Sunday 30 May 2010

Per Mariam ad Jesum

Having permitted the evening Mass on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrated in the Gregorian Rite last December, and following the unfortunate cancellation of the celebration of Mass in the Gregorian Rite for the Epiphany, the Parish of Celbridge has permitted the celebration of Mass in the Gregorian Rite in the Parish Church, Celbridge, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Friday, 11th June, 2010, at 7 p.m.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee!

Saturday 29 May 2010

Little Sisters of the Good Shepherd

Our good friends of the Institute of the Good Shepherd have informed us that their excellent initiative, a congregation of Apostolic Sisters known as the Little Sisters of the Good Shepherd, whose foundation has previously been reported in CHRISTVS REGNAT, now situated in the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, is ready to admit candidates to a year of spirituality to begin in September, 2010. Young ladies who are less than 35 years of age and of good character can contact the Little Sisters:

By e-mail at: soeursdubonpasteur@hotmail.frBy telephone at:
By post at: Les Petites Soeurs du Bon Pasteur,
Presbytere,17, Rue Marceau,
83830 Bargemon,

The Little Sisters are affiliated to the Institute of the Good Shepherd and are directed by M. l'Abbé Henri Forestier, I.B.P., formerly rector of the Institute's Seminary at Courtalain. The Spiritual Life of the Sisters is founded upon the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Please spread the news to all!

Notre Dame de la Bergerie, priez pour nous!

Summorum Pontificum Triennial Report

Readers... may be interested to know that the International Federation Una Voce has just started a consultation exercise; the third since the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was promulgated.

In September 2008 all member associations were asked to provide information about the implementation of the motu proprio in their countries during the first year. This first report was presented in Rome to the PCED and a copy for the Holy Father was entrusted to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. Subsequently, I received a letter from the Substitute at the Secretariat of State thanking me for the report and advising me to contact the Prefect of the Papal Household for a brief audience with the Holy Father.

The Una Voce Federation then conducted a second consultation exercise in September 2009 to monitor developments during the second year of the motu proprio and I was able to place this report directly into the hands of the Holy Father on 28th October 2009 (see our website for report and photographs). I was accompanied by Vice President Jack Oostveen, Secretary Rodolfo Vargas Rubio, and Treasurer Mrs Monika Rheinschmitt. We were able to spend several minutes explaining the contents of our report and present other documentation. During that visit to Rome we also presented copies of our report to all the Prefects and Secretaries of all the major dicasteries and also to l’Osservatore Romano.

I believe this forthcoming Una Voce report on the third anniversary of the motu proprio, which coincides with the accounts being produced by our bishops, will be of vital importance in the safeguarding of the traditional Mass and liturgy. It is no secret that many bishops are against Summorum Pontificum and their reports may well reflect this antipathy. It is for this reason that I have asked our members for comprehensive reports and documentation that truly reflects the situation in their countries so that Rome will be in no doubt about the reality of the implementation of the motu proprio. Despite the lack of episcopal enthusiasm in many parts there is a real growth in interest in the traditional liturgy; the International Federation Una Voce is receiving requests from many parts of the world for information and help, and none more so than in Central and South America – and from young people. Anyone who is not a member of any group and would like more information may I suggest that you check out our website and contact the member association in your country or area. Although it is right and proper for the Pope to consult his bishops it is quite clear from the motu proprio that the Holy Father's concern is for priests and the laity. Therefore, it is perfectly in order for the laity to make their feelings known to Rome about how it is being implemented.

Leo Darroch,
President - Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce

Wednesday 26 May 2010

St. Pius X - Part I

Over the last eight years we have been able to trace the centenaries of the acts of Pope St. Pius X. In a little less than four years we will be marking the golden anniversary of his canonisation (29th May, 1954) and the centenary of his death (20th August, 1914). He is the last Pope since Pope St. Pius V to have been canonised. In the coming four years we will take the opportunity to trace these centenaries.

