Monday, August 31, 2009

London Colney

Anyone wondering how the recent LMS training conference at London Colney went can find a full report on Joseph Shaw`s blog here.

Are priests expendable?

Apparently there is no uniform reaction to the swine `flu threat around the country in Catholic dioceses. One of my parishioners came back from visiting family recently and told me that in her daughter`s parish everyone was still receiving from the chalice and shaking hands at the sign of peace. In Hexham and Newcastle we have been requested to stop exchanging the sign of peace with a handshake, to stop the distribution of Holy Communion from the chalice and to not receive Holy Communion on the tongue.
The last point caused a lot of anguish among the faithful at the EF Mass but so far as I hear there is a kind of exception for the them. Distributing Holy Communion on the tongue to people who are kneeling is a different affair to giving it to those who are standing where there is more chance of the celebrant`s fingers making contact with the communicant`s tongue. For the sign of peace, as I only heard from those who regretted the new regulations, on a Sunday I ask people to turn to their neighbour and wish them peace. This seems to work well enough.
Not included among the request we received was the emptying of holy water fonts but this appears to have happened anyway but I`m not sure it is necessary.
Those who are finding it all difficult point to the sharing of hymn books as a possible source of infection but we`ve not received any request about this. I also never give a thought to avoiding shaking hands with people outside of Mass.
One thing that does strike me as odd is that we still have concelebration. I went to Fr Daley`s Requiem Mass on Friday and all was as normal. As priests we shared the chalice. Should this be happening if the other requests are serious? Maybe it is time to drop concelebration for the time being unless we think priests are expendable or miraculously protected from swine `flu.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The new `New Mass`

Quite a number of sites have posted a link to the bishops of the USA`s site which gives the new texts we will be using before long at the Ordinary Form of Mass in English. They look like a huge improvement to me.
Also of interest is today`s news from Rorate Caeli regarding the propositions from the Congregation for Divine Worship for the OF Mass. It makes interesting reading. Here`s a quote.

ROME The document was delivered to the hands of Benedict XVI in the morning of last April 4 by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. It is the result of a reserved vote, which took place on March 12, in the course of a "plenary" session of the dicastery responsible for the liturgy, and it represents the first concrete step towards that "reform of the reform" often desired by Pope Ratzinger.
The Cardinals and Bishops members of the Congregation voted almost unanimously in favor of a greater sacrality of the rite, of the recovery of the sense of eucharistic worship, of the recovery of the Latin language in the celebration, and of the remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to abuses, wild experimentations, and inappropriate creativity. They have also declared themselves favorable to reaffirm that the usual way of receiving Communion according to the norms is not on the hand, but in the mouth. There is, it is true, and indult which, on request of the [local] episcopates, allows for the distribution of the host [sic] also on the palm of the hand, but this must remain an extraordinary fact.
The "Liturgy Minister" of Pope Ratzinger, Cañizares, is also having studies made on the possibility to recover the orientation towards the Orient of the celebrant, at least at the moment of the eucharistic consecration, as it happened in practice before the reform, when both the faithful and the priest faced towards the Cross and the priest therefore turned his back to the assembly.

It`s all looking good, if it comes to fruition. I can`t ever remember feeling as positive about things as I do these days.

UPDATE. This story has now been denied and then the denials have been denied. Time alone will tell what is going on. It is all very much like the chaos before the announcement of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tablet and the `marginal` Extraordinary Form

I was glad to see a letter from bishop Alan Hopes in the Tablet today regarding their editorial of last week about the LMS training session at London Colney.

The second paragraph reads:

By providing this conference for priests wishing to learn the extraordinary rite, the Diocese of Westminster is not only affirming the importance of the worthy celebration of the liturgy and proper attention that priests should pay to good celebration but also reminding us that the diocesanbishop is the moderator, promoter and guardian of the whole diocese`s liturgical life. He is not "seeking to nip potential schism in the bud" or suggesting that the place of the Tridentine Rite is "necessarily marginal".

Later the letter draws attention to the need for liturgical participation to be both internal and external and that to reduce it to solely external signs is misguided.

