Visit from Alice and Frank Jones

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 07 September 2008 - 17:42:08 | by admin

st_pio_day_006.jpgAfter lunch in the pilgrim's hall, we all watched a moving video of Alice Jones from Haydock, an Anglican lady who was healed by St. Pio many years ago and whose case was actually used by the Vatican commission for the Beatification of the, then, Padre Pio. 

It was lovely when the video ended, the lights came back on, and Alice and her husband Frank stood up to answer questions and share a little more of their testimony!

Before heading back over to the Church for a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration, Confessions and prayers for healing, Fr. Keith reminded us all that 'we are in the business of truth'; that 'the world is heading the wrong way fast' and that it is 'our job to go out and bring it back!'

These prayer days are Grace filled. The next one is on Sunday 21st September, beginning at 10.30am in the pilgrim's hall. You've just been invited. Pray about it and come!

Come Holy Spirit

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 07 September 2008 - 01:35:48 | by admin

recusants_016.jpgWe were north of Liverpool today for the First Saturday at Holy Spirit over in Ford, during which Fr. John Harris preached touchingly about the Birthday of Our Lady; which feast will be celebrated on Monday. He explained that, in light of Jesus giving Her to us all as our mother through the Apostle John, she is thus mother to each of us as individuals and as a community. He invited us to celebrate Her feast days with the love and devotion that we would for our earthly mother. Fr. recommended the highest prayer possible on earth; the Holy Mass as a suitable gift to Her. For those who cannot make that, he suggested they perform acts of kindness and prayer whilst saying to Her; This is for you Blessed Mother. Fr. also spoke touchingly of the great pro-life activist Fr. Cyril Thomas, who died not so long ago. Fr. Cyril used to have such a relationship with Our Lady, that he called her, simply Mother. Fr. Harris invited us to approach the Blessed Mother with all the simplicity and love with which one approaches one's earthly mum. At the Consecration at Holy Mass, the silence and atmosphere were charged with the Presence of God amongst us. Thanks be to God for the Holy Catholic Faith. If you know anyone who is lapsed call them home so they may come alive again in the love of the Lord. There really is nowhere else to be this side of the grave... or t'uther!!!

His Banner over us is Love!

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 07 September 2008 - 01:21:32 | by admin

recusants_017.jpgDuring the afternoon we were refreshed with love and good food at the Bootle home of our good friends Margaret, Phil, and Phil Jnr. Whilst there, we accepted this rainbow over their garden as a sign of God's loving covenant!
Genesis 9:13 - I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

Merry Olde England!

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 07 September 2008 - 01:16:05 | by admin

recusants_015.jpgWe also managed to whizz across to St. Mary's Parish in Little Crosby. This is a key location in the defence and handing on of the Catholic Faith in British culture as the local Blundell family were recusants who maintained the Faith throughout the persecutions of the English Reformation. As such, Little Crosby is thought to be the oldest extant Catholic village in England.
This then is the Catholic Parish Church of St. Mary's which was completed by AW Pugin in 1847. Sadly, the Church was locked today which prevented us from praying and admiring the beautiful interior. However, the parish has a web site under development which features the fine ceiling and the historical mural in the side chapel. We prayed across the street and asked for the intercession of the English martyrs for the reconversion of Great Britain back to God and His One True Church.  

The Well Cross

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 07 September 2008 - 01:05:35 | by admin

recusants_003.jpgThis old cross is thought to mark the site of an old holy well. A couple of miles away in the town of Great Crosby another possible well location is marked by a simple wooden cross; which today finds itself in the midst of the hustle of shops, banks and cars! 

The Village Crucifix

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 07 September 2008 - 01:01:32 | by admin

recusants_004.jpgThe village crucifix has an encouraging quote at its base from Matthew 10:32;

So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven.

Interestingly, the presence of a crucifix in the village allows locals and passersby the opportunity to do just that!

Secret Chapel

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 07 September 2008 - 00:50:58 | by admin

recusants_009.jpgThroughout the period of the English Reformation the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered in secret in the village up to 1720; this cottage is marked with a white cross above the front door as testimony to the secret chapel which existed therein.

Britain in Bloom!

Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 07 September 2008 - 00:44:44 | by admin

recusants_010.jpgrecusants_008.jpgThe village takes part each year in the North West in Bloom competition and has had deserved success in recent years, winning an Outstanding Achievement award in 2005, and 2nd Runner Up in the Small Village category in both 2006 and 2007. That horse is not real, but the flowers are!

This Week's Light Reading

Torch of The Faith News on Friday 05 September 2008 - 16:00:16 | by admin

fr._aidan_nichols_op.jpgI am presently reading Fr. Aidan Nichols' excellent book Christendom Awake; which should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in the reform and renewal of the Church! Fr. Nichols hits the nail squarely on the head so many times that I'm constantly calling out 'Absolutely!' before reading out nifty quotes to Angie. If anyone is pondering getting a copy here are a few chapter headings by way of a taster; 
Rerelating Faith and Culture; Re-enchanting the Liturgy; Reviving Doctrinal Consciousness; Relaunching Christian Philosophy; Resacralising Material Culture; Rescuing the Holy Innocents; Reclaiming the Bible and Renewing Priestly Mission.

I like the fact that Fr. Nichols has dedicated this tome to England's Holy Patrons, Our Blessed Lady, and St. Edward, and to the Protector of the Realm, St. George. 

As Fr. Nichols is so articulate and his ideas are so in tune with those of Pope Benedict XVI, wouldn't it be good to see him soon receive a purple skull cap... if not red?

Great Week for Britain!

Torch of The Faith News on Friday 05 September 2008 - 15:35:54 | by admin

st.cuthbert.jpgThis has been a great week for the Church in these isles with the Feast of St. Gregory the Great; who sent St. Augustine of Canterbury with a band of monks, around 595 AD to evangelize the 'Angles'. The good saint and his brethren were fervently loyal to the Holy Father and overcame initial trials to spread the Catholic Faith with much joy and eventual success. 

The second great feast this week was for the legendary Northumberland monk and bishop; St. Cuthbert. The picture above was taken by me in 1999 at Benediction in the chapel dedicated to him at Ushaw College near Durham where I was, at that time, a seminarian. The original St. Cuthbert's chapel, designed by AWN Pugin, was extended in 1884 by the Newcastle architects Dunn and Hansom. The final work remains as a magnificent edifice with soaring ceilings, a beautiful marble raredos and altar plus a crystal studded, gold tabernacle. Above the inward facing choir stalls, the words of the Magnificat stand out in golden lettering. The incredible lectern and paschal candlestick were both featured at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

It is to be hoped that with the advent of Pope Benedict's 2007 Motu Proprio that this splendid chapel will be thrown wide open and used to full effect!

Happy memories I have of the place include; singing the solo of the Litany of Saints over the deacons as they lay prostrate at their ordination at the end of the summer term of 1998; praying night time novenas by torchlight before the High Altar with friends during dark, winter nights and returning after a four year absence to attend Fr. Mike Williams' ordination to the Diaconate in 2003.

St. Gregory the Great and St. Cuthbert - Pray for us!

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