Friday, December 27, 2013

Midnight Mass in Gateshead

Following (unaccompanied) carols from 11.30pm Fr Michael Brown placed the Christ Child in the Crib prior to celebrating Missa Cantata. The Mass was celebrated in St Wilfred's Church on Sunderland Rd in Gateshead rather than the mother church of St Joseph's which is situated in the heart of the town and could, possibly, have suffered from loud street noise. St Wilfred's Church was the first venue for the EF Mass in Gateshead before Fr Brown took over St Joseph's Church too & transferred the celebrations there as being more easily reached. Fr Brown is still PP of the 2 churches although the African Sisters of Divine Love now reside in the presbytery. All 4 sisters attended the Mass & commented on the beauty of the EF Rite. The music was provided by the Schola Sancti Baedae who sang the Ordinary to Missa de Amgelis & the Proper in Plainchant. James Mawdesly, a seminarian with the FSSP, was on the sanctuary in choir & the serving team was David O'Neill (MC), Aidan McGregor (thurifer) & acolytes Andrew Armstrong & Martin McGregor. The McGregor family were there in force with Helen & her husband from USA & Martin visiting from his home in Oxford as on Saturday they celebrated the marriage of Maria to Dr Robert Devlin now working in Newcastle.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Christmas

As we prepare to leave for Midnight Mass our thoughts go out to all of friends. We pray for those who have happiness in their hearts but especially we pray for those who have suffered loss and sadness this year past. Our prayers are for all of these people. Additionally we pray that all may have a Peaceful & Happy 2014 but, knowing that there will be sorrow for some, we pray that they will always remember the Love & Mercy of God Almighty. Additionally we ask your prayers for our wellbeing throughout the year. David & Theresa

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Requiescat in Pace

We ask your prayers for the repose of the soul of Olive Middleton, wife of Terry, who died last week fortified by the rites of Holy Mother Church. Olive was diagnosed with cancer some 3 years ago and was cared for by Terry assisted by the McMillan nurses. Many prayers were offered for Olive and these seemed to help her face up to her condition. She died in the presence of Terry who commented on her serenity at the end. May God grant her a merciful judgement in the place reserved for His special friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry, their daughter Emily and Olive's brothers and sisters.

Record number of candidates at Traditional Rite Confirmations in London

A record number of candidates received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Traditional Rite last Saturday, at a ceremony in central London organised by the Latin Mass Society. Nearly fifty children and adults received Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form from Bishop John Arnold, auxiliary in Westminster, at St James's Church, Spanish Place on Saturday 14th December. He was assisted by Fr Christopher Colven, the rector of St James's, Fr Tim Finigan of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, and Fr Rupert McHardy of the London Oratory. Following the Confirmations, the bishop celebrated Pontifical Benediction. After the ceremonies, Bishop Arnold joined the candidates, their sponsors and families in the parish social centre for a celebration buffet lunch. The Latin Mass Society has been organising annual Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form for several years now. This past year there were also Traditional Confirmations at Reading and New Brighton, organised respectively by the Fraternity of St Peter and the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: "We are very grateful to Bishop Arnold for agreeing to confer the Sacrament on what has been a very successful and happy day. We always attract a good number of candidates to receive Confirmation in the traditional Rite, but this year's turnout has been exceptional. It demonstrates that the attraction of the Extraordinary Form as part of Catholic life for many families is continuing to grow.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Local Reps at the end of 2014

Theresa & I have decided to stand down as Local Reps for the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle at the end of 2014. We have seen over the years ageing representatives continue in office to the disadvantage of the LMS. Our reason for announcing this now is to allow 12 months for younger LMS members to take up the baton. New ideas are needed to take the society into the future. Please give serious thought to whether you or someone you know might be willing and able to take on this responsibility.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Just back from holiday

Having just returned from holiday I hope that 'someone' will describe the High Mass celebrated at St Joseph's, Gateshead to mark the Silver Jubilee of his ordination on 19th November. PLEASE!!!!!!!! Several other events took place during the time we spent swanning around the Caribbean Islands on board MV Marco Polo. We missed the annual meeting of Local Representatives in London but trust that a precis of what took place will be forthcoming (LMS HO please note). Our Mass schedule for Christmas has just been submitted and includes Midnight Mass at St Wilfred's in Gateshead on Christmas Eve and the usual Masses at Sunday times at Barnard Castle and Thornley. There will be no regular Thursday Mass at Coxhoe on 26th December but these will recommence on Thursday 2nd January 2014. I close by thanking our priests, Frs Brown, Elkin, Swales, Dickson, Phillips & Tully for their continued sterling work in celebrating the EF Masses for us. I couple these thanks with our wishes for a Happy & Holy Christmas and a Peaceful & Healthy New Year. These wishes we extend to all readers.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Final reminder of Silver Jubilee High Mass

Solemn High Mass will be celebrated at 7pm on Tuesday 19th November 2013 at St Joseph's Church, High West Street, Gateshead NE8 1LX to mark the 25th Anniversary of Fr Michael Brown's ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Clergy are invited to be present in the Sanctuary 'in choro' for the Mass. Fr Brown is Northern Chaplain of the Latin Mass Society and has worked tirelessly for the preservation of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite both nationally and locally.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bishop Philip Egan presides from the throne at High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Portsmouth Cathedral

