Latin Mass Society

Chairman's Blog

29/08/2019 - 10:00

Young Catholic Adults annual retreat 25-27 Oct

During the weekend of the 25-27 October 2019, Young Catholic Adults will be running a retreat at Douai Abbey, it will feature author and associate editor of the Catholic Herald Stephen Bullivant, Fr. Stewart Foster (Brentwood Diocese), Canon Poucin ICKSP, Dom. Jonathan Rollinson (Bemont Abbey) and Dom. Christopher Greener (Douai Abbey).

The weekend will be full-board. YCA will be running the weekend with the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge who will be holding Gregorian Chant workshops.

There will also be a Marian Procession, Rosaries, Sung Masses, Confession and socials. All Masses will be celebrated in the Extraordinary form.

Please note to guarantee your place this year Douai Abbey have requested that everyone books in 3 weeks before the start of the weekend i.e.4th Oct 2019.

More information:

To book:-

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29/08/2019 - 10:00

Young Catholics deserve answers, not scorn

Cross-posted from Rorate Caeli.

LMS Pilgrims at the site of the Holy House in Walsingham on Sunday.

Recent days have seen one of those waves of attacks on Traditional Catholics on social media. I have responded to one aspect of it, that of simple charity, with a Twitter-thread you can see here. Here I want to look at another aspect of it: the kinds of things the supposedly hateful traddies are talking about.

We all know how anti-trad moral panics work. Some one claims to have experienced ‘bossybitter’, or ‘extreme’ views, not from an established writer, but by some Twitter or Facebook account with 12 followers, if we are allowed to know who it is. Other people then chime in to say, Wow, I’ve had the same experience: not pausing to consider the fact that, unless they live under a stone, they’ll also have had one or two bad experiences with every other category of human being on the planet with more than a handful of members.
It doesn’t seem to occur to those making this criticism that they are doing precisely what they are usually accusing Traditional Catholics of doing: of being rather quick to condemn others. Those of them who are not obscure Twitter accounts with 12 followers ought to know better. But let that pass. The other question is whether we should be having these discussions which the trads are having, and if so, what they should be like.

It is sometimes said that in former ages of theological dispute, ordinary Catholics became involved in a way which demonstrated the liveliness of their faith. Many do not seem very pleased when they see this happening in our own day. When ordinary Catholics, Catholics without technical theological knowledge or intellectual formation, get involved, then the debate tends to be conducted at a less sophisticated level, than it would be in a theology seminar. What do you expect?

I won’t deny that on some topics I find the online debate frustrating. The topic of women’s clothing is an example which could stand for a number of others. A bit of historical and theological context would—in my view—be useful. A few distinctions would help. I don’t want to criticise the people raising the issue, however, because it is a debate we have to have. And if it only being discussed in fairly crude terms, that reflects the failure of intellectual leadership on this issue, as on so many others. Intellectual leadership which those complaining about the situation would do well to display themselves.

On this topic, as on so many others, the only view which is not going to be labelled ‘extreme’ is the view of not having a view at all: of not having anything to say on the subject. When young Catholics ask what resources the Catholic Tradition might have which would help them in living with the accelerating melt-down of ordinary social norms, because they want to live in decency and raise children formed in purity, the Catholic ‘mainstream’ has nothing to say. Actually, it is worse than that: too often it is implied that it is improper even to ask such a question.

I remember this attitude from my own school days. Towards the end of a lesson in ‘religious studies’ I once asked my teacher, a Benedictine priest, ‘Well, what does the Church teach about this?’ From his look of horror, you’d think I’d asked for instruction in necromancy.

So what happens is that these young Catholics search the internet and discover, say, that St Pio of Pietrelcina didn’t like women to wear trousers. Yes, it’s a pretty limited data-set from which to reconstruct a robust and nuanced Catholic culture of clothing. If you don’t like it, then you’ve got to stop abusing people for wanting answers, and take the risk of offending some people by providing better answers. (I’ve made a bit of a start on this here.)

