Friday 26 March 2021

Palm Sunday and Holy Week

Please note the times - particularly that there is only one Mass on Easter day itself.
Don't forget that the clocks spring forwards in the early hours of Sunday morning this week.

  Palm Sunday

8.30am Mass

10am Mass

Monday in Holy Week. 9.30am Mass

                    Tuesday in Holy Week. EF Mass 12 noon              

Wednesday in Holy Week. 9.30am Mass


Holy Thursday. 

Mass of the Lord’s Supper 7pm

Good Friday.  

Passion of the Lord 3pm

CONFESSIONS afterwards

Holy Saturday. 

The Easter Vigil 

& First Mass of Easter at 8pm

Easter Sunday. 8.30am Easter Mass

Friday 19 March 2021

Fifth Sunday of Lent

The Annunciation 
(tempera with gold leaf on raised tooled gesso on wooden panel) 
by Arthur Joseph Gaskin (1862-1928)

Two special celebrations this week.

On Tuesday the Bishops of England and Wales have asked that we all participate in the National Day of Reflection for Covid 19 to mark the anniversary of the first lockdown. We will do so here by offering a Votive Mass at 12 noon for deliverance from death in time of pestilence, according to the 1962 Missal.

Thursday is the Feast of the Annunciation. We will begin the Stations of the Cross by reciting the Angelus.

This Sunday marks the start of Passion Week. Liturgically, our Lenten preparations are ratcheted up a notch, as we see statues and images veiled in church.





Monday --- No public Mass today

Tuesday 12 noon (EF). Mass to mark the National Day of Reflection

Wednesday  9.30am.  Lenten Feria

Thursday: Feast of the Annunciation.  7pm STATIONS OF THE CROSS

Confessions following on from Stations

Friday 9.30am. Lenten Feria

Saturday 11.30 - 11.45am CONFESSIONS

                12 noon (EF) Feria in Passion Week

Wednesday 17 March 2021

Heads Up Interview


Principal at St Peter's International College in conversation on the Heads Up Podcast of Matthew Burke at St Edward's Senior School in Cheltenham on the challenges, philosophy and hopes of a new school.

Click on the link below to listen - just 17 minutes. 

Spotify – Heads Up... with Matthew Jackson - Heads Up | Podcast on Spotify

Saturday 13 March 2021

Inclusive language and Synod 2020 in the Archdiocese of Liverpool

I spent yesterday on a Zoom conference for Synod 2020 here in the Archdiocese of Liverpool and, oh my, am I depressed. The Recommendations we were being presented with (now available HERE) are drawn from the previous Proposals (HERE).  The very fact that each Recommendation begins with "We the people recommend..." echoing the Introduction to the United States Constitution, appalls me.  To me, it comes over as rather pompous, but also associates us immediately with a Constitution of a State that is built on separating itself from religion. God get's a mention - "one nation under God" - but is then left out of everything else. Is this a good model for us to draw on? The Church is not a democracy where we can choose what we want. Jesus stated His case and you either went with it or you didn't. He didn't take a straw poll of who the crowd wanted to be Blessed when He was giving the Sermon on the Mount.

The Recommendations are all couched in language so vague as to be capable of many interpretations. 

This makes it look churlish to disagree with any of them.


It also means that we can vote yes to a Recommendation with no real idea of what that means.

Do we believe women are equal, valued, visible and heard - Yes, certainly. But does that mean founding an Order of nuns of diocesan rite to teach in our schools or does it mean picketing the Vatican for women's ordination? 

The same is true of most of the Recommendations.


So we don't really know what we're voting for. EXCEPT that the whole language and process used throughout the Synod indicates a direction of travel that is more of the same thing we've been doing for some years now and it's that very path that has led us to the necessity of calling a Synod because things are so dire. 

The whole language is that of the secular world and the politically correct. None of it is really couched in Gospel terms or the language of the Saints or the philosophy of our Tradition of 2,000 years. It mimics the corporate world, it apes the realm of secular governance. Replace the words "Church" or "Archdiocese" with "Tesco Ltd" or "Government Department of Health" and anyone in those realms would recognise and feel right at home with the terms of reference.

