Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bishops Finigan, Blake, Conlon...???: not as impossible as one might have thought!!

News from NLM (see sidebar)indicates that the Holy Father is indeed prepared to raise parish and assistant parish priests to the episcopate where necessary to his plans. If he has done it in France, there is no reason on earth why he should not do it in England and Wales.

The three most worthy names in the title of this post are well known examples of many others, bloggers and non-bloggers alike, upon whom the Holy Father could call in order to begin a proper reform of the reform in England and Wales. Absolutely nobody will convince me that he does not know who they are and where they live. To place some of them in strategic dioceses would be a highly effective way of forwarding his wishes for the Church in those countries, possibly even more so than raising one of them to Westminster. Half a dozen such priests in the Bishops Conference would have more chance of breaking the mould of that body than if one of them were given the charge of doing this singlehandedly as the new Archbishop of Westminster.

According to the 'Tablet', the Pope wants to see Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor when he is in Rome early next month, in order to discuss the Westminster succession. If pro-Conference pundits are correct in their constant assertion that the decision is already made and we are going to get Abp Vincent Nichols, why wasn't his name accepted from the first 'terna' submitted to his Holiness? What can there be left to 'discuss' if the decision is already made? Who used the word 'discuss', the Holy See or the Tablet? In principle it is essential that the Holy Father should hear the opinion of the retiring Cardinal about his possible successor. Courtesy alone demands it. But it certainly does not mean that His Holiness should or will act in accordance with that opinion. In any case there is no precedent since all previous Cardinals of England and Wales have died in office, and the Holy Father already knows his Eminence's views from the 'terna'.

It has been a long and anxious wait and from recent reports one has the sensation that Pope Benedict does not want to prolong it much further. The rumour now is that we will know before Christmas.

On 'Holy Smoke', I have always favoured prayer over speculation on this matter and until the announcement is made, will continue to follow my own counsel and pray without ceasing.

In Christo pro Papa

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Institute of the Good Shepherd priests to celebrate EF Mass in my private chapel

A few days before I left the Oasis for the recent sortie into England I received news that the IGS was prepared to send a priest from Bordeaux to celebrate private Mass in our house chapel here in St. Romain. I had written to Abbe Laguerie towards the end of August asking if this would be possible and had almost given up hope of a reply. Negotiations are now in progress for the date and time of the first Mass and of course as soon as I have news it will be posted here.

In the meantime, I know that my PPL colleagues and regular readers will rejoice with me at this astonishing turn of events, not merely for my husband and myself and our immediate neighbours but for anyone in the south Charente who has been longing for such an opportunity. As soon as details are available I will advertise them on 'Paix Liturgique', the French EF internetworking site. This will also be a way of finding out exactly how much support for the EF there is in this region of France. The Charente is a big Departement (at least the size of Yorkshire). At the moment there are only two reasonably regular EF Masses, both in north Charente. To date there is nothing at all here in south Charente. I should explain also that even the Novus Ordo Mass has not been celebrated in our parish church across the road for at least a decade. So this event whenever it happens, although quiet, will be hugely significant and historic.

Our chapel has been there for almost 20 years and throughout that time I have been praying and preparing for an event which I could hardly believe could ever take place, - that is until three things happened. First, the election of our present Holy Father, second his raising of the Institute of the Good Shepherd, and third, the publication of his Motu proprio: Summorum Pontificum. In the same letter as informed him of the 'In the Sight of Angels' blog, I told him what is about to happen here and thanked him for all he has done to make it possible.

A report on my UK visit will follow soon. I have to say that meeting Fr Tim Finigan and Fr Ray Blake was a highlight of the visit. Thank you Fathers for a most enjoyable occasion.

But now more than ever in my life before I can say and sing:

"Veni Domine, et noli tardare:"

In Christo pro Papa

In the Sight of Angels: A new blog by Mark and Jane

Our new blog, 'In the Sight of Angels', deals with the famous 'L'Annee Liturgique' of Dom Prosper Gueranger, Abbot of Solesmes. Mark and I have been hard at work on it for the last couple of months and it is one of the projects that I mentioned here some time ago. We have offered it to our Holy Father Benedict XVI as a gift in memory of Dom Gueranger and Dom Shepherd his translator. It went live on November 16 and His Holiness has been informed by letter.

We are currently in the course of a series of posts based on Dom Gueranger's General Peface and chapters of his work that are preparatory to Advent.

Please take a look. You will find a fuller rationale of our blog in the first posts at the foot of the Archive list.

In Christo pro Papa

Pope Benedict XVI: Spiritual Bouquet III

As the result of pressures and problems during my recent trip to UK, the Bouquet finally went off on Saturday morning (22nd November). I will post the full text as soon as possible and am sure you will be pleased to learn that the number of rosaries and litanies was again increased. The log is now open for Bouquet IV which will be sent on December 7th, Eve of the Immaculate Conception.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI: Spiritual Bouquet III:

Our third Spiritual Bouquet for the Holy Father will leave mid-afternoon this coming Friday November 21st. Please post late offerings as comments on this post. Many thanks and God bless,


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LMS Requiem at Westminster Cathedral: Saturday 22/11. Meet us at 'Little Ben' 1pm

Clare a, Mark Miles and myself will meet at 'Little Ben' at 1pm to give plenty of time to get good places in the Cathedral for the Mass which starts at 2pm.. Please do join us. Anyone from Facebook, Holy Smoke? Little Ben is a miniature 'Big Ben' situated at the Victoria Station end of Victoria St. on a small traffic island between the station forecourt and the Victoria Palace Theatre. You can't miss it. Identifying photo and fascinating history of the clock on the sidebar. Read that and you'll know why it's particularly dear to me. If you want to let us know you'll be there, please email either:
or leave a comment on this post.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

"Towards Advent Festival" Westminster Cathedral Hall, Nov. 8 2008: a Personal Memoir from the Oasis UK Correspondent

Thank you to clare a who sent me this report this morning:

"Dear Jane,

Had a very fulfilling day in London at the Towards Advent Festival. I went to help a friend sell secondhand books. In fact there were several stalls there, so we were able to slope off to Mass at midday and have lunch in a bistro. The weather turned bad but it didn't spoil the fun.

