Saturday, 27 September 2008

Blessed John Sugar and Blessed Robert Grissold - Forgotten Heroes


If we think that things are bad in the Church at the moment, with Priests (and even Bishops) openly disobeying the will of the Holy Father etc. then just spare a thought for our spiritual forefathers. Their problems were nigh on insurmountable, but they displayed a courage and strength of faith that would put us to shame. Two such forgotten heros are Blessed John Sugar and Blessed Robert Grissold.

Blessed Robert Grissold (or Greswold) came from a village called Rowington, which is approximately 2 miles from Baddesley Clinton, which is a small village in Warwickshire.

The Grissold’s were devout Catholics in a troubled time, because in the early 1600’s in England, it was against the law for anyone to attend Mass. Instead they were forced to attend vernacular communion services, introduced by Archbishop Cramner (a few years earlier), which were very different to the Traditional Latin Masses that Catholics were used to. For a start the service was entirely in English, the pastor faced the congregation, any references the Mass as a sacrifice had been banished and there were vernacular hymns sung throughout the ceremony to emphasise the communal sense of the service. Stained glass windows and images had either been destroyed or whitewashed over; and Communion was offered under both kinds, inline with the Hussite and Protestant belief , which maintained that Communion under both kinds was necessary for salvation.

In 1603 the authorities were searching for Priests, who because of the impossible legal situation, led double lives, often taking on alias names and hiding for hours in secret hiding places (constructed in houses) called Priest holes.

On Sunday, 8th July, Robert Grissold was found on a road near Baddesley Clinton House, a place notorious for ‘popery’, with Father John Sugar – it is quite possible that Fr. Sugar had just come back from celebrating Mass. Both Fr. Sugar and Robert Grissold were arrested and then imprisoned in Warwick Gaol for one a year.

On 13th July 1604 John Sugar was convicted of being a Catholic Priest and was condemned to be hung drawn and quartered, which was the punishment for being a Priest in England at that time. Robert Grissold was told that he would be freed if he would recant and attend the communion services of the Established Church , at one point an exasperated Justice shouted at him ‘Grissold, Grissold, go to Church or else thou shalt be hanged’. He refused to accept this and was found guilty of being in the company of and of assisting a Catholic Priest. Being a layman he was sentenced to be hung.

On 16th July 1604 both men were taken to a place called Gallows Hill - to their execution. Both prayed in Latin before courageously meeting their death in the most horrific manner . Blessed John Sugar was hung first and then Blessed John Grissold who told the multitude (who had come to watch the execution) ‘Bear witness, good people, that I die here not for theft, nor for felony, but for my conscience.’ Fr. Sugar’s head and quarters were hung on the gates of Warwick, while Blessed Robert Grissold was buried beneath the gallows.

Blessed John Sugar was 42 years old and Robert Grissold was just 29 years of age. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

It's a Small World - New Consultors of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff

I noticed the following headline yesterday in the Vatican Bollettino:- The Holy Father has nominated as consultors of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff: Msgr. Nicola Bux, professor at the Theological Faculty of Puglia, Italy; Fr. Mauro Gagliardi, professor at the Pontifical Athenaeum "Regina Apostolorum", Rome; Fr. Juan Jose Silvestre Valor, professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome. Fr. Uwe Michael Lang C.O., official of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Fr. Paul C. F. Gunter O.S.B., professor at the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum, Rome.

I have come across two of the above Priests before. Fr. Lang intervened and stopped me from getting into hot water with a German security guard at World Youth Day in Cologne Germany (I was a completely innocent bystander by the way); and I used to be one of Fr. Gunter’s Altar Servers at St. Gregory’s in Cheltenham – in fact I spoke to him a few months ago when I was in Rome. Fr. Gunter is, in fact, a Priest of Douai Abbey in Berkshire and has been in Rome for many years, I am very pleased for him as he has deserved it for all his hard work!

Douai Abbey have an Abbot in Rome too, Fr. Edmund Power is the Abbot of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, he’s also 33-1 to be the next Archbishop of Westminster.