Fr Felix Daley

I was saddened this week to hear of the death of Fr Felix Daley. Fr Daley was 92 years old and the oldest priest of our diocese. When I was 11 years old, in the first year at grammar school in Newcastle, he was on the staff. He had formed a group under the name of the `St Dominic Savio Guild` to promote vocations to the priesthood. I joined the group. It was Fr Daley who enrolled my form in the Brown Scapular and Miraculous Medal. He managed to whip up us into a high degree of religious enthusiasm. I remember a spiritual bouquet he had us contributing to and how we would come into the class in the morning keen to add the number of decades of the Rosary we had added to the cause.

Fr Daley left St Cuthbert`s Grammar School at the end of my first year. He had taught there for 26 years. Immediately after ordination to the priesthood, Father Daley went to St Edmund’s House, Cambridge for further studies from September 1942 – July 1946. I seem to remember he also served in that time as an RAF chaplain. In February 1973 he was appointed as Parish
Priest of St Joseph’s, Murton, Co Durham, where he remained for 23 years until his retirement in August 1998.

There was due to be a gathering last Tuesday of priests who taught with him, of old boys of the school who are now priests and 30 other old boys at the Little Sisters in Sunderland where he lived but he was taken into hospital on 15th August. He died on Wednesday 20th August.

Hs Requiem Mass will be on Friday 28th August at St Joseph’s, Murton at 1.00pm. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

'Year For Priests' Clergy Conference Rome 2010

I have mentioned before about the conference in Rome for priests in January organised by the Conferences of Catholic Clergy of the USA and Australia. Quite a number of priests from the UK have written to me asking how can they register. Unfortunately the website, which has been up since April, still says this is not possible. I hope we won`t miss out. However yesterday the website was updated with a programme of events so it must still be happening. Here is the programme:

Arrive at Casa Bonus Pastor (Via Aurelia 208 - 00165 Roma; tel.0039-06-69871282 fax 0039-06-69871435, e-mail: on Monday 4th January. Conference registration from Noon-4.00pm, with formal commencement and welcome at 4.00pm.

The programme includes the daily celebration of Holy Mass in the great basilicas, and on some days Vespers and Benediction. Our celebrants will include: His Eminence, William Cardinal Levada, His Eminence, Antonio Cardinal Canizares, His Eminence, James Cardinal Stafford, His Excellency Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, and His Excellency Archbishop Raymond Burke. We hope to be at the Holy Father's Mass on the Solemnity of the Epiphany.

Our speakers will include the following:

'Perspectives of the Priesthood in recent times' ( Mons. Anthony McDaid)

'Three Patristic Texts on the Priesthood: Gregory Nazianzus' De Fuga, John Chrysostom's Six Books on the Priesthood and Gregory the Great's Pastoral Care' ( Padre Joseph Carola SJ)

'Liturgy and Language: The "Sacral Vernacular" (Liturgiam authenticam 47) of the new English Translation of the Roman Missal' (Uwe Michael Lang)

'Preaching to Priests: Wisdom from the Middle Ages' ( Paul Murray OP) and 'The Genius of the Roman Rite in the identity of the priest' (Rev. Fr. P. Gunter OSB)

The daily schedule will make provision both for free time, and also evening 'convivium' to promote fraternity among the Fathers.

We will conclude the Conference on Friday 8th January with an excursion to the delightful town of Bagnoregio, birthplace of St Bonaventure, north of Rome. Mons. Anthony McDaid is from the Congregation for Clergy of the Roman Curia.