On this day one hundred years ago, St. Pius X issued his Encyclical Letter Editae Saepae on St. Charles Borromeo:

"Sacred Scripture records the divine word saying that men will remember the just man forever, for even though he is dead, he yet speaks. [Ps. cxi:7; Prov. x:7, Heb. xi:4 ] Both in word and deed the Church has for a long time verified the truth of that saying. She is the mother and the nurse of holiness, ever renewed and enlivened by the breath of the Spirit Who dwells in us. [Rom. viii:11] She alone conceives, nourishes, and educates the noble family of the just. Like a loving mother, she carefully preserves the memory of and affection for the saints. This remembrance is, as it were, a divine comfort which lifts her eyes above the miseries of this earthly pilgrimage so that she finds in the saints "her joy and her crown." Thus she sees in them the sublime image of her heavenly Spouse. Thus she shows her children in each age the timeliness of the old truth: "For those who love God all things work together unto good, for those who, according to his purpose, are saints through his call." [Rom. viii:28] The glorious deeds of the saints, however, do more than afford us comfort. In order that we may imitate and be encouraged by them, one and all the saints echo in their own lives the saying of Saint Paul, "I beg you, be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." [I Cor. iv:16]"

Sancte Pie Decime, Gloriose Patrone, ora pro nobis!

Sunday 23 May 2010

On The Day of Pentecost

This advent of the Spirit on the apostles was prefigured in the fire that came from heaven on the offerings of righteous Abel, as is testified in Genesis, (the book) of the Law, where it says,'respexit Deus ad Abel et ad munera eius,' when fire of God came from heaven on the offerings of Abel, for they were pleasing to God ; so, too, in the fire that came of yore on the Bush, in prefiguration of the descent of the Spirit on the apostles on this day of Pentecost; again, in the fiery column of old, that led the children of Israel out of the Egyptian captivity to go up into the land of promise, in prefiguration of the Holy Spirit, who summoned the apostolic people from the straits of Jewish persecution in which they were held, to go and preach to everyone in every direction; and He invites the people of the New Testament from the darkness of sins and transgressions to the light of virtuous and goodly deeds; so, too, in the sevenfold candelabrum, that illumined the tabernacle of Moses, in prefiguration and foretoken of the sevenfold Spirit, that illumined the Church of the Seven Orders in this seven-day festival of Pentecost; and in this same manner in many other places the advent of the Holy Spirit was prefigured. It was foretold by the prophets: by David, the son of Jesse, when he said, 'fluminis impetus laetificat ciuitatem Dei' [Ps. xl. 5], concerning that honour of the spiritual grace in which the Church rejoices; by the prophet Joel, son of Phathuel [Salahel], when he said, 'erit in nouissimis diebus, dicit Dominus, effundam de Spiritu meo super omnem carnem' [Acts ii. 17], 'the time will come, saith the Lord, when I will pour out the grace of the Holy Spirit on every holy man of faith in the Church' ; by the Author of every prophecy and of all true knowledge, Jesus Christ Himself, after His resurrection, when He said to His apostles, 'accipietis uirtutem superuenientis Spiritus sancti' [Acts i. 8], ' the grace of the Holy Spirit shall come upon you.'

Haec est historia huius lectionis.

'XII. On the Day of Pentecost', The Passions and the Homilies from Leabhar Breac - Text, Translation and Glossary by Robert Atkinson (Dublin, 1887), 439-40.

Saturday 22 May 2010

Cork - The Rebel City

We are familiar with the title of Cork as "the Rebel County" and we don't need to doubt that there are plenty of historical episodes that could have gained that title for Cork. Here is my suggestion.

