Monday, November 29, 2010
And we think we have it bad....
Erected the new diocese of Bunda (area 5,530, population 1,023,390, Catholics 335,000, priests 2, religious 2) Tanzania, with territory taken from the archdiocese of Mwanza and from the diocese of Musoma, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Mwanza. He appointed Fr. Renatus Leonard Nkwande, diocesan administrator of Mwanza, as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Mantare, Tanzania in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1995.
335,000 Catholics and two priests!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Solemn High Mass at St Mary`s Cathedral, Newcastle
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Consecration of a cathedral
A friend posted this on Facebook today. (Click on the picture above and you will be taken to the original page to play the video) It is well worth watching as a reminder of how times have changed. As the film doesn`t say at first which cathedral is being consecrated I thought it must be somewhere in Ireland given the way the streets were decorated with papal colours. Amazing to think that this was Liverpool in the 1960`s. I`m not sure anyone would be very bothered if a new cathedral was opened today. For whatever reason, Liverpool seems to have fallen off the ecclesiastical map somewhat in recent times. I wasn`t a fan of archbishop Worlock (nor Liverpool cathedral) but at least under him there was a sense that Liverpool was an important Catholic place. I remember being told by an old priest from South Africa who was from Liverpool that it had been the most thriving diocese in north-west Europe and looking at this video you could believe it.
Quomodo sola sedet civitas plena populo?
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Bettany Hughes on Woman`s Hour
Woman`s Hour, BBC Radio 4 November 16, 2010
Jenni Murray: Now, even in the sixties, when I was at a state school and Latin was for everybody (Greek only for the very bright) there were plentyof mumblings about pupils wasting their time on dead languages when they could be learning French, German, Spanish and perhaps even Russian or Chinese. Well, it`s not on the National Curriculum and only 17% of state schools teach classics, but there is a new campaign called Classics For All. One of its leaders is Bettany Hughes, whose latest publication is The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life. Bettany,how would you sell Socrates to a class of 21st-century pupils?
Bettany Hughes: Well, I`d tell them that they are living the way they do because Socrates thought the way he did. The very fact that he says “the unexamined life is not worth living” is the reason that they are sitting in school in the first place, because they are there to learn about life. So he is intently relevant.
JM: Why are you so passionate about it, that you chose to write your next major tome about it?
BH: Well, I think he introduces so many things to us the idea that we needto ask questions about life: What is good? What is bravery? What is the point of death? And these are questions that we all ask about ourselves still today and he`s incredibly relevant to our world, because he lived in this kind of `can-do` society, 5th century Athens, where everything was going very well, there was a lot of materialism, they were expanding their empire. But suddenly, everything collapses, democracy doesn`t seem to have the answer to everything, it`s not a panacea, and Socrates is almost a prophet for our age, because he says: what is the point of all of this,what is the point of glittering statues, city walls and beautiful warships if those who live in these cities are not happy? So I think he asks an important question of our time.
JM: Which indeed is being asked at this moment, by the Prime Minister. Alright, now convince this same class that Latin and Greek are worth theeffort.
BH: Well what`s interesting I think my battle would be half-won, if I wereto go into that classroom, erm because we know, I`m the President of athing called JACT (Joint Association of Classical Teachers) and with Friends of Classics we did an independent survey and between 70 and 76% of the pupils we spoke to in 1000 schools all told us that they desperately wanted to learn classical subjects, they wanted to learn Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation. But the terrible situation that we`re in now is that between 60 and 70 classics teachers retire every year, only 27 are being trained, so they are not being met, their desires are not being met.
JM: But did they say, because you know I suspect those of them who hadparents who went through it, the parents who say “Oh my goodness, do youreally want to go through, you know, `The farmer threw a spear at thebarbarian`?” for instance, she says, with memory. [chuckles]
BH: Indeed. Amo, amas, amat, and all that. Well I think actually that isone of the reasons they do want to learn, because they think that this is this special code-breaking that they as the next generation can do. Er,they love classical subjects. They go in their thousands, their tens ofthousands, their millions to films about the classical world. This filmabout Sparta called The Three Hundred [sic] took 72 million dollars in itsfirst weekend, and most of those were 14 and 15 year-old kids who weredesperate to find out about the ancient world. So it sparks their imagination, and actually what is very interesting is that they`re voting with their feet and they`re saying “Please, can you teach us more? We want to learn”.
JM: But when, politically, you find, alright a former-former-former Education Secretary, Charles Clark, saying “Oh, education for its own sake is a bit dodgy”, how do you counter that political view?
