Tuesday, 14 October 2014


A Requiem Mass for Richard Collins will be held on Tuesday 21st October at 12 noon at St David's and St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Dew Street, 9 Fountain Row, Haverfordwest, SA61 1SX.  This will be followed by a funeral breakfast - details will be provided on the day.

Please could you let us know in the comments box below if you will be attending.  

We are also appealing for additional singers for the Requiem Mass, please let us know if you are able to help.

We were greatly supported by The Paul Sartori Foundation whilst Richard was ill.  We received extraordinary compassionate care from wonderful hospice nurses in the nights leading up to Richard's death.  As such, in lieu of flowers, we would request any donations to be made to The Paul Sartori Foundation.  Donations may be sent c/o The Treasurer, The Paul Sartori Foundation, 31 Haven Road, Haverfordwest, SA61 1DU.

Enquiries can be made to Roy Folland & Son Funeral Directors, 01437 763821.

Saturday, 11 October 2014


It is with great personal sadness that we, the Collins Family, must inform the loyal followers of Linen on the Hedgerow, that our beautiful father, husband and grandfather, Richard Collins, has died peacefully at home this morning surrounded by those who loved him most.  He was blessed to receive the Last Rites and Holy Mass was celebrated in the Extraordinary Form at his bedside.  Please pray for the repose of his soul.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May he rest in peace. Amen.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Something a little different Madam?

Time that Lloyds was held to account

Now it is not often that you will find posts dealing with secular affairs such as banking on this blog but I'm afraid that I have strayed from the path after hearing a rather interesting story from a young lady of my acqaintance.

It concerns the fact that this young lady, let's call her Miss Argery, went in search of a better deal from her bank (which happens to be Lloyds Bank of the sign of the black horse).

Her friendly manager went smoothly through her affairs before posing the question:

"Would you like to open an Islamic account?"

"Aherm" said Miss Argery, "Now why would I, a good Catholic girl, be wishing to do that?"

It seems, you see, that we now have special bank accounts for all sorts of things.

 There is one for the under 19s, one for school students and, of course, one for graduates.
And to this list has been added one for Muslims, or, at least, those who are sensitive to the issues of mortgages for example.

We are all aware that immorally high and devious interest rate schemes are to be condemned and that, in Islamic, Jewish and Catholic law are considered sinful and that, furthermore, may involve one in a grave sin.
 But a modest mortgage on number 23, Railway Cuttings, does not, by and large, normally commit oneself to the fiery pit.

Under Islamic (Sharia) Law, such deals may well be considered sinful and, therefore, there exists a series of varied loans that skirt around the problem - all well and good, but should this be on the shopping list for young Brits keen to forge a way for themselves in the world of domestic property?

Quite what Lloyds Bank think that they are playing at is beyond me.

As a percentage of the British population the Muslims rate somewhere below 5% - not a figure that would seem to deserve a special promotional push from the bigwigs of Gresham Street.

So why is this scheme thrust before us?

I hate to appear xenophobic but here, in the gentle lands of West Wales with the Preseli Mountains making an amazing backdrop to a coastline that is clearly designed to take one's breath away, I really do not wish to be "sold" on tenets of the framework of the Islamic faith.

Perhaps Lloyds are in need of a few letters of protest.

That is our way of dealing with matters or organisations that we object to.

Others might go down the Fatwa route. But that is not our way.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Bishop Kieran and the baby

A correspondence in The Daily Telegraph has focussed on infants and their place in church, particularly when they are crying.

A correspondent wrote in to relate a story concerning Bishop Kieran Conry of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton who, upon delivering a sermon noticed a young mother struggling out of her pew clutching a loudly screaming infant.

In true pastoral fashion the Bishop stopped his homily to say: "Please do not worry, your baby is not bothering us".

The mother responded: "Maybe not Bishop but you are clearly bothering him".

What Bishop Conry is also unaware of is the fact that his homilies have this effect on most traditional Catholics in his Diocese.

As put downers go this must rank pretty high.

The remaining infants in the church, presumably held back from walking out, perhaps should receive some sort of Vatican medal as a reward for their fortitude.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

"My life is but a weaving....."

A weaving between the Lord and me
A good friend sent me this poem and it has stayed with me, preying on my mind and focussing my thoughts.

I am not normally a fan of "Christian" poetry; you know - the sort written by people called Charity Lovesall.

But this poem has resonance.....do you agree?

My life is but a weaving
Between the Lord and me;
I may not choose the colours–
He knows what they should be.

For He can view the pattern
Upon the upper side
While I can see it only
On this, the under side.

Sometimes He weaves in sorrow,
Which seems so strange to me;
But I will trust His judgment
And work on faithfully.

‘Tis He who fills the shuttle,
And He knows what is best;
So I shall weave in earnest,
And leave to Him the rest.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needed
In the Weaver’s skilful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.


Saturday, 6 September 2014

The real barrier to the Latin Mass?

Not without prayer!
A few weeks ago I posted on the topic of young priests saying the Latin Mass, or rather, why more young priests do not say the Old Mass. You may refresh your memories HERE.

Of course I belaboured the Bishops and the liberal majority but it was a note from a priest friend that made me take a closer look at the main impediment to the return of Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

My priest friend (PF) stated that it was all too often the Parish Priest who blocked the way, and after some head scratching I think that he is correct.

In parishes where there is a Senior Priest and an assistant priest (what we used to quaintly call 'a curate') then it goes without saying that the junior partner defers to the senior.

And most 'Senior Partners' were probably ordained in the fresh and heady times of the aftermath of Vatican II when change was the thing and babies were being chucked out along with the bath water.

Now that those young ordinands of the 70s and 80s have established themselves comfortably in the rather relaxed mode of modern Holy Mother Church, it is, perhaps, asking too much of them to revert to a Mass that they must surely feel uncertain of.

Liturgically, the EF is a world apart from the OF and to have to swallow one's pride and actually take lessons in the offering of the Mass must be a galling prospect.

Worse still to wake up on a Monday morning to find that the curate has forgotten to return the sanctuary to its OF format and that the altar is facing the 'wrong way' and that the front row of pews has been moved forward to act as communion rails.

