Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

"My beloved, let us offer thanksgiving to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit. In the great mercy with which he loved us, he had pity on us, and in 'giving life to Christ, gave life to us too, when we were dead through sin,' so that in him we might be a new creation, a new work of his hands."

St. Leo the Great, - from today's Office of Readings

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Pope to present 'Thought of the Day' on Christmas Eve.

H/t to Pastor in Valle for this great news. Clearly our dear Holy Father is not going to 'let us go'. Congratulation to Mark Thompson for making this possible. Much better now than during the Papal visit. The naysayers have already accused the BBC of being obsessed with religion! The audience figures will be interesting indeed. Apparently the programme has already been recorded in Rome this week.

O Rex Gentium

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

O oriens - Antifone "O"

Father Mark Kirby and Adoratio 2011

The first International Eucharistic Adoration Conference is to take place at Rome in June next year, i.e. Adoratio 2011 (link in sidebar). Our own Father Mark ( I say 'own' because he is honorary spiritual director of this blog) will give the first talk on 'Eucharistic Spirituality' on June 2oth. Several Cardinals, Bishop Schneider (Dominus Est) and Msgr Guido Marini will aslo be speakers. I know you will join me in praying for Father Mark as he prepares for this important assignment, and that you will also pray for Father's well-being, and for his Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle in Tulsa OK

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

O Radix

Gregoriano, Dominica IV Adventus: RORATE CAELI, Schola Gregoriana Mediol...

Happy 4th Sunday of Advent everyone! The Introit (one of my favourites of the entire year) is sung three times on this video. There are pictures of lowering clouds waiting to 'drop down dews from heaven', and one of birds sitting on a telegraph wire. When they take off, they call to mind a line of living chant. Rather lovely.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Vatican lights up its Christmas tree

Find the video at Rome Reports, plus another of the Holy Father's Christmas card. Link in sidebar here.

Gregorian Chant: O Sapientia, Abteikirche Niederaltaich, Ger

The first Great O Antiphon and Magnificat

O Wisdom, that proceedest from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end mightily,
and disposing all things sweetly, come and teach us the way of prudence.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fr. Barron comments on Pope Benedict as a Witness to God

Father Barron on 'Light of the World'

Thanks to Damian Rhodes for giving a link (on his Facebook page) to Father Barron's video commentary on the Holy Father's recently published interview with Peter Seewald. I finished the book earlier in the week. Father Barron has saved me the task of expressing my reaction, and of course does it a great deal more effectively than I ever could have done. His video follows in the next post. Many thanks Father, and thanks again Damian.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Adventus, POPULUS SION, Giovanni Vianini, Canto Gregoriano

Alleluia! 'Light of the World' arrives chez moi

In spite of the fact that I pre-ordered the book at the beginning of November, its arrival here was delayed by bad weather. Last week we had no mail deliveries for three days. Snow and ice meant that roads between here and the sorting office near Angouleme were non-negotiable. A rise in temperature overnight on Friday brought the Seewald book to me on Saturday morning. It also brought more heavy rain, but I have little excuse for spending a great deal of yesterday and today with the book and am two thirds of the way through it.

No time now to comment on the content, except to say that the Holy Father makes it very clear that he is not well-served by Vatican PR, and knows it. Seewald tells him (what many of us felt about the Williamson affair), that the timing of the whole thing indicated a plot to discredit the Holy Father's initiative in lifting the excommunications. By whom, he does not make any suggestion. Typically, Pope Benedict makes no direct accusations, and uses expressions, like 'we did not do this well.' etc. However now we know that he is well aware of these shortcomings, we can only pray that something will be done about them. Unfortunately, as we all know, nothing was done in time for the release of this book. Pope Benedict acknowledges an awareness that the enemy lies in wait, looking for the opportunity to 'pounce on its victim'. It was not clear to me after this first reading whether he is talking about the enemy within, as well as the enemy without.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Protect the Pope will be reinstated in the morning!

Deacon Nick has let me know that he has now employed the asterisk! Many thanks Deacon. I know my objection may have seemed prudish to some. Can't help it. I'm an old fashioned girl! Time and a place and all that.

Temporary removal of 'Protect the Pope' from bloglist

I have had to remove this because P the P has quoted direct from Andrew Brown, and in so doing has made a four letter word appear on the Oasis List. . I will replace the site when the good Deacon posts again with another title.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pope Benedict and the 'Eucharistic Springtime' etc.

During his catechesis at this week's General Audience, the Pope affirmed with joy that the Church is experiencing a 'Eucharistic Springtime'. I was very happy to hear him say that, albeit a little surprised. It is natural to want to know how he has come to that conclusion. He gave only one concrete example, namely the Eucharistic Adoration in Hyde Park during his September visit to the UK. Indeed that was a wonderful surprise, but it was a very public event, the success of which must, to a condiderable extent, have been due to the Pope's own presence and the example of his own devotion. I pray that he has many other sources of information which prompted him to make that announcement on Wednesday. If he has, I wish he would tell us. That would really give us all tremendous strength and encouragement.

As it is, we now have another problem because the Osservatore has made a less that prudent editorial decision and leaked from the Seewald book not to be published until Tueseday. One begs forgiveness for saying that with friends like this, Pope Benedict hardly needs enemies. He has plently outside the Church, as is plain. One has to wonder whether these people at OR are deliberate saboteurs out to destroy a potentially great papacy, or are they merely but damagingly incompetent. Either way, enough is enough. Going off to check whether Sandro Magister has said anything about this, so will leave you now.

How refreshing that at yesterday's public Consistory and today's Mass there was not one camera shot of those dreadful fidgeting boys in the Sisine choir. In fact there weren't any shots of the choir at all. Hope this is a new policy. That whole thing is so distracting. They seemed to sing better without the attention of the camera.

The Gabrieli style brass consort from one of the balconies was a stroke of ge(marini)us?

btw, thought I spotted the Triple Tiara dangling again from the Papal window today at the Angelus.

Thank you for your prayers for the priest mentioned in my last Spiritual Mothers post.

In Chrito pro Papa

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Prayer request for a priest in Crisis

Please see my other blog for details, that is Spiritual Mothers of Priests - fourth link in sidebar here after 'Search this blog'.

Monday, November 8, 2010

This morning's Liturgy in St. Romain exceeded all expectation

As planned my husband unlocked the church at 7.30am. It was cold and pouring with rain. Just before 8am I went across to turn on the lights in the main body of the building and to light the sanctuary lamp in the chapel of the Virgin where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. Judging that the priests would prefer privacy for their Office I then retired to the house before they arrived. I went back at 8.50 and as I opened the church door I heard singing. Going in as quietly as possible, I turned into the west end of the south transept. And there a glorious sight met my eyes. Pere Marchand was there with not one, but two other priests, the three ranged immediately in front of the Blessed Sacrament chanting the psalms of Lauds, directly to and for the Lord. They were singing in French to a harmonised setting which could have been one of the many written during the 20th century by Cistercian monks, which are familiar to me from visits to a Trappistine monastery about 20 km from here. I once mentioned here that Pere Marchand has a beautiful but totally unshowy singing voice. So did his confreres. All three were profoundly musical and although they were in harmony they sang as one. Riveted to the spot, I could not have been any more 'spellbound' even had they been singing Plainchant!

By the time the Psalms were completed Christiane had joined me. (She takes me to Mass at nearby St. Severin whenever possible.) As the office proceeded, she silently brought two chairs and we sat next to each other in the absolute stillness of prayer until it ended. Pere Marchand then brought the two priests to meet us. One was from the Bordeaux Archdioece and the other from Limoges Diocese. We thanked them for the privilege of being able to hear the sung Office and I managed to explain that for me it had been an answer to prayer. Many times when I'm alone with our Lord, I have told Him how much I long for more people to pray and adore Him here; and how I long for the church to be filled with music. One of the priests commented that he was glad that now when I'm alone with the Blessed Sacrament, I will always remember the occasion. I agreed and said that each time I would offer Him that living memory.

Then to my astonishment two more priests arrived and the five went into the Sacristy to vest for Mass. It transpired that they were all from the same year at the Seminary (Bordeaux). It was their annual day together, for discussion and the sharing of experience in their parishes.

