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 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.
Bishop Stock will be conferring the sacrament of Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form on Wednesday 23rd November at 7pm in the Church of St Joseph in Bradford. Opportunities for Confirmation in the EF rarely occur in the northern dioceses, so this is an occasion not to be overlooked.
I suggest that candidates who have been properly prepared (or their parents) should contact St Joseph's Church (01274 720299).
I shall be travelling to Preston on Sunday to attend a Pontifical Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael Campbell of the Diocese of Lancaster to mark the transfer of the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury and the English Martyrs to the care of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. It will become a shrine of the English Martyrs.
The Mass will be at 11.30, and the church is situated just to the north of the city centre on the Garstang Road. The church was built and later extended by Edward Welby Pugin, son of the great AWN Pugin, and remains very much unchanged.
I have recently returned from the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome. Although I travelled by myself, I was able to join about 2000 other pilgrims from all parts of the world for Mass in St Peter's Basilica last Saturday.
For me the pilgrimage started on the Thursday evening with Mass in the church of Santa Maria supra Minerva where Mgr Wach of the Institute of Christ the King was the celebrant and preacher. I was not able to attend the the Way of the Cross on the Friday as it would have involved too much walking, so instead, I took the Metro to the basilica of San Giovanni and was able to join a guided tour.
I did, however, join the procession on the Saturday from the Chiesa Nuova to St Peter's. In the afternoon, I visited the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. On Sunday, I was able to attend Mass at the church belonging to the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter. This was a Solemn Mass in the Dominican Rite, which was a new experience for me.
Every year since 1983, an organisation called the National Centre for Social Research has conducted its British Social Attitudes Survey. In almost every year, it has included a question asking respondents about their religious affiliation. The most conspicuous trend over the years has been the growth in the proportion of people who say that they do not associate themselves with any religious denomination. They have grown from 31 percent in 1983 to 53 percent in 2016.
The proportion of the population who describe themselves as being Catholic has remained remarkably constant over the years, at around 9% - the minor fluctuations being within the margins of statistical error. Affiliation to the Church of England and other Anglican Churches (ie Scottish Episcopal Church and Church in Wales) has declined fairly consistently from 40% in 1983 to 15% in 2016. Here are some sample figures:
I have projected these figures forward a few years. Although making such predictions is a risky business, the trends are so clear that I am fairly confident about making them. The figures look like this:
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has announced that two Holy Days of Obligation are to be reinstated. The Feasts of the Epiphany and of the Ascension are in future in England and Wales to be on the actual day, and not on the nearest Sunday. An exception will be when the Epiphany (6th January) falls on a Saturday or a Monday, in which case it will continue to be celebrated on the Sunday. The Ascension will always be celebrated on the Thursday which falls 40 days after Easter Sunday.
This decision is to be welcomed. When, in 2006, the Conference decided to transfer these two feasts, together with Corpus Christi, it was met with a great deal of protest, with many public letters of objection being published. I think that this must have taken the bishops by surprise, as an undertaking was taken to review the decision. There then followed more than ten years of silence, despite the occasional enquiring letter. Most people had concluded that that the bishops had no intention of reversing the decision, so the recent announcement has come as a surprise to many of us who have been campaigning for a review.
Interestingly, our bishops have not reinstated the Feast of Corpus Christi to its traditional date. Why should this be? One possible explanation is that the bishops wanted to avoid a complete reversal of the earlier decision, thinking, maybe, that a partial retraction would not look like such a big climb down. This could also be the reason for the long delay. Nevertheless, many people will find it difficult to understand how it can be right that the obligation to attend Mass applied up to 2006 and after 2017, but not between these dates.
There is another practical point that affects Latin Mass provision. In the last ten years, many priests who are supporters of the Latin Mass, have taken the opportunity of transferred Holy Days to celebrate Latin Masses on the traditional day of the feast. It will be interesting to see how many of these continue to do so, as it is likely that there will be some pressure on them to offer English Masses on these days.
I wrote in the previous post that the Diocese of East Anglia will shortly have 12 seminarians, and suggested that this may be more than any other diocese in England and Wales. I was wrong. According to the Catholic Herald, the Diocese of Portsmouth will have 14 seminarians at the start of the new term. This is said to be the biggest number for the diocese in living memory.
It is unusual for any diocese to give much publicity to the number of their seminarians, possibly because the numbers are depressingly small. A quick search on the internet has not revealed any figures for other dioceses, although the website of Oscott College does list their current students giving their home diocese.
The article in the Catholic Herald says that in recent years there have between 30 and 40 new seminarians each year, although in 2016 the number dipped to 26. If the news from East Anglia and Portsmouth is anything like typical, there could be a bumper crop of new seminarians this year.
