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Showing posts from August, 2009

The Monument

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On the way home from St Albans, I was on the City branch of the Northern Line, heading for London Bridge, intending to change there for the Jubilee Line to North Greenwhich. At Bank Station, after a couple of minor delays for "signals", the "gentle-but-authoritative-lady-voice" boomed out that London Bridge had been closed due to a "passenger incident". That left us with one of those "experienced Londoner" dilemmas -
District and Circle back to Westminster and go from thereDocklands Light Railway to Canary Wharf and hop on the Jubilee farther downBlack cab to Bermondsey to bypass London Bridge...Londoners can spend many happy hours in a pub debating options such as these.

In fact, by the time I had randomly meandered through the labyrinth which is Bank/Monument Stations, found myself near the District and Circle line platforms and hence not too far from fresh air, it was announced that London Bridge station was open again. Being so near the monum…

Senator Kennedy RIP

There have been many reactions to the funeral of Senator Edward Kennedy (may he rest in peace) and this one quoted at the excellent "The Deacon's Bench"blog is representative: "Liturgical comfort food".

Given Senator Kennedy's support for abortion, there is a real question over whether there should have been a high-profile Catholic funeral at all. As Robert Kumpel points out at St John's Valdosta, if the Archdiocese of Boston can honour a pro-abortion politician and allow a pro-abortion president to eulogise him then they perhaps owe an apology to the Mafia.

Even leaving that question aside, as a "model" funeral that many people will take as an example of how to give someone a proper send-off, it leaves much to be desired. The question of praying for the dead can be tricky in today's "feel good" society but that is no reason just to leave it off all together. Someone might have pointed out that the one thing we can really do for Te…

Fr Philip Miller 10th anniversary

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Fr Philip Miller of the Archdiocese of Westminster celebrates the tenth anniversary of his priestly ordination this week. I travelled over to St Albans this morning to concelebrate at with him and a number of other priest friends. The Mass was celebrated with gravitas in the ordinary form, mainly in English, but with a choir of friends, conducted by Jeremy White, who sang parts of Palestrina's Missa Brevis and Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium.

Congratulations to Fr Miller: ad multos annos!

Today I found this Grassroots video via The Deacon's Bench which is a reminder for all of us who are celebrating anniversaries, of the priestly dignity which we are called to live up to.

Dominican Lourdes Pilgrimage photos

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Br Lawrence Lew OP has put up some more photos of the Dominican Pilgrimage to Lourdes. See: Dominican Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2009

Ludwig Ott title in style of Harry Potter

Andrea Tornielli "le smentite che non smentiscono"

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This morning on his blog "Sacri Palazzi", the journalist and vaticanista Andrea Tornielli has an article on "La “riforma della riforma” e le smentite che non smentiscono" (The "reform of the reform" and non-denial denials). Sound familiar? Tornielli does in fact take the same line that I did on Tuesday, that the "denial" of Fr Benedittini (and indeed the implied denial of Cardinal Bertone in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano yesterday) deny things that were not actually asserted by Tornielli in his original story.

Bloggers will find it interesting to read Tornielli's aside that since the Williamson affair, blogs are now constantly monitored by the Holy See.

Here is my translation of the article:The "reform of the reform" and non-denial denials
My dear friends, I return to the subject matter of the post which, on 22 August last, I devoted to the questions discussed by the plenary session of the Congregation for Divine Worship …

"Blood Money" trailer

Blood Money is a documentary that aims to expose the terrible reality of abortion, focusing on the financial aspect of the multimillion dollar abortion industry. Here is the trailer on YouTube:



More information at LifeSite news: New Documentary "Blood Money" Seeks to Expose the Abortion Business. This is a film that you can support quite easily:"Blood Money" still does not yet have a distributor, but Kyle is hopeful that through the support of pro-life advocates the film will gain the attention of one. In order for this to happen, though, he says that people need to register at the website or watch the preview on youtube to show their support.So just view the video above and embed it onto your blog if possible.

(Registering at the website Blood Money is only possible for those in the US since it demands a valid "Zip Code" - they might want to fix that if they are interested in international support.)

New issue of "Catholic"

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"Catholic" is the newspaper produced by the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer whose monastery is on the island of Papa Stronsay in the Orkneys. You can susbscibe at their blog Translapine Redemptorists. For £10 a year, you get four issues of "Catholic" and a substantial supplement with each issue.

