Thursday, December 27, 2012

A quotation to ponder

Recently the Cistercian monastery of Mariawald has reverted to the 1962 liturgical books & re-reordered the sanctuary to reinstate the High Altar. The abbot, Dom Joseph Vallberg, is quoted as saying (in a much longer article regarding the changes) "Communion on the tongue also leads to deeper adoration" Surely we must all (especially our bishops)be prepared to take stock of the (often) casual way in which laity receive the Body of Christ & take steps to reintroduce the more adoring manner of reception on the tongue & kneeling. I recall many years ago, just after the introduction of Communion in the hand, a prominent non-Catholic being quoted as saying "If I believed, as you claim to do, that the bread & wine were truly the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ I would approach the Sacrament crawling on my belly" Not so many years ago I asked a prominent & senior diocesan cleric if I might receive Holy Comminion on the tongue as my hands were not consecrated & therefore unworthy to touch the Body of Christ. His response worried me as he said "Hold out your hands & I will bless them for you." I would like to hope that he reads Dom Joseph's quotation!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Midnight Mass

Missa Cantata was celebrated at midnight on Christmas Eve at St Mary's Church, Forest Hall, Newcastle. Parish Priest & LMS Northern Chaplain Fr Michael Brown was the celebrant with the Schola Sancti Baedae providing the music. The celebration began at 11.30pm with carols followed by the Blessing of the Crib then Mass. A congregation of between 40-50 were present & refreshments with mulled wine were served in the parish hall followed Mass. Once again apologies for anyone expecting exact figures for the congregation but, suffice it to say, everyone present was suitably uplifted.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Greetings

We wish all true Catholics a Happy and Holy Christmas and a Peaceful and Healthy New Year. As we prepare for our Midnight Mass here on Tyneside we await the arrival of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We offer our prayers and Masses that we may see a return to True and Faithful Catholicism with priests and people worshipping God in honesty and spirituality. May our bishops speak out strongly against those things which go against the teachings of our Holy Mother Church.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius

I'd like to bring to your attention 5-day retreats run by the Benedictine Fathers of Abbaye St Joseph in Flavigny in France. Before you stop reading, no, you don't have to go to France. Each year the fathers lead these retreats in Great Britain (Franciscan Retreat Centre in Pantasaph, Flintshire), Ireland (Ards Capuchin Friary in Creeslough, Co Donegal) and in Australia (Hartzer Park Retreat Centre in Bowral, NSW). Additionally they offer English language retreats in St Joseph's Abbey in Flavigny. The cost is minimal and no-one shall be prevented from making a retreat for financial reasons. I, personally, have made 2 retreats at Flavigny where each day begins with the celebration of Holy Mass in the EF. The next retreat in the UK will be given from Monday 12th to Saturday 17th August. The Pantasaph Centre is set in the beautiful countryside of N Wales & just a few miles from Holywell & St Winefride's Shrine. The retreats are open to men only over the age of 17 years. In the first instance contact the abbey at: Abbaye St Joseph de Clairval English Spiritual Exercises 21150 Flavigny-sur-Ozerain France E-mail: Even if you cannot attend the fathers will be happy to send you a monthly newsletter, featuring the life of a saint, free of charge on receipt of your address details. They also produce a wide range of beautiful spiritual artefacts & books.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

LMS Pilgrimage to Rome November 2013

The Latin Mass Society will be organising a pilgrimage to Rome in November 2013. Departure from the UK will be on Thursday 7th November and the return will be on Tuesday 12th November. It is most likely that the flight will be from either Stanstead or Luton Airports to suit the majority of pilgrims, although a northern option is also being considered. Accommodation is being reserved at a convent in central Rome, which is within walking distance of St Peter's Basilica and many of the principal churches and visitor sites. We expect to take with us at least one chaplain. The dates of the pilgrimage have been chosen to coincide with the biennial meeting of the International Federation Una Voce, which takes place on the Saturday and Sunday. Although our pilgrims will not be directly involved in this meeting, the choice of dates will mean Latin Mass supporters from many parts of the world will be in Rome at the time, providing opportunities for Solemn Masses and other liturgies in major churches, which LMS members will be able to attend. Some time will be set aside for sightseeing. Every effort is being made to keep the cost down, so as to be affordable for as many people as we can manage. The full cost, including flights and five nights accommodation in Rome is not expected to exceed £500 per person, although this will have to be confirmed when the arrangements are finalised. At present, we invite members and non-members to register an expression of interest with our office staff, either by phone or e-mail. Tel: 020 7404 7284 Anyone interested is urged to make early contact, so that the size of group can be established, and preliminary bookings made. Registering at this stage does not mean a firm commitment.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Splendid First monthly Mass in Darlington

On a cold, foggy and icy evening in December we wondered as we drove from Newcastle how many would be in the congregation for the first monthly EF Mass in St Augustine's Church in Darlington. We need not have worried! The church is beautiful and hardly 're-ordered' at all with the lovely high altar still in situ backed by a reredos said to be one of the finest examples of its kind in any Catholic church in England. It was installed in 1899 at a cost of £800. It was restored and revalued in 1957 as worth £4,000. Today its value is incapable of estimation and it is irreplaceable. The Mass is totally down to LMS member Carl Watson and his family who approached the church council requesting the use of the church on a monthly basis. Thanks are due to Frs Michael Higginbottom & Seamus Doyle and the council for their ready agreement. This agreement was largely repaid as the congregation of 50+ (sorry for the lack of specific numbers) was largely made up of parishioners many of whom commented on their pleasure at the return of the 'old Mass'. The celebrant was Fr Paul Tully, a hospital chaplain living at St Mary's Church in Easington Lane, who had also most readily agreed to celebrate the monthly Mass. Present in choir was Fr Wilfrid Elkin, PP of St Mary's in Barnard Castle, who is the doyen of our celebrating clergy and who will be remembered as one of the trainers at the priests' training courses at Ushaw College. Fr Elkin did, incidentally, correct a statement I made claiming this to be the first EF Mass in Darlington since Vatican II as he had celebrated a Mass in the EF in the 1980s in this very church to celebrate a Silver Wedding. The servers for the Mass were Carl's 2 young sons who managed extremely well. Also in the congregation were a brother and sister from Singapore, he studying at Durham University and she at Cambridge. This Mass is the start of a monthly Mass to be celebrated on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7pm. We wish it every success.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas & Epiphany Masses in Hexham & Newcastle diocese

The programme of EF Masses in the diocese is as follows Christmas Barnard Castle, St Mary's. Christmas Day. Low Mass at 9.00am. Thornley, Sacred Heart & English Martyrs. Christmas Day. Low Mass at 9.30am. Newcastle, St Dominic's Priory. Christmas Day. Low Mass at 11.30am. Gateshead, St Joseph's. Christmas Day. Low Mass at 9.00am. Forest Hall, St Mary's. Christmas Eve. Missa Cantata at Midnight. Epiphany January 6th 2013. Barnard Castle, St Mary's. Low Mass at 9.00am. Thornley, Sacred Heart & English Martyrs. Low Mass at 9.30am. Newcastle, St Dominic's Priory. Missa Cantata at 11.30am. Gateshead, St Joseph's. Missa Cantata at 12 noon. Forest Hall, St Mary's. Low Mass at 4.00pm. Any alterations will be advised.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Confirmations in the Traditional Rite in London

