Sunday 6 September 2009

Twelfth Monthly Mass in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin

The twelfth monthly Mass took place this afternoon in Cill Mhuire, less than 25 minutes late. This month, Mass took place on the first Sunday of the month and not on the second Sunday, as is more usual. It seems that subsequent engagements rate higher in the hierarchy of priorities.

However, the change of weekend seems to have made no significant difference to the attendance. The attendance of 13, including two young children, was only joint second lowest with February and July. Unhappily, if anybody else is unhappy about it, the attendance of local people was the joint lowest with June.


Shandon Belle said...

Does this mean that the Mass is not on next Sunday? Why not? Were any reasons given?

Kildare Nationalist said...

There seems to be a perfect contrast between the local efforts in the same church only two days before and the efforts today. Am I the only one who sees the solution here?

Anonymous said...

This Mass was scheduled for 1.15. When we arrived 5 minutes late (as we thought) there were only two people in the church. The organisers were sitting outside in their cars. I think that if we stayed away they would just have driven back to Dublin.

Donnelly's Hollow said...

I sang at the Mass on Friday night. We worked hard to rehearse for it and I think God rewarded our efforts. Maybe if the organisers put more effort into what they are doing they could gain more graces. I dont know why they cant work with us. We should all be working together.

Anonymous said...

Perfect use of humour. One of my favourite comedy programmes of all time.

I hope these people have a sense of humour but it looks doubtful.

Doc Hannon said...

'The Family Chaplaincy' trundles on... Well done lads!

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me why you can get a congregation of 35 on a Friday evening for a Latin Mass and a congregation of 13 on a Sunday afternoon?

Anonymous said...

Also can someone explain that monthly attendance table to me? The trend is obvious enough but why are there fewer people every month?

Ancient Hibernian said...

Looks to me like theres no call for whats on offer. Maybe the folks are going to other Masses on Sundays.

Anonymous said...

Things look very bad but prayer can work wonders. We should all pray that this Mass is not cancelled. I'm sure that it took a great deal of prayer and effort to have it in the first place. You just need to repeat the effort and all will be well.

Jim'll Fix It! said...

12th Mass. That means that they've had a year to sort themselves out. They've had a year to realise that they're not working in the best interests of the Latin Mass or the people of this Diocese. Maybe Blackadder will wake them up.

Convenor said...


We had this same discussion after the Tenth Mass (July) when rumour had it that the Mass was going to move to Milltown.

Can we restrict ourselves to vaguely charitable comments or even constructive ones?

To answer Shandon Belle (to whom I've just spoken anyway), it seems to mean that there will not be Mass next Sunday. No reasons were given that I heard. I just attend the Mass. I dont deserve explanations. I consider myself lucky to know what's happening from month to month, never mind why.

To Anonymous of 06 September 2009 21:48 and 21:50, you'd have to ask the individuals who attend or who don't attend. Of what you may not be aware is that St. Conleth's CHA organised Mass on Friday at 6 p.m. We do not organise the monthly Masses on Sundays at 1 p.m. (or 1.15 p.m. or 1.40 p.m. as the case may be).

Previous posts on 2nd May and 4th July may help to emphasise the differences. It all seems pretty clear to me.

I'm glad somebody liked the clip. It seemed appropriate - if a little irreverent and risqué.

God bless you!

Anonymous said...

I attend five other Latin Mass locations regularly (Annual/Annual/Monthly/Monthly/Occasional) but none of them is so badly organised and unattractive. I get more spiritual benefit from attending Mass in my own Parish than coming here. I wanted to support the hard work of the Saint Conleth's Association but there is no advantage in travelling to this Mass.

Leif said...

The problem with bad numbers for a gregorian mass is common but I think there is a problem with the way mass is presented

Shandon Belle said...

I'm very saddened to read all of this. I know the work that went into getting the Mass. Down here the Diocese took charge and we have a fine turn out every time.

When the Australian Cardinal came he filled Peter and Paul's and Cobh Cathedral for the Extraordinary Form. Something shuld be done about what is going wrong with the Mass in Newbridge.

Anonymous said...

Why don't we see more of Rowan Atkinson anymore? That clip was ace. They should definitely give that a go to get more at the Mass.

Doc Hannon said...

There is a total disconnect here.

For the 1st Mass they bussed in anybody they could get from outside a Latin Mass that was just finishing. Now half the congregation are bussed in from one family to prop up their failed coup.

Isn't it about time someone pulled the plug?