It is quite natural for the PP to expect the curate fall in line with his own wishes and only the power of prayer (and time) will resolve the situation.

I sometimes think that we at the traditional end of HMC forget what a potent weapon we have in the Rosary and that a regular group meeting up to say the Rosary together would bring about more of a change of attitude than all the letters to the Bishop and beyond.

True or false?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

By way of an explanation

Some of you may have noticed that my postings, of late, have been, somewhat sparse in nature.

Whilst this may be a cause of delight in some circles it has also prompted a series of questions from some good friends concerned with regard to my welfare.

Well, truth of the matter is that I am fighting the battle against an aggressive cancer and have been in and out of hospital over the past 8 weeks (and more to come, I suspect).

So, to those of you who are aware of my situation, and who have been fervently praying and offering Masses on my behalf,  thank you most sincerely and I and ask forgiveness for doing so corporately).

I hope that I shall soon be able to resume postings albeit on a rather sporadic basis.


Thursday, 31 July 2014

It must be tough in the modern Church

A friend told me recently that she had become a parish "greeter" and, as well as making me feel distinctly nauseous, this news also made me think that the poor old modernists have much to suffer these days.

It was so much less demanding pre Vatican II, you just went to Mass and got on with your prayers, you didn't have to worry about the many duties and demands that have accumulated post 1970.

For a start, as a lay person you did not have to think twice about arriving at church and entering your pew; the holy water fonts would be full and ready for hands to be dipped in prior to a blessing and the tabernacle would be positioned centre back of the Sanctuary and all you had to do was genuflect, not bob or curtsey or bow.

We did not have "greeters" then. 

Before 1970 all Catholics had a mature disposition that enabled them to arrive at the church and make the hazardous journey to the pew without some leering loon stuffing a parish newsletter in their hands.

And the choirs today have a heavy burden to carry. 
How they cope with all those descants and neumes when singing 'Shine, Jesus shine' is beyond me.

These days altar servers also have to focus very hard to learn English and then walk in a semi straight line to the sanctuary before repeating the process in reverse when Mass is finished; so demanding, such a challenge.

As for Extraordinary Ministers it seems to me that the only occasion that they are not required is at an Extraordinary Mass - curiouser and curiouser.

Spare a thought. also, for the poor parish priest. 

Pre Vatican II they just concentrated on giving a sermon based on the teachings of Christ whereas, today, they have to have completed a module on the art of being a stand up comedian before they finish Year One of their Seminary Studies.

For my part I shall remain firmly planted in the traditional Church, free from greeters, liturgists, extraordinary ministers and wise cracking priests.

It's so much easier in Latin!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Why a busy priest is not necessarily a good priest

I have broken my blogging fast to report on an extraordinary young man that I met this week.

He is the new(ish) curate in our local parish (the one whose Masses I do not attend as they are all Novus Ordo).

For a start, this young man looks like a priest.

He is well turned out; neatly groomed hair, polished shoes and......of course, you know what is to follow....he wears the collar and the black suit.

But I was even more impressed by his statement that he would never own up to being "busy" if asked by one of his parishioners.

"People will often not ask a busy priest to bring them the Last Rites or to hear their Confession" he told me.

"If anyone asks me if I am busy I always answer - just so,so"

Wise words from one so young.

I believe that this priest could well celebrate the Latin Trdentine Mass in the future, please remember him in your prayers.

Monday, 21 July 2014

There will now be....

....a brief intermission - to allow for some time for reflection (not a Protect the Pope type of reflection) and also some time to relax and enjoy the Pembrokeshire sunshine and my Old English Game bantams (who have chicks).

New life, fresh hope

Also, time to consider where I am going with this blog.

Many bloggers are going through a crisis of something or other right now so I feel it is only right that I should join them.

I bemoan the wars and tragedies that surround us, I rend my garments at the ineptitude of the machinery of the Catholic Church but, above all.....a very big above all.....

...I will not bemoan my Catholic Faith.

Now is the time to be counted; it is not the time for closing the laptop and curling up in a foetal position and sucking one's thumb.

We are now under pressure as never before - but this is what being a Catholic is all about so.....rejoice!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Dental care, life assurance and the Latin Mass

Could you get a better eternal life assurance policy than the Latin Mass?

Several people have commented on my previous post that posed the question as to why more young priests do not celebrate the TLM.

They say (and I fully agree with them) that there is little demand, and that when the Mass is made available no more than ten or twelve old fogeys turn up.

Quite true.

So why bother with the Mass of all Time.....no one, it seems, really wants it apart from a few cranky old traditionalists and a clique of discerning young people?

Why go through all that pain of being bashed by the Bishop and all the worthies of the parish - stick with the dull and uninspiring Protestant Mass?

So how often do you re-visit your Life Assurance Policies and bring them up to date?

And when did you last remind your dentist that you were due for a check up? Never? Really?

The thing is that we all too often avoid the things in life that are hard or require some effort on our part.

Young priests who offer the Latin Mass should persevere with their small congregations and allow the Mass to take hold.

It is not an instant "love it" process for most.

People need time to come to terms with the quiet, the lack of "participation" and the solemnity of the occasion.

Did you "love" Classical Music when you first heard it or did you mature into it over a period of many years?

The Latin Mass is not a performance that one either likes or dislikes; it is the ancient form of the Holy Mass as verified by Pope St Pius V on 14th July 1570 (see HERE).

It is the core value of the Catholic Faith and one that requires nourishing and cherishing to bring it to its full glory.

Don't just try it once - attend the Latin Mass at least ten times before you make a judgement.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Why don't more young priests celebrate the Latin Mass?

I keep reading reports of young priests who are stepping up to the mark and offering the Tridentine Latin Mass but, for the life of me, I can't find any of them....they're as rare as  a humble bishop!

Edmund Campion stepped up to the mark for the sake of
the Latin Tridentine Mass!

And, if you were to conduct a survey of the parishes of England and Wales, I suspect you would find that the number of Latin Masses being offered is now in decline.

Something is happening 'twixt ordination and actual pastoral priesthood; what could that be?

