Sunday, 27 December 2009

Majestic Irish Cathedral Destroyed by Fire

The north-central Irish Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise has suffered the tragic loss of its 150-year old cathedral yesterday morning in what may have been an act of arson. Just a few hours after the bishop celebrated Midnight Mass, the fire broke out. By the time it was extinguished the beautiful interior was completely gutted.

A video showing the destroyed cathedral can be seen here. The Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Dr Colm O'Reilly, has said he will restore St Mel's Cathedral in Longford , though it will cost over €2 million. Bishop O'Reilly said he celebrated midnight mass to a packed Cathedral. He said that it was an extraordinary contrast the next morning. Construction on St Mel's started in 1840 and it opened in September, 1856.

More on this story here.

Though details of any fundraising efforts have yet to emerge, the Diocese can be contacted as follows:-
The Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois
Diocesan Office,
Ballinalee Road.
Co. Longford.
Phone: +353 (0)43-3346432
Fax: +353 (0)43-3346833
Email: ardaghdi at
(image: RTÉ)

Friday, 25 December 2009

upcoming events - January

Friday 1 January 2010
Mass for New Year's Day [EF]
6.00pm, FSSP Oratory, 6 Belford Park, Edinburgh

Wednesday 6 January 2010
Mass for the Epiphany [EF]
6.15pm, St Andrew's Church, Belford Road, Ravelston, Edinburgh (more)

Monday 18 January 2010
Missa Cantata (Votive Mass for Unity of the Church),
followed by talk about Chartres Pilgrimage

7.00pm, Glasgow University Catholic Chaplaincy, Turnbull Hall,
13-15 Southpark Terrace, Glasgow G12 8LG

Thursdays, 21 & 28 January 2010
Gregorian Chant (intermediate)
9.45 - 11.45am, Appies Tea Rooms, Sandvick, Orkney Islands

Thursday 21 January 2010
Solemn Vespers and Benediction for the feast of St Agnes
6.45pm, St Mary's RC Cathedral, Broughton Street, Edinburgh (info)

Friday 29 January 2010
Mary's Meals Launch Night (fb)
7.30 - 9.00pm, Balcony Room, Teviot House, University of Edinburgh (Bristo Square)

Sunday 31 January (last Sunday of the month)
Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament
after 11.30am Mass (Extraordinary Form),
St Andrew's Church, Belford Road, Ravelston, Edinburgh (more)

Sunday 31 January
Talk: Paris to Chartres Pilgrimage
8.15pm, Edinburgh University Catholic Chaplaincy
Blackfriars, 24 George Square, Edinburgh (facebook)


Please comment with details of further events.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Christmas Masses in Edinburgh

Thursday 24 & Friday 25 December 2009
11.30pm, 09.30am, and 11.30am

Latin Masses
according to the Extraordinary Form

Rev. Fr. John Emerson
Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter

11.30pm, Gregorian Sung Mass
St Andrew's RC Church, 77 Belford Road, Edinburgh
(Carols from 11.30pm to midnight)

09.30am, Low (said) Mass
FSSP Oratory, 6 Belford Park, Edinburgh

11.30am, Gregorian Sung Mass
St Andrew's RC Church, 77 Belford Road, Edinburgh

For more information on the FSSP in the UK, see

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Two Venerable Popes and a Martyr

A decree issued today by the papal offices has declared Popes Pius XII and John Paul II to be venerable. The bestowing of this title is a confirmation of their exemplary life and a step towards beatification and perhaps ultimately sanctification. For the cause of Pope John Paul II the miracle cure of a French nun is under investigation.

The decree is not unexpected in the cause of John Paul II. At his funeral there were calls for 'Santo subito'(Saint now) and rumours of this declaration of venerability have been growing these past days. Similarly, rumours continue that his beatification will happen sometime next year, either on the anniversary of his death (2 April) or the start of his papacy (15 October).

Pope Pius XII's papacy ran from 1939 to 1958 and his cause has long been slowed down by of accusations of his alleged lack of actions against the Holocaust. Much can be said about this and against the majority of the accusations, but evidently the decision has been made to recognise Pius XII's heroic virtues.

Officially, the two popes must now be referred to as Venerable Pope Pius XII and Venerable Pope John Paul II.

The same decree also affirms the martyrdom of Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko, a Polish priest who was murdered by the Polish Security Police in 1984 for his role in the anti-communist workers movement in Warsaw. Fr. Popiełuszko was a young priest (only 37 at the time of his death) who supported the striking steel workers in Warsaw and then became an inspiration, both spiritually and politically for the fledgling Solidarność union. Eleven days after his murder, the body of Fr. Popiełuszko was found in a reservoir. He is buried in front of his church in Warsaw.