The scene is Cork City. The moment is April, 1603, the accession of James, King of Scots, to the throne of Elizabeth Tudor. The Desmond Rebellions had been crushed by 1583 and three years later the Plantation of Munster with loyal English Protestants had begun. The Nine Years' War (1584-1603) had see the defeat of the Gaelic Princes, including Donal O'Sullivan Beare of the Beara Penninsula. Cork had been the site of some of the most significant engagements, the Battle of Kinsale (1601) and the Seige of Dunboy (1602), not to forget the martyrdom of Blessed Dominic Collins in Youghal (1602), but Cork City, it seems, was not yet ready to give up the struggle for the liberty of the Catholic Faith.

About the year 1586, William Camden in his Britannia had described Cork for Queen Elizabeth I as: "a populous little trading town, and much resorted to; but so beset with rebel enemies on all sides, that they are obliged to keep constant watch, as if the town were continually besieged ; and they dare not marry out their daughters in the country, but contract one with another among themselves, whereby all the citizens are related in one degree or other."

Speaking of the rebelliousness of Cork City towards the English Crown only a generation later, the historian Charles Gibson writes in his The History of the County and City of Cork, London & Cork, 1861, that: "...there were two other serious causes of discontent; and it would be difficult to say to which the people were most opposed; the one was an attempt of the government to force base money into circulation, and the other to press the Protestant religion upon a people who thoroughly detested it, and held it as corrupt as the coinage."

It is topical, in light of the present difficulties of the €uro to recall the words of Lord Deputy Mountjoy: "And first, whereas, the alteration of the coyne and taking away the exchange in such a measure as that first promised, hath bred a general grievance to men of all qualities, and so many incommodities to all sorts, that it is beyond the judgment of any I can see, or hear, to prevent confusion in the estate, by the continuance thereof... They not only pay excessive prices for all things, but can hardly get anything for their money."

Mountjoy was retained as representative of the English Crown in Ireland when Elizabeth died and was succeeded by James I. He sent emissaries to the Mayor of Cork to have James proclaimed King in Cork. The Mayor replied that the Charter allowed him to take time to consider it.

Gibson continues the account:

"Sir George Thornton, one of the two commissioners of Munster, applied to Thomas Sarsfield, then mayor, who replied that the charter allowed his taking "time to consider of it." Sir George replied that the king, who had a just right to the crown, had been proclaimed in Dublin, and that a delay would be taken ill. The mayor replied smartly enough, that Perkin Warbeck had also been proclaimed in Dublin; and that much damage had come of their precipitation.

"The Chief Justice of Munster, Saxey, who was present, said they should be committed, if they refused. Wm. Mead, the recorder, replied, " There was no one there had authority to commit them." The mayor, and corporation, adjourn to the court-house. Sir George Thornton paces up and down the walk outside, and after a time sends in to know if they have come to a decision. "No." He waits another hour, and is informed by the recorder, in a passionate manner, that they can give him no answer till the next day. Sir Richard Boyle, afterwards Earl of Cork, who was at this time Clerk of the Presidential Council of Munster, requested Mead not to "break out in so unreasonable and choleric a fashion." Mead, who was as smart as the mayor at reply, said, "Though I do not break out, there are several thousands ready to do so." Sir George Thornton requires an account of these words. "Very well," says Mead, "but the city must have three or four days to consult about this ceremony."

"The recorder, who appears to have been the ring-leader of the rebellion, employed the time in arming the citizens, and guarding the gates against the admission of his majesty's troops; but "they admitted several Irish, to whom they gave arms." An attempt was also made to seize Haulbowline, which had been but recently fortified. " About this this time," January, 1602 writes Stafford, "the Lord Deputie and the Lord President went by boate to an island in the river of Corke, called Halbolin, sixe or seven miles from the citie, which upon view they thought fit to be fortified, being so seated as that no shipping of any burden can pass the same, but under the command thereof. Whereupon direction was given to Paul Ive, an ingeneere, to raise a fortification there." Pacata Ililernia, pp. 451, 452.