Well, I have little doubt (and quite a bundle of anecdotal evidence) that suggests that peer pressure plays a major role in disaffecting a young priest from celebrating the Mass of all Time.

Imagine walking into the monthly diocesan clergy meeting and having all heads turn in your direction while all conversation abruptly dries up.

The "gang" mentality hangs heavy when modernist priests are in their herd mode and a pretty merciless lot they can be.

And then, of course, there are the parishioners....bless 'em.

As soon as there is the hint of a Latin Mass they are going to be writing their poisonous letters to the Bish and forming little action groups to bring pressure to bear on the poor, unfortunate curate.

Finally, of course, there is the Bishop himself.

As he welcomes his newly ordained priest to the Diocese with a glass of rather dodgy brown sherry (he saves the La Ina for his mates) he places a paternal arm on the shoulder of the young priest and says:

"Now one thing I don't want to have to talk about is the introduction of the lacey cassocky type Masses that have become a bit of a fad in seminaries today...gottit?

It is going to take an incredibly brave young man to face up to that barrage of iniquity and to go ahead and proceed to offer the Latin Mass.

But we do need our priests to stand up and take that pressure and invective and, in the light of what the Martyrs of England and Wales have suffered, I do not think that it is too much to ask.

If a priest is afraid to offer part of his legitimate armoury of Masses, he cannot be much of a priest, surely?

If Christ suffered on our behalf then surely it is legitimate to offer the Mass that He created, rather than the milksop one that is available in most parishes today?

St Edmund Campion - pray for our priests! Our Lady give them strength!

Friday, 11 July 2014

The Novus Ordo exposed

This short video clip presents the case for the Tridentine Latin Mass clearly and unequivocally.

Of course, we have heard all this before but this fine priest (Fr George Gabet FSSP) talks to camera passionately and without rancour.

I was also rather taken by one of the comments.

It reads as follows:-

"The difference is that the Novus Ordo service  has Protestant influences, If you are fine with that then attend."

That, too, is a succinct statement and one difficult to argue with.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Bishop's move?

What happens when a Bishop of England and Wales retires?

By that I mean that he no longer lurks around his old Diocese but takes off to spend his remaining years on earth doing - what?

There are some, no doubt, who seek a home within a monastery, especially if they are of an Order and that would appear to be a good and wholesome way of contemplating the hourglass, in the company of one's brothers in Christ.

Some, no doubt, take off for the two bedroomed bungalow in Surbiton within easy reach of the golf course, fair enough; each to his own.

But, how would it be if the Bishop Emeritus in question cast his eyes on a rather luxurious flat in the heart of London's Mayfair, South Kensington or Knightsbridge?

Might that cause one to pause and wonder on the complexities of following a humble life style?

A humble retreat fit for a king (or a Bishop)

Especially if the price tag was, let us say, in excess of £1,500,000?

Now the laws of litigation prevent me from going further and, indeed, I am not sure that it would be a good thing to reveal the name of the Bishop concerned but it does seem to me a very long way from the sort of life Christ would wish one of His own to abide by.

But then, this Bishop does belong to the Church of Nice or, should that be the Church of Nice 'n' Easy?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Save a frog and send a bishop

What's it to be? Frog or Bishop, frog or Bishop,
frog or....oh, definitely the Bishop!
The Daily Telegraph of 1st July reports on a tiny species of frog that is being used in space research.

Apparently, this frog, small and insignificant and humble as it might be, has the capacity to shut down its functions and slow its body rate to such a degree that it barely appears alive.

The breathing rate slows to a virtual halt and all sensory processes are shut down.

And yet the frog, Cyclorana alboguttata, suffers not from muscle wastage, it remains as fit as a fiddle despite spending a large proportion of its life motionless, inert and inactive.

The perceived benefits of such research focus largely on aiding astronauts engaged in long haul space programme trips in remaining fit and well throughout their journey and without any loss of muscle usage due to their lack of activity.

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales (most of ‘em) have long held this secret of combining a total lack of muscle activity with no loss of actual muscle function.

They, just like Cycloranan albaguttata, are able to remain totally immobile, lifting not one finger and yet still survive without any apparent loss of body ability.

It would seem to be only fair, therefore,  if we sent a few of them up into Outer Space and saved poor old froggy, Cyclorana albaguttata, from a boring and sterile existence floating around in some space craft or other.

All nominations gratefully accepted.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The story of a Lincolnshire parish church

In 1976 Mrs L and myself, still yet to achieve the joy of parenthood, moved to Bourne in Lincolnshire.

The church was a typical English post Victorian structure, rectangular, pretty plain, much like a village hall with statues.

But, we liked it. We attended the Novus Ordo Mass and the sense of being part of a Catholic community was reasonably strong.

A church where people go round in circles - St Gilbert of Sempringham,
Bourne, Lincolnshire

Within a year, a new parish church had been completed......a circular one...of course!

I have never appreciated the reasoning behind circular or semi circular church design.

To me it was a constant source of distraction and irritation as, when you stared straight ahead, instead of looking at the tabernacle you locked eyeballs with members of the parish Mother's Union or the Secretary of the Bingo Club.

The new church must have cost a pretty penny as it featured some revolutionary (literally) developments.

Sliding screens were in place so that the sanctuary could be shut off and a bar and food preparation area exposed.

We never attended any social events there but, I guess it had greater use as a base for dances and whist drives than it had for Holy Mass.

This is a theme that I keep returning to but such developments are symptomatic of the post Vatican 2 era when all rational thinking was flushed away in a scramble to make ourselves more ordinary.

 Fr Oswald Baker used to describe it as: "putting the Church in a boiler suit" - workmen's overalls.

The functional and unassuming fabric of the church was disposed of, out went the altar rails, away went the statues (to be replaced by wrought iron figures and impressionist type images), the tabernacle was moved to some obscure corner and the altar morphed into a good old Protestant table.

It followed quite naturally that genuflecting was redundant and that the holy water fonts were left to go dry.

There is nothing unique about this story, it happened everywhere in the world.

But it does illustrate just how embedded the ways of the new religion have become.