And so it happened that our little congregation of two had a concelebrated Mass, also sung by our five priests in the same style as the Office had been before it. At times during the Mass I had to 'pinch myself' to make sure it was really happening. The word 'surreal' took on a new meaning a new truth. The nearest I can get is 'above earthly reality'. (Remember that we have Mass here only three times a year, and that in itself is a new arrangement since Pere Marchand began his ministry as our Abbe. Before that, and for nearly 20 years, there was nothing.) But today Our Lord had gathered five of His beloved sons in our little church, and had seen fit to allow myself and Christiane to be present. It was the priests' private Mass but I was allowed to see, and trust Christiane did too, the love of Christ for these young priests, and theirs for Him. There was no question of feeling excluded, or of not participating. Quite the reverse, it was an utter joy to be there. Such words were totally irrelevant and only occur to me now because of those who like to apply them in regard to the laity at Mass. Anyone who wants to use those words should have been in my shoes this morning. At the moment I can write very little else that is intelligible about it, if indeed I have been intelligible so far ; I am still too moved to make any sense with words, but have no doubt that this occasion will feature in future posts, as the experience shakes down and perhaps, I become capable of expressing its many messages.

Deo gratias

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Monday November 8: the crack of dawn in St. Romain

Normal weekly post delayed until tomorrow night.

Pere Marchand phoned me this afternoon to let me know that in the morning, he and a visiting priest friend will pray their Office in St. Romain Church, and then the visitor will celebrate Mass. The church must be open by 7.30am so an early night is required. I can't possibly estimate how long it has been since such a thing has happened.

Further reports as soon as possible, on this extraordinary event.

Deo gratias

In Christo pro Papa

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A bit of a grim week.

In the world at large the worst news this week has to be the occurrence of further natural disasters in Indonesia and Benin. However, most of the current bad news for the Church is the result of human action. Within the Church, orthodox Catholic bloggers are under attack from their heterodox brethren for being too orthodox. I dislike and resist politically tinged words like liberal and conservative. Maybe it is too simplistic of me to sort people out by how obedient they are to the magisterium of the Church, how loyal they are to the Pope, and if they are critical of him, how well informed they are as to his teaching. But honestly to apply these yardsticks is just about the only way for me to stay sane. The only other safeguard of my mental and spiritual health is the very reason why 51 years ago I converted from Low Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism. And that was the discovery of belief that the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. There were other issues of course, such as authority and obedience, but after the shock of Transubstantiation, these were not problematic. It was more a question of learning, of discovery. And of course a clear understanding of authority meant that I was not attracted to Anglo-Catholicism. In any case at the age of 16, I knew nothing about the Oxford Movement.

It seemed that no sooner had I become Catholic, that the Church began to dismantle herself. It wasn't so bad for many years, mainly because I found myself in traditional parishes and never experienced liturgical abuses in a parish setting. I was not exposed to such things until 1979 at a catechetical course I attended in London at what used to be a Catholic Teacher Training college.The opening Mass was celebrated 'in the round' in the college assembly hall, (even though there was a perfectly good chapel). The Gospel reading was the text about the man who built his house upon sand. Two religious sisters in truncated habits and veils 'performed' a dance drama in front of the priest as he read the Gospel . The priest was young and had been billed as not long ordained.
He preached a homily about Cardinal Mercier, who as a lapsed teenage boy and been dared by a friend to go into a church, kneel before the Blessed Sacrament and say the words 'You are Christ and I don't give a d***' Mercier agreed, got as far as kneeling down and then found he just couldn't say the agreed words, and was immediately converted. Not a bad story, but later when this priest reached the minor elevation of the Host, he said, 'You are Christ and we DO give a d***' (The word on both occasions was spoken in full. If the priest, as I understood it, believed in the Real Presence, how could he think that he was treating the Lord with due reverence and awe?) I began to wonder how much longer I could or should stay. Not much longer. When it came to Communion the priest just handed a bowl of hosts to the person immediately to his left and this began to be passed from hand to hand round the circle. By the time it reached the place where I had been standing I was walking up towards High St. Kensington with tears streaming down my face.

But I was sheltered in my parish; I thought such abuses were isolated rarities. I know better now of course. Thirty years later there are Catholics 'in full communion' who are not only pro-choice, pro-same-sex 'marriage', pro- female 'ordination', but who do not believe in the Real Presence, and who still receive Communion. Speaking out on the latter issue isn't so common as on the first three; it's something a person can keep to himself, something he won't feel if necessary to tell his priest. But I know of individuals who fall into that category and have read on the Internet, from some priests as well, that such belief is a medieval superstition, and that to hold it shows that one is not 'grown up'. Thank God there were so many 'un-grownup' people with the Holy Father at the Hyde Park Vigil.

To be continued.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Three good things; at least one bad thing

1. A new seminary for Washington DC

2. Archbishops Burke and Piacenza to be made cardinals at the Consistory on November 20

3. The Holy Father's letter to seminarians, not just because of its content but because of the fact that it was written.

I will only mention one bad thing. At the Angelus today one of the unseen people behind the Pope (Monsignor Ganswein?) sounded to have a very bad cold. Please pray that he recovers, but more importantly that the Holy Father doesn't catch it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Some things that have made me very happy this week

1. The rescue of the Chilean miners.

2.. Archbishop Burke's address to Human LifeInternational Gathering.
Full text here

3. The Rosary Crusade of Reparation in London this weekend stopped the traffic! Judging from the YouTube video many more followed the procession than has been usual in my experience - all singing Credo III and Latin hymns without anyone upfront waving their arms about and making an unnecessary exhibition of themselves.

4. The history of the Tau (T shaped) Cross on the church at Mother Angelica's Monastery and Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville, Alabama. (Story courtesy of EWTN)
As the building of the Monastery and shrine was nearing completion, one night there was a terrible storm and the conventional cross which had already been erected on the roof of the monastery church was struck by lightning and the top part of it came crashing to earth. Mother was terribly upset when she was told. But after praying about it, she realised that what they now had was a Tau (Franciscan) Cross - 'Franciscan' because of St. Francis' attachment to it. He painted it on walls and doors where he stayed and once demonstrated that the Franciscan habit made that shape when spread out. His brothers would be walking crucifixes. The cross at Hanceville was left exactly as it was after the storm and remains so to this day.

5. During WW1 Pope Benedict XV had put the title of Our Lady Queen of Peace into the Litany of Loreto. On May 5th 1917 he asked the world to begin a Novena for peace. As we know that war ended within a year, but more importantly I think, Our Lady of the Rosary appeared at Fatima for the first time on the 8th day of that Novena. When one now reads about that Benedict's anti-war efforts one would imagine that he failed. I think not.

Until next weekend
In Christo pro Papa

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Decisions and Regrets

Our recent decision to sell our house and buy a smaller one is going to demand a great deal of hard work and time. And so for the next few months at least, I must severely curtail my blogging activities and will only post here once a week, usually on either Saturday or Sunday.

Please pray for us.

God bless all here,
In Christo pro Papa

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Novena to Blessed John Henry Newman: Day 9

Thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity, as on all days of this Novena

From the Holy Father's interview, given on the in-coming flight to the UK
"I must admit that I am not worried, because when I went to France, it was said that it was the most anti-clerical country, ................. and with very few believers; when I went to the Czech Republic it was said that it was the most irreligious country in Europe and the most anti-clerical also. Yes, all Western countries have, each one in its own way strong anti-clerical and anti-Catholic opinions, but they also have a strong presence of faith. I have seen in France and in the Czech Republic a warm reception from the Catholic community, great attention from agnostics who are still seeking, who wish to know and find the values that assist the progress of humanity and they were attentive, hoping maybe to hear from me something in in this vein. As regards tolerance and respect from anti-Catholics, naturally Great Britain has had its own history of anti-Catholicism. This is obvious; but it is also a country with a great history of tolerance. And so I am sure that there will be a positive welcome from Catholics and believers in general, attention from those who are seeking how to move forward in our time, and respect and tolerance where there is anti-Catholicism. I am going in good spirits and with joy."

Blessed John Henry Newman, we beseech your intercession for our Holy Father Pope Benedict, that he may continue to lead us by precept and example and with his great courage, wisdom, humility, gentleness and kindness. We ask your prayers that he may continue to receive from God, the comfort, strength, health and energy which he needs in the exercise of his ministry as Successor of St Peter, and that he may be kept safe from his enemies.

For ourselves, we beg your intercession that we should come together under his leadership as Vicar of Christ on earth. Heeding him, may we pray with you: 'O that God would grant the clergy to feel their weakness as sinful men, and the people to sympathise with them and love them and pray for their increase in all good gifts of grace'. Pray for us that we may increasingly become, 'not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it.'

