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.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

As with Parish Priests and their Curates this is a very busy time for Seminarians, especially as this particular Seminary is in house for Holy Week this year.

Therefore Orthfully Catholic would like to apologise for a lack of posting recently. Our intention is to save up all our liturgical news and give one report on Easter Sunday. However, you will not be disappointed, Palm Sunday was a magnificent event and if our Schola rehearsals, chapel cleaning, serving practices etc are anything to go by the Sacred Triduum will be finer than Rome's and Blackfen's put together!

In the meantime we saw this post in the Valle Adurni and became very excited so felt we should share it with you!

God Bless you all and we hope you are having a wonderful Holy Week!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Seminarians on Film or Into Great Turbulence

Fame has come at last! We are currently hosting a group of five Film Studies students from the local Arts College who are creating an eight minute documentary about life in the Seminary. They have been filming our liturgies, classes, house jobs, and more over a 48 hour period. They are most interested in the stark difference between the hustle and bustle of the working day and the quiet stillness during the Magnum Silentium.

No doubt the final product will find itself onto You Tube one day so look out for it!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bishop Kevin Dunn RIP

Please keep in your prayers the soul of Bishop Dunn who died on Sunday and the people and clergy of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

This week in ...

... The Catholic Herald

On pages 4 and 5 of this week's edition there are two headlines which caused the writers of this esteemed blog to have a flood of such opposing emotions we thought we should write about it.

On page 4 we read, SSPX accuses the Pope of being an 'anti-Semite'. Apparently Bishop Richard Williamson, Rector of the SSPX seminary in Argentina, wrote on his blog that the Pope's decision to change the prayer for the conversion of the Jews in the 1962 Missal was an anti-semitic act. There is no proof of this now as he removed it after being contacted by the Catholic paper but his reasoning appears to be that 'by diminishing Catholics' awareness of that real 'veil'' His Holiness has 'done a disservice to Jews' eternal salvation' and has therefore 'objectively shown himself to be against the Jews purely as Jews'. He asks, 'Is there any other possible true definition of the expression "anti-Semite"?'
At Orthfully Catholic we can only repeat what we have stated before about the Society and continue to pray for the Holy Father's efforts to bring them back into full communion.

On page 5 we read, Pope asks Jesuits to obey Church. We're still laughing! God bless him, at least he's taking note of his own encyclical and still has hope for the only Religious Order in the Church that currently practices the heresy it was founded to oppose.