Rt Rev Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth, presided from the throne at a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form, organised by the Latin Mass Society, at Portsmouth Cathedral on Sunday 27th October. The Traditional High Mass was the first at the cathedral for four years and joins the weekly Sunday morning Low Mass that has begun at Portsmouth's mother church in recent weeks. Despite warnings of dire weather conditions, the Mass was well attended. The celebrant was Fr Philip Pennington Harris, and the deacon was Rev Stephen Morgan, both of Portsmouth Diocese. The sub-deacon was Fr John Maunder of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, based at St Agatha's, Portsmouth. Music was provided by the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, directed by Christopher Hodkinson. During his homily, Bishop Egan said that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass was welcome in Portsmouth Diocese where people wished it to be celebrated, and should have a place amongst the liturgical diversity of the diocese. He also highlighted the importance of the Church's liturgy in both forms of the Roman Rite of Gregorian Chant and the Latin language. The bishop then spoke on the subject of the Feast of Christ the King, celebrated on that Sunday in the 1962 Calendar. When Pope Pius XI had instituted it, it had been as a corrective to the rampant nationalism seen in inter-war Italy. Today, said the bishop, it still has great relevance as a corrective to the rise of secularism in our society. After Mass, tea had been arranged by the LMS in the cathedral centre and Bishop Egan stayed to talk with very many members of the congregation. LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: "We were delighted that Bishop Egan was able to join us on this great occasion and were heartened by his words of welcome to those of us attached to the Traditional Latin liturgy and by the bishop's affirmation of its legitimate place within the life of the Catholic Church. The annual High Mass at Portsmouth Cathedral has been revived after several years and today's event has proved a great success and a very joyful occasion for all who attended.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Papal Cassock recovered

A cassock once worn by Pope St Pius X was donated to Ushaw College (once the seminary in Hexham & Newcastle diocese) by Cardinal Merry del Val. For many years it was a treasured relic of the great anti-Modernist pope & revered by the students for the priesthood. Prior to our recent small exhibition and servers training day in Darlington we approached the Ushaw authorities for permission to display it. It had, unfortunately, been 'lost' and subsequent enquiries elicited the fact that it had probably been unlawfully removed. This information came via a former Ushaw student and the information was passed on to the diocesan authorities. Nothing more was heard until a further telephone call to the college revealed that the cassock had been 're-discovered' and was now in a lengthy process of conservation. We thank the gentleman who passed on the information. No doubt he will reveal his identity through this blog should he wish it to be known.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Update re Ryhope Mass

With the transfer of Fr David Phillips to Berwick the future of the monthly Mass at St Patrick's, Ryhope seemed very much in mid-air. Thanks to Fr Michael Brown & Fr Shaun Swales it was deemed possible that it would continue on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Fr Swales finds that his parish commitments and poorer health make it impossible for him to honour that commitment and Fr Paul Tully has kindly said that he will replace Fr Swales alternating with Fr Brown. There is no Mass in October as Fr Brown is in Rome but the normal monthly cycle will recommence with Fr Brown celebrating on November 20th and Fr Tully celebrating on December 18th.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Silver Jubilee

Very Rev Fr Michael Brown will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Holy Priesthood on Tuesday 19th November 2013 with a celebration of Missa Solemnis in the Extraordinary Form at 7pm at St Joseph's Church, High West Street, Gateshead NE8 1LX. Everyone will be made most welcome & is invited to the social event afterwards. 'Ad Multos Annos'

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Servers' Training Day at Darlington

A training day for servers in both Low Mass & Missa Cantata was held today at St Augustine's Church in Darlington. 6 servers took part before the celebration of Missa Cantata by V Rev Fr Michael Brown the LMS Northern Chaplain. All servers took part in a very beautiful Mass with the Rudgate Singers of York singing the Proper from the Liber Usualis and the Ordinary to Victoria's 'Missa O Quam Gloriosum'. In addition to parishioners we were delighted to welcome members of the Ordinariate who now have their own parish in Gainford just outside of Darlington. One diocesan priest was in the congregation.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Change to Darlington Mass arrangements

Fr Paul Tully advises that the only EF Masses celebrated by him at St Augustine's, Darlington will be on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7pm. It may be that there may be more frequent Masses if possible but only the 2nd Wednesday Mass is assured.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Funeral of Frank Erskine

Today saw the Sung Requiem of Frank Erskine stalwart & long time member of the Latin Mass Society here in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle in NE England. Frank began when the first Tridentine Rite Mass was celebrated quarterly at St Michael's Church, Esh Laude, Durham the parish of Rev Fr Godfrey Bryce RIP. Our then Ordinary, Rt Rev Hugh Lindsay, allowed no more than this in an area of the diocese largely populated by sheep although close to Ushaw College. As things improved Frank was a regular server at St Dominic's Priory in Newcastle when Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB, RIP allowed our first Sunday Masses in the diocese. As Masses spread to Ryhope (celebrated by PP Rev Fr Elkin) so Frank's serving spread. When Fr Elkin was moved to Barnard Castle so Frank moved too but continued his attendance at Ryhope. He was always available when Fr Brown became PP at St Wilfred's in Gateshead & too when Fr Brown also took on St Joseph's in Gateshead. He also served Masses when Bishop Rifan celebrated Masses at St Joseph's & in Leeds. Frank became a regular attendee at St Mary's, Forest Hall when Fr Brown moved there & introduced a regular Saturday morning Mass. Perhaps Frank's greatest strength was his willingness to help anyone at any time. He had been regular in his attendance at Sunday Mass at Thornley & at the weekly Thursday noon Mass at Coxhoe. When Sheila Webster lost her husband, Walter, & later suffered a stroke, Frank was her lifeline taking her weekly to Thornley & Coxhoe & even taking her by train with her wheelchair to the Masses in York (& pushing her in procession to English Martyrs Church there). Frank's worth was recognised by the large congregation present today for Frank's Requiem at St Patrick's, Ryhope. The celebrant was Very Rev Fr Michael Brown (Northern Chaplain of the LMS) who stood in for Fr Gary Dickson of Thornley who was not well enough to celebrate the Mass but who was in choir with Fr Shaun Swales. There was a plethora of servers on the sanctuary led by George Wilson as MC. The music was provided by St Patrick's Choir. After his cremation a wake was held in the church hall where Frank's many friends related their favourite tales of a real gentle man. Our thoughts & prayers go out to his sister Bernadette & his family. Rest in Peace Frank & possess ye the place prepared for you.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Brinkburn Mass

