Friday 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas everyone!

 Vestments for Christmas Day.

Christmas Blessings to everyone on this lovely day.
To all who continue to read this little blog - thank you.
To friends far and near
and to all my parishioners here at St Catherine's,
thank you for your kindness and generosity at this time 
and throughout the year.
In fact, we have had a wonderful year here in the parish. 
Archbishop Malcolm has visited us twice 
and I find myself greatly encouraged by his pastoral concern 
for both priests and people.
May God bless us one and all!

Angels proclaiming 
"Gloria in excelsis""

 The altar ready for action.

Our little Crib - complete with elephant and camel!

Thursday 24 December 2015

See the Lamb so long expected, Comes with pardon down from heav’n

 Last outing of the purple vestments for a while!

See the Lamb so long expected,
Comes with pardon down from heav’n;
Hasten now, with tears of sorrow,
One and all to be forgiv’n.

So when next he comes with glory,
Shrouding all the earth in fear,
May he then as out defender
On the clouds of heav’n appear.

Vox clara ecce intonat, 6th Century; Translator: E. Caswall, 1814-1878

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Christmas Mass times at St Catherine's


 Christmas Mass times at St Catherine's

Christmas Eve
11pm - Holy Mass 
concluding with the blessing of the Crib 
at Midnight

Christmas Day
8.30am - said Mass
10am - Missa Cantata


Tuesday 22 December 2015

Carol Concert generosity

A snap of the Carol Concert held at St Catherine's.
A lovely evening, which raised £4,310, 
which will be sent to Cardinal Ranjith 
for the work of SUROL in Sri Lanka.
Thanks to all who arranged, assisted and supported the concert.
some further photos on the Order of St Lazarus site.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Charity Carol Concert this Saturday

Carol Concert
on Saturday 19th December
Church of St Catherine Labouré
Stanifield Lane
PR25 4QG

Mulled Wine and Mince Pies afterwards.

Free entry
A collection will be taken for the work of 
SUROL - Cardinal Ranjith's Charity for
those suffering from leprosy in Sri Lanka
Everyone Welcome!

This is now our fourth year of this highly popular event,
raising thousands of pounds for the charities supported by 
the Order of St Lazarus,
organised by Chev. Anthony Dickinson KLJ
 with assistance from professional and semi-professional singers from all over Lancashire.
This is always a lovely evening,
so come along if you can.

Sunday 13 December 2015

Gaudete Sunday

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

All set for Gaudete Sunday! As always, making full use of all the Church's liturgical options!

Of course, as a Traditionalist, I abhorred the abandonment of black for the rest of Advent and the ninth century innovation of reducing it from forty days to just one month but I suppose one must change with the times.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854.

 Blessed Duns Scotus defending the Dogma in 1305

We are celebrating Low Mass today at 12 noon 
on this lovely feast of the 
Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Lady.
Its particularly relevant to our parish dedication to St Catherine Labouré
and the Miraculous Medal, 
which will be part of our focus for the Jubilee Year of Mercy,
as it has so often been associated with bringing people back to the Faith.

Friday 27 November 2015

Catholic Education. Is it stupid?

I read with interest an article in today's "Telegraph" newspaper, written from an atheist's point of view about religious education. It caught my eye as Jemima Lewis' views on the subject seemed to reflect my own thoughts on the matter:
The very fact of treating religion as an academic subject, no more or less sacred than English Literature, encouraged scepticism. The Old Testament was just another text to be analysed and considered within its historical context – no more likely to contain any definitive truth than, say, Wuthering Heights.
I have long thought that while Catholic schools should teach about other religions as a matter of practical knowledge to help understand the world around us, education about our own Faith should be completely separate from this - that is, we should teach other religions under the title of "religious eduction" but our own Faith under the title of "religious instruction".  

We could teach about the Bible in English Literature but it might encourage us to think of it not as the Word of God but as interesting and possibly helpful - but only in the way that reading Dostoevsky teaches us to reflect on the world around us. That is the point that this atheist lady makes - the difference being that she thinks that's a good way to teach Christianity and I don't - for the same reasons she gives, that it actually undermines faith. This methodology seems to be exactly what our Catholic schools have been doing for quite some time now with the effects that can be lauded by atheists but lamented by those who still believe. Most people would call that stupid - and yes, leading to damnation: something about teaching others and being the least in the kingdom of heaven.

