Friday, 31 May 2013

Oh no! I have got it wrong about Muslim Prayer Rooms!

I am sorry. So very sorry, so-oo sorry.

Hello - I'm your new parish counsellor

You see there are no Muslim Prayer Rooms in the Catholic Schools of England and Wales - I stand corrected.

I have been told this fact and I am sure my informant is correct.

He tells me that there are no Muslim Prayer Rooms in our schools....only rooms used by Muslim pupils for prayer.

Umm....just run that past me again mean there are only dedicated rooms for Muslims to pray Muslim Prayer Rooms?

Ooh, I'm feeling a bit funny, time for a couple of Mogadon and a lie down.

And, you may be surprised, dear friends (and others) to learn that I have been reading Twitter....yes, really.
 It's easy, just like reading haiku.
Anyway, some kindly old soul made a comment on this whole Muslim Prayer Room debate and tweeted the following:

"Maybe our own pupils would learn from the Muslims" (that's my paraphrase but accurate in essence).

Ah, well, that makes sense. Let's make Muslim Prayer Rooms mandatory in all Catholic Schools so that Catholic pupils can learn how to pray!

Stop the world, I want to get off!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

It's not that I'm paranoid......

....but someone's out to get me!

Oh no! Not the limp lettuce leaf...anything but that....please!

Observant readers may have noticed the rapid decline of my voting poll in the sidebar. Four days ago, the tally was 140 souls who had voted, virtually all utterly opposed to Muslim Prayer Rooms in Catholic Schools.
Roughly 5% were in favour (who they?) I think I can guess.

Now, my poll has been snaffled, hacked, got at, knobbled......the votes have disappeared and only a few voters are appearing, something like 10, (sniff!).

I am, of course, not pointing a finger at any individual or coven group. It might well have been a blip on Blogger, who knows?

But, in the light of approaches that have been made to me, it may be worth repeating my new mantra, that names of signatories will not be revealed to any person other than their Graces, Smith & Mennini.

I know that quite  few Catholic teachers have signed up, considerably distressed at what is going on.

I know that the forces of greyness would not hesitate to bring influence to bear to persecute these good people.

It is an irony, is it not? That Catholic persecution in the western world today, is undertaken by those in authority within the Church and their insipid feminist hangers on.

On the plus side is the fact that, being attacked by these people is rather like going three rounds in the ring with a limp lettuce leaf!

If you have not done so, please sign by leaving your name in the comment box or by emailing me on

And - if you don't know what all this is about, please visit my more recent posts.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A call to arms!

It has been suggested that other Catholic bloggers might like to involve themselves with the issue of Muslim Prayer Rooms in Catholic Schools and help collect signatories for the letter that will be sent to Archbishop Peter Smith next week.

We do need your help....please link to my post or ask for those who wish their name to be added to the letter (not to be publicised) to email me on  or to leave their name in the comment box HERE

Thank you

The list of signatories is growing...

.....some 29 strong as of 11.03am today.

We especially would like to hear from parents of children at Catholic Schools who may be concerned at this spread of Muslim Prayer Rooms in their children's schools.

Please send me your name, either by email, to  or in the comment box. Names will only appear on the letter to the Archbishops and not be shown publicly:

Hear is the letter again:

“Your Grace

We have been made aware of a number of Catholic Schools in your Archdiocese, where, in conflict with Catholic teaching and in direct contradiction of their mission statements, resources have been allocated to provide prayer rooms for Muslim pupils.

This is not an issue regarding Muslim pupils attending Catholic Schools, always provided that there is a shortfall in places.
Such attendance may be an opportunity for the Faith to be spread by good example and by observation on the part of the Muslim pupils.

It is concerned directly with the fact that this facility should not be provided on Catholic premises, especially a school setting where young people could, quite understandably, interpret the provision as a signal that there is no distinction between Islam and the Catholic Faith.

We hope that you will act to put an end to this practice and inform Headteachers, and also Chaplains, Priests and Deacons who may be involved in a pastoral role in the Catholic Education sector, to that effect.

We assure you of our prayers for you, your priests and all within your Archdiocese at all times”.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

More on Muslim prayer rooms and a letter to the Archbishop

I posted, a few days ago, on the apparent surge in Catholic Schools dedicating some of their hard won resources to providing Prayer Rooms for Muslim students.

