Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”


This year the feast of the Immaculate Conception fell on a Tuesday and this gave the opportunity for a Sung Mass offered with all due solemnity in the Conventual Church. There were about twenty knights and dames present amongst them the Chancellor of the Grand Priory who was seated on the sanctuary.  It was good to see around six Companions there as well together with a good number of the Sunday faithful.  Mass was offered by our old friend Fr Ian Dickie who made the journey from rural Hertfordshire to be with us.  We are extremely grateful to him for taking time out of his busy parish to come to the Conventual Church.

Cantores Missae lifted our hearts and minds heavenwards allowing for contemplation of that great mystery of the Immaculate Conception.  In his sermon, Fr Dickie reminded us of the absolute nature of Our Lady’s “Fiat” – the ultimate blank cheque so to speak – and how her example of quiet service and fidelity whilst on this earth is the model for both religious, priests and indeed lay people to follow. Hers is the perfect example of vocation accepted and fulfilled.  As our Mother she is close to all her children and as Mediatrix of All Graces intercedes for us with her Son – often with marvellous results.

A buffet supper followed in the Chancellery which was well received as a restorative and a chance to relax before the next stage of the evening – a Marian Liturgy for the Immaculate Conception in the Church organised by Eoghain Murphy (whose birthday by happy chance it was – ad multos annos!) with a twenty-strong choir of impeccable standard performing a motet after the Alma Redemptoris Mater, Tallis's Videte Miraculum.  It was extremely moving and we are grateful to all those who took part.  A “dessert” followed - again in the Chancellery - this time consisting of festive fare and around fifty people were there.  All in all it was a most enjoyable evening and a highly appropriate way to celebrate this very important and beautiful feast.

Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te.