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Showing posts from May, 2011

Margaret Clare ‘Meg’ Kane - Hello world!

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Gordon Kane writes to me with the happy news that Margaret Clare ‘Meg’ Kane came out to look around the big wide world at 3.39am today in what turned out to be an unplanned home birth. Mum and baby are doing well but Mum (and I expect Dad too) are looking forward to a little sleep.

Warmest congratulations!

Looking forward to a week of devotions, ice cream, and buffoonery in Lourdes

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Low Mass, cup of tea, board the coach, go to Heathrow Terminal 5, aeroplane to Toulouse, two hours in the coach, and then ... Lourdes!

This week sees the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, now held jointly by Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, and St Mary's Chislehurst. We have lots of babies and young children this year, so I expect that there will be plenty of opportunity for ice cream, buffoonery and catechesis along with the serious business of singing Mass, kissing relics, bathing in the waters and following in the footsteps of that most engaging Saint, Bernadette Soubirous.

We will be staying in the Grand Hotel D'Angleterre in the Rue St Joseph (opposite the Hotel Moderne, near the St Joseph gate.) Our Masses in Lourdes are as follows:
Tuesday 6pm - St Gabriel Chapel (Low Mass with catechetical instruction for children)Wednesday 11am - Parish Church at Bartres (Missa Cantata)Thursday 10am - Crypt of Lourdes Parish Church (Missa Cantata)Friday 10.30am - St Gabriel Chapel (Low M…

High Mass at Ramsgate

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Solemn High Mass in the stunning Church that was Pugin's own favourite: another experience of the most beautiful thing this side of heaven.

Marking the close of the St Augustine Week at Ramsgate, Fr Holden, the Parish Priest, arranged for High Mass to be celebrated in the Church of St Augustine, the church built by Augustus Welby Pugin as his ideal Church, constructed according to the "true principles of Christian architecture."

The week had included various lectures and a sermon on St Augustine (by Fr Nicholas Schofield) so I thought it best to draw out some spiritual themes for the sermon at the Mass. I focussed on time, Rome, and worship. St Augustine was only in England for seven or eight years, yet he converted the King and set Catholicism on a firm footing. If only we could use our time so effectively! He helped the English Church to consolidate a unity with Rome that was unbroken until the adulterous rebellion of Henry VIII. He also helped England towards a unity…

Fr Tony Pyle RIP

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Fr Tony Pyle was my predecessor at the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen. He was parish priest for 14 years, so I have now nearly caught up with him. On Friday, his funeral was celebrated at Blackfen by Archbishop Peter Smith, assisted by Archbishop Michael Bowen, Bishop Howard Tripp, Bishop Patrick Lynch and about 30 priests of the Archdiocese. Do please remember Fr Tony in your prayers.

I asked people in the parish to lend me photos of Fr Tony. The above is from 1994 - the two girls were in my youth group three years later. One is now working in the City and the other is a highly respected teacher. I've tagged them on Facebook :-)

Happy St Philip's Day!

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Especial greetings to all our English Oratorians.

Hilary White has a good observation about what happens when you entrust yourself to St Philip:
He has no qualms whatever about taking your life and holding it upside down and shaking it until all your stuff has fallen out of the pockets. When he rights you again, everything will be better, but different.Please remember Hilary in your prayers as she is going through a rough time healthwise at the moment.

Hilary's post reminded us of a good set of photos on the Transalpine Redemptorists' blog from 2009. On the last day of their pilgrimage, they celebrated Mass at St Philip's altar in the Chiesa Nuova and had a tour of St Philip's rooms, courtesy of Brother Edward of the London Oratory.

You might like to read my sermon from a few years ago: St Philip, a saint for saints, or one given by Fr Nicholas Schofield: This is the Saint of Cheerfulness and Kindness.

Arab Christian flashmob in Beirut

You may well be among the nearly 33 million people who have viewed the video of the Hallelujah chorus flashmob. This one, an Easter celebration flashmob of Arab Christians, comes from a shopping Mall in Beirut and has, perhaps, a slightly more "edgy" feel.

H/T Betalegium

James and Ella's new baby boy

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Congratulations to James and Ella Preece on the birth of their new baby boy. (Photo from James's blog Catholic and Loving It.)

