Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It does get better

Father Francis Wadsworth, the eminently likeable new Parish Priest at St. Marie's, Manchester Road, Bury will be offering a Missa Cantata at 7.30p.m. on Friday 16th. January.

Thereafter, Mass will be offered every Friday at St. Marie's, Bury at 7.30p.m. some will be low and others sung.

Following the departure of the Norbertines from St. Chad's I am delighted that we will once again have another regular weekly Mass - and at a more convenient time, which also incorporates the First Friday Masses, which were a feature of the Norbertines.

The hymn "O Bread of Heaven" reminds us that God repays each grief, with joy. Fr. Francis is one of those priests who is clearly glad to be rejuvenated each time he recites the prayers at the foot of the altar before offering the Holy Sacrifice.

God bless our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI!

Friday, December 26, 2008

As promised

In my last posting I mentioned a great new northern blogsite - here it is http://myheartwasrestless.blogspot.com/ , it is run by a young Catholic woman called Jane Teresa whom I had the privilege to speak to after attending her first Tridentine Mass a couple of weeks ago.
I shall permanently link Jane Teresa's blog from this blogsite.

My e-mail inbox contained a very touching and kind e-mail from Fr. F. Wadsworth, in response to my last posting with some much valued advice and sentiments. Thank you Father. More on this tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas - glad to be back

To my embarrassment I was left with only 20 minutes to get to Stydd earlier this month. It is a good 90 minutes' away, so I went immediately to bed so as to nurse my virus which had by then hit my chest. I was at Stydd in spirit.
A lot of unpleasant and extremely time-consuming e-mails (again) and the soul destroying experience of watching excited children in a totally secular society and environment trying to out greed themselves in the last week of term. How much somebody spends on them is used as a measure of love. It follows that as Jack's mum can "only" spend a couple of hundred on him this year and he had some Reeboks in September and Jill's Dad can afford double that and actually will see her over Christmas, being out of prison for the first time in three years, that Jill's Dad loves Jill more than Jack's Mum loves Jack. Hearing what I do from these kids I could not doubt that the parents love their children as much as I love mine - and possibly more!
But we do seem to have lost any sense of perspective. We are in a moral vacuum, which as the tough times start to kick in more and more and with little expectation of seeing light at the end of the tunnel there is a danger that anything and everything could and probably will fill that void.
Time for prayers to Sts. Michael, Joseph and Peter and Our Lady, Comfort of the afflicted.

I, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, forgot to advertise Fr. Wadsworth's Carol service at his new parish, St. Marie's, Manchester Road, Bury, after he sent an e-mail to alert me to the fact. There is great news from Fr. Wadsworth, which I shall share with you once I have contacted Fr. W to proffer my apologies at my latest omission.

Many thanks to all of you who have sent cards and gifts to the Society I shall get back to everybody before Twelfth Night. I am setting a new trend - send Christmas cards during Christmastide, thereby avoiding the rush and feeling relaxed enough to personalize each card and hopefully taking in enough of the Spirit of the Nativity at the same time, so as to forgive those who have upset us, wittingly or unwittingly, during the course of the year. As I always get a new fountain pen at Christmas - sometimes complete with green ink, I look forward to sending such personalized greetings.
If you haven't gathered by now I have only managed to write two cards this year, having bought the cards weeks ago from the CTS along with the stamps.
The CTS has smartened its act up so much over recent years and produces some really first class material at very reasonable prices. Manchester is fortunate to have a CTS shop and I am happy to support this Charity.
Back in 1985 I spent the princely sum of 80 pence for a pristine copy of Canon Cafferata's explanation of the penny catechism from the CTS bookshop in Manchester, in my student days. Its pale blue sugar paper cover and newsprint content has been well thumbed over since then and always to hand on my desk - along with piles and piles of paperwork.

Thinking about it, the CTS have produced excellent OF Mass booklets in English, Latin and Polish, so I should contact them to request that they consider producing an EF Mass booklet, or even reprint one of their pre Vatican II editions. This would be a great help to the increasing number of parishes where Mass is offered regularly in the Extraordinary Form, on some sort of regular basis. Some outlets produce a facsimile of the CTS small prayer book already. A refreshed look of this booklet might be the order of the post Summorum Pontificum days in which we joyfully find ourselves living.