The same goes for long-standing issues about Vatican II and its consequences, and newer issues raised by Pope Francis. Like the ‘Dubia Cardinals’, young Catholics want answers to some pretty important questions, not because they want to condemn others for getting it wrong, but because in an era of moral and spiritual crisis they want to conform themselves to the truth. They are told that they should not be asking the questions, let alone trying to articulate possible answers among their friends on social media.

I can hear the scoffs as I write these words. Those young, traddy Catholics: don’t they just think they are better than others?

Actually, these young people are often people who have changed, who have struggled with temptation, who have resolved to live a life at odds with the expectations of the modern world out of respect for the teaching of the Church. Yes, they are imperfect, and they suffer from the lack of formation common in our parishes and schools. But they are the ones who are trying to think things through and do better. If you see young Catholic women wearing mantillas, or young Catholic men even going to church on a Sunday, you are looking at people who are almost certainly scorned by their work colleagues, their college contemporaries, and quite possibly their parents, for taking the Catholic Faith seriously. It is depressing to see self-described Catholic moderates joining the pile-on.

If you think they’ve got in wrong, point them towards resources which will help them. If you think they shouldn’t be allowed to discuss issues which make you feel uncomfortable, then you are part of the problem.

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28/08/2019 - 18:00

More photos of the Walingham Pilgrimage 2019


 Fr Terrance Naughton OFM Conv was the celebrant at the High Mass in the Catholic Shrine's Reconciliation Chapel. Since it was a Sunday, we had the Asperges, though in the Shrine it is possible to have a Votive Mass of Our Lady.


The chapel presents a challenge for photography, with strong sunlight pouring through the windows behind the altar.


We begin the procession to the site of the Medieval Shrine in the ruined Priory: the Holy Mile.




At the site of the Holy House, which was the original shrine at Walsingham dating to before the Norman Conquest, we have a final series of devotions. We finish the Rosary we began on the procession, sing the Te Deum, the Litany of Loreto, and Faith of Our Fathers, and finally have the blessing of returning piligrms from the Roman Ritual.


In the meantime pilgrims venerate the statue we have carried for the last 15 miles. This has been blessed for public veneration; we also use it for the Oxford Pilgrimage.


Thus ends the Pilgrimage. For pilgrims staying the night locally, we always have a Sung Mass in the Slipper Chapel on Monday. This medieval chapel marked the start of the Holy Mile; since it came back into Catholic hands in the early 20th century, it has been restored and become the centre of the Catholic shrine.


This year our Sung Mass was followed by two Low Masses, back to back, celebrated by different priests: above, by Fr Henry Whisenant, and below, by Fr Philomeno.


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28/08/2019 - 11:55

Photos of the Walsingham Pilgrimage


High Mass in St Ethelreda's, Ely. We had four priests with us so High Mass was possible every day of the pilgrimage. (Votive Mass for Pilgrims.)


Fr Michael Rowe, who is based in Perth, Australia, blesses the pilgrims before the start of the walking, in the Methodist Hall in Ely, where we had breakfast (and dinner the evening before).


Mass in the chapel of Oxburgh Hall is always a highlight of the pilgrimage, thanks to the hospitality of the Bedingfeld family who still live in the historic Catholic house. Fr Henry Whisenant sings the Gospel (feast of St Batholemew).



Walking through the charming village of Great Massingham, where we stop on Saturday evening.


At Great Massingham we camp on the playing field behind the village hall. We had an enrollment of the Society of St Tarcisius, the LMS' guild for altar servers, of six new members.


Setting off again after an early lunch on Sunday. On Sunday we carry the processional statue with us.


The final approach to Houghton St Giles and the Catholic Shrine: the three chapters join up into one procession.


Prayers and a blessing outside the Slipper Chapel, before our Mass.

To be continued.

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17/08/2019 - 10:00

SCT Summer School: more photos


Asperges at Mass on the first day (Sunday)


Benediction in St Augustine's Shrine


Requiem for Benefactors


We made a pilgrimage to Aylesford. After Mass some of the children were clothed with the Brown Scapular.


