From Cardinal Sarah : "In order to avoid hearing God's music, we have chosen to use all the devices of this world. But heaven's instruments will not stop playing just because some people are deaf."                                                                                              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!


The monthly day of Recollection was led by Father Martin Edwards, Parish Priest of St Mary Magdalene, Wandsworth, who gave two most inspiring conferences on St Francis de Sales in the light of the spirituality of Pope Benedict, with an exposition of the teaching of the recent Papal visit.

A sung Requiem Mass was celebrated at midday for the repose of the soul of Fra' Richard Cheffins, with Absolutions at the tumulum, and in the afternoon Solemn Vespers of the Dead were followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the Crib, as this is the last weekend of Christmastide.


Our most generous benefactors the schola MUSICA CONTEXTA, again delighted a large audience of some 70 strong with a concert of English Renaissance music from the Eton Choirbook, with a truly inspired performance.  

We are immensely grateful to the singers for the contribution of their skills to the work of Saint John's Hospice, and also to our audience who are so generous with their donations.

The programme was as follows:
John Browne - O Maria Salvatoris Mater a 8
Chant - Hymn: Hostis Herodes impie
William Cornysh - Gaude virgo Mater Christi a 4
Chant - Antiphon: Baptizat miles regem
John Nesbett - Magnificat a 5
John Browne - Salve Regina a 5
Chant - Hymn: Deus creator omnium
William Cornysh - Ave Maria a 4
Chant - Antiphon: Peccata mea Domine
Robert Fayrfax - Magnificat ‘Regale’ a 5
The Director, Simon Ravens, writes:
When we consider its context and history, one question the Eton Choirbook inadvertently asks of us is whether we tend to see our glass as being half empty or half full. In its own time choirbooks such as this must have been relatively common in England. But, with the religious revolution of the Reformation, such books became redundant, either destroyed or sold to book binders for their valuable parchment.  Only two other choirbooks, both much smaller than Eton, survive today. Nor was the Eton book exempt from neglect: to judge from the index, nearly half of the items in the original choirbook were lost by the 1560s, when the remaining folios were rebound. Amongst the lost items are a number of works by John Browne, a truly great composer whose music survives in no other source. In its incomplete state, until the early music revival of the 20th century, for nearly 400 years the book lay virtually undisturbed on the shelves of the college library. In the light of this, are we inclined to lament what is missing from the Eton Choirbook? And widening our vision, do we lament that the surviving items can only represent a tiny fraction of the music composed by what was very evidently a golden age of English composition? Or do we give thanks that such a treasury survived at all?
Whatever conflicting emotions the history of the Eton Choirbook might arouse in us, the overwhelmingly effervescent and extrovert nature of the actual music firmly encourages us to see our glass as half full. 



Please pray for the Repose of the Soul of


one of the most long-standing members of the Grand Priory of England, 
and also a member of the Grand Priory of Bohemia

who died earlier today
fortified by the Rites of Holy Mother Church.

Requiescat in Pace.



As part of the monthly Grand Priory Day of Recollection, a Sung Mass of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, will be celebrated in the Church at 12 noon.  The celebrant will be Fr Martin Edwards, parish priest of Saint Mary Magdalene, Wansdworth, who will also give the Conferences.

The office of Lauds of the Little Office of Our Lady will be sung at 10am; and Vespers and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at around 3.45pm, to which all are most welcome.

This is the last Recollection of Christmastide, which ends on 2nd February, so this is a good opportunity give thanks again for Our Lord's Nativity.

The two Spiritual Conferences will be held at 10.30 and 3pm in Fortescue House.

On Sunday, Lauds will be sung at 10.15 am before Mass.  There will be Sung Vespers at 4 pm.


The new liturgical Ordo for the Grand Priory of England is now available HERE, and in the "Downloads" box in the sidebar. This includes all the Feasts of the Order and celebration particular to England for the Extraordinary Form. This new edition also contains notes on the necessary variations in the Celebration of the Divine Office. Comments and further suggestions may be made by post to the Chancellery of the Grand Priory at Fortescue House in London.

The Ordinary Form calendar is available, courtesy of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, HERE. The dates of Feasts of the Order are the same in both Forms of the Roman Rite.

Our Lady of Philermo, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Blessed Adrian Fortescue, pray for us.


