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 30 November 2013

2nd Wednesday Mass at the Maryvale Institute

Maryvale Chapel (Photo credit: Newman Friends International)
I am pleased to announce that, starting on the 11th December 2013, there will be a monthly Extraordinary Form Mass at the Chapel of the Maryvale Institute on the second Wednesday of the month.

Maryvale was the first Catholic home of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman and was formally erected by the Holy See as the first Higher Institute of Religious Sciences in the English-speaking world. It is internationally renowned (probably with a better reputation outside the UK than within) and attracts students from across the UK for its range of courses in catecetics, further and higher education and research degrees.

This is the first regular Extraordinary Form Mass in the North Birmingham deanery and a very exciting development with plenty of potential: it is hoped in the longer term we will be able to celebrate a monthly Sung Mass. Please do your best to support it if you live in the area as the long term future of this Mass is uncertain but it will obviously be more likely to succeed if we can demonstrate demand.

My heartfelt thanks go to Fr Paul Lester who will celebrate this Mass and has made it possible.

Thursday 28 November 2013

Advent Morning of Prayer and Recollection

Fr George Grynowski has kindly informed me that the West Heath Mass tomorrow (6.30pm St John Fisher, 1 Cofton Rd, West Heath, Birmingham B31 3QT) will be a Low Mass of Requiem for the deceased members of the Latin Mass Society in the Birmingham and Black Country region. Please do your best to attend if you can do so.

Fr George has also kindly offered us the use of his church for the local society's first ever Advent morning of Prayer and Recollection, which will take place on Saturday 7th December 2013. Everyone is welcome to join us - if you have never travelled to the Church before, it is at the terminus of the number 45 bus which can be caught on Station Street just outside New Street station. The morning will be led by Fr Daniel Horgan and the format of the day will be as follows:
St John Fisher, West Heath

10.00am Mass
11.00am Tea and Coffee
11.15am Talk by Fr Horgan
11.40am Rosary
12 noon Exposition
12.45am Benediction

Feel free to publicise this to anyone who may be interested. If you know someone who is coming and is able and prepared to serve, could you let me know - I am hoping that we will have a server in place but it would be useful to know if anyone is planning to attend who can serve.

My plan is for there to be at least one day set aside for such an event in Advent and Lent at different locations around the area. If you have any ideas for possible future locations please let me know - this could be an excellent opportunity to introduce the Extraordinary Form to a church which does not currently celebrate it. I do apologise to members who do not live in the south of the city - my preferred location was more central but unfortunately we were unable to be accommodated by the time we tried to book the event. May I take this opportunity to publicly thank Fr George for allowing us to hold the event at West Heath and for all his support to the local LMS community over the last few years.

Another big announcement will follow in the next couple of days...

Sunday 24 November 2013

Sung Mass of Requiem and Rorate Masses

Fr Richard celebrates Mass at Our Lady's Altar
The Birmingham Oratory has several additional Masses over the next two weeks as detailed below:

Monday 25/11/2013 6pm: Final Mass of Requiem for Holy Souls at the Holy Souls Altar, followed by Sung Vespers of the Dead in the Shrine of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

Friday 30/11/2013 6pm: The regular Friday Mass will be a Sung Mass of Requiem for Deceased Fathers and Brothers of the Oratory

Monday 2/12/2013-Friday 6/12/2013 (except Thursday) 6pm - Novena for the Immaculate Conception: Rorate Mass followed by Sung Litany of Loreto (preceded by Rosary at 5.40pm). Thursday: Holy Hour and Novena Prayers. Devotions begin after 11am Mass (OF) on Saturday.

I hope to be making a couple of important announcements over the next few days - watch this space!

