Sunday 17 August 2014

A letter to the Northern Cross

I was very pleased to see this letter from Philip Dillon in the most  recent edition of our diocesan newspaper, the Northern Cross. We could do with a branch of Juventutem in the North East.

I am a twenty-seven year old lay Catholic of the Parish of SS. Cuthbert and Joseph in North
Shields. Both my paternal and material grandfathers were Catholic but most of my family is
Protestant albeit in name only. I attended St. Joseph’s R.C Primary School as a child, and of my
own volition I converted to Catholicism because I wanted to make First Holy Communion with my
Catholic cousins. In 1995, I was baptised, made my first Confession, and received Holy
Communion. Sadly, I fell away from the practise of the Faith in my teenage years.
In 2007, through the grace of God, I went through a conversion experience. I began praying the
Rosary, reading the Catechism and watching the Eternal Word Television Network. At around this
time, I watched a video on YouTube of the Traditional Latin Mass narrated by Archbishop Fulton
Sheen. The solemnity and reverence of the Traditional Rite was deeply moving and I decided to
attend Mass for the first time in ten years.
The next Sunday, I attended the Extraordinary Form Mass at St. Dominic’s in Byker. The Usus
Antiquior was completely foreign to me, but I was awestruck by the beauty of the prayers, the
solemnity of the worship, and the devotion of the people. The quiet prayerfulness of the Liturgy
allowed me to fully participate in the Mass as I placed myself at the Foot of the Cross with Our
Blessed Mother and the Beloved Disciple. The prayers of the Mass enlightened my understanding
and inflamed my love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I became conscious of the infinite
Majesty of God and I also became painfully aware of my own sinfulness. When the Mass ended, I
resolved to change my life and embrace the Faith I lost in my teenage years.
The Traditional Mass is the reason I began living the Sacramental life. I continue to attend this
Mass at St. Joseph’s in Gateshead. As a child I attended the Mass of Paul VI, but the Missal of
1962 brought me back into the Church. The Old Mass is solely responsible for my adult
conversion; in fact, I would never have lapsed if I had known that this Mass was available to me in my teenage years.
My experience is fairly common. The proliferation of Juventutem groups around the world and the
many vocations to traditional Congregations and Priestly Fraternities attests to the fact that a lot of
young Catholics are deeply attached to the riches contained in the Roman Missal promulgated by
Pope St. John XXIII. The Traditional Latin Liturgy also has a presence at World Youth Day. It is my
fervent belief that the Traditional Latin Liturgy is a vitally important part of the New Evangelisation,
and I am grateful for our bishop`s continued support of this Liturgy and am certain that it will quietly call many lapsed Catholics home. and bring about new conversions.!


  1. Father Gary Dickson17 August 2014 at 16:35

    One of my parishioners (Andrew) and a couple of his friends approached the Cathedral a two years ago with a view to starting Juventutem in the North East. We had several priests agreeing to do talks and Masses for the group, of which I was one. Unfortunately the Cathedral said they had not the resources for such a group and that there was alrewady plenty of provsison for young people, including their own prayer group. maybe we should our guyts together and try again...?
    God Bless.

  2. I would like to give Andrew every encouragement in setting up a group of juventutem. There is no need for it to be attached to to a cathedral. In fact I do not think that any other juventutem group is. Just select a chaplain, and base the group wherever you are comfortable, and in a place that is convenient.

  3. Phillip has set out, in a very few words, the raison d'etre of our devotion to the Traditional Mass.
    Can I tell him, through this posting, how moving was his piece, and how grateful we all are to him.


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