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


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!