Friday, August 31, 2007

We need to get stricter

I went with my Parish Priest to the home of an Indian family the other night and we entered into an interesting discussion about the state of British Society today. The father mentioned that when the children of Indian families in Britain leave primary school their parents send them back to India for their secondary education because something happens when they get to secondary school in Britain. They lose their Indian culture completely and become average British yobs, being rude to their parents, hanging around the streets, drinking, sleeping around etc. When Father asked what they think the Church's role should be in children's lives he replied, 'The Church needs to get stricter. If the priests keep the parents in line they will keep their children in line. We are fed up with hearing the priests tell us we should just let our children get on with it, its only a phase, they'll grow up and mature sooner or later.' I found this very interesting, especially when he later asked Father why he allows people who lead this kind of lifestyle to Communion and Father had no answer.

The people are actually demanding an end to liberalism, why aren't we giving it to them? Why do people insist on saying a liberal Church is the Church of the future? Priests must keep preaching orthodoxy from the pulpits and barring from Comunion those who should be barred!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another wish fulfilled

On Monday I went to visit Fr Tim in Blackfen and to attend his Private Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Mac picked me up from the station and I followed her into the church. I knelt down to prepare for Mass then sat down to wait patiently for Mass to begin. About 15 minutes before, however, Fr Finigan came out of the sacristy to prepare the altar, spotted me and walked over. I said, 'Morning Father.' And he replied, 'My server hasn't turned up, can you serve?' I have never served a Classical Rite Mass before, I told him so and he replied, 'Don't worry take a server's card on with you.' I pointed out that I was wearing trainers. 'That's alright, that's better than having no server.' So I followed him into the sacristy thinking, 'Please don't have a cassock that fits me ...' but no such luck - a parish prepared for every situation! So on I went bearing my server's card and wearing my grey Nike trainers. Apart from missing out an 'Amen' because I was too busy reading the rubrics for my next job and tripping over my cassock at Communion it went really well I think - at least, Fr Tim didn't say anything to the contrary. It was funny though, as Father was saying Mass every now and then he would turn to me and whisper 'Kneel' or 'move the Missal'.

I would like to thank Fr Tim, again, for giving me this opportunity and hope it will not be the last before I am ordained!

And of course I am available to step in whenever a server does not turn up for Mass!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bubs Waring

Calling all members of Facebook! I have discovered the name of the unborn child on this prestigious site and have invited him/her to be my friend. I suggest other members do the same, it would be a fantastic act for pro-life (I think I said that before). Simply search 'Bubs Waring' and only one profile will pop up so click on 'Add to Friends'.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Abortion is the cure?

Its official pregnancy is an illness that can only be cured by abortion apparently.
See Fr Justin's blog for more details.
I heard something interesting the other day, that more Bitons are emigrating and the only factors that are contributing to the increasing population in this country are immigrants and the rising number of births. Abortion is becoming more and more unpopular, which rather affects the governments response in Fr Justin's post.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back from Pluscarden

I had an amazing week in the most northerly Latin Monastery in the world. I normally go with a couple of friends making it more of a holiday than a retreat, but this year I went alone and decided to make it a silent retreat. Luckily the other retreatants were in need of the same thing so I didn't feel I had to be in the Parlour drinking endless cups of tea and chatting. Instead I read through St John's Gospel (the best of the four in my opinion) as well as St Faustina's Diary (my current Spiritual Reading).

For those who are interested Br Aelred has now made his Simple Vows and Fr Giles is back on what I assume to be a permanent basis as he was immediately re-instated as Sub-Prior. This now boosts the community up to 22 monks, all in white, though they need prayers for more vocations as they still don't have enough servers for High Mass due to the number of priests they now have. Gosh, I wonder why there are so many!?!

