Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Nice High Mass pictures

Thanks to Joe Shaw (flicker set here) there were some wonderful Walsingham pictures. I have, with true humility, taken the ones of me to put on this blog!

Private Mass in Oxburgh Hall (thanks to Joe Shaw)

Final Prayers of the Pilgrimage - Fr Michael Rowe in the foreground
(thanks to Joe Shaw)

These are the pilgrims from Clifton Diocese. Although a little battered in recent times, the traditional community in this diocese in the west of England still flourishes (link here).

Blessing of backpacks
 And finally a gratuitous photo of me

Monday, 26 August 2013

We Three Priests

Four actually. But here are Fr Cahill, Fr Crean and Fr Rowe ( from Australia)

Sunday, 18 August 2013

At the Norbertines

The retreat begins tomorrow though the community are in silence from tonight. As the retreat giver I am giving myself the license to take photos and put them on this blog. 

After all it's not me on retreat! 

This picture is of St Norbert holding the monstrance. In Chelmsford at the moment is something called the V festival. Music and whatnot. Not far away are the Norbertines with a different music - contemplating not the pomp and distractions of the world but God made man in the miracle of the Eucharist.

It is spiritual warfare in the modern age. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Spiritual Warfare

I'm off to the Norbertines in Chelmsford on Sunday to give them a retreat. You can see their parish website here, and their blog here.

The Prior asked me to give the retreat on "Spiritual Warfare". The reality of the forces of darkness has been underlined by Pope Francis numerous times and it is good to have it continually raised. We forget the presence of the Evil One and his action in the world and his desire that we burn in Hell for all eternally at our peril.

It has been a bit daunting preparing the seven talks, because like most people I do not relish thinking about these things.

The table reading is going to be "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S.Lewis. It has been many years since I read it, but I remember as a young man being blown away by it - it is a masterclass in psychology, temptation and our human weakness. If you have not read it, then you should, and if it has been a while since you dipped into its pages, then take it up again.

So here we go into the world of Spiritual Warfare. I hope I don't frighten the Norbertines too much... or myself for that matter.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Mozart on the Last Day

I have just received a recording of the final Mass of last term. We were lucky enough to have the sister of one of our boys who came to sing the solo parts of Mozart's Coronation Mass. A visiting teacher sang the tenor line. Our own choir sang the rest.

Now I have heard this before of course, but it was quite magnificent to have it as the music for Mass. The Mass was in the Ancient Rite, so the music fitted beautifully.

Mozart, who kindly wrote the music for the Mass that we sung at school
On the last day the parents come for the feast and festivities. If you want to showcase your school, then you'd be hard pushed to do it in a better way:

Mass at the heart of education
Boys singing with gusto in a choir
Boys serving with fervour on the altar
The praise of God resounding with joyful abandon
The adoration of God... not the school or the boys.

Listen to the links... not bad for a school of 40, eh?

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Exam Results Day

Like many young people and parents I am sitting around waiting to find out the AS exam results.

Even though I know the syllabus and taught to it, and (I hope) engaged the students, I am still so nervous!

Not quite what will happen if they mess up... but close!
When the AS candidates went in for their exam I had a thought...

How many students sit Religious Studies AS level?
Of them, how many use the AQA board?
Of them, how many chose the Old Testament option (from among the 12 or so offered)?
Of them, how many chose to do the rise of prophecy and the prophet Amos?

And so I wonder... were my students the only ones in the world talking about the rise of the prophetic guilds in the 9th century??!

(p.s. I can recommend this fantastic book about the Old Testament. Link here.)

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Tale of two shrines

The first is the shrine to saint Philomena in New Brighton. Bishop Mark Davis gave it into the care of the Institute of Christ the King and they are establishing it as a great national resource.

The building is so impressive, commanding as it does, sweeping vistas of the Mersey. 

The other shrine is that of Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God Barberi. He is the Passionist who came from Italy to convert the English. In the process he converted Blessed John Henry Newman. His shrine is lovely. It is in the middle of a housing estate sadly with no resident priest. The Passionists pulled out and left the bodies behind. 

Quite inexplicable. 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

If the cat fits it. 

My friend Carol had a birthday. She likes cats. I like cakes. I made a cat cake. We all ate it. Except for the unfortunate baking parchment I left inside. Whoops. 

Freak giant priest

The air at Chavagnes does strange things to boy and man alike. Here you can see the result of a terrible experiment that was enacted on a pupil. 

He was fed special Chavagnes growing medicine (sweets, probably bubble gum smaak) and the next day he had turned into the monster you see below. If that were not enough, he then grew another head. 

Parents I hope that this does not put you off sending your sons to us. 

St Dominic

The Feast of St Dominic landed on a Sunday this year and so St Dominic's Dursley celebrated in style with a high mass. I believe the first for fifty years. I had the honour of subdeaconing. Fr Redman, the parish priest sung mass and Fr Goodman, another priest of Clifton Diocese acted as deacon. 

The mass was splendid with seven servers all told and a good do afterwards. 

Say what you like about diocese and bishops, there can't be many diocese who can put on a high mass at the drop of a biretta. 

Thanks to Caroline Shaw for the photographs. 

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