That goes against all the mission statements that any Catholic School has ever know, the ones that state:-

The XXXX School is a Catholic secondary school for boys of all abilities and all backgrounds. It exists to serve the educational needs of the Catholic community of  XXXX and neighbouring areas. As such, it will at all times seek, via opportunities for worship and prayer, and via the teaching of its religious studies programme, to deepen and enrich the Catholic faith of all its pupils. Further we seek to provide for these same pupils, access to real academic, sporting, musical and artistic excellence.
We believe as well that all aspects of the life of the school should be lived in a spirit of justice and charity and that Christian selflessness should be part of all our dealings with one another.
OK, no mention of other faiths there. 
No mention of taking funds from the Catholic coffers to provide a room facing Mecca for its male Muslim students. No mention of the dangers of apparently equating Islam with Catholicism.
So now is the time for action against such silliness. 
I have composed a letter to Archbishop Peter Smith (copy to HG Archbishop Mennini) and I am collecting signatories so that I may present the letter (hard copy) with as many names appended as possible.
I hope that you will agree to join in and send me your name, either in the comment box or, privately by emailing me at
Your names will not be made public and only appear as signatories on the letter itself.....please help me on this one, we cannot allow this sort of abuse to continue.
Here is the letter:
"Your Grace

We have been made aware of a number of Catholic Schools in your Archdiocese, where, in conflict with Catholic teaching and in direct contradiction of their mission statements, resources have been allocated to providing prayer rooms for Muslim students.

This is not an issue with Muslim pupils attending Catholic Schools, always provided that there is a shortfall in places. Such attendance is an opportunity for the Faith to be spread by example and by observation on the part of the pupils.

It is concerned directly with the fact that this facility should not be provided on Catholic premises, especially, a school setting where young people could, quite understandably, interpret the provision as a signal that there is little or no difference between Catholicism and Islam.

We hope that you will act to put an end to this practice and inform Headteachers, Lay Chaplains and Deacons who may be involved in pastoral work in the Catholic School sector, to that effect.

We assure you of our prayers for you and your priests at all times."

So now, please send me your name if you agree with the content of the letter. It matters not whether you are from Southwark or, indeed from Britain, all signatures made with good intent are valid.

This needs nipping in the bud before it becomes the norm.


Monday, 27 May 2013

Archbishop makes earth shattering address to Welsh Assembly

Wales has 30,000 Mass goers and 30,000 Catholic schoolchildren.
Erm.....something does not quite add up Your Grace
Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff Archdiocese has been in post now for....what can it be?....seems like centuries, but, in fact, this dynamic prelate has only been in the hot seat for a mere two years.

And, in that time, has the Archdiocese surged ahead and made inroads as far as the implementation of Summorum Pontificum?

Developed a doctrinally accurate religious instruction programme with integrity for Catholic Schools within its remit?

Made a stand against the secular powers of abortion, euthanasia, same sex you know what and so on?

Inspired his 47 or so priests to take up cudgels against the state and to launch a programme designed to bring back to the Faith those who have....drifted?

Hmm......not sure; don't think so, can't see any evidence to the contrary.

But...but....dear reader. Do not despair.

His Grace this very month has attended the seat of governance in Wales, the Welsh Assembly no less and addressed them.

Now, if you have suffered from ennui which is a clever word for boredom, you may have take up watching rocks to see whether or not they move.

Some, indeed, find that pastime rather too labour intensive and watch, instead, proceedings of The Welsh Assembly.......(stretch, yawn).

This forum is the one where they address each other by their Christian fore names, which makes it exceedingly banal as they are all called Dai.
Confusion is the end result.

Enough of this rambling, pull up an old chair and prepare for some really hot stuff, the address made by His Grace, George Stack to the Assembly on 7th May.

But, before you do, don't forget to take your heart pills or Prozac or whatever it is that soothes the savage beast; this is heady stuff....

Here it is...Catholic rhetoric at its very best.....

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Could a signal be sent to Rome?

Could we, possibly, with every best intention, send a message to the Holy Father by........

....not having a Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Chartres next year?

Instead, could we have a combined pilgrimage involving Latin Mass followers
  and SSPX followers?

You may be aware that, each year, within a few days of each other, mainstream orthodox Catholicism has a pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres while, the SSPX hold one from Chartres to Paris.

That just seems plain b****y silly.

We are so close. We are one surely?

It is licit to attend SSPX Masses.

