Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Young Catholic Adults and WAF Marian Day - on 9th April between 11:30 - 2pm at St. Gregory's Cheltenham

The Parish of St. Gregory the Great (10 St James Square, Cheltenham, GL50 3PR) will be hosting a Marian event on April 9th 2016 11:30 - c.2pm. It will start with a Rosary at 11:30am followed a procession around the Church. 

There will be a presentation on Fatima by Donal Foley, the Secretary of the World Apostolate of Fatima, England and Wales, which will start at 12:15pm in the Old Priory and finish by c.2pm. It will include a DVD and a PowerPoint presentation, as well as time for refreshments and questions and answers. Books, booklets and DVDs will be available for sale. The focus of the presentation is the importance of the Rosary and the Five First Saturdays devotion, and how they can revitalise our own spiritual lives, the parish, and the Church generally. 

This event is organised by Cheltenham YCA and the World Apostolate of Fatima and is for ALL AGES. There is a suggested donation of  £5 – please bring a packed lunch.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

The Devil Hates Latin!

I just attended a talk by the exorcist for diocese of San Jose, Fr Gary Thomas. He is the subject of a book and a film called The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins. (The talk was organized by a group called Catholics at Work.)

First, he was a great speaker. He described how almost by accident, and after 20 years as a parish priest, he found himself sent to Rome to learn how to perform the Rite of Exorcism. He was very clear in saying that, in his opinion, the recent rise in interest in (the) New Age.... has opened the door to adherence to the occult for greater numbers of people than before, which in turn opens the way to diabolical possession. He has always been inundated with requests, even before the publicity. 
The fact that he described these things pretty much in the same straightforward, matter-of-fact way that one might describe what goes on in a marriage or baptism in a parish RCIA class only served to reinforce the truth of it all for me. And I would say that if anything is to increase your faith, it is listening to accounts of how the Church overcomes the effects of possession by the devil and demons, and the suffering of those poor people who are affected by them.
I wanted to pass on one little comment that he made almost in passing. I do not know where he stands liturgically in regard to the Mass - there was nothing in what he said that led me to believe that he celebrates the Latin Mass, for example. However, he did explain that the Rite of Exorcism is only said in Latin. One reason is practical - there is no approved translation in English as yet. He gave another reason why he was so strongly in favor of the use of Latin in the Rite of Exorcism: “The Devil hates Latin, it is the universal language of the Church.” I asked him about this afterwards, and he repeated it, saying that his personal experiences as an exorcist who has performed many, many exorcisms have convinced him of this. He told me he had heard from exorcists who did exorcisms in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese (the only approved vernaculars for this Rite) that Latin was the most effective language.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

WYD 2016 Registration for Federatio Internationalis Juventutem Is Open!

From Fr Armand de Malleray, Ecclesiastical Assistant to the FIJ:-

World Youth Day, to be held from July 25th to August 1st in Krakow, Poland, is right around the corner. Those who wish to attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite can do under the patronage of the Federatio Internationalis Juventutem (FIJ) group, organized by Krakow’s youth. During the meetings the daily Mass celebrant will be His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan. The Bishop will also lead catechesis sessions. All of the events for our group will take place in the very heart of Krakow at Saints Peter and Paul Church on Grodzka Street,_Krak%C3%B3w
We wish to encourage youth from traditional communities in Poland and across the world to attend this event. Organization and group registrations can be made only through WYD 2016’s registration page. We urge those registering to familiarize themselves with all information either on the registration page or in the FAQ:


Thursday, 18 February 2016

5 Reasons Young Catholics Should Pray the Rosary

From "Mary":-

Let’s be honest.  The rosary isn’t the most popular prayer amongst our age group.  It’s the prayer that we sometimes got guilt-tripped into reciting on long car rides with the family, or guilt-tripped into reciting while at the Lenten prayer service, or guilt-tripped into reciting when…well, you get the picture.  For many of us, the rosary is pretty much just the result of a guilt trip.

