Mass of Ages Summer 2020

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The quarterly magazine of the Latin Mass Society Easter online Epidemic and the liturgical reform Plus: news, views, ONLINE MASS LISTINGS and nationwide reports Issue 204 – Summer 2020 – FREE
Mass of Ages

Learn embroidery with the Royal Society of Needlework

Last year the Guild of St Clare, which is affiliated to the Latin Mass Society, launched a new initiative: 50% sponsorship of a student wishing to do the Certificate course at the Royal School of Needlework (RSN). One year on, we are in a position to sponsor a second student to begin the course this September. Our first sponsored student, James Sharpe, has been hard at work for the last academic year. He said: ‘My experience of the school and the course so far has been fantastic. I feel both incredibly privileged and humbled to be taught by experts in the field. The way the course is structured allows for a lot of 1:1 tuition during the course, and I feel like I have already learnt so much in just a few months.’

The Certificate Course is intended as a part-time course for keen amateurs and can readily be fitted around existing work and family commitments. It enables you to develop solid skills and become part of a long tradition of maintaining the highest standards in hand embroidery. Detailed information about the course can be found on the RSN website: uk; the terms and conditions of the

sponsorship scheme can be found on the Latin Mass Society’s website.

The RSN represents the gold standard both in terms of the authenticity of historic techniques, and the high level of skills successful completion of its courses implies. The RSN’s headquarters are at Hampton Court Palace on the outskirts of London, with satellite centres in Bristol, Rugby, Durham, Glasgow, and overseas.

An important part of the charism of the Guild is encouraging the teaching of skills essential to our work. We hope that in sponsoring places on the RSN Certificate course we will be assisting in providing the Church with the skilled technicians it needs to maintain and create beautiful vestments and altar furnishings. Applicants should be able to demonstrate an enthusiasm for needlework and a commitment to this work for the glory of God.

Written applications should be made by 22nd June to There is no form to fill in, but your application should include the following information:

• Name and address

• Previous experience / training if any

• A short paragraph (200 words) on your interest in the course, your plans, and your creative background

• Details of a character reference if possible.

We hope to interview shortlisted candidates, in London, in mid July.

The successful candidate will need to make his or her own application to the Royal School of Needlework for admission to the Certificate Course.

Crewelwork by James Sharpe


Chairman’s Message

In a time of crisis, we need to recover a rich devotional life, says Joseph Shaw 6 LMS Year Planner – Notable events 7 Liturgical calendar 8 North and South

Why is the Traditional Movement stronger in some places than in others, asks Joseph Shaw 10 Spiritual riches

Paul McGregor explains how the Traditional Mass returned to Culiacan, Mexico 12

Hidden gem

Maurice Quinn on Our Lady of Marnhull 14

Roman report

Alberto Carosa reports on how heroic nuns are at the helm of the first outpost of traditionalism in northern Sweden 16 Reports from around the country What’s happening where you are 22

The Sacraments and the Epidemic: The Sacrament of Penance 25 Easter online

By Clare Bowskill 26

The vision of Adele Brise Mary O’Regan on Our Lady of Good Help 27 Obituary

Maurice Quinn remembers Major Timothy Charles O’Neill, The McCoy 28 Architecture

Paul Waddington takes a look at England’s second biggest Catholic cathedral 30

St John’s magical eve

Charles A. Coulombe on fire and water – and ghost stories 33 Mass listings 35 Letters to the Editor Readers have their say 36 Epidemic and the liturgical reform

The current crisis is forcing us to reconsider some of the assumptions of the past half century, says Joseph Shaw 39 A new Schola for London

By Matthew Schellhorn 40 Bugnini’s Briefcase

Joseph Shaw introduces a review by Kevin Symonds of a remarkable new book that investigates claims the Catholic Church was infiltrated by Freemasonry 43 Wine Sebastian Morello sings the praises of claret 44 Time to sew

Lucy Show reports from the Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat held earlier this year 46 Crossword 46 Classified advertisements 47 Macklin Street

Bill Tomlinson remembered

The Latin Mass Society

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Tel: 020 7404 7284

Mass of Ages No. 204

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

PATRONS: Sir Adrian Fitzgerald Bt, Lord (Brian) Gill, Sir James MacMillan CBE, Colin Mawby KSG, Charles Moore

COMMITTEE: Dr Joseph Shaw – Chairman; Kevin Jones – Secretary; David Forster – Treasurer; Paul Beardsmore – Vice President; Paul Waddington – Vice President; Alisa Kunitz-Dick; Antonia Robinson; Nicholas Ross; Alastair Tocher; Roger Wemyss Brooks.

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Editor: Tom Quinn Design: GADS Ltd Printers: Cambrian


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.

Masses online by Clare Bowskill

Feeding a common Faith

Readers of this edition of Mass of Ages don’t need me to remind them that we are living in strange times. The ‘freedom of the Church’ sought by the Leonine Prayers we recite after Low Masses has been seriously limited, not by persecution, but by an epidemic.

As with any crisis, as Catholics we must consider what to do for our and others’ spiritual, as well as bodily, welfare. We all have sufferings to offer up for our own sins and the conversion of sinners: some of these sufferings may be severe. Those with extra free time and limited options can address themselves to prayers, devotions, and projects in the service of the Church, they may have intended to undertake at busier times but never got around to.

This is especially needful since this period of ‘lockdown’, even if it turns out to be relatively brief, will do great damage to the Church. The Latin Mass Society is not going to be especially hard hit, but parishes and dioceses are going to lose out financially, from lost Sunday collections, and Catholics impoverished from the almost complete cessation of commercial activity will not be well placed to help them. Of far greater significance, however, will be the lapsation of those who have been going to Mass out of habit, or for whom Mass-going has been largely motivated by the thought of seeing friends.

As history has shown, each wave of Catholics teetering on the edge of lapsation who finally stop going to church are replaced in that position by another set of Catholics whose zeal is cooling, thanks to the temptations of the world and the limitations of the Church. The current trend is not towards the ‘smaller, purer Church’ imagined by Fr Josef Ratzinger during his liberal phase in 1968. The Church gets smaller, but remains impure.

Possibly a disaster such as a noticeable number of Catholics lapsing and a financial crunch will wake more people up to the roots of the problem.

My optimism is limited, however, by the fact that this is the second time in a few years that a major crisis has intervened to accelerate our longterm trend of decline. I am referring to the clerical sex abuse crisis, which accelerated in 2018. This crisis demanded a penitential spiritual response, but received, in general, only a managerial response, and not always a competent one at that.

We don’t need a liturgy focused on a social connection with the dwindling congregation around us, but one which feeds in Catholics a common Faith, such as can form the basis of genuine fellow feeling and unity of purpose. We need to recover a devotional life which maintains our life of Faith throughout the week. We need distinctive, common, markers of the Faith to give witness to this Faith to the unconverted world. And when events throw a crisis at us, we need to respond as a spiritual community, in a spiritual way.

In 2011 our bishops restored the obligation (with the usual exceptions) of abstaining from meat on Fridays. In 2017 they restored the obligation to attend Mass on the proper liturgical dates of Epiphany and the Ascension.

On 29 March this year the Bishops renewed England’s dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary. These are hopeful signs, and we need more of them. Most Holy Days are still moved to Sunday when they fall on Saturdays and Mondays, for fear of asking too much of the Faithful: as if occasionally going to Mass on consecutive days is a terrible burden. In reality, it is the churches and religions which do make real demands on their followers which give them a sense of purpose and gain adherents.

Again, our bishops have never set dates for the Ember Days in the

Ordinary Form, as special days of prayer and penance. Few of them heeded the advice of Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue on bolstering the Catholic ethos of our schools. Our seminaries remain no-go zones for the public celebration of the Traditional Mass. Too many bishops seem to prefer the advice of spin doctors when things go wrong, rather than to seek God’s help in public liturgies of penance and petition.

There is little we can do to influence the Bishops and senior clergy directly, but we can model for the wider Church what it means to be united in the Faith, to make public witness of this Faith, to be rooted in a rich devotional life, and to seek in the Church’s liturgy the means, most pleasing to God, of marking days of penance and of joy, of petition and of thanksgiving. It is in this way we can play our part in the rebuilding of the Church. Our help is going to be sorely needed.

From Cracks in the Clouds by Dom Hubert van Zeller OSB erstwhile Brother Choleric (1976)

In a time of crisis, we need to recover a rich devotional life, says Joseph Shaw
'Your attention please . . . the world has come to an end.'

LMS Year Planner – Notable Events

From the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted on the lives of each of us in different ways to a greater or lesser extent, the Macklin Street staff have been working from home. Modern technology is such that the day to day administration of the Society has been able to continue enabling us to produce this edition of Mass of Ages for you. Unfortunately, we were forced to close our online shop, as the processing and dispatching of orders can only be done from the Office.

Many of the events due to take place in the spring have had to be cancelled, not least of which was our celebration of the Sacred Triduum. You will find accompanying this magazine notification and the agenda for our Annual General Meeting in July. It is not clear at this stage whether or not it will go ahead but, in accordance with our Constitution, we give notice of it and will update you should it have to be postponed.

We hope to be able to stage the following events, subject to current Government restrictions being lifted.

Iota Unum Talk , Friday, 19 June: Mgr Keith Newton on ‘The Ordinariate and the Traditional Movement: A Truly Catholic Alliance’.

LMS Pilgrimage to Chideock , Saturday, 27 June

LMS Pilgrimage to Holywell, Sunday , 5 July

AGM and High Mass in Westminster Cathedral , Saturday, 18 July

LMS Latin Course, in Savio House, Macclesfield, Monday, 17 to Friday, 21 August

LMS Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham , 27 to 30 August

Missa Cantata in St Augustine’s Church, Snave, Saturday 26 September at 12 noon

Residential Training Conference for Priests and Servers, at Theodore House, Stonyhurst, 12 to 15 October (rescheduled from April)

Annual Requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral , 2.30pm Saturday, 7 November

Mass of Reparation for Abortion, Bedford, Saturday, 14 November

Confirmations in the Traditional Rite, St James’s, Spanish Place, Saturday, 21 November 11.30am

Please monitor our website for further details.

NEWS Write for us!

If you enjoy reading Mass of Ages and feel there is an article you would like to write for us do let us know.

In the first instance contact the Editor with an outline of your proposed article letting us know why you are the person to write it and with details of any photographs or illustrations you are able to supply.

Contact our Editor Tom Quinn at

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

© John Aron



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7 Antony Conlon (Priest) Jeremy Hooper Muriel Mason Frederick Miles (Priest) Peter Molony Derrick Silver Christine Steele Edward Steele Geoffrey Thornton William (Bill) Tomlinson John Ward
Please pray for the souls of all members who have died recently Requiescant in Pace
Every effort is made to ensure that this list is accurate and up-to-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. The LMS relies heavily on legacies to support its income. We are very grateful to the following who remembered the Society in their Will: Agnes Rutherford

North and South

Why is the Traditional Movement stronger in some places than in others, asks Joseph Shaw

The six founding members of the Una Voce Federation (FIUV) represented Norway, France, England and Wales, Scotland, Germany, and Austria. Countries under Communist rule could not take part in these historic events, and nor could less affluent counties far from Europe such as those of Africa and South East Asia. But why was there no association from Spain, Italy, Ireland, or Latin America, areas of deep Catholic culture?

This pattern has persisted as the movement for the Traditional Mass has developed: the founding associations, though without Norway, have been joined by the USA and Canada, and by Poland, as the countries with the greatest provision of the Traditional Mass, by contrast with the often deeply Catholic nations to their South. We might summarise this as a contrast between ‘North’ and ‘South’.

Why might this be so? As we will see, there are numerous possible explanations: no fewer than four suggested by Annibale Bugnini, the architect of the liturgical reform, who clearly found the whole phenomenon frustrating.

1. The Liturgical Movement

Pope Benedict connects the movement for the preservation of the ancient Mass to countries where the liturgical movement had provided many people with a notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier Form of the liturgical celebration.1

The liturgical movement was strongest in France and Germany, and also had a considerable impact in the English-speaking world.

And yet, while some members of the Liturgical Movement came to regret the final form it took, in many ways the Movement prepared the way for it, rather than impeded it. Again, it primarily affected the most educated Catholics, and not those it dismissed derisively as ‘dumb spectators’, who formed the popular backbone of the Traditional Movement.

2. Popular Devotions

Perhaps it was in places where the focus of piety was on the Mass that Catholics rose up to defend it, not where the focus was more on popular devotions.

The difficulty with this idea is twofold. First, popular devotions were also under attack in the reform. Bugnini noted of the reform of the Sanctoral calendar: ‘Those of the clergy and faithful whose view of worship and religion generally had been devotionoriented were disconcerted.’2 The Liturgical Movement, and above all its more zealous heirs following Vatican II, was hostile to popular Catholic devotional life: processions, festivals, relics, pilgrimages, saints, and the Rosary.

Second, this kind of popular Catholicism, while important in Ireland, Latin America, and Southern Europe, is equally so in Bavaria, Austria, and Poland, and to an extent in France, where the Traditional Movement was strong.

3. Language

The Romance languages, I have heard it said, are so close to Latin that translators could not get away with bad translations, and were perhaps not tempted to try, in contrast to the truly dreadful English translation used from 1974 to 2011.

This is a complex argument to assess: how bad are translations in French and German? In any case it does not seem to get to the heart of the issue. The badness of the English translation was not an unintended consequence of our linguistic inheritance: it was ideologically driven. The ‘old ICEL’3 translators systematically removed adjectives and poetic imagery, and preferred inaccurate and simplistic words, because of their attachment to a childish ideology of ‘simplicity’. One might blame this, again, on the ‘Liturgical Movement gone berserk’.

4. Consumer Capitalism

In the Anglosphere, the argument goes, and in the wealthy countries of Northern Europe, the consumer is king. If consumers want something, the presumption is that they will get it. In this culture, bishops were more open to giving Traditional Catholics what they asked for, than their counterparts in countries with more sun but a less developed economic system.

It is certainly true that in some of the places most hostile to the Traditional Mass bishops seem disinclined to accede to requests of any kind from the Faithful, but this phenomenon can be found all over the world. Some of the older generation of English bishops, for example, were equally unfriendly to the Traditional Mass, the Neo-Catechumenate, and to convert Anglican clergymen. It is not clear that this attitude was less pronounced in the North.

5. Protestant Majority Countries

Bugnini made the following suggestion. ‘The point needs to be made that in the United States and especially in England, and more generally in countries with a strong Protestant majority, the introduction of the vernacular into the liturgy meant to many the loss of one distinction between Catholics and Protestants and of a sign of their attachment to Rome in the face of Protestantism. For these people, the psychological effects of the reform were quite serious. For some, the reform meant the collapse of a world and the practical acceptance of views until then regarded as heretical.’4

There may be some truth is this, but it certainly does not explain the overall pattern. The Catholics of France, Bavaria and Austria, and Poland, do not instinctively compare their liturgy with that of Protestant neighbours.

6. Zealous Catholic Leadership

Bugnini described Cardinal Heenan’s appeal to Pope Paul VI as focusing on ‘the discomfort of groups of converts and of elderly people’. 5 Certainly,


converts were prominent in the early days of the Traditional Movement in England, with the importance of Evelyn Waugh, Sir Arnold Lunn, Hugh Ross-Williamson, David Jones, Grahame Greene, Michael T. Davies, and among clergy, Fr Bryan Houghton.

This phenomenon goes beyond England. The first FIUV President, Erich de Savanthem, was a convert, as was his fellow-German, by then based in the United States, the philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand.

All these converts lacked the exaggerated understanding of obedience found in some cradle Catholics of their generation, and combined the zeal of the convert with an understanding of the Protestant milieu where much of the febrile 1960s thinking in the Church about liturgy and theology had its origin.

A different explanation of zealous lay and clerical leadership in the Traditional Movement can be given for France. There the possibility of orthodox Catholics taking up a stance of opposition to official papal policy had a special resonance, because it had happened twice before: with the ‘Petite Église’ which refused to accept bishops tainted by collaboration with the Revolutionary government, and with opponents of the Third Republic after 1870, who supported Action Française in defiance of papal policy, particularly under Pius XI.

These movements represent precedents of a zealous Catholicism trying to distinguish the Faith from the current opinions of popes and bishops. Indeed, one of the early lay leaders of the Traditional Movement in France, Jean Madiran, was former secretary of the leader of Action Française, Charles Maurass.6

However, exceptions remain. Italy, too, was home to combative Catholic intellectuals. Tito Casini, with his book Tunico Stracciata, 7 and Cristina Campo, co-author of the A Short CriticalStudyoftheNewOrderofMass8 presented to Pope Paul VI by Cardinals Alfredo Ottaviani and Antonio Bacci, are among the key figures of the early Traditional Movement. Those two Cardinals, again, provided clerical leadership. And yet this did not

translate into the wider availability of the Traditional Mass in Italy, compared with France, Germany, or England.


There may be some truth in several of the forgoing explanations, with the overall pattern complicated by country-specific factors. This is suggested by a fourth remark of Bugnini, this time from his Memoirs, where he attributes Cardinal Heenan’s success to ‘a subjective relationship between the pope and Cardinal Heenan, rather than in any rational causes of the matter’.9 In other words, it was just chance.

One chance factor worth noting in the case of England is the significance of the ancient Mass, as being what the English Martyrs died for between 1525 and 1681: 285 of these have been beatified, and they were very much in the minds of English Catholics at the time of the liturgical reform, as 40 of these beati were canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

My tentative conclusion would be that what looks like a pattern on the

map, can only be explained by reference to the particular circumstances of each country. How did Catholics react to the reforms? Was there a vigorous Catholic leadership? Were they driven to object to the reforms by a particularly bad implementation of the reform? How sympathetic were the local bishops to concerned traditional laity?

This is, however, an extraordinarily complex issue, and I would welcome further reflections on the experience of particular countries, as well as on the attempts to provide an overarching principle.

1. Letter to Bishops accompanying the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum

2. Bugnini Reform p315

3. For ‘International Commission on English in the Liturgy’

4. Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy, p. 280

5. The Reform of the Liturgy p297

6. Madiran died in 2013; Maurass in 1952

7. Published in 1967

8. Often known as ‘ The Ottaviani Intervention’, the Short Critical Study published in 1969 was anonymous but co-authored by Campo and Fr Michel Guerard des Lauriers OP. See Yves Chiron Annibale Bugnini p142

9. Quoted in Chiron p151

Traditional Catholic pilgrims outside Notre Dame, Paris, before it was damaged by fire. The Chartres Pilgrimage, which attracts more than 10,000 people, is the biggestTraditional Catholic event in the world.