"Boyle gives us the most circumstantial account of this foolish rebellion, which seems to have sprung up without premeditation, and to have proceeded without plan, or any particular object on the part of the leaders. Sir George Thornton desires the citizens to send, or rather allow some cannon to go from Cork to the relief of Haulbowline. They reply, "We have, as you see, called our brethren together about this business, and we have come to the resolution, that the fort of Haulbowline is a very pestilent impoverishment to our corporation, and therefore think it not meet to suffer any relief to go thither, nor will we." Are we to conclude from this language, that the corporation were at the expense of finding and maintaining this fort? They say again, "This fort was a needless work, and built in their franchises, without their consent, by the Lord President, [Carew] but not for any good to the city." They add, that they will "take the fort, and keep possession of it."

"Richard Boyle mentions one "Edward Roche, the brother of Dominick Roche, the priest," and Owen Mac Redmond, a schoolmaster, as taking an active part in this rebellion. " This fellow," continues Sir Richard, speaking of the schoolmaster, " said it was not known who was King of England. That, to his own knowledge, about seven or eight years ago, there was no other mockery in all the stage plays, but the King of Scots ; that no Englishman would abide the government of a Scot; that he was the poorest prince in Europe; that the President of Munster kept a better table than he."

"Stephen Brown," continues Boyle, "was a great director about the ordnance, as also one Thomas Fagan, who fired a shot at Mr. James Grant, when he was returning to Sir Charles Wilmot, who sent him to the mayor. He had before this stripped Mr. Grant of his clothes, was the first man who put on his head-piece, and seized on the king's stores in the city. He said, for his part, no king should rule him, but such as would give him liberty of conscience. He carried a white rod about the city, and was styled their principal church-warden, and never suffered an Englishman or Protestant to pass by him unabused. He had the impudence to revile Sir Gerald Herbert, because he would not put off his hat, and do reverence to the cross, which he was then carrying about in procession.

"Sir Robert Mead, or Meagh, and John Fitz-David Roche, were two priests who fomented this rebellion. Mead ordered Mr. Apsley, the king's storekeeper, to be killed, and his arms taken away. He also ordered the guard, which he placed on Skiddy's Castle, where the stores lay, to throw Mrs. Hughes, wife to the clerk of stores, over the walls and break her neck. He was the principal stirrer-up of the townsmen to take arms, and not only assisted in every sally to take and destroy the forts, but also drove such as were dilatory with a cudgel to the work.

"John Nicholas, a brewer, was also a cannonier to the rebels, and it was proved against him that he shot two soldiers from the walls; he was assisted by John Clarke, a tanner, from Mallow, who very dexterously mounted the cannons upon the walls, when none else knew how to do it. He and Nicholas were both Englishmen. It was proved against Edmund Terry, another rebel, that he advised the mayor to take the key of Skiddy's Castle from Mr. Hughes, the store-keeper, and place the ammunition in Dominick Galway's cellars, and that Hughes should not be suffered to come there without a sufficient guard; all which the mayor complied with. Edward Roche, brother to Dominick Roche, said that the city would fight against the king himself if he came to look for it, and that not only the country, but also the kings of France and Spain would assist them, if he did not give their church free liberty," Sir Richard Boyle continues, " The mayor and recorder imprisoned Mr. Allen Apsley, commissary of the king's victuals, and Mr. Michael Hughes, clerk of the munitions. The recorder, in person, with a guard, carried Mr. Apsley from his own house to the common gaol, and then distributed the king's stores as he thought proper. They demolished the fort on the south side of the city, in which action they killed and wounded several soldiers. The day before they demolished this fort, the recorder, striking himself on the breast, solemnly swore, at the door of Skiddy's Castle, that if the mayor would not take charge of the king's stores he would presently quit the town for ever, upon which he turned about to the crowd, who huzzaed and applauded him for his speech; then Thomas Fagan and Murrough clapped on their head-pieces, and with their swords and targets forcibly possessed themselves of Skiddy's Castle.