I made two incredible purchases up there. One was a book I have wanted to read since childhood, Blessed Pope John XXIII's Il Giornale dell'Anima. I remember there was a copy of it in my school library and I would always make a b-line for it but the librarian wouldn't let me read it, 'That is far too advanced for you boy' and I would be forced to read another pointless children's detective novel. But I found this second hand in the gift shop for 3.50 - BARGAIN! The other was the Abbot's new book, Unfolding the Mystery: Monastic Conferences on the Liturgical Year. I cannot recommend this book more highly! It is incredible! I have only read 8 conferences so far and my mind is blown out of all proportion. The third conference is on the attitude of the priest when saying Mass, the opening line being St Ambrose, 'Ille in praesaepibus, ut tu in altaribus' - 'He lay in a crib that you may stand at the altar'. Wow! By the end of it I was convinced that either God had got the wrong man or I had got someone elses's message because there is no way I can do that! The 5th Conference is the best meditation on Christmas I have ever read. It took the end of I Cor 13 and said Christmas revives our Faith, our Hope and our Love. The book constantly refers to the life of the monk but the word Monk can easily be replaced with Seminarian, Priest, Nun, Man, Woman or Child. Buy it today!!!!!

The highlight of the week for me though was Mass of the Assumption. All their liturgies are in Latin Gregorian Chant (as Vatican II expected the average parish's liturgy to be) and for the Solemnity we had Mass IX Mode VII (at least that is what is written on the 'Order of Service' - all of which also bear the note, 'The English translations given below are our own; they are not intended for public use in the liturgy'. No second hand ICEL rubbish for them then!

The lowlight of the week was probably the Deeside Choristers singing Evensong on Sunday afternoon. My Anglican half (half my family are Anglican) was shuddering, no Evensong would include 'Lord of the Dance' or the intercessions spoken over a Taize chant (Bless the Lord my soul). I was relieved to note we are not the only people plagued by left wing liturgists!

I highly recommend Pluscarden as a place to go for retreat. Thank you for all your prayers. God Bless.

This week's Catholic papers

There are two stories we would like to draw our attention to in this week's Catholic press.

One is a photo on the back of the Catholic Times of the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia in Nashville, Tennessee (sorry, can't find picture on net). It is during Mass in a beautiful chapel filled with goodness knows how many fully habited nuns. Beautiful! Will we ever see that in Briatain again?

The other is a story in The Universe, 'Facebook fuels online Catholic evangelisation'. We at Orthfully Catholic have just discovered Facebook and have been deeply impressed by the Catholic community formed on it. Each of the seminarians has his own profile (see if you can find us - there's a prize) and we are thinking about giving the anonymous blog an anonymous profile so you can make us your friend, but we're not sure how tacky that idea is!

Talking about Facebook while on my way to Pluscarden I got reading one of the now many free London papers on the tube to Heathrow and in it saw a story of an unborn child whose parents have given a Facebook profile. I read it and thought 'What a great act for the pro-life cause, I must make him/her a friend when I get back' and now can't remember his/her name. Did anyone else read that story and remember the name?

Letters to Seminarians Part Deux

Fr John Boyle has left a comment on an earlier post which I had linked to his post of the same title to inform me that not all dioceses publish the names of their Seminarians in their directories. If this is the case in your directory find the name of the Vocations Director of your diocese and contact him asking for the names of his Seminarians and where they are studying. We will be getting in contact with Fr John to look into how to publicise an 'Adopt a Seminarian' scheme.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Off for a well deserved retreat

I am leaving the hustle and bustle of parish life tomorrow for a well deserved retreat at Pluscarden Abbey. Seven days of Gregorian Chant and The Assumption Mass done properly. Please keep me in your prayers you are all in mine.

God Bless

The prayers are working

Today at Mass we had Sweet Sacrament Divine at Communion, played on an electric keyboard and during Communion but 1 out of three ain't bad. The recessional hymn though was Faith of our Fathers played on the organ! Alleluia!!!

Sancta Missa

We have just been in formed of a website offering an online tutorial of the rubrics of the 1962 Mass. It must be a brand new site as it promises a tutorial of how to serve the Extraordinary form of the Mass and will open a bookstore offering missals etc. We will certainly be adding this to our favourites. The link is as follows:

Friday, August 10, 2007

Mrs Satan of Portugal

In thanks for Fr John Boyle's flattery here is a link to an excellent post on his blog . Yes, this woman is responsible for the earthquake the country of Our Lady suffered a short while ago.

