Thursday, November 30, 2023

Requiem for the Catholic Military Association


On Wednesday 29th November, the Latin Mass Society arranged a Requiem Mass for the Catholic Military Association of Our Lady of Victories (see their website and their Facebook page). This association, which is only a few years old (though it had precursors), supports Catholics in the British armed services, and their families.


The traditional Missa Cantata was celebrated by Fr Mark Elliot Smith, parish priest, in Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, in London.


It was accompanied by Gregorian Chant and Anerio's Requiem, sung by the Southwell Consort under Dominic Bevan.


It was attended by two members of the Association, in uniform: Wing Commander Gerry Doyle and Captain Francis Osborn.



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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Bishop Schneider in Milton Keynes


Last Sunday Bishop Schneider celebrated Mass in Milton Keynes. This was part of a trip organised by Catholic Voice, a newspaper based in Ireland. As news of the Mass spread, it became clear that the local churches would be too small, so it took place--with the approval of the bishop and the parish priest--in a school hall, with a remarkable portable altar. 


It was a Pontifical Low Mass, and the Latin Mass Society sponsored polyphonic motets to accompany it. Following Mass Bishop Schneider gave a talk in the same venue.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Who is to blame for lapsations? Me in Crisis magazine

Closer than most young Catholics will ever get to the Traditional Mass.
LMS Annual Mass in Bedford in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

My article begins:

Every now and then we read on social media about a Catholic lapsing from the practice of the Faith, or apostatizing—transferring allegiance to some grouping not in communion with the Holy See. This is always a tragedy. As St. Peter said to Christ when some disciples left Him because of His teaching on the Eucharist, “Thou hast the message of eternal life” (John 6:68).

There are many reasons why people leave, and it is something which has happened on a truly apocalyptic scale in recent decades, starting in the 1970s, in Europe and North America. It is depressingly predictable that many Catholic commentators display very little curiosity about why it has been happening, until they think they have found a way to use it as a stick to beat an opponent. This is what happened to Eric Sammons on Twitter/X when he shared the content of an email he had received by someone who had left for the Orthodox Church. 

Not only do many of Sammons’s respondents show no compassion for the man in question, or understanding of the factors which influenced his decision, but they contrive to blame Sammons, and the Traditional movement in general, for what happened. Their argument seems to go like this: the guy complains about poor liturgy; therefore, the people who recognize that liturgy is indeed often poor and want to improve it must have influenced him into thinking that liturgy is important enough to leave the Church over. The same goes for his other complaints: effeminacy, the lack of “challenge,” the impression that even some priests don’t believe in the Real Presence, and so on. If we address these concerns by trying to improve things, we are part of the problem because we are admitting that some aspects of Church life could be improved. 

Read it all there.

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Saturday, November 11, 2023

Annual Mass of Reparation for Abortion in Bedford: photos


The Latin Mass Society began this Mass following the tragic abortion referendum in Ireland. The Church of the Holy Child & St Joseph, Bedford houses the national shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the pro-life movement.


The celebrant, Fr Gerard Byrne, was assisted by Fr Michael Cullinan and Fr Thomas Crean OP. Fr Byrne preached a barnstorming sermon.

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Sewing Retreat: photos


The Sewing Retreat took place from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November. The Retreat giver was Fr Stephen Moseling OPraem; it took place at St Joseph's Centre, Ashurst. It was well-attended and a lot of sewing, and a lot of praying, took place!


Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Talk on the Latin Mass and the Intellectuals

Come along to the London launch on Thursday 9th November! More details, and to sign up, see here.

This is the talk I gave to the Pax Liturgia Conference in Rome to launch my book, The Latin Mass and the Intellectuals. If you click below it will start at 3 mins 35 secs and skip the introductory matter.

More about the book, including how to buy it.
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Monday, November 06, 2023

Book launch: The Latin Mass and the Intellectuals, 9th Nov

(Reposted) I delighted to announce the launch of 

The Latin Mass and the Intellectuals:
Petitions to Save the ancient Mass from 1966 to 2007

Preface by Martin Mosebach

With contributions from Leo Darroch, Fr Gabriel Díaz-Patri, Philip Maxence, Sebastian Morello, Matthew Schellhorn, and Erik Tonning

In due course it will be available from Arouca Press (in the USA) and the Latin Mass Society shop (in the UK), and Amazon: see my author page.

I introduced it in Rome, at the Pax Liturgia Conference, Friday 27th October.

The London launch will take place at the St Wilfrid Hall, London Oratory  SW7 2RP

6:30 for 7pm; refreshments

All welcome. Please RSVP through Eventbrite

More about the book can be found here.

When the Church's ancient Mass was in peril, in 1966, 1971, and in later years, a huge outpouring of support for it came from artists and intellectuals, many Catholic, many not, including Anglicans, Jews, non-believers, and even Communist sympathisers. What they recognised is that this Mass is part of the cultural and spiritual patrimony of the whole world, and that it would be a tragedy if it were to cease to be celebrated.
    This book looks at the petitions, the petitioners, their historical context, the arguments they used, and the intellectual and artistic movements of which they were part. It includes long-forgotten documents, new archival research, and discussions of key ideas. Why did the pacifists like Lanzo Del Vasto and E.I Watkin sign? What was the appeal of the Mass to artistic modernists like David Jones, Benjamin Britten, Robert Lowell, and Sir James MacMillan? How is this connected with the movement promoting the Middle Ages? Why did so many converts sign, like Evelyn Waugh, Malcomn Muggeridge, and Compton MacKenzie? Why are there so many Argentinians among the signatories, so many members of the Académie française, so many Nobel laureates and nominees, and so many people who had distinguished themselves in the fight against Fascism?
    Furthermore, this book draws out from the shadows the outstanding contribution to the organisation of the early petitions by otherwise obscure figures: the Italian Cristina Campo, and the Englishman Bernard Wall, their circles and their concerns.

As the Trappist, and theological liberal, Thomas Merton wrote in 1964:

As you know, I have many friends in the world who are artists, poets, authors, editors, etc. Now they are well able to appreciate our chant and even our Latin. But they are all, without exception, scandalized and grieved when I tell them that probably this Office, this Mass will no longer be here in ten years. And that is the worst. The monks cannot understand this treasure they possess, and they throw it out to look for something else, when seculars, who for the most part are not even Christians, are able to love this  incomparable art.

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