Monday, 26 October 2009

Archbishop of Tuam on recent 'event' at Knock

I'll be going at Christmas as Cellarer clan going to Mayo to spend Christmas with the inlaws. I'm not expecting to see any apparitions...

Most Rev. Michael Neary DD LSS,
Tuam, Co. Galway.


Statement by Archbishop Michael Neary
on the Shrine of Knock
The Meaning of Knock

Knock is a much loved place of pilgrimage and prayer. Ever since the apparition in 1879, believers from home and abroad have made the pilgrimage there in increasing numbers. The most renowned of all pilgrims to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock was his Holiness, Pope John Paul II, who came for the centenary of the shrine in 1979, thus reaching ‘the goal of his journey to Ireland’ where he was able to ‘make yet another pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Mother of Christ, the Mother of the Church, the Queen of Peace.’ (Homily at Mass in Knock, 30 September 1979).

The great gift of Knock consists in a particular way in prayer and the celebration of the sacraments, in penance and the conversion of life. ‘All those who have come to Knock have received blessings through the intercession of Mary…The sick and suffering, people handicapped in body and in mind, troubled in their faith or their conscience, all have been healed, comforted and confirmed in their faith because they trusted that the Mother of God would lead them to her Son Jesus’ (Pope John Paul II). It is this trust in the Mother of God, this turning to her divine Son borne out in the practical care of the sick, and in the celebration of the sacraments of reconciliation, anointing and Eucharist that lie at the core of the Knock pilgrimage.

For one hundred and thirty years now the pilgrims to Knock have been pilgrims in faith. They ‘walk by faith and not by sight’ to quote the words of St Paul (II Cor 5:7). This is their great blessing, the blessing in fact that Jesus mentions to the doubting Thomas: they have not seen and still they believe (Jn 20:29).
The Authentic Identity of the Shrine

Such faith makes Knock pilgrims firm in hope and active in love for the sick and suffering. They do not expect visions or seek further apparitions. God has manifested Himself in Jesus Christ and His people have responded ever since. It is not healthy, does not give glory to God and certainly is not good witness to the faith to be looking for extraordinary phenomena.

The apparition of 1879 was neither sought nor expected by the humble, honest people who were its astonished witnesses. Their faith reveals the patience and humility that characterises true belief. The Shrine of Knock is living witness to that faith.

Unfortunately, recent events at the Shrine obscure this essential message. They risk misleading God’s people and undermining faith. For this reason such events are to be regretted rather than encouraged.

The Shrine of Knock will be best served by retaining its authentic identity.


Sunday, 25 October 2009

Orthodox thoughts

The spotlight is on the Personal Ordinariates initative at the moment, however relations with the Orthodox certainly appear to be on the move as well.

Strong public condemnation of protests by group of Orthodox opposed to talks.

Protests of radical Orthodox opposed to dialogue with the Catholic Church interrupted the work of the weeklong meeting. The country's police arrested four citizens and two monks of the monastery of Stavrovunio, confirmed

The Orthodox representatives called the protests "totally unjustifiable and unacceptable, as they present false information which creates confusion," the communiqué stated. "All the Orthodox members of the commission re-affirmed that the dialogue continues with the decision of all the Orthodox Churches and advances with fidelity to the truth and to the Tradition of the Church."

Archbishop Hilarion on recognition of orders and communion.

Most Orthodox responses to questions about Catholic orders I have seen are vague, or some would say yes, others no, or, we do not know.

“To all intent and purposes, mutual recognition of each others Mysteries already exists between us. We do not have communion in the Mysteries, but we do recognize each others Mysteries”, declared Archbishop Hilarion (Alfeev) on the air during a broadcast of the program “The Church and the World” on the television channel “Russia”, on October 17th (video and text,

“If a Roman Catholic priest converts to Orthodoxy, we receive him as a priest, and we do not re-ordain him. And that means that, de facto, we recognize the Mysteries of the Roman Catholic Church”, explained Archbishop Hilarion.

