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!


Our Christian Sovereign meditates upon our charitable duty to our neighbour, on tolerance, on  bonds of fraternity, family and community, on Christian love and hope, and on examination of conscience and forgiveness, both on the world stage and also in our lives together, as a response to the Nativity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour.

With her, we pray:
"O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us today.

"It is my prayer that on this Christmas Day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God,  through Christ our Lord."
Elizabeth R .



Today the Church gives us the beginning of the final preparation for Christmas, in the greater O Antiphons of the Magnificat, the gospel canticle at Vespers.

Each one highlights a title for the Messiah; also, each refers to the one of the prophecies of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah.
O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.”  
O Adonai: “O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.”  
O Radix Jesse: “O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.” 
O Clavis David: “O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.”  
O Oriens: “O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.”  
O Rex Gentium: “O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.” 
O Emmanuel: “O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Saviour of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.”
The words of the antiphons are an acrostic, the initial letter of each name, starting with the last, spell:

ERO CRAS - "Tomorrow I shall be here!"

The combox is open to allow pedantic corrections of the translation of "ero cras", together with other contributions and spiritual reflections on these sacred days.



The Conventual Mass at Spanish Place this evening was offered by Father David Irwin for the repose of the soul of John Raleigh Chichester-Constable, knight of Honour and Devotion, who died on 7th December, at the age of 84.

John Chichester-Constable joined the Order in 1981, a man of deep and private piety and committed to charitable work, he was a very good friend and an amiable and unassuming host to many members of the Order at Burton Constable, his family house in Yorkshire which he spent much of his life restoring with his late wife Gay.  He will be much missed.  He is survived by his daughter Rodrica, dame of Honour and devotion of the Order, and grandson Jack.

Requiescat in Pace



We are deeply grateful to Father John Hemer MHM for his most inspiring talks, and for allowing us the reproduce his notes here.
Click the "read more" link below for the full texts.  These are lecture notes, rather than finished texts to be read aloud, and are thus useful aids for private study and mediation.
There are two talks, both of which were nearly an hour long, so we are attaching below links to two PDF files, so they may conveniently be downloaded and printed for leisurely study.
Click here for PDF of first talk on St John the Baptist.   
Click here for PDF of second talk on the Prologue of St John's Gospel.

John The Baptist.

In Mt. 311-12 John presents a picture of the coming Messiah – for him Jesus - where the lines are very sharply drawn: His winnowing fan is in his hand, he will clear the threshing floor his wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that never goes out.
A popular idea at his time. This is what it will be like. Once we thought all of us were the chosen people but some of us behave so badly that they must have to face retribution. And there were different definitions of who was right and wrong. People haven’t stopped being moralistic, they are just moralistic in a different way.
John’s God is not harsh or angry but just and consistent. He will not  leave goodness unrewarded nor wickedness punished. He expects Jesus to follow on from here. He also believes that the ‘Day of the Lord’ has arrived, that God is intervening in a special way.
Because of the manifest evil around him John does expect something frightening, dramatic like fundamentalists, Catholic; Protestant who wait for great portents and signs and disasters which will make everybody believe.
Perhaps Jesus’ coming gives him the courage to finally face Herod, the collaborator, fox, and that leads very quickly to his arrest. John Baptises Jesus, Jesus goes off into the desert for 40 days. John thinks “well it’s only a matter of time before Herod and all his party get their come-uppance so I can say what I want to say”. He’s not too worried when he gets arrested, Jesus the Messiah will soon sort things out. He’s spent plenty of time as a hermit in the desert so apart from the confinement prison is probably no harder and possibly easier than the life he’s led. He just sits and waits for the fireworks to begin. But they don’t.


Last Saturday some 30 members of the Grand Priory, BASMOM and Companions attended the Day of recollection in the glorious setting of St Edmund's College.  Sung Mass (in the Ordinary Form) and the Offices were celebrated in Pugin's glorious chapel, and the talks given by Father John Hemer MHM in the Shrine Chapel of St Edmund.

The texts of Fr Hemers talks will follow in the next post.  These are given for the benefit of those unable to attend, but there was much to take in, and those present will surely welcome the opportunity to study them more closely.

Before Mass, Richard Berkley-Matthews made his Promise of Obedience to the Grand Prior, Fra’ Ian Scott of Ardross, supported by Fra’ Julian Chadwick and the Lady Talbot of Malahide (Vice-President of BASMOM); and during Mass the Grand Prior renewed his own vows, supported by Fra’ John Eidinow and Fra’ Paul Sutherland.  We offer them both, on behalf of all members of the Order, the assurance of our prayers.

