Sunday, 29 October 2017

Young Catholic Adults Procession at Douai Abbey on Youtube

Cardinal Müller: Luther’s reform was ‘against the Holy Spirit’
by Gerhard L. Müller
There is great confusion today when we talk about Luther, and it needs to be said clearly that from the point of view of dogmatic theology, from the point of view of the doctrine of the Church, it wasn’t a reform at all but rather a revolution, that is, a total change of the foundations of the Catholic Faith.
It is not realistic to argue that [Luther’s] intention was only to fight against abuses of indulgences or the sins of the Renaissance Church. Abuses and evil actions have always existed in the Church, not only during the Renaissance, and they still exist today. We are the holy Church because of the God’s grace and the Sacraments, but all the men of the Church are sinners, they all need forgiveness, contrition, and repentance.
This distinction is very important. And in the book written by Luther in 1520, “De captivitate Babylonica ecclesiae,” it is absolutely clear that Luther has left behind all of the principles of the Catholic Faith, Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, the magisterium of the Pope and the Councils, and of the episcopate. In this sense, he upended the concept of the homogeneous development of Christian doctrine as explained in the Middle Ages, even denying that a sacrament is an efficacious sign of the grace contained therein. He replaced this objective efficacy of the sacraments with a subjective faith. Here, Luther abolished five sacraments, and he also denied the Eucharist: the sacrificial character of the sacrament of the Eucharist, and the real conversion of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, he called the sacrament of episcopal ordination, the sacrament of Orders, an invention of the Pope — whom he called the Antichrist — and not part of the Church of Jesus Christ. Instead, we say that the sacramental hierarchy, in communion with the successor of Peter, is an essential element of the Catholic Church, and not only a principle of a human organization.
That is why we cannot accept Luther’s reform being called a reform of the Church in a Catholic sense. Catholic reform is a renewal of faith lived in grace, in the renewal of customs, of ethics, a spiritual and moral renewal of Christians; not a new foundation, not a new Church.
It is therefore unacceptable to assert that Luther’s reform “was an event of the Holy Spirit.” On the contrary, it was against the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit helps the Church to maintain her continuity through the Church’s magisterium, above all in the service of the Petrine ministry: on Peter has Jesus founded His Church (Mt 16:18), which is “the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). The Holy Spirit does not contradict Himself.
We hear so many voices speaking too enthusiastically about Luther, not knowing exactly his theology, his polemics and the disastrous effect of this movement which destroyed the unity of millions of Christians with the Catholic Church. We cannot evaluate positively his good will, the lucid explanation of the shared mysteries of faith but not his statements against the Catholic Faith, especially with regard to the sacraments and hierarchical-apostolic structure of the Church.
Nor is it correct to assert that Luther initially had good intentions, meaning by this that it was the rigid attitude of the Church that pushed him down the wrong road. This is not true: Luther was intent on fighting against the selling of indulgences, but the goal was not indulgences as such, but as an element of the Sacrament of Penance.
Nor is it true that the Church refused to dialogue: Luther first had a dispute with John Eck; then the Pope sent Cardinal Gaetano as a liaison to talk to him. We can discuss the methods, but when it comes to the substance of the doctrine, it must be stated that the authority of the Church did not make mistakes. Otherwise, one must argue that, for a thousand years, the Church has taught errors regarding the faith, when we know — and this is an essential element of doctrine — that the Church can not err in the transmission of salvation in the sacraments.
One should not confuse personal mistakes and the sins of people in the Church with errors in doctrine and the sacraments. Those who do this believe that the Church is only an organization comprised of men and deny the principle that Jesus himself founded His Church and protects her in the transmission of the faith and grace in the sacraments through the Holy Spirit. His Church is not a merely human organization: it is the body of Christ, where the infallibility of the Council and the Pope exists in precisely described ways. All of the councils speak of the infallibility of the Magisterium, in setting forth the Catholic faith. Amid today’s confusion, in many people this reality has been overturned: they believe the Pope is infallible when he speaks privately, but then when the Popes throughout history have set forth the Catholic faith, they say it is fallible.
Of course, 500 years have passed. It’s no longer the time for polemics but for seeking reconciliation: but not at the expense of truth. One should not create confusion. While on the one hand, we must be able to grasp the effectiveness of the Holy Spirit in these other non-Catholic Christians who have good will, and who have not personally committed this sin of separation from the Church, on the other we cannot change history, and what happened 500 years ago. It’s one thing to want to have good relations with non-Catholic Christians today, in order to bring us closer to a full communion with the Catholic hierarchy and with the acceptance of the Apostolic Tradition according to Catholic doctrine. It’s quite another thing to misunderstand or falsify what happened 500 years ago and the disastrous effect it had. An effect contrary to the will of God: “… that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou has sent me” (Jn 17:21).

