Monday, 24 December 2012

The Liturgical year!

In early Advent, I discovered a gem written by the founder of the Benedictine congregation of Solesmes, Dom Prosper Gueranger. It is called The Liturgical Year, and has no less than 15 volumes!
As it was written in the 1800s the books are now in the public domain. As a Christmas present for all my readers, (All three of you!) here is a link to all 15 volumes in PDF format http://www.theliturgicalyear.org/theliturgicalyearpdfs.html
I hope all of my readers, (As above, all three of you!) have a happy and holy Christmas.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Rorate Mass!

I know most of my recent posts have contained pictures of the Birmingham Oratory, but anyway here are some more! I suppose that sometimes seeing is believing...


Thanks to Br. Andrew C.O.
for the photos! (Again!)

Monday, 17 December 2012

Gaudete!

 Yes, I know it was yesterday... Anyway here are the photos from the Solemn High Mass at the Birmingham Oratory!


















Vespers was also lovely. It was my sister who took the photos, as I was thurifer.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Oratory's Madonna gets Cope and Crown!


In honour of the Birmingham Oratory's patron, the Immaculate Conception, a kind parishioner has made a cope and crown which will adorn Our Lady's statue throughout the novena (devotions after the 12.30 Mass each day), in the run up to next Saturday's feast. The infant Jesus, wrapped in his Mother's mantle, wears a dalmatic.

The Lady Altar was built in 1911, with donations from the Feeny family and Our lady's statue, installed at the same time, is a replica of Notre Dame de Victoires in Paris.
Many miracles have occurred through the intercession of our Lady of Victories....most famously, perhaps, St Therese was cured when she was 10 and near death, following her father asking for a novena of Masses at the Church of Notre Dame de Victoires.
The statue's special significance for the Oratory is its connection with Blessed John Henry Newman, who, before St Therese, had prayed to Notre Dame des Victoires both before and in thanksgiving after his conversion.
 You  can find out more here.

We invoke the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Conception for Her sons of the Birmingham Oratory. May She keep them always in Her Immaculate Heart.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

CHASUBLES.............

Hopefully this will work now... I've been having slight problems, like not seeing the pictures!























 Friday night at the Birmingham Oratory...

















Thanks to Br. Andrew C.O. for the photos.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Hymn for the Year of Faith....

....you probably won't find this one in 'hymns New and Newer'.......
You could think of this as a kind of older version of "Shine, Jesus, Shine"....

O Lord when I look o'er the wide spreading world
How lovely and yet how unhappy it seems,
How full of realities, pure and divine,
Yet how bent on unworshipful dreams!

My heart swells within me with thankfullest joy
For the faith which to me Thou hast given;
For in all Thine amazing abundance of gifts,
Thou hast no better gift short of Heaven.

There was darkness in Egypt while Israel had sun,
And the songs in the corn fields of Gessen were gay,
And the chosen that dwelt with the heathen moved on,
Each threading the gloom with his own private day.

Ah! So it is now with the Church of Thy choice;
Her lands lie in light which to worldlings seems dim;
And each child of that Church who must live in dark realms,
Has a sun o'er his head which is only for him.

Yet it grieves me too, Lord! That so many should wander,
Should see nought before them but desolate night,
That men should be walled in with darkness around them,
When within and without there is nothing but light.

But still more I grieve for Thy glory, O Lord!
That the world should be only an Egypt for Thee,
That the bondsmen of error should boast of their chains,
And scoff at the love that would fain set them free.

Ah, Lord! They must learn that their light is but darkness;
They must come to believe that our darkness is light
They, who think they see far, must acknowledge their blindness,
And come to Thy Church to recover their sight.

But we who have light, we must make our light brighter,
And thus show our love to Thee, Lord! For Thy gift;
The faith Thou hast sent us our love can make greater,
And almost to sight our believing can lift.

Faith is sweetest of worships to Him who so loves
His unbearable splendours in darkness to hide;
And to trust to Thy word, dearest Lord! Is true love,
For those prayers are most granted which seem most denied.