Although Theresa & I were on holiday (yes, again!!) we hear that everything went really well at the Missa Solemnis on Saturday 14th September (Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross). The celebrant was V Rev Fr Michael Brown with deacon Fr David Phillips and sub-deacon transitional deacon Rev Andrew Bunce. The weather behaved itself and the music was of the high standard we have come to expect from The Rudgate Singers of York & the Schola Sancti Baedae from Jarrow. There was a reasonable congregation but we really need higher numbers to make the event worthwhile. The setting is quite magnificent & one can easily see why the Augustinian Canons selected this idyllic place. Watch this blog for notification of the date for 2014!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Frank Erskine RIP

Sad news greeted us on our return today from holiday. A stalwart of the LMS in this diocese, Frank Erskine, has died aged 65. We were told a few weeks ago that Frank had been diagnosed with cancer but his death has come as a complete shock. Frank served for many years at St Dominic's in Newcastle before becoming a regular attender at both St Wilfred's & St Joseph's in Gateshead while Fr Brown was there. When Sheila Webster became ill Frank was her chauffeur and transported her every Thursday to Fr Swales' Masses at Coxhoe & every Sunday to Fr Dickson's Masses at Thornley. It was only earlier this year that his sister Bernadette (long time scribe in the 'Northern Cross') was in remission from her own cancer & then their mother died. Frank will be sorely missed by his many friends in the LMS. I believe his Requiem Mass will be celebrated at St Patrick's, Ryhope by Fr Dickson on Tuesday 1st October. Well done thou good & faithful servant & welcome into the kingdom prepared for you. Rest in Peace, Frank

Friday, September 6, 2013

Music for Brinkburn

Just a final plug for the EF Solemn High Mass at Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland on Saturday 14th September 2013 at 12 noon. The celebrant will be V Rev Fr Michael Brown (now of St Joseph's in Gateshead), deacon Fr David Phillips (now of Our Lady & St Cuthbert's in Berwick) and sub deacon transitional deacon Rev Andrew Bunce. The Ordinary of the Mass will be 'Mass for 4 Voices' by Byrd, motets 'Crux Fidelis' by King John IV of Portugal and 'Christus Factus Est' by Anerio sung by the Rudgate Singers of York. The Proper of the Mass will be sung from the Liber Usualis by the Schola Sancti Baedae.

Monday, September 2, 2013

LMS Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham 'Best Yet'

The Latin Mass society's annual walking pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Walsingham took place over August Bank Holiday weekend. The fourth consecutive year of this event saw 90 people (a 25% rise on last year) undertaking the three-day journey on foot to 'England's Nazareth'. The intention of the 55-mile walk, which started in the cathedral city of Ely in Cambridgeshire, was the conversion of England. Pilgrims slept in tents or on the floors of schools and village halls along the way and clearly many found it more challenging than they had expected, but all managed to reach the Shrine in time for Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form on the afternoon of Sunday 25th August. Four priests accompanied the pilgrimage, Fr Bede Rowe of Clifton diocese, presently based at Chavagnes College in France, was chaplain of the pilgrimage. He was joined by Fr Thomas Crean OP, of Holy Cross Priory, Leicester, Fr John Cahill of Northampton diocese and Fr Michael Rowe (no kin) from Australia. Three seminarians from the Fraternity of St Peter joined the event as well as a member of the Dominican community at Blackfriars, Cambridge. Traditional Solemn Mass was celebrated every day of the pilgrimage, most notably at Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, a fifteenth century moated manor house and former recusant home, still lived in by the Bedingfield family. LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: "By common consent, this has been the best year for this pilgrimage so far. The overwhelming majority of walkers are young families and young people, showing the continuing vitality of the Traditional Mass and Faith. Many are encountering the Old Rite for the first time and have found the experience of the traditional spirituality of the Roman Rite and the physical and spiritual discipline of a walking pilgrimage an inspiring and transforming experience. Our entrance into Walsingham itself was memorable. On other public pilgrimages organised by the LMS, it is common to encounter hostility in the street, but as we approached the gates of the Abbey grounds to the former site of Lady Richeldis's Holy House, the response of bystanders was very positive, even awed." The LMS plans to release a short film documentary in the early autumn about this year's pilgrimage to inform and inspire others to join them for next year's event.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Update on Missa Solemnis at Brinkburn Priory Saturday 14th September 2013 at 12 noon

