Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Longbenton Mass

In the end I would say it all went very well. There was a much better turnout than I had feared. with quite a number of people I didn`t recognise: I was told we had sixty people in the congregation. The ceremonies of the Mass went more smoothly than has sometimes been the case. The music was glorious with splendid contributions from the Schola and Cappella as well as our organist. Many of the choir and congregation stayed on for tea or wine afterwards. Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way. Now I`m being asked when the next big event will be!

Here are a few, somewhat fuzzy, photos. The vestments look brighter than they really are.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Solemn High Mass at Longbenton

Tonight there will be a Solemn High Mass at 7.30pm at SS Peter and Paul`s Longbenton to mark the closing of the year of St Paul. I`ve been meaning to organise something to celebrate our patronal feast for a long time and the Year of St Paul provided the spur to urge me on. I am delighted that the schola will be joined by the Cappella Novocastriensis who will sing Byrd`s four part Mass and Ave Verum.

I`m very grateful to the cathedral for making available a red high Mass set and for advertising this event on their bulletin and website. Also to Madame Evangelista for drawing my attention to this. I hope we get a good turnout. I`m also grateful to Frs Dickson and Phillips for giving their time to act as deacon and subdeacon. I hope will have a few photos to put on this site.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Back to Ushaw

It was a great privilege to be the celebrant at the opening High Mass at the LMS training conference at Ushaw in April. I never thought it was something I would ever do. Tomorrow will see me returning to Ushaw for the EF Mass for the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge`s conference. I was originally booked to be subdeacon at a High Requiem Mass but now it is a Missa Cantata and I`m to be celebrant. I`ll be taking my favourite black vestment with me and am looking forward to hearing the chant.

Mass is at 10.15. There is some uncertainty as to whether it is open to everyone to attend: they may need to sign in for `fire purposes` I`m told.


I was wondering how the LMS AGM went given that it has been a controversial year for the Society with its chairman and chaplain resigning but all seems to have passed over without incident. Here are some pictures from the Mass and a LMS report on what went on.

25 June 2009

* Latin Mass Society AGM and High Mass at Westminster Cathedral

The Latin Mass Society held its AGM on Saturday morning, 20 June, at the Royal Horticultural Society Conference Centre, Victoria, London. The Secretary, Mr Paul Beardsmore, reported on another very busy year for the LMS and the Revd Martin Edwards, parish priest of St Mary Magdalen’s, Wandsworth, London gave a well received lecture on the introduction of the Extraordinary Form into parish life following Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio.

This was followed by a lunch for the Committee and Regional Representatives of the LMS and their clerical guests.

In the afternoon, at 2.00 pm, the Rt Revd John Arnold, auxiliary bishop in Westminster, celebrated the LMS’s AGM High Mass in the Extraordinary Form for Our Lady’s Saturday at the High Altar in Westminster Cathedral. He was assisted by a congregation of several hundred. Bishop Arnold’s Assistant Priest was the Revd Andrew Wadsworth, the Deacon was Deacon Alan MacDole and the Sub-deacon was the Revd Martin Edwards. The Lay Clerks of the Cathedral sang Maurice Duruflé’s setting of ‘Messe Cum Jubilo’.

Bishop Arnold preached a thoughtful sermon linking the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Doctor Joseph Shaw, LMS Chairman, said: ‘We are grateful to Archbishop Vincent Nichols for the help which his Westminster auxiliaries generously give to our arrangements for the Extraordinary Form, and especially to Bishop Arnold for the scrupulous and recollected way in which he celebrated for us. It is wonderful that the Extraordinary Form is now regarded as an integral part of diocesan life.’

. . . . ENDS . . . .

For further information, please contact John Medlin, General Manager, or James Murphy, LMS Office Manager, on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585;
(E mail) thelatinmasssociety@snmail.co.uk

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shopping for the Year of the Priest

For the year of St Paul I bought an icon from Pauline Books and Media to display in the Church. I would like to find one of St John Vianney for the Year of the Priest. I would also like a copy of one of the famous photos of St Therese of Lisieux to display too to prepare for the coming of her relics. A prayer card with St Therese`s prayer for priests would also be useful at this time.
However I`m having no luck. I did find a place in the USA but postage was $62.95 which seemed a lot.
If anyone knows where any of these things can be bought in the UK or Europe I`d be glad of the info.
UPDATE: 11.20 I have just discovered the website of the Carmelite book service which looks as if it may be useful.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Things you don`t expect to see: no. 3

This is the third in an occasional series which began with Fr Charles Briggs of Chislehurst on a camel in Tunisia. I had been meaning to post this for quite a while and now I see Frs Blake and Finigan have beaten me to it. However these pictures from the FSSR on the island of Papa Stronsay warmed my heart. I never thought to see the local bishop celebrating Mass in their church. Good to see a bishop who is a pastor to all his flock. Thank you bishop Moran.

