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Mass of Ages The quarterly magazine of the Latin Mass Society

Issue 191 –Spring 2017


Buckfast Abbey: one thousand years of monasticism The Old Mass and Children

Scandinavian journey: The Pope’s visit to Sweden Plus: news, views, Mass listings and nationwide reports






The riches of the past

3 Chairman’s Message Dr Joseph Shaw on why we need to reconnect with the ancient liturgy 6 LMS Year Planner – Notable Events 7 News and Liturgical Calendar 8 Mystery and imagination

Children enjoy the Old Mass, says Dr Joseph Shaw

10 Grace abounding Clare Bowskill reviews a new DVD 11 Champions of the Rosary Alan Frost on a new book by American priest, Fr Donald H. Calloway

Dr Joseph Shaw on why we need to reconnect with the ancient liturgy



12 The matrimonial bond Mary O’Regan reflects on marriage 13 Letters – Readers have their say 14 Reports from around the country What’s happening where you are 22 Day of Recollection – Peter Clarke reports from the Isle of Wight 23 Plotting cardinals – Tom Quinn reviews a book by thriller writer Robert Harris 24 A meditation on the Mass Caroline Shaw on the Ghent Altarpiece

26 Back to school – Gregory Hogan Gregory Hogan reports on plans to open a new Catholic academy 28 One thousand years of monasticism

Maurice Quinn looks at the history and current work of Devon’s Buckfast Abbey

30 A landmark on the Wirral – Paul Waddington on the Shrine Church of Ss Peter & Paul and St Philomena 32 Roman report – Alberto Carosa on the Pope’s recent visit to Sweden 33 Mass listings 40 Mission impossible – A remarkable

film about two priests in 17th Century Japan is now available on DVD

41 Memories of   Pottery Lane – Tom Quinn recalls the Church of St Francis of Assisi in West London 42 A Record for the Latin Rite – Clare Bowskill reports on an extraordinary Christmas for the Traditional Mass

44 Reflections on everything – Do we still believe in theologians? asks Bede Rowe 45 We know who we are – The Lone Veiler looks at science fiction 46 Crossword 47 Macklin Street




Please note that the views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Latin Mass Society or the Editorial Board. Great care is taken to credit photographs and seek permission before publishing, though this is not always possible. If you have a query regarding copyright, please contact the Editor. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission.

The Latin Mass Society 11-13 Macklin Street, London WC2B 5NH Tel: 020 7404 7284 PATRONS: Sir Adrian Fitzgerald Bt, Lord (Brian) Gill, Sir James MacMillan CBE, Colin Mawby KSG, Charles Moore COMMITTEE: Dr Joseph Shaw – Chairman; Paul Waddington – Treasurer; Kevin Jones – Secretary; Paul Beardsmore – Vice President; James Bogle; Eric Friar; Antonia Robinson; Roger Wemyss Brooks Registered UK Charity No. 248388 MASS OF AGES: Editor: Tom Quinn Design: GADS Ltd Printers: Bishops

Mass of Ages No. 191

Cover image: Our Lady of Buckfast © Maurice Quinn

Due to the considerable volume of emails and letters received at Mass of Ages it is regrettably not always possible to reply to all correspondents.

hat have the current controversies in the Church to do with the Traditional Catholic liturgy? One important connection was explained by the late Anne Roche Muggeridge (daughter-in-law of Malcolm Muggeridge), in her book The Desolate City (1986 and 1990). She draws a parallel with political revolutions, referring to the shocking liturgical abuses, and parodies of the liturgy, which took place in the 1960s. ‘These rituals are designed to diminish the power of existing authority by destroying its mystique during a process in which the symbols that inspire awe are mocked and degraded in “reversed ceremonies of legitimacy”. The mocking reversal of sacred symbols serves as a psychological preparation for a transference of allegiance.’ The hallowed symbols of the ancien regime represent the prestige of the prerevolutionary order, and because they are old, they represent the respect due to the past.  Polemic In the case of the Mass, the polemic against the Traditional Mass, which can still be heard today, is that it ‘excluded the people’, making them ‘dumb spectators’, and that it embeds a misguided theology of sacrifice, intercession, the merits of the saints, and so forth. If we allow that polemic to stand we are admitting that the Church was wrong  about her most intimate inner life, the shared liturgical life of the Christian community. It may be logically possible to say that she was wrong about that and right about doctrines, but it is incredible: it is impossible to believe.


CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE It is not that people are incapable of distinguishing doctrine from liturgy, or are ignorant that the liturgy of the mid20th Century was not identical to that celebrated by the Apostles. It is, rather, that if the Church could be deeply wrong about the liturgy for ten or more centuries, she cannot be trusted: she has no credibility. If we want to promote orthodox doctrine in the Church, we must reverse the process the dissenters undertook in the 1960s: we have to reconnect people with the ancient liturgy, restore its prestige, and convince people of its value. Only by doing this will it make psychological sense for anyone to accept the authority of the Fathers, the Councils, the ancient Creeds, and the Scriptures: the authority, in short, of the Church’s continuous life over many centuries, or, even more briefly, of the past. This idea was expressed succinctly by Pope Benedict (Salt of the Earth): ‘A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent.’

As well as many private Masses being said by priest members and at members’ request, the Society organises a public Mass celebrated with solemnity, sung with sacred polyphony, each year. If sodality members contribute the necessary money for this purpose, we’ll have more of these. For the Pope Pope Francis, like all Popes, faces great challenges and difficulties; at the current moment of crisis much depends on his words and actions. This seems a good time to renew the practice of regular prayer for the Pope. The prayer (right), from the 1952 Manual of Prayers, approved by the Bishops of England and Wales, can also be used publicly after Prayers after Low Mass. (I have added the name of Pope Francis.)

For the Sovereign Pontiff V. Let us pray for our holy Father the Pope. R. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. Let us pray. O Almighty and eternal God, have mercy on thy servant Francis, our Pope, and direct him according to thy clemency into the way of everlasting salvation; that he may desire by thy grace those things which are pleasing to thee, and perform them with all his strength. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

If we want to promote orthodox doctrine in the Church, we must reverse the process the dissenters undertook in the 1960s ... Practical hope Readers may remember the Sodality of St Augustine which was launched in these pages exactly three years ago. The purpose of the Sodality is to unite the prayers of its members for their family and friends who have left, or never attained, the practice of the Faith. There can’t be anyone reading this who would not benefit from others’ prayers for such an intention. There is no joining fee; you simply sign up through the website (in this issue there is a form you can use as well). What members contribute is prayers and Masses for the Sodality’s intentions.


‘It happened after Little Wendy of the Altar Rails sat up in her cot and warned the Church in Latin that if priests didn’t wear the stole when blessing holy water there would be trouble.’ The cartoon is from Cracks in the Clouds by Dom Hubert van Zeller (aka Br Choleric)






LMS Year Planner – Notable Events

© John Aron

Details of all our events can be found on our website, together with booking and payment facilities where applicable.

Mass at Spanish Place where the Latin Mass Society AGM will be held in June LMS Pilgrimage to Caversham. The annual Latin Mass Society Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham will take place on Saturday, 11th March 2017, the Ember Saturday of Lent. It will be a Sung or High Mass at 11.30am.

Saturday 29 April 2017 PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF DATE.

Monday 24 July – Saturday 29 July 2017

LMS Pilgrimage to York in honour of St Margaret Clitherow and the York Martyrs. St Wilfrid’s, York. High Mass at 1.30pm, followed by a procession through York and Benediction in St Wilfrid’s.

LMS Residential Latin Course. Franciscan Retreat Centre, Pantasaph.

Monday 27 – Friday 31 March 2017

Saturday 24 June 2017

Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP will give a silent retreat for clergy in Prior Park College, Bath. The LMS is handling the bookings for this.

LMS Annual General Meeting. High Mass in St James’, Church, Spanish Place, London at 12 noon, celebrated by the newly ordained Fr Alex Stewart FSSP, will precede the AGM. Further details will be sent to members but all are welcome to attend the Mass.

Friday 31 March 2017 St Catherine’s Trust Family Retreat will take place in The Oratory School, Reading from Friday 31st March to Sunday 2nd April 2017. Running alongside this will be the Gregorian Chant Network’s Chant Course. See for details. Holy Week The LMS will celebrate the Sacred Triduum in St Mary Moorfields church in London. See separate notice for details.


Thursday 24 August – Sunday 27 August 2017 LMS Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham.

Sunday 2 July 2017

© John Aron

Saturday 11 March 2017

LMS Annual Pilgrimage to Holywell. Saturday 15 July 2017 LMS Day of Recollection at St Edmund’s College, Ware, Hertfordshire. Sunday 23 July – Sunday 30 July 2017 St Catherine’s Trust Summer School. Franciscan Retreat Centre, Pantasaph.

FACTFILE Details of all our events can be found on our website, together with booking and payment facilities where applicable. Go to



Liturgical calendar




LMS Pilgrimage to Walsingham 24 – 27 August 2017

We are now accepting bookings for the pilgrimage. Early Bird Offer: book before Easter Sunday at last year’s prices! See our website for details

Residential Training Conference for Priests, Deacons & Servers Due to circumstances beyond our control, there will be no Residential Training Conference this year.

Mary Waddelove Stalwart of the LMS


our prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Miss Mary Waddelove who was a stalwart of the Latin Mass Society for more than 40 years. Mary was a former Assistant Secretary of the Society and for many years gave much clerical support to her brother, the late Edmund Waddelove, when he was the LMS Diocesan Representative in the Menevia, Shrewsbury and Wrexham dioceses. A lifelong Catholic and retired Whitehall civil servant, Miss Waddelove also provided administrative assistance to the late Fr Paul Crane SJ when he was Editor of Christian Order, and to the late Michael Davies for whom she acted as a proof-reader. Her request, dated 14 December 1976, for a Traditional Requiem Mass was honoured by Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP at Saint Mary’s Shrine in Warrington, on 12 October 2016, before burial in her home town of Leigh in Lancashire. He and Father James Mawdsley FSSP administered the Last Rites two hours before her death in the Malpas Nursing Home in Cheshire, to which she had moved from Sidcup six years ago. Adrian Waddelove



Mystery and imagination Children are far better at accepting and enjoying the atmosphere of the Old Mass than progressive liturgists would have us believe, says Dr Joseph Shaw


n December 2016 I published a new ‘Position Paper’ for the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, on the participation of children in the Traditional Mass. This can be seen on their website ( and elsewhere. The difficulty of this topic lies in the fact that, while Catholics who attend the Extraordinary Form, even if only occasionally, know, from direct experience, that it works well for children, who are often there in force. It is difficult to explain why this might be so to others. It is an axiom of progressive liturgists, which is paralleled in the secular educational establishment, that the things children need and appreciate must be simple, and easy to understand. ‘Simple and easy to understand’ doesn’t seem like a description of the Traditional Mass. The demand for simplicity and ease of understanding in everything related to children is, however, not only a wrong and damaging idea, but one whose falsity should be apparent to anyone who has spent any amount of time with children. It’s not the blank canvas in the modern art section which fascinates children the most; it is not the simplest melodies in music; it is not stories which lack all decorative detail and incident, and are set in resolutely familiar times and places. But the demand for the simple and, usually, the boring and banal, for children, is backed up by a powerful ideology. Anyone familiar with children’s books will be aware that, from the 1960s in particular, there was a prolonged campaign against the traditional type of children’s stories, which children actually like. In 1995, J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 publishers, not, mainly, for its real shortcomings (like many, I have mixed feelings about the series), but in large part simply because it was, like Arthurian romances and fairy


tales, classified as ‘fantasy’, and fantasy for children was out of fashion. With children? No – with supposed children’s experts. Thank heavens the world of publishing is influenced by the profit motive, and in this way can come to terms with reality. The world of progressive liturgy is going to be stuck with 1960s educational theory for a while longer, and we will never get them to understand that the highly decorated, the highly elaborate, the profound and meaningful and yet mysterious and elusive, have a powerful attraction for children, as for adults. For the more open-minded, nevertheless, we can explain how and why this works. First, think of a progressive’s ideal Mass for children. It would be entirely in English, in words of one syllable, with spontaneous ceremonies, ordinary clothes, lots of ex tempore explanations of what is going on, and types of music closely approximating secular styles the participants are familiar with. Is this easy to understand, for children? No, because this kind of liturgy depends entirely on verbal comprehension. Nothing is conveyed by the choice of language, by the vestments, ceremonies, musical style and so forth, because these have been deliberately made to conform with those of everyday life, and robbed as much as possible of fixed symbolic value. So everything depends on the words. Children, particularly small children, are not good at assimilating large numbers of words, especially words lacking musical or poetic resonance, for the simple reason that they haven’t finished learning their own language. The likely result is that children will be bored: and this is exactly what we find. If we consider the Traditional Mass, verbal communication is obviously not what it is all about. Not only is it in Latin, but the most important bit is actually

said silently. If it is not said aloud, then children, even those who can’t speak, are no worse off than adults in terms of being able to pick up the significance of what is going on. And while adults, or older children who have been appropriately catechised, may be able to understand the theological significance of more of the ceremonies, the overall effect is one of atmosphere, and in picking up atmosphere children often seem to have the edge over the grown-ups. While it is wonderful to be able to read about the symbolism of the number of times the priest turns around to greet the people in Mass, or the history of the Offertory prayers, or why the paten is hidden under the corporal for the consecration, knowing about these things is not necessary for an appreciation of the ancient Mass. What Pope St John Paul II (Dominicae Cenae (1980) 10) explained about Latin, we may extend to the overall effect of the ceremonies, vestments, and the traditional decoration of the sanctuary and whole church: ‘through its dignified character [it] elicited a profound sense of the Eucharistic Mystery.’ The ancient Mass as a whole, because it is dignified, makes us understand, without words, the gravity, the importance and weightiness, of what is happening. We can see the priest striking his breast and washing his hands in preparation for something too holy to be spoken aloud. We can see him genuflecting in awe before what has come to rest upon the Altar, and we see him raise it aloft to show the Faithful. There is something inescapably sacred in that little white host, which people kneel to receive, and which only the priest may touch with his hands. It follows, of course, that children should be present at Mass, which for most parents they have to be if the parents themselves are to attend. They should not be sidelined in children’s liturgies or exiled in ‘crying rooms’.