And, from the SSPX point of view, traditional mainstream Catholic Masses are legit (despite what one or two more prejudiced priests might say).

That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me. 

Just imagine the force of 25,000 or 30,000 Catholics marching, singing and praying together. 
Please pray that both sides will come together ignoring the spite and contempt that will be levelled at them and join as one on this great Pilgrimage for 2014.

Here is an account of what already takes place; a meeting of two great forces for Christ:

A sense of unity among the two pilgrimages is nothing new.  Each year the lay leaders of the two pilgrimages—brothers in the old Faith—meet briefly at the halfway point in order to raise a glass to the Catholic Cause they all attempt to serve. But this year, an even stronger sense that Tradition is rising and Traditionalists are uniting prevailed throughout Pentecost weekend in France.  Bishop Fellay preached  a sermon to the SSPX pilgrims, for example, in which he recalled the example of St. Joan of Arc and the apparent hopelessness of the situation in her time, just before God Himself raised up a champion, The Maid. “Do we have the right to stay where we are?” asked Bishop Fellay. We do not have the final say “yes” or “no” for “he who wants to recognize our Fraternity is the Pope himself.”  Whatever one thinks of the situation between the SSPX and the Vatican, it cannot be denied that we’re all witnessing history in the making.

From: The Remnant (plus picture)

Ten marks of a cultural Catholic

Catholic Collar and Tie has an interesting and profound post on the modern malaise of being person rather than God focused in our spiritual lives.

We need more culture than this in our Catholic lives

The post author, Father Gary Dickson uses the phrase "culturally Catholic" by which I believe he means surrounding ourselves with the elements of the Faith that inspire us in our daily lives and act as a beacon to others in showing them what we believe in and stand for.

I thought that it might be interesting to list those acts and signs that are the mark of someone who is "culturally Catholic" not that this is, by itself, a fulfilment of our spiritual lives, more a reminder of who and what we should be.

1. A crucifix in the home

2. Having your home blessed

3. Saying grace before meals (in the home and out of it)

4. Reciting the Rosary daily

5. Displaying religious statues or pictures

6. Wearing the scapular or a holy medal

7. Inscribing the threshold lintel on the Feast of the Epiphany

8. Dressing appropriately for Mass, males as well as females

9. Having holy water and blessed candles at hand

10. Ownership of a home Douai Bible

And before anyone says it, these are external signs; we also need to incorporate the internal ones if we are to call ourselves Catholic.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

A church torn apart

This is another post on the parish church in Aberystwyth.

Bishop Tom Burns wants to flog off the site and build a new church (probably round and concrete) out of town, just too far for elderly and infirm parishioners and anyway, shouldn't the church be at the heart of the parish?

Those who oppose claim that the old church is basically sound and certainly salvageable, but of course, it needs a bit of cash thrown at it to get it up and working again.

The Bish would say, that those in opposition have added to the cost of re-building by inflicting delays upon proceedings, and, he is probably right.

But, my friend informs me that two thirds of the parish are opposed to the move and, if Bishop Tom runs a listening church in his diocese of Menevia, he must be a little hard of hearing.

There are claims and counter claims, surveyor's reports for and against.
I don't pretend to have an intimate knowledge of all the rights and wrongs but, a commentator has left some information which I post verbatim.

Only to say, if you wish to make an official comment to the authorities, you only have until 5th June:

St Winefride's Church: Diocese of Menevia application to demolish the church. Objections to be sent by 5 June, 2013. Quote planning application number (A130337 & A130338CA): Contact Mr Owain Davies Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion Penmorfa Aberaeron Ceredigion UK SA46 0PA Reasons for objections could be:- • Destruction of a historical church within the conservation area in Aberystwyth. • Evidence as given in SAVE report and Barratt reports show that church is structurally sound. • No one has seen the purported Insurance reports mentioned by the diocese that condemn the church. • Serious neglect of the building is the reason for recent fall of roof masonry. • That majority of parishioners want the church to remain central to Aberystwyth and not moved to the outskirts of the town. • A feasible option to develop and refurbish the church and Queen’s Rd site has not been explored fully by the diocese. 

Australia Incognita has a good post on the Woolwich aftermath

Of course, those in authority are taking good care not to make any remarks that could be interpreted as inflammatory; the last thing anyone wishes to see now is recriminatory action or, heaven forbid, copycat actions.

