Sunday, 25 July 2021

“Francis, go and rebuild my Church.”

“Francis, go and rebuild my Church.”

These were the words St Francis heard Our Blessed Lord speak to his heart as he gazed on the crucified image in the ruined church of St Damiano. The task of rebuilding the Church is always with us and St Peter's International College is attempting to do just that, in rebuilding the 200 year old abandoned Convent founded by St André-Hubert Fournet for the new Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross, Sisters of St Andrew Cross, in 1807. St André, together with the first Superior St Elizabeth Bichier, established the Congregation for the care of the poor and the instruction children. 


The School started up last year but the main building, St Andrew's House, was not able to be used, as it needed much in the way of being brought up to code for a building in public use. This summer, thanks to some very generous benefactors, work has begun on this historic building. It's not fancy inside (it was built for holy nuns!) but is it spacious and has an imposing presence from the outside. As well as further classrooms and offices, it will provide space for a large games room for the boys, a library (yet to be fitted out) and most importantly, a professional kitchen. All of this can't be done at once, as funds will not allow, but, as St Francis said, “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”


When the school opened last year, many times was heard the refrain, "That's going to be impossible!" But day by day we do what is necessary to rebuild this little corner of God's Church, following one of the original charisms of the Sisters who first worked there under the inspiration of St André - the education of young people in the FAITH. The same Faith and the same Mass that gave them courage is alive in the college today and St Peter's thanks God most especially at this time for the generous donors who have helped to rebuild what seemed impossible. It has been a long hard year but we've had little choice other than to follow St Francis' advice, “Be patient in trials, watchful in prayer, and never cease working.”


We hope to turn the building sites in the pictures above into functioning spaces like this existing classroom. If you feel the prompting of God's Holy Spirit to be a part of rebuilding God's Church for the young people who will have to lead the Church in the future, please consider donating to this great endeavor. Like St Francis, we set off with little more than our trust in God but have been joined in the journey by man who contribute in prayer and in financial support. You are invited to join us in that journey “The journey is essential to the dream.”


St Francis had a joyful spirit, a childlike joy in the Faith; a complete trust in God; a deep devotion to the Mass and Church and a desire to preach the Gospel, even in the most unlikely places (at the court of the Sultan of Egypt, for example!) This is the Faith we want to pass on to the next generations of Catholics.

To learn more or to donate - any amount large or small, contact me via the usual channels or the school directly via the website.



“For it is in giving that we receive.”









Saturday, 24 July 2021

Gregorian Mass Bouquet

 

Mass of St. Gregory

by Raffaellino del Garbo 1501

in the Ringling Museum of Art, Florida.

Depicting Pope St Gregory the Great saying Mass when a vision of Christ as the Man of Sorrows has appeared on the altar in front of him, in response to the Pope's prayers for a sign to convince a doubter of the doctrine of transubstantiation .

The Chaplain at St Peter's College (along with other clergy friends of the College) is now offering the possibility of a Gregorian Mass Bouquet, as well as individual Mass intentions. This is a beautiful and practical way of supporting the spirituality and pastoral care of the College, helping to educate young men in in atmosphere permeated with the riches of our Catholic Faith.

Gregorian Masses are a series of Holy Masses traditionally offered on 30 consecutive days for a deceased loved one. They are offered for one individual soul.

The custom of offering Gregorian Masses for a particular soul recognizes that few people are immediately ready for heaven after death, and that, through the infinite intercessory power of Christ’s sacrifice, made present in Holy Mass, a soul can be continually perfected in grace and enabled to enter finally into the union with the Most Holy Trinity – our God, Who is Love Itself.

Gregorian Masses take their name from Saint Gregory the Great, who was sovereign Pontiff from 590 to 604. St. Gregory the Great contributed to the spread of the pious practice of having these Masses celebrated for the deliverance of the souls from purgatory. In his Dialogues, he tells us that he had Masses on thirty consecutive days offered for the repose of the soul of Justus, a monk who had died in the convent of St. Andrew in Rome. At the end of the thirtieth Mass, the deceased appeared to one of his fellow monks and announced that he had been delivered from the flames of Purgatory.


If you would like to have a Mass bouquet offered, you can do so through the College website:

College Community — Saint Peter's International College, France (stpetersfr.com)

Click on "Foundation" and a drop down menu will appear for Mass Intentions.


Seventeenth Sunday of the Year

 

MASSES AT ST CATHERINE'S THIS WEEK


Seventeenth Sunday. Mass at 8.30am & 10am


Monday  9.30am Mass. 

Tuesday 12 noon Mass. 

Wednesday 12 noon Requiem Mass for Jimmy Maher. 

Thursday  ---

Friday ---

Saturday ---

Eighteenth Sunday. Mass at 8.30am & 10am

Friday, 23 July 2021

Cardinal Burke and the Moto Proprio


Cardinal Burke has issued a statement with his thoughts on the recent Moto Proprio.