Fr Uwe Michael Lang is a priest of the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in London. He studied theology and classics in Munich, Oxford and Vienna and holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2004 and worked in parish and school ministry until 2007. He has published various articles on Patristics and liturgical studies, including his doctoral thesis, John Philoponus and the Controversie of Chalcedon in the Sixth Century (Leuven 2001). His book Conversi ad Dominum. Zu Geschichte und Theologie der christlichen Gebetsrichtung came out first in German in 2003 with a preface by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and has since been translated into English, Italian, French, Hungarian, Spanish, Croatian and Dutch. Recently, he has edited and contributed to the volumes Die Anaphora von Addai und Mari: Studien zu Eucharistie und Einsetzungsworten (Bonn 2007) and The Genius of the Roman Rite: Historical, Theological and Pastoral Perspectives on Catholic Liturgy. Proceedings of the 2006 Oxford CIEL Colloquium (Chicago 2009). Fr Lang is a staff member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Vatican and Coordinator of the Master programme in “Architecture, Sacred Art and Liturgy” at the Università Europea di Roma/ Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum. In September 2008, he has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Consultor to the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

Father Paul Murray, O.P. is a member of the Irish Dominican Province. At present he is Professor of Spiritual Theology at the Pontifical University of St Thomas (“Angelicum”) in Rome. From 2001 to 2005 he was Vice-Rector of the University. At present he is President of the Spirituality Institute, and also serves as Spiritual Director at the Convitto Internazionale San Tommaso, a Pontifical College for young diocesan priests from all over the world. Before going to Rome, Father Murray worked for many years in Dublin, teaching in various institutes, including the Dublin Diocesan Seminary and University College Dublin. In 2000-2001, at the invitation of Cardinal George, Father Murray occupied the Paluch Chair of Theology at the University of St Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary, Chicago. Works published by Father Murray include the following: T.S. Eliot and Mysticism: The Secret History of Four Quartets, (1991); A Journey with Jonah: The Spirituality of Bewilderment (2002); The New Wine of Dominican Spirituality: A Drink Called Happiness (2006); ‘I Loved Jesus in the Night’, Teresa of Calcutta: A Secret Revealed. He has also published four books of poetry, one of which was awarded Poetry Ireland Choice.

Paul Gunter OSB. Monk of Douai Abbey since 1985 Ordained 1991. Did Parish Work for 10 years. Did his Doctorate on Edmund, Bishop and the Genius of the Roman Rite in 2006, since which time he has been a Professor at the same Pontifical Institute S. Anselmo in Rome. And Consultor of the Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff since 1988. Genius of the Roman Rite in the identity of the Priest.

Absolutely amazing

I switched on the computer this morning to find two absolutely amazing things on the blogosphere. Firstly there is the Divinum Officium site. Thanks to the Hermeneutic and Jane Teresa for the link. (Pastor in Valle seems to have been the one who drew others` attention to it.) This gives complete texts and translations of the Roman breviary from 1570-1961. It is a fantastic resource and timely given the recent discussions about use of the 1961 breviary. It will be useful for those wanting to say the EF breviary and who are either not sure of the rubrics or the translation (maybe especially of the hymns). It is also fascinating for anyone wanting to compare the different versions and see what exactly happened to the traditional breviary in 1910 or how the various twentieth century editions compare.
Then there is an interview on Rorate Caeli, with Mgr Domenico Bartolucci, who has the title maestro perpetuo of the Sistine chapel, although in fact John Paul II retired him in 1997, somewhat controversially. He was the successor of Perosi and is now 92 years old. He has some interesting things to say about the liturgy and its music. He doesn`t seem to have much time for Perosi`s Cecilian movement and also has misgivings over the Solesmes style of chant. However it is interesting to read that he has always celebrated the extraordinary form Mass.
Here is a sample of the interview but the whole thing is worth a read:

But how could it have come to this twisting of the liturgy?

It became a kind of fashion. Everybody talked about it, everybody “was renewing”, everybody was trying to be like popes (tutti pontificavano) in the wake of sentimentalism, of eagerness to reform. And the voices that raised themselves to defend the two thousand year old Tradition of the Church, were cleverly hushed. There was the invention of a kind of “people’s liturgy” … when I heard these refrains, it came into my mind something which my professor at the Seminary used to say: “the liturgy is something given by the clerics to the people” (“la liturgia è del clero per il popolo”). It descends from God and does not come up from the bottom. I have to admit, however, that this foul-smelling appearances [sic] have made themselves a bit more rare. The young generations of priests are maybe better than those who came before them, they do not have the ideological fury of an iconoclastic ideology, they are full of good feelings, however they lack in education.
What do you mean, Maestro, when you say “they lack in education”?

