Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Last Friday's Missa cantata at Bury

I am delighted to be able to show a picture of last Friday's Missa cantata and the perceptive and thought provoking sermon given by Fr. Wadsworth. I hope to be back at St. Marie's on Friday for Mass at 7.30p.m.
Thanks to Father for the following. This is my first ever posting using imported text!

Messis quidem multam operarii pauci. Rogate ergo Dominum messis, ut mittat operarios in messem suam’ The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he send labourers into his harvest.

Until quite recently and even today when people talk of someone "having a vocation" they usually mean he has gone off to be a priest or she has become a nun. Linked with this has been another all too popular idea. Though they rarely say so, many think that the Church is saying that Priesthood and Religious Life is the Grade 'A' vocation. For those who could not rise to these heights Married Life is good Grade B' but those who remain single are really the bottom of the pile! Nothing could be further from the truth!There is a dream in the heart of God for each one of us, a loving purpose. The Good Shepherd is calling each of us by name to do something, be somebody. What each of us has to do is to try and come to know what the dream is, and then, with faith and trust, and taking our courage in both hands, try to live it out in our lives day by day. When we come to know what God's dream for us is, we can be said to have discovered our vocation. Most of us will not get a blinding light or a voice from heaven, which clearly says "I want you to do this with your life". Wouldn't it be great if we did!

We have to discern over a period of time what it is God is asking of us. We have to get into the mind of God. We do that by prayer, talking and listening to Him. We will ask, "What must I do? What is it you want of me? What is your dream for me?"Life is God's gift to us. When we are on our deathbed we don't want to look back on the unlived life. It is so sad when people reach that point, and look back with regret saying "how I wish I had done more for others'. How I wish! The solution is in our own hands. "Carpe Diem" Seize the Day. Now is the time to make sure that does not happen. God has a dream, a purpose for each of us. And there will not be just one task for many of us. The Shepherd continues to call His sheep to follow Him throughout their lives. For example, the call to marriage is a call from God to find Him and mediate Him to a lifelong partner in a loving faithful sexual relationship. But one partner will die first. Then there will be a new vocation - the vocation of widowhood, the call to find God in this experience of loss. There is the vocation of the terminally ill. There is the vocation to a single chaste life. And there are many others.There is too, the vocation to the Priesthood, the Permanent Diaconate, and Religious Life. These things must merit consideration in the life of every member of the Church, whatever there age and circumstance. They must be seriously looked at, in case God is asking this of me. Jesus taught us that, 'it is in losing your life that you shall find it. . . it is in dying that we shall live'. Yes, we are Christ's sheep. But we also share in His role as Shepherd and following his example; we are to care for one another - even to laying down our lives for others.

Sometimes the voice of the Shepherd is heard through someone else, most often a friend or family member. Sometimes the call presents itself not as a voice at all, but as a need of the Christian Community, which challenges me to meet it.
So many ask, "Why me?" at that point, but what they should be asking is "Why not me?"
There has to be a very good reason for not responding to the need of a particular religious order for new members, or the need of the wider community for clergy, both deacons and priests. God loves me, so it is not so strange that He could be calling me to something specific like Ordination or Consecrated Life.

It all comes down to love in the end. God's love for us and ours for God and other people. He wants each of us to be lovers. To be a lover is why people enter the vocation of marriage. To be a lover is why others choose the single life. To be a lover is why one becomes a deacon or priest or religious.

Maybe God and the Church are calling someone here to Ordination or Religious Life. you can ignore Him, you can turn up the volume and live the noise of this world and try to drown out his voice. But if he is calling you and you run away, whatever happiness you experience in this life it will never be able to compare with that which you could have experienced had you been open to him and listened. God's dream for us is a dream for our fulfilment and happiness. That is why we should listen. That is why we should trust him and respond.

Pray, my dear people not just for an increase in vocations, but pray that the Lord will send us many holy vocations. Holy priests to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass and holy religious to be examples of prayer to us.

Prayer also for those who have answered the call to serve the Lord as His priests and religious may be granted the gift of perseverance. As a friend of mine would say, ‘Poor Jesus. He deserves better than us!’