Oh why hast Thou made then faith's field all so narrow,
Nor multiplied objects for childish belief;
For faith, though it is such a beautiful worship,
Is but earth's span of Heaven, too fleeting and brief.

Thou hast dealt better measure to hope than to faith;
Hope can hope for no more, since it hopes, Lord! For Thee;
Nought is lacking to love which has fastened on God;
It is love lost in love like a drop in the sea.


But faith throws her arms round all Thou hast told her,
And, able to hold as much more, can but grieve;
She could hold Thy grand Self, Lord! If Thou wouldst reveal it,
And love makes her long to have more to believe.
Fr Faber

Saturday, 17 November 2012

NaNoWriMo

Blogging is a bit sporadic right now, well,  more than usual even, because it is NationalNovel Writing Month."30 days of literary abandon"...(their quote not mine!).As well as the month of the Holy Souls, of course! So that means 1667 words per day if I'm going to get to the 50,000 word count by the end of the month....Time to blog? There's hardly time to eat!!!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Good hymns!!

Recently, a very good Priest gave me a copy of Hymns, by Father Fredrick Faber. It does not contain (as far as I can see!) any bad hymns... It has some great classics, like, Jesus my Lord, my God, My All. It has however got 9 verses instead of the usual 5. It has 9 separate hymns about Saint Philip Neri! (Well he was an Oratorian.) It has two versions of Faith of our Fathers, one for England, one for Ireland. The English one has the normal four verses, but the one for Ireland has 7! And he was born in England!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Back to Fontgombault!!

As you may have gathered from the title I am going back to Fontgombault abbey! Even though I last went in July, I am not becoming a Benedictine in the foreseeable future (Hopefully they will not kidnap me)! Oh yes and did I mention that my Dad is becoming a Catholic on the 8th November!!!!!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Pope has got his Fanon

New Liturgical Movement


The Year of Faith is shaping up nicely...! I feel a quote coming on!

Year of Faith, because...

All that is gold does not glitter
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken
A light from the shadows shall spring
Renewed shall be blade that was broken
The crownless again shall be King.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Benedictines, Kings and murders!

 Recently I have been reading the Brother Cadfael books, by Ellis Peters. They are about a Monk, in a Benedictine abbey near Shrewsbury. Before he became a Monk, Cadfael was a soldier in the first crusade, and acquired a great deal of knowledge from the time he spent in the Holy Land. I have read the first two books, A Morbid Taste for Bones, where the Prior of the Abbey wants the relics of a Saint for the Abbey. He then finds out about Saint Winefride and organizes an expedition. Cadfael convinces the Abbot to let him go as he was born in Wales and is fluent in Welsh.
There are a couple of hindrances to getting the Saints relics back to Shrewsbury including an obstinate landowner, a murder and a few other things.
 The other book I have read in that series is One corpse Too Many. King Stephen is besieging Shrewsbury, against the forces of Empress Maud. King Stephen wins, but he decides to kill 94 men of the garrison stationed in Shrewsbury. The Abbot of the abbey visits the King to asks him to let the Monks bury the 94 men he has hanged. The King agrees and the Abbot appoints Brother Cadfael to get them ready for burial but when Cadfael counts them, he counts 95 instead of 94. Once again Cadfael is looking for a murderer...

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Power of the Eucharist.....3

I think I may have reached the end of my research on the story for my reader commenting on the original post on the Power of the Eucharist. Having emailed FrRobert de Grandis ,the author of the book, Healing through the Mass, asking about the story I reported here, Father replied via his secretary that the original source for the story came from his good friend, the Franciscan priest Father Michael Scanlon, a professor at Steubenville University in the States. When I looked Father Scanlon up, it seems he has recently retired, and although I tried to contact Father at the email address for the monastery where he has retired to, I haven't heard back.It is Mount Assissi Monastery, Loretto, P.A. If anyone wanted to try and follow this up to get more details on the story, then, I would love to hear the results. I'm sure, now I have managed to trace the story to its accredited author, that, with a little time and determination, Father could be tracked down! There is a forwarding email address for Father Scanlon on a special retirement web page created for him at the main Franciscan Steubenville University website....so good luck!!! And please let me know if you do manage to find out more details on the original story....for now, though, not wanting to hound a retired priest!!, I am going to leave it there....

