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Showing posts from August, 2007

Enrichment - keeping it mutual

Along with several other commentators, I mentioned the excellent homily of Archbishop Nichols last Tuesday at the opening Mass for the LMS training conference at Merton College. His words were particularly encouraging for the priests who had gathered to begin learning or deepen their knowledge of the older form of the rite. The Archbishop said:I hope that your study of the Missal of Pope John XXIII will help you to appreciate the history and richness of that form of the Mass. And I trust that you will bring all that you learn to every celebration of the Mass you lead in the future.In the context of this positive appreciation of Archbishop Nichols' words, I would like to take up one question which will, I am sure, be the focus of much discussion in the future.

Pope Benedict affirmed clearly that there are not two rites, but two forms of the one Roman Rite. The Archbishop says:Why does the Pope insist that there is one rite of the Mass? Because, whichever form is being used, the same…

St Philip's Books

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Before leaving Oxford yesterday, I took a short walk down St Aldate's to visit my good friend Christopher Zealley at St Philip's Books. Above you can see the entrance to the gallery in which the shop is located.

Inside, the shop is graced with a splendid Jacobean fireplace and plaster work ceiling



Among other things, I picked up a good copy of the Vesperale Romanum published by Desclée. I will have to wait for it: my suitcase was already so heavy with the various things I had to bring to demonstrate the celebration of the usus antiquior that I asked Christopher to send the books on.

There is an enquiry form at the bookshop's website if you want to get a printed catalogue. You can, of course, browse the titles on the website itself.

Hard work and glorious liturgy

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I arrived at Oxford for the second half of Alcuin Reid's lecture on Tuesday, in which he expounded on the organic development of the Liturgy and the importance of Summorum Pontificum. I am sure he will publish the text in due course. He allowed himself one irresistible punchline by quoting the Tablet article which said that Pope Benedict was "not a trained liturgist". The ribald mirth generated by quoting this judgement confirmed that it has now firmly achieved legendary status.

From the lecture, we went to the College Chapel for solemn Vespers. Thanks to this conference and last year's CIEL conference I am a little more familiar with solemn vespers now and I would love to try to introduce it in the parish. It would provide an opportunity for people to experience the Roman liturgical tradition outside of the context of Mass.

After supper, I went to bed fairly smartly since my private Mass at the Oratory in the morning was scheduled for 6.15am. I was in the House Chapel…

Oxford LMS training conference links

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For the conference, I had to pack quite a lot of things for my sessions demonstrating how to say Low Mass. I reluctantly left the big camera behind and made do with the plastic toy one - I have therefore relied on other people for photos and, thank goodness, the Schola Sainte Cécile have a good collection.

The timetable at the Conference was quite full and I would not have had much chance to take photos in any case. As well as the Schola Sainte Cécile, there are a couple of other sources I read on my mobile on the bus from Oxford to London:

Damien Thompson has posted on the very good homily given by Archbishop Nichols (Thank God for Archbishop Nichols). He has posted the full text of the homily in the comments box in response to requests. (The above photo is also from his blog.)

Fr Z has a couple of posts following up on Damien's, also commenting positively on Archbishop Nichols' homily.

The New Liturgical Movement has a number of posts and some more photos taken by Joseph Shaw.

Oxford LMS conference

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Tomorrow morning I have a funeral (please pray for the repose of the soul of Maud Nazer). Then I will be off to London again, to catch the bus from Victoria to Oxford for the Conference organised by the Latin Mass Society to introduce priests to the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Because of the funeral, I will miss the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Nichols in the morning but I hope to be there in time for Alcuin Reid's lecture at 3pm. I am looking forward to a couple of days in a City which brings back many fond memories of three years spent in the company of good friends.

