The Latin Mass Society RC Diocese of Middlesbrough
The purpose of this blog is to provide an open forum for discussion of the aims of the society; news from the wider Church and details of Masses and events of interest in the diocese. The Latin Mass Society in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough expresses its full filial devotion and loyalty to Holy Mother Church, Pope Francis and Bishop Drainey.
REGULAR TRADITIONAL MASSES IN THE DIOCESE OF MIDDLESBROUGH
12 Noon. Every Sunday Church of St Wilfrid, Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF
11:30am Every Sunday Church of the Sacred Heart, Lobster Road, Redcar. TS10 1SH
I have been sent brief information about the weekend pilgrimage for young Catholic adults to be held at Aylesford Priory on 31st October and 1st Nov. Aylesford, which is in Kent, was a Carmalite Priory in pre-Reformation times, that was dissolved by Henry VIII, but was repurchased by the Carmalites in modern times.
The Retreat will include a sung High Mass, talks, rosaries etc. For details and to book please go to the Young Catholic Adults website or their facebook page
I am pleased to report that three members of the Rudgate Singers will be coming to the Latin Mass to be held at St Charles Church in Hull at 6.30pm on Wed 5th August This will enable a full Missa Cantata with the Propers sung to the tones of the Liber Usualis. The Mass will be of Our Lady, celebrating the feast of Our Lady of the Snows. The celebrant will be Fr Simon Leworthy, who will be leaving St Charles Church later in August to take over another parish. I am hoping that he will be able to find the time to celebrate Latin Masses more frequently.
This Mass has been arranged as a Missa Cantata at the request of some of the congregation. After the July Mass, a few people stayed behind to practice singing the Ordinary parts of Missa de Angelis. We made a sufficiently good job of it to make the decision to give it a go. The news that members of the Rudgate Singers will be attending will ensure that everything will go well.
A Latin Mass takes place in Hull on the first Wednesday of every month. Currently it is at 6.30pm in St Charles Church, although consideration will be given to moving to another church in the winter months to save on heating costs. The usual celebrant is Fr Peter Mulholland.
A few weeks ago, it was announced that Bishop Philip Egan of the Portsmouth Diocese was to create a bi-ritual parish in Gosport, which is not far from Portsmouth. The church chosen was St Mary's and Fr Seraphino Lanzetta, who formerly belonged to the Franciscans of the Immaculate, together with some brothers arrived in the parish in mid June. An additional Latin Mass was introduced each weekday (7.30am Mon to Fri and 9.30am Sat), but otherwise the schedule of Masses was left unchanged, including Sundays when the only Masses (9.15am and 11.00am) remain Novus Ordo. An item in the parish newsletter announced that there were to be meetings following the Saturday Latin Mass to give guidance to parishioners on following the Mass in its traditional Latin form.
The latest edition of The Tablet (that periodical that claims to be Catholic, but devotes most of its energies to attacking the Catholic Church) includes an item headed "Friars accused of taking parish back in time". It quotes two women as making claims that that turn out to be totally false and without foundation. It is interesting to note that these claims have now been deleted from the website edition. There is more detail in Fr Brown's blog, Gateshesd Revisited.
This incident demonstrates yet again what a disreputable periodical The Tablet is. Firstly, they have printed a story based on information that was not only incorrect, but malicious. Secondly, they clearly failed to check out a story, which was based on assertions that were so improbable, that anyone with any knowledge of Catholic affairs would regard with suspicion. Thirdly, the story was already five weeks out of date. They are clearly slow in picking up news at The Tablet.
As has often happened in the past, The Tablet has scored an own goal. Whilst trying to ridicule Bishop Egan and his moves to make the traditional Mass more widely available, The Tablet succeeded in giving publicity to the bi-ritual parish in Gosport, whilst ending up with egg on its own face.
We must hope that a later move will be to include a Sunday Latin Mass in the parish schedule.
I have been informed that there will be a sung Requiem Mass in the traditional form for Sir Thomas Markenfield and three other members of the Markenfield family, who were forced into exile following the Rising of the North in 1569. The Mass will take place in the chapel of Markenfield Hall at 11am on Saturday 22nd August, and will be celebrated by Fr Ronald Creighton-Jobe Cong Orat with monks from Ampleforth Abbey providing the choir.
Markenfield Hall is about three miles south of Ripon on the A61. The entrance, which is on the west side of the road, is very inconspicuous and easy to miss.
I am very proud to be able to report that no less than three old boys of the John Fisher School (my old school) have been ordained to the sacred priesthood in the last few weeks. Frs Mark Higgins and Matthew O'Gorman were ordained in Southwark Cathedral last Saturday and Fr James Cadman was ordained a few weeks ago. I am also aware of another old boy of JFS who is studying for the priesthood at Wonersh. This continues a long tradition of the John Fisher School producing candidates for the priesthood, which has included two who became bishops.
I met Fr Mark Higgins (then Deacon Higgins) at the priests' training conference at Prior Park earlier this year, where he learned how to celebrate the traditional Mass. It was his intention that his first three Masses would be Latin Masses. He struck me as someone who would become an excellent priest. I don't know the others, but I have read an excellent report about Fr O'Gorman. May the John Fisher School continue its tradition of fostering priestly vocations.
For those who don't know the John Fisher School (it is the only school with that name) it is in Purley in Surrey.
A reminder that there will be a Sung Mass at the Church of St Charles in Hull at 6.30pm on Wednesday 5th August, the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows. The celebrant will be Fr Simon Leworthy. Due to popular demand, this Mass will be a Missa Cantata, which is a new venture for this series of Masses. After the July Mass, a few people stayed behind for a short practice and we managed not too badly. I am hoping that there will be someone who can sing the propers according to the liber. If not we will have to be content with a simple tone. Anyone who can help with the singing is asked to be in the church for 6pm so that there can be a practice.
Following yesterday's post about the shortage of priests in Ireland, and the suggestion that it is largely a self inflicted problem, I would like to suggest that the same applies, perhaps to a lesser extent, in England an Wales. Over the last 30 years I have got to know of several cases where young men have decided to leave seminary, because their understanding of the priestly life is completely at odds with the training that they were receiving. I know of many more who experienced the same feelings, but decided to keep their heads down during the seminary years in the hope that matters would improve once they were ordained. I know of yet more who were refused entry to seminaries because they were considered too traditional.
It is difficult to estimate how many candidates who would have made good priests have either been refused entry to a seminary, or been so discouraged during their time at seminary, that their vocations have been lost - certainly it is measured in hundreds over 30 years in England and Wales. I am sure that almost all of these would be described as being at the conservative end of the spectrum.
The conclusion must be that if there are to be enough priests in the Church to meet the needs of future generations, the more traditional candidates can no longer be ignored.
Fr Michael Brown, Northern Chaplain to the Latin Mass Society, has a post in his blog, Gateshead Revisited, in which he discusses the treatment of Irish seminarians at Maynooth. The website, Irish Catholic, has reported that six of the ten Maynooth seminarians who have recently completed pastoral placements were recommended to take time out from their priestly training to reconsider their vocations. It is suggested that the reason for this recommendation is that "their theological views are at the conservative end of the spectrum". This is probably a euphemism for saying that they prefer to kneel during the consecration when attending Mass. Apparently, three of the six will be returning to Maynooth in the autumn, after intervention by their bishops.
My first observation is that, if six out of ten are at the conservative end, there cannot be many at the liberal end - perhaps one or two, but more likely none at all! The obvious conclusion is that the Church in Ireland needs to look to the "conservative end of the spectrum" if it is to have even a modest number of priests to serve the generations to come.
My second thought is to enquire: Who is to blame for the disastrous fall in the number of priestly ordinations in Ireland in recent decades? There will be many reasons for the decline, including growth of materialism and changes in social attitudes. However, the failure of the Irish hierarchy to recognise and foster good candidates is undoubtedly a major factor. The authorities of Maynooth have, in this year alone, apparently tried to dissuade 10 men who had reached an advanced stage of their training from pursuing their priestly vocation , because they represent the conservative end of the spectrum. How many more have received this type of treatment over the years? How many more have never reached the seminary door because they realise that they belong to the conservative end of the spectrum? I would guess that there are thousands in these categories who would have gone on to be good priests, if only they had been given some encouragement. So who is to blame for the shortage of priests?
As a follow up of the earlier article, it is interesting to speculate where else the traditional orders might be invited to take over diocesan churches. As mentioned before, Manchester in the Salford Diocese is an obvious candidate if the abundance of under-used churches is the driving factor. I would add to this Liverpool, where there are many fine churches in areas where the Catholic population has diminished.
Other opportunities exist in the major cities where parish mergers have either taken place recently or are about to take place. I immediately think of Newcastle (Hexham & Newcastle), Bradford and Leeds (Leeds), Nottingham and Derby (Nottingham), Bristol (Clifton) and Birmingham.
The traditional orders should surely also have a presence in London, simply because of the size of the place. In this case there may not be so many under-used churches because of the number of Catholic immigrants, but there must be a few churches that would be suitable.
This leads me to consider the Diocese of Middlesbrough. There may be opportunities in either Hull or Middlesbrough.
The Archdiocese of Liverpool has announced that the Priestly Society of St Peter is to take charge of the Church of St Mary in Warrington. It will not be a parish church, as the parish is to be merged with two others; but it will be for the sole use of the FSSP and will eventually become an exclusively usus extraordinaria church. St Mary's is a very fine example of the later work of E W Pugin, and was completed after his death by his brother Peter Paul Pugin. It is also a large church in a central area of Warrington.
For the FSSP, it will be their first church in England where they will have exclusive use, as the church that they currently use in Reading also has parish Masses, and is used for other purposes. St Mary's is also a far more prestigious church, and seems to have avoided any significant reordering. For example, the pulpit and communion rails are intact, and the forward altar can easily be moved.
It is interesting to note that all three of the churches that have been handed over for exclusive use by traditional orders are in the North West. The first was Sts Peter, Paul and Philomina in New Brighton (Shrewsbury Diocese), which was followed by St Walburge in Preston (Lancaster Diocese), both of these were entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. To these can now be added St Mary in Warrington (Liverpool Archdiocese). A possible reason for this concentration in the North West is that it is a traditionally Catholic part of the country, having more Catholic churches than is required nowadays. If this is the reason, then we might expect the next development to be in the Salford Diocese, which has a very large number of underused churches.