"The day before they demolished the fort, the mayor assembled the citizens, and told them, that before forty hours passed, all Ireland would be in arms against the king ; that the crown of England should never more recover Ireland. He also wrote several seditious letters to most of the lords and chief men of this province, desiring them to join the citizens in their cause, which was for liberty of conscience.

"The recorder being asked why the king's fort was broken down by the people answered, it was his act, and that he would justify it ; and said it was the act of the whole corporation, and done advisedly, and that they would make it good, saying, "That the building of that fort cost the queen nothing, it being raised by the citizens," adding, "that the worst that could be done,
was to make them rebuild it.

"Several of them publicly abused the commissioners and the king's officers in this province, calling them 'traitors,' destroyers of the city and commonwealth,' ' base-born fellows,' 'beggarly companions,' 'yeomen's sons,' all of which was proved on their respective trials. Lieutenant Murrough had the impudence to send Sir Charles Wilmot word, that he was a traitor, and would prove it. His brother had been aide-de-camp to Captain Flower at the siege of Kinsale; but he quitted his colours and deserted to the Spaniards, for which he was afterwards executed.

"It only remained for the commissioners to proclaim James the Sixth of Scotland and First of England, outside the walls, as they were not allowed to do so inside.

"Sir George Thornton, accompanied by Lord Roche and supported by eight hundred soldiers, proclaimed the king in the north suburbs, near Shandon Castle, the recorder protesting all the while against such a violation of their "liberties." The commissioners, who appeared to have acted with great moderation, sent to Haulbowline for artillery, when the citizens, under the leadership of William Terry, attempted to intercept them. A scuffle ensued, and several were killed on both sides.

"The religious element in this rebellion was paramount. Though a large portion of the inhabitants of Cork were of Danish, Norman, and Saxon descent, they were sincere Catholics, who hoped for the reestablishment of their own faith at the death of the queen. They had not forgotten, though five-and-twenty years had elapsed, that the Protestant bishop had burned the image of St. Dominick at the High Cross of Cork. They now retaliate, by retaking possession of the churches which they sprinkle in order to exorcise the demon of Protestantism by burning Protestant bibles and prayer-books; by razing out the ten commandments, and substituting the emblems of their own faith. A number took the sacrament to strengthen them in defence of their religion. A legate from the Pope went through the city in procession with a cross, compelling all he met to bow down to it. They not only fired on Shandon Castle, where Lady Carew lodged, but on the bishop's palace, where the commissioners were assembled; they killed Mr. Rutledge, and wounded a servant of Bishop Lyon, and told him, if they had his traitor-master, he should not escape with his life. Such language and conduct is indicative of the detestation in which the Protestant religion was held even in the towns where it had been nurtured for half a century.

"But this state of things could not be long countenanced in a city like Cork; and the mayor and sheriffs knowing the decided character of the Lord Deputy Mountjoy, wrote him saying, they had received the king's proclamation on the 11th of April, but had put off the ceremony till the 16th, that it might be done with more solemnity. They also requested that the fort of Haulbowline might be put into their hands, and complained that soldiers in that fort had shot at some fishermen and boats which had been sent out for provisions. The commissioners, of course, gave his lordship a very different version of the transaction.

"Mountjoy wrote them "a smart letter" in reply, reproving them for "setting up the mass," by their own authority, their insolence in stopping his majesty's stores and artillery from being sent to Haulbowline, and attempting to get them into their hands. At the same time, his lordship wrote to Sir Charles Wilmot and Sir George Thornton, ordering them to send as much victuals and provisions as they could, out of the city, to that fort, and Shandon Castle; to draw some companies into the town; and informed them, that he had assembled five thousand men to correct their insolences; and that as most of the other towns in the province had committed the like disturbances, he intended to begin with Waterford, who led the example to the rest.

