Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Record number of candidates at Traditional Rite Confirmations in London


A record number of candidates received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Traditional Rite last Saturday, at a ceremony in central London organised by the Latin Mass Society.

Bishop John Arnold conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation on one of the candidates
Nearly fifty children and adults received Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form from Bishop John Arnold, auxiliary in Westminster, at St James’s Church, Spanish Place on Saturday, 14th December. He was assisted by Fr Christopher Colven, the rector of St James’s, Fr Tim Finigan of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, and Fr Rupert McHardy of the London Oratory. Following the Confirmations, the bishop celebrated Pontifical Benediction.

After the ceremonies, Bishop Arnold joined the candidates, their sponsors and families in the parish social centre for a celebration buffet lunch.

Bishop John Arnold cuts a celebratory cake, surrounded by some of the Confirmation candidates
The Latin Mass Society has been organising annual Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form for several years now. This past year there were also Traditional Confirmations at Reading and New Brighton, organised respectively by the Fraternity of St Peter and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: ‘We are very grateful to Bishop Arnold for agreeing to confer the Sacrament on what has been a very successful and happy day. We always attract a good number of candidates to receive Confirmation in the Traditional Rite, but this year’s turnout has been exceptional. It demonstrates that the attraction of the Extraordinary Form as part of Catholic life for many families is continuing to grow.’

Contact: Michael Lord, General Manager: michael@lms.org.uk  020 7404 7284

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Update of Clifton Diocese Mass Listings for Christmas


 
 
Please see updated Clifton Diocese Mass Listings for Christmas

WITH ADDED MASSES FOR PRINKNASH ABBEY AND EPIPHANY
 

Our Lady's Altar
Prinknash Abbey, Cranham, Gloucester, GL4 8EX
 
26 December, Boxing Day
8.15 am
Low Mass
 
28 December
11.00 am
Low Mass
 
1 January
8.15 am
Low Mass
 
6 January, Epiphany
8.15 am
Low Mass
 

Our Lady of Lourdes
28 Baytree Road, WESTON-SUPER-MARE, BS22 8HQ

24 December, Christmas Eve
Midnight
Low Mass
 
Holy Cross Church
Dean Lane, Bedminster, BRISTOL, BS3 1DB

25 December, Christmas Day
9.00 am
Low Mass

Our Lady and St Kenelm
STOW-ON-THE-WOLD, Gloucestershire, GL54 1DR

25 December, Christmas Day
11.30 am
Low Mass

Our Lady and St Alphege
Oldfield Lane, Oldfield Park, BATH, BA2 3NR

25 December, Christmas Day
12.00 noon
Low Mass

6 January, Epiphany
12.00 noon
Low Mass
 
St Dominic's
Jubilee Road, DURSLEY, Gloucestershire, GL11 4ES

25 December, Christmas Day
12.15 pm
Low Mass

6 January, Epiphany
9.00 am
Low Mass

SS Joseph & Teresa
16 Chamberlain Street, Wells, Somerset BA5 2PF

25 December, Christmas Day
8.00 am & 12.00 pm
Low Mass

6 January, Epiphany
6.00 pm
Low Mass

Monday, 18 November 2013

Latin Mass Society members elected to International body


At the biennial General Assembly of the International Federation Una Voce (FIUV), the international body representing lay groups attached to the Traditional liturgy, Mr James Bogle, barrister and former Chairman of the Catholic Union, was elected President. Mr Bogle is also a Committee member of the Latin Mass Society. The LMS is a founding member of FIUV in 1965 and its largest member. Dr Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the LMS, was elected Treasurer of FIUV and Mr Thomas Murphy was elected the Secretary. Mr Thomas Murphy, belongs to an Irish association member of FIUV, St Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association, and the FIUV Council includes members from North and South America, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the Philippines. Matthew Schellhorn, LMS Local Representative for Southwark North, was co-opted to the FIUV Committee. Matthew also organised a professional choir to provide some superb music for the various liturgies during the FIUV Assembly.

The retiring President, Mr Leo Darroch, had held the post since 2007.