At the time of the Protestant Reformation England and Wales the Catholic population just as quickly adopted the new faith and forgot the true one that had nurtured the sick and the frail, educated the young and provided work for the poor.

And it is precisely the same in the post Vatican II era.

The collective memory (not a rose tinted on by any means) has gone and, in its place?

Nothing of substance, nothing of depth, nothing that can last - just a circular Church where you go round and round in ever diminishing circles.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

How to fight against secularism

Take one good priest, one crucifix....and one dog (a cat really will not do)

That's all you need really. A pastor unafraid of his bishop, the parish council and of the law of the land.

Of course, not every good priest is a 'Don Camillo'

Many fight with their intellect rather than by using brawn, but this fictional Italian priest sets a pretty good role model to follow.

Even if, sometimes, he displays the very human characteristic of getting it totally wrong.

The good Lord is always by his side and good always triumphs....

Don Camillo - The Procession

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Sedevacantism and the way of Our Lady

I received some sad news concerning good friends who apparently are in the process of becoming sedevacantists  -  the belief that we have no valid pope and, indeed, have not had one since the reign of Pope Piux XII.

It is always sad when a family member walks out.

The family left behind are hit hard by such a move, why?

Imagine your son or daughter saying that they no longer believe in the family structure and that, therefore, they will no longer be attending family events; birthdays, weddings, parties of any kind.

Of course, to walk out on Christ is a far more serious affair although, I doubt that they would see it from that point of view.

I guess that their case would be based on the fact that they wish to follow Christ more authentically (in their minds) and that leaving the 'family' is a sacrifice that they must make for the sake of Christ.

I don't know. The Church in England and Wales has lost some real beacons of light to sedevacantism.

Fr Oswald Baker RIP of Downham Market fame was probably our greatest loss.

Bishop Williamson of the SSPX, whom I presume is a 'vacant seater' is another, less mourned loss.

Some years ago our family were linked with a large family of French traditional Catholics. We visited one another, their children came to stay to improve their English over the 1990 'dry' period in Britain, when Latin Masses were as rare as hen's teeth.

Over the years we realised that they were SSPX, but, no matter.

Two of the sons went forward to become seminarians and, finally, one visited as a priest, keen to celebrate Mass in our home.
A warning bell began to ring in my brain and I made enquiries.

He was not a Catholic priest but a member of a 'sedevacantist' group who had appointed their own pope who now lives on the top floor of a Paris apartment.

I discovered that there are many such groups, all with their various nominated popes living in Paris or Milwaukee or Chipping Sodbury.

Needless to say, I quashed the celebration of the 'Mass' that he had planned.

I have never seen the logic of disregarding Rome in favour of some dodgy voting of 20 or 30 of the followers to determine the appointment of Pope X.

Michael Voris makes a good point regarding sedevacantism and that is, that Our Lady stayed by her Son on the cross; she did not walk away:-

"If someone believes that the Catholic Church has become a bad place to be, what is that person supposed to do? Join another Church? Break away from the visible, corrupt Catholic Church and form an alternative, more faithful version of the Catholic Church (see CMRI and SSPX)? Leave the Catholic Church entirely and join an allegedly more faithful Christian assembly? Give up on religion entirely and go the "I'm spiritual but not religious" crowd? Organize "Recognize and Resist" movements within the Catholic Church and relentlessly attack Her from the inside? Seek Church reform via some kind of coup d'etat and replace current leadership with ... what?

None of these responses is authentically Catholic. The only authentically Catholic response is the example of Our Lady who, throughout Her Son's Passion, stood by Him with full confidence, in spite of all appearances, that God's Will was and would be done. No matter how bloodied, beaten and defeated Our Lord appeared throughout His Passion and Death, He was still Our Lord, and neither the flight of the Apostles nor their fear is remembered as a positive example to follow.

We are called in the face of the Church's Passion to be faithful disciples close to Our Lady. To titillate ourselves with “ecclesiastical porn,” to feed our anxieties and worries with doubts about Our Lord's very promise to be with His Church until the end of time, to reject Our Lord's "Peace be to you" spoken to His very frightened followers after the Resurrection, is to abandon Our Lord Himself. The crisis in the Church today invites us to be Saints not cowards. No matter how it appears, we are always able to be "persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42) We can continue to be faithful to the duties of our state in life, to daily recitation of the Rosary, to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, to the need for penance and mortification, to the need to grow in our knowledge and understanding of the Faith"

I think that, in our current crisis within the Church, many are hearing the false call of 'no Pope' and that many souls are in the process of becoming lost.

But we are bound to the Mystical Body and, to cut off part of that body is to cause immense pain and suffering, not least of all to Our Blessed Lord who sacrificed Himself for us so that we could grow as a family with Him, not in some Paris suburb but in the fullness and richness of His Church in Rome.

Please pray for my friends.

Fr Carota has an excellent post on sedevacantism HERE and Michael Voris takes a look through the history of disobedience in the Faith HERE

Friday, 27 June 2014

How to alter an.......

Here's one we made earlier....
I am indebted once again, to my good friend MC who has unselfishly given up his own blog in order to focus on his work for the LMS.

Below is a short video clip.

It makes compulsive viewing.

It is the sort of stuff that nightmares are made of (for the followers of The Church of Nice).

It shows a plain old 1970s pre cast concrete block sort of a table and the 15 minute transformation process that reveals the altar for what it should always be; a suitable platform whereon to rest the Body of Christ for an unbloody repeat of the sacrifice of Calvary.

As a butterfly emerges from its larval stage, so the traditional altar emerges in all its glory; and can there be anyone out there who prefers the Portland Cement version?

If so, hang your head in shame and take a walking holiday along El Camino.....to give your head a chance to clear:


Thursday, 26 June 2014

St Brigid....and a prayer for beer

St Brigid (or, St Bride as she is called in this part of Wales) is credited as having composed this prayer.

Reverend James was a non conformist but Dewi Sant (St David)
is Catholic through and through!

And, because it also embraces beer as its theme, I think it rather....err......umm.....lovely?

