25 July 2015

Ninth Sunday After Pentecost 1863

26 SUNDAY Ninth after Pentecost. (Feast of Devotion) St ANNE, Mother of the BVM, greater double. Second prayers and Last Gospel of the Sunday. White. Second Vespers of the feast, with commemoration of  the Sunday, St Leo II, Pope Confessor, and St Pantaleon, Martyr. [In Diocese of Plymouth, instead of St Leo II the commemoration is of St Basil (antiphon O Doctor), and in Diocese of Salford, of St Apollinaris.  In Diocese of Shrewsbury, second Vespers are of the Feast of St ANNE, with commemoration of the Sunday and of St Pantaleon, Martyr.]

27 Monday. St Leo II, Pope Confessor, semidouble (transferred from 28 June). Second Prayers of St Pantaleon, Martyr. Third prayers A Cunctis. White. [In Diocese of Plymouth, St Basil, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double (transferred from 14 June. Second prayers of St Pantaleon, Martyr. Creed. White. In Diocese of Salford St Apollinaris, Bishop Martyr, double (transferred from 23 July. Second prayers of St Pantaleon. Red. In Diocese of Shrewsbury St Pantaleon, Martry, simple. Second prayers A Cunctis. Third prayers Fidelium (for the dead). Fourth prayers for the Bishop. Red.]

28 Tuesday. Sts Nazarius, Celsus, Victor, Martyrs, and St Innocent, Pope Confessor, semidouble. Second prayers  A cunctis. Third prayers at the choice of the priest. Red.

29 Wednesday. St Martha, Virgin, semidouble. Second prayers of Sts Felix, Pope, Simplicius, Faustin, and Beatrice, Martyrs. Thitd prayers A Cunctis. White. [In Diocese of Nottingham fourth prayers for the Bishop.]

30 Thursday. Of the Blessed Sacrament, semidouble. Second prayers A Cunctis.Third prayers at the choice of the priest. White. [In the Diocese of Plymouth, St Margaret, Widow, semidouble (transferred from 10 June). Second prayers of Sts Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs. Third prayers A Cunctis. White. In Diocese of Salford, St Leo II, Pope Confessor, semidouble (transferred from 28 June). Second prayers of Sts Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs. Third prayers A Cunctis. White.]

31 Friday.  St Ignatius, Confessor Doctor. White. Abstinence.

1 Saturday. St Peter's Chains, greater double. Second prayers of St Paul, Apostle. Third prayers of the Holy Machabees, martyrs. Creed. Preface of the Apostles. White.

Another week of catching up in the dioceses which have had something of their own to celebrate recently.  But everything will sort itself out before Advent.

The feast of St Anne, the mother of Our Lady, was once a Holyday of Obligation, but has been reduced to a Feast of Devotion, though as it falls on a Sunday, everybody will be able to celebrate it.

The feast of the Chains of St Peter is, of course, the feast of the Dedication of the Church of St Peter in Rome in which the chains which bound him are kept. We can venerate as relics the chains in which St Peter was bound and use them as a mental focus to imagine ourselves in his position, as much as we can imagine him in them.

At Holywell, in Pantasaph, Flintshire, St David's Church and Monastery is home to the Capuchin Fathers. Very Rev Fr Seraphin is the Guardian, and the Rev Frs Beneventus, Eugene and Bonaventure form the rest of the Community.  Mass on Sundays and Holydays is at 8.00, and Solemn Mass with sermon is at 10.30. Compline, Instruction and Benediction is at 3.30 pm. On weekdays, Conventual Mass is at 6.30; fixed Mass is at 8.00; Catechism is at 2.30; and Vespers, Sermon and Benediction is at 3.30.  Rosary and Litany of the BVM daily at 6.00 pm.

This week's picture is from 1910 and shows the quality of decoration Catholics had come to expect in their churches and chapels.

