushaw College, Durham - main seminary for the training of priests in the North of England.
You may contact:
President Fr John Marsland
President's secretary on 0191 373 8510
This announcement is donated by Northern Cross"

As a member of the News Panel I have contacted the Editor (Andrew Smith) to ask if he is privy to information not yet in the public domain.

Watch this space!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shining Pearl of York

What a wonderful day in York where in excess of 600 joined in attending Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite to celebrate the feast of St Margaret Clitherow. This was probably the first Latin Mass in the Tridentine Form celebrated in York Minster since the Reformation.
The Missa Cantata was celebrated by Fr Stephen Maugham of English Martyrs Church in York. Fr Stephen had been responsible for much of the discussions which took place with the Dean and Chapter to allow this Mass to take place. It must be said that the Dean and Chapter as well as the Minster staff were most welcoming and accommodating. Fr Stephen also preached on the life of St Margaret.
9 priests of various dioceses were also on the sanctuary in choir and 2 robed canons of the Minster were also present.
The music was performed by The Rudgate Singers of York and their schola also sang the Proper of the Mass from the Liber Usualis. The Mass setting used was Byrd's Mass for 5 Voices and the motets were all by Byrd too; Justorum Animae at the Offertory, Ave Verum Corpus at Communion and the Marian motet Ave Regina Coelorum following Mass. All of this music may have been heard by St Margaret as William Byrd was her contemporary.
It was thrilling to celebrate this Mass in the form that St Margaret would have known so well and in a church which would have been very familiar to her.
Following Mass the clergy, servers and congregation processed through the city reciting the Rosary via The Shambles - where St Margaret lived with her husband and family - across the Ouseburn Bridge - where she was cruelly martyred by being pressed to death (a particularly painful and long lasting form of execution) - to English Martyrs Church for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament - given by Fr Michael Brown the Northern Chaplain of the LMS - and Veneration of St Margaret's hand. Again The Rudgate Singers provided the music with the O Salutaris Hostia and Tantum Ergo by Thurlow Green. The Adoremus in Aeternum was composed by Gregorio Allegri. The service ended with the Laudes Regiae and the English hymn Faith of our Fathers.
Following this the ladies of English Martyrs had prepared most welcome tea and coffee for tired pilgrims.
Today was Ad Majorem Dei Gloria 'To the Greater Glory of God'!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Communion in the hand

May I, respectfully, direct you to Fr Simon Henry's blog which gives chapter & verse of the popes, saints etc who have spoken out against this from the earliest centuries of the Church to the present day.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

We had a Low Mass to follow the blessing and imposition of ashes by Fr Michael Brown. This year it took place at the alternative church of SS Peter & Paul in Longbenton - the other parish under Father's wing.

Few LMS members were present but about 20+ parishioners turned up & seemed quite happy to follow the Mass with the Mass books. The Mass had been advertised on the parish news-sheet as a Latin Mass and Fr Brown was pleasantly surprised at the turnout. Perhaps this is the start of something good?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Latin Mass Society to Sponsor young Catholics attending World Youth Day in Madrid 16-21 August 2011

Thousands of young Catholics will be travelling to take part in World Youth Day (WYD) 2011 in the presence of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

Previous WYDs have been attended by Juventutem, the worldwide youth movement for young people (age 16-25) who are attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  At WYD in Madrid, Juventutem will again be present and the Latin Mass Society (LMS) is subsidising the cost for young Catholics in England and Wales attending with them.

At WYD 2011, Juventutem will take part in all the official events, but will have its own chapel and daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form plus its own catechesis classes.

There will also be an optional retreat in the week before WYD (9-15 August).  This will take place at a former convent for Discalced Carmelites at Amorebieta-Etxano near Bilbao in northern Spain.  There will be Traditional Mass, Lauds, Rosary and Compline, plus spiritual conferences as well as recreational activities, such as visits to the cities of Bilbao and Burgos, wine tasting in Rioja for older participants, one-day walking pilgrimages through the local countryside and more.

