Latin Mass Society

Chairman's Blog

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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09/08/2019 - 12:23

Schola Sainte-Cécile in England 2019

Programme                                                                             1 August 2019
Monday August the 19th

Oxford Oratory

Oratory Church of St Aloysius Gonzaga, 25 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HA

by courtesy of the Fathers of the Oratory and Fr Oliver Craddock, Cong.Orat., Prefect of Music

6:30 pm       Vespers and benediction (Trad Roman Rite - 2ndVespers of St John Eudes)

Tuesday August the 20th

Balliol College chapel

The Broad, Oxford OX1 3BJ

by courtesy of the Revd Dr Bruce Kinsey, Chaplain, Balliol College.

9:30 am       Solemn mass of St Bernard of Clairvaux (Trad Roman Rite)
Wednesday August the 21st

Oxford Oratory

11:00 am     Solemn mass of St Jeanne de Chantal (Trad Roman Rite)
2:00 pm       Visit to Littlemore

International Centre of Newman Friends, 9 College Lane, Littlemore, Oxford OX4 4LQ

Blessed Newman commemoration and devotions

Balliol College chapel

6:30 pm       Vespers (Sarum Rite - of the Octave of Assumption, memory of the Martyrs Timotheus and Symphorian)

Thursday August the 22nd

Farnborough Abbey

St Michael’s Abbey, 280 Farnborough Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 7NQ

by courtesy of the Rt Revd Dom Cuthbert Brogan OSB, Abbot of Farnborough.

11:00 am     Solemn mass of Requiem for the imperial family (LLMMII Napoleon III, Eugenie, Prince Imperial) (Trad Roman Rite)
Dominican Priory, Hampstead

Southampton Road, London NW5 4LB

by courtesy of Fr Lawrence Lew OP, Sub Prior

7:30 pm       Mass of the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – octave of the Assumption, followed by the Rosary procession of the Blessed Sacrament, & benediction (Dominican Rite)

Friday August the 23rd

Ukrainian Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile

22 Binney St, London W1K 5BQ

feast of the Archdeacon Lawrence (Memory of his companions in martyrdom the Pope Sixtus II of Rome, the deacons Felicissime and Agapit, and the soldier Roman) (Russian Byzantine Rite – Julian Calendar)

Westminster Cathedral; Lady Chapel

42 Francis Street, London SW1P 1QW

by courtesy of Fr Daniel Humphreys, Sub-Administrator

3:00 pm           Vespers & benediction (Trad Roman Rite – 1st Vespers of St Bartholomew)
Saturday August the 24th

London Oratory; Little Oratory (west side of the courtyard in front of the Oratory House)

Brompton Road, London, SW7 2RP

by courtesy of the Fathers of the Oratory and Fr Edward van den Bergh, Cong.Orat., Prefect of Music

9:00 am       Solemn mass of the feast of St Bartholomew, Apostle (Trad Roman Rite)
St James’s, Spanish Place

22 George Street, London W1U 3QY

by courtesy of Fr Christopher Colven, Rector

4:30 pm       Vespers & benediction (Trad Roman Rite - 2nd Vespers of St Bartholomew)
Sunday August the 25th

Saint Bede, Clapham Park, London

11 am          solemn mass of the XIth Sunday after Pentecost (Trad Roman Rite)

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08/08/2019 - 12:01

Review of Stephen Bullivant in Catholic Herald

I'm late posting this on here but my latest in the Catholic Herald is a review of Mass Exodus by Stephen Bullivant. It begins:

Was Vatican II in some way responsible for declining Catholic practice and “affiliation” (people calling themselves Catholics), or is this phenomenon a matter of trends beyond the Church’s control? Focusing on Britain and the United States, Professor Stephen Bullivant, a sociologist of religion at St Mary’s University, London, presents the evidence with precision, while still producing a highly readable book. The thesis of Mass Exodus is that the Church, like other ecclesial bodies, has clearly faced considerable headwinds since the 1960s as a result of wider social forces, but has also made things worse for itself.