Aylesford also has a beautiful Rosary Walk.


High Mass in the Shrine.


On Friday, we had Stations of the Cross, in the Shrine.


Football in the grounds of the Retreat Centre.


This year's sewing project (for those not playing football!).


A staged reading of Dorthy Sayers' radio play, 'The Great Trial'.

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16/08/2019 - 14:48

SCT Summer School: some photos


I have had trouble getting my photos of the St Catherine's Trust Summer School off the memory cards, but here are some, at last. The Summer School took place 27th July to 3rd August, in the Divine Retreat Centre, which is over the road from St Augustine's Shrine in Ramsgate.


It was a great privilege to be able to have Mass during the Summer School in the Shrine church, which thanks to recent restoration, now looks as Pugin intended it, with a splendid Rood Screen. In these photographs Fr Andrew Southwell, our Chaplain, is celebrating Mass.

As the historian Eamon Duffy has pointed out, the Medieval Rood Screnn, which Pugin tried to revive, served not to hide the action in the sanctuary, as curtains had done in more ancient times, but more to frame it: we see what is going on through a series of windows.

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16/08/2019 - 12:50

Sohrab Ahmari: the story of his conversion

My latest on LifeSite.
I have just finished reading ’s From Fire by Water (Ignatius, 2019), an engaging, perceptive, and edifying account of his spiritual and intellectual journey from a not-very observant Islamic early childhood, to Catholicism, with a lot of secular modern allegiances in between.
Ahmari was born in Iran to a secularized, middle class, intellectual family. Having some access to American culture, especially films, Ahmari was thoroughly seduced by the American way of life before he had any personal contact with it. When he and his mother managed to emigrate to America when he was 13, the reality of a financially precarious life in rural Utah was a letdown. He was a precocious reader and in time discovered Nietzsche and the Existentialists, drifting into Trotskyite Communism and then Post Modernism as he passed through college. 
15/08/2019 - 17:24

Patreon page launched


I thought I would experiment with a Patreon page. My thought is that I am producing a fair mumber of articles, and from time to time doing long audio interviews, for which I am not paid, and often are not easily seen by my regular readers.

If people would like to support this work, and the other things I do, they can do so through Patreon, and I can make some of this material available to them.

So here is the link: Become a Patron!

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14/08/2019 - 18:46

Roosh takes the 'God' pill

My latest on LifeSite is about Roosh, the writer of 'Game' books: books about how to pick up women. Particularly in light of his repudiation of meaningless sex, I am planning to write more about him, probably on this blog.


It is good to hear every now and then of someone who has turned away from a self-destructive way of life. The conversion of Daryush Valizadeh, known as “Roosh,” is an example that deserves some attention. It has received less, I think, at least partly because he has not become a Catholic, but joined the Armenian Apostolic Church, presumably because of his own religious and cultural heritage (he describes himself as half-Armenian and half-Iranian), and partly because he still harbors some peculiar views (more on that later). But it is still an astonishing turnaround. He announced his Christian commitment on March 29, 2019.
So what was he before? To put it bluntly, he made his living from fornication. On the basis of vast experience persuading women to sleep with him, he wrote books and gave talks and workshops about it, facilitating the sexual sins of other men. He was one of the premier “pick-up artists” of the world.

Continue reading.

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14/08/2019 - 13:48

New Mass of Ages

In this issue:
• We celebrate the Ordination of four men, in the Traditional Rite, by Bishop Philip Egan in his Cathedral in Portsmouth • Joseph Shaw explains the ‘Confirmation slap’
• A selection of pictures from our recent pilgrimage to Holywell
• Maurice Quinn remembers the Dorset men who died for the Faith – the Chideock Martyrs
• Jonathan Luxmoore explains why Polish Catholics rally to their Church undeterred by a new crisis
• Fr Lawrence Lew OP on the traditional liturgy and Catholic masculinity
• Joseph Shaw explains how Catholic Linguistic Survivals from the Ancient Liturgy are embedded in the fabric of our lives

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