Welcome to the site for News, Events and up-to-date Information on Traditional Catholicism in the West Midlands (UK). I am one of the Diocesan Representatives for the Latin Mass Society of England & Wales for the Promotion of the Traditional Roman Rite.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Introductory Post

I have been aware of numerous rumblings in recent months regarding the Latin Mass Society (most of which have been incredibly one-sided). Recent attention has been fixed on their committee meeting of 7th March 2009, which culminated in the resignation of several prominent members, most notably the Chairman and Treasurer. Clearly everyone is interested in the great changes afoot. But what most people will have been oblivious to is the motion carried forward that I would be assistant Diocesan Representative for the LMS!

Therefore I am happy to introduce myself as new LMS rep for the Birmingham and Black Country area.

We have been blessed in this locale for many years with the Birmingham Oratory, whose Fathers offer the Extraordinary Form every Sunday and Holy Day. It has almost been unnecessary for an LMS rep to operate in this area. However, it has also been remarkable how things have changed since the release of Summorum Pontificum: the Oratory used to have Tridentine Masses at 12.45 in the cramped cloister chapel. But after Christmas 2007, the Mass was moved into the main church at 9.30am. Numbers have inevitably increased from about 20 to between 50 and 80 people. On occasions when we have had a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form (on those Holy Days transferred in the new calendar) attendance has been exceptional at about 200. Whilst still modest in comparison with other Parish Masses, this provides an excellent basis on which to develop interest in the Traditional Latin Mass. The Oratory has also been recently blessed with the addition of Fr Anton Guziel (right) who is well known amongst traditionalist circles. I am encouraging the regular Low Mass by producing a tailored Mass booklet (the Oratory have already produced an excellent one for their High Masses) which I hope to make available after Easter. This will make it much more accessible for newcomers to the Extraordinary Form.

Outside the Oratory there has been very little activity. However, there have been encouraging developments at St Chad’s Cathedral: I arranged a Low Mass for the Feast of the Translation of the Relics of St Chad in a side chapel, which was practically the first such Mass to have taken place since the 1970s. The LMS also had a regional reps meeting at the Cathedral, where Fr Paul Chavasse said Low Mass at the new Altar in the Cathedral’s main sanctuary (left). With such permission, I hope that in coming months and years we can build upon this. It would great to see more Traditional Masses being said at the many unused High Altars in Birmingham's rich repertoire of unspoilt churches.

If anyone wishes to be on my mailing list to keep abreast of news in this area, please get in touch

(It should be noted that the Oratory often has extra EF Masses, including High Masses, at quite short notice eg. Low Mass for Ash Wednesday, Sung Mass for anniversary of Cardinal Pole's death... so it would be of real benefit to be part of this network.)

Regular EF Masses at the Oratory:
Sundays Low Mass 9.30am
Holy Days of Obligation: Generally, Low Mass 11am weekday
N.B. If transferred in the new calendar (eg. Epiphany, Corpus Christi, Ascension), the external solemnity is observed on the traditional feast day with a Solemn High Mass at 8pm (or 11am if on a Saturday)
Feel free to enquire with me.

1 comment:

Ben Trovato said...

Congratulations on taking up the LMS mantle.

You mention the one-sided rumblings about the LMS and indeed I have seen reports which generated more heat than light.

But that does leave the question for the ordinary LMS member a long way from London: what as been going on? Why these resignations and recriminations? Is it just personalities or is it policiy? Does it relate for the disagreements about the Merton Conference?

Could you offer a perspective on any of that?


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