I suspect that it is more a case of these two dioceses being exceptional. Portsmouth is, of course, headed by Bishop Egan, who has gained a reputation as a excellent bishop and one who is very sympathetic to tradition. Similarly, Bishop Hopes of East Anglia, has also proved to be friendly to the Latin Mass. Probably, the correct conclusion is that dioceses where the bishop is friendly to tradition tend to be more successful in attracting vocations.
I would be interested to hear from anyone who has information about the numbers of seminarians in other dioceses.
During our pilgrimage to Walsingham, we received a visit from Bishop Alan Hopes. In fact, he joined the 80 weary walkers for an evening meal at Great Massingham on the second day. The bishop took great trouble to to speak to everyone, which was much appreciated.
Bishop Hopes seemed particularly happy to announce that the Diocese of East Anglia was taking on six new candidates for the priesthood in October, bringing the total number of seminarians in the diocese to twelve. I suspect that this will be the greatest number of seminarians for any diocese in Britain, and probably the greatest number of seminarians that the Diocese of East Anglia has ever had. I believe it is only a few years ago that there was only one seminarian in the diocese.
Ever since the Diocese of East Anglia was created in 1976, it has been recognised as a diocese with an acute shortage of priests. Bishop Hopes seems to be rectifying this problem. Other dioceses would do well to take note of how East Anglia attracts so many seminarians.
I have just returned from the Latin Mass Society's Pilgrimage to Walsingham. Around 80 pilgrims walked the 57 miles from Ely to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. This took two and a half days. They arrived in time to join about 100 day pilgrims for a Solemn Mass in the Chapel of Reconciliation on Sunday afternoon. This was followed by a procession along the Holy Mile to the Abbey grounds, where there were further devotions.
At the end of the pilgrimage, Fr Michael Rowe, who was chaplain to the pilgrimage, and had travelled from Australia for the event, said that, "of the 50 walking pilgrimage that he had attended in different parts of the world, this one was the best".
Remember to book into next year's Walsingham Pilgrimage, which will take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend as usual.
Starting on 10th December 2017, there will be a monthly Sunday Mass at the Church of St Mary and St Joseph in Hedon, to the East of hull. It will be at 5pm on the second Sunday of each month, with Fr Mark Drew as celebrant.
This has been made possible because Fr Drew will be moving to Hedon in October.
It is to be hoped that this new venture will be sufficiently well supported to justify an increase in the frequency.
It has been my ambition for a long time to to have regular Sunday Masses in the Hull area, but the lack of priests willing and able to say Mass in the extraordinary form has prevented this up until now. We must be very grateful to Fr Drew for providing this opportunity.
The Latin Mass Society's annual pilgrimage to Walsingham will be taking place over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Those intending to walk from Ely to Walsingham (58 miles) will assemble at Ely on the evening of Thursday 24th August, where overnight accommodation is provided. The walk takes two and a half days, with pilgrims arriving at the shrine in Walsingham at about noon on the Sunday.
There will be Solemn Mass at 2pm in the Chapel of Reconciliation, followed by a procession along the Holy Mile to the Abbey grounds where there will be further devotions, which will end at about 5pm.
Bookings for the walking pilgrimage are made on line via the Latin Mass Society website. There is no need for anyone wishing to attend only the Solemn Mass and Procession in Walsingham to book.
Supporters of the Latin Mass are encouraged to make their own way to Walsingham on the Sunday.
Thursday, 29th June is the Feast of St Peter and St Paul, and a Holyday of Obligation. There will be a sung Mass at 6pm in the Church of St Wilfrid in York. Since it is the end of the University term, the choral scholars have officially dispersed for the summer. However, the Tenor and the Bass will be around to sing a Mass for two voices.
The Latin Mass Society will be holding its annual Walsingham Pilgrimage over the August Bank Holiday Weekend. For the more energetic, it will start on the Thursday evening (24th August) in Ely. The following morning after an early Mass, the pilgrims will start the 56 mile walk to Walsingham, arriving around mid day on the Sunday.For those walking, accommodation is in halls (for women) or camping (for men). BOOKINGS ARE NOW BEING TAKEN. SEE MAIN LMS WEBSITE.
Those not wishing to undertake the long walk can travel to Walsingham independently for Solemn Mass at the shrine basilica in on Sunday at 2pm. This will be followed by walking the Holy Mile and devotions at the Abbey ruins. FULL DETAILS ON THE LMS WEBSITE.
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon will be ordaining two members of the Priestly Society of St Peter to the Priesthood on Saturday 17th June at St Mary's Church in Warrington. They are Deacons Alex Stewart, FSSP and Krzysztof Sanetra, FSSP. The programme for the day is as follows:
11am Priestly ordination of Deacons Alex Stewart, FSSP and Krzysztof Sanetra, FSSP by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool (no booking needed)
·1:30pm Refreshments in Priory Garden – while First Blessings are given by the new priests
·2pm Buffet Lunch at nearby venue (no booking needed)
·5pm Solemn Vespers
These will be the first ordinations in the Extraordinary Form to take place in England or Wales for about 50 years, so it is a significant occasion for all interested in the traditional movement. Everybody is welcome, although early arrival is recommended to be assured of a seat in the church.