L'Osservatore photos of last Sunday's Pontifical Mass

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L'Osservatore Romano has hundreds of photos from last Sunday's Pontifical High Mass at the altar of the chair in St Peter's. The set is headed Pontificale in Rito Romano Antico. There are some very fine shots there. It does rather look as though the Osservatore photographer (Sig. Francesco Sforza) enjoyed having something so beautiful to photograph, with such a magnificent setting, and with such a variety of clergy, religious, and laity in attendance.

Furthermore, the presence of four Cardinals is enough to convince any Roman of the way the wind is blowing...

H/T Forest Murmurs and Messa in Latino

High Mass in Regensburg

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Shawn Tribe of NLM posted the other day about the general assembly of the German usus antiquior society, Pro Missa Tridentina in Regensburg. Included in the programme was a Solemn Mass celebrated in the Alte Kapelle; the celebrant was Fr. Axel Maußen, District Superior of FSSP in Germany. The photo makes me want all the more to go and visit southern Germany and celebrate Mass in one of their heartachingly beautiful Churches.

Interestingly, there was a lecture by Dr. Andreas Wollbold of the Department of Pastoral Theology of the University of Munich on "The Classical Roman Liturgy and the Future of the Church." It would be interesting to read that.

3 million today

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I remember being impressed by Pope Benedict's gesture of kindness towards the Cardinals after the last Conclave. He invited them back to the Domus Sanctae Marthae for champagne and cake. That is a good combination without being too extravagant. So I copied the Holy Father this evening by providing a glass of champagne and some chocolate cake for the small group that came to my private Mass.

Many thanks to all of you who have read my blog, apologies to anyone I may have offended, and solidarity to fellow bloggers. Some of you have fewer hits, some of you have vastly more; the important thing is to remember that the good Lord knows what we write and we need to appear before Him one day.

Theology of the Body Symposium at Twickenham

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There is to be a Theology of the Body Symposium at St. Mary's University College, Twickenham from 3-5 June. Janet Smith is among the list of speakers. For further information, see the post at Catholic With Attitude.

While you are at Shaun's blog, I recommend his post on a recent pilgrimage that he made to the home of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.

High Mass at Flitwick this Sunday

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Fr de Malleray of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter celebrates Mass each week at the Sacred Heart Church in Flitwick at 5pm, thanks to the kind hospitality of the parish priest, Canon Denis McSweeney

. This Sunday, 29 May, the Mass will be a Solemn High Mass which is something special for the community there. If you are within reach (Flitwick is just north of Luton, near J12 of the M1) then you might like to join them.

Nuncio to Belgium celebrates Pontifical Mass at ICKSP Church

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Archbishop Berloco, Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium, celebrated Pontifical Mass yesterday in the extraordinary form at the Church of the Convent of Saint Anne Boitsfort which is under the care of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. He also confirmed more than 30 children and gave first Holy Communion to 25 others. As Fr Hudson ICKSP noted, the children at his school are accustomed to the usus antiquior and would feel lost elsewhere. I understand that the Nuncio was very happy to celebrate Mass in the older form. The Church was completely packed and a video relay was provided in an adjacent room.

Fr Hudson has started a blog for the Church: Eglise du Couvent Sainte Anne Boitsfort- Institute of Christ the King, Brussels. There are more photos of the occasion there, and I recommend that this would be a good blog to include on your blogroll and feed reader.

Pilgrimage in the steps of St Charles Borromeo

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Fr Clifton (aka Fr Mildew) is hoping to lead a Pilgrimage "In the Steps of St Charles Borromeo" in October. Pax Travel have told him that if there are fewer than ten people, they will cancel. Father will probably do the trip anyway but it would be helpful for him, I'm sure, if he did not have to organise the travel arrangements as well as being spiritual director for the pilgrimage.

So if you are able to get away from Monday 10th October until Saturday 15th, why not join him? The cost is £699, flying from London to Milan. Further details at Fr Mildew's blog.

(The above statue is in the magnificent Church of St Charles in Hull which I visited a couple of years ago.)

UE 31: suggested solutions for well-disposed Bishops

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Does Universae Ecclesiae n.31 really make it impossible to use the older form of ordination?

