Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Climate Change: Global Cooling or Warming

As I said in a previous post, the debate cannot be scientifically closed. Please do read this article on the Reading University Debating Journal website here. It is an alternative view which has to be heard.

We have taken the necessary actions to minimise what might be the effects on our home environment. Fortunately such measures will help whatever happens. The Jesuits appear to suggest that it is important to hear all sides of the argument.

In science it is essential that any theory or hypothesis remains open to falsification and climate warming is no exception.

It would have been wrong of me professionally, with a background in astronautics, not to bring the Reading University article to your attention.

Friday, 27 September 2019

October EF Masses in Lancaster Diocese

St Margaret Mary, Scalegate Road, Carlisle
Second Fridays at 7.00 pm*

*Please note new day and time

St John Vianney, Marton, Blackpool
Mondays: 12.00 noon
Fridays: 6.30 pm

Shrine Church of St Walburge, Preston
Mondays – Fridays: 8.30 am, Low Mass
Saturdays: 10.30 am Low Mass
Sundays: 10.30 am, Sung Mass

Shrine of the English Martyrs, Preston
Mondays – Saturdays: 12 noon, Low Mass
Sundays: 9.00 am, Low Mass

No Mass at Hornby until May 2020

St Benedict's Academy, Preston

From the Shrine website:

What is St Benedict’s Academy all about? We are a part-time academy based in Preston, Lancashire, looked after by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and welcome children from age 5 to 18. In September, the academy will be entering into its third academic year, having started in January 2018.

The education provided at St. Benedict’s is all deeply rooted in the Catholic faith, as all subjects lead back to Our Lord. Whether in the study of History, with the Incarnation as its centre-piece, learning about and admiring the wonderful creation of God through the sciences, or in the study of the sacred language of the Church, Latin, through looking at the texts of the Mass, as well as passages from the Vulgate, Christ is always at the centre. 
As priests, it is a great privilege to be able to teach the children, and to pass on the faith to them. The Sisters Adorers teach Catechism and French, as well as Gregorian Chant and Polyphony. It is wonderful to have religious around the school, as an example and inspiration to the children!

Read more here

Your help is needed!

With 19 students, the premises at English Martyrs is becoming rather crowded and the intention is that in due course the school will move to the parish hall at St Walburge. Before this can happen, however, the first priority is to get the roof and dry rot fixed, at an estimated cost of £322k. Another plan is to refurbish the old convent building at St Walburge and to move the Sisters Adorers there so that Perpetual Adoration can be set up - this refurbishment is estimated at £253k. Grants have been applied for and the ICKSP are placing their trust in the Providence of God; if you can help to make this happen then please do go their website https://icksp.org.uk/preston/  to donate.  

Saturday, 20 July 2019

The Good Part of Mary

Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.”—LUKE x.41,42 
Often in life we find the responsibilities of just living make us all Marthas and when God permits us time to be Mary we squander that time. He may allow us to be unemployed or sick for our portion of Mary's time.

Cardinal Newman, in his sermon XXII, within Parochial and Plain
Sermons Volume II, provides useful insights into this issue:

I shall draw two observations from this incident, and our Saviour's comment on it. 
  1. First, it would appear from hence, on His own authority, that there are two ways of serving Him — by active business, and by quiet adoration. Not, of course, that He speaks of those who call themselves His servants and are not; who counterfeit the one or the other manner of life; either those who are “choked with the cares of this world,” or those who lie idle and useless as the hard way-side, and “bring no fruit to perfection.”
    Nor, again, as if His words implied that any Christians were called to nothing but religious worship, or any to nothing but active employment. There are busy men and men of leisure, who have no part in Him; there are others, who are not without fault, as altogether sacrificing leisure to business, or business to leisure. 
    But putting aside the thought of the untrue and of the extravagant, still after all there remain two classes of Christians;—those who are like Martha, those like Mary; and both of them glorify Him in their own line, whether of labour or of quiet, in either case proving themselves to be not their own, but bought with a price, set on obeying, and constant in obeying His will. If they labour, it is for His sake; and if they adore, it is still from love of Him. 
  1. Such being the two-fold character of Christian obedience, I observe, secondly, that Mary's portion is the better of the two. Our Lord does not expressly say so, but He clearly implies it: “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” 
    If His words be taken literally, they might, indeed, even mean that Martha's heart was not right with Him, which, it is plain from other parts of the history, they do not mean. Therefore, what He intimated surely was, that Martha's portion was full of snares, as being one of worldly labour, but that Mary could not easily go wrong in hers; that we may be busy in a wrong way, we cannot well adore Him except in a right way; that to serve God by prayer and praise continually, when we can do so consistently with other duties, is the pursuit of the “one thing needful,” and emphatically “that good part which shall not be taken away from us.”
In the early Church, Mary's portion was withheld from the Church for three hundred years, as she laboured and suffered until peace was secured and the building of the Church was complete. Since that time we have been blessed by Mary's portion if we but choose and can receive it. For example, Sunday is Mary's portion: do we make full use of this day to sit by Our Lord's feet? 
As we look around we perceive we live in an age during which Mary's portion is neglected or decried and the endless, enslaving role of Martha activities are promoted and praised, such that the very basis of civilisation, the family, is being destroyed, allowing little if any time for prayer or peace. People have become highly stressed, with ruined health, being always Martha and never Mary. So do your Christian best to attend to the Sabbath day and use every opportunity in your life to embrace Mary's portion, in health, unemployment and sickness.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Encouraging signs

This letter was published on Fr Z's blog last weekend - an encouragement for us all:

Dear Fr Z:
I’ve just returned from France where, among other things, I took part in the Chartres Pilgrimage.
After registering for the Pilgrimage, I discovered that the usus antiquor would be required of all participating priests, I decided it was high time to learn how to celebrate the Extraordinary Form, thanks to a very kind and patient FSSP priest in the neighborhood.
At first, I was taken back by the demand to stick to the Extraordinary Form, then I realized that a far worse injustice was inflicted when it was ripped away from the faithful shortly after the Council.
Several months beforehand, however, I took it upon myself to celebrate the older Breviary–I bought the Baronius edition– […].  I was therefore exposed to a greater number of the Psalms and, since I was using an edition based upon the Septuagint, I found these Psalms to be more Christologically obvious.  Not only that, but the prayers, I discovered, were more even more manly.”
The great boon in celebrating the Extraordinary Form, for me, was mainly twofold.  First, there is something very liberating about incessantly asking the Lord for forgiveness as we do, in not only the Confiteor but also the many private prayers of the priest.  The Scripture became very true for me:  “Humiliamini in conspectu Domini, et exaltabit vos.”  Second–and I understand that some of your readership may differ from me here–as a Charismatic Catholic, I deeply, deeply appreciated the celebration of the Pentecost Octave, with the sevenfold Veni, Sancte Spiritus and the focus on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Epistle.  I’ll come right out and say it:  The “mutual enrichment” envisioned by Pope Benedict has come true in my own priesthood by the exchange between Traditionalism and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
Without abandoning the Ordinary Form, I confess that the older Missal and Breviary has enriched my priesthood in ways I had never imagined.  In fact, I found myself becoming more robustly priestly and fatherly.
I also want to take a moment for public repentance.  Long ago, at a certain liberal seminary far, far away, I was indoctrinated with a disdain for, and even a mockery of, Traditional Catholics.  I jumped on the bandwagon for their supposed liturgical naivete and sanctimony.  I was convinced that they were backwards, habitually uncharitable, and elitist.  After being around 14,000 other Traditional Catholics and priests of more traditional religious congregations, I found them to be astonishingly affable, joyous, and genuine.  I was especially surprised to not have heard a single murmur against Pope Francis during the Chartres Pilgrimage.  So, to all of those Traditional Catholics I mocked in the past:  I am truly sorry.  I was wrong.  You are doing tremendous good for Christ and His Church.
And you, Traditional Catholics, you are so young!  Attached is a picture I snapped as I was walking, of a young boy and a tonsured monk in long, deep conversation–as I took it, a word came to me:  The future of the Church is in her past.”
I have also become convinced that Summorum Pontificum was in fact a prophetic  document, as it made possible a place of refuge and safe harbor in the face of the Church’s current crisis.
If you decide to reproduce this, kindly withhold my name.
Do keep up the good work.
Fraternally in Christ….