Friday, 5 September 2008

YCA Local Group(s)

Cheltenham (Gloucestershire)
New Joint Local YCA Meeting


YCA are sponsoring the catechetical materials of Cheltenham Catholic Adults. The meeting takes place on the 2nd Tuesday of the month on the 1st floor of the Old Priory at St. Gregory's Church Cheltenham. The next meeting will be on Tuesday 9th September 2008 at 8.15pm on the 1st floor (upstairs) of the Old Priory. Please ring 07908 105787 for more details.
A new group will start at St. Peter's Gloucester in the next few weeks.

Extraordinary Mass

As per the last blog entry a traditional Low Mass is being celebrated at St. Gregory's every 2 weeks, the next Mass being Saturday 6th September.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

The Traditional Mass Returns to Cheltenham


For the first time since the since the liturgical changes the Traditional Mass has returned to Cheltenham Spa a leafy regency town in the centre of England. On 9th August 2008 Fr. Smith celebrated his first public Traditional Mass with 100 people present, which was a very large congregation for a Low Mass at 11.30 on a Saturday! This was followed up with another Low Mass on August 23rd. It is hoped that these Extraordinary Masses can continue to be celebrated every 2nd Saturday.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Bishop Peter Elliot of Australia Warns against Personal Interpretation of Scripture at International Juventutem Gathering

This is an interesting quote from the recent Juventutem activities at World Youth Day in Australia.

On Thursday 10th July, Bishop Peter Elliot, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, offered a pontifical high Mass in Melbourne and again one week later in Sydney where he also gave a catechesis. Answering a question on Sacred Sriptures, Bishop Elliot suggested an interesting parable. He said the Holy Bible is like a family album, each of its books describing members of the same family. He went on saying that if a boy from the house next door were to creep in the house, steal the album and open it at home; he and his relatives would not be able to identify the pictures and the relationships between the persons in the book, simply because they are not from the family. Bishop Elliot said that, as evident from the Acts of Apostles, the Church already existed and functioned institutionally before the canon of Scriptures would be defined. He concluded by saying that only the (Roman Catholic) Church therefore is endowed with indefectible assistance from the Holy Spirit so as to interpret infallibly the Holy Scriptures, because the persons and events described in these books simply are “her family”. Bishop Elliot is a convert from Anglicanism and has studied in England. He has worked many years at the pontifical Council of the Family and has written books on the liturgy.(Courtesy of http://www.juventutem.org/ )


Saturday, 16 August 2008

An Extraordinary Weekend at Douai Abbey


Douai Abbey Retreat 2008

The Young Catholic Adults (YCA) retreat at Douai was fully booked this year and proved to be the most successful to date. It was led by Br. Christopher Greener the Guestmaster of the Abbey. The accommodation in the Bl Hugh Faringdon and St Alban Roe buildings was excellent, and much improved from previous years.

Fifty People Join in the First Marian Procession in Recent Memory


On the afternoon of Saturday 5th July at 2.30pm, YCA organised a Marian Procession in the grounds of the Abbey. This was the first such event in recent years at Douai, and was made possible with the help of the organisation Our Lady Help of Christians. Fr. Abbot gave a blessing and joined in with approximately fifty other people, including many clergy and religious. Everyone loved the event, including one of the resident monks who said that this was his first Catholic Procession ever.


The rest of the weekend involved saying the Rosary, attending Vespers (in Latin), a talk on St. Benedict given by Br. Greener and having social time in the evenings. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with other guests commenting about how nice it was to hear younger people praying the Rosary.


Monsignor Conlon Celebrated Mass

On Sunday 6th July, almost one year on from the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, the Traditional Mass returned to Douai Abbey for only the second time since the liturgical changes. Monsignor Conlon (despite and incredibly busy weekend) celebrated Low Mass (the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost) in the Parish Church of Our Lady – which is adjacent to the Abbey. Some on this retreat had never been to a Traditional Mass, (there were also two Anglicans in the group) and so Monsignor very kindly an excellent and informative talk about the positive benefits of the extraordinary form of Mass and how the Pope wants the Old Rite to flourish once again in every Parish in the West. Again the comments afterwards were all positive – someone suggested that they would now like to start attending Latin Masses. The Mass was open to the public (not just retreatants) so afterwards some of the congregation thanked Monsignor Conlon for celebrating a Mass, which they had not seen for almost forty years.

