A Funeral Requiem will be celebrated in Holy Ghost Church, Yeovil on Wednesday 8th February at 11.30am
Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of Veronica Spender. Veronica and her late husband, Lt Cdr John Spender, were two of the founding members of the Latin Mass Society, he having served as the first Hon. Treasurer.
A Funeral Requiem will be celebrated in Holy Ghost Church, Yeovil on Wednesday 8th February at 11.30am
His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Burke clarifies pastoral questions regarding the perennial teachings of Catholic Church regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage, and homosexuality
“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith.” Mt. 8:26
The Gospel narrative about the storm that threatens Peter’s boat has always been a symbol of the Church being persecuted throughout history from within and without. God allows these difficulties to oppose the Church in order to draw out a greater good. Fr. Gabriel in Divine Intimacy tells us, “Virtue and goodness are strengthened in time of difficulty; the efforts made in bearing trials tend to make us surpass what we would have done had we enjoyed perfect calm.” Fr. Gabriel, p. 183 God also allows difficulties in the Church in order to purify it of its errors and disobedience to His Commandments. It seems that only in difficulties, when events become insurmountable, will we turn out of desperation to God for help: “Lord, save us we are perishing.” Mt. 8: 25
“What manner of man is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?” Mt. 8:27
In his commentary on the Gospel (Mt. 8:23-27) for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Dom Prosper Gueranger in The Liturgical Year III comments: “Let us adore the power of our Emmanuel, who is come to calm the tempests which threatened the human race with death. In the midst of their danger, the successive generations of men had cried out: ‘Lord, save us we are perishing.’ Mt. 8:25 When the fullness of time had come, he awoke from his rest; he had but to command, and the power of our enemies was destroyed. The malice of the devils, the darkness of idolatry, and the corruption of paganism—all yielded. Nation after nation was conquered to Jesus. They had said, when in their misery and blindness: ‘Who is this Jesus, whom no power can resist?’ and then they embraced his Law. This power of Jesus to break down every obstacle, and that, too, at the very time when men were disquieted at his apparent slumbering, has often shown itself in the past ages of the Church. How many times has he not chosen for saving the world that period which seemed the least likely for rescue! The same happens in the life of each one among us. Oftentimes we are tossed to and fro by violent temptations; it would seem as though the billows must sink us; and yet our will is firmly anchored to God! And what is this, if not Jesus sleeping in the storm-tossed boat, protecting us by this his sleeping? And if our cry for help at length awakens him, it is only to proclaim his own and our victory; for he has already conquered, and we have conquered in him.” Gueranger, p.261 We should never forget what St. Therese told us of this same incident of Jesus sleeping in the boat; always remember that Jesus is present in the boat and nothing can happen to Him as He is the Son of God and is all powerful. If we are with Him in the boat, we too will be protected no matter how bad the storms of life are.
Purification of evil
St. Cyprian in a letter to the Church relates how the present persecution was caused by their sins: “We have to confess that the force of the present storm of persecution which has decimated the flock and is even now still pouring out its fury upon it is to a great extent our fault, because we have not followed the commands of God which were given us for our salvation. Christ did the will of his Father, but we do not do his, living in luxury as we do and in pride and rivalries, despising simplicity and faith renouncing in words only, not in deeds, the world in which we live. We please ourselves and do harm to others…. For us this persecution is an examination of conscience. God has decreed that we should be proved and chastised – as he does many times with his own. However, he never fails us in time of trial. He has told me, the least of his servants, to give you this message. ‘Tell them,’ he said to me, ‘that peace will come. The delay is due to the fact that there are still some to be tried by the fire.’” (The Preacher’s Encyclopaedia, p. 437) Because of a lack of charity to others, God would allow the evil of persecution in the early Church to purify it from its selfishness and greed.
“Be debtor to no man in anything—except only in regard to mutual love.” Rom. 13:8
St. Paul in today’s Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 13: 8-10) reminds us that the debt of charity can never be fully paid. Our one debt that we owe to our fellow man is charity. We can never say that we have paid that debt already! When we pay the debt of charity, we pay all the other debts of the Law of Ten Commandments: “For he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the Law. For ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet’; and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’… Love therefore is the fulfilment of the Law.” Rom. 13:10 The early Christians were known to the pagans for their love for one another: “See how the Christians love one another.” St. Paul is just repeating throughout the Epistle to the Romans the major teaching of Jesus which is to love God: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Mt. 22:37-40.
