Friday, August 31, 2012

40,000 celebrate St Aidan`s Day

Here are  few pictures of the 1951 celebrations at Ushaw for the 1300th annniversary of St Aidan`s death. They haven`t scanned as well as I`d hoped.Clicking on the pictures will enlarge them.

And one from an an earlier pilgrimage to Lindisfarne.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Judicial Vicars

Judicial Vicars don`t make the news much. However at the minute there are quite a lot of changes in the air. In recent weeks new judicial vicars have been appointed in Lancaster, Middlesborough, Nottingham and Hexham and Newcastle. I`ve taken over from Fr Paul Zielinski in our diocese as he stands down after twenty-three years in the position. I`m glad to say he is staying to work on the tribunal so his experience and knowledge will continue to be of service.

In Middlesborough Canon Alan Sheridan is standing down and Fr Stephen Maughan is taking over. In Lancaster Mgr Michael Tully is retiring and Fr Adrian Towers is the new man. In Nottingham Fr Peter Vellacot takes over from Mgr Canon Edward Walker who has been in the job for thirty-six years. What I found interesting is that Frs Vellacott, Towers and Maughan have all been associated with the Extraordinary Form. Fr Maughan was the celebrant of the Missa Cantata in York Minster last year, Fr Vellacott has a Saturday morning Latin Mass in his parish and I remember Fr Towers learning the Extraordinary Form and saying it at his parish in Cottam outside Preston although it hasn`t been listed for a while now. 

All of this is of no great significance, as canon lawyers have to know Latin, but makes me feel less of an oddity!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sacred Heart church, Limerick

A happy outcome for the former Jesuit church in Limerick which has been on the market for a few years and if memory serves me right at one time was being considered for conversion to a swimming pool. I imagine the issue of architecturally significant churches with congregations too small to sustain their upkeep must be a problem for diocesan authorities.  Giving them to Ecclesia Dei institutes to make a go of them seems like a useful solution but sadly the required leap of imagination is not always there.

Here`s the story:

Sacred Heart Church purchased by the Institute of Christ the King in Limerick, Ireland

With the help of numerous friends from Ireland, the United States and Continental Europe, the Church of the Sacred Heart at the Crescent in Limerick, also known as the Jesuit Church after its first builders and long-term occupants, was recently purchased by a young priestly community called the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The church and adjacent building, sold to a developer some years ago, had stood vacant for six years and was in danger of falling into ruin. Therefore many people from Limerick and other parts of Ireland were happy to help this Institute bring the Church of the Sacred Heart and its residence back to life.
A young community of members of the Institute of Christ the King will very soon move into the attached residence in spite of its rather poor condition, and the church will serve for the time being as its chapel. With the permission of the Bishop of Limerick, the Institute of Christ the King has had a residence in the diocese since 2009 and offers Mass every Sunday in the Extraordinary Form at St. Patrick's Church, whilst also working in a few neighbouring dioceses.
Founded in 1990, the Institute is a Roman-Catholic Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right in canonical form. The 64 priests of the Institute work all over the world to promote the spiritual Kingship of Christ. A special emphasis is laid on the harmony between faith and culture, and thus the young community has acquired a reputation for promoting the arts, especially sacred music and architecture. This experience will serve to restore the Church of the Sacred Heart to its classical beauty and make it available once more as a point of reference for the cultural life of Limerick.
 The mother-house and international seminary of the Institute of Christ the King is based in Florence, Italy, where 80 seminarians are training for the priesthood and 21 religious sisters are especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Among these are already several Irish vocations. This young community has missions in Gabon (Africa) and important apostolates in the United States, England, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Sweden and naturally in Rome, where their founder, Msgr. Gilles Wach, was ordained to the priesthood by Blessed Pope John Paul. The provincial superior of the community in Ireland is at present Msgr. Michael Schmitz, who was ordained a priest by the present Holy Father, the then  Cardinal Ratzinger.
The prior of the Church of the Sacred Heart is a 38 year-old priest, Canon Wulfran Lebocq, choir-master of the Institute and permanently resident in the diocese since 2010. For the time being, the community in Limerick is composed of four members, whose average age is 32.
The Institute of Christ the King follows the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, which is expressed in the motto of the Institute: Live the truth in charity, and could be summarised in the famous quote of the Doctor of Charity: Cook the truth in charity until it tastes sweet. The Canons of the Institute of Christ the King have a vast experience in working with the young. Schools, youth camps, days of recollection, musical training and many other activities are among the benefits they are used to bringing to the places where they work.
In Limerick, the Institute of Christ the King, supported by many local residents and a large group of friends in Ireland and abroad, intends to restore the Church of the Sacred Heart to its original purpose as a vibrant spiritual and cultural centre and a beautiful place of worship through a dynamic and open community life as a spiritual family. However, this will require a careful historical restoration before the Church may be opened once again to the greater public.
The Institute of Christ the King celebrates the classical Roman Liturgy, the Latin Mass, in its Extraordinary Form according to the liturgical books promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962. This liturgy, promoted by Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in various documents, attracts today an ever greater number of people, especially young adults, students and families. The Institute is accustomed to see a lively family of faithful in its churches and wishes to bring the uplifting beauty of sacrality and genuine culture to all.
This beautiful church at the Crescent is still today a special architectural jewel, and many deplored its closing and long-term vacancy.  The Institute of Christ the King, which has a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly desires to reopen this church for the benefit of all, in close collaboration with the local civil and ecclesiastical authorities. In this way, yet another sign of a brighter future will again come alive in Limerick.
Those who would like to know more about this important project for Limerick City can find further information either on their website ( or by visiting the community at the Crescent: Come and see!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer (FSSR) aka the Transalpine Redemptorists, based on Papa Stronsay in the Orkneys, have received official recognition, after a very long wait,  as an Institute of Diocesan Right. Read about it here.

Gaudeamus omnes in Domino diem festum celebrantes sub honore beate Mariae Virginis

Friday, August 10, 2012

In stories you may have missed this week...

What with the Olympics other stories are maybe not getting into the news so here`s one which I noticed the other day which looked interesting. Pity there`s not more background to it!

Court Rejects Russian’s Claim to Vatican


MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti)

Russia’s Supreme Court has overturned an appeal from a Russian national who urged the country’s judiciary to recognize his ownership of the Vatican, the court’s spokeswoman said on Thursday.
“The court has reviewed an appeal from Roman Lugovoi, who requested the establishment of Vatican inheritance and property rights. The appeal has been dismissed,” the spokeswoman said, adding that Lugovoi had named the pope as defendant in his claim.
She however did not elaborate why Lugovoi considered himself a legitimate heir to the See of Rome.
In early 2012, a Moscow arbitration court dismissed a claim from a woman who said she had the right to own a part of the Kremlin, naming then President Dmitry Medvedev, the government, the Culture Ministry and the federal property watchdog Rosimushchestvo as defendants.
In October 2011, the court overturned a similar claim from the head of the Fund for the Assistance to the National and Religious Agreement, who said that he was a descendant of the ancient Russian dynasty of the Ryuriks and was entitled to part of the Kremlin.

Sunday, August 05, 2012