Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Summer Conference at Chavagnes College

Europe and the Faith : 
an inter-disciplinary Catholic conference
30th July to 3rd August 2018

Joseph Pearce will be the Keynote Speaker  -  “The Catholic vision of JRR Tolkien”  -  at the Summer Conference in Chavagnes, France, this year. Now in its third year, the Conference has proved to be a lively and interesting event in a convivial atmosphere, with daily Mass and visits to local places of Catholic interest. 

Although in France (Nantes is the nearest airport) the Conference talks take place in English (which is also the language in which the College and Studium teach their secondary and tertiary students.)

JOSEPH PEARCE is a senior fellow at The Cardinal Newman Society and editor of its journal. He is a senior contributor at The Imaginative Conservative and senior editor at the Augustine Institute. Up until recently, Director of the Center for Faith and Culture at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee he was previously on the staff of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire,  Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan and at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida. His books include biographical works on C.S. Lewis, Shakespeare, Tolkien, Chesterton, Wilde, Solzhenitsyn and Belloc. He is a visiting professor for the Studium’s new Liberal Arts degree being launched in September 2018.

Pontifical High Mass from one of the previous Conferences.

"A man’s view of himself is not an “aspect:” it is a comprehension. Now then, so it is with us who are of the Faith and the great story of Europe. A Catholic as he reads that story does not grope at it from without, he understands it from within. He cannot understand it altogether because he is a finite being; but he is also that which he has to understand. The Faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith.”                                                                                                                                              Hilare Belloc

You can find out more about the Conference (which is very reasonably priced and will also provide transport to and from Nantes Airport) - as well as an online booking form at:

The College is set in the beautiful countryside of the French Vendée.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider speaking at a previous Conference.

The Little Office of Our Lady being sung in the Baudouin Chapel.

A convivial evening in the gardens.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Pilgrimage for the English Martyrs

It was a beautiful sunny day for the pilgrims walking from St Walburge's to the Shrine of the English Martyrs in Preston yesterday. I walked with the Canons of the Institute of Christ the King along with a small group of parishioners from the parish here at St Catherine's.

The procession was led by a bier on which was carried relics of the martyrs.

The witness of the English and Welsh Martyrs should be a great inspiration to us today to give witness to the Faith. Among other things, they gave their lives for the celebration of the Mass, which seems to sit so lightly with so many Catholics today. Of course, the manner of celebrating the Mass needs to reflect its dignity, power and the glorious sacrifice of Calvary. When its celebrated in a way that doesn't speak of that, we can hardly expect people to think of dying for it, let alone giving up their Sunday shopping or the football to attend it. Fortunately, the Mass yesterday spoke of all that it should be to inspire our wonder.

Some of the Sisters from the newly established convent also walked with us - 
and sang beautifully at the Mass.

Great witness to the Faith walking through the streets of Preston.

Arriving at the Shrine.



The Altar to the English Martyrs.

Wonderful  photographs 
used with kind permission of Michael Durnam.

It was lovely to hear the Sisters singing at the Mass, as well as the Octavius singers.
Organist David Scott-Thomas treated to a magnificent rendition of Vierne's Westminster Carillon at the end, while everyone came to the altar rails to venerate the relics.

A version here to listen to.

Monday, 23 April 2018

From the heart of a young father

A friend forwarded me this witness from Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, which I thought worth sharing.

by Charles J. Chaput
4 . 18 . 18

Bishops get a lot of unsolicited mail from strangers, some of it pleasant, some of it much less so. It goes with the job. But every once in a while a letter comes in that’s worth sharing with a wider audience. Last month, in preparation for the October 2018 synod, roughly 300 young adults from around the world gathered in Rome to discuss their views of faith and the Church. The result was a valuable experience of dialogue and learning—so valuable that I think that continuing the process of listening to a wide range of young adult experiences is important. In that spirit, I offer a letter below, which I received just after the March pre-synod gathering. It was unsolicited and from a stranger—but hardly the first such letter to come my way. Though I’ve removed the author’s name and other identifiers, the content is unchanged and used with his permission. It deserves consideration as we seek a fuller understanding of the pastoral challenges facing young adults in a changing world. 

