Friday, May 31, 2024

An Ordinariate for Traditionalists?

Three priests of the Archdiocese of Westminster take part in a High Mass
for Pentecost Monday in Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, in London.

My latest on 1Peter5.

It begins:

In the new edition of the traditionalist journal Sedes Sapientiae readers will find an article by Fr Louis-Marie de Blignières FSVF on the idea of a traditionalist ‘circumscription’, a term covering Personal Ordinariates and Prelatures, and a response to this article by me. Fr de Blignières, for those who don’t know, is the founder and superior of the Society of St Vincent Ferrer, which uses the traditional Dominican Rite. His article promotes the idea of a “circumscription” for Traditionalists: a non-geographical diocese headed by an Ordinary appointed by Rome. I am a bit more sceptical.

Since then an interview with Fr de Blignières has been published on Rorate Caeli on this subject, and I have been encouraged to put my thoughts about it into the public domain as well, to further stimulate what is a very necessary debate. What follows is complementary to my Sedes Sapientiae article.

Read the whole thing there.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Dan Hitchens on Sister Clare Crocket: podcast from the Latin Mass Society


Dan Hitchens gave a talk to the Latin Mass Society's series of talks, 'Iota Unum'. He spoke about the remarkable religious sister, Clare Crockett, who hailed from Northern Ireland and died in Ecuador in 2016, aged 33. Her order was the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother (S.H.M.).

IMG_0770You can listen to Dan's talk on the LMS podcast channel: search for 'Latin Mass Society' or 'Iota Unum'; here is direct link:

If you are in reach of London, do join us for these talks in person, meet the speaker, have a glass of wine, and meet some people in real life!

The next talk:

Friday 28th June, Sebastian Morello: ‘Cartesian Catholicism and the Loss of Sacred Space’

Talks take place in the basement of Our Lady of the Assumption; please enter by the back entrance into the basement: 24 Golden Square, W1F 9JR near Piccadilly Tube Station (click for a map).

Doors open at 6:30pm; the talk will start at 7pm.

There is a charge of £5 on the door to cover refreshments and other expenses.

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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Happy 20th Birthday, Juventutem International!


For the 20th Anniversary of the foundation of Juventutem International. The celebrant was Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP, the Chaplain; the deacon was Fr Henry Whisenant, and subdeacon Fr Neil Brett. The church is their regular London venue, the beautiful church of St Mary Magdalen's, Wandsworth, in Southwark Archdiocese. Mass was for the Friday of the Octave of Pentecost. It was accompanied by the Southwell Consort and sponsored by the Latin Mass Society.


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Friday, May 24, 2024

Fr John Hunwicke: 'month's mind' Requiem

The Latin Mass Society is pleased to announce that on Wednesday 29th May a Requiem Mass will be celebrated for the late Fr John Hunwicke, roughly a month after his death on 30th April 2024, in London.

The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street, has a regular Wednesday evening Traditional Mass, and this is taking place in that time slot, at 6:30pm.

It will be celebrated by the parish priest, Fr Mark Elliot Smith, who, like Fr Hunwicke, is a priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

It will be accompanied by the Southwell Consort, singing Victoria's Missa pro defunctis.

As an aside, we have arranged a Mass to be celebrated near the 20th anniversary of the Michael T. Davies, at our annual Mass at St Augustine's, Snave, on the feast of the Holy Cross, Saturday 14th September. (Because of the feast it will not be a Requiem Mass, but it will be offered for him.)

Mass in Snave is at 12 noon. (Click for a map.) See my report of the last one.

Requiem in Warwick Street from last year.

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Monday, May 20, 2024

Novena for a special intention, starting Tusday 21st May.

Bishop Sherrington giving Benediction at the LMS Confirmations in 2019, St James' Spanish Place.

The Latin Mass Society calls for a Novena in honour of Corpus Christi


We appeal to our members, supporters, and well-wishers to pray a Novena with us for an special intention:

beginning on Tuesday 21st May,

and culminating on the eve of Corpus Christi, Wednesday 29th May. 

