28 September 2009

St Thérèse

It struck me as I read another snide comment about the visit of the relics of one of my most beloved saints to this country, how utterly skewed society is.

If I -or anyone else for that matter- was going to New York to place candles on the spot where John Lennon was shot, no one would turn a hair.

If I made a pilgrimage to Gracelands dressed as Elvis, I might get a few peculiar looks, but people would in the main, I expect, indulge me.

If I wore sack cloth because Michael Jackson is no more, wailed in agony over the death of Diana while lobbing bunches of flowers at her coffin as it passed by, it wouldn't be considered that odd by the media.

But because people are turning out to be close to the relics of a nun who didn't make a bean, make a record, divorce anyone in the royal family, or do anything really except *be*, and try to find a path to God in the small hidden things, that's somehow medieval, lacking in psychological balance, or even just downright dodgy.

Funny old world, isn't it.

'Latin is dead, as dead as can be, it killed off the Romans...'

I wonder if any of you have had the same problem?

Papal Blessings, the paper kind: When asked what language we would like the Blessing to be in when we were arranging one, we said 'oooh, Latin please!' and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival since July.

Had a phone call about it today: 'They don't do Latin,' I was told, 'they' apparently being the office in Rome. 'What other language would you like?'

27 September 2009

West Grinstead

Today at OLOC Fr Hurley celebrated Mass, preaching on the need to not prejudge others and to always be charitable. Mass was as ever a very moving and prayerful experience.

We heard that Fr Goddard is returning home tomorrow after another stay in hospital, so please remember him and his family in your prayers.

26 September 2009

Our Lady of Consolation

Mass at the shrine is at three o'clock tomorrow.

Prayers please for Fr Goddard, who is still very unwell, and for his family, that he may have a speedy recovery and be up and about soon.

25 September 2009

Yesterday evening...

...was wonderful, a Solemn Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham and of Ransom and Fr Sean Finnegan's 20th anniversary of ordination. There are some lovely photos of the Mass on Valle Adurni you really must see!

Fr Sean was the celebrant, the Deacon was Revd Alcuin Reid, and Subdeacon Revd Richard Edwards. Dominic Scarborough was MC. Fr Ray Blake preached the homily. The music was superb, Byrd four part Mass, and the propers were Missa Sancta Parens (Hail Holy Parent). The church was full, the atmosphere was great and it was a real joy to be present at such a special Mass.

Naturally, afterwards there was an equally traditional celebration in the hall:

Congratulations Fr Sean!

24 September 2009

Our Lady of Ransom

Happy feast day everyone!


Fr Sean Finnegan is celebrating his 20th anniversary, details here.

16 September 2009

A request

David Joyce is organising a High Mass in Portsmouth Cathedral on Sunday 4th October, at 3.30pm, and is currently searching for a subdeacon who would be free. Is anyone able to help out/ask around? If so, could you please leave a not for publication message in the combox, and I'll pass on the message.

13 September 2009


... I can't count. At Our Lady of Ransom last week, there weren't 40 people, there were 50!

This afternoon...

...was a West Grinstead afternoon, at Our Lady of Consolation. Fr Bruno Witchalls celebrated, and preached on the importance of keeping the Cross in our minds, and looked forward to the Exaltation of the Holy Cross tomorrow.

As usual, tea was a very convivial affair, and very welcome on a surprisingly chilly afternoon, and it was good to catch up with some of those who had been to the Masses at OLR Eastbourne and St Mary Magdalene's Bexhill. Fr Bruno is soon to move from his current parish to St Mary Magdalene's, and we hope he has a great time there.

We also heard that Fr Goddard, the priest in charge of the shrine of Our Lady of Consolation has been very ill and is now convalescing, please say some prayers for his speedy recovery.

11 September 2009

Solemn High Mass in Shoreham

Fr Sean Finnegan put this on his blog a few days ago, please follow the link and have a read if you haven't already.

08 September 2009

The Nativity of Our Lady

Another favourite feast day of mine, have a lovely day everyone!

PS, Please click here for some wonderful reflections from Fr Mark.

This coming Sunday, 13 September, OLOC, West Grinstead

I don't know, you wait yonks for a Low Mass, and like buses, 3 come along at once. Not that I'm complaining.

At 3 o'clock this Sunday, there is a Low Mass at OLOC.

Since the two masses in Bexhill and Eastbourne, it's brought home to me how much is possible with the good will of a few priests, those willing to allow their parish churches to be used even if it's not their 'thing', and those willing to say the EF. There's no reason why every parish in the country couldn't have a Low Mass at a reasonable time each Sunday. Failing that, at least one Mass per Deanery. If two parishes can manage congregations of 40 (and no, the same people weren't assisting at both for the cynics among you, although me and a couple of others obviously were!), at inconvenient times with very little publicity, what's that saying?

07 September 2009

Our Lady of Ransom

Well. There was me, expecting Mass to be celebrated here at the Lady altar:

And we end up here:

Which was just as well, as although I'd hoped for ten people at most to assist at the 3.00pm Mass yesterday afternoon if we were lucky (as it wasn't advertised on the parish newsletter) we had 40. 40, the same number as last week at St Mary Magdalene's! No way would we have all fitted in the Lady Chapel.

It was an absolutely beautiful Mass, so peaceful and prayerful you could hear a pin drop. Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith preached most forcefully on the Epistle and the Gospel, and this might sound a bit odd, but it was so refreshing to hear hell actually mentioned.

For the first time at OLR I was at the front with the DH (I like to lurk, usually by a pillar) and ok, this'll probably sound a bit odd too, but I was so struck by the fact that this was the Mass OLR was built for, and it seemed so right. I'd never seen the communion rails in proper use either, and it was fantastic to have somewhere to kneel properly for communion!

It was also a great relief that the glass covered trench with spotlights in it that usually illuminates the front of the new altar (tacky tacky tacky!) and which had been covered with carpet for this Mass, was actually load bearing.

I also liked the fact that there wasn't a polyester spark-in-the-dark vestment to be seen, but that might just be me.

Here is a view from the pew across to the Lady Chapel:

And another across to the Sacred Heart Chapel:

I'll put up some better photos another time, as I didn't take many yesterday because it was a bit busy. And naturally, after chatting for a while outside, we all went to the pub.

It was a fantastic afternoon, thanks to everyone who made it possible, to Fr Tim Hunting for allowing the Mass to take place, to Fr Alexander, and to Dominic Scarborough, server extraordinaire, and everyone who came, especially to all those who travelled to be there, and those there in spirit, prayers for you all!

04 September 2009

Low Mass at Our Lady of Ransom, Eastbourne

A reminder that Mass is at 3.00pm, this Sunday, details here. Spread the word!