Dear Blessed John Henry, we pray with our Holy Father 'that through (your) intercession and example, all who are engaged in the task of teaching and catechesis will be inspired to greater effort by the vision (you) so clearly set before us.'

On, this your first Feast Day, we honour you with joyful reverence, love and gratitude. Amen

(Quotes from the Holy Father and from Cardinal Newman's Sermons as they appear in the homily at Cofton Park and the Address to the Bishops)

Please make your personal petition here.

One Our Father; one Hail Mary; one Glory be to the Father.

Our Lady, Mother of the Church, pray for us,

Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us. Amen

Friday, October 8, 2010

Novena to Blessed John Henry Newman: Day 8

Thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity, as on everyday of this Novena


From the Holy Father's address to th the Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland

"In the course of my visit it has become clear to me how deep a thirst there is among the British people for the Good New of Jesus Christ. You have been chosen by God to offer them the living water of the Gospel, encouraging them to place thir hopes, not in the vain enticements of this world, but in the firm assurance of the next. As you proclaim the coming of the kingdom, with its promise of hope for the poor and the needy, the sick and the elderly, the unborn and the neglected, be sure to present in its fulness, the life-giving message of the Gospel, including those elements which call into question the widespread assumptions of today's culture."

Blessed John Henry, the address of the Holy Father to our bishops shows us what an awesome responsibility they bear. We beseech you. pray for them, and for us, that we may support them with love and with our own prayer and penance.

Please make your personal petition to Blessed John Henry Newman, particularly for your own bishop.

1 Our Father; One Hail Mary; One Glory be to the Father

Saint Denis, Bishop, and your companion Martyrs, pray for us, and for our bishops.
Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for them and for us..

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Novena to Blessed John Henry Newman: Day 7

Thanksgiving prayer to the Most Holy Trinity, as on each day of this Novena

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

From the Holy Father's homily at the Mass with Beatification of the Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman.
"While it is John Henry Newman's intellectual legacy that has understandably received most attention in the vast literature devoted to his life and work, I prefer on this occasion to conclude with a brief recollection of his life as a priest, a pastor of souls. The warmth and humanity underlying his appreciation of the pastoral ministry is beautifully expressed in another of his famous sermons: ' Had Angels been your priests, my brethren, they could not have condoled with you, sympathised with you, have had compassion on you, felt tenderly for you, and made allowances for you, as we can; they could not have been your patterns and guides, and have led you on from your old selves into a new life, as they can who come from the midst of You' (Men not Angels: the Priests of the Gospel', Discourses to Mixed Congregations, 3) He lived out that profoundly human vision of priestly ministry in his devoted care for the people of Birmingham during the years that he spent at the Oratory he founded, visiting the sick and the poor, comforting the bereaved, caring for those in prison. No wonder that on his death so many thousands of people lined the local streets as his body was taken to its place of burial not half a mile from here. One hundred and twenty years later, great crowds have assemble once again, to rejoice in the Church's solemn recognition of the outstanding holiness of this much-loved father of souls."


Blessed John Henry, we implore your intercession for all our priests, and that we may support them in this "time of pensane, humility, and renewed sincerity" with our own penance and sacrifices; that we may offer these for the victims of erring priests in the past, who have done so much harm to the ones they abused, but also to the majority of good priests who have done nothing wrong, but who are vowed to continue their mission, whilst their name is tarnished by their culpable brothers. Whilst promising to do what we can in our own lives, we beg your prayers that this whole sorry and evil business may be cleansed and healed.
We ask you to support our prayer with yours, that as graces of God, ressulting from your Beatification, and from the Holy Father's visit to your native land, many Britons will come forward to be "good and holy priests, men who are willing to lay down their lives for the sheep."

Blessed John Henry, intercede for our young men who are in the process of discerning their vocation, but also for those, still in the Church of England but who are considering the Ordinariate, or are preparing to join it. You trod this same path yourself and we know how dear these men must be to your heart. We humbly join with your prayers for them. Amen
(Quotes from the Holy father's interview on the in-coming flight and from the Prayer Vigil at Hyde Park)

Make your personal petition here.

1 Our Father; 1 Hail Mary; 1 Glory be to the Father

Our Lady of the Rosary pray for us.

Our Lady Mother and Queen of Clergy, pray for our priests.

Blessed Dominic Barberi, pray for us.

Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us. Amen

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Novena to Blessed John Henry Newman: Day 6

Prayer of thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity as every day of this Novena

1. From the Holy Father's Homily in Westminster Cathedral
" Dear friends, let us return to the contemplation of the great crucifix which rises above us. Our Lord's hands extended on the Cross also invite us to contemplate our participation in His eternal priesthood and thus our responsibility, as members of His body, to bring the reconciling power of His sacrifice to the world in which we live. The Second Vatican Council spoke eloquently of the indispensable role of the laity in carrying forward the Church's mission through their efforts to serve as a leaven of the Gospel in society and to work for the advancement of God's kingdom in the world (cf. Lumen Gentium, 31Apostolicum Actuositatem, 7) The Council's appeal to the lay faithful to take up their baptismal sharing of Christ's mission echoed the insights of John Henry Newman."

Blessed John Henry Newman, intercede for us that we may increasingly conform our "every thought, word and action to Christ, and.. work strenuously to defend those unchanging moral truths which taken up, illuminated and confirmed by the Gospel, stand at the foundation of a truly humane, just and free society." Pray for us that we may each within our varied states of life, answer our calling, to work for the advancement of God's kingdom " by imbuing temporal life with the values of the Gospel; and that we may thus be 'witnesses of the beauty of holiness, witnesses of the splendour of truth, witnesses of the joy and freedom born of a living relationship with Christ." We beg your prayers that we may become ever more conscious of our "dignity as a priestly people, called to consecrate the world to God through lives of faith and holiness." Help us to pray for vocations to the ordained priesthood, "for the more the lay apostolate grows, the more urgently the need for priests is felt, and the more the laity's own sense of vocation is deepened, the more what is proper to the priest stands out."
Blessed John Henry, we implore your intercession that many young men in the British Isles "will find the strength to answer the Master's call................thus building up His people in unity and fidelity to the Gospel, especially through the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice." Amen
(Quotes from the Homily at Westminster Cathedral)

Please make your private petition here.

1 Our Father; 1 Hail Mary; 1 Glory be to the Father

St. Bruno, pray for us
Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us, Amen

(Please note, this entry is incomplete. For one thing, I want there to be another reading. Composition and concentration time has been severely affected today by the fact that I have a streaming cold, and also had to prioritize attendance and spiritual solidarity at a two hour funeral this afternoon. Please, of your charity, pray for the soul of Jean Francis Terracol. who died from leukaemia on Sunday night aged 65. DV, will make additions here tomorrow after doing the next post, for Day 7.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Novena to Blessed John Henry Newman: Day 5

Prayer of thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity, as on Day 1 and everyday of this Novena

1. From the address of the Holy Father during his visit toArchbishop Rowan Williams at Lambeth Palace
"On the one hand, the surrounding culture is growing ever more distant from its Christian roots, despite a deep and widespread hunger for spiritual nourishment. On the other hand, the increasingly multicultural dimension of society...........brings with it the opportunity to encounter other religions. For us Chrisitians this opens up the possibility of exploring, together with members of other religious traditions, ways of bearing witness to the transcendant dimension of the human person and the universal call to holiness, leading to the practice of virtue in our personal and social lives. Ecumenical cooperation in this task remains essential, and it will surely bear fruit in promoting peace and harmony in a world that so often seems at risk of fragmentation.
"At the same time, we Christians must never hesitate to proclaim our faith in the uniqueness of the salvation won for us by Christ, and to explore together a deeper understanding of the means He has placed at our disposal for attaining that salvation. God wants 'all to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth' (1Tim 2:4), and that truth is nothing other than Jesus Christ, eternal Son of the Father, who has reconciled all things in Himself by the power of His cross. In fidelity to the Lord's will, as expressed in that passage from Saint Paul............, we recognise that the Church is called to be inclusive, yet never at the expense of Christian truth. Herein lies the dilemma facing all who are genuinely committed to the ecumenical journey."

2. From the Holy Father's address at the end of Evening Prayer in Westminster Abbey
"Our commitment to Christian unity is born of nothing less than our faith in Christ, in THIS Christ, risen from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Father, who will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. It is the REALITY of Christ's person, his saving work and above all the historical fact of His resurrection , which is the content of the apostolic kerygma.................beginning in the New Testament itself, which hase guaranteed the integtity of its trnsmission. The Church's unity,.............can never be other than a unity in the apostloic faith, ..........It is this faith which unites us to the Lord, makes us share in the Holy spirit, and thus even now, sharers in the life of the Blessed Trinity, the model of the Church's koinonia here below."

