Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's been a Mexican/Cuban switchback

But these were the most comforting and blessed words I have read today: "Pope Benedict returned SAFELY to Rome on Thursday morning...."  (See Vatican Radio)

Deo gratias.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ecce Virgo concipiet (Byrd) Stile Antico

From Second Vespers of the Annunciation. Sorry no time for Lopez. Things are hotting up in the 'proofs' department. I must say the Holy Father looks good in a sombrero.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Father Mark names his new monastery: Silverstream Priory

At first sight that might seem poetically beautiful and indeed it is. It is a great deal more than that though. Father explains at

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Westminster Cathedral Choir - Magnificat Quarti Toni(Capillas)

A Lopez Magnificat taster.

The Aspersion and Mass of the Holy Innocents, as they might have been conducted in Mexico City Cathedral 28.12.1656

Radio 3 broadcast a reconstruction of this liturgy as part of a ten part series over the Christmas Octave in 1984.
I have it on tape somewhere and am looking for it. Also in my library is the 72 page background booklet that the BBC published at the time. As I remember, apart from Plainchant the music used was by Lopez (1612-c.1674)
I will revisit this whole topic during the Holy Father's imminent visit to Mexico and post the results. I am afraid that he is highly unlikely to hear music of this ilk, the best efforts of Mons. Guido Marini notwithstanding. Of course one would be overjoyed to be proved wrong. In the meantime I see that there is an article in the booklet entitled 'A Constant Liturgy as a Force against Dissolution and Decay'.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hymn to St. Joseph, for every day but especially for tomorrow

Happy Feast Day Holy Father. With the love and prayers of your faithful people as you prepare for the visit to Mexico and Cuba.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Discantus - Laetare Jerusalem

Time for bed. Happy Laetare Sunday!

The Wolfe Tones- Hail Glorious St. Patrick

Posted last year but could not resist it again!

Fr Mark's new monastery at Stamullen, Co. Meath Ireland

Important note before I post the promised music for Laetare Sunday. There is a letter at Vultus Christi today  from David Craig which explains the monastery's special needs and, perhaps more germane to the issue, David's personal experience of Fr Mark's spirituality and the special charism of the new Stamullen Priory.The link given above leads to a post by Fr Mark, which in its turn contains a link to David's letter.

Happy Saint Patrick's day everyone, but particularly to my dear Fr Mark

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Next post: Some 'Laetare' music on Sunday.

Meanwhile, snowed under with housework neglected whilst I was writing, and several other unexpected domestic pressures. Publisher has asked for blurb details and other PR assistance which I've promised them on Monday next. Fell over a draught excluder last week and cracked a rib. A 'relais' Mass here at St Romain tomorrow evening, at which I'll pray for you all, and a 'Penitential Service' (which includes individual Confessions) at Maumont Abbey on Saturday afternoon.
Have been told that Mons. Marini was on a prelim. visit to Mexico over the weekend which explained his absence from Saturday's Papal Vespers at SanGregorio.. (h/t to my commenter Mary) Fr Mark and Br. Benedict are still staying with Fr Hogan but will 'shortly' move into Stamullen Priory which from Father's account needs a lot of work doing to it. I know you will continue to pray for them..

God bless all here

In Christo pro Papa

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I still have not calmed down

This afternoon I decided to view again P.M. Cameron's farewell speech to the Pope of more than a year ago. At the time I wanted to believe that he really meant what he was saying. One couldn't tell from his facial expression what the Holy Father really felt, but seeing the footage again, I suppose that 'guarded' best describes his reaction. He knew he was listening to a politician. Now, all those months down the line, having told the Pope that he had challenged the whole country to sit up and think, one is at an utter loss as to what thinking means to our Prime Minister. Just a cheap word considered as impressively persuasive at the time? Within a year this same fellow has hailed the UK as a Christian country, and 'one that cherishes faith' and then weeks after that spoke destructively against it in the name of his so-called government. And now seems to be pursuing legislation that will prevent Christians from wearing a cross or crucifix in the workplace. Fiche-moi as the French say. I am not a political creature, but even if I were, I'd know that both Blair and Cameron have always been more interested in 'being Prime Minister',  like adolescents vying to be head boy or house captain.
We have elected an immature 'sixth form' to 'govern'  us for far too long and to our obvious detriment.