The Abbey are keen to keep the event an annual one and have already invited YCA back for next year. Young Catholic Adults would like to wholeheartedly thank Fr. Abbot, Br. Greener and Monsignor Conlon for making this event a truly extraordinary success.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Young Catholic Adults get into the Catholic Herald



For the first time ever YCA (Young Catholic Adults) have managed to get a write up in the August 1st edition, in the Catholic Life section on page 6.
There was a good selection of photos of the Marian Procession on July 5th 2008!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Douai Abbey Retreat (Update Wednesday 2nd July 2008)

This retreat almost fully booked - there has been one cancellation ( so there is still 1 residential place left),plus if are in the 18-35ish age range and want to come for the day, please goto reception at the Abbey and ring 07908 105787, our events will start at 9.30am (Suggested donation 5 pounds - extra for meals)

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Events at Douai Continued....

Events at Douai Abbey 5th-6th July 2008
Run by Young Catholic Adults – affiliated to Juventutem


Retreat at Douai Abbey

This retreat is now fully booked, but if are in the 18-35ish age range and want to come for the day, please goto reception at the Abbey and ring 07908 105787, our events will start at 9.30am (Suggested donation 5 pounds - extra for meals)

There are two events open to the general public:-

Saturday 5th July 2008 (2.30pm) – Marian Procession

A Marian Procession will take place on Saturday 5th July in the Abbey grounds starting at 2.30pm – outside the main Abbey Church

Sunday 6th July 2008 (11am) Traditional Mass (Low)

Traditional Latin (Extraordinary) Low Mass will be celebrated on Sunday 6th July by Msr. Anthony Conlon Chaplain to the Latin Mass Society at St. Mary’s Church (adjacent to the main Abbey Church) at 11am. The Mass will be the Eighth Sunday of Pentecost.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Douai Retreat 2008

Timetable of events for the Douai Retreat

Friday
1pm - onwards arrival of Friday guests
5.00-6.00 – Video the FSSP’s Pilgrimage to Rome
6.00-6.30pm – Vespers
8.00- Social
*It is possible to arrive earlier, but the rooms will not be ready

Saturday
9.00-9.30am Rosary
9.30-11.30am Spiritual reading/reflection
11.30–12.30am – Talk on St. Benedict by Dom. Christopher Greener
2.30-3.30pm Marian Procession in the grounds of the Abbey*
3.30-6.00pm - Spiritual reading/reflection
6.00-6.30pm – Vespers
6.30-8.00pm – Free time8pm – Social
*Held jointly with the group Our Lady Help of Christians

Sunday
9.00–9.30am – Rosary
9.30am-11.00am – Free time
11.00 – 12.00pm – Mass (Eighth Sunday after Pentecost) celebrated by Monsignor Conlon
2.30pm – Lunch at the `Ro Barge’ pub in the village of Woolhampton

Daily Schedule of Meal Times at the Abbey Refectory

8.00-9.00am Breakfast
1.00-2.00pm Lunch in the Refectory
7.00-7.30pm - Supper
*Please note the Sunday lunch will be at Ro Barge’ pub in the village the rest of the retreat is full board.

DIRECTIONShttp://www.douaiabbey.org.uk/map.htm


DOUAI WEBSITEhttp://www.douaiabbey.org.uk/index0.htm

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Evangelium Conference

This summer there is an Evangelium Conference for young adults (18-35), sponsored by the CTS, at Fawley Court, Henley-on-Thames from 8-10 August. Speakers include Fr John Saward, Fr Thomas Crean OP, Fr Jerome Bertram of the Oxford Oratory, and the British Catholic blogosphere's very own Auntie Joanna. Cost is £85 for the weekend but places are limited to 100 so you need to book early if you want to go.H/T to Rationabile Obsequium and H/T to Fr. Tim Finnegan http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/

Monday, 16 June 2008

Cardinal Hoyos: - The Pope Wants Traditional Mass in All Catholic Parishes - Only 3 People Required to Request Traditional Mass (in the meantime)



It was an early start, I got on the 7.43 train from Gloucester, but nevertheless I was looking forward to the day ahead. What was I going to ? The Pontifical Mass at Westminster Cathedral celebrated by one of the Pope’s closest advisers His Eminence Cardinal Castrillion Hoyos. The train arrived in Paddington Station on time – unusually; and then I ambled to Westminster Cathedral. I had been to this Mother Church of all the Catholics in England and Wales many times before, and never before had I seen it to be full.