Photographs of 2017 Young Catholic Adults Douai Weekend

The photos below show the Young Catholic Adults weekend 2017 - held with the assistance of the Scola Gregoriana of Cambridge. For more photographs click here.

Sermon High Mass of the Douai Martyrs

High Mass of the Douai Martyrs
Marian Procession

Nigeria, faithful see the “Miracle of the Sun” like in Fatima

From Andrea Torniella at

Exactly one hundred years have passed since the famous experience that took place during the last Marian apparition of Fatima, on 13 October 1917, when immediately after the three shepherdesses had seen Our Lady, a crowd of seventy thousand people flocked to the Cova from Iria during a violent rainstorm and witnessed the "miracle of the sun”, as they watched, with their naked eye, the star that seemed to come closer, change color and dance around the sky. Several non-believers also witnessed that "miracle", such as the news-reporter of a professed secularist newspaper. Now something similar seems to have happened in Benin City, Nigeria, on the occasion of the re-consecration of the country wanted by the bishops. In communicating the decision, the bishops recalled that Nigeria is going through "a period marked by tensions, unrest and a general sense of despair and dissatisfaction". There are institutional problems, “cases of selective application of the rule of law”, as well as unequal distribution of resources, corruption and impunity.  
On the morning of October 13th, at the re-consecration ceremony, led by the Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, president of the Nigerian Episcopal Conference, 53 bishops took part together with more than a thousand priests, two thousand religious and about 55 thousand faithful. In the afternoon, after the celebration, the witnesses tell us, there was a heavy downpour followed by the appearance of the sun changing color and "dancing". According to father Chris N. Anyanwu, director of the episcopate's social communications - this unusual phenomenon rejoiced the hearts of the pilgrims present at the celebration and many of them have attested that what they saw, recalls the experience of Fatima in 1917. Certainly, the great joy of the participants in seeing these signs showed thorough the enthusiasm of their faith that Nigeria will no longer be the same".  
The testimonies have been reported on the Facebook page of the Episcopal Conference and this has led to the thought of an explicit form of recognition of the event. However, that web space cannot be considered an official expression of the episcopate and there are no statements in this regard.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Martyrs of Wales - and England - convert us again!

" In the Ordinary Form calander (25th Oct) is the feast of the Martyrs of Wales (you can read a brief biography of the six of them here). Until the recent republication of the Missal, there were two feast of the English and Welsh Maryts commomorated - one in May and one in October for the forty cannonised in 1970. but these have now been conflated with all the others who were the beatified martyrs whose feast was kept in May.

It seems a pity that we have only one feast to celebrate so many heroic stories but I see no reason why I can't celebrate a Votive Mass of the Wlesh Martyrs today (as it is a Feria).

A great opportunity to pray for the conversion of both England and Wales back to the Faith of our Fathers and Mothers - something ever more needful in the world in which we live. In an era of closing churches and shrinking congregations, it would be good to hear more about converting our fellow citizens and even some strategies for calling back the lapsed.  These are in an even more perilous position as far as salvation is concerned, as they have heard the call, received the invitation and the grace of baptism and yet rejected or abandoned it. A very inconvenient truth to mention to them, I know."

Fr Simon Henry from:-

Monday, 16 October 2017

Extra Details for the YCA Douai Weekend 2017

On Arrival

Please report to Douai Abbey reception and from there you will be able to get your key (or be directed to the cottages). For those arriving on Friday 20th, the time of arrival is from 5-6pm onwards. The address for the Abbey is
:- Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 5TQ, England.  RG7 5TQ. The weekend ends at 2pm after lunch on Sunday 22nd.

