Wednesday 25 March 2009

The Feast of Our Lady in Spring

Today is known in the Irish Language as Lá Fhéile Muire san Earrach (the Feast Day of Our Lady in Spring) or Lá Theachtaireacht an Aingil (the Day of the Coming of the Angel).

The unequalled love of the Gaelic Race for the Mother of God is woven into the very words of everyday language. Even as the Anglophone will speak of Mary-down-the-street and Mary-the-Ever-Virgin-Mother-of-God by means of the same word, the Gael will call his neighbour Máire and the Immaculate Queen of Heaven Muire.

The Mother of God was a practical part of everyday life, as shown in the traditional Gaelic Milking Song or Cronan Bleoghan:

Thig, a Mhuire, ’s bligh a bhó,
Thig, a Bhride, ’s comraig í,
Thig, a Choluim-chille chaoimh,

’S iadh do dhá laimh mo m’ bhóin.

Thig, a Mhuire, dh’ fhios mo bhó,
Thig, a Bhride, mhór na loin,

Thig, a bhanachaig Íosa Críost,
’S cur do lámh a níos fo m’ bhóin.

This roughly translates as:

Come, O Mary, and milk my cow,
Come, St. Brigid, and attend her,
Come, St. Columba, the kind one,
And in thy two hands cradle my cow.

Come, O Mary, to meet my cow,
Come, St. Brigid, great of beauty,
Come, O milking woman of Jesus Christ,
And put thy hand beneath my cow.

*The image of the Annunciation on this post is the Cestello Annunciation on tempera by Sandro Botticelli c. 1490 in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Saturday 21 March 2009

Pilgrimage to Kilcock

A spring mist still clung to the village of Kilcock as 39 members and friends of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association came together for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated in the Gregorian Rite in honour of the Holy Year of Saint Paul by Revd. Fr. David Jones, D.D. They received the warmest of welcomes from the Parish Priest and his staff.

St. Coca (orse Ercnait), foundress of Kilcock, whose feast is 6th June, was the sister of St. Kevin of Glendalough. The Beautiful Church of St. Coca was built in 1867. Its 131 feet of length beheld, for the first time in 40 years, the Rite of Mass for which it was constructed. Sensitive 'reordering' permitted the Gregorian Rite to be celebrated again on the main Altar of the Church.

The next pilgrimage in honour of the Holy Year of St. Paul will be to the Church of the Assumption, Vicarstown, Co. Laois, Ireland, on Saturday, 25th April, 2009.
The Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin has announced that the next Latin Mass in Newbridge will take place on 19th April and not on the second Sunday, which is usual.

St. Coca of Kilcock, pray for us!

Thursday 19 March 2009

Son of Saint Louis...

As reported, His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Luxembourg has refused to give his assent to a law legalising euthanasia in the predominantly Catholic Grand Duchy, which now has the dubious distinction of being the third European Country, after the Netherlands and Belgium, to do so.

However, the 'Christian' 'Democrat' Government has decided not to permit the Grand Duke's conscience to prevent the legalised murder of the old.

Rather than adhere to the Constitution of the Grand Duchy, which required the Grand Duke to assent to laws passed by parliament before they came into force, they have decided to change Article 34 of that Constitution, stripping His Royal Highness of that function. His Royal Highness will now be required to promulgate laws, even if they are repugnant to his own conscience .

His Royal Highness' paternal Grand Aunt, the Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde was forced to abdicate in 1919 for having defended the rights of the Church in education, after which she entered a Convent for the remainder of her life. His Royal Highness' maternal Uncle, Baudoin, King of the Belgians, was forced to abdicate in 1990 rather than sign a law legalising abortion in Belgium.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Dying, pray for Luxembourg and its Grand Duke!

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Saint Patrick's Day

Most glorious Saint Patrick, Bishop and Confessor, chosen by the Almighty to be the Apostle of Ireland, we, the children of those to whom you preached the Faith of Christ, never to be renounced, hail you as the wonderful instrument of God’s mercy for the obtaining of our eternal salvation. Most glorious Apostle and Patron of our island, submit to the Almighty our every temporal and spiritual want, that through your intercession, we may be relieved, in all our necessities through life, and when called from this world to the glory of God, we may, to your honour, be found worthy of the Faith that is within us, and of eternal salvation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Let us, once again, pray for copyright holders!)

