19 December 2012

LMS Pilgrimage to Rome, November 2013


LMS Pilgrimage to Rome, November 2013
The Latin Mass Society will be organising a pilgrimage to Rome in November 2013.  Departure from the UK will be on Thursday, 7 November and the return will be on Tuesday, 12 November.  It is most likely that the flight will be from either Stanstead or Luton Airports to suit the majority of pilgrims, although a northern option is also being considered.
Accommodation is being reserved at a convent in central Rome, which is within walking distance of St Peter’s Basilica and many of the principal churches and visitor sites.  We expect to take with us at least one chaplain.
The dates of the pilgrimage have been chosen to coincide with the biennial meeting of the International Federation Una Voce, which takes place on the Saturday and Sunday.  Although our pilgrims will not be directly involved in this meeting, the choice of these dates will mean that Latin Mass supporters from many parts of the world will be in Rome at the time, providing opportunities for Solemn Masses and other liturgies in major churches, which LMS pilgrims will be able to attend.  Some time will be set aside for sightseeing.
Every effort is being made to keep the cost down, so as to be affordable for as many people as we can manage.  The full cost, including flights and five nights’ accommodation in Rome is not expected to exceed £500 per person, although this will have to be confirmed when the arrangements are finalised.
At present, we invite members and non-members to register an expression of interest with our office staff, either by e-mail or telephone:
020 7404 7284
Anyone interested is urged to make early contact, so that the size of the group can be established, and preliminary bookings made.  Registering at this stage does not mean a firm commitment.

18 December 2012


Publication of FIUV Traditional Position Papers in a Single Volume
The International Federation Una Voce (FIUV), to which the Latin Mass Society is affiliated, announces the publication of a collection of short Position Papers on aspects of the Traditional Mass (Extraordinary Form), which represent an  important contribution to the ongoing debate about the Catholic liturgy.
The papers are short but include many references to the Magisterium, and seek to express the main arguments on each topic in a pithy and easily understood way.
The topics include the manner of receiving Communion (in the hand or on the tongue), worship facing east, the use of Latin, altar girls, the Eucharistic fast, and the role of the traditional liturgy in the New Evangelisation. Copies are available from Lulu:
"Let me say simply that reading and ruminating over the FIUV Papers on the Liturgy could serve as a marvellous primer for anyone, clergy or laity, on how to address what often ends up being controversial, doing so in a very different and respectful manner." 
Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, Nuncio to the Ukraine.
For further information, please contact Mike Lord, General Manager,
on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585; (E mail) michael@lms.org.uk

Mass in Brighton on Christmas Day

There will be a Christmas Day Mass at St Mary Magdalen, Brighton, at 9.00 am, please see the sidebar for the address.

10 December 2012

Changes to Mass times

This Sunday, 16th December, the Mass at St Thomas More, Seaford, will be at 12.15 pm, NOT 3.00pm, as usual. That's just for this coming Sunday.

From the New Year, Masses at Our Lady of Consolation, West Grinstead, will be at the new time of 12.30 pm, and no longer at 3.00 pm.

Any other changes, I'll let you know.

04 December 2012

Off piste.

Having read some blogs, the odd book and the oftentimes very odd bits of The Pill online, I'm detecting a theme.

I think we are all meant to be stupid. I'm coming to believe it might even be an unofficial policy - at least in terms of music, liturgy, and catechesis we are being offered by them that knows what's best for us. You know, the ones who think sin's too big a word, let alone concept, for kids, when they can quite happily not get tongue tied saying deinonychus and iguanodon.

What amused me the most this week, apart from the funny and dare I say, dinosaur comments from Mr Inwood regarding Latin Masses (more of that in a minute), was the Pill's questionnaire of the new translation. Best mantilla twitch to Fr Finigan. UPDATE: They've done yet another version of the questionnaire. I think they'll keep changing it until they get the result they want. Go over and fill it in again, I have!

Oh my. Do pop over and have a look. It's quite frankly astonishing to be asked if your priest finds all those long words a bit much and might find them a tad, well, hard. I know educationally things have taken a bit of a dive in the past 20 or so years, but things are that bad? One burning question, do you see people around you struggling to follow the new text? Well yeah, but only when the Mass that's printed on the sheet isn't the one being said. That tends to confuse the best of us.

As I said. Oh. My.