This is not some matter of international importance, pertaining to just one diocese, but it is of great importance for those concerned, and it is emblematic of the sufferings of Catholics attached to the Traditional Mass which have followed Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Traditionis custodes.

For the case we have in mind, and for all similarly affected because of their devotion to the Church’s traditions, we implore the assistance of Our Lord, really present in the tabernacles of our churches, through the intercession of His Mother and St Joseph Patron of the Church, and of our church’s patron saints: to remember His people. Those praying this Novena might like to use the following invocation (repeated three times):

Parce Dómine, parce pópulo tuo: ne in ætérnum irascáris nobis.

Spare, O Lord, spare Thy people: and be not angry with them for ever.

I have a little comment on this here. This is one of our irregular 'Chairman's Briefings' which go to people signed up to the monthly Newsletter.

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Praying for the Conversion of the Jews

The Good Friday 'Intercessions' in 2023, in St Mary Moorfields, London.

In the Evening Prayer of the 1974 Liturgy of the Hours, on Easter Sunday and throughout its octave, and then again on the third and fifth Sundays of Eastertide, the Church prays,

"Let Israel recognize in you [Jesus] the Messiah it has longed for; fill all men with the knowledge of your glory."

The Church desires that Jesus of Nazareth be accepted as the longed for “Christ,” by “Israel”—Israel in the biblical sense, the Jewish people. This implies that they accept the Christian faith, in the context of the Church’s mission to “all men.”

Readers who have followed the debate surrounding the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews found in the pre-Vatican II 1962 Missal may find this surprising, but this is not an isolated case. Even more explicit prayers for the conversion of the Jewish people are found in the Liturgy of the Hours, in the Morning Prayer of December 31 and in Lauds on January 2, and the idea is raised elsewhere.

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Sunday, May 12, 2024

Ascension Day High Mass in Oxford


A splendid High Mass took place in SS Gregory & Augustine's in Oxford for the Ascension. The celebrant was the Priest in Charge, Fr John Saward, assisted by Rev. James Forde-Johnson (as deacon) and Rev. Kevin O'Connor (as subdeacon).



Saturday, May 11, 2024

Discussion of 'A Defence of Monarchy' with Calvin Robinson

I discussed the book I edited, 'A Defence of Monarchy: Catholics under a Protestant King' on Fr Calvin Robinson's 'Common Sense Crusade' show. This is the segment which Calvin has shared on his Facebook page. Subscribers can see the whole show here; before I come on, Eduard von Habsburg, Ambassador to the Holy See for Hungary, talking about his book 'The Habsburg Way'.

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Friday, May 10, 2024

Rogation Mass in Maiden Lane, London


On Monday I attended the regular Mass organaised by the Latin Mass Society in Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane. It was a Rogation Mass, and for the first time (as far as I know) we had the Rogation procession. This went round and round the church while the Great Litany was sung, with each intercession made twice -- so it took a pretty long time!

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Kingsley Lewis, RIP

Kingsley Lewis was the Latin Mass Society's Local Representative in Cardiff for many years. He was also a member of the Committee (a Trustee) of the Society, and from 2008 to 2011 he was Deputy Chairman.

He died on 7th May 2024, in Spain, where he had retired.

A Welshman and a gentleman, devoted to the traditions of the Church. Requiescat in pace.


These photographs were taken at the Latin Mass Society's Priest Training Conference in London Colney Pastoral Centre in 2009.


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Monday, May 06, 2024

A Defence of Monarchy: podcast with Gavin Ashenden

This post on my podcast with Gavin Ashenden got forgotten about, so here it is. I have a page on my book with lots of resources, here.

My two-part conversation with Gavin Ashenden is now available, on the subject of a book I edited, A Defence of Monarchy: Catholics Under a Protestant King.

You can find them in your usual podcast platform, by searching for 'Gavin Ashenden' or 'Merely Catholic'. If you want direct links here they are:

Part 1 is here
Part 2 is here (from 8 mins 30 seconds)

In the second part the discussion turns to the Papal monarchy,

Some endorsements of the book have now come in.