Blessed John Henry Newman, We remember "the challenges, the blessings, the disappointments and the signs of hope which have marked our ecumenicl journey." Pray for us, that we may "entrust all of these to the Lord, confident in His providence and the power of His grace." We beg your intercession that we will be given " strength and direction as we persevere on our common journey." Pray for us that we may "recognise the challenges which confront us, not only along the path of Christian unity, but also in our task of proclaiming Christ in our day." Intercede for us that we may grow in "fidelity to the word of God, precisely because it is a TRUE word, (and) demands an obedience which leads us together into a deeper understanding of the Lord's will, an obedience free of intellectual conformism or facile accommodation to the spirit of the age. " Pray for our Holy Father who with all his heart has sought to encourage us, demonstrating that obedience in his fidelity to his own mininsty as Successor of Peter, "charged with a particular care for the unity of Christ's flock".

Blessed John Henry in you we honour one "whose vision was nurtured by your Anglican background and matured during many years of ordained ministry in the Church of England." Teach us "the virtues that ecumensism demands: on the one hand, (you) were moved to follow (your) conscience, even at great personal cost; and on the other hand, the warmth of (your) continued friendship with former colleagues, led (you) to explore with them, in a truly eirenical spirit, the questions on which (you) differed, driven by a deep longing for unity in faith. Watch over us and intercede for us that we may in the same spirit "renew our determination to pursue the goal of unity in faith, hope, and love, in accordance with the will of our one Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ". Amen
(Quotes within the Petition from the Holy father's addresses at lembeth Palace and Westminster Abbey)

Please make you personal petition

1 Our Father; 1 Hail Mary; 1 Glory be to the Father

Blessed Bartolo Longo, pray for us (See Vultus Christi in bloglist sidebar here)
Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us. Amen

Authentic Love is the True Masterpiece of Man

Novena interlude.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Novena to Blessed John Henry Newman: Day 4

Thangsgiving prayer to the Most Holy Trinity as on previous days of the Novena

From the Holy Father's homily at the Mass and Beatification of Cardinal Newman
Blessed John Henry "is worthy to take his place in a long line of saints and scholars from these islands, Saint Bede, Saint Hilda, Saint Aelred. Blessed Duns Scotus, to name but a few. In Blessed John Henry, that tradition of gentle scholarship, deep human wisdom and profound love for the Lord has borne rich fruit, as a sign of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit deep within the heart of God's people, bringing forth abundant gifts of holiness...................................................
The definite service to which Blessed John Henry was called involved applying his keen intellect and prolific pen to many of the most pressing 'subjects of the day'. His insights into.......the need for a broadly-based and wide-ranging approach to education,.were not only of profound importance for Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world."

Petition for Catholic Schools, Colleges and Educators

Blessed John Henry, following the example of our Holy Father, we pay grateful tribute to your 'vision for education which has done so much to shape the ethos that is the driving force behind Catholic schools and colleges today.' May that force continue to be 'firmly opposed to any reductive or utilitarian approach', may we follow you in seeking to 'achieve an educational environment in which intellectual training, moral discipline and religious commitment (may) come together. We thank God for your series of discourses "'The Idea of a University" from which all those engaged in academic formation will continue to learn
We implore your intercession that our Catholic schools and colleges may be places where the Catholic ethos ......... may extend 'far beyond the self-evident requirement that the content of the teaching should always be in conformity with Church doctrine' and that the life of may be 'the driving force behind every activity in the school, so that the Church's mission may be served effectively, and the young people may discover the joy of entering into Christ's "being for others" (Spes Salvi 28).
We beg your prayers that over and above providing a rounded eduction for the whole person our schools and colleges may help all their students 'to become saints'.
(Quotes in the above petition from the Holy Father's beatification homily and his speeches at Twickenham.)

Please make your personal petition about education here.

1 Our Father; 1 Hail Mary; 1 Glory be to the Father

Saint Francis pray for us
Saint Bede, Saint Hilda, Saint Aelred and all scholar saints of the British Isles pray for us
Saint Faustina pray for us

Blessed Duns Scotus pray for us

Blessed John Henry Newman pray for us. Amen

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Novena to Blessed John Henry Newman: Day 3

Prayer of thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity as on Day 1


1. From the Holy Father's homily at Westminster Cathedral

"Faithful to Christ's command to 'do this in memory of me', the Church in everytime and place celebrates the Eucharist until the Lord returns in glory, rejoicing in His sacramental presence and drawing upon the power of His saving sacrifice for the redemption of the world. The reality of the Eucharistic sacricice has always been at the heart of Catholic faith; .................The Eucharistic sacrifice of the Body and blood of Christ embraces in turn the mystery of our Lord's continuing passion in the members of his Mystical Body, the Church in every age."

2. From the Holy Father's address at the Hyde Park Vigil.

"Newman reminds us that, as men and women made in the image and likeness of God, we were created to know the truth, to find in that truth our ultimate freedom and the fulfilment of our deepest human aspirations. In a word , we are meant to know Christ, who is Himself 'the way, the truth, and the life'................

............and now dear friends, let us preparing to encounter Christ, present among us in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Together in the silence of our common adoration, let us open our minds and heart to His presence, His love, and the convincing power of His truth. In a special way, let us thank Him for the enduring witness to that truth offered by Cardinal John Henry Newman. Trusting in his prayers, let us ask the Lord to illumine our path ..............wuth the kindly light of His truth, His love and His peace. Amen"

Today is set aside for your own personal petition to Blessee John Henry Newman.
Today's Novena then concludes:

1 Our Father 1 Hail Mary 1 Glory be to the Father

Blessed Columba Marmion, pray for us

Blessed John Nenry Newman, pray for us, Amen

Focus for remaining days of this Novena

Day 4 For Catholic Education

Day 5 For Ecumenical efforts

Day 6 For the Laity

Day 7 For Priests

Day 8 For Bishops

Day 9 For Pope Benedict XVI

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Novena to Blessed John Henry Newman Day 2

Prayer of thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity - as Day 1

Either 'Lead Kindly Light' or 'Firmly I believe and Truly' may be sung or recited here.

Readings :

1. From Pope Benedict's homily during Mass with Beatification of Cardinal Newman at Cofton Park.

"Cardinal Newman's motto, Cor ad cor loquitur, us an insight into his understanding of the Christian life as a call to holiness, experienced as the profound desire of the human heart to enter into intimate communion with the Heart of God. He reminds us that faithfulness to prayer gradually transforms us into the divine likeness. As he wrote in one of his many fine sermons, 'a habit of prayer, the practice of turning to God and the unseen world in every season, in every place, in every emergency - prayer, I say, has what may be called a natural effect in spiritualising and elevating the soul. A man is no longer what he was before; gradually ...he has imbibed a new set of ideas, and become imbued with fresh principles' (Parochial and Plain Sermons, iv, 230-231) Today's Gospel tells us that no one can be the servant of two masters (Luke 16:13), and that Blessed John Henry's teaching on prayer explains how the faithful Christian is definitively taken into the service of the one true Master, who alone has a claim to our unconditional devotion (Matt 23:10). "

2. From Pope Benedict's address to young people outside Westminster Cathedral

"I ask you to look into your heart each day to find the source of all true love. Jesus is always there, quietly waiting for us to be still with Him and to hear His voice. Deep within your heart, He is calling you to spend time with Him in prayer. But this kind of prayer, real prayer, requires discipline; it requires making time for moments of silence every day. Often it means waiting for the Lord to speak. Even amid the busy-ness and the stress of our daily lives, we need to make space for silemce, because it is in the silence that we find God, and in silence we discover our true self. And in discovering our true self, we discover the particular vocation which God has given us for the building up of His Church and the redemption of our world."

PETITION For the Church in our countries
2.For growth and deepening of the prayer life of all her members

Blessed John Henry Newman, we thank God that our Holy Father took the opportunity to lead us to your own teaching on prayer and to show how it is essential in the discernment of our individual vocation within the Church. Your own apostolic action whilst on earth was grounded in it and was its fruit. We beg your intercession that we may learn from your example, just as our Holy Father has exhorted us. Pray for us all in our search for the Heart of God, and that through prayer we will discover the 'defintite service' which our Lord commits uniquely to every single one of us, so that we will be able to say with you: "I have my mission, I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be and angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place....if I do but keep his commandments and serve him in my calling" (Meditations and Devotions, 301-2)

Add here a private petition as related to your own spiritual life and prayer.