I've been assisting at the new translation Masses since the beginning. A priest who wants to go off piste, still goes off piste. A priest who follows the rubrics still follows the rubrics. I don't find it to be the number of syllables in a sentence that causes the problems at the ordinary form Mass.

It's certainly better with the new translation, although I do find it a bit clunky, if I'm honest.

Ah, music. There's been a lot in the blogosphere about music lately on a more positive note, and Clare and Fr Ray show what's possible when you ditch Peace, Perfect Peace on repeat, but the naughty Eccles  has had his say, The Bones his, and our Chairman Joe Shaw, his.

Now briefly I'm going to have mine. The trite rubbish I had to sing (and still have to on occasion) from my earliest years is all thanks to the likes of Mr Inwood. I've suffered, yes suffered, guitars, tambourines, recorders, jazz guitar, jazz flute, hand clapping, keyboards, and choruses so repetitively inane they could be used for brainwashing and mind control on Homeland, and Mr Inwood has the nerve to infer that because I wasn't brought up with the Latin Mass, I have no right to it pastorally? I know this is a common mind set in those antipathetic to the Latin Mass, but it's no less irritating every time it's dredged up.

Instead of us all being lowest common denominatored a la school assembly, how about a little spiritual elevation?

In other news, I hear the heir of the heir is to have an heir. It's always lovely when a baby's on the way. Haven't heard anyone call this foetus anything other than 'baby' in the press, and yet surely, it's the same press that will quite happily call any other baby a mass of tissue, only a few cells, something less than human? Just saying.

28 November 2012

Confirmations in the Traditional Rite in London
The Latin Mass Society held its annual ceremony of Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form on Saturday, 24 November. Bishop Alan Hopes, auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Westminster, conferred the Sacrament to 23 candidates at St James’s Church, Spanish Place, in central London. Assisting the bishop were Fr Rupert McHardy, Cong. Orat., Fr Tim Finigan and the parish priest of St James’s, Fr Christopher Colven. The Confirmations were followed by Pontifical Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Afterwards, the confirmands, their sponsors, and families went for lunch in St James’s parish centre, where Bishop Hopes cut a celebratory cake.
LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: ‘We were delighted with the number of candidates we received for Traditional Confirmations in London this year, particularly as there had been, for the first time, two other Traditional Confirmation ceremonies this year in Wirral and Stoke-on-Trent. We would like to thank Bishop Hopes for agreeing to confer the Sacrament this year and look forward to another successful event in London next year. We would very much like to see other Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form across the whole country and would urge all bishops to consider offering this Sacrament in its traditional form in their dioceses as part of their pastoral care for the faithful.’

More photos can be found HERE
For further information, please contact Mike Lord, General Manager,
on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585; (E mail) michael@lms.org.uk

26 November 2012


Joe Shaw has a very interesting post on Catechesis on his blog. It's something I feel quite strongly about. I'm not going to get all theological, or argue particularly, just offer a bit of my own experience of catechesis. We've been in quite a few parishes over the years, and seen quite a few First Holy Communions and Confirmations. I'm not thinking particularly about Confirmation at the moment, just First Holy Communion, which to be honest is a well meaning muddle.

So what is my immediate experience. Well, mainly that what was/is taught at home is not what was/is taught during most ordinary parish classes. There is a decided tension, if not conflict, between the two. On the one hand, it's very nice to be on Team God, included, with a sanctuary full of participatory opportunities for the committed 7 year old girl (or boy, perhaps) once the First Communion party is done with. There is nothing wrong with the old gather and share, but why is Holy Communion so important and special if anyone can sit round the altar holding hands at the Our Father, and pretty much anyone can be a 'minister of the Eucharist' handing out the Body of Our Lord at Holy Communion? Where is the concept of sacrifice, and Calvary, that supernatural otherness?

Take another bete noir, that awfully dirty word, sin. Sin is represented currently as just a  'bad choice'. If sin is only ever just a 'bad choice', and you make the ultimate 'bad choice' and cut yourself off entirely from God, ummmm, so what? There are no longer term consequences, because hey kids, doesn't matter what Our Lord said, hell just isn't there any more. Is it ever going to be age-appropriate to talk about hell?

You see the kind of thing I mean. There's a bit of conflict between the two kinds of catechesis. In my experience, kids are rather fond of black and white. Grey happens when you're older, and you have the black and white to guide you. Small kids aren't very good in a grey fog. They can understand complexity, Transubstantiation, mystery, silence, symbolism. They don't need to be talked down to or patronised, or babied. But I haven't met one that does fog very well.