They are measured and thorough and reflect his own experience of the many people he has met who are attached to the Usus Antiquior, (including me! here and here).


Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke 

Statement on the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes on July 22nd 2021

Many faithful – laity, ordained and consecrated – have expressed to me the profound distress which the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes» has brought them. Those who are attached to the Usus Antiquior (More Ancient Usage) [UA], what Pope Benedict XVI called the Extraordinary Form, of the Roman Rite are deeply disheartened by the severity of the discipline which the Motu Proprio imposes and offended by the language it employs to describe them, their attitudes and their conduct. As a member of the faithful, who also has an intense bond with the UA, I fully share in their sentiments of profound sorrow.

As a Bishop of the Church and as a Cardinal, in communion with the Roman Pontiff and with a particular responsibility to assist him in his pastoral care and governance of the universal Church, I offer the following observations:

1.  In a preliminary way, it must be asked why the Latin or official text of the Motu Proprio has not yet been published. As far as I know, the Holy See promulgated the text in Italian and English versions, and, afterwards, in German and Spanish translations. Since the English version is called a translation, it must be assumed that the original text is in Italian. If such be the case, there are translations of significant texts in the English version which are not coherent with the Italian version. In Article 1, the important Italian adjective, “unica”, is translated into English as “unique”, instead of “only.” In Article 4, the important Italian verb, “devono”, is translated into English as “should”, instead of “must.”

2.  First of all, it is important to establish, in this and the following two observations (nos. 3 and 4), the essence of what the Motu Proprio contains. It is apparent from the severity of the document that Pope Francis issued the Motu Proprio to address what he perceives to be a grave evil threatening the unity of the Church, namely the UA. According to the Holy Father, those who worship according to this usage make a choice which rejects “the Church and her institutions in the name of what is called the ‘true Church’,” a choice which “contradicts communion and nurtures the divisive tendency … against which the Apostle Paul so vigorously reacted.”

3.  Clearly, Pope Francis considers the evil so great that he took immediate action, not informing Bishops in advance and not even providing for the usual vacatio legis, a period of time between the promulgation of a law and its taking force. The vacatio legis provides the faithful and especially the Bishops time to study the new legislation regarding the worship of God, the most important aspect of their life in the Church, with a view to its implementation. The legislation, in fact, contains many elements that require study regarding its application.

4.  What is more, the legislation places restrictions on the UA, which signal its ultimate elimination, for example, the prohibition of the use of a parish church for worship according to the UA and the establishment of certain days for such worship. In his letter to the Bishops of the world, Pope Francis indicates two principles which are to guide the Bishops in the implementation of the Motu Proprio. The first principle is “to provide for the good of those who are rooted in the previous form of celebration and need to return in due time to the Roman Rite promulgated by Saints Paul VI and John Paul II.” The second principle is “to discontinue the erection of new personal parishes tied more to the desire and wishes of individual priests than to the real need of the ‘holy People of God’.”

5.  Seemingly, the legislation is directed to the correction of an aberration principally attributable to the “the desire and wishes” of certain priests. In that regard, I must observe, especially in the light of my service as a Diocesan Bishop, it was not the priests who, because of their desires, urged the faithful to request the Extraordinary Form. In fact, I shall always be deeply grateful to the many priests who, notwithstanding their already heavy commitments, generously served the faithful who legitimately requested the UA. The two principles cannot help but communicate to devout faithful who have a deep appreciation and attachment to the encounter with Christ through the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite that they suffer from an aberration which can be tolerated for a time but must ultimately be eradicated.

6.  From whence comes the severe and revolutionary action of the Holy Father? The Motu Proprio and the Letter indicate two sources: first, “the wishes expressed by the episcopate” through “a detailed consultation of the bishops” conducted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2020, and, second, “the opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” Regarding the responses to the “detailed consultation” or “questionnaire” sent to the Bishops, Pope Francis writes to the Bishops: “The responses reveal a situation that preoccupies and saddens me, and persuades me of the need to intervene.”

7.  Regarding the sources, is it to be supposed that the situation which preoccupies and saddens the Roman Pontiff exists generally in the Church or only in certain places? Given the importance attributed to the “detailed consultation” or “questionnaire,” and the gravity of the matter it was treating, it would seem essential that the results of the consultation be made public, along with the indication of its scientific character. In the same way, if the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was of the opinion that such a revolutionary measure must be taken, it would seemingly have prepared an Instruction or similar document to address it.

8.  The Congregation enjoys the expertise and long experience of certain officials – first, serving in the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and then in the Fourth Section of the Congregation – who have been charged to treat questions regarding the UA. One must ask whether the “opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” reflected the consultation of those with the greatest knowledge of the faithful devoted to the UA?