Anonymous said...

I know nothing about the people running the monthly Mass in Newbridge but it looks like something is wrong. The Mass should be about praising the Lord and not about personal pride.

Canuk said...

U guys have lots of my sympathy. Sometimes the FSSP in Canada has this way of picking favourites and only listening to them. The favoured few even decide if ur Mass offering is said!

Jim'll Fix It! said...

I asked this question a couple of months ago when this last came up but nobody answered. The Society of Christ the King are in Limerick. Do they cause this much hassle there?

Or maybe somebody can tell me if the Society of Saint Peter are causing problems in other places too?

Anonymous said...

So what's the difference between a traditionalist and a terrorist?

You can negotiate with the terorist!

Anonymous said...

Okay... so that one was an oldie... but I though u guys like things old...

So how many traditionalists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Candles were good enough for Pius the Tenth so what the hell do I want with your a lightbulb?

Anonymous said...

Not old enough? Ok so how many traditionalists does it take to change an energy-saving light bulb?

13... 1 to change the light bulb and 12 to sit around discussing why they don't make em the way they used to!

Anonymous said...

Ok, ok, this one you gotta love...

How many traditionalists does it take to change a lightbulb in church?

Good luck finding one! They think the Priest is the only one who should do it!

Anonymous said...

The presence of the Fraternity of Saint Peter is an historic leap forward for the Traditional Rite in Ireland. It is surprising that this hasn't been given more publicity.

Amazing that Kildare should be the place. Doubtful that Bishop Ryan would have countenanced the FSSP in his Diocese. I wouldn't have described Bishop Moriarty as a friend of the Traditional Rite either.

A number of other sources paint this as sour grapes on the part of your Association but the message I get from Convenor, who seems to be the official voice of your Association, is different.

The Fraternity badly needs to be considered respectable. Is it possible that they chose to distance themselves from the laity as a means to engratiate themselves with the Church authorities in Kildare?

Voices from the Latin Mass Society are also placing the blame upon your Association. It seems natural that traditional Catholics want to blame someone else but is there a more productive way?

On the other hand, is there anything to be done if the Fraternity has chosen the trench it wants to occupy in Ireland? It just seems strange that they insist upon forming alliances and not trying to stay above or outside the fray.

Anonymous said...

If any comfort can be found from the fact the Latin Mass Society's flagship monthly Masses in Belfast are hovering around the thirties and were more like 20 yesterday...

Anonymous said...

I dont really see the point of recording all these statistics. So what if only a few attend. Isn't that just a sign of how far people have gone from the Church of Christ? They need more Latin Masses not less.

Anonymous said...

At the Mass for the vigil of the Assumption in Salzburg there were only a dozen also. All appearances are that the pastoral vision of the St. Peter's Society extends no further than the presbytery door.


Convenor said...

I don't think a failure to attend these particular Latin Masses is a sign of distance from the Church of Christ. A Latin Mass in the same Church two days before attracted 35 local people. A Novus Ordo Mass in the same Church on a weekday morning will attract around 60 and a Novus Ordo mass in the same Church on a Sunday will attract perhaps 200 or more.

When we began recording attendances, it was to fight off the excuse that there was no desire for the Latin Mass in this Diocese. It is frustrating that the methods - and perhaps the objectives - adopted by the organisers of this Mass seem to confirm rather than contradict that, it would hardly be tenable to stop counting when the facts are uncomfortable.

While the organisers of this Mass pass through on their way to wherever they are going, St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association will be here in years to come to keep working for the cause of the Latin Mass in this Diocese.

Can I just repeat that St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association has nothing to do with the organisation of these Masses. You'd notice the difference, if we did.

old believer said...

I have to agree with Covenor about statistics. Apart from a couple of consistency glitches these statistics are interesting and must also be useful.

The success or otherwise of an initiative lies in proper planning. If the FSSP had planned their activities with more care we wouldn't be seeing the attendances circling the plughole every month.

The problem now is whether the FSSP has the capacity to rethink its approach based upon the statistics. PTOK seems to say that they have a miopic view. The Ballymany situation bears this out. The answer is in the statistics not in trying to hide them.

Local voice said...

"subsequent engagements rate higher in the hierarchy of priorities"

Sounds like the FSSP has given up on Kildare

Anonymous said...

The late Archbishop Sheen said that the reason the Irish fight among themselves is that they're always assured of having a worthy opponent.

Local voice said...

