Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ash Wednesday

This Wednesday sees the start of Lent. Mass and distribution of ashes will be at Sacred Heart, Broughton at 11.30a.m.

Ash Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Who is afraid of the big bad wolf?

My little photo gallery of activities will be complete tomorrow. It has been a very busy week not least because I have had lots of household jobs to do as well as marking and preparation which I was unable to complete even after spending a half day in school earlier this week. Our youngest son came back from his friend's full of beans but with something walking in his hair, I have inadvertently overdrawn at the bank and incurred a £100 penalty charge, the car needs a new front light bulb and the dog has to have a lump removed.

So life goes on, thanks be to God.

Local stuff I'll post about tomorrow.

This has been a very interesting week in the traditional Catholic world. For some I imagine it has been a nightmare and for others a delight. For others a mixture.

To summarize;

Bishop Richard Nelson Williamson has been requested to leave Argentina within ten days for apparently not having stated his correct status when requesting his residence permit.

Austrian Bishops are in revolt over the appointment of an outspoken priest as auxiliary Bishop of Linz, Herr Pater Wagner. Pater Wagner has according to some sources requested the Holy Father remove his name as candidate. Other sources suggest this request has not yet been formerly received, accepted or rejected by the Vatican.

The LMS is in hot water for an invitation sent to Archbishop Raymond Burke requesting him to offer Mass at Westminster Cathedral and to address its AGM, before squaring it with His Eminence, Cardinal Murphy O'Connor. On learning of the acceptance of Archbishop Burke the Cardinal appears to have objected on grounds of canon law, but aware probably that come June
he will be in retirement, graciously offered one of his auxiliary bishops, who will be the first ever English bishop to offer the Society's annual AGM in Westminster Cathedral. This confidential information was mysteriously leaked to a blog site and understandably the Cardinal's office was less than happy when this information got round, there is a full report in today's Catholic Herald.

The Universe newspaper, which for many years has been a poor read and full of clips and captions of crimpolene clad clergy with silly badges and and multi-coloured stoles is from Lent onwards to carry a regular Traditional Catholic News page. I hope that this breath of life will not prove to be a case of calling the vet to save the life of the pig in a pork pie. As a Lenten exercise I shall start taking the Universe and then carry on buying it after Easter if it successfully achieves what is says it is setting out to do. I no longer take the Catholic Times on account of Basil Loftus's boring attacks on what he loathes and his repulsive adulation of those thing which I dislike most.

The Tablet this week attempts to do a hatchet job on an ideal post Summorum Pontificum parish to which I have referred elsewhere, namely Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen in the Archdiocese of Southwark. This parish in south east London offers a Saturday Vigil Mass and three Sunday Masses, three of which are in the Ordinary Form, one in Latin and one ad orientem, one family Mass and one in the Extraordinary Form. A group of no more than a dozen parishioners have complained about this and having received no satisfaction from Bishop Pat Lynch have resorted to imploring the help of the Tablet which published a venomous but equally self-defeating assault on the PP and his legal innovations .

Two priests in this diocese of Leeds who share the view that the Tablet has truly overstepped the mark have recently refrained from offering this seditious little rag at the back of their churches and others have told me of rapidly declining interest even amongst its more relaxed parishioners, making them consider the value of continuing to offer it.

As I write I have learned of another priest wishing to learn to offer the 1962 Mass and two others offering to help out which is leading to another possible first for us.

Please continue to pray for our Holy Father Pope Benedict as he feeds his sheep and searches for his lost lambs whilst fighting off the wolves and the wolves in sheep's clothing. Who are the big bad wolves? Have they had their day?

Monday, February 16, 2009

The week ahead

Tuesday sees another visit to Bewerley Grange chapel at Pateley Bridge, with a Missa cantata at 11.30a.m.

I took photographs on Saturday at Halifax, on Sunday at Castleford and intend to keep the camera to hand for the rest of the week's activities. I shall post these in due course. Bewerley is very camera friendly. I remember the snowdrops vividly last year.
Wednesday will be a first for me with trip to Ushaw. Again I shall have my camera to hand.

To those who are in the west of the diocese and/or who can get to Bury on Friday evenings should be aware of the regular Mass there at 7.30p.m.

Fr. Francis Wadsworth, the P.P. offers Mass and gives an inspiring/thought provoking/practical and invariably Christ-centred sermon, which never fails to bring a wry smile to the lips, at least once.

It is wonderful that in so many parishes, compared with the situation much less than a decade ago, the Extraordinary Form has taken root and is flourishing, the Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen or St. Mary Magdalen, Brighton would be obvious examples to regular bloggers but closer to home St. Joseph's, Castleford, St. Marie's, Halifax, Sacred Heart, Broughton, St. Mary's Batley, Our Lady of Lourdes, Leeds, St. Peter's, Bradford and Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike are all already regular venues in this Diocese. There are more in the pipeline.