The other day I looked at UE 19 which has given many people cause to worry that they will be quizzed about their loyalty to the Novus Ordo when asking for the usus antiquior. The solution there is simply to refer to what the instruction actually says. Legitimacy does not mean anything other than lawfulness, legality, licitness and cannot be stretched to mean anything more than that.

UE 31 presents a different problem and has also exercised many people. Here is the text:
31. Dumtaxat Institutis Vitae Consecratae et Societatibus Vitae Apostolicae Pontificiae Commissioni Ecclesia Dei subditis, et his ubi servatur usus librorum liturgicorum formae extraordinariae, licet Pontificali Romano anni 1962 uti ad Ordines maiores et minores conferendos.

31. Only in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life which are under the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and in those which use th…

Ghastly new statue of Blessed John Paul in Rome

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Fr Z has posted today on a new statue of Blessed John Paul II that has been erected in the Piazza Dei Cinquecento in front of Rome's Termini Station. The Romans in the video below are, by and large, not happy: their looks of glum disappointment are hilarious. I especially liked the long peroooooooo of the lady who was trying to be polite but couldn't find the right words.



At Fr Z's there is a poll with a choice of 1-5 ("Love it" to Ghastly"). At the moment 80% of people are voting "Ghastly".

Meanwhile an article at the 06blog.it, quotes a Roman lady saying "ci farà fare brutta figura con i turisti" (it will make us look really bad with the tourists.) They also have a poll - a sondaggio - where you get the chance to vote "No, fa veramente schifo" which currently has 70% of the vote.

If you want to be more intellectual and deep than the Plebs Romana, you can take a cue from the Mayor of Rome who said that the statue is "stri…

Massacre on Papa Stronsay

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The Transalpine Redemptorists have waged war on the greenfly. Their elite force of ladybirds travelled with field rations (Cheerios). On their arrival, Br Jean Marie FSSR let them loose on the enemy in the greenhouse.

Too much worry about UE n.19

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People have been worried about the provision of Universae Ecclesiae n.19 and I thought it might be helpful to look at this more closely. First let us examine the text itself in Latin and in the English translation:
19. Christifideles celebrationem secundum formam extraordinariam postulantes, auxilium ne ferant neque nomen dent consociationibus, quae validitatem vel legitimitatem Sanctae Missae Sacrificii et Sacramentorum secundum formam ordinariam impugnent, vel Romano Pontifici, Universae Ecclesiae Pastori quoquo modo sint infensae.

19. The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.Here is another translation which is a little more slavishly accurate (among other things, recognising where quoquo modo is in the sent…

Oxford, Jansenism, Newman, and Blessed Lucy of Narnia

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It is always a great pleasure to be invited to speak to the Oxford University Newman Society (OUNS) and to visit my Alma Mater. As a past OUNS President (Hilary 1979) I am a Life Member, and apparently, according to the Constitution, still a member of the Committee. I must go along sometime to propose a footling rule change to the Standing Orders. (Or perhaps not.)

Last night I spoke about Jansenism, Dissent, and the Liturgy. (In due course I will publish the paper on the internet but, since it is a subject which requires careful distinctions, I will need to check the text carefully when I have the time to do so.)

It was good to see the OUNS thriving. The dinner before the meeting is always a great opportunity to pick up on the kind of atmosphere in which the talk will be received. As ever, it was stimulating but a little intimidating; very bright young people were mixed with graduates who could also ask searching questions and, as ever, at least one D.Phil student who happened to be…

The meaning of abstinence and power-shunning

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Photo credit: Mike Johnson - TheBusyBrain.com
The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales met last week in Leeds; here is a link to the Plenary Resolutions. The one which has attracted most comment re-establishes the practice of abstinence from meat on Fridays.