 I should like a great lake of beer to give to God.
I should like the angels of Heaven to be tippling there for all eternity.
I should like the men of Heaven to live with me, to dance and sing.
If they wanted I’d put at their disposal vats of suffering
White cups of love I’d give them with a heart and a half.
Sweet pitchers of mercy I’d offer to every man.
I’d make Heaven a cheerful spot,
Because the happy heart is true.
I’d make men happy for their own sakes.
I should like Jesus to be there too.
I’d like the people of Heaven to gather from all the parishes around.
I’d give a special welcome to the women,
The three Marys of great renown.
I’d sit with the men, the women o God,
There by the great lake of beer
We’d be drinking good health forever,
And every drop would be a prayer.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Fatima and our present day

Fr George Mary Roth is a Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate.

He is also a fine orator and never better than in this homily on Fatima and the present day...time to "wake up"


Monday, 23 June 2014

The 7 second Mona Lisa

Back in the 1960s (remember those?) the French Ministry of Culture arranged for the original of the Mona Lisa to tour Japan so that it could be viewed and admired by a race keenly appreciative of art and of Franzwa art especially.

Very quickly they found that the galleries and The French Embassy offices where the ML was displayed, became swamped and gridlocked by thousand upon thousand of Japanese hungry for a culture bite.

Things got out of hand. The normally quiet and polite Japanese people had changed into a lynch mob intent upon gaining some minutes of reflective appreciation in the presence of the painting.

The authorities, acting  in a typically Japanese manner, worked out through logic and a slide rule that each person required no more than 7 seconds in which to  drink in the portrait, gasp at the artist's fine sense of perspective and think deeply on the use of colours and shade.

They then set about enforcing the rule so that there was a constant, shuffling flow of bodies, each pausing for the mandatory 7 seconds.

That leads me to consider how much time we spend before a crucifix each day or, if we are fortunate, before the Blessed Sacrament?

Of course, we have The Forty Hours devotion, but that's only once every few months or so and, if we were to do a calculation based on the length of time that would would out at per day, it would probably be less than seven seconds per day.

At school, the good Dominican nuns of Burnt Oak used to tell us to spend three minutes. "with" Our Lord each day and remember His Blessed Name at every sensible opportunity.

That meant focusing on the intricate brain surgery or hi speed train tasks in front of you and, afterwards, when all was complete,  say a quick prayer.

I don't think that in the last fifty years of an ever increasing foot on the pedal world, we spend much time at all thinking of things spiritual.
I certainly don't think that many Catholic schools would encourage their students to pray often or spend a daily period with The Lord.

Perhaps we do need a directive along the Japanese lines that tells us we must spend seven seconds in silent prayer each day.....and then, keep shuffling on.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Now let me get this straight....

......we are bound to love our fellow man....no arguments there.

But, I loathe Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. That's not right.....I must, MUST, not, loathe them.

Now what was it Our Blessed Lord said about Herod?

I think he called him a fox......pretty much akin to saying: "you skunk"

And what punishment did Our Lord outline for those who abused children, women and the weak and feeble? Did he mention something about millstones round the neck?

I am sure Our Lord disliked (loathed) those who dealt in hard cash in the temple....he used a whip to express his regard for them.

Ho, hum.

And there is a long litany of saints who were bad tempered grouches and worse.

Love is the key but loathing of the sin and a possible "dislike " of the sinner follows on close behind.

Put it another way; did the Good Samaritan "love" the poor beaten up traveller whom we believe was Jewish.

Of course, yes.

But did he "like" him?

It may be some time before we have certain knowledge of the answer to that one.

And, I am making a bit of a long link betwixt "like" and "loathe" but, it exists, believe me.

That really is the nub of where Laurence England and I seem to be at variance.

And I wish the Guild well but it is here that (not just for this reason) we shall part company.

The fault lies with me.....I'm not really a clubby sort of person.

Curmudgeons, even Catholic ones, are best ploughing their own, solitary furrow (sob, gasp)

Goodbye Blessed Titus, May God's Providence be with you.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Are the wheels coming off the Guild's bus?

I admit to not being quite up to speed with what is taking place with regard to the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma and, what is more, I am rather too stretched on other fronts to bone up on the facts.

I hope, therefore, that the chairman and fellow guild members will overlook any discrepancies as regards my "take" as to what's what.

It appears that Laurence England is asking for members to submit drafts of their posts for approval and, is even suggesting that a code of conduct must be observed even on their own blogs.
The Guild, it would seem, does not wish to appear guilty by association.

When Dylan Parry first mooted the concept of a guild it was informally agreed that members should conform to a code with regard to their posts on the Guild blog. All posts should be in accord with the teachings of Holy Mother Church and all bloggers should uphold the principles of Christian charity towards others in their writings.

Their personal blogs remained a matter for them to consider; they were beyond the remit of the Guild itself.

We then come to the grey, blurry issue of criticising one's fellow man.

I see nothing wrong in that (on one's own blog). In fact, under the creaking infrastructure of HMC, I believe we have a duty to criticise and expose issues that would otherwise be ignored.
Always on the basis, of course, of Christian charity.    

I really cannot countenance a committee whose role it would be to scrutinise posts or, worse, check up on individual blogs.

Maybe I have got the wrong end of the stick.

But, the Guild, in my opinion, is struggling somewhat. This has nothing to do with the
Chairman, it involves issues that have never been discussed in any detail.

The thing is, now that we have the Guild, what do we do with it?

It is fine to have an 'unstructured' group but we should not be too surprised when the wheels start to come off.

Sad as it may seem, we do need some simple form of constitution and, possibly, a mini action group to move us on from an annual Mass and lunch afterwards.

Perhaps we need a more lighter, streamlined programme that embraces the occasional Mass in London followed by a few jars of the 'O be joyful'.

And we need a slightly more formal protocol as to our posts.....but we do not need an Index to assess and appraise.

If anyone steps out of line, as they will, from time to time, then take the post down....job for the Chairman or his deputy.

But no witch hunts into our personal blogs.......that way leads to a membership in single figures.

This is meant to be helpful rather than a snipe at what is taking place.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

There will now be.....

....a brief intermission.