20 July 2015


I posted this some years ago. Think of my reposting it as a contribution to prayers for the Synod.  Maybe think of it also as a set of things that heterosexuals should get their minds around before criticising homosexuals. Pray for purity. Think how God blesses the pure in spirit.

If being pure was easy, there wouldn't be
So many anonymous fathers
So many single mothers
So many betrayed husbands
So many cheated wives
So many abandoned children
So many immature engagements
So many wounding affairs
So many casual encounters
Such a cult of eroticism
Such sexual violence
Such shame of virginity
Such credulity
And such brazenness disguised as love.

It isn't easy to be pure in the absence of Jesus and Mary.
When responsible fatherhood is absent,
When the miracle of motherhood, accepted and wanted, is absent,
Or when love for children is absent,
Somebody ends up being just something for somebody else.
Sexuality without God is a disaster.
Sexuality with God is a Blessing.

Fr. Zezinho

18 July 2015

Eigth Sunday After Pentecost 1863

19 SUNDAY Seventh after Pentecost. St Vincent of Paul Confessor, double. Second prayers and Last Gospel of the Sunday. White. Second Vespers of the feast, to the little Chapter, thence of St Jerome Aemilian, Confessor (Meruit supremos in the hymn) with commemoration of St Camillus, the Sunday, and of St Margaret, Virgin Martyr.

20 Monday. St Jerome Aemilian, Confessor, double. Second Prayers of St Margaret, Virgin Martyr. White.

21 Tuesday. St Henry, Emperor, semidouble. Second prayers of St Praxedes, Virgin. Third prayers A cunctis. White.

22 Wednesday. St Mary Magdalen, double. Creed. White.

23 Thursday. St Apollinaris, Bishop Martyr, double. Second prayers of St Liborius, Pope Confessor. Red. [In the Diocese of Salford, the Octave of the BVM, double. Second prayers of St Liborius. Creed. Preface of the BVM. White.]

24 Friday.  St Alexius, Confessor, semidouble. Second prayers and last Gospel of the Vigil of St James. Third prayers of St Christina, Virgin Martyr. White. Abstinence.

25 Saturday. (Festival of Devotion) St JAMES, Apostle, double of the second class. Second prayers (in Low Mass only) of St Christopher, Martyr. Creed. Preface of the Apostles. Red. [In Diocese of Salford third prayers for the Bishop.]

¡Santiago y cierra España! Saturday 25 July is the feast of Spain's Patron.  Isn't it funny that nobody ever tried to move around the feasts of the principal patrons of the Catholic countries.

St James being an Apostle, his feast has a Vigil, though in England and Wales it is outranked by the feast of St Alexius: it is important enough, however, that its Gospel will be read as the Last Gospel on the day. You can imagine Spanish priests in England and Wales begging not to have to do the parish Mas so they could say a votive Mass of the Vigil!

St Mary Magdalene wasn't labelled as "Penitent" until after Pius X's reforms of the early twentieth century.  I imagine somebody thought a label was needed: she wasn't a virgin, a bishop, an abbess, a Pope, or a doctor, so somebody thought "Let's call her a Penitent".  Well, fair enough, it is as a penitent that she is easily portrayed, but her penitence is actually a confession of faith. In 1863 St Mary Magdalene would have been held up as a female saint for men particularly to venerate: it was men, in their sinfulness, who had reduced her to what she was, but she could intercede for and support the men who wanted to stop reducing other women to the same abuse of which she was the victim (though that probably isn't the vocabulary of an 1863 priest).

The Nidaros Ordo reminded me that I missed last week a feast which had a tenuous hold in England: it wasn't celebrated at all in 1863; became proper to Salford and then seems to have fallen away there, and in 1910 was celebrated in Middlesbrough and Nottingham on 15 July: the Division (or the Dispersal) of the Holy Apostles.  This is the feast of Evangelisation, of Missions: it commemorates Christ ordering the Apostles to go and make disciples of all nations. It would be a splendid feast to revive.