 Just to finish with, though, how about another, very similar account, and equally unbelievable, on the same subject: see if you can guess who this one is told by...and on what occasion...
"He stretched forth his right hand as if to bless, and, whilst he did so, a brilliant light came from him, his words were luminous, the bread entered the mouths of the Apostles as a brilliant substance, and light seemed to penetrate and surround them all, Judas alone remaining in the dark."
Your turn to do the research! Any answers in the combox! I'll reveal all next post!

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Year of Faith and 75 years of Bilbo Baggins


Listening to the Archbishop's pastoral letter about the upcoming Year Of Faith on Sunday, it struck me that we could really do with a slightly more catchy slogan to go with what is such a great idea. The only thing I could remember from the letter were that the year would be under the patronage of Blessed Dominic Barberi, the Passionist who so badly desired the conversion of England....great! Also, something about the New Evangelisation, but I don't remember what was specified on how we're meant to do this, or who is most in need of the evangelising, and something else about picking up a "pack" if you came to the opening Mass at St Chad's Cathedral.

Maybe the Holy Father could have done with some input from branding agencies, Or the Olympics organisers  or someone, anyone! to give promotions for the Year a bit of a lift."S.O.S. Year of Faith" or "Year of Faith, You better Believe it! " O.K. Maybe a bit cheesy, but snappy, right? O.K. Very cheesy and not at all snappy...more like a Wotsit than a Dorito...well, you try, then!

. But is it a coincidence that the Year of Faith coincides with the 75th anniversary of the first publication of The Hobbit? I think not! So we could blend the two seamlessly together using some choice quotes from the one to give people a better picture of the other..... Not that I've been up all night thinking about this, but what about:
'"Year of Faith" : Because not all those who wander are lost'. (O.K.,so it's not exactly from The Hobbit, but, have a little faith!!). Or what about  "because not all those who wonder are lost"?

Actually, why not use the  whole quote it's perfect and I love it:

The Year of Faith, because......
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken
The crownless again shall be King.
 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

An Ordination and the JHNILM Conference

Spent weekend at the beautiful ordination at the Birmingham Oratory of Father Roger Raven. His Grace , Archbishop Bernard Longley presided, I was mitre bearer. (I only found out after that the cross on my back would have been the arrow target in olden days...I may not have agreed to carry His Grace's 'hat', if I'd have known!..Has someone got it in for me?!)...
At the same time due to unfortunate timing, the JHNILM was holding its first conference and almost bilocating after Mass, mom whizzed the girls down to the Oratory Primary school for a singing lesson with Jeremy de Satge. Also unfortunately, this meant that the girls had not had anything to eat. "Whoops!", as Mom would say. A minor oversight. I dont think I'm exaggerating when I say that Mr de Satge apparently worked a minor miracle getting the girls to sing at all....they gave a short recital with some of the Oratory school pupils of Ave Regina Caelorum at the end of the lesson. I wasn't there, but Mom said the school pupils were really good, but that, without wanting to be unkind, there was a definite off tune sound coming from the general area where my sisters were standing...I did only say a minor miracle.
The good thing for Mom was that she completely forgot she was meant to be coming back for me as I had been in the queue for one of Father's first blessings after the Ordination. So, while i was hanging around the Oratory car park, she was being lured by the promise of a cup of steaming coffee, into one of the talks going on while the girls were in their lesson. So I should have said the two good things for mom, or even three, forgetting me, and as a result, coffee, sitting down, and a really good lecture by Ben Whitworth on the use and abuse of hymns in the Mass.(That's actually four). Knowing that Bara Brith  was there,she did say she was a bit distracted at times trying to work out who the famous blogger was out of the group that was there! She said it was areally good talk, refreshing, but a very interesting history especially of Cardinal Newman's active involvement in various attempts to introduce hymns into the Mass, and his reation when his own poems from The Dream Of Gerontius made their appearance as hymns. (He didn't approve!). To sum it up, hymns with meaningful word are really good, but the emphasis should be on using them more for devotional worship, processions and not straight after communion or as replacements for the sung propers  of the Mass. There was the idea of a new or old...collection being  put together of liturgical music for use in parishes. I somehow dont think "Colours of Day" would be in there, though!