Spiritual riches

Paul McGregor explains how the Traditional Mass returned to Culiacan, Mexico

The city of Culiacan in Mexico made headlines around the world last 17 October following a failed attempt by Mexican armed forces to detain Ovidio Guzman Lopez, son of El Chapo, the famed leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, now in a US jail. The Cartel out-gunned and out-smarted government troops, forcing them to release Ovidio Guzman. Several people died on the streets of the city on what came to be called locally, 'el jueves negro' (Black Thursday).

walking the streets in full niqab than a Catholic nun in habit and veil, I was intrigued: perhaps traditional dress meant the Traditional Mass.

But my hopes were soon dashed. They told me they were from the Carmelite convent and were selling raffle tickets to raise funds for their small orphanage, but they knew nothing of the Latin Mass.

Latin classes

But the previous day, another event of far more transcendental importance took place in that same city, close to Mexico's Pacific coast – it saw its first Traditional Latin Mass in more than 50 years. You could say that true Catholics in Culiacan had their 'miercoles dorado', their Golden Wednesday.

The historic event took place at the convent of the Carmelites of the Holy Spirit, just blocks away from the shooting and the burnt-out vehicles, and was the result of a number of fortunate coincidences, or perhaps, divine interventions.

The first had occurred a few months earlier. I was down at my local grocery store when I saw two young nuns dressed in traditional habit. Coming from Europe, and therefore more accustomed to seeing Muslim women

Determined to pluck victory from the jaws of defeat, I dashed home, picked up one of the 1962 LatinSpanish missals I keep for just such opportunities to proselytize, and cycled back to the store. The two nuns were still there. I handed them the Missal, telling them of the many spiritual riches they had been missing since the Council Fathers had thrust it into the dustbin of history. Confident that, once they opened it, they would want more, I gave them my phone number. Having thus cast my message in a bottle into the ocean, I returned home, raffle tickets in hand, but forgetting the asparagus my wife had sent me out to buy!

Three months later, having also forgotten about the two nuns, I received a phone call. It was a woman's voice. I didn't fully understand the reason for the call, but, through the linguistic fog, I suddenly realized I was speaking with their Mother Superior. She was asking if I could give some Latin classes because they wanted to prepare for the Latin Mass. I could hardly believe my ears!

I was later to learn that an elderly priest, on a pastoral visit to the convent, had seen my Missal. It had reminded him of the beauty of the sacred liturgy as he had learnt to celebrate it in the seminary. Fifty years had gone by since he had last celebrated the Latin Mass. As he told them of the its glories, the sisters wanted to discover for

themselves this shining jewel of their Catholic faith that had been concealed from them all this time.

The next link in the chain of coincidences, or divine interventions, was that the discovery of the Missal just happened to coincide with preparations for the seventieth birthday of a rich benefactor of the convent. For more than a year he had been imploring the Mother Superior for the Traditional Latin Mass to be celebrated on his birthday, 16 October.

Since arriving in Culiacan two years earlier, it had been my dream to one day see the Traditional Latin Mass celebrated there. In the meantime, I was forced to attend the ‘happenings’ that pass for the Holy Mass in most Mexican churches today, with altars modelled on Freemasonry lodges.

My suffering became most intense one Sunday when the priest, in place of the homily, projected a video on a large screen next to the altar. I have no idea what it was about since I was quickly up and heading for the door. I suspect it was about climate change, seemingly the Bishop of Rome's most pressing moral concern.

'My suffering became most intense one Sunday when the priest, in place of the homily, projected a video on a large screen next to the altar'
Culiacan Cathedral

The only relief from this ugly liturgy was to be found 700km away, in Guadalajara. That city was a stronghold of Catholic resistance during the Cristero War (1926-29). That was when thousands of Mexican priests, religious and lay people, were exterminated under the reign of atheist terror imposed by President Calles (1877-1945). He was the Freemason who launched an all-out war against Catholicism in Mexico. Celebration of the Holy Mass became a criminal offence, punishable with death. Many, such as Padre Pro (1891-1927) preferred death to relinquishing the Holy Mass.

But now, as a result of that chain of coincidences/Divine interventions, it seemed I would no longer have to travel so far. I agreed with the Mother Superior to give a series of three explanatory talks on the Mass, to prepare the sisters for the big day, 16 October. It was already late September. So, I soon found myself in front of a class of about 20 nuns and two priests, giving them an introduction to the Mass of Ages.

My only qualification was that it was the Mass as I had known it in my childhood in England.

More recently, I had for several years served as an acolyte in the Church of the Holy Innocents in New York City, where the Latin Mass is celebrated daily. Fortunately, I still had my notes from the classes I gave there to groups of children before Sunday Mass. A priest from the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter also travelled up from Guadalajara to train the priests in the rubrics. He kindly stayed for three days and assisted them at the first Mass.

Wounded survivors

I was the acolyte at that Mass. During Communion, as I stood next to the priest, holding the Communion plate, a perturbing image entered my mind. As the nuns approached to receive the Sacred Body of Christ, I felt as though I was assisting a relief worker at a recently liberated prisonerof-war camp. They approached like the wounded survivors of a decades-long conflict. Malnourished from a deficient liturgical diet, hearts and souls wounded with doubts and falsehoods, maliciously sown by men in purple and black who paraded as their officers but who were in fact the enemy. I was glad to be part of that relief team, present

as they took their first steps towards a deeper understanding of, and participation in, the beautiful liturgy of the Mass.

In the few months since then, the Mass of Ages has become a regular part of the daily life of the Carmelites.

At one Mass, attended by a few lay people, a woman exclaimed to my wife: "Ah! So, they're giving us back our Mass?!"

Her expression of delight, with its "they", "us" and "we" was a concise commentary on what we have been witnessing in the aftermath of the

Catholic Church's Chernobyl - Vatican II. An arrogant few seeking to rob us of our Catholic inheritance, bought with the blood of thousands of martyrs. But, as with political elites around the globe, I have the feeling that this clerical elite is also about to experience its Evo Morales moment - chased out of their privileged episcopal and papal lodgings, no more to be fed, clothed and housed by the rest of us.

In case you're wondering, no, I didn't win the brand-new car nor the trip to Acapulco in the Sisters' raffle. No - I won First Prize!

At last: theTraditional Mass is celebrated in Culiacan after an absence of 50 years
'I was glad to be part of that relief team, present as they took their first steps towards a deeper understanding of, and participation in, the beautiful liturgy of the Mass'

Hidden gem

Maurice Quinn on Our Lady of Marnhull

The little Church of Our Lady, pleasantly tucked away down a leafy lane in the Dorset village of Marnhull, is a true hidden gem of English Catholicism. Country walkers on their way down Old Mill Lane heading towards open fields and the picturesque River Stour, pass by this humble stone structure often without a second glance other than to remark on the adjacent pretty little cemetery, or the accompanying birdsong that orchestrates the morning air.

From an architectural perspective Our Lady’s would be ignored by the connoisseur of fine buildings, but its very humility was – and still is – a testament of true Christian living not to be viewed fleetingly as by the passing walker, but to be experienced. One must open the door and step inside, walk up the worn and uneven flagstone floor, kneel down

before Our Lord in the Tabernacle, visit His Mother, light a candle and pray to ‘Our Lady of Many Gifts’ for the souls of those who kept the faith in this part of Dorset.

The Marnhull Mission had its roots in the patronage of the Hussey family, Lords of the Manor, who became staunchly Catholic in the 1660s. The Husseys played a crucial role in the early foundation of the Mission, continuing as benefactors of land and finance until the latter end of the 19th century. It was Fr Thomas Cornforth, who arrived in 1725, who built a presbytery at Marnhull in Old Mill Lane, with provision for celebrating Mass for about twenty or thirty people. Fr Cornforth died in 1748 at the age of seventy, after having served the Marnhull Mission for twenty-three years. The present parish of Marnhull is in a direct line from Fr Cornforth’s foundation, being the oldest of its kind

in the Plymouth diocese. Before this foundation, local Catholics were served by chaplains from Nash Court and by visiting clergy.

A number of priests then served Marnhull from 1786, including three Jesuits, one Franciscan, and three Benedictines, one of whom, Dom Edward Hussey OSB, was a member of the local Hussey family of Nash Court. When Fr Casey arrived in 1824, he set about building a church dedicated to Our Lady that was blessed and used for the first time in 1832, and a school.

It is particularly moving to discover that Fr Casey penned a devotional hymn to Our Lady of Marnhull that is still sung in the parish today. The first verse, also doubling up as the last, is particularly appropriate, especially as it encapsulates perfectly the soul of this little Dorset church:

Deep amid the dales of Dorset, Stands our lowly little Shrine, Cast Thy glance of love upon it, Gentle Lady, Make it Thine.

Fr Casey served this busy rural haven of faith for forty-three years, and after his death in 1873, a stained-glass window made by Drake of Exeter depicting Our Lord as the Good Shepherd was placed in the sanctuary behind the altar in his memory. Complementing this window are the two ‘Trinity’ windows on the north and south walls of the sanctuary made by Lusson of Paris in 1869 during the tenure of Fr Thomas Spencer.

A number of religious orders came to Marnhull for a time, some of whom left an indelible mark. The Canons Regular of the Lateran of Bodmin built St Joseph’s Priory adjacent to the north wall of the church in 1886, had new windows fitted and installed a new set of Stations of the Cross. The Canons left in 1891 being succeeded by the Oblate Fathers of the Sacred Heart, and then, in the early 20th century, by three successive communities of nuns.

'The present parish of Marnhull is in a direct line from Fr Cornforth’s foundation, being the oldest of its kind in the Plymouth diocese. Before this foundation, local Catholics were served by chaplains from Nash Court and by visiting clergy'

It was the second group to inhabit, the Trappestines (Fully enclosed Cistercians) who, requiring a Choir (Chapel), achieved this by opening up the priory wall adjacent to the sanctuary, and installed a grille with an altar directly opposite on the north wall. With dwindling numbers, the Trappestines left only to be replaced by the Helpers of the Souls in 1921, a community of nuns who constituted the place as their Novitiate in England.

Later, it was Fr Weddick who had the church repainted, installed a new organ, refurbished the High Altar and Tabernacle, and installed three new statues of Our Lady, St Gregory the Great, and St Joseph replete with oaken canopies. He also added a new presbytery before he left in 1928.

The little school founded by Fr Casey in 1846 was built on the corner of Great Down Lane and Old Mill Road, and in 1953 it moved down the lane next to the church. For a time, the former nuns’ chapel was used as the school hall and as a classroom. The expansion of the school with a new school hall ensured that today the nuns’ chapel has the dual purpose of being used as an overflow for larger congregations at Mass and for parish events.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Our Lady’s a major repair and reordering was undertaken in 1982 by Fr Christopher Smith. Among other things, the altar was moved forward to accommodate liturgical changes, and the font was re-sited from the back of the church to be placed on the sanctuary. Six fine Marnhull tapestries

of West Country saints were designed by local artist Joan Payne and worked by a group of parishioners. These are a ‘must see’ to be viewed on the reredos of the High Altar and depict Blessed John Slade (of Manton), St Walburga, St Aldhelm, St Boniface, St Edward (King and Martyr), and Blessed John Cornelius (see Chideock Martyrs article, Autumn 2019 issue).

To attend a usus antiquior celebration at our Lady’s is to be completely united in faith and worship with those humble souls who bequeathed to us this Catholic community down the ages. We can also pray with them, ‘Our Lady of Marnhullpray for us’.

With acknowledgements to Fr Martin Budge, PP of Marnhull, and to Mary Bradbury whose booklet about the Marnhull Mission I found helpful.

Marnhull Church

Would you believe it?

Alberto Carosa reports on how heroic nuns are at the helm of the first outpost of traditionalism in northern Sweden

Some time ago, I reported on what I presumed was the world’s northernmost Latin Mass - the Extraordinary Form celebrated in Jyväskylä, a major city in the north of Finland (see Mass of Ages, issue 195, Spring 2018).

But now I have to eat humble pie since I have realized the above information was not entirely correct. It is still true that the Old Rite Mass in Jyväskylä remains the northern-most Mass celebrated on a regular weekly basis, but the EF is sporadically being celebrated even further north, in Swedish Lapland, well beyond the Polar circle.

Mutatis mutandis, this incredible story reminds us of the ancient Desert Fathers (along with Desert Mothers), who were early Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks living mainly in the Scetes desert of Egypt around the third century AD. The desert monastic communities that grew out of these informal gathering of hermit monks became the model for Christian monasticism.

Something resembling this can be found in the female monasteries more recently established in North America. They were built “in the extreme hardship of a dry and unforgiving rocky terrain on an arid mountaintop in Southwest New Mexico”, as was the case for the five foundresses of St Joseph Monastery. Even more explicit were the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration (PCPA) of Our Lady of Solitude Monastery in Tonopah, Nevada, more simply called “desert nuns”, as shown by the very name of their portal,

But other than the brown desert of sand and stones, there is another desert with no less hardship and extreme weather: the white desert of ice, snow and cold in the northern hemisphere. And it’s here, in the tiny village of Lannavaara, in Swedish Lapland in Northern Sweden, 250km beyond the Polar Artic Circle, that a new religious order is taking shape based at Sankt Josefs Kloster (Monastery of St Joseph): the Congregation of the religious of Marias Lamm (Mary's Lambs).

As recounted by the Swedish Sister Amada Mobergh to Italian Catholic news agency SIR in October 2015, this “adventure” started in 2013, when together with Sister Karla the two decided to settle there to pray, in the silence of this “barren land”. When Sister Amada converted in London, she was in her twenties. She also found her religious vocation and spent the following 30 years in India, former Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Italy, Albania, Iceland and in the United Kingdom, in the congregation of the Missionaries of Charity. After realizing that her desire for a more contemplative life was the will God, she was given permission by the Bishop of Stockholm, Cardinal Anders Arborelius, to return to Sweden to start her new life. It was made clear that the Catholic Swedish Church is small and poor, so financial support would not be available.

After visiting four monasteries in Southern Sweden, following a series of coincidences, Sister Amada received a phone-call from the north: a house

was available for rent. The Sisters gave her the money for the train trip and she immediately left for the north. The house turned out to be unsuitable, but the miracle coincidences continued and Sister Amada and Sister Karla managed to find temporary free accommodation. “We arrived on December 24, 2011; the temperature was minus 30 degrees C. I immediately understood that this is where I had to be”, said Sister Amada.

After 18 months the Sisters had to move. The house was too small to accommodate all those who had come to visit, and to pray.

They found the old school of Lannavaara, “surrounded by wilderness”. It had been unused for years and was expensive for them, since they had no more money. But the miracles continued. “We moved there even though we lacked the money to buy it”, said Sister Amada. And that first winter there was no proper heating.

“We worked day and night to make it habitable. One day a man from

Sankt Josefs Kloster in winter

Norway passed by, enthusiastic about our experience. He had never heard of a monastery in the far north”, she said. He wanted to help as he thought it was important and good for the Church, and for souls, to have a Monastery in such a remote place. After all, Lapland accounts for roughly one fourth of Sweden and there has never been a stable Catholic presence so far in the north, perhaps not even before the Reformation. Their Norwegian visitor bought the school for them, just a few days before their agreement was about to expire!

“Every day God helps us to go on with His Providence. His daily miracles enable us to go on with great gratitude and joy”, and with a daily life marked by “silence, solitude and prayer”.

“My suffering is to see there is no awareness of the sacraments in Sweden, and especially in this part of the country”, Sister Amada went on. “There is spiritual poverty, distance from God and from the Church”. This is the meaning of life here in the newly-established monastery of Saint Joseph: “to pray and to offer one’s life to God following the example of Mary for the conversion of souls, especially of Scandinavians and for the rebuilding and restoring of the Church and Catholic Culture”.

Darkness in this part of the world lasts almost seven months of the year but for the Sisters this helps “the prayer

of all those who live darkness within themselves, to find the light of Jesus”.

The nuns have a good relationship with the local people in the village, who help them with all kinds of practical problems regarding the house.

Groups come to hear about their life and faith; a few stay, to share in silence and prayer.

After having obtained diocesan recognition as “consociationibus dioecesanis” of the Lambs of Mary the Sisters hope to be able to demolish the old school and build a simple but traditional monastery, including a Chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Queen of the Nordic countries.

It would be another miracle of Divine Providence to be able to build the new monastery but the Sisters are confident.

In the beginning they traveled to the nearest parish church in Luleå, some 400 kms south. During winter the journey takes more than five hours; even in summer it takes four hours. “It’s very dark during the winter, the roads are covered with ice and snow; reindeer and other wild animals cross the streets” Sister Amada said. “It’s risky, but we got used to it. All you need is to pray and go on”. The Sisters at least had priests from the parish who came to celebrate the Holy Mass for them and to hear confessions. Priests also came from all over the country to make their solitary retreats here.

“We had an English priest with us for a longer time – five years – with some intervals: that was a great blessing”, the Sister said.

Another priest has rented a house in the village and is trying to learn to live an eremitic life. He is keen to stay and has even learned fluent Swedish.

But the “miracle of miracles” will materialize next May 8, if all goes according to plan, when a Benedictine monk will settle with the Sisters, at least for a year.

In fact, when we met in 2017 on the occasion of the yearly Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage of traditionalminded faithful to Rome, Sister Amada spoke to me about the major problem of not being able to rely on the daily celebration of the traditional Latin liturgy.

“But now we will be soon supported by a young priest”, she told me recently, “who, like us, wants to live a contemplative eremitic life, praying the Latin Divine Office, saying the Latin

Mass and praying and offering his life for the Church and the salvation of souls, which is our very Charism!”

Sister Amada had asked one of the priests who occasionally came to visit them if he could celebrate the Ancient Roman Latin rite during his stay in the monastery. He happily acceded to her request. So, the first old rite Mass was celebrated in December 2016. “After that occasion we have had two other priests who, in a deeper way, led us into the celebration of the old rite, since they themselves loved it!” recalls Sister Amada. “We even had a visit by a priest from Ecclesia Dei, who celebrated Mass here.”

“We also felt very much at home with it and loved it!”, she went on, “It was majestic, silent, the sense of mystery was very present and even though both my fellow Sister and I are new to the Latin language and that way of celebrating the Holy Mass, we felt very soon called to implement it into the Liturgy of the Lambs of Mary.”

How remarkable that in the face of an increasingly secularized world we have the first traditional nuns in Scandinavia, fully backed by their bishop, based in the white desert of the polar circle? Here the Old Rite liturgy is celebrated for the first time in centuries thanks to these heroic nuns.