Afterwards, the confirmands, their sponsors and their families went for lunch in St James's parish centre, where Bishop Hopes cut a celebratory cake. LMS general Manager, Mike Lord, said: "We were delighted with the number of candidates we received for Traditional Confirmations in London this year, particularly as there have been, for the first time, two other Traditional Confirmation ceremonies this year in Wirral and Stoke-on-Trent. We would very much like to see other Confirmations in the Traditional Form across the whole country and would urge all bishops to consider offering this Sacrament in its traditional form in their dioceses as part of their pastoral care for the faithful."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Mass in Darlington

Great news!! With effect from 12th December 2012 Fr Paul Tully will celebrate a monthly Mass on second Wednesday of each month at St Augustine's Church, 30 Coniscliffe Road, Darlington DL3 7RG at 7.00pm The Mass is due to the efforts of Carl Watson & his wife. Carl & his 2 sons presently serve at St Mary's, Barnard Castle.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Extra monthly Mass at St Mary's, Forest Hall

With effect from the First Sunday of Advent (2nd December 2012) Fr Brown will celebrate Low Mass at St Mary's, Forest Hall at 4.00pm. This Mass will replace Benediction on the first Sunday of each month.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Proposed new Mass venue in Hexham & Newcastle

Totally due to a local LMS member we are in process of setting up a new Mass venue in the south of the diocese. Carl Watson who, together with his sons, presently attends and serves at St Mary's, Barnard Castle, approached the Parish Council of St Augustine's Church in Darlington to request an EF Mass in the parish. It was made clear to him that this could not replace a current Mass but that an additional Mass could be arranged. To test the water, a monthly Mass is proposed. The parish priest was unable to celebrate the Mass and Fr Elkin from Barnard Castle felt he had enough on his plate so the question of a priest was raised. I offered to approach Fr Paul Tully, a hospital chaplain based at Easington Lane, who taught himself to celebrate the EF and celebrates it privately. He has also supplied at one or two Sunday EF Masses. He responded very quickly and positively and so we are now in process of arranging a suitable midweek monthly Mass to begin with. Hopefully this should be up and running early in 2013. AMDG. Well done Mr & Mrs Watson for your endeavours.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Successful Solemn Requiem at St Mary's, Forest Hall for the Feast of All Souls

A most successful Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated at St Mary's, Forest Hall on the evening of Friday 2nd November. The celebrant was Fr Michael Brown, the parish priest and Northern Chaplain of the LMS, with Fr David Phillips of Stella as deacon and Deacon Andrew Bunce as sub deacon. The Ordinary of the Mass was sung to 'Missa pro Defunctis' by Gabriel Faure by the joint choirs of Jesmond Choral Group and The Priory Singers under their Director of Music, John Scott. The Schola Sancti Baedae sang those parts of the Proper not included in the Faure. As is quite well known here in the north the sanctuary of St Mary's presents its own great difficulties since the church was 're-ordered' many years ago placing the sanctuary on one of the long walls. Clergy and servers managed very well to overcome these difficulties. Following Mass refreshments were provided in the church hall which gave the congregation and those involved in the Mass to socialise. Some 50 were estimated to be in the congregation and apologies are made in advance to the person who feels we should physically count them. EF Masses for the feast were also celebrated at St Mary's in Barnard Castle and SS Joseph, Patrick and Cuthbert in Coxhoe where Fr Shaun Swales celebrated all 3 Masses allowed to be said by priests on this feast.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Change at St Joseph's, Gateshead for October only

With the Feast of Christ the King (in the old calendar) falling as usual on the last Sunday of October, it has been agreed that the monthly Missa Cantata will be transferred from the usual 3rd Sunday to Sunday 28th October at the usual time of 12noon. This, of course, applies only for October.

Faure's Requiem for the Feast of All Souls

Friday 2nd November 2012 will be celebrated as the Feast of All Souls at St Mary's Church, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne with the EF Solemn Requiem Mass.  A first for many, many years will be the Ordinary sung to Gabriel Faure's 'Missa pro Defunctis' in its proper liturgical setting.

The joint choirs of Jesmond Choral Group and The Priory Singers will come together under their joint director, John Scott, to present this wonderful experience.

The Mass begins at 7.30pm and refreshments will be available after Mass.

Friday, October 12, 2012

St Wilfrid, Bishop of Hexham

Tonight we celebrated Solemn High Mass in the EF at St Mary's Church, Hencotes, Hexham, Northumberland on the feast of St Wilfrid early Bishop of Hexham.  He is reputed to have built a church here on the site of the present Hexham Abbey, directly across the road from St Mary's.

The Mass was celebrated by Fr Michael Brown (LMS Northern Chaplain) with Fr David Phillips as deacon and Andrew Bunce (transitional deacon) as sub deacon. The altar team came from across the diocese with MC (myself) from St Joseph's in Gateshead, Leo Darroch (thurifer) from Consett, Frank Walker (acolyte) from Morpeth and Ryan (our newest recruit) from Forest Hall.  Fr Christopher Warren (parish priest) and retired priest Fr John Campbell were in choir.  The music was plainchant from our own Schola Sancti Baedae.

This was the first celebration of the EF in Hexham since Vatican II and it was encouraging to have some 40 (mainly from the parish) in the congregation.

Our thanks go to all involved especially Fr Warren for his kind invitation and his wish to have at least an annual Mass in his church.

Our next special Mass will be a Solemn Requiem Mass on 2nd November, the Feast of All Souls.  On that occasion the Ordinary of the Mass will be Faure's Requiem.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

High Mass in Hexham

Just a reminder that Solemn High Mass will be celebrated in St Mary's Church, Hencotes, Hexham on Friday 12th October at 7.30pm - the Feast of St Wilfrid. We had hoped to use the 13th Century Abbey (formerly occupied by Augustinian canons) but this proved impossible.  We are very grateful to Fr Chris Warren the PP for his extremely warm response to our request. The celebrant will be Fr Michael Brown (LMS Northern Chaplain) with Fr David Phillips as deacon & Rev Andrew Bunce (transitional deacon) as sub deacon.

This will be the first celebration of the EF Mass in Hexham since Vatican II and we look forward to welcoming a large congregation. Please be there.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

LMS appoints new National Chaplain

The LMS is very pleased to announce the appointment of Mgr Gordon Read, Chancellor of Brentwood Diocese, as its new National Chaplain, following the recent departure, for two years of study at the Angelicum in Rome, of Fr Andrew Southwell.  He will take up his appointment with immediate effect.

Mgr Read is parish priest of St Mary Immaculate and the Holy Archangels, Kelvedon, Essex, and has been a long time supporter of the work of the Society.  He is widely held in high regard by many Catholics of all persuasions.

In addition to his responsibilities as parish priest, he is rural dean of Colchester, Chancellor and Judicial Vicar of Brentwood Diocese, a member of the Bishop's College of Consultors, a governor of St Teresa's Catholic Primary School, Lexden, Vice-Chair of Governors, St Benedict's College, Colchester, and Trustee of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland.  A frequent contributor of articles to canon law journals, his advice on canonical matters is widely sought.

Commenting on the new appointment, LMS Chairman Dr Joseph Shaw said:
"We are delighted that Mgr Read has agreed to be our National Chaplain.  He is a very long-standing friend of the Society, and a priest regarded with great affection and respect in both the Society and his diocese.  His expertise, practical experience, and wisdom will be a great assistance to us in our ever-expanding work." 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Forthcoming Masses

Delighted to announce 2 upcoming Masses.

On Friday October 12th we are planning a Missa Solemnis in St Mary's Church in Hexham.  This will be a first as our previous request to celebrate Mass in Hexham Abbey was refused.  We are grateful to Fr Christopher Warren, the parish priest, for the opportunity.  The time has not yet been finalised so watch this space.