Modified from a commentary written by Father George Mary Roth
Can I commend you to visit Touch of Faith who have a Traditional Novena for the feast of the Purification. Click here to visit.
I'm pleased to be able to give a little plug to this event up at the Shrine Church of Ss Peter & Paul and St Philomena on the 4th February.
The acclaimed boys choir of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School will perform a concert at 7pm on Saturday 4th February. [Updated with more details]
Today, we were very pleased to welcome to Holywell, Canon Amaury Montjean of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to celebrate the 4th Sunday Mass. Below are a selection of photographs of the Mass.
Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form
11.3oam Sunday 22nd January 2017
St Winefride's, Well Street, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 7PL
Celebrant: Canon Amaury Montjean ICKSP
The Gospel for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany describes two miracles of Christ, confirming His Divinity before Jewish priests through the cleansing of the despised leper who came to Him personally; also, before the Gentile world through the amazing cure of a lowly paralytic utterly unable to come. "They all wondered at these things." (Communion).
We must surely show our faith in His Divinity by never despising anyone, however lowly, for our God is a God of Mercy; again, as the Epistle warns, never to render evil for evil, since He is the God of Justice, who will avenge all injustice. Then will He "stretch forth the right hand" (Prayer) of His Divinity to heal our souls from the leprosy and paralysis of sin
The Gospel finally speaks of the eternal banquet where humanity will feed on Divinity; outside of which, non-believers in His Divinity will suffer eternal night.
“Be of one mind towards one another.” Rom. 12:16
The readings show the radical difference between the gospel message of Jesus and the way in which the world lives. Jesus taught all his followers the need for a life of charity and the practice of virtue. In the Gospel (Mt. 8:1-13), we see how Jesus Himself exemplifies His great love for men by His compassion for the leper and the centurion’s servant when He cured them of their sickness. Likewise, in today’s Epistle to the Romans (12:16-21), St. Paul emphasizes the need for charity, especially towards our enemies. This was unheard of in the ancient world, and it is still not practiced in the world today: “Be of one mind towards one another.” Rom. 12:16 We also see in today’s readings, how much Jesus was pleased with the faith and humility of the both the leper and the centurion who believed that Jesus could aid them in their request. For us, these readings are important teachings because they remind us of the need for charity toward one another and faith in Jesus who alone can help us.
“Vengeance is mine...” Deut. 32:35
In the Epistle to the Romans today, St. Paul reminds his followers of Jesus’ lesson on the need to practice charity even to one’s enemies. Jesus had said, “But I say to you, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute and calumniate you...” Mt. 5:44. St. Paul tells the Romans this same message: “To no man render evil for evil, but provide good things....Do not avenge yourselves, but give place to the wrath, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord.’” Rom. 12:17-9 This was a far cry from the ancient traditions which said that one could return what was given to you--- “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth...” Lev. 24:19. St. Paul is reminding his followers that Christians who believe in Jesus Christ must love their enemies and take no revenge on anyone who opposes them. Revenge is not for man to take! This is God’s domain as He alone knows who is evil and who is good, and He will ask all His creatures to render an account of their works. If men do not repent of their evil, they will have to endure the severe justice of God. This can be seen in what Jesus said would happen to anyone who causes one of His little ones to sin; Jesus said, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it were better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Mt. 18:6 While God is all merciful, He is also all just, and those who offend Him and do evil to their fellow man will endure a most severe judgment. This is why Jesus asks us to pray for those who persecute us as they will have to endure the justice of God for their deeds. If we could see how the justice of God shall punish those who do evil (to us), then we would fervently pray for them. Jesus also warns us not to despise (hurt) them: Mt. 18:6 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you, their angels in heaven always behold the face of my Father in heaven.” Mt. 18:6 What are we doing to our little ones and those innocents in the world; we are murdering our babies with abortion, we are denying life for other brothers and sisters to our children with contraception, we are corrupting the morals of our youth with false teachings and sex education, and we are denying our children the faith in a good Catholic family by not marrying and practicing the faith. The list could go on and on! Has there ever been such a sinful generation as ours is today? How severe will be the vengeance of God on the Day of Judgment towards our generation for the scandal that we have caused “the little ones.”
“Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21
St. Paul takes the essential gospel teaching of charity which Jesus had taught to its desired end of loving even our enemies: “If thy enemy is hungry, give him food; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing thou wilt heap coals of fire upon his head.” Rom 12:20 These “coals of fire” are what St. Augustine explains as “the violence of charity: Evil must be answered and conquered by good. By gentleness Christians must disarm anger, and by charity they must break down hatred. Against the violence of charity,” says St. Augustine, ”the world is powerless.” (Msgr. Patrick Boylan, The Sunday Epistles and Gospels,” p. 75.) These are the “coals of fire” which one’s enemy will not be able to overcome. Fight hatred with charity. It is the same lesson that Jesus taught when He said, “But I say to you not to resist the evildoer; on the contrary, if someone strikes thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also...” Mt. 5: 39 Only those filled with the Spirit of Jesus can understand such divine wisdom.
“Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” Mt. 8:2
The leper in today’s gospel has the Spirit of Jesus because he firmly believes that Jesus can cure him of his leprosy. His faith and confidence in Jesus are rewarded: “And stretching forth his hand Jesus touched him, saying, ‘I will; be thou made clean.’” Mt. 8:3 We can certainly admire the leper who has trust in the goodness of Jesus by coming to Him even though he knows that, as a leper, all are advised to shun him as unclean. He goes to Jesus with great hope and confidence that He can make him clean if Jesus wills it. His trust in Jesus’ goodness is rewarded instantly!
“Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.” Mt. 8: 8
Like the leper, the centurion also has great faith in Jesus. He also has great charity: he is not asking for help for himself but for his servant who is dying: “Lord, my servant is lying sick in the house, paralyzed, and is grievously afflicted.” Mt. 8:6 The centurion, even though he is a pagan, is also aware Jesus should not enter his house. He knows that Jesus, who is a prophet having great power with God, does not need to come all the way to his house and can cure him from where He is: “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.” Mt. 8: 8 Jesus is amazed at the centurion’s faith and says: “Amen I say to you, I have not found such great faith in Israel. And a I tell you that many will come from the east and from the west, and will feast with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom will be put forth into the darkness outside; there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” Mt. 8:10-11. By contrast, the faith of the children of Abraham, who should know better, is so weak that they will not feast with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven....” Mt. 8:11
“Go thy way; as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee.” Mt. 8:13
Although Jesus says these words to the centurion, they also apply to the leper. Here we see how important it is to have faith in Jesus. Ironically, in today’s gospel the two men who have faith in Jesus are despised in the Jewish society, a leper and a pagan Roman soldier. There is a most important lesson for all of us who have been called to follow Christ. We need to practice the same faith in God and charity to all or else, like the Jews, we will be excluded from the kingdom and be in the darkness outside “weeping and gnashing our teeth.” Mt. 8:11
Adapted from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Gueranger
The Second Sunday after Epiphany
The third Mystery of the Epiphany shows us the completion of the merciful designs of God upon the world, at the same time that it manifests to us, for the third time, the glory of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The Star has led the soul to faith; the sanctified Waters of the Jordan have conferred purity upon her; the Marriage-Feast unites her to her God. We have been considering, during the Octave of Epiphany, the Bridegroom revealing Himself to His Spouse, the Church; we have heard Him calling Her to come to Him from the heights of Libanus; and now, after having enlightened and purified Her, He invites Her to the heavenly feast, where She is to receive the Wine of His Divine Love.
A Feast is prepared (John 2); it is a Marriage-Feast; and the Mother of Jesus is present, for it is just that, having cooperated in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, She should take part in all that Her Son does, and in all the favours He bestows on His elect. But, in the midst of the Feast, the wine fails. Wine is the symbol of Charity or Love, and Charity had failed on the earth; for the Gentiles had never tasted its sweetness; and as to the Synagogue, what had it produced but wild grapes (Is. 5: 2)? The True Vine is our Jesus, and He calls Himself by that name (John 15: 1). He alone could give that wine which gladdeneth the heart of man (Ps. 103: 15); He alone could give us that chalice which inebriateth (Ps. 22: 5), and of which the Royal Psalmist prophesied.
