Thursday, 30 October 2014


A devotional focus created to celebrate the Feast
On the 22nd October a long side the Church Universal we made history at St Marie's by celebrating the Feast of St John Paul II.
Mass was offered to the glory of God and in honour of the new saint.  After Mass there was a liturgy and devotions asking the intercession of St John Paul II.  The faithful also had the chance to venerate a First Class Relic of the Saint bestowed on us by Cardinal Stanislaw Dzwisz, the Metropolitan Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow and personal secretary to St John Paul II


Over the past few weeks I have taken up a hobby that I used to do many years ago as a child - tapestry.  At the moment I am still very much in the experimental stage with various designs that one da might form part of a vestment or hanging in a church some where.
The initial work involves graph paper  and a pencil to work out the basic design.  Then a choice of colours has to be made.  Once everything is in place then the canvas can be prepared in the frame to make it easier to hold and sew.
Then comes the task of transferring the squares of graph paper into actual stiches on the canvas. 
The photo in this post shows a couple of works in progress.  I am hoping to design an A - M arrangement (standing for Ave Maria) that can be incorporated into the design for feasts of Our Lady.


The Coat of Arms of the Institute

At the end of September the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest took on another apostolate in the diocese of Lancaster.  The Bishop of Lancaster the Rt Rev Michael Campbell has entrusted the care of St Walburge's Church in Preston to the Institute.  It is to be a church dedicated to the celebration of the Sacraments in the Extraordinary Form and to be a place of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
Clergy from the Diocese of Lancaster together with clergy from other diocese joined the members of the Institute together with a packed church of lay faithful for this great occasion.  The Bishop of Lancaster who presided at the Solemn High Mass offered by Mgr Gilles Wach, Co Founder of the Institute to mark the beginning of the new apostolate in Preston.
Clergy waiting to process into the church
The Church of St Walburge

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Most groups and societies within the Church avail themselves of a Chaplain from time to time.  This is usually the services of priest to provide for the celebration of the sacraments and offer spiritual support.

In more recent times the understanding of the role of a chaplain has been developed to include the use of lay people as chaplains.  Within schools this role has been developed further and now includes pupil chaplains.

Over the last few weeks at St Joseph and St Bede's School we have looked at the possibility of having pupil chaplains to help develop the prayer life of the school.

The process started by speaking about the role of a chaplain within the context of the school and then inviting those who wished to be considered for this role to write a letter stating why they think they would be good at this.

It was lovely to here some of the responses of the children

I want to be a chaplain so that I can bring Heaven to Earth
When I pray I feel that Jesus is sat at the side of me
Being a chaplain means sharing the love of God with all I meet
I want to be a chaplain because it's cool to be Catholic

Mrs Curran talks to the children
about chaplaincy
Once all the letters had been received we selected a number of pupils and then had a little chat with them about the role of chaplain and how they saw themselves fulfilling this role.  At the end of the interviews we were able to select those who would become the first pupils chaplains at St Joseph and St Bed School and they were commissioned in a service led by Father Francis and Mrs Curran, the lay chaplain at St Gabriel's High School.

Children thinking about the role of a chaplain


Recently the Holy Father appointed our new Bishop to succeed Bishop Terence Brain who has been our bishop for the last seventeen years.
Bishop John Arnold, currently auxillary bishop in Westminster will be installed as the eleventh Bishop of Salford on the 8th December 2014 at St John's Cathedral, Salford.
Please keep Bishop John in your prayers as he prepares to move 'up north.'  Also spare a prayer for Bishop Terence as he prepares for his retirement. 


Please for two couples who were married recently at St Marie's.  We wish them every blessing in their married life.