 So I was very grateful when a friend lent me a copy of My First Holy Communion, What the very young need to know for their First Holy Communion, by Bishop Morrow. We have Know Your Mass, and the Penny Catechism, and the class books, and now we have this gem. The first copyright on it is 1949. It's in very, very, simple English, but it tells it like it is, first and foremost, that God is love.

Which is odd, considering I was led to believe that God only really started loving us after 1962...

23 November 2012

Mass in Bexhill this Sunday, 25th November

Masses are every two months on the 4th Sunday at St Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, Sea Road, Bexhill, TN40 1RH at 8.00 am. The celebrant is Fr Bruno Witchalls.

22 November 2012

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

...to all my American readers. I'm making pumpkin pie today, any excuse!

21 November 2012

Change of Mass time for Seaford in December

The 3.00pm Mass at St Thomas More, Seaford, will now be at 12.15pm on Sunday, 16th December.

15 November 2012

Missa Cantata in Carshalton this Sunday

The celebrant will be Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith.

13 November 2012

This blogger...

...is finding herself a tad snowed under at the mo, will post more asap! But here's a pertinent seasonal picture:

02 November 2012

All Souls

St Gertrude, bet she would have a thing or two to say about confessionals. I love her prayer for the Holy Souls:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory.''


So this is where the Confessional...

from my parish church ended up:


How many souls were saved through it, I wonder?

01 November 2012

Wishing you a very happy feast day!

It's so wonderful to be able to give thanks and remember you're never that far from your friends in heaven.
And of course, it's a good excuse for a glass of wine and an enormous celebratory chocolate cake (which we shall be eating on our return from the Mass in Lewes this evening).
Hope you all have a great Feast of All Saints!

30 October 2012


1: Jimmy Savile and his ilk


2: The birth control implants for girls of 13 WITHOUT parental consent (which is really bizarre considering you can't even use savlon and a plaster on a child if you're a school first aider in this country).

So, forgive me for being a little confused, but why is the second not perceived as a licence for the first, and why is the government complicit in this particular form of child abuse?

29 October 2012

All Saints Mass in Lewes

Just a reminder that there will be a Low Mass at St Pancras at 8.00pm this Thursday.

23 October 2012

The future's...

...still folky? Really, after all this time?

 I was brought up on kum ba yah and similar meaningless ditties, as some of you might know. They are so middle of the last century. They are so of their time. They are so DATED it's almost embarrassing.

Wouldn't it be nice to get back to the timeless, the meaningful, the kind of music that makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck at Mass and makes you think WOW rather than thinking you're back at junior school assembly? I'll admit there are quite a lot of things liturgically in the NO that make me want to weep. But I can always close my eyes at a push, and a mantilla is a beautiful thing if pulled down far enough to avoid having to see anything at all, but you can never avoid the music. And it's not always possible to get to a said NO Mass.

So. Have a look at La Croix. Mon Dieu.

Pictures speak louder than words by the way, if your French, like mine is a tad ropey.

19 October 2012

Shaking things up a bit...

...I like this. But I would.

13 October 2012

And just because you can never have too much of a good thing, here's another:

04 October 2012

3 October 2012





LMS Appoints New National Chaplain


Mgr Read celebrating High Mass at the LMS Priests’ Training Conference at London Colney in 2009. 
The LMS is very pleased to announce the appointment of Mgr Gordon Read, Chancellor of Brentwood Diocese, as its new National Chaplain, following the recent departure, for two years of study at the Angelicum in Rome, of Fr Andrew Southwell. He will take up his new office with immediate effect.


Mgr Read is parish priest of St Mary Immaculate and The Holy Archangels, Kelvedon, Essex, and has been a long time supporter of the work of the Society. He is widely held in high regard by many Catholics of all persuasions.


In addition to his responsibilities as parish priest, he is rural dean of Colchester, Chancellor and Judicial Vicar of Brentwood diocese, a member of the Bishop’s College of Consultors, Vice-chair of Governors, St Benedict’s College, Colchester, and Trustee of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland. A frequent contributor of articles to canon law journals, his advice on canonical matters is widely sought.


In 1998 he was appointed honorary Papal Chaplain by Pope John Paul II in recognition of his work for the Diocese of Brentwood. In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Prelate of Honour.