The Parish of St Anne in Sutton, St Helens, is served by the Passionist Fathers.  The Very Reverend Father Bernadine of the Sacred Heart of Mary is the Rector, and the community is composed of Father Alban of St Anthony (Vicerector), Fr Joseph of the Seven Dolours, Fr Patrick of the Virgin Mary, Fr Joseph of St Bernard, Fr Clement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Fr Alphonsus, and Fr Paul Mary.  Mass on Sundays and Holydays is at 8.00 and 10.30.  Benediction is at 3.00 pm, and a Sermon with catechesis is at 6.00 (5.00 on Holydays).  First Mass on weekdays is at 6.00 am.   

Whoever named Fr Alphonsus wasn't on the job that day!

In St Anne's Church are buried Blessed Dominic Barbieri, and two Passionists whose causes are open in Rome: Fr Ignatius Spencer, 3xGreat Uncle of Princess Diana, and Elizabeth Prout, in religion Mother Mary Joseph of Jesus. (The Passionists, when they had their eye in, were pretty good at naming themselves.) Imagine: if we prayed hard enough, we could have three saints in one English parish church.

11 July 2015

Seventh Sunday After Penetecost 1863

12 SUNDAY Seventh after Pentecost. St John Gualbert, Abbot Confessor Doctor, double. Second prayers and Last Gospel of the Sunday. Third prayers of Sts Nabor and Felix Martyrs. White. Second Vespers of the feast, with commemoration of the Sunday of St Anaclete Pope Martyr. [In the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle Plenary Indulgence.]

13 Monday. St Anaclete Pope Martyr, semidouble. Second Prayers A cunctis. Third prayers of the priest's choice. Red.

14 Tuesday. St Bonaventure, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double. Creed. White.

15 Wednesday. The Translation of St Swithin, Bishop Confessor, double. White.

16 Thursday. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, greater double. Creed. Preface of the BVM. White. [In Diocese of Salford, Patron of the Diocese, double of the First Class with an Octave, during which second prayers, Creed, and Preface of the BVM.]

17 Friday.  The Translation of St Osmund, Bishop Confessor, double. White. Abstinence.

18 Saturday. St Camillus de Lellis, Confessor, double. Second prayers of Sts Symphorosa and her Seven Sons, Martyrs. White.

Two translations this week: a most Catholic feast. And the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel shows how what some of us imagine to be God's Own Diocese celebrates His Blessed Mother as its Patron.  This is a very English week in the Calendar, or, rather, this was a very English week in the Calendar.  St Osmund had disappeared even from the English Supplement before the Second World War, and St Swithun was by then only really celebrated in Birmingham and Portsmouth, and even then Birmingham used a different date. It is interesting to note that the English Missal, about which Fr Hunwicke has been writing recently, seems to have replaced St Osmund by the Emperor St Henry just as the Roman Missal had.

The Parish of St Ann and St Mary Magdalene on the Island of Alderney is served by the Rev P H Van de Voorde and the Abbé Jean Déuis.  Mass on Sundays is at 8.30 and 10.00.  Catechism is at 2.00. Vespers, Instruction and Solemn Benediction is at 3.00. There is a special service of Rosary, Instruction and Benediction for the troops at 6.00. Every evening at 6.00 the devotions of the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular are celebrated. Stations of the Cross are every Friday evening at 7.00. In Advent and Lent there is special instruction on Thursdays. In May, the Rosary is followed by Instruction and Benediction at 7.00 pm. There are Confraternities of the Immaculate Heart of the BVM for the Conversion of Sinners, and of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The advertisement pages of the Catholic Directory are always interesting.

09 July 2015

The Thousandth Post

According to Blogger's stats, this is the thousandth post on this blog in the nine years I have been running it, so I thought it might be worth a drop of introspection.  

Like a few others, I came to Blogger from the forum which was maintained by The Universe. I think I was probably active on it from 2002-2006, and it was there that I met the power of the Internet for the propagation of the Faith, and of matters related to the propagation of the Faith.

