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.