© Joseph Shaw


A child at the Mass: ‘This problem of progressive children’s liturgies has arisen because the progressives appear to think that verbal communication is the only kind of communication which counts’ They may play at the back when they are little, and they may need to be taken outside for fresh air when they are tiny, but they need to be there to soak up the liturgy in their own way. Liturgical catechesis remains necessary, of course, but it has so much more to work with if the children are aware of fixed and memorable ceremonies, and a ritual structure picked out by periods of silence and profound and moving sacred music. Furthermore, by sharing the liturgical experience with their parents and other adults they know and respect, our children know that when we say we believe in the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence, we and the people in the sanctuary also act as if we believe it. Children do not understand the Mass from the cradle, but their coming to


understand it parallels their coming to understand the rest of the adult world. As they grow older, children gradually pay more attention to the liturgy, and its atmosphere gradually makes a deeper and deeper impression upon them. Because of the predictability of the ceremonies, they learn the basic layout without even noticing they are doing so. It is important that Mass appears to them as indeed a part of the adult world, the world they aspire to join, not the world which in a few years they will leave behind them. This is perhaps the most worrying aspect of ‘children’s Masses’ and ‘children’s liturgies’, that they are off-putting to adults and give children the impression that religion is something for the tiny tots.

This problem of progressive children’s liturgies has arisen because the progressives appear to think that verbal communication is the only kind of communication which counts, and that being able to articulate something with words is the only kind of comprehension which counts. Both these ideas are profoundly mistaken, and the error is particularly serious when applied to children, who communicate least of all with words, and understand far more than they can articulate. As Louis Bouyer noted, in his Memoirs: ‘The main business of the liturgy is not to teach us this or that lesson easily converted into pat formulas; it is to place the faithful, without them quite knowing how, into a certain state of mind which it would be perfectly fruitless to try to recreate by explaining it.’



Grace abounding Clare Bowskill reviews a new DVD from St Anthony Communications


he world is still, covered in a blanket of snow. The camera takes us on a journey across a landscape of fir trees and ice, sparkling and pure. We are drawn to gaze at nature’s beauty, the beauty of God’s creation and the hint of something special beyond the ordinary. Have you tried to understand the Catholic doctrine of Grace and failed? Do you hear the expression ‘in a state of grace’ but not fully grasp its meaning? In a new DVD produced by St Anthony Communications, Fr Marcus Holden and Fr Andrew Pinsent take you on an evocative journey to help you understand what grace is really all about, and why it is so central to our understanding of our Catholic faith. Fr Pinsent tells us, if you have no experience of theology or faith, you only have to think about human nature and the strangeness of the human condition when you head to the supermarket and look at the advertising on the packaging. The advertisers are trying to tap into the fact that human beings want something special. They want something to add to the mundane and the simple that will somehow transform us. In the same way with God, by means of his gift, he implants his life within us and transforms us. ‘Grace is that gift God gives us of his own life.’ This film takes us gently through explanations of the purpose of grace, describes how we receive grace and reveals how grace has formed the framework of scripture: from the loss of divine grace in Genesis, to God uniting in man in the incarnation in the New Testament. With additional interviews from the journalist Diane Montagna and theologian and Deacon Fr Stephen Morgan, we are taken through the


wonderful love story of grace flourishing in the scriptures and the life of the saints, and are inspired to forge forwards always searching for that state of grace through our union of God. As Fr Marcus Holden says: ‘Once one starts to get a taste of this life, one can never go back.’ St Anthony Communications, which has produced this film, was formed more than 20 years ago and aims to showcase the very best in Catholic presentations covering every aspect of Catholic faith, life and culture. In this production, the uplifting and at times rousing soundtrack, together with the wonderful array of photography and references to religious

iconography, create an aural and visual soundscape to inspire any theologian or lay person to want to know more about the greatest gift that God can give us, that of ‘sanctifying grace’, that allows us to share in God’s own life. As Montagna reminds us, this ‘is our birthright’. As St Augustine said after his conversion into the life of grace: ‘Late have l loved you, O beauty so ancient and so new: late have l loved you.’

In association with The Special Divine Action Project, Grace was produced and directed by Christian Holden. It is available from the LMS website, price £9.99.



Champions of the Rosary A new book by an American priest, Fr Donald H. Calloway, written to honour the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Dominican Order is, after the works of St Louis-Marie de Montfort, perhaps the most important and comprehensive book ever written on the Rosary, as Alan Frost explains


ver the century many books have been written about the Rosary, so why another we might ask. Indeed, the author of Champions of the Rosary asks this very question at the outset of his book. He explains that he wishes to ‘recap and pick up where St Louis-Marie de Montfort left off,’ because ‘people today need to know about the weapon capable of combatting and conquering immorality and evil.’ That weapon, in Fr Calloway’s words, is a spiritual sword created by God, the ‘Divine Craftsman’. And, as he says in a section of the book dealing with the decline in devotion to the Rosary in the decades following Vatican II, ‘a priest without a rosary is like a knight without a sword’. Throughout the years since the time of St Dominic the popularity of the Rosary has waxed and waned. In this exceptionally well researched book, the relevant events in history and the emergence of heroic defenders and promoters of this wonderful prayer, often martyred in the cause, are explained in great detail. Of these heroic figures the author selects 26 as the Champions of the Rosary, each identified in a particular way. These Champions are examined in the second part of the book, the first dealing with pertinent events in each century, down from the pre-13th Century antecedents of the Rosary to the familiar chaplet. The third part of the


book, particularly taking a de Montfort model, is a practical and analytical account of the praying of the Rosary in the modern day. It should be noted that this is no heavy theological tome. Indeed, as

one of the many prelates offering most fulsome endorsements says: it is ‘a good read’. Fr Calloway has a flowing hand and an engaging style. That Our Lady gave the Rosary to St Dominic in 1208 is not disputed, though

the challenges to this are examined, and what is meant by ‘giving’ the Rosary is explained. This allows the author to link the pre-Dominican prayer-beads or Marian Psalter to the spiritual weapon it became after the apparitions of Our Lady to the great Saint. Through the Order he founded, the Rosary became very popular but then declined, especially with the disaster of the Black Death. But it was famously revived by the second Champion of the Rosary, Bl Alan de la Roche OP in the 15th Century, especially through the creation of archconfraternities. During this time the word ‘Rosary’ emerged, but it was not a term Bl Alan preferred; rather it was his confrere, Jacob Springer, who promoted it. Moreover, the practice of meditating on mysteries and naming them evolved from the Carthusians who developed a slightly different Rosary at the time. The detail of these changes is fascinating. There is interesting evidence from early accounts across Europe of the Rosary taking the form with which we are familiar, and of its success when prayed - helping Christian armies, for example, win important battles such as Muret and Lepanto; the latter leading Pope St Pius V (another Champion) to create the Feast of Our Lady of Victories, which later became the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, in gratitude. Champions of the Rosary by Donald H. Calloway is published by Marian Press and can be purchased from the LMS website, price £13.99.



The matrimonial bond Mary O’Regan reflects on marriage stating the obvious; Our Lady used the word ‘many’ in 1917 but one hundred years later that number of marriages not ‘of God’ may be greatly higher. My contention is that the reason such marriages happen is that ‘the soul being in a state of grace´ has become a foreign, even forgotten concept and the importance of being in a state of grace when one is getting married is something that is laughable to the majority. Hampering the will


´ve always felt called to marriage and down through the years I received some marriage proposals. There were the good, decent Catholic men who I did not feel called to marry; also my temperament clashed with theirs, which was one reason I would not have made a good wife to any of them. There were also a few non-Catholics who were kind men but resolute they would never convert. A successful man about London said to me, ‘I´d have no problem with you staying Catholic but I´d never convert’.  It´s hard enough for two parents who are Traditional Catholics to raise kids who are devout, but on my own I wouldn´t fancy my chances. There was also one who was adamant he didn´t want kids and for that precise reason, I broke it off.  State of grace Regrettably there were also a few bullies. Experience can be a pitiless teacher and in such relationships I learned that we brought out the worst in each other, and had we been man and wife we would have found it hard to keep the other in a state of grace and work towards saving our souls so as to spend an eternity in Heaven. I developed a thirst for understanding Our Lady´s haunting words at Fatima, ‘many marriages are not of God and they do not please Him.’ My next statement seems almost superfluous and almost as though I´m


The influence of grave sin on hampering the will can be detrimental, especially if a young man or woman is making one of the biggest decisions of their lives; their will is not to marry in a state of grace and so to enter in a vocation where they strive to save each other’s souls. If both man and woman go through a marriage ceremony and both are in a state of mortal sin, where they have utterly compromised their access to sanctifying grace, meaning an ever greater degree of separation from God, their union is likely to be, in Our Lady´s words ‘not of God’. For a marriage to be ‘of God’, I understand that both man and woman are to be in a state of grace while they are discerning a call to marriage, during their engagement and when they are joined in the sacramental bond of marriage when both their souls are joined by God and become two sides of the same cup, a fitting vessel for matrimonial grace. One couple´s matrimonial bond is as unique as they are, and the particular graces allotted to them can lend the couple the supernatural means to overcome challenges and live as man and wife in a way that pleases God. Of course a couple could always lose their way and sin, and a marriage could reorientate from being directed towards Heaven to being en route to Hell, thereby falling into the category of those that, ‘do not please’ God. If sinning against the other has cracked the cup holding their souls´ share of matrimonial grace, then the only doctor to mend their souls´ union is a Catholic priest. 

So as the priest is in persona Christi, he may restore the marriage to being ‘of God’ again. A good priest can have an immeasurably good influence on a couple. I remember hearing Fr Mocler of Human Life International give a talk at one of their conferences about a couple in Ireland who he was asked to visit; they were in prolonged difficulty and about to split up after a rough patch that could have been an EastEnders plot line about a marriage in jeopardy. On coming into their home, Fr Mocler was shown into the sitting room and he saw that the shelves were lined, ‘with every filthy thing and books all about contraception’. Taking a blunt, no-nonsense approach, Fr Mocler told them plainly to stop using all forms of contraception, to just ‘throw it out’. The couple protested, but Fr Mocler insisted and they took his advice. Miraculously, their marriage was restored and Fr Mocler said: ‘now you can´t keep them apart!’.

‘Both man and woman are to be in a state of grace while they are discerning a call to marriage’ SPRING 2017


Letters to the Editor Types of mourning

Risen issues

One would hope that Archbishop Gullickson’s words (Autumn 2016) suffered a little in the editing as his introductory remarks on the anniversary of Evelyn Waugh’s death seemed deeply troubling. He appeared to recognise only two types of mourning: ‘overwrought grief’, and ‘cheery… denials of sadness’; both of which he saw as hindrances to our duty to the immortal souls of the departed. By this extraordinary logic a mother burying her child would seem less doctrinally sound, less inclined to pray than someone, for example, attending the funeral of a fellow parishioner. Would the  Archbishop see her terrible grief as an inability to engage with the reality of death and the Church’s teaching,  whereas the  parishioner, sad but detached, would seem the better? This turns theology into asperity and we all know the awful failings of a church which hardens its heart:  Magdalen Laundries to name but one. Theology divorced from experience was a warning issued by Aquinas and many others; when the Church treats people’s experience as obstacles, grief as a synecdoche for lay errors, then trouble follows.

Thank you for the winter 2016 edition of the Latin Mass Society Magazine. I thoroughly enjoyed Mary O’Regan’s article on St Pio and absolution. I also wanted to comment on the review of the film Risen. I watched the film some months ago and there are two major issues the viewer needs to be aware of, especially viewers from the Latin Mass Society. The first is that the viewer is led into a defilement of St Mary Magdalen by a sick joke made at her expense. Second, in the latter part of the film, the body and blood of Christ is broken and discarded. Sadly, the company that made the film does not have the Christian values it purports to have. I try to carry my reverence for God and the Saints into all that I do and view. I’m sure not mentioning these flaws was a genuine oversight of the person reviewing the film. Nevertheless, these are serious issues and I hope viewers will make an informed choice before watching the film.

Michael O’Dowd Harrogate

Was the Easter Rising Catholic? Gerard Hanratty makes valid points in denouncing the Dublin Easter Rising (Letters, Autumn 2016), but goes too far in claiming it had no Catholic nature. Traditional Catholicism has legitimately included fighters on opposing sides of numerous conflicts. Devout Catholics regarded the Rising as a just war (others disagreed). The Church did not condemn it, unlike the earlier Fenian and later IRA campaigns. Justification includes the denial of Home Rule to Ireland for generations, blocked repeatedly by the House of Lords, delayed ‘for two years’ in 1912, then again in 1914 until ‘after the war’. Meanwhile, Irish politicians were expected to enthusiastically recruit for the British war effort, sending Irishmen to ‘fight for the freedom of small nations’ (no irony intended). The scale of that senseless slaughter was obvious by Easter 1916, but the government planned to extend conscription to Ireland.  And turned a blind eye to the arming of Unionists, determined to resist the democratic wish for (mere) devolution by violence. The case for constitutionalism grew ever less tenable. Mr Hanratty is rightly scornful of Steiner and Theosophy, but inventors of even bogus religions usually have poetic and mythologizing gifts, as the ‘Sun at Midnight’ adapted in Joseph Plunkett’s fine poem. W.B. Yeats (unquestionably one of Ireland’s greatest sons) was not a ‘Celtic revival nutter’ but recovering a native Irish mythology, a vital ingredient in national rebirth (can’t live on bread alone, y’know). Victor Haberlin London


Andrea Cope Via email Letters should be addressed to: The Editor, Mass of Ages, 11-13 Macklin Street, London WC2B 5NH email Letters may be edited for reasons of space

Please pray for the souls of all members who have died recently Requiescant in Pace Terence Byrne William Carter Catherine McDonald John McDonald (Priest) Paul Morris Edith Mugford John O’Brien Robert Smith Joseph Tracy Mary Waddelove Raymond Williams Elisabeth Ross Williamson Every effort is made to ensure that this list is accurate and upto-date. However, if you know of a recently deceased member whose name has not, so far, appeared on our prayer memorial, then please contact the LMS, see page 3 for contact details.