During the General Assembly the Federation was addressed by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, and had Mass and Vespers in the Chapel of the Choir, in St Peter’s Basilica. Walter, Cardinal Brandmüller and Archbishop Guido Pozzo were among the celebrants.

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos with James Bogle

Latin Mass Society: contact the General Manager, Michael Lord:
michael@lms.org.uk

020 7404 7284
FIUV: contact the Secretary, Mr Thomas Murphy
secretary@fiuv.org

 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Bishop Philip Egan presides from the throne at High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Portsmouth Cathedral


Rt Rev Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth, presided from the throne at a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form, organised by the Latin Mass Society, at Portsmouth Cathedral on Sunday, 27th October.
 
The Traditional High Mass was the first at the cathedral for four years and joins the weekly Sunday morning Low Mass that has begun at Portsmouth’s mother church in recent weeks. Despite warnings of dire weather conditions, the Mass was well attended.
 


 
 
 The celebrant was Fr Phillip Pennington Harris, and the deacon was Rev Stephen Morgan, both of Portsmouth Diocese. The sub-deacon was Fr John Maunder of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, based at St Agatha’s, Portsmouth. Music was provided by the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, directed by Christopher Hodkinson.

 
 
During his homily, Bishop Egan said that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass was welcome in Portsmouth Diocese where people wished it to be celebrated, and should have a place amongst the liturgical diversity of the diocese. He also highlighted the importance to the Church’s liturgy in both forms of the Roman Rite of Gregorian Chant and the Latin language. The bishop then spoke on the subject of the feast of Christ the King, celebrated on that Sunday in the 1962 Calendar. When Pope Pius XI had instituted it, it had been intended as a corrective to the rampant nationalism seen in inter-war Italy. Today, said the bishop, it still has great relevance as a corrective to the rise of secularism in our society.
 
  
After Mass, tea had been organised by the LMS in the cathedral centre and Bishop Egan stayed to talk with very many members of the congregation.
 
LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: ‘We were delighted that Bishop Egan was able to join us on this great occasion and were heartened by his words of welcome to those of us who are attached to the Traditional Latin liturgy and by the bishop’s affirmation of its legitimate place within the life of the Catholic Church. The annual High Mass at Portsmouth Cathedral has been revived after several years and today’s event has proved a great success and a very joyful occasion for all who attended.’
 
For further information, please contact Mike Lord, General Manager,

on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585; (E mail) michael@lms.org.uk

 

 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Celebrations in Rome

Here is a report kindly sent to us by Peter Clarke, LMS Representative for the Isle of Wight, giving an account of the recent pilgrimage to Rome to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the canonical establishment of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP). Father Anthony Glaysher, who accompanied the pilgrimage, is parish priest of St Mary's, Ryde and St Michael the Archangel, Bembridge in the Isle of Wight. He is also the Latin Mass Society's new Regional Chaplain for the South-West, with responsibility for the dioceses of Plymouth, Portsmouth and Clifton.



The pilgrims outside the Church of Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini



Fr. Glaysher’s Rome Pilgrimage – In search of St. Peter.

  Fr. Glaysher was pleased to be able to attend the celebrations in Rome recently on the occasion of the silver jubilee of the canonical establishment of the Society of St. Peter (FSSP). This is a priestly fraternity and a clerical society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical right, which has two main aims:- the formation and sanctification of priests to offer the traditional liturgy of the  Roman rite (E.F. Mass); and secondly, the pastoral deployment of priests in the service of the Church.  It was founded in 1988 after the excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre for consecrating bishops without papal approval.
  It was especially joyous for Father to visit the Eternal City as we conclude this Year of Faith; and in the year of the 150th anniversary of the consecration of our beautiful church in Ryde. 

  Father accompanied a group of English pilgrims to Rome for these celebrations, led by Fr. Armand de Malleray (Superior of the Fraternity in England). The group visited some of the Roman places associated with St. Peter, i.e. the Mamertine Prison, where St. Peter was held before his crucifixion; the Church of St. Pudentiana, the site of Peter’s captivity where St. Peter would have stayed, thanks to Senator Pudens’ hospitality, when he first came to Rome; St. Peter ad Vincula (St. Peter in chains), a church which contains the chains with which Peter was bound; and St. Peter’s Basilica, built over the tomb of the great apostle. At these places, as well as the Coliseum, where many Christians were martyred, Fr. Armand outlined the history, its significance and its association with St. Peter.

