Tuesday, 30 December 2008


On Sunday 25th Janaury at the 11:15am Mass I will be formerly inducted as Parish Priest of St Marie's by the Dean, Father Paul Cannon.

What is a Parish Priest?

A Parish Priest is called to care for all the people living in his parish in the spirit of Jesus the Lord. He is to celebrate the Mass for and with the people so as to ensure that this is the centre of parish life. He is to strive to lead them in prayer, including prayer in their families, and to take a live and active part in the Sacred Liturgy. He is to preach the Word of God in its entirety and to nourish the people by the fitting celebration of the Sacraments.

A Parish Priest should know his people, by visiting them in their homes, by sharing their joys and anxieties and by his awareness of the situation in which they must live out their discipleship of Our Lord.

With the help of the people, he is to encourage and raise up those who have ceased to live in its abundance the life offered by Our Lord. He is to care for the deep formation of every member of the body of Our Lord, but especially the young, the handicapped, the disadvantaged and those who are burdened.

From the Writings of St John Marie Vianney, the Curé of Ars - Patron of Parish Priests
‘You could have two hundred angels there and they cannot pardon you. But a priest, as simple as he may be, can do it. He can say to you: ‘Go in peace, I forgive you.’ Oh, how the priesthood is something wonderful! A priest will only be understood in heaven…If we understand him on earth, we would die, not of fright, but out of love. The priest is not a priest for himself. It isn’t he who grants absolution. He, himself, doesn’t administer the sacraments. He doesn’t do this for himself, he does it for you. The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus.’

Traditional Latin Mass

Beginning on Friday 16th January and every Friday thereafter at 7:30pm I will be offering Mass according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII (commonly called the Tridentine (Latin) Mass.
Since the Holy Father issued the Motu Propio Summorum Pontificum which lifted the restrictions on celebrating Mass according to the rites prior to the Second Vatican Council many people have come to learn of the riches of this rite of Mass. Now I realise it will not appeal to everyone and there is no complusion for you to attend, but as Parish Priest I feel it is important that those people who wish to attend Holy Mass according to the Tridentine Rite should have the opportunity to do so.
For those who have never experienced the Tridentine liturgy I would encourage you come along and see what it is all about. The Mass on 16th Janaury will be a Missa Cantata (sung Mass). Members of the Holy Name Choir will be here to sing. Other Masses on the following Fridays may be sung depending on the availablity of the choir. If there is no choir then the Mass will be a Low (said) Mass. But I hope to have a Sung Mass at least on the First Friday of each month.
I am grateful to Father Tim Finigan at http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/ for advertising this new venture on his excellent blog.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Happy Christmas

May I take this opportunity to wish all my dear parishioners, friends and Benefactors the joys of Christmas and every blessing for the New Year.

Deus, qui hanc sacratissimam noctem veri luminis fecisiti illustratione clarescere: da,quaesumus ut cujus lucis mysteria in terra cognovimus, ejus quoque gaudis in caelo perfruamur.

O God who hast made this most holy night shine forth with the splendour of the true Light: grant we beseech Thee, that we, who have known the mysteries of His light on earth may enjoy also His happiness in heaven.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Carols by Candlelight

On Monday of this week we held our Festival on Nine Lessons and Carols. I am sure you will agree that it was a very beautiful service and the choir sang so well not only their own choir pieces but also the congregational carols as well. Among the well known carols the choir sang the following pieces:
The O Antiphon for 22nd Day of December (Plainsong)
Adam lay y bounden
Out of your sleep by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett
Benedicamus Domino by Paul-Isaac Franks.
This piece of music had its premiere at St Marie's.
Away in a manger - Trad French melody, arr. Jacques
The Coventry Carol
O Holy Night

Saturday, 20 December 2008


7:30pm Vigil Mass
11:30pm Carols
Midnight Mass and Blessing of Crib
9:30am Family Mass
11:15am Solemn Mass
10:30am till 12:00 Noon

