Thursday, November 06, 2008

Stephen Whittaker RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Stephen Whittaker, a third year student of our seminary, who died in his sleep on 19th October.

Half Term had just begun that week so Stephen was at home with his family. We were informed by a member of staff who called every single Seminarian on the Tuesday evening to inform us of Stephen's death.

Upon our return to the Seminary we entered a week of mourning, meeting together every day to pray Midday Prayer for the dead.

On Monday last the entire student body, including those on Extended Pastoral Placement, travelled together to Manchester for Stephen's Requiem Mass at St Joseph's parish, Reddish. Mass was said by the Vicar General of Salford and concelebrated by the rector and priests of the Seminary and priests who knew Stephen. The Bishop of Salford had received his body into the church the previous evening and led a Holy Hour and given Benediction, which was beautifully appropriate as Stephen had a great devotion to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Mass was beautiful, the Seminary schola sang the Psalm, the Contakion for the dead and In Paradisum. All agreed that Stephen would have greatly approved.

We then all went from the church to the cemetery where Stephen's Parish Priest led a very emotional Service of Commital and the Dean of Students intoned the Salve.

Please pray for Stephen's family and for all his brother Seminarians who greatly miss him and are currently trying to adjust to life without him.

Requiescat in Pace Ste!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Visiting the Travellers

As it is Half term this week I replaced my school day by joining the Sister who has pastoral care over the travelling communities in the Diocese. I asked to have some involvement with the travellers when I began my placement because they seem to be an important aspect of pastoral life in my Diocese.

It wasn't what I expected at all. I was expecting large families living in tiny caravans but in actual fact each family has built a makeshift house and has a few caravans parked outside, so they live in the house but sleep in the caravans. New mothers also have a caravan each in order to bond with the babies.

Sister told me all sorts of scary stories so I was very nervous at first but really enjoyed the experience when I discovered it was no different to visiting ordinary homes. The women were very hospitable. The men were a little suspicious, they are very protective of their property (which includes their women and children). However, when they saw me with Sister they assumed I was a priest and apologised.

They are in great need of prayers. They are hated by the local community and ignored by the local councils. The local school is populated entirely by travellers because the locals won't send their children there. They go over to Ireland every Christmas and the locals go and destroy their site. The road leading up to the site is treacherous but the council won't repair it because they are travellers.

Their culture is fascinating. Only the first generation were born and raised in Ireland, all generations beyond that were born in England, yet they all have Irish accents. This is simply because they pronounce words as they hear them and they don't meet English people as they rarely leave the site.

I had a very positive experience and look forward to visiting another site some time in the future.

More death

This seems to be a common theme of my placement, and with the darkness coming in thick and fast it is becoming a common theme of my life!

I did two more crematorium services last week and I wanted to share my experiences of one of them with you. It was a small gathering of family members. I was invited to the wake afterwards, I went because it was a privilege to be invited to a family home when they had only met me once for 15 minutes to plan the service. A couple of days later I received a Thank You card in the post.

I was deeply touched by this experience and realised just how important my presence and role is to people. It is experiences like this that make me sure Our Lord is truly calling me to priesthood.

Please continue to keep all Seminarians in your prayers.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Blog

Anna Arco of Catholic Herald fame has published a blog on the Catholic Herald website. Its looking good so far and is now on our blogroll. Perhaps if we ask nicely she will add ours to hers?!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pilgrimage Prayers

Please pray for the Parish Priest and some of our parishioners who have just left to begin their week's pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Race Night

Last night I attended a fundraising evening in the parish. It was a race night. After every Mass over the last few weeks parishioners have been asked to sponsor 8 races and buy 64 horses in order to have an evening of simple betting whereby you pay 50 pence to back a horse and if it wins you win a cash prize.

At first I was a little wary as I don't like gambling and only intended to show my face. I had been coerced into buying a horse the week before and so the only one I intended to back was my own - I called it St Hippolytus. However, I got there and took a table with some parishioners, shared their food and drink and they encouraged me to back a horse in the first race - St Hippolytus was running in the seventh race.

By the end of the evening I had bet on at least one horse in every race, won 4 of them, St Hippolytus had won his race and so I was £20 up on the beginning of the evening.

It was a great evening and has given me ideas for fundraising events when I get back to Seminary!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Requiescat in Pace

The last couple of weeks have had a common theme in the parish - death.

The parish priest has a policy at funerals that the priest will do a Requiem Mass or Service in a church but graveside commitals and crematorium services are done by laymen. As I am a Seminarian I have first refusal whenever a funeral comes up.

Therefore I had my first graveside commital last week and two crematorium services this week. They all went very well. For the commital the Father lent me his Holy Water sprinkler and at the end of the rite I offered it to the family as I have seen done at numerous funerals. As one of the grandaughters sprinkled the lid came off the sprinkler into the grave. As it was an Irish funeral all the mourners cracked up, unfortunately the priest didn't see the funny side and has banned me from carrying out that practice again.

The crematorium services were very interesting. At the first one I was concentrating so hard on what I was doing I didn't notice the emotion of the mourners, which is normally so noticeable. When I met the family with the parish priest to arrange the service he told them it was my first time and the eldest son found this quite amusing. As they arrived at the crematorium I greeted the family and he turned to all the mourners and announced that it was my first time. At the end of the service he took my hand, thanked me and said, 'Ten out of ten, well done.' That meant a lot to me.

At the second one I was asked to read the eulogies the children of the deceased had prepared (something I don't mind doing at a crematorium service but I would not encourage at a Requiem Mass) and the emotion was very noticeable. I found it hard to keep the tears back as I read their beautiful words and listened to their crying. At the end they didn't shake my hand or thank me and I thought I had done something wrong. When I asked the parish priest he said that happens sometimes, they feel that now the funeral has happened they no longer need to deal with the Church and thus ignore Her ministers.

This evening I am meeting the son and daughter-in-law of a lady I will be cremating next week to arrange the service.

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Our Apologies

The Seminarians at Orthfully Catholic would like to apologise that the blog is becoming something of an online Martyrology recently. This is due to a lack of time to post anything more exciting and other events occuring at the current time. Please be patient with us and our usual display of fun and frolics will return shortly.

God Bless you all

A belated feast

On the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary the blue vestments were dusted off and brought out into the sunlight - proving that breaking the rules can have positive effects. Father began Mass by showing the people his Rosary beads and invited anyone who had theirs to place them on the altar for a blessing after the Gospel. The Legionaries were there for Rosary after Mass so they all came forward even if their beads had already been blessed. It was a pleasant sight to see all those beads lined up on the altar and they remained there until the end of Mass.

Monday, October 06, 2008

O Bonitas!

Image of St. Bruno from Parkminster Charterhouse, Sussex
My dear readers, while I don't want to see this blog become a computerised liturgical calendar, I can't help but post about the wonderful saint the Church celebrates today, St. Bruno.

St. Bruno felt the call within his heart to solitary life, not even the life of a monk in community, but rather, the life of a hermit. So, with six companions, he was given a plot of land by the Bishop of Grenoble, and began the anchorite life. The plot of land given by the bishop was at the top of a beautiful mountain, upon finding the secluded paradise St. Bruno exclaimed "O Bonitas". The life they lived, cloistered from the world, was very strict, and, amazingly, hasn't changed since its foundation. It is because of this that a Pope once said of the Carthusians "They have never been reformed, because they have never been deformed".

The Carthusians live as a sign of God's love amongst us, unlike other religious orders they don't engage in any apostolates but pray ceaselessly for the world. They live "alone with The Alone", pouring out their prayers and sacrifices for everyone, even those are aren't aware of their existence. In fact, great effort is made to keep their sanctity to themselves, they shirk worldly honours (even canonisation, their saints are canonised through popular acclaim, rather than by the Pope).
A little story shows this, a carthusian died, so two lay brother dug a grave, as they were doing so, their spade struct something, and when it was examined it was covered with blood. They dug up the body of this incorrupt monk and hurried to the prior for direction. The prior gave a simple reply "Rebury this incorrupt brother of ours, there are many saints in our order, some known to us, all known to God."

Let us give thanks to God today for the life of St. Bruno, and the order he founded. Let us pray that they continue their silent witness of prayer and the love of God.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Guardian Angels

Angels of God, our Guardians dear,
To whom God's Love commits us here,
Ever this day be at our sides,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

We are praying today for the intercession of the Guardian Angels of all our readers.

We are praying today also for Opus Dei who celebrate the 80th anniversary of their foundation today. Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor will be celebrating an anniversary Mass in Westminster Cathedral on Wednesday 8th October at 5:30 pm and Archbishop Mario Conti will be celebrating an anniversary Mass in St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow on Monday 20th October at 7:30 pm. Mass will also be said in St Joseph's Parish, Longsight, Manchester at 11am on Tuesday 11th October. All Masses are preceded by Confessions.

St Josemaria Escriva; Pray for us

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

St Therese of the Child Jesus

Orthfully Catholic are praying for the intercession of the Little Flower for all our readers. We are also praying today for the missions of which she is Patron.

St Therese; Pray for us!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thank you

I would like to thank you all for your prayers following my last hospital visit. I have just returned from the hospital having spent two and a half hours visiting seven patients and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Please keep your prayers going - for me and the patients!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Prayer Request

Monday is the day I go to the Secondary School and the teacher I was working with today had a very bad day. Please keep her in your prayers that tomorrow will be a good day for her and what she experienced today will blow over. Thank you and God Bless!

Feast of the Three Archangels

Orthfully Catholic would like to wish a very happy feast day to any Michaels, Gabriels and Raphaels out there celebrating their feast day today and pray for the intercession of these great saintly Angels for all our readers.

