28 May 2013

Corpus Christi



St Pancras, this Thursday, there will be a
Low Mass for the Feast of Corpus Christi at 7.00 pm.


And at St Mary Magdalen, Brighton:

Clare has all the details!

23 May 2013

If you haven't discovered him...

...on the sidebar, Reverend Know-It-All is always an entertaining read. I particularly liked THIS.

21 May 2013

I emailed...

...because I can and because frankly this is an absolute scandal, Fr William Leahy expressing my disquiet that Boston College, a Catholic college in the US, planned to award Enda Kenny (aka End-a-life Kenny) the pro abortion Irish Taoiseach, with an honorary degree.

I didn't get a reply, but as I wasn't expecting one, I haven't been disappointed.

It was interesting to read that he got a standing ovation when it was awarded. A standing ovation.

'The world is round, my square don't fit at all...'

20 May 2013

FSSP invitation to yearly traditional retreat for all in Berkshire: 31 May-2 June 2013.

Year of Faith retreat for all:

31 May-2 June 2013

'You shall be My witnesses' (Acts 1:8):

In the prayerful and relaxing setting of Douai Abbey, come and reflect with us on how to bear a more fruitful witness to Our Blessed Lord Jesus in our everyday lives.

Upper Woolhampton, Reading, West Berks. RG7 5TQ.

Starts Friday 5pm, ends Sunday 3pm.

Led by Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP, assisted by Fr Matthew Goddard FSSP.

Spiritual conferences and direction, Holy Masses, Eucharistic adoration.

Cost full board 2 days including VAT: £140 single room with ensuite bathroom, £110 shared room with ensuite bathroom or £90 without. Low income/Unwaged: contact us for significant discounts. Bookings/info: FSSP, 17 Eastern Avenue, Reading RG1 5RU, Berks. malleray@fssp.org. www.fssp.org.uk/england

Booking : please send us your £20 deposit (per person), made payable to FSSP ENGLAND. Remainder to be paid at the Abbey during the retreat.

Mass in Bexhill, Sunday, 26th May

There will be a Low Mass at St Mary Magdalene, Bexhill, at 8.00 am on the feast of the Most Holy Trinity.

Location details are on the sidebar.

17 May 2013

Press Release from the Latin Mass Society

17 May 2013

Newly released statistics show the decline of the Catholic Church in England and Wales in 1960s and 1970s.

Research by Latin Mass Society has demonstrated the striking decline of a range of statistical indications of the health of the Catholic Church in England and Wales in the 1960s and 1970s.

To our knowledge this data has never been made available in collated form before: the number of ordinations year by year since 1860, the number of priests since 1890, and baptisms, marriages, and receptions, and estimates of the Catholic population, since 1913.

Among the findings are:

Marriages: The number of marriages collapsed by a third between 1968 and 1978 (from 47,417 to 31,534), and has continued a rapid decline since then, now standing at less than 10,000 a year, a quarter of the 1968 level in absolute terms, and even less in relation to the estimated Catholic population (from 12 per thousand in 1968) to 2½ per thousand in 2010).

Conversions fell off a cliff in the 1960s. From a peak of 15,794 in 1959, it fell to 5,117 in 1972; in relation the Catholic population, it fell by more than 70% between those two years. It has not recovered.

Baptisms halved between 1964 and 1977 (137,673 in 1964 to 68,351 in 1977), and are even lower today (oscillating around the 60,000 mark). This is not just the effect of the end of the ‘baby boom’: considered in relation to total live births for England and Wales (using data from the Office for National Statistics), the first half of the 20th century saw steady growth, with Catholic baptisms peaking at nearly 16% of all live births in 1963. This was followed by a decline of a third between the mid 1960s and the mid 1970s. A more gentle decline has continued to the present: today fewer than 10% of babies born alive in England and Wales are being baptised in the Catholic Church. 

Ordinations fell by more than 56% between 1965 and 1977 (from 233 to 101), and the decline has continued. Even on the more optimistic figures supplied by the National Office of Vocations (compared to the Catholic Directory) for the current year, showing an increase on recent years, numbers are at scarcely 30% of their 1964 level. (Counting only ordinations to the diocesan clergy, there were 134 in 1964; the NOV predicts 41 this year.)

Dr Joseph Shaw, the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society, who led the research, comments:

‘Anyone with an interest in the future of the Catholic Church in England and Wales will find these figures illuminating. They show unambiguously that something went seriously wrong in the Church in England and Wales in the 1960s and 1970s. Catholics ceased quite suddenly to see the value of getting married, having large families, and having their children baptised. Non-Catholics no longer perceived the Church as the ark of salvation, and ceased to seek admission. Young men no longer offered themselves for the priesthood in the same numbers as before.

‘It is not fanciful to connect this catastrophe to the wrenching changes which were taking place in the Church at that time, when the Second Vatican Council was being prepared, discussed, and, often erronesouly, applied. As Pope Benedict wrote in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007):

in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.

‘The theological and liturgical fashions of that era were invariably justified by the hope of positive pastoral results, and these results manifestly failed to materialise.

‘The effect of dissent from the Church’s teaching is particularly manifest in relation to contraception, which has had a direct consequence on the Catholic birth rate, as reflected in the number of baptisms, compared to the national birth rate.

‘The Church in England and Wales today has fewer than half the ordinations each year than it had in the 1860s, but more than double the number of priests. A large proportion of those priests, however, will die or have to stop work over the next decade. In this respect we are still living on our capital, and this capital is about to run out.

‘The Extraordinary Form has not lost its power to attract young men to the priesthood, and the communities which have grown up around it today provide disproportionate numbers of vocations, marriages, and baptisms. Thirteen young men from England and Wales are currently studying for the priesthood in the different religious orders committed to the Extraordinary Form; three more should join them in September; these are numbers which many dioceses would envy.

