UPDATE

It has been announced that from Advent 2016, all Ordinariate groups are to use the Divine Worship Missal.

This is to foster a greater sense of identity for the Ordinariate. This liturgy, a fruit of the Ordinariate project, will showcase Anglican Patrimony, creating a greater distinctiveness for the groups.

Realising there may be a plethora of views, the Ordinary has suggested a time of prayerful discussion and for pastors to lead their groups in this change over the next few months. Various publications are being produced to enable a greater transition for those groups currently using the Novus Ordo.

We are reminded that many sections of the Mass (such as prayers at the Foot of the Altar and Last Gospel) are optional and may be introduced at a later stage.

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Also, a large property in the “Black Country” has been bought by the Ordinariate. To be renamed ‘Newman House’, it will serve as a retreat centre offering summer schools for Ordinariate children as well as clergy retreats.

Retreats will usually last five days and include daily Mass, a general confession, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the rosary, numerous spiritual conferences, and time devoted to private prayer and meditation. Priests will also be available for frequent consultation.

The large drawing room will serve as a chapel to seat 25.

 

This article is a work of fiction. May Our Lady of Walsingham grant us a greater vision for the Ordinariate. May it bear good fruit.

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The views on this blog don’t necessarily represent the views of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, St Agatha’s church, Portsmouth or the Catholic Church in general.

 

 

 

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IMPORTANT NOTICE

Tonight: 24th August. 7.30pm Requiem Mass

Also note: This Sunday there will be an additional Mass. It will be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin Mass, 1962 Missal) beginning at 3pm. Celebrant: Fr Philip Harris. See the Latin Mass Society website for more info.

St Agatha’s, Market Way, Portsmouth

Diocese of Portsmouth (RC)

In the Diocese of Portsmouth, the general population is 3.1M, of whom perhaps 8% are baptised Catholics: 248,000. 35,500 practice. In other words, the practice rate is 14%. There are huge numbers of ‘inactive’ Catholics. In the Diocese, the practice rate has been plummeting. Over the last 25 years, attendance at Sunday Mass has gone down from 54,500 to 35,500.

In 2014, in the Diocese of Portsmouth, there were 320 baptisms and receptions: miniscule in view of the 3.1M population?

These bare statistics can mask the magnitude of the challenge. In Portsmouth over the last 25 years, especially its urban centres, there has been a massive influx of immigrant Catholic groups such as Filipinos, Keralans, Poles which suggests that much of the former Anglo-Irish constituency has evaporated.

Suggested Strategies:

First, understanding: we need an in-depth understanding of the inner mind of the nonchurchgoing and the unchurched, and the categories and demographics of this: the
types of people, the reasons they reject religion, the causes of lapsation, the questions raised, and the factors that result in unbelief.

Secondly, personal contact: evangelisation occurs mainly through friendship and personal contact. In the Early Church, the Faith spread one-to-one through personal contact, business links, family and friends, acquaintances and chance meetings, a classic example being Philip and the eunuch in Acts 8.

Thirdly, visibility: making the Faith more visible: a Rosary in the car, a holy picture on the wall, wearing a crucifix, making the Sign of the Cross before eating, or when passing a church, or upon seeing a hearse. Again, in conversation to say: ‘Thanks be to God’ or ‘Please God’ or ‘I’ll say a prayer for you.’ Digital media are important. The Catholic Tradition is a deep tool-box from which can be drawn things old andnew: signs and symbols, Gregorian chant, the saints, icons, new media and 21C artistic commissions. We also need to identify the local areopagi: schools and colleges; sporting venues; shopping malls; libraries; housing developments; transport nodes; hotels and conference centres; business and industrial complexes.

Fourthly, forming intentional disciples: helping the Catholic faithful to be more missionary by deepening their sense of discipleship and vocation. This is about transforming the ‘service mentality’ – the parish and its clergy are here to serve me and my needs – into an outward-focused evangelistic mentality. This is a stubborn and difficult attitudinal shift to bring about. Many parishes are static, the same old faces, with little sense of outreach. Where are the new faces? Why not ask people to bring a friend with them to Mass?

And finally, encouraging parishes and Catholic schools to undertake simple, do-able mission-projects. Each school and each parish could set up an Evangelisation Strategy Team. Doing a Catholic form of street witness – a procession, music, leafleting
shops, praying the Rosary – after appropriate formation and training, is a powerful
mission-project that can with prayer produce fruits. Even the basic matter of keeping
the church open for prayers and visits is a hugely evangelistic activity. Another is
making the church building tidy, comfortable, welcoming and easy to use, with a good
presence on the internet and in social media.

Dear Thomas,

Thank you for your email. My health is satisfactory and I will naturally let you know of any Men’s group activities. You may be interested to know that there is a trip planned to a local country house and gardens. In the meantime here are some photos of the recent Abbatical Blessing of The Right Rev Dom Xavier Perrin, fifth Abbot of Quarr, conferred by Bishop Egan.

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The Altar arrangement would suit an ad orientem liturgy surely?

Regarding liturgy, Bishop Egan recently preached at another Benedictine Abbey, this time in Farnborough. He said,

“Arguably all the resources of a diocese should be put at the service of helping people to pray, to find God, to experience the love of God, to commit to Him, to learn the art of praying, to develop a personal-passionate friendship with Jesus Christ, to grasp the meaning for themselves of His death and resurrection, and to have a sense of being personally chosen by Him to be His disciple. Catholics have huge resources for this in two millennia of spiritual theology, in the wisdom and lives of the saints, and in a rich, profound and diverse Tradition. It seems sad that contemporary Catholics seem to be more aware of yoga, meditation and mindfulness than the teaching and writings of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Francis de Sales.”

