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.