Friday, October 20, 2017

Pentecost XX

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We have two Masses this weekend for the twentieth Sunday of Pentecost.

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Daily Mass at Broughton Hall, Skipton, at 9.30 a.m.
Confessions available at call at all of our Masses.

Next weekend is the Feast of Christ the King and at the start of November we have the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


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November is to be a busy month for us:

Wednesday 1st November - Feast of All Saints. Mass at 5.00 p.m. at St. Joseph's, Bradford and 11.00 a.m. at Broughton Hall, Skipton
Thursday 2nd November - Feast of All Souls. Mass at 5.00 p.m. at St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford and at 11.00 a.m. Broughton Hall, Skipton
Wednesday 8th November - Leeds Cathedral Lecture at 7.00 p.m. Wheeler Hall, Leeds Cathedral "How to be counter-cultural" by Mr Dennis Sewell.
Saturday 11th November - Pontifical High Mass of Requiem at 3.00 p.m. Leeds Cathedral
Sunday 12th November - Sung Mass of Requiem for the war dead at 12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford
Thursday 23rd November - Confirmations and Pontifical Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 7.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Please put these in your diary and make every effort to attend as many of these events as you can.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Pentecost XIX

How camest thou in hither, not having on a wedding garment?
We have three EF Masses this weekend for the nineteenth Sunday of Pentecost:

8.00 a.m. Leeds Cathedral, Cookridge Street, Leeds
11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 a.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

There has been a noticeable increase in the attendance at many of our Masses over recent months which is very rewarding for our clergy who freely give of their time to offer the Mass for us. Please continue to lend your support and show demand for the EF Mass.

I am pleased to announce that we have been able to organise a first in this diocese. During the first full week of Lent 2018 we have a week long Parish Mission at St. Joseph's, Bradford to be preached by Fr. Hall on the theme of the Seven Sacraments. Daily Mass and Confessions will be part of the Mission. Details nearer the time.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pentecost XVIII

Masses this weekend for the eighteenth Sunday of Pentecost with its beautiful Gospel are as follows:

Image result for jesus cures man with palsy
11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford (missa cantata)

Please remember that we have a pontifical High Mass of Requiem at 3.00 p.m. on Saturday 11th November at St. Anne's Cathedral in Leeds. Twelve days later on THURSDAY* 23rd. November the bishop will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation at 7.00 p.m. at Bradford's St. Joseph's.  This will be followed by pontifical Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

(* not Wednesday as wrongly stated earlier)

Please make a note in your diary for these events.

At the end of this year we will be able to say that in the Leeds Diocese six of the seven Sacraments have been given using the books of 1962 in the last twelve months.
With the grace of God it will not be long before the remaining seventh Sacrament, Holy Orders, will be celebrated as we have seen recently in Liverpool.

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Wednesday November 8th. sees the first in the latest cycle of the Leeds Cathedral Lectures.
I am looking forward to the first in this series to be given by Mr. Dennis Sewell at 7.00 p.m. at Wheeler Hall, Leeds Cathedral.
I remember reading his book Catholics (pictured above) years ago and being struck by the quality of its content.

I promised John Beaumont who organises the Cathedral Lectures that I would re-read Mr. Sewell's book before hearing his lecture, "How to be counter-cultural". Here is the extract from the poster:

Mr. Dennis Sewell

Writer and broadcaster. Contributing editor of the Spectator and a frequent contributor to the Catholic Herald. Previously on the staff of BBC News, where he worked as a reporter on Newsnight and presented Radio 4’s Talking Politics. His books include Catholics (2002) and The Political Gene - How Darwin’s Ideas Changed Politics (2010).

“How to be Counter-Cultural”

(“I ask you to swim against the tide” said Pope Francis, calling on Catholics to be counter-cultural. But in an age of liberal intolerance where the teachings of the Church can be represented as bigotry or even ‘hate crime’, what are the practicalities and the potential risks of telling the truth? And what does being counter-cultural really entail? Is it merely about asserting tradition in the face of modernity and relativism in today’s increasingly secularized Western world? Or must the Church be counter-cultural in a more profound way at all times and in all places?)

Reminder that Confession is available at call before or after all EF Masses.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Pentecost XVII

This Sunday is the seventeenth after Pentecost and we have two Masses:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart chapel, Broughton Hall, Skipton;  missa cantata.
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford.