Best line of the  talk, Mom said "There is a place for 'Shine, Jesus, Shine', but it's not in the Mass". Mr Whitworth did not specify where that place might be!

 I was thinking which other hymns might end up in such a place, and these sprang into mind: Colours of Day
                     Go The Mass is ended
                     Lord of the Dance....
             and Colours of Day
Feel free to add any other contenders in the combox!

Friday, 14 September 2012

5 Years of Summorum Pontificum, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Beatitudes!

Happy 5th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum to everyone out there who has benefitted from  the Holy Father's gift to the Church
In one of  Father's sermons this week,  he pointed out that the Archbishop of Canterbury is actually right!! Well, we all sat up then and began to listen! Apparently, in his autobiography, the Archbishop of Canterbury has called on Christians to stop whining, just because it's not quite so comfortable being Christian in the current secular culture. Stop whining!! What great advice!. But the Archbishop's advice is so right on the nail: Stop whining, no matter how far you gotta drive to Mass!!
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh...you know the rest...

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A request from one of my readers!

I have received an e-mail from one of my readers, asking me to find out from any of you good people out there, whether any of you know of any contemplative religious orders for women, that are exclusively extraordinary form. Please leave a comment! Thanks.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

No Hope for the Catholic Church?

Anyone having any doubt about the future of the Liturgy in this country might like to know what I was doing today! Without giving too much away, I was privileged to serve a Novus Ordo Mass, where there were almost as many maniples as there were priests!
Afterwards, I stayed behind to act as server, while Father and 2 other priests from far flung corners of the Birmingham diocese began practicing the Extraordinary form of the Mass, while members of the parish prayed their Rosary. What can I say? The Fathers are coming along  nicely!! And one of them is already an experienced Deacon and Subdeacon. Average age of the Reverend Fathers?Young!!! Another such practice has taken place observed by a young seminarian.
As Fr Z says, "Brick by Brick"...though I'm not sure the Reverend Fathers would like to hear themselves described that way!!!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

More about Fontgombault.

Of course, the main part of any retreat is the food, and I was not disappointed!! The lunches were amazing! After Grace was chanted, which took 2-3 minutes, a section from The Rule of Saint Benedict, then you could eat! First there was either soup or fruit, the soups were great, but the Monks put a lot of salt into them! The fruit was also lovely. Most of the meals for the main course had boiled potatoes and another vegetable and at lunch with something else. I don't think I disliked  a single meal! After that there was pudding, which was either fruit or something else sweet. I think most of the food that they eat at the Monastery is grown by the Monks, with some exceptions, like on the Sunday there was rice which I don't think is possible to grow in mid France. At the end of lunch there was coffee which I drank for the first time there and liked it, but you had to drink it very fast and it was hot. After all the guests had finished drinking their coffee, the Monk who had been chanting in French, concluded his chanting with Tu autem Domine... and then everyone rose and the Monks chanted the after Grace which went on for about 5 minutes, and then there was nothing to do till Terce at 2:40. After Terce you could do work and I did, every day except Sunday.  It was hard, my friends and I worked every day, trying to clear a field full of rubble so that I presume the Monks can plant something there. On Wednesday we worked with a lot of French scouts picking potatoes. After the work was done there were refreshments, which were lovely! Cold mint tea, I think and dark chocolate fingers! Until Vespers at 6:00 there was nothing to do. After Vespers, we normally went to the houses where our families were staying and quite often had a bit of their tea, so we succeeded in getting two teas most days!! The teas in the Monastery were a bit simpler than the lunches with mainly only vegetables for the main course, and no coffee at the end. After tea there was nothing until Compline at 8:35 so my two friends and I usually prayed the Rosary between tea and Compline. After  Compline, all the Monks and some of the guests said a silent prayer to Our Lady, and then it was bed!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Back to blogging!