My particular role, as well as giving one of the sets of tutorials, is to participate in the discussions with the experience of being a parish priest fostering traditional liturgy in a normal parish. Apparently there are over 50 priests attending. Many lay people will also be coming for the public liturgical celebrations during the conference (at the Merton College Chapel.)
Dom Daniel Aug…

Assisting Bishop Rifan

Bishop Rifan was at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, this evening to celebrate a Pontifical Low Mass. I was scheduled to say a Missa Cantata but was happy to say a private Mass earlier in the parish and act as Assistant Priest for the great man. Mgr Gordon Read was the other AP. Neither of us had acted in this capacity before so we needed some prompts here and there. Fortunately, I managed to retain much of what is in Fortescue's mercifully brief chapter on the subject.

Bishop Rifan heads the Apostolic Administration of St John Vianney, established in 2002 in the Diocese of Campos, Brazil, to which about 30,000 faithful are attached. At the end of Mass, after unvesting at the altar and kneeling to say a thanksgiving at the faldstool, he asked us two capellani to accompany him to the back of the Church where he remained to greet all those who had come to the Mass. Nearly all of the people knelt to kiss his ring in recognition of his office as successor to the apostles.

Over dinner afterw…

Underwhelmed by Inverness

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Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, stands at the mouth of the Moray Firth, on the banks of the River Ness. The first recorded sighting of the famous monster is attributed to St Columba, although he saw it in the river, not in the Loch further south.

Above is a picture of the castle. The present structure is early 19th century but there has been a castle in this spot since the 11th century. Just beneath the building, the museum and art gallery houses a good interpretative exhibition or the history of the Highlands.

Parts of the City are picturesque. Below is a view along the river Ness:

And here you see the pedestrian suspension bridge. This is fun to cross since the bridge wobbles and shakes not only in the wind but also with the movement of people walking on it.

The area is redolent of the history of the Jacobite rebellions. Outside the castle is a statue of Flora MacDonald who helped Bonnie Prince Charlie to escape "over the sea to Skye":

Sadly, the centre of Inverness is…

Reading at meals

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The custom in most monastic communities is for a book to be read at meals. One of the monks is on duty as reader and takes his own lunch after the others. At Pluscarden, a short reading from the scriptures was read at lunch, followed by a secular book. At the end of lunch (I think), a list was read of those from the Subiaco Congregation who had died on that day. At supper, a more religious book was read.

The lunchtime book was the autobiography of Frank Muir. We were at the point where he was recounting his wartime experiences with the RAF in Iceland. Some of it was a little hard on the stomach; the indignities of wartime living do not always make for pleasant associations even with a frugal meal. However, Muir is a very amusing writer; his anecdotes and brilliant puns caused some ribaldry, skating close to the mark in some cases.

In the evening, we had the life of Metropolitan Anthony Bloom. , telling of his experience in the army, and of his spiritual direction at the hands of Fr Athe…

St Mary's, Inverness

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My flight to Inverness last Sunday took me to Inverness in the early evening, too late to be barging into a monastic community. I was also rather interested to see Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Frankly, I was a little disappointed with Inverness itself (more of that in due course) but I was delighted to find the Catholic Church on the banks of the river Ness.

St Mary's is a homely and well-kept parish Church; the newsletter is packed with events that speak of a parish full of life and confidence. The Church is finely decorated in what I have heard referred to as "wedding-cake" victoriangothic. Who cares! Better that than the kind of building Rowan Atkinson once referred to as "something that looks like an upturned dustbin with an old bicycle on top of it." It rather reminded me of St Mary's in West Croydon, a rather larger Church in which I made my first Holy Communion and learnt to serve Mass.

Here is a close-up of the statue of Our Lady:

The old H…

A foretaste of eternity

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The daily liturgical timetable for weekdays at Pluscarden is as follows:4.45am - Vigils (similar to Matins of the Roman Breviary) and Lauds - approximately an hour and a halfc. 6.55am (half an hour after Lauds) - Prime8.45am - Conventual Mass and Terce12.35pm - Sext (followed by lunch)2.15pm - None6pm - Vespers, followed by prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in the Lady Chapel (Supper is at 7pm)8pm - ComplineThe offices and conventual Mass are all chanted in Latin. The community are using the new books edited by Solemnes as they are produced. The older Antiphonale Monasticum is used where necessary. Mass in in the Novus Ordo, using the new Graduale Romanum (readings in English).