So sorry, just taking a short rest to give you some respite.

Special apologies to commentators that I have not been able to respond to.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Bowing wrong - genuflecting, right!

It seems that every time I enter a church (for a visit, nor for a Latin Mass) these days, there is someone bowing rather than genuflecting.

And because I am of a certain age and disposition, I get cross and irritated by such crass behaviour - why?

Because it is plain bad manners to bow before the Lord, it shows a lack of knowledge of the teachings of Holy Mother Church and a diminished sense of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.

Why would you not wish to bend your knee?

Which, in your view, is the more humble form of greeting, a bow or going down on one knee?

Exactly, not a case that can be argued although many try.

This brief video clip shows simply how to do it (not for you my dear reader(s) as I know that you all are committed to reverence when approaching the Lord, but, just in case the odd Sushi Catholic stumbles across this post......

Friday, 13 June 2014

Hacker warning!

A special prayer for hackers (see below)
A good friend has alerted me to the fact that my account has been hacked.....comments purporting to be from me appeared in his comments box but the tone and the language used was unsavoury.....not me.

I rarely include a link when I leave a comment but these all had links...please do not go there.

In fact, if you have received any doubtful comments from 'me', pleased delete them.

I am sorry if this has caused you any angst but, hopefully, the problem is now resolved.

Meanwhile I shall pray for the mean minded person who did this thing....I think that I shall bring the 'incense' prayer into action:-

 'Ab illo benedicaris in cuius honore cremaberis'
'May you be blessed by Him in whose honour you shall be burned'

Thursday, 12 June 2014

We were all guilty....before Vatican II

My good friend Mike Carroll who does such great things for the Faith in Lincolnshire, sent me a link to a video clip that induced immense feelings of guilt within me.

You see, I think all of us who were around pre V2, still bear that guilt.....a common guilt that we will carry to our graves.

We guilty of being part of a Church that was One (unified by the Latin and the unchanging form of the Tridentine Latin Mass), we were Holy (the depth of reverence and piety is not a thing of distorted nostalgia, it existed and was so all embracing that you could cut  it with a knife). And we were Apostolic (we had bishops who could articulate matters of Faith and Doctrine and who were not afraid to swim against the flow of secularism - men like Cardinal Heenan and Archbishop Fulton Sheen).

Of course, we had luke warm Catholics then but they were a minority; most of us were bound together by Christ's commonality. We were constant in our devotions and we were not afraid to stand up and be counted as Catholics in the work place or wherever.

Mike's video clip brought memories flooding back and, if you are over the age of sixty five, you may enjoy those memories also.

If, however, you are a child of Vatican II, you may like to watch the clip and try and imagine what life was really like when we were all Catholics.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Pope Benedict was right about Harry Potter

I remember Pope Benedict stating, at some point in his papal reign, that the Harry Potter series of books by J K Rowling, were unsuitable for children as they had an unhealthy undertone linked to the occult.

Do you really feel that this is the sort of image you want your child to see?

Of course, the left wingers were rather upset over this remark and did their normal stamping of feet whilst spitting on the floor (standard procedure for an angry two year old I seem to remember).

I am not a Harry Potter fan and, if you think that I am about to undertake a learned and erudite comparison between Tolkien and Rowling, sorry, you're barking up the wrong ent.

'Learned and erudite' as some of my commentators will tell you, have no place on this blog.

But, from what little I have seen of HP (film clips only), the main thrust is wizards and odd looking creatures doing rather devilish tricks with wands and the like. And, yes, I do know that LOTR is also full of wizards and odd looking creatures but.......there is a difference, (I'm sure you know what that is).

A friend (GM) has forwarded to me extracts of a talk by a Fr Chad Ripperger (fine name that) of the FSSP who held a conference on exorcism in Tulsa.

The key points concerning JK Rowling and her Harry Potter books are as follows, I do not have any evidence to support these points but have no reason to disbelieve them.
It would be interesting to see, perhaps, a fuller rationale of what we can only take as suppositions, as yet:-

  • J K Rowling went to witch school before she wrote the books but denies being a witch.
  • The spells in the Harry Potter books are actual spells - witches confirm that & one woman in Spain decided to try the spell for fire and burnt her house to the ground.
  • One exorcist claims to have done the footwork and claims that 60% of the names in Harry Potter are actual names of demons that exorcists have booted out of people.
  • One exorcist - a friend of the exorcist - has had to exorcise 3 children just for reading the Harry Potter books.
  • The exorcist was involved in a case where the 5 demons expelled from that possessed person claimed that they were the demons who inspired J K Rowling to write Harry Potter.
  • The exorcist's advice: avoid it! Experienced exorcists are very clear: stay away from it!
  • Demons are always looking to get glory. They get glory in this life by their name being pronounced and said. Every time you read those books or pronounce those words you are actually giving glory to them.
  • There is a lot of glorification of certain disorders which are very subtle in the books. For example it's OK to lie in order to get a good thing to come as a result of it.
  • When you tell people that you shouldn't let your kids read Harry Potter, the purely visceral response you get as a result tells the exorcist that there is something diabolic about the whole thing.
The full proceedings (which I have not viewed) may be seen HERE

My reading preferences from my own childhood were a strange sort of mixture of 'Swallows and Amazons' and 'All Quiet on the Western Front'....that may account for a lot!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Remember the devil?

Recently a well known blogger ran a post in essence stating that we are becoming a little too obsessive regarding the devil.

Just another Disney film.....or is it?
In short, we are  giving rather too much credit for the ills of the world and our personal troubles to the devil and his demons; we are crying "wolf" perhaps a little too often.

There is some good sense in that.
We should no more see the works of Satan in everything around us than we should be blind to those occasions when he is hard at work making our lives harder and endangering our souls.

But how to tell the genuine from the false?

Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to say that, when he gave a retreat for priests, when normally 50 or 60 priests would be present, there was usually some evidence of the demonic.

One or possibly two members of the audience would be tainted with some aspect of Satan and this would normally be revealed when ++Sheen focused, particularly, on redemptive suffering and the cross.

There would be some throat clearing and foot shuffling and then the challenging questions, denying fundamental elements of Catholic belief.