Fra' Duncan Gallie gave a most inspiring tour of the College and the quite wonderful Douai museum of recusant history, and the day concluded with veneration of the relic of Saint Edmund, the miraculous power of which had been described to us by Fra' Duncan, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Lord Jesus Christ, who in becoming man for our salvation deigned to assume our vesture of flesh, bless + this scapular, for your servant is to wear it in thanksgiving to you and in veneration of the blessed Virgin Mary and of Saint John the Baptist. Pour out on him, we pray, your holy blessing, so that when he first puts on this vesture, which is like unto a religious habit, he may obtain, through the prayers of the blessed Virgin Mary and of Saint John the Baptist, your grace to protect him from every evil of mind or body. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
I, NN, calling on the name of God, promise faithfully to observe the laws of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta; to carry our the duties proper to Knights and Dames in Obedience; and to render due obedience to whichever superior may be given to me. So help me God, the Immaculate Virgin, Saint John the Baptist our glorious patron, Blessed Fra’ Gerard our holy founder and all the Saints of the Order.


Members of the Order sat in choir for the sung Mass of this Feast at St James's Spanish Place.  The celebrant was our Chaplain, Father David Irwin.

The music at Mass was: Missa Quarti toni by Victoria, Ave Maria by Victoria, Fuga supra il Magnificat (BWV 733) by J.S. Bach

The Grand Priory's new Marian chasuble, the gift of a generous benefactor, was worn at this Mass for the first time, and can be seen in the above photograph.


Before Mass last Friday, the feast of Our Lady of Liesse, the Grand Prior, Fra' Ian Scott of Ardross, along with members of the Grand Priory and our Chaplain Father David Irwin, presented a copy of the new English translation of the altar Missal to The Rector of Spanish Place, Father Christopher Colven, on behalf of the Grand Priory. This book was given in gratitude for the hospitality and support offered to the Order over the last year. This donation had been the wish of the late Grand Prior, Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, at whose instruction the book had been ordered, and in whose memory it was made.


