Monday 27th March

As I write, Bishop Egan is en route to the House of Lords to meet Anglican Bishops Chris Foster and Tim Daykin for a lunch and tour.


Tomorrow the new 12-sided £1 coin enters circulation, as the old “round pound” is set to disappear from our spare change.

The new coin has been described as the most secure coin in the world.

It means that the old “round pound” will stop being legal tender on October 15 this year.

This Sunday is Palm Sunday.

Ritual Notes describe it like this:

Of Passion-tide.

Before the first Evensong of Passion Sunday, all the Crosses, images of our LORD, and of the Saints, and any pictures in the Church and Sacristy should be covered; they will remain veiled till Holy Saturday, even should the Feast of the Patron, or of the Dedication, of the Church occur. The veils used for this purpose should be violet; they ought not to be transparent, and should not have a Cross or any emblem of the Passion worked upon them. Of course, this rule does not apply to the images, &c., which are merely ornamental or structural parts of the building, nor does it extend to the series of pictures representing the Way of the Cross. The Candlesticks on the Altar should not be veiled.

The Office Hymn on the Eve of Passion Sunday, and daily until the Wednes­day in Holy Week inclusive, is Vexilla Regis prodeunt (Hymnal Noted, 51; H. A. M., 96; People’s Hymnal, 82). And at Mattins, during the same period, it should be Pange lingua gloriosi Praelium, or Lustra sex qui jam peracta (Hymnal Noted, 52 or 53; H. A. M., 97; People’s Hymnal, 83). On Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, there are no Office Hymns.

At the Holy Eucharist on Passion Sunday, and daily until Holy Saturday, unless the Service be that of a Festival, the Psalm Judica me in the Preparation, is omitted, and the Gloria Patri is not said at the Introit, or at the end of the Psalm Lavabo.

On Palm Sunday, before the principal Celebration of the Holy Eucharist, branches of palm and of other trees should be blessed by the Celebrant. The palms to be blessed should be placed on a small table near the Epistle side of the Altar (unless the blessing take place in the Sacristy), and should be covered with a white linen cloth. Branches of palm may be placed on the Altar between the Candlesticks. When the blessing is concluded the palms will be distributed to the Clergy and Choir, in due order, and then, if it be customary, to the people who will come up to the Chancel step to receive them, first the men and then the women. If necessary, the Celebrant may be assisted in the distribution by another Priest, vested in Surplice and violet Stole. The Sub-deacon will attend at the right of the Celebrant to raise the border of the Cope, and the Deacon will be at the left to present him the Palms. The Processional Cross should be covered with a violet veil and, during the distribution, the Sacristan will securely fasten one of the blessed Palms to the top with a violet ribbon. The distribution ended, the procession will be formed, and proceed round the Church in the customary manner, but the Processional Cross will be carried by the Sub-deacon. The Clergy and Choir follow the Cross, walking two and two as usual, each bearing his Palm in the outside hand; the Deacon will walk at the left of the Celebrant, raising with the right hand the border of the Cope, and holding his Palm in the left hand. The Celebrant carries his Palm in the right hand. At the Procession, the Hymn Gloria, laus et honor (Altar Hymnal, 23; Hymnal Noted, 54; H. A. M., 98; People’s Hymnal, 84) should be sung. At the Blessing and Procession, the Celebrant will wear Amice, Alb, Girdle, Stole and Cope. The Deacon and Sub-deacon will be vested as usual, but remove their Maniples before the Procession, resuming them again at its conclusion, after they have assisted to take off the Celebrant’s Cope, and to vest him with the Maniple and Chasuble which should be placed in readiness on the Sedilia before the Service begins.

After the Procession, the Holy Eucharist proceeds as usual, except for the omissions commenced on Passion Sunday, and that, at the Gospel, the Acolytes carry Palms in their hands in place of their Candlesticks. The Clergy and Choir hold their Palms in their hands during the Gospel, and carry them out with them at the end of the Service. If the Gospel be considered to take the place of the ancient Passion, the Dominus vobiscum and Gloria Tibi usually sung before the Gospel may be omitted throughout Holy Week, and during the same period, when the words “He gave up the Ghost” occur in the Gospel, it is customary for every one to kneel and for a slight pause to be made. On Palm Sunday a genuflection is also made in the Epistle, at the words “At the Name of JESUS, &c.”