OK, no spinning heads or glowing eyes, just a bit of aggression and rebellion.

Remember, this is not the devil as such, it is as a result of some sin of pride or disobedience that has tinged the person concerned with the demonic.

It is like carrying a virus that manifests itself from time to time until it has taken a firm grip of the system over a number of years and erupts into something far, far more sinister.

I see evidence of the demonic in the manner in which many Catholics (laity as well as clergy) respond to any questions regarding the Ordinary Form of Mass, the Latin Mass.

Several times I have had occasion to ask if a Latin Mass could be arranged or, if a visiting priest could offer a Latin Mass at our parish church.

The response has always surprised me by its vehemence and expressed repulsion at the prospect.

When arranging my son's Nuptial Mass some years ago I made the request for it to be a TLM only for the priest to make a face as if he had trodden in something rather offensive and remark dismissively that he didn't go along with all of that.....he almost said "rubbish" but he stopped himself just in time.

How can you not "go along" with the Mass in its traditional form?

Drop in to a parish open meeting and put forward a proposal for a weekly Latin Mass, or Benediction or Confessions at a regular time and in a confessional as opposed to Father's sitting room and you will hear howls of derision and abuse.

That's the demonic at work.

And, if Fulton Sheen found one or two cases of the demonic among a group of priests, how many more instances are there in the world around us?

It's around us in our everyday lives: television programmes that reflect themes that make Christianity an object of mockery and ridicule, films where the Holy Name is abused, advertising posters ostensibly selling soap powder via a storyline of adultery or perversion, and Women's Hour on BBC Radio Four is one of the worst offenders; the list is endless.

So, do not see the devil at work every time you reverse into a brick wall at the supermarket or, when you find that the 8.10 Reading to Paddington has been cancelled; but do lookout for signs of the devil; the demonic, when you raise issues of orthodoxy at all times.

And when you do come across the demonic at work, remember the "Michael" prayer, as a certain US priest likes to call it.

And remember not to cave in to demonic pressure.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen found that by not wavering from his course, matters would resolve themselves within 24 hours.

On day two of the retreat, there would be one or two empty seats.

The obstructive priests had departed and with them the demonic.


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Three distinguished guests

They arrived on Saturday night.

And they are going to be with us for a few weeks.

Two Italian men and one French woman.

We take it as a great honour that they will be gracing our home with their presence...but who are they?

They are relics (contained in reliquaries) of three great saints:

St Therese de Lisieux - to whom we have a great devotion for many reasons but also because she shares the same birthdate as Mrs Linen.

Pope St Pius X - a Pope who held back the tide of modernism in the early part of the 20th century and who, no doubt, will do so again one day.

And Padre Pio - (thanks to a friend, my devotion to this wonderful saint has been re-ignited in recent months).

The relics have been loaned by our priest who is one of the great priests of our time.
May God bless him and spare him.

If I had been able to choose three saints, I think that I would have chosen The Little Flower, Pope St Pius X and St Pio - that's pretty fantastic don't you agree?

If you could choose three saints as house guests, whom would you select?

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Let's be judgemental

I know that modernists accuse orthodox Catholics of being judgemental but I believe that we are all called to be judgemental, to determine right from wrong.

So which of these two video clips represents right and which represents wrong?

Which style demands encouragement and which condemnation?

Video One: Filmed in a Cathedral in Germany


Video Two: Filmed in a number of Churches


Friday, 6 June 2014

Honey, I set fire to the kids!

The thorny issue of how we, as parents, develop the faith of our children is one that has been well aired.

Swimming is best taught rather than left for the child to "find out for themselves"

But, it seems to me that there is still a great deal of ground to cover and that, in fact, we may not be making a very good job of it.

Now hold off from that comment for one minute....I know (we all know) many Catholic families who are making an excellent job of embedding the faith into the hearts and souls of those whom God has committed to their care but, and I am trying very hard not to be overly partisan here, I also know of many Nuchurch parents who are bodging it quite considerably and it is to this majority that my thoughts are directed.

Some parents still come up with that old chestnut from the sixties: "We want little Orlando to make the decision as to whether he follows a faith once he is old enough to discern....."

What? So you are going to let the little treasure loose on the city streets without any guidance or directives?

He can play with that can of petrol AND matches, it's all part of a personal learning experience for the little lad?  - Whoosh!

And it's not enough to play the good example card either; it is part of a child's developmental process that makes them push out the boundaries of disobedience and rebellion, just to learn where the parameters lie.

Parents have a far greater role than that.

We have the responsibility of setting our children on fire with regard to the Catholic Faith.

How do we achieve that?

Here is a twelve point guide (you may have more) and the learning process can start from year one and, no, that is not indoctrination, it's helping to ensure that your child has the capacity to gain eternal life.

Remember, we do not give our children the Faith. That is a seed of fire implanted in their soul by Almighty God.
Our role is to breathe gently on that seed and nurture it so that it becomes a flame.

Failure to do so is, in itself, a grave sin.

1. Pray together. Say morning and evening prayers with your child.
2. Say grace before meals and teach Orlando to do the same.
3. Create a shrine in a corner of your home and make it a focus point when you pray.
4. Encourage devotion to the saints, help develop a circle of saints who have a special affinity with him or her.
5. Never ever forget to bring Guardian Angels into the process, say, each day one of the GA prayers.
6. Supply an ever increasing range of books on the Faith and the Liturgy.
7. Teach from the Penny Catechism (and there is no harm in them learning it by heart despite what the leftie educationalists say).
8. Take them to Mass every Sunday and Holyday and stay in the body of the church, don't allow them to be taken off for a finger painting session by some parish liturgist.
9. Be holy yourselves as parents, role models are vital.
10. Go on pilgrimages together.
11. Don't send them to a Catholic school (unless you live close to one of the few beacons of Catholic education such as The Cardinal Vaughan School). Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to give this advice on the basis that Catholic education was in a parlous state, even in the 1970s, and that, if a child had to swim against the flow in a non Catholic environment, they would be strengthened by the experience.
12. Finally, place as much money, time and importance into evangelising them as you spend on their social activities (ballet, swimming, clog dancing, junior French, circus workshops etc)

Thursday, 5 June 2014

70 years ago today and our fate was on a razor's edge....

