Sunday 31 March 2013

Easter Morning and the Folded Cloth

A very happy Easter to my readers.  May we all experience the return of peace and joy.

If you would like to reflect upon the significance of the folded cloth in Christ’s tomb, a detail described very precisely in St John’s Gospel, please visit this marvellous post entitled Father Ignatius makes a discovery, on Victor Mubarak’s excellent blog, Time for Reflections. Perfect reading for Easter Sunday!

Picture from, via Google Images.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Revised Papal Coat of Arms

Messa in Latino reports that the Holy See has issued a revision of Pope Francis's coat of arms.  The star has been given eight points instead of the former five, to make it more Marian, and the flower no longer looks like a bunch of grapes.

Monday 25 March 2013

I am unworthy of this honour ...

Thank you, Ttony of The Muniment Room, for naming me on this Liebster award thing. I am reluctant to print the illustration of the award, since I haven’t complied with all the requirements. In particular, I’m going to refrain from nominating other blogs, because I’m likely to double-nominate with others, and also perhaps nominate bloggers who would prefer not to join in, as happened the last time I did this. However, I thought I would have a go at doing the other things.

Here are a few of the less soporific facts  about myself (or perhaps you have nodded off already):

1. I’m not really Dorothy B.

2. I have a small family and live a very quiet life.

3. Only two or three people in my “real” life know I have a blog.

4. I’m delighted when people visit the blog, and am perfectly happy for them just to read it without commenting.

5. I enjoy doing family history research. I haven’t discovered any famous people, but I have been taken on a fascinating tour of England, Ireland and the Isle of Man, with glimpses of social and industrial life in times gone by.

6. I love Rome, but I don't look forward to going again, because EasyJet have changed the arrival airport for their flights from Bristol. Ciampino is smallish and friendly, and the approach took us low over Rome, with a heart-liftingly beautiful view of St Peter’s. Fiumicino is a nightmare, then a shuttle train, then another nightmare.

7. I dread asking a question in another language because I can hardly ever understand the answer.

8. I can see myself in the audience in this photograph taken at the Latin Mass Society’s excellent conference in London in June last year, but I’m not going to point myself out. Acknowledgments to Dr Shaw’s LMS Chairman’s blog.      

Questions asked by Ben Trovato, the Countercultural Father:

What inspired the title of your blog?
I started the blog at a time when some people (I don’t think they were contributors to the Catholic blogosphere) were talking of being “proud” to be a Catholic. I’ve always felt rather uncomfortable with that idea. It’s an honour – which is reason enough to hold our heads high - and it’s a responsibility.

Why should people read your blog?
Oh, no special reason. It’s only a micro-blog, really. I’m flattered to receive visits.

What is your personal favourite post on your blog?
I’m not sue I can pick a favourite. One of my most heartfelt posts was Forgiveness for the unrepentant, published in 2009.

What has been the most popular (most viewed) post on your blog?
It’s pretty obvious that some of the highest scorers are simply the result of surfers Googling particular keywords. But there is one which I think probably deserves to be here: Summorum Pontificum: Milanese seminarians speak out, dating from 2011.

Which post on your blog has attracted most comments?
My blog attracts hardly any comments, and that’s absolutely fine by me. However, all comments are interesting and welcome, whether short or long. Very few go into the spam box. The post A letter to my MP about SSM, written in January this year, drew some long comments. Not at all surprising, given the topic.

What other hobbies or interests (beyond blogging) are you prepared to admit to?
I’ve included some in the Facts section. I like sewing, and particularly enjoy adapting or mending things. I like to read, but some books bog me down a bit; I am nearing the end of Max Hastings’s Bomber Command, having started it some months ago. I have two internet addictions: Web Sudoku and

What are your hopes for the new pontificate?
The truth is illuminated by rays cast from various directions, as we have seen to wonderful effect in various pontificates and in many spiritual writings. Whether or not we are happy with some of Pope Francis’s decisions regarding the external signs of his office, I look forward to hearing the teaching of unchanging eternal truths from a man of his scientific background. It will certainly set out a challenge to those who think that religion and science are incompatible.

Where is your favourite place of pilgrimage, and why?
Rome, because I know it best. I have never been to Lourdes, and would like to go there one day.

Who is your favourite spiritual author, and why?
Apart from the New Testament (a chapter a day) I am too much inclined to coast along on the strength of things I read some time ago. I don’t think I can identify a particular author, other than C S Lewis. I see things on the blogs sometimes, extracts from spiritual writings or from homilies, which go straight to my heart.

Which of these questions did you find it most difficult to answer?
The questions about my blog posts.

Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?
Naturally, I'm assuming that this is a joke.  Or did the question originate from an American blogger? I think British bloggers are possibly a bit more aware that the extreme Left has various faces. This is my opportunity to encourage my American readers to use the word Marxist, rather than Communist. The Marxist views and tactics of Trotskyism are, I think, far more influential than plain Communism.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Pope Francis and an Interesting Absence

Here is a link to Dominus mihi adjutor, the blog of Fr Hugh of Douai Abbey.  Highly recommended!