DIOCESAN DIGEST Mass of Ages quarterly round-up

Arundel and Brighton

Annie Mackie-Savage 01323 411370


e have had exceptional good fortune here in A&B since the Summer with a priest having learned the Latin Mass. Fr Gerard Hatton has established a monthly Mass in Eastbourne at 8am, a time which has proven to be very popular from the outset, with a congregation reaching 30 after only the first two Low Masses. His dedication to learning the Old Rite is amazing, and we thank him very much. It is a great boon for the whole diocese. There has been much favourable feedback as well, for which I’m very grateful. Throughout the rest of the diocese, Masses continue, although both Fr Michael Clifton and Fr Ray Blake have suffered from illhealth, and we have had some Mass cancellations. We are still lacking Masses in the west of the diocese, in spite of there being willing congregations, as there is no-one available to say any. If you can contradict me and point me in the direction of anyone who can, please contact me! As usual, the blog has up-to-date news of the local Masses, cancellations, and extras that might pop up from time to time. Thank you for your continued support for all our Masses, and a tremendous thank you to our priests who make them happen.

Birmingham (City & Black Country) Louis Maciel 07855 723445


rchbishop Bernard Longley celebrated his second Pontifical High Mass of the year at the Birmingham Oratory on its patronal Feast of the Immaculate Conception, with more than 300 in attendance. This rounded off a spectacular year of High Masses at the church, that included a Nuptial High Mass in July and a Funeral Requiem Mass in November. On Christmas Day there was a Low Mass of Dawn at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Wolverhampton, and a High Mass of the Day at the Oratory. Epiphany similarly saw High Masses at both these churches, followed by a High Mass at the Oratory for Candlemas and a Low Mass at Wolverhampton for Our Lady of the Rosary. Other special Masses at the Oratory included Rorate Masses on Saturday mornings during Advent and a daily 9.30am Low Mass during the Christmas Octave. Also over the Christmas


period, the Wednesday Low Mass in Halesowen coincided with the Feasts of St Thomas and the Holy Innocents. December and January saw the Solihull Mass move from the first Friday for various reasons – please check the blog for up-to-date changes. Also on the blog is a video introducing Christ the King parish in Kingstanding, which includes footage of the monthly Maryvale Mass and interviews with yours truly and assistant rep Bernadette – please visit hcmhgf4 for further details. Please note that weekday High Masses at the Oratory are moving to 7.30pm during 2017 to enable more people to attend.

Birmingham (Oxford) Dr Joseph Shaw 01993 812874


e had an excellent turnout for the LMS Oxford Pilgrimage in honour of our Catholic martyrs, after a year’s gap. Dominican Rite High Mass was celebrated in Blackfriars by Fr Oliver Keenan OP, accompanied by both the Schola Abelis with chant and the Newman Consort with some very lovely polyphony; the usual public procession was very kindly led by Fr Daniel Lloyd. I am pleased to say that the Dominicans are taking another opportunity to celebrate High Mass, with deacon and subdeacon, and on 14 January (before readers receive their copies of Mass of Ages) in honour of St Hilary, the ‘Athanasius of the West’. ​The last quarter saw a very pleasing increase in numbers of singers available for the Oxford area and Hethe, where we have two, overlapping, all-male chant scholas, who are singing at two EF Sung Masses a month at Holy Trinity, Hethe and a third at SS Gregory & Augustine’s in Oxford, as well as feast days and LMS Masses. I am particularly grateful to Dominic Bevan, who is now living in the area, for his help. I am always on the look-out for more singers, and also servers; anyone interested should email me. ​Archbishop Longley will be celebrating Pontifical Low Mass on Sunday 22 January in Holy Trinity, Hethe, A great honour for this tiny, and beautiful, church. ​Our regular Sung Mass in Milton Manor House at this time of year will take place for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on Saturday 11 February at 11:30am. Milton Manor’s chapel is a charming 18th century recusant chapel and well worth the effort to visit. The village of Milton is between Abingdon and Didcot. ​As usual the LMS Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Caversham will take place to coincide with the Ember Saturday of Lent, a magnificent service with five extra readings which deserves to be better known, and the ideal way to enter into the spirit of Lent.


REPORTS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY This falls on Saturday 11 March. High Mass will be celebrated by Fr Anthony Conlon at 11:30am and will be accompanied by polyphony from the Newman Consort, as well as chant from the Schola Abelis. Our Lady and St Anne’s Church in Caversham is just outside Reading. ​The feasts of the season will be marked as usual by Sung and Low Masses in different churches, notably the Purification, Ash Wednesday, and the Annunciation: please see the Mass Listings for the full details. Before Easter, the St Catherine’s Trust Family Retreat will take place in the Oratory School, and people living nearby will be very welcome to attend Masses at this, which are listed in the Mass Listings.

Birmingham (Staffordshire North) Alan Frost 01270 768144


hile we cannot report that any new priests have emerged to celebrate the Old Rite, we are fortunate in the number of young servers who are becoming established and learning the ropes. Some five of them are eleven or under and one has not yet made his first Holy Communion! A visiting priest sat in choro and read the Epistle at St Wulstan’s, Wolstanton for the Mass of the Feast of St Thomas of Canterbury, which was offered for all the priests of England and Wales. The Mass was offered by Fr Anthony Dykes, parish priest, author and occasional tutor in Latin to the seminarians in Valladolid. We look forward to another important Feast Day Mass, that of the Annunciation at Our Lady’s, Swynnerton, to be celebrated by Fr Paul Chavasse, Cong. Orat.

Birmingham (Worcester) Margaret Parffrey 01386 750421

Redditch Mass, at 6pm on second Tuesdays, is said by Father Grynoski. Our numbers are slowly increasing and the steady faithful continue. We also have a small team of altar servers. We commend ourselves to the English Martyrs for protection and increase of faith in this year 2017 of a troubled church.


Andrew Butcher 07905 609770 Herefordshire area: Shaun Bennett 07917 577127


ll Mass times and locations have remained unchanged throughout the Archdiocese since the last edition of the Mass of Ages, with the exception of a Sunday Vigil Mass (Low), which is offered by the Oratorians at the University Catholic Chaplaincy in Cardiff at 6pm (Saturday). This Mass is offered in the Little Oratory, which is located in the grounds of Nazareth House and during term time only. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact either Shaun Bennett (Hereford) or myself. Our Mass Listings have been included at the back of this edition of Mass of Ages. Don’t forget that you can find all the latest information and times of Holy Mass using our website www.lmscardiff. or by using our app, which is available to all Android users from the Google Play Store. Search for LMS Cardiff or Latin Mass Society Cardiff and you will find it. I am sorry the app is still not available for iPhone users. Of your charity please continue to remember Dom Antony Tumelty OSB in your daily prayers who is seriously ill. Pray also for his father, brother, family and friends. Our Lady and all the Saints and Blesseds of England and Wales, pray for him.


he Holy Ghost continues to watch over our four Mass centres. At Spetchley our numbers are increasing, especially at the Missa Cantata. We now have Sung Mass on the second and fourth Sunday at 10.45am. The Missa Cantata on second Sundays is an abbreviated one, to encourage the congregation to participate. We also have a small queue of servers waiting to serve at the Missa Cantata, one of whom is Michael Alsop, a student at the college for the blind in Worcester. Christmas Day saw the last Missa Cantata of the year. Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday will be sung by the Scola, and Passion Sunday a Low Mass. St Ambrose, Kidderminster remains at 3pm, on the first Sunday of each month, said by Father Lamb, to whom we are very grateful for his long-term service to the Latin Mass Society. In Evesham, Fr Draycot says Mass every Tuesday at 7pm and is served by Peter Hatton.


Clifton James Belt & Monika Paplaczyk 07890 687453


fter several years’ service, Ken and Carol Reis have now handed over the role of LMS representatives for Clifton Diocese to myself, James Belt. Monika Paplaczyk is Assistant Rep. We would like to thank Ken and Carol for their hard work, support and promotion of the Traditional Mass in the Diocese. Regular Masses around the Diocese continue as advertised. In November we had an annual meeting with the priests and we discussed the Mass schedule for 2017. A number of Masses were celebrated during Christmas.


REPORTS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY We are especially grateful to the Benedictine communities at Downside and Prinknash for their ongoing support. Unfortunately, Dom Damian Sturdy is no longer able to say the Masses at Prinknash, but Dom Mark Hargreaves has stepped in as his replacement. News and updates will continue to be posted on our blog; address given above. We would also welcome any suggestions and ideas from the members about activities that members would like to see and support during 2017.

East Anglia

Alisa and Gregor Kunitz-Dick 01223 322401 (link sends e-mail) (link sends e-mail)


hings have continued much as usual at Blackfriars, with the 9.15am Mass well-attended and with a growing number of young families. We’ve had some missae cantatae, most recently at Christmas.  We’re also still in need of more singers, and more servers, especially younger ones.  Very often people stay after Mass for biscuits and coffee, while the children play around in the garden. On Christmas Day, the friars surprised all of the children with chocolate models of St Nicholas. At Fisher House on Saturdays in term time, numbers remain much the same as usual, and although the pool of servers and singers has increased in size, and Mass is frequently able to be sung, we’re still in need of volunteers for either or both. And, if readers are interested, our Latin and Greek lessons are making steady progress. The older students are nearly finished learning the Greek alphabet, and starting to be able to translate simple Latin stories, while the very little ones have learned up to epsilon and how to translate some very simple Latin sentences. At our last class meeting, we acted out an abbreviated version of the Nativity story in its original Greek.

Leeds Neil Walker


ven after the publication of Summorum Pontificum almost ten years ago it would have been unthinkable that we should have two churches in the diocese where Mass is offered each Sunday and Holyday of obligation, as well as a regular monthly Mass at the Cathedral in Leeds. On Christmas Day I was delighted to see the new notice board outside St Joseph’s in Bradford announcing the times of Mass at the church, including the 12.30 pm Extraordinary Form Mass. Since we moved there in September we have met only with helpfulness, courtesy and total acceptance by the clergy, staff and parishioners and it has been a delight to be able to hear Mass in this beautiful inner city church, which is also home to the shrine of our Blessed Lady, Mother of Bradford. Numbers remain steady and it is good to see visitors using the church for Mass on the way to other places, as well as families with young children.


We were privileged to have Mass there on the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls in November - in addition to our Masses at Sacred Heart, Broughton where numbers have not been affected by the new venue. Following Mass for the Epiphany at St Joseph’s we had, for the first time, the blessing of chalk which many people admitted was something of a novelty. If you would like to sing or serve at the Masses, please let me know and training can now be easily arranged. At Easter this year we will still be at Notre Dame, Leeds University, when I hope you will attend the Sacred Triduum. In December, two of our regular celebrants were made canons of the Cathedral Chapter – Monsignor David Smith of Wakefield was made an honorary canon, and Fr Timothy Wiley was made a canon. He is the co-ordinator of the EF Mass in this diocese. Congratulations to them both and thanks to Bishop Stock.

‘I was delighted to see the new notice board outside St Joseph’s in Bradford announcing the times of Mass’

Lancaster Bob and Jane Latin 01524 412987 John Rogan 01524 858832 Sadly, we have to report that our weekly Sunday evening Mass at Our Lady & St Joseph, Carlisle, has ended as Fr John Millar has moved to St John XXIII, Preston. Due to its proximity to St Walburge’s, Fr Millar has no plans at present to offer EF Masses. However, with the agreement of Bishop Michael Campbell, Fr Michael Docherty will offer an EF Mass each First Sunday at Christ the King, Harraby, Carlisle at 6pm, and we are most grateful to him for this. In November, Bishop Campbell offered an EF Mass at Our Lady & St Wilfrid, Warwick Bridge, Carlisle, for all those buried in the churchyard there, and in December he was once again invited by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to preside at Benediction and give the homily for the closing of the novena for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at St Walburge, Preston. It is clear from what he writes in his Bishop’s Blog that he welcomes these opportunities to offer the Traditional Mass.



A new floor in time for Christmas

Bishop Campbell: Benediction The day following his visit to St Walburge, Bishop Campbell was at Oscott College for the ordination to the diaconate of our seminarian, Daniel Etienne. Daniel has been a firm supporter and regular server of the EF Mass for many years and we very much hope (Deo Volente) that he will be able to offer Masses for us after his ordination to the priesthood next year. Finally, an advance notice for the summer quarter: Canon Luiz Ruscillo has three churches in his charge and says a monthly Mass at St Mary’s, Hornby; however, following a request from a parishioner, the Mass on 18 June will instead take place at St Joseph’s, Kirkby Lonsdale, and we do hope this will be well supported.

Our two regular Sunday Masses at Chesham Bois (8am) and at Bedford (8.30 am) continue to be well attended. There is also the monthly Friday evening Mass at 7.30 at Shefford, normally on the third Friday of the month. We have recently welcomed a priest new to Bedford, Fr Benedict Jonak, from the Dominican Priory of St Michael, Archangel, in Cambridge. As well as Sunday Mass once a month, Fr Jonak celebrated an evening Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December, and we look forward to seeing him again regularly in the New Year. My fellow rep, Nick Ross, has now started to serve on the altar with efficiency and dignity, supplementing our regular altar server, Nicholas Dyson. I would like to record here the gratitude we owe to the Parish Priest at Christ the King, Bedford, Fr Patrick Hutton, who has always been very willing for the Latin Mass to be said at his church and has taken a great interest in it.

Northampton (South) Barbara Kay 01234 340759 Nick Ross 07951 145240 he most notable event for the Bedford Latin Mass congregation over the last few months was the Sung Mass on All Saints’ Day, which was celebrated by Fr Matthew Goddard of the FSSP. We were joined by Bedford Choral Society, who sang the little-known but beautiful Mass setting by Adolpho Kaim, a 19th Century German composer. The Choral Society was in fine form and some 70 people were privileged to hear them. Fr Goddard had travelled 80 miles from Reading to be with us and he also kindly stayed overnight to celebrate a morning Low Mass on All Souls’ Day. Fr Diaz was our celebrant on Christmas Day and a very respectable congregation of around 50 people were with us despite the early hour. Just in time for Christmas, our sanctuary has been enhanced by the laying of grey marble tiles to replace a worn carpet, lending a greater solemnity to the celebration.



