I spent a few days in Budapest last week and it was as architecturally striking as I have been told. This is St Stephen's Cathedral. However, be warned, if you go on a Sunday, having looked at their website advertising a Latin mass at 10am - it's only once a month (I think that's what was explained to me!)
The Cathedral puts on concerts in the evening and I went to hear Mozart''s Requiem. The trick, I find, at concerts of religious music in church is to look at the art works and statues or close your eyes - otherwise the facial contortions of the singers are rather off-putting to any sense of being moved by the music. What seems strange to me is that a concert of classical music all in Latin filled the church with visitors. I wonder when many in the Church will catch on to the fact that Latin is not a bar to attracting people! In fact, they will actually pay to come in and listen to it.
The High A;tar is dominated by a statue of St Stephen - and very splendid it is.
All the churches I went into were immaculately kept. No plastic chairs stacked up in side chapels or the remains of last years CAFOD display festering in the porch.
On the hill of Buda stands the Mattias Church. A vision of glory, with every surface ablaze with frescoes.
I wouldn't mind preaching from this pulpit - and as I've no Hungarian, the congregation wouldn't be able to make any complaints!
An extraordinary window in the baptistery, off-set in the wall mouldings.
A statue of Our Blessed Lady adorns the High Altar - crowned with a replica of the Hungarian crown, blessed by Pope St John Paul.
Actually, I didn't specifically go to see the churches. What drew me was the prospect of all the glorious Art Nouveau and Secessionist architecture - which abounds all over the Pest side of the city.
He will be speaking on the subject of Religious Freedom this Wednesday 10th September, in the parish hall at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Harrogate Road, Moortown, Leeds LS17 6LE.
The talk should begin around 11.00am. All clergy would be welcome and its good to meet brethren in a supportive atmosphere - the talk will be followed by lunch. If you would like to come along, please contact the Northern District Organiser:
Michael Voris' Church Militant TV has been carrying this episode. Mr Voris is his usual outspoken self (good for him!). Although I have seen this speech of Mother Angelica's before, I haven't in the past been able to find this clip on-line.
The occasion of her outburst was the rather surreal and heavily modernised depiction of the Stations of the Cross for a World Youth Day (as Mr Voris describes). She pulled the plug on the feed, the screen went blank and then she came on. I'm told that almost immediately afterwards she and her nuns went into the much more traditional habits they still wear.
I like the TV station she founded - Eternal Word Television Network (for the most part) but it could do with re-capturing some of this spirit shown by Mother here!
That being said, there's no shortage of nuns at Mother Angelica's Monastery. Some of the Sisters speak in this video.
The world's largest seminary is in Mexico. I'm not aware that Mexico is a particular hotbed of the Usus Antiquior but the seminary at least seems to be able to allow its seminarians to experience and learn about the ancient form of the Mass without running terrified at the prospect. I am amazed at just how many seminarians this one seminary has. Enough to provide priests for two or three of the major diocese here in England and Wales.
Guadalajara is the see of one of the principal Mexican archdioceses. It is solidly anchored in the Catholic tradition and still numbers over 2000 priests. Add to that the largest major seminary in the world, which was founded in 1696 and numbers over 600 seminarians. This means that this seminary alone has one half as many as all the seminaries in Spain and nearly as many as all French diocesan seminaries combined.
On 2 June 2014, for the first time since the liturgical reform, a priest went up to the altar of the Lord in the Saint Joseph of Guadalajara Seminary chapel, there to celebrate Mass according to the missal of St John XXIII. It was celebrated by Father Jonathan Romanoski, one of the Fraternity of Saint Peter priests stationed in Guadalajara, in the presence of close to 300 of the Seminary students. Mind you, the diocese of Guadalajara had already made room for the traditional liturgy even before the Motu Propio Summorum Pontificum, and so the two liturgical forms have been cohabitating without a snag.
Father Romanoski, who is originally from Pennsylvania and was ordained by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos in 2008, had already conducted introductory extraordinary form workshops at the seminary. These workshops only went so far, however, while the June 2 Mass gathered close to half the seminarians and was—very officially—sung by the seminary schola.
Father Romanoski was able to give a brief outline of the principal characteristics of the extraordinary form of the rite just before celebrating this Mass, which had been organised at the seminarians’ request. It’s a safe bet that this June 2, 2014 Mass will be a milestone since it allowed many future priests, in a very official and very “normal” setting—their seminary—to discover the beauty and richness of the traditional liturgy.
In his account of the event, Spanish columnist Fernández de La Cigoña, who runs a well-known Spanish-language blog, noted that the Mass celebrated in Guadalajara was the Mass of the Cristeros*: “They knew no other Mass. From it they received the grace to be Catholics. But not just Catholics like us. They were heroes, martyrs, saints.”
*(The Cristero War (1926–1929), also known as La Cristiada, was an attempted counter-revolution against the anti-clericalism of the ruling Mexican government. The background setting for Graham Greene's novel "The Power and the Glory".)
Many thanks to all those who came along to the barbecue on Sunday to help celebrate my fiftieth Birthday. It was to be for family and friends but I was overjoyed that so many of my Parish Family wanted to come along as well. Thank you to everyone for your cards, gifts and prayers.
Thank goodness no one attempted to put fifty candles on the cake.
No one is properly dressed at a party without a glass of something in their hand.
The smoke proving that the meat on the barbecue was well cooked.
The traditional blowing out of the candles.
Now.. what did I wish for, you ask...?
Yes - two cakes - including one with depicting the garb of a Chaplain of the Order of St Lazarus.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Matthew Pleva - just fourteen years old - and for the comfort of his family. He was an altar server at Holy Rosary Church in Cedar, Michigan. (You can just see the church tower on the right of the picture.)
The photograph shows an impressive turnout of his fellow altar boys from Holy Rosary Church - a parish which works at placing the fullness of the Catholic Faith before its people. Of three Sunday Masses, one is in the Traditional Form of the Roman Rite. They must certainly be doing something right. It reminds me a little of the time in my previous parish when for a year or two we had enough boys to make up three teams of altar boys for the main Sunday Mass who served on a rota basis.
May God bless them all as they mourn their friend - yet in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.