St. Osmund's in Breightmet, Bolton is just such a parish the Holy Father appears to envisage. Mass is offered each Thursday at 7.15p.m. followed by Benediction on the third Thursdays of the month.
I mention St. Osmund's because we have only recently got back from there, where we had the joy of attending our first ever Traditional Mass actually at midnight. Mass was preceded with an impressive service of lessons, extracts from the Gospels and interspersed with carols, concluding with Adeste fidelis, whilst Father G. Hilton vested for the Low Mass. It was a beautiful and solemn occasion with a lot of young people present. Not one person received Holy Communion in the hand.
On the M62 tonight we passed four other vehicles going to Bolton and only two returning to Bradford, on otherwise empty roads.
They were both "speedy" journeys!

Please remember to vote on your favourite expression for the Mass offered in a non-vernacular Rite before the Second Vatican Council in the Roman Church. That is as impartial as I can get in my description of It. It's a two horse race at the moment.

Wishing you all peace and happiness in this joyful season.

Please watch out for news of extra Masses and a new link to a great new Catholic blog from the north of England.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A few quick points to update you

Tomorrow I shall be leaving for Germany until Saturday.

Reminder to wrap up well if you are going to Mass at Stydd on Saturday at 2.00p.m.

It has been very nice speaking to people in the Diocese over recent days about the Norbertine's sudden departure from Cheetham Hill. I still have no real idea of what is going on.

No posting until Saturday

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Reise nach Deutschland

Next week I will be in Germany on a school visit to Cologne's Christmas markets, chocolate factory museum and Cathedral. It will be no holiday, with overall responsibility for 44 children and four members of staff.

Last year was a spring trip and was our first such school trip to Germany. It was fascinating to see the children's reactions to the cathedral, for many if not most their first time in a church. It made a wonderful impression on them.

I should be home by eleven o'clock on Saturday morning in time to set off for the Mass at Stydd Chapel near Ribchester. Something to calm my nerves, one might say.

Then Gaudete Sunday will be upon us. Rejoice! is a call to action, not to passive acceptance with a smile. As we look towards the Second Coming and ultimately face our own immortality, I have no doubt that there are many good people who can and do rejoice in God and the Faith.

From a child's eye Christmas is a wonderland, I wouldn't think of taking that image away but they need to know what the fuss is about. The sheer horror of what we are subjected to in the news reveals that powers of darkness burn in the souls of many people around us. Even in ourselves at times. We are graced with the Sacrament of Penance which gives us the grace to make fresh starts with God, again and again and again. We have no excuse to lose contact with God. The Sacrament is a beautiful gift of humility. Are we sometimes too proud to approach in shame to tell the Lord what we've done to offend Him? Something so bad to us that we do not want to hear it even when said by ourselves. We can still easily have our confession heard by a priest we do not know, face to face or behind the grill. I remember hearing of somebody refusing to go to confession with a priest who was seldom seen wearing clericals. But when she needed a priest to offer the last Rites to her dying lapsed father on Holy Saturday and he was the only priest available she didn't hesitate to accept his offer to make the sick call. He arrived on his way to celebrating the Vigil in alb and cincture. The old man died a few weeks later reconciled to the Faith and happy to have got everything off his chest.

I have removed links to St. Chad's until the situation about its future is made clear.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Only Monday

This is a hectic week - already. Tomorrow at school I have a lot of extra things to do including tackling the technical people about lost software, I need to inquire about receiving training for administering emergency medical treatment to diabetics and nut allergy sufferers before Friday, meet a parent, and then prepare a full day's lessons for Wednesday when I have to attend a course in Manchester. Will the computers and photocopier be working? In addition, there is teacher detention (Curriculum Development to the uninitiated) for an hour and year 7 are still screaming for their test results. My non-contact period is taken up with a tutorial, for half of which the data is missing.
On the way home I have to call at the railway station to book the ticket to Manchester and also to London for the Committee meeting. Friday is the first Friday and means popping over to Batley for Mass.