The annual EF Mass will again be celebrated at Brinkburn Priory in rural Northumberland at 12 noon. The Mass will be that of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Once again we are fortunate to have Missa Solemnis with celebrant V Rev Fr Michael Brown (Northern Chaplain of LMS), deacon Rev Fr David Phillips (now based at Our Lady & St Cuthbert's, Berwick on Tweed) and transient deacon Rev Andrew Bunce as sub deacon. The altar team will be led by MC Leo Darroch. The Proper of the Mass will be sung according to the Liber Usualis by the Schola Sancti Baedae from Jarrow and the Ordinary will be sung by The Rudgate Singers of York. The polyphonic Ordinary will be Byrds 4-part Mass including the Credo and their motets will be Crux Fidelis composed by King John IV of Portugal and Christus Factus Est by Felice Anerio. We cannot stress too strongly the beauty of this setting in the priory church of Augustinian Canons placed on a bend of the River Coquet between Morpeth & Rothbury. After Mass it is possible to have a picnic in the beautifully kept grounds and, it has to be said, we are (usually) blessed with lovely weather. Why not make a day of it?

Friday, August 30, 2013

St Joseph's, Gateshead

Fr Michael Brown has completed his move to St Joseph's in Gateshead and the first Saturday Mass will be at 10am on 31st August. This will be a regular slot apart from Saturday 7th September 2013, when Fr will be away, and Saturday 14th September 2013 when Missa Solemnis will be celebrated at Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland at 12noon. The sacred ministers will be Fr Brown as celebrant, Fr David Phillips (now at Berwick) as deacon and transitional deacon, Rev Andrew Bunce, as sub deacon. The Ordinary of the Mass will be sung by the Rudgate Singers of York and the Proper by the Schola Sancti Baedae. Please attend this wonderful day in large numbers. Fr Brown's first Sunday Mass will be Missa Cantata on Sunday 1st September 2013 at 12noon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I have until very recently supported civil partnerships, not as an alternative to same sex marriage but to give civil rights to ANY 2 persons wishing to legalise a relationship. I meant that a brother & sister should be able to enter a civil partnership as should 2 brothers or 2 sisters but ONLY as a means of protecting joint assets or to cover an unexpected death or something similar. Having now been made clearly aware of the thoughts of Pope Benedict, some of my priest friends and now the writings of Professor Roberto de Mattei, I totally change my position and no longer support such partnerships. The question answered was whether the 'partners' meant the partnership to protect themselves legally or to circumvent the situation whereby such partnerships were simply a cover for illicit same sex relationships of a sexual nature. I am now persuaded that this is generally the case and that there are other means of legally protecting their rights. I RECANT!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Change to Missa Cantata at St Joseph's, Gateshead

Due to the movement of priests it has been decided to defer the monthly 3rd Sunday Missa Cantata to Sunday 25th August to mark Fr Adrian Dixon's final EF Mass there before he begins his 1-year sabbatical. We urge all who are able to attend this Mass to bid Fr Adrian 'fare well' and to thank him for his years of faithful service to us.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

No EF Mass at St Mary's, Forest Hall on 17th August 2013

Due to holidays of Fr Brown the weekly Saturday Mass at St Mary's, Forest Hall on 17th August is cancelled. The final Saturday Mass here will be celebrated at 10am on Saturday 24th August 2013 prior to Fr Brown moving to St Joseph's, Gateshead on 29th.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Masses for the Assumption of BVM in Hexham & Newcastle

There will be 3 EF Masses celebrated in the diocese for the Feast of the Assumption of BVM. St Mary's, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne will have Low Mass celebrated at 12 noon as will SS Joseph, Patrick & Cuthbert at Coxhoe, Co Durham. The 3rd Mass will be celebrated at St Mary's in Barnard Castle, Co Durham at 7.30pm.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Last EF Mass at St Dominic's, Newcastle

It is very sad to report that with the posting of the present Prior & PP, Fr Leo Edgar OP, the last EF Mass was celebrated here on Sunday 21st July 2013. This was the first church in the diocese to be granted permission for a regular Sunday EF Mass in the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle under the auspices of the Latin Mass Society by the then bishop Rt Rev Ambrose Griffiths OSB (RIP). The one consoling feature is that Bishop Seamus Cunningham has ensured that a Sunday EF Mass will continue on Tyneside by moving Fr Michael Brown from his present parish, St Mary's Forest Hall, back to St Joseph's in Gateshead where he will replace Fr Adrian Dixon who is beginning a 1 year sabbatical. Fr Adrian taught himself to celebrate the EF shortly after replacing Fr Michael some 8 years ago. The former congregation of St Dominic's will be made most welcome at St Joseph's.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

No EF Mass at St Patrick's, Ryhope in July

As the church is being decorated there will be no Mass on 17th July 2013. The Mass will resume on the 3rd Wednesday, 21st August 2013.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Deferred ending of EF Mass at St Dominic's

Just been advised that the last EF Mass at St Dominic's Priory in Newcastle has been deferred until 21st July & possibly even 28th. The change is due to Fr Leo Edgar's transfer being slightly delayed.

