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 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
There was a very beautiful Mass yesterday evening in St Wilfrid's Church, York for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It was interesting to note that there were several people there that I do not remember seeing before at a Latin Mass at York. One must presume that their presence was motivated by devotion to the Immaculate Conception. Whatever their reason for being there, it is gratifying to see new faces. The choir was in good form, despite the absence of organ accompaniment, singing Missa de Angelis, and an excellent sermon was preached by Fr Mark Drew.
After Mass there was some discussion about the statue of Our Lady which had been placed on the sanctuary for the novena. It was unusual in that Our Lady had no veil, and a few people noticed this, adding that the absence detracted from the appeal of the statue, despite it being very fine in other respects. The first question raised was to ask whether there was any reason for this ommission; and one possible explanation offered that it might be a represent of Our Lady Queen of Heaven, which would not require a veil. However, this seems an unlikely explanation because Our Lady Queen of Heaven would surely have a crown. Another suggestion was that there may originally have been a crown belonging to this statue which has been lost; or indeed, there may have been a fabric veil at one time.
I have looked at hundreds of images of Our Lady on the internet, and only a tiny proportion do not have a veil. Most of these are modernistic images and rather quirky. In most cases where Our Lady is crowned, she is also wearing a veil. So the statue at St Wilfrid's is certainly unusual. Does anyone have a better explanation?
It was generally agreed that this statue would be improved by the addition of a veil.
Traditional Vespers, followed by Benediction, are now sung every Sunday evening at 6pm at St Wilfrid's Church in York. The first occasion was last Sunday and it went pretty well, despite not many members of the choir being familiar Vespers.
Vespers consists of five psalms sung to an appropriate psalm tone, each being preceded and concluded by by an antiphon. It is the antiphons that can be a little tricky for the new comer, as each has its own tune. There is also a short reading, or chapter, and the service concludes with the Magnificat.
Anyone unfamiliar with Vespers may find themselves at sea on the first occasion, but after attending a few times, it will all fall into place. Many people then find themselves hooked on on the music of Vespers. There is also the reward of Benediction afterwards.
Today I read that a second Juventutem group has been formed in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. The first was formed several weeks ago and is based in Gateahead, with Fr Michael Brown as chaplain. The newly formed one is based at St Cuthbert's Church in Durham, where the University Catholic Chaplaincy is based. Fr Bede Rowe is the chaplain to the new group.
They are to have a Mass to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception at 7pm on 8th December. It is to be a Missa Cantata with a student choir providing the music.
As far as I Know, these two groups are the only ones in the North of England. So there are plenty of opportunities for young people to form Juventutem groups in the northern cities. How about York, Hull or Middlesbrough!
Yesterday, which was the first Sunday of Advent saw Vespers introduced at St Wilfrid's Church in York. It was at 6pm, and was followed by Benediction. There was some nervousness amongst the servers and the choir, as for many it was a new experience. However, it all went well on the night. Including clergy, servers, choristers and general congregation, there were about thirty present, which was pleasing, as we had no idea how popular it would be.
From now on, there will be Vespers and Benediction every Sunday evening at 6pm.
As from Sunday 30th November, the regular Sunday Latin Mass at the Sacred Heart Church in Redcar will be at 11.30am. It will be a Low Mass and will replace the Mass that previously took place at 6pm. The celebrant will continue to be Mgr Heslin.
Occasionally this Mass has to be cancelled when Mgr Heslin is not available. Those who are not regular attenders are advised to ring the parish on 01642 484047 before travelling.
This is a reminder that, starting on the First Sunday of Advent, the time of the weekly Sunday Latin Mass at St Wilfrid's Church in York will change from 5pm to 12 noon. At the same time, Vespers will be introduced at 6pm and this will be followed by Benediction. So there will be two very good reasons to visit St Wilfrid's Church each Sunday.
The Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, Nebraska in the USA is a modern building, and perhaps not an ideal piece of architecture from the traditionalist point of view. Nevertheless, good things are going on there, as is reported in New Liturgical Movement, from which I have taken this news item.
.....Writing in The Southern Nebraska Reporter, the diocesan newspaper of the Diocese of Lincoln, Bishop Conley includes the following paragraph.
During the Sundays of Advent, the priests of the Cathedral of the Risen Christ will celebrate Mass ad orientem. With the people of God, the priest will stand facing the altar, and facing the crucifix. When I celebrate Midnight Mass at Christmas, I will celebrate ad orientem as well. This may also take place in other parishes across the Diocese o0f Lincoln.
The priestly Fraternity of St Peter, or FSSP as many people know it, has updated its membership figures. They are broken down as follows:
Other Seminarians 144
The average of their membership is 37, a figure that has stayed the same for several years, so we can be assured that fraternity will survive for many decades to come.
The society also gives a breakdown of its membership by nationality which is as follows:
United States 138
England & Wales 12
With a good number of seminarians joining the two seminaries each year, the fraternity is experiencing steady growth.
Last Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King, I visited St Walburge's Church in Preston for the 10.30am Mass. This was one month after the Institute of Christ the King took charge of the church, and I was interested to see how they were getting on. There were over 50 in the congregation, which, in most churches would be a reasonable congregation, but in the vast space of St Walberge's looked sparce. However, there seemed great enthusiasm amongst those who were there, and there is the expectation that the congregation will grow as the Mass becomes better known. It seems that the local parishes are reluctant to include information about thr Institute in their bulletins.
The Mass was beautifully sung by Canon Altieri and well worth travelling nearly 100 miles to attend. The only weakness was with the choir. Deacon Tanner, currently the only English seminarian with the Institute, was playing the organ and trying to sing at the same time. Deacon Tanner was on loan from New Brighton where he is serving his diaconal year, so cannot be the reguylar organist. A choir of sorts was assembled, but there was not much volume coming from them, and a church of that size needs powerful singers. The good news is that, after the Mass, two members of the congregation offered their services as singers, but some really good singers are needed as well as a regular organist.
There will be usus antiquior Masses at St Wilfrid's Church in York at the following times around the feasts of All Saints and All Souls.
6pm Friday 30th October Vigil Mass of All Saints
5pm Sunday 2nd November External Solemnity of All Saints
6pm Monday 3rd November Requiem Mass for All Souls.
Changes to the times of the Sunday Masses At St Wilfrid's Church in York have been announced. As from the first Sunday of Advent (30th N0vember), the Extraordunary Form Mass will move from 5pm to 12 noon. It will continue to be a Sung Mass, but will not be followed by Benediction. It is hoped that people will find this a more convenient time, and that the congregation will increase from the current level of about 50.
A new introduction will be traditional Vespers at 6pm on Sundays which will be followed by Benediction.
The Church of Ss Peter, Paul and Philomena in New Brighton has been awarded a second grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This time it is for a scheme valued at £250.000 that will complete the insulation and weatherproofing of the building and include making good the internal plaster work damaged by years of water ingress through the roof. The scheme also includes the making of a community area in the narthex by providing a glass screen beneath the choir loft. This area will have a live screen link to a webcam mounted on the roof which will be able to show views of Liverpool bay. The first £39,800 of the grant is available for the development stage of the project.