If Palms be not blessed, the Celebrant may read S. Matthew xxi. 1—9, for the Last Gospel at the end of the Celebration, in place of S. John I.


Palm Sunday


Diocesan John writes…


In the seventies all kinds of intellectual people were invited into the Church in Europe to help give it a modern appeal.  It is certainly true that Faith must be based on reason but in the practice of Faith, in discovering the love of God and returning that love we need more than assent to the intellect..   I love my wife but I do not love her intellectually there is an emotional content.  There are the hugs, the flowers, the appropriate words at appropriate times, the saying ‘I love you”.   To make marriage work we need the whole of our person involved, rational and emotional.  Love is an emotional thing.

And if I love my spouse I do not make excuses for unfaithfulness. lying to her, purposely spending my time away from her and then claiming that after all I am only human.  In the presence of my wife I should feel guilt about such things for that is what true love is about.  So if I go against what He expects of me can I really claim to love God.  “If you love me keep my Commandments” Jesus said in scripture    But the one who does not feel guilty in marriage or the love of God because grown adults for some reason should not feel guilty has somehow lost the way.  And bishops and priests who make little of sin and thus make little of the distance people are from loving
God have also lost the way.

A great wisdom was built up in the church over the centuries about how we can learn to love God.  It was both a rational and emotional approach.  We approached God with little acts of devotion as indeed we would approach our spouses.  We would say I love you in a thousand different ways by simple words of devotion like reciting litanies in praise of God’s love for us such as the Litany of the Sacred Heart.  A heart that was on fire for love of us.  And we went further.  We wanted to know the people that Jesus loved those so close to him as his own family.  We examined this background and praised his mother and his earthly father St Joseph, and we honoured them in the way that Jesus as a boy and man would have honoured them.    We asked fair their help and intercession and they and the saints became part of our family    It is even framed in the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed we pray at Mass though it is as very long time since I heard a priest comment that this was part of our Catholic Faith.   What happened was that in the seventies and eighties when Satan’s Spirit of Vatican II was brought into the Church and lies abounded the bishops turned to  ‘scholars’ and ‘experts’ who sneered at devoitional practices and helped them found an adult Church and those who disagreed were described as children  living in the past and we must allow children to think for themselves.  Which is fair enough if you actually give them something to think about.  It is just like the famous saying.  “We take people from where they are”.  When you check in later you find they certainly did take them from where they are but they took them nowhere.   So with children all you need to do is take bout love and they will be convinced.   The truth is without devotional practices there is little chance of them falling in love with God.   Perhaps in the past the young people had a chance in a society with Christian Values. but today with the refusal by teachers ion the jjChurch to admit their failures and look at what not listening to the Commandments of God has done to our society, young people have paid the price of the Spirit of Vatican II in broken homes and broken families.   The love of God is something to talk about at school and not in their real world where they are finding little love in their lives.

Perhaps one day they will discover that it is not the fault of the children that so few go to Church but it is very much their failure to understand what they have done to the children.





A PLEA to save a “unique and historic” piece of 20th century artwork was voiced after its home came under threat.

The piece in question is an eight-metre-high mosaic of Christ on the cross which was built in situ at Holy Rosary Church in Fitton Hill.

Parishioners and experts alike are concerned about the future of the art after Salford Diocese announced the church is earmarked for closure.

Professionals who have examined the work, produced by Hungarian artist Georg Mayer-Marton, emphasised its historic and cultural importance.

Others have urged the Bishop of Salford, the Rt Rev John Arnold, to reconsider his decision to close the church building.

The great nephew of immigrant artist Mayer-Marton, Nick Braithwaite, said: “This is an historically important and unique artwork. It would be a crying shame and an act of iconoclasm if such a beautiful religious work were to be demolished. We are hoping the diocese will think again.”

Natural stone and luminous glass tesserae ­- small tiles ­- make up the intricate detail of the crucifixion scene.

Examinations revealed that the back-drop to the original work, dated 1955, was painted over with white emulsion in 1980.

However area paint tests showed that the covered background could be restored to its original form.