I am 26 years old, a father of three young children, and I wish to offer my perspective, shared by many of my peers, on Rome’s upcoming synod [on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment”].  
Though the Church’s growing focus on evangelization of the “Nones” is encouraging, there have been recent discussions emanating from several prominent figures in Rome and throughout Church leadership regarding a so-called “paradigm shift” relative to doctrine, the supremacy of individual conscience, and pastoral accommodation. My wife and I find these developments disturbing and potentially disastrous for the evangelization of the young and the fallen-away.  
We young people crave the truth and clarity of good teaching. On a secular level this is evidenced by the meteoric rise in popularity of Jordan Peterson. We crave the truth, no matter how blunt or difficult it is for us to swallow or for the shepherds of our flock to teach.  
Our culture is roiled in confusion concerning the basic tenets of human nature: From a very young age, we’re deluged with propaganda that distorts basic scientific truths about gender, paints virtue and chivalry as “toxic masculinity,” denigrates the family, and desecrates the nature of sex and its fruits, especially the unborn child.  
We urgently need the Church’s clarity and authoritative guidance on issues like abortion, homosexuality, gender dysphoria, the indissolubility of matrimony, the four last things, and the consequences of contraception (moral, anthropological, and abortifacient). My generation has never, or rarely, heard these truths winsomely taught in the parishes. Instead, we hear most forcefully and frequently from our bishops' conference and our dioceses regarding the federal budget, border policy, net neutrality, gun control, and the environment.  
Increasingly, we have noticed an appeasement of modern culture under the broad cloak of pastoral sensitivity, including cases of some high-profile clergy who deliberately blur the Church's teaching regarding homosexuality and transgenderism in the name of “building bridges.” The dubia remain unanswered. Discussions of beauty in the liturgy and reverent reception of the Eucharist are mocked. Heads are scratched at decreasing Mass attendance, yet young people who look to tradition to recover our bearings are chided as “rigid.”  
This shift away from clarity is demoralizing for young faithful Catholics, particularly those with a heart for the New Evangelization and my friends raising children against an ever-stronger cultural tide. Peers of mine who are converts or reverts have specifically cited teachings like Humanae Vitae, Familiaris Consortio, and Veritatis Splendor as beacons that set the Church and her wisdom apart from the world and other faiths. Now they’re hearing from some in the highest levels of the Church that these liberating teachings are unrealistic ideals, and that “conscience” should be the arbiter of truth.  
Young Catholics crave the beauty that guided and inspired previous generations for nearly two millennia. Many of my generation received their upbringing surrounded by bland, ugly, and often downright counter-mystical modern church architecture, hidden tabernacles, and banal modern liturgical music more suitable to failed off-Broadway theater. The disastrous effect that Beige Catholicism (as Bishop Robert Barron aptly describes it) has had on my generation can’t be overstated. In a world of soulless modern vulgarity, we’re frustrated by the iconoclasm of the past 60 years.  
In sum, many of us feel that we’re the rightful heirs of thousands of years of rich teaching, tradition, art, architecture, and music. We young Catholics increasingly recognize that these riches will be crucial for evangelizing our peers and passing on a thriving Church to our children. If the Church abandons her traditions of beauty and truth, she abandons us.  
I offer these observations without bitterness or insult, but with love for my brothers and sisters who have not received the blessing, love, and formation God mysteriously granted to me and my friends. I am not alone. Though deeply troubled by the current state of affairs, we remain hopeful; and rooted in that confidence, we’re raising large families who will inherit the future of the Church. I sincerely hope this can be conveyed emphatically at the upcoming synod, and I thank every pastor and bishop who stands as a role model for evangelizing, preaching the truth, and promoting the beauty and richness our faith has to offer. 

