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.


12 Noon. Every Sunday MissaCantata at Church of St Wilfrid, Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF

11:30am. (Winter months) 6pm. (Summer months) Every Sunday Church of the Sacred Heart, Lobster Road, Redcar. TS10 1SH

6.30pm First Wednesday of each month at Church of St Charles, Jarratt St. Hull. HU1 3HB


6pm. Every Sunday Church of St Wilfrid.
Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF

27 April 2016

Margaret Clitherow Pilgrimage

A reminder that the pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow and the Martyrs of York will take place next Saturday 30th April.

Solemn Mass will be at 1.30pm at St Wilfrid's Church followed by the procession at 3pm and Benediction at 4pm.

22 April 2016

Walsingham Pilgrimage

Every year, the Latin Mass Society organises a Pilgrimage to Walsingham.  In recent years it has taken place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, and has been extended to become a walking pilgrimage starting at Ely and progressing to Walsingham over three days. This year, pilgrims will gather at Ely on the evening of Thursday 25th August and arrive at the Walsingham shrine at lunchtime on the Sunday in time for Mass at 2pm.  The Latin Mass Society is now taking bookings for the 2016 pilgrimage. Bookings can be made on line at the LMS website.

Those wishing just to attend the Solemn Mass and procession on the Sunday can do so by travelling direct to Walsingham.  Since parking near the Slipper Chapel can be difficult on a Bank Holiday weekend, plenty of time should be allowed.

20 April 2016

Missa Cantata for the Feast of St. George. St Mary's Church, Crathorne. Saturday, 11.00am

This may be of interest, particularly to people living in the northern part of the Diocese.

For full details, please follow the enclosed link, which will take you to Fr. Simon Henry's blog, Offeribus Tibi Domine. You may need to copy and paste it into your own browser.

12 April 2016

St Margaret Clitherow and the Martyrs of York

The fifth annual pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow and the Martyrs of York organised by the Latin Mass Society will take place in York on Saturday 30th April.  It will begin at 1.30 pm with Solemn Mass at St Wilfrid's Church, which is close to the Minster.  A procession, carrying a statue of Margaret Clitherow, through the streets of York, calling at the shrine in The Shambles and passing over Ouse Bridge, the place of her execution, will follow.  The day will end back at St Wilfrid's Church with Benediction at about 4pm.

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The musical setting for both the Solemn Mass and Benediction will be provided by the scholars of St
Wilfrid's Church.

A limited tea will be provided after Benediction in the upper room of St Wilfrid's Church.

Those travelling by car are advised to use one of the Park and Ride services, as parking in central York is very difficult.

23 March 2016

The Triduum in Leeds

The services of the Easter Triduum will be offered in the traditional form in the Leeds Diocese at

Notre Dame Catholic Chaplaincy to Leeds University
St Mark's Avenue, Leeds

Maunday Thursday       7.30pm         Mass of the last Supper 

Good Friday                  3.00pm        Passion of our Lord

Holy Saturday               3.00pm        Easter Vigil

21 March 2016

Vespers Gaining in Popularity

A record number of people attended Vespers at St Wilfrid's Church in York yesterday.  The attendance has gradually grown since Vespers were introduced.

For the first time polyphonic music was introduced to Vespers yesterday, with alternate verses of the hymn being sung by the choral scholars.

I would urge anyone who is not familiar with Vespers to go along and  experience it.  It is at 6pm every Sunday, and is followed by Benediction.

Next Latin Mass in Hull

The next Latin Massto be held in Hull will be on 6th April.  Fr Mulholland will be away at that time, so Fr Mark Drew will be the celebrant.  I shall also be away, but there will  be a server.

The Mass will be at 6.30pm at the Church of St Charles in Jarratt St.

27 February 2016

So How Should the Demand for the Latin Mass be Satisfied?

We must start from the premise that almost all diocesan priests are already overworked and would find difficulty taking on the celebration of additional Masses.  It follows that, either more priests must be found or that Latin Masses will need to be provided in substitution  for existing novus ordo Masses, rather than in addition.

Taking the first point, there is an emerging source of priests who are more than keen to to provide usus antiquior Masses.  I refer to the traditional Orders.  The Priestly Fraternity of St Peter has had several Englishmen ordained to the priesthood in recent years, and expects to have a steady stream of ordinations during the next decade.  There is every prospect that the number of vocations to the priesthood in the traditional orders will continue to grow.

We have already benefited from the Institute of Christ the King Supreme Priest taking over churches in New Brighton and Preston, and the FSSP taking over one in Warrington.  Although it is too soon to make a final judgement, the indications are that these are prospering as centres for traditional liturgies.  It is to be hoped that as the traditional orders ordain more priests, churches will continue to be handed over to their care.  This solution tends to work well in the larger towns that have several Catholic Churches, and where consideration is already being given to closing churches.  This is surely a win-win solution.