This grant from the HLF follows an earlier grant for a £290,000 scheme, under which most of the waterproofing and insulation was carried out.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales has often been referred to as a Magic Circle, a name taken from the association of magicians who share the secrets of their tricks with each other, whilst agreeing not to disclose them with anyone outside the Circle. Until a few years ago, the Bishops Conference seemed very much like a Magic Circle that would only admit their closest friends and allies as members. That was until the appointment of Bishop Davies to the See of Shrewsbury in 2009. It soon became evident that Bishop Davies was capable of thinking for himself, and his decision to invite the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to take care of the Dome of Home in the Wirrel was something of a watershed. The appointment of Bishop Egan to the See of Portsmouth in 2012 was another nail in the coffin for the Magic Circle. The retirement of several other bishops in quick succession, and their replacement by men with more open minds, continued the process. However, the scandal which has led to the resignation of the former Bishop Conry has put the Magic Circle beyond any possibility of revival.
The only remaining founder member is Archbishop Nichols, and his authority is now severely curtailed. Instead, we have a much more varied selection of bishops, and this can only be good for the Church.
A group from St Wilfrid's Church in York traveled to Preston on Saturday to attend the first Mass offered by the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest following their taking over responsibility for St Walburge's Church. I managed to squeeze seven people into my car, and at least another three traveled independently. There would have been another car traveling, had the driver not been unlucky enough to get a puncture the day before.
The Mass was celebrated by Mgr Wach, Prior General of the Institute, in the presence of Bishop Michael Campbell, who also preached. I detected a great sincerity in the words of Bishop Campbell when he expressed his gratitude to the Institute form taking on the huge task of looking after so huge a church. He was clearly highly delighted that a way had been found to ensure that the church would continue to serve the people of Preston; but more importantly, he seemed excited by the idea that the church would be open every day of the week and that there would be several services each day.
Several other blogs, including Gateshead Revisited have pictures, and have printed reports of the event. I suggest that readers who want to find out more go to these places.
Rorate Caeli carries a report today about the Fraternity of St Peter establishing a permanent apostolate in Mexico City. Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrara has invited the Fraternity to offer daily Masses in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, which occupies a centeral position in Mexico City. It is a small chapel built in a traffic island in one of the main streets.
Gradually churches and chapels devoted to offering the traditional Mass are appearing in many parts of the world. Preston in Lancashire is another example. Maybe one day there will be somewhere in the Diocese of Middlesbrough
It has been announced that there will be a Pontifical High Mass at Norwich Cathedral at noon on Saturday 1st November, the Feast of All Saints. The celebrant will be the Ordinary of the Diocese of East Anglia, Bishop Alan Hopes. This is particularly pleasing news as the Latin Mass Society has been trying for years to get a Mass in the Cathedral of St John in Norwich. It is a very fine building and well suited for traditional ceremonies.
Bishop Hopes has celebrated Mass in the usus antiquior on several occasions at Westminster Cathedral when he was Auxiliary in that diocese. So far as I recall, he will be the first diocesan bishop to celebrate an old rite Mass in his own cathedral in England and Wales for many decades.
There will be a Solemn Mass in the usus antiquior at 6pm on Thursday 9th October at St St Wilfrid's Church in York to mark the feast day of Blessed John Henry Newman. The Fathers of the Oratory will be joined by Fr Stephen Brown of the Leeds Diocese to enable the celebration of a Solemn Mass. Further details will follow.
A reminder that the Mass to mark the Institute of Christ the King taking over responsibility for St Walberge's Church in Preston is at noon on Saturday 27th September. A party will be travelling from the York area. Anyone who wants to go, but has not booked place should contact me in the next few days. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am conscious that the northern end of the diocese has been somewhat neglected in recent times. There is quite a lot of activity in York, and moves are afoot to generate some more activity in Hull. Redcar does have its regular Sunday Mass, but the congregation is relatively small. Since I live at the extreme southern end of the diocese, it is not possible for me to give much attention to the area around Middlesbrough, so I am looking for someone to take over responsibility for the section of the diocese north of the North Yorkshire Moors. Is anyone able to help? I can be contacted at email@example.com
I have recently been told a story about a priest who likes think of himself as rather important in his diocese (Not Middlesbrough). He has been touring parishes of the diocese and holding meetings at which he promotes his ideas of how the Church can manage with fewer priests. Of course the ideas are not new - the talk was of the laity taking over various priestly roles and closing churches. When a questioner asked whether the Church should be doing more to promote vocations, he dismissed the idea saying that he did not see that as a way forward. Can you believe it?
At the invitation of Most Reverend Joseph Kopacz, Bishop of Jackson, the Society of St John Cantius held a training workshop earlier this month in Jackson for priests to learn to celebrate Mass in the older form. Several diocesan priests took part as well as a number of laymen who learned to serve. At the end of the course a Mass was celebrated in the usus antiquior in the Cathedral of St Peter in Jackson.
This is yet another example of the way that American bishops are encouraging the reintroduction of the traditional Mass into normal diocesan life. It shows that the Church in the United States is moving faster to recover the traditions of the Church than is the case in England. It seems that in liturgical matters, as well as in other areas, the United States leads the way, and gives us an idea of how things will be in England in a few years time.
It has been announced that the Marist Fathers will shortly be giving up the custody of the Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. This follows the appointment of Fr Alan Williams SM, the former Shrine Administrator, as Bishop of Brentwood. Although the Marists have appointed a temporary administrator for the shrine, it seems that the declining number of Marist priests has forced the order to hand over the care of the shrine. The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was very quick off the mark to put in its bid to become the new custodians, and and it would be difficult to think of another group that would be in a better position to take over. Certainly the Diocese of East Anglia is already severely stretched, and practically all other religious orders that might be considered eligible are suffering from a decline in the numbers of their priests................
It would be hard to think of anyone better than the Ordinariate to take over. Their special attachment to Our Lady of Walsingham is one good reason for them to take on the role. The fact that they have relatively large numbers of priests in relation to their pastoral commitments is another. However, the strongest reason must be their enthusiasm, and the vitality that they would bring to England's prime Marian shrine. Surely they are the best people for the job!
Fr Simon Henry has posted a story on his blog, Offerimus Tibi Domine, about a Mass in the usus antiquior in the Seminary of St Joseph in Guadalajara in Mexico. This is said to be the largest seminary in the world and has 600 seminarians. Apparently the seminarians had asked their superiors for Mass to be offered in the seminary in the older form. This request was granted, and Fr Romanoski of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter offered the Mass on 2nd June. It was attended by 300 seminarians, which, judging by the photographs, is as many as the chapel can hold.
So far, despite requests from seminarians, no traditional Mass has been allowed in a seminary under the control of the Bishops of England and Wales. In this respect, Mexico is ahead of England and Wales.
There will be a Solemn Mass in the extraordinary form at Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland at noon on Saturday 6th Sept. Brinkburn Priory is a medieval ruin controlled by English Heritage and a wonderful setting for the Mass of Ages.
The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has chosen Saturday 6th Sept as a day when it will be trying to increase public awareness of its existence. Under the slogan "Called to be One", it is staging events in about 40 locations in England, Wales and Scotland. Regrettably there is nothing that I am aware of in Yorkshire, so perhaps it is up to the diocesan Catholics in this part of the world to bang the drum.
A reader by the name of Woodlawn has kindly provided some information about locations in the USA where Mass in the usus antiquior is offered daily. It is as follows:
Total 106 or 75 if SSPX is excluded.
Other includes both Diocesan churches and chapels, and the houses of religious communities. In England and Wales, Daily Mass in the usus antiquior is only offered in a few locations. I can only think of Reading (FSSP), New Brighton (ICKSP), Brompton Oratory (Oratorians), St Dominic's Dursley (Diocesan), Clapham Park (Diocesan)and Leicester (Dominicans). Of course, Preston (ICKSP) will soon be added.
