Thursday 30 November 2017

Young Catholics

I haven`t seen any reaction to the report in the Catholic Herald about young Catholics in advance of the next Synod of bishops in October in Rome on the theme of "Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment` but I thought it was significant. We were asked to encourage our young parishioners to respond to a questionnaire about the Church in preparation for the Synod. I must confess I did very little about it having lost most of my enthusiasm for being consulted after a rather long process in our own diocese over the last three years which I started on with some optimism but that disappeared when the final outcome and report was much as I might have expected before the whole thing started.

However to my surprise the report from the Bishops of England and Wales (which I can find nowhere apart from this article in the Catholic Herald ) instead of coming up with the expected responses seems to have actually noticed what is going on. The CH headline is `Young Catholics `either nostalgic or progressive``. I never thought I`d see the day when a report on Catholic Youth didn`t conclude that what was needed to keep young people at Mass was more balloons and people in leotards hopping around the altar. It seems Juventutem and Faith and others have finally been noticed. Does this mean our Youth Village may soon host a day of reflection led by the Institute of Christ the King? That the Youth Mission Team may start classes on Gregorian chant? 

The artice says the bishops have discovered that `There are two groups of young Catholics: those who want to return to a previous era, and those who think the Church should follow current social trends`. Admittedly the first group is much smaller than the second but I`d bet it produces a far higher proportion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, to the dismay of some vocations` directors.

Well I look forward to seeing the report. I may even begin to offer my opinion occasionally when asked.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Advent Service

Often the complaint is heard that Christmas starts in Novembewr and Advent has disappeared. I do find my self intrigued by the Christmas cakes and puddings that have been on sale in Tesco since October wondering who buys them then. However to give people a chance to soak up some of the themees of Advent we will be having an Advent service with hymns, choral items from the Westland Singers and readings on Tuesday 12th December. The service will end with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Retiring collection for Aid to the Church in Need. All welcome and the new heating system is working very well.

Wednesday 22 November 2017


Please remember Fr Gary Dickson, (of the Catholic Collar and Tie blog) in your prayers. He is seriously ill. Updates on his condition can be found on the blog here. Fr Dickson has been retired a while through ill health. Many in Hexham and Newcastle and beyond know him as a man of principle and courage.

While I`m here Fr Jim Doherty is also in need of prayers. At 91 he had been retired in the presbytery in St Robert`s Morpeth (in the rooms I had as a curate there) for sixteen years. He was still helping out with Sunday and weekday Mass and kept things going when the previous parish priest, Fr Lawrence Jones, was dying of cancer in the presbytery a few years ago. In May he sustained brain damage after being hit by a car while out for a walk and is struggling to recover. 

Thursday 9 November 2017

Going Forward in Hope

UPDATE: 16.11.17 The Tablet reports on the Mass in Leeds cathedral. My favourite quote from the article is from Bishop Stock:

He told The Tablet he chose to learn the Mass in the Extraordinary Form because: "It’s important that I try to be a father to everyone in my Diocese."

Thank you Bishop Stock!

offered by His Lordship the Bishop of Leeds
Bishop Marcus Stock

3.00 P.M.
the repose of the souls of his  predecessors
Bishops   Cornthwaite, Gordon, Poskitt,  Heenan,  Dwyer,  Wheeler &  Konstant