We are greatly privileged to be able to publish the meditation given by Fr Robinson, for the benefit of members of the Order unable to attend last Friday's evening on the feast of our Lady of Liesse.  The evening began with sung Mass in Latin in the Ordinary Form, in the presence of the Grand Prior, and finished with Last Friday devotions and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
‘A favourable time for the rediscovery of a hope that is not vague and deceptive but certain and reliable, because it is "anchored" in Christ’.  Pope Benedict at his homily for 1st Vespers of the 1st Sunday of Advent in 2007.  For me it encapsulates what Advent is all about.  Advent, explains the Pope as he goes on in the Homily, is a time of expectation, characterised by ‘a movement of the human heart reaching out to the God who responds in the incarnation with that incomparable gift of which we are certain, the gift of hope itself fulfilled in the coming of Christ’.
What did the Pope mean?   The Pope’s inspiring words reflected the message of his recently released Spe Salvi (‘Saved by Hope’), Benedict’s second Encyclical, in which he called us back to recognize the treasure we have in the gift of Christian hope.  Here he called Christian hope the virtue of all virtues. Without it, said Pope Benedict, the Christian cannot move anywhere.    
It is, however, in his first seminal encyclical Deus Caritas Est, on Christian love, that we find the basis for his vision of hope.  The hope of the Christian is grounded in the relationship between God and us.  And what does this mean? In the incarnation the God-man beckons us out of our longing to find our hope completed in the gift of the Son.  It is where our desire – what the Pope calls eros love and God’s agape love meet.   
Let’s place these theological ideas in the context of our current liturgical season.  As we recommence the liturgical narrative at Advent we are embarking also on a theological journey and cycle.  The opening acts are played out on a stage which connects with humanity’s original quest and God’s definitive answer to this.  We are reliving the drama of human desire and of unconditional love, or as the Pope terms it in Deus Caritas Est of eros and agape.  This is why Advent for Pope Benedict is ‘the primordial season of the human heart’.   
Reflecting on this we might wonder too at the overall gift of a fresh Liturgical Year.  Advent gives us a fresh start as our hearts set out on a new journey.  Once again, although we know for certain that God will come, will die for us, and rise again at Easter, we are called to see our need of God, to long for our salvation, and to celebrate that as a free gift which not only completes who we are as human beings, but also tells us all about the longing of God to reveal himself to us.   
In Deus Caritas Est Benedict reflects on the nature of our eros love, of our longing, of desire for God’s coming as Beloved.  The Pope plays with this word eros and places it in a drama of Christian love which is completed in the Easter event, the culmination of the drama of human hope, expressed infinitely in the agape love with which the Christ we long for gifts our world which in all its raggedness yearns for the embrace of such a God.   
In Deus Caritas Est agape and eros come together in a new way.  We might think that eros is egoistical, a selfish grasping loving.  Benedict, however, rehabilitates eros as part of the God-human dynamic as he speaks of how this love of ardent desire is also, in a certain sense, within the very being of God himself in Christ.  The love of desire, says the Pope, is the love of the Logos, ‘a lover with all the passion of a true love’, yet this love, finding its fulfilment in God’s becoming one like us in Jesus Christ, ‘is so purified as to become one with agape’.   
God in Christ knows the yearnings of the human heart, of our desire for completion. Our Advent hope is thus assured and joyful.  It is a favourable season of true hope because Christ is truly to be one with us.  For the Pope this graced time when we celebrate our human yearning for God’s coming is integral to life’s Christian pilgrimage.  Perhaps, we might say, this liturgical time which might seem to celebrate more eros than agape is, through God’s definitive answer to our quest in the gift of the incarnation which will be sealed in the sacrificial feast of the Lamb at Easter, a lived expression of the mutuality of agape and eros love.  Both eros and agape, says Pope Benedict, ‘-ascending love and descending love- can never be completely separated.  The more the two, in their different aspects, find a proper unity in the one reality of love, the more the nature of love in general is realized.’   
These reflections, however, are not just for Advent.  For the Pope this theme of agape and eros is clearly chosen as one which can speak profoundly to the contemporary world of what is at the very heart of a proper understanding and living out of the dignity of the human vocation rooted in Christ.  He intends to bring us back to Christ’s love for us so we may look at ourselves, loved infinitely by him, and called forward to reconnect with our desire for what is on our infinite horizon, the hope of glory.   
As we turn our hearts and minds once more to the God who will come again as one of us and as we set out again on our liturgical pilgrimage towards Christmas and Easter we might reflect on how the grand narrative of desire and gift, of ascent and descent, of nature and grace, which the Liturgical Year expresses with such eternal beauty, is a vibrant treasure of our Catholic life.  Moreover, contemporary theological discourse needs a similar dynamic to be played out in its own theatres.  The narrative of hope, the incarnation, and journey towards the point of it all – the cross, the tomb, and the resurrection, show us in itself how the lover and the beloved are called to be in a mutual relationship in which the beloved is called to be actively engaged and so gradually discover his true destiny.   
So in Advent we place ourselves in the drama played out in the encounter of our desire for transcendence with Christ who meets us and gives to us the inestimable gift of certain hope.  As Pope Benedict assures us ‘[R]edemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey’ (Spe Salvi, Introduction).  
[1] Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Solemn Vespers for the First Sunday of Advent 2007.
[1] Ibid.
[1] Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2007).
[1] Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2006).
[1] Ibid., # 26.
[1] Ibid., # 7.


Members of the Grand Priory and BASMOM will be attending the Parish Mass at St James's, Spanish Place at 6pm on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, by kind invitation of the Rector.  Knights are invited to robe and sit in choir.

All members and Companions are very warmly invited to attend on this great Feast of our Blessed Lady.


The next day of recollection will take place on Saturday 10th December. We are fortunate that this will take place at St Edmund’s College, Old Hall Green, Ware, SG11 1DS. The Conferences will be given by Father John Hemer MHM of Allen Hall, the Westminster Diocesan Seminary. During the Mass, Richard Berkley-Matthews will be making the Promise of Obedience.  Mass will be sung in the fine Pugin chapel.

The day will include a visit to the College's museum of recusant Catholic history.

A charge of £20 per head will be made, payable in cash on the day, to cover the costs including a three-course lunch in the College. Those attending are asked, please, to park near the front door of the College.

Please notify the Chancellery if you are able to attend: As ever, everyone is welcome: ALL members of the Grand Priory and BASMOM, other members of the Order in Britain, Companions and guests.


SATURDAY, 10th December 2011

10.00am           Arrival, coffee and introductory talk

10.30am           Lauds

11.00am           First Conference-followed by opportunity for Confession/recitation of the Rosary

12.00noon       Holy Mass

1.15pm            Lunch
2.30pm            Tour of the College and the Douay Museum 

3.15pm            Second Conference

4.00pm            Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

4.45pm            Tea and departure


We are reminded, during this season of preparation for the coming of Our Lord and Saviour to earth, in the humility of the Manger in Bethlehem, when the secular and materialist world feasts and carouses at every turn, that we, as Catholics, are called upon by the Church, and particularly here in England and Wales by our Bishops, to observe this as a season of joyful preparation.