To contact and support the nuns visit,

Sister Amada clears a path through the snow Sister Karla praying the Rosary


Mass of Ages quarterly round-up

Birmingham & Black Country

Louis Maciel 0739 223 2225

The quarter started quite normally, with several ad-hoc Masses being celebrated at St Mary-on-the-Hill in Wednesbury for Our Lady of Lourdes, the Chair of St Peter and a Votive Mass of Our Lady on Saturday, 15 February, preceding Ash Wednesday and St Joseph when Mass was celebrated in the Low form in Wednesbury and the High form at the Oratory. The latter ended up being the last public High Mass in the area after the announcement the previous day by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales of the cessation of the public celebration of Mass from Friday evening.

One of the last Masses to be celebrated in Birmingham was the 7pm Mass at St Dunstan's in Kings Heath, the church at which I was baptised, confirmed, made my first Confession and received my first Holy Communion and where my parents were married. As it happened, it coincided with the third Friday of the month, which is the only day Mass is regularly celebrated publicly in the Extraordinary Form at the church. For the first time ever, it was celebrated on the main altar of the church, rather than the Lady Altar: the church was built after the reforms and had its sanctuary reordered earlier this year.

The Oratory live streams Mass every day at 9am, and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour live streams Mass on Fridays at 6.30pm after adoration starting at 5.30pm: details for these are available in the Mass Listings. Both are available to view as recordings later, as are the Masses Fr Paul Lester records and uploads to his YouTube channel ‘In Montem Sanctum’, along with several talks he has produced.

Birmingham (North Staffordshire) Alan Frost

On 24 March, Fr Chevasse informed regulars and others that Our Lady’s, Swynnerton, along with the churches of the Archdiocese, would be closed. Describing this as ‘distressing news’, he summed up what we all probably felt. The Government’s instructions on self-isolating and social distancing had further implications, such as one of our priests being unable to attend the LMS Priest Training Conference at Stonyhurst through its understandable cancellation.

For those with access to the Internet it has meant an unusual and perhaps busy time ‘attending’ the Traditional Mass and other services, such as Exposition, live. At least one member was able to see live the full two-and-a half-hour Palm Sunday Mass in Mexico, courtesy of the FSSP in Guadalajara. Others found different locations in England.

One family who has contributed greatly over the years to N.Staffs Masses, the Scoreys, responded to ‘the closure of our churches’, by converting a spare barn on their property into a private chapel, and most impressive it looks. Another couple, long-standing attenders and schola members over the years, were able to travel and were in Rome for the Pope’s Urbi et Orbi (Phil and Jenny) and at Spanish Place for the Re-dedication of England as Our Lady’s Dowry, and Latin Mass before the church

closures. Finding the Mass at different venues reminded Phil of when he was a young merchant seaman and could go to Mass (including at Guadalajara!) ‘wherever I was in the world and it was exactly the same as at home, except for the sermon of course!’

Scorey Chapel, barn conversion during Covid-19 crisis

Birmingham (Oxford) Joseph Shaw

In Oxford, plans for last quarter was rather concentrated in the second half, with the feasts of St Joseph and the Annunciation, a quarterly Mass at Holy Trinity, Hethe, and our annual Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Caversham, all due to take place just after restrictions were imposed.

I should like to thank all those, clergy and laity, who had planned to assist us on these occasions, and in some cases had begun preparations to do so.

I should also like to thank our priests in Oxford who have been at the forefront of making live-streamed Masses available.

Brentwood (East)

We at the Immaculate Conception, Epping, are very grateful for those who have supported our monthly Tridentine Mass from April 2018. First, Canon John McGrath, our parish priest, who generously allows the use of our Church and Hall; for our faithful priests: Fr Mark Higgins, who travelled from South London, and looked after our Mass for 10 months, five Low Masses followed by five Sung, until new duties meant he could not continue; Mgr Gordon Read and Rev. Dr Michael Cullinan who travel from Kelvedon and Pinner respectively, alternating in looking after our Missa Cantata; they are all greatly appreciated. We have also had a visiting priest from Germany, Fr Brendan Gerard, who has offered our Mass on occasion - a warm welcome to him.

We remember our valiant organist and choristers who travel from Sittingbourne, Canning Town, St Albans,


Chelmsford, and other areas, as well as our more local churches, and lend their talents and gifts for the glory of God in Epping. We could not have had a Missa Cantata without them. Thanks also to Cantus Magnus, who looked after us at the beginning of our Sung Masses.

We don’t forget Mark Johnson, who helped us for many months with his experience as MC in a variety of ways; Alan from South Woodford, and now James Murphy, who has taken over this important office; also, our own parish Mass servers, Paul and Philip, and James’ 10-year-old son, Paul.

Thanks are due to all who have served teas and coffees after Mass, and provided other vital services.

The Latin Mass Society has been very helpful, answering many of our queries along the way.

When the current crisis has passed, we welcome all who can, to come to our 3pm Mass on the 4th Sunday of every month.

Sister Susan Asher Hallam Nicholas Ross

I am pleased to say that progress has been made and there are plans afoot for Masses in Hallam sometime in June-July and, we hope, for the Assumption.

The Summer dates are to be confirmed - they are pencilled in and booked, but an announcement to members will be made, Deo volente, in May. Hopefully by the time you read this, things are clearer with our present, unprecedented situation.

The plan is to have these one-off Masses initially, which will allow people to come together again, and give us opportunities to recruit servers (possibly singers) with a view to something regular.

If you are interested in serving, learning to serve, or singing, then please let me know.

Hexham & Newcastle Keith McAllister 01325 308968 07966 235329

The year 2019 finished in fine form, with a sung Christmas Midnight Mass at St Joseph’s Gateshead celebrated by Fr Michael Brown, and featuring a music setting in F (by Concone). The seasonal spirit continued there as Fr Brown had a Sung Mass on the Feast of the Epiphany, including music and chorals, again directed by Paul Dewhurst.

Our Sunday and weekday Mass programme was on track until early January, when Fr Shaun Swales underwent eye surgery at short notice, placing him out of action for several weeks. He made a good recovery, Deo gratias! which enabled reinstatement of weekday Masses at Coxhoe and Barnard Castle from late February.

Preparation for traditional Vespers at Gateshead was completed ahead of the Patronal Feast of St Joseph on 19 March. This was to include music by Elgar, Peroni and De Lassus, with Paul Dewhurst directing the Church Schola plus the Westland Singers.

This liturgy was cancelled because of the virus-led church closures, but we are grateful to Fr Paul Zielinski, who was to be Officiant, Fr David Phillips, Fr Michael Brown and the music /choral team for their dedicated efforts in making the event possible; now only postponed a short while, we pray.

On 7 April Bishop Robert Byrne CO appointed new Canons to the Cathedral Chapter; including Canon Michael Brown to whom we offer sincere, joyful congratulations!

Lancaster Bob & Jane Latin 01524 412987 John Rogan 01524 858832

The children of St Benedict's Academy in Preston have perhaps had a head start on many other children in recent weeks, after the closure of schools due to the Coronavirus, as they are already used to the discipline of home-schooling.

Before the closure, we asked the principal, Canon Post, if he could obtain a testimony from a parent of what they think about the Academy and Mr and Mrs John Thompson of Wetherby kindly supplied the following:

“Four of our children started at St Benedict's in September last year. It's been a real adventure! What we have discovered is a place of dedicated volunteers, Canons and Sisters, whose purpose there is to educate the children in truth and beauty, and to both teach about and model what it means to be a follower of Christ in today's chaotic world. There is a richness and a simplicity to the days which comes across through the prayer, the lessons taught, the kindness and patience of the adults, and the fun the children themselves make during their break times. The day starts beautifully in the chapel and flows easily from lessons through breaks and lunch, which really are just like being part of a large family. It's heartening to see the Canons out playing football with the students, or pushing the little ones on the swing, and the way each person is treated with respect and dignity. There are two full teaching days (Monday and Thursday) and a half day on Friday which ends with a Sung Mass, which brings a peaceful end to the week. Our children have grown in so many ways since beginning their time at St Benedict's. I asked our 12-year-old, who loves the classical curriculum, what he would say about it. 'It's good! Good people, good teachers.' And that just about sums it up! The goodness of the Gospel shines through. The academics are important and the children are encouraged to reach their potential, but more than that it's been an experience for all of us of having been met with love in all the ups and downs (and there have been many) of having committed to travel to an academy which is a long way from where we live, and to embrace the home-schooling aspect of the work. We have all been changed by the families and staff of Saint Benedict's, and we thank God for the blessing it is and the dedication of those who make it possible.”

The Canons in Preston have been trying to find ways of maintaining the spiritual life of the parish and Canon Cristofoli reported that they are busier than ever! Fr Daniel Etienne continues to offer the EF Mass at St John Vianney, Blackpool, privately of course, one of which was on Easter Sunday. We hope that this current situation might, by the grace of God, give other priests the time and incentive to learn the EF Mass.

Liverpool (Warrington) Alan Frost 01270 768144

The crisis brought about by the Covid-19 virus caused a number of important events at St Mary’s in April to be put in doubt. One very important event being an Education Meeting about providing reliable education for the children of families linked to the Shrine, with the Regina Caeli Academy (RCA) in Bedfordshire [] being invited to present their educational model.


A few days before St Mary’s was closed to the public, a Mass of Thanksgiving for Converts, especially those in the last four years in Warrington, was celebrated. On the last two days of public Masses, attenders at risk or over 70 were able to receive Extreme Unction at the altar rails in the anticipation of the virus getting worse for a while. Those able to watch on-line will have found an unusual but engaging and devout means of attending Mass every day at 12.10 pm and 11 am on Sunday through Also, the Men’s Weekly Group has been able to meet via Livemass with Fr de Malleray leading meditations, and choral singing. There are four priests and a deacon seminarian in residence, giving excellent homilies at the Masses, sometimes assisted by servers as at the whole of the Triduum services, which were watched across the globe with many messages of thanks. They were also advertised nationally at the request of the Bishops of England and Wales.

Indeed, Archbishop McMahon commented in The Catholic Herald, “I would like to commend the live streaming of the Holy Week services from St Mary’s in Warrington to all those devoted to the extraordinary form. This will enable viewers to draw close to the sacred liturgy at the most important time in the Church’s calendar and to share in the deep spirituality of the FSSP. I would like to thank Fr de Malleray and his community for making this available so generously.”

One of the priests, from nearby Wirral, is Fr Alex Stewart FSSP, who was ordained by Abp McMahon in St Mary’s three years ago (17 June). A happy reminder is the accompanying photo of his First Blessings. The Archbishop will be conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation at a service followed by Benediction at St Mary’s on 18 July at 3 p.m. (Candidates from within and from without the Liverpool Archdiocese are invited to contact Fr Whisenant The Deacon in residence, Roger Kilbride FSSP, from New Zealand, was scheduled to be ordained in Sydney, Australia on 20 June, but this has been put back through the extended lockdown there.

To contact the Shrine, please email warrington or telephone 01925 635664. The Shrine and its mission were explained in the last issue (Spring) of MassofAges by the Rector, Fr Armand de Malleray who edits the Shrine’s own quarterly Dowry. Because of the scale of its activities, the Shrine has heavy costs to meet, and in the absence of Mass collections it really does need financial help. Donations can be made via or through: Lloyds Bank, Sort Code: 30-80-27: Account number: 30993368: Account name: FSSP Warrington.

Northampton North (Northamptonshire) Paul Beardsmore

In addition to the regular Saturday Masses at St Brendan's, Corby, Fr Byrne offered Mass at lunchtime on Ash Wednesday.

Northampton (South) Barbara Kay 01234 340759

I had been hoping, of course, to write an account of excellent numbers at our Easter Sunday Mass, but it was not to be this year. Many of us will have been grateful to St Mary’s, Warrington for their livestreaming of the Traditional Triduum, and it was lovely to see Fr Patrick O’Donohue, FSSP, who serves Bedford from Reading, taking a full part in these liturgies.

We had good attendance on Ash Wednesday and the usual 100 people or so for the Sunday Masses in March. The schola sang on the first Sunday in March and it was good to welcome back Matthew Schellhorn to play and sing the Mass for the second time this year on 15 March, the last Mass to be celebrated before the lockdown.

Our Children’s Choir was flourishing when Masses ceased and we look forward to hearing them again when things return to normal.

In happier times our Family Catechism Days were continuing on the last Sunday of each month and our Patricians group, run by the Legion of Mary, was continuing on the second Saturday of the month. I was in the hot seat in February, giving a talk on the topic of why the Catholic priesthood is exclusively male. Both Catechism and Patricians will resume as soon as we are able.

Regina Caeli, the hybrid homeschooling organisation in the Bedford area, closed early for Easter, and the families worked hard to keep their children occupied in the longer holidays. The Barrett family delighted us with their recordings of sacred music which, thanks to modern technology, they were able to share with us.

Subject to prevailing conditions, there will be Low Masses for St Peter and St Paul on 29 June and for the Assumption on 15 August both at Bedford and at Chesham Bois. Details of the Bedford Masses and our other activities can be found on www. Nottingham Jeremy Boot 07462 018386

Like everyone else, unfortunately, as I write, all our Masses are on hold until the churches open again. The absence of Holy Mass will have been a great hardship to many, although there are many streamed and recorded EF Masses online.

The Birmingham Oratory, Fr Lawrence Lew’s Dominican Rite Masses from the Rosary Shrine in London, and Masses from Holy Cross, Leicester (more local to this diocese), to name but a few, stream or record their Masses and services and are easily accessed via YouTube or Facebook on smartphones to smart TVs and anything in between. As I write this, many of these providers will stream and/or record all the Easter ceremonies too. Indeed, there is currently no excuse for many not to ‘attend’ daily Mass in this way.

Our Masses in the Nottingham area continued until March: Saturday (for Sunday) Mass at the Good Shepherd, Nottingham at 4.45pm on the Saturday before the 2nd Sunday of the month; Our Lady and St Patrick’s at 2pm on the 3rd and 4th Sundays of the month; also Mass at Nottingham Cathedral,

Third Anniversary of Fr Stewart’s Ordination: First Blessings © Joseph Shaw

3rd Wednesdays, at 6.15pm. Add to these, Masses on most Wednesdays at 7pm at St Mary of the Annunciation, Ashby Rd, Loughborough LE11 3AB.

All these, one hopes, will resume, perhaps in a couple of months. We should look forward to that and pray urgently for God’s mercy to save us from this unprecedented scourge the world is facing.

Nottingham South (Leicestershire and Rutland)



At the time of writing no public celebrations of Mass are possible. We are grateful to the community of Holy Cross Priory, Leicester for providing a live stream of their daily EF Masses, celebrated at the usual times. This is available on Facebook at

Prior to the onset of the Coronavirus, Sung Masses were celebrated at Holy Cross for the Feast of the Purification of the BVM and on the first Sunday of Lent. There was also a Sung Mass for Ash Wednesday at St Peter's in Leicester, and an additional Low Mass at the same church for the Feast of St Joseph. Otherwise the normal cycle of Masses was maintained until public acts of worship were suspended.

Plymouth (Devon)

Maurice Quinn 07555 536579

Once again it is encouraging to report more signs of growth on the Devon Latin Mass scene these last few months. At St Edward the Confessor at Peverell in Plymouth, Fr Xavier Champagne-Deuve (Institute of the Good Shepherd) took over from Fr Anthony Pillari in January with full pastoral responsibility for the ususantiquior congregation (see previous issue of Mass of Ages). In addition to celebrating the popular regular weekly 11.30am Sunday morning Missa Cantata at St Edward’s, Fr Xavier has introduced an 11.30am Low Mass every 1st Saturday of the month preceded by Confessions, thereby giving people the opportunity to comply with Our Lady of Fatima’s wishes.

This is wonderful news indeed, more so because it attracts a sizable congregation, and, on the occasion that I was able to attend, was beautifully served by Andrew Proctor, the musical director and organist for Sunday’s Sung Mass. Incidentally, Andrew is still looking for volunteer voices to beef up the choir for the St Edward’s Sunday Sung Mass – so, if you feel that you could help out do please make yourself known to him. Another addition to the normal routine at St Edward’s took place on Ash Wednesday, when Fr Xavier travelled up from Lanherne in Cornwall (where he is based) to celebrate Mass with imposition of Ashes.

Elsewhere in Devon Fr Peter Coxe has been busy as the main celebrant at both Blessed Sacrament, Heavitree, Exeter, and at St Cyprian’s, Ugbrooke House, Chudleigh. At the former venue, it was pleasing to see that an extra couple of voices joined Tegwyn Harris the organist in the organ loft for the 2nd Sunday of the month 3pm Sung Mass. This Mass is always preceded by Asperges, and Fr Peter is happy to hear confessions before Mass for those who require it. We are looking for more altar servers at this Mass to join our MC Charles Bradshaw, John Tristram and myself on the sanctuary, so if any reader is interested please see me after Mass or contact me by phone or email as above.

At St Cyprian’s, Chudleigh, the 3pm 4th Sunday of the month Mass has suffered from a lack of singers this last while, the consequence being that, instead of the advertised Sung Mass, it was changed to Low at the last moment. However, the congregation present on all occasions made up for it with a hearty rendering of Salve Regina to cap off what is always

a reverent and dignified celebration. Hopefully, things will improve in the near future so that once again, Latin chants will be heard emanating from this beautiful Adams designed chapel.

It was with sadness that we heard of the decease of Latin Mass Society member Major Timothy Charles O’Neil McCoy (see obituary on page 27), whose Traditional Rite Latin Requiem was celebrated by Fr Peter Coxe at St Mary & St George, Totnes. We have to thank the PP of Totnes, Fr Louis Reunier, for allowing us to ‘take over’ the church and re-order the sanctuary, and also Gary the Sacristan who helped us to find things that were required. We also thank Canon Mark O’Keefe (Plymouth Cathedral Administrator) for the loan of the black Pall and vestments used for the occasion, and also the Latin Mass Society for the loan of the Requiem Missal and Altar Cards. Also deserving of thanks is fellow Oblate Adrian Worsley Obl.SB (Buckfast) for giving up his time in agreeing to help with the serving. Adrian had not served a usus antiquior since his schooldays, but required only one refresher lesson to get back up to a good standard. A great find, Adrian has kindly agreed to help out again when required to do so, and as he is a parishioner of Sacred Heart & St Theresa of the Child Jesus, Paignton, will be more than happy to serve there when we eventually get the usus antiquior at that venue – hopefully later this year.

Do feel free to contact me (as above) by phone/email for any matter regarding usus antiquior celebrations in Devon, and for St Edward the Confessor in Plymouth only, access their excellent website – including Sunday sermons – on www.

