Wednesday 26 April 2017

York Mass and Pilgrimage this Saturday

High Mass will be celebrated in 
Duncombe Place, York YO1 7EF 

Pilgrims then process through the city, 
stopping to pray at St Margaret’s Shrine in The Shambles. Continuing via Ouse Bridge 
– the site of her martyrdom – 
pilgrims will make their way back to St Wilfrid’s for 
Benediction at approx 3.45pm.

This pilgrimage is always a great witness to the Catholic Faith and a testament to the devotion of English Catholics to St Margaret and the York Martyrs. Walking through the tourist crowded streets of York in witness to our Holy Faith is an exhilarating feeling!
"And through the Truth 
that comes from God
England will then indeed be free!"

Clergy Day in Warrington today

Clergy Day: Priests, deacons and seminarians are invited to join us for lunch followed by a talk by Fr de Malleray on the reasons for a priest keeping his index fingers and thumbs joined after the consecration in Holy Mass. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Wednesday 26th April, 1-3pm. No need to book.

Monday 24 April 2017

Ramsgate Colloquium

Descent of Christ Into Limbo

Dialogos Institute
Colloquium on Limbo

The doctrine of Limbo has been a subject of controversy for nearly seventy years. What is the state of those who depart this life with original sin only? Is it possible to maintain that no souls do depart this life in such a way? Intimately tied to the question of the 'natural desire for God' and to the dispute over the necessity of faith in Christ for salvation, Limbo occupies a strategically vital position in the theological landscape.

The Colloquium will be held at the Divine Retreat Centre, in Ramsgate (run by the Vincentian Fathers, and next door to the recently-established shrine of St Augustine of Canterbury, which by then will be restored to the form in which Pugin built it.) It will be the Institute's second colloquium, the first having been in Norcia on Dignitatis Humanae.

One of the speakers is Lawrence Feingold, author of The Natural Desire to see God according to St Thomas and his interpreters,  an important riposte to the De Lubacian tendency in modern theology. He will be speaking about Maritain's ideas on Limbo. Another speaker is Alyssa Pitstick, who wrote an acclaimed critique of von Balthasar's theology of Holy Saturday.

The cost of the conference is £150, but £75 for seminarians. That includes accommodation from Thursday night to Sunday morning, and all meals from Friday morning to Sunday morning (meals on Friday and Saturday evening will be taken with the speakers, in a local restaurant, not at the retreat centre.)

Further details HERE.

The Dialogos Institute is a Romano-Byzantine theological institute in Norcia, Italy devoted to the study of the patristic heritage in the spirit of Latin and Byzantine Thomism.

Returning to the sources of the faith through the Socratic method of disputation, the members of the Dialogos Institute seek to contribute to the renewal of Catholic Theology and Philosophy and an authentically Christian social order through fidelity to the united witness of the holy Fathers.

The Institute pursues these aims through conferences, publications and programmes of study illustrating the unity of the Church's traditions eastern and western, patristic and scholastic, clerical and lay.

Thursday 6 April 2017

Holy Week at St Catherine's, Farington


I'm greatly looking forward to Holy Week this year.
Some excellent music to enhance our celebrations.
These posters give some indications of our musical offerings,
(click on them to enlarge).
NB. For our regulars, please note the different Masses on Easter Sunday morning.

For the rest of the week:
Monday: Mass at 9.30am OF
Mass on Tuesday at 12 noon EF
Mass on Wednesday at 9.30am OF

Confessions on Holy Thursday after Mass
and on Good Friday after the Passion

Wednesday 5 April 2017


I have just come across this site for priests hoping to keep physically - as well as spiritually - fit. 
Priestfit - they are on Facebook too - a closed group if you want to become a member. I thought it was interesting, as anything that supports priests in their life and ministry is surely a good thing. It's easy to forget that the body is the temple of the soul: Catechism 364. The human body shares in the dignity of "the image of God": it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit.

Since I turned 50 a couple of years ago, I've made more regularised efforts to keep fit. Probably just as well, as our oldest priest in the Archdiocese has only just retired - aged 101. If I'm to keep going that long, I'll need all the help I can get!

Priestfit describe themselves:
Priestfit started from two priests needing encouragement, prayer and support. Today we are building a network of support and casting a vision to Eat Clean, Be Fit, Pray Well. We want to show the power of God’s grace to bring strength amidst weakness. As we’ve noted, priests are sadly dying on the job. Our message is to save lives and strengthen callings.

Summer Conference: further details

A splendid view of the college chapel amidst the town.

There is now a detailed page of the Summer Conference Here.