American troops receive Holy Communion (kneeling and by mouth)
at Vierville-sur-Mer after D Day 1944
This is a re-post from a couple of years ago...but, I hope we never forget the sacrifices made by the young men and women who fought for our freedom:-


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Dear Noah.....

I think it's time to lighten up a little - these come mainly from my dear sister, Imelda:-

Dear Noah.....

"Yours was the only kind face we found" - The Mosquitos

"Sorr-y! should have written sooner" - The Sloths

"Really appreciated the fishing ban" - The Maggots

"We especially enjoyed the poker tournament" - The Cheetahs

"Glad you didn't find us boring" - The Woodworms

"We never expected a private cabin"  - The Skunks

"Keep the nest, if you can find a use for it" - The Crows

"The Ham sandwiches were delicious" - The Lions

"Could have sworn you said 5.30" - The Unicorns

Corpus Christi Procession

A call to prayer.....in The Tablet

A priest has sent a letter to The Tablet,  a very reasonable letter; one that embraces Muslims and Jews as well as Christians.

Please note that the letter calls for the three faiths to pray independently, it is not, if I read it correctly, a call for 'ecumenical' prayer as such.

It was penned and sent by Fr Ambrose Walsh, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Cardiff - please read it and feel free to comment on it :-

Fr. Ambrose Walsh,
retired Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Cardiff

The Council of Christians and Jews
Godliman House
21 Godliman Street

Christian Muslim Forum, Second Floor
305 Cambridge Heath Road
E2 9LH

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland,
39 Eccleston Square,
London SW1V 1BX

            Today “The Tablet” publishes the following letter from me, already published in their on-line edition.

            “The Pope has invited the Presidents of Israel and Palestine to pray with him at the Vatican on Sat. 7th. June. What if, in recognition of this graced initiative and as an expression of world-wide support for it, Muslims, Jews and Christians observed a Triduum of prayer that weekend?

“What if Muslim leaders called on all mosques to observe Friday, 6th as a day of prayer, Jewish leaders called on all synagogues to observe the same on Saturday, 7th and the Patriarchs of the ancient Christian Churches we saw gathered in the Holy Sepulchre last Sunday, called on all Christians to observe Sunday 8th in the same way?”

The Bible in Genesis, Chapter 18 and the Qur’an in Surah 11 relate the story of Abraham and Sarah receiving God’s messengers while encamped at the oak of Mamre. Both record Sarah’s amused incredulity at the idea of God being able to fulfil his promise of a progeny in her old age, the messengers’ rebuke and the assurance of God’s fidelity in the face of unbelief.

‘Why did Sarah laugh, and say, “Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?” Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?” (Gen. 18, 14)
 “Wonderest thou at the commandment of Allah? The mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, O people of the house!” (Surah 11,76)

Pope Francis’ invitation to the presidents of Israel and Palestine to pray with him in the face of an intractable human problem may bring a wry smile to the some faces. However, all those who call on the name of the God of Abraham would bring honour to his holy name by heeding the messengers’ gentle rebuke, and, before all the world, respond with the faith that nothing is too wonderful for God.

With thanks for your kind attention,
Yours sincerely,

Ambrose Walsh (Fr.)

Monday, 2 June 2014

*100 priests, 40,000 converts

Catholic Padre, Fr Francis Gleeson administers 'The Last Absolution of the Munsters'

2014 is the centenary anniversary of the start of the 1914-18 war, The First World War, or, as my father used to call it: "The man's war" (the Second World War with its massively increased reliance on technology and airpower was, of course, "The boy's war").

I remember well my father's description of battle scenes where the dead littered No Man's Land two or three deep and no space between them.

And I recall well his accounts of the roles played by the Catholic Military Chaplains, the Padres who accompanied their regiment into battle bestowing the Sacrament of Confession as they ran in response to cries from the troops of: "Absolution Padre!".

Absolution was administered at the trot and, hopefully, before they came within range of the German machine gunners who would mow down thousand upon thousand of infantrymen from all parts of the world; China, India, Africa, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand among many other nationalities taking part.

Catholic Chaplains were far outnumbered by their Protestant counterparts as, of course, they were largely attached to the smaller number of Catholic regiments; The Irish Guards in which my father served, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and more besides.

And, in no sense am I being partisan when I state that the Catholic Padres were more likely to go over the top with their regiment, this being due to the sacramental nature of their role.

The Protestant Padres had no Sacrament of Extreme Unction to deliver (the 'Sacrament of the Sick' would have rung rather hollow under the circumstances) and so their role was mainly pastoral in comforting the troops and in writing the dreaded letter home:-

"I regret to inform you that your son was killed in action at Mametz Woods having fought bravely against the foe..."

So, the mortality rate among the Catholic Chaplains was disproportionately high; some 34 gave their lives on the battlefield - "For the good shepherd forsakes not his flock.."

Whilst 122 Protestant Padres valiantly gave their lives also.

But, an interesting fact to come out of this appalling holocaust, is that, inspired by the bravery and dedication of the Catholic priests, over 40,000 men converted to the Catholic Faith during and immediately after the war.
That fact helps a little when you consider the futility of war, some good resulting from evil.

The abattoir at Mazingarbe

                             The push for Aubers Ridge had been postponed
because of rain. But the Saturday
was dry and sunny. Going up the line
in the early evening, the battalion
stood easy at the shrine to Our Lady.
‘…in remissionem peccatorum…’
By noon, next day, nearly half were dead,
caught on the German wire Haig’s ill equipped
artillery had, once more, failed to cut.

Extract from:  http://www.davidselzer.com/2012/11/the-abattoir-at-mazingarbe/#sthash.D4yN8DFq.dpuf

See also an account of Fr Willie Doyle SJ HERE

*I cannot find a record of the number of Catholic Padres in WW1 but, given that relatively few of the regiments were Catholic, it is fair to assume that one hundred priests or less were assigned to these duties by Cardinal Bourne.