Sorry I have not blogged for so long hopefully I will write it a bit more often from now!
 Fontgombault was great and I really do have an excuse for not taking any pictures: you are not allowed to!! By the end of the week I was quite tired after getting up at 5am every day for Matins at 5:15! Also if you are planning on going to Matins if you go take something very warm as the church is freezing at that time in the morning, especially as you are sitting still for the best part of an hour! Immediately after that Lauds follows and it takes about half an hour. By the end of Lauds The church gets a little warmer... One of the nicest bits about Lauds is during the Benedictus  the bells of the Church are rung. Strait after Lauds, all the Fathers say their private Masses in two rounds. I served one of the Masses in the second round quite regularly. I think that all but two of the Monks say their Mass in the EF and the two that say it in the OF are quite old. After that there is a break till 8:30 when Prime is chanted. After Prime the guests eat their breakfast, the only meal which is not eaten with the Monks. (That also means that there is not a monk chanting in French!) After breakfast there is nothing until Terce followed immediately by the conventional Mass at 10:00. (They do some things a little differently, they chant the secret out loud, chant all of the Per Ipsum ect. out loud and a few other variations that Cardinal Ratzinger asked if they would mind doing when he went to Fontgombault before he was elected Pope. They do low Mass the same as always.) Then there is nothing till Sext at 12:50 followed immediately by lunch. I will write about what happens in the afternoon tomorrow.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Praying for you in Fontgombault

With the feast of the great St Benedict tomorrow, we are getting ready to drive down to Fontgombault Abbey. We will be camping there with friends...so we are now in the middle of packing..  Well everyone except Dad that is who is in Bosnia alledgedly doing some work. Well anyway he hopes to be back home by midnight, on the day we are leaving! I am taking a quick break from packing, (Well actually I need to begin!) have any of my readers got any suggestions as to what I could take? Bear in mind for 1 week we will be camping then for another week I will be staying in the Hostellerie Interieure, while Mom, Dad, and the girls will be staying in one of the monastery's guest houses. This might be my last post for a while, I will pray for all my readers there.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Heart of a Priest

Today we went to venerate the heart of St John Marie Vianney at Oscott College. The 'Invocations' Conference was just finishing and the grounds were overflowing with priests, nuns, brothers and religious, not to mention many young people who had attended to find out more about their own vocation. His Lordship, Bishop Mark Davies was also there. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed and hundreds of people had come on pilgrimage with their own prayers and petitions. We only had a very few minutes of private prayer in front of St John Marie Vianney's heart, before we had to move on, and it was hard to think what to say to him. So I prayed for all the priests I know, for my Uncle, the Oratorians, Fr David Standen, Fr Julian Booth, Fr Stephen Goodman and then I had to add that bit from the end of confession when you might have forgotten something, only I asked St John Vianney to pray for any other priests I might have forgotten. Then, it was time to keep moving. I just finished reading Come Rack Come Rope, by Robert Hugh Benson, so ther were thoughts of lots of other priests in my mind, as well as all the priests coming into the chapel to venerate the relic. I remembered how St John Marie Vianney had to keep his faith under cover at first because of the French Revolution and so he knew what all the priest martyrs of the Reformation in England must have suffered. Then I though about another John, Blessed John Henry Newman, who was pretty much a contemporary of St John Marie Vianney, and how Blessed John Henry was very clever, but Saint John struggled with his studies. Then I thought that it wasn't his brain we were venerating, but his heart and Blessed John Henry Newman's motto is not about brains, but Heart speaks unto Heart. So I prayed John Henry Newman's prayer with St John Marie Vianney for all priests, for me and for my family:

O most tender and gentle Lord Jesus, when will my heart have a portion of Thy perfections? When will my hard and stony heart my proud heart, my unbelieving, my impure heart, my narrow selfish heart, be melted and conformed to Thine? O teach me so to contemplate Thee, that I may become like Thee, and to love Thee sincerely and simply as Thou hast loved me.

