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!


The shrine altar in the Little Oratory

The Feast of our virgin Saint Ubaldeseca saw members of the Grand Priory, joined by other members of the Order and Companions from the Midlands, together in Birmingham for this month's Day of Recollection at the shrine of Blessed John Henry Newman.

After Lauds in the Newman shrine chapel, members of the Order sat in choir in the stunningly beautiful Oratory church for the weekly Pilgrim Mass celebrated by the Provost, Father Richard Duffield, and then joined the other pilgrims and the local community at the Shine for the prayers of thanksgiving for favours granted, for intercessions, and veneration of the relic. The work of the Order worldwide, and the members of the Grand Priory of England and British Association were prayed for, as was Saint John's Hospice.

Father Paul Chavasse preached the conferences, on Newman's journey of Faith, and his attraction to the tradition of the life of the Oratory and to Philippine spirituality, and its applicability to the spiritual life of the religious in the Order of Malta. In the afternoon we were privileged to be led by the Provost in pilgrimage to Blessed John Henry's library and room, where we could venerate the private altar, dedicated to Saint Francis de Sales, where the Beatus said Mass daily as a Cardinal. Both the library and room are exactly as they were in the Cardinal's lifetime and may thus truly be venerated as secondary relics, as they were by the Holy Father last September in the afternoon after the Mass of Beatification.

The day concluded with Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at the shrine altar.

Blessed John Henry, Pray for us,
Saint Philip Neri, Pray for us,
Saint Francis de Sales, pray for us.


In preparation for the new corrected translation of the New Rite of Mass, the Bishops of England and Wales have ordered the following Pastoral Letter to be read at all Masses in the churches and chapels of England and Wales this Sunday, 29th May 2011.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

At the beginning of Advent this year, when we gather for Mass, we shall be using the new translation of the Roman Missal. This will be the case not only in England and Wales but throughout the English‐speaking world. The Mass will remain the same but parts of it will sound different.

Since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has produced three Latin editions of the Roman Missal. At present, we are still using a translation of the first edition which was published in 1973. Although the texts we have been using have served us well, since that time there has been much development in the liturgical texts themselves and in our understanding of them.

We all become very accustomed to the words we hear; and the fact that we have been praying in a certain way for so long has imprinted that style of language and words upon our consciousness and made them very special. The changes in the language now to be introduced, however, do not represent change for change’s sake, but are being made in order to ensure greater fidelity to the liturgical tradition of the Church. In the earlier translation not all the meaning of the original Latin text was fully expressed and a number of the terms that were used to convey the teachings of the faith were lost. This was readily acknowledged by the bishops of the Church, even back in the 1970s, and has become an increasing cause of concern since then.

There is an old adage in Latin which states that the way we pray forms the way we believe. So words and language are important for the teaching and the handing‐on of the faith.

So what does this new translation offer us? First of all, there is a fuller expression of the content of the original texts. Then, there is a closer connection with the Sacred Scriptures which inspire so much of our liturgy. Also, there is a recovery of a vocabulary that enriches our understanding of the mystery we celebrate. All of this requires a unique style of language and expression, one that takes us out of ourselves and draws us into the sacred, the transcendent and the divine.

The publication of the new translation of the Missal is a special moment of grace in the English‐speaking world. It offers an opportunity to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the mystery we celebrate each week. This itself will help us to move towards that fuller and more conscious and active participation in the liturgy to which the Church invites us. It will help us also to examine the dignity with which we celebrate the ‘source and summit’ of the Church’s life.

At the end of his visit last year, Pope Benedict asked us to use this moment for genuine renewal. He said: “I encourage you now to seize the opportunity that the new translation offers for in‐depth catechesis on the Eucharist, and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration. ‘The more lively the Eucharistic faith of the people of God, the deeper is its sharing in ecclesial life in steadfast commitment to the mission entrusted by Christ to his disciples’” (Sacramentum Caritatis, 6).