Extraordinary Form Mass still on Tyneside on Sundays

With the last EF Mass at St Dominic's Priory, Newcastle next Sunday (7th July) it is concerning that many of the attendees have not been made aware that the Sunday EF Mass will continue at St Joseph's in Gateshead. This church has, probably, the best public transport link for the EF in the diocese being directly adjacent to Gateshead Metro Interchange which is also the town bus station. Bishop Cunningham obviously had the needs of the Latin Mass faithful in mind when he moved Fr Michael Brown back to Gateshead when Fr Adrian Dixon begins his sabbatical. The bishop obviously recognised the need to retain the EF Mass on Tyneside following the reassignment of Fr Leo Edgar OP. Of course the other EF Masses in the diocese continue unchanged with Mass at 9am at St Mary's, Barnard Castle and at 9.30am at Sacred Heart and English Martyrs at Thornley. Please pass on this important information.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Changes in the diocese

Fr Adrian Dixon (PP & EF celebrant at St Joseph's, Gateshead) is taking sabbatical leave; Fr Michael Brown (PP & EF celebrant at St Mary's, Forest Hall) is returning as PP at St Joseph's, Gateshead where he introduced the EF Mass during his time previously; Fr David Phillips (PP at Stella who celebrates the monthly EF Mass at Ryhope) is moving to Berwick where he hopes that the EF Mass might be introduced. Fr Phillips intends (weather permitting) to continue celebrating Mass at Ryhope. We also sadly note that due to the Prior, Fr Leo Edgar OP, being reassigned the weekly Missa Cantata at St Dominic's Priory, Newcastle will cease from the beginning of July. We must acknowledge the fact that Bishop Seamus Cunningham has given careful thought to the retention of the EF Mass on central Tyneside by relocating Fr Brown to Gateshead. We thank Fr Dixon for his support at St Joseph's and wish him well on his sabbatical.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Corpus Christi

Missa Cantata was celebrated at St Mary's, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday the true Feast of Corpus Christi by Very Rev Fr Michael Brown, Northern Chaplain of the LMS. The Ordinary & Proper were sung in Plainchant by the Schola Sancti Baedae.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Brinkburn High Mass 2013

Happy to give goodly notice of the 2013 EF Mass at Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland. The priory was once the home of Augustinian canons who chose this idyllic riverside site in the midst of the beautiful countryside of Northumberland. The priory is situated between the towns of Morpeth & Rothbury. It is hoped that the Mass will be a Solemn High Mass and it will be celebrated on Saturday 14th September 2013 at 12noon. Please make a note in your diary as this is a wonderful setting for the EF of the Mass and we are (usually) blessed with lovely sunshine. It is hoped that a polyphonic Mass will be performed together with the Proper from the Liber Usualis.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Decline, Decline, Decline

Research by the Latin Mass Society has demonstrated a range of statistical indications in the health of the Catholic Church in England & Wales in the 1960s & 1970s. Among the findings are: MARRIAGES: Between 1968 & 1978 the number of marriages collapsed by a third from 47,417 to 31,534 and that decline shows no sign of slowing up as it now stands at less than 10,000, a quarter of the 1968 total in absolute terms. Within the Church population the reduction is from 12 per 1,000 to 2.5 per thousand in 2010. BAPTISMS: Halved from 137,673 in 1964 to 68,351 in 1977. At present the number hovers around the 60,000 mark & many of those do not attend Mass regularly. From a peak of nearly 16% of all live births in 1963 we see today fewer than 10%. ORDINATIONS: We saw a drop of more than 50% between 1965 & 1977 (from 233 to 101) and this decline continues unabated. Even using the more optimistic figures supplied by the National Office of Vocations (compared to the Catholic Directory) for the current year, showing an increase on recent years, numbers are scarcely 30% of their 1964 level. (Counting only ordinations to the diocesan clergy, there were 134 in 1964; the NOV predicts 41 this year.) Dr Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the LMS, comments: "Anyone with an interest in the future of the Catholic Church in England & Wales will find these figures illuminating. They show, unambiguously, that something went seriously wrong in the Church in England & Wales in the 1960s & 1970s. Catholics ceased quite suddenly to see the value of getting married, having large families, and having their children baptised. Non-Catholics no longer saw the Church as the ark of salvation, and ceased to seek admission. Young men no longer offered themselves for the priesthood in the same numbers as before. It is not fanciful to connect this catastrophe to the wrenching changes which were taking place in the Church at that time, when the Second Vatican Council was being prepared, discussed and, often erroneously, applied. As Pope Benedict pointed out in the Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum': ' many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter was actually understood as authorising, or even requiring, creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear...'

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Missa Cantata in Darlington

This evening, 15th May, Fr Paul Tully celebrated his first Missa Cantata in St Augustine's Church in Darlington. The Mass was sprung on local LMS member Carl Watson having been arranged by the parish priest before he went on retreat. There is a regular Wednesday evening Low Mass in the church. The music was Byrd's Mass for 4 Voices with Byrd's Ave Verum at the Offertory. Darlington Choral Society did a splendid job. Carl was MC assisted by his sons as acolytes & a parishioner as thurifer. David O'Neill & Leo Darroch sang the Proper. It should be noted that Carl has never been MC before nor had the thurifer undertaken the task.

Sung Requiem at St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle

On Monday 13th May Very Rev Fr Michael Brown celebrated a Sung Requiem in St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle for Mrs Margaret Purvis. The Mass was arranged by Mrs Purvis' daughter, Ursula Kelly, resident in Canada.