Mary and Martyrdom
A joyful Conference with a serious theme dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Monday 31st July 2017

Transport from airport in Nantes arranged free of charge.
18.30 Apéritif
19.00 Dinner

Tuesday 2nd August

Early morning private Masses
8.00- 8.45: Continental buffet breakfast.
From 9.00: Registration, administration, socialising.
10.00: Welcome session, with opening remarks from Ferdi McDermott, Father Mark Lawler and other members of the speakers’ panel.
10.45: Coffee
11.15: “Mary as the air that we breathe”:   The Marian spirituality of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Ferdi McDermott.
12.15: Solemn High Mass, in the Extraordinary Form.
St Peter ad Vincula, and celebration of Lammas Day, with the blessing of Lammas loaves.
13.30 : Lunch

14.30: “The Marian Devotion of Father Frederick William Faber”, Father Sebastian Jones, Cong Orat.
15.30: “A liturgy for laymen: A study of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary”, Anthony Dickinson.
16:30 Tea
17:00 Speaker, to be announced.
18.15: Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary
18.30: Vespers from the Little Office.
19.00 Apéritif, with musical entertainment.
19.30 Dinner
21.15: Compline

Wednesday 2nd August

Early morning private Masses

8.00- 8.30: Buffet English/continental breakfast.
8.45: Speaker to be announced.
9.30: Pontifical Mass of Our Lady in the Extraordinary Form. Celebrant to be confirmed.
11.00 – 16:00 Excursion either to St Laurent sur Sèvre or Le Château de la Chabotterie, (castle and museum dedicated to the Vendée counter-revolution.)  Details not yet finalised. Special meal.
16.00: Return coach to Chavagnes
16.30 Tea
17.00: “Our Lady’s suffering in the plan of salvation and Christian life”, speaker to be announced.
18.00: Vespers and Benediction.
19.00: Apéritif
19.30: Dinner
21.15 Compline

Thursday 4th August

Early morning private Masses
8.00- 8.45: Buffet English/continental breakfast.
9.00: “Mary in the teachings of St John Paul II”; Father Jason Jones.
10.00: “A tribute to The martyrs of the Vendée”, Ferdi McDermott.
11.00 Coffee
11.30: “Title to be confirmed”, Father Mark Lawler
12.20: Sung Mass in the Ordinary Form.
13.40: Lunch
14.40 : “The Sufferings of Mary in the Liturgy”, Gerhard Eger
16.00 : Concluding reflections, discussion, questions:
17.00: Tea
17.45: Joyful mysteries of the Rosary.
18.00: Pontifical Vespers
19.00 Aperitif
19.30 Dinner
21.15 Compline

Friday 5th August

Early morning private Masses
From 7.30-9.30; Buffet continental breakfast

Transport to airport, or stations, etc.

Monday 3 April 2017

Chavagnes Summer Conference: Our Lady & Martydom

Anyone looking for an interesting and enjoyable visit to France this summer could find what they are seeking in the Chavagnes Summer Conference on Our Lady & Martydom.
We had a unique experience last year, as you can see from these photos...









or use the e-mail below to request further details.

Rite that was the riches of the poor

(Picture - assisting Bishop Schneider at Mass in the chapel at Chavagnes International College last year during their Summer Conference.NB See here for this year's Conference.) 

A very interesting essay by Martin Mosebach, entitiled "Return to the Form"  on First Things.

A couple of my favourite bits:

The great damage caused by the liturgical revolution after Vatican II consists above all in the way in which the Church lost the conviction with which all Catholics—illiterate goatherds, maids and laborers, Descartes and Pascal—naturally took part in the Church’s sacred worship. Up until then, the rite was among the riches of the poor, who, through it, entered into a world that was otherwise closed to them. They experienced in the old Mass the life to come as well as life in the present, an experience of which only artists and mystics are otherwise capable. This loss of shared transcendence available to the most humble cannot be repaired for generations, and this great loss is what makes the ill-considered reform of the Mass so reprehensible. It is a moral outrage that those who gutted the Roman Rite because of their presumption and delusion were permitted to rob a future generation of their full Catholic inheritance.

The vast majority of the faithful have in the meantime never known anything else but the revised Mass in its countless manifestations. They have lost any sense of the spiritual wealth of the Church and in many cases simply are not capable of following the old rite. They should not be criticized on account of this. The Tridentine Mass demands a lifetime of education, and the post-conciliar age is characterized, among other things, by the widespread abandonment of religious instruction. The Catholic religion with its high number of believers has actually become the most unknown religion in the world, especially to its own adherents. While there are many Catholics who feel repelled and offended by the superficiality of the new rite as it is frequently celebrated today, by the odious music, the puritanical kitsch, the trivialization of dogma, and the profane character of new church buildings, the gap that has opened up in the forty years between the traditional rite and the new Mass is very deep, often unbridgeable. 

Saturday 1 April 2017

Cardinal Sarah's Address on the 10th Anniversary of "Summorum Pontificum"

"Catholic World Report" carries the text of a message from Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, speaking about the Traditional Form of the Mass and its continuing relevance and importance in the Church today. You can read the full text HERE but below are some highlights below.