But there is a certain amount of cant in the air. Nick Clegg quoting (selectively) from the Koran.

A great deal of attempting to distance the Muslim faith from this act of barbarity - but, the fact is, in many Muslim countries the authorities themselves dish out barbaric sentences on Christians.

Stoning and flogging are relatively common in Saudi, Nigeria and some of the Gulf States; Islam does have a savage facet and the Koran has passages on both peace and on vengeance against the 'infidel'.

Kate Edwards has a sound post on the subject of Islamic denialism, you may read it HERE

Friday, 24 May 2013

Does the Archbishop know?

A seemingly relatively innocent post regarding a prayer room (Christian) being established at Cardinal Newman School, Hove (where they have a rather beautiful chapel) has extended into the realm of Muslim Prayer Rooms being provided in Catholic Schools.

I must admit, this revelation came as something of a shock to me.

I can see no reason why a Catholic School should provide resources for students of other faiths, especially, Islam which takes such an extreme view on Christian belief and refuses to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God, relegating His role to that of a prophet.

Furthermore, many Muslims hold to the belief that the crucifixion was a 'sham' and that Our Lord was involved in a last minute switch resulting in some other poor soul being crucified in His place.

The very essence of Islamic theology is utterly opposed to Catholic doctrinal teaching and whilst, I hold to respecting all other faiths, I do not believe that Catholics should be involved in attending Hindu, Sikh or Muslim ceremonies and certainly, Muslim Prayer Rooms have no place in a Catholic School.

It appears that the invidious spread of this practice is at the behest of lay chaplains and Deacons and, therein lies the crunch.

With all respect to people who hold such positions, they do not have the depth of grounding in theology, philosophy and doctrinal issues that a priest (in theory) has. In fact, I do not believe that we should have 'lay chaplains' at all. This is the province of a priest.

They should not, therefore, be the arbiters of moves to radically adopt tactics that defy Catholic orthodoxy.

That Catholic Schools, or, some of them, appear to have moved into this arena, poses the question: "Does their Archbishop know?"

Or, even: "Does their Headteacher know?"

What is the view of Archbishop Peter Smith on this topic?

Does the Catholic Education Service know of such goings on?

If you feel strongly on this topic, please email the Archbishop of Southwark at this address: 

And, just for the record, I believe that it is in order for Muslim pupils to attend Catholic Schools provided that there is a shortfall of Catholic pupils and places are available.

Going back to my own schooldays (with the aid of some reminiscence therapy), I recall that non Catholic pupils were welcomed on the basis that, by association, they might come to know and love the true Faith.
That seems eminently sensible to me.

Providing them with a prayer room does not.

And, for those folk who belong to the Call for Action group and who appear to have an uninformed sense of Catholic teaching, here is what Our Lord has to say on the matter:

"That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, . . . so that the world may know that you have sent me." (John 17:21)

and, also:

"And other sheep I have that are not of this fold; I must lead them too, and they shall heed my voice.
So there shall be one shepherd and one flock". (John 10: 11-18)

See also: Catholic Schools, Muslim services

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Catholic Portugal and Catholic gilt

This is a panorama of just some of the sights of Catholic Portugal (plus a few secular-ish ones).

Here and there I have dedicated a shot to other bloggers whom I admire and whom fit the bill as far as the picture is concerned.

On my left is a slightly fuzzy confessional, it must be used by the more liberal of the brethren.

I have not dedicated this to anyone lest I cause offence and, as you know, I just hate doing that.

It must take a brave soul to confess at this box as there is the capacity for a sinner each side, no more than three feet apart.

Speak softly lest.....

This most beautiful of depictions of Our Lady and the Infant Jesus hangs in the Museum attached to the Church of St Roch (Sao Rocque)
In the centre of Lisbon.

Because of its Eastern influence (or origins) I dedicate it to Fr Athanasius McVay.

And, below, a real nun, a Franciscan Sister of the Immaculate from the Philipines but residing in Italy. God bless her.