Missa Cantata will be celebrated at St Joseph's, Gateshead on Sunday 19th May at 12 noon

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Saturday Shoppers in York watch Pilgrimage with respectful curiosity

The Latin Mass Society's third pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow, one of its co-patrons, took place in York on Saturday 4th May, the feast day of the English Martyrs. Solemn Mass was celebrated in the church of St Wilfrid by Canon Amaury Montjean of the Institute of Christ the King, with Fr Michael Hall as deacon and Fr John Cahill as subdeacon. After Mass, there was a procession carrying a statue of St Margaret Clitherow through the streets of York and passing The Shambles, where St Margaret lived, and over Ouse Bridge, the place of her execution. The procession ended at English Martyrs Church where Benediction was offered by Fr Stephen Brown. York was full of tourists during the Bank Holiday weekend, who watched the procession pass through the crowded streets with a respectful curiosity. One lady who was visiting from Perth in Australia, and happened to enter St Wilfrid's Church just as the Gospel was about to be sung, was amazed at the sight of a Traditional Mass, saying that nothing like that ever took place in her home diocese. The musical setting of the Mass was Thomas Luis de Victoria's "Missa simile est Regnum" sung by the Rudgate Singers who also sang Gregorio Allegri's "Adoremus in Aeternum" at Benediction. The day ended with the congregation singing Fr Faber's "Faith of our Fathers". Pilgrimage organiser, Paul Waddington, said: "We were very pleased with the turnout for this year's pilgrimage which showed an increase on last year's event. The sight of pilgrims processing through the busy streets of York past Saturday shoppers always draws people's attention and is an important witness to the Catholic Faith." St Margaret Clitherow was arrested in 1586 for the crime of harbouring Catholic priests. She refused to enter a plea to prevent a trial that would involve her children being made to testify, and therefore being subjected to torture. The standard punishment for refusing to enter a plea was being crushed to death and this was carried out to the horror of many local people on 25th March 1586.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Missa Cantata at Darlington

The newly begun regular Extraordinary Form Masses at St Augustine's in Darlington takes another step forward on May 15th - the Feast of St John Baptiste de la Salle - with Missa Cantata at 7pm. The music will be provided by Darlington Choral Society who will sing William Byrd's Mass for 4 Voices. Please try to attend to support this new venture.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ascension at St Mary's, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne

Fr Michael Brown will celebrate Missa Cantata for the Feast of the Ascension at St Mary's, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne at 7.30pm on Thursday 9th May 2013.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Short Term changes at Forest Hall

There will be no EF Saturday Masses at St Mary's on either 4th or 11th May due to the York Pilgrimage on 4th and First Communion Mass on 11th. The monthly Sunday Mass will also be cancelled on 5th May as Fr Brown will be away. Please advise as many as possible

Monday, April 15, 2013

Students 'blown away' by spirituality and symbolism of Traditional Latin Mass as Bishop opens Latin Mass Society's latest training conference

Students attending the Latin Mass Society's ninth training conference on the Extraordinary Form, for priests and servers, have said they were 'blown away' by the depth and richness of the Traditional Latin Mass. About 60 people attended for all or part of the week-long course, which took place at Ratcliffe College in Leicestershire during Low Week. Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon, Bishop of Nottingham, opened the conference with a Pontifical Mass of the Annunciation. Afterwards Bishop McMahon addressed all the participants, putting forward some suggestions of ways to heal the rift that exists between enthusiasts for the older form of the Mass and some of those who oppose its widespread use. This led to some lively discussion. As in recent LMS conferences, tuition was given to both priests and servers in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. There were also optional Latin classes. There was a Sung Mass (either chant or polyphonic) each day, as well as Lauds, Vespers, Benediction and Compline. Together with private Masses, these services gave ample opportunity for participants to put into practice much of what they had learned. The musical settings were provided by the Rudgate Singers, with Christian Spence as organist. LMS Chairman, Dr Joseph Shaw, said: "The LMS training conferences continue to show their value in giving priests and servers hands-on experience and expert tuition, including the more complex liturgical roles; this year's conference attracted priests from Scotland, Poland and South Africa, from the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. We also welcomed two seminarians: a Dominican, and a transitory deacon studying at Oscott College for the Diocese of East Anglia. The Leicester conference was also a very convivial occasion and a rare opportunity for like-minded priests, servers and singers to spend time together." One of the tutors teaching servers said: "Two of the young married men who were in my group and hailed from Glasgow confessed to being 'blown away' by the content of some of my talks on the spirituality and symbolism of the simple Low Mass. The eldest participant was similarly impressed with reading 'The mass in Slow Motion' by Mgr Knox at his own pace to place the Mass back in context for him." "I am unused to suddenly having my photograph taken whilst standing in front of some of my Power Point projections as I work, but this week has been something else. Another young man who had only ever encountered the old Mass once whilst on holiday last summer with his family, was similarly moved by his experience of seeing the Mass close up. I was extremely privileged this morning to attend a 'private' Mass served near perfectly by this lad."

Friday, March 29, 2013

Communion in the hand & married priests

Whilst searching for a statue of St Brigit of Sweden I came across a website quoting her writings given by Our Blessed Lady. As, on numerous occasions, these two subjects have come up in conversation I recommend the website; www.ladyofroses/brigit. This site gives clear understanding of both subjects and I commend it to you.