Peter and Sophie

Martin and Helen


Tonight, Lord, I am alone.
Little by little the sounds died down in the church,
The people went away,
And I came home,
I passed people who were returning from a walk.
I went by the cinema that was disgorging its crowd.
I skirted cafe terraces where tired strollers were trying to prolong
the pleasures of a Sunday holiday.
I bumped into youngsters playing on the footpath,
Youngsters, Lord.
Other people's youngsters who will never be my own.
Here I am Lord,
The silence troubles me,
The solitude oppresses me.
Lord, I'm 35 years old,
A body made like others,
ready for work,
A heart meant for love,
But I've given you all.
It's true, of course, that you needed it.
I've given you all, but it's hard Lord.
It's hard to give one's body; it would like to give itself to others.
It's hard to love everyone and claim no one.
It's hard to shake a hand and not want to retain it.
It's hard to inspire affection, to give it to you.
It's hard to be nothing to oneself in order to be
everything to others.
It's hard to be like others, among others, and to be of them.
It's hard to always give without trying to receive.
It's hard to seek out others and to be unsought oneself.
It's hard to suffer from the sins of others, and yet
be obliged to hear and bear them.
It's hard to be told secrets, and be unable to share them.
It's hard to carry others and never, even for a moment, be carried.
It's hard to sustain the feeble and never be able to lean on
one who is strong.
It's hard to be alone.
Alone before the world.
Alone before death and sin.
Son, you are not alone,
I am with you,
I am you.
For I needed another vehicle to continue
my Incarnation and my Redemption.
Out of all eternity, I chose you.
I need you.
I need your hands to continue to bless,
I need your lips to continue to speak,
I need your body to continue to suffer,
I need your heart to continue to love,
I need you to continue to save,
Stay with me, son.
Here I am, Lord;
 Here is my body,
Here is my heart,
Here is my soul.
Grant that I may be big enough to reach the world,
Strong enough to carry it,
Pure enough to embrace it without wanting to keep it.
Grant that I may be a meeting-place,
but a temporary one,
A road that does not end in itself,
because everything to be gathered there,
everything human, leads towards you.
Lord, tonight, while all is still  and I feel sharply
the sting of solitude,
While men devour my soul And I feel incapable
of satisfying their hunger,
While the whole world presses on my shoulders with
all its weight of misery and sin,
I repeat to you my "yes" - not in a burst of laughter,
but slowly, clearly, humbly,
Alone, Lord, before you,
In the peace of the evening.
Fr. Michel Quoist


Many of our parishioners will remember Father Alosza Micinski  a missionary priest that we support by our prayers and financial contributions to his Mission in Kazakhstan.
Over the last few months Father has suffered a lot with his health and has spent a good part of the time since August in hospital.  The root cause of his problem has still yet to be identified and it at the present moment his situation is very bleak.
His latest text message gives you a little feel for the situation.
'For me, each day now brings something new.  I will probably have to cancel my stay in the sanatorium, where I am a of yesterday, because I have been referred to a surgeon by a doctor.  I'll know if that is the case on Thursday,  The reason is quite a large and very painful lump that has appeared on my back.  Probably purulent.  Medics are concerned that it results in a blood infection.' 
Please do keep Father Alosza in your prayers at this difficult and worrying time.  He does hope to come and visit us in December, but that visit is very much determined by his health.


Music is something that we all listen to from time to time. No doubt we have our won favourites that we like to listen to again and again.  There could be many reasons why: it may remind of a certain person, a certain event in our lives or one of our favourite places.  Music can often express for us things that we cannot put into words. 
Music plays an important part in the life of the Church and in particular, the liturgy.  ~I once remarked to a friend of mine that music always adds something to the liturgy.  He replied 'yes, about twenty minutes, usually.'  That wasn't the answer I was expecting.
The purpose of music within the liturgy of the Church is to help us to pray, to help us raise our hearts and minds to God.  This can take the form of us singing ourselves or listening to the music being played or sung by others as part of the liturgy.  It is therefore important that great care is taken regarding the choice and type of music used in church.
When I was on holiday in the summer I concelebrated Mass at the church of St Sulpice in Paris.  At the end of the Mass a young man came into the sacristy.  In the course of the conversation he commented on the music at the Mass we had just celebrated.  I was struck by his comment.  'I don't believe in any of what has just been going on in here for the last hour, but I think the music could convert me.'
This is not the first time that I have heard such thoughts about the power of music to lead us to God.  I remember once inviting a music student to come and here the work he was studying in the context for which it was originally written.  He looked at me somewhat surprised when I said that we were going to church and attending Mass.  The piece of music in question was the Gloria from Mozart's Coronation Mass.
Everyone has their own opinion about the use and type of music in church but we have been using the likes of Mozart, Faure Palestrina for a good number of years and they have stood the test of time.  I am not convince that we can say the same about some of the so called 'modern music' that is so common in churches today.

I suspect this would raise the heart and mind to God
 More than this