Don't upset the Muslims, that's what Christians are for

Fr Tim has an excellent post concerning reaction to the Dispatches programme, 'Undercover Mosque'. He and Fr Justin also share another interesting post well worth reading.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Malcolm and Barbara: Love's Farewell

Another documentary on mental illness (this time Alzheimer's Disease) was shown last night on ITV. This one was atrocious. The whole thing was edited to show that living with a spouse who suffers from this form of dementia is terrible and the best thing to do is put them out of their misery. Interviews with Barbara concerned their deteriorating sex life, whether she considered having an affair as Malcolm couldn't satisfy her sexually anymore, suggesting she had a drinking problem because she likes a gin & tonic after she has put Malcolm to bed. Interviews with Malcolm made him out to be a gibbering idiot, removed all dignity from him by showing pictures of him in his underwear, his wife dressing and undressing him and on the lavatory. The worst pictures were at the end of his life when he had lost so much weight you could see every bone in his body and they filmed him in quite inappropriate states of undress. At one point all I could think was, 'When we see pictures like this of Jews in Nazi Labour Camps we are appalled yet I am supposed to be thinking "Oh, how terrible, if only Euthanasia were legal."'

This programme was propaganda material for the legalisation of Euthanasia, in fact I'm not convinced Malcolm died naturally. These two people were in love with eachother 'to the bitter end' (to quote Barbara herself) but the film showed nothing but hatred and resentment for the terrible life they were both forced to live due to this disease which can be dealt with with one simple injection. I wonder if someone were to make a similar documentary portraying the opposite views it would be given air time.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Richard is my Boyfriend

Did anyone see this incredible documentary late last night on Channel 4? It dealt very sensitively with the most difficult issue in Bioethics - how to deal with a mentally disabled person who has desires to be or has become sexually active. It took the case (I'm not sure if it was real or scripted) of a 24 year old woman with the mental age of 5 (Anna) who is dating a Down's Syndrome man (Richard). Anna, Richard and Anna's parents were played by actors but everyone else was real and had to work with the situation as if it were real life.

Basically Anna and Richard attend a day centre where they are given a dreadful sex education programme which includes teaching them how to put a condom on a banana so as not to catch any diseases. When Anna and Richard have sex they put a condom on a banana as they were told to do. Anna becomes pregnant so her mother buys an abortifacient pill on the internet using her ex-husbands credit card telling him she is buying a holiday in Spain for her and their daughter. When Anna takes the pill she is rushed to hospital because it has rather more dangerous consequences than her mother thought. The consultant suggests the best thing to do is get Anna sterilised but that will have to go through the courts as she cannot give consent. The father says yes, the mother no. So begins a long court battle. Thankfully the judge says sterilisation without consent would be unlawful.

I hope Channel 4 plan to show more insightful documentaries such as this and move them to a more convenient time slot. People need to understand the importance of Bioethics in today's world.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Letters to Seminarians

Fr John Boyle has a wonderful post on the report in L'Osservatore Romano about the laity in America writing to Seminarians encouraging them in their vocation. Wouldn't it be a wonderful idea to do that here. Simply find out who is studying for your diocese and what seminary they are in (this information should be in your Diocesan Directory) and write to them.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Faith Summer Session 2007

As promised here is Orthfully Catholic's official report of the greatest Catholic Conference.

The People

There were 238 people at the Conference this year, including 20% of the seminarians on England & Wales and Scotland. Those in the know knew who we were straight away so we were introduced to other faithful bloggers such as, the East Anglian Seminarians, Northampton Seminarian and Mulier Fortis . It was great meeting other seminarians and hearing about Faith seminarians of the past who are now priests and meeting seminarians of the future, we met a few men who are joining our seminary in September so hopefully you will meet them when they join Orthfully Catholic.

The Liturgy

As I'm sure you can imagine the Masses were perfect, it was a little difficult finding good hymns as the school hymn book was as bad as the typical parish hymn book but they were their. Some of the traditional hymns had been Politically Corrected but the entire congregation sang the proper words. And yes, the entire congregation (made mainly of teenagers) sang because they weren't expected to do silly actions or sing heresies.
The greatest liturgy was the Reconciliation Service. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed, a penitential Gospel was proclaimed and a homily on the importance of Confession given. Then the invitation for individual confessions was made and the chapel emptied. In my cynicism I thought, 'Here we go, they're all off to their rooms or to muck around outside' but no, they all went to confession.
The final Mass was said by Fr Roger Nesbitt and at the end of Mass he gave a passionate thank you to the priests, religious and seminarians present. He had to struggle to keep the tears back and so did we. It isn't very often Seminarians are thanked for what they are doing for Jesus Christ and His flock. The Seminarians at Orthfully Catholic would like to return their thanks to Fr Nesbitt and all priests who have inspired us and are supporting us in all that we do.