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Spiritual Bouquet for Pope Francis

The Latin Mass Society is gathering together a Spiritual Bouquet for our new Holy Father, Pope Francis I. We are asking you, our members, supporters & friends, to help us with this. We are encouraging everyone to ask priests they know to celebrate Masses in the Extraordinary Form for the new Pope, that he may receive the graces necessary to fulfil the duties of his new office (you should pay the priest a stipend for this - suggested minimum offering £10). We are also asking you to offer up your rosaries & other prayers & devotions for the Pope. In particular, offer up your Communion for the Pope. The Pope has asked for our prayers to help him in his new office. Let us respond generously to his call. As Catholics, the Church has always asked us to pray, in charity, for others, living & dead, but one of the people She has always specifically requested the Faithful to pray for is the the Pope. This is a good & holy Catholic tradition. Let us live up to that tradition. Offer a priest that you know a stipend to celebrate a Traditional Mass for the Pope, or offer your daily Rosary for Pope Francis, or add him to your intentions in your daily prayers, or offer a novena for him. The choice is up to you. Once you have done this, or decided that you will do this, email or write to us at the LMS to tell us how many Masses, Communions, Rosaries or other prayers & devotions you have offered, or will offer, for Pope Francis. Please let us know as soon as possible. Why not do it today? These will then be gathered together & presented to the Holy Father on behalf of the Latin Mass Society & its supporters & friends. You don't have to be an LMS member to take part in this spiritual initiative. Email at:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Habemus Papam!!

So our new Pope is almost a complete unknown even though (it is rumoured) that he was runner up to Pope Benedict XVI. His choice of name seems to tell us little. We have no Pope Francis to compare him with. We are told that he is, theologically, traditional but what does this tell us about his future dealings with those of us who love the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. We can only wait & see & pray that our new Pope carries on the reforms of Pope Benedict & makes the EF Mass even more available to the Church.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Easter Sunday in Gateshead

Please note that our Sunday Mass on Easter Sunday (31st March 2013) will be Missa Cantata and celebrated at 9am instead of 12 noon.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Our new Pope

So on Tuesday 14th March 2013 the cardinals of the Church gather in conclave to elect our new Pope, the successor of St Peter (& more recently) of Benedict XVI. As good Catholics we must & will accept their choice but should this preclude us from praying for the candidate(s) we prefer? Can we not pray to the Holy Ghost that he will guide the cardinals to choose a candidate who will not undo all the good done by Benedict XVI? Can we not pray that our new Pope will compel the hierarchies to be more pro-active in promoting the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass? Pope Benedict instructed that seminarians should be trained in both forms of the celebration of Mass & yet we hear of seminaries which not only do not follow this instruction but have actually forbidden the celebration of the EF in the college. Our prayer must be; "Give us a holy Pope & give us one who will have the strength of character to renew the Church in tradition & who will weed out the evils of whatever kind which beset Holy Mother Church at this point in history."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

LMS campaigning results in two new Sunday EF Masses in Westminster Archdiocese

We are delighted to announce that there will be weekly Sunday Masses in the Extraordinary Form at two new venues in the Archdiocese of Westminster in the near future. The Masses will take place in St Albans in the parish of St Bartholomew's, 47 Vesta Avenue, St Albans, AL1 2PE, and in Willesden, north-west London, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden, Nicoll Road, London NW10 9AX. In both cases the parish priests have been asked by the archdioces to learn and celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Neither Fr Tim Edgar of St Albans nor Fr Stephen Willis of Willesden has previously celebrated the Extraordinary Form, but both are approaching the opportunity of offering the ancient form of Mass with a very positive and pastoral attitude. It will obviously take some time for them to reach the necessary level of proficiency to start offering Masses publicly. Nevertheless, training has begun and regular weekly Masses on Sundays will start later this year on dates and at times yet to be announced. Their parishioners have already been consulted and informed about the introduction of the Extraordinary Form in their parishes and the reaction has been positive. This very good news follows meetings between the LMS and the archdiocese over a period of a year or more, in which the LMS Chairman, Dr Joseph Shaw, Local Representative for Hertfordshire, Mike Mason, and the LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, met with Bishop Alan Hopes and Bishop John Sherrington a number of times to discuss wider provision of the Extraordinary Form. The LMS would like to thank Bishop Hopes, Bishop Sherrington and Archbishop Vincent Nichols for their work in helping to make the Traditional Mass available in these areas of the Archdiocese of Westminster. LMS General Manager Mike Lord commented: "We are very pleased at this positive response from the archdiocese to what has been something of a pastoral crisis in Hertfordshire and north-west London in recent years for Catholics attached to the Extraordinary Form of Mass." "It is doubly pleasing that the parish priest in each case has been asked to be the principal celebrant. The Traditional Mass needs to become a full and accepted part of parish life in dioceses across the country with an important role in drawing the faithful closer to Christ, especially in this Year of Faith. In the cases of St Albans and Willesden, The Extraordinary Form is set to do just that."