9.  Regarding the perceived grave evil constituted by the UA, I have a wide experience over many years and in many different places with the faithful who regularly worship God according to the UA. In all honesty, I must say that these faithful, in no way, reject “the Church and her institutions in the name of what is called the ‘true Church’.” Neither have I found them out of communion with the Church or divisive within the Church. On the contrary, they love the Roman Pontiff, their Bishops and priests, and, when others have made the choice of schism, they have wanted always to remain in full communion with the Church, faithful to the Roman Pontiff, often at the cost of great suffering. They, in no way, ascribe to a schismatic or sedevacantist ideology.

10.  The Letter accompanying the Motu Proprio states that the UA was permitted by Pope Saint John Paul II and later regulated by Pope Benedict XVI with “the desire to foster the healing of the schism with the movement of Mons. Lefebvre.” The movement in question is the Society of Saint Pius X. While both Roman Pontiffs desired the healing of the schism in question, as should all good Catholics, they also desired to maintain in continuance the UA for those who remained in the full communion of the Church and did not become schismatic. Pope Saint John Paul II showed pastoral charity, in various important ways, to faithful Catholics attached to the UA, for example, granting the indult for the UA but also establishing the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, a society of apostolic life for priests attached to the UA. In the book, Last Testament in his own words, Pope Benedict XVI responded to the affirmation, “The reauthorization of the Tridentine Mass is often interpreted primarily as a concession to the Society of Saint Pius X,” with these clear and strong words: “This is just absolutely false! It was important for me that the Church is one with herself inwardly, with her own past; that what was previously holy to her is not somehow wrong now” (pp. 201-202). In fact, many who presently desire to worship according to the UA have no experience and perhaps no knowledge of the history and present situation of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X. They are simply attracted to the holiness of the UA.

11.  Yes, there are individuals and even certain groups which espouse radical positions, even as is the case in other sectors of Church life, but they are, in no way, characteristic of the greater and ever increasing number of faithful who desire to worship God according to the UA. The Sacred Liturgy is not a matter of so-called “Church politics” but the fullest and most perfect encounter with Christ for us in this world. The faithful, in question, among whom are numerous young adults and young married couples with children, encounter Christ, through the UA, Who draws them ever closer to Himself through the reform of their lives and cooperation with the divine grace which flows from His glorious pierced Heart into their hearts. They have no need to make a judgment regarding those who worship God according to the Usus Recentior (the More Recent Usage, what Pope Benedict XVI called the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite) [UR], first promulgated by Pope Saint Paul VI. As one priest, member of an institute of the consecrated life, which serves these faithful, remarked to me: I regularly confess to a priest, according to the UR, and participate, on special occasions, in the Holy Mass according to the UR. He concluded: Why would anyone accuse me of not accepting its validity?

12.  If there are situations of an attitude or practice contrary to the sound doctrine and discipline of the Church, justice demands that they be addressed individually by the pastors of the Church, the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops in communion with him. Justice is the minimum and irreplaceable condition of charity. Pastoral charity cannot be served, if the requirements of justice are not observed.

13.  A schismatic spirit or actual schism are always gravely evil, but there is nothing about the UA which fosters schism. For those of us who knew the UA in the past, like myself, it is a question of an act of worship marked by a centuries-old goodness, truth and beauty. I knew its attraction from my childhood and indeed became very attached to it. Having been privileged to assist the priest as a Mass Server from the time when I was ten years old, I can testify that the UA was a major inspiration of my priestly vocation. For those who have come to the UA for the first time, its rich beauty, especially as it manifests the action of Christ renewing sacramentally His Sacrifice on Calvary through the priest who acts in His person, has drawn them closer to Christ. I know many faithful for whom the experience of Divine Worship according to the UA has strongly inspired their conversion to the Faith or their seeking Full Communion with the Catholic Church. Also, numerous priests who have returned to the celebration of the UA or who have learned it for the first time have told me how deeply it has enriched their priestly spirituality. This is not to mention the saints all along the Christian centuries for whom the UA nourished an heroic practice of the virtues. Some have given their lives to defend the offering of this very form of divine worship.

14.  For myself and for others who have received so many powerful graces through participation in the Sacred Liturgy, according to the UA, it is inconceivable that it could now be characterized as something detrimental to the unity of the Church and to its very life. In this regard, it is difficult to understand the meaning of Article 1 of the Motu Proprio: “The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the only (unica, in the Italian version which seemingly is the original text) expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” The UA is a living form of the Roman Rite and has never ceased to be so. From the very time of the promulgation of the Missal of Pope Paul VI, in recognition of the great difference between the UR and the UA, the continued celebration of the Sacraments, according to the UA, was permitted for certain convents and monasteries and also for certain individuals and groups. Pope Benedict XVI, in his Letter to the Bishops of the World, accompanying the Motu Proprio «Summorum Pontificum», made clear that the Roman Missal in use before the Missal of Pope Paul VI, “was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.”