Mary said to Jesus: They have no wine. It is the office of the Mother of God to tell Him of the wants of men, for She is also their Mother. But Jesus answers Her in words which are seemingly harsh: Woman, what is it to Me and to Thee? My hour is not yet come. The meaning of these words is that, in this great mystery, He was about to act, not as the Son of Mary, but as the Son of God. Later on, the hour will come when, dying upon the Cross, He will do a work, in the presence of His Mother, and He will do it as Man, that is, according to that human nature which He has received from Her. Mary at once understands the words of Her Son, and She says to the waiters of the Feast, what She is now ever saying to Her children: Do whatsoever He shall say to you.
Now, there were six large water-jars of stone there, and they were empty. The world was then in its Sixth Age, as St. Augustine and other Holy Doctors tell us. During these six ages, the earth had been awaiting its Saviour, Who was to instruct and redeem it. Jesus commands these water-jars to be filled with water; and yet water does not suit the Feast of the Spouse. The figures and prophecies of the ancient world were this water, and until the opening of the Seventh Age, when Christ, Who is the Vine, was to be given to the world, no man had contracted an alliance with the Divine Word.
But, when the Emmanuel came, He had but to say, Now draw out, and the water-jars were seen to be filled with the wine of the New Covenant, the wine which had been kept to the end. When He assumed our human nature—a nature weak and unstable as water—He effected a change in it; He raised it up even to Himself, by making us partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1: 4); He gave us the power to love Him, to be united with Him, to form that one Body, of which He is the Head, that Church of which He is the Spouse, and which He loved from all eternity, and with such tender love, that He came down from Heaven to celebrate His nuptials with Her.
St. Matthew, the Evangelist of the Humanity of Our Lord, has received from the Holy Ghost the commission to announce to us the Mystery of Faith by the star; St. Luke, the Evangelist of Jesus' Priesthood, has been selected, by the same Holy Ghost, to instruct us in the Mystery of the Baptism in the Jordan; but the Mystery of the Marriage-Feast was to be revealed to us by the Evangelist John, the Beloved Disciple. He suggests to the Church the object of this third Mystery of Epiphany, by this expression: This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and He MANIFESTED His glory (John 2: 11). At Bethlehem, the Gold of the Magi expressed the Divinity of the Babe; at the Jordan, the descent of the Holy Ghost and the voice of the Eternal Father proclaimed Jesus (known to the people as a carpenter of Nazareth) to be the Son of God; at Cana, it is Jesus Himself that acts, and He acts as God, for, says St. Augustine, He Who changed the water into wine in the water-jars could be no other than the same Who, every year, works the same miracle in the vine. Hence it was that, from that day, as St. John tells us, His disciples believed in Him, and the Apostolic College began to be formed.
O the wonderful dignity of man! God has vouchsafed, says the Apostle, to show the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which had no claim to, nay, were unworthy of such an honour. Jesus bids the waiters fill them with water and the water of Baptism purifies us; but, not satisfied with this, He fills these vessels, even to the brim, with that heavenly and new Wine, which was not to be drunk save in the kingdom of His Father (Rom. 9; 23). Thus, divine Charity, which dwells in the Sacrament of Love, is communicated to us; and that we might not be unworthy of the espousals with Himself, to which He called us, He raises us up even to Himself. Let us, therefore, prepare our souls for this wonderful union, and, according to the advice of the Apostle, let us labour to present them to our Jesus with such purity as to resemble that chaste Virgin, who was presented to the spotless Lamb (2 Cor. 11: 2).
The Communion Antiphon recalls once more the miracle of the changing of the water into wine. This was only a dim figure of that wondrous transformation which is accomplished on our altars—only a symbol of that divine Sacrament, the food of our souls whereby, in an unspeakable way, is realised our union with God:
The Lord saith: Fill the water-jars with water and carry to the chief steward of the feast. When the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, he said to the bridegroom: Thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of His miracles did Jesus before His disciples.
Canon Doyle has to provide supply to Mold Parish in January and therefore is unable to celebrate the 4th Sunday Mass at St Winefride's, Holywell.
However, it gives me great pleasure to announce that a priest of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will come from New Brighton to celebrate for us. It is most likely to be Canon Amaury Montjean, the Shrine Rector at New Brighton who will celebrate.
Mass is at 1130am on Sunday 22nd January 2017 - this being the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany.