  Both the parish and Fr. Glaysher have a close association with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. In the past twelve years at least ten priests of the Fraternity have visited Ryde to support the faithful by offering Mass, giving talks and days of recollection, hearing Confessions, giving Benediction and visiting the sick and the housebound. Consequently, Father urges those of us affiliated to the Old Mass to give thanks to Almighty God, at this special time, for the Fraternity and for their ministry worldwide.

Inside Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini


  On the Feast of St. Luke, the Evangelist, Fr. Glaysher was present in the sanctuary of the Church of Santissima Trinita Dei Pellegrini, (Most Holy Trinity of the Pilgrims), for Solemn High Mass offered by Very Rev. Fr. Berg, Superior of the FSSP, in thanksgiving for the Silver Jubilee. Fr Armand de Malleray was the Deacon, and Fr. William Barker the Sub Deacon. This Roman church was entrusted to the Fraternity in 2008, by His Holiness Pope Benedict. It is conveniently situated only a few hundred yards from the Venerable English College. We were delighted to be able to have a guided tour of the college after the High Mass. As a Fraternity priest working in England, Fr Armand de Malleray was particularly pleased to visit the college for the first time and to witness the persecution of the martyrs (vividly displayed on the walls of the gallery above the college chapel). It was through their strength, selfless ministry and courage in adversity during the penal times, that the Faith was kept alive in England.

  In his sermon at the High Mass Fr. Berg gave thanks for the growth and development of the FSSP throughout the world. It has grown from 12 to 250 priests worldwide in 25 years. There are now two seminaries, - in Germany and the United States. He spoke about the importance of family life and how vocations to the holy priesthood are nurtured in the family praying together as committed Catholics.

  The significance of Pope Benedict’s Motu Proprio, “Summorum Pontificum”, of 2007, was highlighted by Fr. Berg. It lifted virtually all restrictions on priests offering the immemorial Mass. This Mass emphasises adoration and worship of Almighty God as our Creator and Saviour. He reminded the congregation present of the dignity and the reverence with which Mass should be offered. “It is Christ who is foremost in the Mass; not the priest”. To highlight this point he mentioned the words of Fr. Ronald Knox, who suggested that the best Mass is the one where people leave the church and say to each other, “now can you remember, which priest was it who said Mass this morning”?

  Fr. Berg thanked members and supporters of the Confraternity of St. Peter for their prayers and their financial support over the past 25 years. This had contributed greatly to the growth of the FSSP. Each member commits themselves to recite a decade of the rosary and say the Confraternity Prayer every day for priestly vocations and ministry; and to have an annual Mass offered to the same intentions.

  It was interesting to witness what happened at the end of the High Mass. When the clergy departed for the sacristy, after the singing of the “Te Deum”, about 90% of the congregation remained in the pews for at least five minutes. There was complete silence as people made their thanksgiving after receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion. Contrast this to the usual rush for the church door at the end of Sunday Mass (or even before), with people talking and laughing, that we often have to endure today. There is much in terms of reverence, respect and dignity that we can learn from the Fraternity.

L-R: Fr Glaysher, Fr de Malleray, FSSP, Fr Southwell, Fr Berg, FSSP.

  Outside the church it was good to meet Fr. Berg socially. He posed for photographs with the English pilgrims. Two other English priests were delighted to see us; namely, Fr. William Barker FSSP, who is the curate at this Roman church, and Fr. Andrew Southwell, formerly of St. Bede’s, Clapham Park, - now based in Rome. 