A second approach is for each diocese to consider where Latin Masses would be best located.  In most cases, this would mean selecting churches in the greater centres of population, where larger congregations can be expected.  Currently, Latin Masses are frequently provided in remote or village locations, and it is unsurprising that these attract small congregations.  In the case of the Diocese of Middlesbrough,  The obvious locations would be Hull, York, Scarborough and Middlesbrough itself, all of which have multiple churches.

A process of merging parishes in in these locations has been going on for years, and surely such mergers should provide the opportunity to reconsider Latin Mass provision.

Is there Sufficient Provision of Usus Antiquior Masses?

A couple of months ago there appeared an article by one Monsignor Pope who argued that interest in the Traditional Latin Mass had reached a plateau, and was possibly even declining.  His view was that the expansion in the provision of Latin Masses far exceeded the demand, with the consequence of too many poorly attended Masses.  The implication was that the number of Latin masses should be reduced.  He was speaking in an American context, where the response to summorum pontificum was more generous than at this side of the Atlantic.  I will not comment on his arguments, as my knowledge of the American scene is limited.

However, I do feel able to comment on the extent and adequacy of the provision to extraordinary form Masses in England and Wales.  Prior to summorum pontificum, the extent, frequency and location of Latin Masses was largely at the discretion of the local ordinary, and provision varied markedly from diocese to diocese.  In only a handful of dioceses was there a regular Sunday Mass in the older form at a convenient time,  In most dioceses where there was provision for Sunday Masses, these took place at constantly moving locations, and at varying times, almost always in the afternoon.

In the aftermath of summorum pontificum, there was a significant increase in the provision - the average number of Sunday Masses in England and Wales increasing from about 25 to about 50. Mostly, the additional Masses were scheduled on a roster basis so that followers of the traditional Mass were expected to travel to a different church each Sunday to attend Masses scheduled at different times.  This was probably not a deliberate policy, but resulted from the difficulty in finding priests who were willing, and had the time, to celebrate additional Masses.  The possibility of substituting an established Novus Ordo Mass by an Extraordinary Form one was hardly considered for obvious reasons.

An additional point is that the location of EF Masses has generally been determined by the presence of a well disposed priests, rather than any strategic planning.  As a consequence, it is not uncommon for there to be two Latin Masses relatively near to each other, when there are huge areas in  the same diocese with no provision at all. This is something that can only be remedied by each diocese taking a lead and coming up with a coherent plan.  The evidence is that this has not happened in most dioceses.

The question of whether there is sufficient provision of usus antiquior Masses is not a simple one.  If one just looks at the average size of the congregation at Latin Masses, it is clear that there is over-provision, as congregations are generally small.  Looked at another way, there are many of the faithful who would dearly like to attend a Latin Mass, but cannot do so, because there is no provision in their area.  This would suggest under-provision.

One difficulty is in quantifying the inconvenience factor.  If Novus Ordo Masses were scheduled for 3pm or only took place on the third Sunday of the month, what would be the size of their congregation be?  Another factor is the need to allow congregations to build up.  The experience is that, given a convenient time in a decent church with an able priest at a suitable location, Latin Mass congregations will grow.  When the church of Sts Peter, Paul and Philomena in New Brighton was reopened by the Institute of Christ the King Supreme priest, the Sunday congregation was only about 40.  Now it is about four times that and still growing.

So, in judging the adequacy of provision, it is not sufficient to look at the attendance at existing Masses.  The demand needs to be assessed and then considerable thought needs to be given to the best way of satisfying the demand, always mindful of the limited resources that are available.

The above is a brief introduction to the current state of affairs in England and Wales.  The next post will consider some possible ways forward.

24 February 2016

Developments in the Diocese of Leeds

There is an interesting development concerning the provision of the Latin Mass in the Diocese of Leeds. A meeting took place last week involving Bishop Marcus Stock (Bishop of Leeds), Fr Tim Wiley (the priest with responsibility for Latin Mass provision in the diocese) and Neil Walker (the LMS rep for Leeds).  It seems that it was agreed that there should be a church within the diocese that can be considered a "home" church for the Latin Mass. I am not sure whether this means a church that would be used exclusively for the traditional liturgy - I am presuming not.  The idea is that new arrangements will be put into place in September when it is customary to move priests.

Although there are Latin Masses every Sunday at two locations in the Leeds Diocese, there are others at venues and times that vary from week to week.  I have always thought that this is an unsatisfactory arrangement, because people turn up at the wrong place or the wrong time.  It seems that this problem may be rectified in the Leeds Diocese.

It is also possible that the new arrangement may be even better with a church providing traditional liturgy exclusively, or almost exclusively.  Such arrangements apply in the Shrewsbury Diocese at New Brighton, in the Lancaster Diocese at Preston and in the Liverpool Diocese at Warrington. In these three cases, one of the traditional orders of priests have been invited to take charge of a church that would otherwise be surplus to requirements.