This is another illustration of how much the traditional movement has advanced in America, compared with England and Wales.
I have blogged several times recently about developments in the USA. The reason for devoting so much attention to the USA is probably that there is plenty of news coming out of that country, and relatively little that concerns our own. A close following of the internet produces many positive stories about the progress of the traditional Mass in America. Almost every week one hears of new locations where regular Latin Masses are being established. Even after accounting for the far greater size of the USA, when compared with England and Wales, it is evident that the "TLM" is forging ahead at a much greater pace than it is in this country.
In England and Wales, there are about 50 Latin Masses on the average Sunday. In the USA, there are at least 1000 - in fact so many that it has proved too difficult for me to count them. In the USA, there are more than 30 formally recognised personal parishes for Latin Mass communities, whereas we have none. I frequently read of American bishops taking the initiative in getting Latin Masses introduced into parishes. This is rare on this side of the Atlantic.
I have often said that if we want a glimpse of what things will be like here in 20 years time, it is worth looking at how things currently are in the USA. If this principle is anything like correct, we can look forward to better times.
This story is so big that I am surprised that it has not had greater coverage on the blogosphere. It concerns a Latin Mass community in Huntsville, Alabama. Following the motu proprio of 2007, a Latin Mass was established at the church of St Mary of the Visitation in Huntsville. With the approval of the Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham, Alabama, the local parish priest, Fr Fr Alan Makey, started to say regular masses in the usus antiquior in the existing parish church. It became so popular that the congregation began to look around for a church of their own. They have been raising money, and in 2013 had raised enough money to purchase a former Anglican church.
This has now been dedicated to Our Lady Help of Christians by Bishop Baker and serves as a personal parish for the traditional community. Fr Makey has been appointed as pastor and there are two Masses every Sunday, as well as daily Masses and other devotions.
There are more than thirty traditional parishes in the States, but this is the first example that I have come across, here a church has actually been purchased specially for the purpose.
Mississippi is the only State in the USA that currently does not have regular Masses in the usus antiquor. This is about to be corrected. The newly appointed bishop of Jackson, Rt Rev Joseph Kopacz, has asked the Canons Regular of St John Cantius to hold a workshop to train priests and servers in the older form of the Mass. The Diocese has announced that this will take place from 2nd to 5th September at the Cathedral of the Diocese of Jackson.
Bishop Kopacz is to be congratulated on this initiative. It is yet one more example of how much further matters have advanced in the USA, compared with most European countries.
I have just read that the first Mass to be offered at the church of St Walburge in Preston under the auspices of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will be at noon on Saturday 27th September. If you do not know the church, it is the church with the tallest spire in England. It's architect, Joseph Aloysius Hansom, was born in York - and you cannot get a better recommendation than that!
And the inside looks like this.
I would like to get a party together from the Middlesbrough Diocese to attend this Mass. If you are interested, leave a comment.
The following graph, tracking the numbers of nuns and priests in the USA has recently been published.
Covering the period from 1965 to the present, it shows that the number of nuns has declined by 72%, whereas the number of priests has declined by 35%. The population of the US has increased significantly during this period, as has the Catholic population.
The most striking aspect is the difference between the rates of decline for nuns and for priests. In England and Wales, the trends are broadly similar, although the decline in the number of nuns has not been quite so fast.
It is very pleasing to report that the Oratory in Formation in York has attracted its first novice. Although the Oratorian Fathers have been at York for less than a year, several young men have enquired about joining the community, and have stayed for periods to experience community life. There is an expression: Don't count your chickens until they have hatched. It is wise to be cautious in assessing prospective vocations.
However we do have some real progress to report. Adam Fairbairn was clothed in the Oratorian habit about a week ago and is now starting his noviciate. He will spend most of the next six years studying in Oxford, although we should see him from time to time in York. We wish him well in his new adventure.
The Solemn Requiem Mass of rememberence for those who died in the Great War and subsequent conflicts, which took place at St Wilfrid's Church in York last night, was well attended. Fr Richard Duffield was the celebrant and preached on the subject of forgiveness. Fr Nicholas Edmunds-Smith was the deacon with Br Adam Fairbairn as sub-deacon.
Fr David Smith, Army Chaplain, was in choir as was Fr William Charlton. Fr Smith brought with him a number of young soldiers from the Army College in Harrogate.#
At the end of Mass, a bugler from a police band played the Last Post. He is also in the photograph.
The Latin Mass Society's walking pilgrimage to Walsingham is not much more than two weeks away, but there is still time to book in. It takes place from 21st to 24th August, which is over the Bank Holiday weekend, and involves walking the 55 miles from Ely to Walsingham. This is what it looks like.
For full details and information on how to book, go the the LMS website, and look under pilgrimages.
I have been looking at the records for members of the Latin Mass Society who give Middlesbrough as their diocese. The total membership in the Middlesbrough Diocese is 53, made up of 10 couples, 11 female single members and 23 single male members including two priests.
The biggest concentration of members is in York, where there 19 members. Hull and Middlesbrough have 5 members each. Of the remaining 24 members 8 live north of the North Yorkshire Moors and 16 to the south.
It is gratifying that there are several new members with none dropping out in the last year. This is contrary to the national trend where membership is declining.
There will be a pilgrimage to the Dome of Home on Saturday 2nd August. The Dome of Home is the name popularly given to the Church of Saints Peter, Paul and Philomena at New Brighton in the Wirrel, which is a shrine to the Blessed Sacrament in the custody of the Institute of Christ the King, Supreme Priest. The timetable is as follows:
11.30am Solemn Mass,
2.30pm Tour of the Shrine,
2.00pm Benediction & Veneration of relic of St Philomena.
This is a Latin Mass Society pilgrimage and it would be good if the Middlesbrough Diocese was represented.
If you do not know why the church is named the Dome of Home, take a look at this picture!
Rorate Coeli carries a report that the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter is to get a new permanent base in Munich. As from 1st September, Fr Christian Jager of the FSSP will be in charge of the Damenstiftskirke Sankt Anna in Munich, where there will be daily Mass in the usus antiquior. What a lucky man Fr Jager is, to be sent to a church like this!
Monday 4th August marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, an event which resulted in a loss of life that is measured in millions. There will be a Solemn Requiem Mass for all those who died in the conflict at 6pm on Monday 4th August at St Wilfrid's Church in York. A special effort is being made to put together a choir so that there can be a polyphonic setting for this very solemn Mass.
In the last few weeks, two priests have been ordained in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. If my tally is correct, this brings the number of priests in the OOLW to 86. Regrettably, the Ordinariate have not got round to publishing anything like a directory, so statistics are hard to find. There are reports of the number of laity increasing here and there in twos and threes, and I am guessing that the total in now around 1,600. If this is correct, there is more than one priest for every 20 lay people, which is quite a remarkable ratio!
However matters remain quite difficult for the Ordinariate, as the geographical spread of the clergy, does not always match the spread of the lay members very well. For example, in Scotland, there is one priest is covering three groups that are scattered over a huge area. In some parts of the south of England, Ordinariate clergy are so numerous that some are covering diocesan parishes full time and rarely get to work with Ordinariate groups.
It would be difficult for the Ordinary to insist that the clergy move to where the need is greatest, as many of them are married, and such moves would cause a great deal of family disruption.