This resolution has been widely welcomed and I find it very encouraging. The reasons given by the Bishops are set out clearly:
The Bishops wish to re-establish the practice of Friday penance in the lives of the faithful as a clear and distinctive mark of their own Catholic identity. They recognise that the best habits are those which are acquired as part of a common resolve and common witness. It is important that all the faithful be united in a common celebration of Friday penance.I was interested to look up in some old catechetical books the sort of reasons that used to be given for Friday abstinence. A good, succinct summary is given in the Catechismus Catholicus of Cardinal Gasparri. I have the 8th edition which was pub…

Universae Ecclesiae - catching up with everyone else

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Universae Ecclesiae: a good thing. Let's get that out of the way first. I'm very pleased for various reasons and will give a few in a moment. First, though, let me point you to some good posts on this which have been carefully written while I have been swanning about in Rome. Non blogger bloggers have been favoured today since blogger has apparently been down for 24 hours. I was going to claim that I had asked google to switch it off until I got home, but some people would not get the joke and would send papal ninjas to shoot me, so let me say clearly that I had nothing to do with it.

Naturally Fr Z has covered this in considerable depth throughout the day. He has helpfully posted a list of RECENT POSTS about “Universae Ecclesiae” which will be updated. If you want a good summary of the document with well-considered observations, see his major post on it. Of particular interest for those in England and Wales are his comments on what Archbishop Nichols said today. There is also…

Usus antiquior Mass daily at St Peter's 7am

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Fr Mark Withoos, who works at the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, normally celebrates Mass at the altar of the Transfiguration at St Peter's at 7am. (Normally - the chap may have to be away once in a while.) Above you can see a plan of the Basilica with the altar circled in red.

To get to the Mass, you will have to be at St Peter's Square early - I suggest at least 15 minutes before Mass starts. The Basilica opens to the public at 7am but you need to go through "airport style" security to get in. Then simply walk down aisle on the left and the altar is in front of you.

If you are a priest visiting Rome, you can celebrate Mass at St Peter's if you get there between 7am and about 8am. If you want to celebrate the usus antiquior, you could ask for the altar of the Transfiguration. If you are lucky enough to get it, there are some framed altar cards and a 1962 missal in the cupboard just off the gospel side of the altar. However it is worth bringing a travelling…

In the right place at the right time after all

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Yesterday I suppose I wasn't holding out too much hope of getting any inside story on Universae Ecclesiae. I was too pessimistic: I should know by now that you can never entirely predict the last 24 hours in Rome.


In fact, in a small way, I became part of the story because yesterday I had lunch with David Kerr (above), a good Catholic journalist and friend, who now works for CNA. Some people in Rome are very nervous about blogs but, of course, journalists change the game completely, so once we were halfway through a half bottle of the vino della casa and fortified by a delicious plate of penne all' arrabiata, David brought out his little recording machine and asked me for my views on the impending document. I managed to mention both the Tablet and my take on the "message to the Bishops". Hush my mouth :-) (See: In Rome, anticipation for a new document on Latin Mass, due out tomorrow.)

First thing today I met Yvonne Windsor and Marygold Turner of the Latin Mass Socie…

Universae Ecclesiae - I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time

You might think that being in the Vatican at the moment, I am superbly placed for an early copy or Universae Ecclesiae, the Instruction on Summorum Pontificum which is to be published tomorrow. In fact, relying on borrowed computers and the pace of life at the heart of the Church, I will probably lag behind every other blogger in the world.

Fr Zuhlsdorf has described the document as a "No Hitter" which sounds negative to those who are not familiar with baseball. I find via Wikipedia that in fact a no-hitter is a very good thing. Using a dynamic equivalence approach to translation, I suppose I would have to say it was something like "middle stump" or "back of the net."

Off now to dinner in the Centro Storico with some people. If I were to identify them on the blog they would have to shoot me. I am trying not to eat too much. I had a relatively frugal lunch in the Borgo Pio today with David Kerr of CNA who wrote an excellent article the other day about the …

The privilege of a quiet St Peter's

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Yesterday morning I said my Mass at St Peter's and was fortunate enough to get the lovely altar of the Transfiguration. This is where Fr Mark Withoos, an official of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei usually says his Mass shortly after 7am each day.

As well as the magnificent mosaic of the Transfiguration, the altar now has an added interest because the remains of Blessed Pope Innocent XI are housed beneath it. The blessed Pope was removed to make way for the newly blessed Pope John Paul II:


On Wednesday, the Basilica is empty save for priests celebrating Mass and a few people with them. It is a day for the Sampietrini to clean confessionals, polish bits of marble and generally spruce things up while the pilgrims are waiting for the General Audience outside. It was an opportunity for me to take some photos.