Thursday 15th June is the Feast of Corpus Christi. There will be a Sung Latin Mass at St Wilfrid's Church in York at 6pm. This will be one of the last opportunities before the summer recess to hear the choral scholars in action.
The pilgrimage is on Saturday (29th April), starting at 1.30pm with Solemn Mass at St Wilfrid's Church, York . The Music will be Haydn's Little Organ Mass provided by the Music Scholars and Schola of St Wilfrid's Church. The Procession will set off at approx 3pm and return to St Wilfris's for Benediction at about 3.45pm,
Tea will be provided after Benediction. Contributions of cakes or biscuits would be appreciated,
I have been informed of of this day of Eucharistic Adoration and Prayer for York at St Wilfrid's Church in York on Friday 23rd June. The church will be open from 8am until 10pm with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament throughout. There will be Novus Ordo Mass at 12.10pm and a Sung Extraordinary Form Mass at 6pm followed by Musical Oratory, candlelit adoration and procession. The day will end with Benediction,
The Catholic Herald gives some figures for Receptions into the Catholic Church in the USA. It lists the numbers received during 2017 Easter Vigils in six US dioceses or archdioceses as follows:
Los Angeles 2694
Galveston- Houston 2375
It is not clear whether these are the top six dioceses for Receptions, or whether they are the dioceses for which figures are readily available. The total for the six dioceses is 8990, and when one considers that there are about 200 dioceses in the USA, the figure for the nation as a whole must surely exceed 100,000.
I understand that the equivalent figure for England and Wales is in the region of 3,000, so the six listed US dioceses has about three times as many Receptions as the whole of England and Wales. To make a proper comparison, one would need to know the Catholic population of these dioceses, but , at first sight, it would seem that the USA is rather better at attracting converts.
This year's pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow and the Martyrs of York will take place on Saturday 29th April. It will commence with a Solemn Mass at 1.30pm in the Church of St Wilfrid in York. This will be followed by a procession through the streets of York carrying a statue of Margaret Clitherow. It will pass through The Shambles, the place where she lived, and visit Ouse Bridge, the place of her execution, returning to St Wilfrid's Church for Benediction at around 4pm.
The well respected Choral Scholars of the York Oratory (in formation) will be singing at both the Mass and at Benediction.
This pilgrimage has become one of the major events in the world of traditional Catholicism in England and Wales, and attracts large numbers of pilgrims. It also makes a considerable impact in the City of York. Please make a note of the date and support the event.
Due to the unavailability of Mgr Heslin, the Sunday Masses at Redcar are suspended until further notice, Please pray for the speedy recovery of Mgr Heslin who has undergone an operation fo the removal of a cancer.
Ash Wednesday falls this year on the first Wednesday of March and so there will be a an Ash Wednesday Mass in Hull. Ashes will be distributed at this Mass, which is at 6.30pm on Wednesday 1st March at St Charles' Church in Hull. The celebrant will be Fr Drew.
Last week, I attended a talk given by Fr James Mawdsley FSSP at the Church of St Mary in Warrington. Before training for the priesthood at Wigratzbad in Germany, Fr Mawdsley was a preominent human rights activist, with a special interest in the oppressed ethnic minority communities in Burma (or Myanmar). As a result of his campaign of protests, he had spent the best part of two years in prison in Burma in the 1990s.
Fr Mawdsley has just returned from a fortnight in Burma, when he travelled extensively in the country visiting Catholic shrines schools, orphanages and churches. He was also able to distribute some money to good causes. The talk gave an insight into Catholic life in Burma, and I was surprised to discover that there were so many Catholics in the country.
The Catholic population is estimated as being between 500.000 and 800,000, and is growing steadily. Fr Mawdsley thought the latter figure to be the more accurate. That is around one and a half percent of the total population. Most Burmese are Buddhists, with the next largest group being Animists.
There are some large and impressive churches and cathedrals, although many of the churches are very small and sometimes very basic buildings. Apparently there is a good supply of priests, although the number of young men entering seminaries has declined in recent years. Fr Mawdsley was able to celebrate the traditional Mass every day, and said that he was warmly welcomed everywhere that he went. He said that the Burmese were very impressed that he, and the seminarian who was his travelling companion, wore the cassock. That practice has almost completely died out in Burma. He also found that many of the young priests were interested in the Latin Mass, and would be keen to learn to say it if they had the opportunity. I immediately thought that the decline in priestly vocations might be reversed by the introduction of one ofthetraditional orders into the country.
My hope is that it may be possible for the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter to establish an appostolate in Burma before too long. From what Fr Mawdsley had to say, it would seem that the Catholic community out there would welcome such a move.