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.

Friday 30 July 2010

Requiem Aeternam

R.I.P. Michael Marshall

Funeral in the Traditional Latin Rite on Tuesday 3rd August 2010 at 11.30am in the Birmingham Oratory. Low Mass.

Monday 26 July 2010

Bishop Schneider coming to UK


LMS Residential Training Conference for Priests Wishing to Learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) at Downside Abbey, Somerset.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider to attend Conference

The Latin Mass Society has announced that Bishop Athanasius Schneider ORC, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganga in Kazakhstan, will be attending the forthcoming priests’ training conference to be held at Downside Abbey from Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th August. Bishop Schneider will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the Abbey Church at Downside on Thursday 12th August at 11.00am. He will also deliver a lecture as part of the conference.

Around 30 priests are expected to attend the conference where tuition will be given in the celebration of Mass in the older form. Some will be beginners, and will be studying Low Mass; whilst others with more experience will be expanding their skills to include Missa Cantata and Missa Solemnis. Tuition will also be provided for altar servers.

Bishop Schneider is best known for his defence of the traditional practice of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling. His book, Dominus Est, originally written in Italian but now available in English, deals with this subject in some detail.

The public will be able to attend the 11.00 am Mass in the Abbey Church each day of the conference, but will be particularly welcome at the Pontifical Mass on the Thursday.

There are a few last minute places available at the Downside conference. Priests and potential servers interested in attending should contact the Latin Mass Society by telephoning 020 7404 7284 for further information and an application form.


1. ​This conference will be the sixth to be organised by the Latin Mass Society during the last three years. Earlier ones have been held at Merton College in Oxford, Ushaw College in Co Durham and All Saints Pastoral Centre in London Colney, Herts.

2.​ Over 100 priests have attended these conferences, of whom about 85 now regularly celebrate Mass in the Usus Antiquior.

3.​ Practically all restrictions on the use of the Usus Antiquior or Extraordinary Form were lifted by Pope Benedict XVI in his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, published in July 2007. Since then the number of both Sunday and weekday Masses celebrated in the Usus Antiquior has increased in all dioceses of England and Wales.

4.​The website of the Latin Mass Society Masses includes listings of Masses celebrated in the Usus Antiquior: www.latin-mass-society.org

. . . . ENDS . . . .

For further information, please contact John Medlin, General Manager, or James Murphy, LMS Office Manager, on (T) 020 7404 7284;
(F) 020 7831 5585; (E mail) info@latin-mass-society.org

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Tradition Returns to West Bromwich


For the last 8 months the Parish of St Michael & the Holy Angels, which seemed to have been stripped of many treasures in the last 40-odd years, has benefited from a select group of parishioners striving to reinvigorate the Parish through Tradition. The church is located on the corner of a busy high street; an area which seems degenerate when compared with the nearby modern developments. Behind its car park is a pub, which seems to see more action than the neighbouring parish hall.

But looks can be deceptive. This Parish has a noble history which dates back to the Catholic Emancipation and the stalwart efforts of Hon Fr George Spencer CP, or Ignatius (his Passionist name). Building began in 1830 in large part due to his wealth, but the church has since been extended including a noble tower and spire erected in 1911.

Photos from pre-conciliar days show 40 hours devotion with an abundance of candles, a beautiful wooden reredos of the Archangels, and undoubtedly a Parish rich in both faith and furnishings. Today perhaps things have changed in a similar way to most of christendom: struggling, dwindling and ageing.

But on the other hand there are many pious people in the Parish who are hospitable and active in their local community. An LMS member made it possible with the Parish Priest's permission, to hold a Solemn High Requiem last November to honour deceased Parishioners, Priests and Benefactors. Shortly afterwards Fr Louis Le Van Hong erected a plaque commemorating all the Parish Priests.

This event was such a success that we are lucky enough now to have a monthly Low Mass at 6pm every third Wednesday. The original sacred heart altar was used, and furnished with dusty antiquities that have been retrieved from the church tower; these include beautiful altar cards and even an 18th century missal. It began on Ash Wednesday with, understandably, huge numbers. Since then it has been a modest crowd of about 20, mainly older age parishioners who would never have dreamed the treasure of the Latin Mass would return after they gave it up submissively. Also added to this shrine of Tradition is a votive lamp for the Servant of God Fr. Ignatius Spencer, who will hopefully be canonised in the future.

Friday 16 July 2010

Day with Mary at Birmingham Oratory

As you may no doubt be aware, the Birmingham Oratory is converting St Philip's Chapel into a Shrine for Bd John Henry Newman, and therefore the regular Saturday morning Low Mass has been postponed until at least August.

However, tomorrow morning Saturday July 17th at 11am there will be a Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the main Oratory church with High Mass ceremony.

It is part of a day of prayer from 10am - 5.15pm organized by the Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix Movement, which is founded and guided by the Franciscans of the Immaculate (friars and sisters), inspired by the spirituality of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe.

The “Day” will be led by the Franciscan Friars from St Joseph's in Stoke, and is based on the message of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. She requested: "Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them." The Day will include Mass, Scripture, Rosary, Meditation on the Passion, Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction, Processions of the Blessed Sacrament and of Our Lady, Act of Consecration, Theological Instructions, and the opportunity to enrol in the Brown Scapular and the Miraculous Medal.

Interestingly, today is the optional feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, and in the old calendar it is the Feast of St Simon Stock whom our lady appeared to in 1251 with the devotion of the Brown Scapular.