Responding to the question of whether Roman Catholics can receive Communion from the Orthodox, or Orthodox Christians from the Roman Catholics, Archbishop Hilarion said that such giving of Communion should not take place, inasmuch as ”eucharistic communion has been broken”� between the Orthodox and Roman
Catholics. But, at the same time, he made clear that in some cases such
Communion is possible: “Exceptional cases occur, when, for example, a Roman Catholic is dying in some town where there is no Roman Catholic priest at all in the vicinity. So he asks an Orthodox priest to come. Then in such a case, I think, the Orthodox priest should go and give Communion to that person.”

Until recently, this sort of talk would have had you soundly rounded upon by a large number of senior Orthodox

A Bulgarian Orthodox prelate told Benedict XVI of his desire for unity, and his commitment to accelerate communion with the Catholic Church.

At the end of Wednesday’s general audience, Bishop Tichon, head of the diocese for Central and Western Europe of the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, stated to the Pope, “We must find unity as soon as possible and finally celebrate together,” L’Osservatore Romano reported.

“People don’t understand our divisions and our discussions,” the bishop stated. He affirmed that he will “not spare any efforts” to work for the quick restoration of “communion between Catholics and Orthodox.”

Bishop Tichon said that “the theological dialogue that is going forward in these days in Cyprus is certainly important, but we should not be afraid to say that we must find as soon as possible the way to celebrate together.”

“A Catholic will not become an Orthodox and vice versa, but we must approach the altar together,” he added.

The prelate told the Pontiff that “this aspiration is a feeling that arose from the works of the assembly” of his diocese, held in Rome, in which all the priests and two delegates from every Bulgarian Orthodox parish took part.

“We have come to the Pope to express our desire for unity and also because he is the Bishop of Rome, the city that hosted our assembly,” he stated.

Friday, 23 October 2009

EWTN in Scotland

EWTN have been in Scotland filming. Commentary with photo's here. Use the archives posts in the side bar on the right to see all posts of trip.

They have been to Pluscarden Abbey, interviewed James MacMillan, Sr Rosanne Reddy of the Sister of the Gospel of Life and Cardinal O'Brien of St Andrew and Edinburgh Archdiocese, among others.

The majority of this weeks tapings are intended for a new EWTN series slated to air in 2010, entitled "My country, My Faith". His eminence, Cardinal Keith O Brien, is among this days guests, although he will appear on another series entitled "Catholic lives Scotland"

There is a great need for the Gospel in Scotland, the only Scottish seminary has closed, the Pro Life movement is small and Catholicism is under siege culturally. Nethertheless, there are many who have 'lit one candle' and who can use our prayers.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Culture of Death works in many ways

Call to end middle class benefits

Benefits for the middle classes should be taken away to avoid higher taxes, a centre-right think tank has suggested.

Reform says payments including maternity pay, child benefit,

Labour has spent years discouraging people to have children with a range of anti family policies, now the biscuit tin is empty there are calls (from the right, here, but they will all be looking at it) for variety of benefits to be halted. Were we to lose maternity pay and child benefit this would be big disincentive to many people either having children at all or having any more.

Standard Political Caveat - No Party Bias here - I can't be doing with labour - p.c. secular agenda. I cant be doing with the liberals. Anti Life Policies. I can't be doing with the Tories. Me, Me, Me laissez faire capitalism. Really struggling to vote for anyone next election!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Any chance of a building swap?

This is St John's. Before the injury, when I could, I stopped in on the way home. It is a beautiful church in which to stop and pray.

Unfortunately it is St John's Episcopal Church. Full photo tour here

My parish, and before I get into trouble, is a great parish with a great priest, is unfortunately in a building sense, this.

The original Church, which had been the diocesan Cathedral, burnt to the ground in 1961 and was replaced by the above. You can see more photo's here. - Need to click photo tab.

On my travels in Scotland and England my shoulders usually drop as we drive past a medieval / Victorian Church on the way to Mass in a late 20th Century box.

At the end of the day, It is a small price to pay though.

A wee thought. Where a C of E / C of S parish folds with a good Church building, should we actively be trying to get a hold of them to use? The 'old buildings are expensive' argument does not always hold, some 60's / 70's buildings were so poorly designed and / or constructed they eat money as fast as older properties.

Anyone know of any examples where a RC parish has taken over a folded C of S / C of E parish Church?

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Benedictine Monastery to move after 148 years

The community at Ramsgate Abbey have decided to move after 148 years. Please pray that they find the right property to move to and the right buyer for their current one.