With about 45 minutes to go, I decided to take my seat; however, a momentous site beheld my eyes, it was difficult to find a place. This was indeed an extraordinary phenomenon, people were standing at the side and the back and there was a palpable feeling of awe and excitement in the congregation. Just before the Mass Cardinal Hoyos had address the LMS AGM and what he said there was just too amazing to believe, it was really rather difficult to take it all in.
At the Press Conference beforehand the Cardinal said :-

The Catholic Herald: So would the Pope like to see many ordinary parishes making provision for the Gregorian Rite?

Cardinal Hoyos: All the parishes. Not many – all the parishes, because this is a gift of God. He offers these riches, and it is very important for new generations to know the past of the Church. This kind of worship is so noble, so beautiful – the deepest theologians’ way to express our faith. The worship, the music, the architecture, the painting, makes a whole that is a treasure. The Holy Father is willing to offer to all the people this possibility, not only for the few groups who demand it but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Herald: On that note, would you like to see all the seminaries in England and Wales teach the seminarians how to celebrate in the Extraordinary Form?

Cardinal Hoyos: I would like it, and it will be necessary. We are writing to the seminaries, we are in accord that we have to make deep preparation not only for the Rite, but for [teaching] the theology, the philosophy, the Latin language …

The Catholic Hearald: What would be the practical steps for ordinary parishes [to prepare for the Gregorian Rite]?

Cardinal Hoyos: If the parish priest selects an hour, on Sundays, to celebrate the Mass, and prepare with catechesis the community to understand it, to appreciate the power of the silence, the power of the sacred way in front of God, the deep theology, to discover how and why the priests represents the person of Christ and to pray with the priest.

The Tablet: I think many Catholics are rather confused by this new emphasis on the Tridentine Rite, mainly because we were taught that the new Rite represented real progress, and many of us who have grown up with it see it as real progress, that there are Eucharistic ministers, women on the sanctuary, that we are all priests, prophets and kings. This new emphasis to many of us seems to deny that.

Cardinal Hoyos: What is progress? "Progredire", means [offering] the best to God… I am surprised, because many young people are enthusiastic with the celebration of the Gregorian Rite …

The Tablet: In the Motu Proprio, the Pope's emphasis is on one Rite and two forms, and he describes the Tridentine Rite as "extraordinary". Extraordinary therefore means exceptional, not something that we celebrate every Sunday.

Cardinal Hoyos: Not "exceptional". Extraordinary means "not ordinary", not "exceptional."

The Tablet: Should it therefore supersede the new Rite? Should we go back?

Cardinal Hoyos: It is not going back: it is taking a treasure which is present, but was not provided. … But it takes time. The application of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council took years. It takes time to understand the deep profundity of the old Rite. The Holy Father is not returning to the past; he is taking a treasure from the past to offer it alongside the rich celebration of the new Rite. The second Eucharistic prayer of the new Rite is actually the oldest one [in the Church’s entire liturgy]. It’s not a matter of confrontation but of fraternal dialogue.

The Catholic Hearald: What about the "stable group"?

Cardinal Hoyos: It's a matter of common sense … In every bishop's household there are maybe three or four persons. This is a stable group … It is not possible to give two persons a Mass, but two here, two there, two elsewhere – they can have it. They are a stable group.

The Catholic Hearald: From different parishes?

Cardinal Hoyos: No problem! This is our world. Managers of enterprises don’t live in one place, but they are a stable group.
(H/T Damian Thompson from the Blog Holy Smoke)