End of Term Mass

On Thursday of this week we celebrated the end of term Mass for all the children at our Primary School.
Our children were impeccably behaved from the moment they arrived at church, during and after the Mass. Although the Mass was a 'Christmas Mass' Father Francis wanted to keep the theme of Advent and waiting before the children. He did this by talking before Mass started about preparation: preparing to come to school, preparing the church for Mass, preparing our homes with decorations and preparng our hearts to receive Christ.
To emphasise the preparation needed for Mass Father Francis put on his vestments in front of the children and explained what each item was. [Amice, Alb, Cincture, Stole, Maniple and Chasuble].
Once vested for Mass the children stood to sing the opening hymn 'O Mary, when our God chose you ' and Father processed to the altar.
Now that our children are on holiday may I take this opportunity to thank our staff and parents for all that they have contributed to the school year so far. I hope you all have a very happy and Holy Christmas.
Happy Christmas
Wesolych Swiat

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Gaudete Sunday

This Sunday is known traditionally as Gaudete Sunday. The name comes from the opening antiphon for the Mass in latin (both in the 1962 Rite of Mass - the Extraordinary Form or the 1970 Rite of Mass - the Ordinary Form)
Gaudete, Christus natus est ex Maria Virgine, Gaudete!
Rejoice, Christ is born of the Virgin, rejoice!

The mood of advent changes. The priest to-day will wear rose coloured vestments. These are a lighter shade than the more sombre purple of the other Sundays of Advent. A sign that the Light from on high will soon dawn upon us. We will also light the third candle on our advent wreath. Again this is rose coloured and is yet another reminder of Christ the Light who is coming to bring His own wonderful light to our world.

Most of us think that the world evolves around us. Either consciously or unconsciously we consider ourselves to be the centre of the universe. When the government raises taxes our first reaction is ‘How is that going to affect me?’ The way we claim things as our own my car, my book, my money - even my parish further enhances our universe centered concept of ourselves.

In the middle of Advent John the Baptist comes along and reminds us that we have no such central position . The author of John’s Gospel makes clear in the way he presents John the Baptist. We are told that God sent John to bear witness to Jesus, the light of the world. The Gospel of John makes it clear that John the Baptist is not the light but that Jesus is. In other words John’s career was to be other centred - to point towards the Messiah.

Our role as baptised members of the Church is similar to John’s. We recognize that we are not the light, but proclaim that God is. We testify that God is at work in our lives, so that others might believe through us.

Recent Requiem Masses at St Joseph's

Of your charity pray for the happy repose of the souls of Terence Spence and Marian Macauley who have recently died. I offered the Requiem for Terence on Wednesday of this week and the Requiem for Marian on Friday. May they rest in peace.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Monday 22nd December 7:30pm
there will be the traditional service of nine lessons and carols by candlelight. Through music and readings from sacred scriptures we will use our hearts and minds 'to go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass.'
The service will have tradtional carols for the congregation to sing as well as pieces sung by members and friends of the choir at Holy Name Church, Manchester.
Do come along and make this service part of your preparations for Christmas.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Recent Baptisms

Please keep in your prayers the following childre who were baptised today at St. Marie's:
Ellie Brooke Donohoe
Isobella Hope Tate

Please also remember their parents and godparents and families. The top photo shows Baby Isobella with parents Francis and Kim. The bottom photo shows Baby Ellie with parents Stacey and Matthew.

Friday, 5 December 2008

School Inspection - View from a Parent

Mrs Robinson, the head of our primary school shared with me what one parent wrote on the back of her questionnaire. I share it with you too as it goes to show what parents think of our school.

My child is still in the foundation stage and hasn't yet started formal RE Lessons. We chose this school specifically for its religious ethos.

So far we are delighted that our new priest has already established good links with the childre, building on the strong links between the school and the parish community.

At the parents induction evening we were told exactly how important RE was, not just as part of the curriculum but in its wider context of being a Catholic school. Also we were told about the responsibilities we ahared as parents and how best we could work in partnership with the school to ensure a continuity at home. We also took home a prayer book with all the prayers that are said at school.
My child's teachers tell me about that is being taught in all subjects and I am happy that the RE is being taught in a very age appropiate manner. The prayer areas each classroom are beatuifully inviting and reflect the spirituality of our school community. At this time also we are looking forward to our first nativity.
As a family we are benefitting from the pastoral are offered by the school and that for us is the greatest expression of our Catholic Faith.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Religious Inspection

Please keep our staff and pupils from the priamry school in your prayers tomorrow as they undergo their Religious Inspection from the Diocese. I am confident all will be well.

Monday, 1 December 2008

John James Ireland RIP

Of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of John James Ireland whose funeral liturgy I celebrated today at Bury Cemetery Chapel followed by burial in the cemetery gounds.