Amorebieta Convent

The Latin Mass Society will sponsor young Catholics from England and Wales who attend either WYD Madrid only with Juventutem or the Retreat and WYD with them.  This is a limited offer on the basis of first come, first served, and it is not necessary to be a member of the LMS.

The LMS will cover half the cost of attending with Juventutem (which includes accommodation, food and travel within Spain) plus half the cost of budget air travel to Spain to join the Juventutem group.  Likely Juventutem cost for WYD only is Euro250.00 (airfare not included); for the retreat and WYD Euro400.00 (airfare not included).  The cost to applicants with the LMS subsidy will work out at £95.00 for WYD only and £170.00 for the Retreat and WYD combined.

The LMS sponsorship will make it affordable for many more young people to attend WYD with Juventutem. The LMS is providing sponsorship as a service to the Church.

To apply for LMS subsidy, youngsters should first register with Juventutem and then register for sponsorship with the LMS by filling in an application form or by phoning the LMS office on 020 7404 7284.

Michael Lord, General Manager of the LMS said: "Throughout 2011, the LMS is rolling out new initiatives and activities aimed at making those attached to the Extraordinary Form into one of the most vibrant groupings in the Church in England and Wales.  I am very excited by this sponsorship scheme, particularly the fact that it is available to young people throughout England and Wales, many of whom may only recently have discovered the Traditional Form of the Mass."

Fuller information about Juventutem (including contact details), Worlf Youth Day and the LMS can be found at this link:

Follow the link to download an application form:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pilgrimage in honour of 'The Pearl of York'

Pilgrims are expected to converge on York on Saturday 26th March to pay their respects to St Margaret Clitherow, a former resident of York, who was crushed to death rather than deny her Catholic faith. The pilgrimage is being organised by the Latin Mass Society, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of the Mass in its more traditional Latin form. There will be a sung Mass at the High Altar of York Minster at 1.30pm. This will be followed at 3pm by a procession which will pass through The Shambles, where Margaret Clitherow lived, over Ouse Bridge, where she was executed, and finish up at the Church of the English Martyrs in Dalton Terrace. Benediction will be given there at around 4pm, followed by veneration of the relic of Margaret Clitherow, which is normally kept at the Bar Convent. The Latin Mass Society is delighted to have the use of York Minster, which is by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter. Margaret Clitherow, who is often referred to as the Pearl of York, would have been very familiar with the Minster, although she would not have worshipped there after her conversion to Catholicism at the age of 18. She would also have been familiar with the Latin Mass in its traditional form, as she harboured priests at her home in The Shambles where Mass was regularly said in that form. Indeed it was for harbouring priests that she was arrested and put to death in 1586 by crushing under a great weight of stones. The Mass on 26th March, which is the feast day of St Margaret Clitherow, will be sung by Fr Stephen Maughan, and the music will be provided by the Rudgate Singers. The Mass setting will be by Byrd, the great English composer of liturgical music and contemporary of Margaret Clitherow. The Mass in York Minster will be open to all, regardless of religious denomination, and no tickets are required. Similarly, it is hoped that the public will join in the procession, and attend Benediction at English Martyrs' Church.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cathedral Mass without our bishop

Following the well attended EF Missa Solemnis in St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne we have decided to approach the cathedral dean, Fr Peter Leighton, for permission to repeat the experience which drew Catholics from across the diocese and beyond. Bishop Cunningham was unable to be present at the Mass in November due to a full diary. To facilitate his attendance this year we decided to find out which dates were presently free for him so that we could then approach the cathedral in an endeavour to match one of his available dates. It is with great sadness that we received his response this week saying that he has no available dates and is therefore "unable to accept your offer of joining you." Whilst appreciating that His Lordship does have a full diary and that he does, as he says, " (have) an opportunity to meet those who come together to celebrate the EF Form [sic]", we would still have been delighted to have welcomed him to a solemn diocesan celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in solidarity with those of his people in the diocese who have an affinity for this form of Mass. Of course all parishes within the diocese do not have Mass in the EF so his Sunday visitations would only allow him to meet those of us who are fortunate in having a Mass when he is likely to be present. Those without Sunday (or indeed any access) to the EF only come together in such celebrations of EF Mass either on weekdays (and such access is very sparse) or on occasions such as the special Mass we arrange in the cathedral. His attendance there would have enabled him to meet those without EF Sunday Masses. Sadly Bishop Cunningham has also recently said that he is unable to confer the sacrament of Confirmation in the EF although he has offered to delegate a priest to do so on his behalf. We must continue to pray that the celebrations of EF Masses in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle continue to grow and that those who have not had the opportunity to recognise its beauty and prayerfulness.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Chair of St Peter