Please Note

Some of the rooms in the Guest House have been let out to the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge; they will be helping to make the weekend a success– (providing Gregorian Chant Workshops and the singing at Masses/Vesper/Compline).

Feel free to take photos/make recordings (audio/video) including at the Masses and Marian Procession, please  email them to either or after the weekend.
An amount of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks and nibbles will be available for at the socials. Please feel free to bring your own drinks/snacks as well.

If anyone has any dietary requirements, please email or
This will be available at the weekend and will appear at:- in the next few days.
There is ample parking available at the Abbey.
The Guest House
Soap and towels are provided.
The Cottages
The Abbey supply each resident of the cottages with linen viz: a towel, 2 pillow cases, a duvet and duvet cover, and also a sheet. However, if anyone wants to bring their own linen, they get a 20% reduction on the per person per night charge. They do not supply soap. For those who are self- catering there is a fully equipped kitchen located in the cottages.


If you would like to have a lift from the train station (lifts are available this year between the times of 5-6pm on Friday and after 2pm on Sunday) , please contact Damian on 07908 105787 a couple of days before the weekend with your estimated time of arrival:- there may be a delay in picking you up depending on available cars. Alternatively, the following taxi services are available:-
24 7 Taxi Services
Park La, Thatcham
RG18 3PJ
T 01635 868781

A 2 B Taxi Co
46 Ullswater Close, Thatcham
RG19 3UJ
T 01635 877777
A N D Cars
2 Victor Rd, Thatcham
RG19 4LX
T 01635 877555


Please note that trains run from Midgham Station (the station is 10 mins away from Douai Abbey, station is called MIDGHAM, but it is actually in Woolhampton village,) on Sundays as well Sat-Monday. Trains run from London Paddington, Reading & Newbury. It's about 40 minutes from London Paddington.


Douai Abbey is situated 1 mile north of the A4 about half way between Reading and Newbury in Berkshire.

The turn off the A4 is about 6 miles from M4 Junction 12.

By rail the nearest station is called MIDGHAM, but it is actually in Woolhampton village.

To Walk

You will need to leave the station and head towards the centre of Woolhampton village, when you reach the main road, turn left and walk c. 50 yards until you reach the "The Falmouth Arms"; turn right here, then walk up WOOLHAMPTON HILL which is then signposted to Douai Abbey. Pass Elstree School (right) and St Peter's Church (right) and on up to a T-junction. Turn left past the Thatched Cottage (on left), and then after 800 yards is the DOUAI ABBEY Entrance. It takes about 15 mins to walk from the station.


By Car

From Reading on the A4:

At roundabout after dual carriageway, continue on A4 towards Newbury for half a mile.
Turn right at sign to Douai Abbey (picture) up CODS HILL, pass Sports Ground on left.
Pass Thatched Cottage (on left), after 100 metres pass St Mary's Church (on right).
DOUAI ABBEY Entrance is a further 100 metres on the right.
After turning in, fork right for RECEPTION or left for PARKING.

From Newbury on the A4:

At Woolhampton village, on the left is "The Falmouth Arms", very prominent.
Turn left here, up WOOLHAMPTON HILL which is signposted to Douai Abbey (picture).
Pass Elstree School (right) and St Peter's Church (right) and on up to a T-junction.
Turn left past the Thatched Cottage (on left), and in 200 metres is the DOUAI ABBEY Entrance.
After turning in, fork right for RECEPTION or left for PARKING.

Many thanks,

Damian Co-ordinator Young Catholic Adults.

Friday, 13 October 2017

A Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary of all connected to Young Catholic Adults


A Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary of all connected to Young Catholic Adults:-

Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate  all connected to the Young Catholic Adults association to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.

Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.

O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.

We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.