I forgot to bring my flickr password so these are low resolution but I hope to fill up my "St Peter's" set when I get home.


Here is a view of the Piazza wi…

The Seven Storey Sacristy

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The north side of the central part of St Peters is still covered in scaffolding. Above you can see a picture which shows how clean and sparkling the Basilica will look like when the works are complete. Speaking to a Vatican Vigile (policeman) yesterday, I understand that it should not be too much longer for this part.

Next to the Basilica is the magnificent Sacristy. I have the not entirely frivolous idea of writing a spiritual book with the title "The Seven Storey Sacristy"

Visit to the tomb of Blessed John Paul II

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Always on my visit to the Basilica of St Peter, I say the Pater and Credo at the tomb of St Peter with the intention of gaining the plenary indulgence. I also remembered you, my readers, this morning at the tomb.

Then I went to say a prayer at the altar which now houses the body of Blessed John Paul II. I didn't have my camera with me, but tomorrow I will get some pictures of my own. At the Vatican bookshop I managed to find some good holy cards of the new Beatus to give to the altar servers when I get back.

Sic transit gloria mundi

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I'm about to call for a cab to take me to the station as I'm off to Rome for a few days. I may visit the Roman curia (above). Looking through some photos of Rome, I found this one which, I think, illustrates well the cry that used to be uttered by a Franciscan during the ceremony of coronation of a new Pope:


Sic transit gloria mundi
I will remember all blog readers at the tomb of St Peter. I hope to get time and internet access to post a few things during the week.

He trusted in her... and changed the world

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Another great video from Spain. Viva El Cristo Rey!

Bishop of Toowoomba reveals Pope Benedict's decisive action

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Over the past year, there have been three announcements of Bishops being relieved from the pastoral care of their dioceses. Last August, Bishop Scanavino of Orvieto was removed, and last month, Bishop Jean-Claude Makaya Loemba was removed from the Diocese of Pointe-Noire, Congo. The latest case, earlier this week, was Bishop Morris, relieved of the pastoral care of the Diocese of Toowoomba, Australia.

In a pastoral letter that he wrote for Advent 2006, Bishop Morris argued that the Church should be open to ordaining women and married men, to reinstating priests who had left the active ministry, and to recognise the validity of Anglican, Lutheran and Uniting Church orders. It is thought that such statements were not unrelated to his removal by Pope Benedict.

In the video clip above, Bishop Morris responds to his removal from office by saying "I'm fine within myself; my sadness is for the community..." which more or less indicates that he has no regret for his dissent fro…

Pro-Life Vigil 28 May

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This in today from the 40 Days for Life Team. It's a Saturday and so I can't make it myself because of the parish Saturday schedule, but I do encourage you to go if you can.
Pro-life vigil in honour of Our Lady
28th May 2011

Consecration and reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary & prayers for an end to abortion, in May the month especially dedicated to Our Lady & to honour the work of Blessed Pope John Paul II in building a culture of Life!

Prayer vigil outside BPAS abortion clinic 26-27 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HP
Start 8.30am. Ends 1pm.
Full police cooperation.
You may join for all or part of the vigil.

Contact: Daniel Blackman (40 days for Life)

SSPX welcomes Ordinariate converts

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This notice was posted today at the USA District of the Society of St Pius X:
GOOD NEWS:
900 Anglicans become Catholic at Easter

5-3-2011

While celebrating the Paschal season’s glad tidings of joy, it is appropriate that we relay the good news of 900 Anglicans converting to Catholicism on Easter, a traditional time when converts are received into the Church. This encouraging number is all the more so when we consider that it included 61 former Anglican ministers.

Despite some reservations about the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus and the personal ordinariate that has been erected for such converts from Anglicanism, nonetheless we genuinely rejoice to hear of their recent conversion and sincerely welcome them as new members of the Mystical Body of Christ. May they unceasingly turn to their ordinariate’s patroness, Our Lady of Walsingham, for assistance in the restoration of the Faith of their Catholic ancestors, whose fervent devotion to the Blessed Mary Ever Virgin once c…

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