Plymouth (Dorset) Maurice Quinn 07555 536579

Writing this report during the early stages of the virus lockdown allowed me to reflect - with joy and thanks - on the Dorset Latin Mass celebrations that I was fortunate to attend in past months. Fr Martin Budge, PP at the delightful church of Our Lady in Marnhull village (and at St Benedict’s in the nearby town of Gillingham), hears confessions before Mass, which starts at 12 noon with the Angelus. For me personally, the Latin Mass at Our Lady’s - itself a gem hidden in the Dorset countryside, a gem best experienced during a Traditional Mass - is always worth the 120 miles round trip that I have to make in order to attend. (For more on this church, see pages 12-13.) Once again, it was a pleasure to meet people new to the area who have discovered the Old Rite and have now become regulars.

As mentioned in the previous issue of this magazine, Mgr Francis Jamieson at Our Lady of Lourdes & St Cecilia, Blandford Forum (see photograph showing the recently finished reordered sanctuary with moveable altar rails), introduced an extra weekly 8am Saturday morning Latin Low Mass for those who would like to attend, which nicely complements the regular two-monthly weekday Mass that always takes place at 12 noon. It was unfortunate that I was unable to attend the Mass in honour of St Joseph on 19 March, especially as it was the very last usus antiquior before the lockdown. However, we have to be thankful that between Fr Martin at Marnhull, and Mgr Francis at Blandford Forum, those faithful to the Old Rite are catered for each Saturday morning at the latter and once a month at one of the two venues, usually on a Thursday. At both venues after the monthly Mass, it is a pleasure for congregants to attend a free social lunch in a convivial atmosphere before returning home.


Although all Mass celebrations for the immediate future have been cancelled due to the current lockdown, do contact me for news about any changes to the situation regarding our usus antiquior celebrations or for any other questions regarding future Latin Mass events.

Shrewsbury (The Wirral) Stefano Mazzeo

With the Coronavirus running rampant and all Mass being shut to the public, I was concerned that I would have very little to write about. However, I should have known better for at the Dome of Home this is not the case and it’s very pleasant to report some good news, from our website: Our beloved landmark church has been awarded £362,900 by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to complete the restoration of the majestic dome and main sanctuary. So well done to Canon Montjean and his team.

Our priests have been as busy as ever even though their Masses can only be viewed on a screen and we cannot attend physically. I have been sharing the Masses on my Facebook page and it is good to see how the numbers watching have been growing, with reports that people are viewing from abroad as well as local parishioners.

Watching the Tenebrae and other devotions, the sheer beauty of the chant struck me when delivered by Canon Montjean and Canon Poucin de Wouilt. They certainly put on many devotions and Masses. Sung Masses, Low Masses, Tenebrae, daily Rosary, adoration, Vespers - no wonder our church is growing so well. Let's hope that when we get back to normal, attendance will continue to grow as more and more people discover the beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass celebrated by The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

Tim Fawkes

01202 730200

First Friday Masses at the Bournemouth Oratory have continued at 6 pm. Additionally, a High Mass was offered on Monday, 6 January the Feast of the Epiphany where Fr Tim Finigan was celebrant. A Missa Cantata was offered on 19 March at 6 pm on the Feast of St Joseph by Fr Andrew Wagstaff. This was the last public Mass before the Covid-19 restrictions came into force and the church had to be closed the following day for public worship.  The clergy continue to offer Mass in the Novus Ordo streamed daily as well as the first Friday Extraordinary Form Mass and traditional Benediction at 6 pm on Sundays. ( The EF Mass is usually said in the Lady Chapel so please select “chapel “ on the options if you are able to participate.

The church of St Thomas More, Iford, Bournemouth was the venue for a new regular Low Mass each Sunday and Holyday of Obligation from 9 February, offered by Fr Philomeno James who is now based at St Joseph’s church, Portsmouth, but kindly undertakes the journey there to offer Mass.  Mass times are 5.30pm on Sundays and 5pm on Holidays of Obligation. The Mass on 23 February was a Missa Cantata and the Masses are attracting a congregation of 20 to 30.  Unfortunately, these Masses have had to be suspended until the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Shrewsbury (Chester)

Our last Traditional Mass at Chester was the third Sunday of February, Sexagesima, which was celebrated by Canon Poucin de Woult of the Institute of Christ the King. Sadly, there has been no Latin Mass at St Clare's Chester since then.  Hopefully, by the time this report is published the situation will be better.

I would like to thank the Rector of the shrine, Canon Montjean, for allowing us to use the sanctuary to film the Council of Nicaea sequence for EWTN's upcoming "Reformation" series. I would also like to thank all those who took part in the filming as extras, costume, and prop makers. The first episode will be shown on EWTN on 6 May and will continue once a month until the end of October, when all eleven episodes will be screened. It's good to be able to get the truth of the so called "Reformation" out there to counter all the nonsense.

To contact the Shrine Church of SS Peter & Paul and St Philomena call 0151 638 6822 or email

Southwark (Kent) Marygold Turner

Like all churches, we have been unable to have Masses during the lockdown. As soon as churches reopen it is hoped that we shall be able to resume our regular pattern. Please continue to pray for all our priests.

Arius before the Council of Nicaea: filming for the Reformation series Our Lady of Lourdes & St Cecilia, Blandford Forum Portsmouth (Bournemouth) © Maurice Quinn

Thanks to The Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust, we propose to have our annual Mass in St Augustine’s, Snave, on Saturday, 26 September at 12 noon. We shall keep you updated on this.

Southwark (St Bede’s Clapham Park) Thomas Windsor

The big event this quarter was Candlemas. This fell on a Sunday this year, and so gave us a chance to have a bigger celebration than usual. The Blessing of candles and procession added 45 minutes to our Mass, but priests, servers, and people were delighted. As we did in previous years, we not only blessed candles for the people but also blessed the candles for use on the Sanctuary.

Our Choir sang Polyphonic Propers on both the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany, Quinquagesima, and the 3rd Sunday of Lent.

We have been singing Mass on Fridays nights and Saturday mornings, and the final Mass before the shutdown was on Friday 20th when we sang a Votive Mass of the Five Holy Wounds. This day was formerly in this country the Feast of the Five Holy Wounds.

Our newsletter is now being published online, and has details of Low Masses being streamed online.

Southwark (St Mary's Chislehurst)

Christopher Richardson

We continue to have our regular schedule of Masses in the Traditional Rite.  We have a Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form each Sunday at 11am, a Low Mass on Friday evenings at 7.30pm and a Missa Cantata on holydays at 8pm.  For some feasts or other special occasions, we have an evening Mass at 7.30pman example being Ash Wednesday in February.

Report from the Society of St Tarcisius

Joseph Shaw

National Coordinator

Our March Server Training Day in St James', Spanish Place, was able to take place, before restrictions were imposed, and was very successful. It was particularly pleasing to have one of the Society's Patrons, Lord Gill, among our trainees.

I should like to thank Fr Michael Cullinan for enrolling two more members.

Plans had been advancing for training days outside London. For those concerned with these, please don't lose hope! On the contrary, we must make up for lost time when we can, and in the meantime, all those interested in serving the Traditional Mass should devote themselves to studying the Mass and its rubrics.


Kevin Jones 01244 674011

Until the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 virus, all Masses had taken place as planned at all three Mass venues, that is Our Lady of the Rosary at Buckley, St Winefride’s at Holywell and St Francis of Assisi in Llay.

Had the pandemic not struck, and to respect Canon Lordan’s current limitations due to illness, we were to forego the Mass in April in any event. I would ask that you pray for him at this time as he continues treatment. Indeed, I’m sure I don’t have to ask too loudly for prayers for all our priests!

Now we look forward in hope that all will be back to normal in time for the Holywell Pilgrimage on Sunday, 5 July 2020 [see advert elsewhere in this edition].

St Tarcisius and Guild of St Clare day March 2020 © Joseph Shaw

The Sacraments and the Epidemic: The Sacrament of Penance


Availability of the Sacrament of Penance

The degree to which it will be possible for the Faithful to confess their sins to a priest will depend not only on the severity of the restrictions imposed by the Government, but on priests’ availability and continuing good health. Priests ministering to the sick may be exposed to a risk of infection comparable to that of medical staff, and kept busy by the urgent needs of the seriously ill, as the epidemic progresses.

Ways of hearing Confessions which minimise the danger of passing infection between Confessor and Penitent have been suggested and put into practice in various places around the world: for example, ways which maintain some distance between them while respecting the privacy of the Confessional. Imaginative solutions to the problem are to be welcomed. Nevertheless the epidemic raises issues not easily dealt with, and even if solutions can be found, the availability of Confession is sure to be severely curtailed for legitimate reasons.

It should be noted that while aids to communication can be allowed in confession, physical proximity is still absolutely necessary. Sacramental absolution cannot be given over the telephone or internet: such a practice would be neither licit nor valid.


Doing without Sacramental Confession during the Epidemic

The Sacrament of Penance is a privileged means for our sins to be forgiven, but we are not left entirely without assistance if we cannot get access to it. We should pray that we do not die an ‘unprovided death’—a death without the Sacraments. We should also live in such a way that a sudden death will not find us unprepared, as

Some tips from the Latin Mass Society, in light of the Extraordinary Form and the Traditional Practice and Discipline of the Church

we do not know when we will be called to face our Judge. If we cannot access Confession on demand, this should prompt us to examine our lives and habits so that the ultimate catastrophe, a death in a state of mortal sin, does not befall us.

As with Holy Communion, we should habituate ourselves to practices which will as far as possible give us the forgiveness of our sins which the Sacrament offers, and at the same time serve as a long-term preparation for the next opportunity we may have for making a Sacramental Confession, so it may be as complete and fruitful as possible.

These practices consist of two components: examinations of conscience, and acts of contrition.

The practice of a daily examination of conscience is most commendable; we may also wish to make a particularly thorough examination part of our devotional routine on Sundays. Many aids to examinations of conscience can be found in hand-missals and other devotional works, and on-line.

An act of contrition naturally follows a daily or weekly examination of conscience. Of the utmost importance for those with limited access to the Sacrament of Penance is the distinction between perfect and imperfect contrition.

Perfect contrition is a sorrow for sin which flows from our love of God: for having offended Him, who is so good in Himself, and has shown such love for us, in creating and redeeming us.

Imperfect contrition is sorrow for sin which flows from any other motive: disgust at sin, or a fear of its consequences, in this life or the next.

Imperfect contrition is sufficient for the making of a worthy confession and being given a valid sacramental absolution by a priest. A sinner who makes a perfect act of contrition, on the other hand, has his sins forgiven immediately, even without sacramental confession, though if the sin is a mortal one he remains obliged to confess it to a priest and to receive absolution and penance for it.

Anyone who is conscious of having committed a mortal sin should endeavour to make an act of

perfect contrition, and not wait for an opportunity to go to Confession, to minimise the time he is out of God’s friendship and has lost sanctifying grace. Sacramental confession gives us the assurance, however, that even if our contrition was imperfect, our sins have been forgiven.

If we are unable to get to Confession for an extended period of time, for whatever reason, the practice of frequent examinations of conscience and the making of acts of contrition, with the intention of making an act of perfect contrition, is of special value. We should ensure we understand what perfect contrition is, and use the prayers and meditations found in devotional books designed to help us attain it.

and for the conversion of sinners. So too can voluntary penances such as fasting, and the inconvenience, forgone pleasures, and pain, of any good works we choose to do.

Indulgences add to the merit of certain good works, from the superabundant merits of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin, and the Saints. This means that by doing a good work with the intention of gaining an indulgence, the remission of the punishment due to our sins can be increased, as the merits of the saints are added to those flowing from our own good work. These merits can also be applied to the souls in purgatory.

3Penance and Indulgences

As well as seeking the forgiveness of our sins outside the Sacrament of Penance, this period of time without access to the normal sacramental life of the Church should prompt us to make use of those means of grace which we still have. The most important of these is prayer. Particularly relevant to the subject of Confession, however, are the means we have to mitigate the temporal (as opposed to eternal) punishment due to our sins: acts of penance, and the gaining of indulgences.

Both depend on our being in a state of grace: we cannot perform meritorious works otherwise. This should remind us of the capital importance of staying in a state of grace, and the acts of perfect contrition which can restore us to that state if we depart from it.

Any suffering which we endure during the performance of the duties of our state of life can be offered to God for our own sins, for the sins of others, including the souls in purgatory,

In the current official handbook of indulgences, the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, indulgences are granted for wide categories of good work, as well as for the saying of specific prayers and the performance of specific devotions. This means that a partial indulgence is available for practically any good work we perform. These should not be neglected. All that is needed to gain these partial indulgences is the intention to do so.

The gaining of plenary (full) indulgences, which if gained fully would forgive all the temporal punishment due to our sins (or those of a soul in purgatory), normally requires us to receive Holy Communion and make a Sacramental Confession within a week of a good work qualifying for an indulgence, and say prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father. We must also be free from ‘attachment to sin’. In the context of the epidemic, however, when these sacraments cannot easily be had, the Sacred Penitentiary has issued a decree modifying those conditions. It grants:

the Plenary Indulgence on the occasion of the present global epidemic, to those faithful that offer to visit the Most Blessed Sacrament or Eucharistic Adoration, or the praying of the Holy Rosary, or the pious exercise of the Via Crucis [Stations of the Cross], or the praying of the Divine Mercy chaplet, to implore Almighty God for an end to the epidemic, the relief of the afflicted, and the eternal salvation of those that the Lord has called to Himself.


The modified conditions are that the good works be performed:

with the will to fulfil the usual conditions (Sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father), as soon as it is possible for them. The prayers enjoined for the intentions of the Holy Father, which of course we need not put off, are an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and the Apostle’s Creed.

Plenary indulgences are also offered in a similar way to those ill with the virus, and those caring for them.

secret to myself, nor a stranger to my own failings, not ever flat ter myself with the thoughts of having repented, and at the same time nourish folly and vice within my breast. Come, Holy Ghost, and by a beam of thy divine light illumine my understanding, that I may have a perfect view of all my sins and iniquities, and that, sincerely repenting of them, I may know thee, and be again received into thy favour. Amen.

A Prayer For Obtaining Contrition

whereby I may sincerely repent of all my sins; grant me true contrition, that I may bewail my base ingratitude, and grieve from my heart for having offended so good a God. Permit me not to be deluded by a false sorrow, as I fear I have been too often, through my own weakness and neglect; but let it now be thy gift, descending from thee, the Father of Lights, that so my repentance may be accompanied by an amendment and a change of life, that being thus acquitted from the guilt of my sins, I may once more be received into the number of thy servants. Amen.

4Useful Prayers

Prayer Before an Examination of Conscience

I am perfectly sensible, O my God, that I have in many ways offended thy divine majesty, and provoked thy wrath by my sins; and that if I obtain not pardon I shall be cast out of thy sight forever. I desire, therefore, at present to call myself to an account, and look into all the sins whereby I have displeased thee; but O my God, how miserably shall I deceive myself if thou assist me not in this work by thy heavenly light. Grant me, therefore, at present, thy grace, whereby I may discover all my imperfections, see all my failings, and duly call to mind all my sins: for I know that nothing is hidden from thy sight. But I confess myself in the dark as to my own failings: my passions blind me, selflove flat ters me, presumption deludes me, and though I have many sins which stare me in the face, and cannot be hidden, yet how many, too, are there quite concealed from me! But discover even those to me, O Lord! Enlighten my darkness, cure my blindness, and remove every veil that hides my sins from me, that I may be no longer a

I have now here before me, O Lord, a sad prospect of the manifold offences whereby I have displeased thy divine Majesty, and which I am assured will appear in judgement against me if, by repentance and a hearty sorrow, my soul be not prepared to receive thy pardon. But this sorrow and this repentance, O Lord, must be the free gift of thy mercy, without which all my endeavours will be in vain, and I shall be forever miserable. Have pity, therefore, on me, O merciful Father, and pour forth into my heart thy grace,

An Act of Contrition

O my God, I am sorry and beg pardon for all my sins, and detest them above all things, because they deserve Thy infinite punishments, because they have crucified my loving Saviour Jesus Christ, and most of all, because they offend Thy infinite goodness; and I firmly resolve, by the help of Thy grace, never to offend Thee again, and carefully to avoid the occasions of sin. Amen.

© John Aron

Easter Online

This Easter was the strangest of times. No packed churches, filled with sweet incense and the sound of the organ ringing out. The bells remained silent, the pews gathered dust and the heavy church doors stayed shut.

For the first time in our history, Catholics across the world had no Mass to go to.

In these unprecedented times however, our Priests decided if the people could not attend Mass then they would bring the Mass to us and so cameras were hastily assembled, wifi networks upgraded and the online, digital live-streamed Mass already available in some larger churches went ‘viral.’

From the comfort of your armchair you could choose your location, pick your church and even decide whether you preferred a Low Mass or a High Mass. 8am, 9am, 10am, even 6pm, Masses were available whenever was convenient.

Birmingham, Ramsgate, Oxford, York, New Brighton, Cardiff, London, Leicester, Gosport, Portsmouth, Shrewsbury, Preston, Manchester, the list went on. Masses on Facebook, Masses on Twitter, Masses on Youtube, and even specific live-streaming websites. If you were online, laptops, and phones were sending live updates informing you Masses were about to start, sermons were being uploaded, and there was even sung Tenebrae and other services from the Divine Office available at all hours of the day.

Like, love, share, retweet, happy, sad. The Latin Mass had mass appeal.

The extraordinary thing that appeared to be happening was people who had never ‘tried’ the Traditional Latin Mass before were opting to give it a go. Many viewers realised watching a Mass ‘versus populum’ just seemed peculiar and the Mass made much more sense ‘ad orientem.’ Even the Bishops' Conference of

England and Wales made the decision that is was essential that the Latin Mass was available for all during the Sacred Triduum and so Archbishop McMahon OP of Liverpool asked The Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) in Warrington to provide a full sung liturgy in the Extraordinary Form during the Triduum and to live-stream the ceremonies.

Fr de Malleray FSSP agreed to do this and so, for the first time in England and Wales, Catholics could follow all the services of the Paschal Triduum, including Tenebrae, via the internet with the website LiveMass.

Admittedly, watching Holy Mass at home is no replacement for attending, but I dare anyone not to have shed a tear hearing the organ for the first time on the Vigil celebration. Fr Ian Verrier, a very fine musician, treated the online viewers on LiveMass to a rousing burst of the Widor's Toccata from Warrington and so the celebrations could begin. Mass was barely over and the champagne was flowing. Pass the TV remote, Surrexit Christus Alleluia!