 Blessed John Henry Newman

Friday, 6 July 2012

Car Prayer

With summer holidays and travel plans over the next few weeks, why not test drive this car prayer. I'm not going to say anything about the inherent danger of driving with my Mom, but this prayer really does work! The only time since we have been using it (so far...!), that we have broken down, was on a journey from Surrey to Birmingham, and amazingly we drifted to a halt just outside the Oxford Oratory! (On the down side, the car was totally wrecked...). Note the rhyming couplets which aid memorisation!(Sorry...)
Before we take our place behind this wheel, we pray, Sacred Heart, guide us on our way Virgin Mary, Morning Star, from every danger guard this car And our dear Lord, Who gave us to enjoy, Grant its purpose be to save and not destroy. Amen

We are probably going to be using it this next week as we drive down to Fontgombault! Bonnes vacances a tous! (Sorry! Again...what's the matter with me?)!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Power of the Eucharist...part 2

Thanks to a skeptical reader of this blog, I have decided to revisit the story about the power of the Eucharist which I posted a week ago. My reader pointed out that the details of this story appear frequently on various websites, always the same details, same words, practically, but with few concrete and convincing facts to back them up. So to reassure you of the quality control of this blog, this is to let you know I am working on checking this story out!! Is it just an "urban myth" going viral in cyberspace? Or did it actually happen and to who? Who is the lukewarm Catholic scientist who carried out the experiment? Did he really go through seminary and become a Catholic priest after this experience? You'll have to be patient as this could take a while, and initial research is not proving very fruitful.... There is, though, a more detailed account of the story here.... And here is an interesting article which reveals interesting invisible physical reactions picked up by infra red cameras from people reading poetry. If love poems can have an effect on the body seen by these cameras, it makes you wonder how much more powerful the physical presence of the Blessed Sacrament must be. As yet, though I haven't managed to unearth any similar articles on this subject. To try and get further information on the story, I have also emailed the author of the book where it originally appeared....I await his reply. Meanwhile, if any of you out there have any further information or leads on this, I would be very grateful if you could let me know via the com box.... I'll keep you all posted as soon as I find out anything more on this one!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Solemn High Mass at Sts Peter Paul and Philomena, New Brighton

 On Friday for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul we went to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in New Brighton for Solemn High Mass followed by Confirmations in the extraordinary form with Bishop Mark Davies. Then it all finished with solemn Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Dome of Home!
The Altar before Mass.

Prayers at the foot of the Altar







The Bishop arrives.


The Bishop vesting.




I think the Bishop is somewhere behind all of these servers!




Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

Why are all three sacred ministers behind the Altar?

Unfortunately the zoom on my camera is slightly unreliable, so some of the photos are not very clear.
You can see from this last picture the size of the beautiful monstrance.




Thursday, 28 June 2012

A Little bit of Pugin

With the great feast of St Peter and Paul heading our way soon, it seems a bit late to be rewinding to St John the Baptist in this post but it has been a John the Baptist kind of a week round here...water water everywhere. We drove to Mass through a deluge this morning and had to cross a torrent just to get into church..where Father was putting buckets out to catch the water raining in. Today's Gospel was about the wise man building his house on the rock....the rains came down and the floods came up. The sound of the rain belting down on the roof was getting louder. We were all glad we'd got that novena in last week. On the way home there were roads flooded and impassable, cars stranded and emergency service vehicles everywhere. We were greeted if thats not too polite a term,when we finally got back after several detours, by 2 very bedraggled looking cats who had been left out during the storm. They were clearly unhappy and will probably soon be filing a complaint. (Which is a polite term).
 On Monday, we went to help my uncle move to his new parish, St John the Baptist, which is where Pugin comes in. We nearly really helped Uncle Mike downsize when Mom left theboot of the van open as we set off for the motorway!! Fortunately, she realised before any of the contents had spilled all over the road. Please pray for him if you can, and for his new mission there. (my uncle, that is, not Pugin!...although, who knows, maybe he could also do with a few prayers...).The church is beautiful...designed by Pugin, with a beautiful High Altar almost still in tact...with just a little bit of work...hmmmmmm! After unloading we had a little tour and I served a private Mass. I did have my camera with me but guess what...forgot to take a single photo of the day!! Here is a picture of the church though.
 
