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!!!