Please remember to put in your diary the Pontifical High Mass scheduled for Saturday 11th November at the Cathedral in Leeds. Bishop Stock is the celebrant at this unique occasion.

Wednesday 23rd. November sees the first public episcopal confirmations in the diocese for many years and I would please ask you to contact me if you wish for yourself or another to be considered for the reception of this Sacrament.
This ceremony is to be concluded with Pontifical Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Monday, September 25, 2017


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Bishop Stock will be conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation according to the books of 1962 on Wednesday 23rd November at 7.00 p.m. at St. Joseph's Church, Pakington Street, Bradford.

Please contact me at if you wish to be confirmed or have a child wishing to be confirmed. Since moving to St. Joseph's we have had two baptisms and a marriage according to books of 1962.

We are very grateful to His Lordship for his solicitude.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Pentecost XVI

I hope you noticed the "deliberate" eye-watering mistake in last week's post about the Gospel. Apologies for this.

Masses this weekend for the sixteenth Sunday of Pentecost:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall. Skipton
12.30 a.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Please remember that confessions are available at call at all Masses and that Mass is offered Monday to Saturday at 9.30 a.m. at Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Pentecost XV

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This Sunday has the beautiful account in the Gospel recounting our Lord's curing of the man brought to Him suffering of the palsy. We hear the Lord's voice telling the healed man to pick up his bed and go home.  

We have three Masses this weekend:

8.00 a.m. St. Anne's Cathedral, Cookridge Street, Leeds
11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

The strength and  power of  the Sacrament of Confession and Penance which leads to Reconciliation with God is freely offered at all EF Masses at call.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Summorum Pontificum a decade old

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It is ten years today since Pope Benedict's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum came into force on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in 2007. Please remember the Emeritus Pope in your prayers and for the continued promotion of his wonderful gift to the Church.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Pentecost XIV and update

Masses this weekend for the feast of the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost are as follows:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

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This weekend marks our first anniversary at St. Joseph's and although the numbers fluctuate they remain steady. I think it is fair to say that the EF Mass people and St. Joseph's have become good friends. Who was it who said ut unum sint? Please consider attending to celebrate this milestone. Thank you to St. Joseph's people, clergy and Jeff!

Preparations are well underway for the upcoming solemn Mass of Requiem in November to be offered by His Lordship the Bishop for his predecessors in the Cathedral. I will give more information when I am in a position to do so. In the meantime we are very grateful to Bishop Stock for his continued solicitude. I hope to find out about confirmations as well.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Pentecost XIII

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It was very refreshing today to see that the Feasts of the Epiphany and the Ascension are to be restored as holy days of obligation from next year. Eleven years ago these feasts were "demoted" - a decision I never understood as these were feasts with a timed link with other feasts i.e. twelfth night and forty days after Easter.

Less felicitous was the news of the death of of Cormac Murphy O'Connor who has died of cancer. May he rest in peace.

Masses this weekend for the thirteenth Sunday of Pentecost are as follows:
Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton at 11.00 a.m. missa cantata
St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford at 12.30 p.m.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Pentecost XII

We have 2 Masses tomorrow for the twelfth Sunday of Pentecost:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Pentecost XI

We have three Sunday Masses this weekend for the eleventh Sunday of Pentecost:

8.00 a.m Leeds Cathedral, Cookridge Street, Leeds
11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This week

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This week sees the feast of the Assumption of our Blessed Lady on Tuesday, when we shall have two Masses:
Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton at 11.00 a.m.
St Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford at 5.00 p.m.

