Tuesday, February 27, 2018

LMS Pilgrimage to Caversham 2018


On Saturday the Latin Mass Society went on pilgrimage to Our Lady of Caversham, which is always very edifying. It was interesting to see, this year, improvements to the shrine, with a new painted backdrop to the shrine image.


The Pilgrimage usually coincides with the Ember Saturday of Lent: not all pilgrimages can take place in the summer, and the Ember Saturday is something well worth celebrating in a solemn way. However, the Ember day was only commemorated this year, because it was the feast of St Matthias.


St Matthias was chosen, between Ascension and Pentecost, to replace Judas: when the Holy Ghost descended upon them, there was a full complement of Apostles. However, representations of the 12 Apostles tend to leave him out to make room for St Paul, so he can be neglected.


We didn't neglect him this year, however, with a splendid High Mass, celebrated by Fr Anthony Conlon, assisted by Fr James Mawdsley FSSP (deacon) and Fr Gabriel Diaz (subdeacon), and accompanied by the Schola Abelis (chant) and the Newman Consort. The Newman Consort sang John Taverner Kyrie Leroy, Thomas Tallis Mass for Four Voices, and Noel Bauldeweyn Ave caro Christi cara, all of which were lovely.

 (This is what it looked like last year.)

This year we had a buffet lunch in the parish room, which was extremely jolly and which we will certainly do again.

With thanks to Mgr Patrick Daly, the parish priest and shrine custodian.

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Mass in Didcot for the Chair of St Peter


Last Thursday was the feast of the Chair of St Peter, and Fr Philip Pennington Harris celebrated it with a Traditional Missa Cantata. It was accompanied by the Schola Abelis of Oxford.


Monday, February 26, 2018

An attack on older Traditionalists in the Catholic Herald

Because of the flurry of posts I've published in the last few days I'm putting this back to the top of the blog.

I'm cross-posting this from Rorate Caeli.

Davis in the Catholic Herald
In last weekend's Catholic Herald (Feb 16) Michael Davis (not to be confused with the late, great, Michael Traherne Davies) makes an extraordinary attack on the older generation of Catholics attached to the Traditional Mass. He does so in the context of an alleged contrast with younger Traditionalists. You can read the first part of his article, or pay to read the whole thing; I include some screenshots to give a flavour.

To generalise about Traditional Catholics as 'going out of [their] way to be nasty' or tainted by 'repugnant anti-Semitism' is wearily familiar, and I would not dignify it with a response but for the fact that Davis presents himself as a 'Traditionalist' (as he puts it), and the Catholic Herald is one of the more trad-friendly Catholic newspapers. Furthermore, Davis is the paper's US Editor, on the eve of their big launch in the USA. Rorate's Twitter feed put it well: what we see is the phenomenon of the "the self-hating self-righteous not-really-trad Trad." I've discussed other examples of the type here.

Evangelising the Culture: guest post

Evangelising the Culture: The Great Commission for Traditional Catholics
By Mike Carrol, LMS Representative for Lincolnshire.

Titian: great art still evangelising after five centuries. Seen by SCT Summer School pupils in 2016.
It is now ten years since Summorum Pontificum and it is now time for those within the traditional Latin Mass community to collectively use the great virtue of prudence to transmit the message of the Gospel into the culture and society. It is time to evangelise the culture. The great virtue of prudence gives us foresight and the mental and spiritual means of achieving even the most great and overarching goals. After we sanctify ourselves and our families through the Latin Mass, devotions, mortification, and dieing to self by way of The Imitation, we have one Great Commission left which to evangelise. Our traditional message can no longer be kept under a bushel. Christ's light must once again enlighten a society which is groaning under the weight of sin and a dystopian nightmare.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Rosary on the Coast

Rosary on the Coast
for Faith, Life and Peace in the British Isles

Sunday 29 April 2018 at 3pm

How to get involved

Email: admin@rosaryonthecoast.co.uk

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Chartres Pilgrimage: booking open

British pilgrims setting off from Notre Dame in Paris in 2014

Registration for the Chartres Pilgrimage is now open!

UK Pilgrims are spoilt for choice:

The long standing 'Chartres UK' group organised by Francis Carey, who will have a 'youth' chapter and one other: see the text below, or go here.

The Latin Mass Society sponsors a limited number of places in this group.