The hidden artwork behind the dramatic crucifixion scene shows St John to Jesus’ left and Christ’s mother Mary on his right.

Professor of the history of western art at University of Glasgow Clare Willsdon said of the piece: “Mayer-Marton’s imaginative approach in itself makes his Oldham mural worthy of careful preservation?an essential part not only of the mid-20th-century legacy of ’emigré’ culture but also of the larger histories of mural decoration in Britain and of the revival of mosaic technique.”

Former keeper of art galleries at National Museums Liverpool Julian Treuherz said of the author: “It is his mosaics that are his most distinguished and powerful works.”

Others described Mayer-Marton’s surviving mosaic as “a work of serious aesthetic and religious significance on par with some of the strongest works of modern ecclesial art in Britain”.

For the past six months former parishioner of Holy Rosary Steve Haines has thrown all his efforts into securing the long-term future of the work.

Mr Haines, of Carrington, made contact with Mr Braithwaite via the Mayer-Marton website.

He said: “We are hoping for some kind of effort for conservation, preservation and restoration.”


Bishop Egan at the Shrine of Bl Pier Giorgio. His Lordship prayed for us all, especially the young.


Nigel Farage: A Christian?



Nigel Farage speaks from his home in Kent. On his bookshelf is a copy of the Good News Bible.

Apparently Mr Farage was raised as an Anglican in the Church of England, of which he is still a member.

In a December 2015 column published by the Mirror, Farage argued that Christmas should always be considered a “Christian festival.”

“That means that whilst we have absolute respect for people of all religions from all over the world, regardless of whether they agree or support our faith, we as a country must be up standing and defend who we are.”




Mr Farage more recently tweeted, ‘We already have a problem with home-grown terrorism… why would you bring people in if you can’t vet them? The British people want answers from their leaders about what they’re going to do.’

If only we had a common sense talker within the Catholic Hierarchy. Look at these statistics on vocation…


There is a serious crisis and yet the Catholic Church does nothing to address poor liturgy and shallow catechesis and fails to reprimand iberal priests and Bishops.

We’re told that “The road to Hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of bishops are the lamp posts that light the path.” St John Chrysostom

The friction of the past 50 years between liberal and Catholic Bishops is now bubbling up because of Amoris Laetitia and the Synod on Deaconesses. The Church is facing a civil war.

How this will all play out is unclear. The longer Francis goes on, the more cardinals and bishops he can appoint, which will likely increase the number of those who think as he does and decrease the size of the opposition still further.

Then again, the smaller and more embattled the opposition feels, the more vocal it may become, which could create an even greater sense of crisis.

Vatican observers such as Italian journalist Marco Politi have suggested the public protests against Francis are about positioning before the next conclave – creating an air of uncertainty and chaos so the cardinal-electors will opt for a different, safer and more traditional path than the one set out by the current pope, who is now 80.



Clocks go forward an hour at 1am this Sunday as the UK switches to British Summer Time


Westminster Cathedral Choir and Orchestra will have a Lenten Concert on Wednesday 29th March at 7.30pm. The concert will include the Allegri’s Miserere, Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and James MacMillan’s Meditation on the Seven Last Words from the Cross. Tickets are available from the Cathedral Gift Shop




HOLY WEEK @ Holy Family, Southampton



HOLY WEEK @ St Agatha’s, Portsmouth




Sunday           9th        Palm Sunday (Second Sunday of Passiontide)

Monday           10th      Monday of Holy Week

Tuesday           11th      Tuesday of Holy Week

Wednesday     12th      Wednesday of Holy Week

Thursday         13th      Maundy Thursday (19.30)

Friday              14th      Good Friday  (12.00)

Saturday         15th        Holy Saturday (Easter Eve) (19.30)

Sunday           16th        Easter Day



Westminster Cathedral Oremus Magazine (MARCH edition):

From St Agatha’s, Portsmouth…


Requiem Mass will be offered for those murdered in Westminster on Friday at 11am. Prayer & the Holy Rosary will defeat evil.




Bishop Egan has tweeted, “Very sad to hear of shocking London terror attack. God grant eternal life to those killed, recovery to injured, forgiveness to the attacker.”