In order to achieve this, the bishops have produced resources for all our parishes and, as from September, we will gradually begin to use the new liturgical texts at Mass and hear why certain changes have been made. Each diocese is already preparing its priests and deacons, catechists and liturgical ministers. Programmes for schools are being developed and new musical settings are being composed. From September until Advent everyone will have the opportunity to study the new texts and familiarise themselves with the prayers and chants. In addition, this period of preparation will allow us to pray these new texts.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist is a gift, something we receive from God through the Church. Saint Paul spoke of it as coming from the Lord Jesus himself. Writing to the Church in Corinth, he said, “for I received from the Lord what I in turn also handed on to you” (1 Corinthians 11:23). So Eucharist is not something of our making but a gift received. Like Saint Paul, therefore, let us receive it with reverence and care, knowing that we are being faithful to what the Lord himself passed on to the Apostles, which has been handed on since, in faithfulness, by their successors to every generation of the Church.

Let us welcome the new translation of the Roman Missal as a sign of our unity and a powerful instrument of God’s grace in our lives.

Published by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales
Thursday 12 May 2011
To be read on the Sixth Sunday of Easter, 29 May 2011
photographs copyright CTS, publishers of the Missal


image courtesy of St John's Gate, London

Saint Ubaldesca
Virgin of Our Order


She was born in 1136 at Calcinia, near Pisa. At the age of fifteen, she joined the Order of Saint John of  Jerusalem, and worked for fifty-five years in the infirmary attached to the monastery at Pisa, caring for her neighbour out of love for God. She died on 28 May 1206. Her body was taken back to Calcinia where it is now enshrined. Not only honoured among the saints and blessed of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, she is celebrated also as a patroness of the City of Pisa.

The Collect of the Mass

O God, pride of the humble and lover of virginity,
you called Saint Ubaldesca to the religious life
in the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem :
Grant that through her prayers and example
we may rejoice in being humble
and follow you with pure minds.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Today is the Grand Priory monthly day of Recollection at the shrine of Blessed John Henry Newman at the Birmingham Oratory, a report will follow shortly.


Blessed Vilmos Apor
Chaplain of the Order of Malta, Bishop, Martyr

Vilmos (William) Apor, born 1892, was an Hungarian bishop who earned a special reputation for his service to the poor, especially during the months of hardship that came at the end of World War II. Named Bishop of Gÿor in 1941, he chose as his motto: “The Cross strengthens the weak and makes the strong gentle.” During the many air raids he opened his home to those whose houses had been destroyed. When Russian troops entered the city in 1945, many women including religious took refuge in his episcopal residence.

On Good Friday 1945 three Russian soldiers came to the residence and demanded that the women be taken to their barracks. Monsignor Apor refused and placed himself in front of the women. One of the Russians shot and wounded him. Out of fear they then fled, leaving the women unmolested. Bishop Apor lived in great agony for three days and died on 2 April, Easter Monday.

On 9 April 1947, Cardinal Mindszenty wrote to Father Csavossy, the postulator for the cause: 'I can assure you that now is the appropriate time to introduce the canonization procedures. I wish it and officially approve of it, and want the necessary steps to be taken to do the same for all priests who lost their lives when protecting women.' He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 9th November 1997.

Much historical information is given here.

The tomb of Blessed Vilmos in Gyor Cathedral, designed by the Hungarian artist Boldogfai Farkas Sándor

The Collect of the Mass

Almighty and Eternal God,
through your grace, Bishop William,
by courageously shedding his blood for his flock,
earned a martyr’s crown.
Grant that we, despite the difficulties of our daily lives,
may do your will and offer our good works
for the salvation of our brothers and sisters.
We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Restoration of mandatory meatless Fridays in England and Wales
Since 1985, in England and Wales abstinence from meat has been mandatory only on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday; on all other Fridays of the year, including Lenten Fridays, the faithful are allowed to choose between abstaining from meat or doing some other penance. The bishops have now chosen to restore the requirement of meatless Fridays for all Catholics of qualifying age (between the 15th and 60th birthdays).  This will come into effect on 16th September.