In his Letter to the Bishops that accompanied the Motu proprio, Pope Benedict XVI clearly explained that the purpose for his decision to have the two missals coexist was not only to satisfy the wishes of certain groups of the faithful who are attached to the liturgical forms prior to the Second Vatican Council, but also to allow for the mutual enrichment of the two forms of the same Roman rite, in other words, not only their peaceful coexistence but also the possibility of perfecting them by emphasizing the best features that characterize them. He wrote in particular that “the two Forms of the usage of the Roman rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal....  The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage.” These then are the terms in which the Pope emeritus expressed his desire to re-launch the “liturgical movement”. In parishes where it has been possible to implement the Motu proprio, pastors testify to the greater fervor both in the faithful and in the priests, as Father Rodheudt himself can bear witness. They have also noted a repercussion and a positive spiritual development in the way of experiencing Eucharistic liturgies according to the Ordinary Form, particularly the rediscovery of postures expressing adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: kneeling, genuflection, etc., and also greater recollection characterized by the sacred silence that should mark the important moments of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, so as to allow the priests and the faithful to interiorize the mystery of faith that is being celebrated. It is true also that liturgical and spiritual formation must be encouraged and promoted. 

Many priests testify that this is a stimulating task, because they are conscious of working for the liturgical renewal, of contributing their own efforts to the “liturgical movement” that we were just talking about, in other words, in reality, to this mystical and spiritual renewal that is therefore missionary in character, which was intended by the Second Vatican Council, to which Pope Francis is vigorously calling us. The liturgy must therefore always be reformed so as to be more faithful to its mystical essence. But most of the time, this “reform” that replaced the genuine “restoration” intended by the Second Vatican Council was carried out in a superficial spirit and on the basis of only one criterion: to suppress at all costs a heritage that must be perceived as totally negative and outmoded so as to excavate a gulf between the time before and the time after the Council. Now it is enough to pick up the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy again and to read it honestly, without betraying its meaning, to see that the true purpose of the Second Vatican Council was not to start a reform that could become the occasion for a break with Tradition, but quite the contrary, to rediscover and to confirm Tradition in its deepest meaning.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger tirelessly repeated that the crisis that has shaken the Church for fifty years, chiefly since Vatican Council II, is connected with the crisis of the liturgy, and therefore to the lack of respect, the desacralization and the leveling of the essential elements of divine worship. “I am convinced,” he writes, “that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy.”

However we cannot close our eyes to the disaster, the devastation and the schism that the modern promoters of a living liturgy caused by remodeling the Church’s liturgy according to their ideas. They forgot that the liturgical act is not just a PRAYER, but also and above all a MYSTERY in which something is accomplished for us that we cannot fully understand but that we must accept and receive in faith, love, obedience and adoring silence. And this is the real meaning of active participation of the faithful. It is not about exclusively external activity, the distribution of roles or of functions in the liturgy, but rather about an intensely active receptivity: this reception is, in Christ and with Christ, the humble offering of oneself in silent prayer and a thoroughly contemplative attitude. The serious crisis of faith, not only at the level of the Christian faithful but also and especially among many priests and bishops, has made us incapable of understanding the Eucharistic liturgy as a sacrifice, as identical to the act performed once and for all by Jesus Christ, making present the Sacrifice of the Cross in a non-bloody manner, throughout the Church, through different ages, places, peoples and nations. There is often a sacrilegious tendency to reduce the Holy Mass to a simple convivial meal, the celebration of a profane feast, the community’s celebration of itself, or even worse, a terrible diversion from the anguish of a life that no longer has meaning or from the fear of meeting God face to face, because His glance unveils and obliges us to look truly and unflinchingly at the ugliness of our interior life. But the Holy Mass is not a diversion. It is the living sacrifice of Christ who died on the cross to free us from sin and death, for the purpose of revealing the love and the glory of God the Father. Many Catholics do not know that the final purpose of every liturgical celebration is the glory and adoration of God, the salvation and sanctification of human beings.

When young people are absent from the holy Liturgy, we must ask ourselves: Why? We must make sure that the celebrations according to the usus recentior (the newer form of the Mass) facilitate this encounter too, that they lead people on the path of the via pulchritudinis (the way of beauty) that leads through her sacred rites to the living Christ and to the work within His Church today. Indeed, the Eucharist is not a sort of “dinner among friends”, a convivial meal of the community, but rather a sacred Mystery, the great Mystery of our faith, the celebration of the Redemption accomplished by Our Lord Jesus Christ, the commemoration of the death of Jesus on the cross to free us from our sins. It is therefore appropriate to celebrate Holy Mass with the beauty and fervor of the saintly Curé of Ars, of Padre Pio or Saint Josemaría, and this is the sine qua non condition for arriving at a liturgical reconciliation “by the high road”, if I may put it that way.