However, despite what preconceived notions or feelings you may have towards the rosary, I submit to you that it should be a regular part of your daily life as a young Catholic.  Why?  Five main reasons:

1. In the fight against temptation and against Satan, a wimpy and sporadic prayer life simply will not do.
What does the prayer life of most people our age look like?  Most likely: whatever we feel like that day.  This is, quite simply, a recipe for disaster, and a fast-track to grave sin (which if committed with full knowledge and full consent equals Mortal sin....ed).

If you’re not accustomed to it, developing the habit of praying a daily rosary (or any consistent daily prayer) is difficult.  Because of this, we can easily come up with a thousand reasons why getting in a rosary every day is just not all that important.  The Catechism describes this battle of prayer:
2725 Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in his name. The “spiritual battle” of the Christian’s new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer.
So, we turn to the one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal: the rosary.
“The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.” -Saint Josemaria Escriva

“No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary: either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary” -Bishop Hugh Doyle
2. Because “World Peace” isn’t just a go-to answer for beauty pageant contestants
Prayer may be described both as an internal struggle and as a spiritual battle, but as Christians, we are always faced with the task of bringing the peace of Christ to a confused and hurting world.  How are we even to begin to go about this?

Mary literally gave us the answer to this herself.  And then she made the sun dance. If you’re not familiar with Mary’s apparitions at Fatima, she appeared several times to three children at the beginning of the twentieth century.  Her message:
Our Lady stressed the importance of praying the Rosary in each of Her apparitions, asking the children to pray the Rosary every day for peace. Another principal part of the Message of Fatima is devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, which is terribly outraged and offended by the sins of humanity, and we are lovingly urged to console Her by making reparation. She showed Her Heart, surrounded by piercing thorns (which represented the sins against Her Immaculate Heart), to the children, who understood that their sacrifices could help to console Her.
Again and again, Mary has appealed to us in her apparitions to pray the rosary daily.  Why not do as she says?

3. Because Jesus listens to his mother
We see this in John’s account of the gospel, when Jesus transforms the water into wine after Mary tells him they had run out at the wedding (John 2:1-11).  In a similar way to the Old Testament, when the King listened to and respected the Queen Mother, so Jesus respects and listens to his Mother, Mary, Queen of Heaven.
“And the king said to her, ‘Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you” -1 Kings 2:20
Of course we can go straight to Jesus, but he has given us his Mother as well (John 19:27).  And as we know from the gospel, Jesus hastens to answer his Mother’s requests.

4. Miracles Happen
“Among all the devotions approved by the Church, none has been so favored by so many miracles as the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary.”  -Pope Pius IX
Books could be filled (and, in fact, have been filled) with stories of miraculous healings, conversions, and other events brought about by the regular recitation of the rosary.  There’s no reason to expect the rosary not to bring about some dramatic and powerful change in your life as well.

5. Because meditation helps us to “see for the first time”
The rosary is meant to be the “epitome of the entire Gospel”.  When we pray the rosary, we are engaging in the practice of mediation
CCC 2708: Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him.
Mediation is meant to lead us as a step along the way to true knowledge of the Lord, to personal union with Jesus.  As GK Chesterton said, “If you look at a thing 999 times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it for the 1000th time, you are in danger of seeing it for the first time.”  This is what we attempt to do in mediation – to see for the first time.  We meditate on the stories of the Gospel as we pray with Mary to help us see Jesus for the first time....So get the beads out and start praying!  You won’t regret it.

H/t to Mary at

Monday, 15 February 2016 Website Updated

The old Young Catholic Adults website has been revamped!

                                               Courtesy of

 It now has better mobile functionality and will be updated on a more regular basis!

See:- .

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Liturgical Colours - an Explanation

Liturgical Colours by Arthur Crumly

The wearing of differing colours for vestments according to the season or feast, familiar to us today, is of late origin and does not appear to have begun until the ninth century at the earliest.

