Sunday 30 March 2014

Clergy Retreat with Fr de Malleray

Sadly I can`t make the annual retreat Fr de Malleray of the FSSP puts on each year as teaching commitments at the university continue to the middle of May but having been on a couple of previous retreats I`m sorry to be missing this one. I`d also be interested to return to Wigratzbad which I last did in 1992!

Here are the details:

The Blessed Virgin Mary
and the priest.

In reference to Pope Francis’ consecration of the world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, we will strive as priests to deepen our relationship to God through Mary.

I will preach this silent retreat at the Marian Shrine of Wigratzbad in Bavaria in just 2 months, from Monday 5 May to Friday 9 May 2014 (third week after Easter). Happily, this retreat will take place in Wigratzbad where the Immaculate Heart of Mary is especially venerated; in Bavaria, of which Mary is officially the Queen; and in the month of May dedicated to Her
We were 15 last year from the UK. This year, 11 UK priests have booked already, but more are welcome. Our local Ordinary Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth kindly advertised those retreats in his Ad Clerum
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One conference preached in English in the morning and another one in the afternoon. Eucharistic adoration at the shrine (with optional Rosary). Private Masses using whichever Missal you prefer. Latin Compline (on option: EF Divine Office and Community Mass with the 85 seminarians). Meals in silence with Marian table readings (Church Magisterium, Sts Maximilian Kolbe, Alphonsus Liguori, Louis de Montfort and more). Optional private meeting with Retreat Master. Several English-speaking confessors.

Getting there:
The simplest is to book your Ryanair flight return from London Stansted to Memmingen airport. I will organise the transfer to and from Wigratzbad by hired coach for our group. Nearest railway station (1 mile): HERGATZ.

Friedrichshafen airport is 40mn drive, Zurich airport is 1h40 drive, and Munich airport 1h50 drive. By train from either airport: Zurich (Swiss rail:; Munich (German rail:

Pilgrims hostel where we will be staying:
Pilgerheim St. Josef, Kirchstrasse 18-20,
D-88145, Wigratzbad, Germany. Website:
Single bedrooms are booked for us at the Pilgerheim. En-suite shower and WC. Bed sheets and towels will be provided.
Full board (breakfast, lunch and supper provided).

Arrival: Monday 5 May afternoon: landing at Memmingen Airport and 40-minute drive to Wigratzbad. (Earlier arrival possible).
Departure: Friday 9 May after lunch; landing in the UK in the afternoon.
On option: stay on with us for one day of tourism: Lindau peninsula on Lake Constance, dinner in local ‘Gasthaus’ (restaurant) and colossal Benedictine Abbey of Ottobeuren – with take off from Memmingen on Saturday afternoon.

Cost: £270 (all inclusive for 4 x 24h full board in modern single room with en-suite bathroom + conference room + organisation fees + transportation from the airport and back).
Optional tourism day: add £80 extra, i.e. £350 in total.
Not included: return journey from your parish to Memmingen airport: for convenience, each priest will book his own flight (estimated cost of return flight with Ryanair: £110).

Info – Contact: Please contact me if you have any queries:           Tel.:  +44 (0)118  966  5284.

Monday 24 March 2014

Two Solemn High Masses this week.

On Tuesday night at 7.30 there willl be a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Annunciation at St Joseph`s with music provided by the Westland Singers from Sunderland. Then on Saturday I`ll be going to York for the annual LMS pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherown and the martyrs of York with music provided by the Rudgates. Mass starts at 1.30 at St Wlfrid`s, York.


Wednesday 19 March 2014

Happy St Joseph`s Day!

Some pictures of St Joseph`s, Gateshead from the centenary booklet of 1959.

The pulpit: on the Epistle side. A gift of Alderman Costello. Destroyed in the re-ordering although some of the statues remain.

The Baptistry: now the entrance.

Tuesday 18 March 2014

A surprising find

A parishioner from St Wilfrid`s was at a jumble sale at a local Anglican church and was looking through the LP`s when she found two photos. She brought them to me. Here I am in my young days at the Synod of bishops on Europe in 1991. I didn`t realise I`d even lost them. I can remember my surprise when my mother, many years ago, decided to give a lot of my LP`s to charity. Strange to think they are still doing the rounds and these photos were among them. Spot the bishops!

Monday 17 March 2014

Happy St Gertrude`s Day

Today, March 17th, as well as being the feast of that famous Briton, St Patrick, is also the feast of St Gertrude of Nivelles. Many thanks to Francisco de Morande for the splendid art work. St Gertrude is the patron of cats. The story mainly seems to be about the expulsion of mice from the convent. Offerings of mice made of gold and silver were left at her shrine Wikipedia has nothing to say about her connection with cats or mice but then the Gospels don`t say much about St Jude and hopeless cases nor does the life of St Anthony of Padua deal much with his now amazing ability to find things. More cat-centred is this link.

I mention this as my cat Dizzy who was a feature of parish life wherever I went although he did not make that many appearances here at St Joseph`s on my return died two days before his 18th birthday in February. His colleague Arcady is still doing well but is as nervous as ever and not one for making appearances in church like Dizzy who when I was in Forest Hall tried almost every day to get into Mass.

Here`s Dizzy at the Tuesday coffee morning which he rarely missed