(reposted from There was a boy...)

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Another Successful Gregorian Chant Course

The historic church of St Magnus, Birsay (Orkney), provided a fitting venue for Gregorian chant on Monday 14 December. The ancient evening service of Compline was sung by students on a beginners’ Gregorian Chant course. The course, led by Harray resident Ben Whitworth, ran at Appies Tea Rooms, Sandwick, during November and December. It followed a successful beginners’ course, also at Appies, last winter.

Ben said: ‘The students on the course were really enthusiastic and the quality of the singing at Birsay Kirk indicates just how much work they put in. Gregorian Chant is rightly famous for its serenity, but it requires a lot from the singers: accuracy, stamina, good pronunciation of Latin – and all this unaccompanied. I’m proud of how much this class has achieved.’

After the first beginners’ course, a number of students wished to continue meeting to learn new music. The group – known as the Orkney Schola – now rehearses regularly, and has sung at the Catholic parish church of Our Lady and St Joseph in Kirkwall. An intermediate course will run at Appies in the New Year, beginning on Thursday 21 January 2010. To book, please call Pam Farmer on 841562. The course will suit anyone who has completed one of the beginners’ courses at Appies, or who has some experience of choral singing.
Further details:

For additional information, contact: Ben Whitworth, Cribbaquoy, Harray, Orkney KW17 2LQ, tel. (01856) 771677, email: ben at, blog:

(image: Singers at the Gregorian Chant service of Compline in St Magnus’ church, Birsay; Angie Whitworth)

Saturday, 12 December 2009

New Charity Shop...

The Sisters of the Gospel of Life have opened up a new outlet, hoping to get the pro-life message out.

If you are in Glasgow at any point, the shop, Precious Things, is at 651 Cathcart Road, and the Sisters would be delighted to see you.

Please keep this new venture, and all the wonderful work of the Sisters and the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative in your prayers.

You can still make a donation to the Sisters via the PayPal button on their blog's sidebar, or you can send items for the mothers and babies in their care direct to 106 Dixon Avenue, Glasgow, G42 8EL.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Cenacle of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus

News from Tulsa, OK: This week saw the clothing of the first novice of the Our Lady of the Cenacle monastery, Brother Juan Diego Maria de San José. Fr Mark Kirby, superior of the Cenacle, has been given a mandate by Bishop Slattery, the local Ordinary, to live under the Benedictine rule, in a life of adoration, thanksgiving, intercession and reparation.

The Cenacle is planning renting larger property for use as a temporary monastery. However, this depends on the generousity of others. More funds means this can be achieved, and even beginning may be made on a permanent monastery. Cheques can be sent to Fr Kirby at the address below.


The foundation of the Benedictine Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle in the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma is a timely response to the Year of the Priesthood. The following notes present something of the vision for this new monastery under the Rule of Saint Benedict. Please address all inquiries to Father Mark at the address given below.


"I came," says Our Lord Jesus, "that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)


"One thing is needful." (Luke 10:42)

• under the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict and the guidance of the Father of the monastery.
• in the school of the service of the Lord.
• in obedience, the love of silence, and humility.
• in the joy of the Holy Spirit.


"I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." (Luke 22:15)

"And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth." (John 17:19)

• the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: the sun illuminating each day.
• daily prolonged adoration, on behalf of all priests, before the Eucharistic Face of Jesus, close to His Open Heart.
• in reparation for offenses committed against the Most Blessed Sacrament, and for the indifference of those who forsake Him, Who waits for us in the tabernacles of the world.
• in thanksgiving for the mercies that ever flow from the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.


"I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." (Romans 12:1)

• for the sanctification of priests and the spiritual renewal of the clergy in the whole Church.
• in reparation for the sins that disfigure the Face of Christ the Priest.
• in the sacrificial love that is inseparable from the gift and mystery of the priesthood.


"I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; in the presence of the angels I sing your praise." (Psalm 137:1)

"O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." (Psalm 28:2)

"Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God." (Hebrews 13:15)

• Holy Mass and the Divine Office celebrated in Gregorian Chant.
• bringing to the traditional forms of the sacred liturgy a diligence and beauty worthy of the Holy Mysteries.


"When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your son!' Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home." (John 19:26-27)

• following in the footsteps of Saint John the Apostle who, obedient to the word of Jesus crucified, took Mary into his home and into the intimacy of his priestly heart.
• communitarian and personal consecration to the Virgin Mary.
• commemoration of the Mother of God at all the liturgical Hours.
• Holy Rosary daily.


