Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sodality and Confraternity

St Augustine of Hippo
Some time ago I advertised the Latin Mass Society's new Sodality of St Augustine, which prays for lapsed and non-Catholic family and friends of Sodality members. The response has been very pleasing, and it has 134 members. We will shortly be advertising a public Mass for the Sodality's intention. See here for more information and to join.

I also wrote a series of posts about the lay apostolate: why we need a new type of organisation for the new needs of Catholics: the Confraternity of St Gregory.

The point of this is that it maintains the tradition of the old parish groups, of having face-to-face meetings of members, especially for prayer together. But it does so in a form which is not too demanding for the people who might otherwise be able to join: so not weekly or monthly, but quarterly, and in a format which can be combined with attendance at existing LMS events, such as pilgrimages. This enables it to work at a regional and national level, not one the parish or '30-minutes drive' level. At the more local level, there just aren't enough people for it to work.

Since the point of the Confraternity is to meet others and pray together, we need a critical mass of expressions of interest before we can launch it. We haven't got there quite yet, so I am repeating my appeal in the latest Mass of Ages and on this blog.

If you want to do a bit more than the bare minimum, if you feel that getting to Mass each Sunday is not giving you the sense of community and common purpose which you would like, then you have the same sort of feelings that our predecessors had going back to the earliest times. They added to their round of religious obligations membership of all sorts of Guilds, Sodalities, and Confraternities; these groups made considerable achievements in supporting parish life, schools, in care for the poor, and in enabling Catholic culture to flourish; some ended up owning property, others had an important political dimension. We need something like that today: of course we do, it is needed in every age and every region of the world.

Pope St Gregory the Great
There are groups which do good work in England and Wales today which fulfil some of the functions of the old associations, but they tend not to do so from the basis of a shared spirituality. This means that, however pious their members, their organisation works essentially like a secular group. This misses out a central component of Catholic activism. What Catholics attached to the Traditional Mass need is a group based around that Mass.

So please enquire about the Confraternity of St Gregory; the LMS Office will send you more information and register your interest if you email

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