The Institute of Christ the King are organising a chapter: see the video below, see Facebook here and email newbrighton@icrsp.org

There is also a Scottish Chartres Chapter, which I introduced here. Email fromscotlandtochartres@gmail.com

From Francis Carey, Chartres UK.

Registrations for this year’s Pilgrimage to Chartres are now open! The 36th Chartres Pilgrimage has, as it’s theme, “St Joseph, Pilgirm and Servant”. We hope you are able to join us for this unforgettable pilgrimage in honour of Our Blessed Mother and the Holy Ghost.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Vestment repair day in the LMS Office

From the Guild of St Clare.

The Guild of St Clare has been asked to repair some vestments for the Latin Mass Society. These repairs will need to be undertaken in the LMS's office, in central London. We have arranged two dates when we will do this work: the 21st April and the 12th May, between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Lunch will be provided.
This violet High Mass Set is among the things needing attention
If you would like to join us, or want to know more about the details, please email me at lucyashaw@gmail.com. Space in the LMS office is fairly limited, so we need to know how many people are planning to come.

The Office is at 11 - 13 Macklin Street LONDON WC2B 5NH

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

LMS Pilgrimage to Caversham this Saturday, 24th Feb

Chair of St Peter: Sung Mass in Didcot

Please support this if you in the area, one of an occasional series of Sung Masses celebrated by parish priest Fr Philip Harris, and accompanied by the Schola Abelis of Oxford.

Church of English Martyrs, 15 Manor Crescent, Didcot OX11 7AJ (click for a map)

Sung Mass at 7:30pm, Thursday 22nd February 2018.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Call for Masses for Ireland's referendum

Update: it has now been announced that the referendum is likely to be on 25th May, the Friday of Whit Week (after Pentecost).

A Dominican Rite High Mass in the Priory of the Holy Spirit (Blackfriars), Oxford

Latin Mass /  Una Voce groups throughout Britain and Ireland call for Masses to be offered for the Irish abortion referendum

Many readers will have heard of the attack on the unborn currently being planned in Ireland. The background is that in 1983, in the context of fears that Ireland’s historic legal protection of the unborn would be undermined by the courts, the Irish voted to amend their constitution—the Eighth Amendment—as follows:

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

A referendum is now being planned to abolish this amendment. This will take place in late May or early June.

Ireland’s protection of the unborn is of special significance because it is unique in Europe, and among ‘developed’ countries in general. It is therefore a test case for the argument, so often made, that abortion is necessary for the safety of mothers. In fact Ireland has one of the best records for maternal mortality in the world, a fact deeply embarrassing to the abortion industry. Abortion is not necessary for the protection of women’s health, but indeed is a direct attack on it.

In response to this threat, four affiliates of the Una Voce Federation in the British Isles have come together to appeal for Masses to be said for this intention. Ireland has two national associations: the older Latin Mass Society of Ireland, and the more recently founded Una Voce Ireland. They are joined by Una Voce Scotland, and the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Support the polyphony database today!

Update: with apologies, it is still open till 10:56pm today!

Today is the last day of a Crowdfunder initiative to support a project to digitise a huge database of early Sacred Polyphony, to be provided free for scholars and musicians. Not only is it worthy of support, but the 'benefits' you can claim for donations are fantastic!

Some details below. Go to the Crowdfunder page.

What is the Polyphony Database?

PolyphonyDatabase.com is a detailed catalogue of early music sources designed to help musicians perform, academics study, and enthusiasts explore a vast and glorious repertoire quickly and easily. It aims to combine the practicality of CPDL with the academic rigour and ambition of the RISM census, to make use of similar projects where possible, and to directly combat the frustrations performing musicians have with all existing resources.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ten Weeks in Africa: review

The stories about Oxfam and Unicef stimulate me to repost this, from October 2012. The book I'm talking about is more prescient than I realised. Buy the book here.


Ten Weeks in Africa by JM Shaw (my brother) has been reviewed by Charles Moore. Read the review here.

The novel has turned out to extremely topical, with a series of stories appearing about how aid is misspent. Here's Charles Moore:

But the point to understand about international development, at least as it is usually conducted between modern states, is that it cannot achieve its intended results. Just now, this paper’s Sunday sister has been running some splendid stories of aid money wasted on tourist projects and overpaid consultants; much of it is commandeered by the European Union for unworthy causes. It is good to expose such things. But this novel looks at the question even more radically. 

