Saturday, 27 February 2010

"Is a Strong Priesthood in the World's Future?"

"Prayer, Liturgy Seen as Pillars of Renewal"

A highly recommended article by Fr Massimo Canisasca, clearly a priest after the heart of Pope Benedict. His writing bears the hall marks of one who has been listening and learning from our Holy Father for some considerable time. Go here to read it.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Spiritual Mothers of Priests and Friends: Recent Items and Articles of Interest

First may I draw your attention to the Eucharistic Adoration for Priests site. Thank you to my dear friend in Nebraska for alerting me to this link It is now in the sidebar bloglist for your future convenience. It's impossible to recommend this site highly enough!

The following articles are at Zenit - link at bottom of bloglist or here
Articles: 28403 'A Peek at the Pope's Retreat'; 28404 'Twin Priests'; 28407 'Priest Killed in Mexico'; 28410 'The Priest in the Offertory of the Mass'; 28427 'The Pope is a Model for Living Lent'.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Thursday after Ash Wednesday 2010: Rural France: The first Mass in our village Church for 17 years.

Saint Bernadette's day in France

We were given very little warning, just under two hours to be exact, although a notice had been put in the village shop window in the morning (in amongst all the Lotto adverts), which we had missed. Fortunately our attention was drawn to it in the late afternoon and we were able to go.

A new priest has been assigned to our Canton and will have the care of 24 paishes, including ours! What an assignment! He is very young and I think may be a Dominican on loan to the Diocese. Please pray for him. His name is Fr Florian Marchand. In spite of the large number of parishes, he told us after Mass that he is determined to get to them all on a regular rota, so our next Mass will be sometime round about Easter. When you have lived in a village for all this time and had thought that Mass would never be celebrated here again, his assurance was music to the ears. I wished him a happy Year of the Priest and his eyes lit up. We are still walking on the air of joy and thanksgiving. What a wonderful gift from Our Lord, His Blessed Mother and Saint Bernadette with which to begin Lent.

More details as time allows.

Pope Benedict's Annual Spiritual Excercises: Details released

The Pope's seven day retreat begins on Sunday. It will feature 17 meditations, preached by Father Enrico dal Covolo S.D.B. These will focus on the priestly vocation and Monday will be dedicated to prayer for priestly vocations. As usual there will be no papal audiences during the week and the General Audience on Wednesday is also suspended. See here for futher details.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Lenten blogging decisions

Dear Spiritual Mothers and Friends, this is just to let you know that from now until Easter I intend to post only twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I'm hoping this will be enough to keep you posted about news that other blogs have not reported, and also to let you know of any progress I may make in the invocation of the English and Welsh Martyrs, which I'm hoping will be a special feature of myLenten life this year.

With my prayers that you all will have a blessed Ash Wednesday and a holy and fruitful Lent,

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Lenten Reading plan based on St. Jean Vianney's writings

Very many thanks to Fr Jerabek of Huntsville Alabama for making this 72 page plan available in an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. There is a reading for every day of Lent and the plan goes through 'many of the catecheses, exhortations and sermon excerpts' of St. Jean Vianney'.

Father has prepared three other plans which are also very attractive, but I thought that this one may be of specific interest to spiritual mothers and friends. Go here for link to details of all the plans and click the title of your choice to access the file you wish to read or print.

Mantilla twitch to Fr Finigan for alerting me to this on 'The Hermeneutic of Continuity'.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Imprisoned Vietnamese priest reported in worsening condition

Catholic Culture carried this report on February 9th.

" A Vietnamese priest imprisoned for his human-rights advocacy is in 'rapidly deteriorating condition, according to the US Commission on Religious Freedom. Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, who was sentenced to an 8-year prison term in 2007 because of his involvement in a democracy movement, has now spent 16 of his 61 years in jail. Thye American human rights group called attention to his plight as a way of highlighting Vietnames violations against civil liberties and religious freedom."

Please go here for a report from Asia News.

Our Lady of Lourdes

G. P. Palestrina, Alma Redemptoris Mater

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Urgent prayer request for an English diocesan priest who has suffered a breakdown

I beg your prayers for this young priest, and to whose plight I was alerted this afternoon by one of our devoted English spiritual mothers. In order to protect him, I cannot give further details. If any priests happen to read this, please Fathers, offer Holy Mass for your brother in his hour of need.