It means that they need it! I am speaking of the structure that the wisdom of the Church had so delicately chiseled in course of centuries. You do not understand the importance of the seminary: a liturgy that is fully lived, the orderly articulation of the different periods of the year and all this experienced in social communion with the brothers... Advent, Lent, the big feasts that follow after Easter. All of this is educational and if you only knew how much!

LMS training conference at London Colney

Just a reminder that the next LMS training conference, held in conjunction with the archdiocese of Westminster, is next week. If it is half as good as the Ushaw one it will be unmissable. I post this to give details of the public liturgies which people may like to attend. I hope all goes very well.

Latin Mass Society Residential Training Conference for Priests Wishing to Learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass)

In Association with the Archdiocese of Westminster

All Saints Pastoral Centre
London Colney, St Albans, Herts, UK

Monday 24 August to Friday 28 August 2009

All services in the beautiful Ninian Comper-designed chapel

Liturgies Open to the Public

Tuesday 25 August at 11.45 am
Feast of St Louis King and Confessor
High Mass

Wednesday 26 August at 11.45 am
Sung Mass

Thursday 27 August at 11.45 am
St Joseph Calasanctius Confessor
Sung Mass

Friday 28 August at 11.00 am
St Augustine Bishop, Confessor and Doctor
High Mass

Some final training places are available – tell your priests!

Full details of the conference and registration forms are available from the LMS website:

or telephone the LMS office: 020 7404 7284.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cardinal Arinze

Many readers of this blog probably also read Rorate Caeli but for those who don`t, then these remarks of Cardinal Arinze, the recently retired head of the Congregation for Divine Worship, at the closing Solemn Mass of the Ninth FABC Plenary Assembly in Manila, the Philippines, on 16 Aug. 2009 may be of interest. The full report is here. While the conference was concerned with Asia I don`t see these remarks as being irrelevant elsewhere.
In the Latin Rite, only concelebrating priests take Holy Communion. Everyone else is given, be the person cleric or lay. It is not right that the priest discard any of the vestments just because the climate is hot or humid. If necessary, the Bishop can arrange the use of lighter cloth. It is altogether unacceptable that the celebrant will opt for local dress in the place of universally approved Mass vestments or use baskets, or wine glasses to distribute the Holy Eucharist. This is inculturation wrongly understood . . . .
Dance in particular needs to be critically examined because most dances draw attention to the performers and offer enjoyment. People come to Mass, not for recreation but, to adore God, to praise and thank him, to ask pardon for their sins, and to request other spiritual and temporal needs

