Is Muller an anti-pope?
Silly question, of course, but that's what Austen Ivereigh suggested on Twitter.
My latest on LifeSiteNews:
Sung Dominican Rite Mass in St Dominic's, Haverstock Hill
I was privileged to sing at a beautiful Dominican Rite Mass in London last Saturday, which opened a 'Retreat' organised by the New Evangelisation Committee of the Catholic Medical Association: Joseph Nunan indefatigable team. The Mass was sponsored by the Latin Mass Society.
St Dominic's, Haverstock Hill, now a Shrine to the Rosary, is a magnificent church. Mass was celebrated by Fr Lawrence Lew OP. The Dominican chants were extremely interesting and not all that straightforward, despite their close relationship with those of the Roman Rite for the feast of the day: St Cyril of Alexandria. The Schola Abelis of Oxford (or small part thereof) was led by Dominic Bevan.
It is a very encouraging sign of the times that this event was organised and so well attended. One of the organising committee wrote on Facebook about the event as a whole:
Thank you to everyone who attended the CMA Youth Day-Retreat on Saturday 9th Feb at the Rosary Shine at St Dominic's Priory, Haverstock Hill, London.
About 100 young people attended. It was a prayer-filled day, starting with Mass celebrated in the traditional Dominican Rite. The Mass is the source and summit of the Christian life, and essential for those of us who work in healthcare.
Friar Philomeno, from the Franciscan Friars in Gosport, kicked off the talks with an inspirational introduction to the life and work of Fr Patrick Peyton and his Rosary Crusades. Then we heard a powerful story from one of our Catholic nurses, who, with her family, cared for and prayed for her dying father.
After processing round the beautiful Rosary Shrine side chapels reciting the Joyful Mysteries, we had some light refreshment, then went straight into the final two talks of the day: on what it is to be a Catholic man and a Catholic women.
Thank you to all who came and all who helped. Thanks be to God for His abundant blessings. We hope to put on a similar retreat-type day on a yearly basis for the youth of the CMA, for ongoing spiritual nourishment! Photos and talks hopefully to follow.
The CMA's next 'New Evangelisation' event will be:
The CMA's 4th annual youth conference
Care of the Dying Patient
5th October 2019
St Aloysius Catholic Church, London
Voice of the Family Conference in Cardiff in September
This conference is open to all who are concerned with safeguarding the deposit of our faith in our families and in society. Apart from discussing the particular threats to the family and ways to counter these threats, it will be an opportunity to meet fellow Catholics and to forge a fellowship that will strengthen us as individuals and families at this turbulent time.
Fr Linus Clovis, Family Life International, New Zealand
Prof. Roberto de Mattei, Lepanto Foundation, Italy
Maria Madise, Voice of the Family, UK
John Smeaton, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, UK
John-Henry Westen, LifeSiteNews, Canada
- Friday: registration will be open from 3pm; Holy Mass, followed by a talk and social time;
- Saturday: Holy Mass, talks and opportunities for Adoration and Confession;
- Sunday: Solemn High Mass in honour of the Nativity of Our Lady, followed by brunch.
For further information, please contact: enquiry@
Proposed Regina Caeli Academy in Bedford: Open Day
I'm happy to pass on the news of this event to anyone who might be interested. You can sign up at their Eventbrite page.
What are Side-Chapels for?
|Our Lady of Sorrows, appearing to gesticulate in horror at the sculpture deposited in her chapel.|
The famous Jesuit Church, the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, in London, is richly decorated, and boasts many exquisite side-chapels. One can imagine Lady Julia Flyte popping in to one of them to pray before her chat with her Jesuit spiritual director in Brideshead Revisited, as many Catholics must have done over the Church’s 150 years of use. In one of these, dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, I found, on a recent visit, a life-size park bench rendered in bronze, and on it, an equally brazen blanket covering a sleeping figure. This “Homeless Jesus” sculpture, of which there are copies in cities around the world, has found its way there because Westminster Council refused permission for it to be installed near London’s Houses of Parliament.