He later continues,

“A positive development in recent decades has been the spread of Eucharistic Adoration…To enable this, periods of Eucharistic Adoration could be organised with regular catechesis given. Moreover, church buildings need to be kept open, so that the faithful have access to the Tabernacle.”

Regarding the liturgical calendar, Bishop Egan suggests a “creative use of the liturgical calendar would be to recover a renewed awareness of the 16C and 17C martyrs of England and Wales. The purpose would be not as in the past to underscore the theological differences between Catholicism and Protestantism but rather, to be inspired by their counter-cultural witness in difficult, indeed, penal times. Perhaps the English and Welsh martyrs will become more significant as the ideology of secularism and relativism takes deeper root in British culture?”

Thank you for reading.

A busy time…

Last Sunday Father Maunder and Monsignor Mercer paid a pastoral visit to Sacred Heart, Bournemouth.

 

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Father Maunder speaks to Father John Lavers. Sacred Heart church will soon become an Oratory, as part of Bishop Egan’s vision for the Diocese. Father Laver will then serve Ringwood.

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Tea and scones at The Norfolk Hotel, opposite the church.

Later in the week our Men’s Group had a pilgrimage to the Holy City of Rome. As part of the pilgrimage we had a guided tour of the Catacombs of St Sebastian. This included a tour of the grand basilica San Sebastiano fuori le mura above the actual body of the Early Christian Saint.

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The men had a refreshing drink from an outdoor fountain before returning into the centre of Rome by bus (rattling along many cobbled streets). Unfortunately it was rush hour, as seen below.

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The majority of our time was spent looking at grand basilica churches and antique shops. Our journeys were usually on foot with the heat taking its toll.

Luckily in the Piazza di Spagna are the Babington Tea Rooms. It was established in 1893 by two English ladies, Anna Maria Babington and Isabel Cargill, when tea could only be found in pharmacies. The men ate cake with lashings of iced Earl Grey tea here.

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…we also shopped for essentials.

 

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The beauty of the baroque.

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While at the airport, I was able to log onto free WIFI.

I noticed that Father Bradley had uploaded onto Flickr some photos of St Agatha’s, 26 in total. I post a selection below for you to view. Thank you Father Bradley.

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John writes…

There are two things going on in the Church at the moment which is stretching the imagination.   On the one hand the Society of St Pius X is being wooed back into the mainstream Church.   At the same time the celebration of the Protestant Reformation is being hailed as a victory of Faith.    Indeed burning the candles at both ends is becoming a feature of the modern Church.    It is very difficult to call the German Church Catholic.  It is a failed Church with few people actually interested in attending except for the struggle of a few who have remained loyal to Rome.   The Church nevertpe less is kept alive by a state tax system which seems to pay on a declaration by the taxpayer that he is Catholic.  It is all ver confusing.   This has enabled German Bishops and their minions to gain power in Rome and direct the Church away from Catholicism to Ecumenism.    Indeed as Pope John Paul II said in his room “My power stops at that door’ pointing to the exit.   The present Pope Francis is a strange Pope.    On the one hand he welcomes the SSPX as true Catholics but at the same time he welcomes the truths of the Protestant Reformation.
The Reformation contingent of course are blazing their guns at the SSPX because they claim they do not accept the decisions of Vatican II.    Well, I am not a member of the SSPX and I when I studied the documents I saw nothing which contradicted my Catholic Faith.   There were fuzzier however.    How did a statement like ‘Those outside the Church who share truths of the Catholic Faith are in an incomplete union with the Catholic Church”      I could not accept this because it means absolutely nothing to me.  I will not call it heretic I just want it explained.   What is ‘incomplete union’   Mind you I did receive a reply from some scholars and experts and those who were put in charge of Catechesis.   It means apparently we are all One Church sharing one Faith and the Catholics Church no longer has the right to claim a monopoly of truth.    But try though I did I could not get that meaning from the text.   But in the 1970’s Protestants were delighted with this interpretation and flocked into the Church to help us.   We even had a Protestant Vicar invited to tell parishioners about the Bible – because the scholars also said that we were stopped reading it.   I must have dreamed my pre-vatican days when I saw myself with as many as four Catholic Bibles bought in Catholic bookshops.    Of course and Protestants had moved on in every way.  They no longer bothered with fixing questions about Marriage and Divorce and Abortion, and they wanted Women Priests, and more power.    Of course the teaching that the Church was infallible in Faith and Morals, although it did appear in the document The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Vatican Ii, was not spoken of since it would have upset the new arrivals.   In fact it has been forty years since I heard any priest daring to comment to the congregation after reading  :Thou are Peter……….”  that this was the test where Jesus gave the Church Infallibility.   Much safer to stick with ‘the Faith of Peter’  and as one lady employed by the Diocese to teach the untruths remarked in one Church  “The Papal Supremacy is Love not Authority”     This was said and was unopposed although I did say something nobody else did.   They were too comfortable.
So as you see, we really are all now just Protestants so why should the Pope not go and celebrate the Reformation, Sola Scriptura, Faith saves us not good works, since there are many good priests who now believe it.    Our new Ecumenical Church can define itself so easily.   We are inclusive, you can believe what you like.
But what if we invite the SSPX to be part of us.   Will they celebrate the Reformation.   I do not think so.  They are untraconservative, schismatics and everything else.  Well they still have my vote.

Fr James Bradley

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Photos from Fr Bradley’s Twitter account @FrJamesBradley.

Fr James describes St Agatha’s, Portsmouth as the hidden gem of  the Ordinariate in England.

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