Wednesday, 22 March 2017

St Joseph's at St Joseph's



Fr Michael Brown, whose Church is dedicated to St Joseph, and who celebrated the High Mass in his patron's honour, has pictures of the event here.

Usual suspects indeed!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

St Joseph, the first of the usual suspects


There is a High Mass on Monday 20th March at St Joseph's Gateshead at 7.00pm. Fr Brown's post here.


I am pleased to be included in the usual suspects with such fine company. I hope I shall be able to celebrate him with similar splendour next year in Clifton Diocese.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

They will not defeat me.


Sitting as I am in the library in Durham (oh, how you can tell that there is less that six months to go before I return to the bosom of mother-Clifton) I find myself cowed and arraigned from all sides by sporty types of chaps. Now, although I can talk a good game of rugby as well as the next man (woman/transgendered ‘X’ – I can’t keep up, I really can’t), I find myself oppressed. Yes oppressed!


What has brought this about? I hear you cry! Is it the fact that they are fine specimens of young men at the peak of their physical prowess? Or that they have the nonchalance to walk from the library and leave their wallet behind, there on the desk! (I have lived in too many dodgy places to risk such a thing – I was in seminary for three years after all). Or think that they can get away with not shaving in the morning.

We, the nonchalant, shall cow you by our nonchalance
No I tell you, no. It is because they are studying maths, and it looks SO difficult that it took me a moment to realise that it was maths in the first place. Me, I’m a GCSE maths teacher, strictly quadratics and sample sizes. I get a frisson of excitement when thinking of solving simultaneous equations with matrices. But not these chaps. They laugh (I’m sure) in the face of translation vectors, the scorn (without doubt) the solutions to a quartic equation, and I dread to think how they would react if I suggested working out the angles in a circle.

If you think this is hard, then try teaching a French boy
that there is another way of doing long division
So I have done what any self-respecting Priest does when faced with such a terrible sight, I took out my breviary and started saying Vespers, muttering Latin for all I was worth. And with an open book of Unanswered Questions in the Catholic-Jewish Dialogue in front of me.

If in doubt, mutter Latin prayers

I might scribble down some meaningless algebra with a few squiggles of my own making, followed by a hovering question mark in a moment. And then ponder it, mid Latin Psalm, while muttering 
“surely Feuerbach’s hypothesis would never work in that matrix paradigm”
I will not be defeated! Never!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Eloquentia



The Chavagnes Studium has an online magazine, called Eloquentia. Link here.

Have a look, its pretty interesting...

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Mass in Durham


Sung Mass (Missa Cantata) in the Extraordinary Form

Thursday 16th March at 7:30pm

at St. Cuthbert's Catholic Church,
Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HL

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Celebrated by Fr Shaun Swales

Singing generously provided by a Schola drawn from the Student Body

All Welcome!

Refreshments Available Afterwards

Monday, 6 March 2017

Ahhh, the working of the Holy Spirit!


This is from Henri de Lubac Vatican Council Notebooks volume I, entry of October 26th, 1962:
K. J. Calewaert, bishop of Grand (who was put on the Preparatory Theological Commission by mistake: in Rome, he was mistaken for another man with the same name, dead these last few years, a great specialist in liturgy)...

Friday, 3 March 2017

Environmental Pope goes Electric


Following on from his firm commitment to the environment and the deep love and care for the earth's resources, the Holy Father has gone electric and started to use an electric car. The need to move in this direction is of course well documented, as are the Pope's green credentials.


It happened in 2012. The Pope was Benedict. The car was Renault. The link is here.


The media are completely blinkered and only ever mention the present Pope. So, Pope Francis I has followed in Pope Benedict's footsteps, but whereas Pope Benedict was only given two cars, Pope Francis has managed to wangle 10! Link here. Who says Argentinians aren't wiley!*

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Matthew 10.16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Come Lent, Come Veils

St Oswald's Bellingham
Above is the sanctuary of St Oswald's in Bellingham. Well it is after I had moved a few statues around. Our Lord was behind the door at the back of Church and Our Lady didn't have a candle rack. Everyone knows that Our Lady loves candle racks. She can't get enough of them.

So with the beginning of Lent I try to make it all look a bit different. Just a bit. After all we cannot take away from the proper veiling on Passion Sunday. So away to the shops I went and bought 10 metres of purple cloth (10 yards, 2 feet, 9 1/2 inches : official post-Brexit measurements - other measurements should not be available.) Of course it was not enough. I have enough for the bits and pieces, the two main statues, the risen Christ (I know it's not a Crucifix - and I know as well that it is not my Church!) but there is also a small statue of St Catherine who needs to be hidden and I have run out of cloth.

So this is the 'first bit of Lent empurpling'

St Oswald's Bellingham at the beginning of Lent
it's a bit like a game of 'spot the difference'

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Solving the Vocation Crisis


Our Bishops are always banging on about there not being enough Priests.

(Hmmmmm, is that true? No,well, often they say that it is an opportunity for the laity to take their place, and rid ourselves of redundant churches. Strangely enough this was not well accepted when our local doctor's practice closed down and I offered to start treating Marjory's arthritic hip with a little concoction of my own invention - involving raw garlic and feet - because it was time for me to take my place in the medical world. Even though I'm not qualified, and accountable to no one, and not trained... I'm sick of these Doctors lording it over us lay people, telling us what is wrong with us, diagnosing us, telling us how to change our lives in order to get well again. WHEN WILL THEY STOP!!!]


Well, I have a solution. We can invite the Maltese Priests over. They speak English. And culturally would fit in very, very well. And we could have all of their seminarians as well. You see nowadays you can increasingly believe the most outrageous twaddle, but not what we have believed for the last few thousand years. Maltese Archbishop Scicluna wants rid of them. See here. We need them.

So there you go, problem solved.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

You don't visit, you don't write, you don't 'phone


Before the advent of mobile phones, when I went to university there was one public telephone in my college. It was at the bottom of my staircase and was often empty. We didn't feel the need to be in touch every moment of the day.

So when I went away, I kept in touch with my mother by letter. I would post her a hand written letter once a  week, telling her of my doings (well a version of them anyway), and she would type me back. This was not because we were terribly formal, just that she was a typist, and used to do it at work.

I guess nowadays that seems very odd. Keeping in touch by in/frequent letter, and typed at that.


So, I am saddened that Cardinal Zen writes to the Pope about the persecution of the Church in China, and he does not get a reply. Link Here. My mum would have been gutted if I had not replied to her. I would have been a bad son. Unthinking and hurtful. I would have been showing thoughtless disregard for her.

But it would only have been about University.

Of course, we are still waiting for the Pope to get back to the Cardinals about the Dubia. Perhaps he doesn't like letters. Perhaps he has epistophobia.* Perhaps he doesn't have any fingers, so can't type a reply. Perhaps he doesn't have a voice so can't dictate one either. Poor Pope. I hate it when I get letters and can't be bothered to reply to them. But mine are usually from Specsavers. Or a publishing house trying to sell me that interminable "Walk with Me" stuff. All of this applies to the Pope not replying to Cardinal Zen. But it is just a little bit different. because it is not 'what I was doing last week', this is about the lives and faith of countless Catholics. Cardinal Zen says that he thinks the Pope is 'naive'.


I think Cardinal Zen is very charitable.


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* I think I just made this word up.

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