These are indeed sad times and whilst we were fortunate to have the Mass streamed into our homes, in normal times the Churches teaches that  “Virtual reality is no substitute for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the sacramental reality of the other sacraments, and shared worship in a flesh-and-blood human community. There are no sacraments on the Internet; and even the religious experiences possible there by the grace of God are insufficient apart from real-world interaction with other persons of faith.” (cf The Church and Internet  # 9, by the Pontifical Council on Social Communications). But these were not normal times.

Despite all the efforts of our priests to bring us the sacred liturgy at the Triduum, many people naturally found it difficult to maintain a life of prayer

without the real presence of the Lord.  For some, making a spiritual communion was just a step too far, while others adapted their homes to aid their prayer. Photos of the Stations of the Cross going up the staircases were uploaded, candles were lit either side of laptops, statues were veiled in purple and in some homes small altars were even constructed. There were even stories of people ringing other parishioners who had no internet, to play them the Mass on speaker phone.

So, on this not so glorious Eastertide with our churches still closed at the time of writing, we continue to tune into the Traditional Latin Mass online, shouting ‘et cum spiritu tuo’ and singing the Regina Caeli not too loudly as to annoy the neighbours. While the church doors remain shut, we can at least take solace in the knowledge that we can join together remotely in prayer to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord, that is, broadband speeds permitting.


The vision of Adele Brise

Mary O’Regan on Our Lady of Good Help

‘What do you want of me?’

One day in 1859, in the woods of Wisconsin in the United States a young woman called Adele Brise saw an apparition of an extraordinarily beautiful lady. An immense bright light surrounded the lady and she was dressed in white with a gold sash around her waist.  The lady had thick, fair hair that fell around her shoulders, and a perfect oval face.

Adele was stunned by the lady's beauty, but she couldn’t fathom who she might be. When she reached home, she asked her family and they suggested it might be a soul in Purgatory in need of prayer. Her family were pious Belgian Catholics and they had brought their faith traditions to America, where they were making a new home in the wilderness. Adele had not wanted to move to America; she had wanted to become a nun in the Foreign Missions, and when her parents asked her to cross the Atlantic with them, she had been thrown into a quandary. Her priest had counselled her to emigrate with them, and assured her that if it was God's will then she would become a nun in America. His words were prophetic.

At the time of the first apparition, however, Adele was just a farm girl who was blind in one eye and not especially learned.

Sometime after that first apparition, Adele found herself on the same earthen path. For a second time, she saw the beautiful lady. She sought a priest for counsel, and he instructed her that were the lady to appear again, Adele should try to speak to her. Sunday came and Adele and two friends were returning from Mass when the beautiful lady appeared again. This time Adele summoned the nerve to ask: "In God's Name who are you and what do you want of me?" The lady answered: "I am the Queen of Heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners and I wish you to do the same. You received Holy Communion this morning and that is well but you must do more. Make a general confession and offer Communion for the conversion of sinners. If they do not repent my Son will be obliged to punish them."

Adele's friends could not see Our Lady, but they believed and knelt in her honour. Our Lady looked at them and said, "Blessed are they who believe without seeing." Our Lady then gave Adele a precise mission, "Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation: their catechism, how to sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross and how to approach the Sacraments."

News of Our Lady’s apparitions spread among the humble community of settlers. Adele’s father built a wooden chapel, the size of a shed, on the site of the apparitions and it was called Our Lady of Good Help.  Adele went from door to door offering to do all the household chores for those would allow her to teach their children the Faith. They readily agreed. Adele was their drudge and in exchange they let her be their children’s catechist. If you are a home-schooling parent, imagine your joy if an amiable young

woman helped you and your friends as Adele helped her neighbours.

In time, Adele founded a little school, so she could teach more children. When other women came to work with Adele as teachers, they were led to form a community of sisters.

Patroness of home-schooling

Our Lady of Good Help ought to be a patroness of home-schooling and of new Catholic schools founded with the aim of forming children in the Faith. As Adele helped the children of her neighbours, she may help you from her heavenly home to instruct your children in the Faith.  I proffer Adele as an intercessor and Our Lady of Good Help as a patroness. And we may pray to Our Lady of Good Help for the many, many people who are new to home-schooling. Never has the mission given Adele been of greater relevance. In the wake of Covid 19 many, many people are homeschooling their children, and kitchens and living rooms all over the globe became classrooms when schools and universities closed.

If I may indulge a prediction, I believe many parents are discovering the benefits of home-schooling. I used to be prejudiced against homeschooling. But the damage done to children in conventional schools is not often made good by the education they receive. Many of my peers have decided to home-school their own children for precisely this reason.

Traditional Catholics have been stalwarts of home-schooling, and now their ranks are swelled by masses from different walks of life, who may not share the Faith with us as of now, but who will be like-minded as regards home-schooling. We need to pray to Our Lady of Good Help for these parents. May they have a n Adele in their lives.


Man of action

Maurice Quinn remembers Major Timothy Charles O’Neill, The McCoy

It was with sadness that we learned of the death of Latin Mass Society member Major Timothy Charles O’Neil The McCoy, who, after a short illness, passed away peacefully on Sunday, 16 February.

Survived by his son Charles, Major Tim’s life story reads like something lifted straight from Boy’s Own, being littered with derring-do in many of the world’s trouble hot-spots and war zones.

The complete man of action and modern adventurer, Tim was born in London on 7 May 1939, attending St Mary’s Primary School in Hornchurch, and later St Ignatius College, Tottenham. His adventurous spirit could be seen in his younger days when he became an accomplished horseman and yachtsman, and on the rugby field he played tighthead prop in several civilian and military rugby union sides.

Timothy joined the Royal Navy in 1957, beginning Air Crew Pilot training until service cuts resulted in a reduction of numbers and he was ‘chopped’ from training.

Undaunted, in 1959 he popped up in Africa in the North Rhodesian Police Force, serving until 1961 when he joined the King’s African Rifles. After completing Signal Training, in 1963 Tim successfully underwent SAS selection with C (SAS) Squadron in Rhodesia, where he remained until the Independence of Zambia.

Always the man of action, Timothy transferred to the Royal Signals where he served in England and in Germany, and twice in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Always engaged in something new, in 1973 he completed an Arabic Language course, qualifying for his next posting in the Middle East, both with the Royal Signals and with the SAS. Timothy commanded 63 (SAS) Squadron R Signals and served in Oman.

His later career included time on loan service with the Armed Forces

of Brunei and in the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces, and he served as a Ground Liaison Officer with the Royal Air Force in Gulf War 1.

After serving his country for many years and in often difficult situations, this much decorated soldier left the army with the rank of Major in 1992. In civilian life Major Tim started working as Executive Secretary of the Wine and Spirit Association UK and NI, but he suffered a brain injury in London in October 1993, after which he retired to Totnes in Devon where he became a parishioner of St Mary & St George Roman Catholic Church.

Before his injury, Major Tim was a member of many choral societies

for whom he sang bass, and in 1993 passed an audition for the National Choral Society. His compassionate side expressed itself through his work with SCOPE, the national organization for the disabled. Always adventurous, Tim did five walking pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostella.

His Tridentine Latin Requiem was celebrated by Fr Peter Coxe, being served by two Oblates of Buckfast Abbey, Adrian Worsley and me. The Totnes Royal British Legion organised the Last Post with bugler and an honour guard of Standard Bearers, followed by final asperges and a hearty rendition of the Salve Regina. Please pray for Major Tim, RIP, and his family.

7 May 1939 - 16 February 2020

The Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist, Norwich

The Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist in Norwich occupies a very prominent site on high ground, just outside the city walls. Originally built as a parish church to serve the Catholic community of Norwich and the surrounding area, it was funded by Henry Fitzalan-Howard, the 15th Duke of Norfolk in thanksgiving for his marriage to Lady Flora AbneyHastings in 1877.

The Duke chose George Gilbert Scott Jnr as his architect and instructed him to design a church in the Gothic style. Apparently, no other architect was considered. George Gilbert Scott was the son of the more famous Sir George Gilbert Scott, a prolific architect of the Gothic Revival. Sir George Gilbert Scott Snr was the son of a clergyman, and much of his early work was for the Established Church, but later works included the chapel of King’s College in London, the Albert Memorial and the Grand Midland Hotel at St Pancras Station.

Born in 1839, and educated at Eton and Jesus College, Cambridge, George Gilbert Scott Jnr joined his father’s architectural practice. It was while working for his father that he co-founded Watts & Co the firm of vestment makers and wallpaper designers that still exists today. Later, working independently, his major architectural achievements included Dulwich College in South London, and buildings at three Cambridge University Colleges, namely: Christ’s, Pembroke and Peterhouse.

In 1880, much to the dismay of his family, Scott converted to Catholicism, and shortly afterwards was commissioned to design the Church of St John the Baptist in Norwich. Work began in 1882, but tragically, Scott was admitted to the Bethlem Hospital, in 1883 and declared to be of “unsound mind” a year later. After a period in France, and extended periods in mental

Interior: The Duke of Norfolk gave £200,000 for the building of the new church 'By 1870, the Catholic population had grown to 1,200, and a second chapel was opened in Fisher Lane, although it soon became clear that a much larger church would be required.'
Paul Waddington takes a look at England’s second biggest Catholic cathedral

institutions in England, he died in 1897 at his father’s Grand Midland Hotel at St Pancras Station. The supervision of the project was taken over by George’s brother, John Oldrid Scott, although it seems that the design remained substantially unchanged. The building was eventually completed in 1910.

George Gilbert Scott Jnr had two sons, Giles and Adrian, both of whom were architects of considerable distinction. Giles is best remembered for designing the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool, Battersea Power Station and the red telephone kiosks that were ubiquitous for about 100 years, and are still occasionally seen. The Carmelite Church in Kensington is perhaps his best-known Catholic Church. Adrian Gilbert Scott built a number of churches, both Anglican and Catholic. Nowadays, he is better remembered for his addition of a central tower to Joseph Hansom’s Holy Name Church in Manchester, and for the outdoor chapel at Aylesford Friary.

A huge church Catholics were scarce in post reformation East Anglia, and it fell to the Jesuits to minister to the few who lived in and around Norwich. However, by 1820, their numbers had grown sufficiently for the Jesuits to build the Chapel of the Holy Apostles in Willow Lane. This was a classical style building and still survives, as the offices of a firm of solicitors. By 1870, the Catholic population had grown to 1,200, and a second chapel was opened in Fisher Lane, although it soon became clear that a much larger church would be required. This became a reality through the generosity of the 15th Duke of Norfolk.

The Norfolk family was quite exceptional among the English aristocracy of the time, in that they were Catholic, and contributed generously to the building of many Catholic churches in the years following Catholic Emancipation. The 15th Duke, who inherited his title in 1860 at the age of 12, was no exception. After his marriage in 1877, he gave £200,000 for the building of the new church in Norwich. This was a huge sum of money for the time, and consequently Norwich got a huge church.

Constructed between 1882 and 1910, George Gilbert Scott’s church was, at the time of its opening, the largest post-Reformation church of

any denomination in England. Built in the Gothic style of a thirteenth century English cathedral, it was cruciform in shape with a square tower over the crossing. With a total length of 275 ft, it had a nave of ten bays and chancel of four bays as well as generous sized transepts. Complete with triforium, clerestory and stone vaulted ceiling, the nave reached to a height of 80ft.

The nave is flanked by side aisles, and attached to the south aisle is a sunken chapel. This unusual feature, which is presumably the work of Adrian Gilbert Scott, was a memorial to the Duke’s first wife, Lady Flora, who died in 1887. It contains statues of Saints Flora, Pauline, Ester and Barbara, being the Duchess’s Christian names. There is a considerable quantity of stained glass manufactured by the Hardnan Company. That in the nave is designed by John Powell, and that in the chancel is by Dunstan Powell. At the West end, the original baptistery, which now serves as a bookshop, has an impressive marble font. Alas, baptisms now take place at a particularly miserable little font sited in the nave.

Internally, perhaps the most prominent feature is the seemingly endless arcading of circular, and somewhat stout stone columns, that extends throughout the nave and chancel. At the chancel arch, it is interrupted by a substantial beam carrying a magnificent polychrome rood with Our Lady and St John at either side.

Solidly built

Viewed from the outside, the overall impression is one of massiveness. Everything appears solidly built, including the central tower and the flying buttresses. The stonework is heavily ornamented, but lacks elegance. This is particularly evident at the East End where the three tiers of arcaded windows are unduly fussy.

The Duke was insistent that the church should be built in the Gothic style, and Scott was meticulous in carrying out this instruction. Every detail is authentically Gothic, including the cruciform layout, the rib-vaulted ceiling, the lancet windows and the flying buttresses. With the advantage of a generous budget, unlike most comparable projects, Scott was able to produce a building that was both massive in scale and accurate in detail. For this reason, St John’s has been described as the most perfect of all NeoGothic churches, and is Grade I Listed.

In 1976, the Church of St John the Baptist became the cathedral of the newly created Diocese of East Anglia, and the second largest Catholic cathedral in the country.

Not surprisingly, the Cathedral of St John the Baptist has been the subject of some post-Vatican II reordering. The original High Altar has been removed, and in its place is an extremely large and elevated stone cathedra. The floor of the chancel has been extended into the crossing where a new forward altar has been installed.

Under normal circumstances, a Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form is offered in St John’s Cathedral at 3pm on Sundays.


St John’s magical eve

Charles A. Coulombe on fire and water – and ghost stories

The place of fire in Catholic liturgy is essential – we must have candles at every Mass, there must always be a light in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Solemn High Masses require torches, Requiems need yellow candles. Certain of our liturgical celebrations commemorating particular feasts are especially based upon the interplay of light and darkness: the blessing of the Epiphany Water in the Byzantine Rite, and the Candlemas, Holy Saturday Vigil, Tenebrae, and Rorate Masses come to mind. These are ceremonies that –even for the untutored – nevertheless powerfully suggest the lines from the Last Gospel, “the Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” In them, the reality of Christ as the Light of the World in the midst of the darkness under which we all labour is brought home.

At the same time, in all cultures but especially those of European derivation, the natural highpoints of the year – the Equinoxes and Solstices, as well as the Cross-Quarter Days between them – have been a huge part of human experience; sacred in all pre-Christians religions, they were cleansed of their pagan associations and baptised by the Church.

Whether it be pine trees, holly, and mistletoe at Christmas, or eggs and rabbits at Easter, the Catholic (and Orthodox) folk imagination repurposed any number of customs from their former use to the worship of Christ and the veneration of His Mother and the Saints. Despite the desire of Wiccans and extreme Protestants alike (albeit for opposite reasons) to use this reality as proof of Catholicism’s underlying paganism, what it really shows is the baptism of natural religiosity and its reorientation toward proper ends.

Many of the Church’s feasts as a result are also festooned with various folk beliefs – some intended purely for children, others taken more or less seriously by adults. So it was with tales of talking or praying animals on

Indeed, eves of major feasts tended to acquire peculiar reputations – not merely Halloween, but May Eve or Walpurgisnacht, Lammas Eve, Candlemas Eve, St Mark’s Eve, and on and on. An upcoming summer feast which epitomises all these things is Midsummer Night – St John’s Eve.

Enchanted evening

The feast that enchanted evening precedes is the Nativity of St John the Baptist – whose birthday is the only one other than those of Our Lord and Our Lady observed on the Church calendar. As Dom Gueranger tell us: “Though at Christmas, the severity of the season necessarily confined to the domestic hearth all touching expansion of private piety, the lovely summer nights, at Saint John's tide, gave free scope to popular display of lively faith among various nationalities. In this way, the people seemed to make up for what circumstances prevented in the way of demonstrations to the Infant God, by the glad honours they could render to the cradle of his Precursor. Scarce had the last rays of the setting sun died away, than all the world over, from the far East to the furthest West, immense columns of flame arose from every mountain top; and, in an instant, every town and village and smallest hamlet was lighted up.” Indeed, the good Benedictine’s enthusiasm for this custom was enormous:

“It may almost be said of the ‘Saint John's fires,’ that they date, like the festival itself, from the very beginning of Christianity. They made their appearance, at least, from the earliest days of the period of peace, like a sample fruit of popular initiative; but not indeed without sometimes exciting the anxious attention of the Fathers and of Councils, ever on the watch to banish every superstitious notion from manifestations, which otherwise so happily began to replace the pagan festivities proper to the solstices. But the necessity of combating some abuses, which are just as possible in our own days as in those, did not withhold the Church from encouraging a species of demonstration which so well answered to the very character of the feast. ‘Saint John's fires’ made a happy completion to the liturgical solemnity; testifying how one and the same thought possessed both the mind of Holy Church and of the terrestrial city; for the organisation of these rejoicings originated with the civil corporations, and the expenses thereof were defrayed by the municipalities. Thus, the privilege of lighting the bon-fire was usually reserved to some dignitary of the civil order. Kings themselves, taking part in the common merry-making, would esteem it an honour to give this signal to popular gladness; Louis XIV, as late as 1648, for example, lighted the bonfire on the ‘place de Greve,’ as his predecessors had done. In other places, as is even now done in Catholic Brittany, the clergy were invited to bless the piles of wood, and to cast thereon the first brand; whilst the crowd, bearing flaming torches, would disperse over the neighbouring country, amidst the ripening crops, or would march along the ocean side, following the tortuous cliff-paths, shouting many a gladsome cry, to which the adjacent islets would reply by lighting up their festive fires.”

In some parts, the custom prevailed of rolling a "burning wheel"; this was a self-revolving red-hot disk, that rolling along the streets or down from the hill-

Christmas Eve, balancing an egg at Easter, or foretelling whom one might marry on All Hallows’ Eve.

tops, represented the movement of the sun, which attains the highest point in his orbit, to begin at once his descent; thus was the word of the Precursor brought to mind, when speaking of the Messias, he says: “He must increase, and I must decrease”. The symbolism was completed by the custom then in vogue, of burning old bones and rubbish on this day which proclaims the end of the Ancient Law, and the commencement of the New Covenant, according to the Holy Scripture, where it is written: “.... And new store coming on, you shall cast away the old. Blessed are those populations amongst whom is still preserved something of such customs, whence the old simplicity of our fore-fathers drew a gladness assuredly more true and more pure than their descendants seek in festivities wherein the soul has no part!”