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On Saturday there will be a sung Mass of Requiem at Markenfield Hall near Ripon (HG4 3AD) at 11.00 a.m. for the repose of the souls of those members of the Markenfield family who were directly affected by the results of the the Rising of the North. As always some monks of Ampleforth Abbey will chant the Mass which will be offered by Father Creighton-Jobe of the London Oratory. We are always grateful to Lady Deirdre and her family for allowing us the privilege of hearing Mass in their beautiful home. The last time we were there we celebrated the late addition to the 1962 missal in the form of the Mass for St. Rose of Lima, where the chapel is home to a relic of this saint.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Tansfiguration

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Already we reach the ninth Sunday of Pentecost which this year is the Feast of the Transfiguration and the first Sunday of August. Masses this Sunday are as follows:

11.00 a.m. Missa Cantata, Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12. 30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Pauline Sutcliffe RIP

Of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of Pauline Sutcliffe who was a regular attender at Broughton Hall over many years and who died last Saturday. Below is the obituary which will appear in the Catholic Herald later this week (with my emphasis):

On July 29th, peacefully in the Friary Hospital, Richmond, N Yorks aged 88 years, of Castle Bolton, N Yorks, formerly of Bredfield, Suffolk. A much loved aunt and friend. A Latin Funeral Mass will take place at Sacred Heart Chapel, Broughton Hall, nr Skipton, N Yorks on Tuesday 8th August at 12 noon followed by interment at Waltonwrays Cemetery, Skipton. Family flowers only please, donations if desired will go to MacMillan Cancer Care (plate in Church) or may be sent c/o Sanderson & Co Funeral Directors, Leyburn Business Park, Leyburn, N Yorks, DL8 5QA. Will friends please meet at the Church. RIP
Pauline was a surprising person in many ways and I don't think I've ever met anybody who had been an air hostess and a headmistress. Any child in trouble or passenger in distress would have soon calmed down in Pauline's presence. May she rest in peace and rise in the glory of God.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Pentecost VIII

This Sunday is the fifth Sunday of the month and is the eighth Sunday of Pentecost.

Masses are as follows:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

1962 Rite of Marriage

I have just about recovered from the end of term relief and my eldest daughter's wedding which took place on Sunday at St. Joseph's, Bradford. The bride's own great-great grandparents were married in this church nearly 125 years ago with the same Rite. How marvellous that this same Faith has remained in the same family and even the same parish church and God-willing that same Faith will extend in generations to come.
My daughter's father-in-law who is not a Catholic commented that the purpose of marriage had never been made so clear to him as at the wedding he had just attended. Pro-creation was what he said. He had remembered the words of the final prayer over the bride and groom which refer to the propagation of mankind
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to St. Joseph's for the usual perfect preparation, to Fr. Michael Hall, for having conducted the service so sensitively, to Canon Wiley who attended in white choir and respectively to the authorised person and organist, Jan and Richard Niczyperowicz.  I have heard Richard playing at the World Heritage Saltaire URC and seen him on YouTube but he excelled himself on Sunday. 
The servers are two of the bride's brothers.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pentecost VII

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Last Sunday was of course the sixth and not the fifth Sunday of Pentecost as I stated erroneously last week, so on Sunday we celebrate the seventh Sunday of Pentecost.

There will be no Mass at St. Anthony's on Sunday as Fr. Abberton is retiring and these Masses have been discontinued.

We have two Masses this Sunday:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Confessions at call.

Fifth Sacrament is the Marriage Covenant

At 2.00 p.m. at St. Joseph's there will be a Service of Marriage according to the liturgical books of 1962 when my eldest daughter will walk up the aisle with me to Pachelbel's Canon.
You are cordially invited to the ceremony.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pentecost V

This Sunday is the fifth Sunday of Pentecost and we have three Masses:

8.00 a.m. Leeds Cathedral, Cookridge Street, Leeds
11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Confessions at call.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saints John Fisher and Thomas More

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This year the fifth Sunday of Pentecost is also the Feast of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More.

Masses are at:

Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton - 11.00 a.m.
St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford - 12.30 p.m.

There was a very pleasing turnout at Markenfield on Thursday evening. The Bird polyphony was incredibly evocative and the feast of Saint Maria Goretti was itself something of a novelty given that few altar missals contain it.
At the end of Mass Fr. Parfitt revealed that above altar and beyond reach was a relic of Saint |Maria Goretti.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mass on Thursday

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There will be no Mass at Broughton Hall on Thursday 6th. July  because Fr. Parfitt will be offering Mass at Markenfield Hall at 6.00 p.m. in the medieval chapel (above).
This will be a missa cantata and will be accompanied by the Rudgate Singers. The feast is that of the Virgin and Martyr, St. Maria Goretti who died 115 years ago to the day.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Pentecost IV

Holy Masses for the fourth Sunday of Pentecost are as follows:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton (missa cantata)
12.30 p.m. St Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

On Thursday, July 6th. there will be missa cantata at 6.00 p.m. at Markenfield Hall, just south of Ripon. The Rudgate singers will sing the Mass. Reminder nearer the time.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Saints Peter and Paul

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This Thursday, June 29th, is the feast of Saints Peter and Paul and is a holy day of obligation.
We have two Masses:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
5.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Please do all you can to attend either of these Masses. 

