Sunday, September 28, 2008

A good Sabbath

I rarely get a chance to have a lie-in. This morning was a lovely exception, from about 9.00a.m. to 11.00a.m. I was able to listen to the digital wireless and read the first few chapters of Stella Rimmington's latest spy novel, now in paperback which I picked up at Borders yesterday. This was the first weekend I have been able to this for well over two months. The lovely weather and good moods convinced us that a trip to the coast for tea after Mass was well in order. So after Mass we set off to Whitby.

The Mass in Leeds attracts quite a large group of members, I saw at least fourteen. I was also able to meet and thank the new P.P. Fr. Jackson who is happy for us to continue to have use of the church on the last Sunday of the month.

A reminder from Fr. Smith in his sermon last night that October is the month of the Holy Rosary - and that saying even one decade a day is a worthy way to celebrate this month (and I would add the victory at Lepanto).

Father Abberton will be in Lourdes next week and so there will be no Mass at Heckmondwike next Sunday (5th. October)

Reminder that there is Mass every Sunday at Castleford, St. Joseph's at 3.00p.m. and at Manchester's Holy Name, directly opposite the University in Oxford Rd. at 4.00p.m.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stunning picture

I came across this beautiful picture on the FFSP website advertising their American workshops in the rubrics of the Extraordinary Mass.

The Catholic up

Having retired to bed taking LAST week's Catholic Times I spotted Mgr. Basil Loftus's latest diatribe against the Old Mass. I have been having trouble lately with my newsagent's unreliability. I suddenly asked myself, having read Basil's Vatican Counsel article, why should I be wasting a pound a week on this drivel. Meanwhile for £38 a year I can get and then keep copies of The Catholic Herald electronically. So I shall now e-mail the Catholic Times to say that I am cancelling my order because Basil's articles make it an increasingly drab and faded effort. It reminds me of the Universe in the 1970s. I shall then sign up with the Herald. This will save a further £14 a year. Total saved £66.
In the morning when my annoyance has passed I shall go to the newsagent's to see if THIS week's papers have come. Regardless of whether or not they have I shall cancel my order with them. Problems solved.
After Mass tomorrow afternoon at Batley, I expect a trip to Borders at Birstall for coffee and browsing. A school trip to Cologne before Christmas is now in the offing so I shall also be preparing the necessary documentation for this at some point tomorrow and I have to establish links with possible partner schools in Germany.

My tiredness has now passed!

Masses this weekend

This has been a hectic week at school. Thursday was our all singing all dancing open evening, which took what seemed like eternity to prepare for. As the kids settle in to the brand new school they are getting choppier and more difficult to deal with and of course the books need marking.

Mass tomorrow at St. Mary's, Crossbank Rd., Batley is at 3.00p.m.
and at St. Marie's, Gibbet Street, Halifax at 6.00pm.
And on Sunday at Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardigan Rd., Leeds at 3.00p.m.
and at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Rd., Castleford also at 3.00p.m

Next Friday is First Friday. Mass preceded by Confessions at St. Mary's, Batley at 7.30p.m.
October is the month of the Holy Rosary, please remember to offer a decade or two for the Holy Father.

8.15p.m. and I'm ready for bed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Training and Mass in Halifax

After a last minute slight change of plan at 10.40a.m. we decided, having waited until after 11.00a.m, to go down to St. Alban's, the chapel of ease, which was warmer, brighter and had a smaller and more functional organ to introduce, intone and accompany the chant. Singing in this very tasteful little church also helped acoustically and created a cosy but not stifling atmosphere in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. 17 out of an originally expected 24 people came to learn to sing the Mass Cum Jubilo, with psalm-toned propers, Credo III, the Asperges and Adoro te devote. The programme was really quite exhausting. At 5.00p.m. we headed back to St. Marie's to run through things once again and to set up the Sanctuary for the Missa Cantata. St. Marie's is one of those churches where everything seems to run like clockwork. On popping into church at about 10.45 a.m. I was greeted by the sight of a beautiful rosy faced blushing bride and her proud new husband, along with their friends and relatives, and Father Smith waiting patiently in procession for the photographer to open the second half of the door, which I duly did, allowing for the well proportioned photo flicker to start snapping.
Five minutes later Father Smith was engaged in attending to the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament to the strains of O Salutaris, before heading to the confessional for 40 minutes. At 11.05 I took the milk and music scores down to St. Alban's. Back at St. Marie's for 11.25a.m. I went to Confession and then headed back to St. Alban's having checked that there were no late-comers.
St. Marie's is a Parish where the Sacraments predominate. As well as welcoming and encouraging the Traditional Latin Mass each week there are Masses offered regularly in Polish and of course in English. The parishioners are warm-hearted people and Bridget and Tony who act as sacristans are wonderfully efficient and devoted people.
Mike Murphy worked us very hard - and himself even more so. At lunch he was able to recall his fond memories of Dr. Mary Berry at whose Requiem he sang in May at St. Birinus, Dorchester-on-Thames, where our old friend Fr. John Osman is P.P. .
Fr. Smith joined us immediately after lunch and sang his parts - namely the Asperges, intoning of the Gloria and Credo and the Ite missa est. We decided we would sing Faith of our Fathers after the prayer for the Queen.
The Mass itself was very uplifting and the newly formed little choir sang confidently and with expression under the direction of Mike Murphy.
Mike has agreed to lead another day probably in early 2009 - this time for the Mass Orbis factor, with Credo I and the Christus Vincit. Something in honour of our Blessed Lady will also be included. As the saying goes, please watch this space. This event will be in a different deanery. It has been suggested to me today that we take a different Mass setting to a different deanery each quarter - what could we do at the Cathedral's deanery Mass?
It was wonderful to hear the relatively large congregation raising the roof in singing Faith of our
Fathers at the end of Mass and thereby sounding the end of a busy and rewarding day. The day was initially financed by a bequest from the late Dorothy Simpson of York, who had strong links with Bradford, speaking both architecturally and clerically. But, without wishing to sound over-parochial, I must thank Angela and Jim for supplying the excellent snacks and nibbles and Joan's great organizational skills. I felt I was putting on weight looking at the coffee cake. Friday's lentil curry had (quite naturally) left me feeling somewhat full, but the coffee cake was too much of a temptation. I shall request a Mass be offered by Fr. Smith for the intentions of all those who made the day such a worthwhile experience.

So............ what went wrong?
I remembered the camera - but the batteries were flat (I have since found more pictures of our mental parsnip eating dog and the boys than I could shake a stick at on the camera - all taken before 7.00 a.m. this morning!); I remembered I had a cotta in the car, but forgot that my cassock and 25 new red Mass booklets and my cheque book were in a carrier bag under my desk as we breezed out of the door at 9.40 a.m. this morning. During Mass it occurred to me that my daughter could use her mobile 'phone to snap a few pictures - but as I was Master of Ceremonies it was impossible to even think of getting a message to her.
So what? It was a beautiful Mass.

Thanks be to Almighty God for such another busy and productive day.

Sorry about the absence of photos again.

God bless Pope Benedict XVI.

Friday, September 19, 2008

To update you: a busy day is a happy day :)

This week I have been busy preparing to send out letters to the Salford members. Having received details of the members upon my official appointment last week I have been engaged in typing up the labels and writing the letter itself. With a combined membership of over 300 in Leeds and Salford an up to date database is now even more essential. A very kind colleague at school spent a good deal of his time showing me how to manipulate spreadsheets to filter required information earlier today. I shall have to play with a mock spreadsheet over the weekend. This means that eventually I shall be able to group members deanery by deanery or parish by parish etc to alert those without access to the internet/e-mail by post.

Meanwhile I have again been in contact with several people in Salford and I have discussed the Ushaw Training Conference with Mr. Waddington at length. On Thursday evening I attended the first Leeds Diocesan co-ordination meeting for the Extraordinary form. Interest has already been expressed by a number of parties about the Ushaw Conference. There is to be extended training of altar servers and plans for another chant workshop day even before we gauge the success of tomorrow's chant day in Halifax. There will be a Missa cantata at 6.00p.m. at St. Marie's, Gibbet Street, (behind PC World), Halifax.

I pray that the Leeds diocesan pilgrimage to Walsingham tomorrow (a glance at the clock tells me that tomorrow is already today) will win our Blessed Lady's favour and help those reading this blog to pray that this country be returned to her.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.

God bless the Pope!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Looking to the weekend

This coming Saturday sees the Leeds Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham, as well as our Gregorian chant workshop day concluding with the Vigil Mass at St. Marie's, Halifax at 6.00p.m.

As Father Abberton is joining the Pilgrimage to Walsingham there will be no Saturday morning Mass at Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike.

On Sunday there will be Mass at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford at 3.00p.m.


Holy Name, Oxford Road, Manchester at 4.00p.m.

English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York at 6.00p.m.

Reading one or two blogs this evening I came away with the impression that some people in the South do believe that Masses in the 1962 Rite are thin on the ground in these parts. Untrue.

I was speaking to Mrs Rutherford after the Mass in Bradford yesterday and we commented again, as we often do, how different things are since the early days. Her early days began before I was born, but when I joined the LMS in 1982 before even having done my O Levels we were fortunate to have Bishop Wheeler who was always sympathetic to requests for the Mass (under the Heenan Indult and the 1984 instruction).

Broughton Hall was a regular monthly Mass - always the first Sunday, and continues to this day

and there was the second Saturday Mass at Ss. John Fisher & Thomas More at Burley-in- Wharfedale. We were also fortunate enough to be one of only two dioceses in the country with access to regular traditional pilgrimages to Knaresborough and Hazlewood and the Easter Vigil and Midnight Mass. There was also a yearly Mass at the Cathedral. Apart from this any other Masses involved endless preparations which as rep, Mrs. Rutherford tirelessly made.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since those earlier days and a look at the right hand strip on this blog showing regular Masses will show how much. Lasting and fruitful change is not best served by knee-jerk reforms and overnight changes as we have learned to our dismay since those "early" days had to begin over four decades ago.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Feast to remember

This afternoon saw the first Mass of our regular second Sunday of the month Masses at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Bradford. It was a Missa Cantata for Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and celebrated by Father Hall. Fr. Wiley sat in choir. We were made to feel very welcome by the sacristans who are both already looking forward to the next Mass, which will be a Missa Cantata. Fr. Wiley took the photo above before Mass began. Not visible in the photograph is the painted coat of arms of Pope John Paul I high above the tabernacle. I think this is the only church in England with such a painting. Incidently this church received a direct hit from a nazi bomb during the war. It dropped through the roof but failed to explode. In more recent times it has survived attempts to burn it down by local youths.

I shall be spending valuable time and resources to promote this regular Mass over the next couple of weeks especially in the local press.

Fr. Hall will be glad to offer the next Mass and we are most grateful to him. One lady told me she thought he was a right grand priest. In Yorkshire praise seldom comes better than that.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Missa cantata in Ashton-under-

Fr. Wadsworth preached a very thought-provoking sermon this evening about the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary to nearly forty others of us who braved the grotty weather. This was a Missa Cantata and I am sure that it filled those there with a sense of joy. Father Wadsworth has done some fine work in the sanctuary in this very fine little church which saw some nasty business in the anti-Catholic riots of the 19th. century.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ushaw 2009

The Northern Priest's Training Conference about which I blogged a couple of days will take place at St. Cuthbert's Seminary, Ushaw near Durham from Tuesday 17th. - Friday 20th. February 2009. Further information and registration details to follow. Please pray for the success of this initiative which, like the Oxford Summer Conferences, would just a few years ago have been a mere fantasy. As Mr. Dylan sang many years ago - "The times they are a changin' ". How true. Deo gratias!

Reminder that there is a Missa Cantata this coming Friday at St. Ann's, Burlington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, near Oldham at 7.30p.m.

Mass on Sunday - Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, a Missa Cantata, to celebrate the anniversary of the coming into force of the Motu Proprio. This Mass will be at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Bradford at 3.00p.m. It is to be the first of our regular second Sunday Masses at this church. Please do all you can to join us and raise the roof at the end of the Mass singing Faith of our Fathers! Clergy wishing to join us, please bring choir dress.

Diocese of Salford - Missa Cantata

On this coming Friday, 12th. September there will be a Missa Cantata at St. Ann's Church, Burlington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne at 7.30p.m. If this as as beautiful as the Mass there on the Feast of the transfiguration of our Lord, then it will be an occasion to remember.

At this point I would like to thank Mrs. Hartley, my predecessor, who has, over recent years done a great deal to keep the traditional Mass alive in the Salford Diocese. It will be a hard act to follow. I shall be at the Mass on Friday - so please make yourself known to me. I shall shortly be writing to all members in Salford to introduce myself - the office in London has just sent me the members' details, so when I have created the necessary mailing list in the next few days from the spreadsheet I shall get the letters out. Please continue to be patient and pray for the work of the Society and the reforms of His Holiness, the Pope especially in the Northern dioceses of England.

A lady from Sheffield telephoned me on Monday evening to say that she had just attended a traditional Mass at the Cathedral of St. Marie, in Sheffield. Again this was wonderful positive news. Let us pray that this too continues. The lady who telephoned me has been in regular correspondence over the years without actually having spoken to me. Her joy was positively tangible. Things like this make a rep's difficult job so much more worthwhile.

There is no doubt in my mind that our prayers over recent years have not gone unheard and this fills me with joy.