With the latest issue comes "Gerardo": a biography of St Gerard Majella, which I have just enjoyed reading. It was written by Fr William Frean C.SS.R. in 1971 and the story of its publication is of interest:In its day this beautiful little work has caused considerable controversy because of its fidelity to continuity while those in power thought in terms of rupture - but it has survived to see a new era in the Church. Due to opposition from Redemptorist superiors it was never published and was given to us by the late Fr A.J. Cummins C.SS.R. for this purpose."Gerardo" is an affectionate and edifying life of the humble brother who was sought after by Bishops…

Prayer Book for Spouses

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I received today the new booklet from the Catholic Truth Society "Prayer Book for Spouses" to which I contributed in a small way. I am impressed by the range of prayers and reflections that the editors have managed to gather together. The section headings give some idea:
Prayer of Engaged CouplesRecalling our PromisesOpen to Life TogetherPrayers of a Married CouplePrayers for your ChildrenPrayers for your FamilySome Favourite PrayersAvailable from the CTS priced £1.95

Extraordinary form in beautiful places

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Bishop Jesse Mercado of the diocese of Parañaque in the Philippines has actively encouraged the celebration of Mass according to the usus antiquior at the National Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus where there is a Missa Cantata every Sunday at 9.30am. There are several other locations in the Philippines where the Classical Roman rite is celebrated. The photo above is from Christmas Day Mass at the parish of Jesus, Lord of the Divine Mercy, in the Diocese of Novaliches.

See Fr Seán Coyle's post at the "Bangor to Bobbio" blog:
Philippine 'Diocese brings back Latin Mass' for more details.

In Sweden also, the usus antiquior is thriving, particularly among the native Swedish Catholics. See the post on Rorate Caeli: “Jag skall träda fram till Guds altare” (Swedish for Introibo ad altare Dei)

Quote of the day

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Well my evening was already good with Rosary and Benediction well attended. This put the icing on the cake :-)“If St. John Vianney himself were in many of our American parishes there would be an abundance of letters from concerned parishioners about the direction in which he was taking the parish.” Bishop Robert VasaH/T The Catholic Key Blog

Nanny required - job ad from the Sisters of the Gospel of Life

I'm happy to pass on this job advertisement from the Sisters of the Gospel of Life.
FULL TIME NANNY REQUIRED

Weekdays Only

Glasgow Area

Non Smoker, Driving License

Email CV to:

scoadvert(at)googlemail(dot)com

This is a really lovely young family, in urgent need of a nanny. It would be great if other bloggers could pick this up and people could spread the word. Thank you and God bless!

7 things we'd like

I don't normally do these things but I thought I could dash this one off quickly. Patricius at Singulare Ingenium asks "What are the seven things that we as Catholics want or would like to see happen?"

Off the top of my head, in no particular order (allowing five minutes max):

1. Archbishop Chaput to be President of the Congregation for Bishops

2. Permission to use the pre-1962 rites (and pre-1911 breviary) included in the Ecclesia Dei clarification (with the new Prayer for the Jews on Good Friday to avoid needless controversy)

3. LifeSite News and SPUC to take over the Pontifical Academy for Life

4. A large legacy to build a baroque Church in Blackfen which would then be made a minor basilica

5. UN to issue a declaration that abortion and euthanasia are in fact crimes against humanity

6. Full canonical regularisation of the SSPX - would add spice to the Council of Priests Meetings

7. An index of forbidden hymns compiled by Damian Thompson and having legislative force throughout…

Dragons Fury

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The Faith Summer Break for young people (11-16) includes talks on the faith, Mass each day and various spiritual exercises. It also includes sports, games and a trip to Chessington World of Adventures. One of my young parishioners who attended sent me this photo of himself and Fr Stephen Boyle subjected to some greater than customary g-force on the "Dragons Fury" ride.

A painting to ponder

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Chris Gillibrand of Cathcon sent me a link to this picture which is currently housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City since he thought it might be "useful."

The masterpiece was painted about 1725-1729 by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, a Venetian rococo artist, as part of a cycle of large canvases (this one is 411.5 x 376.9 cm) used to decorate a reception room in the Ca' Dolfin at Venice; it depicts the capture of Cathage by Scipio Aemilianus who razed the city to the ground, answering the constant demands of Cato the Elder.