      Commenting on the new appointment, LMS Chairman Dr Joseph Shaw said:

'We are delighted that Mgr Read has agreed to be our National Chaplain. He is a very long-standing friend of the Society, and a priest regarded with great affection and respect in both the Society and his diocese. His expertise, practical experience, and wisdom will be a great assistance to us in our ever-expanding work.'



For further information, please contact Mike Lord, General Manager, on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585; (E mail) michael@lms.org.uk

22 September 2012

A little bit of sanity in a mad, mad, world.

Reading the news is always so depressing. Secular news, I mean. There's no end to the misery and complete twaddle peddled as news.

This, for instance, regarding the length of Her Majesty's vowels. Dame Helen Mirren thinks HM has got a bit common.

On the other hand, reading Catholic news can also be depressing, but in a slightly different way, and at least there's always some light at the end of the tunnel. When resignations happen in a place of Catholic (?) education, you know things might start to perk up, or at least become more honest, even if currently the situation's a bit of a dog's breakfast.

So it was such a tangible relief this week to read that Our Lord was actually, after all, married, yes, married (for a more nuanced reporting, see HERE,)

but more importantly, that He came from Leicester.

19 September 2012

Mass in Bexhill this Sunday.

There is a Low Mass, Sunday, 23rd of September,
at St Mary Magdalene,
Sea Road, Bexhill-on-Sea,  TN40 1RH,  
at 8.00 am.

16 September 2012

When my time comes...

...just for the record, I do not want to be waved to my final reward by a comforting lady (or man), possibly wearing a purple fluffy jumper, however duly commissioned and well-meaning, who celebrates my life in front of the gathered community.

I want a Requiem Mass (EF goes without saying), said by a Priest, with lots of black, where people pray for my immortal soul, because as God knows, I'll need it!

14 September 2012

Requiem for Mr Bell

I know many of us who assist at the Extraordinary Form Masses knew Mr Graham Bell, so I was saddened to hear this morning that he died suddenly last week. He was very attached to the Old Rite and drove miles, all over the Diocese, to find them. He was always absolutely charming, a delight to chat with, and as his daughter described him, 'an officer and a gentleman'.

A Requiem Mass for him will be said next Tuesday, 18th September, at St Richard's, Chichester, at Noon. The celebrant will be Fr Richard Biggerstaff.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. 

Please say a prayer for him!


13 September 2012

Masses at Bognor for the Diary.

There will be a Low Mass  at Our Lady of Sorrows, Bognor Regis on the following  dates:
St Philip Howard
Friday, October 19th, Feast of St Philip Howard at 7.00 p.m


Saturday, December 8th, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, at 12.30 p.m.

Thank you Fr Churchill!
(Please see side bar for the address)

12 September 2012

This is a must read.

I discovered this on Fr Finigan's blog, it's an open letter from an African woman in England to that champion of women who loathe their nasty, nasty, fertility, and who see kids as a parasitic encumberence, Melinda Gates.

Please read it, and share it with anyone you know who erroneously believes the West knows Best.

Why am I not surprised...

...that Channel 4 would drop this programme?

06 September 2012

Dear Mary Crawley...

...you left a comment a while ago, and it would be good to chat about it. Could you please leave another message in the combox, with your phone number, and I shall ring you back but not publish the number, or the comment! Hope you read this...

Walsingham, and the Trials of No Internet

Normal (?) service has resumed much later than I anticipated due to our router going awol while we were in Walsingham. I don't think the two were related. On our return, we were aghast and devastated at the loss of so key a piece of communication equipment. Our internet provider dispatched a replacement, eventually, but unfortunately relies upon the efficiency of Royal Mail for its deliveries, and has no concept, as most other couriers and companies do, of express delivery.

You can see why we had a wait. An outraged email can now be sent.

But to Walsingham. I am very, very, fond of Walsingham, having visited the Shrine and the village and its environs since I was little. So the chance of a weekend in Norfolk, joining in the tail end of the LMS Pilgrimage from Ely was too good to pass up. Not that we weren't mortified, you understand our hotel was just awful, as only English hotels seem to be (I've never seen a ceiling held up with staples before and I won't begin to describe the bathroom), but the pub along the lane more than made up for it, as did finding some of my long gone relations in the churchyard at Binham.

We walked from Walsingham to the Slipper Chapel, and a few minutes after we arrived, so did the real walkers from the opposite direction:

I didn't take any photos of the Mass, but here's one afterwards, before we started the walk to Walsingham:


The procession with the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham was something I've never done before and hope I get to do many more times. There was something incredibly spooky, in a good way, about walking along that road with so many people, as so many people did before You-Know-Who did You-Know-What, honouring Our Lady. Being loud in Latin and stopping the traffic was fun too.
And here's one of the many I took of the marshes, because I really love marshes, and because I can.