The second Mass will be a Solemn Requiem Mass to be celebrated at St Mary's Church, Forest Hall on Friday 2nd November.  Once again final details are still being discussed but we are hopeful that Faure's Requiem will be sung. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nous retournons!!!!!

What a wonderful 4 days in Lourdes with the LMS Pilgrimage!

We (Theresa, Fr Michael Brown & myself) left Newcastle at 4.10am on Monday 17th September for the long drive to Stansted Airport where we joined the other 20 pilgrims.  Our flight was by Ryanair which meant an absolute minimum of baggage but, thanks to reversible vestments, we managed.  Our outward flight was to Biarritz then on to Lourdes by coach.

The weather was scorching when we arrived and it was a mad scatter to book into our hotel then immediately to leave for St Gabriel's Chapel for our first Mass.  The chapel was tiny and when Fr Brown leaned on the altar for the consecration it threatened to topple.  No regimentation so back to Hotel Beau Site for dinner then, if one wished down to the Domain for the procession.

Tuesday began in the rain with Mass in the Sacred Heart Chapel (much bigger) of the St Frei Centre.  Free time before lunch then Blessed Sacrament procession indoors.

Wednesday we had a visit to Bartres with Mass in the parish church followed by a picnic lunch at Lac du Lourdes. We had Missa Cantata here.

Thursday's Mass was also a Missa Cantata celebrated in the beautiful Ukranian Catholic Chapel with the most unusual thurible with bells on!!

Friday was our last day and again we celebrated Missa Cantata in the Sacred Heart Chapel at St Frei - no thurible.  After an early lunch we boarded a coach for the short trip to Tarbes Airport for the journey home with Titan Airways (little baggage restriction).  We 3 left Stansted just after 4pm & arrived back on 'Canny Tyneside' just before 11pm.

Thanks must go to Tangney Tours for the arrangements, to Paul Waddington for the English organisation but mostly to Fr Brown for his tireless efforts to keep us spiritually aware at all times.  Paul Waddington, Alan Frost & I served all Masses but the publishers of Fortescue need to update their servers instructions as I discovered a new role, that of MC/Cantor.  No extra pay of course.

The LMS must provide a banner which can be taken on such pilgrimages rather than be retained solely for English events, our name must be better known.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Nativity of BVM celebrated with Missa Solemnis at Brinkburn Priory

It was a delightful sunny day at Brinkburn Priory - former home of Augustinian canons - on Saturday 8th September 2012 for the 11th celebration of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  It was a Solemn High Mass

The celebrant was Fr Michael Brown - Northern Chaplain of the LMS and Parish Priest of St Mary's, Forest Hall - deacon was Fr David Phillips - Parish Priest of St Mary & St Thomas, Stella - while sub-deacon was Rev Andrew Bunce - transitional deacon.  Our usual visiting choir was The Rudgate Singers from York who sang the Ordinary of the Mass to Monteverdi's setting Messa a 4 Da Capella.  During Mass they sang Victoria's Ave Maria at the Offertory, Guerrero's O Domine Jesu Christe at the Communion and Michael Praetorius' setting of Salve Regina immediately after Mass.  The Schola Sancti Baedae sang the Proper of the Mass in Gregorian Chant from the Liber Usualis.  The serving team was comprised of servers from Barnard Castle, Gateshead, Morpeth and Forest Hall.

After the poor turnout in 2011 (largely, we feel, due to dreadful weather) it was touch & go whether today's Mass went on.  Our faith was rewarded with a congregation of about 40.  It was a great pleasure and priviledge to have in the congregation Fra Matthew Festing - Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta - accompanied by one of his Australian chaplains.  Also supporting today's Mass was Neil Walker - our fellow LMS Representative from Leeds & Salford dioceses. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bishop Mark Davies attends Solemn Mass to mark end of LMS Pilgrimage to Walsingham

Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury preached at the Solemn Mass offered to mark the end of the Latin Mass Society's 3rd Annual Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham on Sunday 26th August. The Mass was celebrated by Canon Olivier Meney ICKSP with Fr Bede Rowe (the pilgrimage chaplain) as Deacon and Fr John Cahill as Sub-Deacon. Gregorian chant was provided throughout the pilgrimage by a schola assembled from among the walking pilgrims and directed by Matthew Schellhorn, who is our Local Representative for Southwark North.

Around 70 people took part in the three-day, 55 mile walk from Ely in Cambridgeshire to the Slipper Chapel in Walsingham, which was offered for the conversion of England.

The pilgrimage began with Sung Mass, celebrated by Fr Cahill, offered on the Friday morning at St Ethelreda's Catholic Church , Ely.  The MC was Rev James Mawdsley, one of the English seminarians studying with the FSSP. Mass was followed by the traditional Pilgrims' Blessing given by Fr Rowe. A visit was then paid to Ely Anglican Cathedral to pray for the conversion of our separated brethren. By the end of the afternoon, the pilgrims had been blessed with beautiful sunshine and had reached their first billet at Stoke Ferry, near King's Lynn.

Sung Mass on Saturday morning was in the family chapel at Oxburgh Hall, a fifteenth century moated manor house, which, although now owned by the National Trust, is still lived in by the Bedingfield family whose ancestors built it. Oxburgh has a long history as a centre of recusancy and boasts its own priest's hole, which pilgrims were given the chance to visit after Mass.

The pilgrims continued through Saturday, praying the Rosary, singing hymns and songs, and getting absolutely soaked through as the heavens opened and thunder and lightning let loose on the Norfolk landscape. By the time the pilgrims reached Harpley village, their Saturday evening stop, spirits had recovered somewhat, which was further aided by a visit to the Rose and Crown pub in the village.

Sunday saw the last  leg of the pilgrimage and the tired pilgrims reached their destination of the Slipper Chapel. They were joined by a coach full of people who had travelled from London for the day to attend the final Mass in the Chapel of Reconciliation at the National Catholic Shrine. Following Mass, Bishop Davies gave his blessing (in Latin) to the pilgrims.

The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, which had been carried throughout the final day of the pilgrimage, led the procession of well over a hundred people along the Holy Mile to the grounds and ruins of Walsingham Abbey, the site of the Holy House of Nazareth, built by the Lady Richeldis in 1061 and which, like the abbey, was destroyed under Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. Prayers of thanksgiving were offered by Fr Bede Rowe followed by veneration of the statue of Our Lady.

LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: 'This year's pilgrimage was the most successful yet, with the number of participants rising to 70 from last year's total of 30. This is very encouraging. Several family groups joined us, which we were delighted about, and, although most pilgrims were young people, there was a good spread of ages. Everyone was most impressed by two ladies aged 84 and 86 who completed the walk.'

'We are grateful to Bishop Davies for agreeing to attend in choro for the Solemn Mass and for preaching. There are many other people who put in many hours of work to make this event the great success it turned out to be and we would like to thank them all.'

'We hope that our pilgrimage, with the many prayers and personal sacrifices of the pilgrims, and the Masses offered up during the three days, will bring many graces upon England and assist in its conversion.'

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Please don't forget the Solemn High Mass to be celebrated at Brinkburn Priory (between Morpeth & Rothbury) in the beautiful Northumbrian countryside.

Mass begins at 12noon on Saturday 8th September 2012 - the Feast of the Nativity of the BVM - with music for the Ordinary of the Mass by the Rudgate Singers of York and the Proper of the Mass by the Schola Sancti Baedae.