Low Mass for the Feast of the Holy Family will be celebrated tomorrow at St Francis of Assisi Church, Llay Chain near Wrexham at 12.30pm.
Everyone is most welcome to come along - you do not have to be an LMS member!
Celebrant: Canon Bernard Lordan.
The special devotion which sets forth the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the model of virtue for all Christian households began in the seventeenth century. It commenced almost simultaneously in Canada and France: the Association of the Holy Family being founded in Montreal in 1663, and the Daughters of the Holy Family in Paris in 1674. Numerous other congregations and associations under the Patronage of the Holy Family have been established since that time, and they are spread over the world. The archconfraternity was established by Bl. Pius IX in 1847. In 1893, Leo XIII approved a Feast for Canada, and Pope Benedict XV extended the Feast of the Holy Family to the whole Church and ordered its celebration to take place on the Sunday after the Epiphany.
"Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold in sorrow thy father and I have been seeking thee.” Lk. 2: 48
On this First Sunday after the Epiphany, the Church continues to give us aspects of the early life of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Today’s Gospel (Lk. 2:42-52) focuses on the time during the Paschal season when the Holy Family made their annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the feast. On the return trip, the men and women travelled separately and both Joseph and Mary thought that Jesus was with the other. Their sorrow knew no bounds when they discovered Jesus was nowhere to be found. Of course, being God, Jesus was not really lost, but to Joseph and Mary, he was missing and they did not know what happened to Him. In their return to Jerusalem, they found Him in the temple listening to the doctors of the law and asking them questions. Mary questioned Jesus, “Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold in sorrow thy father and I have been seeking thee.” Lk. 2: 48 Jesus replied, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” Lk. 2:49. At first, it appears that Jesus was being inconsiderate of His parents, but on a closer analysis, we see a most important teaching in our spiritual lives. Our first obligation is to God. Jesus is being obedient to His father. This is the primary lesson in today’s liturgy for the Feast of the Holy Family. The second and closely-linked teaching is the need for charity within all of our relationships. St. Paul highlights this in today’s Epistle (Col. 3:12-17): “But above all these things have charity which is the bond of perfection.” Col. 3:14. These two virtues of charity and obedience are the essential virtues in every Catholic family.
Charity “is the bond of perfection.” Col.3:14
In every family, there is the need for love, kindness, and mercy for all the members of the family. We need to be patient with one another’s faults. Because charity “is the bond of perfection,” (Col. 3:14) it alone perfects all other virtues, and it alone is the virtue in which all perfection consists. Where there is love, then no sacrifice will be too difficult. Where there is no love, then even our good deeds will be just acts of self-love. This is why in our families we need to practice what St. Paul gives us in today’s Epistle: “Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity (goodness), humility, modesty, patience: bearing with one another and forgiving one another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also.” Col 3:12-13. These are the virtues that every member of the family needs to practice for true peace and harmony within the family.
Perfect Charity is doing God’s Will
All of our moral virtues must be motivated by charity or else they are not meritorious. This is why it is so important for the soul to be in the state of grace. Without sanctifying grace there are no meritorious actions. St. Thomas Aquinas gives us the reason for this because “It is charity which united our will to that of God in the most perfect fashion. From charity all the other virtues are derived and take their true strength... Charity is the end in view; all other things are means to that end. Therefore, there are no limits to the extent of charity; but there are limits in the other virtues.”
The reason why there is so much unhappiness in the world is because there is no peace in our hearts. Peace implies the right order of things. When we have ordered our lives to God with charity, we will be at peace. If we have not ordered our lives to God and His will, then we will never be at peace with ourselves or with others. This is why we must do all of our actions out of love for God. When our actions coincide with God’s will, then we show true love for God. If we do actions which are pleasing to ourselves and which are against God’s will as expressed in His Commandments and the duties of our state in life, then we will never be at peace and our hearts will be filled with disordered self-love.
“Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” Lk. 2:49.
In Jesus’ reply to His Mother Mary, we see the essence of true charity. Jesus must obey God His Father first and foremost. It was His Father’s will that Jesus spend these three days in the temple praying and listening to and asking the Jewish doctors of the law questions about the Messiah. Jesus’ time away from Joseph and Mary was so mysterious that they did not fully understand it: “And they understood not the word that He spoke to them.” Lk. 2:50 Jesus needs to do the will of His Father rather than the will of His parents. Sooner or later, He will be leaving home to spread the Kingdom of His heavenly Father. Jesus does not blame His mother as St. Bede tells us: “He blames her not because she sought Him as her son, but forces her to raise the eyes of her mind to what He owes Him whose Eternal Son He is.”
