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.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

LMS Calendar 2015 available from Local Reps

The LMS Office may be closed for the Christmas period, but if you would like an LMS Calendar in time for the New Year there are a limited number available from your Latin Mass Society local representatives. You can find the contact details for your local representative here.

The LMS Calendar has proved very popular in previous years and has sold out. Unfortunately this year we received the calendars rather late which would have caused a problem for those who prefer to purchase one early. Both Benadette and I have a number of calendars and if you can meet us you will not have to pay the postage and packing. I will have a number available to buy at the Oratory High Mass on New Year's day if you are able to make it.

I wish all readers a restful remainder of the Octave of Christmas and all the best for 2015.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Mass Schedule 2015

There are five High Masses and several amendments and additions to the Low Mass schedule over the Christmas period. These are outlined below and in the calendar in the sidebar. Directions to the churches are available in the sidebar.

Wednesday 24th December 2014  
No Halesowen Mass

Thursday 25th December 2014  
Christmas Day
Wolverhampton 8 a.m. Low Mass of Dawn
Oratory 10.30 a.m. High Mass of the Day

Friday 26th December 2014
St Stephen Oratory 9 a.m. Low Mass with Carols

Saturday 27th December 2014
St John the Evangelist Oratory 9.30a.m. Low Mass

Sunday 28th December 2014
Sunday of the Octave of the Nativity Oratory 10.30 a.m. High Mass

Monday 29th December & Tuesday 30th December - No EF Masses

Wednesday 31st December Halesowen 12 noon Low Mass

Thursday 1st January 2015 
Octave Day of Christmas Oratory 12 noon High Mass

Friday 2nd January 2015
Oratory 6 p.m. Low Mass
Wolverhampton 6.30 p.m. Low Mass
Solihull 6.30 p.m. Low Mass

Saturday 3rd January 2015 Oratory 9.30a.m. Low Mass

Sunday 4th January 2015 External Solemnity of the Epiphany
Oratory  10.30 a.m. High Mass

Monday 5th January 2015 Redditch 6 p.m. Low Mass
Tuesday 6th January 2015 Epiphany Oratory 7 p.m. High Mass

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Blessed Anthony Grassi and Rorate Masses

Rorate Mass, Novena of the Immaculate Conception 2013 (Birmingham Oratory Gallery)
Following on from the last post, the 6.00pm Friday Mass at the Oratory will be a Rorate Mass, as will the Saturday morning Mass which will be moved from its normal time of 9.30am to 7.30am. There will also be an additional Mass tomorrow at 6.00pm for the Feast of Oratorian Blessed Anthony Grassi, with Bp Robert Byrne preaching.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Immaculate Conception High Mass and Rorate Masses

Immaculate Conception High Mass 2013 (Birmingham Oratory Gallery)
It's been a blessed few days at the Birmingham Oratory; it started with Fr Francis Gavin's ordination at 6pm on Friday evening by fellow Oratorian Bishop Robert Byrne - I think we can forgive them cancelling the regular Friday evening EF Mass for this! His first Mass in the Ordinary Form followed at 11am on Saturday morning and earlier today he celebrated his first High Mass in the Extraordinary Form, complete with coped Assistant priest. Each of the three events was followed by the opportunity to receive first blessings, which obtains a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions. Fr Francis may take a well earned rest now, but the events continue apace at the Birmingham Oratory, with an Extraordinary Form High Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception tomorrow at 7pm. The Friday evening Mass will return at its usual time of 6pm this week, but it will be a candlelit Rorate Mass and so will the Saturday morning Mass which moves from its regular time of 9.30am to 7.30am. Last year Rorate Masses at 6pm on Friday evening and 7.30am on Saturday morning were a regular feature of the Oratory's Advent celebrations, so check back here or the Oratory website for further events.

Fr Francis will also be giving his final talk of an excellent autumn series on Thursday evening at 8pm. Having attended many of the previous talks, I can highly recommend it if you are available. The topic of Thursday's talk will be on Euthanasia and Assisted Dying.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Rorate Masses of Novena of the Immaculate Conception

Rorate Mass, Novena of the Immaculate Conception 2013 (Birmingham Oratory Gallery)
As part of the Novena for the Immaculate Conception, there will be a 6pm Rorate Mass at the Birmingham Oratory this week from Monday to Thursday. The usual Friday Mass will not take place because Br Francis is being ordained to the priesthood by fellow Oratorian Bp Robert Byrne. You would be very welcome to attend the Ordination Mass. Please keep Br Francis in your prayers.

Also, the 6.30pm First Monday Mass at Redditch returns tomorrow after a break for a couple of months.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

November Monday Evening Requiem Masses at the Birmingham Oratory

Just like last year, a Requiem Mass will be held at 6pm on Monday evenings at the Birmingham Oratory followed by Sung Vespers for the Dead: the picture on the left is one of these Masses celebrated last year.