Thursday, 12 October 2017

100 Years from the Miracle of the Sun - When Athiests were Converted on the Spot

A Photograph Taken During the Miracle of the Sun in 1917
Tomorrow, on October 13th 1917, the greatest miracle of modern times took place at Fatima in Portugal, 70,000 people saw the "Miracle of the Sun." It was so incredible, even athiests could not deny it. The secular Lisbon paper O Dia, indicates:

"The silver sun … was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds. A cry went up from every mouth and the people fell on their knees on the muddy ground. … The light turned a beautiful blue as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands. The blue faded slowly and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass. … People wept and prayed with uncovered heads in the presence of the miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they."

Donel Foley has an excellent detailed article on this miracle at the Catholic Herald, see:-

Why not donate to Young Catholic Adults goto:-

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Draft Timetable for Young Catholic Adults Douai Weekend 20-22nd Oct 2017

 Theme: Building small, more convinced communities (Pope Benedict XVI)

Timetable for Young Catholic Adults
 Douai Weekend 20-22nd Oct 2017
5-6pm Arrival
7pm Supper
8pm-8.30pm Rosary (church) or Chant Workshop (conference room)
8:40 Sung Compline after Workshop (Dominican Rite)
9pm: Social

8-9am Breakfast
9-9:40am - Chant Workshop (conference room) followed by Schola rehearsal (church)
11am: Votive High Mass of the Douai Martyrs (with exposition of relics of the Douai Martyrs) -  Roman Rite in the Parish Church ( EF Gregorian Chant ) preceded by confessions
12.00pm: Marian Procession in honour of Our Lady of Fatima around the extensive grounds  of Douai Abbey, followed by enrolment into the Brown Scapular
1-2pm: Lunch
2-2.45pm: 1st Talk – Canon Poucin – the community of the Institute of Christ the King (tbc)
3-4pm: Chant workshop
[4-4.30pm: Chant rehearsal for Schola Gregoriana]
4.30-5.15pm 2rd Talk – Fr. Lew  “The
Angelic Warfare Confraternity
5:15-6pm: Free time
6-6.30pm: Vespers (Dominican Rite)
7pm-7:40pm Supper
7.45-8:30pm: Rosary, Adoration and Confessions
8.30pm: Social

8-9am Breakfast
9am-9:45am: Schola Gregoriana workshop (conference room)
10:30am: Sung Mass – 20th Sunday after Pentecost - Dominican Rite in the Parish Church 
( EF Gregorian Chant)
11:30pm: Rosary
12-12:45-3rd Talk – “Building a Greater Knowledge of the Mass – the Canon”
1pm: Lunch

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Monks that Protestantism Couldn't Break

St. Alban Roe

From the Catholic Herald article authored by James Kelly:-

To the Protestant establishment’s fury, exiled Benedictines kept popping up at crucial moments in history

"A strange sight greeted those assembled at Tyburn one January morning in 1601. The executions of two Catholic priests – Mark Barkworth and the Jesuit, Roger Filcock – and one Catholic lay woman, Anne Line, were set to provide the day’s spectacle.

First to be hanged was Anne Line, who had been sentenced to death for assisting Catholic clergy. Having watched her fate, Barkworth stepped forward, fully conscious of the butchery that awaited him for the treason of having been ordained a Catholic priest in mainland Europe.

However, the gathered throng must have been momentarily taken aback, for Barkworth had somehow procured a Benedictine habit and was tonsured. Such an attire had not been worn in England since before Elizabeth I had ascended the throne more than 40 years earlier but there, before the mob, stood a Benedictine monk.

Any hesitation caused by such a spectacle was not enough to save Barkworth – in fact, some cruel wretch even shouldered the monk’s body weight during his hanging to ensure that he was fully conscious for the subsequent drawing and quartering. Yet Barkworth’s death marked the start of an English Benedictine presence that remains to this day.