The Oxford Companion to Western Art says that in his work,Tiepolo consciously revives the artistic language of Veronese, not out of nostalgia but as a source of strength and renewal.

Archbishop Chaput rips into the Tablet

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Archbishop Chaput of Denver has written a strongly worded condemnation of the recent Tablet editorial urging the US Bishops to support President Obama's healthcare reforms and not to focus on the "specifically Catholic" issue of abortion funding (see my post Tablet on Newman and Abortion). The article, hosted at the website of the Archdiocese of Denver, is headed "Health care and the common good". Speaking of the Tablet editorial, Archbishop Chaput says:The editorial has value for several reasons. First, it proves once again that people don't need to actually live in the United States to have unhelpful and badly informed opinions about our domestic issues. Second, some of the same pious voices that once criticized U.S. Catholics for supporting a previous president now sound very much like acolytes of a new president. Third, abortion is not, and has never been, a "specifically Catholic issue," and the editors know it. And fourth, the growing misuse…

Street preacher threatened by police for reading bible

Miguel Hayworth and his father, John, have been preaching on the street in Manchester for five years but have now been told by the Police that handing out tracts is harrassment and that reading out passages from the Bible was inciting hatred. The Police action was initiated after complaints were received from two members of the public. Although the men were threatened, they were not actually arrested.(See: Preacher threatened with arrest for reading out extracts from the Bible in public)

Miguel Hayworth's case has been taken up by the Christian Legal Centre which has written to complain to the Police.

Tolkien being awkward at Mass

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Thanks to The Lion and the Cardinal for a recollection from Simon Tolkien of his grandfather, JRR Tolkien going to Mass in Bournemouth. Apparently the English Mass had just been introduced but Tolkien didn't like it. While the rest of the congregation made the responses in English, he made them loudly in Latin, oblivious to the reactions of others.

(See: J.R.R. Tolkien goes to Mass)

Vatican Press Office "non-denial denial"?

Along with many other Catholic bloggers, I reported the other day on the article in Il Giornale by Andrea Tornielli suggesting that a document has been presented to the Holy Father by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, calling for greater sacrality in worship. (See: Reform of the reform gathering pace and the full text of the article in English at Rorate Caeli's The "Reform of the Reform" is in motion)

Now Vatican Radio has published a report of a response from Fr Ciro Benedittini, vice-Director of the Vatican Press Office has issued a statement which I translate for you as follows:The vice-Director of the Vatican Press Office, Father Ciro Benedittini, has intervened this morning regarding notices circulated recently on some sites and organs of the press about possible changes in the liturgical field. "At the present" - Fr Benedittini affirmed - "there are no institutional proposals regarding a modification o…

Bleg from a reader

A Catholic member of SOGAT got a proposal opposing euthanasia carried at either the 1972 or 1974 conference of the union (which is now part of the print section of UNITE). Unfortunately he has lost his copy of the proceedings. He has asked me to enquire here whether anyone knows where it might be possible to retrieve the proceedings of the 1972 and 1974 conferences.

If you want me to put you in touch with him by email, feel free to post a comment marked "Not for publication" or to email me at rosary@freeuk.com.

"Keep your hands off me"

Continuity Walks and Talks

Continuity have sent me this notice which I am happy to pass on to you. It should be an interesting and enjoyable evening:


Continuity Walks and Talks
Thursday September 24th, 6.30pm. Led by Joanna Bogle. Meet on the steps of Westminster Cathedral. A Catholic History Walk. Come and discover the Catholic links that surround the heart of Westminster! An evening of history, in good company, in a spirit of cheerful faith and inspiration!

We'll be following a route that takes in the Abbey and its surrounding lands... you'll learn about the Saxons who lived there, and our last Saxon king before the Norman Conquest... and about the 17th century royals who escaped across the Thames one dark night... why Horseferry Road is so named... the nuns, a Duke's sister among them, who cared for orphans in a desperately poor slum district... the prison which stood where a Cathedral would later arise... and a Papal visit and more...