Tuesday 19 November 2013

LMS Members Elected to FIUV

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos with James Bogle
(More photos available here)
At the biennial General Assembly of the International Federation Una Voce (FIUV), the international body representing lay groups attached to the Traditional liturgy, Mr James Bogle, barrister and former Chairman of the Catholic Union, was elected President. Mr Bogle is also a Committee member of the Latin Mass Society. The LMS is a founding member of FIUV in 1965 and its largest member. Dr Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the LMS, was elected Treasurer of FIUV and Mr Thomas Murphy was elected the Secretary. Mr Thomas Murphy, belongs to an Irish association member of FIUV, St Conleth’s Catholic Heritage Association, and the FIUV Council includes members from North and South America, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the Philippines. Matthew Schellhorn, LMS Local Representative for Southwark North, was co-opted to the FIUV Committee. Matthew also organised a professional choir to provide some superb music for the various liturgies during the FIUV Assembly. The retiring President, Mr Leo Darroch, had held the post since 2007. During the General Assembly the Federation was addressed by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, and had Mass and Vespers in the Chapel of the Choir, in St Peter’s Basilica. Walter, Cardinal Brandmüller and Archbishop Guido Pozzo were among the celebrants.

Monday 18 November 2013

Monday Night Requiem Masses at the Oratory

Fr Anton celebrates Mass at Holy Souls Altar
I managed to attend the 6.00pm Monday Low Mass of Requiem at the Oratory last Monday which they are holding throughout the month of November followed by Sung Vespers of the Dead. The numbers were very good: I counted around forty people present. Perhaps in part, this was because the Mass was celebrated just before the opening talk of Jeff Cavins UK Bible Tour, where he talked about how he left the Catholic Church to become a successful protestant pastor before being drawn back to the church by researching the history of early Christianity: as Newman once said, to be steeped in history is to cease to be protestant. In part of his story, he was told by his Bishop he would one day come back to the Catholic Church and was labelled "little Newman". In the end, four things in particular drew him back to the Catholic Church: 1) the Eucharist, which is rarely celebrated or is often sidelined in protestant churches, 2) the veneration of Mary by the early Christians 3) the papacy, which is attested to by the Church Fathers and has a scriptural basis in the Old Testament in Isaiah 22 and 4) the fact the early Christians held onto Tradition as well as Scripture. Just as with Newman, Cavins realised that the Church today that most closely followed what the early Christians believed was the Catholic Church and after making peace with his father, who he had fallen out with after leaving the church, he came home and now spends his time opening up the Bible to Catholics. Unsurprisingly, bad catechesis was part of the reason he left the Catholic Church in the first place.

Part of the problem with the organising Traditional Masses is there is a danger that only the same small coterie of people attend. It is important that we open up the beauty of the Traditional Mass to people who have not had the chance to experience it before, and may have a negative image of it from what they have been told previously. I am sure that some people who came to listen to Jeff Cavins talk came to the Mass beforehand and would never have attended an Extraordinary Form Mass before. What did they make of it? How do we address the questions they would have?

As we come to the end of the liturgical year, I am pondering how I can increase provision of the Extraordinary Form Mass and how I can get more people to experience it in the West Midland area. I have a priest who is willing to give and advent reflection including Mass, probably on a Saturday in December, if there is enough interest. Could people please let me know if they would be interested in such an event by the end of the week so I can look at putting it on. If anyone has an idea for a good location that would also be welcome as our preferred choice was unavailable on the dates required.

Monday 4 November 2013

Eight EF Masses in Twenty-Four Hours

Picture courtesy of the Birmingham Oratory Gallery
November is traditionally the month where we pray for the souls of the dead and Birmingham saw eight Extraordinary Form Masses celebrated within twenty-four hours on the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, seven of which took place at the Oratory, one of which was a High Mass, and one at St John Fisher in West Heath. For the remainder of November, there will be a weekly 6.00pm Monday Low Mass of Requiem at the Oratory followed by Sung Vespers of the Dead, and Stations of the Cross, which attract a plenary indulgence under the normal conditions, will follow the regular Friday Mass at 6.00pm.

Tonight there is also the first Monday Mass at 6.30pm at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Redditch.
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