Saturday 10 July 2010

South Birmingham High Mass 2010

For the second year running, Rev Fr George Grynowski invited the Latin Mass Society to offer a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form in his Parish Church of St John Fisher, West Heath, for the Patronal Feast of Ss John Fisher & Thomas More. But several features were distinctly different this year from last, and deserve mentioning.

Yesterday it was not our chaplain Fr Philip Cleevely who offered the Mass. You see, last year Fr George was acting in the role of Deacon, one in which he had become well versed in his days as a 'permanent' Deacon with a different profession. But after last year, Fr George attended the LMS Priest's Training Conference at London Colney, and learnt how to be Celebrant. So this year he offered the Mass, and was assisted by (not Oratorians this time, but) Rev Frs Christopher Miller of Kings Heath and Jan Nowotnik of Northfield. Therefore it was a High Mass using Parish Priests all from the same deanery, who were happy to celebrate the occasion in fraternal joviality!

Fr George also used a new red High Mass set of vestments which he had acquired from Luzar Vestments, in the Gothic style. I was MC for the first time after much study following my training with the Society of St Tarcisius. Obviously I made lots of mistakes, but have clarified in my mind the role a great deal. Here's to the next attempt!

Music was kindly provided by Mr Oliver Hayes who is a regular choir member of the Birmingham Oratory, who doubled as an organist. Together with a good friend of mine they sung Plainchant Propers with Missa de Angelis Ordinary and Credo III (giving the opportunity for the congregation, and the ministers in the Sanctuary, to join in with full gusto!)

Fr Jan gave a sermon about the bravery of these holy English Martyrs, who died by holding true to their Faith in the face of much opposition. We must also derive this same bravery through Grace, so that in our own circumstances we can bear witness to the Faith and answer any questions that are put to us, in a society that is hostile to objective Truth and Religion. Fr Jan is in a good position to say this, since he has been in the Press in the run-up to the Beatification of Newman, which will be presided over by our Holy Father just down the road from the very Church we were in.

The other difference from last year was unfortunate. Before, I had only made about 25 Mass booklets - so this year I wasn't going to be caught out, printing another 75! But whereas there were over 100 people last year, yesterday there were 53. A respectable number for a Friday night nonetheless, and everyone in attendance, mostly local parishioners, seemed to have good words to say, naturally!

The Mass was followed by the opening and blessing of a new lawn and flower garden adjacent to the Church, complete with permanent Altar. It is dedicated to the first Parish Priests at West Heath; Frs Cyril Barlow & Philip Smith - the former of whom would have said the Traditional Mass in the first years of the Church when the New Mass was being concocted. An outdoor buffet was had and enjoyed by all present. On Monday Fr George will inter the ashes of a parishioner who had wanted to be laid to rest on holy ground.

℣.Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini
Our Help is in the name of the Lord
℟.Qui fecit caelum et terram
Who made heaven and earth
℣.Dominus vobiscum
The Lord be with you
℟.Et cum spiritu tuo
And with your spirit

Let us pray
Oramus pietatem tuam, omnipotens Deus, ut hunc hortum, quem aeriis et pluviae temperamento nutrire dignatus es, bene+dictionis tuae imbre perfundas, et flores terrae tuae usque at maturitatem perducas. Tribue quoque populo tuo de tuis muneribus tibi semper gratias agere; ut a fertilitate terrae esurientium animas bonis omnibus affluentibus repleas, et egenus et pauper laudent nomen gloriae tuae. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
We appeal to thy graciousness, O almighty God, that thou wouldst shower thy blessing+ upon this garden, which thou hast nurtured with favourable weather, and mayest bring these flowers of the earth to maturity. Grant also to thy people a sense of constant gratitude for thy gifts, so that the hungry may find rich nourishment in the fruits of the earth, and the needy and the poor may praise thy wondrous name. Through Christ our Lord.

The garden is sprinkled with holy water.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Reminder: High Mass this Friday

St John Fisher RC Church
West Heath, Birmingham
Friday, 9th July 2010 at 7pm

(followed by Buffet and blessing of new Garden)

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!) From the website:

Dominating the 45 bus terminus at West Heath, Birmingham is the Catholic Church of St. John Fisher. Even though it rises from below road level, the lofty octagonal building is impressive from every angle, even from the nearby Lickey Hills. The predominant feature is a large octagonal dome surmounted by a large bronze cross. This copper dome has now toned to a soft green tint, a pleasing contrast to the honey coloured brickwork. Over the main entrance the large statue of St. John Fisher offers a blessing to all who enter, pass by or are waiting for the bus!

Parish of St. John Fisher, West Heath was founded on 30th September 1956. The first parish priest, Fr. Philip Smith, celebrated Mass at Turves Green School and later at Archbishop Masterson School for Girls. Work on the new church building commenced on 5th March 1962 with Fr. Smith cutting the first sod. The foundation stone was laid by Archbishop Grimshaw on 25th June that year.The church was opened on 31st March 1964 and consecrated by Archbishop Dwyer on 22nd June 1972, the [new rite] feast of St. John Fisher.

I hope you will be able to attend and support this great celebration, but also important initiative: a Traditional Latin Mass in a normal Parish Church, with all ministers being parish priests from the Deanery. This is the 3-year anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, and the Holy Father's wish for the faithful to benefit from the full riches of this Mass. It will be a time of reflection and what better way to show our support for the Pope than by attending this Mass!

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

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