And, for Mulier Fortis, a cat. What else?
And the grand entrance to the Monastery of
 Sao Geronimo, Belem. A must for anyone visiting Lisbon.
For my good friend, Charlie J, a rather
bling type of chasuble (he likes those)
                                           And more real nuns! This time at Fatima
How about Schindler's Lift? Silly really.
Dedicated to Catholic and Welsh who
has a similar sense of humour to mine
(I think)
Oh my! No, it's not Eccles and Bosco but a couple
of happy (gay?) bearded turbanned people.
Is that pc enough? From an ex monastery in Sintra
And here are Father Sid and Father Reg.
They are from the Order of Polyesters Rampant

And that's it. I am sorry if I have not included your blog, no offence intended, it's just that I ran out of suitable pics.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Catholic School, Muslim services

I do not think that you will find any chapels in Muslim Schools

Is that right?

A Catholic School offering Muslim students the facility to practice their faith?

A Catholic School providing a Prayer Room for Muslims, is that so very wrong?

Deacon Tony Flavin provides a Prayer Room at his school, (not sure which one), and is pleased that young Muslim males and females attend prayers there.

Well, for the record, in a secular educational situation, I have provided Prayer Rooms for Muslims most willingly.

But, I do not think it right that a Catholic School or College should do so.

If you allow Muslims a space, would you also do the same for Sikhs, Seventh Day Adventists, Hari Krishna followers, Wicca Groups, Scientologists, Mormons and so on?

I suspect, depressingly, that most Catholic Schools would fall in line with any requests from such faiths. But then, I have a very low opinion of most Catholic Schools.

We do have one or two (but only one or two) flagship Schools where the essence of clear doctrinal teaching and ethos is promoted. Cardinal Vaughan is one; the London Oratory is, I suspect, another.

There may be a few more. Count the fingers on one hand; that is the state that we are in.


It would be interesting to have your views on the subject; am I being a racist right winger?

I hope not.

Please vote according to your view in the sidebar on the right.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

A 'Catholic' school provides a prayer room for students

Excellent, well done and jolly good show you might say.

But, me, being of the curmudgeonly inclination, I think not.

The very phrase 'Prayer Room' summons up images of a room set aside for the use of Muslim students or, (horror of horrors) the ubiquitous ecumenical room where all sorts of odd denominations hold sway.

Now this particular Catholic School is in a well heeled area, Hove, on the outskirts of Brighton, and I have written about it in the past and of how they hold, or used to hold, ecumenical services.

Not good, in a Catholic school, not really much good anywhere, after all, just what is the point?

Now Cardinal Newman School, for such it is, actually has a rather beautiful and grand chapel; the original prayer room, if you like.

But, instead of using this sacred space they have created a prayer room that looks as if it caters rather more for the Primary rather than the Secondary pupil.

           This is the school's Corpus Christi Chapel but heaven knows what's going on in it!

The video clip on the link below carries the usual silly sort of quotes along the lines of "pupils feel comfortable in it" (the new prayer room).

But really, Bishop Conry needs to man up and squash this whole lunatic concept and drag the school back to sound Catholic practice.

H/T to A & B News Blog (although, I suspect that they think the concept is great).
There is a link to a video on the A & B post.

Monday, 20 May 2013

"Disabled children should be put down"

There's something in the smile

That anyone could be so callous and crass in making such a statement is beyond comprehension, yet that is what, allegedly, Cornish Councillor, Colin Brewer has said.

Both The Independent and The Huffington Post carried the story, extracts below:-

The Cornish councillor who was re-elected despite saying that disabled children "should be put down because they cost too much money" has again insisted that there may be a case for killing some disabled children with high support needs.
Speaking to Disability News Service, Colin Brewer said he was not the "ogre" he had been made out to be, adding that constituents in his rural ward had shaken his hand and congratulated him, despite his controversial comments.
Looking for analogies to support his view, Brewer compared disabled children to farmers' treatment of animals, telling the agency: “If they have a misshapen lamb, they get rid of it. They get rid of it. Bang!”
He continued: "We are just animals. He [the farmer] obviously has got a point… You can’t have lambs running around with five legs and two heads.”
Brewer said: “It [the lamb] would be put down, smashed against the wall and be dealt with.”
He said the financial "burden" of the disabled wasn't just his own personal concern”, adding: “If you are talking about giving services to the community or services to the individual, the balance has got to be struck.”
He sought to justify his original comments by saying that that had suffered a series of strokes before the incident, which might explain why he “flared up”. "People have said I have changed since those strokes,” he added.
Independent councillor Brewer made the comments to Theresa Court, who works for Disability Cornwall, while she was manning a stall at the County Hall in Truro in October 2011.