We also have a question for any Angelologists who might happen to read this blog. In the second reading in the Office of Readings today Pope St Gregory the Great states that the Archangels are the highest ranking Angels in Heaven, which makes sense because St Michael is the Prince of the Heavenly Host. However, one of our number were reliably informed that they are actually the lowest rank of Angel. Which is true? We would be very interested to learn your thoughts on this matter.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Our Lady of Walsingham

Today we celebrate the greatest Marian Feast in England.

The Seminarians at Orthfully Catholic pray particularly hard for the conversion of the Dowry of Mary on this day.

Our Lady of Waslingham; Pray for us!

Pastoral Update

I began my chaplaincy work at the local hospital yesterday. A very scary experience, I walk around the hospital with a badge stating that I am the 'Catholic Chaplain' and go into wards to see the Catholics. Before I received my pass I went with someone else and loved the experience, now I am on my own it is very scary; I am all too aware that the patient doesn't see a man standing before them but the Church, God's personal represeantative and if I say the wrong thing or say nothing at all they won't blame me but tbhe Church.

I also experienced my first emergency call-out on the previous evening. It wasn't the patient I had to deal with on this occasion, as he was unconscious, but the family who were experiencing every emotion God had given them and expressing them i n every way possible.

I have a natural fear of hospitals so it will take me a while to settle into this part of my ministry but with prayers I will conquer that fear.

Every Wednesday I go to the Junior School with the Parish Priest, and today we led an assembly to introduce the children to Exposition and Benediction. Father showed them all the items we use for the Service and went through the Divine Praises and 'O Sacrament most Holy' with them. For the next few Wednesdays the children will come to Mass and put what they learned today into practice afterwards.

Please keep the prayers going, they are very much appreciated.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jubilee Celebrations

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of one of the churches of the parish I am in this year. We have celebrated in style with a Barn Dance last night and an International Lunch after Mass today with food from India, Italy, Iraq, the Philippines and the denominational countries of the UK. I am now very tired and having a good rest before going to the evening Mass.

Please pray for the priests and people - past and present - of this parish at this very special time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Duchess

I went to see this film last night and highly recommend it as an interesting insight into Georgian aristocratic family politics but was rather distressed by the fact that the BBFC had seen fit to certify it with a 12a meaning anyone under the age of 12 can see it with someone over the age of 12. I counted four 'sex scenes' of which one was an encounter between two women, one rape and one adulterous. This material should not be shown to anyone under the age of 18 never mind 12. Parents be warned if your children show an interest in the film.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Lady of Sorrows

The Seminarians at Orthfully Catholic are praying through the intercession of Our Lady of Sorrows for any of our readers who are in need of Her intercession at this time.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Orthfully Catholic would like to wish all our readers a very happy feast day. We hope many parishes have a relic of the True Cross displayed for public veneration today as we do at the Seminary.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On yer bike lad!

As mentioned in an earlier post I am on EPP this year. My parish is a team ministry made up of three former parishes led by a team of two priests, two Ursulines a married couple and for the next 9 months a Seminarian.

The parish is approx 15 square miles and, unable to afford to lease a car for me, the team kindly bought me a bicycle. Now, I wasn't allowed a bike as a child and only had one in my entire life when my Grandparents finding this rule unfair bought me one for my fifth birthday, which I was allowed to keep until I grew out of it a couple of years later. Thus after 20 years I rode a bike for the first time today from one end of the parish to the other.

The parish has three churches, three schools (one secondary, two primary - one of which is still divided into Infant and Junior) and one of the biggest hospitals in the county. So far I have served a funeral, visited the hospital and visited the junior school - as well as attended daily Mass of course.

Thank you all for your prayers and God Bless.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

First Day Part 3

Yesterday five of our Seminarians began their Extended Pastoral Placements (EPP) in four English Dioceses. One of the Seminarians of this blog is among them so we look forward to hearing about life in the real world from him.

Please keep these five men in your prayers and if any of them happen to be in your parish take special care of them.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Return to Seminary

Dear readers,

recently our new brothers were welcomed to our seminary. It was an exciting day for all, the existing students were waiting anxiously to meet the new men, and I can recall from my own first day, the new comers were nervous and excited to begin their new life in the seminary, their first formal steps towards priesthood.

I must say, the new men are most welcome, and, I hope, they feel that welcome. Recalling my first few weeks, I was touched by the welcome extended to us.

Now we are complete, and awaiting the beginning of the academic year. Please pray for all the students starting at seminaries around this time, across the country. Please pray also for existing students, progressing patiently towards the altar of the Lord.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Pray for the Conversion of England

As English Seminarians it is our solemn duty and great privilege to pray for the conversion of England. In our Seminary hangs a painting commissioned by our founder of Our Blessed Lady seated on a throne with a plinth bearing the statement, 'England is my Dowry'. So we pray daily for the return of the English peoples to the one true flock, for the title of 'Dowry of Mary' to be returned to our beloved nation and for the Monarch to be 'Defender of THE Faith' once more.

Therefore we were very happy to see this post on Fr Tim's blog and are also happy to support the work of Keys of Peter whose project this is.

Please join us in this prayer.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Great Discoveries

I have recently made two amazing discoveries that I would like to share with you all - I'm sure many of you know about them already but I thought I'd share my joy anyway:

1. Weekdaymasses.org

I was looking for somewhere to go to Mass in London today and typed Weekday Mass London into Google and this came out. Its genius! A whole website dedicated to advertising weekday Masses throughout the United Kingdom and beyond!

2. Catholics Unplug your Televisions

I was given a copy of their Summer 2008 newsletter today and after reading through it felt the need to join. Its incredible. Based in Powys (Wales), its logo is St Michael bearing down on Satan as he tries to clamber out of a television in order to ruin souls through the 'single most powerful form of media in modern day society.' I cannot recommend it more; this issue begins with 'Ten reasons for protecting your child from television exposure' and gives tips on 'How to wean your family off the TV'.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

First Day Part 2

All current students not going out on their Extended Pastoral Placement return to Seminary today. Please continue to keep them in your prayers.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Monday, September 01, 2008

Stopes Stamps

It has become a common practice around the world to adorn our money and stamps with pictures of those men and women who contributed to making a country great.

So can you imagine how sick we were to read Fr Tim's blog today only to find Royal Mail are celebrating the contribution Marie Stopes made to making Britain great!?!

Fr Ray Blake made a suggestion, seconded by Ottaviani, that any letter received with this stamp on should be returned to the sender. Now, it is a 50p stamp which means it will only be put on large letters or small parcels but we at Orthfully Catholic will certainly be taking this advice, and should we be sending any post and be offered this stamp by the lady at the Post Office counter we will inform him/her that we are pro-life and thus refuse to use this stamp. It may even be an idea to write to Royal Mail and complain about this campaign.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

First Day Part 1

Our Seminary has three first days back. Today is the day the new First Year arrive at the Seminary along with the return of the Dean of Students and a few willing volunteers who return early to help the new men settle in.

Please keep these 10 new men in your prayers.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Thursday, August 28, 2008

y2k at Walsingham

On Monday I returned from Walsingham. It was my first time at this famous shrine and it was certainly uplifting and entertaining.

We arried on Friday afternoon, just in time to hear a talk by Mgr John Armitage, he asked us "Which do you want to be, a tin of baked beans, or a hero?" A silly question? No, actually it is profound, we can choose to act in a purely material way (signified by the tin of baked beans), which is useless and redundant, or in a spiritual way (signified by the hero), which is full of character and works for the build-up of society and the Kingdom of God. Mgr John has an amazing clarity and depth.

The rest of the festival was equally profound and deep, talks by the Abbot of Worth on prayer, Sr. Hyacinthe O.P. on Perfection, and a homily by Fr. Julian Green on maintaining a spiritual life in our ordinary setting.

The evenings were spent productively, firstly with a reconciliation service (which was beautiful, and an opportunity to go to confession myself). Second evening was the healing service, always a beautiful event, where everyone is blessed individually with the monstrance, and the final evening was spent hearing the testimonies of people who were touched or changed from the retreat.

Please keep this amazing little movement in your prayers, they are orthodox, vibrant and joyful, and have a profound effect on all who go to retreats or conferences.

Ss Monica and Augustine

The Seminarians at Orthfully Catholic are spending 27th and 28th August praying for all Mothers who through their tear drenched prayers are asking the Lord for the conversion of their children to the one true faith.

Please join us in this prayer!

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Generation why?

One of the many things we have to learn in Pastoral Theology is understanding Generation Y. One of the many questions on our tongues is, 'Why is it called Generation Y?'

Well, Karen has the answer!

Monday, August 25, 2008

No one is born a priest!

Fr Z has a fantastic post on the Diocese of Raleigh's latest Vocations promotion.

It reminds us of those days in our youth when we used to line our Teddy bears up and say Mass for them!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

PPC ends

The Memoria of the Coronation of Our Blessed Lady saw the end of the Legion of Mary's mission in my parish. I went out to help with their work and truly appreciated what they do for our parishes and how important it is to have a Praesidium. I worked with one of the Legionaries for 4 hours and we visted every home in two roads!

It was an incredible experience to knock on a door not knowing who or what was behind it, naturally for August most of the houses were empty but those who were in were very interesting. The non-Catholics and lapsed Catholics who weren't interested in coming home still found it a privilege to have a Seminarian on their doorstep, those who were interested in coming home were very happy to be visited and invited to Mass. I had a great day and am inspired to set up a Praesidium at the Seminary!

The week ended with Mass and a reception, both of which were very well attended and we were all treated to a Marian dance by our African parishioners.

Please keep the Legion in your prayers!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Walsingham

Some of us are travelling to Walsingham for the Youth 2000 festival there. I´ve never been before so it should be a chance to pray for England, renew my consecration to Our Lady, and perhaps meet future vocations.

I wasn´t always a fan of Youth 2000, the ´raise your hands in the air´Catholicism was never my cup of tea, but through visiting their retreats and festivals, and having experienced their charisma and orthodoxy, I have been converted.

Each time I go to a Youth 2000 festival I am always moved by the generous young people who spend hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and also the long lines for confession. Most impressive and heartening!