At first, vestments were of one colour, white. Black was sometimes worn as a sign of mourning. A tenth or eleventh century writer speaks only of white vestments, except he refers to scarlet stripes (clavi) on the diaconal dalmatic, and says that black vestments were used during the procession on the feast of the Purification.

By the twelfth century, Rome had a canon regulating the use of colours for vestments. Pope Innocent III, who reigned from 1198 to 1216, is the first to mention four colours : white which the Roman Church used on feasts of confessors, virgins and on other joyful days; red used for martyrs, of the Holy Cross, and at Pentecost. Some, it seems also wore red for the feast of All Saints, but there is nothing strange in this as the feast was in origin the anniversary of the dedication, in AD 609, of the church of Our Lady, Queen of All Martyrs (the Pantheon in Rome). However, the Roman Curia wore white on this day. Black was used in penitential seasons and for Masses for the Dead ; green was used on common days because it was "midway between black and white". Pope Innocent regards violet as a variant of black and says the former was used on the feast of the Holy Innocents and Laetare Sunday. Scarlet and saffron yellow (coccineus et croceus) were considered as versions of red and green. Rose coloured vestments, he tells us, were sometimes worn for feasts of martyrs and yellow for confessors.

Until the introduction of chemical dyes in the nineteenth century, it was very difficult to produce a real black. Black was in reality a very dark shade of blue or green or brown. At the Catholic Church in Croydon there is (or was some years ago) a set of "black" velvet vestments which date from the earlier years of the nineteenth century when vegetable dyes were still in use. When the priest stands at the altar wearing them the vestments look black, but laid out on the vestment press in the sacristy with the light shining on them from a different angle it is clear they are a very dark navy blue. When I was a boy, many of the old servers' cassocks (the cassocks were old, not the servers) in my parish church had faded very badly and patches of them were seen to be brown or green; they had been dyed with vegetable extracts.

The medieval Rites employed a greater number of colours and, because it was a matter of custom not rubric, there was considerable variation as to what colours were used for different feasts and seasons. Parish churches might have followed something of the colour scheme of the cathedral or some other great church, but much would depend in smaller churches on the number of sets (ore suits, as they are usually called in medieval records) of vestments which the local church owned.

The sacramentary of one great church in the Middle Ages listed as the vestments for use on ferias as "any old vestments the sacristan sets out" while elsewhere "the best vestments" irrespective of colour were specified for great feasts. The Bishop of Salisbury had vestments stitched with plates of gold, which tinkled as he moved. They must have very heavy to wear.

Amongst colours used then, but not in current use, were blue, yellow and unbleached linen. The last was the colour for Lent, sometimes "ash", a greyish colour was used for "Lenten array". In the Lyons Rite in France this was still the Lenten colour until the liturgical upheaval of the last three decades of the twentieth century, and, indeed may, for all I know, still be so in their New Order of Masses.

Blue and yellow were differently used in various places in, for example, the Sarum Use; blue was the colour for Virgins and Widows in some colour schemes with yellow for Confessors, in other places use of the two colours was reversed. Yellow continued until modern times as the colour for Confessors in the Carmelite Rite. That Rite also made use of blue as the colour for feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These two colours are not used in the Roman Rite; although, exceptionally, blue was worn for feasts of Our Lady in the Roman Rite in Spain and, because it was converted from that country, in Spanish America.

In Florence in the Middle Ages, red and white striped vestments are known to have been worn on the feast of Corpus Christi : the colours of bread and wine.

In the Gallican Rites of France, red was the usual colour for the Blessed Sacrament. During the French Revolution, bishops and priests escaping from the Terror came to England. Some re-introduced the practice of burning a lamp before the Blessed Sacrament in the then newly established Catholic chapels, hence in many churches today the red sanctuary lamp is in the Eucharistic liturgical colour of the Gallican Rites, not that of the Roman Rite.