On Tuesday 22nd February 2011 Fr Gary Dickson celebrated his first Solemn High Mass in the EF at his church in Thornley, Co Durham. The Mass was on the Feast of St Peter's Chair and the intention was "In thanksgiving for Pope Benedict XVI and Summorum Pontificum". Father Gary's ministers were Fr David Phillips from Stella as deacon and Fr Michael Brown from Forest Hall as subdeacon. The Ordinary of the Mass was "Missa de Angelis" sung by the Schola Sancti Baedae under Dr Michael Dunn. They also sang the plainchant motets "Attende Domine" and "Ave Verum" as well as the Proper from the Liber Usualis. The 3 Lydon sisters sang Cesar Franck's "Panis Angelicus" at communion as this is Father Gary's favourite motet. Also on the sanctuary was Fr Simon Henry who preached a most uplifting sermon on what we have lost liturgically since Vatican II. He also quoted from the writings of Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) on the subject of liberalism and speaking prophetically of how his papacy would be denigrated later. Pope Benedict was also quoted telling us to avoid materialism and to remember Christ's words that "the gates of Hell will never prevail against His Church". Also in choir was Fr Aldo Tapparo of Birmingham Archdiocese based in Oxford. A congregation of over 75 attended the Mass and joined in the recessional hymn "Hail Queen of Heaven". The evening ended with a buffet provided by the ladies of the parish. Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form is celebrated every Sunday in the church of The Sacred Heart & English Martyrs.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Summorum Pontificum

The internet is abuzz with rumours regarding the long awaited letter from the Holy Father explaining his 'motu proprio'. Included in the rumour is the idea that restrictions might be imposed on the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. I stress that these are rumours! However, to reinforce our love and desire for the continuation and expansion of these celebrations of Holy Mass we are encouraged to sign an online petition. The website is Please sign as individuals not as 'Mr & Mrs' and include your diocese and country. Please ignore the 'Payments' page. Please ask all Catholics who revere the pope to sign this without delay.

Friday, February 18, 2011

St Margaret Clitherow

The Latin Mass Society is organising a Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in honour of St Margaret Clitherow in York Minster on Saturday 26th March 2011. The Mass begins at 1.30pm. This Mass begins the National Pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret, who is the Patron of the Catholic Womens League, and following Mass the procession will visit both St Margaret's home in The Shambles as well as her place of martyrdom. The pilgrimage will end at English Martyrs Church, Dalton Terrace, York with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Veneration of the Relic of St Margaret and refreshments. The Mass will be celebrated by Fr Stephen Maugham of English Martyrs and the music will be provided by The Rudgate Singers of York. The music for the Mass will be Byrd's 'Mass for 5 voices', 'Justorum Animae', 'Ave Verum' and 'Ave Regina Coelorum'. The Proper will be sung in Gregorian Chant. The Mass in the Minster is by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter. St Margaret is one of our most important lay martyrs and we sincerely hope that pilgrims from across the country will take part.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Servers' Training Day