What happened to the crazy idea of moving the Mass to Milltown or is that just another thing we're not going to be told about?

Anonymous said...

I dont object to collecting information. We should also be collecting statistics on the Annual Masses in Kildare. I also think its time we moved ahead with the broader strategy that we discussed at the AGM. These people are only going to help themselves. We should turn our attention to helping our neighbours in Kildare. There is a lot to be done.

Anonymous said...

I dont understand why people who are interested in the Latin Mass dont go to it whoever organises it. At the same time I can understand why a lot of local people have been put off by the FSSP.

CSSP said...

Another blog has this to say -

"St Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association are running with an agenda. The blog points out what the attendance in, differentiating who is local (how local? Parish? County? Diocese? This is not specified) and who is from outside. It juxtaposes this with the figures they get at their approximately monthly Masses, usually in assorted venues up and down the same diocese, which are uniformly higher."

"What they fail to contextualise is that an occasional Mass often attracts more people than a regular Mass, that people are never too quick to change their Sunday Mass going patterns to something that is less than every week, that Newbridge is comparatively small (catchment is irrelevant here) and many other reasons. The point that the Association would attract a better crowd than the FSSP is at best unproven."

"The sad part of this, is that this is bigger than Newbridge or the Kildare & Leighlin diocese. One doesn't act in opposition to the largest papally chartered traditional institute for the crack. Or for anything other than the most serious reasons. There have been some localised problems overseas with individual FSSP priests, but the business in Newbridge is not about theological quirks. Yet it might end any prospect of the FSSP coming permanently to Ireland. Thankfully, the apostolate in Newbridge is continuing."

What do you say to that?

Convenor said...


Okay. Let's parse this.

"St Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association are running with an agenda."

That's true. Running without an agenda is a VERY SILLY THING TO DO. You end up running into things and getting nowhere. However, it's also fair to say that this particular commentator is running with an agenda. First, he HATES "splinter groups", by which he means any group that he doesn't run. Second, he HATES activities that are not run under his banner. Third, he HATES the fact that St. Conleth's CHA managed to get the FSSP invited into this Diocese (a) without his knowleged and (b) without him. Thus, his agenda includes a lot of HATE. The agenda has also been running for as long as he's known about these Masses (not all that long before they began) but, sources within the FSSP tell me that, since then, his agenda has been to make as much mischief as possible with the FSSP and their apostolate in Kildare.

"The blog points out what the attendance in, differentiating who is local (how local? Parish? County? Diocese? This is not specified) and who is from outside."

This particular commentator has been scanning the blog over the past year and should have seen that it has been specified several times in posts.

It seems reasonable to take note of the presence of the faithful of the Diocese, since it is those faithful the FSSP was invited into the Diocese to serve.

"It juxtaposes this with the figures they get at their approximately monthly Masses, usually in assorted venues up and down the same diocese, which are uniformly higher."

Well, that's almost true. What's wrong with "assorted venues"? Many of these Churches have never seen a Latin Mass in 40 years. What's wrong with bringing the Latin Mass back to the people?

"What they fail to contextualise is that an occasional Mass often attracts more people than a regular Mass, that people are never too quick to change their Sunday Mass going patterns to something that is less than every week, that Newbridge is comparatively small (catchment is irrelevant here) and many other reasons."

Rather a long sentence. Surely, one should contextualize the figures rather than contextualize the context. However, the points made are all fair.

I would say that this particular commentator is, at best, disingenuous, when he speaks of people being slow to change their Sunday Mass-going patterns. It is valid but hardly applicable to this case. He doesn't actually know why people have stopped attending these Masses. He makes no attempt to explain a constant/consistent slide in numbers.

That said, most of these points are also made elsewhere on this blog (I'm thinking of post on 4th July) and I think they are generally valid.

On the other hand, none of them invalidates the main point which is that EVEN occasional Masses up the side of a mountain on a Saturday afternoon only-once-ever can attract more people than are being attracted to the Mass in Ballymany. This means (a) there is plenty of interest in the Latin Mass in Kildare and Leighlin and (b) the FSSP really should reconsider their approach, which has failed to attract and failed to appeal to the people of the Diocese they are brought here to serve.

What this particular commentator also fails to point out (because he doesn't know, of course) is that every Sunday Mass in the Parish, in any one of the three Churches, at any time of morning, day or night, is better attended than this one. Indeed, any daily Mass in the Parish, in any one of the three Churches, at any time of the morning, day or night, is better attended than this one.

See next post...

Convenor said...