It was a heady time: before Summorum Pontificum, while CMO'C was still Archbishop in Westminster, before those infused with the Spirit of Vatican II had learned that the Internet could be ignored.  Here, in this anarchic counter-cultural medium, the forces of Reaction were gathering: meeting, arguing, discussing, grouping.  The forum wasn't enough, however: it was, well, a forum: a forum with an immense range of subjects, and that meant that the channels for discussion were often clogged and real debate was difficult.  It is a matter of great credit to the Editor, Joe Kelly, that he allowed his paper to host the first gathering point for what would become the Catholic Blogosphere in England and Wales, and that, even if he was not totally comfortable with what those using his forum were using it for, he didn't close it down, at least not until it had outlived its usefulness to the community which used it.  

I often wonder where Carlo-who coined the wonderfully useful catch-all phrase "ladies in green cardigans"-ended up on the Internet: I wanted to start a rumour that when The Universe's Forum changed he was so disgruntled that he turned into Mundabor, but decided not to.  The gathering point for Catholics of a more traditionalist bent was a lifeline, and those who didn't, or couldn't, hang on are people to pray for, to worry about, not to joke about.

So a few of us graduated to the new marvel: blogs.  We were a small community and (sort of) knew each other in a way that wouldn't be possible now.  Fr Ray Blake and I, for example, both watched after Moretben, later Anagnostis, who had been MTV on the Universe's forum, but who wrote, here, possibly the most moving tribute from one Catholic to another I have ever seen on the Internet.  What a pity (for us, not for him) that this was midway through what both Fr Ray and I had understood as a swimming of the Bosphorus: Ben was a Greek Orthodox in a Catholic body, and was one of the last to realise it.

Fr Tim and the Pastor in Valle (both sporting variants on the same surname) electrified us by starting from a position that traditional was normal.  The 1962 Mass, for them, wasn't something hole-in-corner which they did in spite of their Bishops: it was a natural part of their priesthood.  Pope Benedict's Motu Proprio met an audience which had been educated by priests like these to view the Mass not as a place of discord but as a place where we could meet 2000 years of History.

So I decided to blog.  I had to go to Australia and New Zealand for my work and spent the flights out and back drafting out ideas for five posts: if I could do five, I would be in, I decided. My manifesto, on starting out was as follows:

So, another Catholic blog. Why?

I think that there is a gap in the market.

There is a wonderful variety of Traditionalist thought in the blogosphere: we can learn about the structure of the Liturgy through the ages; we can discuss the pros and cons of Pius XII’s reform of the Triduum; we can learn about the Pope’s gentle nudges of praxis in the Roman Rite towards what would have been for 1500 years or so both normative and normal.

But, at least in England and Wales, we have no mechanism for discussing what all of this means for our local Church. The Bishops’ Conference seems to think that the Church (quite possibly “Church”) is mainly about supporting CAFOD and its social agenda. At least one of its Bishops thinks he is (and describes himself as) generous in allowing Sunday Mass in the Old Rite in one parish his diocese and will not permit any extension.

And the Catholic press refuses to address any question which cannot be answered within its perception of what the Bishops might consider orthodox. In August, on the Universe’s forum, I posted a comment:

“What we don't have is a Catholic organ, loyal to the hierarchy, which feels able to question the direction of the Church in England and Wales ... because if any of these issues are ever aired, they are raised and answered in the same article, and according to the current orthodoxy.”