Fr Hutton tries on his new biretta We were able to express our thanks in a tangible way recently as Fr Hutton celebrated a landmark birthday. He had said some time earlier that he had lost his biretta while officiating at the cemetery, which gave us the idea to buy him a new one. This was presented to him as part of a parish celebration on 11 December. As the picture shows, he was surprised and delighted, and we hope he will get good use from his gift.



Plymouth (Devon) Maurice Quinn 07555 536579


am very happy to report that there are more good things happening on the Devon Vetus Ordo Mass scene. The chief of which is something of a major breakthrough for us in this part of the diocese. Bishop Mark O’Toole, recognising that Vetus Ordo adherents have a pastoral need, has set in place something that addresses this. For quite some time now, we have been trying to get the Plymouth monthly Vetus Ordo Mass venue changed in order to make it more accessible for everyone. Bishop Mark has far exceeded our expectations on this matter by doing this, and by appointing us a chaplain. The new venue for the celebration of the Plymouth Traditional Rite Mass is at St Edward the Confessor, Home Park Avenue, Peverell, Plymouth. This a truly historic occasion at St Edward’s, as it has been about 46 years since the last Vetus Ordo Mass was celebrated there. This change of venue, along with the appointment of Fr Tony Pillari as chaplain, means that there will be an 11.30 am Sunday morning Mass every week instead of just once a month as has been the case at Christ the King. Fr Tony also offers the sacraments in accordance with preVatican II norms when required (weddings, baptisms, funerals, etc), as he does at Lanherne in Cornwall where he lives. We have to heartily thank Bishop Mark for this, because, as we now have our own chaplain, we are no longer considered to be just a Cinderella group within the diocese. We also thank Fr Pillari for accepting this appointment, the many people who have worked and prayed quietly and diligently over the years for this moment, and for Fr Bernard Hahesy, the PP of St Edward the Confessor, our host Parish. We thank too, the Latin Mass Society for donating a set of Altar Cards, Ordinary Prayers booklets, and for the loan of vestments, all to be used at St Edward the Confessor. This exciting new development at St Edward the Confessor in Plymouth has, of course, meant changes elsewhere that need to be noted. The first of these is that the monthly Vetus Ordo Mass at Christ the King has been discontinued for the foreseeable future, and the Sunday morning 10am Vetus Ordo Mass at Lanherne Convent in Cornwall has changed to the earlier time of 7.30am. The Lanherne Mass change was effective from 29 January, after which Fr Pillari will celebrate Mass at Lanherne at 7.30am, and will then travel to Plymouth for the 11.30am celebration at St Edward the Confessor. I would just like to add that Fr Peter Coxe beautifully celebrated the last Old Rite Latin Mass at Christ the King on January 1, making it an ideal way in which to see in the New Year. The issue of attracting new men and boys as altar servers is now a big priority at all Vetus Ordo Mass venues, but, hopefully, now that we have a regular Sunday morning Mass in Plymouth, we may more easily achieve this with a regular home-based congregation. We have to thank Andrew Procter for supplying the music at Christ the King, and for volunteering to continue doing so at St Edward the Confessor from the end of the month. We did have a problem at St Cyprian’s, Ugbrooke House, when we had to cancel a Mass with little warning. This cancellation was not of our making, and, although we made every effort to contact


the regulars and put up notices, somebody did turn up only to be disappointed. My sincere apologies to any reader who may have been caught out with this, but procedures are now being put into place that will minimise the risk of this situation arising again. For those of you who have seen the LMS information that lists diocesan Vetus Ordo Mass times and venues in the Catholic South West publication, please note that a change has taken place. The LMS has kindly given me responsibility for this advertisement, which means that I can update it accordingly. The Vetus Ordo Mass that should have taken place at St Cyprian’s, Ugbrooke House, on the fourth Sunday of December, had to be cancelled well beforehand as it fell on Christmas Day. Many people who regularly attend Mass at St Cyprian’s travel to the venue, and over the Christmas break were away. This being the case, it was agreed with Fr Guy de Gaynesford to cancel in advance. Another December change was at Blessed Sacrament in Exeter, where our Missa Cantata had to be brought forward to the second Sunday of December. This was due to the yearly Christmas Carol service that is always held there on the third Sunday of December. The Missa Cantata was beautifully celebrated by Mgr Adrian Toffolo, and was much appreciated by those present. After all the usual seasonal Vetus Ordo Mass time and date changes that have happened during December, I am happy to report that everything is business as usual at all of our venues (see Mass Listings). Fr Guy de Gaynesford, who celebrates the monthly Traditional Rite Mass at Buckfast Abbey, has managed to sort out a list of dates for the whole year. This means that from now on, you may plan any intended visit to the abbey by taking in a Traditional Rite Mass, which will greatly enhance your visit!

Fr Guy de Gaynesford celebrating Mass at St Cyprian’s Chapel, Ugbrooke House

Plymouth (Dorset) Francis Osborn 01305 776603


fter years of waiting, at last we have access to another Traditional Mass in rural Dorset, other than Marnhull, now well established by Fr Martin Budge V.F. Dean of Dorset. The next Mass being Thursday, 16th February at 12 noon. Bishop Mark has sent Fr Tom Reagan from Buckfast Abbey to historic Blandford Forum. A loss to the community in Devon, but a beacon for us; he attracted more than 60 souls to the first Mass on All Souls Day, 2nd November, at Our Lady & St Cecilia. Fr Tom gave a firm, considered oration to stir our hearts in the contemplation of All Souls. This Mass was the first in Blandford Forum since 1970.


REPORTS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY There are further Masses celebrated by Fr Tom in Blandford Forum, details of which are in the Mass Listings. Please pass the word so that we can maintain our momentum in support of Fr Tom. Slowly we are developing our plans for the launch of the Dorset Gregorian Choir. Will anyone interested please contact me.

Portsmouth (Isle of Wight) Peter Clarke 01983 566740 round 50 people attended the Christmas (early) Midnight Mass (Missa Cantata) at St Mary’s, Ryde. We also had an EF Mass on New Year’s Day, the Feast of the Epiphany and at Candlemas. In his Epiphany sermon Fr Anthony Glaysher, parish priest, reminded the congregation that the arrival of the Three Kings was ‘a revelation for the Gentiles, - a reminder that God sent his Son not just for the Jewish people but for the Gentiles as well. There is a place reserved in heaven for all those (whatever nationality) who pick up their Cross and follow Christ’.   On 9 January we were pleased to welcome Fr Matthew Goddard FSSP to Ryde for a Day of Recollection on the ‘Friends and foes in the spiritual life’. Father reminded us to always be vigilant as the devil is always among us and to pray that we do not succumb to the temptations of sin. There was a good attendance for the day, which included Mass, Confessions, Exposition, Rosary, Devotions and Benediction.   During Fr Goddard’s two days here, he was able to bless some homes with Epiphany water.  We continue to have two weekday EF Masses. These are on Tuesday and Thursday at 12 noon in St Mary’s, Ryde. There are two Sunday Masses each month and a First Friday Mass at St Michael’s, Bembridge. See the Mass Listings for details.  For the ninth year in succession the Isle of Wight will have the traditional 40 Hours Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament over Passion Sunday weekend (31 March- 2 April). This will include at least two EF Masses. Details will be on St Mary’s web site


Portsmouth Peter Cullinane 02392 471324


n my last report I mentioned the 5pm Mass on Sundays at St Mary’s Gosport which is in the care of the Friars and the recently introduced Mass at 3pm on the last Sunday in the month in St Agatha’s Ordinariate church, very close to St John’s Cathedral. It would be most fitting if more people attended the Masses and I therefore appeal for more attenders at both churches. Fr Serafino in Gosport is repeating the fulsome Holy Week liturgy which we experienced last year and again I appeal for as large an attendance as possible.


High Mass was celebrated as usual in St John’s Cathedral on the feast of Christ the King and about 100 attended. The choir was provided by the Friars from Gosport, for which we are most grateful. Fr Phillip Harris was chief celebrant as before and we are grateful to Richard Codd, our Winchester organist, who stepped in to provide the music. Very sadly we lost a stalwart parishioner at the 8am Sunday Mass, John O’Brien, who also used to attend Winchester and Reading before the Portsmouth Masses began. May he rest in peace. Our condolences go out to Rosemary and her family, some seven members of which regularly attend on Sunday mornings, including a father and son as rota servers. This greatly boosts our numbers and John’s extended family is quite easily the largest group present each Sunday.

Reading Adrian Dulston 01491 682909


irst, apologies for the delay in sending a report for the Reading area. Besides the usual round of Christmas Octave Masses, the FSSP arranged an hour of adoration prior to Midnight Mass to welcome in the New Year with drinks after. The FSSP priests have successfully raised money for new liturgical vestments but if you want to contribute to this ongoing project then please get in touch with them. Parish life moves sweetly through the liturgical cycles with baptisms and talks but see fssp.england for the latest Holy Mass times and relevant news. Note there are changes in Mass times during the week so please keep up to date. I am still promoting Latin Masses at English Martyrs Catholic Church, Didcot generously offered by Fr Phillip Pennington Harris, who is currently offering Holy Masses on various Holy Days and Fridays. Please get in touch with him if you are interested. Keep your eye on http://lmsreading. for updates. I thought a recent phone call message might be from a prospective member of the LMS but it turned out to be an outgoing teacher at St Joseph’s College, Reading, with news of old Latin breviaries having been found at the school. She had saved them from the rubbish heap for the LMS rep! So, word seems to get around that we exist and at least it saved those valuable books. Shall be visiting the school soon to check out the treasure!

Shrewsbury (Wirral) Stefano Mazzeo 07767 139576


t the Shrine church of Ss Peter, Paul and St Philomena (The Dome of Home) we continue to make progress in renovating the church.


REPORTS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY Our priests, under the Prior, Canon Montjean, continue their great pastoral work. Canon Tanner runs Domus Christiani, a monthly faith formation group for married couples, and Canon Parant is giving a series of lectures on the Sacramental life. Canon Montjean runs a Youth Group. Should anyone wish to join please contact Canon Montjean Canon Montjean recently launched an appeal for match funding regarding our latest Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) of £250,000 for necessary renovation work. This will be awarded to the shrine provided we can ourselves find £7,000 by March 2017. So please contact Canon Montjean, on 0151 638 6822 or 07972 128097, if you can help. We now have a new Pro-Life Facebook page called Dom for Life, with information about every aspect of our new group. There is a small basket and a poster placed next to the statue of St Joseph in the Shrine church for people to give their prayer intention for the unborn, using the envelopes. A monthly Mass is celebrated for these babies. The Dome of Home is run by Canons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, which was founded under St John Paul II in 1990. The charism of the Institute is dedicated to foster the union of faith and culture by promoting sacred art and liturgy for the Glory of God. They have restored many wonderful churches in Europe, Africa and the United States. The majestic Dome of Home is their latest project.

Southwark (Kent) Marygold Turner 01580 291372


nce again we were privileged to have a beautiful Sung Mass at the Marsh Church at Snave in September, and we have been invited to repeat this (for the third time), so do try and come on Saturday, 23rd September. It is a moving occasion, and since the Reformation none of these churches have been used. The Victoria Ensemble will sing again, and the acoustics are extremely good. Dom Andrew Southwell has just stayed with me – a great privilege. Fr Marcus Holden and Fr Michael Woodgate came for dinner just before the New Year, and I heard about the May celebration at St Augustine’s in Ramsgate (which I shall attend) before Fr Marcus’ sabbatical of four months. Father Richard Whinder again came to us for the Immaculate Conception, and our Christmas Mass at Dawn was celebrated as usual by Fr Woodgate at Headcorn. I am sad to report that Rowley Leigh, who served Mass so faithfully for many years at our Maidstone Mass, died on 18th December 2016; please pray for him. I was invited by Mgr Wach to his birthday party on 13th December. We began with a Te Deum, and then were given a magnificent reception and dinner at Gricigliano, which was also looking suitably gorgeous for Christmas. There were many distinguished clergy, including Canon Hudson from Brussels. It was a fitting tribute to Mgr Wach who has done such totally wonderful work for all we love and believe in. The evening ended with a superb display of fireworks.


Southwark (St Bede’s, Clapham Park) Thomas Windsor 020 8654 9352


his quarter started with a well-attended Sung Mass for the Feast of All Saints, and the following day we were once again treated to the three All Souls Masses celebrated consecutively. I would recommend attendance at this, sadly rare, opportunity to hear all three Masses. The following Sunday we had our annual All Saints party, the Church filled with more families than usual with many of the children dressed as their favourite saint. After Mass each child was given the opportunity to tell us all about their saint, with prizes for the children with the best costumes and story. For the second year running an excellent team created games based around the Saints for the children to play.  After a shared lunch we repaired to the church for Procession, Litany of the Saints and Benediction to end the day. The following week I became a father for the seventh time, with a sixth boy, a day later another family in the parish produced their second girl; this gave us the opportunity to have a joint baptism in the old Rite. We wonder if this was the first since the 1960s in England? Our next event of note, was a very well attended Mass of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, with plenty of servers and choir available to celebrate a Sung Mass at 12.30pm.  We are exceedingly fortunate to have plenty of homeschooling families to provide servers, and adults who can take long lunch breaks or even the day off! This enables us to celebrate Sung Masses during the working week. On Gaudete Sunday we once again had a Solemn High Mass using the famous rose set of vestments. After Mass in our parish rooms the children cut out, coloured and stuck together card models of cribs; this was a new activity which was most successful, so we plan to repeat this next year.  As is customary, St Nicholas paid a visit to us, with fruits and sweets for the children and no coal! Once again we must thank Fr Southwell for spending his Christmas break with us, celebrating Sung Masses for Christmas Midnight and Day Mass, St Stephen, St John, another midnight Mass to welcome in the New Year and, a few hours later, another sung Mass at our usual Sunday time of 11am. More than 40 people attended the Blessing of Epiphany water and chalk, with sung Litany of the Saints, Psalms, Antiphon, Benedictus and Solemn Te Deum.  With the gallons of water and pounds of salt that were blessed we should be safe from the ‘accursed dragon and every diabolical legion’ as one part of the many prayers accompanying this blessing tell us.   The difficulties of attending Mass during the week were ably demonstrated for the Feast of the Epiphany at our 12.30pm Mass, with more than 70 in attendance, eight servers, and five in the choir.