15.  But can the Roman Pontiff juridically abrogate the UA? The fullness of power (plenitudo potestatis) of the Roman Pontiff is the power necessary to defend and promote the doctrine and discipline of the Church. It is not “absolute power” which would include the power to change doctrine or to eradicate a liturgical discipline which has been alive in the Church since the time of Pope Gregory the Great and even earlier. The correct interpretation of Article 1 cannot be the denial that the UA is an ever-vital expression of “the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” Our Lord Who gave the wonderful gift of the UA will not permit it to be eradicated from the life of the Church.

16.  It must be remembered that, from a theological point of view, every valid celebration of a sacrament, by the very fact that it is a sacrament, is also, beyond any ecclesiastical legislation, an act of worship and, therefore, also a profession of faith. In that sense, it is not possible to exclude the Roman Missal, according to the UA, as a valid expression of the lex orandi and, therefore, of the lex credendi of the Church. It is a question of an objective reality of divine grace which cannot be changed by a mere act of the will of even the highest ecclesiastical authority.

17.  Pope Francis states in his letter to the Bishops: “Responding to your requests, I take the firm decision to abrogate all the norms, instructions, permissions and customs that precede the present Motu proprio, and declare that the liturgical books promulgated by the saintly Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, constitute the unique [only] expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” The total abrogation in question, in justice, requires that each individual norm, instruction, permission and custom be studied, to verify that it “contradicts communion and nurtures the divisive tendency … against which the Apostle Paul so vigorously reacted.”

18.  Here, it is necessary to observe that the reform of the Sacred Liturgy carried out by Pope Saint Pius V, in accord with the indications of the Council of Trent, was quite different from what happened after the Second Vatican Council. Pope Saint Pius V essentially put in order the form of the Roman Rite as it had existed already for centuries. Likewise, some ordering of the Roman Rite has been done in the centuries since that time by the Roman Pontiff, but the form of the Rite remained the same. What happened after the Second Vatican Council constituted a radical change in the form of the Roman Rite, with the elimination of many of the prayers, significant ritual gestures, for example, the many genuflections, and the frequent kissing of the altar, and other elements which are rich in the expression of the transcendent reality – the union of heaven with earth – which is the Sacred Liturgy. Pope Paul VI already lamented the situation in a particularly dramatic way by the homily he delivered on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul in 1972. Pope Saint John Paul II labored throughout his pontificate, and, in particular, during its last years, to address serious liturgical abuses. Both Roman Pontiffs, and Pope Benedict XVI, as well, strove to conform the liturgical reform to the actual teaching of the Second Vatican Council, since the proponents and agents of the abuse invoked the “spirit of the Second Vatican Council” to justify themselves.

19.  Article 6 of the Motu Proprio transfers the competence of institutes of the consecrated life and societies of apostolic life devoted to the UA to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The observance of the UA belongs to the very heart of the charism of these institutes and societies. While the Congregation is competent to respond to questions regarding the canon law for such institutes and societies, it is not competent to alter their charism and constitutions, in order to hasten the seemingly desired elimination of the UA in the Church.

There are many other observations to be made, but these seem to be the most important. I hope that they may be helpful to all the faithful and, in particular, to the faithful who worship according to the UA, in responding to the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes» and the accompanying Letter to the Bishops. The severity of these documents naturally generates a profound distress and even sense of confusion and abandonment. I pray that the faithful will not give way to discouragement but will, with the help of divine grace, persevere in their love of the Church and of her pastors, and in their love of the Sacred Liturgy.

In that regard, I urge the faithful, to pray fervently for Pope Francis, the Bishops and priests. At the same time, in accord with can. 212, §3, “[a]ccording to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.” Finally, in gratitude to Our Lord for the Sacred Liturgy, the greatest gift of Himself to us in the Church, may they continue to safeguard and cultivate the ancient and ever new More Ancient Usage or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke

Rome, 22 July 2021

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, Penitent

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Sixteenth Sunday of the Year. St Catherine's Parish.

 



MASSES AT ST CATHERINE'S THIS WEEK


Sixteenth Sunday. Mass at 8.30am & 10am


Monday  9.30am Mass. 


Tuesday 12 noon Mass. 


Wednesday 9.30am Mass. 


Thursday  7pm

Novena of the Miraculous Medal & Benediction


Friday 9.30am Mass. 


Saturday:   Confessions 11.30m - 11.50am

       12 noon Mass  


Seventeenth Sunday. Mass at 8.30am & 10am

Friday, 16 July 2021

TRADITIONIS CUSTODES

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, 
celebrating Mass in this little parish, 
in full communion with us, 
with one another 
and with the Successor of St Peter.


Pope Francis today issued a Moto Proprio and accompanying letter, the intent of which is very obviously to limit the celebration of Mass in it's more traditional Form.

Speaking for myself I am truly heartbroken. For me, and for many laity, priests and seminarians, the celebration of this form of the Mass has been a breath of fresh air breathing new life into my soul, sustaining my Christian endeavor against the slings and arrows of everyday life and bringing me closer to Our Lord. In a very tangible way, it has helped to sustain my priesthood.