Monday 16 March 2009

Holy Year for Priests

The Vatican Information Service states that, this morning, in the course of an address the members of the Congregation for the Clergy, the Holy Father announced: "In order to favour this tendency of priests towards spiritual perfection, upon which the effectiveness of their ministry principally depends, I have decided to call a special 'Year for Priests' which will run from 19 June 2009 to 19 June 2010". This year marks "the 150th anniversary of the death of the saintly 'Cure of Ars', St. Jean Marie Vianney, a true example of a pastor at the service of Christ's flock..."

St. Jean Marie Vianney, pray for our Priests!

Thursday 12 March 2009

Let us pray for our Holy Father the Pope!

"I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics... thought they had to attack me with open hostility." Pope Benedict XVI, today, 12th March, 2009, Feast of St. Gregory the Great.

Dominus conservet eum,
et vivificet eum,
et beatum faciat eum in terra,
et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. (Ps. xl:3)

"Pro cuius amore in eius eloquio nec mihi parco" St. Gregory the Great

Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of the Catholic Church

This morning, the Holy See issued a letter from His Holiness the Pope to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre.

Some extracts:

"I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility."

"The Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in the year 1962 – this must be quite clear to the Society [of St. Pius X]. But some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life."

""Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." [Galatians 5:13-15] I am always tempted to see these words as another of the rhetorical excesses which we occasionally find in Saint Paul. To some extent that may also be the case. But sad to say, this "biting and devouring" also exists in the Church today, as expression of a poorly understood freedom. Should we be surprised that we too are no better than the Galatians?"

Long live the Shepherd of the Flock! Long live the Pope of Rome!

Wednesday 11 March 2009

Saint Colman's Society for Catholic Liturgy

Saint Colman's Society for Catholic Liturgy, established in 2007, organisers of an excellent International Liturgical Conference last July, have launched a new website.

Their first International Liturgical Conference had the theme: Benedict XVI and The Sacred Liturgy. In their own words: "St. Colman’s Society for Catholic Liturgy encourages and promotes among its members full active and conscious participation in Catholic Liturgy in accordance with the authentic tradition of the Church especially as expressed in Sacrosanctum Concilium and subsequent liturgical legislation."

The Felire of St. Aengus names two Sts. Colman on 24th November. He of Cloyne is Colman MacLenine. He is described thus:

Mac Lenine the most excellent
With Colman of Duth-chuilleann.

O'Cleary's Calendar gives the following entry for St. Colman for 24th November: "Colman Mac Lenine of Cluain Uamahd in Ui Leathan in Munster of the race of Oilioll Olum son of Mogha Nuadhat or of the race of Lughaidh Lagha his brother was this Colman."

The great Irish Ecclesiastical historian Colgan cites St. Colman's Latin style in the metrical life of St. Senan: "Hujus vitae fragmentum stylo vetusto et pereleganti Patrie sermone conscriptae habitur in predicto Codice Vitae S Sinani Domini Gulielmi Derodani in Lagenia." A Latin poem on St. Brendan is also attributed to St. Colman.

St. Colman's Society for Catholic Liturgy are to be congratulated upon their new website. All Catholics are to be encouraged to take a greater interest in their activities. St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association wishes them the choicest blessings for the future.

St. Colman of Cloyne, pray for us!

Sunday 8 March 2009

Sixth Monthly Mass in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin

Fr. Simon Leworthy, FSSP, returned to Ireland to celebrate the Sixth of their Monthly Masses in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. A congregation that came close to two dozen was also in attendance (even without taking into account the members of the Parish Staff in the Sacristy), an increase of 150% on last month.

Although last month's congregation was the smallest so far and this month's congregation failed to exceed the previous all-time low of December, the average monthly attendance is a creditable 29. While the local attendance remains steady, people travelled in, this month, from as far away as Kilkenny, as well as the usual contingent from Dublin, to increase numbers.

Both in the notices and in his sermon, Fr. Leworthy asked for prayers for a Fr. Brady who is ill.

Fr. Leworthy also announced that there would be no Latin Mass on the second Sunday in April due to his being committed elsewhere on that Sunday, which is Easter Sunday, and he was unable to announce any resheduled dates.

It is worth remarking that both Chalice Veil and Maniple were in evidence at Mass today. The congregation was invited to tea and biscuits after Mass immediately through the glass door just to the left of the Tabernacle.