Friday, 28 September 2012


Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways,
For most of us, when asked our mind,
Admit we still more pleasure find
In hymns of ancient days.

The simple lyrics, for a start,
Of many a modern song
Are far too trite to touch the heart,
Enshrine no poetry, no art,
And go on much too long.

O for a rest from jollity
And syncopated praise!
What happened to tranquillity?
The silence of eternity
Is hard to hear these days.

Send Thy deep hush, subduing all
Those happy claps that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call.
Triumphalism is not all,
For sometimes we feel down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness
Till all our strummings cease.
Take from our souls the strain and stress
Of always having to be blessed.
Give us a bit of peace.

Breathe through the beats of praise guitar
Thy coolness and Thy balm.
Let drum be dumb, bring back the lyre,
Enough of earthquake, wind and fire
Let's hear it for some calm.

Thursday, 27 September 2012


I recently received this letter from Fr. Alosza.  I am grateful to those who have translated it for us.

Dear Reverend Father/My Dear Father Francis,

It's been nearly two weeks since my return to Kazakhstan. One of the first things I wanted to do upon my homecoming was to write a letter to you to express my gratitude for your kindness of heart; for the good I experienced while staying with you in your parish; for your solidarity as a brother priest, expressed through your concern for our mission and our Church in the vast Kazakh Steppe.

Moreover, I would like to ask you to pass on my thanks to all your parishioners who were extremely generous in their support for us. Thank you dear parishioners for your sensitivity to the needs of others. I thank you for your openness to and concern for the Missionary Church, which you so abundantly displayed by your very generous donations.

When I was with you I promised that we would pray for you. Now that I'm back in Kazakhstan, I want to assure you that we remember all our benefactors in our daily prayers. May God, Who is good, bestow His grace and blessings upon you all, and let the truth of Christ's resurrection give you courage to be steadfast in faith, hope and selfless love.

May almighty God bless you and keep you.

Always in my prayers and with gratitude,

Fr. Alosza Miciński MIC

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


The other week I said I fond farewell to Canon Olivier Meney of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. You will recall that Canon Meney, under the direction of the Bishop of Shrewsbury was the one to re-open the church of St Peter and St Paul, New Brighton - a task that has taken a lot of heard work and dedication.

Canon Meney has become a dear friend to many priests in the short time that he has been in England but now he leaves us to take up a new appointment in the United States.  The execellent work that he has begun will be continued by his successor Canon Amaury Montjean.   

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


As you know over the last three years (due to an idea put in my head by the Vicar General) we have been replacing the crib figures at St Marie's. The figures come from the Monasteres de Bethlehem Shop in Lourdes.  This outlet sells items made by Benedictine Monks and Nuns throughout the world.  Here in this post is the latest additions to the Crib - the three Wise Men, the ox, donkey  and camel.  I think that now makes the new Crib complete. 

Many of you have made donations towards the cost of the new Crib and your names or the names of those in whose memory they have been donated is placed at the side of the Crib each year.  It is still possible to make a donation to the Crib and have your names or those of your dear ones added to the list.  Please see Fr. Francis for further details. 

Monday, 17 September 2012


Anthony and Laura a few days before the wedding

Please remember in your prayers Anthony and Laura who were married on Saturday at St Marie's. 

Our love and prayers go with them as they begin their married life together.

Mr and Mrs Riley


The laying on of hands
as part of the ceremony of Ordination
On the 7th September I was present at the ordination to the Priesthood of Brother Rupert Allen OPraem by His Eminence Cormac Cardinal Murphy O'Connor.

Brother, now Father Rupert is a member of the Premonstratensian Order or Norbertines.  They were founded on Christmas Day in 1120 by St Norbert

Father Rupert after celebrating his First Mass


Upon my return from holiday I had the pleasure of officiating at the wedding of Luke and Katie. 

The picture shows them just after they had signed the marriage registers.  Please keep them in your prayers as they set out on the road of married life.


The Shrine of St Thomas Aquinas in Tolouse
After the pilgrimage closed together with my traveeling companion, Br David I had the opportunity of a few very enjoyable days on holiday in France. 

From Lourdes we travelled to the university city of Tolouse and prayed at the relics of St Thomas Aquinas. 
The Reliquary of the Cure d'Ars
From there we went to the coast and the lovely walled town of Aigues Morte (and yes you've guessed it steak bleu was on the menu!!).

From here we travelled to the International Seminary of John Paul II in Ars - the place made famous by its saintly Parish Preist - St John Marie Vianney.  I prayed hard there that I might have just a little of his great seal for souls and love of God.

The Oratory Church at Nancy

From Ars we visited the Shrine of St Francis de Sales at Annency and from there we went to stay for our final night n France at the Oratory of St Philp in Nancy.  Many thanks to the Oratorian community for their warm welcome and gracious hospitality.


By tradiotn the party on the last night of the pilgrimage is a 'fancy dress' party.  Many of the pilgrims enter into the spirit of this.  This year the Heywood and Middleton Group came as Noah's Ark.  In the picture we see two of the tigers.

At other points during the pilgrimage there was the opportunity of face painting. 


The end of the pilgrimage is always a time of thanks.  The duty of thanking everyone who had helped prepare for the pilgrimage and work so hard whilst in Lourdes fell to our new director, Fr. Michael Jones.

At the end of our final Mass the Bishop presented medals to the helpers of the pilgrimage who have served for a number of years.  It is great to see all the efforts of our young people rewarded and brings back many happy memories of my own years of service to the pilgrimage.

Through the Lourdes pilgrimage some of our young people begin to discern the possibility of a vocation to the priethood..  Please keep all our young people in your prayers and especially those discerning a vocation to the priesthood. It was on my third pilgrimage to Lourdes that Tom Arkless, the then Chief Brancardier asked me if I thought I had a vocation.  The rest, as they say is history. 
(Not sure if the photo would attract any vocations today - you never know God works in mysterious ways!!!


This year I was able to walk in the procession as a Chaplain of the Basilica, having received the award at the end of last years pilgrimage. 

Rumour has it that there will be a cape added to the choir dress next year.


The Blessed Sacrament Procession takes places every afternoon at 5:00pm in Lourdes.  The Blessed Sacrament is brought from the Chapel of the Crypt to Rosary Square for a period of Adoration and Reflection.  Once this is over the Blessed Sacrament is carried into the underground basilica of St Pius X for Benediction.

Once again we were priviledged to lead this procession.  The photos show the Bishop carrying the Blessed Sacrament accompanied by the priests and people of the diocese.