Part II

"The point that the Association would attract a better crowd than the FSSP is at best unproven."

Here this particular commentator tries to imply that there is a war going on - or at least competition. He has to have a row. If there isn't one, he will start one.

The point that ALMOST ANYBODY would attract a better "crowd" than the FSSP is pretty obvious. That St. Conleth's CHA can attract a better "crowd" is proven in several respects. The point is that we wish the FSSP would stop listening to this particular commentator and start listening to the folks who got them into Kildare.

"The sad part of this, is that this is bigger than Newbridge or the Kildare & Leighlin diocese."

True enough. It's sad that this particular commentator and his confederates prefer to manipulate the situation simply because they haven't created it, rather than let this apostolate flourish without them.

"One doesn't act in opposition to the largest papally chartered traditional institute for the crack. Or for anything other than the most serious reasons."

Now we have two sentences that are too short instead of one that is too long! (and another attempt to pretend that there's a war going on) I don't know who is acting in opposition to the FSSP but I know that this particular commentator has preferred to reduce the FSSP's only Irish apostolate to mayhem rather than permit it to happen without him.

"There have been some localised problems overseas with individual FSSP priests, but the business in Newbridge is not about theological quirks."

Ah, yes, a little overseas difficulty! "the business in Newbridge is not about theological quirks" - what's that meant to mean? I suspect that this particular commentator knows all too well what the real problems are (having had a goodly share in creating them) but is too coy - not a typical trait - to tell. On the other hand, what is a typical trait is to hint at much when he only knows a little, lest anybody think he doesn't know anything. However, it is nice to get some way to an admission of fault or, at least, complicity.

"Yet it might end any prospect of the FSSP coming permanently to Ireland."

In fairness, I told the FSSP this several times, before the Masses began, begging them to take a different approach to the Masses in Newbridge. They preferred to listen to people like this particular commentator and the fruits are all too obvious. The fruits should be obvious to him too, since he was at the Mass in July, appearing only at the Gospel and making the total attendance 10 instead of 9.

"Thankfully, the apostolate in Newbridge is continuing."

Quite. The sorrowful thing is that it could be flourishing by now.

See next post...

Convenor said...


Let me deal with the question of war. This particular commentator wants to create the impression that there is a war in Kildare. There isn't.

St. Conleth's CHA always goes to extreme lengths to co-operate with other groups. For example, when we started to introduce the FSSP to Kildare and Leighlin we invited this particular commentator to a meeting on the subject, which, incidentally, he failed to attend. Or efforts for the FSSP, which we had hoped were also on behalf of the people of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, were freely given and successful. We gave until they would not let us give any more and then we attended the monthly Masses, month in and month out. Personally, I have attended every single one.

Naturally, being convinced of his natural right to know everything and to control everything, this particular commentator was less than pleased to discover (and not from us, by the way) that the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin was in the process of inviting the FSSP into his Diocese, at our behest.

It didn't become clear to us until a few months later that the FSSP had decided to exclude us from the organisation of the monthly Masses. It was a disappointment. It was a sadness. It would have been nice to be told, rather than just ignored as we begged and begged and begged again. We begged to be told when the Masses were starting. We begged to be allowed to encourage people to attend. We begged to help to prepare servers and a choir. We were ignored.

The FSSP made their choices. They chose to listen to this particular commentator. They chose to ignore and exclude the people who had ensured they were invited into the Diocese. They chose to ignore and exclude the people for whose sake they were invited into the Diocese. They chose to ignore and exclude the very people they were invited into the Diocese to whom to minister (not excluding our neighbours, the faithful of the Diocese more generally).

We implored them to make different choices but they chose to ignore us. We warned that these choices would repel people.

They made their choices and those choices have had the results that we always predicted.

We saw the blindingly obvious and pointed it out. However, our "private correspondence" was leaked to others, such as this particular correspondent and rumours started to be spread, long before the monthly Masses began, that we were boycotting the Masses. That is the way this particular commentator wins souls.

When the Masses started, we cancelled our occasional Massses. We organised Masses in July and August, 2008. Then we attended the monthly Masses from October. We didn't organise another Mass until January, 2009, (and even that was a Mass outside the Diocese) in order to give the monthly Masses time to establish. We always organise our monthly Masses on weekends other than the weekend of the second Sunday.

We oppose nobody. We fight with nobody. We do what good we can. When we can do no good, we certainly do no harm. We are sad when others fail and wish them well. Can this particular commentator say as much?