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Living in Scandalous Times

It is difficult for most of us to accommodate the sad and sorry state of the church today with scandal after scandal without those responsible being brought to a public reconciliation with the church they believe they are members of. No excommunication is used to bring them to their senses so that they might feel a risk of certain eternal damnation. Many priests and prelates by their lack of action become accomplices by, apparently, condoning the grave sins. Who would be a priest or prelate with their awful responsibility for each soul in their care before God: surely all must tremble at this thought?
Don't fret at what is going on and do not let such matters trouble you but take heart. Blessed John Henry Newman had already worked through this type of problem in his treatise on the Visible and Invisible Church which contains good and bad fish, wheat and tares. Make sure you don't become so fed-up that you leave the true Church: where can you go?
Here are some thoughts from that great Cardinal, soon to be raised to Sainthood.
The Church Visible and Invisible (Works of Cardinal Newman Volume 3 Sermon XVI)
It is allowable to speak of the Visible and of the Invisible Church, as two sides of one and the same thing, separated by our minds only, not in reality. For instance, in political matters, we sometimes speak of England as a nation and sometimes as a state; not meaning different things, but one certain identical thing viewed in a different relation. When we speak of the Nation we take into account its variety of local rights, interests, attachments, customs, opinions; the character of its people, and the history of that character's formation. On the other hand, when we speak of the State, we imply the notion of orders, ranks, and powers, of the legislative and executive departments, and the like. 
In like manner, no harm can come of the distinction of the Church
into Visible and Invisible, while we view it as, on the whole, but one in different aspects; as Visible, because consisting (for instance) of clergy and laity— as Invisible, because resting for its life and strength upon unseen influences and gifts from Heaven. This is not really to divide into two, any more than to discriminate (as they say) between concave and convex, is to divide a curve line; which looked at outwardly is convex, but looked at inwardly, concave.
Now bad men (and women)are in the Visible Church; what is this to prove? Let us observe. It is maintained, that “bad men cannot be members of the true Church, therefore, there is a true Church distinct from the Visible Church.” But we shall be nearer the truth, if, instead of saying “bad men cannot be members of the true Church”, we word it, “bad men cannot be true members of the Church”. Does not this meet all that reason requires, yet without leading to the inference that the Church Visible is not the true Church?

