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!