Midsummer night

Although the St John’s fires are not as general as they were in the mid-19th century when the Abbot of Solesmes was writing, they are still to be found throughout Europe in the Midsummer night, from the West of Ireland to Poland and the Baltic States, and from Scandinavia to Iberia and Italy. The Roman Rituale has a proper blessing for St John’s fire, and the Congregation for Divine Worship’s 2001 Directory on Popular Piety declares that, “The custom of the St John bonfires, indicative of a people with burning and childlike faith, continues in some places to this day”. Today, of course, they are also apt to be major tourist festivals as well, and heavily promoted by the local municipalities.

Not surprisingly, given St John the Baptist’s title, there were and are also many customs having to do with water, which was believed – according to the locale – to offer special blessings either on the Eve or on the Day. Bathing in neighbouring bodies of water – rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, or even the sea itself – was seen variously to give the bather added strength, beauty, or protection against evil. This was true also of the dew that on the eve or early in the morning of the day. In some spots, squirting onlookers with water is also seen as a way of playfully invoking the Forerunner’s blessing!

But bonfires and bathing are not the only custom associated with St John’s Eve. Another seemingly universal one is the gathering of particular herbs and plants during this night. Which ones are gathered specifically varies from place to place, although they always include

St John’s Wort, and very often yarrow; others may include fennel, rue, rosemary, lemon verbena, mallows, laburnum, foxgloves, elder flowers, goatsbeard, bracken, and masterwort. Some might be placed in water and left overnight, and the water used for face-washing in the morning; or they may be blessed by a priest and hung over doors and windows to keep out witchcraft and evil spirits. But perhaps the most sought after was the mythical fernseed, which – if harvested just before Midnight – would give the finder invisibility. Given that fern has only spores, this was a particularly difficult thing to find.

Nevertheless, as with the other nights mentioned, St John’s Eve was also a time when witches and the fairy folk were particularly active. The unwary in Wales who went out to gather herbs might find themselves taken for a ride on a fairy horse should they unwittingly tread on one of the St John’s plants. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was set on this night for this very reason – 16th century audiences were very much aware of these beliefs. Indeed, they were as omnipresent in Europe as the fires themselves. Washington Irving, in his short piece “Christmas Dinner,” relates how the servants of the Manor House in which he was staying (actually Aston Hall, near Birmingham) believed that on “Midsummer Eve, when it was well known all kinds of ghosts, goblins, and fairies become visible and walk abroad…”

Similar beliefs could – and can - be found all the way across Europe to Russia, where Gogol wrote his chilling “St John’s Eve” and Modest Mussorgsky composed NightonBaldMountain (immortalised by the inclusion of Tchaikovsky’s version in Walt Disney’s Fantasia) inspired by local folk beliefs. So it is that in many places, St John’s Eve is – as with Christmas Eve, May Eve, and Halloween – seen as a great time for telling ghost stories and other tales of the uncanny, often having to do with legends peculiar to the neighbourhood. These customs were not left behind when Europe crossed the water to the Indies and the Americas. While Voodoo practitioners danced on New Orleans’ Bayou, St John and Louisiana lore held that the State’s Loups-Garou (werewolves) had their annual fete on the night, more savoury lore was widespread in the New Worlds. As in Catholic Europe, it was widely held in areas settled by the French, Spanish, and Portuguese that washing one’s face in dew gathered on the early morn of St John’s Day would certainly

increase one’s beauty. Northeastern Brazil sees dancing throughout the night around the bonfires, in thanksgiving for the rains which have usually just ended by then. Spanish-speaking Latin America is also devoted to this festivity –as much as Mother Spain is. From Mexico to Argentina, the typical use of fire and water, adopted to local conditions and often combined with Indian dances (depending on the area’s ethnicity) can be seen. The popularity of the great fiesta of San Juan in Camaguey, Cuba, which lasts from the eve of St John to that of Ss Peter and Paul on the 28th, is so great that it defied the Communist government’s suppression of most such fiestas.

But it was in Canada that Our Lord’s First Cousin truly came into his own. On 24 June, 1497, John Cabot, an Italian mariner in the service of Henry VII, first sighted Canada. In keeping with contemporary practice, he claimed the land for England – but this had no more immediate effect than Sir Francis Drake’s claim of California for Henry’s granddaughter. Nevertheless, St John the Baptist is the patron of Anglo-Canadians – which is why the Anglican Ordinariate Deanery that covers the great Dominion of the North is named after him. This patronage is one of the few things Anglo-Canadians have in common with their Francophone countrymen.

From the time the City of Quebec was founded in 1608, the French of the St Lawrence Valley lit the bonfires and claimed Saint Jean Baptiste as their patron. As with the patron Saints of the British Isles, St John the Baptist’s Day became both a religious and a patriotic festival. After the flames and tales of the Eve, High Mass would be followed by speeches, parades, and banquets. The Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, founded in Montreal in 1834, soon had branches in Francophone communities throughout Quebec; spreading to the FrenchCanadian Communities in the United States in 1900, within 14 years there were chapters from Montana through the Midwest to all of New England. The song “O, Canada” – today the National Anthem – was composed for the 1880 parade in Quebec City, and St Pius X officially made The Baptist the French-Canadian patron in 1908.

Unfortunately, the secularising current of the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s had the same corrosive effect on the observance of La Saint Jean Baptiste that it had on most other aspects of Quebecois life. Nevertheless, despite the best

SUMMER 2020 31

attempts of officialdom to call the great day merely “La Fete Nationale,” as with St Patrick his name is harder to eradicate than his veneration. In New England, the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Vermont celebrate “Franco-American Day” on the feast.

Celtic Cornwall

Today, while Ireland, Scotland, and Wales still boast fair numbers of bonfires on St John’s Eve, the only part of England where they remain common is Celtic Cornwall, where they are generally sponsored by the Old Cornwall Societies. Neo-Druids gather at Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice, but they are manifestly not interested in commemorating the Forerunner of Our Lord. So, it might well be wondered what relevance all of this old and foreign lore has for us now.

The answer is – quite a bit. On the one hand, the importance of St John the Baptist – last of the Old Testament Prophets, First Cousin to Our Lord and his way maker cannot be over-emphasised – hence the feast we are celebrating. Beyond that, in kindling a St John’s Fire ourselves – and blessing it according to the formula in the Rituale – we are affirming our own unity with the totality of the Church in time and in Space: Europe, the Americas, and such outposts as Goa and Malacca; Latin, Germanic, Celt, Balt, Slav, and Magyar. There is also, as Dom Gueranger points out, the wisdom of uniting pleasant practices with religious fervour. Moreover, as with processions, the lighting of bonfires is a sort of symbolic reclamation of space for the Kingdom of Christ – a public acknowledgement of His Sovereignty over us all.

Whether you gather herbs, throw water around, or tell chilling tales is your own affair; but surely, this spring, we shall welcome the prospect of a free summer night illuminated by holy fire!

PrayerP: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord God, almighty Father, the light that never fails and the source of all light, sanctify + this new fire, and grant that after the darkness of this life we may come unsullied to you who are light eternal; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen

The fire is sprinkled with holy water; after which the clergy and the people sing the following Hymn: Ut queant laxis

1. Ut queant laxis resonáre fibris Mira gestórum fámuli tuórum, Solve pollúti lábii reátum, Sancte Joánnes.

2. Núntius celso véniens Olýmpo Te patri magnum fore nascitúrum, Nomen, et vitae sériem geréndae Ordinae promit.

3. Ille promíssi dúbius supérni, Pérdidit promptae módulos loquélae: Sed reformásti genitus perémptae Organa vocis.

4. Ventris obstrúso récubans cubíli Sénseras Regem thálamo manéntem: Hinc parens nati méritis utérque Abdita pandit.

5. Sit decus Patri, genitaéque Proli et tibi, compare utriúsque virtus, Spíritus semper, Deus unus, omni Témporis aevo. Amen.

1. O for your spirit, holy John, to chasten Lips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen; So by your children might your deeds of wonder Meetly be chanted.

2. Lo! a swift herald, from the skies descending, Bears to your father promise of your greatness; How he shall name you, what your future story, Duly revealing.

3. Scarcely believing message so transcendent, Him for a season power of speech forsaketh, Till, at your wondrous birth, again returneth, Voice to the voiceless.

4. You, in your mother's womb all darkly cradled, Knew your great Monarch, biding in His chamber, Whence the two parents, through their offspring's merits, Mysteries uttered.

5. Praise to the Father, to the Son begotten, And to the Spirit, equal power possessing, One God whose glory, through the lapse of ages, Everresounding. Amen.

P: There was a man sent from God.

All: Whose name was John. Let us pray. God, who by reason of the birth of blessed John have made this day praiseworthy, give your people the grace of spiritual joy, and keep the hearts of your faithful fixed on the way that leads to everlasting salvation; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

Prayer Source: Roman Ritual, The, Complete Edition by Philip T. Weller, S.T.D., The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, WI, 1964

‘After the flames and tales of the Eve, High Mass would be followed by speeches, parades, and banquets’

The Latin Mass Society Masses being streamed o n the internet

At the time of compiling this magazine, Mass cannot be celebrated in public during the Coronavirus crisis, so we have put together a list of churches around the country where EF Masses are streamed on the internet. If you know of a Mass (regular or occasional) that is not on this list, please send us the details.


The Oratory, Brompton Road, LONDON SW7 2RP mass livestream Daily 9.00am St Dominic's Priory Church, Southampton Road, LONDON NW5 4LB Sundays 4.00pm

Our Lady of the Assumption & St Gregory, Warwick St, LONDON W1B 5LZ u_Y5LYUQ

Arundel and Brighton

Sacred Heart, Essendene Road, CATERHAM, Surrey CR3 5PB


Saturdays 12 noon

Wednesdays 10.00am

The Oratory, Hagley Road, BIRMINGHAM B16 8UE stream Daily 9.00am The Oratory, Woodstock Road, OXFORD OX2 6HA Daily 8.00am

SS Gregory & Augustine, 322 Woodstock Road, OXFORD OX2 7NS


Cardiff Oratory, St Alban on the Moors, Swinton Street, Splott, CARDIFF

East Anglia

OL of The Assumption & The English Martyrs, Hills R d, CAMBRIDGE CB2 1JR cambridge


St Thomas of Canterbury & English Martyrs, Garstang Rd PRESTON PR1 1NA


St Mary’s Shrine, Buttermarket Street, WARRINGTON WA1 2NS


The Oratory (St Wilfrid), Duncombe Place, YORK YO1 7EF


Holy Cross Priory, 45 Wellington Street, LEICESTER LE1 6HW

Wednesdays Fridays 6.00pm 6.00pm

Sundays Mondays to Fridays Saturdays

11.15am 7.30am 8.00am

Sundays Weekdays 7.50am 10.00am

Sundays Mondays Saturdays 10.30am 9.30am

Sundays Mondays Saturdays

11.00am 6.00pm 12.10pm

Sundays Mondays Fridays Saturdays

9.15am 8.15am 9.15am

Sundays Weekdays 12.30pm 8.00am

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St John’s Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh Road, PORTSMOUTH PO1 3HG mass.php

Sundays 8.00am Holy Rood, 38 Abingdon Road, NORTH HINKSEY, Oxford OX1 4PD parish webcam/

Sundays 5.00pm Bournemouth Oratory Richmond Hill BOURNEMOUTH BH1 1BZ

St Mary’s, 32 High Street, GOSPORT PO12 1DF


Oratory Church of St Chad, Cheetham Hill Road, MANCHESTER M8 8GG


1st Fridays 6.00pm

Sundays Mondays Fridays Saturdays

5.00pm 12 noon 9.30am

Sundays 4.45pm

St Winefride’s, Crowmere Road, Monkmoor, SHREWSBURY SY2 5RA Shrewsbury 100729994906591 Daily 10.00am 7.00pm

SS Peter & Paul & Philomena, Atherton St, NEW BRIGHTON, Wallasey CH45


Sundays Mondays Saturdays Daily: Rosary Daily: Vespers, Adoration and Benediction

9.30am 10.00am 11.00am 5.30pm

St Augustine’s Church, St Augustine’s Road, RAMSGATE, Kent CT11 9NY Sundays 9.00am St Ethelbert, 72 Hereson Road, RAMSGATE, Kent CT11 7DS

Mondays to Saturdays 7.45am


St Alphonsus Liguori


Letters to the Editor

The debt to Canon Lordan

The appeal for prayers for the speedy recovery from illhealth of Canon Bernard Lordan by Kevin Jones (Diocesan Digest – Mass of Ages, spring 2020) failed fully to convey just how much the Latin Mass Society owes him.

During the 20-plus years when my father, Edmund Waddelove, was Diocesan Representative in Menevia (and later Wrexham) and Shrewsbury, Father Lordan (as he then was) became the only priest to offer a regular monthly Mass in the Old Rite and the Third Mass of Christmas Day, and he did both for a decade.

He was instrumental, too, in beginning the Annual LMS Holywell Pilgrimage and in 1997 said the Requiem Mass (Tridentine, of course) for my mother, Bernadette.

Father's reward for his embracing of the spirit of Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio was, in my opinion, to be exiled to Dolgellau in deepest Wales, but he continued with his monthly Mass there undeterred.

In more recent enlightened times, he rightly became a Canon of Wrexham Cathedral and in the nearby parish at Llay has offered the Old Mass during most months of the last 10 years.  He was the celebrant, too, at my father's 2013 Requiem Mass.

He deserves every prayer we can offer for him!

Via email

Teaching our children the true Faith

Hard on the heels of Canon Ryan Post's article about St Benedict's Academy in Preston in the Winter 2019 issue of Mass of Ages we had the lovely article by Barbara Kay about a second hybrid school in Bedfordshire, Regina Caeli, in the spring 2020 issue.

What a great grace to have not just one but two such schools, to teach our children the true Faith, and what a marvellous demonstration of the work of the Holy Spirit that He should inspire people in different places, and independently of one another, to create these.

In the midst of so many negative reports on the state of the Church from all sides, it is wonderful to have these encouraging signs.

Bob and Jane Latin

Via email

The benefits of Friday abstinence

As usual I very much enjoyed Lone Veiler’s article in your spring 2020 issue and I wholeheartedly endorse her general points about food production – meat eaters do indeed have a duty to treat animals humanely.

I note too that she refers in passing to the tradition of eating fish on Fridays – I have always thought this a tradition we should uphold and I’m not sure it was ever a good idea for the rule of Friday abstinence to be relaxed. The modern world tells us that fish is good for our physical well-being –another reason for eating it on Fridays. But more importantly Friday abstinence is good for our spiritual well-being.

Don’t remove the mystery!

Your Chairman’s excellent message in the spring issue of Mass of Ages makes, by implication, the vital point that moving to the vernacular and thereby removing the mystery from the Mass – making it prosaic, run-of-the-mill, thumpingly obvious and frankly dull – has only hastened the decline of attendances at Mass. The Latin Mass even for those of us with schoolboy Latin (or less!), was and is a living link to the ancient Church and a re-living of the greatest drama in history.

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

SUMMER 2020 35

Epidemic and the liturgical reform

The Church reformed the liturgy at a moment of great optimism. The developed world was enjoying the long post-war boom. Seminaries were full. And new-fangled antibiotics and vaccination programs were sweeping away one major disease after another. It is not surprising to find that when medieval-style pestilence stalks the streets, the Church has to reach back into the past, before that brief gilded historical moment, for responses.

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The current crisis is forcing us to reconsider some of the assumptions of the past half century, says Joseph Shaw

The most obvious example is ‘Spiritual Communion’: the practice of uniting oneself in prayer to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, since one is not able to receive sacramentally. Our predecessors in the Faith used to do this at the great majority of the Masses they attended, either formally or informally, since they received Holy Communion only once or a few times a year. When I mentioned the practice as a response to the epidemic in a letter to the UK’s

liberal Catholic weekly, The Tablet, the first response of one priest was ridicule. We wouldn’t, he wrote, have a ‘spiritual collection’, would we?1

He will have written his reply before public liturgies were suspended. I doubt he is laughing now.

The crisis is forcing us to reconsider some of the assumptions of the past half century. Is there any point in celebrating Mass without the people? Must we act out the ‘Sign of Peace’ with handshakes,

rather than make a focused spiritual connection with a ceremonial Kiss of Peace in the Sanctuary? Is sharing saliva in the Chalice among the congregation really a good idea? What exactly is gained by not adding exorcised salt to the Holy Water? Should the people, after all, be encouraged to take home blessed objects, holy water, and palms, to decorate their houses with blessed images of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Saints, and to wear scapulars and holy medals? Can Holy Communion be given outside Mass?

The claim, now very much disputed,2 that the Reception of Holy Communion on the tongue is less hygienic than reception in the hand, has obscured the fact that the ancient liturgical tradition is in a number of ways more suited than the Ordinary Form to times of public health concern. After all, this tradition had to cope with such times repeatedly. But there is more to it than a matter of outward ceremonies and practices. The more fundamental question is the balance of liturgical mentality, if we may speak of such a thing, between the social and supernatural dimensions of the liturgy.

Masses without the people are instinctively regarded as pointless by many Catholics today because they obviously have no social dimension: unless, in an attenuated way, through live-streaming. They have forgotten that the celebration of Mass brings blessings on the whole Church, on the living and the living and dead, and is an act of worship for the glory of God.

Holy Communion is re-focused, in this mentality, away from the reverence needed for the reception of the Living God under the sacramental signs, to the social connection between members of the congregation. Those caught up in this way of thinking want to make it as much as possible like an ordinary meal: greeting people with a handshake, facing one’s host across a table, picking up bits of food with the fingers, sharing from the same batch of prepared food, and accompanying this with a drink. In theological reality, while the Mass is a meal, from the Last Supper onwards it has been a ritual meal: a meal focused on supernatural realities, not social or nutritional ones.

The prioritizing of the meal symbolism was intended to facilitate the transformation of the ordinary world by the values inculcated by the Mass. One difficulty this plan has encountered is

‘Is there any point in celebrating Mass without the people?’
© John Aron

that the most emphasized values are now natural, rather than supernatural: in the approving words of one official document from the 1970s, ‘valores humana’, as opposed to ‘valores Christiana’.3 The older tradition made the Mass something mysterious and supernatural with exactly the same end result in view: the transfer of these values to the Faithful and to the world. The Faithful responded by bringing something of the numinous liturgical atmosphere back into their own homes by the use of blessed objects, and in their domestic liturgical and paraliturgical devotions. The supernatural values of the Mass permeated the home, and made Mass linger throughout the working week.

This is a matter of emphasis, rather than a denial by either side of the less emphasized values, but the emphasis is strong enough to have an effect on the Faith of the people, and to appear to validate modern errors.