Š John Aron

Westminster (Hertfordshire) Tom Short


ass at St Albans continues thanks to the good offices of Fr Tim Edgar. He is alone in the parish and Mass at 5pm on Sunday is his fourth of the weekend. In addition, Fr Tim is willing to provide extra Masses - we had Mass on All Saints and All Souls at 7pm, for the Immaculate Conception at 7.30am, on Christmas Day at 8.30am and on Epiphany at 7.30am. The congregation is never below 14, normally about 25 or more, counting adults only. Some people, as noted before, appear to be parishioners who have come to appreciate the Mass, particularly, perhaps, as it is a quiet Mass. Mike Mason is very grateful for the services of Canon Benny Noonan, Mgr Read and Father Cullinan for Masses at Old Hall Green, Baldock and Welwyn Garden City. Thanks must also go to Alan Robinson for playing the organ at Old Hall Green, allowing the occasional Sung Mass.

Westminster (Spanish Place) Roger Wemyss-Brooks 020 7224 5323


his quarter has been dominated by two great events. The sacrament of Confirmation in the traditional rite was conferred on 22 candidates on Saturday 12th November 2016 by Bishop John Sherrington, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, assisted by Fr Rupert McHardy of the London Oratory and Fr Lukaz Haduch from Clapham Park. Spanish Place Rector, Fr Christopher Colven, presented the candidates and Richard Pickett was MC. The ceremony was followed by Pontifical Benediction. New Year High Mass of the Most Holy Name of Jesus was


celebrated on Monday 2nd January by Fr Nicholas Schofield, Parish Priest of Uxbridge and Diocesan Archivist, with Subdeacon Fr Richard Whinder and - at very short notice Fr Patrick Hayward as Deacon. Gordon Dimon conducted the ceremonies as MC, assisted by a full team of servers. The Spanish Place choir sang the Missa Piccolomini by Mozart with motets In Nomine Iesu by Handel and O Magnum Mysterium by Victoria. Fr Schofield gave the homily.

Wrexham Kevin Jones 01244 674011 07803 248170


ll Masses have taken place as usual during the previous quarter, with the exception of the fourth Sunday at Holywell in December. It fell this year that the fourth Sunday was Christmas Day and given Canon Doyle would be fulfilling his parish duties for the majority of Christmas Morning, it was a tall order to have Mass at 11.30am in Holywell. Canon Doyle was disappointed not be able to help but he simply cannot be in two places at once! At Llay, Canon Lordan celebrated a Requiem Mass on the second Sunday of November, where we were able to remember the fallen of the two World Wars and perhaps lost loved ones in our personal prayers. Due to a donation, a purchase of a modest black Low Mass set of vestments was put to use at this Mass. The same donation enabled a rose set to be available for Gaudete Sunday, again at Llay. It is encouraging to see new faces from time to time and all three Mass venues do attract new attendees – however, it would be great to see even more, particularly at Buckley on the first Saturday.



Day of Recollection Peter Clarke reports from the Isle of Wight


r Matthew Goddard FSSP made a welcome return to the Isle of Wight, on 9 January, at the invitation of Fr Anthony Glaysher, parish priest of St Mary’s, Ryde. He gave three conferences during the Day of Recollection at St Mary’s on the theme of ‘Friends and foes in the spiritual life’. In the first he concentrated mainly on Temptation, reminding us that everyone is tempted. Christ Himself was tempted in the desert by the devil. The apostles and many of the saints were also tempted. There are three aspects to temptation which we should consider: suggestion, pleasures and consent. The first two are not sinful. Various thoughts and suggestions come into our mind spontaneously on a daily basis. It is only sinful if we consent to these temptations and keep them in our mind for pleasure or enjoyment. We must remember that it is sinful to keep impure and uncharitable thoughts in our minds. It is the devil that frequently stimulates immoral thoughts in us. This often leads to a period of shame, and further, to an alienation from Almighty God. The devil is always seeking to break our relationship with God. Father reminded us of the necessity to express due sorrow for our sins with an Act of Contrition, and by availing ourselves of the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) on a regular basis. In the second conference Father spoke about the angels in heaven. They must be regarded as friends in our spiritual life. The angels are spirits. They have no bodies and are incorruptible. They cannot die. The Book of Daniel records the victory of the angels led by St Michael. The archangel is the leading prince of God’s army and the protector of Israel (Daniel 10:13). Similarly, the Book of Revelation (12:7) records that St Michael, together with the faithful angels, defeats Satan and his followers and drives them out of heaven. In the Apocalypse, St John tells us that the Serpent was thrust down from his throne by St Michael and his heavenly army. The Church therefore sees him as its champion in the fight against evil and its safeguard against the snares of the devil. This exemplifies the concern of the angels for the salvation of souls. We are reminded that Bishop Philip Egan has recently asked all churches in the Diocese of Portsmouth to recite the traditional Prayer to St Michael at the end of Mass. A beautiful stained glass window in St Mary’s depicts the story from the Old Testament Book of Tobit, with the archangel Raphael leading the boy Tobias by the hand. A reminder that we all have a guardian angel; our protector, guide, friend and an aid to our spiritual wellbeing. In the third conference Fr Goddard focused on ‘Friends in the Spiritual World’, with special emphasis on the Souls in Purgatory. These souls constitute the ‘Church Suffering’ and, although destined eventually for heaven, are in the process of purging their imperfections and making reparation for whatever portion of the temporal punishment due for their sins was not satisfied before death. Once this is accomplished, these souls join the ‘Church Triumphant’, who behold the beatific vision of heaven. Souls in purgatory can no longer merit for themselves and rely on those on earth, the ‘Church Militant’. St Augustine teaches there are three ways we can assist them: offering Mass for them; offering prayers for


them - especially indulgenced prayers - and offering alms, for example in the ‘Holy Souls envelopes’. We do this particularly during the month of November when we pray for our dead. In St Mary’s Church in Ryde, the faithful also pray specifically for the souls in purgatory when they recite the ‘Dolours Rosary’ before the Statue of Our Lady of Sorrows at the back of the church. Father went on to describe the ‘Heroic Act’. This act is the complete offering to God of all the value of a person’s prayers and good works, as well as the value of any that may be offered for that person after death. The intention is that God should use these for the benefit of the souls in purgatory, rather than for the person who has offered them. Those who have made the Heroic Act may still pray for themselves, friends and other intentions. The Heroic Act is not a vow and can be taken back at any time. By making this act with purity of intention, the person is relying on the mercy of God and the prayers of the Communion of Saints to assist her/his soul after death. The Heroic Act was approved by Pope Benedict XIII (1724-1730). When the souls in purgatory are released and reach heaven, they will surely pray for those on earth who prayed for their release. This Day of Recollection was well attended and Fr Goddard heard Confessions during Exposition, while the people recited the rosary; and concluded by offering Holy Mass. Afterwards, Father was able to bless some homes with Epiphany water.



Plotting cardinals Tom Quinn reviews a new novel set in the Vatican by thriller writer Robert Harris


obert Harris’s latest thriller is carefully – even brilliantly – plotted and it is therefore very easy to read, but there is also something curiously unsatisfying about it. Indeed, the book is so easy to digest that a cynic might say it is to literature what a McDonald’s hamburger is to food: superficially appealing but leaves you in the end vaguely unsatisfied. It is giving nothing away to say that the book is concerned with the death of one fictional Pope and the election of another. We see the workings of the conclave through the eyes of Cardinal Lomeli, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, a serious but likeable man who is genuinely trying to discern the will of God in all his deliberations. Harris’s book is, if nothing else, very well researched. The author was invited to visit the Vatican by Monsignor Guillermo Karcher of the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, and he claims he has discussed what happens in the conclave with a cardinal who has participated in the process. He has mapped out the geography of the Vatican with great care and is impressively circumspect in his choice of names for fictional cardinals so they have a plausible air; as a result, the book ticks along like a well-made watch. But here the difficulties arise. Conclave is all almost entirely about the machinery of plot. The only point of real interest is what will happen next. And where one might expect or hope for character analysis or background, there is mostly cliché – a corrupt African cardinal is exposed, a scheming cardinal trying to buy votes is denounced; and just to make sure the setting is as up to date as possible, a car bomb is exploded in Rome during the conclave. There is also, perhaps inevitably, reference to that current highly fashionable subject: ‘gender re-assignment.’ But to complain at these things is perhaps to misunderstand what the book is really trying to do, which is simply to keep us guessing who will become Pope.


The skill of this, and few would deny that it is a great skill, is the series of carefully placed hints and guesses that turn out to be red herrings. That said, I’m sure I will not be alone in saying that I guessed who would be elected Pope about a third of the way through the book! Traditional Catholics may object to the very idea of writing fiction based on the subject of a papal election, but to be fair to Harris he does a good job of making all the cardinals seem sincere in their efforts to do the right thing. This is not a hatchet job that tries to portray the church as scheming and corrupt. Indeed, in many way Harris’s tone hints at a deep respect for the ancient church and its traditions.

Those cardinals who are ambitious are at least self-aware enough to acknowledge their ambition and to ask forgiveness for it. And there is nothing deeply upsetting for traditional Catholics – no Graham Greene whisky priests here, for example - although there are a few jibes at those cardinals who dislike the modern world and feel that the church has lost its way in trying to accommodate homosexuality and moral relativism. Harris clearly sides with the modernisers and reformers. We may disagree with him, but he is, I suppose, entitled to his opinion. Conclave by Robert Harris is published by Hutchinson. RRP £20 and is available from the LMS bookshop.



A meditation on the Mass Caroline Shaw looks at one of the most remarkable achievements of Medieval painting: the Ghent Altarpiece

The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (the ‘Ghent Altarpiece’) by Jan and Hubert Van Eyck: ‘a remarkable rendering of the vision of St John in the book of Revelation’


he spectacular polyptych known as the Ghent Altarpiece, which has been rightly described as one of the most remarkable achievements of medieval European art, was painted in the 1430s in Ghent by the two greatest artists of the day, Jan and Hubert Van Eyck. Despite the altarpiece’s tumultuous history, which over the centuries saw it being broken up, stolen, sold piecemeal to collectors in the UK and Germany, hidden in Austrian salt mines and nearly destroyed several times, the altarpiece


is now once again (almost) complete, and hangs in the church for which it was painted, the Cathedral of St Bavo in Ghent. The altarpiece was commissioned by a wealthy burgher, Jodocus Vyd, who donated money for the building of a side chapel in his family’s name. Vyd commissioned the Van Eycks to paint a great altarpiece to adorn his chapel, and he also provided an endowment for a daily Mass to be celebrated there, ‘in honour of God, His Blessed Mother and All His Saints’. The Mass endowment

and the altarpiece are intimately linked, as we shall see. The entirety of the altarpiece, with its 24 panels, tells a beautifully unified history of salvation, starting with the figures of Adam and Eve, the ancestors of all humanity. They were the first sinners and they are the first to be saved by the redeeming Lamb. The panels continue with the Erythrean and Cumaean sibyls and the Old Testament prophets Micah and Zacharias, who foretold the coming of Our Lord, and two panels which depict the Annunciation.



Deësis: Jesus as last judge Finally, at the top, there is a magnificent Deësis – a traditional depiction of the Last Judgment in which Our Lord, enthroned as the just judge, sits in the centre, with His Blessed Mother and St John the Baptist on either side, as intercessors. They are flanked by choirs of angels, ‘singing a new song before the throne’ (Rev. 14:3). The central panel (pictured left), forms the heart of the work; it is a meditation on the holy sacrifice of the Mass and a remarkable rendering of the vision of St John in the book of Revelation. We see a beautiful landscape, rich with lush vegetation and exotic trees, bathed in divine sunlight that radiates from the Holy Spirit, who hovers over the scene as a dove. The spires and towers of the Heavenly Jerusalem (several are recognisable as buildings of late medieval Flanders), rise on the horizon, while below are gathered a vast panoply of figures: apostles, bishop-martyrs, virginmartyrs and confessors, prophets, popes, cardinals and doctors of the Church, who all represent the Heavenly realm. They are joined by groups of pilgrims and hermits, Christian knights and virtuous kings who dwell here on Earth. All the figures converge towards the central altar, which is placed on a dark green mound representing Mount Zion


or the Heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God: ‘And I beheld, and lo a lamb stood upon Mount Zion, and with him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having his name, and the name of His Father, written upon their foreheads’ (Rev. 14:1). Around the altar are fourteen angels, representing the innumerable multitude, who kneel in worship. Two angels hold thuribles, and others bear the instruments of the Passion: the cross, the pillar of the flagellation, the lance and the scourge with the sponge, the crown of thorns and the rods with which Our Lord was beaten. Below the group of angels stands a bronze fountain with an eight-sided basin, from which 12 jets of water spray out. The number 12 recalls the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles, while the number eight was long considered a symbol of Easter, resurrection, salvation and eternal life: the octagon was for centuries the preferred shape for baptisteries and fonts. The lettering on the edge of the basin tells us that, in this fountain, the water of life springs from the throne of the Lamb. In the very centre of the panel, standing upon the altar, is the Lamb of God. He is alive, but wounded, and His precious redeeming blood gushes

into a chalice. The letters in gold on the altar cloth read: Ecce Agnus Dei Qui Tollit Peccata Mundi. Here, in beautiful symbolic form, is an image of Our Lord’s sacrifice for humanity, perpetually reenacted during every holy Mass. Our Lord gives His body and blood for the salvation of souls and for the defeat of sin and death. Everyone, the Earthly and the Heavenly figures alike, converge towards the altar in order to adore and to worship the Lamb and to partake in the salvific action of the Mass which, Van Eyck’s viewers were reminded, takes place both in Heaven and here on Earth, in every chapel and church in the world. The image of Our Blessed Lord as the Lamb of God has its origins in several Old and New Testament sources. According to the Book of Exodus, the ritual of the paschal lamb was instituted by Moses on the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. The prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah, who foretold Our Lord’s Passion, enshrined the association between the slaughtered lamb and Christ’s death on the cross: ‘he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth,’ wrote Isaiah. The words of St John the Baptist, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world’, are embroidered on the altar cloth in this painting, and are spoken at every Mass. St John the Evangelist tells us that Jesus died in the afternoon of the Jewish Day of Preparation, in other words at the very moment when the paschal lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple. And St Paul later wrote to the Corinthians: ‘our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.’ Through His passion, Our Lord offers to God and to the world a new and final sacrifice – His own death on the cross – which banishes death and opens up for every faithful soul the promise of eternal life.