We all know, do we not, that if Cllr Brewer had made similar remarks about gay couples or Muslims, he would have had his collar felt immediately.

It's the swivel eyed loons who are at the helm

Today Prime Minister Cameron takes yet another plunge into a stream that is growing ever increasingly stronger against him.

The Same Sex "Marriage" Bill enters the House of Commons for its third stage and the PM faces a revolt from his own backbenchers.

But, will that be enough to change the thinking of a group of Ministers who are, I suspect, handling this in a most cynical fashion.

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, in an interview yesterday, stated that the party would proceed along its self destruct path because that is what the younger voters want.

He may be right but the older ones, and the Catholic ones, and the Muslims and Jews, I am certain, are largely against the Bill.

That means the end of Conservative majority in two years time; the Tories will be relegated to a minority party by the inroads of UKIP and Labour gains.

Cynicism is one thing; blind stupidity is another.

Pray that Cameron and his SELs will not get their way, pray that our Bishops take a stronger lead in opposing this move.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

This picture says it all

If you were the regional director of Walmart or BMW......

....or any other corporation that saw......

1. A 70% fall in customer enrolment

2. A 50% drop in new customer sales

3. A 56% decline in staff recruitment

What would you do?

           Fall on your sword?

                          Try to implement change?

                                      Analyse what was wrong about your strategy
                                       and adopt a well tested approach?


....carry on with the same old weak and listless methods?

Please view the Latin Mass Society statistics for England and Wales HERE
and ponder on why and how our Bishops, given such clear evidence (over the past 50 years but, especially, now), have continued to offer no return to orthodox Catholicism that teaches moral clarity and doctrinal certainty.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Are you taking partres - in Chartes?

                           Picture: Chartres UK

The annual pilgrimage is under way and all who take part deserve our prayers.

Walking c. 75 miles in 3 days is one thing, having to kip down under canvas every night is another.

By comparison, Fatima was a dawdle, even though I had to push a priest in a wheelchair every day, up hill and down cova, and, even undertake the Stations of the Cross.
Very good for the soul - and the blood pressure.

The organisers have this to say about the event:-

The pilgrims walk in "chapters" (groups of 20 to 50 people), under the patronage of a saint (Our Lady of Walsingham and St. Alban for the British Chapters), and are led by laymen who, with the help of chaplains (Frs. Martin Edwards, Mark Withoos, Bede Rowe, Alex Redman, Bruno Witchalls and Gerard Byrne), organise the chapter hymns, meditations, rosary and prayers. The pilgrims live in a spirit of Christ's presence: friendship and prayer sustaining each pilgrim on his spiritual journey

Well, as an Englishman, that is all jolly good stuff but, I feel for my Welsh friends.
Why should they have to march under the Walsingham banner when they have their own National Shrine to Our Lady, that of Our Lady of Cardigan?

Please, would all who have influence on blogs, in magazines or other sections of the media, give equal honour to Our Lady of Cardigan – Our Lady of the Taper - Our Lady of Wales.

Our Lady of Cardigan, the equal of Walsingham,
but never recognised as such

Here is the Chartres 2013 programme:-

Friday, 17 May 2013

07:00 Mass at Westminster Cathedral Crypt, London SW1
07:30 Coaches pick up Outside Cathedral (Ambrosden Avenue)
11:10 Coach boards ferry at Dover
18:00 Coach arrives at Hotel outside Paris

Saturday, 18 May 2013 (Vigil of Pentecost)

05:00 Breakfast
05:30 Coach to Notre Dame Cathedral
07:00 Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral (to be confirmed)
08:30(est.) Leave Notre Dame towards Chartres
13:00 Lunch at Bievrés (Les Damoiseaux)?
20:00 Arrive at Ferté-Choisel for dinner and bed

Sunday, 19 May 2013 (Pentecost Sunday)

06:15 Prayers of Departure
07:00 First Chapters leave campsite
13:00 Solemn Mass of Pentecost & Lunch at Sonchamps (les Courlis)
21:00 Dinner and Bed at Gas (Benediction and All Night Exposition)
Monday, 20 May 2013 (Pentecost Monday)
06:30 Prayers of Departure
10:30 Lunch at Gasville Oiseme
15:30 Solemn Mass in Chartres Cathedral
20:00 Dinner in Chartres
???? Bed!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 (Pentecost Tuesday)

08:30ish Breakfast
10:00 Mass in Cathedral Crypt (to be confirmed)
12:00 Depart Chartres by coach for London
18:20 Board Eurotunnel
20:00 Arrive London

Phew! It's tiring just reading all of that.