Please pray for all those attending!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Feast of St Bernard of Clairvaux

Orthfully Catholic would like to wish a happy feast day to all Cistercians and Bernardines.

We also pray for the great Abbot's intercession for all our readers.

God Bless you all.

The Seminarians

Retreat in Pluscarden

I have just returned from a week in the most northerly Latin monastery in the world and it was wonderful. The weather was gentle, not too hot, not too cold and not too much rain. The travel was not so kind; I normally fly to Aberdeen and get the no. 10 to Elgin but the service has stopped calling at the airport between 8am and 6pm so I had to get a taxi to Dyce station, a train to Elgin and a taxi to the Abbey, and on the way back two buses took me to the airport. I will have to find alternative travel arrangements next year. I did some reading (see below) and some sleeping!

As you may all know Br Driostan Nunan died recently and the community was still in mourning while I was there so we prayed for the repose of his soul after every supper. There were two 1 month postulants there - please pray for their vocations. Fr Giles was there taking a break from his monastery in Ghana with undhaven hair and a long beard.

A family was also staying for a few days, Grandmother, parents and two children. The eldest child was a boy who I think will make a fine priest/monk one day. He bought himself a Latin/English Missal and spent the liturgies trying to teach himself Latin and asked his Mum at one point if they could pray the Benedictine Office at home from now on. He also bought himself the Catholic Truth Society's Simple Prayer Book and asked his Mum to help him learn the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Rosary. Please join me in praying for a religious vocation in him.

On the Feast of the Assumption Br Gregory, a former monk of Pluscarden, made his Solemn Vows at Parkminster Charterhouse at which Abbot Hugh was present. Please keep him in your prayers also.

This was my 7th visit in four years and I can't wait for my 8th!

Who is Fr Martin?

If he is a priest then we believe him to be of the Archdiocese of Liverpool as the first time Orthfully Catholic encountered him was his response to our news that Archbishop Kelly had retracted his plans to set up a personal parish for the sole use of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite after his Council of Priests had rejected them.

Our second encounter has become famous in the blogosphere. When our founding member wanted to share what his PP had said in a homily Fr Martin commented that Seminarians should wait until they are ordained before giving advice to priests.

It is this member who decides which comments can be published and which should be deleted, so, thinking Fr Martin must be an old priest who believes Seminarians should be seen and not heard he apologised for causing offence and then went away for a week. Upon his return he discovered this comment had caused outrage among blog readers and published 20 comments defending us against this priest. His Hermeneuticalness and Fr Ray Blake had even posted a defence on their blogs. Not only that but it turned out that Orthfully Catholic was not the only victim of this 'ecclesiastical cyber-bully', Damian Thompson has also received unsavoury comments from him.

So who is this priest? We think its time for an investigation from The Catholic Herald!

As one of our supporters said, Fr Martin clearly needs our prayers so please pray for him.

Thank you to all those who have supported and defended us and God Bless you all.

The Seminarians

Reading at Pluscarden

I would like to share with you some of what I have read and heard read while on retreat at that most beautiful of Abbeys.

In the refectory two books were being read, at lunch we heard from the autobiography of Nelson Mandela and at supper we heard from George Weigel's biography of Pope John Paul II. On Sundays the monks here extracts from the Catholic press.

Last Sunday Fr Prior chose a column from the Scottish Catholic Observer that I thought was wonderful. It was the first of a monthly column by Delia prizeman entitled A Catholic Conversation and this month she says it is Time for the Church to face the music. She says the last 40 years have seen a number of changes in the Church and all that was once so familiar 'seems to change overnight'. She gives the example of church music. She says that the liturgy has 'disappeared into a 'singalong'. Reverence [has] taken a hard knock.' The publication of Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum has introduced a division in the Church regarding music, 'those in favour of the return of Latin, the re-awakening of Plainsong being 'right-wing' while those against are 'left-wing'.' To those who are responsible for this division she offers the sage advice 'It is time to remember that we as Catholics are not members of a political party ... We are the Catholic Church and part of that includes acceptance of Papal authority.'

She goes on to complain about political correctness in modern hymn books of classic hymns and the patronising language in children's hymns. Then there is the modern phenomenon of 'church karaoke' what our Director of Music calls 'plugging with gravy' whereby a perfect place for silenece in the liturgy is disturbed with an announcement from the choir loft, 'The next hymn is number x'.

She ends by saying there is a lot of work to do but with the skills and resources we have in the modern world 'plainsong need not be a problem'.

As for my own private reading I normally go through the guesthouse library and find a good orthodox book to read through the week. This year I found a copy of of the Abbot of Worth's book Finding Sanctuary. I have wanted to read this since it was published but did not want to buy myself a copy for fear that it would be as bad as I expect it to be so I took this opportunity to read it. With advice to join a Yoga club at work, constant comparison between Christian Monasticism and Buddhist monasticism, and the offering of Thomas Merton as a model of obedience it is as I feared; however the many stories of the Desert Fathers and Mothers and references to the Rule of St Benedict made for interesting reading.

I also read the current edition of Faith Magazine and loved William Oddie's Comment on the Comments. Entitled Taking leave of obligation he comments on the reactions to the Bishops of England and Wales' decision to move the Feasts of Our Lord that are Holy Days of Obligation to the nearest Sunday. He begins with the reflections of Pastor Juventus in The Catholic Herald who says, 'The celebration of the Feast of the Ascension falling on a Sunday felt odd and out of kilter ... Ironically, it is the fact that [it] has been transferred to a Sunday, which means that no extra effort is required to celebrate it and therefore no special sense attaches to it.'

He then moves to the thoughts of a layman, Charles Moore, who wrote in his column in The Spectator, 'The faithful will now not have to attend Mass on those days, but only on the nearest Sunday (which is always obligatory anyway).'

Finally he turns to the blogs. Fr Finigan responding to the argument, 'That is how they do it in Italy' by saying, 'Technically, there is uniformity in that in Italythe Holydays are transferred to the Sunday but in the Vatican territory, they are observed on the traditional days.' And Damian Thompson who commented in his Daily Telegraph blog that the Bishops suddenly became interested in the wider use of the Usus Antiquior when the discovered priests were using it to say Mass on the Holy Day itself rather than the nearest Sunday.

I found this all very interesting and wanted to share it with you!

Peregrinatio Pro Christo

Please pray for my parish this week as we are privileged to have the Legion of Mary visiting every home in the parish to tell people about the faith; they are faith-sharing with practicing parishioners, bringing lapsed Catholics back into the faith and telling non-Catholics of the joys of the faith. This is wonderful work and Father has had many requests to see a priest already.

Baby Joseph RIP

On the last day of the Faith Conference Fr James Clarke asked us all to pray for a baby in his spiritual care who had been born prematurely at 23 weeks.

The Sisters of the Gospel of Life reported recently that Baby Joseph had passed away and recorded a message from Fr Clarke.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Faith '08

Yet another successful Conference!

'He created them Male and female' The meaning of the sexes!

The sexes were split for Jesus and Mary; we are men because of Jesus and that is the reason we are Seminarians, because women cannot be wed to the Church, the Bride of Christ in the way priests are and therefore women cannot be priests. That seems obvious when you hear it like that, and indeed it is something we already knew, but when you realise that this has been the plan since before the dawn of time you realise just how much effort the Campaign for the Ordination of Women is wasting - it will never happen because it isn't in God's Master Plan!

Our eyes were opened last week to the purpose of Creation. The first human being to be conceived in the Mind of God was Our Lady in order to provide a place for God the Son to take flesh. As Our Lady is female Our Lord had to be male in order to balance nature. Thus the first human being to be created in the flesh was Adam, in the form of the Incarnate Son and his wife was created afterwards in the form of His Immaculate Mother. They then procreate in order to aid God in His creation so that the Incarnate One can have a fraternal relationship with many brothers and sisters despite the fact that He and His Mother are the only people who necessarily exist.

Fr Nesbitt introduced us to Fr Holloway's theory that the Hebrew word that is commonly translated 'rib' actually means 'the sexual principle' therefore God removed the sexual principle from the man in order to create the woman.

This is another way in which Christ is the new Adam and Mary the new Eve. In one of our discussion groups one young person complained about all he had heard because it contradicted modern sociology and as the priests giving the talks were not sociologists they must be wrong. It was explained that actually it is sociology that is wrong because it ignores the Master Plan, it ignores God, it puts Man in the place of God.

The week was also another Spiritual ecstasy with daily Exposition, Adoration and Benediction as well as daily Lauds, Mass and Compline, and we will never get over the response to the Evening of Reconciliation when, as usual, it ran over time because of the number of people going to Confession.

It was also good for us Seminarians to meet with our brethren at other seminaries and those who have been recently ordained.

We at Orthfully Catholic would like to thank all the priests who spoke and strengthened our faith with their words, especially Fr Nesbitt who congratulated us and encouraged us to keep going and those who have and who will say Mass for our Vocations.

We look forward to next year,

God Bless,

The Seminarians

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Faith Conference 2008

We are all off to the Summer Session this week so if you are going too we will see you there, if not you will hear all about it next weekend!

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Little Basque General


Since we have just celebrated the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola I thought I would dedicate today's post to this great saint of the Church.

Many of you will know the story of the founder of the Jesuits, but for those who aren't aware of the details I will remind you.

Ignacio was born, as his name suggests, at a place called Loyola, in Northern Spain, in the Basque region. He was a solider and a great romancer. However, at a battle in Pamplona he was hit by a canon ball, and his legs were broken. He was very vain, and despite his leg being healed, it didn't look flattering in his stockings, so he ordered that his leg be re-broken and re-set.