  In the evening there was Solemn Vespers for the Feast of St. Luke and by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The evening concluded with a concert by the St. Andrew Camerata from Scotland, (once the Blessed Sacrament had been removed from the tabernacle into the sacristy). Among the hymns which they sung were Exultate Deo (Scarlatti), Christus factus est (Buckner), Alma Redemptorist Mater (Palestrina) and  O Sacrum Convivium (Viadana). 
  Details of the concert and other aspects of the pilgrimage (and photographs) can be read in the IoW Catholic History Society web site  www.iow-chs.org  after 27th October. 

Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam.







Monday, 21 October 2013

All Saints and All Souls

Madonna and Child enthroned with saints, Benozzo Gozzoli, 1461-2.

Here are the details of Masses being celebrated on the feast of All Saints and All Souls in the diocese of Clifton:

All Saints Day – Friday 1st November

- St Dominic’s, Dursley – 8am Low Mass

- Prinknash Abbey – 8.15am Low Mass

- Our Lady and St Kenelm, Stow-on-the-Wold – 11am Low Mass

- Our Lady and St Alphege, Bath – 12 noon Low Mass

- Our Lady of Glastonbury – 12 noon Low Mass

- Holy Cross, Bedminster – 12.45pm Low Mass

- SS Joseph and Teresa, Wells – 6pm Low Mass





The Last Judgement, Michaelangelo, 1541.



All Souls Day – Saturday 2nd November



- St Dominic’s, Dursley – Three consecutive Masses will be celebrated from 8am onwards.

- Our Lady and St Kenelm, Stow-on-the-Wold – 10 am Low Mass

- Prinknash Abbey – 11 am Low Mass

- Holy Cross, Bedminster – 12 noon *Solemn High Requiem Mass*

- Our Lady and St Alphege, Bath – 12 noon Low Mass

- SS Joseph and Teresa, Wells – 6 pm Low Mass

Friday, 18 October 2013

Walsingham film


The Latin Mass Society has released a lovely new film about the recent LMS pilgrimage to Walsingham.


Please click 
vimeo.com/76993160 to view it. It is about 13 minutes long, and well worth watching!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Latin Mass in the Vendee


A report kindly submitted by Clifton LMS members Ken and Carol Reis:


 Do you holiday in the Vendee region of France?  If so, you may be interested in learning that during the months of July through to September a Latin Mass is celebrated every Sunday in Les Sables-d'Olonne.   The Mass is held in the Chapelle du Sacre Coeur at 10.00 am.  Parking is available at the Chapelle.



The Masses which are now in their second year are celebrated by three priests, one of whom is Fr Bede Rowe who hails from the Clifton Diocese and is currently on secondment at Chavagnes International College.  Fr Rowe was invited to participate by Mgr Castet, the Bishop of Lucon.

The Chapel was originally the hospital chapel of La Sagesse sisters.  The  Chapel is now in regular use by the Parish to provide the Latin Mass at the behest of Mgr Castet.  The La Sagesse sisters and the Parish have provided the relics, altar cards and candles.  The mainly French congregation have also contributed magnificently as can be seen by the photo.  There is even a set of portable communion rails!



The Latin Mass has a distinctive French flavour.  A Rosary is said before the Mass and a small choir accompanies the Mass as the Gloria and Creed are sung along with some hymns. 



It is hoped that the Masses will continue and it is anticipated that from October onwards there will be Masses on the first and last Sundays of each month at the same time of 10.00 am.  For further information please e-mail lesamisdelachapelle@free.fr

Friday, 4 October 2013

Our Lord Jesus Christ the King

Our Lord Jesus Christ the King,
from 'The Last Judgement' by Giotto, in the Arena Chapel, Padua c.1304.



There will be a Missa Cantata to celebrate the great feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, on Sunday 27th October at 12pm, at the church of Our Lady and St Alphege in Bath. 
Do come and celebrate the feast with beautiful music and liturgy.