So much richness!!! I met the FSSP priest Fr Armand de Malleray who lives in Reading. It's not so far from us so will try to get over there. He warmly invited me plus family. I got into conversation with him about a mysterious old book I have. Apparently (and I have no recollection of this) some years ago I bought it for £2 (which is pencilled on the front page). The cover was falling off but the pages were still tightly bound and it was clearly a pre-conciliar Office book of some kind. There is no English in it and I gave it to my father thinking he would like to have it as he is a traditionalist. Recently he gave it back to me. One of the book marks is in the section for excorcisms. It is such a lovely little book, with its heavy gold edging still unworn, that I was consdering having it rebound. The lettering 'Rituale Romanum' is still legible on the spine. I discussed this with Fr. de Malleray as I have an increasingly strong feeling that I should pass it on to the FSSP. Unfortunately I couldn't remember the title on the spine but he figured what it might be when he showed me his Breviary which is different. (By the way his Breviary is magnifique - black and red Latin printed on creamy paper, so much more beautiful than our modern books.) To buy new, a Rituale like mine would cost $75. I have decided it should go to an FSSP priest who would actually use it.

I also met a wonderful lady at the LMS stall and offered my aid. They do have someone lined up for representative in my diocese but I gave my name anyway. They are just so nice! Oh, and if I were a liberal I would be worried. The LMS stall had more people from different ethnic groups than did any of the others and most of them went off bearing copies of Mass of Ages. The Tablet stall was giving away free copies of the current issue of the magazine and was trying to sell hardback copies of a horrible book about the dark days of JPII's pontificate. They couldn't shift it at £3 each. Meanwhile the Catholic Herald was giving away free copies of the paper and people were crowding round to get at them.

I went to hear Aidan Nichols on the Conversion of England and was extremely impressed. In the afternoon I went to a workshop on Chant and now my throat hurts! We were worked hard. My daughter rolled up rather late and didn't meet anyone properly, which I was sorry about, though the LMS lady stopped to meet her on the way out, as I'd mentioned her. The Catholic Herald was giving away bookmarks with the Holy Father on them. I grabbed several of these and will save a couple for you!

Turns out that the Mass at Farnborough Abbey isn't Tridentine, but 'souped up' Novus Ordo, although they begin with the Asperges and have a silent Canon.

ACN had a stall, and Gracewing, and CTS (I got the new book on Traditionalism and noted several Charities incuding SPUC.) Certainly the TAF is a good occasion for Catholic networking.

Hope all is well with you. I have prayed the Rosary with the Holy Father on CD several times now and already have the Latin mostly by heart.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pope Benedict from the Pro Papa League: Spiritual Bouquet II

A happy and blessed All Saints Day to everyone!

Spiritual Bouquet II went off yesterday afternoon, although an hour later than planned because of various domestic interruptions, but it should have reached the Holy Father's inbox before the close of office hours. I think you will all be as delighted as I am with our second effort. See text below.


Most Holy Father,

It is with great pleasure that we are sending you a second spiritual bouquet which has been gathered since October 8th from offerings by members and readers of the Pro Papa League group of Internet blogs.

MASSES (Priests)
Fr. Mark Kirby, O.Cist. offered Mass for your intentions and well-being yesterday morning in the Eucharistic Cenacle of the Holy Face in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Our anonymous chaplain, who is in fact resident in the UK, continues to offer Mass regularly for the same intentions and for the success of our League in support of Your Holiness.

MASSES (Laity - including Communion) 2

RETREAT (Brother David Fogh in Denmark) Last 15 days of the Retreat devoted to Your Holiness








MORNING OFFERINGS (Confiteor -Pro Papa Flagship) 24

VENI CREATOR (name given) 24


TE DEUM (names given) 6







LABORE 140 hours

The more than doubled number of Rosaries and trebled Litanies reflect the beneficial effect of your Holiness' Latin CD recordings on our prayer life and show that the spiritual strength of our League is increasing by the day. We thank you most humbly for this.

Most Holy Father, the Pro Papa League and its readership, again send you our filial devotion and loyalty, and the assurance of our gratitude to the Most Blessed Trinity, for your Holiness' pontificate.

Ad multos annos.

Yours sincerely in Christ Our Lord,

(Identity details followe as last time.)



God bless everyone and thank you again


LMS website at last has English translation of Una Voce Report

Well, you read it here first and so far, more than a week after the event, it seems that noone apart from FR TIM FINIGAN and yourselves know what I did. Mark and I informed Fr Z but he either missed it or ignored it. I informed Zenit four days ago. So far , no response. I have checked today's Catholic Herald - nothing as far as I can see. It's not as if this isn't a crucial document for traditional Catholics. Fact is, many interested people world-wide would not think or even know about the LMS site any more than they would know about this one and they will be none the wiser now. Last Monday, I almost sent my stuff to Simon Caldwell at the Catholic Herald (UK) and may yet do so. I do not want plaudits for myself. I JUST WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHAT THEY DESERVE AND NEED TO KNOW.

Some crazy near-bilingual old dame with a PC in the depths of the French countryside pipped them to it and they didn't even notice. Sadly ironic, n'est ce pas? But she's not about to give up.

In Christo pro Papa