It was during this time of convalsesance that he was converted. Ignacio loved to read romance novels, however, in his castle in Loyola there were no such novels, he had to content himself to read the life of Christ and the lives of the saints. Here he read a more real, more permanent romance, that between the human soul and it's Creator. He decided to dedicate his life to God. He travelled to Monserrat, to Our Lady's shrine and there, at her feet he left his sword. Showing his renounciation of his former life, and dedication of his new life in Christ.

This is the first part of his life, I'd encourage you to read the rest. My favourite part of his life, is when he realised his own ignorance, and so went to study Latin, and a late stage in his life, and in the classroom was surrounded by all the young scholars. This image shows his humility, and desire to do the will of God. It is this image which drove me to choose him as my patron saint.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Advice for Priests

At Mass today Father gave a whole new meaning to in persona Christi. He said more priests should be thrown out of their parishes by their parishioners as Our Lord was thrown out of the Synagogue in today's Gospel simply by preaching the Truth.

He said priests are not preaching the truth from the pulpit anymore and Catholicism is becoming too comfortable. He used today's patron, St Alphonsus Liguori as an example, he preached the moral truth, God's Moral Law, something priests aren't doing any more.

So come on Fathers, preach the truth and get thrown out of your churches for Jesus!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reasons


In furtherance to my esteemed colleague's post, I also received an e-mail from a friend in Rome telling me of this terrible action.

The man has apparently given the reason for this sacrilege as being a protest for the Church's teachings on moral issues.

I thought I'd advertise the man's motive for two reasons, firstly, a further act of reparation, in addition to praying, might be to live and defend the Church's moral teaching in a more pure and devout way.

Secondly, to highlight the fact that there are many people who use the Blessed Sacrament as a political tool. We hear of the Rainbow Sash movement in America, and other such (forgive me) pious confraternities, which try to show their descent from Catholic truths by making political stands, protests and statement's with the Blessed Sacrament at the celebration of the Eucharist.
This sort of action is cheap, it is cheap to manipulate another's religion for one's own ends, rather than deal with the actual issues at hand.

So, as it is Thursday, perhaps we can all offer the final decade of the luminous mysteries of our daily rosary, for reparation to the Sacred Heart for offenses against Him in the Eucharist.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sacrilege of the Blessed Sacrament

I have just received an e-mail from a Seminarian friend in Rome informing me of an evening of Reparation at the London Oratory on Wednesday 6th August at 7pm for the recent desecration of the Blessed Sacrament who received Communion on the hand in the Basilica, took it to America where he gave it to an atheistic scientist who performed the grossest acts of desecration upon the Sacred Host and the whole thing is filmed and posted on You Tube.

If you are unable to attend the evening please make a private act of reparation yourselves on Wednesday. Please pray for the conversion of those involved in this act and for the conversion of the world to Our Lord's most Sacred Heart.

Humanae Vitae 40 Years On

I failed to write a post on Friday marking the actual 40th Anniversary of Pope Paul VI's groundbreaking Encyclical.

Forty years later and there is still a lot of anger against this most basic of Church documents but there is also a lot of adherence to it and allegiance is growing, particularly among young people.

This weekend's Catholic press have been marking the occasion - I haven't as yet read The Tablet's contributions but I can guess what it has to say.

Humanae Vitae is still one of the most important documents written since the Second Vatican Council and still needs a lot of catechesis in parishes and schools.

God Bless you all

The Seminarians

Reflections

Hello readers,

having recovered sufficiently from the WYD SYD pilgrimage, I'd like to share with you all a few reflections which have occurred to me since returning.

I'd like to pick up an idea that a bishop we were travelling with suggested in a homily. The Bishop was talking about the use of young people.

All people are used in this culture, but most especially young people. They are targetted by advertising, and groups with alterior motives, hoping to push all kinds of strange products and doctrines on them.

Let's look around ourselves, look at the mind-numbing, soul destroying products / programs / and ideologies pushed on young people, from the earliest age, which sow the seeds of misery, skepticism, depriving the world's youth of hope and joy (qualities inherent in the young, which our previous Pope so admired and encouraged). The way the young people are portrayed shows the state of affairs. The media shows young people as just these things, miserable, skeptical and anti-social.

However, in my experience young people ARE full of hope and joy. Young people, (I must stress that I write as a young person) are desperate for the truth, for understanding of the world. Young people desire to love and understand the emotions and feelings connected with love. They passionately desire to comit themselves to justice and peace and the building of a better world.
This was my experience of the youth on WYD, I feel I have grown personally with my experience of young people over the course of the World Youth Day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dom Drostan RIP

I am due to go on my annual retreat to Pluscarden Abbey in a couple of weeks time and so was saddened to hear of the death of Br Drostan OSB, a lovely man and much loved member of the community.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

News Miscellany

Orthfully Catholic would like to say goodbye to John Paul who has returned from Lourdes and decided to close down Mad Trad. We will continue to pray for John Paul's vocation and hope he will continue to read this blog.

It seems Archbishop Kelly made the fatal mistake of presenting his plan to turn an ailing parish into a personal parish for the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite to his Council of Priests who naturally turned the idea down. This is a great injustice to Holy Mother Church, the Archdiocese of Liverpool and the many members of Christ's Mystical Body who would have made great use of such a parish.

And last but not least: Orthfully Catholic would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Fr Sean Riley, an avid reader of this blog, on his recent ordination. We are sorry we couldn't make it to the Ordination but we will make up for it next time we meet (in exchange for a first blessing naturally).

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

East Anglian Orthodoxy

On Monday the Friendship Club went to a little known Orthodox Monastery in a quiet village in the East Anglian region. The community is 40 strong with 12 Monks and Priests, 24 Nuns and 4 Novices. They are technically Greek but come directly under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

I had never even heard of the monastery before Monday and so was intrigued. They were founded in 1958 when Father Founder asked many Bishops (both Catholic and Anglican) if they had somewhere in their dioceses to set up a Greek Orthodox monastery. The site they accepted was an Anglican Rectory, they built their own church and refectory and live in the house. The church is as beautiful as would be expected, the walls are covered in icons of the life of Christ that they painted themselves. They are multi-lingual so the Divine Liturgy and liturgical prayers are said in English, French, Greek and Slavonic.

It was a fascinating experience and one I would recommend to all our readers.

God Bless

Return from Oz

I'm afraid I was unable to post over the last few days in Australia.

When I last posted I had just returned from the first official audience / welcome to Pope Benedict. It was a noisy but exciting experience. The Pope, when he first saw the shouting, joyful crowd looked bemused, as if asking "is this for me", well, yes, Holy Father, we love you and we were so pleased to have had you with us! It was a time for appropriate paraliturgical clapping "Be - ne - detto - clap - clap - clap"

The next few days were spent spiritually and materially preparing for the World Youth Day vigil, on Randwick racecourse.

After a beautiful private Mass at our hotel, we set off for the racecourse on Saturday. We found our proportioned plot of land (how Israelite), and I set off looking for friends. The evening vigil, presided over by the Holy Father included Eucharistic adoration and prayers, it was a blessed time. After the vigil, at about 10pm, I went with some friends to the tent of the Missionaries of Charity for adoration, this was my favourite half hour of the whole two weeks, it was wonderful to be with Jesus, for whom this whole event was organised!

The following morning, Sunday, the 20th July, at 10am, we had the papal mass for World Youth Day. At this Mass a variety of candidates were confirmed and the Holy Spirit was called down on all those present, and the whole Church.

The Mass ended with the announcement of the host city of the next WYD, it will be in 2011, in Madrid. So, I join with all Spanish speakers, particularly madrillenas, in saying "Si, Si, Si, El Papa va Madrid" "Yes, yes, yes, the Holy Father's coming to Madrid". I will most certainly see him there!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Hermit Down Under

Its good to hear from the Hermit after such a long time and also good to see he is going to keep us in touch with the events in Sydney. We look forward to hearing what's going on down there.

Please pray for the Hermit and all our brother Seminarians in Sydney as well as all the young people gathered at the largest youth gathering in the world.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Orthfully Catholic representation at WYD!

I've come to Oz, not to see the Wizard, but to see the this sweet Christ on earth, the Holy Father.

We arrived in Oz on Thursday the 10th July, and stayed with a wonderful family who welcomed us, and made us part of their home and family. Accepting hospitality is part of pilgrimage, sometimes it is difficult, but it teaches us about the unconditional, gratuitous love of God.

On Monday we left that diocese, and our host family, travelling a short trip down to Sydney, where the main events are being held.

Being here in Sydney is a wonerful experience of the Church, both for us pilgrims and all Sydneysiders. I'd like to reflect a little on this experience.

Being here, at the largest gathering of youth in the world (also the largest gathering of people in the history of Australia) is a deeply moving experience. All these young people, who have given time and money to come here, from far far away, are not here for just a holiday, but they have come for an experience, an encounter with Christ, which the Holy Father is sharing with them. For many, if not all, this experience will be a life changing event, they may desire to spend more time in adoration, or a greater love for Our Lady, or, even find their life's calling, dedicating themselves to the service of God, for the rest of their life.

This event is showing me the true universality of the Church. We have been greeted and welcomed by the original owners of this land, the aboriginals. We have experienced their rich culture and seen how the Gospel has been incorporated, but not deminished, in their traditions.

Finally, the theme of the experience is the Holy Spirit "I will make you witnesses". This is the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit, and we pray that the Holy Spirit works in the lives and hearts of these young people!

Please join us spiritually here in Australia, through prayer and faithful love of the Holy Father!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ancient tablet 'casts doubt on the Resurrection'

So declared yesterday's Times (p35), and this time it isn't referring to The Tablet.

Professor Israel Knohl has apparently found a three foot tablet of stone on the Eastern bank of the Dead Sea bearing the story of 'Gabriel's Vision of Revelation' written in ink four years before the birth of Christ. The story is that of Simon who received a vision of the Archangel Gabriel telling him he would be killed by the Romans and rise again three days later.