Wear comfortable shoes for walking, and bring some money as we pl…

Now "blogging as a Catholic layman"

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Back in June, as I reported then, former US Marine and Anglican priest, Jeffrey Steel, announced his intention to come into full communion with the Catholic Church, together with his wife and six children. (See: Journey Home to the Catholic Church: I Have Jumped into the Tiber to Swim Across)

Warmest congratulations to Jeffrey and his family who were received into the Church on 18 July. (He comments on the relevance of the feast of St Camillus de Lellis in his own life.) After a few week's break for quiet and reflection, Jeffrey has returned to blogging - as a Catholic layman - at his blog de cura animarum.

Reform of the reform gathering pace

Rorate Caeli has the translation of an article in yesterday's Il Giornale by the respected vaticanista Andrea Tornielli. (See: The "Reform of the Reform" is in motion)

Apparently a document with several propositions regarding the newer form of the Roman Rite has been submitted to the Holy Father for his approval. Some of the propositions deal with the use of Latin, communion in the hand, and the orientation of the priest.

This is all most encouraging. Opposition to the older form of the Roman Rite often goes hand-in-hand with an approach to the newer form that has little to do with the tradition of the Church and embraces the "hermeneutic of rupture".

Fr Edward Houghton RIP

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Regular commenter Red Maria sends the sad news of the death of Fr Edward Houghton. Please pray for the repose of his soul. The following announcement comes via Independent Catholic News:

From the Vicar General of Westminster Diocese:

It is with a profound sense of shock and sadness that we announce that Fr Ed Houghton was fatally injured in a road accident in North Yorkshire yesterday, Friday 21 August. He was forty years of age and had been a priest for just over one year. May he rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with Fr Ed's immediate family - his sisters and brother, at this time. We remember also the parish communities at Chiswick where he was Assistant Priest, and the Cathedral where he served his year as a Deacon.

Fr Ed was born in Preston and prior to studying for the priesthood worked as an English and Religious Education teacher at St Charles Sixth Form College in Ladbroke Grove. He had been a resident at Newman House when he was a student. Our prayers are with his…

ACN event with Bishop of Faisalabad

I am happy to pass on details of the following event which looks to be most interesting. Sadly, as with most Saturday events, I won't be able to go myself because of the parish schedule but I do recommend it to you.

Aid to the Church in Need
Westminster Event
"Standing Together in Faith"
Saturday 17 October 2009

The day commences at 10:30 with Sung Mass in Westminster Cathedral. Following registration His Grace, Archbishop Vincent Nichols will address the participants and lead us all in the Angelus. Speakers are : Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, Pakistan, Father Martin Edwards, ACN’s Ecclesiastical Assistant, Regina Lynch – Project Director, Kõnigstein, John Pontifex, Aid to the Church in Need UK, Head of Press and Information and Neville Kyrke-Smith, National Director of Aid to the Church in Need UK. The Event concludes with Prayer and Blessing at 15:45

Contact: Michael Cowie Mike@acnuk.org or phone 020 8661 5154 to secure your tickets

Why not also join us on 8th September…

"Gates of Hell" rap by Akalyte

Catholic rapper Akalyte has this on Matt 16.18. Rap is not really my cup of tea (don't look so surprised!) but I do rather like the way that the voice of Archbishop Fulton Sheen starts it off and then pops up now and again.

H/T Jane Teresa at My heart was restless

"Beauty for Truth's Sake"

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Stratford Caldecott has excelled himself in his latest book "Beauty for Truth's Sake. On the Re-enchantment of Education." (Brazos Press, Michigan) It is quite concise at 156 pages but ambitious in attempting to sketch out a manifesto for overcoming the fragmentary and fractured nature of modern education, split up into disciplines or subjects from which people choose - according to their enthusiasm, or a passing whim very often.

Caldecott invites us to return to the wisdom of the ancients but takes us further than the customary terminus a quo, pointing out that "before Socrates there was Pythagoras." Since the fragmentation of education is a denial of ultimate meaning, we need to be "re-enchanted" by having our eyes opened to the meaning and beauty of the cosmos. We have gained great power over created things but we have lost our confidence in the ability of the human mind to know the truth and to understand what it is that we control.

The chapter &quo…

Bishop Hopes takes Tablet to task

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See Damian Thompson:Westminster diocese attacks Tablet for stoking up 'culture wars' over Latin Mass

Several of us on the blogosphere drew attention to the attempt on the part of the Tablet to enlist Archbishop Nichols into its campaign against the usus antiquior and those priests who make it available for their people. Bishop Hopes points out that,In his message welcoming priests to the training conference provided by the Diocese of Westminster in conjunction with the Latin Mass Society, Archbishop Nichols expresses his gratitude to those priests who have given up their time to respond to a need in the Church today.Bishop Hopes also refutes the claim that the Archbishop was concerned with "potential schism" or that he was suggesting that the place of the usus antiquior is "necessarily marginal". He quite rightly points the finger at the Tablet for stoking up the "culture wars" from which they sanctimoniously profess to distance themselves.

Trying to keep up

There seem to be a number of important breaking stories this week and I haven't time to do more than list a few of them here in case you miss them on the other Catholic blogs.

Rorate Caeli has an English translation of a Bombshell of an Interview with Mgr Bartolucci, Maestro Perpetuo of the Sistine Chapel in which he talks about the liturgical tradition, participation, seminary formation, and "affected cecilianism" in music.

Also via Rorate Caeli, there is news of a forthcoming book by Mgr Brunero Gherardini, entitled "Vatican Council II: An Open Discussion." the book is to be published by Casa Mariana Editrice, the publishing house of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. (Article at Catholicism.org)

Chris Gillibrand at Cathcon, among many others, has picked up on the comments of Bishop Jean-Louis Brugues, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano. He speaks of a forthcoming guide to priestly formation which w…

Bishop Slattery turns to the East

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Along with many others, Fr Z has posted on the article by Bishop Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma in Eastern Oklahoma Catholic, explaining why he has returned to the practice of celebrating the Eucharistic liturgy ad orientem in his cathedral. Bishop Slattery gives a concise and readable justification of his decision. I especially liked the closing two paragraphs:This change ought not to be misconstrued as the Bishop “turning his back on the faithful,” as if I am being inconsiderate or hostile. Such an interpretation misses the point that, by facing in the same direction, the posture of the celebrant and the congregation make explicit the fact that we journey together to God. Priest and people are on this pilgrimage together.

It would also be a mistaken notion to look at the recovery of this ancient tradition as a mere “turning back of the clock.” Pope Benedict has spoken repeatedly of the importance of celebrating Mass ad orientem, but his intention is not to encourage celebrants to become…

Excellent leaflet from US Bishops

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The US Bishops' Conference Secretariat for Pro-Life activities has published a leaflet called Contraception: The Fine Print written by Susan Wills. It gives and honest and well documented account of the way in which the promotion of contraception leads to unintended pregnancies and a higher rate of sexually transmitted infections. The text concludes with a positive summary of the benefits of Natural Family Planning and, for single people, abstinence.

The leaflet gives a good clear summary of the truth about the contraception that is promoted to young people as though it were the gateway to consequence-free sexual activity.

Further information and references can be found at the "Contraception" page on the USCCB website.

H/T Robert Colquhoun at Love Undefiled

Resurgence - a UK Catholic political party

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Resurgence is a Catholic political party for the UK. As a priest it is not my place to urge you to join it - and I understand that some people take the view that we should work within existing parties. Nevertheless, I think that it is a most interesting initiative and deserves to be known about.

The organisation was founded with a declaration made at Mount St Bernard Abbey in 2005, and was registered as a political party in 2007. It has its roots in the ProLife Party which de-registered as a political party in 2004 and is now known as the ProLife Alliance. You can read the aims, prospectus, constitution etc. at the Resurgence website.

Spiritual Mothers of Priests

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In 2007, the Congregation for the Clergy published a document entitled Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity. It is largely a collection of reflections on the example of women who prayed particularly for priests.

Jane, who writes the blog Thoughts from an Oasis in French Catholicism, has taken up the idea of promoting Spiritual Maternity for priests with a dedicated blog Spiritual Mothers of Priests. She has been helped particularly by the advice and encouragement of Fr Mark of Vultus Christi who lives in the diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma and spends his time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, interceding for his brother priests. He has a helpful post: What can I do for the Year of the Priest?