A most wonderful setting for "the most beautiful thing this side of heaven."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Theresa & I are joining the LMS Pilgrimage to Lourdes from 17th-21st September 2012 and will be pleased to take petitions to Our Blessed Lady for anyone wishing us to. Please send you petitions to us via email to: or (preferably) post in a sealed envelope to our home address:

34 Morston Drive
Dumpling Hall Estate
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE15 7RZ

We promise to pray for the intentions of LMS members living and dead and for the rapid spread of the Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. We also especially pray that our bishops and priests be more welcoming to this form of Mass which the Holy Father endorses and which has rightly been called "the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven."

Saturday, August 25, 2012


It is with sadness that the proposed Mass at Sacred Heart & English Martyrs Church in Thornley, Co Durham for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14th September) has been cancelled as no singers are available.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Many of you will recall that we approached the dean of Hexham Abbey (founded 1127) to request permission to celebrate an EF Mass at the high altar. The dean conferred with the then parish priest of St Mary's Catholic Church (Fr Deegan RIP) who asked him to refuse permission. Bear in mind that students of Ushaw College had celebrated the OF Mass here months earlier.

With the demise of Fr Deegan a new parish priest was appointed who had previously been a curate at our cathedral where we are always welcomed. Again the dean was approached and we were invited to approach our diocesan chancellor.  This was not pursued as it seemed the dean had made his decision.

We are delighted to say that Fr Chris Warren has agreed to a celebration of the EF in St Mary's, Hexham on Friday 12th October 2012.  The celebrant will be Fr Michael Brown.  It has not yet been decided on the form of the Mass but please watch this space for more information.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

All Souls at St Mary's, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne

We are planning a Solemn Requiem Mass at St Mary's, Great Lime Road, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne on Friday 2nd November for the Feast of All Souls.

The hoped for music for the Mass will be Missa pro Defunctis by Gabriel Faure with the Proper sung to Gregorian chant.

More information will be sent out as it becomes available but we ask that you put the date into your diary NOW.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Assumption of the BVM

Just a reminder that Missa Solemnis will be celebrated at SS Peter and Paul Church, Benton Lane, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 8PB at 7.30pm on Wednesday 15th August 2012. The music will be Plainchant sung by the Schola Sancti Baedae.

Low Mass will also be celebrated at St Mary's in Barnard Castle at 7.30pm and Low Mass and Benediction at SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert in Coxhoe at 12 noon.

Missa Cantata will be celebrated at 7.30pm at St Patrick's in Ryhope.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back from Rome

Together with Fr Michael Brown & 6 parishioners we stayed for 7 nights at Villa Palazzola - the English College summer villa on Lake Albano just opposite Castelgandolfo. We were fortunate in having one EF Mass in the villa chapel celebrated by Fr Brown.

On the final Friday Theresa & I visited Rome in absolutely scorching temperatures (40 degrees at noon) and heard Mass in St Peter's. It was an Italian OF Mass which goes to show that the loss of Latin in the Mass is greatly watering down the universality of the Church.

Whilst in Rome (and through the good offices of HE David Smith the Lieutenant for England & Wales) we were given a guided tour of the HQ of my Order - the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem - which was most interesting.

Sadly for us our Holy Father was (sensibly) taking it easy at Castelgandolfo so we were unable to attend his Angelus which only occurs on Sundays.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

St Mary's, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne

Please note there will be No Mass on Saturday 28th July as Fr Brown & others will be at Villa Palazzola.

Feast of the Assumption of BVM

Here in Hexham & Newcastle several Masses are planned:

St Mary's, Barnard Castle
Low Mass at 7.30pm
SS Peter & Paul, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne
Missa Cantata at 7.30pm
St Patrick's, Ryhope
Missa Cantata at 7.30pm
SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert, Coxhoe
Low Mass at 12noon.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Brinkburn (again?) Why Not!

Just had a wonderful thought!!!

Why don't all of the parishes and priests make Saturday 8th September 2012 'A Day Out at Brinkburn'????

As I have explained earlier Brinkburn Priory is in an idyllic country setting in a bend of the River Coquet in the beautiful county of Northumberland.  Many of the congregation spend the day there with a picnic meal.  The one thing we cannot guarantee is the weather.  Of course (silly me) we will have 'weather' but it has become clear over the past few weeks that the 'kind' of weather we get is uncertain - to say the least!  What can be said is that up to 2011 we ALWAYS had beautiful sunshine.  Add to that the beauty of the Extraordinary Form of Mass with both polyphony and plainchant and the weather becomes of secondary importance.  I have just been told that the Ordinary will be a setting by Monteverdi sung by The Rudgate Singers of York and the Proper will be plainchant from the Liber Usualis sung by The Schola Sancti Baedae.

So, can we look forward to coaches and minibuses from Barnard Castle (I know it is a long way), Thornley (we may need your servers), Coxhoe, Gateshead and Newcastle?  Our old stalwart Jack Harvey was missing in 2011 after attending probably all occasions at Brinkburn in the past.

Anyone wishing to serve may contact me either by phone, email, letter or comment on this blog.

Of course visitors from other dioceses will also be made most welcome as we are from this diocese when we travel south.

Friday, July 13, 2012

More on Brinkburn Priory

Brinkburn Priory is situated approx 4.5 miles SE of Rothbury off B6344.

It is the 12th Century church of an Augustinian Priory founded in 1135.  It is presently under the stewardship of English Heritage and the church has been completely re-roofed by them.  The monastic buildings are roofed but empty and undecorated.

The church is lovely but rather unadorned although there is a large (quite scary) figure of Christ on the north wall by local artist Fenwick Lawson who also has figures in Durham Cathedral.

The church is a walk of about 200 yards down a track from the car park.  Disabled drivers can drive down to the church and (if spaces left) leave their cars.

Our Mass (hopefully Solemn High Mass) will begin at 12noon and we expect to have the Ordinary of the Mass sung by a polyphonic choir with the Proper sung to Plainchant.

September 8th is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Should you wish to find out more information I recommend using the Wikipedia entry for 'Brinkburn Priory' which will satisfy the most enquiring mind.

For users of satellite navigation the postcode is NE65 8AR.

More on Brinkburn Priory

For those travelling to the priory it is approx 4.5 miles SE of Rothbury off the B6344.  For users of satnav the postcode is NE65 8AR.

The church is the priory church of an Augustinian priory founded in 1135 and situated on a bend of the River Coquet.  It is set in beautiful countryside and you can imagine just why the monks chose this idyllic spot.

The church has been completely re-roofed by English Heritage and is quite plain with a beauty which is enhanced by the lack of decoration.  There is a modern (quite scary) wooden figure of Christ on the north wall by local artist Fenwick Lawson who also has works in Durham Cathedral and on Holy Island.  The monastic buildings are likewise plain and without decoration.

Should you require more information I recommend searching for the Wikipedia entry for 'Brinkburn Priory' which will satisfy the most searching of enquirers.

Mass at Brinkburn Priory

I am delighted to announce that, after much difficulty, Fr Michael Brown has managed permission for our annual Mass (hopefully Solemn High) at Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland.  The date (for your diaries please) is September 8th 2012 with Mass at 12noon.  Any volunteer servers will be welcomed with open arms. Slightly differently from previous years; we are not providing a shared table but facilities are there in the grounds should you wish to bring a picnic.

If we all pray for good weather it won't hurt, will it?

