Mass of Ages - Summer 2020 Edition
Mass of Ages is the quarterly magazine of the Latin Mass Society. It contains reports on our many activities across the country, national and international news of Traditional Catholic events, feature articles on different aspects of traditional Faith and culture, and opinions and views on developments in the Catholic Church.
In this issue: • Joseph Shaw asks: Why is the Traditional Movement stronger in some places than in others? • Paul McGregor explains how the Traditional Mass returned to Culiacan, Mexico • Maurice Quinn tells the history of Dorset’s ‘Little gem’ – Our Lady of Marnhull • Clare Bowskill shows how the Traditional Mass online was the norm for us all this Easter • Charles A. Coulombe on fire and water – and ghost stories • Joseph Shaw on the Coronavirus epidemic and the liturgical reform • Lucy Shaw reports from the Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat held earlier this year
“The six founding members of the Una Voce Federation (FIUV) represented Norway, France, England and Wales, Scotland, Germany, and Austria. Countries under Communist rule could not take part in these historic events, and nor could less affluent counties far from Europe such as those of Africa and South East Asia. But why was there no association from Spain, Italy, Ireland, or Latin America, areas of deep Catholic culture?
This pattern has persisted as the movement for the Traditional Mass has developed: the founding associations, though without Norway, have been joined by the USA and Canada, and by Poland, as the countries with the greatest provision of the Traditional Mass, by contrast with the often deeply Catholic nations to their South. We might summarise this as a contrast between ‘North’ and ‘South’. Why might this be so?” asks Joseph Shaw.
“The city of Culiacan in Mexico made headlines around the world last 17 October following a failed attempt by Mexican armed forces to detain Ovidio Guzman Lopez, son of El Chapo, the famed leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, now in a US jail. The Cartel out-gunned and out-smarted government troops, forcing them to release Ovidio Guzman. Several people died on the streets of the city on what came to be called locally, 'el jueves negro' (Black Thursday). But the previous day, another event of far more transcendental importance took place in that same city, close to Mexico's Pacific coast – it saw its first Traditional Latin Mass in more than 50 years. You could say that true Catholics in Culiacan had their 'miercoles dorado', their Golden Wednesday.
The historic event took place at the convent of the Carmelites of the Holy Spirit, just blocks away from the shooting and the burnt-out vehicles, and was the result of a number of fortunate coincidences, or perhaps, divine interventions.” Paul McGregor explains more.
Maurice Quinn, LMS Representative for Dorset, retells the fascinating history of the church of Our Lady in Marnhull, a true ‘hidden gem of English Catholicism. “Country walkers on their way down Old Mill Lane heading towards open fields and the picturesque River Stour, pass by this humble stone structure often without a second glance other than to remark on the adjacent pretty little cemetery, or the accompanying birdsong that orchestrates the morning air. From an architectural perspective Our Lady’s would be ignored by the connoisseur of fine buildings, but its very humility was – and still is – a testament of true Christian living not to be viewed fleetingly as by the passing walker, but to be experienced.
Deep amid the dales of Dorset,
Stands our lowly little Shrine,
Cast Thy glance of love upon it,
Gentle Lady, Make it Thine."
“This Easter was the strangest of times. No packed churches, filled with sweet incense and the sound of the organ ringing out. The bells remained silent, the pews gathered dust and the heavy church doors stayed shut.” writes Clare Bowskill, LMS Publicist. “In these unprecedented times however, our Priests decided if the people could not attend Mass then they would bring the Mass to us and so cameras were hastily assembled, wifi networks upgraded and the online, digital live-streamed Mass already available in some larger churches went ‘viral’.”
Charles A. Coulombe writes: “Many of the Church’s feasts … are also festooned with various folk beliefs – some intended purely for children, others taken more or less seriously by adults. So it was with tales of talking or praying animals on Christmas Eve, balancing an egg at Easter, or foretelling whom one might marry on All Hallows’ Eve. Indeed, eves of major feasts tended to acquire peculiar reputations – not merely Halloween, but May Eve or Walpurgisnacht, Lammas Eve, Candlemas Eve, St Mark’s Eve, and on and on. An upcoming summer feast which epitomises all these things is Midsummer Night – St John’s Eve.”
“The Church reformed the liturgy at a moment of great optimism. “ writes Joseph Shaw. “The developed world was enjoying the long post-war boom. Seminaries were full. And new-fangled antibiotics and vaccination programs were sweeping away one major disease after another. It is not surprising to find that when medieval-style pestilence stalks the streets, the Church has to reach back into the past, before that brief gilded historical moment, for responses. The most obvious example is ‘Spiritual Communion’: the practice of uniting oneself in prayer to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, since one is not able to receive sacramentally.”
Lucy Shaw writes: “The Guild of St Clare held its sixth sewing retreat on the last weekend of February, and we were delighted to welcome Fr Stephen Morrison, OPraem, as our chaplain. We tackled a wide variety of repairs and commissions, including ongoing work on the Latin Mass Society's red High Mass Set, the re-lining of a much-loved chasuble from Fr Stephen's own community in Chelmsford, and the making of three faldstool covers in different liturgical colours for Fr Alan Robinson at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane.” Read Lucy's report on the Retreat and a burse making day at the Royal School of Needlework.
Also in this edition:
• The Chairman explains how, in a time of crisis, we need to recover a rich devotional life
• Maurice Quinn remembers Major Timothy Charles O’Neill, The McCoy
• The Guild of St Clare gives details of their sponsorship scheme of a student to study with the RSN
• Matthew Schellhorn writes about the St John Houghton Schola
• Kevin Symonds reviews a remarkable new book that investigates claims that the Catholic Church was infiltrated by Freemasonry
• Macklin Street pays tribute to a former member of staff, Bill Tomlinson, who died recently
• We reproduce the text ‘The Sacraments and the Epidemic’ tips from the LMS in light of the Extraordinary Form and the Traditional Practice and Discipline of the Church
Our regular columnists:
• Mary O’Regan on Our Lady of Good Help
• Paul Waddington looks at England’s second largest Catholic Cathedral - Norwich
• Alberto Carosa reports on how heroic nuns are at the helm of the first outpost of traditionalism in northern Sweden
• Sebastian Morello sings the praises of claret
On the last weekend of August, the Society hopes to undertake its Annual Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham, covering 59 miles of paths, tracks, and roads, in the footsteps of countless pilgrims since before the Norman Conquest, for the Conversion of England. We hope the current restrictions in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic will be lifted in time for the pilgrimage to take place.
We are offering supporters not able to do the walk the chance to share in the graces of the pilgrimage by sponsoring the pilgrims. See HERE for details.
During this time when churches are closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it is not possible for us to make copies of Mass of Ages available from cathedrals and churches. If you would like a hard copy of the magazine we would be very happy to send one from the LMS Office. However, due to the high cost of postage, we do ask that you cover the cost of postage. See HERE for details. Alternatively, a digital copy of the magazine can be read online HERE.
To help the Latin Mass Society continue its work of promoting and developing Traditional life and practice in the Church, please consider signing up to our Anniversary Supporters’ Appeal.