Specifically, the link takes you to his post of Tuesday 19th March, entitled Francis, the Pope of our Punishment?  The entire post is well worth reading. 

In passing, he draws our attention to an intriguing element - or rather, the lack of it - in Pope Francis's words during these early days .  He does not infer anything from it; but still, it is interesting:
And still no mention of Vatican II…

Monday 18 March 2013

Tomorrow’s Papal Mass: Good news from Messa in Latino

The heading is in English: Mozzetta back again. A nice picture of Gammarelli’s shop window, as above. Here is my translation, rather rushed and a bit stilted:

A red mozzetta has just been sent to the Vatican, ordered in great haste only this morning, from the famous ecclesiastical tailors, Gammarelli of Rome.

Tomorrow is the date set for the Mass to mark the “beginning of the Petrine ministry of the Bishop of Rome” and in all likelihood (and it is only in this sense that the haste with which the ordinal was prepared can be understood) the one who is being inaugurated will use it, it is being kept for the ceremony in which he will receive the vows of obedience of a representative group of the cardinals.

We are getting excited over very little, some people will think, but on a more substantial level, it comforts us that Mgr Guido Marini has been confirmed in his functions for the ceremony of “inauguration”, coordinating the Franciscan friars of La Verna who have been called up for service at the altar.

The Mass, preceded by the Laudes Regiae, will be in Latin, except for the homily (in Italian), the readings, the responsorial psalm and the prayers of the faithful, all in assorted languages; while the Gospel will be chanted entirely in Greek rather than in the two sacred languages, as would be the custom in the more solemn papal ceremonies; this seems to spring from a desire to shorten the length of the ceremony. With the same intention of synthesis, the offertory procession will be abolished (and this is good, considering what masquerades that rite has given rise to in the past).

During the offertory there will be performed a motet by Palestrina for four voices, written, appropriately, for the coronation of Popes: Tu es pastor ovium.

Finally, the chanting of the Te Deum will close the liturgical part of the proceedings.

Sunday 17 March 2013

Hopeful signs concerning the inaugural Mass and Mgr Marini

After the concern expressed in my last post, I think there is reason to be more hopeful. Chant CafĂ© has posted a link to the booklet for the Holy Father’s inauguration Mass. The music has been decided upon, and no doubt rehearsed, well in advance of the occasion, and is of great dignity. Anything else which the Franciscan cerimonieri wish to introduce will, I assume, be additional to this.

It is also cheering to read the comment from Justin, which is worth pasting here in full:
Did anyone watch the Holy Mass this morning at St Ann's though? Mgr Marini and the Holy Father were sharing a joke after the Mass as he was greeting the crowds. 

The monsignor doesn't seem overly perturbed by what news reporters are saying about his and the Holy Father's fractious encounters. He's a professional and very excellent MC and has a doctorate in the psychology of communication - he's worked with prelates as diverse as Tettamanzi and Bertone and Papa Ratzinger; he's taken over a very well run office from Archbishop Marini and gained the loyalty of staff there. It's his *job* to gently guide the Holy Father in the appropriate liturgical actions - even Pope Benedict did not wear the fanon immediately, or carry the ferula immediately. Given time, I'm sure Mgr Marini can discreetly and gently persuade the Holy Father to do things he had probably never thought about before as well.

The only time Mgr Marini looked mildly ruffled during the Mass was when the Holy Father offered him the sign of peace to him as well. In time the Holy Father won't even notice Mgr Marini's presence, and that too will be due to the professionalism on Mgr Marini's part.
Give the Holy Father time and the benefit of the doubt that he is not some vicious hostile dictator - not only is he the Vicar of Christ will all the graces that the Holy Spirit pours out upon him and his office, Jorge Bergoglio is human too, he will have been doing things a certain way for a number of years, and the last thing he wants in a new environment is to suddenly change the way he celebrates Mass - his source of consolation and joy.

If you don't have hope in the Holy Father (!!!), then at least trust Mgr Marini's expertise as an MC. He's a slick operator - he's not going to barge in there and tell the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church that the way he's been celebrating Mass for 40 years has been all wrong! He's going to gently nudge the Holy Father in the right directions, and perhaps during the summer offer him some chant lessons, etc. That's how it's done in parishes all across the world, and that's how it'll be done in the Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations as well.

Saturday 16 March 2013

Mgr Marini and his team not to be involved in Papal Inaugural Mass?

Messa in Latino reports today that Pope Francis has decided not to make use of the services of Mgr Guido Marini and his team of cerimonieri for his inaugural Mass on Tuesday 19th March. Instead, the Mass will be under the care of a secular Franciscan order, the Franciscans of La Verna.

I have no reason to doubt MiL, but I find this news rather startling. I don’t know if it has been confirmed by any other source.