The Universe’s editor answered as follows:

“I was about to bash out yet another indignant reply pointing out that The Universe is a loyal organ that is constantly questioning and analysing general policies through its feature writers, then I came to the second part of your comment, and actually you’ve right, and you’ve hit on something really important here – how does one write a loyal but at the same time questioning article that doesn’t end up like a soggy pastry? I must admit we’ve tended to steer our writers (and they’ve steered themselves) towards a formula just such as Ttony has described – the message tends to end up the same whatever the subject – “doing great but could do better”. I must admit this has become so commonplace that I’ve all but banned headlines that include statements of the blindingly obvious like “Church could do more to ….” And “Our duty to ….” The real difficulty here is that natural journalistic instinct says that contributors and commentators should just be allowed to sound off (within reason) on any topic they feel very strongly about. The danger is a) that your Catholic paper ends up being a shooting gallery, and that b) we must never forget that Catholic papers have a dual role – to inform the faithful, but also as tools of positive evangelisation for non-Catholics that might pick them up. Critical comment can be indicative of a vibrant, open and developing Church, but right now ours isn’t and – most importantly – I don’t think everyone has the confidence or maturity to engage some of these contentious debates, though that’s changing through the unavoidable reality of decline, and the consequences that brings. When I was formulating the loyalty policy of The Universe, my own bishop, Edwin Regan, summed up what was needed from the Catholic press perfectly – the phrase he used was ‘critical solidarity’, which sounds to me exactly what Ttony is asking for.”

This is my problem. I think that “critical solidarity" would be great! But how does the average Catholic in England and Wales deepen his understanding of the major issue facing the Church today: the impoverishment of the Liturgy leading to the impoverishment of Catholic life; when there are no fora available to all in which such issues can be addressed?

Hence this blog. It’s not about the theology underpinning orthopraxis: that’s available all over the place. It’s not about the aetiology of the current crisis: there are thousands of sites on the Internet which can give blow by blow accounts of how we have got to where we are.

(I’m sure these issues will seep in: I’m only describing the gap the blog is aiming to fill.)

I want to offer a space for people to look at practicalities: what options does the Pope have? How do we reach the hierarchy in England and Wales? What chips do we have? How much worse will it get? Let’s stop considering the problem of traditional Catholicism as one of philosophical difference and instead start thinking about the steps we need to take to force our hierarchy to treat us: first as ordinary Catholics with a valid point of view; and then as a vanguard of change, the first fruits of a realisation that what happened in the 70s and 80s was a disastrous change in the Church’s relationship with its faithful and with the world.

I'm pretty confident that that gap is still there.  The world has seen what I have prattled about in a thousand posts and has moved on to look for somebody who might have something more useful to say: I'm not actually convinced that anybody can plug it.

We've learned subsequently that for a period the Bishops' Conference, or perhaps better, its staffers, were worried about Catholic bloggers: there was a period in which bloggers were something to be worried about, just as tweeters are sometimes worried about now, as though they were people who were powerful because they commanded a strong position.  What it really shows is that the Bishops' Conference was a generation behind the bloggers, and once it had been reassured by one or two more tech-savvy people, it realised that it could ignore bloggers in exactly the same way as it had ignored all orthodox Catholic lay people and priests since the end of the 1960s.

(They still worry a bit about the potential of the Internet, though, and there are two stories I could tell, and will one day, about how we did cause real commotion; the only reason for not doing so is that the techniques we used will probably work again.  If they do, it will probably be a sign that Richard Collins is smiling down on us.)

This is, of course, about England and Wales: things are different elsewhere, but we can learn from how bloggers blog elsewhere.

There is still a vibrancy in the Blogosphere: Father Hunwicke, for example, is using his blog as part of a teaching ministry that is introducing cradle Catholics to a world of truth and tradition they never knew existed. There is a massive list of British Catholic bloggers, and look at my sidebar to see the blogs I read every time they are updated.  It is unfair to mention just a few names, but there you go: Ben, Mark, James, Rita, Mac, Mary and Lazarus are just a few of the names I look out for.  Eccles never fails to make me laugh.  Damian Thompson speaks truth to power and, perhaps uniquely, is listened to: we need to make sure he knows what's going on. A whole set of priests are using this medium for evangelisation: not just sermonising, though for those of us whose Sunday experience is a bit rocky, a prperly prepared sermon posted online is a great support, but the authentic voice of consecrated men bringing their faith, our faith, into the world.