We are reminded particularly of the obligation to abstain from meat on Fridays (see here). This obligation, of course, walks with us every week of the year, and should be a joy as we avail ourselves of the graces it offers, but at this holy time, when social pressures are so great to join the party and to set aside our duties to God and to our own dignity as Catholic souls, we should not be afraid to stand out from the crowd.

As Pope Benedict teaches us, we have a duty to make present the Church in the secular world:
"Despite attempts to still the Church’s voice in the public square, many people of good will continue to look to her for wisdom, insight and sound guidance." (Address to US Bishops' "Ad limina" November 2011)
To those of us in the Order this is part of our Tuitio Fidei, a part of our charism which we should learn to practice daily, just as we do with Osequium Pauperum. Our Lords the Poor and Sick need both.


We are privileged to be able to publish below the very moving homily delivered at the Brompton Oratory by Father Ronald Creighton-Jobe, Conventual Chaplain ad honorem of the British Association, at the Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Fra' Fredrick Crichton-Stuart on 12th October.
Most of you will have your own particular memories of Fra' Freddy. Mine is one that somehow captures the very essence of Freddy’s life. The last time he came to Lourdes, Freddy was not well, but, as always, he had served my Mass with great devotion and aplomb. When I left the sacristy I found him seated with his eyes closed with no apparent movement at all. I am afraid that my first thought was:
“Good heavens, Freddy has died!”
and my second thought was:
“What a nuisance it will be, since no one is meant to die in Lourdes because it is a bad advertisement.”
At that moment Freddy opened his eyes, looked at the tabernacle and the statue of Our Lady and said:
“THAT is what it is all about. THAT is why we are here in Lourdes.”
He was right, of course. All of us must live each day in God’s presence, aware that prayer is not a thing of the moment but an habitual attitude of the mind and the heart. Freddy was pre-eminently a man of prayer and an example to us all of our primary duty, as members of the Order, to give glory to God by acknowledging his loving and sustaining presence. 
But we must remember that Fra' Freddy Crichton-Stuart was also a man of practical, charitable, action. His work for the sick, the poor and the elderly, often done almost secretly, was a hallmark of his dedication to our secondary task in the Order of obsequium pauperum tuitio fidei and obsequium pauperum always go together. Freddy also had a charming sense of humour. Who else would always greet me with “Cher cousin”? 
After his love for his natural family, to whom we express our deepest sympathy at their loss, Freddy loved the Order of Malta. It was his second family, and his fatherly concern for the Professed was a moving tribute to his devotion to the Order. 
Freddy’s manner of living his Profession was very much his own. It was not everyone’s way, but he gave an example of poverty of spirit that was notable: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall see God.” We must never forget that, as Christians, and particularly as members of the Order of Malta, the beatitudes are our indispensible charter of life. Freddy worked untiringly to create a sense of family in the Grand Priory based upon the Sermon on the Mount. That is what our cross reminds us. Freddy’s life is also a reminder, and a challenge, to live our lives of faith with greater integrity, to give us peace and serenity before God. 
At this Requiem Mass, we are praying for the eternal rest of, and peace for, his soul; and may I use this opportunity to make a heartfelt plea. Let this Mass mark a moment of healing and peace in the life of the Order in this country, so that we can go forward to discharge our twin duties of safeguarding the Faith and service of Our Lord’s the poor and the sick with greater efficacy. This would be a most suitable monument to Freddy’s memory and one for which he fervently prayed. 
The day he called the ambulance, Freddy did die. He died as he lived, praying. May we all be given such a grace. 
Some have said how sad it is that Freddy died alone. No one dies alone, we all die when God calls us and at the moment when He wills it. There is a pious belief that the angel who is given to look after us in this world – and Freddy’s Guardian Angel sometimes had to work overtime – takes us into the presence of our Saviour. If we are as prepared as Freddy was to meet his Maker we might consider ourselves fortunate indeed. 
Cher cousin, beloved Confrere, dear Freddy, may the angels lead you into Paradise; may Our Lady under her titles of Our Lady of Lourdes and of Philermo, take you by the hand to her Divine Son. 
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. 
“Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.”


As in previous years, there will be an Advent Evening of Recollection, which this year will be on Friday 2nd December at St James’s Church Spanish Place, London W1. It is the Feast of Our Lady of Liesse (Causa nostrae laetitiae - Cause of our joy), the primary Marian shrine in Valetta, and the second Marian devotion of the Order after Our Lady of Philermo.

