Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Qui laetificat juventutem meam

With all thanks and glory to God, we did it. We made the walk from Ballarat to Bendigo. It was without doubt the most graced experience of my life. There will be a larger report and many more photos - but I thought first to share this one. Here I am with Evelyn, one of the TrAdelaide pilgrims, who is simply and venerably unstoppable, making the distance with little trouble. You may notice the New Zealand flag in the background - we were blessed with the presence of eight wonderful pilgrims from across the Tasman. I pray that next year will see many more flags!

Monday, October 30, 2006


being held at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London beginning tonight and ending on All Saints' Day. Something of an antidote to the long-expected school Mass on Wednesday. At least they're having one. This is a positive thing. Sometimes I think I should just work in a secular school and take days off for religious observance..!

There will, of course, be High Mass each day (though if anyone able to subdeacon the Mass for Peace on Tuesday is reading this, do get in touch!) and I think the lads will actually be in choir for once. This has necessitated much cassock-borrowing resulting in slight problems immediately before last night's Rosary and Benediction. Our dear Polish priest, having given up on English, slipped into Latin, for which I commend him. Various Requiems to be held during next month, obviously, with a special Sunday on 12th November (Rememberance Sunday) at Bede's.

Incidentally, what's the correct plural of Requiem when used as a noun on it's own???

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Gloria Laus et Honor Tibi sit!

Quas Primas

About to embark upon the Christus Rex Pilgrimage - to win back our country from the fronts of the 'Heathenesse' for the 'Catholike faith' and Christ, her true King!

Have a wonderful Feast on Sunday.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Being a Mum's not so bad after all...

The Age reports:

Former Australian Democrats leader Senator Natasha Stott Despoja will quit politics in 2008, choosing to spend more time with her husband and 22-month old son.

Senator Stott Despoja, who in 1995 was the youngest woman to enter federal parliament and who led the Democrats from April 2001 until August 2002, described her decision today as "heart-aching" but inevitable.

"This is not about giving up work for family but giving my family priority at this particular stage of life," she said.

However, she did not rule out a return to politics at some point in the future.

The 37-year-old has had the past three weeks off work after emergency surgery for an ectopic pregnancy, but said the opportunity to spend uninterrupted time with her son Conrad had changed her priorities.

"It's been a heart-aching, difficult decision," she told journalists gathered in her Adelaide office.

"It's been the toughest decision for me politically without a doubt and the kindness of colleagues and friends and ... the community in the last few weeks has made this decision harder.

"Spending uninterrupted quality time with my son has made the decision inevitable."

Natasha, I know that it must be scary, but it's perfectly alright to admit that you enjoy being a mother - and that babies are good. You are a woman, and we have been praying for you. I'm glad that you have started to realise that the whole femo thing is really quite a bore.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Genius of Women

From The Age.

"A Matrimonial Quest"

Mark and Minyoung Wyman - friends of mine from Cornell University with ties to the Cornell Society for a Good Time weblog - have described the experience of requesting permission for a Tridentine Nuptial Mass in New York. Notably, this article was published in the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.

The ceremony ended up being a Solemn Pontifical High Mass with polyphonic ordinary and Gregorian propers - the latter offered by this writer.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Holy Week in October

If you perservere in asking the Lord in confidence, He will grant your petition. Even if it's Tenebrae.

Tonight the ABC was filming next year's Good Friday and Easter Sunday programs for 'Hymns of Glory', in St Patrick's Cathedral. It was rather beautiful. Everything was just as it should have been if it were really Holy Week.

First the Easter Sunday program was recorded. Basically, we had a prayer service made up of segments from the Liturgy. It was interesting because most of the choir shots were set against the backdrop of the high altar - I don't blame them. The echo was magnificent, especially accompanied by the organ and brass section. Most memorable from the Easter section was the final blessing when Dr Cox, musical director, motioned His Grace and all of us to 'do it again.' It meant more episcopal blessings, so that wasn't a problem.

Everyone was very happy - The Canon and His Grace came and greeted us and thanked us for coming. It really sounded lovely - Catholics can sing!

What joy to hear Victimae paschali laudes!

Then it was Good Friday - the altar was stripped, and the Tenebrae candles were lit, much to my delight! Then was chanted Vexilla Regis, by the mixed choir. Lamentations 5:1-11 were sung by a gentleman from the choir very beautifully, but it was strange hearing 'Jerusalem' with an audible 'j'!

Then the Tenebrae responsory! Quia venit dies Domini magna et amare valde!

Part of St John's Passion was chanted - but I must say, the Latin text is much stronger. Sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis, et aqua. The recessional was 'Praise to the Holiest (in the height)' - with organ! Nevertheless, it was a wonderful way to finish the day. Tenebrae and His Grace in fine voice with biretta and pompom. Deo gratias!