The shift of emphasis was systematically rolled out in the liturgical reform, and it was only by a sort of diplomatic politeness that official documents could in later decades feign surprise that, for example, priests had stopped celebrating private Masses,4 and popular devotions and the use of blessed objects had almost completely disappeared from swathes of Catholic culture.5

Indeed, over the decades since the reform a proportion of the Faithful have ceased to believe the supernatural claims of the Catholic Faith. Most famously, a Pew study found that only half self-identified Catholics believe in the Real Presence.6 Some of these people still attend Mass, since alongside of the force of habit, they value the social aspect of the liturgy. One consequence is the number who lapse when Mass times change and churches close, rather than moving to another time slot or church. If the social network which their regular Mass represents is disrupted, such nominal Catholics cease to have a sufficient reason to attend.

How many of the Catholics whose attendance depends on this social value will return to regular practice after the epidemic ends will, no doubt, depend on how long it lasts.

More robust, in this situation, is a form of liturgical participation which is interior and spiritual. The dramatic and touching ceremony of the Pax in the Missa Solemnis of the Extraordinary Form has

the celebrant kiss the Altar and embrace the deacon, and then the deacon the subdeacon, and then the subdeacon the Master of Ceremonies. The congregation participate spiritually, though separated from these proceedings by the Altar rail, or possibly even a Rood Screen: they will find it easier to participate in it still more remotely, perhaps through a live-streamed Mass, than those who value most the social connection of the handshake of the Ordinary Form. In the same way, the Faithful who see the reception of Holy Communion in firmly supernatural terms, will miss it, certainly, if they cannot get it, but will be able to find a lesser, but still satisfying, way of engaging with the spiritual reality at a distance, with an Act of Spiritual Communion.

an alternative, although the risk of infection could clearly be managed more easily in this context, by limiting the number of communicants; by the priest cleansing his fingers before and after the ceremony; by performing the ceremony outside; and so on. This may become an issue again as restrictions are scaled back.

Our enforced ‘fast’ from Holy Communion will do much to restore the fame eucharistica, ‘eucharistic hunger’, the lack of which Pope John II so lamented.7 It is to be hoped that priests will encourage the Faithful to make the most of Holy Communion when it is possible again, by careful preparation, ideally including fasting, an act of Perfect Contrition (or if possible Sacramental Confession), and prayer, and to follow it with a serious thanksgiving.

It is dangerous to speculate too early about the long-term consequences of the current epidemic, but it will certainly have some. It seems likely that among them will be a shedding of the naivety about hygiene which characterizes modern liturgical practice. It is to be hoped that this will be accompanied by a restoration of a more acute awareness of spiritual realities, and of the practices which have historically served to nurture that awareness.

The connection between Mass and Holy Communion which is encouraged by the primacy of meal symbolism has made us forget the very recent past in which Catholics not only received infrequently, but usually received outside Mass: for example, between Masses. This practice served to emphasis the unity of the Mass and the Victim. When the first restrictions were introduced, and Mass attendance became impossible, almost no-one suggested reception of Holy Communion outside Mass as

1. Fr Sillience, ‘Letters’, The Tablet 21st March 2020

2. See the medical advice given to Archbishop Sample of Portland, OR, USA, and Archbishop Eguren of Piura, Peru.

3. Congregation for Divine Worship Directory for Masses with Children (1973) 9: ‘These [human] values include the community activity, exchange of greetings, capacity to listen and to seek and grant pardon, expression of gratitude, experience of symbolic actions, a meal of friendship, and festive celebration.’

4. Pope Benedict XVI Post-Synodal Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis (2007): 80

5. Congregation for DivineWorship Directory of Popular Piety and the Liturgy (2001): 1

6. See “Christian belief in and knowledge of Transubstantiation” https://nineteensixty-four.

7. Pope John Paull II Letter Dominicae Cenae (1980): 11

‘The more fundamental question is the balance of liturgical mentality, if we may speak of such a thing, between the social and supernatural dimensions of the liturgy’

A new Schola for London

At the start of last year, the Latin Mass Society established a new Gregorian chant initiative designed to help a new generation of chant enthusiasts be trained for singing in the Sacred Liturgy. Working with professional singers, the new all-male Schola Cantorum began to accompany selected traditional Catholic liturgies (Mass and Divine Office) in the London area, including some of the longestablished regular Monday evening Masses in the beautifully restored Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane in Covent Garden. Members of the Schola gave service at Holy Week in 2019 (and stood ready to do so in 2020 before the Coronavirus pandemic), at Masses for the Catholic Medical Association, and at our annual pilgrimage to Aylesford.

For our Patron, we chose a saint with links to our local area. Essex-born Carthusian St John Houghton was the proto-martyr of the Protestant Revolt in England, being hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn in 1535. As Prior of the London Charterhouse in the City of London, he had refused to take the Oath demanded by the Act of Supremacy. He was beatified in 1886 and canonised in 1970. The logo of the Schola is a double reference to the chant neume torculus and the infamous three-legged Tyburn Tree.

That the Church requires greater capacity to service its Sacred Music with high-quality singing is undeniable. Summorum Pontificum not only led to a widening access to the Traditional Mass, but in doing so has also inspired many colleagues of mine to assess their professional output in light of a sense of vocation. Such a recommitment to the Church’s needs is long overdue: those involved in music in churches just after the time of the reform, including our late Patron Colin Mawby, give testimony to the fact that Sacred Music was a first casualty of

modernistic trends in the 1950s and 60s, and of course the desultory state of Catholic liturgical music in the ensuing decades need not be spoken of.

We are inspired by the perennial teaching of the Church in relation to the music specifically endorsed to accompany its ceremonies. Pope Pius X wrote in Tra le Sollicitudine (1903): ‘These qualities [holiness, artistic beauty, and universality] are to be found, in the highest degree, in Gregorian Chant, which is consequently the Chant proper to the Roman Church, the only chant she has inherited from the ancient fathers, which she has jealously guarded for centuries in her liturgical codices, which she directly proposes to the faithful as her own, which she prescribes exclusively for some parts of the liturgy.’

The Schola’s regular schedule of rehearsal and performance opportunities in Central London makes it possible for those with no previous experience of singing Gregorian Chant to learn how to do so. Our new Schola has seen a group of very committed gentlemen give of their time and not inconsiderable natural abilities towards refining their musical skills to an extent I have rarely seen in grassroots initiatives.

And so, six singers, some of whom had never sung solo before others, have been trained to ‘cantor standard’ and have led the group on several occasions, all of which would be unthinkable without regular, gradated training and support. On several occasions, I have invited singers from the London Oratory and Westminster Cathedral to give vocal training and lead workshops.

From the start, I believed we should ‘plug in’ to spiritual assistance not only when on duty but also while rehearsing. I was delighted that Fr Gabriel DíazPatri agreed to be our advisor, not only on account of his priestly ministry but also his musical skills and insight. He regularly attends rehearsals, giving valuable input and joining us for the Office – having studied the repertoire for our forthcoming duties, we often conclude with sung Compline.

The Schola Cantorum Sancti Johannis Houghton meets on Friday evenings at the start of the month. Those who feel the call to help are welcome to get in touch. There is no charge and all music is provided. An ability to follow direction, to maintain group ethos and to be organised is required, and we say that due respect for the spirituality of the Sacred Chant and the culture of the Church’s sacred environment is expected.

Perhaps our musician readers – or indeed our newly trained chant singers – will wish to begin a similar initiative elsewhere?

Matthew Schellhorn is the Latin Mass Society’s Director of Music for London. He has had a deep love of Sacred Music since his childhood, and continues to campaign for the raising of musical standards in the life of the Catholic Church. He can be contacted at

SUMMER 2020 39 39

Bugnini’s Briefcase

Joseph Shaw introduces a review by Kevin Symonds of a remarkable new book that investigates claims that the Catholic Church was infiltrated by Freemasonry

Allegations that Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, the architect of the post-Conciliar liturgical reform, was a member of the Freemasons, have circulated since the 1970s, fuelled by his dramatic fall from grace in 1975. From having been an extraordinarily close collaborator with Pope Paul VI for twelve years, his job was abruptly abolished (by the merger of two Curial departments) and he was told he was to be Apostolic Nuncio in Uruguay. Bugnini protested that he had no diplomatic training or experience, and spoke no Spanish, and frantically tried to discover what had gone wrong. Pope Paul declined to answer his messages, however, and Bugnini was offered the role of Nuncio in Iran instead. He felt he had to accept this posting, in January 1976.

The idea that Bugnini had been denounced to Pope Paul as a Freemason became sufficiently widespread that, clearly with some reluctance, Bugnini himself felt obliged to deny his membership, not only in private but also in public.

It appeared to be confirmed when a list of purported members of ‘Propaganda Due’, ‘P2’, a notorious Italian Masonic Lodge, appeared in public in 1981, with Bugnini’s name on it. Frustratingly, however, the veracity of this list has never been established, and its extravagant claims may even have been a calculated attempt by the Masons themselves to muddy the waters, by including the names of genuine masons alongside many others.

The whole issue may appear ridiculous to English-speakers who think of Freemasons as establishment types—including Anglican bishops and members of the Royal Family—who like dressing up, or members of the professional classes eager to scratch each other’s backs. In Italy, by contrast, Freemasonry is associated historically with anti-clericalism, and more recently with organised crime. P2 was suppressed by Italian law in 1982.

Bugnini’s fall remains a mystery in need of explanation, and into this factvacuum has come the famous ‘briefcase story’. This is that Buginni’s fate was sealed by his leaving a briefcase behind in a Roman meeting-room. When it was opened to discover the owner’s identity, it was discovered to contain documents implicating him as a member of the Freemasons.

This story was given some standing by various people in private and occasionally in public affirming that it was given out by unimpeachable figures: figures who wished, however, to remain anonymous. Given the polarisation of opinion about Annibale Bugnini, this situation was calculated to allow his friends and enemies to believe exactly what they wanted.

Taylor Marshall has now been able to trace back the story to its sources. Fr Brian Harrison, whose published account of it in 1989 has been the locus classicus on the subject, has revealed to Symonds who passed the story on, and which Cardinal took charge of the briefcase, taking it first to the police for verification and then to

Pope Paul, with the challenge that if the Pope did not act on the information then he would make it public.

This is not a matter of speculation: Fr Harrison feels able today to reveal what he heard thirty years ago, since the men involved have died.

To be sure, these new details do not establish Bugnini’s Freemasonry beyond doubt, but it turns an unattributable rumour into a serious historical claim.

Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within (Manchester, New Hampshire: Sophia Institute Press, 2019) by Dr Taylor Marshall

Review by Kevin Symonds

In this book, Dr Taylor Marshall firmly maintains that the Catholic Church has been literally infiltrated by her enemies, thereby experiencing a massive campaign of disruption and distortion. A particular area in which Marshall advances this thesis pertains to the influence of the Vincentian priest, and later Archbishop, Annibale Bugnini (1912-1982) in the liturgical reforms of the mid-twentieth century. This review focuses on Marshall’s presentation of Bugnini’s influence on these reforms and in particular of Marshall’s claim that Bugnini was involved with Freemasonry. It will be argued that, despite his eagerness to find evidence of ‘infiltration’ and his animus against Bugnini, Marshall actually misses some important evidence in favour of Bugnini’s membership of the Italian Freemasons.

Annibale Bugnini: Freemason Infiltrator with the Roman Liturgy?

Archbishop Bugnini first appears in chapter nine of Infiltration, “Communist Infiltration of the Priesthood.” The available scholarly literature on this volatile topic is not very well-developed at this time. Thus, Marshall has a fairly wide playing field in which to develop his overall thesis. He takes some of the existing literature on the topic, most notably the testimony of Bella Dodd (the


former Communist and famous revert to Catholicism), and then folds Bugnini into the mix.1

Bella Dodd’s admission to having infiltrated seminaries with Communist agents provides Marshall with some solid ground upon which to build his argument. It is now a well-known fact that Soviet Communism, by the design of Josef Stalin, attempted to infiltrate the Catholic priesthood. In fact, while the Catholic priesthood enjoyed a certain pride of place in the Soviet apparatus’ efforts of infiltration, it was not the only target, Protestantism was also similarly targeted.2 Having a solid foundation, however, and a securely-structured house frame built on top of it are two separate things.

Having shown the foundation, Marshall then brings in Bugnini: “Suffice it here to state that Bugnini was an infiltrated priest [i.e., an infiltrator] and a Freemason” (89). Marshall’s claims here imply that Bugnini must have been up to something nefarious with his work on the liturgical reforms before, during and after Vatican II.

So, was Bugnini an infiltrator of the Church when he became a priest in 1936? Marshall claims that Bugnini became a Freemason in 1963 (90), but does not say whether he thinks his infiltration preceded that step.

Bugnini’s Briefcase

Marshall then turns his focus on Bugnini, Freemasonry and the liturgical reforms of the mid-twentieth century. He begins by discussing the famous “briefcase story.”

According to this story, in the mid-1970s, the Archbishop is said to have unwittingly left behind a briefcase in a meeting room in one of the curial departments of the Vatican. The case was discovered by a priest who opened it to determine its owner. Inside the briefcase were documents that implicated Bugnini either as a Freemason or at least demonstrating some association with the Freemasons.3 The documents were duly brought to Pope St Paul VI and shortly thereafter, Bugnini left the Roman Curia bound for Tehran as Iran’s new Papal Nuncio.

Marshall quotes a “Letter to the Editor” written by Fr Brian Harrison, OS, in 1989 for the publication AD 2000 4 Fr Harrison, then in Rome, was responding to an article written by the respected traditionalist writer Michael Davies in AD 2000 that discusses, in part, the matter of Bugnini and Freemasonry.

Marshall quotes the very last sentence, “An internationally known churchman of unimpeachable integrity has also told me that he heard the account of the discovery of the evidence against Bugnini directly from the Roman priest who found it in a briefcase which Bugnini had inadvertently left in a Vatican conference room after a meeting.” Marshall then proceeds to reference a list of alleged Freemasons that was released by Italian Freemasonry in 1976. It says that Bugnini joined Freemasonry on April 23, 1963 and that his codename was “Buan.”

Importantly, earlier in this letter, Fr Harrison recounts his own personal experience in Rome about Freemasons in the Vatican. He admits, for instance, that there are a number of people in Rome, including a Cardinal Prefect of an unnamed Roman Congregation “who believe that there have been and are Freemasons in high Vatican positions”. Fr Harrison further admits to being amazed that the rumors did not originate in “crackpot’ conspiracy theorists”.

Harrison continues with regard to an opinion, “widely held in Rome that the Masons themselves were responsible for circulating the absurdly long list of alleged Vatican Lodge members in 1976”. Harrison alleged that the motivation for doing so was “precisely in order to make the whole idea look ridiculous, thereby protecting the few prelates who really were Masons”. After this statement follows the last sentence quoted earlier by Marshall.

Marshall does not present Fr Harrison’s caution to his readers.

After reading the complete text, I found the information presented by Fr Harrison to be very intriguing. Knowing that Fr Harrison was still living, I asked a mutual friend to introduce me to him, and who did so via email in June, 2019.

During our conversation, Harrison authenticated his “Letter to the Editor” and promised to send some further information, which I received on June 28. Fr Harrison revealed the identities of people that he referenced—but did not name—thirty years earlier:

[…] First, now that I ransack my memory, the “internationally known churchman” I mention was almost certainly the German aristocrat Dr Eric von Saventhem, [Michael] Davies’ predecessor as President of Una Voce International and the man chiefly responsible,

through his tireless and very polished diplomatic lobbying with then-Cardinal Ratzinger and others, for gaining the re-opened door to the […] celebration of the Traditional Mass (notably, the 1984 Indult). I met de Saventhem a number of times in Rome. I think he died in the early years of the new century [2005].  He asked me not to reveal his identity, but now it’s a matter of history and there’s no harm in doing so […] (links added by this writer).

Following after this first name, Fr Harrison identified the Cardinal that he had mentioned:

[…] Davies told [a] group of us at [a] party that when in 1974 this priest found the briefcase with the suspicious-looking Bugnini material in it, he took it to Cardinal Dino Staffa (1906-1977), who was then Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura […]. Davies then said that Cardinal Staffa took the briefcase and its contents to the Rome carabinieri –the Italian federal police whose job it was to investigate possible crimes committed by secret societies (like the notorious P2 lodge 5). He left it with them, asking them to scrutinize it and let him know ASAP whether they judged it to be genuine evidence that Bugnini was a mason. They soon got back to the Cardinal, with a report saying the material was indeed genuine and incriminating. Whereupon Staffa took this information and evidence to Paul VI, telling the Pope that if he did not immediately fire Bugnini from his key liturgical position, he (Staffa) would feel obliged in conscience to go public with this major scandal. Within a day or two

1. Marshall also mishandles his sources on Dodd, citing an article as quoting her 1953 lecture at Fordham University, which is does not, and claiming that there is a recording of the lecture, which there does not appear to be: see p. 86, n. 46.

2. Manning Johnson testified to this fact before a Congressional Panel in 1953 (House of Representatives, Hearing Before the Committee of Un-American Activities [Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1953], 2278ff). Johnson’s testimony does not specify Catholicism < investigationofcnyc0708unit/page/2278>.

3. Marshall takes the position that the documents implicated Bugnini as a Freemason.

4. See / davies_article_on_archbishop_bugnini_june_1989 _august _1989.html>.

5. [KJS Note: Propaganda Due or “P2” was a branch of Italian freemasonry founded in 1805. Due to its 20th century members’ association with various crime activities—particularly founded involvement in the “Vatican Bank” scandal of the late 1970’s—the Italian parliament legally abolished P2 in 1982.]


Paul VI had merged the two existing Vatican liturgical dicasteries into one, thereby leaving Bugnini without a job.6 Then, after leaving Bugnini in limbo for quite a few months and refusing ever to speak to him again, Paul eventually sent Bugnini to Iran as pro-Nuncio (links added by this writer).7

Bugnini and the Liturgical Reforms

Returning to Marshall’s presentation of Archbishop Bugnini, the next time the Archbishop is mentioned within Infiltration is in chapter twelve “Communist Infiltration of the Liturgy.” Here, Marshall explains that, “In 1948, Pius XII appointed the controversial priest Father Annibale Bugnini to the Commission for Liturgical Reform” (103). Marshall specifies the year as 1948, but Bugnini was scarcely considered to be “controversial” at this point in time. Marshall’s text implies that Ven. Pius XII made some obvious and colossal blunders in the second half of his papacy, the appointing of Bugnini in 1948 being one of them.