However… if you happen to be closer to Portsmouth on that day, there is to be a Solemn High Mass for the feast of Christ the King, at St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth at 3pm.  Bishop Egan has kindly agreed to preside at this Mass, and to preach. This is a rare example of a Bishop presiding and preaching at an EF Mass, and it will be a great event. Do support it if you can.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Happy Birthday



The feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sunday 8th September, was celebrated with a Missa Cantata at Our Lady of Glastonbury. It is the patronal feast of the church, and so it was a fitting place to celebrate this important date in the Church’s calendar. The celebrant was Fr Philip Thomas, parish priest of SS Joseph and Teresa in Wells. The choir sang Missa Ave Maris Stella by Thomas Luis de Victoria, Ave Maria by Robert Parsons and O Sacrum Convivium by Thomas Tallis.





The Abbot of Downside, Dom Aidan Bellenger, preached. He spoke movingly about the central place that Our Lady occupied in the minds and hearts of the people of this country when it was the Dowry of Mary. The Lady Chapel of Glastonbury Abbey, although now in ruins, is still an important reminder of Our Lady’s presence here. Mass was followed by Benediction. Afterwards, choir and members of the congregation enjoyed a picnic lunch in the beautiful presbytery garden in the early autumn sunshine.


The Right Reverend Dom Aidan Bellenger, Abbot of Downside.


Fr Philip Thomas

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.



There were six servers on the altar, including two young men who are about to leave the diocese to test their vocations, one with the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) and the other with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP). We wish them both very well and our prayers go with them. 

Virgo Dei Genitrix, quem totus non capit orbis, in tua se clausit viscera, 
factus homo. Alleluia.

O Virgin Mother of God, He whom the whole world is unable to contain, being made man, enclosed Himself in thy womb. Alleluia

Monday, 5 August 2013

Wiltshire's loss is Somerset's gain

Fr Coulon preaching on the Feast of
the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus last year

Important news: Fr Jean-Patrice Coulon, parish priest of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Devizes, is moving to a new parish with immediate effect. His new church is the Holy Ghost in Yeovil. This is a sad loss for Wiltshire, but good news for Somerset.


The Holy Ghost, Yeovil

This means that the Latin Mass celebrated every Friday at 6pm and every Second Sunday at 12.15pm in Devizes will no longer take place. We hope that provision will be made for those parishioners who are attached to the Latin Mass in Devizes, and we will of course keep you informed. Similarly, once Fr Coulon has settled into his new parish, we will let you know about Latin Masses being celebrated in Yeovil.

Fr Coulon is a member of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales, or Fransalians.
May St Francis de Sales guide and protect him as he starts work in his new parish.

Monday, 22 July 2013

First Fridays on the Island


In the last post we saw images of St Mary’s, Ryde on the Isle of Wight. The daughter-church to St Mary’s is St Michael the Archangel (below), located in the pretty seaside town of Bembridge. The church was built in 1965, and the first Mass celebrated there was on 20th June of that year. Just six months later, the solemn conclusion of the Second Vatican Council took place in Rome, and the newly-built church had to be adapted to the new form of the Mass.




St Michael the Archangel, Bembridge


Today, both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass are celebrated in the church. Despite its modern appearance, the sanctuary has been made a fitting and beautiful setting for the Latin Mass, as can be seen from the photographs below.


Fr Glaysher celebrates Low Mass at St Michael's on the First Friday in July.
LMS rep Peter Clark is serving.


The sanctuary is beautifully adorned.


A set of Rococo light fittings adds splendour to the church.

Fr Glaysher celebrates an Extraordinary Form Mass in this church every first Friday at 9.30am. There is also a Holy Hour on First Fridays in St Mary’s, Ryde. We reproduce below a text that appears on the parish website about First Fridays, a devotion which is observed with great care in this part of the world.

The First Friday of each month was designated by our Saviour Himself as a day to be consecrated to honouring His Sacred Heart. The object of this devotion is to make our Saviour Jesus Christ ardently and perfectly loved, and to make reparation for the outrages offered to Him in the past, as well as for those which he daily receives in the Blessed Eucharist. Jesus Christ merits our love at all times, but alas! So many in the world today simply do not recognise His redeeming love for mankind. We should remember that He is truly present in every Catholic church. We should then adore Jesus Christ in this Sacrament, make a fervent act of love to Jesus in the tabernacle, thank Him for having instituted this Mystery of love, express our sorrow at seeing Him so abandoned, and resolve to visit Him as soon as possible and love Him unceasingly. Attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is assuredly the best means of honouring and loving the adorable Heart of Jesus.