I intend publishing a little more on Brinkburn Priory and its history very soon as well as details on how to find it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Founders' Day Requiem Mass at Barnard Castle

The annual Requiem Mass for John and Josephine Bowes will be celebrated at St Mary's Church, Barnard Castle on Saturday 21st July 2012 at 12 noon. The church was intended to be a memorial to Josephine Bowes who, together with her husband John, was responsible for building the pseudo French chateau which now houses the famous Bowes Museum in the town.  The church is not as initially intended but is, nonetheless, a beautiful church completed when funds were available.

The celebrant will be the parish priest, Fr Elkin, who celebrates a weekly Sunday EF Mass plus an additional Tuesday midweek Mass.  Holydays of obligation are also celebrated.

The music will be provided by the Rudgate Singers of York augmented by singers from the Ordinariate Choir from Darlington which, with their newly ordained priest, was recently received into the Catholic Church.  The Mass setting will be by Pearsall and this will be the first time it will have been performed in the proper liturgical setting.

Weather permitting refreshments will be served after Mass on the lawn.  Weather of our normal English standard will see refreshments moved indoors.

All are encouraged and invited to attend this annual Mass.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Solemn High Mass at SS Peter & Paul

To celebrate the Patronal Feast of the parish EF Solemn High Mass was celebrated this evening.

The celebrant was Fr Michael Brown (parish priest) with Fr David Phillips as deacon and Rev Andrew Bunce as sub-deacon. In choir was Fr Gary Dickson from Thornley.

The Proper of the Mass was sung by the Schola Sancti Baedae whilst the Ordinary was a setting by Palestrina sung by a choir directed by Shaun Turnbull.

The congregation numbered 40+ mainly from the 2 parishes of SS Peter & Paul in Longenton & St Mary's in Forest Hall.

EF Masses were also celebrated today at both Coxhoe and Barnard Castle.

Off to Leeds tomorrow for the Mass with Bishop Rifan.

Monday, June 25, 2012

SS Peter & Paul, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne

Just to clarify the point; Solemn High Mass on Friday 29th June will be celebrated at 7pm

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Feast of SS Peter & Paul

This is one of the few Holydays retained on the correct date instead of being transferred to the nearest Sunday. It is also the Patronal Feast of SS Peter & Paul Church, Benton Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 8PB.

A Solemn High Mass will be celebrated there on Friday 29th June 2012 to celebrate the feast. The Ordinary of the Mass will be a Palestrina setting with the Proper sung to Gregorian Chant. Refreshments will be available following Mass.

You are strongly urged to attend this event.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ordinariate priest to celebrate EF Mass

Shortly after his ordination as a Catholic priest Fr John Hunwicke is to celebrate Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite on Thursday June 28th in Brompton Oratory by permission of the Provost.  What excellent news!!

Perhaps we should be encouraging the new Ordinariate priests to swell the ranks of our own traditionally-minded priests and thus make the EF Mass freely and easily available to the laity.

It is good to note that more bishops are involving themselves with this form of Mass since our Holy Father spelled out that both forms of the Mass have equal validity.  Bishop McMahon of Nottingham, Bishop Davies of Shrewsbury, Bishop Drainey of Middlesbrough and (by next weekend) Bishop Roche of Leeds will all have taken part in or celebrated the EF.  Our own diocesan bishop, Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham, was present in choir at Missa Cantata at St Joseph's, Gateshead during his Episcopal Visitation. I am not aware of how many other diocesan bishops have done so.

Deo Gratias!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Father Z heads line up of speakers at LMS One-Day Conference

When we throw a pebble into a pond, it sends out ripples in all directions. When we celebrate Mass it is just the same - whether we celebrate well or badly, it will affect the whole Church for either good or ill. This was the stark view that Father John Zuhlsdorf, better known as the blogger 'Fr Z', shared with his audience at the Latin Mass Society's  One-Day Conference in London on Saturday 9th June.

This was the first ever conference that the LMS had organised and it was greeted with widespread and enthusiastic praise from the conference floor. As headline speaker, Fr Z delivered a punchy and inspirational talk centred on his own slogan 'Save the Liturgy; Save the World'.

Other speakers included Dr John Rao of St John's University, New York, who touched on the topics of faith and history raised in his latest book 'Black Legends and the Light of the World'.

Stuart McCullogh's talk about the Good Counsel Network, who provide counselling for women who are facing crisis pregnancies, held the audience spellbound. Of those women who come to the Network, around 95% are intending to go ahead with an abortion when they first meet, but, as a result of the Network's efforts, around 70% change their minds and keep their babies. Stuart emphasised that the Network places traditional Catholic devotions at the heart of their work - especially Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Priest-blogger Fr Tim Finigan spoke about his experiences of introducing the Traditional Mass into his parish, looking back at the problems he'd faced and also to the improvements to parish life that it had brought about.

The final speaker was Rev John Hunwicke of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. By turns erudite and witty, he brought much learning and humour to the conference hall as he looked at the Anglican patrimony that he anticipated the Ordinariate would bring to the Catholic Church. For many attending the conference, Rev Hunwicke was the 'discovery' of the day. Many had not heard of him before and were won over by his knowledge of his subject and by his schoolmasterly charm.

The day ended with a very successful panel discussion in which the speakers gathered together to answer questions submitted by the audience. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dilston & Biddlestone Masses cancelled

Each year, for a number of years, we have celebrated Missa Cantata at both Dilston Hall, near Corbridge, and Biddlestone, north of Alnwick, in Northumberland. Sadly, this year both will be missing from our calendar.

Dilston Hall was the home of the recusant Earls of Derwentside and was run by North Pennine Trust. The main hall was residential accomodation for Mencap but the trust looking after the ruins and the chapel has been disbanded and access is no longer possible.

Biddlestone Chapel was the site of another EF Mass but it is no longer possible to make the necessary arrangements for the Mass to continue, largely due to its isolated situation. We must thank Mr Jack Harvey (a former LR of the LMS and a leading light in the early days) for his devotion to maintaining the Mass over the years.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bishop Rifan of Campos Brazil to visit Britain this summer

The Latin Mass Society is pleased to announce that Bishop Fernando Rifan, Apostolic Administrator of the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney in Brazil, will be visiting Britain this summer and will celebrate Pontifical High Masses at three locations across England and Wales at events organised by the LMS.

The main events are:

Saturday 30th June 2012 at 3pm
Pontifical High Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 294 Harrogate Road, Morrtown, Leeds LS17 6LE

Sunday 1st July 2012 at 2.30pm
Holywell Pilgrimage, St Winefride's Catholic Church, Well Street, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 7PL. (Pontifical High Mass)
The Mass and Pilgrimage will be filmed by EWTN as part of a forthcoming television series. There will be a coach leaving for Holywell from London (contact Graham Moorhouse on 01322 409231) and also, we hope, Birmingham (phone 020 7404 7284), Liverpool (phone Jim Pennington 0151 426 0361) and Wirral (phone Anthony Sibert 0151 625 9033).

Saturday 7th July 2012 at 11am
Annual General Meeting and Pontifical High Mass at St George's Cathedral, Southwak, London SE1 6HX. (Mass at 11am, AGM at 2pm addressed by the bishop).
We are hoping to run coaches from Cambridge, Reading and Brighton if there is sufficient demand. Please phone the LMS office (020 7404 7284) to book a place or for more information.
There will be a buffet lunch at the AGM for all paid-up members of the LMS. The cost per head will be £5, payable at the door. But if you are intending to come, please tell us beforehand so that we can budget for the catering.

Bishop Rifan will also be visiting Scotland during his time in Britain and will celebrate Mass in Edinburgh (venue to be announced by Una Voce Scotland) on Monday 2nd July 2012 at 7pm.

