From 'Mementoes of the Martyrs' : "...which provoked a Frenchman who was there to comment on the strange ways of the English, "those who are for the pope are hanged, those who are against him are burned:"                                               Saint John-Paul II wrote: "The fact that one can die for the faith shows that other demands of the faith can also be met."                                                 Cardinal Müller says, “For the real danger to today’s humanity is the greenhouse gases of sin and the global warming of unbelief and the decay of morality when no one knows and teaches the difference between good and evil.”                                                  St Catherine of Siena said, “We've had enough exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues - I see the world is rotten because of silence.”                                                  Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”                                                Brethren, Wake up!


Last Thursday the Requiem for deceased members of the Grand Priory and British Association took place in the Conventual Church.  A High Mass of Requiem in the Extraordinary Form, celebrated by the Chaplain of the Grand Priory, Monsignor Antony Conlon, assisted by Fr Creighton-Jobe of the London Oratory and Fr David Irwin, was well attended by Members of the Order, Companions, and aspirants who had attended the Formation day.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.


The Funeral Mass for Colonel Pace will be held at Saint James's Spanish Place, George Street, London W1U 3QY, at 10 am on Friday 3rd December. See map here. It will be followed by a Reception, and private cremation at Golders Green.

The body will be received into St James's at 5 pm on Thursday, followed by sung Vespers of the Dead.

A Mass, for the Feast of Our Lady of Liesse which occurs this day, will be sung in the Conventual Church for the Colonel's intention at 6.30pm, by Father John Hemer MHM.  This forms part of the Advent Recollection previously announced.  This Marian devotion, whose shrine is in Grand Harbour in Valetta, was always very close to the Colonel's heart from his youth.  See further information here.



Please pray for the repose of the Soul of


Knight of Magistral Grace

onetime Sacristan of the Conventual Church

who died on 22nd November 2010
aged 96 years



Colonel 'Tommy' Pace was immensely proud to have been invested a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in June 2009 and described himself as the newest, oldest member. Born in Malta, where he studied medicine before the War, he was commissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and served with distinction during the War in India and in Burma where he won a military OBE. After the war, he served in Singapore, Kenya and Cyprus before going to Paris as Chief of NATO Medical Services. His last posting was to Brussels where he served at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) as chairman of the NATO Emergency War Surgery Handbook Revision Committee.  

After retirement he moved to St John's Wood, to be close to Lord's Cricket Ground, and was a life-long member of the MCC. He was also a keen follower of rugby. He had been Sacristan of the Conventual Church for thirty years and continued regularly to attend Mass there until a few weeks before his death. The last few months of his life were a valiant struggle with advancing cancer, during which time he was an example to all his friends of patient forbearance and piety.  His wife predeceased him by about fifteen years.  He is survived by his four nieces.

The funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.


Tuitio Fidei, one of the historical charisms of the Order of Malta, is a duty which is frequently misunderstood. People often say "but how can I teach the Faith, I don't know enough?" Notwithstanding our duty as Catholics to inform ourselves about the Faith so that we can offer arguments when challenged (apologetics), Tuitio Fidei does not, necessarily or even primarily, mean active proselytizing (though sometimes it can), but for most of us may be done daily in living our lives as God would wish.  We are watched by others all the time, whatever we do, and simply doing it well is a powerful tool for evangelisation.

In this short film of prisoners in Dachau we see the most moving example of Tuitio Fidei in the piety and silent devotion of these men, in the very jaws of death.  

We are told simply that these men are all priests, survivors in the Dachau camp. It is not known what exactly is happening, seemingly some form of devotion after Mass, but this lack of detail adds to its mystical quality. The sight of these men, intent upon their devotions, making the sign of the Cross in unison and with great care, is incredibly beautiful. This is how to pray.  The film was made days after the liberation of Germany.

Let us pray that we too may learn to offer our own prayer with this attention: this is Tuitio Fidei.

All holy priests, pray for us.
All holy men and women, pray for us.

Film courtesy of Gloria TV (and hat-tip to Fr Blake of Brighton).


TODAY is the Feast of All Saints of the Order, the celebration of those countless unnamed men and women through 900 years, the predecessors of present-day Knights and Dames, who have lived heroic christian lives as soldiers, hospitallers and religious, yet whose virtues are known to God alone.

Members of the Order are bound to honour them and to invoke their intercession, which is a powerful aid for the work of the Order today. For Companions and friends too, many graces may be brought by their intercession as we honour them in our prayers and in our service of the Order.

We pray that we too might one day be numbered among them - the true goal of our Christian soul.