Of course, the SSPX also do a Chartres Pilgrimage although, to avoid confusion, they walk from Chartes to Paris whereas the 'others' do it vice versa.

Each year, the SSPX hold a Mass outside Sacre Coeur in Paris at the end of the march.

And it has become the custom for some of them to infiltrate into the church itself and position themselves on the tower ao that, at the moment of Consecration, they may let loose the flags of The Sacred Heart.

This, of course, is frowned upon by the church authorities and all sorts of searches and frisking takes place to ensure that such high spirited piety takes place.

I am pleased to say that, most years, the authorities are foiled (or follied) by the sheer ingenuity of the pilgrims.

A few years ago three or four of the group who happened to be Japanese, wrapped the flags around their bodies and then, laden with cameras, they approached the tower.

They were waved in as being typical Japanese tourists only for the banners to be revealed at the Consecration. Bravo!

A Pilgrim's Prayer

 Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, we dedicate ourselves to your service. We concentrate our minds, hearts, and bodies and promise to work always for the glory of God and the salvation of man. Protect the young and help the aged, save sinners and console the dying. You are our hope, Mary, Mother of Mercy and Gate of Heaven. Pray to your Son for us so that we may be filled with selfless charity and deep faith. Ask Jesus for those things which we cannot obtain through our own actions and help us in this our present necessity. May we always see the Will of the Father of our lives. We ask you this, sweet Spouse of the Spirit, so that we may come to your Son in grace.

Friday, 17 May 2013

The atheist on the plane

I have to thank one of my nieces (JJWI) for this piece...I rather like it.

An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned 
to her and said, "Do you want to talk? 

Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."

The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total
stranger, "What would you want to talk about?"

"Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is no God,
or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?" as he smiled smugly.

"Okay," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me ask
you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same
stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns
out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?"

The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence,
thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea." To which
the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss
God, Heaven and Hell, or life after death, when you don't know s**t?"

And then she went back to reading her book.

Breaking news: A statistical analysis of the decline of the Catholic Faith in England and Wales

The Latin Mass Society has drawn together a priceless series of statistics that show the full extent of the post Vatican II 'nosedive'.

They have issued a press release today and I also have added a number of links with full approval of the LMS.

I have not had a chance to absorb all the information so comment will not be forthcoming other than to say, this was a much needed piece of research:-

17 May 2013
For immediate release
Newly released statistics show the decline of the Catholic Church in England and Wales in 1960s and 1970s.

Research by Latin Mass Society has demonstrated the striking decline of a range of statistical indications of the health of the Catholic Church in England and Wales in the 1960s and 1970s.
To our knowledge this data has never been made available in collated form before: the number of ordinations year by year since 1860, the number of priests since 1890, and baptisms, marriages, and receptions, and estimates of the Catholic population, since 1913.

Among the findings are:

Marriages: The number of marriages collapsed by a third between 1968 and 1978 (from 47,417 to 31,534), and has continued a rapid decline since then, now standing at less than 10,000 a year, a quarter of the 1968 level in absolute terms, and even less in relation to the estimated Catholic population (from 12 per thousand in 1968) to 2½ per thousand in 2010).

Conversions fell off a cliff in the 1960s. From a peak of 15,794 in 1959, it fell to 5,117 in 1972; in relation the Catholic population, it fell by more than 70% between those two years. It has not recovered.

Baptisms halved between 1964 and 1977 (137,673 in 1964 to 68,351 in 1977), and are even lower today (oscillating around the 60,000 mark). This is not just the effect of the end of the ‘baby boom’: considered in relation to total live births for England and Wales (using data from the Office for National Statistics), the first half of the 20th century saw steady growth, with Catholic baptisms peaking at nearly 16% of all live births in 1963. This was followed by a decline of a third between the mid 1960s and the mid 1970s. A more gentle decline has continued to the present: today fewer than 10% of babies born alive in England and Wales are being baptised in the Catholic Church. 

Ordinations fell by more than 56% between 1965 and 1977 (from 233 to 101), and the decline has continued. Even on the more optimistic figures supplied by the National Office of Vocations (compared to the Catholic Directory) for the current year, showing an increase on recent years, numbers are at scarcely 30% of their 1964 level. (Counting only ordinations to the diocesan clergy, there were 134 in 1964; the NOV predicts 41 this year.) 

