Saturday, 28 March 2009

Where Have All The Statues Gone?

Firstly, be reassured I have NOT got ride of the statues of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart. They have been sent away to be professionally re-painted by E. Carrera - a Liverpool firm that specialises in this kind of work.

Unfortunately the statues have been 'attacked' by gloss paint and then painted over with a varnish that yellows with age. The result is statues that are neither edifying or devotional. The picture in this post show the Sacred Heart Statue prior to re-painting.

This repainting work does not come free...They will cost approx £500 each. If you would like to make a donation to this work then please make cheques to St Marie's Parish and sed them to:

Fr. Francis Wadsworth
St Marie's Presbytery,
Manchester Road,
BL9 oDR.

Alternatively donations can be handed to Father Francis at Sunday Mass.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Deanery Station Mass

This coming Wednesday - the Feast of the Annunciation we will celebrate our Deanery Station Mass. All are welcome to this celebration at which the Dean, Fr. Paul Cannon will preside. Mass begins at 7:30pm.

Holy Father Proclaims a 'Year for Priests'

I am grateful to Father Tim Finnigan at for the following information. If you get the chanve do have a look at Father's excellent blog.
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the death of the Curé of Ars, the Holy Father announced that from 19 June 2009 to 19 June 2010, there will be a special "Year of the Priesthood" with the theme "Faithfulness of Christ, faithfulness of the priest".

On 19 June, the feast of the Sacred Heart, Pope Benedict will preside at Vespers in the presence of the relics of St John Vianney, brought to Rome by the Bishop of Belley-Ars and there will be a Worldwide Meeting of Priests in St Peter's Square.

During the year, the Holy Father will proclaim St John Vianney "Patron of all the priests of the world." There is also going to be a new "Directory for Confessors and Spiritual Directors." Speaking to members of the Congregation for the Clergy this morning, Pope Benedict said that awareness of the radical social changes of recent decades made it necessary for the "best ecclesial energies to be applied to the formation of candidates for the ministry.

"Mission has its roots in a special way in a good formation, developed in communion with unbroken ecclesial Tradition, without pausing or being tempted by discontinuity. In this context, it is important to encourage priests, especially the young generations, to a correct reading of the texts of Vatican Council II, interpreted in the light of all the Church's doctrinal inheritance."

Monday, 9 March 2009

Latin Mass Returns to Bury

Here is an article I wrote for our recent Deanery newsletter.

Some of you may be wondering 'Why bring back the old Mass Rite when we have a new one?'

In July 2007, the Holy Father issued a Decree Motu Proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum which decreed that there is to be a greater freedom in celebrating the Mass Rite commonly called the Tridentine or Latin Mass, which many will remember from the 1960's and before.

In some sections of the Catholic press, the Holy Father has been accused of not going with the flow of the Second Vatican Council. At the time of the Council there was much renewal in the life of the Church, so we had not only a new Mass Rite, but also a new Code of Canon Law and a new Catechism. Those who disagree with the Holy Father's decision are likely to say that to return to the old, is to turn you back on the the new and give up its benefits. But we have to be careful in our way of thinking.

When we go into a supermarket or see adverts on TV we are constantly confronted by the word 'new'. New pet food flavours, new recipes, new soap powder formulae etc. The impression given is that new is improved or better and who wouldn't want that?

By implication, of course, what is old is seen as outdated, no longer useful or serving its purpose, and only a fool would stick with it.
But this reflects the mentality that all change is for the better, and what comes after always improves on what went before. When in fact the word 'new' simply means different than before - it may be better and it may be worse. I'm sure that you can remember a few years ago when a popular cola brand brought out a new recipe for its product. It was expected that everyone would jump on board with this new cola, but no one liked it and it was quickly withdrawn.

So once we understand that new simply means different than before, we begin to realise that old does not mean something to be scorned or avoided.

The fact that the Church uses two Mass Rites does not mean that one is better or worse, more Catholic or less praiseworthy, than the other.

The Holy Father is aware that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (Tridentine, Latin) meets the spiritual needs of many people in the Church today, and a surprising number of them too young to remember the Latin Mass when it was the norm. (Priest's included!!!)

In order that the Holy Father's wishes may be fulfilled and that those who wish may have access to the Extra Ordinary Form of the Mass I have decided to offer this Mass very Friday at St Marie's at 7:30pm. Everyone is most welcome to these celebrations and I look forward to welcoming you.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Lenten Mass

Last Friday our regular Missa Cantata was offered. My thanks as always go to those who make this possible: the Altar Servers and Master of Ceremonies, the Choir and those who give generously of their time to prepare the church to make it a fitting place for celebration of Mass.
Music for the Mass was as follows:
Processional: Lent Prose, Attende Domine (Plainchant)
Missa Rex Splendens (Plainchant, Mass VII)
Offertory Motet: Christus Factus Est (Bruckner)
Communion Motet: O ignee spiritus (Hildegard of Bingen)
Recessional: Ave Regina Caelorum (Plainchant)