One of the pamphlets I read spoke of the chanting of the psalms as an image of eternity. This could be joked about, especially at Vigils when, for example, we chanted the whole of psalm 77 - on a monotone as are all the psalms at Vigils. However, I think there is an important point in seeing this "sacred …

Pluscarden Abbey

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After an interval of nearly 400 years, Benedictine monastic life began anew at Pluscarden. After the Reformation, the Priory had been in the hands of lay owners. In 1897, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd Marquess of Bute, and author of the eccentric but enormously useful translation of the Roman Breviary, purchased the Priory from the Duke of Fife. A devout and wealthy philanthropist, he helped the Presyterian congregation who had been using the ruins for services to build a Church in the glen, and arranged for Catholic Mass to be celebrated in the Prior's Chapel by Dom Sir David Oswald Hunter Blair Bt OSB of Fort Augustus Abbey.

On the death of the Marquess, the property passed to his son, Lord Colum Crichton-Stuart who was eager for a monastic community to take up residence. Eventually, he found Abbot Wilfred Upson of Prinknash willing to found a new monastic community and in 1948, five monks began to live the Benedictine life once more in the Priory.

The community has carrie…

Back online

Lots of photos from Inverness and Pluscarden to upload. I'm going to put them into Facebook albums and then link to them here. This saves the trouble of editing them down to size and then waiting ages for blogger to upload them.

Comments now switched back on.

Off to Pluscarden

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Sorry that this is a little abrupt. As ever, the day before going away seems to be frantically busy with things that cannot be left until I get back.

After Mass this morning, I am taking the train to London, then flying to Inverness where I will be staying overnight. I will have some time to look around Inverness in the morning and then catch the train to Elgin. From there it is a 7 mile taxi ride to Pluscarden Abbey.

This is my annual retreat so I will be incommunicado until I am back late on Friday. I have switched off the comments box: the 24 theses will have to wait until next weekend. I will be taking my camera so I hope to have some nice photographs for you when I get back.

I will include all of you in the Memento in my private Mass each day.

A "Joining of the ways?"

Fr Z and Gerald Augustinus quote the full text of a press release giving notice that EWTN will screen a live Solemn High Mass at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama on September 14, 2007 at 8:00AM EST.

The PR also says that EWTN has asked for the assistance of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, an international Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, to help celebrate Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite.

This is very encouraging and joyful news. EWTN has always shown celebrations of the newer rite of Mass celebrated in Latin with dignity and reverence. They have come under fire in some quarters for not promoting the Classical Rite.

By screening the older form of the Mass on the date of the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, I think they have shown a certain humility in the face of Pope Benedict's generous initiative. I also celebrated only the Novus Ordo for many years and tended not to get involved in circles where the Classical r…

Giant walk-in monstrance?

Jeff Miller, the Curt Jester has a post today that I found amusing.

He considers the liberal Catholic view that the Blessed Sacrament should be put in a side chapel and quotes LA Catholic's question "Shouldn't we also put the whole congregation off to the side, too?" - since Jesus is also present in the assembly.

Jeff's suggestion in his post Consistency is that we should have a giant, walk-in monstrance for the congregation to sit in.

Comments - some reminders

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The number of comments to this blog has increased quite a lot in recent months and I am very grateful to you for your interest and for your contributions. These comments have given me (and perhaps you) wisdom, knowledge, correction, and often some good laughs.

I rarely delete comments. Thankfully it is not often necessary. However, just to remind you, here are two posts that are permanently linked at the bottom of the sidebar:
Comments on blogs in general
Comments on this blog

Another thing that I would urge you is to avoid posting comments that are simply "anonymous". You have the option to post a comment with your blogger name if you have one, or anonymously or - and this is the important one - "OTHER".