Professor Knohl has therefore come to the conclusion that Jesus and His disciples would have known about this story and used it for their own propaganda. Apparently Jesus told four of His disciples to write biographies of His life ending with His death and resurrection.

So brethren we can all relax and spend Sundays doing the garden because it has now been definitively proved that the Resurrection of Our Lord is a hoax. This is not the first time Professor Knohl has expounded this theory, it first came to light in his 2002 book The Messiah Before Jesus and this is his ultimate proof that the theory is fact. The owner of the tablet is said to be excited about the theory though 'not entirely convinced'.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bonekickers

The BBC opened this new series last night. It is about a group of archaeologists with a new story each week - basically a fictional Time Team. Their pilate episode was an attack on Christianity, a cruel cult with a devilish past with the sole intent to destroy Islam.

Last night's episode was about a band of Knights Templar who had come to England from the Holy Land with a piece of the True Cross in the 14th century. The archaeologists find the relic and a 'right wing Christian sect denounced by the Archbishop of Canterbury' want to claim it because they believe they are the descendents of the Knights and it is their mission from God to kill Muslims who are invading our Christian land. All Christians in the programme were made out to be crazy nutters with strange beliefs in this Jesus bloke.

Another of the BBC's ways of upholding their anti-Catholic, pro-Islam policy we think.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

World Youth Day and women bishops

Today's Mass was said for the young people in the Diocese travelling to Sydney today for World Youth Day and the three people representing this parish were in attendance this morning in order to receive a blessing in preparation for their journey.

The homily was marvellous! Father said Hosea was talking about those who had voted in favour for the 'ordination' of women to the 'episcopacy' in the Church of England last night. He spoke about how this had shown that the Anglican Communion does all it can to do the complete opposite to what Sacred Scripture tells Christians to do and that they will receive just puinishment for it.

He then went on to urge the three young people going to Sydney to sit at the feet of the Holy Father and listen to all he has to say, 'drink from the fount of his wisdom ... make note of his orthodoxy' and come back to the parish alive with Catholicism ready to tell all they meet what he said to them that orthodoxy may reign in the parish through them.

Orhtfully Catholic would like to thank Drs Williams and Sentamu and the Synod of the Church of England because as a result of last night's vote we will now have an influx of at least 500 priests and our RCIA classes will be packed to the rafters and so the unfortunate figures revealed by the Vatican recently comparing the number of Catholics in the world to the number of Muslims can be reversed.

Monday, July 07, 2008

SP: One year on

Today is the first anniversary of Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, and where has it got us? Unfortunately for those who said it would have no effect whatsoever it has got us further than even we could possibly imagine. People up and down the country are demanding Mass in the Extraordinary form from their Parish Priests who are happily providing it for them. More priests, deacons and seminarians are learning the rubrics of the so-called 'old' Mass than ever before. The Archbishop of Liverpool has just provided a personal parish for the sole celebration of the TLM. And of course there have been two instances of history-making Masses in Westminster Cathedral with Bishop John Arnold being the first to say a Pontifical Mass and Cardinal Hoyos being the first to say Mass at the Throne there since 1969.

When coming to the parish I had to bring six months back copies of Faith Magazine and Mass of Ages because I hadn't had time to read them and so after finally getting that time I noticed a change has come to the latter of these journals. A year later it is still revelling in the delights of the Holy Father's generosity but its reputation for being a catalogue for fine vestments and a rag for anti-Novus Ordo liturgists seems to have changed (in the current edition at least) to a fine spiritual journal. The first article is an incredible comparison between the Mass and the Last Supper (the first Mass) that is relevant to both forms of the Roman Rite. Another example is a piece on the reception of Holy Communion in the East and West since the Early Church. Along with a beautiful obituary by Fr Sean Finnegan of Dom Gerard Calvet this quarter made for some very Spiritually uplifting reading, let's hope the editor keeps this up.

So what does the future hold for the the usus antiquior in this country? Access to training and celebrating the Extraordinary Form in Seminaries? Maybe even the option to receive the Ministries or even be ordained in the Traditional Rites?

Keep Praying,

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Blessed Antonio Rosmini

Yesterday I went to Westminster Cathedral for Mass on the first Feast of Blessed Antonio Rosmini said my the Papal Nuncio. It was a glorious affair, the Cathedral was packed and as well as the Archbishop Bishop John Arnold and all the priests of the Institute of Charity were on the Sanctuary. Mass was beautiful, the setting was the Missa de Angelis and it was attended by pupils from Rosminian schools around the country and the British Ambassador to the Holy See who is from Armagh where Gentili, who brought the order to England, Wales and Ireland, is buried. The English provincial preached and the Ambassador gave a biography of Blessed Antonio at the end of Mass.

Yesterday was a very proud day for Rosminians around the world and it was a privilege to share it with them.

Pray for vocations to the order and for the Canonisation of their founder.

God Bless

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another year over

After admitting one man to Candidacy for Holy Orders and two to the Ministry of Acolyte the Academic Year has finally come to an end. We now have a two month break by the end of which we should be ready to take on another year. We are expecting 10 men in September and 5 men are going out to their respective Dioceses for their Extended Pastoral Placement.

Please keep us in your prayers,

God Bless,

The Seminarians

Marthe Robin: Patron of Orthfully Catholic

During the Retreat we were introduced to a veru holy woman; Marthe Robin, foundress of the Foyers de Charite. Born on 13th March 1902, the youngest child of a French peasant family she lived a normal childhood until 1918 when she was taken by an unknown illness that slowly took over her body until she was left completely paralysed, blind and unable to eat or drink - between 1926 and 1981 her only sustenance was the Eucharist, which she received once a week after confession to her Spiritual Director Pere Finet. She died on 6th February 1981 and her funeral was attended by 6 Bishops, over 200 priests and thousands of people.

We have decided to make her Patron of Orthfully Catholic despite the fact that she has no Sacred Title because she loved the priesthood, she said the Foyers could never work without priests; she is a model of the Theology of the end of life, if she had become ill today doctors would simply have given up on her and done all they could to end her life; she is a deeply holy person, she received regular visions of our Blessed Lord and Lady, she wrote incfredible prayers and in 1930 she received the stigmata sharing in the Passion of Our Lord every Friday for the rest of her life - she was in intense pain from Thursday evening until 3pm on Friday when she went into a coma until Sunday morning. She would receive visitors until she lost the ability to speak in 1980 and created many vocations to the priesthood simply by saying, 'God wants you to be a priest'.

We at Orthfully Catholic are praying hard for her Beatification and Canonisation and for a Foyer to be founded in the UK. Please join us in those prayers.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Update on life

The Seminarians are now returning from our Pastoral Placements and are preparing to go on retreat for the next week, which means there will be a significant amount of silence in blogland.

Please keep us all in your prayers.

God Bless,

The Seminarians

Thursday, June 12, 2008

HLI pledge of assent to Humanae Vitae

We have just read a post on The Hermeneutic of Continuity and felt it important to link to it and ask all Clergy and Seminarians who read this blog to download the pdf file, sign the pledge and send it off.

Pontifical High Mass

Don't forget Cardinal Hoyos will be celebrating Pontifical High Mass at Westminster Cathedral this Saturday at 2:00.

The Dean of Students is being ordained priest that day in another Diocese so no one from this Seminary will be able to attend this historic occasion but please pray for him and offer up your Communion for him if you do attend - its a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Reality Seminarians

With the final of The Apprentice declaring Lee McQueen the winner last night we got to thinking about why Seminarians are so interested in reality TV shows. You may remember our excitement at the beginning of the year over X-Factor, since then we have been watching every episode of 'I'd do anything', 'Britains's got Talent' and 'The Apprentice' sharing the joys and the sorrows of each and every contestant and praying hard for our particular favourites to win. But why?

The shows provide a perfect opportunity for us to share an hour or two each week with eachother, debating who's going to be fired this week or who will be trying to hit that vibrato in 'He needs me'. We all suddenly become experts in professional singing and business enterprise when we point out people's mistakes and shout phrases like, 'Muslims don't sell Kosher chicken idiot' and 'Diction dear' at the television.

One theory is that these people are on the same kind of journey as we are. They are ordinary people trying to enter into an industry that will catapult them into a world of fame and fortune. We are ordinary men who believe we have been called by our Creator to go into the world and make Him known to all His creation. Seminary and reality TV both take an ordinary person with an, as yet, unrecognised talent and form him/her to become extraordinary person with a highly acclaimed talent.

We have no interest whatsoever in shows such as Big Brother, which debase humanity turning God's most significant creatures into mere animals, because that is the complete opposite to Priestly Formation and the pastoral care of a priest.

It is an interesting thought and we look forward to hearing what you think about this phenomenon - particularly from Seminarians in other Seminaries.

God Bless,

The Seminarians

Monday, June 02, 2008

An Extraordinary Weekend

Those of us still at the seminary over the next few weeks are given a Free Weekend every weekend, so those of us who are son inclined go TLM Hunting.

On Saturday I went to London for the CIEL UK Annual Conference. The day began with a beautiful Solemn High Mass for the Titular Feast of the Immaculate Heart in the Basilica said by the Provost. As I used to live in the parish I went to visit a couple of places I haven't seen since entering Seminary. Then in the afternoon I attended the Conference given by Rev Dr Alcuin Reid, a defence against the accusation that Pope Benedict XVI is not a trained liturgist. A marvellous and inspiring talk. The day ended with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the Little Oratory.

Yesterday, as there were only three of us in the house we decided to go to Mass at Farnborough Abbey. When we got there we discovered the Abbot was away and were a little disappointed becasue usually on these occasions Mass is said in English. As we were preparing for Mass a young man in cassock and collar was darting about the Santuary and, thinking he was a Seminarian, we began kicking ourselves for not taking ours along. However, as the organ piped up the 'Seminarian' processed in wearing a Gothic green chasuble and maniple - he was a priest. He and the servers bowed to the altar and went over to the Quire for the Asperges. After that he went back to the altar with the servers who knelt down and began the old Confiteor. The three of us gasped with delight as we realised we were about to be treated to Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The priest turned out to be from the Society of St John visiting from Rome and we thanked him afterwards for Mass and particularly for his beautiful homily on the Introit of the Mass. After Mass we went to the nearest restaurant for a slap up lunch and a celebratory bottle of champagne - I know, the lives we Seminarians lead today!