Downloadable spreadsheet HERE

JPEGS of graphs HERE

Please ackowledge LMS 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

A strange custom

Should you be providentially fortunate enough to find yourself at the Shrine of Our Lady in Fatima, what would you do?

Pray certainly.

And next? Light a candle perhaps?

Well they don't so much light candles at Fatima as incinerate them. Special shelters are arrayed where flames burn from below and the Faithful, having duly purchased their candles, then, throw them onto the fire.

Lighting a candle in Fatima can be a risky business!

At  first glance this appeared somewhat paganistic to me. I am used to lighting a candle, placing it carefully on a rack and then offering up a few prayers.

Having discussed this with several people the view was aired that the candle burning was done as a means of replicating the vision of Hell seen by Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco.

That certainly adds some rationality to the custom but I am still left with a feeling that this is a somewhat bizarre practice.

Admittedly, there are racks where, in a quiet period, you may light a candle and display it in the normal fashion. But the heat from below soon contorts the wax into grotesque shapes.

Perhaps, in time, the Shrine authorities will extend the area more along the lines of Lourdes so that a lit candle may remain for a period, giving witness to the prayers and requests of the one who lit it.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Fatima and the Act of Consecration

On the anniversary of Fatima last Monday, 13th May, the consecration of the papacy of Pope Francis to the Immaculate Heart of Mary took place in the Sanctuary, in front of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.

Here are the words of consecration:-

Most Holy Virgin

1.    We, the Bishops of Portugal and this multitude of pilgrims, are at Your feet in this Cova da Iria, on this 96th anniversary of Your first apparition to the Little Shepherds, in order to fulfill the desire of Pope Francis, clearly expressed, to consecrate to You, Virgin of Fatima, his Ministry of Bishop of Roma and Universal Pastor. Thus, we consecrate to You, Our Lady, You Who are the Mother of the Church, the Ministry of the new Pope; please fill his heart with the tenderness of God, which like no one else You Yourself experienced, so that he may embrace all men and women of our time with the love of Your Son Jesus Christ. Today’s mankind needs to feel loved by God and by the Church. Only feeling loved she will overcome the temptation of violence, of materialism, of forgetting God, of losing the direction towards a new world, where love will reign Please grant Pope Francis the gift of discernment in order to be able to identify the ways to renew the Church; give him courage to follow, without hesitation, the ways suggested by the Holy Spirit; support him during the difficult hours of suffering; help him overcome, in charity, the trials he’ll encounter while renewing the Church.
Please always be at his side, whispering to his ear those words well known to You: “I am the Handmaid of the Lord; be it done onto Me according to Thy Word!”

2.    The ways of renewing the Church lead us to rediscovery of the timeliness of the Message You left with the Little Shepherds: the demand that we convert to God, Who has been so much offended, because we have forgotten Him.
 Conversion is always a return to the Love of God. God forgives because He loves us.
That is why His love is called mercy.
The Church, protected by Your maternal solicitude and guided by this Pastor, ought to stand up evermore as a place of conversion and pardon, because in her the truth is always expressed in charity.
You have pointed out prayer as the decisive way towards conversion.
Please teach the Church, of which You are a member and the model, to be, more and more, a people praying in union with the Holy Father -  the first of this people to pray – and also in union with the former Pope, His Holiness Benedict XVI, who chose the way of silent prayer, challenging the Church to embrace the ways of prayer.

3.    In Your Message to the Little Shepherds here at Cova da Iria, You highlighted the Ministry of the Pope, the “Bishop dressed in white”.
Three of the last Popes came as pilgrims to Your Shrine. Only You, Our Lady, in Your maternal love for the entire Church, can put into the heart of Pope Francis the desire to come to this Shrine as a pilgrim.
This is not something one can ask for other reasons; only the silent complicity between You and him will make him feel attracted to this pilgrimage, being certain that he will be in the company of millions of believers willing to hear once again Your Message.
Here, on this Altar of the world, he will be able to bless all mankind and make today’s world feel that God loves all the men and women of out time, that the Church also loves them and that You, Mother of the Redeemer, lead them with tenderness through the ways of Salvation.

+JOSÉ, Cardinal-Patriarch
President of the Bishops Conference of Portugal