People often say that if only more were done to “get rid of corruption” then aid would be wonderful. What they miss is that aid is the greatest stimulant to corruption offered by rich countries to poor ones. It is an uncovenanted, and often unaudited, blessing for those who already have power, and therefore — because the recipient countries are kleptocracies — a curse for the people they rule. 

The point is that aid, rather like diamonds or oil wealth, isn't just spoilt by corruption, it creates and sustains corruption. It also creates and sustains famine and war. Which isn't to say that it can and does do good. But there isn't a sharp contrast between 'good' aid and 'bad' aid: aid does bad, sometimes, because it does good: because people benefit from it, say in a refugee camp, people can leave their homes to go it. Again, it can do good, sometimes, because it is addressing a bad situation which it has created: having created a dependency, yes indeed the people really do need it to survive.

As I read the book I wondered about how people in these desperate situations can really be helped, and how the saints of the past, and present, in the Church, have gone about it. How did St Francis, or the Jesuits in the 17th Century, or Mother Theresa, do it? Part of the answer is the solidarity with the poor which they exemplified. They didn't swank about in Toyota Landcruisers and live in air-conditioned hotels, and throw handfuls of bank-notes to the beggars - or the equivalent. They became poor themselves to help the poor. Instead of representing an opportunity for graft, kidnapping, theft, corruption, and fraud, by coming into a situation with resources beyond the dreams of anyone they met, they addressed the poor personally, by service. They came to understand their needs, and yes of course they took money from donors and spent it on useful things like orphanages, but that was not the whole of what they were about, and when they did it they did it on the basis of a real knowledge of the people they were helping, and how they could be helped. And they didn't leave after three months to move on to another prestigious project, leaving everything they had done to be destroyed. If necessary they stayed with their adopted people and faced death from wars and persecutors. This is something, of course, which consecrated religious can do more easily than married people with children to think about.

Oh yes the aid workers the West sends out are very generous with their time and effort, and they really care about the people they want to help. But if they fail it is partly because they are giving their time, but not themselves.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Prayers for Persecuted Christians

The Arabic letter 'Nun', for Nazarene, is being painted
on Christian homes in Mosul, to mark them out.
I posted this in July 2014 for the Christians of the Middle East. Today I repost it with the thought particularly of the Catholics of China.


At this moment of disaster for the Christians of Mosul, and of the Middle East in general, we should remember to keep them in our prayers, and have Masses said for them.

There are several Votive Masses and Commemorations in the 1962 Missal for suitable intentions ('For the Church', 'Against Persecutors', 'For Peace' and the like). The Collect of one of them was enriched with an indulgence in 1934, for use as a prayer on its own. The indulgence has gone but we can still say the prayer.

Graciously hear the prayers of Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord: that her enemies and all heresies be brought to nought, and that she may serve Thee in perfect security and freedom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, Domine, preces placatus admitte: ut, destructis adversitatibus er erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate. Per Christum Dominium nostrum. Amen.

(Translation from the Raccolta, the official handbook of indulgenced prayers.)

The Raccolta also includes this short prayer, taken from the Roman Ritual:

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring low the enemies of holy Church, we beseech Thee to hear us.

Ut inimicos sanctae Ecclesiae humiliare digneris, te rogamus, audi nos.

A longer prayer, which isn't in my edition of the Raccolta but which was also granted an indulgence in 1934, was issued as a Prayer Card by the Catholic Truth Society with an imprimatur from Cardinal Godfrey in 1962.

Almighty, everlasting God, look with compassion on all those who suffer persecution for justice’ sake.
     Grant them grace to carry their cross with patience in the name of Thy beloved Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
     Let the chalice pass from them is such by Thy holy Will: yet, in all things, may Thy Will be done.
     Grant to those who persecute, light to see the truth, and the grace of mercy and forgiveness, for they know not what they do.
     Mary, Mother of Jesus, Comfort of the Afflicted, help thy children in their time of bitter trial.

O Lord our God, by the sign of Thy holy cross deliver us from our enemies.


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Sunday, February 11, 2018

The sexual revolution devours the young

Between 2012 and 2015, 600 rapes were recorded in UK schools. “Why didn’t you stop when she was crying?” a teacher asked a 14-year-old perpetrator. “It’s normal for girls to cry during sex,” he replied.

Blanche Girouard, basing herself partly on a report published last September in a pithy piece in Standpoint magazine on the sexualised nightmare many schools have become. Don't click on the links if you are of a sensitive disposition.