Monday, June 26, 2017


The Parish Priest at St. Anthony's, Fr. John Abberton, is retiring this summer and as such the Masses at that parish will now be discontinued. Many thanks to him for being a regular celebrant at this parish and when he was at Holy Spirit, Heckmondwike. Father was also most welcoming allowing us to use the old St. Mary's in Bradford when he was Parish Priest there.
Yesterday he assured me that he is willing to continue to say the Mass for us as he will be living locally. Again thanks to him for this. We are very fortunate in this diocese having so many priests ready, willing and able to offer Mass for us in different areas of the diocese.
We wish Fr. Abberton a long and happy retirement.

YCA National Weekend - Douai Abbey

The Young Catholic Adults National weekend at Douai Abbey 20th-22nd OCTOBER 2017 with Fr. Lawrence Lew OP and Canon Poucin ICKSP.

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(Douai 2011)

YCA's aims are:-
-To foster authentic Catholic teaching and spirituality
-Promote a spirit of charity as practiced by the great saints of the Church such as St. John Vianney, St. Francis de Sales and the English Martyrs 
-We aim to promote a spirit of beauty and reverence in the Sacred Liturgy

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pentecost III

Masses for this Sunday, the third Sunday of Pentecost are as follows:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford
4.00 p.m. St. Anthony's, Bradford Road, Clayton, Bradford

Thursday is the Feast of Ss Peter and Paul and there will be Mass at Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall at 11.00 a.m. and at St. Joseph's, Bradford at 5.00 p.m. This feast is a holy day of obligation.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Troubled times

Mass for the feast of Corpus Christi at Saint Joseph's went ahead yesterday as usual and was followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament which all went very well. Many thanks to Fr. Driver for this.

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A very pleasant experience was however soured with the news that thieves had broken into the church last week and having broken several doors gained access to the sacristy where the safe was prized open and all the plate was stolen including some very old chalices of great significance to the history of Catholicism in Bradford after the restoration of the hierarchy. The collection money from last Sunday was also stolen as well as some electronic equipment.
What a sad testimony to the times we live in.
A few months ago Saint Anthony's in Bradford was also broken into - the thief got away with about £40 from the candle box but did £400 worth of damage breaking a stained glass window.
None of this however compares with the abominable break in at Killingbeck chapel a few years ago when we had our regular Masses there. Somebody who was well equipped broke in by gaining access through the roof, simply to get to the safe for the tabernacle key. Nothing was stolen but the contents of the ciborium had been strewn about the place and other things had been done which are too distasteful to mention. After this Bishop Konstant rightly insisted that the Blessed Sacrament not be reserved there and sent the local Dean to say prayers in reparation for the sacrilege - including psalm 42, the Judica me.
There are some very sick people about.
Please pray that the thieves be brought to justice and the silver is returned as happened elsewhere in the diocese a few years ago.
The picture shows the hand of Dismas touching that of Jesus on the cross, the repentant thief who was crucified with Christ - and the one who was personally promised eternal happiness in heaven by the Lord.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Corpus Christi Sunday

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This Sunday is Corpus Christi in England and Wales and we have three Masses on Sunday:

8.00 a.m. Leeds Cathedral, Cookridge Street, Leeds

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Mass at St. Joseph's will be followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Also remember that there is Confession at call at any of our Masses

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

EF Ordinations in Warrington

Image result for st mary's shrine warringtonArchbishop Malcolm McMahon will be ordaining two members of the Priestly Society of St Peter to the Priesthood on Saturday 17th June at St Mary's Church in Warrington.  They are Deacons Alex Stewart, FSSP and Krzysztof Sanetra, FSSP.  The programme for the day is as follows:
  • 11.00 a.m. Priestly ordination of Deacons Alex Stewart, FSSP and Krzysztof Sanetra, FSSP by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool (no booking needed)
·         1:30 p.m. Refreshments in Priory Garden – while First Blessings are given by the new priests
·         2.00 p.m. Buffet Lunch at nearby venue (no booking needed)
·         5.00 p.m. Solemn Vespers

These will be the first ordinations in the Extraordinary Form  to take place in England or Wales for about 50 years, so it is a significant occasion for all interested in the traditional movement.  Everybody is welcome, although early arrival is recommended to be assured of a seat in the church.
(Photo Dr. Joseph Shaw)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Trinity Sunday

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Blessed be the Holy and Undivided Trinity now and forever!

