Friday, 27 May 2011
Well done Bishop Davies!
The Rt Rev. Mark Davies, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury and Monsignor Gilles Wach, General Prior of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, have agreed to work towards establishing a foundation of the Institute at the Church of Ss Peter and Paul in New Brighton, Wirral, during the course of this year. The principal aim of the new foundation will be to provide a centre in the Diocese of Shrewsbury for the celebration of Holy Mass and the other Sacraments in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The presence of the Institute – a society of Apostolic life of Pontifical right – will also enable the church to become a centre for Eucharistic devotion and adoration, allowing the faithful to come to pray for an increase in faith and love for the Most Holy Eucharist.
A spokesman for the diocese said: “The members of the Institute will work in close collaboration with Father Philip Moor, the parish priest of the Parish of the Holy Apostles and Martyrs, since it is the wish of Bishop Davies that this shrine church will express the harmony between the two usages of the one Roman Rite.
“As the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, reminded us in his 2007 Moto Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, ‘there is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal’, it is the sincere hope of the bishop that this establishment will foster reconciliation at the heart of the Church: one of the express aims of the 2007 papal document.
“Finally, the foundation will ensure that the patrimony of the church building so dear to Catholics and other members of the local community is secured and continues to bear witness to the faith and mission of the Church.”
Since Bishop Davies was first approached by the Institute last year, he has been consulting with the Holy See, his brother northern Catholic bishops, the Patrimony Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and English Heritage about the future of the Church of Ss Peter and Paul.
I am grateful to Fr. Ray Blake for this piece of news. I jave lifted it from his blog. Father has many other interesting posts do go and visit. http://www.marymagdalen.blogspot.com/
Posted by Fr Francis Wadsworth at 18:54
Cheerful in penance, and in precept winning:
Patiently healing of their pride and blindness,
Souls that are sinning.
This is the Saint, who, when the world allures us,
Cries her false wares, and opes her magic coffers,
Points to a better city, and secures us
With richer offers.
Love is his bond, he knows no other fetter,
Asks not our all, but takes whate'er we spare him,
Willing to draw us on from good to better,
As we can bear him.
When he comes near to teach us and to bless us,
Prayer is so sweet, that hours are but a minute;
Mirth is so pure, though freely it possess us,
Sin is not in it.
Thus he conducts, by holy paths and pleasant,
Innocent souls, an sinful souls forgiven,
Towards the bright palace, where our God is present,
Throned in high heaven.
(Cardinal Newman, 1857)
Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of St Philip Neri, Founder of the Congregation of the Oratory.
Please pray in a special way that if it be God's will the Congregation of the Oratory may be established at the Church of the Holy Name, Manchester.
In the meantime we ask the prayers of St Philip for the community at the Holy Name, that through his intercession God will continue to bless the marvellous work they are doing.
Posted by Fr Francis Wadsworth at 18:47
Monday, 23 May 2011
The Solemnity of Our Lord's Ascension falls on 2nd June. The obligation to attend Mass on that day has been transferred to the nearest Sunday (5th June). To mark the Solemnity of the Ascension there will be a:
in the Extraordinary Form
of the Roman Rite
7:30pm in Saint Marie's Church
All are welcome to attend
All are welcome to attend
Posted by Fr Francis Wadsworth at 13:59
Friday, 20 May 2011
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
This act of common witness will come into effect from Friday 16 September 2011 - the day the Church in England and Wales marks the anniversary of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.
By the practice of penance every Catholic identifies with Christ in his death on the cross. We do so in prayer, through uniting the sufferings and sacrifices in our lives with those of Christ’s passion; in fasting, by dying to self in order to be close to Christ; in almsgiving, by demonstrating our solidarity with the sufferings of Christ in those in need. All three forms of penance form a vital part of Christian living. When this is visible in the public arena, then it is also an important act of witness.
Every Friday is set aside by the Church as a special day of penance, for it is the day of the death of our Lord. The law of the Church requires Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays, or some other form of food, or to observe some other form of penance laid down by the Bishops' Conference.
The Bishops wish to re-establish the practice of Friday penance in the lives of the faithful as a clear and distinctive mark of their own Catholic identity. They recognise that the best habits are those which are acquired as part of a common resolve and common witness. It is important that all the faithful be united in a common celebration of Friday penance.
Respectful of this, and in accordance with the mind of the whole Church, the Bishops' Conference wishes to remind all Catholics in England and Wales of the obligation of Friday Penance. The Bishops have decided to re-establish the practice that this should be fulfilled by abstaining from meat. Those who cannot or choose not to eat meat as part of their normal diet should abstain from some other food of which they regularly partake. This is to come into effect from Friday 16 September 2011 when we will mark the anniversary of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.