Christ the God-Man
In order to understand the divine person of Jesus Christ, we must see that in His nature, He performs actions as God and actions as man. In the latter actions as man, He performs functions common to all men such as eating, sleeping, labouring etc.; and then He performs actions proper to Him as the God-man, the Redeemer, the Christ and these are called “Theandric” (of the God-man, partly of God, partly of man). These actions were those of teaching, working miracles, calling His disciples etc. With regard to the actions of man, Christ was willing to obey His parents from whom He had received His human nature. With the “Theandric” actions, which are of a higher order, His actions were received and directed by God alone. Thus Jesus answered His parents based on the higher authority of His Father with the actions of the “God-man.” This is why Jesus must be about “His Father’s business” (Lk. 2:4) which is the salvation of souls.
Today we have the great feast of the Epiphany which marks the end of the Christmastide Season and the commencement of Epiphanytide.
The Feast of Epiphany is I Class, the highest liturgical category. The word “epiphany” means “manifestation,” and indicates that Christ showed himself to the Three Kings.
The feast has been celebrated in the Church since at least the III Century. The Kings came from the East, perhaps Persia, following a star. Stopping over in Jerusalem to visit King Herod, they inquired whether he had heard of the King of the Jews being born whereupon Herod called in the scribes and was told the Saviour would be born in Bethlehem, according to prophecy. Herod asked that the Wise Men return once they had found the Messiah so that he too could “adore” Him.
The Three Kings went on following the star, found Christ and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. An angel subsequently appeared to them in a dream, warning them not to return to Herod, and they went back to their land by another route.
Next Sunday is the feast of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the I Sunday after Epiphany.
It also falls as the second Sunday of the month of January and therefore, there will be Holy Mass at St Francis of Assisi Church, Llay Chain near Wrexham at 12.30pm.
Everyone is most welcome to come along - you do not have to be an LMS member!
Celebrant: Canon Bernard Lordan.
On a regular basis, one reads of yet another German bishop stepping forward to voice an idea which seems so far away from the orthodox position which we cherish in our Catholic faith.
Today, The Bishop of Osnabrück, Franz-Josef Bode is reported to have said that he would like to see the possibility of Holy Communion for mixed marriages making Communion for non-Catholics married to Catholics possible.
Why is it that the German church is able to come up with so many ideas which are quite frankly heterodox?
I suggest that there is a degree of arrogance.
Churches in Germany are boosted by the re-allocation of taxes collected by the state to support organised religious groups. The German Catholic Church benefits greatly meanwhile Mass attendances are down to an all-time low. German Catholics are voting with their feet.
Figures provided by the German bishops’ conference suggest that weekly Mass attendance is in decline. In 2014, 10.8% - it was 22% as recently as 1989.
This is a lower participation rate than in England and Wales, but a little better than France.
The church tax is quite perverse. For example, only a fraction of German Catholics pay it. It is applied as a supplement to income tax, those without taxable income – children, pensioners, housewives, the unemployed – don’t have to pay.
But Mass attendance has fallen so low that the number of Catholics paying the tax now far outstrips the number actively involved with the Church.
So instead of tackling the issues of less people in the pews, the German bishops spend their time seeking populist ideas to woo the missing many back only their lost sheep don't appear to be coming home.
Perhaps speculation on my part but it was a German Priest and Professor of theology who set the wheels in motion for the Protestant reformation, could history be repeating itself?
Billions of euros pour into the German hierarchy’s coffers every year thanks to the church tax and I suggest that this position of financial comfort gives the German bishops the leverage to say what they want, when they want and they seem to get them Rome’s ear.
Who says money doesn’t talk?
Keep the faith!
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us!
Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui facis mirabilia magna solus: praetende super famulos tuos, et super congregationes illis commissas, spiritum gratiae salutaris; et, ut in veritate tibi complaceant, perpetuum eis rorem tuae benedictionis infunde.
Kevin Jones is the local representative for the Latin Mass Society in Wrexham Diocese. Any views expressed neither represent those of the Latin Mass Society or the Diocese of Wrexham.