Masses for this incomprehensible and mystical feast which sees two Masses on Sunday.

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

The Mass at St. Joseph's will be followed by the baptism of Jasper Patrick Shackleton.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pentecost treat

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I reproduce the following from the blog site of the Ronald Knox Society of North America (hence the American English spelling). It is worth ten minutes of anybody's time.

The Holy Spirit If a man should set out to go through the Bible, pausing and making a meditation wherever he found material, his attention would be caught without fail, I think, by the second verse of it. “Earth was still an empty waste, and darkness hung over the deep; but already, over its waters, stirred the breath of God.” Creation still in the melting-pot, so that we have nothing for our composition of place except a formless sea of undifferentiated matter; dark, not by some effect of shadow, but with that primal darkness that reigned before light was made. And over this inert mass, like the mist that steals up from a pool at evening, God’s breath his Spirit, was at work. Already it was his plan to educe from this chaos the cosmos he had resolved to make, passing up through its gradual stages till it culminated in the creation of Man. Deep in your nature and mine lies just such a chaos of undifferentiated matter, of undeveloped possibilities. Psychology calls it the unconscious. It is a great lumber-room, stocked from our past history. Habits and propensities are there, for good and evil; memories, some easily recaptured, some tucked away in the background; unreasoning fears and antipathies; illogical associations, which link this past experience with that; primitive impulses, which shun the light, and seek to disguise themselves by a smoke-screen of reasoning; inherited aptitudes, sometimes quite unexpected. Out of this welter of conditions and tendencies the life of action is built up, yours and mine. And still, as at the dawn of creation, the Holy Spirit moves over those troubled waters, waiting to educe from them, with the cooperation of our wills, the entire life of the Christian. The moment you begin to speculate why you started humming such and such a tune at such and such a moment, or why you dreamt last night of a friend, long dead, who in your dream was alive, you catch some glimpse of the vast network of association there must be below the level of consciousness. Have you ever tried to eradicate sorrel from a garden path? Or even thistles? Those long ligaments which connect one patch of weeds with the next make a good image of what mental association must be like, if it could be unearthed to our view. Nowadays, there is so much novel-writing and so much art criticism which exploits the findings of the psychoanalysts that we are, if it is not too paradoxical to put it in that way, perpetually unconscious-conscious. We are forever turning in upon ourselves, and scrutinizing the hidden sources of our own conduct. What I want to suggest, in giving you a meditation about the action of the Holy Spirit on our lives, is that there is a further, rather interesting parallel between the chaos out of which the world was formed and the chaos with underlies consciousness. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when the discoveries of the scientists, and of Newton in particular, had dominated men’s minds with the notion of order and mechanical sequence in the world of nature around us, the thought of the day became infected with the tendency which we remember under the name of Deism. Philosophers who believed, sincerely enough, that the existence of the universe could only be attributed to a creator, restricted his role to that of a creator and let it stop there. He had made (these people told us) a piece of mechanism so flawless in its construction that it could roll on its course by means of some self-regulating principle without any further interference. How they managed to remain satisfied with such a naïf doctrine, it is difficult to see. Nobody who contemplates Michael Angelo’s picture of the creation of Adam can fail to be impressed by the gesture of the outstretched arm, which seems to suggest that Adam is just letting go; how far, we wonder, and in what sense was it possible to let go? But I am not concerned to discuss the difficulties of the theory, held by people who were Christians after a fashion, which left no room for the divine conservation, left no room for miracles or the intrusion of the supernatural; which regarded the whole of creation as a mere fait accompli, set in a mould. And, if you come to think about it, that is exactly the danger which the new psychology has for you and me. It tends to make us think of ourselves as set in a mould, certain to react in this or that fashion to this or that stimulus, because that is the way we are built. Or rather, that is the way we have got warped, by the impressions we get in extreme youth, long before we’ve attained the use of reason. The first seven years of our lives are like the seven days of creation, the only really formative period; after that, nothing will make any difference – except perhaps going to a psychoanalyst. Oh, we go on fighting against our temptations, but with the feeling that the dice are loaded against us; we are obeying the call of something so deep down in us that we can’t get at it – that is the frame of mind we find ourselves in, when we have been coming across this modern talk about psychology. If you want to get a complete reversal of the eighteenth-century Deist approach, you have to go back to the