The Evening will begin with Mass at 6.45pm in the Lady Chapel followed by a conference and First-Friday Devotions concluding with Benediction. The Evening will be led by our good friend Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, presently resident at Farm Street and a teacher at Heythrop College.

There will be refreshments afterwards for which a charge of £5 will be made and taken up on the night. Confreres are extremely welcome to bring guests. Companions are also warmly encouraged to attend.

If you intend to come, please could you contact the Chancellery - e-mail:; telephone: 020 7286 1414. It would be helpful if replies could be received by Thursday 1st December.



It is with great sadness that we report the recent death of Anne Tunney, who was for a long period assistant sacristan of the Conventual Church in the days of Matron Ann Fagan, and an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion until only a few years ago, when her health forced her to retire.  A woman of deep and unassuming Faith, she had attended Mass in the Conventual Church, and been involved with the Hospital, for much of adult her life.

Please pray for the repose of her soul, and for her daughter, who cared for her so lovingly in her years of illness since her stroke.

Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiescat in pace.



This evening, Thursday 24th November, the Grand Priory and British Association annual Mass of Requiem for deceased members of the Order took place in the Conventual Church of Saint John of Jerusalem.

This has been particularly poignant year, with the tragic loss of the late Grand Prior, Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, which followed shortly after the untimely death of Henry Lorimer, Delegate for Scotland and the Northern Marches.  Earlier in the year we lost Fra' Richard Cheffins, among many other much beloved members.

This evening we were joined by members of the family of Thomas Anthony Ely, a founder member of the Saint John Care Home Trust, who died on All Saint's Day this year.

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

The very moving homily was preached by Monsignor Antony Conlon, Chaplain of the Grand Priory.  The text is given below.

"One of the principal signs of genuine religion is charity. The very last command that Our Lord gave to His disciples on the night before his death on the cross was “Love one another as I have loved you… By this love you have for one another everyone will know that you are my disciples”. (John 13: 34-35). Regarding charity shown to those most in need Christ also said “…insofar as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me” (Matt. 25: 40). The basis of God’s judgement of us and the measure of our reward will be decided upon our response to these words of our Saviour. That is what He has told us. This is one reason why Christians have sought and found ways through the centuries to put this teaching into practice. It can be seen in individuals and in groups where the love of God is the primary motive for working with and for others to bring about the relief of suffering and to see Christ especially in those who are most vulnerable and in need. Our service to them will be what mostly counts to our credit at the end of our lives. This kindness extends not only to the material help we give to others but also to the spiritual support of our prayers, through life and in death.


Today was the feast of of our holy Patroness of the Hospital, Saint Elizabeth, widow, and Queen of Hungary.

Holy Mass was offered in the Lady Chapel of St James's Spanish Place this evening for the medical work of the Hospital, and the intentions of the all the Patients and Staff.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for Our Lords the Sick


Following our post of last November on this subject (see here) we can now report further on this issue, below is an extract from the publicity issued earlier by the Libel reform Campaign.
Today a prestigious Parliamentary committee endorsed our call that the libel laws need to be redrawn. Their voice adds to the condemnation of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, and President Barack Obama who signed into law the US Speech Act to protect Americans from the effects of our archaic libel laws.

Campaigners will be lobbing Parliament on Wednesday 9th November at 6 pm. There are more details about this meeting on 
It has been the incredible level of support that has got the campaign to where we are now. 
Today the Parliamentary committee outlined what they think needs to be done to get the laws into shape. They took on board many of Libel Reform Campaign's recommendations but we still need a stronger public interest defense and to make these concerns and act – you can see what we think about the committee’s report here. 
Over the last two years libel reform has risen to the top of the political agenda. Now it is time to tell the government that a bill must go through parliament as soon as possible. Lord Lester's draft bill may be seen here.


The tomb of Cardinal Wiseman, founder of our Hospital,
in the crypt of the Cathedral
The next Day of Recollection will take place on Saturday 29th October, 2011. Monsignor Andrew Wadsworth, Magistral Chaplain, who is the Executive Director of the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL) will be leading a Study Day about the new English translations of the Missal. We could have no one better to lead us in this, as Monsignor Wadsworth has been responsible for overseeing the introduction of the new ICEL translation throughout the world. The Sung Mass will be celebrated using texts and chants from the new translation.

By kind permission of the Administrator of the Cathedral, this event will be held at Westminster Cathedral, using the Crypt Chapel and the Hinsley Meeting Room. Participants should gather in the Crypt Chapel before 9.30am – entrance is via Ambrosden Avenue, by going through the gates leading into the Choir School at the back of the Cathedral. (Ambrosden Avenue is the street which runs down the side of the Cathedral.)