I am at a complete loss to understand how the Mass I celebrated yesterday - literally - is today forbidden and fenced off with so many bureaucratic regulations, and to make it well nigh impossible for priests not already celebrating it to be able to do so.

For someone like me who loves the Church and has a great devotion to that Church in the living symbol of a HOLY FATHER, the Successor of St Peter, it is not going too far to say that this is devastating. I look to the Pope to be holy and to be a father to me. It grieves my heart to say how hard it is to do so today.

I've celebrated this form of the Mass for many years; it has not led me to despise the Papacy, it has not led me to deny the validity of the Second Vatican Council, it has not led me to teach anyone to despise the Mass of Pope Paul VI, it has not led me to leave my diocese. I am still here in an ordinary little parish where both forms of the Mass sit side by side, week by week, where people say their prayers and get on with trying to live their lives supported by the beauty and grace of the liturgy.

Others will make very learned and most necessary responses to the Moto Proprio. But I write this because I already know that so many priests and people are casting about looking for guidance. I am among them. In my startled state, I can only suggest that we pray for one another and pray for Francis to be truly a father and a man of holiness to all his children.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Catholic Boys Boarding School seeks adventurers


St Peter's Catholic School is looking for boys to join in September with a thirst for life, for learning and for the Faith. To set out on the next part of the adventure of growing up in an environment that will both challenge and support you; large enough to be exciting, small enough to always be among friends.

First and foremost, Saint Peter’s exists as a place to encounter the Living God, who in Jesus Christ, reveals His transforming love and truth. We seek to provide an education centred on Christ, the same Christ Andrew announced to his brother: “We have found the Messiah”. Just as Saint Peter’s life was given radical purpose and direction by his subsequent encounter with Christ, so we labour to allow such an encounter for the pupils in our care: forming their characters in virtue as they deepen their faith and grow in their love of learning, of God, and of neighbour.


True education is directed towards the formation of the human person in view of their final end and the good of that society to which they belong and in the duties of which they will, as an adult, have to share … they should be helped to develop harmoniously their physical, moral and intellectual qualities.                                                       Gravissimum Educationis



The Church views our final end as that which primarily should determine and shape all education, and therefore we place at the heart of our ethos a formation that uncompromisingly considers the ultimate purpose and destiny of each pupil’s life. The formation received within daily College life allows them to discern prudence, to practice temperance, to seek justice and to grow in Faith. 

To achieve this noble end, the character of Saint Peter’s is defined by its:

Community.
As a small fraternity, we live together facing all the joys and challenges that exist in any family. Leading by example, our older pupils naturally mentor, support and encourage the younger ones to create a happy and safe environment in which they can grow in faith, live and learn.  


Liturgy.
The rhythm of each day is defined by the liturgy, we do not simply pay lip service to a "Catholic ethos".  The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, enriched by Gregorian chant, is the source and summit of our life. Within the timetable we provide opportunities for private prayer, daily Rosary devotions, confession, adoration and benediction. 

Curriculum.
Recognising the need for formal accreditation, whilst being acutely aware of the inadequacies of a curriculum constrained by public exams, Saint Peter’s has developed a hybrid approach of a classical curriculum in the Lower School with a provision for publicly examined subjects in the Upper School and Sixth Form. 


Identity.
Saint Peter’s is an international school, and whilst the principal language is English we are by no means restricted to British culture. We have over 10 nationalities represented in the College and celebrate our ‘universality’ in our day to day life. 



Setting. 
We live in an idyllic environment to promote excellent learning. In the midst of wonderful French countryside, we chose Saint Pierre de Maillé for its inspiring tranquility in a world of noise. The numerous hiking trails, world heritage sites, areas of outstanding natural beauty, as well as the magnificent river Gartempe, compliment the historical and religious significance of our small town.    

As each of our pupils is made in the image and likeness of God, and called to eternal communion with Him, at Saint Peter’s we make the development of a knowledge and love of God, the way that leads to Him, and the development of gifts and talents in the service of His kingdom, our guiding priorities.




























Thursday, 8 July 2021

It’s all so cringeworthy...

 New and exciting liturgies to augment that dull old Eucharist we've been stuck with for the last 2,000 years.

I've just read an interesting article by Giles Fraser on the Unherd site.  It's focus is the Church of England and while I don't feel myself competent to commentate on the details of the Anglican situation, some of his observations seem cannily close to my own opinions on what is transpiring in the Catholic Church, at least here in the UK. Not surprising, as there seems to be an element in the Catholic Church in England that looks to the C of E as a great example to emulate. I don't approve of this back to front reasoning but it is in the same mold as those Catholics who think we should follow the shibboleths of the secular world around us, so that we might impress them with our trendiness.

Giles Fraser is definitely against the glossy, big production makeovers that focus our attention on doing something new (for which, read passing fad) rather than remaining faithful to great gifts God has already given us to live and preach the Gospel of Life. I'm afraid I include in this category of great fan-fared initiatives the recent Synod here in my own Archdiocese of Liverpool. We're so busy having meetings about evangelization that we never get around to the actual evangelizing.