It is still a little soon to predict the future shape of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. One of the issues that provoked Pope Benedict to make the provision was the prospect of the ordination of women bishops in the Church of England. This matter has rumbled on for about ten years, but a conclusion is likely soon, following the expected vote in the C of E synod next week. This could induce some C of E members who are wavering to make up their minds.
For those who are interested in such things, the annual general meeting of the Latin Mass society will take place next Saturday at 11am in the hall associated with Westminster Cathedral. There will be a solemn Mass at 2pm in the Cathedral.
I have been looking at Vatican statistics for Korea. The Catholic population is 5,393,000 which is 10.7% of the total population of 50.2 million.
There are 35 bishops in 15 dioceses, and they have 4261 priests. The most interesting figure is that there are 1884 seminarians. By my estimation this should translate into at least 250 ordinations per year, and a steadily increasing number of priests. Korea is broadly similar to England and Wales in terms of population and Catholic population, and yet it can look forward to about ten times as many ordinations each year. The Koreans must be doing something right.
The major traditional orders of priests are having had a bumper crop of ordinations this year. Twelve men were ordained to the priesthood in the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, eight in the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and three in the Institute of the Good Shepherd, giving a total of 23. This is the highest number for several years, if not the highest number ever.
Alas, there are none from England or Wales amongst this year's priestly ordinations, but there is the prospect of two next year, and several in the years to come.
Someone has added a comment on the post about tabernacles asserting that the Mass of Ages is the Ordinary Form of the Mass. Whoever wrote this has preserved his or her anonymity, so we may never know who it is. However, it does seem an odd comment to make, as the novus ordo, now often called the ordinary form, was only promulgated in 1970. Before that date, it did not exist. Prior to 1970, the form of the the Mass celebrated throughout most of the Western Church since the Council of Trent had been the Tridentine Mass. This is essentially the same as as the Mass as it had been celebrated in Rome and most of Italy since the time of St Gregory the Great. How can this contributor claim that that the Ordinary Form, with a history of just 44 years is the Mass of Ages, when the extraordinary form has been about for 400 years and arguably 1400 years.
Fr Michael Brown, in his blog Gateshead Revisited, has commented on the number of personal parishes in America that have been granted to the care of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter. I believe that there are already 30 with more expected in the autumn. We do not yet have a traditional liturgy personal parish in this country, although the Institute of Christ the King have a shrine church in New Brighton and will shortly be getting a second one in Preston. The Fraternity, of course, do share the use of a church with a regular diocesan parish in Reading. -
Times are changing, however, and it may not be long before priests of the traditional orders are invited to take control of churches in other dioceses. The process may be driven along by the shortage of priests. Faced with the choice between closing a church and, inviting a traditional order of priests to take charge, it may be that, in future, bishops will be more inclined to opt for the latter. We have an example of a step in this direction in York, where Oratorians have been invited to take over the church of St Wilfrid. Maybe there will be an opportunity in Hull or Middlesbrough to do something similar, but involving one of the traditional orders. There is nothing like being optimistic!
I have just read on Fr Henry's blog, Offerimus Tibi Domine, that Most Rev Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois has issued a directive concerning the positioning of tabernacles. He requires that in all churches and chapels of the diocese, where the tabernacle was formerly in the centre of the sanctuary, it should be returned to its original position, in accordance with the original architectural design. Only in churches where the tabernacle has never been at the centre of the sanctuary is it allowed to remain in an alternative position, and then only if it is in a visible, prominent and noble position.
I often think that, if one wants to speculate on how things will be in this country in 20 years time, it is a good idea to look at what is happening in Americaat the present time.
It is widely expected that the general synod of the Church of England, due to take place in York in July, will vote in favour of appointing women bishops. If this is the case, the first female episcopal appointment in the Church of England could be early in 2015. Female bishops already exist in several churches that are members of the Anglican Communion, but as the mother church of the Communion, the acceptance of women bishops in the Church of England would have particular significance for Anglican-Catholic relations.
In the connection, it is interesting to note the remarks of Archbishop Welby in an interview that he gave following his recent visit to Rome. He said that "it was something that he would have to deal with" and that "it was a difficulty, rather than a serious blow to hopes of eventual unity". As far as I can discover, he did not go on to describe how he intends to deal with the difficulty, and I would not envy him the task. It would seem to me to be an intractable problem with no solution, and therefore more than a difficulty.
There will be an outdoor Corpus Christi procession tomorrow (Sunday 22nd June) in York. It will follow the 11am Mass (ordinary form) at St Wilfrid's church, and so will start around midday. The blessed sacrament will be carried beneath a canopium through the streets of York. From the church, the procession will turn left into High Petergate and pass under Bootham Bar, where it will turn left again, passing along St Leonards Place before returning to the church.
I have just looked at the statistics for viewings of this blog. The top ten countries for the past week are:
Ukraine is way out in front, and other communist or former communist countries feature prominently. Has anyone any suggestions as to why this should be?
The annual general meeting of the Latin Mass Society will take place in the Hall of Westminster Cathedral at 11am on Saturday 12th July. It will be followed by an optional buffet lunch (cost £5) and then by Solemn Mass in the cathedral at 2pm. Anyone wishing to take part in the lunch should book it by telephoning the LMS on 020 7404 7284. The celebrant at the Mass will be Fr Glaysher from the Isle of Wight.
Rorate Coeli has a post mentioning that three deacons are to be ordained priests in France using the traditional (pre 1968) liturgies. These are to take place in Chartres Cathedral later this month and the officiating bishop will be Bishop Mark Aillet of Bayonne. From the way that the report is written, I am assuming that the three ordinands will be diocesan priests and that they come from different dioceses. If this assumption is correct, it would seem to break new ground. At least in some dioceses in France, ordinands are being given the choice between the old and the new forms, when it comes to their priestly ordination. Does anyony have any more information on this development?
Nowadays, many people would think of Pope St John XXIII as a progressive pope as the associate him with the calling of the Second Vatican Council, andthe developments that ensued from that. However, the truth is very different. I have recently come across the following extract from his diary that dates to 1951 when he was the nuncio in Paris.
"I went to Mass at Saint Severin. The Mass was facing the people whioch is a serious violation of liturgical law. the canon was read out loud and not secreto as the missal prescribes.... I have warned the pastor about this serious abuse... Oh, the trouble I have with these hotheads and eccentrics!
The feast of Corpus Christi will be celebrated in the traditional rite at the church of St Wilfrid in York on Thursday 19th June with a sung Mass at 6pm. This will be in addition to the observance of the feast in the novus ordo on Sunday 22nd June, when there will be an outdoor procession.
I note that the Dominicans are appealing for funds to train their increasing numbers of novices. There are currently 12 novices, and it is estimated that it costs £115,000 to put each student through his 7 years of training. There is to be a sponsored walk from coast to coast in July and several of the novices will be taking part. More information can be found on the GodsDogs blog.
It is encouraging to see that the Dominicans, or Order of Preachers, has so many novices.
There was a very beautiful Mass in St Wilfrid's Church in York for the feast of Pentecost. The Solemn Mass was celebrated by the parish priest, Fr Richard Duffield, with Fr Nicholas Edmunds-Smith as deacon and Fr Stephen Brown as sub-deacon. The musical setting was Palistrina's Missa Brevis, wonderfully sung by the Rudgate Singers. The congregation was also the largest that I have seen at the 5pm traditional Mass since it started following the arrival of the Oratorians in York. It was the most impressive Mass that I have attended for a long while, and maybe an indicator of how liturgy will develop in York under the Oratorians.
On Sunday 1st June, Fr David Lashbrooke of the Torbay Ordinariate group celebrated Mass in a disused church, which the group is renting from the Methodists. The Methodist community are vacating their church in Chelston, Torbay, which is a Grade II Listed Building, and are looking for a Christian group to take it over. It is the hope of Fr Lashbrooke that money will be found to purchase the church, together with the associated buildings. Although the group has been very welcome at the nearby Catholic Church of the Holy Angels, the range of facilities at at the former Methodist church would, in the words of Fr Lashbrooke, allow the Ordinariate group to "extend its outreach to the local community".
Some commentators have been saying that the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has been stagnating in recent month, without growing at the pace that many expected. However, there are many indications that things are happening which could be the springboard for future growth. The confidence shown by the Torbay group in contemplating the purchase of a major building is one such indication.
I wrote recently about meeting a young man from Sweden named Martin, whom I met at Belmont Abbey and who is active in promoting the traditional Mass in his country. Now, there is encouraging news from Denmark, where opposition from clergy is widespread. An exception is the Diocese of Copenhagen, where Bishop Kozen has shown great sympathy and has offered Mass in the usus antiquior himself. Outside this diocese, the traditional Mass seems completely absent.
The Society of St Canute has been formed to promote the traditional Mass in Denmark, and we wish it every success.
The 5pm Mass on Sunday 8th June (Pentecost Sunday) at the Church of St Wilfrid in York will be a Solumn Mass. This will be achieved with the assistance of Fr Stephen Brown who will be travelling from Bradford to make up the third priest. The serving team will be having to do some homework in the next week, so as not to let the side down.
The United States Catholic Bishops Conference have commissioned a survey of the 477 men expected to be ordained to the priesthood during 2014. The list, which includes diocesan and religious, was compiled by contacting all known US seminaries. It is not clear whether this includes the FSSP seminary in Denton.
Here are a few of the points which emerged.
1 The average age of ordinands is 34.
2 9% are converts.
3 81% have two Catholic parents.
4 60% had a previous career.
5 On average they first considered the priesthood at the age of 17.
6 48% said that they received active discouragement.
A reminder that there will be additional Latin Masses at the Church of St Wilfrid in York on the following feast days:
Thursday 29th May The Ascension and
Thursday 19th June Corpus Christi
They will both be at 6pm, so should be convenient for people leaving work.
The video of the pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow and the Martyrs of York taken and edited by Mike Lord has now been produced. It can be found on the main website of the Latin Mass Society. To find it, click on the tile called Vimeo. It is well worth while taking a look.
I have just returned from four days at Belmont Abbey, near Hereford, where the Latin Mass Society's most recent Priest and Server Training Conference has been taking place. A total of 37 people took part, including priests, deacons, servers, tutors, a schola and an organist. It was a great success.
There were two groups of priests learning to celebrate Low Mass, and one of priests, deacons and servers studying Solemn Mass. There were also two groups of servers learning to serve Low Mass, some of whom graduated on to Missa Cantata. Tuition was also given in Latin.
Belmont Abbey proved to be a very good venue for the conference, having a beautiful abbey church with sufficient altars for all the groups. The food was excellent, and the sleeping accommodation very comfortable, although some of our participants had to be billeted out to a guest house about a mile away, which proved to be exceptionally grand. The free and easy way in which we were able to use all the facilities helped to make the event very enjoyable.
Pictures of the conference have been posted by Joseph Shaw on his blog, LMS Chairman.
One unexpected event is worth special mention. On the Thursday, the feast of St Joseph the Worker, I noticed a taxi pulling up outside the abbey church a few minutes before the Solemn Mass was about to start. A young man with a rucksack got out and went into the church. I gave him a service book, and he stayed for Mass. Afterwards, I asked him who he was and where he came from. He told me in perfect English that his name was Martin, and he came from Sweden. He is an assiduous follower of the Latin Mass in Sweden, regularly attending the Masses celebrated by Canon Kunkel. He seemed very well informed about the Latin Mass Scene in England and throughout the world.
It turned out that Martin was holidaying in England and was visiting the Catholic Church in Hereford, when he noticed a poster giving details of the conference and the public services that were part of it. There was just time for him to take a taxi for the start of Mass.
Those people who follow Anglican matters will be aware that the Archbishop of Canterbury took part in a phone-in programme recently, on which he made some very controversial remarks about the consequences for the people of Africa, if the Church of England decided to approve of same sex marriage. This has been widely reported.
On the whole, I thought that Archbishop Welby performed rather well on the programme, despite having to discuss some issues that are very divisive for the Church of England. He came across as a very well meaning person, trying to grapple with some very difficult issues. It was clear to me that he was torn between the desire to uphold his personal orthodox beliefs, which were formed in the evangelical wing of the Church of England, and the need to be a credible leader of an increasingly liberal Church where almost everything goes.
However, there was another notable comment made by the archbishop. In discussing the matter of women bishops, he enthusiastically supported their ordination, and looked forward to the first appointment, which he expected would be in early 2015. Then he came to the point. When asked what would become of those in the church who did not accept women bishops, he said "A few will go to the Catholic Church .... to the Ordinariate".
So the archbishop expects the Ordinariate to benefit from a few who will leave the Church of England in the next year or so. I presume that the archbishop, when using the phrase a few, is talking in proportionate terms - that is not many in relation to the total membership of the C of E. Maybe less than one per cent. Are we talking of 1,000 or maybe 10,000? We do not know, but I think it will be in this range, and a disproportionate number of them will be clergy.
There is some really excellent news from the Diocese of Lancaster. Bishop Campbell has handed over the church of St Walburge in Preston, Lancashire to the care of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. Like its counterpart in New Brighton, it will be a shrine church dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament. Although it will be staffed by the Institute, and will provide daily Masses in the extraordinary form, it will operate within a parish served by a priest of the diocese.
St Walburge's church is best known for its high spire, in fact it is the highest of any parish church in England, only surpassed by Salisbury Cathedral. It is a very large church built in the Gothic style in the middle of the 19th century and can be seen for up to 10 miles away. It is unusual for a Gothic church of that size, in that it has no side aisles, and consequently the sanctuary is clearly visible from every seat. The church was one of the architectural masterpieces of Joseph Aloysius Hansom, whose other works include the church of the Holy Name in Manchester and the cathedral in Arundel.
Joseph Aloysius Hansom was a native of York, but first became famous for his design of the City Hall in Birmingham, which was in the classical style. His name is preserved in another achievement of his, the Hansom cab. He designed many churches, mostly Catholic and of more modest proportions, including St George's in York, Sacred Heart in Howden and St John the Evangelist in Easingwold.
The Institute of Christ the king will be taking over at St Walberge's towards the end of the year.
One of the things that impressed me about the procession through the streets of York, was the respect shown by bystanders, most of whom would probably never have seen such a procession before. Many were obviously tourists, and they were easily identified by their keenness to take photographs. With very few exceptions, the general public were extremely courteous, usually moving out of the way to allow the procession to pass through the very narrow streets.
Of course, the procession passed a number of pubs, and it was outside these that the odd cat call or mocking remark was heard. Very close to the end, the procession passed in front of the door of a pub, temporally blocking the entrance. As I was passing, a rather hefty and heavily tattooed man was emerging who appeared a little the worse for drink. I expected trouble, but was surprised to see that he, and a woman who was with him, held back in the doorway and joined in saying the rosary.
The Pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow and the York Martyrs took place last Saturday, and by all accounts was a great success. The Solemn Mass at St Wilfrid's Church in York was celebrated by Fr Michael Brown of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese, with Fr John Cahill of the Nottingham Diocese as Deacon and Fr Stephen Brown of the Leeds Diocese as Sub-deacon. Music was provided by the Rudgate Singers, who sang Mozart's Missa Brevis.
The Mass was followed by the customary procession through the streets of York with recitation of the Rosary led by the various clergy. The procession paused outside the house in The Shambles, which is the shrine to Margaret Clitherow, and on Ouse Bridge, close to the place of her execution. A statue of Margaret Clitherow, beautifully decorated with flowers, was carried throughout the procession, and there were also banners.
The procession returned to St Wilfrid's Church via Lendel Bridge for Solemn Benediction, after which tea and refreshments were served.
No pictures of the event have yet appeared on the internet, although, no doubt they will do soon. Look out for them on the LMS Chairman's Blog and on the main LMS website.
There are 55 Oratories around the world, most of them in western Europe. This number is likely to increase in the next few years with Oratories in formation in Manchester, York, San Francisco, Jamaica and Brisbane. The notion of the Oratory was invented by St Philip Neri in the middle of the sixteenth century with the creation of the Congregation of the Oratory in Rome. During the next 100 years, further Oratories were opened, parti9cularly in Italy, France and Germany.
The first Oratory to be opened in England was by John Henry Newman who founded the Birmingham Oratory in 1847. A few years later Frederick Faber founded what eventually became the Brompton Oratory in London. There was not to be another Oratory founded in England until about 20 years ago when some priests left the Birmingham Oratory to form one in Oxford.
More recently, there have been efforts to establish an Oratory in Manchester. Initially, it was to be formed around the Holy Name Church, but has now settled at St Chad's Church. This community is likely to be declared an Oratory soon. The latest development has been in York, where priests from the Oxford Oratory have made the first moves to establish an Oratory there.
Priests of the Congregation of Oratorians live in community, but differ from monks in that they take no special vows.
There will be a Latin Mass at 6pm in St Wilfrid's Church in York on Tuesday 25th March, the feast of the Annunciation.
On the same day at 7.pm, a meeting has been called to discuss the future organisation of the various churches in York, in the light of a declining number of priests. This will take place at 7.pm in the hall of St Aelred's Church, Tang Hall. It is proposed that York should constitute a single "Pastoral Area", which means that some activities should be organised on a York wide basis. Put another way, there should be more cooperation between parishes. Maybe some flesh will be added to this proposal at the meeting.
It could be useful to have a decent representation of supporters of the Latin Mass at this meeting.
As well as the EF Masses already taking place at St. Wilfrid's this week for the Solemnity of the Annunciation tomorrow at 6pm (Low Mass) and the Pilgrimage mass in honour of St. Margaret Clitherow and the York Martyrs on Saturday at 1.30pm (Solemn High Mass), Fr. P. Mulholland will be celebrating mass in the extraordinary form at St Francis of Assisi, 45 Wembley Park Avenue Hull HU8 0ND on Thursday evening, 27th March 2014 at 7pm. It will be a dialogue mass and is the feast day of St. John Damascene. All are welcome.
This is a reminder that the pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow and the Martyrs of York will take place at St Wilfrid's Church in York NEXT Saturday, 29th March. The Solemn Mass will be at 1.30pm, with the procession following at 3.15pm. Benediction will be at about 4pm. Music by the Rudgate Singers.
I was very pleased to read this morning that Bishop Malcolm McMahon OP, currently Bishop of Nottingham, is to be the new Archbishop of Liverpool. Bishop McMahon is one of very of the very few bishops in England and Wales who is willing and able to celebrate Mass in the older form. He celebrated the principal Mass at last years training conference at Ratcliffe College, and this was greatly appreciated by all who attended, priests and laity alike. Back in 2008, he was the celebrant at Solemn Vespers at an earlier Priests' Training Conference at Merton College in Oxford. He was also the principal after dinner speaker, and his oration went down exceptionally well on that occasion. I am sure that he will make an excellent Archbishop of Liverpool.
This is not the only recent episcopal appointment that should give cheer to those who love good liturgy. A few days ago, it was announced that Fr Robert Byrne (Cong Orat) will be taking up the post of Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Fr Byrne is a member of the Oxford Oratory, and it almost goes without saying that this must be a good thing.
Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne has erected a personal parish for the traditional Mass community in his archdiocese. It is based in Caulfield, which is a suburb of Melbourne. The parish will formally be designated the Parish of Blessed John Henry Newman and Fr Tattersall will be appointed Parish Priest.
The church has hitherto been under the patronage of St Aloysius and is a fine building in the neo-gothic style. Two Latin Masses are offered each Sunday.
In this regard, Australia is ahead of England, as no personal parish for the traditional rites has been erected here. The nearest that we have is a shrine church in New Brighton, but this is not a parish.
The website of the conference of the bishops of France gives the numbers of priestly ordinations in 2013 for each diocese. There are 108 dioceses in France.
During the year, there were 92 ordinations for diocesan priests, which is less than one per diocese. The top performing dioceses were:-
Le Mans 2,
Le Puy 2,
There were 21 dioceses with a single ordination, leaving 72 dioceses without any at all.
There were also 38 ordinations for priests belonging to religious orders. I am not sure whether this includes the traditional orders or not.
The striking feature is how much the top performing dioceses are ahead of run of the mill. Needless to say, Frejus-Toulon has a bishop who is well disposed to the traditional Mass.
England and Wales performs rather better than France with an average of just over one ordination per diocese. Scotland, regrettably is doing less well.
Supporters of the older form of the Mass in the Middlesbrough Diocese have reason to be thankful to Bishop Drainey. Soon after Bishop Drainey was appointed as Bishop of Middlesbrough, I had a meeting with him, and it immediately became obvious that he acknowledged the need to improve the provision of usus antiquior Masses in the diocese. He understood that this would require additional priests able and willing to celebrate Mass in that form, and promptly set about the task of finding suitable priests. One priest responded to his request, and this was Fr Stephen Maughan, who became the regular celebrant of the Sunday Masses in York.
Later, the shortage of priests in the diocese became so acute that Fr Maughan was required elsewhere, but he continued to offer monthly Masses in York, and Bishop Drainey arranged for Fr James Callaghan OSB to offer Mass on another Sunday each Month. By good fortune, Fr David Smith, who serves as an army chaplain, was able to offer Mass on the remaining Sundays, although this was an arrangement which would have had to come to an end when Fr Smith was posted elsewhere.
A more permanent solution to the availability of the traditional Mass in York has now been found, and again we can thank Bishop Drainey for this. He has welcomed Oratorians into the diocese, and part of his reason for doing this is to ensure the continued provision of Mass in the older form.
Regrettably, there are other dioceses where those attached to the traditional Mass are not treated as well by their bishops as we have been in Middlesbrough. An example is the Diocese of Fort Worth in the USA, where the students of More Fisher College have been denied the right given to them by Pope Benedict XVI in his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. The letter that a student of that college has received from his bishop can be seen on Rorate Coeli and other blogs.
The annual pilgrimage organised by the Latin Mass Society in honour of St Martgaret Clitherow and the Martyrs of York will take place on Saturday 29th March in York. Here is a picture of the pilgrimage of 2012 which was attended by Bishop Drainey.
The pilgrimage will start with a Solemn Mass at 1.30pm in the church of St Wilfrid and will be followed at 3.15pm by a procession through the city streets, passing through The Shambles and over Ouse Bridge, before returning to St Wilfrid's Church for Benediction at about 4pm.