I am just back from English Martyrs Church in York where was held a training day for servers of Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The day was arranged by Paul Waddington on behalf of the Society of St Tarcisius. We were warmly welcomed by Fr Stephen Maugham from the parish and the training was divided into 3 classes. That for servers wishing to learn more about Missa Cantata was led by Neil Walker (DR Leeds diocese) & David O'Neill (joint DR Hexham & Newcastle diocese). The more advanced Low Mass class was led by Paul Waddington (LMS Treasurer) whilst the beginners class was led by Steve Crookall. . There were 4 students in the Missa Cantata class & they were the servers at the Missa Cantata celebrated by Fr Maugham. Both Neil & David were also on the sanctuary to give guidance during the Mass. Considering that this was the first attempt the outcome was quite astounding. The music for the Mass was provided by The Rudgate Singers of York. There is a further opportunity to sample this most wonderful form of the Roman Rite when Missa Cantata is celebrated in York Minster on Saturday 26th March 2011 at 1.30pm. This Mass will be followed by a procession in honour of St Margaret Clitheroe who was martyred in York. The procession will take in the house where she lived as well as her place of martyrdom. The day will end with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at the Bar Convent in York where a relic of St Margaret is venerated.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Strong Nuncio

Great to hear that the Apostolic Nuncio to the Antilles Islands - HE Most Rev Thos E Gullickson (Titulat Archbishop of Bomarzo) - has spoken out very strongly against bishops who are resisting the implementation of the Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum'. Some don't ACTIVELY resist the implementation but, by not being openly obedient to the Holy Father, encourage some of our more liberal Catholics to assume that there is still something not quite right & proper about the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Our Holy Father has made it abundantly clear that he expects the 2 forms of the Roman Rite to be equally valid. Only when our bishops fully respect this wish will the Pope's wishes come to fruition. I recall attending a Requiem Mass for a priest friend when I had to even request Holy Communion on the tongue - which the Pope insists on for those receiving from him - and that 'permission' was granted reluctantly and with bad grace and inappropriate comments. We need more bishops like Bishop Schneider & Archbishop Gullickson.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 Priests Training Conference

"The Latin Mass Society has announced its seventh residential course for priests who wish to learn the Extraordinary Form of Mass. The conference will take place at Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh, Devon from Tuesday 3rd to Friday 6th May. Tuition will be given in small groups selected according to ability, and will cover Low Mass, Missa Cantata and Missa Solemnis. It is also hoped to provide tuition in the sacraments of baptism and marriage. Only rudimentary Latin is required. There will also be a residential course for laymen wishing to learn to serve the Extraordinary Form. The conference will begin late morning on the Tuesday, although there will be an opportunity for those travelling long distances to stay at Buckfast Abbey on the Monday night. The conference will end after lunch on the Friday. There will be sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form each day: parts of the Office will also be sung. The inclusive fee is £85 which covers all tuition, accommodation and board. Application forms for both priests and servers training are available from the LMS office (020 7404 7284) or the LMS website ( LMS Chairman, Dr Joseph Shaw, said 'The LMS's training conferences are now well established in the Church's calendar of activities. We have already trained over a hundred priests and many more Extraordinary Form Masses are being offered around the country due to our training activities.'" For downloadable pictures go to and events/picture gallery/priests training conference at Downside Abbey August 2010. It is hoped that some of our more forward-looking bishops might be encouraged to send priests to this and future conferences.

Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form

As many of you know we approached Bishop Cunningham some time ago with the request for Confirmations in the EF here in the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle. The bishop's first response was that he would consider it. With no further response forthcoming we again wrote to the bishop in January asking for the fruits of his consideration. His response was that he would not confer the sacrament himself but would delegate one of the diocesan priests to do so in his stead. At present that response is being considered with LMS members in the diocese being asked for their thoughts.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Latest on Ushaw

We are told that the Trustees were to meet yesterday (21st Jan 2011) when, no doubt, the main topic will have been (should have been?) the closure of Ushaw College. It is common knowledge that a proposal was put forward regarding the taking on of the college by an outside (Catholic) consortium. Supposedly that proposal was not acknowleged. Let us hope that following this meeting it will be. 'Scuttlebutt' has it that the 'YOOF' village is now also suffering financially. Which will be closed first? My money says that, regardless, the village will not be first!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Chair of St Peter

Regarding the Solemn High Mass at Sacred Heart & English Martyrs, Dunelm Rd, Thornley, Co Durham DH6 3HA on Tuesday 22nd February 2011, the starting time has been confirmed as 7.30pm. Fr Gary Dickson, the parish priest, will be the celebrant. The music will be provided by the Schola Sancti Baedae who will sing 'Missa de Angelis' with the Proper from the Liber Usualis. Fr Simon Henry from Liverpool will preach. Following Mass there will be a small buffet to which all are invited.