Read more here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Year of the Priesthood

As we all now know the Year for the Priesthood starts this Friday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart. This weekend our bishop has sent a pastoral letter to alert the diocese to this special year and there will be a Mass at the cathedral on July 7th at 7pm to mark its opening. Unfortunately I can`t make that Mass as I have a prior commitment.
That day, at 12.05pm, also sees the bishop at my old parish of St Joseph`s Gateshead to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the church. I`m glad to say I will be able to make it on that occasion.

Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge at Ushaw

I think I have already mentioned that the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge are holding a weekend at Ushaw on 27th-28th June. You can read more about it here on their website. As you will see they are celebrating a High Requiem Mass in the extraordinary form on the Saturday at approximately 10.15am and an ordinary form Latin Mass on the Sunday at 11.15am. I`m looking forward to taking part as subdeacon on the Saturday. It`s getting harder to find singers of chant, in my experience, so if you think you would like to learn this is a great opportunity.

I was also very happy to see that this event is mentioned on the links page of the liturgy section of the diocesan website. Incidentally, the same page carried a mention of the Latin Mass Society`s recent Ushaw conference. I`m sorry I had failed to notice this as I generally only look at the main page.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A High Mass for the closing of the Pauline Year

I am pleased to say that the Cappella Novocastriensis have confirmed that they will be available to sing at SS Peter and Paul`s Longbenton on June 29th at the High Mass at 7.30pm. They will sing Byrd`s Mass in Four Parts and also a motet as yet to be decided on.

If you are in the area and are sympathetic or curious about the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite then this should be a splendid occasion.

It will also be good, for once, to have a solemn celebration for the patronal festival.

More on the Cafod pilgrimage to Holy Island

I`ve been away for a few days down at the Aldeburgh festival and am catching up on news. I see there is a video of the somewhat controversial CAFOD pilgrimage on the diocesan website. The video doesn`t show the invited shaman leading any prayers so far as I can see. I was amused to see that a baldachino of sorts had been erected around the altar for Mass. I wish there were a few more in the diocese!

However the most useful comments I have so far seen are those of Madame Evangelista. You can find them here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

John Smeaton in Newcastle

John Smeaton, the National Director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children will be the guest speaker at a pro-life meeting in the Tyneside Irish Centre on Wednesday July 1st at 7.30pm. He will describe SPUC`s new campaigns to resist euthanasia and against anti-life sex education in schools which seeks to give under-16s access to abortion and birth control drugs and devices without parental consent or knowledge.

All welcome.

Seminaries: the generation gap?

Thanks to Fr Ray Blake for noticing this address by Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, the former bishop of Angers. He is now Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, which oversees Seminary formation, as well as being Vice President of the Pontifical Work for Ecclesiastical Vocations and a member of The Commission for the Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood.

The address was given to rectors of pontifical seminaries and concerned priestly formation in a secular world.. It makes for stirring reading.

.... in fact, we have experienced or even fostered an extremely powerful self-secularization in most of the Western Churches.
The examples are many. Believers are ready to exert themselves in the service of peace, justice, and humanitarian causes, but do they believe in eternal life? Our Churches have carried out an immense effort to renew catechesis, but does not this catechesis itself tend to overlook the ultimate realities? For the most part, our Churches have embarked upon the ethical debates of the moment, at the urging of public opinion, but how much do they talk about sin, grace, and the divinized life? Our Churches have successfully deployed massive resources in order to improve the participation of the faithful in the liturgy, but has not the liturgy for the most part lost the sense of the sacred? Can anyone deny that our generation, possibly without realizing it, dreamed of a "Church of the pure," a faith purified of any religious manifestation, warning against any manifestation of popular devotion like processions, pilgrimages, etc.?
I enjoyed this bit:
Will the educators continue to cling to criteria of admission and selection that date back to their own time, but no longer correspond to the aspirations of the young? I was told the story of a French seminary in which adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament had been banned for a good twenty years or so, because it was seen as too devotional: the new seminarians had to struggle for a number of years to have it reinstated, while some of the professors preferred to resign in the face of something that they judged as a "return to the past"; by giving in to the requests of the younger men, they had the impression that they were renouncing what they had fought for their entire lives.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Well Kazakhstan may have been in the thoughts of those following the England football team today but for Catholics interested in liturgical renewal Kazakhstan means bishop Athanasius Schneider, famous for his little book, Dominus Est which looks at how Holy Communion has been distributed down the ages in the Catholic Church and gives good reasons as to why the reception of holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue best expresses the Church`s teaching.