This promises to be a wonderful week of events in the summer giving full witness to the Traditional Mass and the Faith that goes with it. We warmly encourage everyone to attend at least one of these Masses.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Great Sadness

It is with a sense of great sadness that the death on Monday/Tuesday of Moira Brown - mother of Fr Michael Brown - was made known. The exact cause is not yet known only that Mrs Brown died in her sleep. She had not been unwell & on Sunday Fr Brown had spent the day at the family home in Low Fell, returning to his church on Monday.

As you might expect Fr Brown is devastated as he & his mother were very close. She had been expected to accompany Father & parishioners & friends to Palazzola in July.

Moira was a lovely lady who was very proud of her priest son & who was liked & respected by all who met her.

Father Brown's 2 brothers were on their way north having heard the sad news.

Details of the funeral will be announced when known but, in the meanwhile, we will all wish to pray for the repose of Moira's soul & for a merciful judgement. Please also remember Fr Brown & his brothers in your prayers.

Requiescat in pace.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

'Father Z' heads impressive line-up of speakers at LMS's first One-Day Conference on 9th June

Father John Zuhlsdorf, best known as the blogger 'Father Z', will be one of the speakers at the Latin Mass Society's Conference on Saturday 9th June in central London. This is the first time that the LMS has organised such an event and we are very excited to have such a strong line-up. In addition to Fr Zuhlsdorf, Fr Tim Finigan (parish priest, blogger and newspaper columnist), Dr John Rao (of 'The Roman Forum'), John Hunwicke (blogger and well-known member of the Ordinariate) and Stuart McCullough (of the Good Counsel Network) will address the audience on the conference theme 'The Traditional Mass and The Catholic Life'. We hope that our guests' talks will demonstrate that there's more to Traditional Catholics than simply attending the Traditional Mass. Following the end of the talks, there will be a panel discussion to round off the day. The conference is aimed principally at ordinary LMS members, although non-members are very welcome to join us.

The Conference venue is: Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, London W1C 2DJ (opposite BHS, less than 5 minutes' walk from Oxford Circus.)

Admission is by ticket only. Full price tickets are £20 each but there is a discounted price for paid-up LMS members of £15 each. In addition, we are supplying an optional buffet lunch for which there is a £9 supplement. So far, most people have booked in for the lunch (drinks are included). We are hoping that lunchtime will provide conference attendees with the chance to meet and chat with their fellow LMS members from up and down the country and to some of the speakers.

Tickets are available from the LMS office 0n 020 7404 7284 or online at:

There is Low Mass before the Conference begins at St James', Spanish Place at 9am, for those who can attend. Doors open at Regent Hall from 10am and there will be a number of stalls for you to browse round (during which refreshments will be available - there will also be afternoon tea) before the first speaker begins at 11am. The Conference will close at 6pm.

Here is the full timetable and a summary of booking information:

9am Low Mass at St James', Spanish Place
10am Doors open
10am-11am Registration, stalls in the Conference Hall to browse
11am - 11.50am 1st Talk: Dr John Rao (Roman Forum)
12noon - 12,50pm 2nd Talk: Stuart McCullough (Good Counsel Network)
2pm - 2.50pm 3rd Talk: Fr John Zuhlsdorf (Fr Z)
3pm - 3.50pm 4th Talk: Fr Tim Finigan (columnist and blogger)
4pm - 4.50pm 5th Talk: John Hunwicke (of the Ordinariate)
5pm - 6pm Panel discussion
6pm Close


Admission by ticket only.

Ticket Prices:
LMS Members £15
Non-LMS Members £20
(includes morning and afternoon refreshments)
Optional: Buffet Lunch including drinks £9 supplement.

You can buy your ticket by phoning the LMS office on 020 7404 7284, sending a cheque (payable to 'LMS') to LMS, 11-13 Macklin Street, London WC2B 5NH or online here:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Beware of Brazilian bishop

We, as traditionalist Catholics with a great love and respect for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, must be on our guard against the teachings of Bishop Sergio Machado of the Diocese of Sao Carlos in Brazil. He denigrates this official form of the Roman Rite in direct conflict with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, who has publicly ratified the celebrations of Mass in the form. Not only does Bishop Machado go against the words of papal authority but he classes those of us preferring this Mass as 'idiots'. He speaks against the Mass vestments. He even looks to science to discover "a device to open minds". I would have thought prayer to the Holy Ghost would have been more effective.

We see another concerning feature of our religious - whether secular or regular - when we hear of the appointment of Sister Nicoletta Victoria Spezzati being raised to Undersecretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Sister NEVER wears a habit.

Sad to say we also see this throughout the Catholic world where priests and religious wear lay clothing. They postulate that this brings them closer to the people. RUBBISH! I, personally, wonder whether they are ashamed of their vocation. Surely those chosen by God to be he ministers and adorers should be proud to proclaim their position and, equally, let themselves be known by the laity who may need their assistance in spiritual matters.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Change to morning Masses at Forest Hall

It is announced with regret that until further notice the 7.30am Monday to Friday EF Masses at St Mary's, Great Lime Road, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne have been suspended. The reason is largely due to lack of attendance. As always we have to say that EF Masses are available only when wanted. The old adage of "use it or lose it applies".

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cardinal Ranjith lays down his rules

His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo has again restated the obvious wishes of Pope Benedict by insisting that all faithful in his diocese must receive Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling. Our Holy Father has already made his position on this subject patently obvious as all communicants at papal Masses receive in this most reverent way. Even now within the Extraordinary Form we see visitors to our Masses holding out their hands to receive the Body of Christ. Rather than embarrass them perhaps it is time for The Bishops' Conference to put out a paper to all parishes pointing out that the liturgical norms of 1962 must be adhered to at celebrations of the traditional Mass. This instruction is from Rome!

Cardinal Ranjith has also instructed his priests that they must be properly vested for the celebration of Holy Mass. That is in alb (with or without amice), cincture, stole and chasuble. Sadly we do occasionally still see celebrants who do not wear the chasuble.

Come on Right Reverend Bishops lay down some rules remembering that Communion in the hand was a short term permission which has not been renewed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bishop Drainey's York Homily

When you are listening to a conversation, does it ever happen to you that you hear an expression or phrase as if for the first time? Perhaps the particular expression strikes you as amusing, bizarre or even shocking. Yet you have heard it over and over again and have used it so often in your own conversations. While reflecting about what to say today on this wonderful occasion of honouring St Margaret Clitherow, once a citizen of this great city of York, two such sayings come to mind. They are rather obvious, and are used quite frequently in peoples' conversation - 'Oh, I could die for it'- meaning this is something I really want, I really desire with every ounce of my being, without it I could not live; 'I would stake my life on it', meaning something which is fundamental, right, true necessary, something which cannot deceive or let you down. It is interesting that in an age almost defined by relativism, where it appears hard to proclaim anything as absolute, fundamental and common to all, that we use such graphic and shocking language.

This relativism seems to permeate our world today to such an extent that it is part or the cultural and societal air that we breathe. If we are not on our guard it will taint us and affect us. It is an evil about which our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, has spoken on many occasions. Just listen to a few of his words:

'There is (also) something sinister which stems from the fact that freedom and tolerance are so often separated from truth. This is fuelled by the notion, widely held today, that there are no absolute truths to guide our lives. Relativism, by indiscriminately giving value to practically everything, has made 'experience' all-important. Yet, experiences, detached from any consideration of what is good or true, can lead, not to genuine freedom, but to moral or intellectual confusion, to a lowering of standards, to a loss of self-respect, and even to despair.' (WYDSYD08 Thursday 17.07.08)

And we know this is not something new in our world. Recently I was re-reading the famous 'Biglietto Speech' of Blessed John Henry Newman on the occasion of his elevation to the Cardinalate on 12th May 1879. He says:

'Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one religion is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It teaches that all (religions) are tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not truth, but sentiment and taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. Never was a device of the Enemy so cleverly framed and with such promise of success.'