Friday, January 14, 2011

John Paul II to be beatified

I've just heard on the TV that Pope John Paul II is to be beatified in May. I have to say that this concerns me somewhat. I've never been an advocate of 'Subito Santo' as I think we must allow time to pass & the fervour to die down so that God's will can be clearly seen. The actions (or inactions) of the proposed subject must be given adequate time to prove themselves. Whilst not in any way doubting the good works of Pope John Paul we must be aware that usually only good works are publicised. Sadly the role of Devil's Advocate has been done away with & such was his area of investigation that hidden 'faults' could be brought to light. Surely our Coptic bretheren have it right when they insist that no such moves be commenced until (I believe) 70 years after the subject's death.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Chair of St Peter

In thanksgiving and intercession for Pope Benedict XVI and 'Summorum Pontificum', Fr Gary Dickson has decided to celebrate the Chair of St Peter on 22nd February 2011 with a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Although the parish celebrates the EF every Sunday as a Low Mass, and has had the occasional Solemn High Mass with guest celebrants, this will be the first time any Parish Priest of Thornley will have offered the EF in Solemn Form for over 40 years. As such a small buffet will follow. Singing will provided by the Schola Sancti Baedae. The Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart and English Martyrs Church, Dunelm Road, Thornley, Co Durham DH6 3HA. The time has yet to be finalised but will be either 7pm or 7.30pm. The time will be confirmed within the next few days. We ask as many as possible to attend this Mass and offer it for Fr Dickson's intention of "Thanksgiving and Intercession for Pope Benedict XVI and 'Summorum Pontificum.'"

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Epiphany at St Mary's, Forest Hall

Tonight we celebrated the Epiphany with Missa Cantata at St Mary's celebrated by Parish Priest Fr Michael Brown. The Schola Sancti Baedae provided the music with the Ordinary sung to 'Missa de Angelis'. Following Mass Father blessed the chalk for the traditional marking of homes. The evening was completed with a shared table. It seems a great shame that our hierarchy have moved this feast (one of the oldest in the Church) to a Sunday, yet another example of the 'dumbing down' of our Faith. Surely, in this day & age, it is easier than ever before to attend Mass on Holydays & yet lazy Catholics are pandered to to make their lives even easier. SHAME!!

Barnard Castle Update

Following Fr Elkin's recent day surgery he has decided - and rightly so - to take it easy for a full recovery. The following Masses are cancelled at St Mary's: Sunday 9th January 2011 - No EF Mass Tuesday 11th January 2011 - No EF Mass With effect from Sunday 16th January 2011 Fr Elkin expects both Sunday & Tuesday Masses to revert to normal. Please remember Fr Elkin & all our priests in your prayers.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ushaw Petition

Please check the BBC website which has picked up the Ushaw question as has the "Newcastle Journal" (3rd Jan 2011). The BBC website is: If you haven't already done so please sign the on-line petition to keep Ushaw open but with a more traditional form of teaching. It seems as if the trustees of Ushaw College - the Northern bishops under the leadership of Archbishop Kelly - made little, if any, contact with the laity - certainly of this diocese - before making the monumental decision to close the seminary. We know that at least 1 business plan was available but are reliably informed that this was not discussed in depth with the proposers.

Missa Cantata at St Joseph's, Gateshead

A very Happy, Healthy & Peaceful New Year to all readers. The monthly Missa Cantata at St Joseph's, Gateshead will, in January 2011, be on the FOURTH SUNDAY (23rd January) instead of the Third Sunday. In February we will (DV) return to the third Sunday.