From what I hear there are to be no more Traditional Masses or Ordinary Rite Masses for the time-being at St. Chad's as the Norbertine Fathers have withdrawn to focus on their efforts in the South in Chelmsford. Our prayers go with them and for them in their new pastures.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Historic news....more green shoots

This week has seen some historic news from the Continent. The only Trappist Abbey in Germany situated in the Diocese of Aachen has been given permission by the Pope to return to the Order's traditional liturgy and in use in 1962.

I used to live in Germany in the late 1980s and at that time, compared to what was happening at home, things were extremely grim. England was a good ten years behind what was common in Germany at that time, now it has caught up only to find that what goes round comes round. Any thoughts as to which religious houses in this country could, might or will do likewise, for the moment, remains a matter of pure conjecture.

Let's watch how the decision of the Trappist Community affects its number over the next few years. Let's pray for them and their young Consecrated Abbott, Josef that they may become another strong witness to the strict application of the Holy Rule of St. Benedict and prove to be a magnet for vocations.

This is the new Renaissance.

Monday, November 17, 2008

In today's post

It was very interesting to receive a copy of a little publication called the Lazarist, which is the newsletter of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, John of Gaunt Commandery. It features an article about Stydd chapel, which I am happy to reproduce here.

A Hospitaller Chapel: St. Saviour's, Stydd, near Ribchester

The chapel of St. (the Holy) Saviour's, Stydd Lane, Stydd, near Ribchester in the Ribble valley, is all that remains of a hospital acquired by the Order of St. John about 1265. In 1338 the Order rented the land to a farmer who was required to maintain a priest to say Mass. Under Henry VIII the property was confiscated and the chapel was annexed to the parish church of Ribchester. Between its two large triple windows is a narrow lepers' squint, which allowed lepersoutside the church to see the Mass celebrated inside. This chapel is usually open to visitors. The nearby Catholic church, and the medieval parish church of Ribchester are also worth a visit.

The church contains the grave of Francis Petre, Vicar apostolic of the north, and next to it a grave which may contain remains of St. Margaret Clitheroe.

The newsletter came with a kind donation to the LMS. Thanks to the sender for both.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Feeling tired

I have driven 131.6 miles today to Masses in Castleford and in York via Batley to pick up the celebrant. Traffic was light and the weather good.

I am looking forward to the Mass at Stydd Chapel in December which if all goes well returning from Germany earlier in the day I should be able to attend. We have also decided, weather permitting, to go over to Bolton for Midnight Mass at St. Osmund's.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mailing just about finished and musings

My predecessor Mrs. Hartley sent me the names and addresses of friends of the Society yesterday to whom I need to send a copy of the Society's newsletter in Salford. This will be done by tomorrow.

Already Professor Richards has been in touch to offer his usual constructive ideas and progress has been made. Thanks again to him.

I have also received a petition from a regular member that details of the Divine Office readings for the day be included in the ordo in 2010. I will be happy to raise this at the Commmittee meeting in December. I have already discussed a similar sort of project with Mrs. Hartley which involves booklet production.

I have in recent years been able to witness the constantly improving quality of newsletters, magazines, aids to memory, Mass booklets and suchlike in promoting the Traditional Rites of the Church, since the advent of desktop publishing packages and the Personal Computer.

Should not this whole internet publishing, blogging and desktop publishing business be put under the patronage of St. Paul the Apostle, convert, martyr, and letter writer? Had he been here today he would be a million hit blogger of E-pistles. In this year of St. Paul such an event could be a start to something to help realign the Church militant. Perhaps fellow bloggers could take this to heart and spread the idea.

To this end I shall place this blogsite under the patronage of Christ the King and St. Paul the Apostle.