Bullivant’s analysis revolves around three key sociological concepts. The first is the role of networks in nurturing belief, or “social network theory”. The denser the social network of believers, the more they are connected with each other (as opposed to non-believers), and the lower will be the rate of lapsation and disaffiliation. The Amish, for example, with their distinctive way of life and close-knit community, have a very low level of disaffiliation. Catholics were never like them, but up to the 1960s there was, to some degree, a “Catholic ghetto” in both the US and Britain where, in a hostile world, they had social support from fellow believers. The community was marked out by customs such as eating fish on Friday, distinctive forms of worship and spirituality, and interest in a common history, particularly of persecution.
Carry on reading.

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23/07/2019 - 10:54

Two ideas for stemming lapsation

My latest on LifeSiteNews.
Contemplating the problems in the Church today, I feel like the countryman in the joke about the stranger asking for directions. 'If I were going there,' he replies, 'I wouldn't start from here.'
I wouldn't start from a situation in which, because of fifty years of bad or absent catechesis, some people walk out of church if they hear a sermon which talks about moral issues. I wouldn't start from a situation in which, because of fifty years of poor and occasionally sacrilegious liturgy, some people walk out because they see anything redolent of reverence or tradition.
We are where we are. How could we begin to make things better, without making things too much worse in the short term? Bearing in mind that if you make things too much worse in the short term, you lose your chance to persist in the experiment for the long term.
Here are a couple of ideas. If implemented, they would drive some people out: but any policy will do that, including the policy of no policy, just leaving things alone. The hope is that with the right ideas, a counter-trend of growth might be established.
I have now written short reviews here of both of Professor Stephen Bullivant’s books: one on a recent survey of lapsed Catholics for the Diocese of Portsmouth in England, the other an in-depth discussion of the sociology of Catholics leaving the Church. These form the background to my consideration, today, of what the Church can do to stem the tide of lapsation, which continues, notwithstanding Catholic immigration into both the U.K. and the USA, which flatters the overall numbers.
Prof. Bullivant asked the lapsed Catholics who completed the Portsmouth survey the simple question: “Can you imagine yourself returning to the Church? If so, what specific things might the Church do to help towards this?”
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22/07/2019 - 17:49

AGM Mass in Westminster Cathedral


I've been reading in the archive of the Catholic Herald about the first ever Mass for the Latin Mass Society to mark an Annual General Meeting: in June 1972. You can read it here. 2,700 people packed the Cathedral for the Mass and 400 attended the AGM itself afterwards.


People are not quite so starved of the Traditional Mass today, and this one Mass doesn't attractice such an enormous crowd. About that many people, by my estimation, attend a Latin Mass on any given Sunday. Many of those at the Mass in 1972 probably hadn't attended any for a year or more. Indeed, most Masses were celebrated in the vernacular from 1965, and at the same time the rubrics and prayers began to chance quite radically.


It is a reflection of the febrile atmosphere that the report of this Mass in 1972 is the first mention the Catholic Herald made to the 'Indult granted last year to England and Wales by the Pope at the Cardinal's request'. Why hadn't they mentioned it when it was granted? It had been reported in full in The Times, whose editor, William Rees-Mogg, was one of the petitioners, along with Agatha Christi, asking for it. The Catholic papers were told to keep it quiet.


Although not as well-attended as in 1972, our AGM was, as always, a jolly affair. We provide sandwich lunch (with wine) to attendees (on payment of a nominal £5) and it is a chance for anyone to talk to the Society's Officers (and staff) formally, at the meeting, or informally, over lunch. We were addressed by Bishop Campbell who gave us a little talk about St Augustine of Hippo: he is an Augustinian. We look forward to seeing him again at the Annual Requiem in Westminster Cathedral, which falls on All Souls Day this year.



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