Barkworth himself had been trained as a priest at the English College, Valladolid, but, on his way to England as a missionary, he had been received as a novice at the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria in Irache, and was told he would die a martyr, in the Benedictine habit. Many of the first wave of Englishmen to become Benedictines after the Reformation similarly entered the religious life in Spain, while another sizeable body entered the Cassinese congregation in Italy...But nor were they solely about the new: they also tracked down the last surviving monk of Westminster Abbey. By the start of the 17th century, the infirm Sigebert Buckley lived under a form of house arrest. In 1607, he aggregated two of the new monks to him, thereby ensuring the continuity of the English Benedictines from the medieval period. As the new monastic movement grew and the monks re-founded the English Benedictine Congregation in 1619, this symbolic act took on greater significance.
It meant that the English Benedictines of the 17th century could lay claim to the old monastic properties which the Order had once enjoyed. As such, the English Benedictines throughout the period elected priors of, for example, Durham, Canterbury and Ely cathedrals, ready for the moment when England – as they believed, inevitably – returned to the Catholic faith.

This did not stop the monks forming new houses in exile, three of which remain to this day. St Gregory’s, founded at Douai in northern France in 1606, is now better known as Downside Abbey; St Laurence’s, founded in the town of Dieulouard in Lorraine in 1608, is now Ampleforth Abbey; St Edmund’s, Paris, founded in 1616, is now settled at Woolhampton, Berkshire, as Douai Abbey."

For the full article see:-

Monday, 2 October 2017

Who were the Douai Martyrs

Who were the Douai Martyrs? The blog tells us more:-

The Martyrs of Douai, 1577-1680
In the Archdiocese of Westminster in London, today is the feast of the Martyrs of Douai College which was transplanted from the Spanish Netherlands to London:

The English College at Douai was established by William Allen, later Cardinal, on Michaelmas Day, 29th September, 1568. It offered an opportunity to form clergy for England in accordance with the system laid down by the Council of Trent. 

Originally it was intended as a college home for exiles from England, a place where they could continue their studies in a way no longer possible for Catholics at the English Universities. In time Allen recognised its potential as a place for training clergy ready for the return to England when 'the new religion' had run its course. The new priests, however, proved unwilling to wait for that event and quickly Douai College found itself dedicated very largely to the training of missionary priests.

Between 1577, the date of the martyrdom of St Cuthbert Mayne, the college's protomartyr, and 1680, the date of the execution of Thomas Thwing, the college's last martyr, one hundred and fifty eight college members, priests and layman, secular and religious, met with a martyr's death.

The College was suppressed in 1793, and the collegians imprisoned for thirteen months at Doullens, Picardy. They were released in November 1794, returning to Douai for only a few months before obtaining permission to return to England. They found their first refuge at Old Hall Green, Ware, and dedicated the new work of the college to St Edmund of Canterbury on his feast day, November 16th, 1794.

The webpage lists the martyrs by year--the class of 1588 was the largest: Nicholas Garlick, Robert Ludlam, Richard Sympson, William Dean, William Gunter, Robert Morton, Hugh More, Thomas Holford, James Claxton, Thomas Felton, Robert Wilcox, Edward Campion, Christopher Buxton, Ralph Crocket, Edward James, John Robinson, William Hartley, John Hewett, and Robert Leigh.

The bookends (just to switch metaphors) are St. Cuthbert Mayne and St. Thomas Thwing:

St. Cuthbert Mayne was the first Englishman prepared for the priesthood at Douai and he is the protomartyr of the English seminaries established on the Continent. Born in Devonshire, he was ordained an Anglican minister but became Catholic in the early 1570's while at Oxford. He returned to England in 1575, serving in Cornwall, and was arrested a year later. One of the charges against him was that he had an Agnus Dei, an image of Jesus as the Lamb of God, blessed by the pope. He was hung, drawn and quartered in Cornwall on November 29, 1577.

St. Thomas Thwing suffered during the Popish Plot hysteria in 1680. From 1664 to 1679 he served as a missionary priest in England. He and other members of Sir Thomas Gasciogne's household, including the master, were accused of a conspiracy to kill King Charles II and brought to London for trial. The others were acquited but he was found guilty and condemned; the King pardoned him but the House of Commons demanded his execution. Of course he was innocent of any charges of conspiracy; he was guilty of being a Catholic priest.

One could research each of the names on that list and read a common, yet individual pattern of vocation, service, suffering, and martyrdom. At the bottom of the list of names, there is a quote from William Allen, founder of Douai College--

"Joy in the Lord because the victory won by Christ's confessors predominates over earthly sorrow
at the grievousness of their suffering."


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