Sunday, 31 May 2015

Corpus Christi

Solemn High Mass will be celebrated on Thursday June 4th at 7pm for the feast of Corpus Christi at St Josephs's in Gateshead (link here). There will be a short processsion afterwards around the outside of the church. Music by Mozart, Elgar and Franck by the Westland Singers.

All welcome - come and annoy the Bishops of England and Wales by both Latin Mass and Corpus Christi on the right day!!!

As they say... win, win. Oh and worshipping God the Most High. So... win, win, win.

We learn from the atheists

It comes to something when the most insightful assessment of the position of the Church comes from Matthew Paris.

He is writing here about the Irish vote: "Even as a (gay) atheist, I wince to see the philosophical mess that religious conservatives are making of their case." His argument is that there simply is no argument. There is nothing put up to counter the prevailing mood of society. And how, exactly, are we to read the whole we-must-listen-to-the-world-and-take-a-reality-check stance? This is not our witness. This is not the examples of the saints through the ages or the teaching of the world, or even of the Good Book itself (Rm 12:2)

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Paris' conclusions are chilling and damning

In which case, when we run out of male celibates we shall adjust a previously absolute doctrine to a more relaxed view of priestly duty. When we run short of male priests altogether (celibate or not) we shall review the teaching on women priests. When we run short of parishioners on their first marriage, we’ll think again about divorce. And when we find we cannot stop heterosexuals using contraceptives or homosexuals coupling, God’s will on these wickednesses will be found to have been revised.
Abortion next, I suppose. Here, too, shall I live to hear the divine ahem? Silly me. And there I was thinking they meant it. As so often in my life, I have missed the big celestial wink.

Please read the article. It has a clarity and logic that we have been missing for some time. And it also should send a shiver down the spine of the liberal catholic intelligentsia.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Chartres 2015

The Chartres Pilgrimage went very well indeed. There were 12 in the Chavagnes Scout Group, and I must say that they acquitted themselves admirably.

Priests in Cassocks and in the background, Juventutem

We were joined by old boys of the school, Max and Laurent. Apparently the type of scout Laurent is allows him to wear long trousers.

Chavagnes is quite distinctive.

If not always full of energy.

Thursday, 21 May 2015


Look what they did to Jesus!

That's Parisians for you. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Little shoe horn?

Rosary... Check.
Pilgrim cross... Check.
Holy Water... Check.

Little shoe horn... Check.

Spiffy new UK badge to annoy the French... Check.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Which cotta?

I am faced with the age old problem of which cotta to take on the Chartres Pilgrimage. It might be the one with roses on,

Or it might be the one with lots of crochet...


Monday, 11 May 2015

A Woman's Right to Choose

Do We Still Believe in… a Woman’s Right to Choose?

How interesting a title is, and how easy it is to modify words and phrases. Because it is most often used in a certain context, most people would automatically think that I am referring to a woman’s right to abort (kill) the life in her womb. I am not.

Believe it or not, women are not to be defined simply as human beings with the legal right to end a life if they want to. No, the choice that I want to think about is whether or not a woman has the right to choose to stay at home as a mother, or indeed the right to go to work as a mother.

This is an odd subject. You can usually tell if something is contentious by the language which is used about it. And here, let me assure you, it is a minefield. What do you call a mother who does not go out to work? A stay at home mum? This implies a passivity, a lack of engagement with the world. A housewife? This has the woman’s life revolving around her husband and family – her only identity coming from others, either her husband or children. A homemaker? Beloved of the Americans, this implies that if she does go out to work, then a woman who is a mother is not making a home – her home is somehow ‘less’. A domestic engineer? Too technical, too mechanical, too weird!

This is not me being an unreconstructed male dinosaur, all of these definitions and critiques come from women’s own voices on websites which address this question, whether or not a woman should stay at home and look after the children, or whether she should go to work. None of this comes from me.

It is often said that it used to be the case that when a woman became pregnant she would simply leave her job, and there would be no expectation at all that she would ever go back to work. Or if she did come back to work, then it would be a number of years later. However, I suspect that this was actually only ever the case for the equivalent of the middle class. I know of many women of my grandmother’s generation who simply had to work, or there would be no food on the table. And throughout the whole of history there have been a fair few women who have been left by their husbands, either wantonly or because of circumstances beyond their control. So the waters are a little muddier than some would have us think. And nowadays there is a financial argument for some men staying at home, or single mums having to manage family finances.

There are as many individual cases as there are families.

But what do we believe? Well, we believe that a family is a mother and a father, and that this is the place where children should be brought up. And we believe that if women wish to stay at home, then they should be allowed to with no persecution, either financially or psychologically.  And if they wish to work, then the work and the working environment should bend to the good of the family. It is not simply a matter of ‘getting women (and specifically mothers) into the work force’ – which seems to be a fixation of our politicians – and the family, the children, can go hang.

The other children are at school,
some are upstairs because they have had their meal,
some are now at university. 
Our society should change. At the moment there is help towards childcare costs if you work, but not if you are at home. And the pension arrangements are similarly discriminatory. And if you do go back to work, then the hours and terms are not always helpful to spending time with the children. If our society values women, then we value them whether or not they work in the home or out of the home. And if we value children, then we facilitate the best environment possible for their nurture.

“In this way, women who freely desire will be able to devote the totality of their time to the work of the household without being stigmatized by society or penalized financially, while those who wish also to engage in other work may be able to do so with an appropriate work-schedule, and not have to choose between relinquishing their family life or enduring continual stress, with negative consequences for one's own equilibrium and the harmony of the family.”

CONGREGATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, The Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World, §13, 2004.


Published in the Latin Mass Society Magazine

Sunday, 10 May 2015


From Dr Joseph Shaw's photo stream

The bookings for the Walsingham Pilgrimage will soon be up and running. It seems to go from strength to strength.

Link here.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Hail Mary in English

Composer Fr Bede Rowe
Here is my musical version of the Hail Mary. After years of walking the Chartres Pilgrimage and singing the Hail Mary in Latin and French, I finally had had enough, and decided that the English should have their own setting.

So I composed this. You can just sing the top line, but it is better if you have two groups of people. It is quite easy. The only tricky bit is to remember that "Holy Mary Mother of God" is in unison, harmonises for a bit, and then splits again.

I like it... but then I would.

Feel free to download, use and sing. This is how I wrote it, so don't change it too much, and it would be nice be credited as well!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Walsingham Video

A Journey to England's Nazareth: The LMS Walking Pilgrimage from Ely to Walsingham from LMS on Vimeo.

This is a video about the Walsingham Pilgrimage, I saw it on the LMS Chairman's site, link here. It is copyrighted, to Mike Lord and the LMS. I hope that it is OK that I put it here. If not, I'm sure someone will tell me.

The Pilgrimage is excellent I have done it for a number of years (sadly not last year), and this video gives a great flavour of it.

Also the beginning has the Hail Mary being sung in English to my own setting, so I'm very pleased about that.

I'll dig out a version of the music and put it up here.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Our Lady's Vestment in May

It is coming on OK, but this is only the back, and the rest has still to be made.

Our Lady's chin still needs a bit of work.

Headless saints! Note the coat of arms...

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