1 Our Father; 1 Hail Mary; 1 Glory be to the Father

Holy Guardian Angels, pray for us.
Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us. Amen

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lead Kindly Light : Wells Cathedral Choir


Thanksgiving to the most Holy Trinity

We give joyful thanksgiving to the Holy and undivided Trinity for the day that saw you, Blessed John Henry Newman, formally raised to the altars and declared Blessed. We give glory and praise to God for your heroic virtue. We affirm our Faith in the words of your own hymn:

Firmly I believe and truly God is Three and God is One; and I next acknowledge duly man-hood taken by the Son.

And I trust and hope most fully in that manhood crucified; and each thought and deed unruly do to death, as he has died.

Simply in His grace and wholly light and life and strength belong; and I love supremely, solely, Him the holy, Him the strong.

And I hold in veneration, for the love of Him alone, Holy Church, as His creation, and her teachings, as His own.

Adoration aye be given, with and through the angelic host, to the God of earth and heaven, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

(Optional Reading - Pope Benedict's Speech in Westminster Hall.)

PETITION For the Church in our countries -1 For the Church within Society at large.

Blessed John Henry, we remember with gratitude everything our Holy Father did and said during his recent visit to the UK, to help us stand firm in faith as a 'creative minority' in our secularised sociery. We beg your intercession that his recent powerful appeal to reason in Westminster Hall will have won the hearts and minds of our lawmakers, for whom we also ask your prayers; that following your example, and led by Christ's chief shepherd on earth, we may go forward with courage and determination in witnessing to our Faith and that our countries will be places where lawa are not made that conflict with Christian conscience. Help us to pray for those who do not know Christ and who would deny our right and duty to follow Him.

.(Make your own private petition here)

1 Our Father; 1 Hail Mary 1 Glory be to the Father

Saint Therese of Lisieux, pray for us

Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us.


Blessed John Henry Newman Novena to begin with a hymn

See next post for 'Lead Kindly Light' and Day 1 of the Novena

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Novena to Blessed John Henry Newman begins here tomorrow

Yesterday, wanting to offer a Novena to our new Blessed, I searched the Internet and couldn't find one. Providentially the required nine days are available to us between tomorrow and the first celebration of Blessed John Henry Newman's day on October 9th. And what better day to begin such a Novena than the Feast of St. Therese, whose relics, also providentially in my humble view, preceded our Holy Father's visit and the beatification of Cardinal Newman.

I am composing a Novena and will post it day by day, starting with Day 1 tomorrow. I intend to include in it, points for meditation via quotes from both Blessed John Henry Newma and from Pope Benedict's recent UK homilies and speeches. I can't publish the Novena all at once because of the thought, study and prayer this will involve in order to proceed. I began the work yesterday and with God's help, and yours through prayer, am confident of being able to post each each evening 1st-9th October.

ITM have a happy and holy feast of St. Therese everyone.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For my friends Msgr. Calkins; Mark Miles; and Mac at Mulier Fortis: 'To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven...'

Most of my readers will know at least one of these three friends very well indeed, and I'm sure will join me in sending them good wishes and the assurance of prayers as they embark on a new phase in their pilgrimage.

Monsignore Calkins has been in the service of the Holy see in Rome for 22 years. His last day at 'Ecclesia Dei' is at the end of this month. He is then going back to the United States and will take up his new ministry as chaplain to nuns who run a retirement home in Saint Louis, MO.

Ad multos annos Monsignore, and with prayers always.

Also at the end of this month, Mark begins a very special venture. By St Teresa's day he will, God willing, have entered his Seminary of choice in Germany. I offer him undying gratitude for all the help he has tirelessly and unceasingly given me with my blogs. God speeed Mark. With my love and daily prayers.

Mac's friends all know that she recently lost her beloved Sylvester. Cat lovers amongst us who have experienced separation from a beloved feline companion know what she is going through. God bless and comfort you Mac, with loving and prayerful condolences.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Eve of the Feast of Archangels SS Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

Have a holy Feast day everyone. The video in my next post just dropped into my 'junk' box. Every shot reminds me of a pilgrimage I made to the Mount in September 1993. After that we went to Lisieux. Hope to post a few memories of that in a couple of days.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My latest letter from the Vatican about the Litany of Loreto


In early April this year I wrote to the Holy Father humbly asking him to consider the addition to the Litany of an invocation of Our Lady Queen and Mother of Priests. On April 30 I posted here about my intense disappointment in the 'standard' letter of response I had received from the assessor at the Secretariat of State. (See blog archive 'Reply received to my letter to the Holy Father')

Acting on the advice of Fr Mark Kirby OSB, on May 5, enclosing copies of the relevant correspondence, I wrote to Archbishop Piacenza at the Congregation for Clergy, and to Msgr Calkins at Ecclesia Dei (CDF). About a fortnight later Msgr Calkins replied to me by email explaining how the Secretariat of State operates with regard to correspondence addressed to the Holy Father, and how it sifts is. (see the June 1st post on my Spiritual Mothers of Priests blog 'email from my contact in Rome'. Link to that blog and its archive in the sidebar here, 6th item down from the Pope's picture at the top.)

Once July ended I didn't expect to hear from Archbishop Piacenza until after the Roman summer recess, but continued to pray daily about the Litany, along with my usual devotions, including daily Novena and Rosary for the Holy Father and his visit to UK. The Archbishop's gracious, kind and informative letter arrived on the morning of the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, a devotion which has been special to me for 50 years. I gave special thanks to her this year. Here is the text of the letter:

"Vatican City, 9 September 2010

Dear Mrs Fulthorpe,

Thank you for your kind letter of 5 May last, expressing your desire for a new title in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be inserted into the litany.

The Dicastery wishes to inform you that your correspondence has been transferred to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the discipline of the Sacraments, since it is of their competence. Please be assured that your letter was read with appreciation, particularly with regard to your devotion and prayer directed to the spiritual motherhood of priests.

With an assurance of prayers and best wishes, I remain,

Yours sincerely in Christ

(signature in black pen)

+Mauro Piacenza

Titular Archbishop of Vittoriana

Secretary "


Profound gratitude to Archbishop Piacenza, Monsignor Calkins and Fr. Mark, and to all of you who have prayed about this matter.

Now we know where my letter is. let's pray for a reply from the appropriate dicastery, shall we say, in time for the Presentation of Our Lady on November 21.

Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for our intentions regarding the Litany of Loreto.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our heartfelt thanks: My reply to the 'Special Report'

I wanted 'C' to have my reply at the earliest opportuniy and sent it early on Monday afternoon. As you will see, I asked for permission to publish her original mail on the 'Oasis', which she willingly granted later in the day. The point of telling you this, is to show that when the two emails were written, they were totally spontaneous expressions of our shared joy, and not written with a view to an 'audience'. I didn't offer them to CP & S until Tuesday, and did so for reasons given at the beginning of yesterday's post.


Sent Monday 20/09/10 13.38


My dear 'C',

It's difficult to find words that satisfactorily express the depth and strength of our thanks to you for taking the time to email me about the experience of Cofton Park. You must be exhausted, and have school today. I expect though, that the peace, serenity and joy that you drank in yesterday, are still alive in their freshness, and will always remain with the four of you. The very atmosphere that you describe transmitted itself to us via the official Papal Visit live webcast.

We too saw the papal helicopter appear in the skies; and I thought of you amongst the crowds waiting below. My heart was bursting with joy. I'm so glad you saw it on the giant screens, and then the landing and transfer, first to a car and then to the Popemobile. Even at this distance it was so exciting, and difficult to sit still, that is until the Mass began. Your presence there with 'P' increased my own sense of 'being there'.

Yes, I'm sure the Holy Spirit was present, and countless Guardian Angels too. Yours and 'P''s must have been working in tandem. As for the rain stopping when it did, when I saw that it was raining befort the Holy Father's arrival my heart sank but somehow I knew that it wouldn't continus. We weren't aware of exactly when it stopped, and only realised it whn we noticed that the plastic ponchos a lot of people had been wearing seemed mostly to have disappeared. But now you have told me exactly when it stopped, I like to think that from Heaven it was Blessed John Henry Newman welcoming his friend Pope Benedict to Cofton Park.

I would love to share what you have told me with my blog readers. Have you any objection? As you know I would keep names a secret as I have done in the past. With your permission I will do a post about it tonight.

Colin and I are still not 'down to earth', but I really must do some housework. The webcast coverage over the four days was so extensive and more of less continuous that one didn't dare leave the screen for fear of missing something!

