Monday, 31 August 2009


In this year dedicated to the Priesthood and in honour of the 150th anniversary of the Holy Cure of Ars, St John Marie Vianney one of our parishioners has asked that we offer a spiritual bouquet for all our priests. If you wish to contribue there are cards at the back of the church on which to place your pledges. THese will then be displayed around the poster on the noticedbaord by the confessional as a reminder to pray in a particular way for priests this year.

May they rest in Peace

Your charitable prayers are requested for those who have recently died:
Mary Marshall
Beryl Mann
Florence Lyons
Eternal Rest Grant unto them, O Lord and let perpetual light shine on them.
May they rest in peace.


Please keep in your prayers Dr Kelly Senior and Mr Stephen O'Louglin who were married at St Marie's on 29th August. We wish them every blessing as they begin their married life.


Once again we were hosts to the student community of Papa Stronsay. The students, Brothers Ivan, Yousef, Matthew, Jean Marie and Magdala broke their journey at St Marie's on their way back to the States to continue their studies for the priesthood at the Faternity of St Peter Seminary in Denton, Nebraska.
It was wonderful to see them all again and we wish them every blessing as they continue their studies.

We were also able to offer hospitality to their superior Fr. Michael Mary and Brothers Nicodemus and Martin who were travelling back to Papa Stransay after a recent pilgrimage to Ireland.
The picture in this post was taken as I dropped my confreres off at the airport.
Further information about the Papa Stronsay Community can be found by visiting their blog:


A number of our readers have been asking for some pictures of St Joseph's Church. Well here they are!!! I have only made one minor change to the sanctuary and that is to add what we have come to call the 'Benedictine Arrangement' of candles to the altar.

The candles have come from one of our neighbouring churches (St Mary and St Philip Neri in Radcliffe) that has sadly closed.

Sunday, 23 August 2009


For a good number of years now the work of (re)translating the texts we use at Mass has been gathering pace. We are probably now entering the finally stages of that work and can finally look forward to a new translation of the Roman Missal that is more faithful to the orginal latin edition of the Missal. At last to quote eminient blogger Fr Zuhlsdorf we can find out WHAT THE PRAYER REALLY SAYS. Take a look at Father's excellent blog at:
When this translation has been authorised by the Holy See there will follow a period of catechesis (teaching) about the New Missal. The American Bishop's Conference are already leading the way in this regard and have produced an excellent website that will be of great us to all of us Bishops, Priests and Laity and we start to use the new texts.
if you wish to take a look at it the web address is below:


As I was reading a few blogs this afternoon I came across this blog and I thought i would share it with you. It expresses the hopes, joys and sorrows of many young people and priests in our Chruch to-day.