It is a great source of joy and encouragement for priests to know that others are praying for them. It also motivates us to try to live a holy life in response to the generosity of others in their prayers and sacrifices. My warmest thanks, which I am sure …

Evangelium Conference report

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Earlier this month I wrote about the Evangelium Conference which I attended for the Saturday afternoon. Here is the News Release from the organisers:Second Evangelium Conference – ‘Inspirational’

The Second Evangelium Summer Conference has been an astounding success, filled to capacity with young people who described it as ‘a wonderful blend of the head and heart’, ‘inspirational’ and giving them ‘great hope for the future’.

The recent attacks of the ‘new atheists’, and others hostile to Catholic faith and morals, has made it more important than ever to equip young people, intellectually and spiritually, to proclaim and defend the Gospel in the modern world. Over the weekend 7th-9th August, the Evangelium Conference brought world-class, seasoned campaigners, philosophers and theologians together to share their experience with over 150 young people at the beautiful Reading Oratory School in Berkshire. Expert insights were given on a vast range of issues, including answering the militant …

New film - "St Cuthman of Steyning"

Another new film recently released is St Cuthman of Steyning, by Mary's Dowry Productions.



The story of St Cuthman's life is told simply with some glorious photography of the Sussex countryside where he lived. The humble Saxon Shepherd was noted for his trust in God's providence and for building the Church at Steyning; Ethelwulf, the father of King Alfred the Great was buried there. St Cuthman is usually shown with a one-wheeled cart in which his disabled mother sat while he pushed her on their travels through the countryside.

King Edward the Confessor gave the Church to the Benedictine Abbey of Fécamp; the monks transferred the saint's remains to their Abbey and devotion to him began to spread on the continent.

The film can be ordered from the Mary's Dowry Productions website, priced £2.99

Fr Nicholas Schofield wrote about The Story of St Cuthman on his blog some time ago.

New film - "The Human Experience"

Grassroots Films who produced deservedly popular short films "Fishers of Men" and "God in the Streets of New York City" have completed a new film called "The Human Experience". Here is the trailer:



Here is the Grassroots webpage for The Human Experience which has the trailer in high quality.

Wizard Divinum Officium site

Many thanks to Pastor in Valle for the link to this Divinum Officium site. You can select any calendar from 1570 to 1961, choose Latin only or have a facing translation in English or Magyar, and then select whichever hour you want. It is a Breviary-Head's paradise.

Merging Twitter and Facebook

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My friends on Facebook probably realise that I haven't been there much recently - apart from a flurry of activity during the past week or so. I have made a resolution to use it a little more but if you want to send me a message, please don't rely on my picking up things from FB.

Twitter has proved very useful. There are lots of leads to good stories there and it is fascinating to see the Catholic Herald taking shape as the week goes by! If you are thinking of getting onto Twitter you need to know that a third party application is pretty well essential. I installed TweetDeck after seeing that uber-tweeters like Luke Coppen use it. (I have just noticed that he also uses TwitterFon - must find out what that is.)

Today I discovered that you can use TweetDeck to post your tweets as updates to your Facebook status, thus killing two social networking chickens with the same stone - or something. Anyway it makes for less time on social networking sites and more time for being social. So…

Mutual enrichment in Frejus-Toulon

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Carlos Antonio Palad at Rorate Caeli reports on the Diocese of Frejus-Toulon. Next month, Bishop Dominique Rey will be ordaining two priests according to the usus antiquior of the Roman Rite. Both will be priests of the diocese. The diocese opens its doors to seminarians who wish to become priests of the diocese while continuing to prefer the usus antiquior.

The policy does not seem to have brought about the disastrous division that many might instinctively fear. As well as the two ordinations scheduled for September, Bishop Rey ordained 14 priests and 11 deacons in the newer form last June. That all sounds pretty healthy for a French diocese.

FSSP Venice

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Thanks to Fr Ray Blake, I have been looking through the website of the FSSP in Venice. Don Konrad zu Loewenstein FSSP has care of the Church of San Simòn Piccolo near the railway station. There are some photos from last Sunday's Mass at NLM (San Simeon Piccolo, Venice). The above photo is from the website - taken on the feast of St Mark.

As Fr Blake remarks, San Simòn seems to be the place for young Venetians. It is rather heartbreaking to realise that he is also probably right in describing the Church as "not that significant" in Venetian terms. Venice is one place in Italy that I have not yet visited: I'm rather keen to go there now. When I do, I think I'll ask them if I can take home one of their more ordinary Churches - perhaps one that they wouldn't really miss too much.