Please continue to remember the Holy Souls, especially those who have nobody left to remember them.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

News of forthcoming Mass

Mr. Aherne of the Archdiocese of Liverpool has organized a Low Mass near Ribchester at a small, pre-reformation chapel.
The Mass will be on December 13th. at 2p.m. at Stydd Chapel, Stydd Lane near Ribchester.
All will be made welcome but please wrap up well as there is no heating in the chapel. This might be a wonderful opportunity to prepare for Christmas, coming as it does in the middle of Advent.
Mr. Aherne also asked me to draw attention to the weekly Sunday Mass at St. Mary Magdalen, Leyland Road, Penwortham at 9.00a.m. Technically this Mass is in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, but is just over the border from the Salford Diocese near Preston. For this reason I am going to add it to the list of regular Masses.
Similarly a good number of Salford people attend the Mass at Broughton Hall which is just over the border in the Leeds Diocese on the first Sunday of the month at the Sacred Heart chapel at 11.30a.m. This Mass is a missa cantata.
I shall read up about Stydd chapel and post something about it nearer the time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mass tomorrow

Mass will be offered at 4.00p.m. at Holy Name of Jesus, Oxford Road, Manchester.

Already a couple of people have commented to me that that they have seen this blog. Please encourage others to do likewise. The long promised mailshot to members should be in the post mid-week.
In this month of the Holy Souls please do not forget to remember those relatives, friends and moreover those who have nobody to pray for them.
Having five children and another I baptized at birth shortly before he died I do feel reassured that when my turn comes there will be somebody to remember me to God for release of my soul from the cleansing pain of longing for the Beatific vision in purgatory.
Help Lord the souls which Thou hast made, the souls to Thee so dear, in prison for the debt unpaid for sins committed here.
It is truly charitable to pray for those who have gone before us, in Faith, that they may reach Heaven, so that when they reach it they, in turn, can pray for us to God.
How often these days do we hear of the Church - suffering (in purgatory), militant (on earth) and triumphant (in Heaven)?
In Bradford tomorrow there will be a sung Mass of Requiem at St. Peter's, Leeds Rd., Bradford, West Yorkshire at 3.00p.m. for all those who lost their lives in the world wars. R.I.P.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Just back

I have just got back from St. Chad's first Friday Mass where I was also able to go to Confession. There was a nice turnout and Fr. Gallagher was in good form for the ferial Low Mass.

Traffic was very light both ways on the M62 tonight.

St. Chad's is a beautiful church and has close connections with Mother Mary Joseph Prout, Servant of God, foundress of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion, who received the veil in the Lady Chapel, where there is to be found a picture of her and a plaque.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Letter of appointment

On Monday I received my letter of appointment from the LMS Office in London, following my appointment as rep for Salford Diocese, which coincided with arrival of the Society's magazine Mass of Ages. I had to write the diocesan report a month ago and had hoped to have contacted members directly by now. Unfortunately LMS Committee business intervened and I'm running about 8 days behind schedule. Things are well underway however and members will be hearing from me shortly.

To keep you upto date

It so happens that the previous posting's Mass was, presumably, the last Mass at Ashton-under-Lyne as Fr. Francis Wadsworth has been posted to St. Marie's, Bury.

I wish Fr. Francis every joy and happiness in his new parish. And I hope it isn't too long before he starts offering the TLM at St. Marie's.

This evening I had a very nice chat with Fr. Hilton of Bolton, (Breightmet) who is offering a regular Thursday evening Mass at St. Osmund's at 7.15p.m. On the third Thursday the Mass is followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

I also had a very pleasant conversation with Fr. Farrell, the Parish Priest at St. Joseph's, Longsight who offers an Ordinary Rite Latin Mass every Friday evening. Father was very encouraging.

Mass for the First Friday of the month will be offered at St. Chad's, Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester, at 7.30p.m.

On Sunday there will be the usual regular Mass at Holy Name, Oxford Road at 4.00p.m.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mass at Ashton-under Lyne

There was a Missa cantata at St. Ann's Ashton under Lyne on Tuesday for the Feast of the Holy Apostles and Martyrs, Ss Simon and Jude.

Fr. Wadsworth the Parish Priest was celebrant and plans to offer more Masses for us in the future. We are very grateful to Fr. Wadsworth for all his help.

I was able to visit Fr. Wadsworth and enjoyed a productive chat over tea this afternoon. Meeting priests younger than I am who offer the traditional Mass makes me feel rather old these days.