Tuesday, 9 July 2013


While I was at Gricigliano, several debates came up... One of the major ones was about the benefits of the LMS. As far as I could hear, these were considered to be few....but as I was listening to two conversations at once,  and also half asleep, I may be mistaken... Another one was whether smoking is the sin of suicide. And....before you stub your cigarettes out, it was decided that it was not.  Yet another was about which calendar was better, that of 1939, or that of '62... That was inconclusive.
Yet more debate took place in the sacristy of the Birmingham Oratory on Sunday,  between one of the Fathers and the MC . This was about whether the ICKSP are too baroque!.. The MC accused the Father of just being jealous,  and I think that he was probably  right!

Breakfasting with a Bishop, part 2!

Wednesday morning:
I woke up at 6:15, and had a shower, after walking into a window shutter... By 7:30, I was being driven down to the station by a seminarian... Not quite as dangerous as last time! The 8am train was invaded by Seminarians, Canons, and others, all heading for the ordination... By 8:30, my friends and I were all in the sacristy, where we had to wait an hour before Mass began... The hour passed uneventfully and, (without breakfast) Mass began... It was the first Pontifical high at the Faldstool I have ever been to. Needless to say it was very long... By 12:45 it was finished, so we went back to the sacristy, got out of our (very hot) serving stuff, and went back to the train station, absolutely famished! We got the train back to where we came from, and a Seminarian gave us a lift to the house of the Sister adorers, where lunch was that day...

Wednesday afternoon:
After a delicious lunch at the Sister adorers, we went up the hill to the seminary, where we had a rest until Vespers, at 6, followed shortly after by (yet another) lovely meal... Following that, Compline and bed!

Thursday morning:
Thursday morning was much the same as Wednesday morning, except that we went to a cafe a stone's throw away from the Church, and had a coffee and a croissant there...

Thursday afternoon:
At the beginning, almost identical to Wednesday afternoon, but all similarity stopped at 6. Vespers were not sung, but at 7, there was adoration, with the Te Deum. Pontificating  was Cardinal Bertoil, with Cardinal Burke, two Bishops, and the Abbot of Le Barroux in choir!!! After that, there was a small snack in preparation for the big meal, followed by the big meal which was superb...

Very early on Friday:
At 12 midnight, or there a bouts, the raffle was drawn! Following that, there where some speeches that I could not understand a word of... After the speeches there was the most spectacular display of fireworks, possibly in the history of the universe. I'm not joking. Apparently, the fireworks last year didn't work, so there were two years worth of fireworks!!! It was superb!! After that I went to bed.

Quite early on Friday:
I was woken up at around 6:30 by some inconsiderat French boys, who belived that if they had to get up early , then so did everyone else!!! I tried to get to sleep but couldn't, so I went and had a shower...

Later on Friday morning:
At 8, I went to the first of 5 first Masses, and then went for a little walk around the gardens. By 9:30, I was felling peckish, and went to Breakfast. On my way over to breakfast, I noticed the sign, which said (in French) Breakfast from 8-10, which I misread late last night, and mistook to mean breakfast at 8 and 10. Opps! Following Breakfast I went and had another look at the wreckage of the fireworks... Oh I was at the same table as the Bishop at breakfast, but didn't talk to him, as it was a very big table...

Friday afternoon:
After a hasty lunch, our group was driven down to the station, where we got  a train into Florence, from where got a bus into Pisa, and from there we got a plane to Manchester! Mom came and picked me up, and I got home late that night, but still managed to serve the Birmingham Oratory's 9:30 Mass the following morning!!!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Breakfasting with a Bishop!

I really should start at the start so here goes!
Part 1
Monday evening:
Mom drove me and my sisters up to Manchester where we had some food with our friends, after which Mom left to go back home with my sisters...

Early Tuesday morning:
I woke up at 4 am, to the sound of my alarm... On of my friends in the same room gets up and has a shower... By 4:45, all 3 of us where awake and dressed, and by 5, we were in the car! By 5:20 we were all at Manchester airport, and saying goodbye to the Dad of my friends and had met up with the Priest and other person we were traveling with! By 6ish, we were through security, and left with an hour before we could begin boarding the plane... So we sat reading, before we went and got some breakfast... When the time had come, we went to the gate and had our passports and boarding passes checked. My seat was further down the plane than the rest of my group's so I was in between two complete strangers...

Later on Tuesday Morning:
The plane arrived without anything unusual happening and so I arrived at Pisa airport... After going through passport control, we were met at arrivals by two more English people, a Priest, and a vestment maker, who had come out on an earlier flight... We all got on the bus to Florence (Can you guess where I went yet?) and 70 minutes later, we arrived at the train station Sancta Maria Novella a 5 minute walk from the Church of the ICKSP in Florence... When we got there we found that the ceremonies of the Minor Ordinations were either over, or where taking place behind locked doors...

Tuesday afternoon:
So we went straight back to the station, where we met a nice Seminerian, from the ICKSP (Where else would a young man whereing a cassock come from in those parts?) He was waiting for someone from the Vatican to turn up but he had been waiting for a long time for the prelate to turn up, an so offered to give us a lift back to the seminary instead... The car he had only had three spare seats, so one of my friends, one of the Priests and me got to have a lift, while the others went on the train... 30 minutes later, after some insane driving and liberal use of the car horn, the 4 of us safely arrived at the seminary, where we were warmly greeted by the rector of the ICKSP Church in England, Canon Montjean, and given a very nice lunch! And lunch we went to unpack our stuff, and the others arrived  from the train station. After they ate, we all had a small rest before going to Mass celebrated by the 2 Fathers. I servers for one of them... After Mass, there was a ceremony in the chapel, in which the future Deacons and Priests were given their choir habits and some lay members were received into the society of the Sacred Heart. After that, a Bishop confirmed a couple of people after which we had dinner, followed be Compline and bed

To be continued tomorrow...