Friday, 21 August 2009


I recently took part in a training conference organised by the Latin Mass Society for those who wished to learn how to celebrate Low Mass according to the Usus Antiquior or those who wished to learn the more complicated ceremonial for the Missa Cantata and High Mass. I was asked to write a report for that confference and it was recently published in the LMS Magazine 'Mass of Ages.' In order to give the article a wider audience I also reproduce it here.
Tracing its roots back to Douai in France during penal times, Ushaw College has been training priests on its present site for over 200 years. For four days this April it trained a few more! In this case they were already ordained to the Sacred Priesthood on arrival, but, in seeking to learn something of the Extraordinary Form (TLM), they were, nevertheless, being trained in the traditions of the Douai Martyrs and countless others before them.
Some of the “students” were former inmates of this august house of formation, and had tried to adhere to traditional ways even then, so the phrase “Douai Martyrs” may have applied in more recent times. It rejoiced their hearts to see the Gothic splendours of the Pugin chapel of St Cuthbert ringing once more to the sound of plainsong and the Mass of Ages.
The move north from Merton College, Oxford to County Durham facilitated participation [full and active!] by clergy in the Northern Province, though some still came from the south. Clearly, the thirst for contact with our ancient heritage is as strong in the North as it was down in Merton.
The clergy fellowship was a key element to this venture, as before, but the use of trainers from the North gave a different feel to everything, both in the Mass practices and also in the bar. Those with some experience supported those with little or none. The de-briefing in the sacristy after early morning Masses was also very important, with servers and LMS Committee members adding their contribution to the mix.
Because there will be a Summer venture in the south later this year, the scale of this conference was smaller than Merton I and II and this gave rise to the possibility of more in-depth formation. It also afforded more opportunities for friendship and solidarity amongst participants. This latter will prove its worth in the coming months in parishes up and down the kingdom as we try to implement the Holy Father’s much valued Motu Proprio.
This point cannot be over-emphasised. We have already seen in the so-called Catholic press persecution of priests for re-launching the TLM in parishes. Since none of us has the hide of a rhinoceros, the networks of support provided by like-minded clergy and laity is vital for withstanding the assaults of the frightened liberals. The criticism of ‘blogging priests’ is just another way of trying to undermine the mutual support and self-defence of orthodoxy.
The aforementioned Motu Proprio refers not only to the Holy Mass, and so participants were treated to a learned and pastoral review of the Traditional Rite of Holy Unction, Viaticum and Commendation of the Dying given by a serving hospital chaplain. Having served as a hospital chaplain myself, I can concur with Father’s experience and his thoughts on the pastoral relevance today of the Traditional Rites.
With so many people coming to the UK from around Europe, the draw backs of vernacular liturgy are becoming ever more evident and the use of the Traditional Rites in Latin serves to assure migrants of the presence of a Catholic minister at their bedside in their hour of need.
Even more benefit might have accrued from this lecture had not some of us found it difficult to focus attention so long after rising for Mass. A fellow participant, who dared to snore, assured us that it was the getting up early that caused his wandering thoughts. He was not complaining however, because the early Mass shows the priority of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament in our spiritual lives.
This training conference for priests offered some of us the chance to develop our skills in the offering of Missa Cantata and Missa Solemnis. Reflection on this amongst my fellow trainees and tutors suggests that more attention needs to be given to the formation of musicians, servers and MCs to facilitate the roll-out of this normative form of the TLM. It is most fitting to begin with priests, but even in Traditional circles others have their role to fulfil in the worship of Almighty God.
Clerical humour being what it is, recreation allowed several wags to speculate on appropriate Latin versions of some of the ditties to which we are all subjected these days at Sunday Mass. I will long remember “Legate Nos, Domine” for ‘Bind us Together, Lord.’ However, readers will be delighted to learn that we could devise nothing to latinise Kumbayah!
The majority of participants, including your writer, offered Mass in the More Ancient Use of the Roman Rite each day, growing and improving as they did so. It was a delight to re-live the joy of a First Mass along side those priests who offered the Usus Antiquior for the first time at Ushaw. It is to be hoped that more clergy will re-kindle joy in the priesthood through discovering the riches of our Catholic heritage.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Arranging a funeral of a loved one can be a very distressing and upsetting time. For many it will be the first time that they have had to deal with such thngs. They are not always aware of the Church's requirements. This information is intended to offer guidance for family members involved in preparing a funeral liturgy, and those others who will assist them.