Monday, August 17, 2009

Letters in the Tablet

I do look at the Tablet each week. I particularly make a point of turning to the letters page to see what is going on. This week the first letters are published under the heading `Rites new and old`. The first is from Fr Kevin Pelham who writes:
I am nonplussed, particularly, that the desire of this group to restore to regular use the 1962 edition of the Tridentine Missal has been totally unmatched by any similar desire to restore the 1961 edition of the Tridentine Breviary! Surely a format of the Mass, especially if and when it is imposed by the celebrant against the wishes of at least some of the attending congregation, should be parallelled by a similar format of their individual prayer.
This raises quite a lot of points. The main one is the use of the extraordinary form of the Roman breviary. I completely agree with Fr Pelham that a celebrant with a desire to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Roman missal should also want to celebrate the same version of the breviary. However most of those parish clergy who celebrate the extraordinary form do not do so every day and most of their Masses will be in the ordinary form, so sticking to the ordinary form breviary makes more sense in regard to the calendar and general spirit of the thing.
However regular readers of this blog will recall that I have indeed switched to saying the breviary in the EF. This has been a Very Good Thing. I find it far more prayerful and discover that the psalms become more a part of one`s life when they are said so much more often. Having a weekly cycle of psalms gives a deeper grounding and identification with them than the four week cycle I find. It is easier to remember what psalms occur say on a Monday morning than on the third Monday of a four week cycle.
Since Fr Pelham`s email address was printed under his letter I wrote to him to say that I hope his letter does give food for thought to those clergy who like the EF and that they will indeed adopt the EF breviary. As for it being `totally unmatched` etc this just isn`t true. I know quite a few who say the EF breviary and it was a priest of our diocese who gave me a great incentive to do so when I saw him using it and asked him a few questions about the practicality of doing so. Fr Tim Finigan has an item about it today too. I agree with him over the pared down nature of the 1962 form and wish there were more nocturnes so we could have more patristic input at matins but that may come in the future development of the rite.
The next letter by a James Anderson of London gives heart as he describes himself as `one of a growing number of Catholics in the UK who had until recently experienced only the ordinary form of the Mass, but who has lately come to know and love the extraordinary form.`
He adds:
`The extraordinary form does not yield its fruit easily, requiring preparation, concentration and a certain inner stillness in order for the layperson to participate fully`
Another letter under the heading `Music at Mass` by Kevin Mayhew, the music publisher, is written in defence of the awful `clapping Gloria` and Israeli Mass on the grounds that lots of people like them. This is in reply to John Ainslie, the chairman of the Society of St Gregory, who suggests that when the new translations of the Mass come out only those musical settings which stick to the proper texts will be allowed. I hope Mr Ainslie is right. The practice of substituting other texts for the official ones all adds to the frame of mind of `It doesn`t really matter` which is widespread and I think partly responsible for our decline. I intend to write about this in an another post.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just the usual

A bishop for whom I had a lot of respect once told me that he got complaints about liturgical abuse but when he investigated them he found they were without substance. I said I was glad to hear that was the case but I had seen plenty. Unfortunately that bishop is no longer with us but here are a few abuses, which I found on, to be going on with. My question is are these people `inexorably distancing themselves from the Church` and can we look forward to something being done about it?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Archbishop Nichols and the Tablet again

I have just read the post `The Nichols Odeon` on the Sensible Bond blog on this theme. I would recommend this post for its analysis of the archbishop`s statements about the extraordinary form. Thanks Ches.

FSSP retreat for priests in Ars and Lyon 2010

I was very happy to get this news by email yesterday. Having enjoyed the retreat at Douai abbey this year I will be making every effort to support Fr de Malleray`s next venture for priests.

Depart Monday morning 8 February 2010 from the UK, arriving in the afternoon in Lyon and reach Francheville (FSSP house on the outskirt of Lyons).
Return Friday morning 12 February 2010 from Lyons.
Our pilgrimage will be under the special protection of Our Blessed Lady, the Mother of God and the Mother of priests as the anniversary of Her Apparitions in Lourdes will occur while we are still in Lyons. (Feb. 11th).

We will be based in the beautiful St Padre Pio House run by the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter in Francheville (Lyons), less than an hour drive from Ars. Single room accommodation. Garden.

A full day in Ars, the climax of our stay. Possibility of offering Holy Mass in Ars. Visit of the Curé’s presbytery. Veneration of his relics.
One day in Lyons, original Episcopal See of St Irenaeus: visit of the Basilica of Fourvières; prayer at the place of death of St Francis de Sales; visit of the Roman amphitheatre where the protomartyrs of Gaul SS. Polycarp, Blandina, Pothinus and others suffered in 117 a.D. On a lighter note, meal in a ‘bouchon’ (traditional Lyonnais restaurant cf
We will also have conferences on priestly spirituality, including the theology of the Mass, the EF Roman liturgy and prayer life.

Price (estimate):
About £150 for return train ticket London St Pancras-Lyons-London St Pancras (reduction possible if we travel as a group).
Alternatively: Easyjet direct return flight Stansted-Lyons-Gatwick: minimum price £51 (for group ticket of 15 passengers).
Accommodation will be very affordable in the FSSP house - rough estimate: £30/day with breakfast + 1 main meal at least, i.e. £120 for 4 full days (4 nights).
To be added: transport in Lyons and to Ars. Meals outside of the house (at least twice).