A detail from the Altarpiece showing angels singing



Back to school Gregory Hogan reports on plans to open a new Catholic academy in the Diocese of Portsmouth


e are seeking people to support us in creating a new Catholic Free School Academy, a mixed comprehensive secondary school, aged 11-16 with 150-300 students in total. The school will follow a classical curriculum that promotes high academic achievement, the mastery of skills and content, character development and citizenship within a faith-filled, Christian environment. We are looking to create the school in the Portsmouth Diocese, in the Dorset-Hampshire area. The Mission – Catholic Classical Education A new Catholic secondary school would seek to be a Christian educational community dedicated to serving the needs of students. Whether those needs are spiritual, moral, or intellectual, the school would form young people to serve Christ’s Kingdom in this world. The school would seek to develop habits of spirit, mind and action to prepare students for future leadership in vocations and civic life. The faith and morals taught by the new Catholic school would be faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and would provide for the firm foundation for training in the classical arts and sciences. The liturgical life of the school would draw on the long and rich traditions with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and Latin plainchant being prominent. There would be an emphasis on the intellectual and cultural heritage of Western civilisation in order to promote the principles of freedom and justice necessary for providing a well-rounded education for students in meeting the challenges of a secular society. The curriculum’s rigor would seek to instil customs of discipline and breadth and depth in students’ mastery of educational basics. Extracurricular activities and events would incorporate


The writer with Fr Lavers


FEATURE the diverse God-given talents and interests of young people, in accord with the school’s mission and vision for Catholic formation and evangelisation of the diocese. The school community would seek to respect the good in each of God’s children, in their thoughts, their words, and their actions. The school would recognise rightful authority, to speak truthfully, to be honest in work and in dealings with others. The school would promote compassion, graciousness, and courtesy to all. The school community would aspire to be citizens who honour God, country and neighbour. The school would aim to form citizens who are faith-filled in their love for God, as well as, good thinkers, good citizens, good people—in a word, good Christians, prepared to meet the challenges and complexities of life in the 21st Century. Spiritual Life As this would be a Catholic school in the classical tradition, Mass and prayer will serve as the foundation of the school’s curriculum. Religious formation will be fostered among the students with a daily Mass supported by parish priests from the local area. There will be an emphasis on the traditional Latin liturgy. Governance The Academy will be governed by a board of trustees that includes the Catholic parents, the Portsmouth Diocese, teachers, professionals, and local priests in the area, who will ensure the school remains on mission.

Why a Classical Curriculum? Using the tools of the classical tradition, and focusing on Christ, who is the beginning and the end of all wisdom and virtue, a Catholic classical education cultivates individuals who are free to be holy, happy, and healthy. The crisis of modern education points to what is missing at its foundation: a real understanding of the nature of a young person and his or her ultimate purpose. In contrast, the Catholic intellectual tradition rests on a deep conviction about that nature and purpose: we are made in the image and likeness of God, and we are created to be with Him forever. Authentic Catholic education is ordered toward the only source of true happiness, fostering the intellectual, moral, and theological virtues that make us fully human because they lead us to grow increasingly like Christ. The primary focus, then, is not on mere facts and skills to be acquired for university and career readiness. Rather, Catholic classical education respects the dignity of the young person. It connects children’s minds, hearts, and souls with the truths beyond the facts so that what they know will transform their lives. The classical model of education strives to lead students to discover knowledge and truth that is ordered, coherent, integrated and is rooted in the wisdom of the past, particularly in Western civilisation such as Greece and Rome. The three primary pillars of classical education, sometimes called the trivium, are grammar, logic and rhetoric. Furthermore, the study of

Latin, art and music is integral to classical education. In the early grades, exploration and memorization are encouraged, and as students’ progress to higher grades, they move from memorising to engaging in learning activities that stress synthesising ideas across academic subjects. What happens now? We are seeking people to help us in this exciting new school. We need team members who are deeply committed to the Catholic Faith, the Magisterium, and the traditional Latin liturgy, who have experience or an attraction to a classical curriculum; we need Catholic clergy, Catholic parents, Catholic professionals. When applying to open the school the team will be: creating the vision and ethos of the school, campaigning and establishing demand for the school, designing and detailing the education provision and putting together a budget which will deliver it; demonstrating the necessary capacity to manage the project, creating a robust governance structure. When opening the school: project managing the school, developing detailed curriculum plans, running admissions, running a statutory consultation, recruiting the head teacher, liaising with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to procure a site. When operating the school: being a significant part of the Academy Trust and/or governing body, and having, long-term involvement in the school, overseeing the management and performance of the school. Please see our website: http:// catholicclassicalschoolengland.

Facebook: catholicclassicalschoolengland/

Contact: Gregory Hogan and Fr John Lavers at: catholicclassicalschool@

The Catholic faith will be central to the ethos of the new school




One thousand years of monasticism Maurice Quinn looks at the history and current work of Devon’s Buckfast Abbey


t this very moment, the Benedictine community at Buckfast Abbey is preparing to celebrate a thousand years of monasticism on this site. Indeed, from 1018 until Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, a Cistercian community of monks lived here, and, like their modern counterparts, were important for the livelihood of the local people. Monks – this time Benedictines – returned here in the late 1800s, and, under the direction of Abbot Anscar in 1907, began work on the construction of what we see today. With a small team of six lay brothers, the abbey was completed in 30 years, making Buckfast Abbey the only restored monastery that was completed within a man’s lifetime. Built upon the original foundations of the medieval abbey, this masterpiece in stone was constructed in the Cistercian Transitional Norman style, being designed by architects Frederick and Edward Walters. Architecturally, then, and as one would expect of any building that welcomes visitors in such a beautiful part of Devon, there is much to satisfy even the casual day-tripper. The local economy is dependent upon Buckfast Abbey in very many ways, and, of course, is known worldwide for its unique stained glass window design and construction, Tonic Wine, and of course, for its pioneering work in beekeeping and much more besides. The conference centre – a large building within the grounds – is regularly used, and there are a number of residential buildings for those who wish to stay. The abbey is host to a parish with a member of the community as parish priest, but it also has other churches under its pastoral wing in the local area. The list is quite impressive: Our Lady of Lourdes and St Petrock, Ashburton; St Benedict, Buckfastleigh; St Dunstan, South Brent; Holy Trinity, Bovey Tracy, and St Cyprian’s, Chudleigh.


Buckfast Abbey: completed in just 30 years This last has another link with the abbey, as it is situated in the family seat of Lord Clifford at Ugbrooke House, where the Traditonal Mass is celebrated each month (see the Mass Listings). In the early part of the 20th Century, the then Lord Clifford was a substantial benefactor of the abbey, which is why one of the four ambulatory chapels is dedicated to the Clifford family, with a plaque naming members of the family who fell in the Great War. Although not the most beautiful or richly decorated of the four ambulatory chapels, this particular one seems to take on a more sombre tone in November, when the whole nation remembers its war dead. It is mainly in November when visitors are seen using the kneeler provided, praying for lost loved ones. This part of Buckfast Abbey, then, often given just a cursory glance by visitors, can, and does, awaken and fulfil a spiritual need. This is the purpose of the whole building.

Blessed Sacrament The Blessed Sacrament Chapel, constructed during the 1970s to accommodate the post Vatican II changes to the celebration of Holy Mass, and for a place of quiet prayer away from noisy tourists, is more modern in design, and showcases the famous stained glass. The chapel was ably undertaken by a reputable builder. By this time, the surviving lay brothers with

Blessed Sacrament Chapel


FEATURE construction skills were too old (or had died) to accomplish much in the way of construction or building maintenance, which is why these tasks are today carried out by local companies. It is here that every day except Sundays, Holy Mass is celebrated in the New Rite at 12.05pm, with the Sacrament of Reconciliation offered from 11-11.30 on Saturdays. It is here that the Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form is celebrated once each month during the week at 10.30am (see Mass Listings). After one such monthly celebration here, a woman visitor – who just happened to be on holiday in Devon – remarked to me, I quote: ‘I’m so excited! I came here today, bought a gift, browsed in the bookshop, bumped into a bishop in full attire and had a conversation with him (it was Bishop Mark O’Toole, of Plymouth), admired this beautiful abbey, and chanced upon a beautiful Tridentine Mass! Wonderful! Now I’m off to the restaurant for tea!’ Buckfast Abbey is about people. Our Lady There are many gems in the abbey, and the statue of Mary, known lovingly as Our Lady of Buckfast, is one of the most visited. Situated in the Lady Chapel, this statue links us with the original abbey that stood on this spot prior to its 16th Century destruction. The statue was restored using a piece of the original medieval statue (everything below the knee – see this month’s cover), that was discovered in a wall near here during the rebuilding. The whole is based upon the ancient seal of the original abbey, now kept in the British Museum. Casual visitors and regulars alike come here,

The chapel dedicated to the Clifford Family

St Thomas More’s hair shirt


light a candle, pray the Rosary and petition Our Lady at this spot, mostly without realising that a part of the statue before them was honoured and gazed upon centuries ago by medieval eyes. A moving thought, especially as monks also gather here last thing at night for prayer before retiring. Another gem, this time St Thomas More’s hair shirt, is to be found on display in the south aisle’s beautiful Chapel of the Holy Cross. This relic has never been publicly shown before, and as such is an important first for the community.

Not widely known, however, is that lying unseen behind the hair shirt is the abbey’s relic of the Holy Cross. The English Man of Conscience and Our Saviour tangibly linked in this sacred spot. Kneeling down here in an act of veneration and prayer is a truly spiritual experience, one that is quickly becoming a major reason for a visit. With St Thomas More’s hair shirt in this particular chapel – and no better place could there be – Buckfast Abbey may well find itself firmly on the pilgrim’s list, and visit it you must!



A landmark on the Wirral Paul Waddington looks at the fascinating 1930s Shrine Church of Ss Peter & Paul and St Philomena

Hill top: one economy that Fr Mullins was not prepared to entertain was the omission of the dome, which was included in defiance of the bishop’s instructions


n 1830, Liverpool merchant James Atherton bought 170 acres of land occupying high ground at the tip of the Wirral Peninsula with a view to developing a high class resort. Taking Brighton in Sussex as a model, he began to build a number of large houses, which he envisaged would be bought by the gentry and successful Liverpool merchants, such as himself. Atherton’s scheme was only partially successful, as subsequent developers tended to build more modest housing and New Brighton became more of a middle class resort. A pier was provided in 1860, and later a two-mile promenade (the longest in Britain) was built. Fairground attractions The 20th Century brought the New Brighton Tower (taller than the one in Blackpool), and a host of fairground attractions which transformed New Brighton into a down-market resort for the working people of Liverpool. Many


of Atherton’s big houses were converted into cheap hotels, and the gentry moved out. New Brighton remained a popular resort until 1971 when the Mersey Ferries were withdrawn, breaking the link with Liverpool. New Brighton’s first Catholic Church, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, was opened in 1881. Located in Hope Street, it was a modest example of the Gothic revival, and served the local people well. That was until 1909 when Fr Thomas Mullins became the parish priest. Fr Mullins soon decided that New Brighton needed a much larger and grander church and set about raising the funds to build ‘the largest parish church in England’. Fr Mullins had trained for the priesthood in Lisbon, where he became familiar with the Basilica da Estrela, a huge church of marble and stone, built by the Portuguese Royal Family and opened in 1790. Dedicated to the Sacred Heart, it was sited at the summit of a hill

and surmounted by an impressive dome that could be seen for miles around, Fr Mullins determined that the Basilica da Estrela would be the model for his new church, and after the First World War was able to buy one of Atherton’s large houses with suitably spacious grounds at the highest point on the Wirral. This hilltop site was perfectly suited for his ambitious project. The architect, E Bower Norris, who was responsible for a number of Catholic Churches in the inter-war period, was commissioned to produce a design, but he had to wait until 1933 before enough money had been raised for building to start. Even then, economies had to be made. The building was reduced in scale, and, at the insistence of the bishop, it was to be built without a dome. Innovations Bower Norris was an architect of his time, and was keen to adopt the latest architectural innovations, especially the use of concrete. He chose to construct


ARCHITECTURE the building as a concrete shell clad in brick. A stone building, which Fr Mullins had envisaged was out of the question on grounds of cost. Another cost saving was to omit an overall roof. Instead, the concrete of the barrel shaped ceiling was sealed with asphalt. However, one economy that Fr Mullins was not prepared to entertain was the omission of the dome, which was included in defiance of the bishop’s instructions. The church was opened in 1935 at a cost of £58,000, and dedicated to Saints Peter & Paul and Philomena, Fr Mullins having a special devotion to St Philomena. Its overall shape closely resembled the Basilica da Estrela, but it was built from inferior materials, and lacked the decoration of its Portuguese model. In subsequent years, Fr Mullins installed communion rails and a fine High Altar of Tuscan and Carrara marble. Appropriate altars were also installed in the transepts, but his vision of the entire interior being richly decorated in the classical style and lined in marble and mosaics never materialised. Such plans came to an abrupt halt with the outbreak of the Second World War. No subsequent parish priest saw fit to continue the work of beautification and embellishment. Instead, they were preoccupied with some of the defects in the design that soon became apparent. Key was the lack of an overall roof. The asphalt-covered concrete proved inadequate in shedding rainwater, which penetrated the brickwork and eventually attacked the reinforcement of the concrete. It was also the cause of serious condensation which affected the interior surfaces. The poor quality bricks proved less than adequate in withstanding the winds and salt laden rain coming off the Irish Sea. Matters were made worse by neglect of basic maintenance such as the clearing of gutters. The fabric of the church slowly deteriorated. An attempt to remedy the condensation problem by fixing brown tiles to the underside of the barrel-vaulted ceiling was clearly unsuccessful, and only served to spoil the acoustic.