"The following is Dr. Ryland's account of the Lord Lieutenant's visit to Waterford : "The Lord Deputy Mountjoy, judging that the situation of affairs of the province, required his immediate personal attention, proceeded with a numerous army into Munster, and on the 5th of May, 1603, came to Grace-Dieu, within the liberties of Waterford, and summoned the mayor to open the gates, and receive him and his army into the city. The spirit of rebellion immediately appeared ; the gates were shut against him, and the citizens pleaded that, by a charter of King John, they were exempted from quartering soldiers. While the parties were thus engaged, two ecclesiastics, Dr. White and a young Dominican friar, came into the camp ; they were habited in the dresses of their order, Dr. White wearing a black gown and cornered cap, and the friar wearing a white woollen frock. When they entered the Lord Deputy's tent, Dr. White commenced a violent religious controversy, 'all of which,' we are told, his lordship did most learnedly confute.' He then severely reprehended the conduct of the citizens; threatened to draw King James sword, and cut the charter of King John to pieces ; and declared his intention, if they persisted in their obstinacy, to level their city, and strew it with salt. His menaces were effectual; the citizens immediately submitted, and received the Lord Deputy and his army within their walls. They afterwards took the oath of allegiance, renounced all foreign jurisdiction, and, to prevent any future disturbance, a garrison was stationed in the city.

"Mountjoy wrote to the Mayor of Cork, from his camp at Grace-Dion, near Waterford, requesting him "to desist from his practices," saying, if he persevered, he must adopt more severe measures than he willingly would ; but many of the citizens, undeterred by this mild threat, were opposed to his admission. Mead, the recorder, strongly opposed it, so did Gould, Fagan, Captain Terry, Lieutenant Murrough, and "an infinite number of mob;" but Alderman Coppinger, John Coppinger, Alderman Terry, the Galways, the Vernons, and the Martels, insisted that the viceroy should be received within the walls.

"He entered Cork on the 11th of May, 1603. The citizens laid plough-shares on each side of the street through which he passed, intimating that the destruction of the growing crops, by the soldiers, had caused so many ploughs to lie idle. As in the fable of the belly and the members, the citizens were at length brought to understand, that their interests were identified with the country. To see the city of Cork, which had been always armed cap-a-pie, against the country, admitting the Irish within its walls, and laying their idle plough-shares before the eyes of the viceroy, was something new in the history of these times. Smith says " the Lord Lieutenant took little notice of this silly contrivance." We did not expect to find Doctor Smith making so silly a remark. A people's cry for bread should sound in a ruler's ears as the roar of a famished lion. But the Lord Lieutenant did notice it; his letter to the English council, from which we have quoted, contains the prediction of a dearth, which would "breed new combinations, and would stirre the townes themselves; " and his mild chastisement of the present rebellion, is something like an admission that the people had great cause for dissatisfaction. Murrough, Butler, and the schoolmaster, Owen Mac Redmond, who had no freeholds, were the only parties executed by martial law. Mead, the recorder, who was the ringleader, was tried by an Irish jury, and acquitted. The grand jury found true bills against Mead, Richard Gould, and others. Gould pleaded, in justification, before Sir Charles Wilmot, and Sir George Thornton, commissioners, Sir Nicholas Walsh, William Saxey, and George Comerford, justices, the injury he had sustained by being compelled to take the mixed or base money. He proved that the late Lord President's steward had purchased twenty barrels of wheat for the Lady Carew, which he, Richard Gould, had purchased in France for nineteen shillings a barrel, of good silver money, and that the steward would give him but twenty shillings of the new standard or mixed money. The Cork jury, by whom he was tried and acquitted for the attack on Haulbowline, must have held that such fraudulent conduct was enough to drive any honest trader into rebellion. Mead, the recorder, appears to have had deeper projects in view. He afterwards got a pension from Spain, and went to Naples, where he wrote a treasonable tract, called, "Advice to the Catholics of Munster" a copy of which is preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. He died in Naples."

Friday 14 May 2010

The Standing Stone: Oughaval Church, Carricksallagh, Co. Laois.