St Scholastica

Dear and loving St. Scholasica, pray for all your brother's 'sons', particularly the ordained, and especially for Father Mark Daniel Kirby O.S.B. in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Prayer for the Bishops and Priests of Germany and Ireland

After reading these two news reports with their linked articles, many Spiritual Mothers and Friends will wish to prioritize the hierachies and priests of Germany and Ireland in their prayers.

1. "Mounting German Abuse Scandal: nearly 100 Church workers suspected"
Source: Catholic Culture, whose report gives link to three others on the matter. Access them all here

2. "Dublin's Archbishop Martin rejects complaints about his stand on abuse"
Source: also at Catholic Culture, whose report links to accounts in the Irish Independent and the Belfast Telegraph. See here

Both items bear today's date.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Holy Mary, 'Mother of Priests', pray for us

I think it was January 4 this year when I posted that I intended to write to the Holy Father begging him to sanction a new invocation into the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto) which would honour Our Lady as Mother and Queen of clergy. Other matters have in the meanwhile intervened to prevent the writing of that letter. but I have never forgotten it, and during the last month, Fr Mark has let me know that he thinks this would represent a worthy plea; and then at this last Sunday's Angelus, Pope Benedict himself referred to Our Lady as 'Mother of Priests'. I will now write the letter, hoping that it will reach our Holy Father on or before the feast of St. Joseph. I will be gladdened and strenghtened by any support you may send via comment or email, and when the letter is written will here reproduce its relevant parts.

The major impetus in this plea to the Holy Father, is the fervent desire that the spirit of this Year of the Priest, should be perpetually represented before Our Lady in her Litany.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Pray the Rosary for your bishop, wherever you are.

Very many thanks to a faithful reader and dear friend for this link:

Next post on Monday.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Spiritual Mothers and Friends: Having difficulty finding a Spiritual Director?

Whilst you are still searching, Fr Mark Kirby highly recommends the following book by Blessed Columba Marmion: " Union with God: Letters of Spiritual Direction". It is available here at Zaccheus Press price $14.95 and contains 233 pages. It's also available at for British buyers, but they have only used copies available at the equivalent of double the Zaccheus price in sterling.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

An Anglican Canon sends sad news

I have known Russell since we met as students 46 years ago. He is a close and very dear friend. After being ordained to Anglican ministry, he gained parish experience through postings as a curate. He then became a University Chaplain, first at Durham and then at Leicester. For many years he was Training Officer for the Diocese of Bath and Wells and a Canon of Wells Cathedral He is well known and loved as a Retreat Director. I doubt he will give up that work completely even though he retired only a year ago. Russel has never married, devoting his whole life to his work, to his mother and to his many, many friends., among whom I am privileged and proud to be numbered.

Russel's mother Joyce has also been a dear friend since 1964 and who showed me unstinting and tireless compassion and Christian love during a very dark period of my own life. I knew before Christmas that Joyce was very ill. Nevertheless, it was still a terrible shock to receive news from Russell this morning that she died on January 25th. The news came by post because he had tried to contact me via my old, now cancelled freeserve address. He tells me: "Joyce's Requiem Mass will be on February 9 at 1.45pm at St. Mary's Church, Stanwell, Middlesex." He knows I will not be able to attend but asks for my prayers. He continues that after Christmas Joyce had refused any further chemo or invasive treatment. "She knew what she wanted and trusted that God would call her in His own good time."

I would be most grateful if you would offer a prayer for Joyce and for her grieving Russell.

In the meantime I don't intend to post here again until Friday.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Spiritual Mothers and Friends: A personal plea for your prayers

It distresses me to say this, but many priests, according to their own confreres, are cold towards their, and our, loving Lord in the tabernacles of the world. It is a matter of urgency that we pray for priests like Fr McBrien, who is challenged by Fr. Barron in the video here. It's not a new video but I watch it whenever I feel unhappy. I have put up this post in response to the witness and prompting of one of our Lord's beloved priests. Please pray with us. We must not waste time!!

Thank you Father Barron; Father McBrien please listen.