Friday, February 6, 2009

Stydd Chapel, Ribchester and Bewerley Grange

The LMS magazine arrived today and the Lancaster Diocese Rep does a fine job of what I was unable to do - namely to attend the Mass, because of the atrocious weather returning from Cologne and to photograph the event. Mrs. Ackers does a fine job. Thanks to her.

I understand that there will be a Mass at Stydd later this year when the longer days are with us. Watch this blog. God willing I'll be able to get there this time.

Ribchester is, as its name suggests, an original Roman Settlement and at one time featured on the Time Team television programme. There is a fine Parish Church and an interesting little museum near the Church.
The photo here reminds me of the medieval chapel at Bewerley Grange, Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire where there will be a Missa cantata on Tuesday February 17th. at 11.30a.m. This is deliberately in half term. Please consider hearing this Mass if you are in the vicinity.

Note change of plan - and musings

The original plans regarding the day of prayer for vocations at the Holy Name on Sexagesima Sunday, February 15th. have been changed. The new arrangements are as follows:

Following the OF solemn Mass at 11.00a.m. there will be the recitation of the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Solemn Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Tridentine Mass at 4.00p.m. will be a Low Mass.

Having studied at Manchester Uni in the mid 1980s when the crash bang whizz bongo folk rock ageing hippy Masses were all the rage on Sunday nights at the Holy Name it was a solid answer to a personal prayer of mine when the Society of Jesus left and Fr. Matus with the help of other other priests took over.

Today the 4.00p.m. Mass is an international, socially accessible to all, family friendly and thoroughly Catholic experience. People of all ages, colours, walks of life, and yet one creed hearing the Mass in the official language of the church, and so obviously a sign of unity is for me what the LMS is about. It has to be, because this reflects the Church's mission.
I saw an awful letter from the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila tonight on Fr. Z's blog. Given the deplorable misinterpretation of Summorum Pontificum by this Prince of the Church I had to ask myself why he would choose to write such a letter. What do so many prelates, priests and people fear about the 1962 Liturgy? Why is this?

This weekend I would like to see the film "Doubt" at the cinema. I heard an interview on the wireless with its creator this afternoon, which rather whetted my appetite. I would also like to see Valkyrie before too long.

In the meantime please offer Holy Communions, Rosaries and the Memorare for our Holy
Father, the Pope.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A visit

Just over the border in Penwortham there will be Mass at St. Mary Magdalen's, Leyland Road on the first Sunday of Lent, March 1st. at 9.00a.m.
The Celebrant will be Mgr. Gilles Wach, the Superior of the Institute of Christ the King.
There will be a choir at the Mass and refreshments to follow.

Please pass the word and do all you can to attend this Mass.
I have always been grateful to the ICKSP in France as they are based near to where we spend our summer holiday.
The Institute was recently recognised as one with Pontifical Right. I look forward to the Society becoming increasingly active in the Northwest.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Christmas is over

A snowy day on Candlemas also marked the end of Christmastide, the initial white vestments of Christmas which briefly gave way to post-Epiphany green will revert to the pre-lentern purple. The word lent itself refers to the the lengthening of the days which slowly become more noticable.

This Friday's Mass at St. Marie's (centrally located) Manchester Road, Bury at 7.30p.m. will once again be a Missa cantata.

Tomorrow Mass at St. Omund's Long Lane, Breightmet, Bolton at 7.15p.m.

I'm sure that the Lord waits for us all to witness the Sacrifice of the altar and the effort we put in to witness this miracle.

All of a sudden there seems to be a lot more to pray for. The situation regarding the lifting of the excommunications on those Bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre over twenty years ago in recent days came at the same time as a Swedish television programme reported some quite wicked views concerning the Shoah from one of these Bishops - Richard Williamson. Williamson has apologized for the effects of his remarks, without taking back the offensive remarks he initially made , the SSPX General Superior Bishop Fellay silenced +Williamson and today the Vatican issued a clarification. Talks of a swift re-union are increasingly few and far between.

An Anglican Catholic personal prelature may, according to some reports, well now be in the offing. Meanwhile many are delighted with the recent Orthodox Leader, Kiril's, enthronement in Moscow, seeing this as a sign to closer unity and even unification.

Please pray for the Pope and the Church, founded upon the rock which is Peter.