I hope you enjoy this article because this is one of the most unusual church ruins that I have been to. It really is fantastic. The original article on 'The Standing Stone' website links to glossary pages to explain whatever terms you may not be familiar with. I don't link to the glossary here so that you won't be directed away from this blog by mistake. A couple of people have asked me what certain terms mean so I thought I'd mention that. Hope you enjoy this ruin and now we are into the summer months it's a perfect time to go out and see these places.

– On the N80 just outside of Stradbally.
OS: S 582 957 (map 55)
Longitude: 7° 7' 58.25" W
Latitude: 53° 0' 31.99" N
See map at the bottom of the page.

Description and History – When I arrived here I was struck by the sheer size of this ruin and then by its unusualness. This church is quite odd but very striking and I spent much longer here than I usually would a church ruin. St Colman mac Ua Laoighse founded a monastery here in the 6th century but no remains of this foundation survive. St Colman was a follower of St Fintan of Clonenagh and St Columba of Iona before establishing his own monastery. The Lebor na Nuachongbála, or Book of Oughaval was kept here for many centuries and was later renamed the Book of Leinster.

The present remains date from the medieval period and has been through many subsequent phases of rebuilding, mostly at the hands of the local Cosby family who still own much land in this area. Because of the rebuilding the floor of the chancel is higher than that of the nave and the chancel has a huge barrel vaulted ceiling. It is cracked and may be in danger of collapse. The triple window in the E gable end is a later 19th century addition. The small chamber within the nave is the Cosby family vault. There is also a small vaulted chamber underneath the chancel and wall-walk on the N and S walls. This really is a wonderful church in a great location. It is unique.

Difficulty – Easy to get to and there is parking. It is a still functioning graveyard.

This article originally appeared on 'The Standing Stone' and can be found by clicking here.

Looking out of the window in the church.

This triple window is very nice and I'm sure is even better when the sun is shining through it.

The huge barrel vaulted ceiling.

The private burial chamber of the Cosby family.

View The Standing Stone in a larger map

Thursday 13 May 2010

Christ Heaven Flight-Day

Ascension Thursday is known in Sweden as Kristi Himmelsfärdsdag, which translates to Christ Heaven Flight-Day. Here, just like everywhere else, it is celebrated to commemorate Jesus' ascension into Heaven, body and soul, forty days after his resurrection. Unlike everywhere else, though, we haven't moved the celebrations to the weekend.

Celebrated 39 days after Easter, always on a Thursdsay, Kristi Himmelsfärdsdag is always celebrated between April 30th and June 3rd, which means it sometimes falls on a couple of secular feasts celebrated in Sweden during this time; Valborgsmässoafton (Walpurgis eve, April 30th) and May 1st (International Labour Day or, indeed, the Feast Day of St. Joseph the Worker).

It is celebrated as a national holiday even if it has lost many of the traditions attached to it. It used to be the day when cows were allowed out to grass for the first time of the year and since 1924 it is an important day for the sobriety movement. It is also the first day for fishing - första metaredagen - it used to be widely believed that fish wouldn't bite before this day.

During the middle ages there would be himmelsfärdsspel - plays illustrating the events, this tradition is not very commonly practiced these days, but you can still see it in some rural parts of the country. (If Medieval mystery plays are what you're looking for Visby is the place you wanna be, where they have a Medieval week every year in August.)

The Swedish celebration of this day carries on the rebirth message of Easter and many activities, even Masses, take place outdoors to fully utilise the sunlight that's returned after months of darkness and gloom.

Sunday 9 May 2010

Mass for Ascension Thursday in Cork

St. Colman's Society for Catholic Liturgy have just asked that the following be posted:

Ascension Thursday, 13th May, 2010

Solemn High Mass for the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord will be celebrated in Ss. Peter and Paul's Church, Cork City, on 13th May, 2010, at 7.30 pm.

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palastrina's Missa Brevis will be sung.





Agnus Dei

Ss. Peter and Paul, pray for us!