UPDATE: Here is the official press release, which I've just discovered in the backlog of emails:

31 August 2012


For Immediate Release
Bishop Mark Davies attends Solemn Mass to mark end of LMS Pilgrimage to Walsingham


Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury preached at the Solemn Mass offered to mark the end of the Latin Mass Society’s 3rd Annual Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham on Sunday, 26 August. The Mass was celebrated by Canon Olivier Meney, ICKSP, with Fr Bede Rowe (the pilgrimage chaplain) as Deacon and Fr John Cahill as Sub-Deacon. Gregorian Chant was provided throughout the pilgrimage by a schola assembled from amongst the walking pilgrims and directed by Matthew Schellhorn, who is also our Local Representative for Southwark North.
Around 70 people took part in the three-day, 55-mile walk from Ely in Cambridgeshire to the Slipper Chapel in Walsingham, which was offered for the conversion of England.
The pilgrimage began with Sung Mass, celebrated by Fr Cahill, offered on the Friday morning at St Etheldreda’s Catholic Church, Ely. The MC was Rev James Mawdsley, one of the English seminarians studying with the FSSP. Mass was followed by the traditional Pilgrims’ Blessing given by Fr Rowe. A visit was then paid to Ely Anglican Cathedral to prayer for the conversion of our separated brethren. By the end of the afternoon, the pilgrims had been blessed with beautiful sunshine and had reached their first billet at Stoke Ferry near King’s Lynn.
Sung Mass on Saturday morning was in the family chapel at Oxburgh Hall, a fifteenth-century moated manor house, which, although now owned by the National Trust, is still lived in by the Bedingfield family whose ancestors built it. Oxburgh has a long history as a centre of recusancy and boasts its own priest’s hole, which pilgrims were given the chance to visit after Mass.

The pilgrims continued through Saturday, praying the Rosary, singing hymns and songs, and getting absolutely soaked through as the heavens opened and thunder and lightning let loose on the Norfolk landscape. By the time the procession of pilgrims reached Harpley village, their Saturday evening stop, spirits had recovered somewhat, which was further aided by a visit to the Rose and Crown pub in the village.

Sunday saw the last leg of the pilgrimage and the tired pilgrims reached their destination of the Slipper Chapel. They were joined by a coach full of people who had travelled from London for the day to attend the final Mass in the Chapel of Reconciliation at the National Catholic Shrine. Following Mass, Bishop Davies gave his blessing (in Latin) to the pilgrims.

The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, which had been carried throughout the final day of the pilgrimage led the procession of well over a hundred people along the Holy Mile to the grounds and ruins of Walsingham Abbey, the site of the Holy House of Nazareth, built by the Lady Richeldis in 1061 and which, like the abbey, was destroyed under Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. Prayers of thanksgiving were offered by Fr Bede Rowe followed by veneration of the statue of Our Lady.

LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: ‘This year’s pilgrimage was the most successful yet, with the number of participants rising to 70 from last year’s total of 30. This is very encouraging. Several family groups joined us, which we were delighted about and, although most pilgrims were young people, there was a good spread of ages. Everyone was most  impressed by two ladies aged 84 and 86 who completed the walk.

‘We are very grateful to Bishop Davies for agreeing to attend in choro for the Solemn Mass and for preaching. There are many other people who put in many hours of work to make this event the great success it turned out to be and we would like to thank them all.
‘We hope that our pilgrimage, with the many prayers and personal sacrifices of the pilgrims, and the Masses offered up during the three days, will bring many graces upon England and assist in its conversion.’
For further information, please contact Mike Lord, General Manager,
on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585; (E mail) michael@lms.org.uk

23 August 2012

Normal service will resume shortly

But before it does, I must quickly mention a meet up, or should that be blognic for deux, which happened on the Sunshine Coast yesterday.  Mulier Fortis and I met for Mass, lunch, and much Traditional conversation, and I was privileged to become acquainted with a pair of slippers. The Yorkies were incredibly sweet, and didn't nip. (They were much better behaved than my great aunt's miniature poodles used to be, and they did nip). My own dog seemed the size of Godzilla  when I returned home.
Other news: We shall be off to Walsingham at the weekend for the LMS Pilgrimage. Yay!
No, silly, I'm not walking all the way. I'm allergic to tents and if it hasn't got an en suite, I don't go. To thine own self be true, and all that. But we will be at the Mass on Sunday, DV!
I am taking the camera, so pictures should be forthcoming. If I remember the battery charger.