The FSSP Venice website is very well put together and it is the only website I can remember which has had background music that I have not turned off.

Usus antiquior news from Ireland

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The feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated at St Patrick’s Church, Donegall Street, Belfast with a programme including solemn Vespers and High Mass according to the usus antiquior. the Mass setting was Victoria's Missa O Quam Gloriosum, sung by the Schola Gregoriana of Belfast. The congregation of about 450 included many young people, some of whom had come from as far afield as Dublin. NLM has some photos of last year's Missa Cantata: Feast of the Assumption in Belfast, Northern Ireland

For the feast of the Assumption, there were five extraordinary form Masses across Ireland - it is most encouraging to hear of this growth of interest in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy in the classical form.

BriFili Stating

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Not said by Jesus:

Thanks for that one to BriFili Stating, a Filipino blogger who is studying Theology at St Andrew's University.

Blessed Cyprian Tansi Pilgrimage

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Iwene Tansi was born in 1903 at Igboezunu in Nigeria. When he was baptised at the age of nine, he received the name Michael. He worked as a catechist and teacher before entering the seminary. He was ordained a priest of the Onitsha diocese in 1937 at the age of 34. While serving as a priest in the diocese, his ministry was marked by great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and by spending long hours in the confessional. He also baptised the future Cardinal Arinze and inspired him to respond to a priestly vocation.

In 1950, Fr Tansi came to England to join the Cistericians of Strict Observance (Trappists) at Mount St Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire. He remained there until his death in 1964. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 22nd March 1998, in Nigeria.

In the year of his beatification, the first pilgrimage to honour him took place at the Abbey. Since then it has been held annually in Grace Dieu Manor; but this year the pilgrimage returns to the Abbey on Sat 29 August, beginning wi…

Tablet on Newman and Abortion

Earlier this month, the Tablet had an editorial article on John Henry Newman, suggesting that his Catholicism would be a divisive matter both ecumenically and for the nation, and that therefore the Beatification should be principally a celebration of Newman's "Englishness." The website for the cause of Newman's canonisation offers a response that is surely a model of restraint in the circumstances. The article includes this excellent paragraph on truth and peace:Must Newman’s Catholicism in fact be divisive? ‘Challenging’ seems a better word. Whatever we call it, however, we cannot evade Newman’s conviction that the Gospel puts ‘holiness before peace’, and makes the Church independent of every worldly configuration of power. Pope Benedict has recalled this imperative in Newman, his refusal of every secularising alternative so as to (in Newman’s own words) ‘detect and to approve the principle on which … peace is grounded in Scripture; to submit to the dictation of tru…

Old Mass and old breviary

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Some years ago, not long after beginning to say the classical form of the Roman Rite of Mass, I realised that there was quite a lot that went along with it. A little book "Clericus Devotus" which I consider one of my greatest treasures, demonstrated in its layout of daily devotions, and particularly in the examination of conscience, what was expected from a priest in terms of the life of prayer.

Soon, along with many other priests who say the older form of the Mass, I discovered the older form of the Divine Office. This is the focus of quite some controversy since Pope St Pius X made some radical revisions to the breviary and substantial "cuts" were made in the 1950s so that, amusingly, one of the titles widely sold by publishers of traditional liturgical books is Fr Hausmann's "Learning the New Breviary" which is actually an instruction manual for the 1961 breviary.

The revived interest in the older breviary has been reflected in some new publishing ve…

Dominican photographers

Many thanks to Godzdogz for news of an exhibition:Until the 12th of September, Sir John Soane's Museum in London will be hosting an exhibition entitled: Images from the Past: Rome in the Photography of Peter Paul Mackey, 1890-1901. Fr. Peter Paul Mackey O.P. was a son of the Province of England who was sent to Rome in 1881 to work on the Leonine edition of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. He stayed in Rome until his death in 1935. During his time in Rome he took many fine photographs which he donated to the British School in Rome. The collection provides an intriguing and fascinating glimpse of the Eternal city during this period.I hope to find time to go to this exhibition it sounds worthwhile in its own right, and I am always happy to find a good excuse to visit this lesser known but charming museum.