Here and the results by number here.

You don't need to read far into it before you realize the preponderance of all the sacred cows echoing so noisily from every woke campaigner the BBC seems so keen to promote whenever it can. 

I particularly liked Giles Fraser's final paragraphs.

So, what is the answer? After all, the proponents of evangelism first do have a point – the Church of England is dying fast. First, I would say that all efforts to put evangelism first are self-defeating. The Church feels like a gauche teenage boy going out to the pub deliberately to find a girlfriend, covering himself with cheap aftershave and rehearsing his unconvincing chat-up lines. It’s all so cringeworthy and needy. The way you make yourself attractive to others is by being fully yourself, and having confidence in what you are – even if that is a little strange and different. It’s when you stop obsessing about attracting others that you become more attractive to them.

But also, the church is not called to be successful. It is called to be faithful. I would prefer for us to die with dignity, being faithful to our calling, rather than to turn ourselves inside out trying to be superficially attractive, thus abandoning the faith as we have understood it. Indeed, the Bible is full of stores of the faithful remnant. In Biblical theology, the remnant are those faithful people that survive some catastrophe. Today, these are the people who come to church, faithfully to say their prayers — people of devotion and not necessarily of evangelistic vim and vigour. They are the beating heart of the parish. Eleanor Rigby, Father McKenzie: these are my heroes. And long term, these are our most effective evangelists. I am deeply offended that they are now called passengers.

Secularisation is indeed a catastrophe for the churches. But we won’t outlast this period of history by being more business-like or by adopting slicker models of evangelistic marketing. We won’t be saved by panicky spread-sheet evangelists, Indeed, we must be more of what we have been called to be – more thoughtful, more prayerful, less fearful, more obedient to God’s call. We are resurrection people after all. Institutional death should hold out no terror for the faithful. And it will only be this lack of fear that can make us attractive once again.


Would you like to spend a year teaching in France?

Mass offered in our chapel. 

As most readers will know, I've been heavily involved in founding a new Catholic International School for boys in France and now we have just completed our first academic year. Deo gratias! It's been quite a journey of challenges and blessings working under the shadow of all that Covid 19 has put upon us all. But we have seen our first year through and some of our VI Form boys going off to university in the autumn.

Alfresco dinning during the hot summer days
on the terrace of Sacre Couer House,
part of the Campus with gardens of orchards and grape vines.

I've spent the week taking part in zoom meetings for some of our prospective teaching staff. Most of that looks to be in the process of completion (though we're always happy to hear from other teachers who may be interested in our project). 


The hats are optional!

What we are still looking for is a young Catholic man who might like to spend just a year or so with us for teaching and other duties including sports, liturgy, cultural and academic visits, school clubs and societies etc. A great opportunity to spend a post university year improving your French, living in a truly Catholic environment, and being part of a challenging but exciting project for young Catholics, who are growing up in a world where it is now so necessary to have a firm grounding in the Faith if they are to live it out in this secular world.

Kayaking on the River Gartempe a couple of weeks ago.
I went on the river too but thankfully there are no photos!
I spent most of the time crashing into the river bank!

If you would like to know more, contact us through our website, the address is easily found there.

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Saturday, 3 July 2021

Fourteenth Sunday of the Year

July is the Month of the Precious Blood of Jesus

Right to Life UK writes:

The abortion lobby, led by the UK’s largest abortion provider, BPAS, has worked with Diana Johnson MP to bring forward an amendment to hijack the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth to England and Wales.

This would be the single biggest change to abortion legislation since 1967 and would leave England and Wales with one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world.

We are expecting that this radical proposal will be voted on by MPs this Monday.

Right To Life UK has launched a tool on their website today that makes it easy for supporters to send an email to their MP asking them to vote against the motion. This tool can be accessed here. You can also download a poster here.


MASSES AT ST CATHERINE'S THIS WEEK

Fourteenth Sunday. Mass at 8.30am & 10am



Monday  9.30am Mass. Feria

Tuesday 12 noon (EF) Mass. Feria

Wednesday 9.30am Mass. Feria

Thursday  7pm: Feria
Novena of the Miraculous Medal & Benediction

Friday 9.30am Mass. Feria 


Saturday:   Confessions 11.30m - 11.50am

                   12 noon Mass (EF) Seven Holy Brothers & Ss Rufinus & Secunda


Fifteenth Sunday. Mass at 8.30am & 10am



 

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Celebrating Ss Peter and Paul

 

I attended Mass in honour of Ss Peter and Paul in the chapel of St Peter's International College in France. The College patrons include His Royal Highness Prince Charles-Philippe of Orléans, and His Excellency Jan Count Dobrzenský z Dobrzenicz K.C.S.G., so I am sat in choir with my St Lazarus hat on (literally!)

A few more photos on the college's Facebook site can be viewed here:

Saint Peter's International College, France | Facebook


I took some photos of the chapel windows as well.








Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Summer Language School


St Peter's International College 
is running a language camp for boys and girls 
from 12th - 30th July.

The College is set in the beautiful Village of Saint-Pierre-de-Maillé in the Vienne region of France. Children can choose to study English or French and there will be plenty of lively activities for them to share in and practice their language skills in fun settings, including sports and visits out to local attractions. 

The nearest airport is Poitiers and train lines run even closer - the college will assist in helping you to arrange transport. 

Please share this post if you can.





The picturesque village of Saint-Pierre-de-Maillé

Kayaking on the River Gartempe

The Terrace at Maison Sacré Coeur

Anyone for tennis?




Saturday, 19 June 2021

Twelfth Sunday of the Year


PARSISH MASSES

Twelfth Sunday of the Year (B). 

20th June 2021

Mass at 8.30am & 10am


Please note that there are no further Masses 

or services this week

until next Sunday.


Thirteenth Sunday of the Year (B). 

27th June 2021

Mass at 8.30am & 10am

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Eleventh Sunday of the Year


 

Eleventh Sunday of the Year (B). 

13th June 2021

Mass at 8.30am & 10am

Please note that there are no further Masses 

or services this week

until next Sunday.

Twelfth Sunday of the Year (B). 

20th June 2021

Mass at 8.30am & 10am


This Friday and Saturday the Synod will be taking place for the Archdiocese of Liverpool. Because of Covid restrictions, it is taking place on-line - in virtual reality, make of that what you will in quips! Please pray for all those attending, that the Holy Spirit will truly guide us for the good of the Church and the evangelization of those who are yet to be be brought into Her saving fold. My thanks to those of us from the parish who have come along on the journey - our three "representatives" for parish and deanery.


Come, Holy Spirit, come!

And from your celestial home

Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!

Come, source of all our store!

Come, within our bosoms shine.


You, of comforters the best;

You, the soul’s most welcome guest;

Sweet refreshment here below;


In our labor, rest most sweet;

Grateful coolness in the heat;

Solace in the midst of woe.


O most blessed Light divine,

May that light within us shine

And our inmost being fill!


Where you are not, we have naught,

Nothing good in deed or thought,

Nothing free from taint and ill.


Heal our wounds, our strength renew;

On our dryness pour your dew;

Wash the stains of guilt away:


Bend the stubborn heart and will;

Melt the frozen, warm the chill;

Guide the steps that go astray.


On the faithful, who adore

And confess you, evermore

In your sevenfold gift descend;


Give them virtue’s sure reward;

Give them your salvation, Lord;

Give them joys that never end.


Amen. Alleluia.









Saturday, 5 June 2021

Corpus Christi Sunday

The Feast Of Corpus Christi (1934)
as celebrated in our own diocese.

As we honour Our Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar this Sunday, let us give thanks for the opportunity to be in His Presence, so readily made available to us in our church.



Sunday: Corpus Christi. Mass at 8.30am & 10am


Monday  9.30am Mass. Feria


Tuesday 11.30am. Requiem Mass for Alan Cottam
Please contact the family if you wish to attend,
as numbers are Covid restricted.
Others are welcome to gather in the church grounds
 or along the driveway (socially distanced)
before or after the Mass.


Please note that there are no further Masses 
or services this week
until next Sunday.



Eleventh Sunday of the Year (B). Mass at 8.30am & 10am


*****

My Lord Jesus Christ,
who for the love you bear us,
remain night and day in this Sacrament,
full of compassion and of love,
awaiting, calling and welcoming
all who come to visit you.
I believe that you are present
in the Sacrament of the Altar.
I adore you from the abyss of my nothingness
and I thank you for all the graces
you have given me until now,
and in particular,
for having given me your Most Holy Mother Mary
as my advocate
and for having called me
to visit you in this church.

I now salute your Most Loving Heart,
and this for three ends:
first, in thanksgiving for this great gift;
second, to make amends to you for all the outrages
which you receive in this Sacrament
from all your enemies;
third, I intend by this visit to adore you
in all the places on earth
in which you are present in this Sacrament
and in which you are the least revered
and the most abandoned.

My Jesus, I love you with my heart.
I grieve for having until now so many times
offended your infinite goodness.
I purpose by your grace never more to offend you
for the time to come;
and now, miserable and unworthy though I am,
I consecrate myself to you without reserve.
I give you and renounce my entire will,
my affections, my desires, and all that I possess.
From now on, use me
and all that I have as you wish.
All I ask of you and desire is your holy love,
final perseverance
and the perfect accomplishment of your will.

I recommend to you the souls in Purgatory;
but especially those who had the greatest devotion
to the Most Blessed Sacrament
and to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
I also recommend to you all poor sinners.

And finally, my dear Saviour,
I unite all my affections with the affections
of your most loving Heart,
and I offer them with you to your Eternal Father
and beg him for your sake
and for love of you,
graciously to accept and grant them.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Have you heard? Well, Did You Evah?!?