First Friday devotions in honour of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Act of Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Act of Reparation
The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Sacrament of Penance (Confession)



The Sacred Heart of Jesus Surrounded by Angels, c. 1775 by Jose de Paez.


The Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

"I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life."
"I will establish peace in their homes."
"I will comfort them in their afflictions."
"I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death."
"I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings."
"Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy."
"Tepid souls shall grow fervent."
"Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection."
"I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honoured."
"I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."
"Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out."
"I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."


Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

The Church also teaches us that the most efficacious prayer is prayer in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Prayer in the Divine Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament releases the power, blessings and graces of God upon mankind. 

 Each time you go to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, you touch His Heart with your faith. Each Holy Hour you make in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament releases His power and graces upon you, your family, your parish, your diocese and the world. 

Our Lord appears to St Margaret Mary Alacoque


Here in St. Mary's in Ryde we are pleased to have a Holy Hour on every First Friday, at the start of which, we meditate on Christ's Passion while publicly reciting the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary followed by the Litany of the Sacred Heart. Our own Sacred Heart Chapel contains stained glass windows of saints famous for their love and adoration of Our Blessed Lord, including St. Margaret Mary Alocoque, the French nun, who had a vision of Our Lord exposing his Sacred Heart on 15th June, 1675. Our Lord said to her: "Behold this Heart, which loves men so much. Yet in return I receive ingratitude, irreverence, sacrilege and a coldness and contempt which they exhibit for me in this Sacrament of love." 

The Garden of Gethsemane by Andrea Mantegna, c. 1470.

It was through St. Margaret Mary that Christ instituted the "Holy Hour" of devotion and prayer to the Sacred Heart in reparation for the three apostles who fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane. Our Lord told her to, "encourage people to make reparation for the ingratitude of men. Spend an hour in prayer to appease divine justice, to implore mercy for sinners, to honour Me, to console Me for my bitter sufferings when abandoned by my apostles when they could not watch and pray for one hour with me". 

It was Pope Pius IX who added the feast of the Sacred Heart to the Roman Calendar in 1856 in order to "stimulate the faithful to honour with greater devotion and zeal the love of Jesus Christ under the symbol of the Sacred Heart". Consequently the practice of honouring the Sacred Heart with pictures, shrines and statues in homes was encouraged by the Church. From Victorian times priests would visit family homes to solemnly enthrone a representation of the Sacred Heart and urge each family to pray together and seek mercy and forgiveness for sins, as Christ himself requested in his appearance to St. Margaret Mary. 

In the 1930s Pope Pius XI affirmed devotion to the Sacred Heart to be, "the epitome of religion and the norm of the more perfect life which more readily leads souls to acknowledge Christ the Lord, and which more effectively, inclines hearts to love Him more ardently and imitate Him more closely." In the 1950s Pope Pius XII describes the Sacred Heart of Jesus as, "the divine remedy which will save men from the devil and all forces of evil."

Reproduced with kind permission of Fr Glaysher and Peter Clarke.

Friday, 19 July 2013

A good place for a holiday

St Mary's Ryde



When planning a holiday destination, one point Catholics must consider is ‘can we get to Mass while we are there?’ For those attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, this question is not always very easy to answer in the affirmative. However, if you were to book a holiday in the Isle of Wight, within reach of the seaside town of Ryde, you would be in luck. Fr Anthony Glaysher, parish priest of St Mary’s in Ryde, offers Latin Masses every Tuesday at 12.30pm, every Thursday at 7pm, preceded by a Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and devotions, and a Missa Cantata at 6pm on the first Sunday of each month.

St Mary’s, Ryde is the first church in England to be dedicated to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was founded in 1844 by Elizabeth FitzGibbon, Countess of Clare, who converted to Catholicism in St Peter’s, Rome after a ‘Grand Tour’, and returned to the Island to build a church in honour of Our Lady. She engaged the well-known architect Joseph Hansom, an admirer of AWN Pugin, to build a fine Gothic church on the High Street. At that time, anti-Catholic sentiment on the Island was such that the Countess had to ask a Protestant to bid for the site on her behalf, and there was an outcry in certain quarters when the tall, elegant Catholic church was completed, occupying a prominent position on one of the most important streets in the town (see above).