God bless you!

Convenor said...


Let "this particular commentator" post replies here... if he has the courage of his 'convictions'!

Kildare Nationalist said...

So what is this commentator's agenda?

Anonymous said...

I don't know the back story to any of this but it all feeds into the numbers attending. Is it in anybody's interests that there should be so few attending these Masses?

Local voice said...

If any part of what you said is right I want to hear what this commenter has to say for himself.

Convenor said...

It seems that, although he checked this blog at 12.26 p.m. today (looking at the main page and the 'aims of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association'), that particular commentator has not the courage to reply.

Sniggering behind backs is far safer than trying to look people in the eye while one spins sanctimonious twaddle about them.

Snigger away, if it fills up a void, but please don't snigger at your efforts to sabotage the FSSP's first Irish apostolate simply because you weren't the cause, object or controller of it.

Once again, I challenge you to reply on this blog, if you have the courage of your 'convictions'.

Anka said...

He is so funny!!!

The FSSP, though, are rather dreadful. In any communication I've had with them they have shown great disinterest in local customs or people, sometimes even hiding the facts and "inventing" others to get you to go along with them. It is shocking and shameful that they allow themselves to go on like that.

Anka said...

I don't know who this commentator person is, but I'm not sure I like him. I do, however, like the word "twaddle"...a lot!

Convenor said...


If you liked twaddle, I thought you'd love sanctimonious twaddle! I've even been known to talk some occasionally myself.

Seriously, 'though, despite what you're talking about (I've seen the correspondence) and you know I've had some disingenuous correspondence myself, I think we need to try to separate out the FSSP from the two or three groups of laymen who are trying to jump on the bandwagon in Ballymany... for various reasons of their own and greatly to the detriment of the FSSP's apostolate and our own efforts to advance the Gregorian Rite in the Diocese.

I'm not sure how one can separate them out but I'd like to do it, if possible. I prefer to think that the FSSP do care about the souls of the people of Kildare and Leighlin, even if I'm fairly sure that the groups that they have allied themselves with are pushing agendas that are, at best, indifferent to the good of the souls of the people of Kildare and Leighlin.

Nevertheless, however poorly the FSSP apostolate is performing - and it would be hard to create a bigger mess in so short a time - however much harm that poor performance is doing to our efforts on behalf of the Gregorian Rite in the Diocese, we still have a monthly Mass... for the moment and that is something for which to thank God.

The big question we have faced since it was clear how this debacle was playing out is (a) how can we work for the Gregorian Rite without damaging the FSSP apostolate (as if we could do more damage than those self-interested groups have already done) and (b) how we can ensure that, if the FSSP apostolate does fail, the cause of the Gregorian Rite in the Diocese continues.

All this is premised upon the absolute refusal of those organising the monthly Masses to permit us to assist them in any way. I admit that this seems nutty to me but some folks prefer to rule over a disaster than to co-operate in a success.

In the case of this particular commentator, he prefers to have scorched earth rather than see anybody flourish without him.

Radical Traditionalist said...

I hear a rumour that the next Mass in October will be on the 3rd Sunday. I don't think changing the times of the Mass or the date so frequently will help improve the numbers attending.

Convenor said...

Given that the organiser's family make up half of the congregation already, is there anything that could DISimprove the numbers attending?

Whatever the provenance of this rumour, it's just another example of the contempt that the organisers have - or give the appearance of having, which is just as bad - for the people attending.

They hijacked a successful enterprise and ran it into the ground within a couple of months. Whose agenda does this serve? Did the last guy on the titanic declare himself captain? What good did it do him?

Anka said...

This is just crazy. Didn't someone also hear a rumour a few months ago about the Mass moving out of Newbridge and going to 17.00 instead of 13.00? These guys don't seem to want anybody there except themselves.
Radical Traditionalist sounds like he is just causing trouble. If he's so close to the organisers maybe he could stop them being so...oh, I don't know...mad?

Radical Traditionalist said...

Anka, I'm not causing trouble and I never said I was close to the organisers.

Anka said...

How, then, did you come upon this juicy little piece of information? You either know the organisers well enough for them to tell you, or you're making things up; causing trouble.

An Auld Dubliner said...

I'm just sick of this 'organisation' by leak. Its like NuLabour spin doctors except they did a good job.

Radical Traditionalist is pretty far out all right. These guys are letting the veil drop every time and whats under is very nasty.

What are the people attending the Mass supposed to do when creeps like this know more than they do?