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Press Release
News Release

Embargoed until Thursday 15th October 2009

Benedictine Monks of St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate, Seek New Home.

The Benedictine Monks of St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate, Kent, have voted to vacate the monastery in which they have lived for 148 years, and to relocate the Community. This follows a long process of discussion and discernment, and after taking professional advice.

The present Abbey, built in 1861, designed by Edward Pugin, the son of renowned Gothic-revival architect Augustus Pugin, can house 40 monks. The Community, which currently numbers eleven monks between the ages of 24 and 88, is no longer able to meet the Abbey’s considerable running and maintenance costs. The monastic Community, therefore, is now actively looking for a new property and location better suited to its size and requirements.

Dom Paulinus Greenwood OSB, the Abbot of St Augustine’s, commented: “We are united in our search for a new site which will enable us to live an authentic, balanced, monastic life of prayer, work, and study, according to the spirit of the sixth-century Rule of St Benedict, and to share that way of life with others who feel truly called to it. This is traditionally characterised by the daily celebration of Mass and the seven Liturgical Hours of the Divine Office, the reception of guests, manual work, and various intellectual pursuits. We look to promote the enduring values of Benedictine monasticism and plan to extend and develop our existing guest ministry to offer residential and non-residential hospitality to groups and individuals, both men and women. We also hope to offer structured retreats, educational courses and spiritual and intellectual study days.”

A new Abbey will need adequate provision for a church, land for market gardening, and other dedicated work areas, especially for producing the Community’s successful range of ‘Sanctuary’ products (honey, beeswax furniture polish, organic lip-balms and skin creams), and a shop in which to display and sell them. There is also a pressing need for a practical, user-friendly structure in which to house the Community’s large monastic library. Moreover, given that all these changes will involve considerable cost, the Community will shortly be launching a public appeal to help raise the necessary funds.

The Abbot and Community sincerely hope that whoever acquires the Abbey property will show sensitivity to its historical and architectural significance, and be mindful of its importance locally as part of the cultural heritage of the wider Pugin family legacy.

Further information will be posted on the ‘News’ page as and when it becomes available.

Registered Charity No. 245415 – Trustees of St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate.
Note: The first monks arrived in Ramsgate from the Italian monastery of Subiaco in 1856, and successfully evangelized much of the coastal region of Kent, establishing and, for many years administering, all but one of the existing Catholic parishes on the Isle of Thanet, whilst acting as chaplains to the locality’s numerous convents of nuns and Religious Sisters.

The monks also provided independent preparatory and secondary Catholic education in the area for 130 years from 1865 until the closure of The Abbey School and St Augustine’s College in 1995.

On 1st January this year the monks officially withdrew from all responsibility for the running of parishes.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Thousands wait for Knock apparition


From memory, apparitions of Our Lady have tended to be to poor pious folk and not publicised in advance via 'clairvoyants' from Ballyfermot. Notably the local Bishop has not even deemed this 'event' worth commenting on.

Irish Times Article

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Longest Week

As an addition to my assault on Mark I've read ( in 2 days!) The Longest Week by Nick Page which aims to put the last week of Christ into historical perspective for both believer's and non-believers, e.g the politics behind the actions of Pilate, High priest and others, the lives of soldiers and ordinary people, why what Jesus did upset the Roman's / Jewish Authorities and often the disciples. I believe he's a protestant but getting any further info from his website or google drew a blank. Found it fascinating but couldn't find a Catholic review of it on the web. Anyone know of one or read it for themselves?

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Assault on Mark

As I'm laid up, I'm going to launch an assault study on the gospel of Mark.

My guides will be

Bible, Catholic RSV version. An old 1966 version, imprimatur is Archbishop Gordon Joesph with nihil obstat by (now Canon) T Hanlon, both of my old St A&E stomping ground.

Bible, CTS New Catholic Bible - Jerusalem version, also the notes

A new Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture Editorial committee had 4 OSB's on it...Interestingly, Cardinal Heenan notes in the foreward reading of the Bible was being encouraged two generations before VII.

What was Mark at? - A commentary - Wilfrid Harrington OP

How to read the New Testament - Etienne Charpentier

Any other suggestions? Particularly online one's!