If you wish to attend, please let e-mail, and please state "DAY OF RECOLLECTION" in the subject box, by Wednesday 26th October. We have reserved places at a local Italian restaurant for lunch.

Members of the Order are welcome to bring friends. Companions and members of OMV are also welcome.


Participants gather in the Crypt Chapel of Westminster Cathedral for:

9.30am     Lauds

After this:  First Conference, in the Hinsley Meeting Room

11.30am      Sung Mass in English, for the Feast of the Douay Martyrs

       followed by lunch in local Italian Restaurant
After lunch:  Second Conference in the Hinsley Meeting Room

Then:     Vespers, Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, in the Crypt

       Tea and departure.



On Wednesday 12th October, the whole of the British Association of the Order and Grand Priory of England came together with the family of Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart at the Brompton Oratory in London for a Mass of Requiem for the soul of the late Grand Prior.

It was attended by Fra' Freddy's wife and children; by the Marquess of Bute; representatives of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and the Papal knights; the President of the British Association HE Mr Charles Weld; Vice-President the Lady Talbot of Malahide; the Grand Prior elect Ian Scott of Ardross; the Chancellor of the Grand Priory; and Bishop Alan Hopes, Conventual Chaplain, among other dignitaries. 

The Mass was celebrated, following the wishes of the late Grand Prior, in the Extraordinary Form by Monsignor Antony Conlon, Chaplain of the Grand Priory, and the majestic homily was preached by Father Ronald Creighton-Jobe of the London Oratory, a copy of which we have been promised for later publication here. The Oratory Choir sang the Requiem by Tomás Luis de Victoria.

A reception organised by the British Association was held in Saint Wilfrid's Hall after the Mass, which allowed the conviviality and meeting of friends which the late Grand Prior had so encouraged as part of the fraternal life of the Order.

It was very fitting that this Requiem should take place on the eve of the installation of Fra' Freddy's successor as Grand Prior, of which joyous occasion a report will be posted on these pages in due course.

Further photographs of the Mass may be seen here.

The Grand Prior elect leads the Prayers of the Order


The Rosary Crusade of Reparation this year, through the streets of London from Westminster Cathedral to the Brompton Oratory, was attended by record numbers, the Oratory Church being filled with the Faithful standing in the main aisle for the final Benediction.

The celebrant for the closing devotions was Monsignor Keith Newton, Protonotary Apostolic, Superior of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, who thus for the first time very publicly united the great Marian devotion of the Anglo-Catholic tradition with their ancient living roots in the Church, truly a sign of Our Lady's tireless work of imploring God's graces for her Dowry.

This joyful event was as ever attended by a good crowd of members of the Order, both the aforementioned facts attested to by the photograph above.
Photographs courtesy of the Ordinariate


A Sung Mass of Requiem in the extraordinary form, for the repose of the soul of the late Grand Prior of England, H E Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, will be held at 11am on Wednesday 12th October at the Brompton Oratory, attended by members of the Family, members of the Order of Malta, the pontifical Orders, official guests and friends.

The celebrant will be the Chaplain to the Grand Priory of England, Monsignor Antony Conlon, and the homily will be preached by Father Ronald Creighton-Jobe of the London Oratory.

All are warmly invited to attend. Those wishing to attend officially are asked to inform Caroline de la Force at the Chancellery of the British Association of the Order of Malta at

The Mass will be followed by a Reception in St Wilfrid's Hall at the Oratory.


Beate Ioanne Baptista, ora pro eo.
Beata Maria de Philereme, ora pro eo.
Beate Gerardo, ora pro eo.
Beate Hadriane Fortescue, ora pro eo.


An important event will take place on 13th October when the 57th Grand Prior of England, Ian Scott of Ardross, will make his vows of office during solemn Mass in the 12th century crypt chapel of the former Priory Church of St John of Jerusalem, Clerkenwell, now the seat of the Venerable Order of St John. The last such ceremony took place in 1558 in the reign of Queen Mary I, when Thomas Tresham, the last Grand Prior of the Order before the Reformation, was installed in the Priory Church. We are grateful to the Venerable Order for permitting the use of the Crypt and other facilities.

As this is the feast day of our blessed founder Gerard, the relic of his jawbone, brought to England by Sir George Bowyer in 1830, one of the great treasures of the Order of Malta in England, will be venerated and used to give the final blessing, the first visit of the relics to this historic church, making the occasion a double celebration.

All members of the Order, Companions and members of the OMV are cordially invited to attend.