I`m delighted to say that Dominus Est is the next book our parish reading group will be looking at once all the copies have arrived from Family Publications.

In the meantime here is the man himself talking about his book and the issues in a video released today by Gloria TV.

UPDATE 11.06.09 I have been told by one reader that she can`t see the video. Is this a general problem?

Diocesan News

From the website of the Hexham and Newcastle Education Service:

The latest meeting of the Diocesan Education Forum took place on June 4th 2009. Following an opening prayer Fr Sean Hall, Chairman of the Board of Education in the Diocese, welcomed everybody and invited Bishop Seamus to address the group.

The Bishop spoke about the need for formation and exploring what we mean by formation. He also spoke about the importance of, and need to be, “a praying people” and “a praying priesthood”. Commenting on the recent Priests’ Retreat he said the priest is to be both servant and leader, and pointed towards the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, who washed people’s feet and reached out to the people on the margins. There is a need for us all to be working together and moving out of our “comfort zone” and into service. A prophet is not someone who tells the future but someone who challenges and energises. We are all called to be prophets – it must however begin with prayer.

UPDATE 17.06.09 I have been informed that copyright rules prohibit the use of more than a short section of this item. Please click on the link above to read the rest of this report. The rest of it concerns the appointment of Fr Michael McCoy to various responsibilities including developing lay leadership of parishes in the diocese. In the subsequent discussion the useful question was raised ”Do we want to be a lamp or a mirror?”

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Solemn High Mass for the end of the Year of St Paul

I am pleased to be able to announce that we will be able to have a Solemn High Mass at SS Peter and Paul`s Longbenton on June 29th at 7.30pm to mark the end of the Year of St Paul. I am hoping that in addition to the schola, we will have a choir to sing Byrd`s four-part Mass. All I need to do now is to find a red High Mass set!

If it all comes together we may even manage to produce some pictures for this blog.

UPDATE 6.06.09 Have secured the loan of a red High Mass set (sans humeral veil). Waiting for the Capella Novocastriensis to confirm.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Another LMS Training Course

Today I received the following about the next LMS training course for priests:

2 June 2009


For Immediate Release

LMS Residential Training Conference for Priests Wishing to Learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) at All Saints Pastoral Centre, London Colney, St Albans, Herts

The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales (LMS), in association with the Archdiocese of Westminster, is organising a residential training conference for priests wishing to learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) at All Saints Pastoral Centre, London Colney, Herts, the premier conference centre of the Archdiocese of Westminster.

The conference will run from Monday 24 August to Friday 28 August 2009 and will feature Traditional liturgies in London Colney’s magnificent Ninian Comper-designed chapel together with a Gregorian Chant schola and polyphonic choir.

Expert tuition in the celebration of Mass in the Usus Antiquior will be provided on a small group basis. There will be guest lecturers and all participants will receive 1962 Missals.

As well as daily Sung Mass, devotions will include Lauds, Benediction and Rosary.

The subsidised fee to participants is only £115.00 which includes full board and accommodation. Places are limited and priests are urged to register as soon as possible.

Further details and registration forms can be obtained from the LMS office (Tel: 020 7404 7284) or downloaded from the LMS website,

Mark Johnson, lead organiser, said, “We are extremely pleased to have the backing of the Archdiocese of Westminster and Archbishop Vincent Nichols. This conference – our first at London Colney – builds on the success of our two previous conferences at Merton College, Oxford. I hope the laity will tell their priests about this wonderful opportunity to learn the Usus Antiquior in a welcoming and recollected environment.”

Latin Mass Society, 11-13 Macklin Street, London WC2B 5NH
Tel: 020 7404 7284
E mail:
Website: latin-mass-society.org

. . . . ENDS . . . .

For further information, please contact John Medlin, General Manager, or James Murphy, LMS Office Manager, on (T) 020 7404 7284;
(F) 020 7831 5585; (E mail) thelatinmasssociety@snmail.co.uk

London Colney has a beautiful chapel but I don`t recall there being more than a couple of side altars but I could be wrong. [UPDATE I am wrong! See the comment by Discreet Observer.] I hope there is a good response and it is as great a success as Ushaw was.

Rumours are reaching the Forest of a bishop who is most concerned to know which of his priests went on the Ushaw conference so he can add them to his `blacklist`. Surely this can`t be true in these days of Summorum Pontificum? Sometimes it`s hard for those who are still stuck in the mindset of the 1970`s or 80`s. It`s like an ecclesiastical `Ashes to Ashes`!