Stained glass windows in the north-west end of the church,
depicting three of the seven sacraments.

Inside, the church has many interesting features, including a rare set of stained-glass windows depicting the seven sacraments (above). One of the highlights of a visit to the church is the beautiful Lady Chapel, which was built in response to a request by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII that the English Hierarchy re-dedicate England to the Patronage of Mary in 1893. The Hierarchy carried out this request on the feast of SS Peter and Paul 1893, in a solemn ceremony at the London Oratory. Thereafter, every parish was encouraged to construct chapels, shrines or grottoes in honour of Our Lady.



Lady Chapel, St Mary's Ryde


The shrine and altar in St Mary’s was built from designs by Pugin. The altar (below) which dates from the 1850s, depicts Our Lady of Walsingham. It is one of the earliest representations of this image following the Restoration of the Hierarchy, and pre-dates the re-opening of the Slipper Chapel.


Lady Altar designed by AWN Pugin

Our Lady of Walsingham, designed by AWN Pugin.


The walls and ceiling of the Lady Chapel were decorated in 1894 by the Victorian artist Nathaniel Westlake, F.S.A. Westlake covered the chapel with images from the Litany of Our Lady and scenes from the Joyful and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary in rich jewelled colours (below). On the feast of the Visitation, 2nd July this year, a Latin Mass was celebrated at the chapel, followed by recitation of the Litany of Our Lady.

The Assumption

The Coronation of Our Lady in Heaven

Low Mass for the Feast of the Visitation in
the Lady Chapel, St Mary's Ryde.


Another gem in the church is the Countess of Clare’s private oratory, which occupies the north-east corner above the sacristy (below). It is dedicated to St Elizabeth of Hungary, the Countess’ patron, and it was her favourite place of prayer. She would attend Mass here with her family and household servants, out of sight of the congregation but with a good view of the High Altar and the sanctuary.


St Elizabeth's Chapel

Altar of St Elizabeth's Chapel


When Bl. John Henry Newman visited the Island in 1865 he celebrated Mass in St Mary’s, and used the Countess’ chapel for his private devotions. Towards the end of her life the Countess spent many hours praying there. A small fireplace can still be seen in the north wall, and one can imagine a maidservant arriving early in the chapel to light a fire on cold mornings. In the 1970s the chapel was stripped of its altar and all its adornements, and it quickly fell into disuse, and for several decades it was used as a store-room. In 2008 Fr Glaysher and a small group of parishioners set about restoring the chapel, and today it is once again a beautiful and peaceful place of prayer, filled with statues, lamps, candlesticks and a wonderful collection of reliquaries, including relics of St Dominic Savio and St Edmund of Abingdon. Every Thursday evening from 6pm the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the chapel with devotions, followed by a Latin Mass at 7pm. It is a truly uplifting experience, highly recommended to any visitor to the Island.


Statues and Reliquaries in St Elizabeth's Chapel

Reliquaries in St Elizabeth's Chapel

Reliquary containing a relic of St Edmund of Abingdon
in St Elizabeth's Chapel.


The LMS Rep for the Isle of Wight is Peter Clarke. He and his wife Gill are parishioners of St Mary’s Ryde, and give guided tours of the church on Wednesdays at 12 noon. They would also be happy to give a tour at any other time. Contact them on: 01983 566740.
Peter Clarke is also the founder of the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society, whose patron is our own Bishop, Rt. Rev. Mgr. Declan Lang. See the website here.

Peter’s book, ‘Ryde to Rome’ is a fascinating history of the Countess of Clare and the building and adornement of St Mary’s Ryde. It paints a most interesting and illuminating picture of Catholic life on the Island in the days of Queen Victoria. The book can be purchased for £3 plus p&p from: the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society, Whitehaven, 72 Mayfield Road, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 3PR.