The mass will begin at 7pm; members of the Order intending to robe should arrive at 6.30pm.

The ceremony will be followed by a drinks reception in the Museum annexe, and if fine, in the priory garden.

Names of those who wish to attend should be given to Caroline de la Force by Thursday 6th October, by email if possible to or to telephone number 020 7286 1414.  The address of the church is Saint John's Square (to the north of Clerkenwell Road) EC1M 4DA. The nearest tube station is Farringdon.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for him
Blessed Gerard, pray for him
Blessed Adrian Fortescue, pray for him


The late Grand Prior with Fra' Matthew Festing carry out
hospitaller work for the pilgrims of Notre-Dame-de-Philerme
on the Chartres pilgrimage in 2001
We have been sent the following notice from France, about a Requiem Mass for the late Grand Prior organised by those responsible for the Order's pilgrim chapter on the Chartres Pilgrimage. Should anyone be travelling through or near Paris on that day they are warmly encouraged to attend.  We are very grateful to our French friends for this very generous act of charity.

Chers amis et pèlerins de Notre-Dame de Philerme,

Le 14 juin dernier, au lendemain de l'arrivée de notre chapitre sur le parvis de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, un ancien pèlerin du chapitre a été rappelé à Dieu.

S.E. Fra' Fredrik CRICHTON-STUART, chevalier Grand-Croix de Justice de l'Ordre de Malte, Grand Prieur d'Angleterre de l'Ordre. Il était aussi un fidèle pèlerin sur la route de Chartres au sein de notre chapitre et certains d'entre nous ont marché avec lui.

En sa mémoire : 
Nous vous invitons à la messe de requiem qui sera célébrée selon la forme extraordinaire du rite romain par Monsieur l'abbé Guilhem LECOCQ, f.s.s.p., ancien aumônier général de Notre-Dame de Chrétienté, 
à la mémoire de Fra' Fredrik CRICHTON-STUART, 
le lundi 17 octobre prochain à 20 heures  
en l'église Sainte-Elisabeth de Hongrie.
195 rue du Temple 75003 PARIS (accès par la petite porte à gauche de la façade de l’église). 
En union de prières.


Photo copyright Osservatore Romano.
On arrival is Germany today, the Holy Father has expressed words on relativism which fit pefectly with the charism of the Order of Malta, in our duty to others in respect both of promoting the Faith and our Hospitaller work.
In human coexistence, freedom is impossible without solidarity. What I do at the expense of others is not freedom but a culpable way of acting which is harmful to others and also to myself. I can truly develop as a free person only by using my powers also for the welfare of others. This holds true not only in private matters but also for society as a whole.
Benedict XVI 

THE SACRED LITURGY - A SACRED POEM - Tuitio Fidei by a Blessed of the Order

Cardinal Schuster, wearing the ornaments to the
alb used in the Ambrosian rite, 

which is in fact now attached to the cincture.
The following text is an article written by Blessed Ildefonso Cardinal Schuster OSB, Blessed of the Order of Malta, who was Archbishop of Milan in the 1920's, a most learned scholar of liturgy.
The Sacred Liturgy in its widest meaning, has as its object, the religious and supernatural culture of Christianity in its various sacramentary, euchological, ritualistic, literary and artistic manifestations, embracing thus, as in a vast synthesis, all that which is most sublime which has been created in the world, in order to grasp and express the indescribable and the Divine. Nor is that all.

As children of the Catholic Church and heirs of the dogmatic revelation made to the ancient Patriarchs and Prophets of Israel, our religious culture not only pre-exists, in its fundamental elements, the very coming of the Son of God to the world, but it is present many centuries prior to the most ancient cultures which record history, establishing itself, for that reason, to be respected and venerated by the learned. Moreover, it is not possible to speak of a purely natural and human origin, both because the dogmatic element of Christianity originates from direct and positive Divine Revelation and also because the life and activity itself of the Church are derived from the Spirit of Jesus Who lives in Her.

Therefore we are speaking of a sacred poem, to which Heaven and earth have truly placed their hand, and in which humanity, redeemed in the Blood of the Spotless Lamb, on the wings of the spirit, soars on high, thrusting itself up to the throne of God. This is something more than a simple elevation; since the Sacred Liturgy does not only express that which is ineffable and Divine, but through the Sacraments and its euchological formulae, produces it, so to say, and fulfills it in the souls of the Faithful to whom it communicates the grace of Redemption. One may also say that the very source of the holiness of the Church is wholly comprised in Her Liturgy, so that without the Divine Sacraments, the Passion of the Saviour, in the present economy instituted by God, would not have any efficacy for us, due to the lack of instruments able to transmit its treasures to us.