Please use "other" in preference to anonymous. You can remain anonymous by calling yourself Mr M. Mouse, Mr D. Duck, the Reverend Pantaloon Trouserpress or whatever. But by doing so, you will enable other commenters to refer to your comment without trying to …

Population Research Institute

Human Life International have set up the Population Research Institute which offers a very useful collection of articles.

The Lord is my portion

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Dominus pars haereditatis meae et calicis mei; tu es qui restitues haereditatem meam mihi.
The Lord is the portion of my inheritance, and of my cup; Thou shalt restore my inheritance to me

This was the verse that the new cleric used to repeat after the Bishop while his hair was being ceremonially snipped. In the Directorium Sacerdotale, Valuy suggests that the priest should kiss his cassock each morning before he puts it on, and recite that verse. Well it would be a good reminder for the cleric to value and cherish the ecclesiastical state.

I sometimes wish that I had been able to receive the minor orders. (They were substituted with "lay ministries" by Pope Paul VI in Ministeria Quaedam but are rarely given to lay people.) Nevertheless, the idea of the Lord being the cleric's portion is a good one to ponder from time to time.

Nowadays, the passing of the years have given me a natural tonsure which is shown particularly when I have a part in those photos of the Classical Rit…

Is the Faith Movement modernist because it does not hold the 24 theses?

There has been quite a debate going on over recent weeks about the Faith Movement and I need from time to time to address some of these questions. This post is a little longer than usual and there are no jokes in it. Feel free to pass over it by all means, but do bear it in mind if anyone says to you that Faith priests are all modernists because they do not adhere to the 24 theses.

The Ex Laodicea blog has a post The 'Faith Movement', filed with the tag "modernism" which raises a number of matters, some of which I will address in due course as time permits. For those interested, the pamphlets "Philosophical Perspectives" deal with some of the questions raised. Here, I will deal with just one of them, namely the character of the 24 theses set out in the Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Studies in 1914 (DS 3601-3624).

Aelianus says that the 24 theses were[...] enforced by the Code of Canon Law in 1917. This provision and its centrality was reasserted by Pi…

Let him who despises admonition fear prayer

In his conference "The priest must be a man of prayer", St Joseph Cafasso admonishes the clergy on their duty not only to pray constantly but also to be masters of prayer. He then considers the efficacy of the prayer of one who prays constantly and perseveringly, citing the example of Moses. Following that, he quotes St Bernard who told Pope Eugenius III (a fellow Cistercian) that in the face of the "monsters of iniquity" with whom he had to deal, he should be "more than a man" in using the power of prayer. He quotes a pithy phrase of the saint, "Timeat orationem qui admonitionem contempsit." (Let him who despises admonition fear prayer.)

Cafasso then gives this striking example of what he means:A certain person could not make up his mind to break off a sinful relation. The confessor after trying all means finally decided to have recourse to prayer. He said to the penitent: “If you do not consent to promise me to amend, at least permit me to pra…

Mary in battle

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Quae est ista quae ascendit sicut aurora consurgens, pulchra ut luna, electa ut sol, terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata

Who is this who ascends like the rising dawn, beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army drawn up in battle array. Song of songs 6.9

Saydon's commentary in the (old) Catholic Commentary says "The verse is a familiar antiphon in the office of Our Lady's Assumption." Not so familiar for a while now: the verse is not included in the Liturgia Horarum texts for the feast. In the Roman Breviary, the above text was the Benedictus antiphon. In addition, the shorter text:Pulchra es et decora, filia Ierusalem, terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinatawas the antiphon for the fifth psalm at Lauds and Vespers - and therefore also the antiphon for None.