Server Training: this Saturday in London
A reminder that there will be a training day for servers at St Mary Moorfields in London this Saturday, 16th, with enrollments into our Servers' sodality, the Society of St Tarcisius.
The day starts at 10:30am and should conclude by 4:30pm. All the details are here, including about the next two training days later in the spring: 9th March and 11th May.
The church is here.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to attend.
I'm delighted to say that the medals we commissioned for the Society of St Tarcisius have arrived, which makes enrollments possible. And they look great. We will be using different coloured cords to indicate ranks in the Society.
Naturally we had in mind the precedent set by the venerable Confraternity of St Stephen with their distinctive servers' medal: although ours is quite different in design, it is a comparable size.
I was shocked to discover, recently, examples of the Confraternity medal made of plastic in a local sacristy. Is this a new thing? The example I have (left behind at last year's Summer School and not reclaimed), is at least made of metal.
In any case, the Society of St Tarcisius, while inspired by the original ideals of the Confraternity, is exclusively committed to the Traditional Latin Mass, and the service of the Altar by boys and men. On Saturday, and at future training events, a priest (in this case Fr Gabriel Diaz) will bless medals and officiate at the service of enrollment.
Sinners in the Queue for Communion
|Queuing for Holy Communion in Westminster Cathedral at the LMS Annual Requiem|
A lot of the acrimonious debate about Amoris Laetitia boils down to the question of Catholics in a state of grave sin wishing to receive Holy Communion. Such difficulties are not new to the Church, which has long included unjust rulers, men who have mistresses, people enjoying the fruits of crime, and such like. Indeed, in one respect the situation was more difficult in past centuries, because more people voluntarily excluded themselves from receiving, to such an extent that in the High Middle Ages most lay Catholics only received Communion once a year, on Easter Sunday.
Bad photographs showcased by the Catholic Herald
Another week, another rather second-rate photograph given the full-page treatment in the Catholic Herald. This time, as well as the poor lighting, the camera appears to have been focused on the altar (hardly visible in the gloom), whereas the brightly-lit reredos some distance behind it is out of focus.
I'm sure a common response to my curmudgeonly comments will be that I should be more charitable to what is, presumably, an amateur photographer sending in a snap to the Catholic Herald for which he will not even be paid. This response, however, is part of the cult of mediocrity which has done huge damage to the Church, and should be ruthlessly uprooted wherever it is found.
Naturally, small, charitable Catholic associations and impoverished parishes struggle to produce professional-looking publicity, or music; they struggle with the legal obligations imposed by data-processing, safeguarding, and employment law; they can't always answer the phone or process requests for documents as quickly as one would wish. The Latin Mass Society is in the same category. But let us not embrace a culture of incompetence, half-hardheartedness, and kindergarten artistic standards as if it were a good thing in itself. Let us at least continue the struggle against the difficulties inevitable to under-resourced organisations.
As I wrote on this blog some years ago:
I think most people can tell when a parish fails to rise to great heights of artistry through sheer lack of resources. The state of the building and nature of the parishioners will tell you enough. Such a situation, where poverty is matched with zeal, has made many Catholic artists want to contribute to community life at their own cost, as an act of charity. When artistic mediocrity is matched with pile carpets, expensive sound-systems and a well-heeled congregation, then you know that it is ideological.
Here is the letter which the Catholic Herald declined to publish. In trying to be charitable, I cast the blame on the lighting in this particular case, but the fact is they should never have published the photograph I refer to.
Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat, Spring 2019: photos and report
Cross-posted from the Guild of St Clare blog.
This year's spring Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat, like last year's, took place in the snow: last time it was the 'Beast from the East' in early March. By now we knew the route up Boars Hill which doesn't turn into a toboggan run for cars, so the disruption was manageable. I had even bought the car some 'snow socks' and other widgets for bad weather, which came in handy.
Lots of sewing was done, and various large projects for the Latin Mass Society and others were brought closer to completion. The Retreat was sold out--numbers are limited--and much edified by Fr Edward van den Burgh's spiritual conferences, Masses, and other devotions, and also by his joining in the sewing himself! He went home with advice on the repairs of one liturgical item he had brought with him and completed repairs on others.
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