The sphere of the Liturgy is unsurpassed by that of any other science, since it embraces the first origins of humanity, its essential relations with the Creator, the Redemption, the Sacraments, Grace, Christian eschatology, in other words, all that there is which is most sublime, most aesthetically perfect, most necessary and important to the world.

As for science, the Sacred Liturgy has its canons, its laws, its subdivisions, the same as all other sciences and particularly of positive theology, which is similar both in its method and its aim. One of its purposes, in fact, is the systematic study of Christian worship, distinguishing and classifying the various liturgical formulae according to the basic structure characteristic of each family, ordering them by date of compilation and instituting examinations and comparisons between the various forms, with a view to tracing elements of common origin in them.

It is only thus that apparently irreducible liturgies, such as the Roman, the Gallican and Hispanic liturgies can be traced to a common source. If such were not the case, it would be difficult to see how the unity of the Symbol of Faith (The Creed) failed to lead(as an immediate consequence of its unity) to primitive unity in its liturgical expression. Instead, recent studies and detailed and patient investigation have uncovered in all the liturgies, even the most dissimilar, a common substratum.

At times an identical concept is expressed using quite different ritual formulae and language. Nevertheless, it can now no longer be doubted that eastern and western liturgies all derive from an identical, very ancient form, which provides a foundation for Catholic unity in ecclesiastical worship.

[From: De vita Contemplativa, Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, Italy - Contributor and translator: Francesca Romana.]

Our heartfelt gratitude to Rorate Caeli blog for first posting this wonderful paper. UPDATE. Rorate Caeli are seemingly continuing a series of papers on the Liturgy, today 'The Sacred Liturgy and Mary Most Holy' has been posted, so we encourage our readers to visit that site.


We are glad to report that following a technological hiatus over a period of a few months, the 'Downloads' section is now up and working again, thanks to the kindness of a Companion of the Order. It may be accessed through the sidebar, as shown in the image above.

There you will find the Ordo for the current year's liturgical celebrations for the Order of Malta, the Order prayer, and other files for download in PDF format.  These will open in most web-browsers, and may be saved to your computer and opened in Acrobat or other suitable document-reader software.

Informative documents will be uploaded there from time to time, it will also permit the downloading of homilies and other papers posted on this site.


Today, the Bishops of England and Wales have determined that in future we must refrain from eating meat or flesh products on Friday as a necessary part of our weekly penitence.

This obligation carries the same moral force as the Sunday Mass obligation and other disciplines of the Church, and applies to all those between their 15th and 60th birthdays.

We should also bearing in mind when preparing food for other people that we have a duty to avoid tempting them into breaking their obligation.

As an amusing aside, we have noticed that many of the more popular Catholic websites and blogs have pages of suggestions for meatless recipes, so there will be culinary as well as spiritual benefits to observing this discipline. We shall not be posting any here.


Altarpiece of the Seven Dolours in the Royal Abbey of Brou,
near Bourg-en-Bresse, early 17th Century
On this Feast we would earnestly ask all our readers to offer a Holy Rosary for unity within the Church, in accordance with the will of the Holy Father, and especially for the present initiatives for reconciliation of the Society of Saint Pius X, but also for the numerous other divisions within the Church and her organisations.

Holy Mass will be offered by Fr Dominic Robinson SJ at 6.45 this evening at Spanish Place for this intention, as also for the weekly intentions of the Order of Malta and St John's Hospice.
At the cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful mother weeping,
close to Jesus at the last,
Through her soul, of joy bereavèd,
bowed with anguish, deeply grievèd,
now at length the sword hath passed
(Sequence of the Mass for the Feast)




from The Roman Missal Copyright ICEL 2010
To assist in learning the texts of the new English translations of Mass, the Thursday 6.45pm Masses in the Lady Chapel at Spanish Place, from now until the first Sunday of Advent, will be celebrated in English.

In order to promote the sung form of Mass, as expressly encouraged by our Holy Father Pope Benedict and the English Bishops, the Masses will be sung as often as numbers attending allow.

Booklets with all the texts and music contained in the new Missal have been specially prepared.

This project was begun at the instigation of Fra' Freddy, the late Grand Prior, who would have encouraged you all to come along to these Masses, not only for the opportunity they afford member of the Order, Companions and friends to attend Mass regularly together, but also to learn the new texts.

Fr Dominic Robinson SJ will be celebrant this first week, 15th September. Thereafter our Chaplain Father David Irwin will preside.