 While we're on the subject of Pugin, you might still be able to catch Sunday's Songs of Praise here (you might want some earplugs, as some of the hymns are truly awful), the reason being it was all about Pugin. Disclaimer...I never ever usually watch this programme and I have no idea how I found out about this.
 Happy feast to everyone for tomorrow. I will be going (God willing)to the Shrine of Sts Peter, Paul and Philomena in New Brighton for the Solemn High Mass at 6pm, followed by Confirmations in the Extraordinary form, as a friend is being confirmed and Mom is her sponsor. So I will pray for all of you there.

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Power of the Eucharist

Taken from "Healing through the Mass" pages84-85, published by Resurrection press and authored by Fr Robert DeGrandis S.S.J. NASA did some experimenting with a special type of camera that could see the energy levels in the human body. This is then seen on a monitor. This energy shows up as an aura around the body. NASA's interest in the experiment was to investigate the effects of space travel on astronauts in orbit. Experimenting in hospital, they discovered that, when a person is dying, the aura around the body is thinner and gets thinner and thinner until the person dies. The scientist carrying out this investigation in the hospital and his associate, were behind a two way mirror. They could see with their camera another man coming into the room with light coming from his pocket. Then the man took the object from his pocket and did something so that in the camera, the whole room was filled with light and with their camera, they could no longer see what was happening. They ran into the room to see what was causing so much light to appear in their camera. They discovered that the dying man was being given Holy Communion. Afterwards, with their camera,they could see that the aura around him was brighter. Although in his fifties, the scientist conducting the experiment decided to become a priest.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Happy bloggerversary to me!

So, it is exactly a year ago today that,in a moment of God like creativity, I created this blog! (well ok, maybe the Godlike creativity comparison doesn't work...)

Also Happy feast of the Sacred Heart. We won't be able to get to the 5:45 Mass at the Oratory because of the Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. So many Masses, so little time!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Can't make Our Lady's Solemn Novena?

Then leave a comment with your petition in it! Of course if you want to leave it anonymously that is fine. I will write them out and put them in the petition box.

 Be assured that Our Lady of Perpetual Succour will hear and answer (it might not be in the way you expect!) your prayers.

 Don't forget to send your Guardian Angels to Mass if it's too far for you to come or if you can't make it.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour novena



Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on the Cannock Road, Wolverhampton are holding their annual solemn novena of Masses this week,  from Thursday 14th June until Friday 22nd June.Each evening there will be a Holy Hour beginning at 6:00pm followed by Holy Mass at 7.00pm. Father Goodman, parish priest, has arranged for a different priest every evening to offer Mass and preach on a strand of the subject "I believe in the one, holy,Catholic, and Apostolic Church". If you can make it please come!
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour has a proven track record of miraculous answer to prayer, so come and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to entrust her with your petitions, while spending time with Her Son in adoration.  Here is a bit more about the history of the icon:

