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Showing posts from October, 2015

Sir Roger Gale MP's sound words on Sunday Trading

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My MP, Sir Roger Gale, has consistently voted pro-life and, for example, has been in the lobbies to vote No to the redefinition of marriage, three parent embryos, and assisted suicide. H sends out articles to constituents who wish to receive them, and the other day, I was delighted to read his sound and well-argued piece on Sunday Trading. Here is a sample paragraph:
There is, within any family`s budget, only a certain amount of money that can, after all the demands for housing, utilities, transport, clothing and so on have been met, be spent upon the purchase of new curtains, carpets and sofas.. The idea that we are all now so busy that we cannot, somehow, find time within six days of virtually round-the-clock shopping in the High Street, the Mall or on line, buy all of the goods that we can possibly afford (and probably also goods that we have no way of paying for) is retail rubbish. We have, nonetheless, already added in a chunk of Sunday for those incapable of organising their di…

Plenary indulgences and Masses for the Holy Souls

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As the month of November is fast approaching, it is good for us to remember the generosity of the Church at this time - indeed the great mercy that is shown to our departed brothers and sisters. There are two plenary indulgences that we should all try to gain:

1. A plenary indulgence may be obtained under the usual conditions on the commemoration of All Souls by visiting a Church and saying the Our Father and the Creed.

2. A plenary indulgence may be obtained under the usual conditions by those who visit a cemetery from 1-8 November and pray for the faithful departed.

For "the usual conditions", please see my post Plenary indulgences not impossible.

Most Catholic Churches have a box for donations for the "Holy Souls" box. Mine now has a brief explanation since I am sure it is by no means obvious to many Catholics, let alone non-Catholics what happens with a donation for the Holy Souls. Essentially these are used to provide Masses for the Holy Souls. Each diocese s…

Chasuble development examples in the V&A

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The other day, I spent a while in the Victoria and Albert Museum, a wonderful collection that never fails to fascinate. I noticed that there are several examples of chasubles made in the 15th century that were later altered in the 17th century. The notes on the chasuble in the above photo tell us that it was dates from 1425-1450, and was remodelled after 1600. (We are also told that it is of silk damask with metal thread, from Italy or Spain, with embroidery from Southern France in linen and silk with metal thread.)

If I have correctly applied what I have learned about these things (I am by no means an expert) then presumably the chasubles were originally of a much fuller shape (perhaps even conical) and were cut down to a more-or-less Roman style, a little like the "Borromean" style which has become more popular recently.

I am reminded of the stories of Cardinal Hinsley who was wont to take scissors to gothic styled vestments to make them Roman in shape.

Confraternity Mass with Bishop Byrne

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As promised, here are some photos from yesterday's Mass with Bishop Byrne at St Edmund's, Ware, for the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy.







Ordinarily, the principal Mass at the Colloquium is mainly in English, but this year, the Bishop particularly asked to celebrate the Mass in Latin. Most of the priests concelebrate, but attending in choro is perfectly acceptable and a number of priests choose to do this. Facilities are available for private Masses (in either form of the Roman rite) before breakfast.

Here are the Fortescue vestments that I wore for Mass yesterday morning:



The East window (click on it to get to the Flickr page, then enlarge it to more of the details):



The rood:



The vestment press first thing in the morning, when the College's collection of old Missals was in demand:



And an item from the College museum: the original copy of Adeste fideles:



For all the photographs, if you click on them, you are taken to the relevant flickr page where you can get the code to …

Statement of the British Confraternity of Catholic Clergy

At the AGM of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy held yesterday at St Edmund's, Ware, we agreed to make public the following statement following the Synod of Bishops:

STATEMENT OF THE BRITISH CONFRATERNITY OF CATHOLIC CLERGY

Feast of Ss Simon and Jude, Apostles
Wednesday 28th October 2015
The British Province of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, at our Annual Colloquium, in St Edmund’s College, Ware, expresses gratitude to the Fathers of the Ordinary General Synod on the Family for affirming, in a climate of challenge and confusion, Christ’s unchanging teachings and the Church’s constant doctrine regarding marriage, the family, and the true meaning and purpose of human sexuality.  We particularly appreciate their upholding the importance of the family as the foundation of civilisation, confirming marriage as an indissoluble union between one man and one woman, affirming the teaching of Humanae Vitae on the essential procreative nature of the marriage act, and the brave refusal t…

Fidelity, Formation and Fraternity at St Edmund's, Ware

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We have just concluded the annual colloquium of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, the British Province of Pope St Gregory the Great and a jolly good event it was too. This year, we were at St Edmund's, Ware, for the first time. The place breathes English Catholic history, and the Headteacher gave us a fascinating introductory tour.

We had papers from Fr Hunwicke on "Church or Churches? Who owns the Magisterium?", Fr David Marsden on "The Formation of the Mind of the Priest" and Fr Nicholas Schofield on "St Edmund's College - the Douai of the South". The variety of topics worked well in giving us plenty of material for reflection.

Bishop Robert Byrne came to celebrate Mass for us yesterday. Several of us celebrated private Masses first thing and were able to assist in choir or, in my case, to be free to take photographs discreetly. I have quite a few and will upload the best ones to Flickr tomorrow and post a selection here.

We were well looke…

The hermeneutic of continuity applied to #Synod15

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In a small bus, nearly 40 years ago, as a first year student from St John's seminary at Wonersh, on my way to do pastoral work of some sort, I listened to a discussion about sacramental theology that I have never forgotten - or rather I have forgotten most of it except for the exasperated exclamation of a man who was my senior, delivered in a broad South London accent "Oh no! Not all that ex opere operaaaato stuff!" Perhaps some readers of the title of this post might be inclined to moan similarly "Oh no! Not all that 'ermenootic of continuuuity stuff!" Please bear with me.
Fundamental to Pope Benedict's concept of the hermeneutic of continuity is that it is not a description, but an imperative. Over the years of writing this blog, I have many times seen withering comments deriding the idea that Vatican II is just like all the other councils, or that the modern rite of Mass is just the same as the traditional Mass. If the hermeneutic of continuity were …

St Alphonsus, a saint for the Year of Mercy

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In just another act of generosity that marks the best of Catholic internet activity, somebody has scanned/transcribed the texts of three important spiritual books:
Meditations and Readings for Every Day of the Year selected from the writings of St Alphonsus LiguoriThe Spiritual Combat by Father Dom Lorenzo ScupoliTrue Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Saint Louis de Montfort The texts are available at the Religious Bookshelf. I am currently using the Meditations selected from St Alphonsus for each day. St Alphonsus is a completely trustworthy writer: so much so that Blessed Pius IX proclaimed him a doctor of the Church in 1871, just 32 years after he was canonised by Pope Gregory XVI. Each day, there is a meditation for the morning, a short passage for spiritual reading, and a meditation for the evening.

St Alphonsus was certainly able to write with passion about the love and mercy of Our Lord. His reflections on the passion are filled with heartfelt gratitude for the sacrifice w…

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