What an Extraordinary weekend.

God is Good!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Orthfully Catholic would like to wish all their readers a Happy and Holy Solemnity.

At the moment there are only a handful of Seminarians on site as the majority of the house are out on Pastoral Placements. All that are left are those going on Extended Pastoral Placements next academic year and those preparing to be ordained Deacon or Priest.

However this didn't stop us from observing the Solemnity with full pomp and ceremony. Last night the Blessed Sacrament was exposed in a 19th Century Monstrance with images of the Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart and Holy Patriarch on it. After an hour's Adoration we had Compline, Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus sung in Latin, Benediction and the Solemn Salve.
This morning we had High Mass with bells and smells despite this meaning there were only the Lectors, Sacristan and two Religious Sisters in the pews.

Ooh, it were 'igh!

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Corpus Christi

Orthfully Catholic would like to wish all their readers a very Happy and Holy Feast Day and pray that if you had a procession and/or Benediction in your parish today that it went beautifully!

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pro-abortionist running pro-life group

Mulier Fortis has an excellent post explaining how the Vice-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group is actually pro-choice!

We are slightly miffed about this at Orthfully Catholic because we have spent the last few months getting information from this group to send to our local MP in order to ask her to vote against the HFE Bill and all the time the Vice-Chair of the group itself is voting for it!

Its probably easier to explain the Trinity to a nine year old.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

TLM at Winchester Cathedral

Fr Z has discovered something quite astonishing. We always new that Anglo-Catholics are more Catholic than the Pope but this is another level.

Wnchester Cathedral have apparently asked Bishop Hollis of Portsmouth if they can have a celebration of the Roman Rite in the Extraordinary Form and he has graciously agreed on the understanding that it is a one-off!

Here is the link:

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/05/tlm-in-winchester-cathedral-uk-ps-this-is-the-anglican-cathedral/

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

ACE Talk by Fr Luiz Ruscillo

Last night a couple of us travelled to New Malden to hear Fr Luiz speak about the Bishop of Lancaster's incredible report on the state of Catholic schools in this country.

He said the purpose of the report was to explain a line in one of his Pastoral Letters, 'Many schools are losing their Catholic identity'.

Fr Luiz then went on to explain the document by answering two questions:

1. What is a Catholic school for?

It is natural for the Church to provide education for Catholic children, they must learn what it is to be human in a Catholic context. Obviously parents are the primary educators of their children and as such must choose the best school to go into partnership with over the education of their children.
Education must explain the meaning of life through the meadium of every subject at school, as Fr Luiz said, learning that E=mc2 isn't enough, children need to learn philosophy, theology and other subjects to get a rounder perspective. All subjects need to be brought together with the faith so that Christ is seen as head of the school - the Incarnational Principle.

2. What are the values a Catholic school would want to promote?

Gospel Values ie the Beatitudes
This is done in four categories; Profession of Faith (Catechism), Sacraments, Morals and Prayer.
Education is Fides et Ratio we must show our children that faith does not mean leaving your brain at the door. Teaching the faith is not the same as evangelisation. The school itself evangelises by making Christ known to the children, Fr Luiz constantly made the comment that schools are part of the Body of Christ, but this does not mean they are parishes in themselves.
Pupils must also leanr and practice certain of the Sacraments of the Church and learn and regularly recite Catholic prayers such as the Rosary and devotions to Our Lady and the Saints.
When it comes to Morality in schools one thing they all have in common is that the are very good when it comes to justice, ecology and poverty but disastrous when it comes to personal morals, particularly Sex Education.

To certain questions put to him Fr Luiz said:

We need to reflect on what makes a school Catholic. Leadership is the key; a school must have Catholic governors and teachers who are dedicated to driving their school toward this vision.

Recruitment is difficult today for a number of reasons but the secret is the same as that for recruiting priests. We need to rediscover the secret of how to inspire teaching vocations in our children rather than look at the need to close schools.

Catholic Culture must come out in all areas of school life. It is vital that teachers be practicing Catholics so that they can bring the faith into their subject.

It is importnant that the Parish Priest is on the governing body of the school and not just a chaplain figure called in to say Mass from time to time. This will bring a close relationship between the school and the parish. No one can replace the Religious Sister or Priest working in the school. Chaplaincy is of prime importance to the life of the school as part of the Body of Christ.

Christian Catholicism must not be taught as one of many religions nor Christ as one of many religious founders.

To teach morals by debate and vote is OK to a certain extent, but it doesn't teach the children moral truth and values. It isn't enough to say 'The Church teaches such-and-such so we believe it', we must say, 'The Church teaches such-and-such and we hold it to be the truth!'

Much of this is obvious to some but it simply isn't being implemented in our schools. We must get this document circulated and implemented as soon as possible in order to save our children's education!

Monday, May 19, 2008

LMS - Ladies Must be Silent!

The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales were due to have Pontifical High Mass in Cardiff Cathedral yesterday but cancelled at the last minute (Saturday night) when the Dean of the Cathedral insisted that one of his female altar servers be present on the sanctuary.

This is unbelievably petty! If there is no way of changing the Dean's mind just let her sit there with nothing to do, don't cancel an entire Mass over the issue. This is why people don't like those of us who are attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite; some groups, such as the LMS, politicise the situation. Then we wonder why we are called right wing!

In response to this all members of Orthfully Catholic have decided to withdraw their subscriptions to the Latin Mass Society as it is not good for Seminarians to be branded in this way; ordination is a SAcrament of the Church and a gift from God not a political staement!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity

Orthfully Catholic would like to wish all our readers a very Happy and Holy Feast.

May the Blessing of Almighty God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit come down upon you all, your families and friends and give you happiness and peace.

The Seminarians!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ember Saturday

Caritas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris, alleluia: per inhabitantem Spiritum ejus in nobis, alleluia, alleluia.
Benedic, anima mea, Domino: et omnia quae intra me sunt, nomini sancto ejus.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Caritas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris, alleluia: per inhabitantem Spiritum ejus in nobis, alleluia, alleluia.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ember Friday

Repleatur os meum laude tua, alleluia: ut possim cantare, alleluia: gaudebunt labia mea, dum cantavero tibi, alleluia, alleluia.
In te, Domine, speravi, non confundarin aeternum: in justitia tua libera me et eripe me.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in Principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Repleatur os meum laude tua, alleluia: ut possim cantare, alleluia: gaudebunt labia mea, dum cantavero tibi, alleluia, alleluia.

As at 12:30 today the examination fortnight is over. Thank you all for your prayers. Now we are all on Half Term before going out to parishes for our month long placements.

God Bless you all and please keep praying!

The Seminarians

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pentecost Thursday

Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum, alleluia: et hoc quod continet omnia, scientiam habet vocis, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Exsurgat Deus, et dissipentur inimici ejus: et fugiant qui oderunt eum, a facie ejus.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum, alleluia: et hoc quod continet omnia, scientiam habet vocis, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ember Wednesday

Deus, dum egredereris coram populo tuo, iter faciens eis, habitans in illis, alleluia: terra mota est, coeli distillaverunt, alleluia, alleluia.
Exsurgat Deus, et dissipentur inimici ejus: et fugiant qui oderunt eum, a facie ejus.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in Principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Deus, dum egredereris coram populo tuo, iter faciens eis, habitans in illis, alleluia: terra mota est, coeli distillaverunt, alleluia, alleluia.

Please pray today for the Seminarian going to London to represent the Seminary at the Parliamentary Lobby for the HFE Bill. Pray that the Holy Spirit will give him the right words that will cause the MPs concerned to change their minds!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pentecost Tuesday

Accipite jucunditatem gloriae vestrae, alleluia: gratias agentes Deo, alleluia: qui vos ad caelestia regna vocavit, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Attendite popule meus, legem meam: inclinate aurem vestram in verba oris mei.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Accipite jucunditatem gloriae vestrae, alleluia: gratias agentes Deo, alleluia: qui vos ad caelestia regna vocavit, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pentecost Monday

Cibavit eos ex adipe frumenti, alleluia: et de petra melle saturavit eos, alleluia, alleluia.
Exsultate Deo adjutori nostro: jubilate Deo Jacob.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in Princpio, et nunc, et semper, in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Cibavit eos ex adipe frumenti, alleluia: et de petra melle saturavit eos, alleluia, alleluia.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pentecost Sunday

Orthfully Catholic would like to wish all their readers a very Happy and Holy Pentecost and depending on which Form you will be using over the next week either a warm welcome back to Ferial Time or a Happy Octave.

God Bless you all,

The Seminarians!

Catholic Mom of 10 Revisited

Mulier Fortis has a post telling us all that Mrs Parkes has had to supplement her blog for strange technical reasons we simple Seminarians don't understand. The point is while her old blog is not deleted it continues here.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Examining the Dean

At 12:30 today we will have officially completed the first week of exams, just one week (3 exams) to go. Thank you for all your prayers so far, please keep them up for one more week.

Please also pray for us today because at 8:00 tonight the Rector will be announcing the new Dean of Students. We have been voting since Tuesday and there are two candidates. All fingers, toes and belly buttons are crossed.