You may also be interested in attending the ordination of Br Francis of the Oratory by former Birmingham Oratorian Bishop Robert Byrne, which will take place on Friday 5th December 2014, probably in the evening with first Masses on Saturday and Sunday. I will update this post when I have further information.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Oratory All Saints and All Souls Masses

Picture courtesy of the Birmingham Oratory Gallery
Birmingham Oratory Masses

Sat 1st November (All Saints) - 9.30am Sung Mass

Sun 2nd November (External Solemnity of All Saints) 10.30am High Mass

Mon 3rd November (All Souls) 7pm High Mass

There may be some more Masses available on All Souls - please contact the Birmingham Oratory for further details.

Please note that the regular monthly first Monday Mass at Redditch has been cancelled this week (3rd November).

Monday, 27 October 2014

New Last Friday Solihull Mass

St Augustine (source: Church website)
If you closely watch the calendar in the sidebar or follow the Facebook page of the local branch of the LMS, you will notice that there will be a new Extraordinary Form Mass in the area on the last Friday of the month at St Augustines in Solihull Town centre. The celebrant will be Fr Daniel Horgan, ably assisted by Kevin O'Connor who also serves the Maryvale Mass on 2nd Wednesdays. This is a most welcome development for two reasons, namely that we have lost the weekly Friday Mass at St John Fisher since the departure of Fr George, and that it is the first regular Mass in the East Birmingham Deanery. Please support this Mass if you are able to do so and publicise it to anyone who might be interested.


6.30pm Last Friday of the month (first Mass 31st October)

St Augustine's Catholic Church
1, Herbert Road
West Midlands,
B91 3QE

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Last West Heath Mass this Friday

Fr George preaching at the High Mass for St John Fisher (2014)
Fr George Grynowski will be leaving St John Fisher in West Heath this weekend and celebrating his last Mass in the Extraordinary Form there this Friday and the regular time of 6.30pm. This will be the last Extraordinary Form Mass there for the time being: two priests from Cameroon will be taking over the running of the parish while studying at Maryvale, and closer links will be forged between St John Fisher, Our Lady and St Brigid in Northfield and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Rednal. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Fr George for his provision of the Extraordinary Form in this parish. In addition to the weekly Friday Mass, which started life as a monthly first Friday celebration at 7pm, the parish was also famed for the only regular (annual) Extraordinary Form High Mass to be held outside the Oratory in the region, which took place on the old date of the Feast of SS John Fisher and Thomas More. The picture in this post is of Fr George preaching at the most recent such  celebration earlier this year; more photos are available here. Even though he seems too young, Fr George will be retiring from active ministry but hopefully we will still see him celebrate the odd EF Mass, particularly at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Redditch which he will continue to celebrate on the first Monday of every month, with the exception of the coming Monday in October where the Mass has been cancelled.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Forty Hours' Devotion High Mass of Exposition

High Mass of Exposition, Forty Hours' Devotion 2013
The Birmingham Oratory will be holding its annual Forty Hours' Devotion starting on Tuesday 30th September with an EF High Mass of Exposition at 7pm. There will be a Holy Hour and Compline the next day at 8pm and 9pm respectively, and it will end with Solemn Vespers, Procession, Benediction and Reposition at 7pm on Thursday 2nd October 2014. The photo above is from the High Mass of Exposition in 2013.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Departures and the Future of the Maryvale Mass

Fr Paul Lester and server Kevin O'Connor
I am delighted to announce that, despite the departure of Fr Paul Lester to Hethe in Oxfordshire on 10th September, the parish priest of Christ the King in Kingstanding, Fr Eamonn Corduff, will be taking over the celebration of the 2nd Wednesday Maryvale Mass for the foreseeable future. His first Mass will be on the same day as Fr Paul's departure, this Wednesday 10th September at 7pm. This will be Fr Eamonn's first celebration of the Extraordinary Form and he will be ably assisted by veteran server Kevin O'Connor, so if you are able to support them this Wednesday please do your best to attend.

In other news, Fr George's departure from St John Fisher in West Heath has been confirmed: his final weekend will be on the 4/5 October. I will post on the future of the Friday Masses at West Heath and first Monday Masses at Redditch as soon as I have any further information - however I can confirm there will be no Mass in Redditch on the first Monday in October (the 6th). Please also pray for the two Redditch servers, Joshua Crunden and Mateusz Bugno, who both entered seminary this September at Oscott and in Poland respectively.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Fr Paul for bringing the Extraordinary Mass to Maryvale, Fr Eamonn for agreeing to take it over, and our servers Kevin, Joshua and Mateusz for their assistance in helping priests offer a worthy celebration of the Mass. I am sure they will all remain in your prayers.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

High Mass Photos and Late August 2014 Mass News

Elevation at High Mass, St John Fisher 9th July 2014
If you keep up with the newsletter, you may have been aware that there was a Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Birmingham Oratory at 9am on Bank Holiday Monday. However, there will be no Mass at Halesowen or West Heath this week. Normal service will resume at both next week.

I am pleased to announce there will be Mass at Maryvale on the 10th September and I am hopeful that the 2nd Wednesday Mass there will continue despite Fr Paul Lester's imminent departure to Heathe in Oxfordshire.

Finally, Matthew Doyle has uploaded the photos of the West Heath High Mass that took place on the Old Rite Feast of Ss John Fisher and Thomas More. They are available here.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Positio 4: Liturgical Orientation

If you have ever been asked why, in the Extraordinary Form, the priest celebrates Mass with his back to the people, perhaps you could forward the following video:

Monday, 11 August 2014

Friday Masses for the Feast of the Assumption

Low Mass
6.30 pm St John Fisher,
1 Cofton Road, West Heath, BIRMINGHAM B31 3QT

High Mass
7.00 pm Birmingham Oratory, 141 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, BIRMINGHAM followed by Torchlight Procession of Our Lady

See sidebar for directions.

The regular 6.30 pm Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Wolverhampton will not be taking place on Friday but there will be a Mass at 7.00 pm on Thursday 14th August instead for the Vigil of the Assumption of the BVM.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

First World War Anniversary

From the Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Newsletter (Cannock Road, Wolverhampton WV10 8PG):

First World War Anniversaries
28th July, 1914 – the first shots of the war were fired when between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Serbia.
4th August, 1914 – the British Empire entered the War.
To mark this centenary, there will be a Mass of Requiem in Our Lady’s Church on Monday, 28th July, at 7 p.m.  (This Mass will be offered in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the form used on both sides of the conflict, both in the churches and the trenches).

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Christians of the Middle East

If you, like me, are concerned about the events in Mosul, where the presence of Christians my be coming to an end after 1600 years, remember that there is plenty we can do about it, not least fast, prayer and sacrifice. Dr Joseph Shaw has provided some useful prayers in Latin on his blog which I reproduce here:

Graciously hear the prayers of Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord: that her enemies and all heresies be brought to nought, and that she may serve Thee in perfect security and freedom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, Domine, preces placatus admitte: ut, destructis adversitatibus er erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate. Per Christum Dominium nostrum. Amen.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring low the enemies of holy Church, we beseech Thee to hear us.

Ut inimicos sanctae Ecclesiae humiliare digneris, te rogamus, audi nos.


Almighty, everlasting God, look with compassion on all those who suffer persecution for justice’ sake.
     Grant them grace to carry their cross with patience in the name of Thy beloved Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
     Let the chalice pass from them is such by Thy holy Will: yet, in all things, may Thy Will be done.
     Grant to those who persecute, light to see the truth, and the grace of mercy and forgiveness, for they know not what they do.
     Mary, Mother of Jesus, Comfort of the Afflicted, help thy children in their time of bitter trial.

O Lord our God, by the sign of Thy holy cross deliver us from our enemies.

O God, our refuge and our strength, look down in mercy on thy people who cry to thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of St Joseph her spouse, of thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of our holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ our Lord.
R: Amen.

Deus, refúgium nostrum et virtus, pópulum ad te clamántem propítius réspice; et intercedénte gloriósa et immaculáta Virgine Dei Genetríce María, cum beáto Ioseph, eius Sponso, ac beátis Apóstolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et ómnibus Sanctis, quas pro conversióne peccatórum, pro libertáte et exaltatióne sanctæ Matris Ecclésiæ, preces effúndimus, miséricors et benígnus exáudi. Per eúndem Christum Dóminum nostrum.
R: Amen.
Prayer to Our Lady Help of Christians.

Virgin most powerful, loving helper of the Christian people, how great thanks do we not owe thee for the assistance thou didst give our fathers, who, when they were threatened by the Turkish infidels, invoked thy maternal help by the devout recitation of thy Rosary! From heaven thou didst see their deadly peril; thou didst hear their voices imploring thy compassion; and their humble prayers, enjoined by the great Pope, Saint Pius the Fifth, were acceptable unto thee, and thou camest quickly to deliver them. Grant, dear Mother, that in like manner the prolonged sighs of the holy Bride of Christ in these our days may come to thy throne and engage thy pity; do thou, moved anew to compassion for her, rise once again to deliver her from the many foes who encompass her on every side.