Go to see the priest who will conduct the funeral, at the earliest opportunity. He will give you guidance on all matters concerning the funeral service. It is essential to remember that a ceremony in church, whether a Mass or Service of Prayer, is always an act of worship and is never simply a 'presentation' or 'event' or 'celebration of a person's life' with those present as observers. Normally a funeral takes the form of a celebration of Mass but this is not always so. A service of prayer may be held at the Crematorium or at the graveside.
Singing forms a necessary or integral part of worship. As well as being a form of prayer it also acts as a means of including all present in what is taking place. The priest will be quite happy to help you choose suitable hymns for the funeral liturgy.
More and more requests are made for non religious music or pop songs at funerals. This is not permitted in either of the churches in our parish. Music of a non-religious kind, whether sung 'live' or played on CDs or audiotapes is best suited either for the crematorium or even at the graveside itself. The music of the liturgy, like the liturgical texts, should be expressions of faith in the saving mystery of Christ's death and resurrection, and appropriate to the part of the liturgy in which they are sung. 'You'll never walk alone' and 'I did it my way' and the like, do not have a place in the Church's liturgy and they should not be used.
Worship in Church always includes passages of God's Word from the Bible. There will usually be two readings from the Scriptures, or maybe three. The last reading is always from the Gospels. The first may be from either the Old or New Testament. If there are three the first is from the Old Testament and the second from the New Testament.
Whilst these texts do have particular associations for people and may be very attractive, they do not fit easily into the normal Catholic Funeral Liturgy. Non-religious poems and texts might come across much better during prayers in the home before or after the funeral liturgy.

It is sometimes requested that a member of the family or friend be permitted to 'say something' in church. This is always a very sensitive issue and needs to be handled carefully. A funeral is a moment of solemnity and it can be very difficult for members of the family to contain their distress. Catholics are not permitted to have addresses of a political nature, and must also always be aware of how any address can cause tension or conflict. The crematorium or the graveside might be better suited to such an address.
A 'personal tribute' should be restricted to the person's qualities and should be in keeping with the religious nature of the occasion.
If there is to be such a personal tribute in church, the person delivering it needs to consult the priest and should write their text beforehand so that it does not take more than two or three minutes. The text should be no longer than 400 words and should be handed to the priest at least two days before the ceremony. The place in the ceremony for such a tribute is after Holy Communion.

It is common nowadays for the Christian symbols of the crucifix and a book of the Gospels to be placed on the coffin at the beginning of the ceremony. A member of the family or a friend may place the symbols.
Any flowers placed on the coffin will be removed as the coffin is brought into the church and then replaced at the end of the Mass when the Book of the Gospels and Crucifix are removed and the procession leaves the church. A table will be provided near the front of the church for people to place Mass cards.

It is sometimes requested that the coffin be covered with a flag. The Catholic Funeral Rite specifically does not permit this in church. National flags, or flags or insignia of associations have no place in the funeral liturgy. They may drape the coffin until it comes to the church door, but will then be respectfully removed before the coffin is brought into the church. They may be replaced again as the coffin is taken from the church after the mass, and before it is placed in the hearse.

Sometimes families request that their deceased relative might lie in church during the night preceding the Funeral Mass. This Prayer Vigil can be arranged with the Funeral Director and the Priest.
When arranging a funeral bear in mind that there are certain Feast days when it may not be possible for the parish to accommodate the celebration in church. Holy Thursday is one such example. You may need to be aware of this when discussing the date and time with the funeral director.

We hope this guidance will be helpful in your planning for the funeral and that the resulting ceremony in church will be dignified and prayerful.

May they Rest in Peace

May I commend to your charitable prayers the souls of the following who have recently died:

Fr. John Neville
Andrew Gluba
Catherine Daniels
Anne Chambers
Stella Currie
Kathleen McLaughlin
Eternal Rest grant into them O Lord and let light perpetual shine upon them. May they rest in peace.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Donations for Flowers

Many thanks to all those who gave money towards the cost of the flowers for the church this weekend. We remember in prayer those in whoae memory the flowers have been bought
John and Stefan Novak
James, FLorence and Betty Flynn
Brooke Anastasia Wheildon
Roman Jezierski
The McMermott Family

If you would like to make a donation for flowers in memory of a loved one to mark an anniversary, birthday or other special event then please have a word with Anna Novak our flower arranger or Father Francis. The names of those in whose memory flowers are bought will be placed in the newsletter.

The Assumption of Our Lady

Many thanks to all woh worked so hard to decorate the church and the Lady Altar for to-day's Feast of Our Lady's Assumption. Many people have commented on how beautiful the church looked. In this post we have a picture of the Lady Altar decorated with flowers and candles.