The Latin Mass Society RC Diocese of Middlesbrough
The purpose of this blog is to provide an open forum for discussion of the aims of the society; news from the wider Church and details of Masses and events of interest in the diocese. The Latin Mass Society in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough expresses its full filial devotion and loyalty to Holy Mother Church, Pope Francis and Bishop Drainey.
REGULAR TRADITIONAL MASSES IN THE DIOCESE OF MIDDLESBROUGH
12 Noon. Every Sunday MissaCantata at Church of St Wilfrid, Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF
11:30am. (Winter months) 6pm. (Summer months) Every Sunday Church of the Sacred Heart, Lobster Road, Redcar. TS10 1SH
6.30pm First Wednesday of each month at Church of St Charles, Jarratt St. Hull. HU1 3HB
There have recently been a few posts on various blogs concerning the numbers of men putting themselves forward for training for the priesthood, and the number ordinations of diocesan priests. Everyone is agreed that there are acute shortages in most dioceses, and that matters will get worse in the years to come.
Some people have commented that many of our bishops have failed to grasp the problem, saying such things as "it is in the hands of the Holt Spirit". My view is that the bishops of England and Wales now take the matter seriously, but perhaps some have not done so in the past. However, I believe that many of the bishops of England and Wales have yet to adopt the remedial measures that are needed.
I believe that over the past 40 years, there has been a significant number of young men who have felt a call to the priesthood, but have been put off by what they see in their parishes. I believe there have been many others who have spent one or two years in a seminary, before deciding that the seminary lifestyle is not for them. There is yet another category of potential priests who have applied to their bishop, and been told to go away and think about it for a year or two.
It is likely that in most of these cases, the candidate has had a more traditional concept of priestly life than either they had observed in their parishes or in seminary. In some cases it may have been the bishop who felt unable to accept a candidate, usually because the candidate is perceived to show traditional leanings. My belief is that, if over the last 40 years the Church had been more welcoming to these candidates, the priest shortage within our dioceses would be far less acute - possibly to the extent of 200 or more diocesan priests.
What leads me to think along these lines? Firstly, I have personally come across more than a few young men who would seem to fit this scenario; and there must be many more unknown to me.
Secondly, we have the evidence of the traditional orders that are now establishing themselves in this country. Yesterday I met one young man who had just returned from a weekend in Warrington where he had been discerning his vocation with the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter. He told me that he was one of seven. At Preston, the Institute of Christ the King have just set up a House of Discernment, and five young men have chosen to spend a year there. This shows a high level of commitment, as in most cases it has involved giving up job or perhaps an entire career.
My third bit of evidence is the recent growth in the number of Oratories in this country. In recent years, Orarories have been formed in Manchester, York, Bournemouth and Cardiff, and between them, they have attracted at least six novices. The Oratory communities are traditional in their lifestyle and offer the Latin Mass in their churches.
So what conclusions do we draw? Firstly, the priest shortage in the dioceses need not have been as severe as it is; and the dioceses could still attract more priestly vocations if the more traditionally minded candidates were made more welcome. Reform is particularly needed in our seminaries.
The second conclusion is that the traditional orders will be playing an increasingly important role in the Catholic life of this country in the years to come.
There will be a Solemn Pontifical Mass of Requiem at 3pm on Saturday 11th November in St Anne's Cathedral, Cookridge Street, Leeds.
The celebrant will be His Lordship the Bishop of Leeds, Marcus Stock, and the Mass will be offered for for his predecessors as Bishops of Leeds.
Neil Walker dis supply me with an attractive poster for this event, but I am unable to include it here, for reasons that I do not understand. Nevertheless, it will be a momentous occasion, and I would urge anyone able to attend to tavel to Leeds for the event.
There will be Latin Masses at 6pm at St Wilfrid's Church in York on both Wednesday and Thursday of this week for the feasts of All Saints and All Souls.
There will be NO 6.30pm first Wednesday Latin Mass at St Charles' in Hull on 1st November as there is no priest available. There will, However be a Mass on Saturday 4th November at 12.10pm to mark the Feast of St Charles Borromeo. See next post.
Papa Stronsay, the blog of the Transalpine Redemptorists, has a splendid post which includes the following picture.
At their Oratory in New Zealand, they made a rosary from gas filled baloons, and released it into the sky to mark the centenary of the apparitions of Fatima. Apparently it rose until it could not be seen any longer. Presumably, the baloons eventually burst, and the rosary landed somewhere, although there is no account of it being found.
I have recently come across some statistics about priestly ordinations in France. These figures are for diocesan ordinations only, and exclude all traditional and religious orders.
What I was not aware of, is the increasing practice in France of diocesan priests being ordained according to Extraordinary Form rites. The following figures cover the years 2010 to 2015, and so are not fully up to date.
Taking the six years together, about 16% of diocesan ordinations have been in the extraordinary Form. The most noticeable feature of these figures is the downward trend in the numbers being ordained in the Ordinary Form. Although there is no marked trend in the numbers being ordained in the Extraordinary Form, the trend in this percentage of EF ordinations is definitely upward.
As far as I am aware, there is no example in England and Wales of any diocesan priest having been ordained in the EF in recent times, although Archbishop McMahon has ordained two FSSP priests, using the old liturgy.
A relatively new phenomenon in France is the bi-ritually trained diocesan priest. I presume that most of these opt for ordination in the EF, and represent most of the EF ordinations enumerated above.
When one adds the ordinations of Frenchmen belonging to the FSSP, ICKSP and IBP into the mix, and also takes into account the traditional Benedictine and Augustinian monasteries in France, which are prospering, the proportion of ordinations in the Extraordinary Form is quite impressive, probably 40% at the present time.
There will be no Latin Mass at St Charles Church in Hull on Wednesday 1st November. This is because there will be a Solemn Mass at St Charles Church at 12.10pm on Saturday 4th November to mark the Feast of St Charles Borromeo. There will be more about this in a future post.
It has recently been reported that the Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Sovereign Priest, who form the female branch of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, are to open a convent in Preston, Lancashire. They are to take over the former presbytery of the now demolished Church of St Augustine. Here is a picture of the former presbytery, with the remains of St Augustine's Church in the background.
It was a large presbytery, and there is a sizable garden behind the wall in the foreground.
St Augustine's was one of several large Catholic Churches built in the central area of Preston in the nineteenth century. The foundation stone of this classically designed church was laid in 1838, and it remained in use until 1984, when dry rot was discovered.
By this time, much of Preston's population had moved to new housing estates in the suburbs, with the result that the central churches were heavily underused. The discovery of dry rot was given as the reason for the immediate closure of the church, although it remained standing until 2004, when it was demolished, although its classical facade and the presbytery were preserved. The site of the church is now part of Newman College, into which the classical facade has been incorporated. The presbytery remained in occupation until 2015.
Facade grafted to Newman College
It is now to have a new life as the home of the Sister Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus. They are a non-cloistered order of contemplative nuns who will give support to the two churches in Preston served by the Institute of Christ the King.
I have recently read that East Timor, which has a population of 1.3million people, is 97% Catholic. There are currently 220 priests, which amounts to one priest to serve around 6,000 Catholics. In the past East Timor has relied heavily on missionary priests supplemented by a few priests born in East Timor but educated elsewhere. Things are beginning to change.
In the year 2000 a seminary was opened in Dili, and this has been supported by a junior seminary. The junior seminary has been accepting 90 students each year, but has to turn away most of the 300 or so that apply.
This year a second junior seminary has opened that is able to accept 22 students. Although a welcome development, further junior and major seminaries will be needed to satisfy the demand. There is the potential for the number of priests to increase dramatically in the years to come.