Even now from the four quarters of the earth there arises to thy throne that lovéd prayer, to win thy mercy in these troublous times even as of old. Unhappily our sins hinder, or at least retard, its effect. Wherefore, dear Mother, obtain for us true sorrow for our sins and a firm resolution to face death itself rather than return to our former iniquities; we are sore distressed that, through our fault, thy help, of which we stand in such extreme need, should be denied or come too late.

Rise, then, O Mary, incline thyself to hear the prayers of the whole Catholic world, and beat flat to the ground the pride of those wretched men, who in their insolence blaspheme Almighty God and would destroy His Church, against which, according to the infallible words of Christ, the gates of hell shall never prevail. Let it be seen once more that when thou dost arise to protect the Church, her victory is sure. Amen.

The FSSP have called for the 1st August, the Feast of St Peter in Chains, to be a day of prayer and supplication for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East. Perhaps you could spend an hour in adoration or attend Holy Mass on that day. If you are unable to persuade your parish priest to hold a special event, perhaps you could attend one of the following: Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Wolverhampton has Adoration and Benediction at 5.30pm followed by Mass at 6.30pm. There are also EF Masses at the Oratory and St John Fisher at 6pm and 6.30pm in addition to the numerous Ordinary Form Masses available throughout the region on Friday. St Dunstan's in Kings Heath and St Francis in Handsworth have adoration between 8am and 10pm when Mass is not being celebrated. Please feel free to add events in the region to the comments whatever your theological Catholic bent.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

French Football Team Train Ad Orientem!

The following was filmed during the World Cup. Is traditionalism having its effect on football?

Brick by brick...

Friday, 4 July 2014

St John Fisher Annual High Mass

Fr George Grynowski will be offering Solemn High Mass for the great Feast of St John Fisher & St Thomas More; the Patron of his West Heath parish. Please make every effort to support this event!

St John Fisher RC Church
West Heath, Birmingham
Wednesday, 9th July 2014 at 7pm

Fr George Grynowski would like to welcome everyone to a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Use of the Roman Rite at his Parish Church in West Heath, South Birmingham, for its Patronal feast (which differs in the old calender and therefore gives his parishioners the chance to celebrate it twice!

This may indeed be the last chance to attend a High Mass at St John Fisher because Fr George will be moving on from his role as parish priest here in the Autumn so do make every effort to support this Mass, which is currently the only High Mass in the region to take place in a regular parish church. There will also be a Low Mass celebrated by Fr Paul Lester at the Maryvale Institute chapel on the same night at 7pm if you live in the north of the city; this is a Mass which may not continue after August so please support it if you are wish to see the Mass continue to be celebrated in this location.

Directions to St John Fisher, West Heath
1 Cofton Road,
West Heath
West Midlands
B31 3QT

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Birmingham and Worcestershire Mass and Pilgrimage News

Updates on Masses in the Birmingham and Black Country and Worcestershire areas from July onwards:

1) Masses at Halesowen will continue weekly at 12 noon on Wednesday's except for the following dates: there will be no Mass on 9th July and 27th August and Mass on 6th August will be at 8.00am. If you are planning to attend please ring in advance (number available in the sidebar) because Masses are subject to late changes.
Side Altar prepared for Low Mass at Halesown

2) The First Monday Mass at Redditch in July has been cancelled because it is parish retreat week to prepare for the consecration of the church later in July. Please keep the parish in you prayers at this important time

3) The weekly Spetchley Low Masses outlined in the last post now take place at their new time of 10.45am, not 11am as previously stated. There will be no Mass on 10th and 17th August and 14 and 21st of September.

4) There will be a High Mass for the Old Rite Feast of St John Fisher and St Thomas More at 7pm on 9th July in West Heath. I will post further details about this separately.

I am also now taking bookings for the pilgrimage to the Dome of Home in New Brighton, Wirral. The coach will leave the Birmingham Oratory at 7.45am and return by 6.30pm. The cost is £20 - £15 for LMS members/ students/ unwaged. You can book by leaving a comment on the webpage (it won't be published - please leave contact details), or by phoning 07855 723455. Alternatively my contact details are available on the LMS website or in Mass of Ages. The itinerary of the day is as follows:

Saturday 2nd August

11.30am Solemn Mass

1pm break for lunch
1.45 Talk
2.30 Tour of the Shrine
3.00 Benediction
and Veneration of a Relic of St Philomena

Please book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment - I have had many enquiries about this already.

I plan to write to all local LMS members about this soon.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Corpus Christi and Spetchley Park

As usual, there will be a High Mass on the traditional Thursday date (this year 19th June 2014) for Corpus Christi at the Birmingham Oratory as well as an external celebration of the Solemnity at the 10.30 EF High Mass on Sunday.

Alternatively, in neighbouring Worcestershire, there will be a Missa Cantata and procession from the Catholic chapel in Spetchley Park to the nearby disused medieval church. A report from last year is available at the following link:


Spetchley Park Corpus Christi Procession 2013
After Mass at 11am there will be the opportunity to have a picnic in the beautiful grounds. It normally costs £6.50 to enter Spetchley Park gardens so this is an opportunity to fulfill your Sunday obligation with and Extraordinary Form Mass, have a lovely day out and save money all at the same time!

Spetchley Park House and Gardens

Spetchley Park now has a Low Mass every Sunday at 11am. There will, however, be no Mass on the 10th and 17th of August, and the 14th and 21st of September.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Kiss of Peace and Pentecost

The Kiss of Peace during the Milton Manor High Mass
In the Gospel for Pentecost today we hear the words: "Pacem relinquo vobis, pacem meam do vobis: non quomodo mundus dat, ego do vobis". Perhaps it was with these words ringing in his mind that Dr Joseph Shaw launched Position Paper 19 on the Kiss of Peace which is well worth a read and explains why the sign of peace appears at this point in the Mass, which does seem particularly odd in the Novus Ordo.

The picture above show me receiving the Pax Tecum from the Master of Ceremonies at the Milton Manor High Mass last weekend. A report is available on the Chairman's blog here.

The Birmingham Oratory will be holding two extra Masses for the Octave of Pentecost on Monday and Tuesday at 6pm.  Including the Maryvale Mass this Wednesday at 7pm, it means that Thursday will be the only day it is not possible to attend an Extraordinary Form Mass during the Octave of Pentecost in the Birmingham and Black Country region.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

St Philip Neri, the Ascension and Mass News

The relics of St Philip Neri in front of the sanctuary (credit : Birmingham Oratory)
There was an extra EF Low Mass on Bank Holiday Monday this week at 9.30am before the Novus Ordo High Mass for the Feast of St Philip Neri at 11am. It was the first Novus Ordo High Mass I had attended in a while (the majority of High Masses at the Birmingham Oratory are now in the Extraordinary Form) and I must confess that for the first time I found it rather disjointed due to the way things have to be done sequentially - for example, the Canon of the Mass is spoken out loud so the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei have to be completed by the choir before the celebrant can proceed. By pure coincidence, Rorate Caeli's report on the first Traditional High Mass at Birmingham Cathedral in several decades also included a report of the first Traditional Masses held in Split, Croatia in several decades at a Church whose patron is St Philip Neri!

This Thursday is the traditional day of the Feast of the Ascension. There will be a High Mass at the Birmingham Oratory beginning at 7pm.

There will be no Friday Mass at St John Fisher in West Heath this Friday (30th May 2014). The Masses at the Oratory and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Wolverhampton are available as alternatives.

I believe there will be a Mass in Redditch on the coming Monday (2nd June 2014).

Looking further ahead, Fr Paul Lester has confirmed that there will be a Low Mass on the 2nd Wednesday of June (11th June) in the Maryvale chapel. Directions for all these Masses are available in the sidebar.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

St Chad's High Mass Report

  It was pretty spectacular.

 The setting was exquisite. Even though we only had two in the choir, the music was beautiful.

We did not have Benediction in the afternoon in the end, but had some devotions finishing with the 3 O'Clock divine mercy prayer.

More pictures of the Mass are available here (courtesy of Matthew Doyle).

The Wrexham LMS rep Kevin Jones has written a report of his day here.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

St Chad's Cathedral Pilgrimage

Fr Chavasse celebrating Low Mass at St Chad's Cathedral in 2008

This Saturday (17th May 2014) the Latin Mass Society will be making a pilgrimage to St Chad's Cathedral. High Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be at noon, and there will be devotions in the afternoon finishing with Benediction at 3pm. Music will include Gregorian propers, Missa De Angelis for the ordinary, Ecce Panis Angelorum (Portuguese melody) at the offertory, Gounod O Salutaris after the elevation and Mozart Ave Verum. Bring your own lunch.

Unfortunately this clashes with the visit of Bishop Athanasius Schneider who will be leading the pilgrimage to West Grinstead in Sussex on the same day. I do hope those who are unable to go to Sussex will consider coming to St Chad's, one of only two minor basilicas in England (the other is Downside Abbey). For those interested, we will be celebrating a Class II Votive Mass: this is the nearest Saturday to the Feast of the Translation of the Relics of St Chad which takes place on the 4th Tuesday after Easter in the 1962 Calendar. We will be having a collection for the Cathedral which unsurprisingly is expensive to run - I do hope that those who are able to attend will donate generously, if possible using the gift aid envelopes that are available at the back of the church.