Middle Ages. How splendidly the medieval people took everything in their stride! To them, the constant stir and motion in the world around them was the work of the Holy Spirit – the rustling, as it were, of his passage; that “the spirit of the Lord fills the whole world” was as clear to them as to the author of the Book of Wisdom. So it was that Adam of St. Victor wrote, in his hymn Qui procedis ab utroque: “Love, that equally enchainest Son and Father, Love that reignest Equally, of both the peer, All things fillest, all things lovest, Planets guidest, heaven movest, Yet unmoved dost persevere.” They, no less than the men of the eighteenth century, were impressed by the movements of the celestial bodies, but to them it was something alive, not something mechanical. Well, I suppose they were naïf about their science, just as the men of a later age were naïf about their philosophy. But I always feel that we have lost something, we modern Catholics, something of that splendid boldness with which the medieval treated all experience as one. We think of the Holy Spirit, don’t we, as concerned with us men, as helping us in our decisions, as quickening us with more fervor of devotion; we do not feel the draught of his impetuous movement in the world around us. We are all so scientific. Well, be that as it may, we have got to believe, on pain of heresy, that the Holy Spirit does interfere, all the time, in your life and mine; that his influence plays over us, like the steady breeze which fills the sails of a boat, or like the sudden gusts which send the autumn leaves spinning in the air. At least, I don’t know that that is really a very good comparison. Because the wind catches the surface of things; when it is blustering on the hill-tops you may be sheltered from it in the valley. Whereas it is a plain fact of experience that the operations of the Holy Spirit do not manifest themselves on the surface; they take effect within. They belong to that hidden self of which we have been speaking, the self that lies below the level of consciousness. Below? Perhaps above; but at least beyond the range of our knowing. When you stand in the face of some important decision, when (for example) you are electing your state of life, you naturally invoke the aid of the Holy Spirit. But, having done that, you proceed to make up your mind exactly as you would have made it up in any case; by weighing arguments, by taking human advice, and so on. You do not expect a sudden illumination from heaven to break in upon your calculations. Even on those rare occasions when a salutary thought strikes you quite out of the blue, with no previous train of thought to account for it, you say, perhaps, “It was an inspiration”; but then you reflect, “How can I be certain of that? How do I know what hidden association of past memories may have set my brain working in that way? Perhaps it wasn’t an inspiration after all.” But it was; there’s nothing to prevent the Holy Spirit using some association of past memories in your brain cells to produce the effect he wanted. The breath of God stirred over the turbid waters of your unconscious self, and said, “Let there be light.” What I’m trying to suggest is that most of us have a rather limited view about the help we expect to receive from the Holy Spirit. Our devotion to him is real, but it is something that we keep for special occasions; moments of vital decision, or acute spiritual crisis. It is so easy to think of yourself as a boat propelled by machinery, which can get along all right most of the time by its own power – it’s only when the engine breaks down that you bother to hoist the sails. When I used to teach at Old Hall you would get summoned, now and again, to some meeting of professors to discuss College business; and you put your pipe in your pocket on the chance; but if the meeting began with Veni Creator Spiritus you knew that you might just as well have left it behind. I don’t want to criticize my old college, but it did and does seem to me that there’s a slight tinge of Jansenism about the idea that if you light a pipe the Holy Spirit ceases to take any further interest in your deliberations. We forget, you see, how constant and how intimate is the play of his influence on our lives. But why should we? We’ve lost, no doubt, the medieval trick of tracing it in the movements of the heavens, but surely we ought to trace it in the mysterious movements of our own minds, stirring over that primeval chaos which underlies the cosmos of our daily thoughts? It isn’t true, and of course it can’t be true, that only the impressions of early childhood have the power to mould a man’s character. On the contrary, we are building it up all the time; from hour to hour the complicated tapestry of our lives is being woven out of fresh material. We are accustomed to remember that, when it is a question of the will making some conscious decision – consenting, for example, to sin. Every sin, the spiritual authors hasten to assure us, diminishes in some tiny degree our capacity to resist the next temptation. But, you see, it isn’t only our moral choices or even our conscious thoughts that have this power to affect us; all the time we are taking in something from our surroundings. Just as our bodies are exposed, day by day, to a hundred dangers which we cannot see, so our minds can be influenced by things which don’t seem to matter; sights and sounds that were hardly registered, impressions which at the time had no moral significance, no taint of sin and no relish of salvation in them, can leave their mark ever so slightly, and help to make us, for better or worse, the people we are. I’m not saying this to frighten anybody