Marshall goes on to discuss Bugnini within the context of the liturgical reforms of Pius XII in the late 1940s to the mid-50s.8 In short, Marshall alleges that Bugnini was the driving force, indeed the raison d’etre, for the Pian reforms of the 1950s. Vatican II peritus (expert) and later Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli, OFM (1896-1993), who was closely involved in the ‘Pian Commission’ of reform, takes a very different view of Bugnini’s importance at that time. He suggests that Bugnini’s role was actually rather miniscule.9 Indeed, Bugnini had not been wellversed in the ways of the Roman Curia at that time, much less had he become a “master-manipulator” of Vatican machinery.

Another indication comes from Fr Charles Murr, former secretary to Édouard Cardinal Gagnon (1918-2007) who was the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family from 1974 to 1990. Fr Murr was a godson of Mother Pascalina, the right hand of Pius XII throughout his pontificate. In his book about her, The Godmother, Mother Pascalina referred to the Pian reforms and Bugnini’s involvement in them: [Bugnini] made two grave mistakes. He credited himself with the Easter Vigil reform when, in fact, those changes were the Holy Father’s, not Bugnini’s. What’s more, the coward Bugnini openly criticized Pope Pius XII—after his death, of course— for ‘standing in his way’ and not

permitting him to advance his reformation of the liturgy. Imagine it…accusing the Holy Father of standing in his way! His way! 10

Compounding his careless claims about Bugnini, Marshall observes: “[u] nbeknownst to Pope Pius XII, [Bugnini] was rumored to be a Freemason.” Now, fifteen pages earlier, Marshall cited the Masons’ Registry published in 1976, which claimed that Bugnini became a Freemason in June, 1963. That would be just under five years after the death of Pius XII. Despite this fact, Marshall proceeds in the next chapter to blame Pius’ bad decisions (especially those pertaining to his staff) upon failing health from 1954 onward. 11


Treated for far too long as a taboo subject, the notion of the Catholic Church’s “infiltration” by enemies from within has received increasing mainstream attention in recent years. This development has been stimulated notably by aspects of the Pontificate of Pope Francis, and by the intensifying avalanche of sex-abuse accusations within the Church. For these and other reasons, many Catholics have been shaken.

It is natural that the Faithful’s state of mind is more open than formerly to all kinds of ideas and opinions. In the words of Gustave Le Bon, in his classic study of crowd psychology, people have come “face to face with the blind and silent forces of nature, which are inexorable to weakness and ignore pity.” In their pursuit of answers, many turned “instinctively…to the rhetoricians who accord them what they want.”12

Against this background is Taylor Marshall with his account of how the Catholic Church has, indeed, been “infiltrated.” Marshall, like many others, is looking for answers to the present malaise in the Church. He cannot be faulted at all for this desire and he is to be thanked for bringing attention to a sensitive area of research. While Infiltration offers food, however, for consideration, it also contains a striking degree of superficiality, errors of fact, as well as underlying assumptions. These matters need to be carefully analyzed and guided by more experienced hands.

Regarding Marshall’s discussion on Archbishop Bugnini, it is certain that Bugnini is not above question. Bugnini should not be absolved of whatever faults that might be properly attributed to him. We must, however,

ensure that the historical record about Bugnini is accurate so as to provide a more truly informed opinion on his life and actions. On this score, Marshall’s apparent attempt to simplify complex subjects for greater intelligibility negatively impacted his presentation.

Readers should take seriously the warning by Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan against taking too seriously the information in Infiltration. In his foreword to Infiltration, Schneider notes that, owing to a “lack of sufficient resource materials,” “some issues considered in this book…must remain as hypotheses” (x). Schneider’s warning is important to heed as many of the stories described by Marshall require much care, for what is taken as truth today could be disproved by historical documentation tomorrow.13

Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within is available from the LMS online shop £19.99 + p&p.

6. [KJS Note: On July 11, 1975, Pope Paul VI combined the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Causes of Saints having previously separated these organs in 1969.]

7. [KJS Note: Bugnini was nominated as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Iran on January 5, 1976.

8. Marshall says at the end of the chapter that Bugnini “slashed [the Holy Week liturgy] to pieces as an experiment.” He also remarks upon the reforms of the Novus Ordo, saying “[w]hat became the Novus Ordo Missae of 1969-1970 arose from the seeds planted by Bugnini in Holy Week of 1955” (Marshall, 106).

9. Il card. Ferdinando Antonelli e gli sviluppi della riforma liturgica dal 1948 al 1970 (Roma: Centro studi S. Anselmo, 1998). It was part of the Studia Anselmiana series; The Development of the Liturgical Reform: as seen by Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli from 1948-1970 (Fort Collins, Colorado: Roman Catholic Books, 2009).

10. Fr. Charles Theodore Murr, The Godmother: Madre Pascalina, A Feminine Tour de Force (Middletown, DE: Self-published with, 2017), 144. In Fr. Murr’s recollections of their conversations, Mother Pascalina was unabashed in her belief that Bugnini was, in fact, a Freemason.

11. Marshall makes a questionable statement about Monsignor Montini (the future Pope Paul VI): “it was Montini who ran the Holy See and the papacy from 1955 until the death of Pius XII in 1958. For example, Montini allowed the disgraced papal physician to enter the Papal apartment and photograph the dying Pius XII….” (108). In 1955, Montini was the Archbishop of Milan, having been appointed its Archbishop in 1954 (cf. AAS 46 [1954], 688, 728). Marshall provides no source for his claim that Dr Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi took photos with Montini’s help. For more information about the circumstances surrounding Pius’ death, see Paul Hoffman, The Vatican’s Women: Female Influence at the Holy See (New York, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2002), 42ff.

12. Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (London, England: T. Fisher Unwin, 1907), 125.

13. Bishop Schneider himself cites the circumstances surrounding the death of Pope John Paul I. In chapter twenty-five, Marshall insinuates that John Paul I was assassinated. He fails to tell his readers, however, that the Holy Father already had a weak heart and had been up late the previous night much vexed by a shouting match with Sebastian Cardinal Baggio, who, ironically, was a known Freemason (see Fr Charles Murr with Jesse Romero and Terry Barber watch? v=5Giu5LX4-LU). This information certainly circulated prior to the publication of Infiltration


A work of art

Sebastian Morello sings the praises of

Wine and education have ever been connected in my mind, long before I was of an age to partake with any seriousness of the former, or indeed the latter for that matter. My parents would sip crisp new world whites in the evening as they read novels, and in turn recreational cultivation of the mind was associated for me – as far back as my memory will take me – with Dionysian consolations.

Education turned out to be hard for me, for I was both slow and lazy, and this double disorder did not inspire in my teachers much affection for me; teachers who did not help the situation by being unfalteringly uninspired in every other way. But the occasional escape from my boarding school to a rural pub for a rough glass of house plonk marked a rare relief from the torments of that institution, and to me the stuff tasted like Elysian nectar.

Wine and education flanked my maturation. Wine carried me through my studies at drama school, oiling my memory as I sought to retain great tracts of Shakespeare’s prose, and it was a solace next to the humiliation of daily wearing tights. Wine then walked with me as I entered the scary world of the wage-earner.

Wine accompanied me into my undergraduate degree in philosophy, undertaken through distance learning while I held down a full-time job. I read the necessary texts and wrote my essays in the evening after work while I sipped Port. At that time, I was renting a room on the top floor of Cardinal Manning’s old London home, and I treated his old cut glasses as my own.

While juggling my studies with my job, I read in times of relaxation Roger Scruton’s I Drink Therefore I Am for the purpose of cleansing my mind of the annoying analytic jargon which often made my chosen discipline unattractive to me. This book motivated me in many ways, one of which was to take more seriously the

world of claret, as Bordeaux is known to the English. As in every other aspect of my life, then, I travelled from the new world to the old. Soon, however, I foolishly came to turn up my nose at anything other than claret.

Later, when studying under Scruton for postgraduate research, I found that he would not touch the house claret of Pall Mall’s Reform Club, in a private dining room of which he would conduct his lessons. Instead, our sapiential conversations were lubricated with a delicious Rioja. By this I was liberated from my slavish relationship with claret, and only at that point was I truly able to enjoy it: an important lesson for the spiritual life may be found therein.

Some months ago, I had an encounter with claret which reminded me of its bewitching properties. I was invited to a friend’s home for a dinner. The two other guests were a very close friend of mine – a director of an important publishing house –and an excitable Brazilian gentleman whom I had met once or twice before in passing. The Brazilian spent most of the evening seemingly prophesying an “imminent chastisement” and a “time of great universal suffering.” I nodded and laughed awkwardly at what seemed an odd dinner topic. I am not laughing now.

My friend, our host, served bottles of carefully decanted 1996 Chateau Marquis de Terme. It should have been drunk a few years ago, but it was still exquisite. This particular claret was one of the favourite wines of the treasonous heresiarch Thomas Jefferson; I suppose he had to judge right in something. This wine was really a work of art: full-bodied but not overpowering, sweet but not sickly, subtle tannins, a good long finish embracing each mouthful of the succulent lamb on our plates, each sip a burst of blackberries, dark cherries, and vanilla, all lush and velvety. If you stumble across a bottle, or better,


a case, think carefully before you stumble on.

As I write I am confined to my home by the political powers, and like everyone else I am trying to protect family and self from a raging pandemic. I have discovered once again the deep relationship between wine and education, and why these mark two great consolations in this valley of tears. This plague-stricken time, during which we are cut off from the Sacraments, those very sources of the divine life and our true joy here below, requires some consolations so as not to be a cause of sheer despair: I present to you wine and books.


Time to sew

Lucy Shaw reports from the Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat held earlier this year

The Guild of St Clare held its sixth sewing retreat on the last weekend of February, and we were delighted to welcome Fr Stephen Morrison, OPraem, as our chaplain. We tackled a wide variety of repairs and commissions, including ongoing work on the Latin Mass Society's red High Mass Set, the re-lining of a much-loved chasuble from Fr Stephen's own community in Chelmsford, and the making of three faldstool covers in different liturgical colours for Fr Alan Robinson at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane.

Fr Stephen gave us three allocutions on the meaning of the Mass, and the spirit in which we should participate in it; they were thoughtful and full of insights which made a most helpful start to our Lenten devotions. Fr Stephen also took a very active part in the sewing side of the retreat; he learned to use the Guild sewing machines and assisted us in the making of the black faldstool

cover. There is a piano in the room we use when sewing at Douai Abbey, and Fr Stephen played to us on this instrument in his rare moments of rest, which gave us all a great deal of pleasure.

In addition to Mass on each day of the retreat, we also had morning Rosary, and, on Saturday evening, sung Compline before the Blessed Sacrament exposed followed by Benediction. We were also invited to attend Douai Abbey's own community vespers, which is sung in Latin. These devotions are central to the work we do at the retreat, reminding us of the spiritual importance of the vestments we are handling and the vital need to treat them with care and respect; and to give them the best possible repair that we can.

It is a great source of delight to me to see the progress that is made in repairing the many old and damaged vestments that we deal with during the retreats. It is an additional joy to see the number of

people who take part in the retreats, all making their contribution to this work. Some of the chasubles and dalmatics we have repaired have needed dozens of hours of work to be done on them, and have therefore passed through the hands of several different retreatants. These vestments, though in heavy use, have often not been well treated in the past, probably simply because of the lack of anyone to mend and care for them. This lack is handsomely compensated for by the love and attention that is lavished on them during the Guild of St Clare sewing retreats, when time and thought are not considered too great luxuries to expend on them.

Douai Abbey was as comfortable and hospitable as ever, and we look forward to our next retreat there, on 20-22 November, to be led by Fr Tim Finigan. Online registration on the LMS website is now open.

Antonia with humeral veil

Burse making

The Guild of St Clare Saturday, 8 February, tutored by Heather Lewis. The lesson took place in the RSN's teaching apartments at Hampton Court Palace.

Burse-making is tricky because it combines cutting and sewing skills with mounting. For many of the people attending it was their first experience of mounting fabric on to board; by the

end of the day we'd all mastered the essentials.

I'm very grateful to Heather for putting this course together especially for us. This particular skill is rare but essential for anyone wanting to make a traditional set of vestments.

The Guild of St Clare is often asked to make stoles, maniples, chalice veils and burses to make up incomplete sets - I'm

delighted that we are slowly acquiring the expertise we need to do this to a high standard.

Following the success of the occasion I plan to organise a stole-making workshop next year. It will be splendid to see the gradual building of vestmentmaking skills among the dedicated people who attend our retreats and vestment-mending days.

Emma and chasuble Fr Stephen tries his hand at the sewing machine Learning the art of burse making Clare with Fr Stephen

Closing Date & Winner

Entries for the summer 2020 competition should be sent to the Latin Mass Society, 11-13 Macklin Street, London WC2B 5NH or by email to, to arrive before Friday 26th June 2020. Unfortunately, we were unable to select a winner for the spring 2020 competition as we did not have access to all the entries due to our staff working from home. Thank you to all who sent an entry.


Guild of St Clare: Bobbin Lace for Beginners. Ongoing course, fortnightly on Thursday evenings. Email for further information:

Guild of St Clare Autumn Sewing Retreat at Douai Abbey, 20th22nd November. Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Reading, RG7 5TQ. With Fr Timothy Finigan. See LMS website for booking.

Guild of St Clare: 2021 Winter Sewing Retreat at Douai Abbey, 26-28th February. Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Reading, RG7 5TQ. With Fr Andrew Southwell; booking now open: see LMS website.

Guild of St Clare: Advance notice of 2021 Autumn Sewing Retreat at Douai Abbey, 12-14th November. Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Reading, RG7 5TQ.

St Catherine’s Trust: due to the Coronavirus the 2020 Summer School will not take place. Dates for 2021 are confirmed: Sunday 1st to Saturday 7th August, at St Cassian’s Centre, Wallingtons Road, Kintbury, Berkshire RG17 9SP.

Clues Across 1

Overzealous religious or political extremist (7) 5 See 4 Down 8 Religious who has taken the veil (3) 9 Evenly spaced tablets of three grooved bars in a temple frieze above set of doric columns (9) 10 Place of sporting contest or martyrdom of early Christians (5) 11 Bp Richard ---, London Vicar Apostolic, gave us the revised version of the Douay-Rheims Bible (9) 14 Saint ’Apostle to the English’, shrine in Ramsgate, Feast Day 26 May (9) 18 ‘Von -----‘, Catholic family and singers whose lives inspired the film The Sound of Music (5) 21 Ecclesiastical ban on performing in certain rites (9) 22 Animal associated with the Ordo Praedicatorum (3) 23 Surname of Francisco and Jacinta, canonised in Fatima on 13 May 2017 (5) 24 Italian Baroque architect, writer, poet and Theatine priest (7)

Clues Down

1 ‘ -------- on a Theme by Thomas Tallis’, spiritual work by Vaughan Williams (8) 2 French city associated with 1598 Edict granting rights to Huguenots [revoked by Louis XIV] (6) 3 Four co-rulers of the Roman Empire pre-Constantine (8) 4 & 5 Acr: First Oratorian Church in Rome, housing its founder’s tomb and effigy (6,5) 5 Little tragic Dickensian Shop girl (4) 6 Child looked after in a Dr Barnardo’s home (6)

Semi-circular recess behind church altar (4) 12 Name meaning ‘happy’ from mythological goddess of gaiety (8) 13 Italian composer whose works include The Pines of Rome and The Fountains of Rome (8) 15 Instrument commonly played in a Novus Ordo type Mass (6) 16 Doing nothing instead of something (6)

Indian father figure whose birthday celebrated as International Day of Nonviolence (6)

‘Carpe ----‘, ‘seize the day’ or take the opportunity that arises (4)

‘Tantum ----‘, part of Aquinas’ hymn sung at Benediction (4)

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ANSWERS TO SPRING 2020 CROSSWORD Across: 1 Cecilia 5 Greek 8 Ego 9 Anchorite 10 Thief 11 Renumbers 4 Te Rogamus 18 Seine 21 MacMillan 22 Ita 23 Opera 24 Rotunda Down: 1 Chestnut 2 Cronin 3 Leapfrog 4 Alcuin 5 Good 6 Emigre 7 Kiev 12 Massenet 13 Schemata 15 Runcie 16 Mahler 17 Vision 19 Ambo 20 Zita
Alan Frost: April 2020

William (Bill) Tomlinson 1930-2020

William John Joseph Tomlinson, or Bill as he was known, was born on 16 June 1930 in Yorkton Street, East London, the second child of Sarah and William. He had three sisters Christina, Betty and Maureen.

His childhood was disrupted by the war when he was evacuated in September 1939 and did not return to London until July 1942. He would often talk about this time with mixed emotions, but the lesson he learned from his time away was the importance of family being together. In September 1948 he undertook his national service and was sent to Malta. He enjoyed his time there and subsequently returned many times for a holiday. Bill met Louise (Lucy) in the summer of 1957 at a dance at St Monica’s in Hoxton and they married in December 1958. They recently celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary.

Bill spent the majority of his working life in the print industry where he was a finisher; cutting, folding and stitching books and magazines. He was an active member of the Trades Union and during

the Wapping dispute he spent many a night on the demonstrations in support of his sacked colleagues before going off to his night shift on the Daily Express. He often recalled the time when he instigated a debate on euthanasia at one of their general meetings and, to Bill’s great delight, members passed a resolution against the practice.

When Fleet Street ceased printing newspapers Bill was made redundant and started working for the Latin Mass Society. It was during his time at the LMS that the Office moved into Macklin Street and Bill would tell the story of how they had to carry all the furniture and files up three flights of stairs as there was no lift at that time. He even enlisted the assistance of his son, David, to help with the move.

Bill was a life-long supporter, promotor and server of the Latin Mass. He would regard every conversation as an opportunity to promote the Latin Mass to almost everybody he met. Despite suffering from arthritis for much of his life, Bill would waste no time in

donning cassock and cotta if there was an opportunity to serve the Latin Mass. He certainly knew how to swing a thurible! Another of his favourite stories was to tell how he served multiple Masses in one day in St Peter’s in Rome during a server’s guild pilgrimage.

For over 50 years he was an active member of The Knights of St Columba, still holding the office of Treasurer of his Council to the day he died.

We have much to be grateful to Bill for: his dedication to the Latin Mass, his devout affection to Catholic faith and teaching and his commitment to pro-life causes, to name but a few things. We extend our condolences to Lucy and their family at this time. Fortified by the Rites of Mother Church, Bill died in St Joseph’s Hospice on 10th February. His Funeral Rites (in the Extraordinary Form) where held in St John the Baptist Church, Hackney where, not surprisingly, he convinced the Parish Priest to introduce the Latin Mass, which he regularly served.

SUMMER 2020 47
Bill (thurifer) leading the procession in to St Mary Moorfields Church during the EasterVigil 2017
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