Margaret Clitherow lived in a very different age, with very distinct values and ideas. We tend to think of this as a very stable, if not staid society. Things remained as they always had been, the 'status quo' was all important. While, in the main, this was true, religion and faith, local and international politics were very turbulent at that time and there was much confusion in peoples' minds and lives. Very much against the flow, Margaret Clitherow chose a path, a way of life which was going to bring her into collision with not only social mores, family and friends, but also with the highest authority in this land.

She felt with all her heart that what was happening around her was neither just, true nor good. On all these things she felt she had to stake her life, literally, for they were things she could die for! So deep was her conviction, her faith in this that nothing could turn her away from the course she had taken, neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, neither height nor depth, nor any created thing.

It perhaps seems strange to us today that someone should give their life for such theoretical, theological niceties. The arguments of our age turn around the fulcrum of whether or not anything can be of such value and certainty that we should give our lives for it. Yet again, while this argument rages, many of our young men and women are giving their lives as a result of armed conflict throughout the world!

St Margaret Clitherow was willing to die for the truths which she held as absolute and sacrosanct. For her they were 'to die for!' However not without fear, not without recognising her human frailty. On receiving the notice of her sentence she said: 'I am according to the Queens Majesty's law judged to die, and while my spirit is willing, my flesh repines. My cause is God's and it is a comfort to die in His quarrel; flesh is frail, but I trust in my Lord Jesus that He will give me the strength to bear all troubles and torments which will be laid upon me for His sake. I shall die on Friday next. I now feel the frailty on mine own flesh which trembleth at the news, although my spirit greatly rejoiceth.'

And it wasn't just she who would suffer as a result of the sentence. John, her husband, almost beside himself with grief cried out: 'Alas they will kill my wife. Let them take all I have to save her for she is the best wife in all England and the best Catholic also.'

Whu honour St Margaret Clitherow, wife and mother, kind neighbour and friend, sincere believer and authentic witness to her faith, even to the point of offering her life in a martyr's death? In a sceptical and suspicious age, the only argument that speaks convincingly is the force of personal witness. We need to know that there are truly things on which we can stake our lives. We need to understand that there are things to die for, even today. And it is us who are called to be witnesses of this; not just for the good of our particular denimination, our chosen creed, but so that all may see and understand that truth and freedom will lead us to genuine joy and hope.

Again, if I may, I would like to finish by quoting from Pope Benedict XVI: 'Empowered by the Spirit, and drawing upon faith's rich vision, a new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God's gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished - not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed. A new age in which love is not greedy or self-seeking, but pure, faithful and genuinely free, open to others, respectful of their dignity, seeking their good, radiating joy and beauty. A new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption which deadens our souls and poisons our relationships. (Dear young friends), the Lord is asking you to be prophets of this new age, messengers of His love, drawing people to the Father and building a future of hope for all humanity.' (Pope's homily at the Mass at Randswicj Racecourse - WYDSYDO* Sunday 20.7.08).

St Margaret Clitherow, pray for us.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bishop Drainey of Middlesbrough presides at the faldstool at EF Missa Solemnis in honour of St Margaret Clitherow

The second annual pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow was held today in St Wilfrid's Church in York.
Bishop Drainey presided from the faldstool & Missa Solemnis was celebrated by Fr Michael Brown, the Northern Chaplain of the LMS. The deacon was Fr John Cahill & sub deacon was Fr Michael Hall. Mgr David Smith was Asst Priest and Fr Stephen Brown was the deacon at the Throne.
The music was provided by The Rudgate Singers & included 'Ecce Sacerdos Magnus' by Victoria as Bishop Drainey arrived, Bruckner's 'Locus Iste' as he vested on the sanctuary and the Ordinary of the Mass was 'Missa Summi et Aeterni sacerdotis' by Ostrowski (b1981)
There were some 200 in the congregation many of whom also processed to English Martyrs Church in York praying at the Margaret Clitherow Shrine in The Shambles and at Ouseburn Bridge, the site of her martyrdom. The public were very respectful as the procession passed.
On arrival at English Martyrs Church the hand of St Margaret was venerated and this was followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament by Bishop Drainey.
It was good that a diocesan bishop is prepared to celebrate the EF of the Roman Rite as requested by Pope Benedict. Also today Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury re-opened SS Peter & Paul Church in New Brighton now in the care of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.
With Bishop Malcolm McMahon OP of Nottingham also supporting the EF it seems as if more of our bishops are realising its worth.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Re-opening of New Brighton church

On Saturday 24th March 2012 Rt Rev Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, will preside at the Solemn High Mass to celebrate the re-opening of the church of SS Peter & Paul in New Brighton.

Now designated as the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament at SS Peter, Paul and Philomena under the care of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

We must all pray that this new centre for the celebration of the liturgy and sacraments according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (as requested by our Holy Father) goes from strength to strength.

It is worthy of note that two diocesan bishops are presiding at Solemn High Masses in the Extraordinary Form on the same day, Bishop Drainey at the St Margaret Clitherow Pilgrimage at St Wilfrid's in York and Bishop Davies in New Brighton. We hope that this may well be the start of ALL diocesan bishops showing their obedience to our Holy Father.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday 2

Just to confirm that EF celebrations will also take place as below:

Palm Sunday
Sacred Heart & English Martyrs, Thornley. Distribution of Palms & Low Mass 9.30am
St Dominic's Priory, Newcastle. Distribution of Palms & Missa Cantata 12noon

Easter Sunday
Sacred Heart & English Martyrs, Thornley. Low Mass 9.30am
St Dominic's Priory, Newcastle. Missa Cantata 12noon

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday

I am presently aware of the following celebrations:

Palm Sunday
St Mary's, Barnard Castle. Distribution of Palms & Low Mass 9am
St Joseph's, Gateshead. Distribution of Palms & Low Mass 12noon

Easter Sunday
St Mary's, Barnard Castle. Low Mass 9am
St Joseph's, Gateshead. Missa Cantata 9am

I hope to be advised of the ceremonies & times for Sacred Heart & English Martyrs, Thornley & St Dominic's Priory, Newcastle upon Tyne very soon.
If no information forthcoming I suggest both will be as normal:

Sacred Heart & English Martyrs, Thornley. Low Mass 9.30am
St Dominic's Priory, Newcastle upon Tyne. Missa Cantata 11.30am

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Please avoid contact with a blog 'Catholic Left' who responds to your personal email address whilst claiming anonymity because of his sensitive job.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mass at Coxhoe recommences

Fr Swales has announced that the weekly EF Mass celebrated at his church of SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert will recommence on Thursday 22nd March 2012 at 12 noon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Is Communion in the hand illicit in England & Wales?

The 'Catholic Herald' (3rd Sept 1999) quoted Cardinal Basil Hume's letter, written before his death, as saying:

"Communion in the hand, moving the Blessed Sacrament from the High Altar, failure to genuflect have, in my experience,weakened the respect and devotion to so great a Sacrament."

Permission for this practice from Rome clearly states:

"The condition [for this permission] is the complete avoidance of any cause for the faithful to be shocked and any danger of irreverence towards the Eucharist."