I think the ABC will have a fine program.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that a few Monash students from Sunday were in attendence, too. Deo gratias that they have been exposed to some Liturgical treasures! (It's up to Me, remember!)

Monday, October 16, 2006

It's a little out of season...

A short reflection on Tenebrae that I wrote for a spiritualiy class this year. Errors are not intentional!

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convértere ad Dominum Deum tuum!

The Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday Office of Tenebrae were solemnly celebrated according to the Classical Roman Rite during Holy Week at St Aloysius’ Caulfield, on the nights of Wednesday and Good Friday, respectively. The Hours of Matins and Lauds throughout the Sacred Triduum most sublimely voice the Church’s mourning over the Passion and Burial of the Lord. They have traditionally been treated as a ‘funeral service’ for Christ. The entire tone of the Office is intensely sorrowful in both its words and neumes, there is no Alleluia, nor Gloria Patri. The ancient structure of the Office, with lessons from the Lamentations of Jeremias, St Augustine, and St Paul, has remained in its integrity since the eighth century.

Our Shepherd, the fountain of living water is gone, wails the Church, at Whose departure the sun was darkened. The candles that illuminate the altar will be gradually extinguished until there is but one that remains lit. In like manner, on that very night, the Apostles had left Our Lord. Again and again, the people echo the words of Christ, one of My disciples will betray me this day, it had been better for him if he had not been born. The single light, the lux vera, will be extinguished, too. And so it is, with a sudden and violent swipe, the terrible darkness is complete; the Light, it seems, has been conquered. A dreadful noise fills the church signifying nature’s revolt at such an awful sight. For the day of the Lord is come, great and exceedingly bitter. Our Shepherd, the fountain of living water is gone. He is gone to take captive [he] who held the first man captive, to destroy the dungeons of hell, and overthrow the pains of the devil.

A mystical cry of victory rises from the silence of the darkness, O mors, ero mors tua, mersus tuus ero, inferne! Meanwhile, the people rise and leave in silence. It is good to wait with silence for the salvation of God. There is something disturbing about this darkness that strikes one still. We are tired with mourning, and our eyes are strained and sore. Of course, Christ will rise from the dead, so why not rest in hope? There is something profound about the Office of Tenebrae that is awfully difficult to express outside of the experience of prayer. It may be likened to the experience of the women, sitting at the sepulchre, who mourned, weeping for the Lord. Were those tears that were shed, shed for them, or for the predicament of the world without the Lord? The Church does understand this Holy Office as a similar vigil before the tomb of Christ. Perhaps the ‘sting’ of Tenebrae is the realisation that the world continues to love the darkness that the Church so sorely laments, and while in such a state, the Creator will remain as unknown to the creatures whom He made, and to the world in which He dwelt, as surely as the truth of the Resurrection.

Dr Tracey Rowland on the Liturgical Ideas of Benedict XVI

Dr Rowland's wonderful lecture given at the Australian Catholic Students Association's National Conference earlier this year is now available to download in mp3 format. Other lectures and sessions include those given by Fr Fessio and Fr Gregory Jordan, SJ. Thank you Shannon for pointing this out.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

ICK and FSSP to visit Ireland

A Birthday and a Bishop

Today was Omar's birthday. It involved thurible swinging, lots of cake, and serving for a Bishop.

Lighting candles while Omar was busy training up a junior server!

Sacristans! The wonderful D. Birch and Omar.

Snap outside the church. Good weather for photos.

Later in the afternoon Monash University Catholics on Campus had their end of semester Mass, with Bishop Christopher Prowse presiding. Omar served the Mass, which was quite sweet because Bishop Prowse confirmed him back on Laetare, and he wore the mitre that we gave him. He gave blessings after the Mass. He had just come from Confirmations, and I could still smell the aroma of chrism on his thumb!

Bishop Prowse chatting after Mass.

There is something very special about Bishop Prowse. However, whenever I'm in the midst of a Bishop, it is very tense. It's more than the great reality of being in the presence of a Successor of the Apostles, or the fact that I find it rather difficult to be in a conversation. Oh well, I don't know what it is. It's much easier praying for them.

Lex videndi, lex orandi. I hope that says 'the law of sight (seeing) is the law of prayer (praying)' - I mean reverence would be harder to foster in a barn rather than a Cathedral - but then again, I don't think that is true. I'm being cryptic in saying that I don't like the chances of improving the quality of the liturgy much at the Monash religious centre while it is in there. The students are wonderful, though, and there is no reason to give up on trying.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Tonsures in Wigratzbad

The Newman Society endorses Juventutem

I am delighted to announce the support of The Newman Society for the endeavours of Juventutem.