A Mass will be celebrated (in the New Rite of Mass) at 6.30pm, by our Chaplain, Fr David Irwin at the Conventual Church of St John of Jerusalem.

The Collect of the Mass
O God, the source of all holiness
and of varying forms of it that endow your Church
and build up the Body of Christ,
give us the grace to follow the saints of our Order
in living for you alone,
by meditating on your law and by perfect self-denial
so that we may come with them to the bliss of eternal life. Amen.


The next concert in the Saint John's Concerts series, to be sung by the boys of Arnold House School Chapel Choir, under the direction of their Choirmaster Paul Swinden, will take place on Wednesday next, 24th November, at 7.30pm in the Conventual Church.

We are very please to renew our relationship with this local prep school, with which the Hospital has had very long association over many decades.

The programme will be as follows:
Richard Dering  -  O Bone Jesu
George Dyson  -  I Will Worship
Geoffrey Burgon  -  Nunc Dimittis
Ralph Vaughan-Williams  -  Antiphon from 5 Mystical Songs
Gabriel Faure  -  In Paradisum from Requiem
William S. Harris -  Behold, now, praise the Lord
Cecil Armstrong Gibbs  -  Beggar’s Song
Ronald Corp  -  God be in my Head
The choral works will be interspersed with two J S Bach organ solos played by Paul Swinden and Colin Stuart.
As with the other concerts, a donation will be requested at the door for the support of Saint John's Hospice.  We do encourage all our friends to support this most worthy cause.  Refreshments of wine, soft drink and snacks will be served in the interval.

Information on the Concert series may be found here, or in the link in the sidebar.


Benedict XVI is calling on all Catholics to join in a Vigil for All Nascent Human Life, to be celebrated in local parishes and dioceses November 27th 2010.

After praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled that the event is "a joint initiative with the local Churches throughout the world and I have recommended it to be observed in parishes, religious communities, associations and movements too."

"The time of preparation for Holy Christmas is a propitious moment to invoke divine protection for every human being called into existence, and also for a thanksgiving to God for the gift of life received from our parent," he added.

The Hoy Father will celebrate the vigil in St. Peter's Basilica on the eve of the First Sunday of Advent. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and the Pontifical Council for the Family collaborated in creating an outline for the vigil, and the U.S. bishops' conference is developing resources for the parishes.  (source: ZENIT)


The Grand Prior of England is organising a Vigil in the Conventual Church at 3.45pm on Saturday 27th.  Following the format for the Vigil as laid down by the Congregation for Divine Worship, the Vigil will take the form of Sung Vespers of Our Lady, followed by prayer before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, readings, meditation and recitation of the Holy Rosary, special prayers and Benediction.

For those members on the Order, and Companions and friends not able to be present, and who wish to observe this vigil of prayer, the Grand Prior has proposed three alternative ways to participate with the Order in this event:

At a convenient time as close to 3.45pm on Saturday afternoon, recite the five Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. The Gospel Meditations are given in the document available here, as are the special prayers
issued at the Pope’s request by the Congregation for Divine Worship, which you should also say.

Pray the Vigil with the Holy Father at Vespers and Exposition. The details we have are: Satellite transmits at: EUTELSAT HOT BIRD II-
13° East - DIGITAL DVB/Frequency 12.380 MHz - Vertical Position - FEC 3/4 -
Symbol rate 27.500 MSYMBOL. Transmission starts about 5.50pm, the Vigil starts at

The Pope has asked all Bishops to arrange Vigils in their Cathedrals on this day. The only one we have been able to find is for Westminster Cathedral, where Archbishop Nichols is to preside; the time is yet to be announced. You should check with your own Diocese.

If you take any of these three options please let the Grand Prior know by e-mail to: (sorry about this, it is to avoid spam, you have to type this out substituting the @ symbol). The Grand Prior proposes to offer all our prayers of the Vigil to the Holy Father in the form of a Spiritual Bouquet. You may also send a postcard to: Grand Prior, SMOM, 58 Grove End Road, London NW8 9NH

The Mediation of the Rosary and special Vigil Supplications may be downloaded here. It is also available in the sidebar "downloads" box.

Further official information is available here, courtesy of the US Bishops Conference which has been tasked with coordinating the English language resources for this day.


On Tuesday 16th November, the Hospital's Patronal Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, which falls on Wednesday, will be anticipated at the 11am Mass, in a Mass for the Hospital's patients, staff and volunteers and day patients of the Hospice, celebrated by the Hospital Chaplain.