The hostile aspect of much media build-up to the visit had really got to us. As it was, and the Visit unfolded, the fear and anxiety in our hearts gradually melted, and by the time our Holy Father went down the Vatican flag and Union Jack bedecked Mall, we could see and hear that those there to cheer him on were in a definite and vociferous majority. We were amazed that so many people had turned out to see him. I think it was at that point that we began to experience our Pope's visit with a joy unalloyed by earlier anxiety and dread. We could see it turning into a tour de force before our very eyes.

After his welcome into Hyde Park, the atmosphere changed yet again, this time to one of prayer and contemplation, leading up to Adoration and Benediction. And we witnessed again what happened at the Eucharistic Adoration during his visist to Lourdes two years ago. That stillness and silence of a vast crowd being led to adore Jesus by His chief shepherd, and theirs. But on this occasion, by the time of Exposition, it was dark and the monstrance containing the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, was set, seemingly in the night sky, lit by the stars which He created. It was literally breathtaking.

Now, I'm looking forward to what the Holy Father will say about the trip at this Wednesday's General Audience...................My dear 'C', I must leave you now, but thank you once again for keeping me close yesterday. The knowledge that you and 'P' were there and doing so, made the Beatification Mass of our dear Blessed John Henry Newman, the most personally special liturgical event of the Visit. I will always treasure that memory, and also the written record of the occasion as you experienced it.

With lots of love and prayers

In lumine vultus Iesu


Monday, September 20, 2010

Special Report on Cofton Park from a dear spiritual 'sister' who was there.

This post was first published on my own blog on Monday evening. Before you read it, I want to express my gratitude to 'Catholicism Pure and Simple ' for electing to publish it also.

Underneath the surface of the Catholic blogosphere, it is an example of how we express our Catholic faith; of how we privately encourage and support one another via the Internet. I am sure that there is a lot of it going on beneath that surface. I thank God for the grace and privilege of being able to show you one tiny aspect of what it was like at Cofton Park, in the presence of our truly Holy Father, and how its beauty and truth was communicated and confirmed to me.


Monday September 20 2010

My dear 'sister' took the trouble to email her report to me before going to work this morning. It was a beautiful and totally unexpected gift, as you will see, and for which i will be eternally grateful. I knew beforehand that she and another of my spiritual 'sisters' would be at the Mass, both from different Parishes close to Cofton. A fourth 'sister', who is the blood sister of the second one mentioned above, would stay at home for health reasons. As you all know, I had to be in physical exile in France for this Papal visit. Nevertheless, the four of us had agreed beforehand that we would be spititually united at this Mass. This way of witnessing to our spiritual bond is not new to us. For example I may one day tell you about what happened when the relics of St. Therese were in Birmingham. But for now let me and my 'sisters' share with you what happened yesterday. All you need to know before reading the email is that the first sister is referred to as 'P', the 'sister correspondent is C. and her husband is J. Here is the email:

"Dearest Jane,

The Holy Spirit indeed accompamied us on our pilgrimage to Cofton Park. P. and I were travelling to the Park via City Council buses, but from different points in Birmingham. When we arrived at the coach and bus park, there were already hundreds of vehicles - some had arrived at midnight. Amazingly as J. and I, and my (blood) sister were walking with the crowds out of the bus/coach park, we met P. who had become detached from the other pilgrims on her bus and was a little distressed. It was wonderful that we met each other. So we walked together up the long hill and into the top of the Park, and then began to search for a spot where we could 'set up camp' and wait for Mass to begin. By that time the Park was already very, very full......... and so we looked for a space at the top of the hill

The first space we found seemed okay, but as the rain became heavier, more and more umbrellas appeared (even though I thought they had been banned!) and our view of the altar was completely obliterated. Then J. (God bless him) went on a walkabout and soon returned, suggesting that we move a space a little to the left, where we would be able to see both the altar and the two huge choir areas which were situated on either side of the altar.So we moved, and yes it was much better. and with the aid of the several large screens dotted around the Park, we were able to view everything. As the rain became heavier, P. gave my sister a fleece blanket to help her keep warm and we trid to keep our 'Magnigicats' dry,

9.40am - everyone began waving their flags as the papal helicopter flew overhead. From the big screens we could see that it landed on the fields belonging to the Birmingham City footbsall training ground which is five minutes walk from where I live. Then we were able to track the progress of the Papal car from the training grond to Cofton Park. The Holy Father then travelled in the Popemobile, and although we were too far away to see him, we waved our flags and joined in the welcome of cheers and applause.

Something wonderful happened then.; the rain ceased and the sun appeared and the whole Park was bathed in warmth.

The Mass was simply wonderful - a combination of traditional and modern, both in terms of language and music and there seemed to be at all times a most prayerful and serene quiet which permeated the Park................I thought of how.........people flocked to see Jesus. as we had flocked to the Park this morning. How they had hungered for His words and how He had fed them.. Yesterday we were fed and nourished by the words of Jesus in the Gospel, fed by the Holy Father's words and fed by the Eucharist.

When Mass ended, P. decided to walk home rather than walk all the way back to the bus park. We decided to do likewise. So we parted company,. J. offering to take P's chair so that she could travel light. It was a slow and quite strenuous walk home, weighed down as we were with all the equipment we had needed for our Pilgrimage, but it was good to walk and a fitting way to end our Pilgrimage journey.

Jane, P. and I remembered you and Colin as we partiipated in the wonderful Mass and we spoke of your being with us in spirit, both in your prayers and through the medium of television.

Thanks be to God.

Love and God bless,
C. "

More tomorrow, but I must mention that I had another 'sister' at Cofton Park, as yet unknown to the others. She was pilgrimage leader of a group from Somerset. The Lord knows what time they arrived and what they endured on the way. I'm sure she will let me know tomorrow, but I am certain that whatever they went through, that warm sun will have shone on them too. God bless you Mary. Be in touch soon.

God bless our Holy Father. As Archbishop Smith said to him on Saturday night in Hyde Park, 'Your visit has done us so much good. Thank you Holy Father.'

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Te Deum [Alternatim] - Pierre Cochereau / Maîtrise de Notre-Dame





Tallis - Spem In Alium

At almost 7pm GMT, our beloved Holy Father took to the skies over Birmingham en route for Rome. I dearly wish he could have heard this motet whilst he was with us. As it was,Tallis only had a brief look-in at Westminster Abbey when they sang 'If you love me'. Actually I suggested that months ago on this blog. We Catholics tend to sing this Tallis tune to the words of 'Bone Pastor'. When I know for certain that Christ's chief shepherd on earth is safely home, I will post a Te Deum.

In the meantime thanks to you Holy Father for coming among us with great courage and joy, but thanks most of all to Our Lord Jesus Christ, and His blessed Mother, for keeping you safe whilst in our hands.

Elgar - The Dream of Gerontius, part 2 (excerpt)

Elgar said that 'The Dream of Gerontius' was the best of him.. It should come as no surprise, since he was inspired by the words of John Henry Newman whom the Pope will beatify today.

Deo gratias.

The Beatfication of Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman

Thursday, September 16, 2010

All in the April Evening

(Glasgow Orpheus Choir)

Sincere thanks to Scotland for the first day of Pope Benedict's visit to the UK.

I know it's September, but after all April is his month.

Duke of Edingurgh to greet Pope at airport

This news according to Zenit this morning.

Tu es Petrus - William Byrd [1540 - 1623]

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Beautiful Are the Feet by the All-American Boys Chorus

The next four days

As far as this blog is concerned, during the build-up to the Holy Father's visit, I have managed to resist the temptation to make critical comments about any of the 'organisers' of the said visit. Rather like Annie at the LMS Arundel and Brighton blog, I just couldn't trust myself. And so have only posted bits of positive news and music.

I intend to continue this policy over the next four days, unless anything truly dire should happen. Therefore you will find here, during the visit, music mostly written before the dawn of the 20th cntury, some of which I dearly and truly wish our beloved Pope would be going to hear whilst on British soil. So between Papal events come here. You may find salve to your soul.

Now Handel was a Protestant, but not as Protestant as some modern Catholics! He wrote a Carmelite Vespers after all. But he was originally German as well, and I'd like to welcome Benedict XVI to Britain with 'How Beauriful are the feet' from 'Messiah'. (See next post)

Benedict preaches the Gospel of peace; he brings glad tidings.

If only one British person listens to him and changes his/her attitudes and ways, there will be great rejoicing in Heaven. I believe that it will be many more than just one.