The video is just for a little light-hearted relief, of course...
 but have you heard that Arthur Roche has been appointed as Prefect of the
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

FROM TODAY'S VATICAN BOLLITIO:
The Holy Father has appointed as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Archbishop Arthur Roche, bishop emeritus of Leeds, until now secretary of the same Congregation.

Saturday, 22 May 2021

Pentecost Sunday

 


MASSES FOR THE COMING WEEK AT ST CATHERINE'S

Pentecost Sunday. Mass at 8.30am & 10am


Monday  9.30am Mass. Our Lady, Mother of the Church


Tuesday of Eastertide  12 noon (EF) Mass. Whit Tuesday


Wednesday 9.30am Mass. St Bede the Venerable


Thursday of Eastertide 7pm: 

Novena of the Miraculous Medal & Benediction

Feast day of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest


Friday 9.30am Mass. Feria 


Saturday:   Confessions 11.30m - 11.50am

                   12 noon Mass (EF) Whit Saturday


Trinity Sunday. Mass at 8.30am & 10am

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Seventh Sunday of Eastertide


This week (Wednesdy) sees the Feast of Saint Dunstan of Canterbury. Another reminder of the rich tapestry of our Catholic Faith that is embedded in England as our true heritage. 

Born of a noble family at Baltonsborough, near Glastonbury, England, Dunstan was educated there by Irish monks and while still a youth, was sent to the court of King Athelstan. He became a Benedictine monk about 934 and was ordained by his uncle, St. Alphege, Bishop of Winchester, about 939. After a time as a hermit at Glastonbury, Dunstan was recalled to the royal court by King Edmund, who appointed him abbot of Glastonbury Abbey in 943.

He developed the Abbey into a great center of learning while revitalizing other monasteries in the area. He became advisor to King Edred on his accession to the throne when Edmund was murdered, and began a far-reaching reform of all the monasteries in Edred's realm. Dunstan also became deeply involved in secular politics and incurred the enmity of the West Saxon nobles for denouncing their immorality and for urging peace with the Danes.

 When Edwy succeeded his uncle Edred as king in 955, he became Dunstan's bitter enemy for the Abbot's strong censure of his scandalous lifestyle. Edwy confiscated his property and banished him from his kingdom. Dunstan went to Ghent in Flanders but soon returned when a rebellion replaced Edwy with his brother Edgar, who appointed Dunstan Bishop of Worcester and London in 957.

When Edwy died in 959, the civil strife ended and the country was reunited under Edgar, who appointed Dunstan Archbishop of Canterbury. The king and archbishop then planned a thorough reform of Church and state. Dunstan was appointed legate by Pope John XII, and with St. Ethelwold and St. Oswald, restored ecclesiastical discipline, rebuilt many of the monasteries destroyed by the Danish invaders, replaced inept secular priests with monks, and enforced the widespread reforms they put into effect.

Dunstan served as Edgar's chief advisor for sixteen years and did not hesitate to reprimand him when he thought it deserved. When Edgar died, Dunstan helped elect Edward the martyr king and then his half brother Ethelred, when Edward died soon after his election. Under Ethelred, Dunstan's influence began to wane and he retired from politics to Canterbury to teach at the Cathedral school and died there. Dunstan has been called the reviver of monasticism in England. He was a noted musician, played the harp, composed several hymns, notably Kyrie Rex splendens, was a skilled metal worker, and illuminated manuscripts.

For over 200 years St Dunstan was England’s favourite saint, partly perhaps because he is said to have pulled the devil’s nose with his blacksmith’s pincers when he disguised himself as a beautiful girl in order to tempt the monk, as in this old rhyme:

St Dunstan, as the story goes,
Once pulled the devil by the nose
With red-hot tongs, which made him roar,
That he was heard three miles or more!

Another tradition says that the devil returned to pester Dunstan again when he was at his forge, this time Dunstan nailed a horseshoe onto one of the devil’s cloven feet and for this reason the devil can still never bear the sight or go near a horseshoe!

Before he became the Archbishop of Canterbury in 960, Dunstan worked as a blacksmith and goldsmith in his forge at Glastonbury Abbey, and he is still the patron saint of these trades – his feast day is May 19th and this is also the date from which annual hallmarks for precious metals change every year, not January 1st.

MASSES FOR THE COMING WEEK


Seventh Sunday of Easter. Mass at 8.30am & 10am


Monday  9.30am Mass.  

Weekday of Easter

Tuesday of Eastertide  12 noon (EF) Mass. St Venantius

Wednesday 9.30am Mass. St Dunstan of Canterbury

Thursday of Eastertide 7pm Novena of the Miraculous Medal & Benediction

Friday 9.30am Mass. Weekday of Easter 

Saturday:   Confessions 11.30m - 11.50am

                    12 noon Mass (EF) Vigil of Pentecost 


Pentecost Sunday. Mass at 8.30am & 10am