or make anybody scrupulous; I’m only trying to point out that when you and I invoke the Holy Spirit we are not just inviting him to be there in case of accidents. We are recognizing that there is a whole world of minute mental happenings which, but for his watchful care, may turn to poison for us. We are asking him to guide us, not only in the momentous choices which seem to us important, but in every tiny decision of our wills, because the effects, even of such a decision, may have results beyond our knowing. One has heard of sectaries who would not even cross the street without asking for guidance; we may laugh at their scruples, but we have to admit that they are distortions of a true principle. Don’t let us be content, then, to ask the aid of the Holy Spirit in getting the better of our temptations; let us ask him also to do something about this background of sinfulness from which our temptations arise, this chaos of hidden, conflicting tendencies within us which is, which has become, our nature. There is a work of cleansing and of mending to be done in us at a level which escapes our observation altogether. That haunting list in the fourth verse of Veni, Sancte Spiritus is not a list of sins; it is a list, drawn up under various images, of those faults in our nature which are the context of our sinning. Lava quod est sordidum, wash clean what is sordid. What is filthy, if you will; but in our speech that metaphor has a narrow compass; defilement conjures up in our minds the picture of sensual temptations. It is natural that it should be so; dirt is only displaced matter, and those sins in which sex plays a part are only the abuse of a noble thing in our nature. But in the language of the New Testament the word “defiled” has a more general meaning; when St. James, for example, tells us to cast aside all defilement, and all the ill-will that remains in us, he seems to be thinking of that mean streak in our natures which rejoices in taking unfair advantage of an enemy. What is sordid in us is what we ourselves would be ashamed of if it came to light. When you are moved by jealousy to detract from the praises of some rival, that is sordid. When you grudge somebody the help he might expect of you, just because he is a bore and uncongenial to you, that is sordid. Not only from the rebellion of sensual desires, which makes itself clearly felt, but from the meanness which hides itself away under so many cunning disguises, we ask to be delivered when we pray Lava quod est sordidum. Riga quod est aridum, water the parched soil. When we say that, we are not thinking only of disabilities which arise from our own fault. There is, as we all know, a dryness in prayer which belongs to a different category. Commonly – I think you can say, most commonly – it is not the result of sin or a punishment of sin, but a discipline which God sends us by way of testing the quality of our love for him. And if we ask the Holy Spirit to lighten that discipline for us, it is only from a salutary fear that we shall not be able to stand the test. But there is a dryness in our human contacts which is a defect in us, and often a defect which grows in us. A kind of selfishness cuts us off from our fellow-men; we can’t summon up the effort to make friends of people. From this ingrowing selfishness, our fault only in part, we ask that we may be delivered. Sana quod est saucium, cure what is wounded in us. There we find ourselves talking the language of psychology. Our traumas; the irrational antipathies, the unaccountable phobias which seem to mark us out from our fellow men – they have become part of our nature, and we can do nothing about them. We can do nothing about them, and therefore we ask the Holy Spirit to heal us, if he will, of these forgotten wounds which so hamper our activity. Flecte quod est rigidum, bend what is stiff in us. That difficulty of approach which our neighbors find in us, so largely due to mere shyness, mere awkwardness; that unsympathetic attitude towards the failings which we don’t evidently share; that self-withdrawal which isn’t quite pride but is next-door-neighbor to it – we want to be rid of that too. Fove quod est frigidum – chafe what is numb. Sometimes a kind of torpor creeps over the mind, like the chill of old age, deadening (or so it seems) the faculties of the spirit; our zeal for souls, our hope of salvation, even faith itself, haven’t been lost, but it’s as if they had been sealed off, like a finger or a foot rendered insensible by frost. What is the explanation of it, where lies the fault in it, and how grave, we cannot tell; but oh, if it could be chafed back to life! Rege quod est devium – straighten out what is warped. What a curious thing it is, the cross-grainedness, the contrariness of some people; how a man can so want to be different from his fellows that he differs for the sake of differing; enjoys the martyrdom of intellectual loneliness; delights in shocking the prejudices of his neighbors. Oh, it is harmless enough on a small scale, and often amusing; but it is a dangerous kink, not always far removed from pride. If the Holy Spirit would iron out those exaggerated eccentricities, bring us back again to the true! “The Spirit,” says St. Paul, “comes to the aid of our weakness; when we do not know what prayer to offer, to pray as we ought, the Spirit himself intercedes for us, with groans beyond all utterance.” Down in the depths of our fallen nature he is at work, reinterpreting us to ourselves, subtly fashioning us, according the measure of the perfect man in Christ – without our knowledge, but not, perhaps, without our asking for it.
Ronald Knox Excerpted from ‘The Layman and His Conscience’