Liturgy: Possibility of offering private Mass daily in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite (please bring only your alb, biretta, cingulum and linens). Compline (or one other Hour per day) in the EF of the Roman rite (please bring EF breviary if you possess one).

Booking: please send a £120 cheque made payable to ‘FSSP ENGLAND’, posted to : Fr de Malleray, FSSP, 179 Elgar Rd, RG2 0DH, Reading, Berkshire, UK. Please include your complete contact details in the booking.

Number of places available as of today: 13.

Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP
Priestly Fraternity of St Peter in England
179 Elgar Rd, RG2 0DH, Reading, Berkshire, UK
Tel: +44 (0)118 987 5819 - E-mail: -
Community: - Youth: - Culture:

Aid to the Church in Need Westminster Event

I`ve been asked to mention this event. I am always happy to help ACN and so here are the details.

Standing Together in Faith: Saturday, 17th October at Westminster Cathedral

The day commences at 10:30 with Sung Mass in Westminster Cathedral. Following registration His Grace, Archbishop Vincent Nichols will address the participants and lead us all in the Angelus. Speakers are : Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, Pakistan, Father Martin Edwards, ACN’s Ecclesiastical Assistant, Regina Lynch – Project Director, Kõnigstein, John Pontifex, Aid to the Church in Need UK, Head of Press and Information and Neville Kyrke-Smith, National Director of Aid to the Church in Need UK. The Event concludes with Prayer and Blessing at 15:45

Westminster Cathedral is just 5 minutes walk from Victoria Station, which can be reached by both mainline and underground trains (District, Circle and Victoria Lines). The Hall is on Ambrosden Avenue, which runs to the left of the Cathedral, when you are facing it from the Piazza. If you were thinking of coming by car, please note that parking is very restricted in the centre of London.
Contact: Michael Cowie on 02086615154 to secure your tickets

Why not also join us on 8th September for a rare opportunity to hear Patriarch Twal from Jerusalem!!
God bless


Michael Cowie
Area Secretaries Coordinator
Aid to the Church in Need
12-14 Benhill Avenue
Tel. (direct) 020-8661-5154

Friday, August 07, 2009

The English bishops` Ad Limina and Summorum Pontificum

An article on Fr Ray Blake`s blog has stirred me from my blogging inertia. He tells of a conversation with a ` leading Catholic layman` about the forthcoming visit of the English bishops to Rome in January and the likely discussions about the implementation of Summorum Pontificum. You can read about it here.
Also the Tablet today reveals that archbishop Vincent Nichols has written a letter to all participants in the August LMS training conference at London Colney which gives food for thought. Participants are not to `denigrate the ordinary form of Mass`. Fair enough, but I suppose their presence at a training conference for the Extraordinary Form would indicate that the Ordinary Form maybe does not satisfy them entirely. The article reports the archbishop as saying that anyone who does denigrate the ordinary form of the Mass ` is inexorably distancing themselves from the Church`. By the same logic, (as pointed out in the combox of WDTPRS blog) anyone who denigrates the extraordinary form could also be said to be inexorably distancing themselves from the Church.
Well, Summorum Pontificum gave to parish priests the ability to make the decision to celebrate the EF, either themselves privately or publicly at the request of a group. I don`t see that changing. Wouldn`t it be better if our authorities gave a bit of encouragement to those who seek to take advantage of the provisions of SP, who give up their time to learn how to say it and congratulate them on doing so rather than be seen to be dragging their feet and appearing rather nervous about the whole thing? It`s not going to go away.
UPDATE: As `motuproprio` points out in the combox this is only the Tablet`s take on the the forward by the archbishop. It will be useful to see the whole text rather than relying on the Tablet.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Of your charity...

...please say a prayer for the soul of Thomas McCreadie a promising art and photography student at our local Catholic comprehensive, whose requiem Mass took place today here at St Mary`s. He was eighteen years old and drowned while swimming off Whitley Bay. The story was in the news at the time of his death.

Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine.