Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This is half term. I have always said that the weather doesn't bother me but when it is beautiful, as it was this morning when I went up to Pateley Bridge for Mass for the Feast of Ss Simon and Jude, it gives cause to rejoice.
The Mass at Bewerley Grange Chapel was a Missa cantata and everybody seemed to be in fine voice. Celebrant was Father Parfitt, who gave a scholarly account of the roles of Ss Simon and Jude interwoven with the local role of the Cistercians of Fountains. Father Wiley, who came specially for the Mass sat in choir and the local PP Canon O'Hara, a recent Golden Jubilarian sat in the Congregation. Also present was Sister Mary, the resident Anglican sister.
Following Mass some of us went to lunch at a local pub. My toenail (or what's left of it) caused a bit of a stir - especially when Fr. Parfitt thought I'd had the whole toe removed!
I was also amused after the procedure at the clinic to see what I was offered by the nurse to cover my foot when showering. A "waterproof letter" might be a good name it.

I was unable to get over to Ashton-under-Lyne this evening. I hope Fr. Francis Wadsworth's Mass was as uplifting as this morning's Mass.

Masses in the EF form attracted well over 100 souls last weekend in the Leeds Diocese. Pre Summorum Pontificum my eyes would have boggled at the thought of 50. It has also been very nice recently to see people who would normally attend Masses offered by Priests of the Society of St. Pius X .

I have another co-ordination meeting next week with Fr. Wiley. Again we will have a big agenda.

Tomorrow I have lots of holiday desk work - assessment, marking, a professional translation, and two newsletters to finalise and print as well as picking up the paint for the decorator and a couple of little DIY jobs to keep everybody happy.

If not too careful I shall start wishing I'm back at school. Well, perhaps not!

The gentleman from London about whom I posted recently, requesting I take some photographs of Bewerley Grange, to help him as part of his doctorate actually e-mailed me on Sunday evening to say that he had already been there earlier that day. (Had he since learned of my previous misfortunes with photography?) It was strange to see his name as the last one in the ecclesiastical equivalent of a visitors' book at Bewerley.
At lunch Father Parfitt recalled that there were some ruins of another grange of Fountains in the vicinity now built into the fabric of a farmhouse but still showing distinct evidence of Huby in bits of the stonework.

God bless Pope Benedict and reward Keith, Cardinal, O'Brien of Edinburgh and St. Andrews for his courageous open letter to "Gordon" (the PM) about the monstrous HFE Bill.
Will Gordon take note? Please pray that his heart be touched.

Friday, October 24, 2008

CHRISTUS REX - Masses this weekend

Masses this weekend;

Saturday, 9.30a.m. Broughton Hall - Sacred Heart Chapel, near Skipton.

Saturday 11.30a.m. Holy Spirit, Bath Road, Heckmondwike.

Saturday 3.00p.m. St. Mary of the Angels, Cross Bank Rd. Batley.

Saturday 6.00p.m. St. Marie's, Gibbet Street, Halifax.

Sunday 3.00p.m. Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardigan Road, Leeds.

Sunday 3.00p.m. St. Joseph's, Pontefract Rd. Castleford.

Sunday 4.00p.m. Holy Name of Jesus, Oxford Road, Manchester.

Masses on Tuesday 28th. October. Feast of Ss. Simon & Jude. Apostles and Martyrs.

Bewerley Grange Chapel, Pateley Bridge, Missa cantata, 11.30a.m.

St. Anne's, Burlington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Missa cantata, 7.30p.m.

October 2008 comes to its end shortly- month of the Holy Rosary. My October devotions this year have been quite dismal; I have become so pre-occupied with matters temporal that I feel devotionally crippled. November- month of the Holy Souls- will, I pray, give me a chance to "catch up". Meanwhile a good confession is the order of the day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Shock...tempus fugit

I was horrified when checking out Father Brown of the Forest Murmurs blog to see that it is 5 days ago since my last posting. I don't know where this time has gone even though I am running on empty.

I realised then that for the last two evenings I have been busy preparing the newsletters for both Leeds and now, Salford dioceses. Newsletters seem so dated these days, but I always enjoyed receiving the quarterly newsletters from my predecessors, Kevin Cave, Agnes Rutherford (who always gave explicit public transport directions), Gerry Lyons, Damian McCaughan and more recently Beryl Hartley. I have several meetings planned later next week in Salford and I hope to report on these in due course.

Fr. Francis Wadsworth has e-mailed me to ask that I advertise his next Mass at St. Anne's, Burlington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne near Oldham which will be on the Feast of Ss Simon and Jude, on Tuesday 28th. October at 7.30p.m.. This will be a Missa Cantata. Normally I would have been able to attend this Mass, but having to endure having my toenail extraction the day before, I will be resting up until Wednesday. I hope to speak with Fr. Francis in the next couple of days. His restoration work at St. Anne's is most tasteful and easily accommodates both Rites of Mass. His re-positioning of the lectern is inspired.

The young lad I asked you to remember in your prayers seems a bit more back to his usual self, but please continue to remember him and his family in your prayers. Thank you.
I recently came across the postcard shown above on e-bay (I hope I'm not infringing any copyright) and was immediately struck by it. I have never been to Coventry, but would like to see this statue. St. Michael looks so untroubled by the whole business.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nice e-mails

I have been fortunate enough to be the recipient of some really positive and cheering e-mails this week. One regarding the Ushaw Conference, one from a Priest looking forward to offering Mass for us, one from another priest requesting instruction in the rubrics and one from an ex-St. Michael's College Lad from these parts now living in London. He is researching Fountains Abbey and the Cistercians as part of his doctoral dissertation and asked me if I would be so kind as to photograph parts of Bewerley Grange chapel. I told him that I would be delighted to (God forbid my young sons getting their hands on the camera again. Closer inspection of their last photographic shoot revealed that they had actually also painted the dog's claws bright red).

With the impending removal of my own big toenail in little over a week from now nails and claws are starting to play on my already busy mind. The worst nightmare now is Santa Claus (sorry!) and the horrors that an utterly bastardized spin off of the Nativity will inevitably bring over the coming weeks, before which we will be pestered by kids dressed as demons threatening tricks, and then firework night, as I hear it increasingly called, which is at best the usual deplorable waste of money.

The Feast of All Saints this year will be celebrated on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd November. Check posting later in the week for details of Mass times.

There will be no First Friday Mass at Batley in November - the only First Friday Mass I know of will be at Broughton Hall at 9.30a.m.

Looking at the blogs recently there seems to be a lot of activity around the world at the moment, with the Traditional Mass springing up in more and more places. Even Ampleforth Abbey in the diocese of Middlesbrough hosted Mass last week according to the 1962 Missal, by one of the bretheren there.

I was extremely impressed by the quality of the content and delivery of Bishop Drainey of Middlesbrough's sermon at the recent Batley Torchlight Procession held earlier this month. The (new boy on the bench) Bishop preached on the famous and much loved traditional hymn Hail, Queen of Heaven by Fr. John Lingard. I hope to contact His Lordship shortly to request a copy of his sermon to meditate upon. Bishop Drainey was well at home with the people and did Lingard proud.

Rumours and counter rumours abound in Rome about forthcoming Papal appointments. Two new Bishops have been announced in our own Isles, one in Wales and one in Scotland. Neither struck me as being particularly remarkable, other than that an existing (Military) Bishop is to become the next Bishop of Menevia. Who has the Pope got in mind for the next Bishop of the Armed Forces? Of course the same could be asked of Hexham & Newcastle and Westminster which seems to be rather more a case of Guessminster for the moment.

Your prayers, please, for a very thoughtful and intelligent young lad in one of my classes who is having a lot of problems at home. I have rarely seen a child so paralysed with fear and anguish to the point of trembling constantly, whilst being able to maintain a great sense of humour.

Our Lady and St. Margaret Mary, pray for us.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offences and negligences, have mercy on us.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Future events

Mass at Bewerley Grange Chapel on Tuesday 28th. October at 11.30a.m.

Sung Mass of Requiem at St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Bradford on Remembrance Sunday 9th. November at 3.00p.m. I have asked, at Fr. Wiley's request, the clergy in Bradford to advertise this regular Mass and the Requiem in particular.

Mass every Saturday at Halifax, St. Marie's, Gibbet Street at 6.00p.m.
Mass every Sunday at Castleford, St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road at 3.00p.m.

There will be NO First Friday Mass at Batley in November.

Mass every Sunday at Holy Name, Oxford Road, Manchester at 4.00p.m.
Mass every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month at English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York at 6.00p.m.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Still here.....and alive and "kicking", for the time being

Another hectic and unpleasant week, made worse by the fact that I have to have my ingrowing toenail removed in a fortnight!

Mass this evening at Halifax was well attended and the Gospel prompted Fr. Smith to reflect, in these turbulent times, in his sermon, what the world actually has to offer us. Inevitably - not a lot. He pointed out that we are in pagan times and this is in direct conflict with traditional Christian life and culture. Our help is, in deed, in the Name of the Lord.

Masses tomorrow (Sunday) are at St. Peter's, Leeds Rd.. Laisterdyke, Bradford. It will be a Missa cantata.

Low Masses at St. Joseph , Pontefract Rd. Castleford at 3.00p.m. and at Holy Name, Oxford Rd. Manchester at 4.00p.m.

Fr. Lister was at Mass in Halifax tonight, having said three dry Masses this week, as he is to offer Mass here next Saturday as Fr. Smith will be in Rome. Fr. Lister said to me that he is looking forward to offering the Mass of his ordination and that he will be able to cover for Fr. Smith in the future.

I understand that Mass was offered at Ampleforth Abbey in the crypt this evening at 5.00p.m. by one of the community. This is another first and I'm only too pleased to flag this up to people.

My co-rep, committee member and friend Mr. Waddington was there and I look forward to hearing his account of the event.

The torchlight procession which again attracted 1500 faithful souls at Batley on Monday was an occasion to remember. Bishop Drainey of Middlesbrough gave a wonderful sermon on the famous Marian hymn by Fr. John Lingard, Hail Queen of Heaven, which was sung with no little gusto before the sermon, in this small former heavy woolen district town of the West Riding.

I recently e-mailed the editor of the Catholic Times to tell him why I could no longer take his paper. He very quickly and politely acknowledged my communication. So far I feel quite liberated having not to wade through the gloomy drivel I have been subjected to for quite some time. Basil Loftus is the straw that broke the camel's back. This said, the Cafod article leaves me cold and drab articles, with the only exception of Fr. Marsden, do nothing to inspire me.

Reminder that there will be Mass in half-term at Bewerley Grange chapel, Pateley Bridge on
Tuesday 28th. October at 11.30a.m. We expect this to be a Missa cantata. The co-ordinator for the TLM, Fr. Wiley, hopes to be able to attend this Mass, which will be offered by Fr. Parfitt, the diocesan trainer priest for those priests and deacons wishing to learn the rubrics of the 1962
Rite of Mass and Sacraments. Again I would appeal to any priest reading this, who is considering offering the TLM to contact Fr. Parfitt in confidence. (I have of course only ever reported that information which Fr. Parfitt and any named priest is happy to be divulged.)

There is however news in the making and I hope to be able to announce another regular venue very shortly, with others in the pipeline.

God bless Pope Benedict XVI!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I have had one of those weeks. A busy and at times a very trying week. My e-mail inbox has had in it some vile correspondence which I have had to deal with and this has taken its emotional toll on me. It was lovely for me to be able to go go to Mass and Holy Communion last night for the First Friday Mass and again tonight at Halifax.

Torchlight Procession.

On Monday evening there will be the great opportunity to publicly profess our Faith and give witness to it at the Batley Torchlight procession. Starting at 7.30p.m. in the market place at Batley following a short service and sermon, this year to be preached by the Bishop of Middlesbrough the people then process reciting the Holy Rosary and singing Immaculate Mary with the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes held aloft to the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, Crossbank Road, where His Lordship Bishop Roche will give Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The P.P. Fr. Wiley (who is diocesan co-ordinator for the TLM) has arranged for a huge screen in the church grounds to relay the events in the church to those unable to squeeze into this large church which last year saw standing room only and many forced to remain outside.

Batley has a large population of non-Christians and such a witness is as extraordinary as it is touching. I hope to get a few pictures to put on this blog. If you are unable to attend please pray for the success of this occasion which takes a year to prepare and involves a lot of hard work. St. Mary's Batley is a beautiful church with fine mosaics showing pivotal occasions in the life of our Blessed Mother.

An extra Mass

Father Parfitt will offer Mass again, later this month at Bewerley Grange Chapel, Pateley Bridge on Tuesday 28th. October at 11.30a.m. We expect this to be a Missa Cantata. This is half-term week so if you are on holiday in the area make a detour. It will be well worth it.

Bewerley has strong links with Fountains Abbey and although no longer in Catholic hands lends itself perfectly to the celebration of the TLM.


Mass tomorrow (Sunday) at Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall (Missa Cantata) at 11.30 a.m. and Low Mass at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Rd., Castleford at 3.00p.m.

Low Mass at Holy Name, Oxford Road, Manchester at 4.00p.m. and at English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York at 6.00p.m.