I can add little to that kind of witness. I’ll merely suggest the obvious: The future of the Catholic faith belongs to those who create it with their fidelity, their self-sacrifice, their commitment to bringing new life into the world and raising their children in truth, and their determination to walk Christ’s “narrow way” with joy. May God grant the 2018 synod fathers the grace and courage to lead young people on that path. 

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., is the archbishop of Philadelphia.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Holy Week Services At St Catherine's

Palm Sunday
Mass at 8.30am (OF)
Sung Mass at 10am (OF)
Low Mass at 11.30am (EF)

Maundy Thursday
Mass of the Lord's Supper at 7.30pm (OF)
Watching at the Altar of Repose, 
concluding with Sung Compline at 9.50pm

Good Friday 
Liturgy of the Lord's Passion and Death at 3pm (OF)

Eram Quasi Agnus +  Improperia –   Victoria
Christus Factus Est - Anerio
Ave Verum Corpus – Byrd
Drop, Drop, Slow Tears –  Gibbons
  Passion Chorale -  Bach

Holy Saturday
Easter Vigil & First Mass at 8pm (OF)

Mass in G – Schubert
JubilateDeo – Lassus
Tu Rex Gloriae - Gounod
Sicut Cervus – Palestrina
Now the Green Blade Riseth - Lindley

Easter Sunday
Mass at 8.30am (OF)
Missa Cantata at 10.30am (EF)

Music at 10.30am
Mass in C K220 “Spatzenmesse” - Mozart
Motet: Jubilate Deo - Mozart
 Regina Caeli - Lotti 


With thanks to our Director of Music - Mr Anthony Dickinson -
and to our organists and singers.

We are looking forward to be joined by a small contingent of staff and students from Chavagnes International College to assist with some of the Triduum this year.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Protection of the Unborn Mass

I am offering Mass this Saturday 10th March at 12 noon for the protection of the unborn, as part of the Latin Mass Society prayer campaign. Very suitably, Mass will be that of Our Lady on a Saturday with the second collects for the English Martyrs. Our Lady as Mother and the Martyrs who gave their lives in defence of the values of the Faith seem a natural setting for our prayers in this area. It is also the day before Mothering Sunday.

The LMS Representative writes:

As you may know, the Irish government has confirmed that it will hold a referendum on reform of the country’s strict anti-abortion laws by the end of May. It has agreed to give voters in the republic the chance to repeal the eighth amendment to the country’s constitution.

It has also decided to ask the electorate to endorse enabling powers to allow parliament to draw up a new law that would eventually permit abortions in Irish hospitals up to 12 weeks into pregnancy.

The LMS Officers and Committee agreed, in conjunction with the Latin Mass Society of Ireland and Una Voce Scotland, to appeal for Masses and prayers to be said for the retention of the Eighth amendment and the protection of the unborn in Ireland.

Here in the Liverpool Archdiocese Masses will be offered at St Anthony’s, Scotland Road, on the Saturdays of Lent at 12.30 pm, following the parish Stations of the Cross at 11 a.m. 

The 12 noon Mass at St Catherine Laboure, Farington, on 10th March will also be offered for this intention.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

The Holy Face of Jesus - and Ash Wednesday

 I am celebrating Mass for the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus
which falls on Shrove Tuesday.  

There will be Low Mass at 12 noon. 

Not such a well-known devotion in this day and age but obviously an ancient one, 
as Veronica's veil was kept intact from the time of Our Lord's Passion. 
St Therese of Lisieux was a great devotee.  
Click here for devotional items and books about this Feast.

This week also sees the start of Lent 
and there will be Mass (OF) with the 
Distribution of Ashes 
9.30am and at 7pm.

Stations of the Cross each Thursday at 7pm.

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable,
 most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God 
be always praised,
 blessed, loved, adored and glorified, 
in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Watch daily Mass live

I've been meaning to post this for a while. The Fathers at St Mary's, Warrington now have a link on their website to watch Mass each day from the Shrine. I know of a number of housebound parishioners especially that might find this very useful.
Just go to their website and click on the link form the main page.