God Bless,

The Seminarians

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wednesday Night's Television

As we have had two exams in a row and there is no exam today a few of us decided to spend the evening in front of Satan's Microwave. After Supper we watched Coronation Street and after that there was nothing of any particular interest so as Soap addicts we watched the 10th Annual British Soap Awards and as staunch Royalists we switched over to BBC2 during the commercials to watch snippets of City Salute with Princes William and Harry. I was rather looking forward to the second of these options as I am very proud of the British Armed Forces and our Sovereign, however, instead of feeling intense joy and pride I felt intense shame and anger. It was clearly part of the Socialist plot to reduce the Royal Family to nothing more that good telly. The idea was to raise awareness of the Military Campaigns we are bravely fighting at the moment, whether or not we agree with them we must still support our brave boys. It was held outside St Paul's Cathedral and the parade ground was marked out by members of the Queen's Guard dressed as Cavaliers and Roundheads - the Roundheads were traitors to the Crown! The Princes who have just been made Officers of the RAF (William) and Blues and Royals (Harry, who has also seen action) were made to stand in the crown wearing city suits and House ties rather than on a podium, in uniform receiving salutes from their regiments. The compere was Jeremy Clarkson and a few Military Bands were called out to perform popular ditties like performing seals. I felt so sorry for the Princes, Her Royal Majesty and the British Forces and ashamed to be British!

However, BBC1 made up for it with last night's episode of The Apprentice, which showed the losing team to be unbelievably thick when it comes to basic undersatnding of religion. The apprentices went to Marrakesh in order to carry out a task of haggling for ten specific items and spending less than the other team. One of these items was a Kosher chicken. The losing team went to a Muslim butcher and asked him to bless a chicken in order to make it Kosher, not speaking the local language they used signs, the sign for 'bless' being the sign of the cross. A local customer who spoke English tried to tell them that it was Halal, not Kosher but they were having none of it. So the customer said the butcher attends mosque, the butcher pointed upward and repeated 'Allah' and so the deal was done. Back in the boardroom 'Suralan' pointed out that in his CV one of the apprentices had called himself 'a good Jewish boy'. 'Suralan' being a real good Jewish boy asked if this is true why he didn't know what Kosher meant, the apprentice backed down admitting he was half Jewish and non-practicing. Vanessa Feltz, a good Jewish girl, later commented that if your mother is Jewish you are Jewish, there is no such thing as a half Jew. Turning to another apprentice who was 36 that day 'Suralan' asked how she had never known what Kosher meant, she replied that she didn't know what it actually meant and was dependent on the other guy's Jewish roots. In actual fact she had claimed to have perfect understanding of the term and didn't know he had Jewish rots before they entered the boardroom. 'Suralan' sent them out of the room to discuss who should be fired with his aides. One of the aides turned to the other and said, 'I'm Catholic, you're Protestant and we know what Kosher means. He's supposed to have a Classics degree from Edinburgh.' To which she replied, 'Edinburgh isn't what it used to be.' The best line in the entire programme had to be when 'Suralan' turned to the good Jewish boy and said, 'So you went to a Muslim butcher for a Kosher chicken, why didn't you go the whole hog and get a Roman Catholic Priest to hear his confession?'

Monday, May 05, 2008

Prayer Requests

UPDATED

Please pray for all the Seminarians at this Seminary who are preparing to begin their examination fortnight tomorrow.

Please could you also pray for the repose of the soul of the aunt of a former Seminarian and contributor to this blog who died recently.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Ascension of the Lord

Orthfully Catholic would like to wish all their readers a Happy and Holy Feast of the Ascension.

We hope your preparations for Pentecost are going well and that today's liturgies were fitting for the occasion.

God Bless,

The Seminarians

Friday, May 02, 2008

Ss Joseph, Athanasius and Zimbabwe

Between the Memoriae of Ss Joseph the Worker and Athanasius we held an All Night Vigil for the triumph of peace in Zimbabwe. We prayed that the work of politicians, aid charities and religious orders may bring an end to the reign of terror under Mugabe and that the Bishops of that African country may work hard to bring peace to the troubled nation and we had two perfect patrons for such an intention; the patron saint of workers and an African Bishop who worked hard to bring about peace in Northern Africa.

Orthfully Catholic would like to invite our readers to join us in this intention.

To Love, Honour and Obey

On the front page of yesterday's Torygraph was a story that has done the rounds of seminaries and Canon Law blogs the world over. Peter Phillips' fiancee, Autumn Kelly, has just renounced her Catholic faith so that when they wed later this month he does not have to give up his place in succession to the British throne.

What a stupid thing to do! He has no Royal title because his mother (the Princess Royal) didn't want her children to bear such weight; he is 11th in line to the throne; he clearly doesn't love her as much as he claims to because his birth right is more important to him; and yet she has put herself in schism for the sake of marrying a man she will divorce in a few short years time!

The reason the Canon Law blogs have been interested in this is because in 2006 the rules from defecting from the Church changed. In order to do so the person has to write to their Bishop to inform him of their intentions, no ordinary lay Catholic will know this and so anyone who simply decides to join the Anglican Communion has not defected, as they might think, but is in a state of schism without knowing it. This means that when the Royal couple wed their marriage could be invalid.

What we Seminarians don't understand is why the Royal Advisors didn't seek advice from the Cardinal or Nuncio of either England and Wales or Canada (Miss Kelly is Canadian) considering this is such a high profile case.

Some have said this is good reason the Act of Settlement needs to be disbanded, other say it is good reason people need to take faith a little more seriously!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pope Saint Pius V

Much confusion reigned over the house today because it is unusual for us to celebrate an Optional Memoria unless the Saint has significance in the seminary, diocese or country. It is also a liturgical rule that the proper readings are only used on Feasts and Solemnities unless it is a New Testament Saint. Therefore when at Mass this morning we celebrated St Pius and had his readings we realised something revolutionary has happened and the rumours are rife!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

St George's Day

Orthfully Catholic would like to wish all their English readers a very Happy Patronal Feast!

It has been unusual for as long as we have been here to celebrate St George with much pomp at the Seminary but this year it was rather different - though we are not sure how much of an inspiration our visiting French Seminarians have been for this change.

We celebrated the Mass of St George twice, once yesterday evening while we were all awake and had time to celebrate a full Solemn Mass and again this morning with less pomp and ceremony because we only had a 30 minute slot and apparently are obliged to celebrate the Saint despite having already celebrated his vigil.

After last night's Mass we had a Festal Supper of Roast Beef with all the trimmings and Sticky Toffee Pudding! Could we have done our Patron Saint any more justice if we had tried? We doubt it!

Once again Happy St George's Day to one and all.

Keep praying for the conversion of England!

God Bless,

The Seminarians

Friday, April 18, 2008

More Vocational Prayers

Dear Readers,

Please keep in your prayers the thirteen men who are staying in our seminary this weekend as part of the selection process for priestly formation.

Thank you all and God Bless,

The Seminarians

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Vocations Sunday

Please keep all Seminarians in your prayers today. Please also pray for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

A number of our brethren are out in parishes today in order to encourage vocations in young men. If you have a visiting Seminarian make him feel welcome and assure him of your prayers. If you feel you have a vocation to the priesthood let him know and he will help you to take the first step. If you are a young man who thinks he may have a vocation to the priesthood and a Seminarian is not at your parish today speak to your parish priest who should put you in touch with your Vocations Director. If you know of someone who has hinted to you that he may like to be a priest let us know and we will try to find out who his Vocations Director is.

A couple of us were in Westminster Cathedral yesterday for various reasons and as soon as you walk in you see a sign by the Holy Water stoop saying, 'It costs £50 a day to train a priest, please help in any way you can'. We felt horribly guilty and hoped no one in the cathedral knew we were Seminarians, then we came to realise just how much the Diocese invests in us because £50 a day will only pay for our tuition fees, with grants and extra expenses it is so much more than that. Every Diocese in England and Wales, and no doubt in other Sees, needs donations for priestly training, please give generously to the Ecclesiastical Education Fund at Mass today.

But whatever you do prayer is the most important thing.

God Bless you all and thank you for your support,

The Seminarians

Poor Dorcas and the Selfish Miracle

Yesterday's homily was on the first reading and we felt we should share it with you as Father pointed out a rather amusing point in Acts that we had never noticed before.

Tabitha, or Dorcas in Greek, was a woman disciple living in Jaffa 'who never tired of of doing good or giving in charity'. She was therefore, undoubtedly, a good and holy woman. So when she 'got ill and died' she must have been ushered in to the Pearly Gates by whoever was guarding them before St Peter's own death and have received her eternal reward.

Apparently this wasn't good enough for those who 'washed her and laid her out in a room upstairs' they had to call Peter over from Lydda with an urgent message. Peter comes immediately and upon being told about how good Dorcas was he promptly brings her back from the dead! After spending some time in Heaven, enjoying the Beatific vision at last, she has to spend many more years making tunics and clothes for the disciples only to get ill and die all over again! While this may have brought many people to the Church they could have found another way. Poor Dorcas!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Does Our Lady support Liverpool FC?

Last night there were two crucial matches (probably for the Seminarians rather than for the FA) so both televisions were taken up by them. On the terrestrial television was the Liverpool Arsenal match, the most popular of the two. Among the crowd were two students for one diocese each supporting an opposing team. After thirty minutes the Liverpool supporter had to leave in order to spend some time with Our Lord and as he did so he told his Arsenal supporting brother that he would pray a Rosary that Liverpool might win. At the moment of leaving the match was drawn at 1-1.

The match and the Seminarian's Adoration ended simultaneously so he went back to see what the final score was - 4-2!

Is there any better evidence for the power of the Holy Rosary?

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Mail on Vocations Sunday

My choice of newspaper on the train is the Daily Mail because its easy to read and cheap so I can finish it on a short journey and throw it away afterwards, I don't necessarily agree with some of its ideology. So when I was on my way back to the Seminary after a two week holiday I bought the Mail on Sunday and as there were delays I read all the bumf that comes with it, including the women's mag 'You'. On page 25 of said mag was a column by Joanna Moorhead on 'Things you don't know about ... being a Nun'. She then lists 10 things the general public wouldn't know about the life of a Nun:

1. You don't have to be a virgin to become a Nun - unless you join a Benedictine congregation apparently.

2. Nuns are popular subjects for medical trials - particularly one American trial, the 'Nun Study', which is 'an examination of Alzheimer's disease and ageing in 700 nuns which began in 1986.'