The photo above was at St. Peter's Bradford before the Mass of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14th. 2008.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Half term

Half term is here, very shortly we will be half way through the school year and it will be downhill to the summer.

My trip to Ushaw is scheduled for Wednesday and before that on Tuesday there is Mass at Bewerley Grange Chapel at 11.30a.m. This will be a Missa cantata. The medieval chapel of Bewerley is noble simplicity itself which comes alive whenever Mass is offered there.

This weekend there will be Mass at Broughton at 9.30a.m. at Heckmondwike at 11.30a.m. and at Halifax at 6.00p.m. on Saturday and on Sunday at Castleford at 3.00p.m.

Mass on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at Broughton Hall at 9.30a.m.

Please pray for one of the pupils at my school who was taken to hospital this afternoon having been stabbed at the bus stop after school. As yet I have no other details.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I often hear this word at school but have never used it before, but today I am buzzing!

All of a sudden a lot of things have come together and I have had lots of loose ends tied up. This I had expected long before Christmas, so patience has now been rewarded. I will post on these in due course.

There has been a lot of interest in the forthcoming conference at Ushaw and as a member of the sub-committee responsible for this Conference I am taking a trip to Ushaw with fellow Committee member and Middlesbrough Rep next week to check out things.

Leeds clergy have been e-mailed about the event by the Diocese and I am heartened by the number of priests from all over the UK who have written letters of support or to personally to apologize for not being able to attend but to be informed of similar events in the future.
After a bit of prompting from the LMS the Catholic Herald and The Tablet now give the Feastdays of the 1962 missal each week.

Buzz over!

In the wider Church it appears that Mgr. Williamson has been relieved of his position as rector of the SSPX seminary in Argentina after the 4 bishops wrote a joint letter to the Vatican.

Cardinal Lehmann of Germany has since called for the re-excommunication of Mgr. Williamson.

Unity does not come easily.
More prayers for the Pope please.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

First Friday

Tomorrow is the First Friday of February. There will be Mass in the morning at Broughton at 9.30a.m.

Mass in the evening at St. Mary's, Cross Bank Road, Batley at 7.30p.m. preceded by confesions.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Snow for Candlemas

This morning I arrived at school at 8.20 to find that it had been closed due to heavy snow. I did a couple of hours of filing and preparation and at 10.40 took my marking to the car. A trouble free stretch over the moors to Keighley enabled me to join the Skipton Road for Broughton's Candlemas Mass at 11.30a.m. A few others had braved the weather from the western side of Skipton. It was a beautiful Mass, with incense at the blessing of the candles and a token procession around the little chapel. The blessing of candles and procession replace the prayers at the foot of the altar, and as Father made the sign of the Cross at the Introit, the symbolism of this rubric suddenly struck me.

Lunch as Father Parfitt's guest was a very enjoyable and unexpected pleasure enhanced by the welcome break from the routine. The Mass was offered for the intentions of Barbara Cave and so I was pleased to be able to hear the Mass "on behalf" of my old teacher, friend and mentor Mary Cave, for whose sister, the Mass was being offered and was unable to hear the Mass herself.

Even better news then - when I got home the Deputy Head rang to say school is closed tomorrow, along with all other local schools.

I was able to discuss one or two other matters with Fr. Parfitt and already have to pass on details of extra Masses to the Office.

As we are back to liturgical purple for the pre-Lentern Season on Sunday I am pleased to say that there will be Mass on Ash Wednesday to mark the start of Lent at Broughton at the slightly later time of 11.30a.m......... Dare I ask for snow on that day?!

Tomorrow gives me a chance to do the marking still in the boot. I also have a great deal of LMS Committee business to deal with. More than ever I can recall. The Pope knows how to keep us busy. I now smile to myself at the thought of a former Bishop of this diocese joking to one of my predecessors that as Rep he would hardly be exhausted with his workload. What goes round appears to come round.

Just over twenty years ago Archbishop Lefebvre excommunicated; last week the excommunication of the four ordinands the Archbishop consecrated was lifted. Meanwhile there was the uproar caused by imprudent remarks and the humble apology to Cardinal Hoyos and the Holy Father from Bishop Richard Williamson following the interview with Swedish television in which he expressed some ghastly opinions about the holocaust. Williamson has since been silenced by the order's Superior General, Bishop Fellay and has also written a humble letter to Cardinal Hoyos in which he expresses his sorrow at his imprudence and the problems these have caused the See of Peter, without actually acknowledging the very nature of that for which he was having to apologize.
Some blogs had quoted rumours about official recognition by Rome of the SSPX as soon as tomorrow. Others believe that this has been put back because of the anti-semitic remarks by Bishop Williamson.

There are also blog rumours of a personal prelature for disaffected Anglicans given the carry on over "women bishops".

What, I wonder, will tomorrow's historians make of today's news?

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict is at the helm.

God bless the Pope, the Great, the Good.