‘We believe that the Extraordinary Form (the Traditional Mass) has an important role to play in resolving the crisis in the Church.’

Notes on the statistics.

Unless otherwise indicated, the statistics are taken from the Catholic Directory. Statistics for ordinations can be recovered only by manually counting the lists of men ordained each year; some of this work was done by the Rev. Stephen Morgan and a team at the Diocese of Portsmouth. The Latin Mass Society has filled in the gaps in Rev. Morgan’s figures and extended the range of dates covered in both directions. In addition, the LMS has added the total number of clergy, and the numbers given in the Directory’s ‘Recapitulation of Statistics’ since 1913, which include Baptisms, Marriages, Adult Conversions (renamed ‘Receptions’ in 1976), and estimates of the Catholic population.

We are very grateful to the Rev. Stephen Morgan for letting us use the fruits of his research, to the Fathers of the London Oratory for giving us access to their library, and to a number of Latin Mass Society volunteers for their time.


For further information contact either: Mike Lord, General Manager, on 020 7404 7284 or michael@lms.org.uk

09 May 2013

In which I highlight the challenge facing the Latin Mass Goer

 Today, Gentle Reader, and it pains me to tell you this, my husband and I were officially labelled as 'lapsed'.

A Lapsed Couple

Yes, the parish we've been in (and coughing up for) for the last couple of decades suddenly noticed us.

I should have sat at the front in a mantilla sooner.

We have been invited to a series of meetings for, as I say, the lapsed, where we can explore the basics of the Faith, who we are, where we are going, and I suppose, how we are going to get there, in a relaxed, non threatening environment. Which is sweet.
 An alpha wave, denoting relaxed state

When I first read the letter, I laughed out loud. Then I felt slightly aggrieved. I would love to more regularly attend my own parish. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer the Latin Mass, so we have no option but to travel whenever the Mass is available. We have ended up unrecognised in our own parish, in spite of still regularly worshipping there. It's really rather sad.

Travelling round is, to put it mildly, a real chore. It also appears to alienate you a tad, whether you like it or not, from your own parish, as we found out via the post this morning.

We come in peace...
But as the Latin Mass refreshes the parts other Masses don't reach, what is the option?

08 May 2013

One weekend in April

One Weekend in April: The St. Catherine's Trust Family Retreat, April 2013 from LMS on Vimeo.

Ascension Mass in Brighton

There will be an Ascension Day Mass at St Mary Magdalen, Brighton, this Thursday at 7.00 pm. (Please see the sidebar for location)

Press Release from the LMS

7 May 2013

Saturday Shoppers in York Watch Pilgrimage With Respectful Curiosity

The Latin Mass Society’s third pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow, one of its co-patrons, took place in York on Saturday 4th May, the feast day of the English Martyrs. Solemn Mass was celebrated in the Church of St Wilfrid by Canon Amaury Montjean of the Institute of Christ the King, with Fr Michael Hall as deacon and Fr John Cahill as subdeacon.

After Mass, there was a procession carrying a statue of St Margaret Clitherow through the streets of York and passing through The Shambles, where St Margaret lived, and over Ouse Bridge, the place of her execution.  The procession ended at the Church of the English Martyrs, where there Benediction was offered by Fr Stephen Brown.

York was full of tourists during the Bank Holiday weekend, who watched the procession pass through the crowded streets with a respectful curiosity.

One lady who was visiting from Perth in Australia, and happened to enter St Wilfrid’s Church, just as the Gospel was about to be sung, was amazed at the sight of a Traditional Mass, saying that nothing like that ever took place in her home diocese.

The musical setting of the Mass was Thomas Luis de Victoria’s Missa Simile est Regnum, sung by the Rudgate Singers who also sang Gregorio Allegri’s  Adoremus in Aeternum at Benediction.  The day ended with the congregation singing Fr Faber’s Faith of our Fathers!

Pilgrimage organiser Paul Waddington said: ‘We were very pleased with the turnout for this year’s pilgrimage which showed an increase on last year’s event. The sight of pilgrims processing through the busy streets of York past Saturday shoppers always draws people’s attention and is an important public witness to the Catholic Faith.’

St Margaret Clitherow was arrested in 1586 for the crime of harbouring Catholic priests. She refused to enter a plea to prevent a trial that would involve her children being made to testify, and therefore being subjected to torture. The standard punishment for refusing to enter a plea was being crushed to death and this was carried out to the horror of many local people on 25 March 1586.


Photo: The statue of St Margaret Clitherow is carried through The Shambles in York, close to where the martyr lived.
Photo credit: Leo Darroch




For further information, please contact Mike Lord, General Manager,

on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585; (E mail) michael@lms.org.uk

07 May 2013

Ascension Mass in Knaphill

There will be a Mass at 8.00 pm at St Hugh of Lincoln, Knaphill, this Thursday, celebrant Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith.

Click HERE for a map.

02 May 2013

From The Basingstoke Latin Mass Group


Sung Latin Mass

(Missa Cantata)

will take place at

St Joseph's Church, St Michael's Rd, Basingstoke, RG22 6TY

Sunday 2nd June at 6pm.

We welcome Fr Phillip Harris who is kindly celebrating the Mass, Fr John Maunder (of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham) who will be in attendance and a choir who will lead us in Mass Setting XI: 'Orbis Factor.'

As usual refreshments will be served after Holy Mass.



Please note: Holy Communion will be given on the tongue to those who are kneeling (unless physically unable).
Anyone in the area or travelling through who is able to support this, please do! This is wonderful.
Here's a map for anyone who would like it.