Wednesday, 28 September 2016


As you know every year I travel to Lourdes with our diocesan pilgrimage to help with the sick pilgrims.  This year was no exception and I had the privilege of being Chaplain to the Nursing and Medical Team (standing in for Fr Paul Daly) who was attending the World Youth Day Celebrations in Kraków.

This year the first part of the pilgrimage was led by Bishop Emeritus Terence Brain until Bishop John could join us travelling directly from the World Youth Day celebrations.  

Throughout the week we reflected in our Masses on the theme of love and mercy that comes to us as a free gift from God the Father.

In addition to the religious celebrations of the pilgrimage there is always the chance to socialise as a Pilgrimage Family.  Here are just a few pictures taken at the last night fancy dress social evening.


When I returned from Gricigliano amongst the many items of post was a large envelope from the University of Manchester.  It contained my certificate for the Polish Studies that I had done during the year.  By some miraculous means I managed to gain 77% during the course.


On the 4th July I traveled to Gricigliano near Florence to be present at the week of Ordinations for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. 

On Monday we witnessed thirteen young men receive the cassock at the hands of Mgr Wach, Prior General of the Institute.

On Tuesday at the hands of His Excellency Mgr Meini, Bishop of Fiesole in the church of San Michele e Gaetano in central Florence we saw saw the reception of Tonsure and the minor orders of Porter, Lector, Excorsist and Acolyte.   In the early evening in the chapel of the seminary at Gricigliano those to be ordained deacons and priests received the Cross of St Francis de Sales and the Choir Habit.  Also at this Mass we witnessed Fr Philip Thomas become an affiliate member of the Institute as well as several lay people be enrolled into the Society of the Sacred Heart.

On Wednesday morning we gathered for the ordinations to the sub diaconate at the hands of His Excellency Mgr Finn, Emeritus Bishop of Kansas City.

On Thursday morning we gathered once again at the church of San Michele e Gaetano for the ordinations to the Sacred Priesthood at the hands of His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke. This year we rejoice and give thanks to God for eleven new priests of the Institute.

After the ordinations we all repaired to the seminary once again to receive the First Blessings of the newly ordained priests and to gather in the chapel for Solemn Benediction and singing of the Te Deum in thanksgiving.  This was followed by a celebratory meal and a firework display.

Below are some photos which I hope capture the joyful spirit of the week and of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

Processing for the subdiaconate ordinations

Canons of the Institute leaving church post ordinations

The newly ordained deacons and subdeacons

The deacons process to their priestly ordinations

His Eminence Cardinal Burke processes into the church 

His Eminence blesses all with Holy Water
before entering the church

Some clergy who attended in choir
After the Ordination Mass His Eminence blesses the faithful
Mgr Wach leaving the church in procession
Group photo with the newly ordained priests
Some of the New Priests in Procession

The newly ordained Canon Pinoteau gives his First Blessings
Likewise with the other newly ordained priests

The newly affiliated Fr Philip Thomas, Rector of Wells
New Members of the Society of the Sacred Heart
 for the laity
Mgr Wach with Affiliate Priests and
Sacred Heart Society Members
Taking off or Putting on????


It's been a while since I posted something on the blog so I thought it was time to remedy this.  

In June we celebrated the First Holy Communion Masses for our children at St Marie's School and St Joseph's School.  All the celebrations were very moving and prayerful.  

Firstly my thanks go to the staff of our schools who have worked with me during the year to help prepare the children for this great day.  

Secondly to the parents of the children who have supported them during the year and for the way that they helped the children to pray during the First Communion Mass.

Thirdly and by no means least thank you to our parishioners who have supported the children with their prayers and example during the year and especially on the day of their First Holy Communion.

Here are a few pictures taken at the celebrations.