It should be noted that this applies to all Catholics, not just those who practice regularly Sunday by Sunday, but also those who are in some way lapsed, but still call and consider themselves Catholics. For those many people, therefore, in families where some members do not practice their Faith regularly, the obligation to abstain from meat on Friday applies to all members of the household. In the same way, it is laudable to encourage the young who have not yet reached the age of obligation to perform this duty willingly.

All those responsible for catering for food for other groups which include Catholics, namely schools, hospitals, youth groups etc, should remember they have a duty to observe this obligation and to provide meals which do not contain meat.

Birthdays, and other days of public or private celebration, are not a reason for overlooking this Catholic duty, which is given to us for our sanctification.

Vegetarians and others who for whatever reason do not eat meat normally are to abstain from a chosen food they eat regularly. It would seem very good advice that this decision be taken in conjunction with one's spiritual director.

We are grateful to our bishops for this act of witness to our Faith, please remember to keep them always in your prayers.

Here is the text of the Bishop's document, which makes clear the prescriptions and explains the reasoning behind them.
Catholic Witness - Friday Penance
By the practice of penance every Catholic identifies with Christ in his death on the cross. We do so in prayer, through uniting the sufferings and sacrifices in our lives with those of Christ’s passion; in fasting, by dying to self in order to be close to Christ; in almsgiving, by demonstrating our solidarity with the sufferings of Christ in those in need. All three forms of penance form a vital part of Christian living. When this is visible in the public arena, then it is also an important act of witness.  
Every Friday is set aside by the Church as a special day of penance, for it is the day of the death of our Lord. The law of the Church requires Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays, or some other form of food, or to observe some other form of penance laid down by the Bishops’ Conference. 
The Bishops wish to re-establish the practice of Friday penance in the lives of the faithful as a clear and distinctive mark of their own Catholic identity. They recognise that the best habits are those which are acquired as part of a common resolve and common witness. It is important that all the faithful be united in a common celebration of Friday penance. 
Respectful of this, and in accordance with the mind of the whole Church, the Bishops’ Conference wishes to remind all Catholics in England and Wales of the obligation of Friday Penance. The Bishops have decided to re-establish the practice that this should be fulfilled by abstaining from meat.
Those who cannot or choose not to eat meat as part of their normal diet should abstain from some other food of which they regularly partake. This is to come into effect from Friday 16 September 2011 when we will mark the anniversary of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.
Many may wish to go beyond this simple act of common witness and mark each Friday with a time of prayer and further self-sacrifice. In all these ways we unite our sacrifices to the sacrifice of Christ, who gave up his very life for our salvation.


This morning, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on Blessed John Paul II in St Peter's Square, the long-awaited clarification on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum was issued by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, as an Instruction entitled Universae Ecclesiae.

The text may be downloaded here in English or here in Latin, thanks to Fr Z of WDTPRS, who has an excellent commentary here.   And Fr Tim Finigan here.

"...Among the statements of the Holy Father was the following: “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the Liturgy growth and progress are found, but not a rupture. What was sacred for prior generations, remains sacred and great for us as well, and cannot be suddenly prohibited altogether or even judged harmful.

"8. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum constitutes an important expression of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff and of his munus of regulating and ordering the Church’s Sacred Liturgy. The Motu Proprio manifests his solicitude as Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church, and has the aim of... promoting reconciliation at the heart of the Church." Universae Ecclesiae § 7 and 8.

The whole Latin Rite world is very grateful to the Holy Father for his solicitous care of the Liturgy, and for the love with which he passes on sacred Tradition to the next generation. Ad Multos Annos.



It is with great sadness that we report the death on Thursday 5th May of Henry Lorimer, Delegate of Scotland and the Northern Marches, following a road accident a few weeks ago. He died fortified by the rites of Holy Mother Church.

Before joining the Order in 2006, Henry was for many years convener of the Companions of the Order in Scotland.

Mass was offered for the repose of his soul that evening by the Reverend Christopher Colven, Rector of St James's Spanish Place, at the weekly Order Mass in the Lady Chapel of that church.

Please pray most especially at this time for his family.

Requiescat in pace.