HE Eduard von Habsburg, Hungarian Ambassador to the Holy See

This is an incredibly interesting and well done book. It is especially valuable that it makes the argument in favour of even a weak monarchy, in its constitutional powers and even in terms of the personal commitments of it representatives. Instead of giving way to despair, the book encourages us to continue to appreciate the constitutional and symbolic importance of monarchy, while we wait for a monarchy that embodies Catholic principles in their fullness.

Fr Calvin Robinson, Patron of the British Monarchist Society

This book provides many lessons to Roman Catholics on why the British monarchy is a good thing; how Christians can be united around the British institution, even with our differences; and a staunch reminder that British heritage is undeniably Catholic, and a strong preserver of Catholic tradition through ceremonies such as the coronation and funeral services of the monarch. The last thing any traditionalist should want to see is the end of Catholic tradition.

Gavin Ashenden, Chaplain to the Queen 2008-2017

This excellent and intriguing new book edited by Dr Shaw, defending the monarchy from a Catholic perspective, offers not only an informed perspective on  constitutional developments and realities, but makes a powerful case that the monarchy we have offers us a great deal more than would a republic. It also serves as a defence of the integrity of Elizabeth II against under-informed anxieties held by some passionate defenders of the rights of the unborn child.  The grasp of constitutional and historical development makes refreshing reading for anyone interested in our constitutional settlement not only as a matter of history, but also to furnish us with ways of judging the political dilemmas a turbulent cultural future may present us with.

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Thursday, May 02, 2024

Fr John Hunwicke: a brief appreciation

The Vidi Aquam before Sunday Mass at the St Catherine's Trust Family Retreat, after Easter, 2013.
Fr Hunwicke giving 'First Blessings' after his ordination in 2012, in the church of St Winifride,
Holywell, during the St Catherine's Trust Summer School and LMS Latin Course.

On Tuesday 30th April 2024, the feast of St Catherine of Siena, Fr John Hunwicke of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, died.

He was a convert Anglican cleric, who was ordained as a Catholic priest in 2012. Although already retired by this time, he was always willing to put his great erudition and long experience of teaching to use for the cause of the Traditional Mass. 

Fr H. celebrating Mass for the Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat in 2022. The 
young server here was the recipient of the 'First Blessing' in the photo above.

As an Anglican, Fr Hunwicke was a ‘Papalist’, one who accepted the supremacy of the Pope in principle, and also a proponent of the Traditional Roman Rite, which he had learnt as a seminarian at St Stephen’s House in Oxford before the liturgical reform. He joined the Latin Mass Society as a ‘Friend’, since only Catholics can be full members.

For thirty years he taught Latin at Lancing College. His last post as an Anglican was to the ancient church of St Thomas the Martyr, near the railway station in Oxford.

Teaching Latin for the LMS Residential Latin Course, 2013

As a Catholic, a priest, and a supporter of the Latin Mass Society, he was willing to help in all sorts of ways. He took part as celebrant, deacon, or subdeacon in High Masses, in pilgrimages to Our Lady of Caversham, regular Masses at Holy Trinity Hethe, in SS Gregory & Augustine’s, and other places in the Oxford area and beyond. He led retreats for the Guild of St Clare and the St Catherine’s Trust. He taught in the Latin Mass Society’s Residential Latin Course, from soon after ordination, in 2012, until 2022, after which ill health made this impossible. He also took part in other initiatives, and for many years was a much-loved participant in the Roman Forum’s Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy, an annual, international Traditional Catholic gathering.

Celebrating High Mass in St David's, Pantasaph, 2013.

Wherever he went he was valued for his great wit and erudition, and also for his pastoral touch. Joining the ‘Roman Church’ was a momentous and courageous move, and some on our side of the Tiber had mixed feelings about a batch of new recruits who combined powerful intellects with strong characters. I like to think, nevertheless, that Traditional Catholics, such as those in the Latin Mass Society, made their appreciation of him clear.

He leaves a wife, children, and grandchildren.

As is our usual practice, the Latin Mass Society will organise a 'month's mind' Requiem for him, as someone who has made an important contribution to our work. Details will be published when confirmed.

Requiescat in pace.

Preaching at the SCT Summer School / Latin Course, 2014.

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