What's missing, to me - and I know to many others - is the supernatural, the spiritual, the challenge to the world to come with us or go crawling unknowingly on the road to perdition.


This will sound extreme to some but I'm not alone in thinking along these lines. There are many in the Archdiocese, priests and laity, who have grave concerns. The truth is that there is a hidden Archdiocese that feels very much excluded by the soi-disant inclusive language of the Synod; that is to say (in Synodese): inclusive does not include those who think the Synod is going in the wrong direction.

This hidden Archdiocese mostly stays quiet because it thinks (it experiences) that it is futile to go against the direction of travel. Everything about the process and the manner in which it's carried out tells us so. At least, that is how it feels to to some of us: that we are given lip-service but not really listened to, not really included. These are not all people often identified as Mad, Bad and Trad, but a swathe of the people of God here very much distressed and frustrated.

I say all this in charity for all the other ordinary members of the Synod whom I know act and speak in good faith. But we are here too "We the excluded!), another part of the People of God who believe that the push towards this type of modernity is not the right way forward. May the Holy Spirit guide us all.

Fourth Sunday of Lent - Laetare


The nickname Laetare originated from the first word of the Introit chant for Sunday’s Mass, “Rejoice!”

On Laetare Sunday there is a slight relaxation of Lent’s penitential spirit, because we have a glimpse of the joy that is coming at Easter, now near at hand.  Moreover, in the ancient Roman Church, before Lent was lengthened, the real, strict discipline began on the Monday after this Sunday.

The custom of using rose (rosacea) vestments is tied to the Station churches in Rome (when the Pope travels to the main churches to celebrate Mass each Sunday). The Station for Laetare Sunday is the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem where the relics of Cross and Passion brought from the Holy Land by St. Helena (AD 329), mother of the Emperor Constantine (AD 337), were deposited. It was the custom on this day for Popes to bless roses made of gold, some amazingly elaborate and bejeweled, which were to be sent to Catholic kings, queens and other notables. The biblical reference is Christ as the “flower” sprung forth from the root of Jesse (Is 11:1). Thus Laetare was also called Dominica de rosa…. Sunday of the Rose. It didn’t take a lot of imagination to develop rose colored vestments from this. Remember, the color of the vestments is called rosacea, not pink. This Roman custom spread by means of the Roman Missal to the whole of the world.

There is rosy anticipation in today’s Collect just as there was in Advent.

O God, who through your Word

reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way,

grant, we pray,

that with prompt devotion and eager faith

the Christian people may hasten

toward the solemn celebrations to come.

Note the marvelous parings of  “eager faith” and “ready devotion”. 

We know that fides “faith” can refer to:

the supernatural virtue which is given to us in baptism 

and also to the content of what we believe. 

This content must be understood as both the things we can learn and memorize with love, but more importantly the divine Person whom we must learn and contemplate with love.

There is a faith by which we believe, the virtue God gives us, and a faith in which we believe, the content of the Faith.

(Excerpts from an article by Fr Zulsdorf)





Monday 9.30am. Lenten Feria

Tuesday 12 noon (EF). Lenten Feria

Wednesday  9.30am.  St Patrick


Confessions following on from Stations

Friday 9.30am. St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin

Saturday --- No public Mass today

Saturday 6 March 2021

Catholic Education


Crisis Magazine have published an article an Catholic Education I wrote in connection with St Peter's International College. You can read it at their site.

Teaching to Get to Heaven (

Friday 5 March 2021

Third Sunday of Lent

Pieter Aertsen, Purification of the Temple

Dutch, 1570-1575 

Masses and Services for the coming week.

Please note that although the St Catherine's school website says the church is closed, it is referring to St Mary's church in the town centre. St Catherine's church remains very much open for public worship, as it has done throughout this latest lockdown. 





Monday 9.30am. Lenten Feria

Tuesday 12 noon (EF). Lenten Feria

Wednesday  9.30am.  Lenten Feria


Confessions following on from Stations

Friday 9.30am. Lenten Feria

Saturday 12 noon (EF). Lenten Feria

Confessions between 11.30am & 11.50am