BH: [sighs] I mean, that`s just daft, isn`t it. Because what do we want out of our next generation? We want them to be enlightened and inspired and stimulated, surely, we want theirs to be a generation that has open minds, rather than closed minds. But there are also incredibly practical results that come out of learning Latin and Greek. Er, most of theEuropean languages, all of the Romance languages, are based on Latin. Between 40 and 60% of the words that you and I are speaking now are Greco-Roman in origin, so actually it makes you a great linguist, to learn these subjects, and of course it also teaches you about why we live the way we do. The fact that we have this word `democracy`, that we have`politics` - it is a Greek word, `politics` - helps you to understand the modern world if you, if you know more vividly, and with more nuance, wherethose words and ideas came from.
JM: But how impressed do you think an employer would be, with a kid withstraight-A`s in Latin, Greek and Ancient History, as opposed to the onewho`s done Business, Finance, and I.T.?
BH: The fantastic thing, we have some great statistics, luckily, to backup our campaign. If you talk to Cambridge University, they`ll tell you that of all their Arts graduates, excluding law students, if you call law students Arts graduates, classicists are the most highly employable. And actually, if you go to businesses, across the board, particularly international businesses, they love a classical degree, because it shows you can deal with quite complex data, it shows that you have an interestin the wider world, and it also shows that you have a fundamental interest in humanity, and increasingly, businesses of all kinds are realising that that`s an absolutely essential skill to have.
JM: How did you get your classical education?
BH: Well, I was very lucky. I got a scholarship to a school where there were still classics teachers. There were only three of us who learnt. I mean at this time it was very unfashionable, it was on its way out, but they were brilliant teachers: Veronica Anstee and Mary Sergeant and they inspired us to love this subject. And I think I carried on with it partly in a slightly bloody-minded way because I thought: this is SO importantand it teaches us so much we cannot allow it to die.
JM: And how do you retain that passion for it?
JM: But why do people say, “Ooeurgh, it`s such an elitist pursuit, oh, she had the benefit of a classical education, lah-di-lah-di-lah”
BH: Again, isn`t that terrible? It was lost from schools partly because people said: this is an elitist subject. How do you make a subject`elitist`? By only teaching it in the most elite schools. So, we know that state schools across the country are genuinely desperate: I get about 100 emails a week from children saying “I want to learn more”, so we set upthis campaign purely so that we can meet that need.
JM: But what about the teachers? I think you`re losing about 60 or 70classics teachers retiring each year. How are you filling up those gaps?
BH: We are, we are losing that number of classics teachers. The good news, though, is that the numbers of students in universities at the moment are 12,000 studying classical subjects, that`s the highest level it`s been at for ten years. So actually, in three or four years` time, we`re going to have a lot of very classically-educated young people who are going to beavailable to teach, and what our campaign is going to do is to give grants to schools who want to invite those new teachers into their schools to dothe work.
JM: Well, Bettany Hughes, thank you very much indeed for being with us.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Mass at St Mary`s Cathedral, Newcastle
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Vocation discernment weekend with the FSSP
· Starts on Friday 17th December 2010 at 6pm – ends on Sunday 19th December 2010 mid-afternoon.
· Location: St John Fisher House is the residence of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter in England & Wales. Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth has allowed for its canonical establishment in Reading on 1st August 2010.
o Address: 17, Eastern Avenue, Reading RG1 5RU.
o Access: 27mn from London Paddington by direct trains up to every 10mn, and from London Waterloo. Direct trains from Oxford, Bournemouth, Bristol, Newcastle, York, Birmingham, Gatwick Airport, Southampton Airport, etc. Direct ‘RailAir’ buses from Heathrow to Reading train station every 20mn. Motorway: M4.
· Limited overnight accommodation: please book now.
· Programme: Spiritual conferences, socials, Holy Mass each of the three days (Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite), silent prayer, private talk with Fr de Malleray, FSSP. Fr de Malleray will explain what is a vocation in general and to the priesthood in particular. Read here the Holy Father’s recent Letter to seminarians. Extract: “The proper celebration of the Eucharist involves knowing, understanding and loving the Church’s liturgy in its concrete form. In the liturgy we pray with the faithful of every age – the past, the present and the future are joined in one great chorus of prayer. As I can state from personal experience, it is inspiring to learn how it all developed, what a great experience of faith is reflected in the structure of the Mass, and how it has been shaped by the prayer of many generations.”