It is interesting that the breviary text of the Benedictus antiphon differs slightly from the Clementine vulgate which hasQuae est ista quae progreditur quasi aurora consurgens pulchra ut luna el…

Alcuin Reid on Vatican Radio

Dr Alcuin Reid, author of "The Organic Development of the Liturgy" was interviewed on Vatican Radio the other day. See the page "Old Rites, New Needs". The subtitle of the item is "With the Latin Mass Society in the UK reporting new interest in the celebration of the Tridentine rite, many priests are wondering where to turn for help..."

Alcuin Reid and John Medlin are interviewed extensively in the fifteen minute piece which gives both of them an opportunity to make a number of important points and clear up misunderstandings.

A positive feature about the Latin Mass Society on Vatican Radio is another of those things that would have been unthinkable only a short while ago.

St Maximilian's Act of Consecration

Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe's Act of Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary
O Immaculate, Queen of heaven and earth, Refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, to whom God willed to entrust the entire order of mercy, I an unworthy sinner cast myself at your feet, humbly begging you to be so good as to accept me wholly and completely as your possession and property, and to do with me, with my whole life, death and eternity, whatever pleases you. If it pleases you, use my whole self without reserve to accomplish what has been said of you: "She will crush your head," (Gen. 3:15), and also: "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world" so that I may become a useful instrument in your immaculate and most merciful hands for promoting and increasing your glory to the maximum in so many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus extend as much as possible the blessed Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter, you obtain the grace o…

Anti-masonic army leader's heroic sacrifice

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The Militia Immaculatae was founded by St Maximilian Kolbe after he witnessed demonstrations in Rome against Popes St Pius X and Benedict XV. St Maximilian's saw the Militia Immaculatae as a "global vision of Catholic life in a new form, consisting of the link with Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, universal mediatrix with Jesus." He stressed consecration to Mary as a "transformation into her" with the external manifestation particularly of catechesis and mission.

St Maximilian founded a monastery in Japan on the outskirts of Nagasaki. Fortunately, he ignored the Feng Shui experts and built his monastery on the opposite side of the mountain from that advised. Consequently, it survived the atomic bomb.

After his arrest in 1941, he was sent to the Pawiak prison. An SS guard asked him if he believed in Christ. Kolbe replied "I do" and the guard struck him. He asked him many times and, receiving the same answer, continued to beat him. After his transfe…

3 cheers for Travelodge

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The Catholic News Agency reports that Travelodge Hotels have taken the decision to stop supplying pornographic TV channels in their hotel rooms. Here is the Press release from Travelodge. Their Chief Operating Officer, Guy Parsons said:"We have an ever increasing number of families staying with us and it's appropriate that we remove adult TV. Our other customers tell us that they would prefer to use a hotel without adult content available so we have responded to meet their needs."This is very good news. My suggestion to any hotel chain announcing similar moves would be to drop the term "Adult" for this stuff; there is nothing "adult" about it. Just call it "pornography" or "sexually explicit" if you want to be coy. The decision not only makes the hotels more "family friendly" but also helps cut down the exploitation and abuse of women by pornography and the degradation of men with consequent damage to their relationships.

Chinese Via Crucis

Via Crucis: a short video dramatisation by Eric Forrest of the persecuted Church in China.



H/T Athanasius Contra Mundum

HTE Bill briefing

The Human Tissue and Embryos Bill is due to be introduced into Parliament in November. The Bill is a matter of serious concern for all who promote the sanctity of human life. It would provide greater scope for embryos to be produced for research, allow more embryos to be destroyed in the process of IVF, and legalise the creation of cybrids, hybrids and chimeras. The Bill will even allow sperm or eggs to be extracted from children or the unconscious in some circumstances without their consent.

The progress of the Bill will also provide an opportunity for amendments to be tabled to change the existing law on abortion. Although the current availability of abortion is very bad, changes could be made to the law which would make things much worse. The current overwhelming pro-abortion majority in Parliament means that amendments would be brought in to increase the overall availability of abortion.