was fierce opposition to the closure among the former parishioners and, supported by local community leaders, they succeeded in having the building Grade II Listed. Their protests eventually bore fruit. In 2011, at the invitation of the newly appointed Bishop Davies, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest took over responsibility for the church, which became a Shrine to the Blessed Sacrament. Canon Meney took up residence in the presbytery but was later replaced by Canon Montjean. At first, Mass was offered in the sacristy, but the still leaking church was reopened in 2012, and the congregation began to grow. Grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional support from the National Churches Trust, the Historic Cheshire Churches Trust and the Latin Mass Society have allowed repairs costing more than £500,000 to be carried out to the nave and narthex. The solution adopted was to lay insulating material over the concrete roof, and to cover this with a waterproof plastic material which was bonded into the parapets, thus solving both the water ingress and the condensation. Brickwork has been repointed, window frames replaced, and guttering and downpipes restored. Similar work remains to be done over the sanctuary and the two transepts. The final phase will involve works on the dome. Fr Mullins certainly succeeded in creating a major landmark on the Wirral horizon that can be seen from miles away. The impressive classically designed dome rises to a height of 86ft above the ground, which in turn is 170ft above sea level. Nevertheless, one gets the impression that

Bower Norris was not at all comfortable working in the classical mode. The well-proportioned dome and drum sits awkwardly on the main bulk of the building, which could easily be mistaken for a power station, the transition from rectangular ground plan to circular drum and dome being particularly awkward. Three bay nave The church is cruciform, consisting of a three bay nave with side aisles used for circulation only, shallow transepts with the dome over the crossing, and very spacious sanctuary. Apart from the three main altars, which are well executed, the interior of the church is mostly very plain. However, a glance upwards towards the dome gives a clue to how Fr Mullin’s ambitions could be fulfilled. There you will see classical fluted pilasters with capitals, and a cornice above. It would be possible, although no doubt expensive, to give the same treatment to the rest of the church which would transform the interior. The Church of Ss Peter & Paul and St Philomena was the first church in England to be entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. It is currently served by three priests and offers two Sunday Masses (one Low, one High) with Vespers, Rosary and Benediction in the evening. A five-foot tall monstrance, incorporating many jewels donated by former parishioners, is used at Benediction. This tribute to Fr Mullins is so heavy that a hoist is used to lift it into its throne high above the altar. Photos: ICKSP and Joseph Shaw

No surprise Matters came to a head in 2006 when the then parish priest, Fr Wentworth, retired. The parish was merged with two others, but the diocese was only able to provide a single priest to serve the three churches. It came as no surprise when the church was closed in 2008, supposedly on the grounds that it was dangerous. There


Pontifical High Mass at the Shrine Church of Ss Peter & Paul and St Philomena



Scandinavian journey Alberto Carosa argues that the Pope’s recent visit to Sweden was of great benefit to the Catholic Church and the Faith


ew may have noticed that the Pope’s visit to Sweden on 31 October - 1 November 2016 almost coincided with another noteworthy event in Rome, the fifth Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage, which took place on 27-30 October 2016. The pilgrimage, which has been often reported on in this journal, is promoted by the Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum for the international community attached to the ‘extraordinary’ Roman rite in Latin, and usually sees the participation of a thousand traditionalminded faithful from around the world. Among the participants there is usually a contingent from Scandinavia, including a Swedish historian, Professor Yvonne Maria Werner, who works as a teacher and researcher at the Department of History of the University of Lund, one of the two cities, together with nearby Malmö, hosting the Pope. Cardinal Ratzinger (as he then was) and his theological books were instrumental in Professor Werner’s conversion. After her reception into the Catholic Church in Lund, she received the Sacrament of Confirmation in Saint Peter’s in Rome and came in contact with the old Latin Mass through the Fraternity of Saint Peter in Germany. She was among the promoters of the Tridentine Mass in Lund, where it began to be celebrated in the early 1990s. Professor Werner specializes in Nordic Catholic cultural history and has written 10 books translated into various languages, as well as countless articles and reviews. Her works are focused on culture (and also cultural encounters between Catholic and Protestant), mission and conversion. Meeting her once again at the pilgrimage proved an ideal occasion to ask her about the Pope’s visit to Sweden. She told me that what was planned as a single event, the participation of the Pope in the Lutheran commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the


Reformation, ended up as a series of events where the Pope, the Catholic Church and Catholicism took centre stage. In fact, Professor Werner pointed out, the Pope’s visit had to be rescheduled to include ecumenical events and institutional meetings with the Royal Family and the Swedish Prime Minister,

‘The celebration of the Mass resulted from a request by the Swedish faithful…’ as well as the Papal celebration of Holy Mass on 1 November, 2016, at Swedbank stadion in Malmö. The celebration was broadcast live in its entirety on national TV with a very good commentary, aptly describing the various stages of the rite and related aspects of the Catholic faith. The celebration of the Mass resulted from a request by the Swedish faithful through their bishop, Mgr Anders Arborelius. The Pope himself, in a lengthy interview in La Civiltà Cattolica (28 October, 2016), acknowledges that “at the beginning I wasn’t planning to celebrate a Mass for the Catholics on this trip” since he “wanted to insist on an ecumenical witness.” But then he reflected on his role as pastor “of a flock of Catholics who will also come from other countries, like Norway and Denmark. So, responding to the fervent

request of the Catholic community, I decided to celebrate a Mass, lengthening the trip by a day.” And in order in order to avoid confusion, “I didn’t want the Mass celebrated on the same day and in the same place as the ecumenical encounter.” Professor Werner explained that the Pope’s visit triggered an unprecedented national and international media frenzy. This media interest was, she said, a reflection of the interest and curiosity stirred by the Pope among the general population, who were eager to learn as much as they could about the Catholic Church. Press reports were in general factual and objective, and even positive. An unprecedented interest in the Pope’s visit was also shown by Swedish academics. In the run up to the Pope’s visit, three open seminars were held at Professor Werner’s university under the title, ‘Pope Francis: Faith - Politics Reform’. Professor Werner also noted that this was the second Papal visit to Sweden, after that of St John Paul II in 1989. Since then, the situation has improved enormously and the Church has grown, making up today 1.15 percent of the total population, with 113,000 members (out of 9.8 million inhabitants in 2015). The appointment in 1988 of Bishop Anders Arborelius, the first native Swedish bishop since the Reformation, marked a real watershed, in the sense that the Catholic Church started to be perceived less and less as a foreign entity. There are still pockets of mistrust if not hostility towards the Catholic Church in Sweden, but the Papal visit proved a powerful boost for their gradual and final elimination. Professor Werner believes that the Pope’s visit was an extraordinary propaganda success, in the loftiest sense of the term; it was a unique opportunity to set the record straight and present the true nature of the Catholic Church and the Catholic faith.























Mission impossible A remarkable film about two priests in 17th Century Japan is now available on DVD


s a young man, film director Martin Scorsese seriously considered studying for the priesthood and his lifelong interest in Catholicism is reflected in the fact that he spent nearly 30 years developing the idea for his most recent film, Silence. Scorsese is best known for his highly successful but unashamedly commercial films Taxi Driver (1976) and Raging Bull (1980) but they were not it seems as close to the director’s heart as Silence which, by any standards, is very different from the kind of films we typically expect from Hollywood. Silence is based on the novel of the same name, published in 1966, by Japanese author Shusaku Endo. The story focuses on two Portuguese priests who travel to 17th Century Japan in search of their missing mentor, the missionary Fr Cristóvão Ferreira. The two priests have heard that Ferreira has renounced his faith as a result of being tortured. Fr Sebastião Rodrigues and Fr Francisco Garupe reach Japan only to discover that local Christian groups are indeed being persecuted, but they are welcomed by these groups which must struggle to avoid detection by the shogunate, the military dictators who ruled Japan almost continuously from 1185-1868. Garupe eventually dies for his faith, while Rodriguez manages to find Ferreira who has become a Buddhist. Ferreira explains that after living in the country for more than 15 years he believes that Christianity has no future in Japan. Later Rodrigues is told that he must step on a ‘fumie’ – a carved picture of the crucified Christ - or five Christians will be tortured to death. Rodrigues hears the voice of Christ giving him permission to step on the fumie, which he does, but the act appears to destroy his faith and he lives on in Japan as a Buddhist, even marrying. When he dies there is a remarkable shot at the film’s end which calls into question all our assumptions about him.


Liam Neeson plays Father Cristóvão Ferreir The central issue of Silence is the moral dilemma faced by those who are asked to renounce their faith to save lives. The question underlying the core of the story is always the same: is such an act of renunciation always sinful? The film also explores the deep spiritual divisions between two very different cultures at a time when those cultures understood very little about each other. In the 17th Century, Japan had what was almost certainly the largest population of Christians outside Europe, but the secular authorities were suspicion of a religion that appealed mostly to poor farmers. After the Shimabara rebellion of Catholics against the shogunate (1637-1638) Christianity was outlawed and a gradual process of Japanese isolation began; a process that forbade any foreigner to enter the country. The Edo period of Japanese isolation only ended in 1868. That is the

historical background to Scorsese’s film, which he described as a ‘search for that which is spiritual and transcends’. Though the film was not a huge commercial success critics have been very positive. The American critic Matt Zoller Seitz said: ‘Silence is a monumental work, and a punishing one. It puts you through hell with no promise of enlightenment, only a set of questions and propositions, sensations and experiences ... This is not the sort of film you “like” or “don’t like”. It’s a film that you experience and then live with.’ The National Board of Review and American Film Institute both judged Silence to be one of the top ten films of 2016. Shot in Taiwan, Silence stars Adam Driver as Father Francisco Garupe, the second Jesuit priest, and Irish star Liam Neeson as the priests’ mentor, Father Cristóvão Ferreir. Fr Rodriguez is played by Andrew Garfield.



Memories of Pottery Lane Tom Quinn recalls the Church of St Francis of Assisi in West London


grew up in Notting Hill Gate, West London, in the 1960s. Today, this area is one of the wealthiest in Britain. It is a place where the soot-blackened streets and houses I remember have been dazzlingly restored and refurbished (if that is the right word) with, in many cases, vast underground basements and elaborate roof terraces. But half a century ago this was a very poor area indeed, as anyone who has read former Home Secretary Alan Johnson’s autobiography This Boy will know. A more immediate idea of what it was really like can be found on the internet by looking up photographs of Southam Street by the legendary Roger Mayne. Despite these drab surroundings, my earliest memories are not of the poverty of the grim streets and houses, but of Sunday Mass at the church of St Francis of Assisi in Pottery Lane. St Francis’ had been built to help serve the large number of poor Irish people who came to this part of Notting Hill Gate, then known as the Potteries (dubbed The Piggeries by the unkind) in the mid-19th Century.


Completed in 1860 and designed in a vaguely French Gothic revival style by Henry Clutton, the church was soon after extended by John Bentley, who was so moved by his work here that he became a Catholic. Of course I knew nothing of the building’s history when I came here as a small boy for my first Mass sometime in 1961. My memory now of that first Mass is as bright and clear as it was then: I felt utter astonishment that I was part of something so beautiful, dramatic and yet also mysterious. What made the whole thing so moving for me, even as a child, was to discover that something so profound could happen in the heart of an area that seemed as far from profound as one could imagine. But of course I was lucky. In the very early 1960s the Traditional Mass was still the only Mass – it was certainly the only Mass my parents had known. What struck me then, and thereafter, was how profound it felt to be part of this extraordinary ritual.

Unlike many boys who disliked going to Mass on the grounds that it was too long, too dull and too difficult, I found the whole thing entrancing. I began to look forward to going each week. After the upheaval instituted by Vatican II in the mid-1960s much began to change. I simply accepted the change because that generally is what children do, but I remember how astonished my parents were that something they had known all their lives had been altered in a way that did not, at least in their eyes, seem to enhance what had gone before but rather to lessen and diminish it. But my parents were nothing if not obedient Catholics and if the church had changed they must change with it. It was only years later that I realised what had diminished in the Mass had caused a parallel diminishment in my parents. They still went to Mass of course but less often; something difficult to define and even more difficult to express, had changed. In a busy professional life that involved working away from home for much of the year I still went to Mass occasionally, but I was only dimly aware as the years passed that things were changing once again and that the Mass I had known as a boy had not in fact been consigned to oblivion. I discovered my mistake during a long conversation with an old friend. I had not realised he was a Catholic. He told me that several churches in London were now once again offering the Traditional Mass. I remember attending my first Traditional Mass for many years at the Brompton Oratory and it was as if the wheel had come full circle. I was back in the world that had meant so much to me as a child; a world where the long, rich history of the Mass had been allowed to flourish again. It was as if the church had re-discovered something precious that might so easily have been lost.



A Record for the Latin Rite Clare Bowskill reports on an extraordinary Christmas for the Traditional Mass


here is a gentle hush as the sacristy bell rings out to signify the start of Christmas. The choir has been singing beautiful carols from 11.30pm and the tones of these centuries old melodies seem to linger in the high vaulted roof of the church. The procession passes the crib, resplendent in light as the Virgin Mary cradles the Baby Jesus. As the priest reaches the altar, he kneels to begin his prayers and the ancient liturgy begins. Across the country cantors can be heard intoning the same exquisite opening line of Midnight Mass taken from the Psalms that has been heard for centuries. ‘Dominus Dixit Ad Me’ (the Lord said to me) ‘Filius meus es tu’ (you are my son). In the parish of St Mary’s in Warrington, run by the FSSP, for many in the congregation this is the first time they have ever attended a Traditional Latin Mass. The same for St Joseph’s in Gateshead, SS Peter & Paul and St Philomela in New Brighton, even the Cathedral of St John in Norwich. Around the country something seems to be changing. At this time of year when most seek some form of ‘tradition’, there are those who have abandoned their faith but remember that there is more to Christmas than turkey and wrapped presents, and they start to look around. This year a record number of Masses were celebrated in the Traditional Latin Rite across the Christmas season in England and Wales. From Bolton to Bedford, Weston-super-mare to Warrington. For those seeking a sense of the old at Christmas time, the tradition they seem to have sought is that of traditional Catholicism. They have sought out a liturgy barely changed for hundreds of years, they have heard the ancient sounds of Gregorian chant and the heavenly sound of the Latin word.