God bless the Pope and please remember to pray for him as he heads off to France shortly. One or two blogs have referred to the news that he is to wear vestments belonging to a traditional French order. I wonder how long it will be before he offers the extraordinary form?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Please note that there will be no Mass in the Extraordinary form this coming Saturday (September 13th.) at Heckmondwike. Next Mass 11.30 a.m. on Saturday 20th. September which is the same day as the Gregorian chant workshop day at St. Marie's, Halifax (10.45 - 6.00p.m. Mass). Places still available please e-mail for details or to reserve a place.

Reminder that this coming Sunday sees our first Mass at St. Peter's, Leeds Rd., Laisterdyke, Bradford. This Mass also marks the coming into force of the Holy Father's Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. The Mass will be a Missa cantata (sung Mass).

God bless His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Here's a scoop!

The LMS Committee agreed today to sponsoring its first Northern Conference to train Priests in offering the 1962 Rite of Mass. Mr. Waddington, who acknowledged my own input in the proposal presented the paper which was received enthusiastically for a variety of diverse reasons.

The Conference is scheduled to take place in February in one of the most northerly English Dioceses. Issues and suggestions raised by the clergy who attended Merton in the Summer will be addressed at this Conference as good practice demands.

This Conference is not instead of the Oxford Conference but in addition to it.
There is in other northern dioceses, other than Leeds, renewed interest in the traditional Rite amongst the laity and clergy. This is very fertile soil in terms of the Faith. How many of the Saints of the Church came from these parts? Saints Cuthbert, Bede, Hilda, Wilfred, Robert of Newminster (born in Gargrave), Margaret Clitherow, John Fisher (born in Beverley), Edmund Arrowsmith, Ambrose Barlow and the martyrs of Padley and all the other wonderful Blessed Lancashire and Yorkshire Martyrs.

I shall request Fr. Parfitt offer a Votive Mass for the propagation of the Faith in recognition of that same Faith for which our English Martyrs shed their blood.

In my absence (due to a delayed train) the Committee appointed me as LMS Representative for
the Diocese of Salford. I shall now have to think of ways to integrate the 1962 Rite into the life of that Diocese, as has been achieved in Leeds over recent years thanks initially to Mrs. Agnes Rutherford. Watch this space!

I am meeting Mr. Waddington before Mass in York tomorrow afternoon, I shall then be able to give further details about the Northern Conference.

God bless the Pope!


The first week back to a brand new school, even without any sign of a child, has already taken its toll on many. Many have lost patience with the literally thousands of snags noted by staff alone - and that's before 1600 children arrive next week. For two nights this week I have literally dropped off to sleep having sat down when I got home, but I am hopeful that this new building will bring new opportunities for the children in an area of mixed fortunes and aspirations.

This evening saw over a dozen at the First Friday evening Mass at Batley in the most atrocious weather I have seen for a long time. There were several confessions before Mass and I was later approached by a nineteen year old member of the congregation asking about how she might go about becoming a Catholic. Prayers for her, please.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I have to attend a Latin Mass Society Committee meeting in London and so will not be at the Halifax Mass at 6.00p.m. (Thanks to Fr. Hall for offering last week's Halifax Mass - Fr. Smith is back this week and asks me to remind everybody about the Gregorian Chant training day at St. Marie's on September 20th. Please see previous postings.) It is so gratifying to see people attending the Halifax Masses in increasing numbers - LMS members and parishioners alike. I hope that the Chant Day will give extra impetus to the liturgical life of this wonderful parish, where the Consecration is sounded by bells not only from the altar but also from the hand pulled bells in the bell tower which also call the faithful to Holy Mass in this very decent little town.

On Sunday local Masses according to the 1962 Rite include;

11.30a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, nr. Skipton

2.30p.m. Holy Spirit, Bath Road, Heckmondwike ( sanctuary before Vat II shown in photo above)

3.00p.m. St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford

4.00p.m. Holy Name, Oxford Road, Manchester

6.00p.m. English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York

I have also received requests for "further information" from three more priests wishing to offer the 1962 Rite of Mass.

God bless Pope Benedict!

Monday, September 1, 2008


Sunday 14th. September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, sees the first anniversary of the implementation of the Holy Father's Motu Proprio and also sees our first Mass at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Laisterdyke, Bradford at 3.00p.m. This will be a Missa Cantata. Please do all you can to attend this Mass to show your support for the Holy Father's initiative and to support our new regular monthly venue. Thanks again to Father Francis Smith's for his readiness in welcoming us to the church and for allowing a regular monthly Mass in Bradford again.
God bless Pope Benedict XVI!