Some tears and a few dollars

Today Omar (dear friend, crusader, server, and quiet intellectual) almost wept for joy after finally collecting his heart's desire, a Knox translation of the Bible, for a $1 at a book sale at Sacred Heart church, Kew. As for me, the Waugh library has increased by one. I am now reading Edmund Campion ($1), and I feel like a few tears in sorrow. I take back any associated humour in the post somewhat below about the terms Popery and Priestcraft.

"The altar stones were taken for paving and cheese presses" (p 20.)

No requiems, no absolution. (Let November begin.)

How is the gold become dim, the finest colour is changed, the stones of the sanctuary are scattered in the top of every street?

I am reluctantly reserved to the fact that I will have to wait until Holy Week next year for Tenebrae. So, now I am looking forward to the Martyrology. On that happier note, the Mass for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost is just beautiful. I have been reading St Francis de Sales and so to find 'be angry and sin not' was a little treat.

No more lamenting, today was a lovely day, and so tomorrow will be too.

Thank you to Aaron for the kind link. He features some great Speck cartoons! Less than two weeks until Christus Rex - how does one best and authentically prepare for pilgrimage?

PS I am sending some letters of thanksgiving off soon :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Rosary Crusade of Reparation, London

Rosary Crusade of Reparation on Saturday 14th October at 2.00pm.

The march starts at Westminster Cathedral and proceeds to the London Oratory, led by the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, in the Oratory, will follow the conclusion of the march.

There is much to make reparation for.....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

That News

I think 'the news' is true. The first thing that I think about is how busy our servers are going to be - and the variety of work that comes up for groups like ours. It's wonderful. I don't have time for a large post, but don't you think it's rather sweet that the first creatures that the Lord gave man dominion over were the fish? I love little pirouets of the Holy Spirit. I can't spell pirouet...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Calling all Aussies...

... get writing the WYD2008 theme song. Ach, go on! Let's put a bit of substance into the next one...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


... on my spiritual life for anyone still vaguely interested...

Stop worrying about me. :-)

I'd rather not give any more details than that.

Also, please pray for a very good friend of mine (I mean that...) who is due to be received into the bosom of our dear Mother on the 20th of this month.

On both counts...:

Te Deum laudamus,
Te Dominum confitebor...

(anyone reading this should be able to continue in their own head...)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ad multos annos!

Thanks be to God and congratulations to Fr John Emerson FSSP for twenty-five years in the priesthood! His Silver Jubilee was actually on the feast of Ss Peter and Paul, but the celebratory Mass and bash were at last held on Saturday, happily St Jerome's feast, in St Andrew's, Ravelston, Edinburgh. There was a lovely Missa Cantata, then lots of food and a large chocolate cake. Father spoke movingly about the priesthood, saying that the vocation is given less for the sake of the individual in question than for the sake of Christ's Church. Fra Fredrik Crichton-Stuart SMOM read out a splendid letter from the Superior General of the FSSP.
Praise be to God for this priest, and long may Fr Emerson serve Christ and His Church in holiness and joy!

The Anglicans up the Road

I don't understand the poor Anglicans up the road. Here is an extract from their parish bulletin on the 20th August:

20th.: St. Bernard, priest, abbot and doctor of the Church (1090-1153);
21st.: St. Pius, bishop and ascetic (1835-1914);
22nd.: The Queenship of the B.V.M.;
23rd.: St. Rose of Lima, virgin and religious, the first saint of the Americas, patron of South America (1586-1617);
24th.: St. Bartholomew, apostle (first century);
25th.: St. Louis (the ninth), king of France and pious layman (1214-1270);
St. Joseph Calasanz, priest and founder, patron of Christian schools (1550-1648);

Not pope, but a saint all the same... Must avoid the rotten 'P' word. They use the same 'Living Word' supplement as do some parishes around the diocese. This week the Anglicans are celebrating the feasts of The Little Flower and St Faustina! I think I will invite them to the Christus Rex Pilgrimage. P-p-popery! Priestcraft doesn't seem too objectionable, though.

In another news, please pray for Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, who is one of the violent driving forces against life in this country. This poor afflicted woman has suffered an ectopic pregnancy. By the grace of God, may this tiny human life open her eyes and bend her heart.

Finally, I think my life is at an 'ut' clause. Do this... 'So that...' :)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Love and a Pretty Cathedral

We have a pretty Cathedral!

Today was very much about love! Love through the Sacrament of Penance, today's Gospel, a wonderful homily on the counter revolution that will only come about through love - and which mentioned St Pius X, Bl John XXIII, The Beatles, and St Augustine, the Sacrament of Love itself, love and fellowship amongst the faithful, concluding with a vocations forum held by the beautiful Sisters of Life - who are so abounding in love and joy that they are about ready to burst!

So Deo Gratias for love - real love - Love itself.

Spera in Deo, quoniam adhuc confitebor illi, salutare vultus mei, et Deus meus.