"In the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations." (Ephesians 3:21)

• heeding the Supreme Pontiff, our Holy Father, the Successor of Peter.
• in filial obedience to the Bishop of the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
• in generous service of the clergy by means of hospitality given to priests, deacons, and seminarians for days of silence and adoration, for retreats, and for spiritual direction.
• promoting Eucharistic adoration in the diocese of Tulsa.
• direction of the movement for spiritual motherhood benefiting priests.


"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord, and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one." (1 Corinthians 11:4-7)

• hospitality to priests, deacons, and seminarians.
• spiritual care and support of the clergy.
• both manual and intellectual work, according to the abilities and gifts of each one.


"If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.'" (1 Corinthians 11:19-21).

• choir monks dedicated to the integral service of the liturgy and, normally, destined for the priesthood.
• monks not destined for the priesthood who, imitating Saint Joseph, dedicate themselves to the ceaseless prayer of the heart in the daily tasks entrusted to them.

• diocesan priests, Missionary Adorers of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus, sacerdotal Oblates of the monastery, living its charism and sustained by the monastic community in the midst of their pastoral labors. The Missionary Adorers, while remaining incardinated in their respective dioceses, will live according to the Statutes approved by the Bishop of Tulsa.

• deacons and laymen, single and married: secular Oblates of the monastery.
• women Oblates dedicated as Spiritual Mothers for Priests, following the initiative of the letter of 7 December 2007 of His Eminence, Claudio Cardinal Hummes, Prefect of the Congregation Pro Clericis.
The monastery will provide these women with a suitable initial and ongoing spiritual formation.


"You have said, 'Seek my Face.' My heart says to You, 'Your Face, O Lord, do I seek.' Hide not your Face from me." (Psalm 26:8-9).

"It is the God who said, 'Let light shine out of the darkness,' who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the Face of Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6).

• all participate daily in adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the monastery, or for priest, deacon, and lay oblates, in their parishes


For Catholic men between the ages of 18 and 35.
Postulancy: 3-6 months
Novitiate: 2 years
Temporary Vows: 3 years
Monastic Consecration after 5 years


Please send your contributions toward building the Eucharistic Cenacle to:
Reverend Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, O.S.B.
1744 South Xanthus Avenue
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104-5324
Telephone: 918-749-0995
E-mail: cenacle at
Thank you for your generosity. May Our Lord Jesus Christ make the light of His Eucharistic Face shine upon you.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

upcoming events - December (2)

December 15th onward

Monday - Friday during Advent

12.00 - 12.30pm, St Mary's RC Cathedral, Broughton Street, Edinburgh

Tuesday 15 December 2009
Service of Advent Lessons and Carols (more info)
6.30pm, Conventual Church of Saint John of Jerusalem
(Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, Grove End Road NW8
in aid of the Knights of Malta Hospice

Tuesday 15 - Friday 18 December 2009
Advent retreat: 'The Holy Angels' (more info)
Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Berkshire
Preacher: Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP

Thursday 17 December 2009
Solemn Vespers and Benediction - Great Antiphon 'O Sapientia'
5.00pm, St Mary's RC Cathedral, Broughton Street, Edinburgh
please note the altered time (more info)

Saturday 19 December 2009
Advent Penitential Service
4.30pm, St Mary's RC Cathedral, Broughton Street, Edinburgh

Sunday 20 December 2009
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
12.00am, St Margaret's RC Church, Loch Rd, South Queensferry,
followed by Benediction at 1.45pm
; Advent Penitential Service thereafter

Sunday 20 December 2009
Holy Mass for 4th Sunday of Advent [EF]
5.00pm, St Thomas the Apostle, Blackburn Road, Addiewell
this Mass will normally take place on the 3rd Sunday of each month

Sunday 20 December 2009
Sung Latin Vespers and Benediction
6.30pm, Immaculate Heart of Mary, 162 Broomfield Road, Balornock (Glasgow)
please note the altered time (more info)

Thursday 24 December 2009
vigil Mass of Christmas
carols at 11.30pm, Mass at Midnight
St Andrew's RC Church, 77 Belford Road, Edinburgh

Friday 25 December 2009
Masses for Christmas Day
9.30am, FSSP Oratory, 6 Belford Park, Edinburgh
11.30am, St Andrew's RC Church, 77 Belford Road, Edinburgh

Sunday 27 December (last Sunday of the month)
Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament
after 11.30am Mass (Extraordinary Form),
St Andrew's Church, Belford Road, Ravelston, Edinburgh (more)


Please comment with details of further events.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Priests Training Conference (Ushaw)

LMS Residential Training Conference for Priests Wishing to Learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) at Ushaw College, Durham.

The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales (LMS) is organising a residential training conference for priests wishing to learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) at Ushaw College, Durham, one of England’s most prestigious seminaries.