More photographs from previous EF Masses held at St Chad's are available here.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

LMS York Pilgrimage 2014

Unfotunately, this clashed with the Birmingham and Black Country Lenten Morning of Prayer and Recollection this year but I was lucky enough to go few years ago when Mass was held in York Minster. The success of this pilgrimage may well have played a part in Bishop Drainey inviting Fr Richard Duffield to York to set up what will hopefully be the fifth English Oratory after Birmingham, London, Oxford and Manchester.


Monday, 21 April 2014

Our Lady of Mount Carmel updates/ Eastertide News

I trust all the readers of this blog had a Holy and Happy Easter.

The May first Monday Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in neighbouring Redditch will take place on the second Monday (12th May) instead - this is because the first Monday is a Bank Holiday. I have also been asked to mention that the Church will be holding Divine Mercy devotions from 3pm on Sunday 27th April. Although not strictly EF, I understand there will be Latin hymns for Benediction so anyone familiar with these will be welcome to join in and help evangelise their fellow non-Latin speaking Catholics!

There were around a dozen people at the Low Mass on Easter day held at St John Fisher in West Heath, including some non-parishioners. I did not attend the Oratory High Mass but I am sure it would have been as well-attended and beautiful as usual.

A final request - please keep in your prayers the LMS pilgrimage to St Chad's Cathedral on Saturday 17th May and do your best to attend and invite anyone else who might be interested if you possibly can.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Holy Week Mass Cancellations

We enter a rather barren period for the Extraordinary Form in Birmingham over Holy Week. Please note the following Mass changes:

The Mass at Halesowen tomorrow (16/04/2014) has been cancelled and should resume next week. Please phone before travelling though (telephone number available in the Mass listing in the sidebar).

The 6.30pm Friday Masses at St John Fisher in West Heath have been cancelled for the next two weeks (this week because it is Good Friday and next week because Fr George is not available). The regular Mass will return on the 2nd May. There will however be an additional Low Mass at 8.30am on Easter Sunday.

There will of course be no Masses on Good Friday or the morning of Holy Saturday at the Oratory. Normal service will resume with High Mass on Easter Sunday at 10.30am.

Similarly, the Friday Mass at Wolverhampton will not be taking place on Good Friday.

Finally, a date for your diaries. There will be a pilgrimage to St Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham City Centre on 17th May with High Mass at 12 noon. Please attend if you are able and keep the project in your prayers. More details will be published when available.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Positio 3: The Manner of Receiving Holy Communion

The LMS have produced a video based on the third position paper of the FIUV - The Manner of Receiving Holy Communion. This follows on from the previous video on Positio 9: Silence and Inaudibility in the Extraordinary Form. Please feel free to share this as widely as possible: it is still a problem in many churches to receive communion kneeling and on the tongue when it is actually the norm.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Episcopal Appointments - Interviews

It has probably not escaped your attention that two important appointments have been made with regards to the episcopate of England and Wales recently. Firstly, of direct relevance to readers of this blog, Fr Robert Byrne Cong. Orat., one of the founders of the Oxford Oratory from the Birmingham Oratory was appointed as the replacement for Bishop Pargeter. He will be covering the Birmingham deaneries ( North, South, East and Cathedral) as well as Worcester and Kidderminster. As an Oratorian, I do not think we need to worry too much about his thoughts on the Extraordinary Form and to say I am pleased with his appointment is an understatement! He joins fellow Mancunian Archbishop Bernard Longley as shepherd of souls for our city and I am sure you will keep them both in your prayers.

Fr Robert Byrne - Auxiliary Bishop-elect for the Archdiocese of Birmingham from Catholic Church (England/Wales) on Vimeo.

This week, the Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon OP, Bishop of Nottingham, was appointed to replace Archbishop Kelly in Liverpool. The former editor of the LMS Magazine Mass of Ages interviewed him with specific regard to how he viewed the Extraordinary Form. This interview is reproduced below:

+Malcolm on whether those attached to the Extraordinary Form of Mass in the Archdiocese of Liverpool need have any concerns:

"There is no need (for anyone) to feel nervous.”


+Malcolm on how much he foresees that the Extraordinary Form may in time become a general and unremarkable part of the liturgical life of the archdiocese:

"I think it’s hard to predict. I will certainly be open to any requests that come my way. I’ve always listened to what people have wanted, and tried to do my utmost to satisfy their needs - and that applies to liturgy, forms of liturgy, as well as other aspects of my ministry.”