This year, all of the 51 martyrs who were executed in York are being included.
Fr Duffield has given me a list of additional Masses in the usus antiquior planned for St Wilfrid's Church in York. The are a follows:
Ash Wednesday 5th March 6pm Wednesday
The Annunciation 25th March 6pm Tuesday
The Ascension 29th May 6pm Thursday
Corpus Christi 19th June 6pm Thursday
The Assumption 15th August 6pm Friday
All Saints 1st November 11am Saturday
All Souls 3rd November 6pm Monday
It is not clear at the moment whether any of these will be Sung Masses.
Apologies for the layout. I cannot get the return to work for new lines.
Over at Auntie Joanna Writes, Joanna Bogle reports on her recent visit to Clifton Cathedral. Usually this author chooses her words carefully so as not to cause anyone any offence. In this post, she pours scorn on the building and on the Sunday Mass that she attended. She has not a good word to say about the place, or the liturgy offered there.
The one and only time that I have visited Clifton Cathedral was in the 1960s, soon after it opened. I thought then that, architecturally, it was totally devoid of merit. Nearly 50 years later, Joanna Bogle has come to the same conclusion. Probably, the only thing to have changed is that there are now rows of buckets on the floor to collect the water from the leaking roof!
At this time of the year, I often think about the differences between the new and old forms of the Mass when it comes to the naming of Sundays. We have the succession Septuagessima, Sexagessima and Quinquagessima. How much more interesting these are than sixth, seventh and eight Sundays of Ordinary Time. The expression Ordinary Time seems so mundane.
I often think that the modern nomenclature is what one might expect from a Communist state, where people might live on the 9th Floor of Block 17 in District 34 of a particular town.
This is a reminder that as from this coming Sunday, 23rd February, which is Sexagessima Sunday, the regular Sunday evening Mass at St Wilfrid's Church in York will be a Missa Cantata. Music, usually plainsong, will be provided by the Rudgate Singers.
The Rudgate Singers are looking for more singers, as the church is quite large and requires a lot of filling with sound. Additional servers are also needed, especially during university holiday times, as some of the regular crew are students.
There are reports on the internet that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the Archbishop of San Francisco has asked Fr Joseph Illo, who is currently chaplain to Thomas Aquinas College to found an Oratory in downtown San Francisco. The initial community is likely to consist of Fr Illo, another priest and two brothers. It seems that the archbishop will provide a suitable church, on the condition that Fr Illo comes up with some financial guarantees that will tide the new Oratory over its first three years. Fr Illo launched an appeal earlier this month, and has already received pledges for two thirds of the $220,000 that is required. So the financial hurdle is well on the way to being met.
It has not been disclosed which church the archbishop has in mind, but it is likely to have a prominent position in the city centre, as the Oratorian mission is very much one to city dwellers.
During the first two weeks of February, 15 young men were ordained to the major order of Sub-deacon, and it is likely that they will become deacons later this year. All could be ordained priests in 2015.
Bishop Alain Castet of Lausanne in France has issued some instructions concerning the manner in which Mass can be celebrated in the usus antiquior in his diocese. He has decreed that:
Communion must be given in the hand if requested,
The Epistle and Gospel must be read only in French, and not previously read in Latin and
The Epistle and Gospel must be read by a lay person.
It seems that this bishop is trying to go as far as he can to put restrictions on the celebration of the older form of the Mass, without specifically contravening the provisions of Summorum Pontificum, although this is arguable.
The interesting question to ask is: What motivates Bishop Castet to introduce such restrictions? It surely cannot be his concern to satisfy those of the faithful who have an attachment to the older form.
On 9th February, there was a Solemn Mass in the shared chapel at the Massachussets Institute of Technology, and it was attended by about 150 students. The chapel is a space age building, not very well suited to the traditional Mass, but a way was found to make it work, and reports indicate that the event was a great success. There is a picture on New Liturgical Movement.
It follows a Solemn Mass in the chapel of the Catholic Chaplaincy of Harvard University last autumn which was also very successful. These two Masses were both firsts for Solemn Masses in the two institutions but in both cases they certainly will not be the last.
This contrasts, somewhat, with what we find in English Universities, where there is generally considerable resistance to the usus antiquior in any form. As is very often the case, then US is in the lead, showing us what can be done.
I am sure that there are students at English universities with similar enthusiasm for the usus antiquior. We need them to be more active in their campaigning.
On the final Sunday of this month (that is Sunday 24th Feb), the Mass in York will be a Missa Cantata. Thereafter, it is planned that all the Sunday Masses in York will be Missae Cantatae.
This will put some additional pressure on both the serving team and the choir. Anyone with the appropriate skills, who is willing to help out in either of these areas is urged to make themselves known after Mass. Training can be arranged for any men, especially young men, or boys who would like to learn to serve.
I have just looked at the statistics for page views of this blog. In recent weeks there has been much interest from Germany, The top ten countries last week were:
United States 176
United Kingdom 103
New Zealand 7
The US and the UK are usually at the top of the list but have recently given way Germany and the Ukraine. Could it be that the behaviour of some of the German bishops has provoked German Catholics to take a renewed interest in traditional matters? It also puzzles me why Ukraine, which is consistently in the top ten, scores so highly.
The Archbishop of Colombo in Sri Lanka, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, has restored the practice of Communion being received only on the tongue and whilst kneeling to his diocese. He says that that is the most appropriate way of expressing belief in the real presence.
He has asked that altar rails be restored in all churches and chapels of the Archdiocese.
Well done Cardinal! We could do with a few more like you.
Some of you might be wandering what happened to the post entitled: Statistics from New Zealand. I am wondering as well, because it just disappeared, and I have no record of what I wrote. The main point was that according to the recent national census, the Catholic Church has overtaken the Anglican Church of New Zealand, as the largest denomination in the country.
The number of people claiming adherence to the Anglican Church had declined by, I think, 17% since the previous census, which was six years earlier. Catholic adherence had declined by 4% over the same period.
The Latin Mass Society is offering places at its forthcoming Priest and Server Training Conference entirely free to seminarians studying at any of the seminaries serving the dioceses of England and Wales.
The conference will take place at Belmont Abbey, near Hereford from 29th April to 2nd May 2014, and will provide tuition in the extraordinary form of the Mass. According to how advanced the students are in their progress through seminary, they will be able to follow a course on serving, sub-deaconing, deaconing or celebrating Mass.
Details of how to book a place can be found on the main website of the Latin Mass Society.
Fr John Cahill is holding an interesting event on Saturday 22nd February at his parish in Leicester. He has chosen the Feast of the Chair of St Peter to devote a day explaining the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to people who are new to it.
The day starts with a Solemn Mass at 11am and ends with Solemn Benediction at 4.30pm. In between, the meeting will divide into groups where participants can be instructed in the following subjects:
The History of the Roman Rite,
Responses for Low Mass,
Serving Low Mass and
Chants for Mass and Benediction.
Tea and Coffee will be provided, but participants should bring their own lunch.
The venue is St Peter's Church, Hinkley Road, Leicester. LE3 0TA
It is well worth while visiting the American website of the Institute of Christ the King to see how the traditional movement is thriving that side of the Atlantic. The Institute has twelve churches in the USA, and most of these are large impressive buildings. In fact, many of them are so large that they had been shut down on the grounds that they were too expensive to maintain. Under new management these churches are prospering.
