Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church

The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church have a beautiful new website. It can be accessed here, The Sisters will be appearing on EWTN's 'Life on the Rock' in a little over an hour, so we are about to start scrambling to vantage points.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Hand of Peter

I might mention that going to Mass the other day I realised that the Mass previous I had attended was via the hands of Successor of St Peter himself! Goodness, what a thing! Of course there being the one Priesthood and all, but looking at it according to the sacred structure of things, goodness!

Sancta Anna

Today a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form was celebrated in the church in which I made my first confession and first Holy Communion. I caught the faith in that beautiful church, so it is a very happy day in Bondi. The first news of such a thing was rather breathtaking. Thank you, Lord.

Our American pilgrims, with Sisters and Father B. made their way, today. I pray that they had a fruitful pilgrimage, and give thanks for having come to know such wonderful friends of the Lord.

I suppose that I am trying to bottle the experience, as it were. But then again, I don't think that that is necessary, because it wasn't a private thing. The only bottle is the jar of peanut butter that I bought today after having taken a liking to it again during breakfasts and lunches at Balmain!

Today too was the first post-WYD public witness experience, being at a small cafe and having the Italian proprietors tell of how moved they were by the television coverage, and visits to their business by pilgrims during the Melbourne stay. They had so much praise for the Holy Father that they almost had tears in their eyes, particularly when they turned to speak of Catholic youth. C. and I were also asked a very nice question, but I am not going to say what that was!

Oh, worthy of mention is the heart of a sermon given by a visiting priest at the Cathedral - what greater sign could there be than that which we have just experienced? If the Lord is calling you to whatever state, if He has shown you something, then go and act and do something! Ears and eyes of holy men and women of old waited to see what you have now seen.

This talk of a 'new Pentecost' is no joke. The Lord is very good.

Friday, July 25, 2008

From Melbourne

Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church with His Grace, Archbishop Hart during Days in the Dioceses in Melbourne. The Sisters will be featured on EWTN's Life on the Rock programme on the 31st of July.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cum Petro

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On Religious

I don't want the Sisters to leave. I know that they must return home, but their presence is something that we shouldn't be without. It's only a natural thing that our streets be filled with habited Sisters, and Brothers, and Priests in collars and cassocks, and beautiful families, and children, and lay people devoted to the Church. I'm very hopeful about everything, because things are not the same as they were two weeks ago.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Deo Gratias

It was a pilgrimage from the beginning, right until the very end. Luggage, and tim tams, and the Holy Father's smile. Much to write of course, pictures to explain, but that will all come later. Deo gratias in excelsis.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Days in the Dioceses come to a close

Clergy and servers after Mass

At Vespers

Procedamus in Pace

So, off we go in the early hours tomorrow morning, making our way to Sydney. Please pray for us, and for all pilgrims on the journey.

Our taxi will be making stops on all sides of Melbourne before we even board the bus. I must remember my pilgrim primer so that I might share some hymns in English, and I'm willing to learn some French.

Got my rosary
Got my primer
Got-ta pack my bag
Not much time-er!

Give me my missal, and I will be happy. For now, I'm thinking that everything is a little bit mad. I think Juventutem will be mentioned on Compass this evening, the religious affairs show on the ABC.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Photos - Solemn Pontifical Mass with Archbishop Hart

Really, most beautiful quite ever.

O Felix Dies

Today's Solemn Pontifical Mass with Archbishop Hart was the most beautiful that I have ever attended. Thank you, Lord.

Juventutem pilgrims can be seen on Melbourne's streets fit with sashes, and flags, and fliers. It is extremely wonderful. What a thing to walk down the street with your pilgrims, and with Sisters! It's so good!

Was treated with cakes and tea at the Monastery, then a pilgrim festive dinner according to Polish tradition. It's so good. So good.

Indeed, today's Mass, the most beautiful ever.

Deo gratias, but more.

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's hard to get a taxi in Melbourne

This evening our visiting Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church needed a taxi booked to take them home to their accommodation, a beautiful Melbourne convent. Dane made the telephone call, which went something like this:

"Good evening, I would like to book a taxi from [the church]. We would like a MaxiCab."
"Four people."
"Because they're nuns."
"They're nuns."
"I assure you, this isn't a prank, they are going [to the convent]."

It so happens that the driver who received the request declined it, after we called back to see what the significant delay was. Soon after, another suitable taxi arrived, and took the lovely Sisters home.

All in all, we are having a lovely time. Please pray for us, especially as we welcome His Grace, Archbishop Hart tomorrow. Happy Melbourne.