+Malcolm on whether he foresees himself personally celebrating the Extraordinary Form:

"It depends how it is used. I mean, I’ve celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form when required and when I’ve been asked to. But the Mass always has to be a source of unity in the Church, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be used, and the Extraordinary Form to be used, to divide the Church. That would be my (only) concern. But there are plenty of pictures of me on the Internet (celebrating the Extraordinary Form)...with (laughing) mitres that don’t fit me and all that! 
"But yes, of course I would be agreeable. How can you not be when the Mass has been such a … well some like to call it the ‘Traditional Rite’ … but (when) the Extraordinary Form has been a source of holiness to people for hundreds of years. So how on earth can you say no?”


A senior third party, with authority to speak for the Bishop, later said (unprompted) that he fully understood why those attached to the Extraordinary Form are perhaps prone to being anxious on such occasions. But he wished to stress - and also for it to be conveyed - that Archbishop-Elect McMahon’s appointment in Liverpool should certainly not give rise to any apprehension whatsoever. In fact, quite the opposite, I was assured. He said: “There really, really, should be no concerns for anyone at all - and I emphasise that.”

The general tenor of both the Archbishop-Elect’s, and later his spokesman’s, message concerning the Extraordinary Form, was one of complete reassurance and positivity. Gregory Murphy

On Wednesday the Birmingham Oratory celebrated a High Mass at 7pm for the Feast of St Joseph, preceded the day before with First Vespers at 6.30pm. The format is being replicated this Tuesday for the Feast of the Annuciation, with Mass at 7pm and First Vespers at 6.30pm on Monday.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Lenten Morning of Prayer and Recollection

Following on from our successful Advent Morning of Prayer and Recollection, I am pleased to announce we will be holding a Lenten Morning of Prayer and Recollection on Saturday 29th March at the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy in Handsworth, Birmingham (98 Hunters Road, Handsworth, B19 1EB - click for directions). The format of the morning will be as follows:

Picture credit: Mercy Handsworth website

10.00am Low Mass (in the Extraordinary Form)
11.00am Break
11.15am Talk by Fr Horgan
11.40am Rosary
12 noon Exposition
12.45am Benediction

All are welcome to attend whether you are a seasoned traditionalist or curious about the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and have never attended before. The celebrant will be Fr Daniel Horgan of the Columban Fathers.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Silence in the Liturgy

There will be two opportunities to experience this in the Birmingham and Black Country region tomorrow: firstly at the midday Halesowen Mass (see sidebar for further details) which resumes after a break for Ash Wednesday or alternatively the 2nd Wednesday 7pm Mass at the Maryvale Institute tomorrow.

Thursday, 27 February 2014


It probably will not have escaped your notice that Lent starts on Wednesday next week (EF High Mass is at 7pm at the Birmingham Oratory - no Mass at Halesowen) but in the Traditional Calendar we are currently in the pre-Lenten penitential season of Septuagesima. If you would like to find out more about this two-and-a-half week period in the build-up to Ash Wednesday, you may the following video produced by the LMS may be of interest to you.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Relics of St Valentine

The Relics of St Valentine at the Birmingham Oratory
There are a couple of changes to the Mass schedule for the end of February/ beginning of March:

  1. There will be no Redditch Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in March but it will be brought forward a week and celebrated on the 24th February at the same time (6.30pm) instead.
  2. Due to the Parish Mission, the Mass at St John Fisher in West Heath on 28th February has been cancelled. If you are not attending the activities, please consider attending either the Mass at the Oratory (6pm) or the Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Wolverhampton (6.30pm) instead.
This Friday is of course the birthday of the Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman. Pope Pius IX gave Newman the relics of St Valentine (pictured above) which reside under the St Athanasius altar with permission to celebrate his feast in the Oratory on his birthday.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

An Introduction to the EF Liturgy organised by Juventutem Nottingham

An Introduction to the Extraordinary Form Liturgy

22nd February 2014 
The Feast of the Chair of St Peter

11am Solemn Mass
12.30 pm Lunch (Tea and Coffee provided, bring your own food)
1.00 pm – 2.30 pm Instruction Sessions running simultaneously:

The History of the Roman Rite 
Responses for Low Mass 
Serving Low Mass 
Chants for Benediction 
Chants for Mass Responses & Ordinary

2.30 pm Break (Tea and Coffee available in the Parish Hall)
2.45 pm – 4.15 pm Instruction Sessions (as above)
4.15 pm Break (Tea and Coffee available in the Parish Hall)
4.30 pm Solemn Benediction

St Peters Church, Hinckley Road Leicester, LE3 0TA tel. 0116 251 9802 e-mail wleicscatholic@btinternet.com

Monday, 10 February 2014

Maryvale Mass on Wednesday

The Maryvale Chapel Altar
This Wednesday, 12th February 2014, is the 2nd Wednesday of the month which means it is time again for the relatively new monthly Mass at the Maryvale Institute. This month there will be three or four members from Christ the King parish in Kingstanding who will be singing the Missa de Angelis and a Communion motet. There will probably be only one server so no incense unfortunately unless another server turns up. I do recommend you do your best to attend this Mass, particularly if you live in the North Birmingham Deanery: it is a wonderful setting and I feel there is plenty of potential for this Mass to really drive forward provision of the extraordinary form in the region and the North Birmingham Deanery in particular.