The centre of operations is the State of Illinois, where the Institute has three churches. In Chicago is the very large shrine church which is the headquarters of the American operation. Before the Institute took over, it had been closed for many years and became burnt out as the result of a mysterious fire. Now it is gradually being restored. Also in Illinois, there are churches in Cahokia and Rockford.
Not far away in the State of Missouri, the Institute has Churches at St Louis and Kansas City. The Church of St Francis in St Louis is especially impressive with a very high spire. That at Kansas City was also taken over as a burnt out shell, and has undergone complete restoration.
There are three churches in the State of Wisconsin, located at Milwalkie, Green Bay and Wassau. Towards the West Coast there are churches at San Jose and Oakland in California, and on the East Coast, there is a church at West Orange in New Jersey.
Currently, a convent is being established in St Louis by the associated order of nuns, the Sister Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus.
In Low Week, the Latin Mass Society will be organising its tenth conference for the training of priests and servers wishing to study the older form of the Roman Rite. It will run from Tuesday 29th April to Friday 2nd May, and be held at Belmont Abbey, near Hereford.
Separate courses will be run in Low Mass, Missa Cantata and Solemn Mass, so there will be something for all levels of ability, including complete beginners. For priests attending the conference, tuition will be given by priests who are experienced in celebrating Mass in its usus antiquior form, and the teaching of servers will generally be undertaken by laymen.
Seminarians will be especially welcome at the conference, with those in the more junior years learning to serve and more senior students studying the roles of sub-deacon, deacon and celebrant. This year, seminarians will be able to join the conference completely free of charge.
For priests and other laymen, the fee has been set at £100, with a concessionary rate of £50 for full time students. These rates include full board and lodging. For further details and application form, go the website of the Latin Mass Society.
The Institute of Christ the King Supreme Priest has been thwarted in its efforts to open a second seminary.
The former papal seminary of Cuglieri in Sardinia has been empty since 1970. In that year, ownership was transferred to the Conference of the Bishops of the Mediterranean Islands. They, having no use for the buildings, sold the property in 1976 to the regional government of that part of Sardinia.
The seminary continued to be unused until 2012 when The ICKSP reached a deal to purchase the property with the view of opening a second seminary for their order. We now hear that the bishops of Sardinia intervened and persuaded the owners not to sell to the ICKSP, but instead to allow the buildings to be developed as an inter-religious and inter-cultural centre. This is now what is happening.
The buildings, which date back to 1927 and are set in unspoiled countryside, would have been ideal for the ICKSP, whose seminary at Gricigliano near Florence is bursting at the seams with students. As a former papal seminary, it is not surprising that the buildings are rather grand, and include a chapel that would suit the style of ceremonies that the Institute favour.
It really does seem more than a coincidence that, after the buildings lying empty for more than 40 years, the bishops came up with their scheme at exactly the time that the Institute were negotiating to purchase. Could it be that traditionalists were unwelcome!
This story has been picked up from Eponymous Flower, and was in turn picked up from a German site.
I strongly advise readers to go to the blog, New Liturgical Movement, and look at the post about the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus in Brooklyn, New York. The story is about a church built in the neogothic style about 150 years ago. It had a rather remarkable sanctuary with a spectacular altar and reredos. In 1980, this was considered outdated, and the church was subjected to a particularly bad reordering scheme - in fact the scheme was so bad and so poorly executed that you have to see a video of it to believe how bad it was.
Two and a half years ago, an new priest, Fr Jim Cunningham, arrived in the parish and he determined to restore the church back to something like its original form. He has raised $2.35million towards this work and the diocese has supplied him with an altar and reredos from a disused church.
The video tells the rest of the story. I have been unable to embed it here, so go over to New Liturgical Movement.
I have just been looking at a leaflet published by the Diocese of Lincoln in Nebraska, USA. It is an appeal from their former bishop, the Most Reverend Fabian Bruskewitz, for funds towards the cost of training the diocese's seminarians. The bishop had good reason for appealing for this cause, as I suspect that the Diocese of Lincoln might have the highest costs of any diocese in the world for training its priests.
In the centre fold of this leaflet, which is a couple of years old now, are the photographs of all the seminarians of the Diocese of Lincoln in the year 2010-2011. They are 41 in number. I understand that there are now 44. Looking at the photographs, there are only two who look as if they could be over the age of 30.
So it seems unlikely that there will be any shortage of priests in the Lincoln Diocese during the next 50 or so years.
When asked why the Diocese of Lincoln was so successful in attracting priestly vocations, Bishop Bruskewitz said that it was all down to payer. Although I am sure that this is part of the answer, I suspect that another part is to do with the way that the bishop has run the diocese. He always expected his priests, to set a good example in their holiness, and insisted that all liturgies were carried out with great reverence and dignity. It is noticeable that every one of the seminarians is very smartly turned out and in full clerical dress.
Maybe there are some bishops this side of the Atlantic who could learn from Bishop Bruskewitz. Maybe we would not have such a shortage of priests this side of the Atlantic if our bishops had started to follow the example of Bishop Bruskewitz twenty years ago.
It has been reported that 40 major seminarians from the Mundelein Seminary - that is the seminary of the Archdiocese of Chicago, although it also serves other dioceses - will be attending a Solemn High Mass on 19th January at the Church of St Odilo in Berwin, which I believe is a district of Chicago. This church has a regular Sunday Mass in the usus antiquior, and apparently an accomplished choir. On this occasion, they will be singing Palistrina's Missa Aeterna Christi Munera.
According to their website, the Mundelein Seminary, also known as the University of St Mary of the Lake, has about 190 students studying for the priesthood, so I would presume that "40 major seminarians" represents most, if not all, of the seminarians in their final years. It would certainly seem that this visit to the church of St Odilo has some official backing from the seminary authorities.
Again, I am not sure whether instruction in the celebration of Mass in the usus antiquior is included in the seminary curriculum, but it certainly seems to be the case that Mundelein students do have the opportunity to experience the usus antiquior in its most impressive form. This is in stark contrast to the practice in the seminaries of England and Wales, where students are kept far away from the traditional Mass.
The Latin Mass Society will be holding its annual pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow in York on Saturday 29th March. As usual, it will begin with Mass at St Wilfrid's Church at 1.30pm and be followed by a procession through the streets of York, taking in The Shambles and Ouse Bridge.
Rather than continue to the Church of the English Martyrs as in previous years, the procession will return to St Wilfrid's for Benediction at about 4pm. This change is in response to comments that the procession has been too long in previous years, and will shorten the distance walked considerably.
Another innovation is to include all the Martyrs of York in the dedication of the pilgrimage. York, as a city, has more Catholic martyrs associated with it than any other in England, and it is appropriate that these should not be forgotten.
When there were regular Latin Masses at the Church of the English Martyrs in York, all the organisation, including paying stipends to the priest, were made by the Latin Mass Society. Consequently, it was appropriate for the benefit of any gift aid to accrue to the Latin Mass Society. Envelopes were provided so that those people wishing to take part in the gift aid scheme could do so.
Now that the Mass is held at St Wilfrid's Church, and is a parish Mass. it is appropriate that any gift aid should accrue to the parish, So LMS gift aid envelopes are no longer provided. People wishing to contribute in a tax efficient way can do so by making a standing order and signing a gift aid declaration. Please see Fr Duffield for the form.
I was interested to see that the Church of England reclaimed £83million in gift aid in the year 2011, and 8% of all gift aid payments that the government makes are made to the Church of England and related charities. The Cof E is remarkably efficient in exploiting this source of income.