Saturday, July 04, 2015

Two big, quiet announcements: Liverpool and Portsmouth

The church of St Mary, Warrington, in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, is being handed over to the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP). Archbishop Malcolm McMahon's message on the parish website explains.
Bishop McMahon, as he was, at the LMS Priest Training
Conference in Ratcliffe College, Leicester.


“I have invited the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter to come to the archdiocese and to have responsibility for St Mary’s Church, Warrington. In due course this will become a centre for the celebration of the extraordinary form of Mass and the sacraments. The priests of this fraternity will not, however, assume pastoral responsibility for St Mary’s parish, which will be the responsibility of Fr David Heywood from September.”

Fr Simon Henry has more to say about this fine Pugin church in the centre of Warrington. Historically it was looked after by the Benedictine monks of Ampleforth, who left in 2012. (Like the monks of Downside, they are progressively leaving the parishes which have been such a major part of their apostolate for two centuries.)

As Fr Simon explains, this is the Fraternity's first church. Their apostolates in Reading and in Chesham Bois, in each of which they celebrate Sunday Mass every week (and other Masses), are in churches in ordinary parishes, with a priest of the diocese as Parish Priest. Now, like the Institute of Christ the King, they have a church of their own, so to speak. This is a major development, and many congratulations are due to Fr de Malleray FSSP and the whole FSSP team. I look forward to hearing who will be posted there; it will obviously be an opportunity for more English-born priests of the FSSP to be sent to England.

Stars mark the location of St Walburge's
Preston (top), St Mary's, Warrington (right)
and SS Peter & Paul, New Brighton (left)
This brings the number of dioceses in England who have welcomed one or other of the Traditional Institutes to five. They are Portsmouth (where the FSSP have a canonically erected house of residence, in Reading); Northampton (where the FSSP has an official 'Chaplaincy' established by Bishop Doyle); Liverpool (where the FSSP will now have St Mary's Warrington); Shrewsbury (where the Institute of Christ the King are the custodians of the Shrine Church of SS Peter and Paul in New Brighton in the Wirral), and Lancaster (where Bishop Campbell has recently given the Institute of Christ the King the magnificent church of St Walburge's, Preston).

This is no longer an isolated phenomenon. And it is speeding up under Pope Francis.

And here's the second quiet announcment:

The Church of St Mary, Gosport, has had a new Parish Priest appointed: Fr Serafino Lanzetta, and will be a bi-ritual parish. The announcement of his appointment, as legal Parish Priest, is on the diocesan website here, to take effect on 8th September; the Parish newsletter, in fact, already calls him the Parish Priest and tells us that from next week:

'Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form (sung in Gregorian Chant) will be celebrated in St Mary’s Church at 7am Monday to Friday and 9.30am on Saturday. All are welcome.'

Daily EF Sung Mass seems almost too good to be true, but in fact the resources will be available and I'm not surprised to see this. Fr Lanzetta is the author of an important work, so far available only in Italian: 'The Second Vatican Council: A Pastoral Council'.

Gosport is the other side of Portsmouth Harbour from the city of Portsmouth. I look forward very much to seeing this very interesting new venture developing.

Fr Lanzetta (holding the card for the Last Gospel) at the LMS Pilgrimage to
Our Lady of Caversham; he was subdeacon.
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  1. Replies
    1. RORATE CAELI carries this report in somewhat more detail, including the following:

      " . . . The clustering of traditional places of worship in the North of England is not a coincidence: England's northern dioceses have a long-standing liberal reputation and are extremely short of clergy."


      "They were served by by the notoriously 'progressive' Ushaw seminary until it closed, for lack of students . . ."


    2. Thanks. I wrote the Rorate post.

  2. Great news . Step by step.

  3. In further news about the Portsmouth appointment, Fr Serafino used to teach at a certain very successful seminary in Rome and has brought 7 seminarians with him along with a house of sisters of that same institute who will also be resident in Gosport.

    The prayers and material donations of all who would like to support these friars and sisters would, I am sure, be greatly appreciated. Prayers for Bishop Egan too please - that St Michael would protect him in this courageous step.

    1. Fr.Serafina Lanzetta to offer the old Mass with the new ecclesiology

    2. Fr.Serafina Lanzetta to offer the old Mass with the new ecclesiology

  4. Super news! Thankyou for quietly bringing it to us!

  5. Bishop Egan seems to have a predilection for brilliant and bold moves; there's another at another extreme of his diocese and not strictly relevant to the LMS or this blog. Time for popcorn, I gather ...

  6. FSSP please come to Wales ..... Cardiff in particular ....