During Mass the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick will be celebrated. The Sisters of Mercy will be present, as one of their number, Sister Mairead (Sister Mary Oliver) is critically ill. Please pray especially for her. Sister Mellitus, the last Sister of Mercy to hold the post of Matron, will hopefully be present.  It is a great joy as ever to have the Sisters back on this day in the Hospital which they nursed from its foundation.

All are welcome at this Mass, especially those who are involved in any way in the life of the Hospital.

Please support this Feast in your prayers, and particularly pray for those who are dying in the Hospice.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us.


As this is a subject which has a very direct bearing upon the correct promotion of the teachings of the Magisterium of the Church, one of the historical roles of the Order of Malta, and upon bioethical issues pertinent to the life and work of a Catholic hospital, it seems appropriate to bring to your attention this petition calling for a reform of Britain's libel laws.

As we have read recently, in relation to subjects as varied as abortion, homosexual marriage, Catholic education and climate change, writers, both religious commentators and scientists, may be successfully threatened with libel claims by those who disagree with them, and who promote contrary arguments, if they are even mildy critical in their reviews and commentaries.  Often this discourages those who seek to uphold the truth, as they are forced to be silent to avoid the risk of hugely expensive legal battles.

'Freedom to criticise and question, in strong terms and without malice, is the cornerstone of argument and debate, whether in scholarly journals, on websites, in newspapers or elsewhere.' Recently a faithful priest was forced to close his blog through threats of legal action, for commenting critically upon the published writings of another priest. Specialist doctors are also particularly vulnerable from those with vested interest in the medical industry.

A petition for Libel Law Reform has been begun here, which readers may wish to consider signing. You will see that those behind this report are a very mixed bag, with many of whom we would have little else in common. This is an indication of the serious concern which many in our society now feel for the maintenance of free speech.

Various commentaries may be read in the following places. You are encouraged to inform yourself before signing.  Fr Tim Finigan, James Preece, DolphinariumLibel Reform Campaign.


Please pray for the soul of Thomas O'Sullivan, who died last week in St John's Hospice, fortified by the Rites of Holy Mother Church, and whose funeral took place in the Conventual Church today.

Pray also for his family, with whom he was reunited at his funeral after a separation of twenty years.

Requiescat in pace.

November 2nd - Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed

On this day, as yesterday on All Saints we celebrated the virtues of all those unnamed saints, our mothers fathers, brothers, sisters, friends who have entered Paradise, and invoked their prayers for us, so today we join our prayers with theirs for the countless other souls who still undergo purification in Purgatory.

Grant they they too may soon come to the fullness of the Eternal Banquet.

On any day this week, in a visit to a cemetery or Church, with prayers for the Dead and for the Holy Father's intention, and under the usual conditions of Confession and Holy Communion, a Plenary Indulgence applicable to the departed souls may be gained.  This indulgence may be gained every day from the 1st to the 8th November, one Confession sufficing for the week.  This means that if you are in a state of grace you could release eight souls from Purgatory, a most laudable act of Charity.  Pray that one day someone will do this for you.


This day, this day of wrath
shall consume the world in ashes,
as foretold by David and the Sibyl.

What trembling there will be
When the judge shall come
to weigh everything strictly!

The trumpet, scattering its awful sound
Across the graves of all lands
Summons all before the throne.
Death and nature shall be stunned

When mankind arises

To render account before the judge.

The written book shall be brought

In which all is contained

Whereby the world shall be judged
When the judge takes his seat

all that is hidden shall appear

Nothing will remain unavenged.

What shall I, a wretch, say then?

To which protector shall I appeal

When even the just man is barely safe?

King of awful majesty

You freely save those worthy of salvation

Save me, found of pity.

Remember, gentle Jesus
that I am the reason for your time on earth,
do not cast me out on that day
Seeking me, you sank down wearily,
you saved me by enduring the cross,

such travail must not be in vain.

Righteous judge of vengeance,

award the gift of forgiveness
before the day of reckoning.

I groan as one guilty,

my face blushes with guilt;
spare the suppliant, O God.

Thou who did'st absolve Mary [Magdalen]
and hear the prayer of the thief
hast given me hope, too.

My prayers are not worthy,

but Thou, O good one, show mercy,

lest I burn in everlasting fire,

Give me a place among the sheep,

and separate me from the goats,

placing me on Thy right hand.

When the damned are confounded

and consigned to keen flames,
call me with the blessed.

I pray, suppliant and kneeling,

a heart as contrite as ashes;

take Thou my ending into Thy care.

That day is one of weeping,

on which shall rise again from the ashes

the guilty man, to be judged.

Therefore spare this one, O God,
merciful Lord Jesus:

Give them rest. Amen.