· Cost: no set price for students or unemployed – any donation welcome ; others: £50 suggested.
· Record breaking: this Autumn (2010), the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter gives thanks for the largest ever number of men admitted as First Year seminarians since our foundation 22 years ago: 48, including two British (one more Briton was admitted but was prevented from entering this year due to imperative work commitments). Deo gratias for so many prospective new workers in the Lord’s Vineyard. Please continue to pray for numerous saintly vocations : in particular for First Year British seminarians Alex and Mark who began their formation last month in Nebraska and Bavaria respectively, for Second Year British seminarian James tonsured last month in Wigratzbad, for Third Year British seminarian Ian to be ordained Porter and Lector next Saturday 20th November in Nebraska, and for British Deacon Matthew McCarthy to be ordained a priest next May in Nebraska.
· The Priestly Fraternity of St Peter runs two international seminaries: one in Europe, Bavaria for German- and French-speakers (International Seminary of St Peter in Wigratzbad); and one in the U.S.A.: so far the only English-speaking Extraordinary Form international seminary in full communion with the Church. Watch here the recently released 28mn video on Our Lady of Guadalupe international Seminary. Or here for our shorter 3mn Vocation video.
· Contact : email@example.com; website: www.fssp.co.uk/england; International: http://www.fssp.org/
Priestly ordinations in the FSSP over the last 11 years
2000: 12; 2001: 15; 2002: 12; 2003: 19; 2004: 17; 2005: 7; 2006: 14; 2007: 8; 2008: 12;
2009: 9 (UK 2); 2010: 12 (UK 1); 2011: ? ( UK 1)
47th Convention of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors in the USA
Almost from the beginning, though, I felt there was a certain problem with this. What the biblical texts meant in the world of their authors is in considerable tension with what they mean today—including what they mean personally to the professors and students who devote themselves to that historical task. But the very method rendered that question of what they mean today one that could not be asked. It belonged somewhere else, to the theologians, for example, or to the preachers. Of course, when the theologians or preachers interpreted the book in light of ongoing tradition and contemporary experience, the historical-critical scholars were none too reluctant to accuse them of taking the Bible out of context.
Apologies in that this is not the normal Forest Murmurs stuff but I think it is relevant here.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Monday, November 08, 2010
Here we go!
A modern seminary
The FSSP have a seminary in the USA, Our Lady of Guadalupe seminary at Denton, Nebraska. No-one would sell them a seminary so they had to build one from scratch, which opened on its present site in 2000, and it now has 75 seminarians with more applications for places than they have room. What is life like there? Who are the seminarians? Is the training according to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council on priestly formation? Well if you would like to see there are three videos on Youtube which give an idea of life in the seminary. You will see testimonies from bishops about how happy they are with the training that young men receive there as well as from lay people too (including Hexham and Newcastle`s own Leo Darroch at the start of the second video: Leo is the President of Una Voce International, the international umbrella group for national Latin Mass societies).
The videos are well worth watching:
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Santiago de Compostela
There were a number of items of interest for English pilgrims. For example on going to through the Holy Door to `hug the apostle` (the statue of St James kept behind the High Altar) in one of the side chapels there is a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham.
More spectacular was this statue of Our Lady in the Lady Chapel in the monastery church of San Martín Pinario which is now a museum. The notes said it was made in England and brought to Spain by Catholics fleeing Henry VIII. The first mention of it in the monastery archives about 1610 but whenever it got to Spain it was moving to see this bit of English Catholic history in such a glorious setting.
This cheered me up this morning
Des hommes à part
Uploaded by deshommesapart. - More video blogs and vloggers.
Thanks to Giorgio for the link.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Former bishop of Durham speaks about the Ordinariate
`Asked to comment on the Vatican's 'Ordinariate' scheme to enable Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church, and the desire in a parish at Folkestone to change allegiance, Bishop Wright said that people had thought that there were "dozens of parishes ready to jump", adding: "Many of the Roman Catholic bishops that I know in England were not terribly happy at the thought that they might have to administer this kind of whole extra wrinkle on top of the complicated structure they've already got, and I did hear one Roman Catholic priest - how representative I don't know - saying we've got quite enough traditionalists in our own Church without having all yours as well." `
I wasn`t aware that Catholic dioceses were a `complicated structure`. However there is no need for hard-pressed diocesan bishops having to worry about adminstering another structure as the ordinariates will not be under their authority but answerable to Rome.