Here is the original Italian text in MiL’s report:
Mons. Guido Marini e tutti i cerimonieri prescelti da Papa Benedetto XVI sono stati esonerati in tronco dai loro incarichi, in vista della cerimonia per la Messa di 'inaugurazione' del nuovo vescovo-di-Roma. Ne faranno le veci i francescani della Verna.
Update: Rorate Caeli are reporting this news too, sourced from the French news agency I.Media.

Thursday 14 March 2013

Prayer for our Holy Father

Some time ago there was a novena prayer for then-Pope Benedict, in one of those very difficult times he endured in his pontificate.  After the novena had ended I incorporated it in my daily prayers, continuing through the sede vacante period, and now into the pontificate of our new Holy Father.  It will, I am sure, be familiar to many of my readers.

Our Father; Three Hail Marys; Glory be to the Father.

Let us pray for our Holy Father, Pope Francis.
May the Lord preserve him, give him long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and not hand him over to the power of his enemies.

"You are Peter;
And upon this Rock I will build My Church."

Let us pray:
God our Father, Shepherd and Guide, look with love on Your servant, Pope Francis, the Pastor of Your Church.  Grant that his word and example may inspire and guide the Church, and that he, and all those entrusted to his care, may come to the joy of everlasting life.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Mother of the Church, pray for us.
Saint Peter, pray for us.

Monday 11 March 2013

Picking the Men for the Job

Continuing to pray for my adopted Cardinal Levada, that the Holy Spirit may guide him to choose well in the Conclave.  As a bonus, this adoption has reminded me on each occasion to extend my prayers to all the Cardinal-Electors, far more so than at previous Conclaves.

The cardinals have no doubt been focussing their thoughts on the various qualifications and personal qualities the new Pope needs.  The media and the blogs have also given a good deal of attention to it.  I don't recall seeing much on the subject of the team he will create: whom he will reappoint, at least for a time, as the heads of the Congregations, and whom he will immediately or eventually replace.

Please God, among all his other virtues, may he be a good chooser of men.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

"Adopt a Cardinal" passes 300,000

Just thought I'd mention that Jugend 2000's Adopt a Cardinal website currently shows that the number of adoptions is now well over the 300,000 mark.  Staggering! 

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Happy Centenary to the Monks of Prinknash Abbey

Went to the monthly 3 pm Traditional Latin Mass at Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire on Sunday. (They also have one every Saturday at 11 am.) The celebrant, Father Damian, told the congregation about a very special anniversary.

One hundred years ago today, on 5th March 1913, the Anglican monks of Caldey Island, off the coast of Pembrokeshire in Wales, were received into the Catholic Church. I have gathered the following details about that happy occasion. First, from the blog of Farnborough Abbey in Hampshire:
It was in 1913 that Abbot Cabrol of Farnborough and his friend Blessed Columba Marmion sailed to the Island of Caldey to welcome the Anglican monks there into what Newman called the ‘one true fold of the Redeemer’.
The website of Prinknash Abbey tells more of the story, which explains the link between Prinknash and Caldey:
The community began in the Anglican Church, but converted to the Catholic Church, while living on Caldey Island, near Tenby, Wales, on 5th March 1913—one hundred years ago.
- and this:
Our particular community began life in the Church of England when our founder, Abbot Aelred Carlyle set up a small community in the Isle of Dogs, London. After many wanderings, that community eventually settled permanently on Caldey Island off Tenby, South Wales, and became Roman Catholic in 1913. Financial pressure forced them to leave Caldey and come to Prinknash Park in December 1928, where they have been ever since. (Caldey Abbey was taken over by another branch of the Benedictine family, the Trappists). But the Prinknash community flourished in the mid-20th century, and was able to take over Saint Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough from the French in 1947, re-found Pluscarden Abbey Elgin, Moray, Scotland, in 1948 and, with Saint Augustine’s Abbey Ramsgate and Pluscarden, founded a small dependent house in Ghana, West Africa in 1989, known as Kristo Buase Monastery.
Many congratulations to the monks of Prinknash. Here is a picture (courtesy of their website) of the lovely mediaeval house to which the community returned a few years ago, from the modern building in the same grounds:

Picture of Caldey Island from, via Google Images

Saturday 2 March 2013

Traditional Mass in Cheltenham for the Election of a Pope

The blog of the Latin Mass Society in the Diocese of Clifton has the following information:
On Wednesday 6th March, Low Mass will be celebrated at 6pm at St Gregory the Great, St James' Square, Cheltenham GL50 3PR. This Mass will be a Votive Mass Pro eligendo Summo Pontifice.

All welcome.

Friday 1 March 2013

I've adopted Cardinal Levada!

Well, I didn't expect that when I went into the Adopt a Cardinal website which has been promoted by various bloggers.  Goodness me!  I shall certainly pray for him.

This feels like an empty time, and it's good to have useful things to busy ourselves with. And what better than prayer?