Many may wish to go beyond this simple act of common witness and mark each Friday with a time of prayer and further self-sacrifice. In all these ways we unite our sacrifices to the sacrifice of Christ, who gave up his very life for our salvation.
Posted by Fr Francis Wadsworth at 20:25
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
The Fourth Sunday of Eastertide is traditionally called Good Shepherd Sunday from the Gospel that is appointed for Mass. It is also day set aside to pray for vocations to the Priesthood and the Religious Life. I am however a little reluctant to ask you to pray for vocations. That might seem a strange things for a priest to say. We have been praying for vocations and there seems to be little response to our prayers or sometimes the ones that God chooses are not the most apparent. I remember saying to one of the old priests at seminary, 'Eeee Father, I bet when you were praying for vocations all those years ago I bet you never thought we would be the answer to your prayers.'
We have been praying for vocations but there is little response so either God is not listening or the people whom God is calling are not responding. I am confident that God is listening. So the problem must lie elsewhere.
There seems to be a general malaise about vocations. Why is that I wonder? Perhaps we need to look a little deeper at some current trends in order for us to answer the question.
The beginning of all vocation is baptism. Here I have to be honest with you. I have to pray especially hard at some baptism ceremonies that the grace of God will work overtime in the lives of those being baptised and their families because you know that the ceremony has very little to do with faith, very little to do with belonging to the Church, but entry into a Catholic School. Have the child baptised to get a certificate that can be stapled to an application form.
We are told that vocations come from families and therein lies another problem. Now we witness the break up of family life more than ever before. The family unit that we used to speak of is almost a thing of the past. Why is this? Could it be the lack of marriage that has something to do with it. Nowadays we have nice phrases to cover up the reality. We say people are living together, we speak of partners rather than husbands and wives. One of my seminary profs even said 'Oh yes today many people anticipate the Sacrament of Marriage.' These are nice phrases that skirt around the truth. At the risk of being lynched in the porch after Mass I will say it as it is. They are living in sin. There! I've said it!!! The truth makes us feel a little uncomfortable doesn't it. But it is only by facing up to the truth that we can hope to overcome the problem. The alcoholic will never recover until they say those words that begin every AA meeting. 'My name is xxxxx and I am an alcoholic. Facing up to the reality of the situation brings about a healing.
It is from families that vocations come. If we return to strong families then the vocations will come once again. But we also have to be generous ourselves. We need to plant the seeds of vocation within our own families. After all the son of Peter and Margaret Wadsworth is your Parish Priest. Why can't your sons be the someone else's Parish Priest or even succeed me here? We need to open ourselves up to the possibility that God may be calling a member of our own families to be a priest or a member of a religious community.
I remember one lady in my first parish being horrified when I suggested her 19 year old son might think about becoming a priest. She was even more horrified when I pointed out to her that without future vocations there may be no priest to get out of bed and celebrate the Last Sacraments with her. Or there maybe no priest to offer her Requiem Mass. Unless we seriously consider this there will be no future for the Church because the Church needs priests.Yes the Church is made up of laity and priests - but unless there are priests to celebrate the Sacraments, especially the Holy Mass then there is no Church.
A lot of what I have said today is hard hitting stuff and will make us feel uncomfortable, but they are the teachings given us by Christ our Good Shepherd and we cannot ignore them.
The image of Christ carrying a lamb on his shoulders, nursing the lost sheep, is a very comforting one. But there is also something very hard about this image. No doubt the life of a shepherd was a tough and quite dangerous one. The safety of his sheep might be brought at the risk of his own safety. And the good shepherd is the one who leads down the right pathway. There is one gate to the sheepfold, though there are many who would try and deceive the sheep.
There is something very un-modern about this. We try to be tolerant. We try to live and let live. We even try to give respect to the beliefs of others. All of this is good. But it is not good if it suggests that all beliefs are the same, all paths are just as valid, all roads lead to the same goal. Belief is not just a matter of choice or preference or taste or even upbringing. Life choices are not like preferences for food, or football teams, or holiday destinations. Some choices are right and some choices are wrong. Pray that we will have the grace to follow the path that Christ calls us to follow no matter how hard it may be at times.
On this Good Shepherd Sunday let us pray for an increase in vocations to marriage and to family life so that the future of the Church may be secured with many good and holy vocations. Amen
Posted by Fr Francis Wadsworth at 21:11