Friday 25 July 2014

Ss Peter and Paul`s, Longbenton

I read this sad bit of news about my former parish today:

Parish Future: The Future of Ss. Peter and Paul Church Longbenton
After consultation with parishioners and with his Council the Bishop has decided that the church at Ss. Peter and Paul should close. Among the reasons for this decision are the declining numbers in the congregation, such that the parish is not able to meet its annual running costs, as well as the impact of the relocation of St Stephen’s School. In the light of this very sad decision it is important over the next few months for people in the community to reflect on how best their pastoral needs for Sunday Mass and the sacraments might best be secured. This is something to be discussed with the Parish Council and at a further consultation meeting with the Vicar General and the Epsicopal Vicar in the autumn.

I hate it when Catholic churches close. St Wilfrid`s Gateshead was given a reprieve two weeks ago today in the light of the work done and money raised by parishioners. However we have just had an electrical inspection and although I haven`t seen the report as yet I hear that the estimate is for tens of thousands of pounds. My first reaction was `Who needs electricity?` given we flourished without it for 1900 years or so. However there are still hard times ahead for St Wilfrid`s I fear. The parishioners continue to impress with their dedication to saving the church. If you are in Gateshead on August 9th do come to this:

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Blessed John Ingram

St Joseph`s parish includes the site of the martyrdom of Venerabile alumnus Blessed John Ingram martyred outside St Edmund`s chapel on July 26th 1594. We are having a High Mass to mark the day at noon. On Sunday 27th I`ll be leading the annual walk from St Andrew`s (Anglican) church, Newcastle to St Edmund`s (Anglican) chapel, Gateshead.

Friday 4 July 2014

Unidentified Object

Last weekend there was an envelope left in the sacristy with only `Fr` written on it. I opened it and found this. What could it be? The fabled Northern Cross Spirituality Award perhaps? I hope to find out this weekend. Nowadays in the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle we don`t do awards unless they are from the queen or some civic authority but awards from the pope have been ruled out. This is clearly a diocesan award with it`s image of St Cuthbert and being in the shape of his cross. I`ll make enquiries at the weekend but if anyone knows in the meantime I`d be interested to know anything about it.

UPDATE 9.7.14 So it appears to be a Lourdes pilgrimage medal. Thanks for all your help.

Thursday 3 July 2014

`Good Morning Everyone`

I cannot tell you how fast my heart sinks when I am at a Mass where straight after the sign of the cross the celebrant greets the congregation with a `Good Morning Everyone`. Immediately I sense the spirit of the liturgy is doomed as we lose the sense of taking part in an action greater than ourselves. I can`t remember the risen Christ greeting his apostles with a cheery `Good Morning` at all. Looking back at other important scriptural greetings I can`t find any `Good Mornings`. The voice from the burning bush didn`t say `Good Morning Moses` nor the angel Gabriel wish Our Lady a good morning. 

So I was very heartened to read about Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines instructing his clergy on the correct way to greet the congregation with the liturgical greeting, `Peace be with You` for a bishop or `The Lord be with You` or one of the other formulae for a priest.Thank you Cardinal Tagle.

PS This is not a problem I have ever noticed in the Extraordinary Form. : )