The conference will run from Monday 12 April to Friday 16 April 2010 (i.e. Low Week) and will feature Traditional liturgies in Ushaw’s magnificent neo-Gothic St Cuthbert’s Chapel together with a Gregorian Chant schola and polyphonic choir.

Expert tuition in the celebration of Mass in the Usus Antiquior will be provided on a small group basis. There will be tuition in Low Mass, Missa Cantata and Missa Solemnis and there will be streams for beginners and more advanced students. There will be a keynote lecture and 1962 Missals and altar cards will be available.

There will be opening and closing High Masses, daily Mass and Devotions, and Rosary. There will also be a closing Conference dinner with guest speaker.

The subsidised fee to participants is only £115.00 which includes all accommodation, meals and training materials. There are limited places and priests are asked to register as soon as possible.

Further details and registration forms can be obtained from the LMS office (Tel: 020 7404 7284, e mail: info at or from the conference organiser, Mr Paul Waddington (Tel: 01757 638027, e mail: paul at

Paul Waddington said, “This is the second time the LMS has organised such a training conference at Ushaw College and we are delighted to be going back. I hope the laity will tell their priests about this wonderful opportunity to learn the Usus Antiquior in the setting of one of England’s finest Catholic seminaries.”

Latin Mass Society, 11-13 Macklin Street, London WC2B 5NH
Tel: 020 7404 7284
E mail: info at

(photo: Fr Ray Blake)

Friday, 4 December 2009

Papa Stronsay Calendar

by Fr Tim Finigan

The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer on Papa Stronsay have a beautiful and original calendar for 2010 featuring photos of Liturgy and manual work on the island. For information, see: Into a New Year with the Papa Stronsay Calendar. There are some copies left after their regular mailing to subscribers so it would be good if they were able to sell them. The first page has a list of "n00th" anniversaries through the centuries, such as the 1800th anniversary of the birth of St Cyprian. Each day has the celebration listed according to the liturgical calendar of 1962.

You can get a copy via paypal by using the order link on the sidebar of the Papa Stronsay blog, or you can order one from ebay. Price £5.

(reproduced, with permission, from The Hermeneutic of Continuity)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Historic homecoming for the Knights of Malta

by Gerald Warner

West Lothian witnessed an historic event as the Knights of Malta returned after 450 years to Torphichen Preceptory, their mediaeval headquarters in Scotland lost at the Reformation, to celebrate the Latin Mass.

The occasion was presided over by Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, Grand Prior of England of the Order of Malta, accompanied by knights and dames of the order (above).

The traditional Mass was arranged by Una Voce Scotland, the Scottish branch of the International Latin Mass Federation. Una Voce has been conducting Masses in the extraordinary form in different historic venues in Scotland and at the end of October they celebrated an Old Rite Mass at Cambuskenneth Abbey [Stirling].

The celebrant was Mgr Hugh Boyle; Fr John Emerson, of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, was seated in the sanctuary beside the Grand Prior. The splendid vestment worn by Mgr Boyle, which attracted much attention, were 19th-century French cloth of gold.

Fred Stone of Una Voce explained that when they were taken to the Burrell Collection for expert assessment the museum was anxious to acquire them, but they are still very much in service and far from becoming museum.

Torphichen Preceptory near Bathgate in West Lothian was granted to the Knights Hospitaller by King David I in the 1140s, but there had been a church there from very ancient times, allegedly established by St Ninian around 400AD and said to have been visited by King Arthur a century later.

Torphichen was the Scottish Commandery of the Knights of Hospitaller of St John (known from 1530 as the Knights of Malta, after they took possession of that island.) Before and after the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, it was visited respectively by William Wallace and Edward I Longshanks, the Hammer of the Scots.

After the Reformation the building was partly demolished; only the foundations of the knight's cloister remain. The nave of the cross-shaped church became the parish kirk, but that too was demolished in 1756 and replaced by the present parish church.

Of the original commandery building all that remains is the central tower and transepts of the mediaeval church. These portions only surive because they were for a time used as a courthouse. The tower was at one point ruinous, but was re-roofed in 1947.

The building, now in the care of Historic Scotland, is still impressive. The vaulted ceiling is fine example of mediaeval craftmanship and, as the Una Schola schola discovered, provides excellent acoustic for Gregorian plainsong. They sang the Mass and then Te Deum, concluding with the Salve Regina.

In his homily Mgr Boyle invoked the historic nature of the occasion and the ancient link that Torphichen represented with the Order of Malta and Scottish Catholicism. At the end of Mass, Fra' Freddy Crichton-Stuart led the knights in reciting the prayer of the Order of Malta.

(photo © Martin Gardner;
reproduced from The Scottish Catholic Observer, 27.11.09)