Sunday, June 4, 2017


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Masses for this wonderful Feast and birthday of the Church are as follows:

Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton  11.00 a.m. (missa cantata)
St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford  12.30 p.m.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Ascension Sunday

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This Sunday when the Church in England and Wales celebrates the glorious Ascension into Heaven of Our Lord we have three Masses.

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford
4.00 p.m. St. Anthony's, Bradford Road, Clayton, Bradford

Friday, May 19, 2017

Easter V

This weekend is the fifth Sunday of Easter and we have three Masses in the Extraordinary Form:

8.00 a.m. Leeds Cathedral. Cookridge Street. Leeds
11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Easter IV

The Requiem Mass for Henry Tempest of Broughton took place last evening and was a very solemn and dignified occasion.
Fr. Parfitt offered the Mass and the Parish Priest, Mgr.Andrew Summersgill, preached a very prayerful and most apt sermon about death and our responses to it in the knowledge of our Lord's promises and eventually the Resurrection.
A friend of the Tempest family, a Benedictine of Ampleforth, speaking before the prayers of absolution quoted from St. John of the Cross's meditation about when we die in Jesus we simultaneously die into pure love. I always try to find something spiritually satisfying at a requiem. I had nothing to try hard about here.
The serving team did a first class job and the cantor and schola sang the requiem Mass, Praise to the Holiest and Soul of my Saviour beautifully. It was so good to see many regular Broughton attendees who wished to pay their respects to Mr. Tempest for his kindness over the many years that the old Mass has been offered at Broughton Hall.
Last Sunday I was speaking to a lady who attended the very first Masses back in the 1970s with her late father and mother.

I was very pleased to receive my copy of the latest issue of Mass of Ages today but sorry to see that my own report for this edition about Leeds Diocese appears to have been omitted. This must be a technical problem because the editor assured me had received my report about the Sacred Triduum in time to go to press and to report that His Lordship, Marcus Stock, the Bishop of Leeds will be the celebrant for the annual Mass of Requiem in November in the Cathedral. This year the Mass will be offered for all departed Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals who are predecessors of Bishop Stock in this diocese.

Masses for the fourth Sunday of Easter this weekend are as follows:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Please remember to pray for the Holy Father today in Fatima on the 100th anniversary of the apparitions there.
Our Lady, Queen of the Holy Rosary, Pray for us and for our Holy Father.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Of your charity

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Of your charity please pray for the repose of the soul of Captain Henry Tempest of Broughton Hall, Skipton who departed this life on Saturday May 6th.
Mr. Tempest was always extremely generous in allowing the chapel to be used for the traditional Rite of Mass back in the hard days following the introduction of the new Rite of Mass when there existed a strong desire by many to rid the Church of the vetus ordo. Mr. Tempest had requested his requiem be held in the Extraordinary Form in his chapel and the funeral will be on Friday 12th. May at 5.00 p.m.  Requiescat in pace.