For now, I pray the dear and holy man a good night's refreshing and energising sleep.

British premier David Cameron: "Pope's visit is a great honour for our c...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pope asks for prayers for his trip to the United Kingdom

Most Holy Father,

Please be assured that our prayers for you , and this forthcoming trip, have been, and will be, unceasing.

Yesterday's Angelus at Castel Gandolfo:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jerusalem - Last Night of the Proms 06

Coming next: Jerusalem: The Last Night of the Proms 2006

There's rather a large and beautiful yellow and white flag just behind the conductor. Hope it's there again this year! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What is the Vatican playing at? When exactly is the Pope due in Britain?

According to the official VISnews email, which I have just received, the Papal visit will take place between September 12th and September 15th.

Either the wrong dates have been put in the Pope's diary, or someone at VIS has been shockingly careless and shouldn't be in the job.

One expects that the latter is the case, but either way one prays that confusion will be avoided and that VIS will publish a correction as soon as possible.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Benedict XVI to publish book in which he is interviewed by German journa...

During Summer 2010 Benedict XVI has given a third series of interviews to Peter Seewald

Excellent news. See video coming up nest.

(Computer going in for service tomorrow. Back on Friday. Hope to be with you again on Saturday.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saint Augustine's Day

Have a holy and happy day everyone.

Barring emergencies no more posts here until the computer has been treated.

Father Mark at Vultus Christi has a wonderful post for today entitled "I went astray and still I remembered Thee"

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI Visit to France day 3

Pope Benedict's Travels 2b

Here's another of Lourdes. Sorry the last one breaks down half way through,

Pope Benedict XVI - Visit to Lourdes

Where the Pope has already been and how they welcomed him.

2. Lourdes September 2008

This one's especially for my dear friend Pelerin who was there in the thick of it. She did some crowd control of her own although sadly the camera didn't catch it! Perhaps she'll tell you all about it in a comment here.

(btw No computer man yet, even though he promised to come today at the latest. Offereing up worry and frustration)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Pope and his former students reflect on the interpretation of the Se...

Lovely to hear THAT bit of the 2005 speech again, but why couldn't Rome Reports, name any of the other attendees apart from Cardinal Schonborn?

btw, does anyone know whether our Nuncio has returned to Wimbledon after his post-stroke convalescence? If not, who will be there to air the beds and welcome the Holy Father when he arrives?

Thousands Attend Papal Mass in Paris

Where the Pope has already been and how they welcomed him.

1: Paris - September 2008

Blessed Dominic Barberi pray for him and for England. St. Ninian pray for him and for Scotland.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Pope's book will be published on March 13

Feast of Saint Bartholomew

R. When you are brought before governors and kings, do not consider anxiously what you are to say or how you will say it: "words will be given you when the time comes.

V. The words you speak will not be yours; they will come from the Spirit of your Father speaking in you: words will be given you when the time comes."
(From the Common of Apostles)

A happy and holy Feast day to everyone.

(Computer update: Will be without my computer all day tomorrow OR Friday. Not yet clear which. Hope to be back to normal by Saturday.

In Christo pro Papa

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Regensburger Domspatzen: Denn er hat seinen Engeln

"He hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone." Matt. 4 6 (Douay version)

Pope Benedict listens to Mendelssohn's setting of the text.

If you haven't seen this clip before, don't miss the end. He becomes aware that the camera is on him and looks resigned. Then almost immediately cannot prevent his profound appreciation of the music from showing in his expression.

May Our Lord comfort, guide, strengthen and protect our beloved Holy Father during his imminent trip to Britain. Our Lady Queen and Mother, pray for him.

Have a happy and holy Feast day everyone.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Defend Pope Benedict & Fifth Marian Dogma pt2- Dr. Miravalle

Begins with a repeat of end of last video. Stay with it!

Fr. Lombardi's interesting statement...(entr'acte between Dr. Miravalle videos)

Yesterday the Catholic Herald carried a report on Fr. Lombardi's recent interview with Vatican Radio, the main purpose of which seems to have been to make clear that the Vatican is not responsible for the charges being made to pilgrims during the Pope's visit. These are being made by the 'local Church' and have nothing to do with the Pope. Further, the ticketing system had to be introduced to satisfy the security demands of the British civil authorities. I've said repeatedly on this blog that I think security has been the driving force behind all the plans. And thank God for that.

But the interesting statement of Fr Lombardi, according to the Herald is as follows:
"He also stressed that restrictions on the media and on journalists were more demanding than they had been on other trips, but these did NOT DEPEND ON THE VATICAN OR ON THE LOCAL CHURCH. " (my caps.) Therefore one has to assume that these extra restrictions are being imposed by 'civil authorities'/Government. Of course they may just be to ensure the safety of the press corps.............One only prays that as a result, their hostility will be reduced rather than increased.

Some good news.
'Our Sunday Visitor' has just published a book that outlines the long battle of Benedict XVI against sexual abuse. Rome Reports (see link at very top of sidebar here) has a video and interview with its editor.

And Zenit has at least one heartening story today:
EWTN will televise the UK Papal visit, so you'll be relatively safe with them if you're worried about the BBC's possible lack of balance/ignorance in commentary. Of course they may be fair and sensible and take the Vatican commentary. At least that way our National network will not be responsible for any infuriating gaffes.

Finally and most importantly the calender invites us to storm heaven with the help of Our Lady and many saints............
20 Saint Bernard Abbot and Doctor
21 Saint Pius X Pope
23 Saint Rose of Lima Virgin
24 Saint Bartholomew Apostle
26 Saint Joseph of Calasanz Priest
27 Saint Monica
28 Saint Augustine of Hippo Bishop and Doctor
29 Saint John the Baptist Martyr
3 Saint Gregory the Great Pope and Doctor
13 Saint John Chrysostom Bishop and Doctor
16 SS Cornelius Pope and Martyr and Cyprian Bishop and Martyr
17 Saint Robert Bellarmine Bishop and Doctor
19 Saint Januarius Bishop and Martyr

And supremely on

Friday, August 20, 2010

Defend Pope Benedict & Fifth Marian Dogma pt1 - Dr. Miravall

Apologies for abrupt ending. To be continued, tomorrow D.V.

In Christo pro Papa

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One month for the beatification of Cardinal Newman

'The Pope made an exception.'

So far as I know, no-one has thanked him, so I will.

Thank you Holy Father for this great gift, which God willing, and thanks to your decision, will take place on September 19 on English soil. May God comfort, strengthen and protect you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pope Celebrates the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin at Castel Gand...

Well, I'll just try one more!

Yesterday's bomb scare in Lourdes; further posts here a rarity until next Monday evening

Our local paper the 'Charente Libre' reports a bomb scare in Lourdes yesterday on the afternoon of the Assumption and in the middle of the French annual national pilgrimgage. Authorities received a warning via a call-box that bombs would go off in the Sanctuaires at 3pm. 30,000 people were evacuated, whilst a search was conducted. Nothing was found, no bombs went off and no-one was hurt, Deo gratias.

Many of you will know that Philip Johnson has been in Lourdes for the last three weeks and may already have left when the scare took place. I know that my regular commenter Pelerin is in Lourdes at the moment and have no doubt she will tell me more about it on her return.

Blogging and emailing are becoming very difficult because of problems with my computer. It will not be dealt with until next Monday. Until then, posting here will be a rarity.

God bless all here.
In Christo pro Papa

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Solemnity of the Assumption: Roses for Our Lady

The last couple of days have wonderully concentrated the mind and spirit. Yesterday in the early afternoon I was able to gather from the garden, a whole basket of repeat-flowering roses for our Blessed Mother, and make two displays from them. In our church across the road, these are now on either side at the foot of the altar in the chapel of the Blessed Virgin, where, as some of you already know, Our Lord is present in the tabernacle.

I'm sorry not to be able to post photographs, but the colours of the roses with their names are as follows:
The Pilgrim - Pale yellow
Compassion - Coral- to pink when fully open
Metanoia - A deep and vibrant coral
New Dawn - Palest pink blush, almost white
Iceberg - White

From this list you will not be surprised to learn that I never plant anything, rose or not, without a spiritual significance. Even Iceberg was planted for the remembrance of the victims of the Titanic disaster.