In Cardinal Hume's judgement then this condition has not been met, so when we take his (the Head of the Church in England and Wales) comments along with the above from Rome, there can be little doubt that Communion in the hand is illicit in England and Wales. Is there a Catholic bishop who will now ban this abuse?

Please kneel and hold out your tongue to receive Our Lord in Communion.

St Margaret Clitherow Pilgrimage in York

Following the tremendous success of the first LMS pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow to York in 2011 a further pilgrimage is to be held on March 24th 2012. Last year's event took place in York Minster but this year the Solemn High Mass will be celebrated in St Wilfred's Church, just opposite the West Door of the Minster, in the presence of Bishop Drainey of the Diocese of Middlesbrough. The Mass will begin at 1.30pm.

The celebrant will be Fr Michael Brown, the Northern Chaplain of the LMS, and Mass will be immediately followed by a procession through York to English Martyrs Church where a relic of St Margaret will be venerated. The route of the pilgrimage will, as in 2011, process through The Shambles - where St Margaret lived - and past the place of her martyrdom - she was pressed to death.

We are encouraging as many as possible to be in York on March 24th for both the Mass and the procession of witness. The 2011 event was covered both locally and nationally by the media and was instrumental in introducing many new adherents to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sense of beauty in the liturgy 'Umbilically Connected to Music', composer tells meeting of choir Directors

James MacMillan ,the Catholic composer, and Fr Guy Nicholls, founder of the Newman Institute of Liturgical Music in Birmingham, addressed a meeting of around fifty choir directors and Chant experts at the second biennial meeting of the Gregorian Chant Network at the London Oratory on 18th February, sponsored financially by the Latin Mass Society.

The Network, which was founded two years ago by the Latin Mass Society, Una Voce Scotland, the Association for Latin Liturgy, the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge and dozens of Chant scholas across England and Wales, aims to promote greater knowledge of, and expertise in, the Church's most ancient musical form with the aim of fostering its wider use in the Catholic liturgy.

Dr MacMillan was the principal speaker and addressed the meeting about the role of music in the Church's cultural patrimony. He recalled that, as a young boy, he had attended what is now called the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and noticed that, 'the sense of beauty, the sense of sacred awe, was umbilically connected to the music,' He observed that beauty as a concept had largely been lost from contemporary Church music. Indeed it had been accompanied by the abandonment of any objective notion of beauty at all. This fitted in with the widespread liturgical trend, namely celebrations of Mass that have become self-preoccupied and centred on the notion of self-expression; a liturgy that too often focuses on community rather that the divine. In Dr MacMillan's experience, the singing of Gregorian Chant had helped priests and their congregations to recover their focus on what was important in the Mass - that sense of beauty and the sacred.

Fr Guy Nicholls of the Birmingham Oratory, gave the meeting a brief but fascinating update on the progress achieved at the Newman Institute of Music, which was established in the wake of the Holy Father's visit to Britain, and which was dedicated to meeting the musical needs of both clergy and laity.

The meeting was chaired by Dr Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the LMS, who reported the activities of the GCN over the past two years and looked forward to further success in the months to come.

The very successful gathering concluded with Vespers in the Little Oratory, led by Fr Andrew Southwell, the LMS National Chaplain.

LMS announces 6 new patrons

The LMS has announced the establishment of 6 patrons, including well-known figures from the worlds of music, journalism, politics and the law.

This marks a major advance for the LMS and for the cause of the Traditional Latin Mass in England and Wales which are both attracting the support of mainstream figures within the Church.

The new patrons include Dr James MacMillan CBE, who composed the setting for the Beatification Mass of John Henry Newman and is well known for his tireless campaigning for excellence in Church music. Charles Moore, a convert to Catholicism, is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph and a prominent national journalist and political commentator. Prince Rupert Lowenstein is a former President and long time supporter of the Latin Mass Society. Lord (Brian) Gill is the second most senior judge in Scotland and was recently honoured with a papal knighthood. He has supported the Traditional Latin Mass for many years. Colin Mawby is another composer who is highly respected in Catholic music circles. He was Director of Music at Westminster Cathedral under Cardinal Heenan and more recently has been very supportive of the LMS's attempts to nurture a wider knowledge of Gregorian Chant. Sir Adrian Fitzgerald is President of the Irish Association of the Knights of Malta, a former mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and was previously a Chairman of Governors of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School.

Announcing the establishment of the LMS's new patrons, Chairman Dr Joseph Shaw said: "I am delighted they have agreed to be patrons. This is a real indication of the Society's standing in the Catholic community and the Church. Since 'Summorum Pontificum', our support of the Traditional Latin Mass is no longer considered an eccentricity, to be tolerated at best, but an important apostolate for the good of the whole Church and recognised as such by the Holy Father."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bishop Seamus Cunningham at St Joseph's, Gateshead

This weekend was the Episcopal Visitation of St Joseph's parish together with the satellite church of St Wilfrid. Bishop Cunningham celebrated Mass at St Wilfrid's on Saturday & spent Sunday at St Joseph's. He celebrated & preached at both the 8.30am & 10.30am OF Masses before joining us for the EF 12noon Mass. This being the 3rd Sunday of the month we celebrated a Missa Cantata with Fr Adrian Dixon the parish priest who celebrates our EF Mass every Sunday.

The bishop sat in choir & was accorded the required rubrics throughout Mass. He also preached a most excellent sermon on prayer & silence coupled with our need to evangelise. He met with the congregation as they left the church after Mass & gave his blessing to the servers following Mass.

We were delighted that Bishop Seamus was able to share in our celebration of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

BBC4 programme on Pugin from St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne

Last November BBC4 decided to record a programme on the architect Pugin. As he designed St Mary's Cathedral in Newcastle it was decided that this would be a good venue.

In view of the fact that the cathedral was designed for the Usus Antiquior the cathedral dean, Fr Peter Leighton, asked Fr Michael Brown if it were possible to re-enact a part of a Solemn High Mass (the Offertory). A team of servers plus the Schola Sancti Baedae took part with Fr Brown as celebrant, Fr David Phillips as deacon and Fr Jim Angus as sub-deacon.

The programme is to be televised on BBC4 on Thursday 19th January 2012. Watch out for details of time in your TV guide.

Update Mass details for Hexham & Newcastle

St Mary's Barnard Castle

2nd February 2012 (Feast of the Purification) Low Mass 7.30pm
22nd February 2012 (Ash Wednesday) Low Mass 7.30pm
26th March 2012 (Annunciation) Low Mass at 7.30pm

These are in addition to usual Masses

SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert

There will be NO MASSES on 19th & 26th January 2012.
2nd February 2012 (Purification) Mass at 11.45am instead of 12 noon
9th February 2012 Mass reverts back to 12 noon
There will be NO MASSES on 16th & 23rd February 2012 nor on 2nd & 9th March 2012
Masses will revert to normal from 15th March 2012 at 12 noon.

Information on Masses at St Mary's, Forest Hall & Sacred Heart & English Martyrs, Thornley will be published as soon as possible

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Masses were held at Coxhoe (Missa Cantata), Barnard Castle (Low Mass) & Forest Hall (Low Mass) to celebrate the feast.

Thank to to our clergy, singers & servers for making them possible.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Episcopal Visitation to St Joseph's, Gateshead

Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham will be carrying out a Visitation at St Joseph's Church, High Street West, Gateshead on Sunday 15th January 2011. In accordance with his usual format he will be present at all parish Masses including the 12 noon Extraordinary Form. As the 15th is the 3rd Sunday of January this Mass will be a Missa Cantata.
We cordially invite all LMS members to attend & meet our Ordinary after Mass.