Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

`With the birth of our Lord Jesus, "the truth has sprung from the earth”, today too, “in 2012, from this earth truth has sprung up! Consequently, there is hope in the world, a hope in which we can trust, even at the most difficult times and in the most difficult situations. Truth has sprung up, bringing kindness, justice and peace”. But we must open the doors of our hearts to God, find room for Him so that he is not rejected today as two thousand years ago, for this hope for peace to survive`

Pope Benedict XVI Christmas 2012

Midnight Mass, Forest Hall 2012. Many thanks to Terry for the photo.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Some good news in Hexham and Newcastle

There have been a few things happening which have cheered me up recently. The first is the opening of a Dominican house in Durham back in October. The Dominicans were invited to take over the running of both the university chaplaincies of Newcastle and Durham universities. I`ve heard some complaints that it means there are fewer interesting jobs for diocesan clergy as a result. Well I suppose as secular clergy we shouldn`t be surprised if we end up running parishes. Maybe priests could take on some of the curial jobs in finance and education which they used to have if we need diversity. Dominicans are ideal for university chaplaincies  and I thought it was particularly good for Catholic life in Durham to have a new boost which a community brings. Others have said vocations might be lost to the Dominicans who might have applied to the secular priesthood but I`m sure students can tell the difference between secular priesthood and religious life. We had seculars as chaplains at St Andrews and that didn`t stop me and others pursuing vocations in the religious life including the Dominicans!  (Now I`m a secular priest but I did try my vocation with the Discalced Carmelites for six months.)

Anyway here is an article from the Northern Echo on the new community.
NEW COMMUNITY: From left, Fr Thomas Skeats, Fr Benjamin Earl and Fr John Patrick Kenrick at their new home in St Cuthbert’s Church, Durham

A CATHOLIC order has established a new community in the region.
Three friars from the English Province of the Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans, have made their home in Durham City, taking over running Durham University’s Catholic Chaplaincy and St Cuthbert’s RC Church, on Old Elvet.
They did so at the invitation of the Right Reverend Seamus Cunningham, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle.
The establishment of the community was marked by a celebration of Mass on Wednesday, November 7 – the Catholic Feast of All Saints of the Dominican Order – led by the Very Reverend John Farrell, Prior Provincial of England within the Dominican community.
Dominican friars arrived in the North-East in 1239AD, less than 25 years after their Order was founded.
Their medieval priory still exists on Friars Street, Newcastle. It is now a restaurant and craft centre.
The priory was suppressed in 1539, as the last prior denounced Henry VIII’s claim to be the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and fled to Catholic Scotland.
However, friars were active around Hexham, Northumberland, in the 17th Century and St Dominic’s priory was re-established in Newcastle in 1860.
The new religious house represents the Order’s first ever presence in Durham.
Fr Benjamin Earl has been appointed parish priest and Catholic Chaplain to Durham University. Fr Thomas Skeats and Fr John Patrick Kenrick assist him.
Fr Earl said: “It’s a huge privilege to be asked to continue in Durham the outstanding work of priests from the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.
“The new religious community has been touched by the very warm welcome received from parish, chaplaincy, University and diocesan communities and we very much look forward to working with all those groups to promote prayer, study and preaching of the good news in Durham and the North-East.”
For more information, visit english.op.org

Secondly on December 7th Fr Warren organised a torchlight procession in Hexham in honour of the Immaculate Conception which drew a crowd of 500.  I was sorry not to be able to be there but hope i can be if it happens next year. Here are some pictures:

The third item was the first regular EF Mass in St Augustine`s Darlington. Fr Elkin has written about this. It seems that 50-60 people turned out on Wednesday night for Fr Tully`s Low Mass. I hope to make it through for the next one in January.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I`d long suspected I was avant-garde

H/t to Fr Z for spotting this article in The Economist and is now all over the blogs so I`ll repeat it too. Nice they`ve noticed. Not everyone has, especially within the Church!

A snippet:

 The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, started in 1965, now has over 5,000 members. The weekly number of Latin masses is up from 26 in 2007 to 157 now. In America it is up from 60 in 1991 to 420. At Brompton Oratory, a hotspot of London traditionalism, 440 flock to the main Sunday Latin mass. That is twice the figure for the main English one. Women sport mantillas (lace headscarves). Men wear tweeds.

But it is not a fogeys’ hangout: the congregation is young and international. Like evangelical Christianity, traditional Catholicism is attracting people who were not even born when the Second Vatican Council tried to rejuvenate the church. Traditionalist groups have members in 34 countries, including Hong Kong, South Africa and Belarus. Juventutem, a movement for young Catholics who like the old ways, boasts scores of activists in a dozen countries. Traditionalists use blogs, websites and social media to spread the word—and to highlight recalcitrant liberal dioceses and church administrators, who have long seen the Latinists as a self-indulgent, anachronistic and affected minority. In Colombia 500 people wanting a traditional mass had to use a community hall (they later found a church)

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Stick to the script!

I`d not seen this story of the demise of an ad-libbing priest.If the ad-libbers are going to be taken to task things could get very busy for the Congregation for Clergy!

Here`s the gist:

The Rev. William Rowe, whose refusal to adhere to the wording of the Roman Catholic Mass caused him to become known as the "ad libbing priest," is officially barred from performing church rites.
The banned practices include performing Mass and officiating weddings.

According to a statement released Wednesday by Belleville Diocese Bishop Edward Braxton, a 60-day appeal expired making an earlier ruling by a panel in Rome final.

That ruling by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, stated that Rowe's written argument that changing the liturgy to make it easier for parishioners to understand was no basis to remove him from performing priestly duties, "has no canonical basis in law or in fact and is hereby rejected."

The recent poll highlighted by Fr Z seems to show Fr Rowe underestimated the Catholic response to the new translation!

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2012/11/23/2405010/final-action-taken-against-ad.html#storylink=cpy