I really will try to calm down by tomorrow!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

2012: Meanwhile back in 'Blighty' the Dragon's teeth spring up

Perhaps it is just media selectivity but so far reaction to the pastoral letter written by Archbishops Nichols and Smith does not make for happy reading - priests openly stating their disagreement with the letter having read it to their congregations, or having refused to read it at all; a shameful intervention at Mass in Teignmouth; and probably the worst and most damaging declaration of dissent from the supposed neophyte Blair who has shown himself not to have a catholic corpuscle in his bloodstream. How did he get in so easily? I sympathise with the Archbishops' dilemma, but I do think that in fairness to all of us, and to themselves, they should consider whether  the present situation is not the result of hierarchical abuse of collegiality over at least four decades. As I said a long time ago, collegiality is a great principle, but only if bishops are in collegiality with the Pope, and not against him. Otherwise it kills the authority of the Pope and makes his task more difficult if not impossible.

Yammering on about catholic identity doesn't make much sense when you have presided over its loss for so long.

More in next post when I've calmed down a bit. My prayers for the 'cautioning' Bishop Conry. God bless Cardinal O'Brien.
(h/t to Fr Blake)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

July 25th 1968

On this day Pope Paul VI finally issued the encyclical 'Humane Vitae' I was 25 and not married , but knew from conversations with female friends at church that the general hope was that he would condone 'artificial' birth control. I was looked at very strangely when I said that I would oppose it even were I not Catholic. To me its chemical interference with the female reproductive system was morally wrong and potentially medically dangerous. I was not leading a particularly holy life at the time, but that was my instinctive reaction. Of course the subsequent spate of thrombosis among women who were taking the 'pill' was to prove the validity of the latter objection. It was rushed onto the market with insufficient testing. That is well known now.

I also knew that before the encyclical, my friends were being advised in the confessional that the practice would be approved.. No worries. Shock horror when we were finally told that it was definitely not.all right. At that point a division crept into and hardened within  the Church - women either kept quiet relying on what their priests had told them, or they changed their ways and obeyed the Pope's  reasoning..I think we know what happened then.

And I think we also know why the US bishops have an extremely difficult task on their hands. As Pope Benedict told them the other day: 'Certainly we must acknowledge the deficiencies in the catechesis of recent decades.' But his audience knew the dissidence of many of their flock, and so does POTUS (as Fr Z calls him), and for that reason his probably deliberate strategy could be lethal. Easy to rule the divided, no? One does not know how many of the bishops who listened to Pope Benedict this week are of the 60s, or of  later generations,  but if they are honest they must have all felt very uncomfortable, if not frightened.. Or worse, maybe there may have been one or two who thought he was talking hogwash. For all of which possible reasons I prayed for them last night.. And every night.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Who Killed Cock Robin?

Promise, this is my last 'memory' song for now. There's a theory that it' s about Robert Walpole. Don't know, but it bears thinking about in any case. Sure as birds' eggs it isn't just a nursery rhyme.. Back tomorrow evening DV and facing the battle that has been joined whilst I was otherwise occupied. God bless and strengthen our biships of the US, UK and Ireland...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

'If I should plant a tiny seed of love'

I've finished my text and will send it off  to the publishers tomorrow after final check. This is for all my blogging friends who have been so supportive during the last month. I learned it at my father's knee; later it was the signature tune of a of a music hall act I did in the 80s. I think of it differently now. It could be Pope Benedict's song,  Unfortunately, a large part of the world refuses to listen to him. Nary mind , he plods on deteriminedly and we follow him, our beloved shepherd.

God bless all here,
In Christo pro Papa

Monday, March 5, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Writing update: Finishing tape in sight

Back to normal, whaterver that is, by the end of the coming week. In the meantime something beautiful in the next post. I know Handel wrote it as a human love song, but it always  makes me think of Our Lady..

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Update on Fr Mark's arrival in Ireland

Thanks to Fr John Hogan. Go to today's post 'In Brief' at his blog for the news
Father and Brother Benedict have arrived safely, Deo Gratias, and Hilda is expected tomorrow..