Friday, December 03, 2021

Pilgrimage to Lyford Grange


Lyford Grange is the Recusant Catholic house where St Edmund Campion was captured in 1581. Traditional Low Mass was celebrated in a barn next to the house by Fr Richard Aladics of the Leeds Diocese. The pilgrimage was organised by Declan Jones.



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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Annual Requiem in St Benet's Hall


It is my pleasant duty to organise a Requiem each year for the deceased members, benefactors, and staff for my home institution within the University of Oxford, the Benedictine foundation, St Benet's Hall. It was particularly good to attend it this year, as it did not take place in 2020 due to the Covid epidemic.


Wednesday, December 01, 2021

An anti-Christian cultural hegemony

Mass last Saturday: annual Requiem in St Benet's Hall, Oxford.

My latest on Voice of the Family

If one is to live a Christian life, let alone evangelise in some small way, one has to recognise the unique challenges of one’s time and place. At all times and in all places there is the reality of Original Sin, one’s own sin and the sin of others. For the last century or so, we in the West have also had to live with the fact that being any kind of Christian, and perhaps particularly being Catholic, is regarded by most people as either incomprehensible or malign. In the words of Hilary Mantel, the much-lionised, best-selling author of historical fiction, which twists the narrative to demonise St Thomas More, being a Catholic is not “respectable”.

Mantel, like the author Philip Pullman, seems to have “issues”, as the modern jargon has it, with Catholic faith and culture. She has no intrinsic significance — there have always been strange people around — what is important is the use which has been made of her: she has been awarded all kinds of prizes and her repulsive novels have been adapted for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Pullman, another winner of multiple awards, has had one book made into a film and another into a play. Both writers have received the accolade of special editions of their works done for the bibliophiles of the Folio Society.

The publicity machines have nevertheless found it difficult to explain these peculiar individuals. Mantel was initially praised for the historical accuracy and realism of her work but, as real historians began to notice her material, she hastily rebranded it as a very fictional kind of historical fiction. After pocketing prizes for children’s books, Pullman decided, as his graphic descriptions of child torture began to get a bit out of hand, that this was just a misunderstanding; no, he was writing for adults.

Such U-turns would have sunk lesser folk, but the secularist establishment needs Mantel and Pullman. They possess some literary skill and their work can be used to counter-balance and even to exclude the Christian narratives given to us by writers of a previous generation: notably, Robert Bolt’s play and film, A Man for All Seasons, about St Thomas More, and the children’s books of C.S. Lewis. Literature and historical memory is being remade in the snarling image of secular modernity.

Read the whole thing there.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Mass celebrated for Vladimir Ashkenazy

Cross-posted from the FIUV blog.


As well as presenting the distinguished conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy with the De Saventhem Medal, the Federation had a Mass celebrated for the good estate of his family through the Latin Mass Society, on the feast of St Cecelia, the Patron Saint of music. (More about this here.)

It was a Missa Canata, celebrated by Fr Gabriel Diaz Patri, and accompanied by polyphony sung by the Southwell Consort led by Dominic Bevan.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Response to Fr Ruff on Liturgical Polarisation

Mass for Vladimir Ashkenazy and family at Maiden Lane last week.

Cross-posted from Rorate Caeli.

Fr Anthony Ruff at the Pray, Tell blog tells us that the basic picture, in the debate about liturgy, is that

either one supports Vatican II and the reformed liturgy to the exclusion of the preconciliar liturgy, or one shows greater or lesser openness to the preconciliar liturgy, which seems to be equated with opposition to Vatican II.

He does not pause to explain what "opposition to Vatican II" might mean, but admits that not everyone falls into these two strictly opposed camps:

people who don’t fit neatly in either camp... [who] don’t see the preconciliar liturgy as particularly bad or harmful and don’t mind attending it at times.

Fr Ruff would like such people to realise

that the preconciliar liturgy is incompatible with the large advances made by the Second Vatican Council in ecclesiology and liturgical theology and inculturation and all the rest.

He gives the impression that he would like to see the Church become two armed camps snarling at each other from their trenches, with barbed wire, if not clouds of poison gas, marking out no-man’s land. But as for what these Vatican II "advances" might be, Fr Ruff does not say.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Guild of St Clare: Sewing Retreat photos

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Last weekend was the Autumn Retreat of the Guild of St Clare. These are 'sewing retreats': with daily Mass and other devotions, and spiritual conferences from the retreat-giver each day, the participants mend vestments. This retreat took place in Douai Abbey.


Saturday, November 20, 2021

LMS Bedford Pilgrimage in Reparation for Abortion


This took place last Saturday. We were able to have this Mass last year, but without a congregation! It was good this year to have Mass with the faithful.