It was not until the Missal of Pope St.Pius V, that there were rubrics requiring the uniform scheme of five colours for the Roman Rite:-

White (albus) which is worn for the seasons of Christmas and Easter, on feasts of Our Lord and of Our Lady, on feasts of angels, the feast of All Saints and the feasts of saints who are not martyrs.

Red, which represents fire and blood, is worn on the feasts of the Precious Blood, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Cross, apostles and martyrs.

Green vestments, the colour of hope, are used for the Sundays and Ferias after Epiphany and those after Pentecost.

Violet is the colour of penitence, is worn in Advent and Lent, and on Rogation and Ember Days (except those of Pentecost when red is worn), the season of Septuagesima and Vigils (except those of the Ascension and Pentecost).

Black , the colour of mourning, is used for Good Friday and for Requiems. Exceptionally, when Masses of the day are being celebrated (away from the High Altar) when the Blessed Sacrament is being exposed for the Forty Hours Devotion, on the Commemoration of All Souls (November 2nd), violet vestments are worn instead of black.

Rose colour (color rosaceus) vestments are prescribed by the Caerimoniale Episcoporum for use in cathedral churches and may be worn elsewhere instead of violet on the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete) and mid-Lent Sunday (Laetare); on those two Sundays the Pope blessed golden roses for presentation to Catholic queens.

White may be replaced by real cloth of silver and white, red and green, but not violet or black, by real cloth of gold.

The Missal of 1962 (the reforms actually date from 1961) modifies the use of some of the colours prescribed by the Missal of Pope St.Pius V. The Pian Missal specifies violet vestments for the feast of the Holy Innocents (28th December), except when it falls on a Sunday when red replaces violet. The reform changed this to red on the feast on whatever day it fell, even though Pope Innocent III had recorded violet as being their colour even in his day. Red has been worn on the Octave day of the Holy Innocents, but the Octave was abolished in 1961.

Another variation which was "tidied up" was the replacement of violet vestments for the procession of candles on the feast of the Purification (2nd February) with white ones to match those of the Mass which follows. The procession seems, in fact, to be older than the Mass and, until 1961, followed the normal rule of violet vestments for processions of supplication.

The Holy Week reforms of 1956 which (with slight modifications) were incorporated into the 1962 Missal, also changed some of the traditional liturgical colours eg: the colour for the Palm Sunday procession was changed from violet to red and black for the Communion Rite on Good Friday was changed to violet.

As Abbot Cabrol wrote, "colours…have their own symbolism and speak to the eye: black tells of grief and mourning; violet is a sign of penance, red reminds us of the blood of the martyrs; white denotes purity, and green exuberant life. How much more expressive and lively the liturgy becomes when we try to discover the meanings of its formulas and rites."

Arthur Crumly was the Principal Master of Ceremonies to the Latin Mass Society for 25 years, an Altar Server for over 60 years, and Master of Ceremonies for over 50; he sadly passed from this earthly realm in May 2011.

(N.b. this article was also published on the Latin Mass Society's May 2001 Newsletter.)

Friday, 15 January 2016

Cheltenham Young Catholic Adults - Next Social; and a Nazareth House Open Day

The next Cheltenham Young Catholic Adults social will take place at 7pm on Saturday 23rd January at “The Stable,”

Their website states:- “it has the tasty offering of over 80 varieties of cider and sourdough base pizza with homemade tomato sauce and delicious locally sourced toppings. Try The Blazing Saddle; slow roasted pulled beef, smoked bacon, caramelised onion, grilled red pepper and mozzarella topped with sour cream and jalapeño chillies.”

Also please note that young adults are welcome to the Open Day at Nazareth House, Charlton Kings, the advert for this event says:-

Next Sunday, 24 th January at 11.00–1.00pm and 2.00-5.00pm:- come along to meet and chat with the Sisters, staff  and friends over a cup of tea. You can experience and learn about the history of Nazareth House as a Care Home for older people, enjoy hearing the life story and vocation journeys of the Sisters, and, perhaps, reflect on how you can become involved in such a venture.
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