Thursday, 9 June 2016


Last Sunday we gathered with our Polish Community to celebrate Children's Day.  Here are a few photos from the celebration.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016


Was ever another command so obeyed? To do this in memory of Him?  For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance, for every conceivable human need from infancy and before it to extreme old age and after it, from the pinnacle of earthly greatness to the refuge of fugitives in the caves and dens of the earth. Men have found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for the proclamation of a dogma or for a good crop of wheat; for the wisdom of the Parliament of a mighty nation or for a sick old woman afraid to die; for a schoolboy sitting an examination or for Columbus setting out to discover America; for the famine of whole provinces or for the soul of a dead lover; in thankfulness because my father did not die of pneumonia; because the Turk was at the gates of Vienna; for the repentance of Margaret; for the settlement of a strike; for a son for a barren woman; for Captain so-and-so wounded and prisoner of war; while the lions roared in the nearby amphitheatre; on the beach at Dunkirk; tremulously, by an old monk on the fiftieth anniversary of his vows; furtively, by an exiled bishop who had hewn timber all day in a prison camp;  gorgeously, for the canonisation of St. Joan of Arc……… One could fill many pages with the reasons why men have done this, and not tell a hundredth part of them. And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of Christendom, the pastors have done this just to make the plebs sancta Dei—the holy common people of God.

We find ourselves this weekend with the Green Sundays of Ordinary Time stretching away from us towards Christ the King. We see the signs, miracles and teaching of Jesus, doing what He intended they should, drawing a community of disciples around Him personally, attaching them to His own person and thus to each other. We shall see Him establishing the ministry of the Twelve to guard and guide His community when His work is done and He has sent the Holy Spirit. This community of faith is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in which we say we believe Sunday by Sunday.

Yet truthfully, what many of us actually believe in is the bricks and mortar, the stained glass and the pews of our own buildings. The buildings have an importance, but it is entirely based on the community that makes its home in it and upon the Eucharist they celebrate in it. Catholics in this country have been dispossessed of their churches in the past and survived for several centuries on secret celebrations of Mass in unusual and un-consecrated places. The attachment was as it should be the person of Christ Himself in the Mass.

We live in times where it is becoming ever more important to maintain that attachment to Christ and His community of faithful disciples, not to the buildings. They have come and gone and they will continue to do so, and yet the nature of the Church itself will not change. Much as we love and invest emotionally in our church buildings and sacred spaces, they are nothing without us, the Holy Common People of God, gathered with our pastors to celebrate Mass and the other sacraments.

As some churches close and parishes band together under one priest, we must focus afresh on what we have always been, Eucharistic communities, rather than canonical entities or piles of stones and brick. May we be centred on Christ, the raiser of the dead and healer of souls, the Father’s beloved Son, the Word made Flesh.  

Sunday, 29 May 2016


There is now a part of Bury that will be forever Jasna Góra.  On a regular basis we sing that lovely hymn in honour of Our Lady of Częestochowa.  Here is a little video of us singing it at the end of Mass this morning.  A full transcript of the English version appears below.


On this earth our souls are restless
'til they find that special place
Where there reigns the Queen of Poland
Bearing scars upon her face
Sad but gentle as she gazes
almost begging one and all
that they ask for her protection with this call.

Madonna, Black Madonna
Hear your children, Lady of Grace.
O hide us, Black Madonna
in your gentle loving embrace.

In her arms you'll find protection
and her peace does not depart
For her children will find love
in her Immaculate Heart.
She is always there to help you
when you give your heart to her
and invoke your Blessed Mother's name with love.

Madonna, Black Madonna
Hear your children, Lady of Grace.
O hide us, Black Madonna
in your gentle loving embrace.

When the cares of life oppress us
We can flee to her to hide
To our Blessed Mother Mary
for she calls us to her side
So we ask you Queen of Poland
turn your eyes of love to us
hear the prayers your children offer now with joy.

Madonna, Black Madonna
Hear your children, Lady of Grace.
O hide us, Black Madonna
in your gentle loving embrace.