Girouard argues that we need to see the difference between normal flirtation and violent sexual assault, and that children need to be educated in this difference also. It doesn't sound much to ask, but the 'me too' phenomenon, and the heavy-handed policing of sexism in schools, seems determined to blur the distinction. It is true that flirtation coming from a person with great power over the other party, as has been the case with Weinstein and others, is a serious matter, but it is still different from a violent sexual assault. And the 'me too' hashtag has not been limited to such cases.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Spring 2018 Mass of Ages is here!

Mass of Ages - Spring 2018 Edition

Mass of Ages is the quarterly magazine of the Latin Mass Society. It contains reports on our many activities across the country, national and international news of Traditional Catholic events, feature articles on different aspects of traditional Faith and culture, and opinions and views on developments in the Catholic Church.
The spring 2018 edition is now available. In this issue: • Caroline Shaw reports on the ICKSP Pilgrimage to Fatima led by Cardinal Burke • Fr Christopher Basden remembers the late Fr Michael Clifton • Canon Martin Edwards reports on a traditional pilgrimage to the Holy Land • Alan Frost writes on the history of settings of the Stabat Mater • Damian Barker reports on the Young Catholic Adults retreat at Douai Abbey • Canon Amaury Montjean ICKSP welcomes the Sisters to Preston • The Catholic Medical Association’s Committee for the New Evangelization introduce their forthcoming Conference at Tyburn Convent
“It was a splendid pilgrimage, a time for us all to strengthen our devotion to Our Lady, to assist at beautiful Masses, to pray alongside Cardinal Burke and the Institute, to meet faithful Catholics from around the World, and to renew our trust that in the end, Our Lady’s Immaculate heart will, indeed, triumph.” writes Caroline Shaw on the international gathering of Catholics who joined the Institute of Christ the King’s pilgrimage to Fatima, led by His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke.

Masses in Hethe cancelled

With immediate effect the Traditional Mass at 12 noon in Holy Trinity, Hethe, has been cancelled, and until further notice.

If the situation changes I will post again on this blog.

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Thursday, February 08, 2018

A question for Freemasons

It seems the Chief Executive of the Grand Lodge is complaining about Masons being discriminated against, and wants to have a public campaign to answer people's questions.

However he wouldn't show the BBC the secret handshake, shucks. No doubt there are thousands of YouTube videos which will.

About them being misunderstood and disliked, I can understand what he means. Misunderstood, because they swear ridiculous oaths (only marginally less ridiculous without the blood-curdling threats) not to reveal what any interested person can find out from any number of books, about Masonic rituals and their symbolic meanings.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

More on Men and Women at Mass: the Hebrides

A Traditional Requiem Mass in the chapel of St Benet's Hall,
Oxford, in 2015. On the right the small statue is a scale model
of 'Our Lady of Isles', a huge statue constructed on Catholic
South Uist in the Hebrides in 1958. The model is I believe
a working model made by the artist, Hew Lorimer.
I've been reading about the Church in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Here is something worth sharing. Fr Allan MacDonald, Parish Priest in the Scottish Hebrides in the late 19th century, was a Gaelic speaker and a great collector of folklore. I quote John Watts, the historian, referring to Fr MacDonald's notebooks (which have been postumously published, in part):

Though the island people as a whole were devout, he found that it was the men rather than the women who ‘practised’. He reckoned that throughout Uist and Barra men outnumbered women at Mass by as much as five to one. He believed that this situation had developed over many generations, in a society in which the women were often left at home on Sundays to tend the cattle and look after the house, and as a result were not only deprived of the sacraments but of any deep instruction in their religion.

John Watts, A Record of Generous People: A History of the Catholic Church in Argyll and the Isles (2013) p156

The longer term background of this observation, if (as seems plausible) the situation in Fr MacDonald’s time did reflect many generations’ practice, is the dependence of these communities on itinerant priests visiting them, sometimes very infrequently, and celebrating Mass on ‘Mass rocks’ and in private houses: not because of an active persecution, for the most part, but simply because of the acute shortage of priests and funds. The parochial system was still only in embryonic form in Fr MacDonald’s time. 

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Holy Trinity Hethe welcomes Fr Anthony Talbot


As of the beginning of January Fr Anthony Talbot has been celebrating the Traditional Mass in Holy Trinity, Hethe, outside Bicester (Hardwick Road, Hethe, OX27 8AW). After a period of having a rota of priests coming from different places it is good to have a single pastor again, in this beautiful historic church.