SPUC has started a campaign focussing on this bill. They also have a very useful briefing paper

St Joseph Cafasso

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I only found out about Saint Joseph Cafasso the other day. He was a neighbour of St John Bosco and later became his advisor. He received a dispensation to be ordained priest at the age of 22, became a highly regarded Professor and Pastor, combining sound teaching with tireless works of mercy among the poor, those in prison and especially those condemned to death.

An eight day retreat that he gave for priests comprised 16 conferences. These are collected in the book "The Priest, the Man of God: his dignity and duties". Having read two of these, I am eager to read the remainder.

In the first conference, he speaks of the nature and office of the priesthood. The idea of the "dignity" of the priesthood is sometimes found confusing today but St Joseph Cafasso analyses the matter sensibly, with practical advice for the priest. He looks at the nature of the priest, the person of the priest and the habits of the priest.

In his nature, the priest is as other men - he is a man, …

Women, Cardinals, supporting the family

(As in "Eats Shoots and Leaves", the punctuation of the title is important.) Three books arrived the other day from Family Publications.

"Built on Love" is the joint autobiography of Valerie and Denis Riches, the Founders of Family and Youth Concern. I have known Valerie and Denis for many years. They both exemplify courtesy and good manners and it is extraordinary to think of the vitriol that these two kind people have suffered over the years. They both became Catholics in 1982 and continued their work with the support of their Catholic faith.

Sr Sara Butler wrote her book "The Catholic Priesthood and Women" largely at the request of seminarians. It will certainly find its way onto the bibliography for my course in Sacramental Theology. At 112 pages, it is a brief and well-structured summary of the Church's teaching, objections to that teaching, and the fundamental reasons for the teaching. Another excellent title from Hillenbrand Books.

Fr Nicholas Sch…

St Philomena feast day

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Happy feast day to all fellow-devotees of St Philomena. The Saturday morning Mass at Blackfen is according to the usus antiquior so we had the Saturday Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary with commemoration of Sts Tiburtius and Susanna. To make up the odd number of collects, I added a commemoration of St Philomena. In honour of her feast day, here is a Novena prayer that you might like to use:O faithful virgin and glorious martyr, St Philomena, who works so many miracles on behalf of the poor and sorrowful, have pity on me, Thou knowest the multitude and diversity of my needs, Behold me at thy feet, full of misery, but full of hope. I entreat thy charity O great Saint. Graciously hear me and obtain from God a favourable answer to the request which I now humbly lay before you (here specify your petition.) I am firmly convinced that through thy merits, through the scorn, the sufferings and the death thou didst endure, united to the merits of the Passion and Death of Jesus thy Spouse, I shal…

Difficult journey to Mass

After my parish Mass this morning, I set off on what the AA estimate as a journey of one hour and twenty minutes. I actually queued for an hour just getting through Tunbridge Wells and the whole trip took about two and a half hours. Later I realised that the reason for the delay was traffic diverted off the M25 which was closed for most of the day. I assumed that someone had been killed as this is what usually gets the motorway actually closed. Thank God, there was just one person seriously injured - say a prayer for their recovery. The pile-up between junctions 6 and 7 on the clockwise carriageway involved two lorries, a car and a van - and 30 tons of plasterboard strewn across the road.

On the journey, I enjoyed the remainder of a sermon on judgement and one on hell from the FSSP sermon series. I also got in the Stations of the Cross courtesy of Keep the Faith.