20th Monthly Mass in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin

I've been asked to stick to the bare facts about the 20th monthly Mass and to avoid editorial. There were 15 in the congregation and the Priest was assisted by a single server.

Saturday 8 May 2010

St. Colman's Conference III

St. Colman's Society for Catholic Liturgy has announced its third annual conference, upon the theme of "Psallite sapienter: Benedict XVI on Sacred Music" to take place in the Imperial Hotel, Cork City, from 10th to 12th July, 2010. The prospectus for this splendid conference is available here.
As that prospectus puts it, this third conference builds on the two highly successful conferences of 2008 and 2009, dedicated respectively to “Benedict XVI and the Sacred Liturgy” and “Benedict XVI on Sacred Art”. The Acta of the first conference were recently presented to the Holy Father:

The Conference will be opened by HE the Most Reverend Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, and chaired by Corkman the Reverend Prof. D. Vincent Twomey, S.V.D. The list of speakers is as announced here.

The programme includes Pontifical Vespers followed by an organ recital on Saturday evening, Pontifical High Mass on Sunday morning, and a Solemn High Mass on Monday afternoon, each in the Church of Ss. Peter and Paul, Cork City, close to the conference location.

Bl. Thaddeus McCarthy of Cork, Ross and Cloyne, pray for us!

Saturday 1 May 2010

Carlow Cathedral for Saint Joseph the Worker

I was bowled over, a rarity for me, by my experience of the Mass for the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker today as the venerable stones of the mother Church of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin witnessed the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, a sight that I am sure it was thought, they would never see again. It was a day for extraordinary things as the people turned out in extraordinary numbers. I stopped counting at 180 and there were plenty more beyond that. People came from Carlow, town and County, people from the Diocese of Leighlin and from the Diocese of Kildare, and further afield, turned out in strength of Faith, strength of hope and strength of voice. Time and again after Mass, they wanted to know if it was going to be celebrated again, where, how regularly. The answer, at least in this Diocese, is not an happy one... extraordinary.

Once again, we were graced with the presence and singing voice of the magnificent Miss Máire Mullarkey, who filled the cathedral vaults with the music of Heaven and led the congregation in once-familiar Gregorian Chants and traditional vernacular hymns. Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, O Salutaris, Pange Lingua, Adoremus in Aeternum rang out again in Carlow Cathedral. She rendered the Ave Verum, 'Queen of the May,' Críost Liom with consummate skill and with a reverence and discretion that seemed to fit the extraordinary nature of the day as it did the majesty of the day's Liturgical observances. A noted and professional singer we were privileged that she shared her gifts with us once again.

The celebrant was Father James Larkin of the Archdiocese of Dublin, the Metropolitan See loaning of her very self to her suffragan Diocese today. In his sermon he spoke of the dignity of work, and the tragedies of unemployment that we see in our own country. He said that in dedicating this day to St. Joseph the Church wishes us to understand that work is in God's plan that we provide for ourselves and that we fulfil ourselves in service to our families and our neighbours. He referred to the Gospel passage 'is this not the Son of Joseph the carpenter' and said that there seems to be a certain snobbery in this, as if the people asked how could a carpenter's Son have such wisdom. The answer is that, however people may set a social premium upon certain professions or kinds of work, all work has equal dignity in the eyes of God because its dignity is found in the fulfilment of our duties and of ourselves. Father Larkin spoke about the importance of devotion to Saint Joseph, a most powerful protector and patron of the Universal Church, and particularly, in this Holy Year of Priests, and since the Mass was offered for Priests, Saint Joseph's patronage of the Young Priests' Society, that helps young men to pursue their vocation to the Priesthood.

Great credit is merited by the Administrator of the Cathedral and the Cathedral staff, who were present throughout, giving every assistance and courtesy, and who made available the original Altar furnishings for today's Mass. Please God, we may speak as they do concluding the Passover celebration... Next year in Carlow!