20 July 2012

Tom's Walk

Please have a look at Tom's web page (also to be found on the links on the side bar on the right) to see just how far Tom has got on his mammoth walk to the Eternal City! He's already got as far as Orleans, and overcome non-existent campsites, the weather, and blisters.

In fact, I've developed blisters and trench foot just thinking about it.

Please pray for him (and his family) while he's on this tremendous pilgrimage.

18 July 2012

Masses at Bexhill and Steyning

Masses are continuing at Christ the King, Steyning at 9.00 am on the 4th Sundays of the month.

At St Mary Magdalene, Bexhill, there will be Masses at 8.00 am on the following Sundays:

22nd July , 23rd September, and 25th November.

13 July 2012

Requiem Mass at Our Lady of Ransom, Eastbourne

There will be a Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form at

Our Lady of Ransom, Eastbourne,

for Mrs Sybil Urquhart, on Wednesday, 18th July at 10.30 am.

Please do come along if you are able, to pray for her.

05 July 2012

Important News from Lewes

There will be no EF Masses at St Pancras on Saturday, 28 July and Saturday, 4 August. The Masses will be OF Latin, instead.

There will not be a 12.30 pm EF Mass on the first Sunday of August.

Normal service resumes from Saturday 11 August.

There will be an EF Low Mass at 8 pm for the Feast of the Assumption. 

03 July 2012

Mass at OLR this morning...

...at 10.30 am. Many thanks to Mike and Keith for agreeing to serve at such short notice!

Mass at North Stoke...

... Saturday, 7th July at 2.00pm!

02 July 2012

Surprise Masses at Our Lady of Ransom, Eastbourne this week and urgent request

Fr Charles Briggs will be saying Masses at 10.30 am on Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th, and Thursday 5th i.e., this week at OLR, Eastbourne.

Can anyone offer themselves as server???

30 June 2012

I am not a dog...

...and do not wish to be treated as one.

So I voted NO to being put down by my doctor. I would urge you to do the same.

27 June 2012

A fabulous cause

Tom Hagger, of Seaford Schola fame and seen here preparing to thrill us with Heretics All! on the recent Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Consolation, is doing something pretty extraordinary.

He's walking to Rome...from Seaford. That's 2,000 miles. 2,000 miles to walk from the beginning of July, to All Saints' Day. And it's in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. As Tom says: "The more dosh, the better!"

Here's the LINK to his fundraising page, and I'm putting it on the sidebar as well, so there's no excuse not to pray for the success of this amazing walk, or to donate!

Good luck Tom, lots of prayers, and I'm sure you'll have some amazing stories to tell in November!

26 June 2012

Mass on Friday...

at St Pancras, Lewes, is at 8.00pm.

19 June 2012

In which I rant. Plus update.

I don't 'do' politics...

...but sometimes the sheer idiocy of the people in power beggars belief.

I'm talking about the latest harebrained idea floated by our PM on child care.

His 'big idea' is that schools open til 8.00pm , so parents have a chance to work even longer hours without the bother of having to think about their children.

This is wrong on so many levels it's hard to know exactly where to start.

Does he not see a link at all between the strain and erosion of family life, and the extension of working hours and necessity for two incomes in order to keep a roof over their heads? Does he really not think that parents are the first and best educators of their children? Well, obviously not the last one, because parents might not share the establishment right-on views. And as we all know, if you aren't liberal, you have no real right to be listened to.

Flip it round, Mr Cameron, think about what's best, first, for families who might actually like their kids, want to be with them, and shockingly, bring them up themselves. Incarcerating, in fact, ghettoising, children in institutions for up to twelve hours a day is just wrong.


Now we have Mrs Blair wading in with her critique of the stay-at-home mum as she perceives it. I can't comment for fear of having to head straight for the nearest confessional...Nuff said.

15 June 2012


Father Z Heads Line-up of Speakers at LMS One-Day Conference

When we throw a pebble into a pond, it sends out ripples in all directions. When we celebrate Mass it is just the same – whether celebrated well or badly, it will affect the whole Church for either good or ill. This was the stark view that Fr John Zuhlsdorf, better known as the blogger ‘Fr Z’, shared with his audience at the Latin Mass Society’s One-Day Conference in London on Saturday, 9 June.