Monday, 3 February 2014

The Blessing of Throats in Latin

Happy St Blaise's day! Fr George will be performing the traditional blessing of throats in Latin after the Traditional first Monday Mass in Redditch at 6.30pm tonight.

The March Redditch Mass has been cancelled, but there will be an extra Mass at 6.30pm the week before on the 24th February.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

LMS Walsingham Pilgrimage Booking Now Open

The LMS are now taking bookings for the 2014 walking pilgrimage to Walsingham. This will be the fifth year we have held it, and it continues to attract increased numbers each year.

The information and booking page for the pilgrimage on the LMS website is here:

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Sermon of the First Maryvale Mass

The new regular second Wednesday Mass at the Maryvale Institute is tonight. Below is the text of the sermon given by Fr Paul Lester at the first Mass which took place on the Feast of St Damasus, 11th December 2013

Fr Paul Lester at the Maryvale Institute Chapel

"At the introit of this Mass we heard the words "feed my sheep". St Damasus, whom we honour today, fed as shepherd his people with true spiritual teaching and fought against the heresies of his time. A good shepherd feeds his flock, he does not entertain them. A child is utterly dependent on its mother for food, for life itself. This is not about inequality but about life itself. As adults, in the spiritual sense, we are utterly dependent on the One who gives, Jesus Christ, our Lord. We cannot know what it is that comes unless we allow space for it to enter. St Thomas Aquinas states that the highest spiritual perfection is the movement from the contemplative to the active, and of course in this he was no more than meditating about the account of Martha and Mary in the Gospel. The fruit of contemplation enables us to live and act purposefully.

"Feed my sheep, not entertain them, so that their emotions and thoughts are not distracted in each other. Entertainment is recreation, but it is not worship. For in true worship, the sense of self is diminished. If worship becomes entertainment, a form of sentimentalism, it is a form of self-idolatory contained within a circle of self-congratulation. It is not entertainment that people want but peace, peace in their souls.

"Many people have never discovered the ancient Mass, especially the young, but when they have, it has awakened in them a deep faith. In fact, throughout the world the revival of the traditional Mass has often been spearheaded by them, and so we cannot say for them it is nostalgia. They have been captivated by the beauty ad contemplative spirit it conveys. Often, no-one told them but they discovered it for themselves and asked themselves, "Why was this kept hidden from us?" Maybe by those who dislike it - and why do they?

  1. They do not understand Latin
  2. They are not actively involved, like reading or giving out communion
  3. It is quiet and you have to kneel a lot
  4. They cannot hear the priest
  5. At Holy Communion, they have to kneel down and receive Jesus on the tongue
  6. There is no upbeat of folksy music
  7. There is no holding hands/ shaking hands
  8. The congregation does not respond to the prayers
"All these things are correct, but they do not understand that the reason for these things is the contemplation and adoration of God, a foretaste of Heaven on Earth. The Church has for centuries meditated upon the divine mystery of our salvation and has clothed the rites and ceremonies of Holy Mass with a beauty that conveys clearly this truth, and in this the personality of the priest is utterly unimportant. That is why his attention is focussed on the altar of sacrifice. He, though unworthy, must disappear, so that through his anointed hands he will feed his people with the Bread of Heaven, after the example of St Damasus who we honour today."
Fr Paul Lester with server Kevin O'Connor

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Halesowen Masses Jan - Mar 2014

The Altar in the side chapel at Our Lady and St Kenelm
I have received details of the Masses at Our Lady and St Kenelm at Halesowen from January 2014 to March 2014. The Masses on the 1st and 8th of January will not take place and the Mass on the 15th January will be at 8am, not 12 noon as usual. All the other Masses in the quarter should go ahead at the usual time but as usual, please phone in advance if you are planning on travelling far to attend - contact details are available in the sidebar. If you live in the Dudley deanery, please do your best to support this Mass; the time may not be ideal for people who are working during the day, but it has a small but dedicated following who would welcome new attendees and I know there is plenty of interest in the Extraordinary Form in the Dudley deanery.

Fortunately, there are alternatives on the days the Mass is cancelled: there was a noon High Mass at the Oratory on New Year's Day, and the 8th is the 2nd Wednesday of the month, so there will be a 7pm Mass at the Maryvale Institute chapel tomorrow, our new regular venue in the North Birmingham deanery.

NB 09/01/2013 - I have been informed there will also be no Mass at Halesowen on Ash Wednesday or Holy Week
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