On January 19, 1866, Fathers Marchi and Bresciani brought the miraculous picture to St. Alphonsus’ church.  Preparations were now made to inaugurate the new public reign of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  On April 26th, a great procession was staged in which the picture was carried throughout the Esquiline region of Rome.  Upon returning to the church, the picture was enthroned over the high altar, in a resplendent shrine-niche especially constructed for it.
All along the route of the procession the people of Rome decorated their houses with bunting and flowers.  Clergy and religious were proud to march in the procession.  Our Lady, as is to be expected, showed her pleasure at this outpouring of her children’s love in several authenticated miracles.  The procession passed a house where a little boy of four lay dying.  He had been given up as a hopeless case by the doctors.  Hearing the singing, the child’s grieving mother snatched him in her arms and hastened to the open window.  Looking out at Our Lady’s picture passing by she called out: “Dear blessed Mother, either cure my boy or take him to paradise!”
Our Lady chose the first, and the boy was cured at once.  The next day he toddled along with his mother to St. Alphonsus’ church and stood before the picture.  He waved his little hands to the Madonna and cried “Grazie, grazie” and threw her some kisses in the loving Italian style.  As the procession was passing another house, another mother called upon Our Lady of Perpetual Help to aid her eight-year-old daughter who was completely paralyzed.  At once the girl regained partial use of her limbs and was able to move about a bit.  The next day the mother brought the child to St. Alphonsus’ church to thank Our Lady and ask if she would not complete the cure.  At once the child was restored to full health and vigor.
As to be expected, the report of those marvelous healings spread rapidly throughout the city and people came by the hundreds to visit the shrine.  Soon the whole area around the altar was filled with abandoned crutches and canes and several whole glass-covered cabinets were filled with gold and silver thanksgiving offerings in the shapes of miniature hearts, arms, legs and other votive offerings.  Scarcely two weeks after the solemn exposition of the picture, Pope Pius IX himself came to visit the shrine.  He stood quietly before it for a long time and then exclaimed: “How beautiful she is!”  He was given and had enshrined a copy of the original in his own private chapel and was often seen kneeling before it in fervent prayer.  Later one, when the Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was formed, he blessed the project and insisted that his name head the list of the worldwide membership.

You can read more about it here. 

Here are some maps:




Note that it should be 2012, not 2011!!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

An amazing sermon!!!

Tonight Mom, Margaret-Mary and I went to the 5:30 Mass at the Birmingham Oratory, (I also went to the 10:30 with Dad, Maria and Elizabeth because Frances wasn't well enough to come.) Father Anton Guziel gave an amazing sermon! Here is what the second half went like roughly: (The first half was about the history of Corpus Christi.)

We are all too greedy with our time and watching TV and busying ourselves with household jobs takes priority in our lives rather than our eternal destination. In Poland 5,000 people processed for 2 .5 hours behind the Blessed Sacrament....Father said he could count on the fingers of one hand those who attend Vespers, or spend any time in front of the blessed Sacrament during the daily Holy Hours in the parish.

Father's sermon was powerfully challenging and as an immediate consequence, there were a lot of people who stayed behind after Mass for Vespers prayed in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Thank you, Father Anton, for inspiring us and for one of the best sermons we have been given for a very long time!

Also Vespers was in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed so no sitting down!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A&E again!

No not Margaret-Mary but Frances this time!! She fell off her bike when the dog swerved in front of her. She went right over the handlebar (or so I am told, the girls were with Dad and I was on the Blessed John Henry Newman Institute of Liturgical Music course!) and has a big cut on her lip! Any prayers would be appreciated!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A heated debate!

 This Afternoon there there was a heated debate over at Linen on the hedgerow.The title of the post was "Since when did a priest die for the OF Mass?" and the post itself was very well written (Although lots of people didn't see that!). To sum it all up: hundreds of Priests died for the Latin Mass but today Priests die for their faith, rather than specifically for the Novus Ordo Mass. It sounds incendiary, but it is interesting to look at both forms of the Mass as vehicles for communicating the God given gift of faith.
 Although both forms of Holy Mass are valid, a lot of the commentators seem to be in denial about the real differences between the two forms of Holy Mass. Is it possible that the one which was formed over the centuries, alongside the deposit of faith, could be a fuller expression of that same faith than a model brought in perhaps with the best intentions, but suddenly and which in many places has already been subject to change "beyond belief"?