Some first photographs

Pilgrim welcoming ceremony

Mr Scott Turkington directing a Gregorian Chant workshop

Solemn Pontifical Mass at the faldstool - His Lordship, Bishop Basil Meeking (10/7/08)


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Update on the FSSP programme of discernment for young ladies

+ sub Petro
I'm not sure that I can explain everything that has passed over the last year. For me, most of what happened was intensely interior; which is to say that God did a lot of stuff and I did rather less. Perhaps that is, in fact, the whole point. To recognise our own helplessness and need for His grace. Anyway, that's my excuse for failing to write about anything that's happened.If you want an actual update on the 'Demoiselles de l'année de discernement', read on. I warn you, we have no precise information to give!
As a year for discernment, it was pretty successful. Jessica (USA) is planning to enter Carmel. Jenny (Switzerland) is also thinking seriously about joining an existing congregation. Marie (France) is working on a project with the Institut du Bon Pasteur, her brother being one of their seminarians and the Institut suiting her personal spirituality more precisely, I think.
That leaves Laurianne (France), Marie-France (Canada) and myself (Great Britain). The three of us, ah... Suffice to say that we would very much like to continue formation in connection with the FSSP. The Fraternity is supportive. There are, however, slight technical problems there. For the formation of sisters, you need sisters. Yes, I know that every community has started somewhere, but it would really help if there were experienced religious willing to aid. The impracticality is that most traditional communities are contemplative, and most apostolic communities would be hesitant to associate themselves with so-called 'trads'. At any rate, we haven't found that sort of help so far. Second technical problem is the need for a house, funding etc.
The superiors of the FSSP are actively seeking a way to continue more... formally. However, any project for next September or next January would be premature and badly planned - even if one could be devised. So they are continuing over the next year with their own programme of discernment - because we have to recognise that this may still not be the Lord's will.... If anything happens it will be from September 2009. And that's an IF with capital letters.
In the meantime, the plan is for us to aid the Fraternity in some way that suits our personalities. I can't be more specific because it isn't figured out yet. Suffice to say that we're keen to help out and that the FSSP certainly isn't going to leave us out on the streets!
We have the intention of remaining free should anything come to fruition for the year after next. Otherwise there would be no point in the Fraternity continuing their efforts for us!
Please pray that God's will be done in all of this. And give thanks for the amazing opportunity I have received this last year to develop my relationship with Him. Or to let Him do it. Or whatever...
In Caritate Xi,
Julie Michelle Robinson.

A Seminarian's thoughts on studying Gregorian Chant

Nicholas Rynne, 27, has been in the Good Shepherd Seminary, Sydney, for the past 3 and a half years and recently completed the Juventutem Gregorian chant workshops taught by David Molloy.

"I love the music," Rynne says. "Chant encapsulates the artistic/aesthetic and spiritual traditions of the Catholic Church and I wanted to learn more about it."

He'd first studied Gregorian chant at a workshop given by Tony Vaughan in Brisbane several years ago. "Then I joined the Schola Cantorum of Brisbane, directed by Vaughan, and we sang at various religious services. When I joined the seminary in Sydney, in 2006, I became a member of the Seminary Schola and was keen to sing as much chant as I could, especially since the Second Vatican Council had asked that chant be given 'pride of place' in the Church's liturgy.

"I am excitedly anticipating the Mass at St Mary's Cathedral during World Youth Day for the dedication of the new altar when seminarians from Melbourne's Corpus Christi Seminary and Sydney's Seminary of the Good Shepherd will be singing all of the chant.

"This means we will chant for the reception of the Holy Father; the procession to the sanctuary; the antiphon and psalm when the relics are deposited in the new altar; the antiphon and psalm for the anointing, incensing and lighting of the new altar; and during communion and at the end of Mass."

Rynne says he attended the Juventutem workshops because he wanted to learn how to read the medieval notation and review the "Sol-fa" system.

"An important thing I learnt was the use of tempo and phrasing (called the 'arsis' and 'thesis'). A big problem is that many people perform chant slowly and without any dynamics – there's no undulation in the sound. Consequently, many people think all Gregorian chant is depressing and dull. But the music is alive and full of subtle nuance if it is read and performed properly.

"When I sing Gregorian chant I feel it's a deeply aesthetically and spiritually pleasing exercise."

Rynne said he would like to further his chant studies by doing more work on the "Sol-fa" system, and learning the Gregorian "modes".

"I'm being sent to a new seminary after World Youth Day - the Pontifical North American College in Rome, so I am hoping the Schola at the College practises a bit of chant and that there might be opportunities for further study in Rome."

More details: Juventutem, visit To study Gregorian chant in Sydney after WYD, contact David Molloy,

From Juventutem Australia's media correspondents.

Monday, July 07, 2008

It has begun

Our Kenyan pilgrims arrived safely and full of joy, and with that, the experience has begun. I think it more appropriate to keep a paper record of the more profound things, one of which I might mention. That is, pilgrims finally taking rest in St Patrick's Cathedral, with heads bowed in thanksgiving to God for bringing them half-way round the world - and being there to greet them again so gloriously. Any anti-WYD sentiment is terribly misplaced.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Please pray for us

Our first interstate pilgrim is already in our midst, and our first pilgrims from overseas will land in under twelve hours, after traveling from Kenya. More arrivals on Monday, with a large contingent coming on Wednesday. Please pray for us. The Lord is so good, and we will be happy to keep you up to date via this blog, and I'm sure too by anyone else around the place who usually covers events like this.