Many of us have moved to Twitter to complement our blogging, and I think it's self-evident that traditional Catholicism (perhaps defined as Catholicism which is wholly sceptical of the Spirit of Vatican II) has a voice in England and Wales.  Ultimately, we have come to understand that the blogs are here for us to confirm each other.  We use Twitter to chat, but we blog when we have something to say; and we don't blog, when, for example consule Pope Francis, we feel that we oughtn't blog.  

These blogs are the voice of a group of people who stay together in spite of the structures of the Church, not because of them.  We are as welcome in them as we were nine years ago: grudgingly, and only at certain times. We are disheartened as we see ourselves ignored and traduced, as organisations like ACTA try to represent themselves as our spokesmen, as our Bishops say things that sound like a surrender to the world, as we endure terrible liturgies, but we don't give up.  We are Catholics and we are proud enough of being Catholics that we will continue to proclaim our Catholicism.

And we have fun, and I'm not completely convinced that they do. 


04 July 2015

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost 1863

5 SUNDAY Sixth after Pentecost. The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, double of the second class. Second prayers and Last Gospel of the Sunday. Red. Second Vespers of the feast, with commemoration of the Octave of Sts Peter and Paul and of the Sunday. Plenary Indulgence.

6 Monday. The Octave of the Holy Apostles, double. Red. [In Diocese of Southwark, second prayers for the Bishop.]

7 Tuesday. The Translation of St Thomas, Bishop Martyr, greater double. Red.

8 Wednesday. St Elizabeth of Portugal, Widow, semidouble. Second prayers A Cunctis. Third prayers free. White.

9 Thursday. St Basil, Bishop Confessor Doctor, double (transferred from 14 June). Creed. White. [In Diocese of Plymouth, St Willibald, Bishop Confessor, double. White. In Diocese of Shrewsbury St Margaret, Widow, semidouble.  Second prayers A Cunctis. Third prayers free. White.
10 Friday. The Seven Holy Brothers, Martyrs, and Sts Rufina and Secunda, Virgins Martyrs, semidouble.  Second prayers A Cunctis. Third prayers free. Red. Abstinence [In Diocese of Plymouth fourth prayers for the Bishop.]

11 Saturday. St Margaret, Widow, semidouble (transferred from 10 June). Second prayers of St Pius Pope Martyr. Third prayers  A Cunctis. White. [In Diocese of Plymouth, St Francis Carracciolo, Confessor, double (transferred from 4 June). Second prayers of St Pius, Pope Martyr. White. In Diocese of Shrewsbury St Leo II, Pope Confessor, semidouble (transferred from 28 June). Second prayers of St Pius, Pope Martyr. Third prayers  A Cunctis. White.]

The modern, post-VII idea that Corpus Christi has become the Feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord is worrying.  Our Lord's Body feeds us, vivifies us and prepares us for our eternal reward.  His Blood, shed seven times, redeems us through His suffering.  They do not represent the same thing at all.  I can put up with the feast being transferred to last Wednesday but the idea that the two feasts should be merged into one is as dreadful an example as there can be of the cloth-eared liturgical illiteracy of those responsible for the reformed Calendar.  The problem isn't that they weren't trying to make the Church less unacceptable to non-Catholics: the problem is that they were simply useless, culpably useless.

All Souls in Hastings and St Leonards is served by the Rev John Foy.  Low Mass on Sunday is at 8.15, with High Mass at 11.00.  Catachetical Instruction, vespers and Benediction is at 3.30.  Weekday Mass is at 8.00.  On Thursdays there is Benediction at 4.00 pm.  On Fridays in Lent, Stations of the Cross are at 4.00 pm.  The Reverend Joseph Searle is Chaplain to St Leonard's Convent ...

... and here is what the Convent does.