The Talks

All the talks were well done and frankly inspiring. Fr Dominic Rolls' talk was especially important for me because I have never understood the whole Jesus would have come anyway argument and have always proudly proclaimed my Thomistic views because whenever I ask a Scotist why Jesus would have come anyway the answer is always, 'To bring us closer to God.' And I always reply, 'Rubbish' because if we were perfect we would be perfectly close to God, after all did not Adam and Eve not walk in the cool of the evening with the Lord. However, Fr Dominic said we would not be perfectly close to God because to do so we would have to have perfect communication with Him and to do that He would have to take on flesh. Therefore even if sin had not come into the world the Incarnation would still have taken place. Besides, to quote Fr Dominic, 'Even Thomas was a Scotist'.
The most awe-inspiring Talk for me though was Sr Roseann Reddy's. Sr Andrea gave the same talk at the Winter Conference and I wasn't at all convinced by it. I thought the Sisters of the Gospel of Life should not exist and if it didn't die out in their lifetime it would die with them. I even refused to link their blog to this one, despite my brothers' pleading with me. When Sr Roseann spoke about her own journey to pro-life campaigning having started as a pro-choicer I was so incredibly moved that my views changed. I now pray hard for more vocations to the Sisters of the Gospel of Life and have linked their blog. At the end of the talk the priest sitting next to me asked, 'I know you support pro-life but do you do anything active?' And I don't, I support those who do and get others to join them but don't do anything myself. So we at Orthfully Catholic have decided that we are going to put forward a motion at the seminary to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae and mourn the same anniversary of the Abortion Act by founding a Pro-Life initiative, which will include prayer vigils outside the local abortion clinic, counselling women with crisis pregnancies, letter writing campaigns etc. Please, dear readers, pray for this initiative. It will have to go forward for a house vote and sadly not all members of the house will support it so we need a clear majority.

How Famous is this Blog?

Two events happened at Woldingham which made us realise just how many people read Orthfully Catholic.

1. The first was upon our arrival when we bumped into an Oscotian and introduced ourselves to him and he asked the inevitable question, 'Which seminary are you at?' No sooner had the answer left our lips than he exclaimed, 'Orthfully!?' I was just about to feign ignorance or just deny it outright when my brother in the Lord confirmed it. By the end of the day we had been introduced to every seminarian and blogger there as 'Orthfully Catholic'.

2. We were informed that Fr Z had a post on 22nd July supporting my parish in our fight for proper Liturgical music. We were amazed that the world's greatest Catholic blogger not only reads our blog but has been inspired by it. That moment was almost as exciting as the moment we discovered Fr John Trigilio reads Orthfully. I would like to thank Fr Z for bringing this to the attention of the orthodox Catholic world, all my readers and his readers for their prayers for the parish. Prayers are very urgently needed for the musical side of the parish especially when we have Masses like Saturday's where the organist thought it would be nice to play 'Panis Angelicum' over the Intercessions until the 'Hail Mary' when it changed into Schubert's 'Ave Maria'. Beautiful music and played on the correct instrument but at completely the wrong moment.

Whatever Happened to Baby Ambrose?

Seeing Fiorella Nash at the Conference reminded me that the current edition of Faith Magazine is missing one of my favourite columns, 'A Mother's Diary'. I'm not sure how to cope for two months without knowing How Little Ambrose is getting on.

Friday, August 03, 2007

We're back!!!!!!

Yes, we have returned from a wonderful 5 days in Woldingham where we met up with many wonderful orthodox youth, priests, seminarians and most importantly bloggers. I think every British Catholic blogger was there this week.

We will tell you more when we have time, which looking at our diary will probably be Monday.

God Bless