Time for a change when atheists think we're doing a good job of undermining belief?
I wouldn't recommend holding your breath!

Sunday 22 November 2015

High Mass in Warrington

Yesterday Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool entrusted the fine E. W. Pugin church of St Mary in Warrington town centre to the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) for the celebration of the Sacraments according tot he Traditional Form. This now becomes the third church in the Northwest of England to be entrusted by the local bishop to the new and thriving societies of priests celebrating the Traditional Mass in three adjoining diocese - Lancaster, Liverpool and Shrewsbury. Who could have predicted not so very long ago that the new societies set up in St John Paul II's reign and bolstered by the reinvigoration of the Church's traditions under Pope Benedict, would have brought about such fruit. God be praised!

Archbishop Malcolm is greeted at the door and sprinkles holy water. 
He entered to Parry's "I was glad".
Archbishop Malcolm 
prays in front of the Blessed Sacrament before Mass starts.

Some of the clergy in choir.

Abbot of Ampleforth Cuthbert Madden, OSB.
From its foundation in 1877 until 2012 
St Mary's Priory was served by the monks of Ampleforth. 

Prayers at the foot of the altar
for Mass of the 
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Mass was celebrated by the new Rector, 
Fr Armand de Malleray, 
assisted by Deacon James Mawdsley 
and Fr Ian Verrier as sub deacon.

Deacon James Mawdsley sings the Gospel.

 The new Rector makes his Profession of Faith 
and takes the oath of Fidelity before the Archbishop.

 At the altar.

 "My Lord and my God."

The Archbishop 
and deacons at throne Throne,
Fr John Emerson for the FSSP
and Fr Sean Kirwin or the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

 Clergy from near and far.

All photographs courtesy of Mr Martin Gardner.

There was some fine music from up in the rather splendid choir loft. 
The parish is blest to have intact a strong musical tradition under the care of Michael Wynne.

Lord enthroned in heavenly spendour!

Friday 20 November 2015

Requiem Mass with the Archbishop Malcolm

It was a great delight to welcome Archbishop Malcolm 
back to the parish after his Visitation in July.
Parishioners and members and friends 
of the Order of St Lazarus gathered 
to celebrate Requiem Mass for deceased members and friends.
There is a little more on the Mass at the

The church prepared for Mass
- including the extra candle on the altar for the Archbishop's presence.

Servers from the parish  were marshalled on this occasion by 
MC Mr Charles Bradshaw.

 Cardinal Duka, the Archbishop of Prague and Chaplain General 
for the whole Order 
had kindly sent a letter to be read out 
welcoming his fellow Dominican, the Archbishop of Liverpool.

The Archbishop processed in to Sacerdos et Pontifex
by Peter Smedley
(a previous Director of Music at St Barnabas Cathedral Nottingham
 - the Archbishop's former Diocese)

His Grace, the Archbishop
is assisted by two Chaplains of the Order of St Lazarus,
Fr Aldo Tapparo and Fr William Charlton.

The parish is greatly blest to to have someone 
with both talent and knowledge to arrange all the parish music. 
Thanks to Anthony Dickinson
who arranged a superb Schola to lift our hearts in prayer,
 including Missa pro defunctis 
by Giovanni Francesco Anerio (c. 1567 –1630)
as the Mass setting.

Fr Tapparo reads the Epistle.

Archbishop Malcolm preaching. 
Mass was celebrated beautifully in Latin in the Novus Ordo. Incidentally, before those eagle-eyed in liturgical  matters note it (and they will) the Archbishop was well aware that he should have brought a plain white mitre - he was in the midst of moving house that week and could not lay his hands on it! 
We managed!

Absolutions over the catafalque.

Libera me Domine by Colin Mawby b. 1936
(written for the occasion of the Requiem Mass 
of H.E. William Cardinal Godfrey in 1963)

from the Requiem in D Minor by Gabriel Faure (1845 – 1924)
May the angels lead you into paradise; 
may the martyrs receive you at your arrival

We gathered afterwards in the St John Paul Room for a convivial meal.

His Grace, Archbishop McMahon
with the Grand Prior of Great Britain,
the Much Honoured Baron of Fetternear, Martin Thacker,
and the Baron of Craigmillar, Conf. Brian Williamson.
With Mrs Jean Spencer.

Photographs courtesy of John Robinson.