Mass at St Brendan’s Corby In our great Oratories of Birmingham, London and York, and even in the Catholic cathedrals, there were Christmas Masses in the Extraordinary Form. At the Cathedral Church of Norwich on Christmas Eve, First Vespers was offered in the Cathedral for the second year running and attracted more than 50 people, including the Ordinary of the Diocese who assisted privately from his Cathedra. Straight afterwards a Missa Cantata celebrated at the High Altar of the Cathedral, and the congregation reached more than 100, which our representative for Norwich, Peter Bevis, said: ‘is a remarkable rise on last year’. He recounted how ‘many young people and several families with school age children’ were present. In Warrington at the FSSP Shrine of St Mary’s where the Latin Mass is always celebrated, the priest, Fr Armand de Mallory, reflects how more than 300 attended the Christmas Masses. With more than 150 at their midnight Mass, the choir sang Tomas Luis da Victoria’s Missa O magnum mysterium.

Like All Souls, Christmas is blessed with three Masses: Midnight, Dawn and the Day Mass, each with its own set of chants, readings and prayers. At Warrington, Fr Mawdsley celebrated the Mass at Dawn at 8am and still they kept coming. For the 11am, with the help of Fr Simon Henry who had travelled all the way from Leyburn to be deacon, they were able to celebrate a Solemn High Mass which once again attracted more than 150 people. The choir sang Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai.


REPORT Fr de Mallory said: ‘Attendance was definitely increased for this our second Christmas in Warrington. And many came for Confession before all of the Masses.’ At the ‘Dome of Home’, SS Peter & Paul and St Philomena, the parish of the Institute Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, in New Brighton, for Canon Cyprien Parant this was his first Christmas as a priest. ‘Preparations began with seven hours of confessions followed by singing the Divine Office with my community. For such a special day, we sang together the first Office of the day, Matins, composed of nine psalms and nine excerpts of the Holy Scriptures, which took us two hours!’ He continues, ‘Volunteers busied themselves; families and children prepared the crib at the Sacred Heart Altar to receive the Christ Child at Midnight Mass; one of the ladies,

who is also our choirmaster, arranged spectacular red and white floral tributes filling the church with fragrance; and the small choir rehearsed polyphonic carols, battling their seasonal viruses. ‘The church slowly filled with the faithful and enquirers. Some were surprised to find such a splendid solemn Midnight Mass in this small-town congregation of North-West England, Our Lady’s Dowry. Being a new priest, I was given the honour of celebrating Solemn High Midnight Mass with Canons Montjean and Tanner as Deacon and Subdeacon. I could hear the trumpet and carols heralding inside as we processed through the porch, brought the Infant to His manger and unveiled our beautiful statue of The Infant of Prague above the High Altar. The clouds of incense and dulcet tones from Terry Robertson our tenor and Christian Spense on the organ with Paul Thomas on trumpet were a feast for the senses.’

And as the Christmas Season continued, the Octave of Christmas Masses were held across the country for the great feasts of St Stephen, St John, the Feast of the Holy Innocents and St Thomas, Bishop and Martyr. In my parish of St Mary Magdalen in Brighton we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany on the correct 12th day with a Missa Cantata, led by Fr Serafino Lanzetta from the Franciscan Friars of Gosport. Nothing sums it up better than the opening of the ancient chant, its triumphant exclamation: Ecce! Behold! After weeks in Advent singing ‘Veni’ and the gentle melodies of the Christmas liturgy, the proclamation is bold. The Kings have arrived, they have followed the great light and so we can ‘rejoice, all the earth,’ in the great joy of God’s gift of himself to us. Nothing can capture the sense of solemnity and sacred mystery better than our ancient liturgy. Photos: John Aron, Paul Beardsmore and Dome of Home.

The Traditional Mass was more popular than ever as here at the ‘Dome of Home’




Reflections on everything Do we still believe in theologians? asks Bede Rowe


heology is an old and venerable practice. At heart it is a systematic, thoughtful reflection on God, His dealings with His creation, and the human condition. Basically, it’s everything. Everything that you can think of and a whole lot more. In fact, if we’re being picky, then there is nothing outside theology, because theology enquires into us and into ‘stuff’. And God holds all stuff in being. So if anything talks about stuff, then God is going to be involved. This is why I study theology, so I can have an opinion about stuff. And if you know me, then you will know that I firmly believe that I have an opinion on everything. However, theology and being a theologian, is not  just  about having an opinion. When I was a teacher I dreaded that moment in AS-level Religion classes when a point of ethics was being discussed, and they started an answer with ‘I reckon…’ Arrgggggg! I do not care what you reckon, I want to know what considered position you have chosen to adopt, or how you have followed the arguments – I reckon brain surgeons should wear clown wigs, so that if the patient wakes up they are not frightened. I reckon the dolphins hid the truth about climate change so that they could have more ocean. I reckon… I reckon…


Logical and coherent

Pastoral practice

Being a theologian is presenting a sustained, coherent series of thoughts which, to a reasonable mind, is logical and coherent. These may be surprising and seemingly novel, but they cannot be random opinions without reference to anyone or anything. In our post-truth, post-expert world, the role of the theologian, I would say, is being attacked. As in politics, we can see it happening before our eyes: theology as opposed to pastoral practice, theologians in ivory towers as opposed to those at the coal face, dealing with real people and real situations. The cry goes up: ‘What would they know? How do they know what’s going on in people’s lives? They are so bound up with their dry books that they become cold and aloof. They are not the face of Christ.’ Of course this carefully ignores the fact that the child Jesus stayed behind in the Temple and disputed with the Doctors of the Law, that He told lepers to go and show themselves to the Priests, that He told His disciples and the crowds to practice and observe what they are told by the scribes and Pharisees who sit on Moses’ seat. But ignoring blatantly obvious facts is often taken to be a virtue in such circles.

Theology is needed for pastoral practice, and real situations and real people: the two are intertwined. If we simply ignore what is true, what theology teaches, and deal ‘pastorally’ then we are no better than snake oil salesmen. It is not ‘pastoral’ because it does not accord with the truth. This is why the current Pope, Francis, needs theologians now more than ever. Each Pope has his own gifts, his strengths and weakness. But of all Pope Francis’ obvious abilities, sustained theology is not one of them. We have become used to highly theologically literate Popes in Benedict XVI and St John Paul II. This is not a criticism of Pope Francis, simply that this is not what he is best at, so he needs people around him to help formulate and develop a clean and consistent theology. I now acknowledge that I will never be able to fix my computer (apart from turn it off, pray, turn it back on), so I get someone to do it for me. If you are not a theologian, then get the help of someone who is. It would be as silly to get rid of the role of theologians just because you are not one yourself, as it would be for me to convert my laptop into a handy chopping board ‘because those tech guys don’t understand what it means to sit down and write articles for the LMS magazine all day long’. Theology is essential for the life of the Church. It is not opposed to any other element within the Church. It is not unpastoral. It is not cold, unfeeling, or aloof.   Without it we cannot speak meaningfully (‘pastorally’) about God, or His creation, or the human beings He has made… indeed we cannot even speak about ‘stuff ’.



We know who we are The Lone Veiler looks at science fiction and what it means to be human


ome rather lovely jackdaws caught my eye in the garden the other day, and Aristophanes and his play The Birds popped into my head, which then unexpectedly led to Lucian popping up, neither of whom I had thought about in quite a while.

Lucian: life on the moon Yes, Lucian, the so-not-Christiancompliant second century AD satirist and rhetorician who wrote an extraordinary story of how life is on the moon, and how he got there. It’s called True Story, and is, well, bizarre. He takes a flight to the moon by boat where he encounters all manner of extraordinary creatures; the truth of it all I’ll let you decide. Yes, I admit it, I am a science fiction fan. It’s an endlessly fascinating genre, compelling, and thought-provoking, not


least because arguably it has its roots way back in the mists of the earliest Greek literature (who knows what tales were told in oral traditions before that and elsewhere), and the rather amusing Lucian of Samosata. So sci fi has a decent provenance. I love how even the most pedestrian story can become intriguing when it’s transferred to an entirely new realm, be it on Earth or an entirely different galaxy. There is something for everyone on these techfilled alien planets inhabited by the strange, and the downright commonplace human. I especially like that none of these worlds is full of unremitting wonder; there is usually an obvious dystopian seam running through them, mainly critiquing our present in alternative realities. One of the most interesting and recurring themes is what it means to be human. Usually there are a lot of androids, robots, synthetic humans, sentient computers, and bad guys involved in sci fi tales. Usually, the bad guys are only in it for the power and money, and choose to ignore all the moral issues thrown up by creating human analogues. The sympathies that develop between the ‘real’ and the ‘synthetic’ highlight the inhumanity of those who only create in order to use, or possess. In the movie Blade Runner, the tag line ‘more human than human’ is used by the corporation that genetically engineers replicants, ‘skin jobs’, as slaves to perform dangerous, menial, and unsavoury occupations. The real problem with the replicants is that they have an inconvenient and innate sense of self, and

the memories they are implanted with prove to be inadequate buffers against their reality, which is as ready-made adult humans with a really short shelf life. I don’t think society today is far away from that utilitarianism, just look at ‘ordinary’ human trafficking and genetic experimentation going on right now. Now, just as life can begin in the sterility of a petrie dish, life can end isolated and miserable, and as early as you like if you find the right clinic. The beauty of sci fi is that amidst all the extraordinary technology, big questions are posed and never satisfactorily answered because science fiction hasn’t got the answers, entertaining and thought-provoking as it might be. Unless you are C.S. Lewis. His Space Trilogy tackles The Big Themes. If you like Narnia, try these, it’s like Narnia in space sans kids and the Lion. It is part of the human condition to ask why are we here, what are we for. Androids and synthetic humans are constantly made to pose these questions in science fiction. Yet, as Catholics, we really do know what it means to be fully human. We have the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the sacrifice of Our Lord. St Catherine of Siena says, “What made you establish man in so great a dignity? Certainly the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself! You are taken with love for her; for by love indeed you created her, by love you have given her a being capable of tasting your eternal Good.” (Dialogue, 13). Whatever science fiction predicts, and whatever actual social and genetic engineering experiments are thrust upon us in the future, we know who we are. “God attached so much importance to his salvation that he did not spare his own Son for the sake of man. Nor does he ever cease to work, trying every possible means, until he has raised man up to himself and made him sit at his right hand.” St. John Chrysostom, In Gen. Sermo 2,1: PG 54,587



Clues Across

1 ‘Cogito ----- ---’, Cartesian self-revelation (4,3) 5 ‘----- and Transfiguration’, tone poem by Richard Strauss (5) 8 ‘--- ad --- loquitur’, motto of Bd. Cardinal Newman (3) 9 Nature of a boost at the ‘Sursum corda’ (9) 10 Sign up as member (5) 11 Feast Day of the Purification of Our Lady (9) 14 Seasonal chants in honour of Our Lady: from 11 Ave Regina Coelorum (9) 18 Vestment worn by the subdeacon at High Mass (5) 21 Abode of solitary religious recluse (9) 22 Old Testament high priest much mentioned in Book of Samuel [1] (3) 23 Council from which we get the word ‘Tridentine’ (5) 24 ‘The -------- of St. Teresa’, famous Bernini sculpture depicting a vision of the Avila Saint (7)

Clues Down

Alan Frost: December 2016


Across: 1 Laudare 5 Hosea 8 OMI  9 Quo Primum 10 Gaudi 11 Rescripts 14 Divesting 18 Adieu  21 Zephaniah 22 Roe 23 Amend 24 Norbert Down:  1 Look Good 2 Ubique 3 Acquires 4 Exodus 5 Harp 6 Sums Up 7 Alma 12 Regather 13 Schubert 15 Vimpae 16 Ionian 17 Pierce 19 Ezra 20 Bard

Closing Date & Winner

Closing date for Crossword entries: Friday 17th March 2017. The winner of the Winter 2016 competition is Mr G Wilding of Stowmarket.

1 ‘-------- Dei’, motu proprio (1988) of Pope John Paul II (8) 2 St ------ Majella, Patron Saint of expectant mothers (6) 3 A zucchetto, e.g., worn by a prelate (8) 4 Poet who wrote Paradise Lost (6) 5 ‘Auto-..-..’, final stage of the Inquisition process (2-2) 6 ‘Corpus et Sanguinem, ------ et divinitatem dilectissimi Filii Tui…..’ Divine Mercy Prayers (6) 7 Robert ---- Benson, author of the classic Come Rack, Come Rope [from Campion quote] (4) 12 Inert, so without agenda? (8) 13 Quality of holiness (8) 15 A cask holding 35 gallons or a variant spelling of one of the Offices of the Day (6) 16 Member of religious congregation offering his services to God (6) 17 St------ Merici, foundress (1535) of the congregations of Ursuline Sisters (6) 19 Sunday that is the beginning of Pentecost (4) 20 ‘---- of Worms’, Assembly that denounced Luther in 1521 (4)

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All important work Stephen Moseling on the new LMS website


fter a great deal of hard work by the LMS Office staff, working with site developers Turtlereality, our new website, went live in October last year, just before the publication of the winter 2016 edition of Mass of Ages. There were the inevitable teething problems that occur with any new website but, now these have been ironed out, everything is working as it should. The all-important work of the LMS to promote the Traditional Latin Mass features prominently on the Homepage. The ‘Find A Mass’ section enables the user to search for details of Masses by a selected date range, type of Mass, church, location and/or diocese. Another search facility enables a distance search to be carried out based upon a given postcode. These should prove to be very useful tools to people who travel around the country, be it for work or holiday. The Mass Listings printed in each copy of Mass of Ages can only be up to date at the time the magazine is put together. Therefore, this section of the website also serves to keep people informed of any changes to Masses they attend regularly.


A Members Area enables paid-up members to access their membership record, shop order history and content only available to them. The latter will be added to over the coming months. Other sections of the website provide details of forthcoming events, news and a wealth of resources associated with the Traditional Mass. An important source of revenue for the Society is the online shop. This offers a wide range of resources. Members are given a five percent discount on purchases made online (members need to login to receive this discount). The latest products to be added to the shop are our range of Easter cards. While there may not be a great tradition of exchanging cards at Easter in the same way as is done at Christmas, doing so will show your family and friends how important and central this great festival is to our Faith. See below for details. (@latinmassuk) To contact the General Manager, Stephen Moseling, please email or telephone the office.


Mass of Ages Spring 2017  

The Spring 2017 edition of the quarterly magazine of the Latin Mass Society.

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