Sadly there was no lift to Mass this morning but when I went across the road for the Divine Office, on approaching the altar I was enveloped in the 'incense' of these roses, symbolic of prayer rising to heaven in the sheer joy of this great Solemnity. For me it is always an occasion of intense joy and thanksgiving, beause it was on the feast of the Assumption that I first heard Mass, (fifty one years ago today). The Mass took place in the large chapel of a convent of the Daughters of Charity. Indelible in my memory ever since then, have been its tabernacle and the huge and beautiful mural of the Assumption on the wall behind it...

"Great Mother of God, so wondrously united with Jesus Christ, from all eternity, by the same decree of providence: in her conception immaculate, in her divine motherhood a virgin most pure, the noble associate of our Redeemer in his victory over sin and its conseqences - what reward awaited her at last? For the crown of all her graces, she was exempted from the sentence of decay; shared her Son's victory over death, and was carried up to heaven, soul and body, there to reign as queen at his right hand, who is the King of Ages, the immortal."

(Closing words of today's second Office reading taken from the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

I pray that you are all enjoying a happy and blessed Feast day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Splintered Sunrise and the Apostolate of the Laity; plus an unacceptable comment yesterday

I don't want to spend long on this but feel it's necessary to report results of my investigation since yesterday. Those of you who are following this subject will know that my own experience of the two sites led me to feel uncomfortable about both of them, but for very different reasons. I had left Splintered Sunrise on my bloglist because Aposolate of the Laity's comment on the latter had been removed from Fr Blake's combox. Thanks to epsilon, I was encouraged to look again at the matter. A. of the L. had posted a link on Fr Blake's blog and epsilon transferred it to my com box. This link leads to other posts by SS which are definitely pornographic. According to another private correspondent these SS posts are now nowhere to be found at SS, and she thinks he has removed them. So far today, SS has not posted. Nevertheless I removed SS from my list last night. Pornography aside, it has always worried me that SS speaks with great confidence as an informed 'insider' but never, if memory serves correctly, does he give any links, sources or other proof of his statements.

Further investigation of A. of L today, shows a series of posts about St. Maximilian Kolbe. Checking back it is quite clear that the author follows the Catholic calender and posts accordingly. However on checking the profile one finds that he has placed the site under the patronage of Our Lady Co-redemptrix. I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but strictly speaking do we not need a fifth Marian Dogma to be proclaimed before using the title?
I have been unable to find the identity of A. of L. All it says on his profile is that he is male and is based in London. I fully realise there may be very good reasons for his not revealing who he is, and will read him occasionally. At the moment I don't plan to add him to my bloglist.

Yesterday I received an unpleasant comment which I have not published because its language is vulgar. This person tells me that the Holy Father's visit is nothing to do with me because I live in France. I should therefore find something else to worry about, like girl alatar servers and lack of lace cottas. Obviously this person has me down as some kind of rabid ultramontanist. Clearly
(s)he hasn't been paying enough attention before making such a judgment. On the subject of my right to be concerned and to comment about the Pope's visit and English Catholicism:

Firstly the Church is universal. I have the joy, albeit the unmerited privilege and grace, of being in full communion with her. Where I live has no relevance whatsover.
Secondly, I am English and spent a career of 44 years teaching in England. I live in France because I have to, not that I don't love France. Of course I do, but for all its faults and troubles I love England more.
Thirdly, I pay British taxes and have the vote.

I will not be silenced or disenfranchised from blogging by the unpleasantness of that commenter, who incidentally also concealed his/her identity.

Now, let's get back to praying for the Holy Father and the British flock who want to give him a wholehearted and loving welcome.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.
Our Lady help of Christians, pray for us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

In Christo pro Papa

Friday, August 13, 2010

Being loyally Catholic, reasonable and realistic....

In my view anyone who claims these three things should follow the Protect the Pope site (see sidebar here) authored by Nick Donnelly, who is a permanent Deacon of the Lancaster Diocese. Often Rev. Donnelly's reports do not make comfortable reading, but they are indeed loyally Catholic, reasonalble and realistic. There is a total absence of sensationalism. Facts are reported and the Protect the Pope comments are eminently sensible. The site is an excellent way of keeping up with the activities and statements of the opponents of the Pope's visit. It is surely our duty to be informed of what these are. Doing so is not to retreat into the ghetto. Quite the reverse, it is to be aware of elements in our society who would like to see Roman Catholicism, silenced and forced back into a ghetto, with the eventual intention of exterminating it altogether. These elements may not represent great numbers of the British population, but they are extremely vocal and widely reported by media also largely hostile to Catholics and their Pope. One might say that together they have embarked on a propaganda war. There is a much reduced chance of their victory if Catholics keep themselves informed of enemy tactics. And there is much greater chance of security for us and for the Pope if we know what we are up against and are properly and quietly on our guard.

Thank you to Deacon Donnelly for his valuable contribution at this time.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

We love you

In her comment on my last post Mary referred to a formu which has been 'debating' whether or not the Pope should be touched. She clearly disapproves of the tone of that 'debate' and sent me a link asking for my comments. Ii have to say I agree with Mary, but was also exasperated by those who criticise Monsignors Ganswein and Marini for 'unnecessary' fussing over the Holy Father. The clip in this post proves that it can never be known in advance when their ministrations may be necessary! And I think it shows what a perfect team they make. In any case I'm sure the two Monsignors do nothing which the Pope himself regards as unnecessary. They wouldn't do it if he did. He is 83 and would love to bound about like a man of 43. Since nearly falling over a plant pot at L'Aquila last year I think he's decided to accept with grace and gratitude the security of Msgr Marini's supporting hand under his elbow.

In any case my own attitude to whether the Pope should be touched is demonstrated in the last post. It entirely depends on the occasion and the disposition of those involved.

In times past we used to hug our church buildings. Most of us will not get within 'hugging' distance of our Holy Father, but God knows we 'hug' him in and by our prayer. And the stronger that prayer is, the more Pope Benedict feels it too.

Hope you enjoy this clip. If you don't understand French or Spanish, just watch and listen to the crowd and pray that the English can respond to our Holy Father so spontaneously in a few week's time. He is not concerned about himself. His happiness is shown when people show their commitment to Christ.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Les amies clarisses de Benoît

On the feast of St. Clare, fifty secondsworth of mutual spiritual love being demonstrated. A happy and holy St. Clare's day everyone.

Saint Clare intercede for us, and especially for all your Franciscan daughters and for Pope Benedict.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Papal Visit to UK: B-Day -37

After last evening's good news about the Telegraph Group, I went to bed and had a reasonably peaceful night. But at the back of my mind there remained a sense of affront about the way attendance at the Papal events has been 'organised'. Ever since we were told that ordinary Catholics would be charged to exercise their right to be with the Holy Father, but that so-called VIPs would not, I have been battling to control my feelings. Nevertheless I thought I would be able to continue today with my series of positive posts in the lead-up to Pope Benedict's arrival. Well, what actually happened?

At the Office of Readings in church this moning, I found myself struggling NOT to give a current interpretation to the first reading from Micah 3: 1-12, The second reading from Theodore of Cyr was equally challenging but I will not labour its point here. After the Office I came home to find James Preece's post about the further shrinkage of numbers at the Beaticication Mass. from 80.000 to 65,ooo. On the whole James' commenters seem unable to decide whether the Catholic Church authorities in England and Wales have deliberately set out to make it seem that British Catholics are insufficiently interested to make the Papal visit a resounding success. So now they preside over a situation in which, whilst publicising the reduced number, tickets are now being handed out more freely. The other obvious interpretation is that they couldn't run a drinks party in a place where real ale is brewed.

I think there is probably an elemtnt of truth in both readings, but I still maintain that the security issue has played into the hands of people who do not much like our Holy Father and what he continually attempts to teach the flock. Whatever the truth, I pray it will be made manifest to him.

It is the idea of hypocrisy that really sickens me. That people who are against him will be presented to him, have smiling photographs taken with him, will receive Holy Communion from him, kneeling and on the tongue, without having seen the inside of a confessional for longer than dare be mentioned. In the meantime orthodox catholics will largely be kept from these privileges.

But in spite of all the above, and in spite of Dawkins' C4 rant against Faith schools, the following news managed to pierce the gloom: the Kentucky law suit against the Vatican has been dismissed as unsound; and at home Mulier Fortis informs us about the new blog of the Southwark Papal Visit team.

We live to fight another day. Prayer IS the only answer. As Pope Benedict himself recently said, the proper reaction to attacks on the Church is to draw closer to Christ. And let it be said, that is the exact effect of this situation, and of Benedict's Petrine ministry.

(News permitting will return to Positive Post series tomorrow.)

On the whole, I'd say: Benedict 16 - Media channel 4

In Christo pro Papa.