The people waiting for Mass were very patient. As it was the extraordinary form, I said Mass without preaching and promised a…

Lourdes facilitates extraordinary form

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Some very good news today from Shawn Tribe over at NLM. The Shrine authorities at Lourdes will arrange for Masses in the usus antiquior to be celebrated in the sanctuaries at Lourdes each day during the French Pilgrimage.
“In full agreement with Msgr. Perrier, Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes and with Msgr. Zambelli, rector, masses according to the “extraordinary form” of the Roman Missal, the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, will be celebrated each day in the sanctuaries of Lourdes by chaplains and priests of Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter..." (From a statement by Fr. Pozzetto)See NLM: Classical Use to have prominent place at August 15th French "National Pilgrimage" in Lourdes

I have said before that I have been impressed with the Shrine Authorities at Lourdes and the leadership of Bishop Perrier. Not the least of his improvements have been the increased reverence at the Blessed Sacrament Procession and the organisation of places for quiet adoration of the Blessed Sacrament f…

Apology - comments lost

There was a sackload of comments today. On the last lot (on the Caritas Social Action book), after reading them all, I selected all and pressed ... reject. Sorry about that - just a slip of the mouse. Feel free to repost them if you are not too annoyed with me!

Incidentally, regarding "course of action", first of all I intend to read the book carefully (should come from Amazon within a day or two). Then I'll do a review here. Any of you who have the stamina for this might do the same. This is a case of "unleash the power of the blog."

And yes, send letters to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Lots of them.

Trying to stem gossip

Gossip is such a nuisance. You can end up having to say really stupid things. Out in Iraq, Major Mike Shearer has recently had to make this announcement:"We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area."British blamed for Basra badgers

Just for fun - Dream Snooker

H/T Mark Shea

Defending real atheism

Fr Benedict Groeschel was speaking the other day to the National Courage Conference in Chicago. One funny quote in reference to some of the recent atheist books:"I am deeply insulted that atheism can be so badly represented. I am tempted to write a book defending atheism in response."H/T Cafeteria is Closed:Courage Conference

Modesty - how shall we put this?

Making announcements about modesty in dress can be a challenge for the average parish priest. A little humour could help here. Thanks to The Deacon's Bench:Bulletin announcements I'd like to see, we have just that. My favourite:BRITNEY SPEARS CONCERT CANCELLED! Unfortunately, our efforts to get pop sensation Britney Spears to perform a benefit fundraiser for the parish have proven unsuccessful. Her calendar is full. Therefore, those who have been arriving at Mass every Sunday dressed for a Britney Spears concert should know that they don't have to do that anymore. Modest church-going attire will do nicely. We will notify you if the situation changes.H/T Fr Z.

Brother Francis Waddelove RIP

I met Brother Francis Waddelove many years ago when visiting the home of Claire Waddelove who was professed as a nun at St Cecilia's, Ryde in the same year that I was ordained. Brother Francis' sister, Mary, lives in my parish. The death of his sister Agnes was the occasion of my first celebration of the Classical Roman Rite of Mass. Brother Francis was a Jesuit brother of the old school and his life shows how traditional Catholicism went hand-in-hand with genuine work for social justice.This obituary of Brother Francis Waddelove is from the Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe Newsletter for August 2007.

Brother Francis Waddelove on 8th June, 2007, had a fall outside the dining room in Richartz House and fractured the top of his femur. A week in St Anne's brought the decision there should be no operation: his age and a kidney problem suggested rather not an operation, but six weeks in bed in traction in Richartz House. In the end, just too much for him, and at the age of 92, 74 yea…

Caritas Social Action attacks Pope

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There is a disturbing piece today on Damien Thompson's blog - Holy Smoke:Bishops support book attacking the Pope. He reports on a book published by Caritas Social Action called Catholic Social Justice: Theological and Practical Explorations.

Thompson says that the book (which has a foreword by Bishop Budd) "systematically rubbishes Benedict’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est". The book includes an essay by Fr Tissa Balasuriya whose work "Mary and Human Liberation" was the subject of a notification by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Apparently, Fr Balasuriya believes that Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict have lived “in a world dominated by white racism” and were therefore unable to understand the developing world. Thompson also rightly draws attention to the disgraceful inverted commas in Balasuriya's description of the 9/11 massacre as a "terrorist" attack.

Caritas-Social Action describes itself as[...] the umbrella organisation fo…

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