This was the first ever conference that the LMS had organised and it was greeted with widespread and enthusiastic praise from the conference floor. As headline speaker, Fr Z delivered a punchy and inspirational talk centred on his own slogan 'Save the Liturgy; Save the World'.

Other speakers included Dr John Rao of St John’s University, New York, who touched on the topics of faith and history raised in his latest book 'Black Legends and the Light of the World’.

Stuart McCullogh's talk about the work of the Good Counsel Network, who provide counselling for women who are facing crisis pregnancies, held the audience spellbound. Of those women who come to the Network, around 95 per cent are intending to go ahead with an abortion when they first meet, but, as a result of the Network’s efforts, around 70 per cent change their minds and keep their babies. Stuart emphasised that the Network places traditional Catholic devotions at the heart of their work – especially Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Priest-blogger Fr Tim Finigan spoke about his experience of introducing the Traditional Mass into his parish, looking back at the problems he'd faced and also the improvements to parish life that it had brought about.

The final speaker was Rev John Hunwicke of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. By turns erudite and witty, he brought much learning and humour to the conference hall as he looked at the Anglican patrimony that he anticipated the Ordinariate would bring to the Catholic Church. For many attending the conference, Rev Hunwicke was the 'discovery' of the day. Many had not heard of him before and were won over by his knowledge of his subject and by his schoolmasterly charm.

The day ended with a very successful panel discussion in which the speakers gathered together to answer questions submitted by the audience.

Photo: Father John Zuhlsdorf addresses the LMS Conference

Photo credit: LMS

For further information, please contact Mike Lord, General Manager, on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585; (E mail) michael@lms.org.uk

More photos can be found here:

13 June 2012


...Nail-biting stuff today; will it be a Yes or a No?

Pipped at the post!

I haven't posted about this for a while, and wrote the draft post for this very subject only last week, ready for next week (well, I like to have something up me sleeve for slow weeks!). But as LMS Chairman Joe Shaw posted this today, I think now's as good a time as any!

So, here's a heavily tweaked version of 'what I wrote', removing the repeated Biblical bits, so this kind of covers what you have to overcome to be able to wear anything on your head at Mass, even a beanie.

After all, mantillas must be the only (modest) bits of fabric I know that can get people positively frothing at the mouth, and not in a good way.

Head covering can be considered old fashioned, irrelevant, counter-cultural (therefore horribly backward looking) and are worn, some say, by the more intellectually challenged kind of females, or just by the bloshie to be deliberately provocative.

So, old fashioned : Yes and no. It's always been traditional for women to wear some kind of head covering when they are in Church, and was until 'you-know-when'. Superficially, what's wrong with a bit of 'old fashioned' - although I prefer to think of the custom as 'timeless'. There's also the Biblical basis for it, see Joe's blog.

Irrelevant : Yes and no. Yes in terms of it not affecting the price of beans, but it does say something about how special Mass is, and indeed, how very special being a woman is.

Counter-cultural and backward looking : Given the state of the world at the moment? Bring it on! I have no problem being counter-cultural. It's even invigorating at times, if you regard the prickly stares at the OF in the right way. And there's nothing wrong with remembering where you come from, traditionally speaking, or otherwise.

Provocative : This is a tricky one, because wearing anything on your head at Mass can be tantamount to making a huge political statement. There isn't much wiggle room here. Do I wear a mantilla to be provocative? Absolutely not, but there are some who might interpret it that way, and who might interpret it as a criticism of them.  This is a pity, because being different really isn't the easy option. It's something you feel you simply have to do. I wear one for the OF (yes, funny looks all over the place, but if you go often enough eventually they just think you're eccentric, or foreign, and ignore you) and the EF (where blessedly no-one bats an eye).

And the future? I'm not expecting women up and down the country to have simultaneous epiphanies regarding veils at Mass, and suddenly come out over night causing a world wide lace shortage. But it might be nice to encourage just thinking about the reasons for the custom of wearing something on the head at Mass. I think, for me, it's absolutely necessary to wear something special whenever I'm in Church and in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. It's something I do for Him. And women are special, to pinch a popular phrase, we're worth it!

So ladies, if you feel you'd like to scarf/veil/mantilla/hat, whatever you want to call it, have a try, and don't be put off by being the only one, even at the Ordinary Form.You never know, you might start a trend...