Again, it is said that “the Visible Church has not the gifts of grace, because wicked men are members of it, who, of course, cannot have them”. What! must the Church be without them herself, because she is not able to impart them to wicked men? What reasoning is this? Because certain individuals of a body have them not, therefore the body has them not! Surely it is possible that certain members of a body should be debarred, under circumstances, from its privileges; and this we consider to be the case with bad men”. (Even if they are not debarred formally they debar themselves from the privileges even though they seem to receive them through participating in the Sacraments.)
Is a dead branch part or not part of a tree? You may decide this way or that, but you will never say, because the branch is dead, that therefore the tree has no sap. It is a dead branch of a living tree, not a branch of a dead tree. In like manner, irreligious men are dead members of the one Visible Church, which is living and true, not members of a Church which is dead. Because they are dead, it does not follow that the Visible Church to which they belong is dead also. 
It may be said that the Church has forfeited its early privileges, by allowing itself to remain in a state of sin and disorder which Christ never intended: for instance, “that from time to time there have been great corruptions in it, especially under the ascendancy of the Papal power, that there have been very many scandalous appointments to its highest dignities, that infidels have been bishops, that men have administered baptism or ordination, not believing that grace was imparted in those sacred ordinances, and that, in particular in our own country, heretics and open sinners, whom Christ would have put out of the Church, are suffered, by a sin on the part of the Church, to remain within it un-rebuked, un-condemned.” This is what it is sometimes said; and I confess, had we not Scripture to consult, it would be a very specious argument against the Church's present power, now at the distance of eighteen hundred years from the Apostles. 
It would certainly seem as if, the conditions not having been fully observed on which that power was granted, it was forfeited. But here the case of the Jewish Church affords us the consoling certainty, that God does not so visit, even though He might, and that His gifts and calling “are without repentance.” Christ's Church cannot be in a worse condition”(some would argue that is so today) than that of Israel when He visited it in the flesh; yet He expressly assures us that in His day “the Scribes and Pharisees,” wicked men
as they were, “sat in Moses' seat,” and were to be obeyed in what they taught; and we find, in accordance with this information, that Caiaphas, “because he was the high priest,” had the gift of prophecy — had it, though he did not know he had it, nay, in spite of his being one of the foremost in accomplishing Our Lord's crucifixion. Surely, then, we may infer, that, however fallen the Church now is from what it once was, however un-conscious of its power, it still has the gift, as of old time, to convey and withdraw the Christian privileges, “to bind and to loose”, to consecrate, to bless, to teach the Truth in all necessary things, to rule, and to prevail. 
Moreover, what an unworthy part they act, who, knowing and confessing the real claims of the Church, yet allow them to be lightly treated and forgotten, without uttering a word in their behalf; who from secular policy, or other insufficient reason, bear to hear our spiritual rulers treated as mere civil functionaries, without instructing, or protesting against, or foregoing intimacy with those who despise them, nay even co-operating with them cordially, as if they could serve two masters, Christ and the world! 
How melancholy is the general spectacle in this day of ignorance, doubt, perplexity, misbelief, perverseness, on the subject of this great doctrine, to say nothing of the jealousy, hatred, and unbelieving spirit with which the Church is regarded ! Surely, thus much we are forced to grant, that, be the privileges vested in the Church what they may, yet, at present, they are, as to their full fruits, suspended in our branch of it by our present want of faith; nor can we expect that the glories of Christ's Kingdom will again be manifested in it, till we repent, confess “our offences and the offences of our forefathers”; and, instead of trusting to an arm of flesh, claim for the Church what God has given it, for Christ's sake, “whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear”. 
Thank you Blessed John Henry Newman for your insight into the times in which we live and we now know what we must do: don't fret and keep to the faith no matter what happens in the Visible Church. Amen.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Sizergh Castle Mass on 26thApril.

It was wonderful to see Canon Watson back in action praying the Extraordinary Mass at Sizergh at the 7pm Mass. It was disappointing to see so few there but they made up for it by Quality! Canon spoke about our true mission to spread the Gospel and part of this is to help spread the Traditional Mass as part of the second liturgical lung of the Church. Both are needed: praying alone with others at the Traditional Mass and praying together with others at the Novus Ordo Mass. Jesus demonstrated this by going alone into the desert or hills to pray to God and during his Passion praying with others to God.

In this so busy, busy, busy world we need to step away from all this bustle and noise and pray silently in our heart to God. The Novus Ordo satisfies the need to pray with others to God but it can be noisy and distracting, providing little refreshment from the bustle and noise of the world on a Sunday.

So please be kind to yourselves and step out of this world and just stop, be silent and pray to God: the Traditional Mass is a great help in achieving the silence, spiritual input and strength just to go on.

We look forward to more of you attending the Hornby and Sizergh Masses which are arranged to satisfy that very human need to be quiet just for an hour in silent prayer before God and what better way to do this is there than the Traditional Mass?