Mark adds in the post:On the subject of camera-loving friars, it seems that our very own fr. Lawrence has been caught by the paparazzi....Oops! I think that was me.

Yesterday's Assumption Mass

Mulier Fortis took photos at yesterday's Mass at Blackfen for the Feast of the Assumption. Here is a slide show video:

Franciscan Sisters usus antiquior solemn profession

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Jane Teresa, who writes the blog "My heart was restless" has been visiting the convent of the contemplative Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate at Lanhearne in Cornwall. She mentioned that she would have the opportunity to speak about her vocation with Fr Stefano Manelli, the founder and superior of the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

Last Tuesday, during her stay, two of the sisters were solemnly professed and Jane Teresa has a set of photographs with commentary. The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate tend to go to the usus antiquior (some now come regularly to the 10.30am Mass at Blackfen on Sunday) and the solemn profession was celebrated according to the older form of the Roman-Seraphic Rite. Many thanks indeed to Jane Teresa for capturing some of the solemn moments and providing some texts from the ceremonies.

I have never been able to attend a solemn religious profession and was really quite thrilled by this response from the celebrant to the formula of professionEt eg…

More on Fr Mildew's Scotney blog picnic

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Earlier this month, I mentioned a trip to Scotney Castle organised by Fr Mildew. (See Scotney Blog Picnic for some links to Father's posts on Scotney Castle.)

The trip is on Saturday 22nd August. Bring a picnic. Fr Mildew will show people the famous hiding hole from which Fr Blount SJ made a miraculous escape in 1582.

Further details on his blog including travel arrangements.

I'm very sorry not to be able to make this trip - we have a heavy schedule in the parish on Saturdays.

Creative Commons 101 for Catholics

Jeffrey Tucker at the NLM has done a good job of explaining what a Creative Commons licence is and why it is necessary for Catholics to use such licences, especially (though not exclusively for musical works: Creative Commons for Catholics.

Opuscula

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If you are interested in social teaching, and in particular, the question of continuity-rupture in this context, you will be interested in Opuscula, the blog written by K Gurries. For example, his post On Globalization and Political Authority analyses the concept of globalisation in Caritas in Veritate and concludes with a survey of papal statements on International Order, asking the question "Rupture or Continuity?"

More recently, there is a post on The Intervention of Mgr. Dupanloup (Part I) looking at how the great Bishop of Orleans defended the encyclical letter of Blessed Pius IX Quanta Cura in the face of fierce hostility in the press.

St Bernadette and Bartres

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St Bernadette first spent time at the village of Bartres, about three miles from Lourdes, when she was a baby. An accident had prevented her mother from breast-feeding her, and a lady in Bartres, Marie Lagues, who had just lost a baby, agreed to wet-nurse St Bernadette.

Her second stay was when she was 13, from the summer of 1857. St Bernadette returned to the Lagues farm to help with the housework, looking after two young children, and the sheep and goats that were kept in a field about five minutes' walk outside the village. Above is the sheepfold where St Bernadette used to shelter the sheep. Below, in a photo taken on the walk back from the sheepfold, you can see how the Church of St John the Baptist, dominates the scene.

The view from outside the Church across the fields is impressive:

Inside, the Church is quite beautiful:

Here are close-ups of the three panels above the High Altar: on the left, the Visitation:

In the centre, the Baptism of Our Lord:

and on the right, the head of …

Bishop Cunningham and the torchlight procession

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One of the highlights of a visit to Lourdes is to take part in the evening Torchlight Procession. Beginning at 9pm, it is still light during most of the summer but during the hour of the procession it gradually becomes dark so that at the end, there is a sea of candlelight at all the choruses of "Ave Maria."

This week sees the pilgrimage of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, led by their recently ordained Bishop, Seamus Cunningham. This evening, Bishop Cunningham gave the Pontifical Blessing at the end of the procession. The picture is rather blurred, I'm afraid but I did take a video clip and will put that onto YouTube when I get home.

Daily Blessed Sacrament Procession

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It has just dawned on me what a wonderful thing it is to be in a place where there is a Blessed Sacrament Procession every day. Historically, many of the miracles, both attested and informal, have happened during the Benediction of the sick at the end of this procession.

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