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mass for the election of a Pope

Today at St Mary's, Forest Hall, Newcastle our Saturday morning EF Mass was 'For the election of a Pope'. We all prayed that our new pontiff would carry on the traditional mindset of Benedict XVI. I was concerned to read in our diocesan newspaper - Northern Cross - the report that "Parishioners call for a new vision". Why I was surprised I don't know as the article read "The Northern Cross, acting also for The Tablet, sought the opinion of three parishioners as they left morning Mass on Sunday, February 17." It is always concerning to right minded Catholics that anyone even reads "The Tablet" but more concerning that our own diocesan newspaper seems to align with it. Perhaps we should not be surprised that they took such a 'sweeping' poll of THREE parishioners. The fact that comments such as "will it be a good thing to bring in married priests?", "I would have liked him to have proposed a new vision for the Church", "the Church needs to engage with social, political and religious leaders", "we need to see power come down to the lowest level" were the level of comments made makes one worry about the level of Catholicity. We must remember that the Church is not a democracy, that the last time we had a 'new vision of the Church' was Vatican II with all the sorrow, upheaval & general malaise it left behind and we need to realise that the Church is there to GUIDE social, political and religious leaders, not come to a lowest common denominator agreement with them.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Missa Cantata Laetare Sunday

You are asked to note that the monthly Missa Cantata celebrated at St Joseph's, Gateshead on the 3rd Sunday of the month will, for March only, be celebrated on 2nd Sunday (10th March 2013) to coincide with the 4th Sunday of Lent - Laetare Sunday.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thank you Holy Father

Within the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle there is great love & thankfulness for the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. His 'Summorum Pontificum' freed our priests to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite without let or hindrance from diocesan bishops. Our own bishop, let me add, has never placed any difficulties in the way of our diocesan clergy & all of our Sunday Masses are celebrated by the relevant parish priests. Deo Gratias. In many other ways His Holiness has confirmed the legitimacy of the EF by his pronouncements &, given a longer reign, would probably have removed many of the bad practices introduced. We looked for a way to express our thanks to Pope Benedict &, it was suggested that, we looked for a way to email him with those expressions. However, a solution was suggested which would ensure that he was aware of our thanks in a tangible way. Emails can be deleted so it was suggested that we, individually, arrange Masses for his future health & wellbeing & send Mass cards to him with suitable messages of support & thanks. Such an action could result in an avalanche of mail descending on him to overwhelm him with our gratitude. Please send you cards to: His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI Pontificalis Domus Vatican City

Monday, February 4, 2013

Onward & Upward

The recent introduction of the EF Mass in Darlington is showing great promise with a wish now to mount an exhibition in the local boys' secondary school over 2 days. It is hoped that this will engender enthusiasm among the young men to come forward to learn how to serve the EF Mass &, we must never forget, hopefully to develop the beginnings of a vocation to the priesthood. Such an exhibition will of course be aimed at parents & female siblings who will also realise the beauty in the liturgy which is, largely, absent from the OF Masses. The dates are not set in stone but we are looking at dates probably in November. If anyone has items which we might consider for exhibition which they are willing to lend please contact us on or by telephone at 0191 264 5771.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Short term changes at Darlington

The Mass for Ash Wednesday with imposition of ashes had been changed to 12.15pm to accommodate an OF parish Mass. The monthly Mass will be replaced by a WEEKLY Mass for the duration of Lent.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

LMS launches Sodality of St Augustine of Hippo for the conversion of lapsed Catholics & others

The purpose of the Sodality is to unite the prayers of members for the conversion of those dear to them. There can be few Catholics today who do not have family members or close friends who have either lapsed from the practice of the Faith, or never had it; it is a particular source of grief when parents see children & grandchildren living without the support of the Sacraments. We take heart from the example of St Augustine, converted at last by the prayers & tears of his mother St Monica, & wish to demonstrate our fellowship with others in the same position, by praying not only for our own dear ones, but for those of others who will do the same for ours. Sodality members undertake to say every day the prayerPro devotis amicis, taken from the Roman Missal, for the Sodality's intention; members who are priests undertake to say 1 Mass a month for this intention. The intention is the conversion or return to the Faith of family & friends of Sodality members. The intended beneficiaries of our prayers are not listed, except in the hearts of Sodality members. The Latin Mass Society, to which the Sodality is affiliated, will arrange & announce at least 1 public, Traditional Sung(or Solemn) Mass for the Sodality's intentions a year. Sodality members, both lay & clerical, may add other Masses, prayers and devotions, for the Sodality's intentions, & are encouraged to do so. In particular, members will be asked annually if they wish to contribute to the costs of the Sodality's public Mass or Masses, & whether they would like to make a Mass offering for an additional Mass or Masses to be said for the Sodality's intentions, which the Latin Mass Society will arrange, to be celebrated according to the Extraordinary Form. (The customary Mass offering is £10). Membership of the Sodality is free & open to all; members sign up by email ( The Sodality Prayer (which may be said in Latin or any other language): Deus, qui caritatis dona per gratiam Sancti Spiritus tuorum fidelium cordibus infudisti: da famulis et famulabus tuis, pro quibus tuam deprecamur clementiam, salutem mentis et corporis; ut te tota virtute diligent, et quae tibi placita sunt, tota dilectione perficiant. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate eiusdem Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen. O God, who, by the grace of the Holy Ghost, hast poured the gifts of charity in the hearts of thy faithful, grant to thy servants & handmaids, for whom we entreat thy mercy, health of mind & body; that they may love thee with all their strength and, by perfect love, may do what is pleasing to thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son, who liveth & reigneth in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen. Masses for the intention of the Sodality should include, when possible, the commemoration 'Pro Devotis Amicis' (Collect, Secret & Post communion) found in the Roman Missal. Adding such a commemoration is possible in the 1962 Missal on Fourth Class Feasts at Low Mass, where no more than 1 commemoration is demanded by the Ordo.