3. Nuns are an endangered species - 'In 2005 there were only 13 new recruits to British convents.' Get Praying!

4. There are thousands of religious orders around the world, mostly founded hundreds of years ago - 'But new orders are still springing up.' Thank God!

5. Nuns are net-savvy - 'visit anunslife.org.' I have a had quick glimpse at this, it is run by Sr Julie, IHM and judging by the self-portrait of her in casual clothes and the post on how nuns deal with sexual urges its probably not something that will be seen in the left-hand bar of Orthfully Catholic.

6. Not all nuns are Catholics - 'There are Buddhist and Anglican nuns too.'

7. Some nuns live in mixed communities with monks.

8. Unlike priests, who are usually financially supported by their parishes, nuns have to earn their own living - such as making altar breads and, as one Franciscan community in New York, run a chocolate factory called 'NunBetter'.

9. Nuns have no career path, and prospects are often limited.

10. Nuns love their hobbies.

So there we go, anyone interested?

Next Sunday is Vocations Sunday, a very busy day for Seminarians who are often asked to go to parishes and speak to the people about priestly vocations. If a Seminarian comes to your parish make him feel welcome and let him know you are praying for him, those are the greatest words in a Seminarians ear, 'We think you're doing a marvellous job and we're all praying for you.'

Please pray for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life everyday.

God Bless,

The Seminarians

New Blogger

John Paul has asked us to plug his blog Mad Trad, and as he has referred to us as 'Awesome Seminarians' in his blogroll how could we possibly refuse?

God Bless John Paul, you're in our prayers!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Low Sunday

In the parish we celebrated the removal of the Neophytes' white garments by giving First Holy Communion to 22 children at two Sunday Masses.

Please pray for them and all Catholic children and for the conversion of non-Catholic familes. Also pray for the safety of our children in today's busy and dangerous world.

God Bless!

Divine Mercy Sunday

And in the afternoon we enjoyed a four and a half hour Devotionathon for today's secondary(?) feast. At 1:00 the Blessed Sacrament was exposed; at 1:30 the Joyful Mysteries were recited; at 2:15 the Sorrowful Mysteries; at 3:00 the Divine Mercy Chaplet was recited followed by St Faustina's Stations of the Cross; at 4:30 we completed the Holy Rosary with the Glorious Mysteries and at 5:00 we had Benediction and Blessing of the Images. It was a beautiful and extremely well attended afternoon of prayer and devotion.

May the Divine Mercy bless you all and your families.

Pray for conversion everywhere!

Friday, March 28, 2008

In this week's press

The Times Wednesday March 26 2008, p 41
'Nietzsche's grave under threat from bulldozers'

OK, so he famously declared 'God is Dead' and his philosophy has had major negatiove effects on today's society but surely we cannot condone the razing of his grave and those of his family and the church in which he was baptised and his father was pastor to the ground just for the sake of mining brown coal. Respect for the dead is a universal human attitude no matter what the person was like while they were alive.

The Times Thursday March 27 2008, p43
'Married man who used to be a woman is pregnant with a baby girl'

Who says fatherhood is being made redundant? When it becomes totally unnecessary for men to be present at the conception of a child he will simply carry the child for his infertile wife. This is a report discovered by James Bone proudly printed in The Advocate an American gay magazine. Tracy Lagondino had a sex change and became Thomas Beatie, married Nancy who was rendered infertile by a hysterectomy operation 8 years ago so, still having 'his' womb and ovaries Thomas inseminated himself and became pregnant with triplets. The pregnancy was ectopic and he lost them with his right fallopian tube. He tried again and is now 22 weeks pregnant with a baby girl. The insemination had to be done at home as they couldn't find a doctor who would help them due to religious reasons. What is the world coming to?

The Universe Sunday March 30 2008, p 15
'Teaching must be aware of the past'

A Mr Paul Crawley wrote to the editor a letter concerning the recent report of Pope Pius XII's visions of the sun dancing as a result of declaring the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady infallible dogma. Mr Crawley suggests that it was actually a vision of Hell as punishment for this declaration because, while Our Lady may have been assumed into Heaven, She was not perpetually virginal. To suggest she was conflicts with Scripture and Early Jewish culture because the Gospels clearly state that Mary and Joseph commenced marital relations after the birth of Christ and for a Jewish couple not to practice such relations would have brought disgrace on them both. Now for a Catholic to believe this and write a letter attempting to correct Catholic dogma to a Catholic newspaper is bad enough but what is the editor of said Catholic newspaper thinking when he prints such letters?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Resurrexit Sicut Dixit, Alleluia!

Orthfully Catholic would like to wish all our readers a very Happy and Holy Paschaltide!

May the Risen Christ Bless you all,

The Seminarians

Holy Week at Seminary

As promised here is how we celebrated the most important week of the year - our apologies for the delay, we had a power cut at the seminary yesterday so blogging wasn't an option. Please note as you read this account that we are only in house for Holy Week every other year.

Palm Sunday

Normally we have the blessing of the palms and Proclamation of the Gospel outside, process round the building and into the chapel but weather conditions have not been good lately so we had it all inside and it turned out to be more beautiful. We had the blessing in the Upper Common Room, the Principal Celebrant (PC) was wearing our best red cope, and we processed down to the chapel from there, then the PC changed into our best red chasuble. The Passion was planned entirely by a seminarian who chose the readers and choreagraphed the drama. He was the Narrator and, obviously, the Deacon was Christ, they both read from the sanctuary and the other readers were dotted around the chapel.

Maundy Thursday

We brought our supper forward an hour to celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper at 7:30. The Mass setting was Orbis Factor (Mass XI) sung by the entire congregation. The Gloria was intoned by the PC followed by an organ ad lib and ringing of 4 sanctuary bells and the chapel bell after which the whole congregation sang the entire chant. The Mandatum was an Alan Rees three part tone sung beautifully by the Schola while the PC washed the feet of twelve Seminarians. Our Altar of Repose was incredible; a temporary altar was built in the narthex which was filled with candles. The Watch was held until Midnight when we sang Compline and Our Lord was processed to another chapel where He would spend the rest of the Triduum.

Good Friday

We had the same dilemma as the Holy Father and Fr Finigan. I was the Vestment Sacristan for Holy Week, the 'concelebrants' were to wear alb and stole and the PC and Deacon Chasuble and Dalmatic. Therefore my thought was to put the PC in one of our concelebration chasubles which are simply red with a silver/grey cross on the front and collar, however the matching dalmatics are ghastly, more a pink than a red and with a glittery silver cross on the front, so I didn't put them out. The other simple red chasubles have no matching dalmatics so I had to put our High Mass set out, a beautiful set made from a silky material with beautiful golden cross motifs on the orphrey, and the chasuble has a golden lining round the edge. The liturgy was the most moving of the three. The Acclamation before the Passion was Orlando Gibbons' 'Jesus the Christ' sung by the Shcola, and the Passion itself was William Byrd's two part chorus. The Rector sang the part of Christus, a seminarian sang the narration and an eight-strong schola sang the chorus (4 Tenors and 4 Basses) with three of the tenors taking the other parts. Tears were shed as a result of this incredible performance (if you'll forgive me for using such an inappropriate term). The General Intercessions were chanted to the Missal tone by the PC. The Reproaches were sung by the Chorus, an adaptation written by our own Director of Music in English and Greek.

Easter Vigil

Despite raging storms throughout the day and weather reporters threatening 30mph winds that evening it was perfect outside, a light breeze and a good temperature. One member of staff and a few seminarians had built a marvellous bonfire outside so that was lit just before we began the Service of Light and was blessed by the Rector (PC for this particular liturgy). We then processed through a completely dark seminary to the dark chapel at which point the sacristans lit some tea-lights dotted about. The Exsultet was sung by the Rector and two members of staff. After that came the Liturgy of the Word during which seven seminarians read the seven Old Testament readings and sang the Psalms. A Seminarian then intoned Peter Jones' Coventry Gloria, the organ ad lib, bell ringing and switching on of the electric lights and lighting of the side chapel candles then commenced and the seminarian canted the rest of the Gloria. After the New Testament reading Fr Rector intoned the Solemn Alleluia. I was a little disappointed here because last time, which was the first time I experienced the Vigil in seminary, we treated the Rector like a Bishop and had the Deacon come onto the Sanctuary crying, 'Reverend Father, I bring you news of great joy.' However, this year Father simply stood up and began the intonation. During the sprinkling of the newly blessed water the shola chanted the Vidi Aquam. The rest of the Mass was set to Paul Inwood's Coventry Mass. We celebrated the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ with an incredible buffet and pink and white champagne at 1am.

Easter Sunday

We woke up on Easter Sunday morning slightly confused as to which Solemnity it was as it was snowing, and it continued to snow for most of the day. We all went to the local convent to celebrate Lauds and Mass with the Sisters. We had Christopher Walker's Gloria in honour of St Jeanne Jugan and the rest of the Mass was set to Dufford and Schutte SJ. Naturally we recessed to 'Thine be the Glory' (Easter just isn't valid without it).

On behalf of the Seminarians Orthfully Catholic would like to thank all those involved in the planning and executing of the Holy Week liturgies and Sacred Triduum; the Priests, Deacon, servers, sacristans, flower arrangers, cleaners, polishers etc. We would like to thank two people in particular, the Director of Music and Liturgy who planned every single liturgical action in the minutest detail, and the MC who, having only just got the job after his predecessor was recently ordained Deacon, did a magnificent job of rehearsing the servers and clergy, ensuring that every rubric was met and done correctly, and generally making the liturgies a sight to behold and an experience that will never be forgotten. It only remains for us to bring everything we have learned into our parishes.