Yesterday morning, Saturday 16th January, the first day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, several members of BASMOM and of the Grand Priory, including the Chancellor, Fra' Duncan Gallie, attended the priestly ordination in Westminster Cathedral of the three former Anglican bishops, the Reverends Andrew Burnham, John Broadhurst and Keith Newton, and the establishment of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which, at the order of the Sovereign Pontiff, is dedicated to the patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman.

Father Newton is appointed as the first Ordinary; we offer our congratulations him and to Fathers Burnham and Broadhurst, as also the assurance of our prayers, both for themselves at this historic time and for work of the Ordinariate and its eventual members.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.
Our Lady of Philermo, pray for us.
Blessed John-Henry, pray for us.


It is neither the purpose of this blog to enter into political dispute, nor to promote causes which do not directly impinge upon the life of the Order of Malta in Britain.

Nevertheless occasionally we raise ethical questions, and we have a joint concern within the life of the Order, as part of Tuitio Fidei, for the promotion of the teachings of Holy Mother Church, and to caution against behaviour which may depart from the precepts of the Gospel. Among such is Respect for the integrity of Creation (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2415-8), which requires of us worthy stewardship of the blessings we have received for our benefit, support and pleasure.

"It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly." (CCC 2418)

Many will be aware of the current European legislation (the Common Fisheries System) which requires the 'discarding' of fish caught in European waters which exceed the Quota system, but are nevertheless still caught by our fishermen. Half of all fish caught is discarded in this way. Dead. Despite its Divine purpose, it is destined never to provide food for humanity, and serves only to pollute the breeding-grounds for other fish.  Most children would regard this as sinful.

A campaign has been promoted to stop this practice, and its website is HERE. You are encouraged to support it.  It is promoted by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, a television chef, and supported by many other personalities and organisations, including the Marine Conservation Society under the patronage of the Prince of Wales, and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) [click for link] whose longstanding founding Patron is the Duke of Edinburgh, and who are also running a Petition on this page.  It is important that Catholics do not stand idly by.

Specifically you are encouraged to sign the Fish Fight PETITION on the homepage of their website, and to lobby your Member of Parliament, either at: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or get the address here: Directory of MPs.

This video provides some chilling information:


'Musica Contexta' will perform
One of the greatest flowerings of late medieval art

Magnificats, motets and Marian antiphons by Browne, Fayrfax, Cornysh, Nesbett, and others; 
all taken from the most important contemporary collection of late 15th century English choral music.

Wednesday 26 January 2011 AT 7:30pm
Suggested donation: £15

Saint John’s Concerts in aid of 

Refreshments available in the interval


The Conventual Church celebrated the Feast of the coming of the Magi with a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form, celebrated by our Chaplain, Fr David Irwin.  After the Gospel the Solemn proclamation of the moveable feasts for 2011 was sung, to the traditional 'Exultet' tone.
Noveritis, fratres carissimi, quod annuente Dei misericordia, sicut de Nativitate Domini nostri Jesu Christi gavisi sumus, ita et de Resurrectione ejusdem Salvatoris nostri gaudium vobis annuntiamus. Die vigesima Februarii erit Dominica in Septuagesima. Nona Martii dies Cinerum, et initium jejunii sacratissimae Quadragesimae. Vigesima quarta Aprilis sanctum Pascha Domini nostri Jesu Christi cum gaudio celebrabitis. Secunda Junii erit Ascensio Domini nostri Jesu Christi. Duodecima ejusdem Festum Pentecostes. Vigesima tertia ejusdem Festum sacratissimi Corporis Christi. Vigesima septima Novembris Dominica prima Adventus Domini nostri Jesu Christi, cui est honor et gloria, in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
After the Mass, Fortescue House was blessed with the Epiphany Blessing, and the traditional inscription in chalk marked on the doorpost, 20+C+M+B+11, in honour of the visit of the The Kings to Our Lord's home.

Ant.: Magi from the East came to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasure chests they presented Him with precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial. Alleluia.
V. Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram.
V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Bene+dic, Domine Deus, creaturam istam cretae: ut sit salutaris humano generi; et praesta per invocationem nominis tui sanctissimi, ut, quicumque ex ea sumpserint, vel ea in domus suae portis scripserint nomina sanctorum tuorum Gasparis, Melchioris et Baltassar, per eorum intercessionem et merita, corporis sanitatem, et animae tutelam, percipiant. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen