Following (unaccompanied) carols from 11.30pm Fr Michael Brown placed the Christ Child in the Crib prior to celebrating Missa Cantata. The Mass was celebrated in St Wilfred's Church on Sunderland Rd in Gateshead rather than the mother church of St Joseph's which is situated in the heart of the town and could, possibly, have suffered from loud street noise. St Wilfred's Church was the first venue for the EF Mass in Gateshead before Fr Brown took over St Joseph's Church too & transferred the celebrations there as being more easily reached. Fr Brown is still PP of the 2 churches although the African Sisters of Divine Love now reside in the presbytery. All 4 sisters attended the Mass & commented on the beauty of the EF Rite. The music was provided by the Schola Sancti Baedae who sang the Ordinary to Missa de Amgelis & the Proper in Plainchant. James Mawdesly, a seminarian with the FSSP, was on the sanctuary in choir & the serving team was David O'Neill (MC), Aidan McGregor (thurifer) & acolytes Andrew Armstrong & Martin McGregor. The McGregor family were there in force with Helen & her husband from USA & Martin visiting from his home in Oxford as on Saturday they celebrated the marriage of Maria to Dr Robert Devlin now working in Newcastle.
As we prepare to leave for Midnight Mass our thoughts go out to all of friends. We pray for those who have happiness in their hearts but especially we pray for those who have suffered loss and sadness this year past. Our prayers are for all of these people. Additionally we pray that all may have a Peaceful & Happy 2014 but, knowing that there will be sorrow for some, we pray that they will always remember the Love & Mercy of God Almighty. Additionally we ask your prayers for our wellbeing throughout the year. David & Theresa
We ask your prayers for the repose of the soul of Olive Middleton, wife of Terry, who died last week fortified by the rites of Holy Mother Church. Olive was diagnosed with cancer some 3 years ago and was cared for by Terry assisted by the McMillan nurses. Many prayers were offered for Olive and these seemed to help her face up to her condition. She died in the presence of Terry who commented on her serenity at the end. May God grant her a merciful judgement in the place reserved for His special friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry, their daughter Emily and Olive's brothers and sisters.
A record number of candidates received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Traditional Rite last Saturday, at a ceremony in central London organised by the Latin Mass Society.
Nearly fifty children and adults received Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form from Bishop John Arnold, auxiliary in Westminster, at St James's Church, Spanish Place on Saturday 14th December. He was assisted by Fr Christopher Colven, the rector of St James's, Fr Tim Finigan of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, and Fr Rupert McHardy of the London Oratory. Following the Confirmations, the bishop celebrated Pontifical Benediction.
After the ceremonies, Bishop Arnold joined the candidates, their sponsors and families in the parish social centre for a celebration buffet lunch.
The Latin Mass Society has been organising annual Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form for several years now. This past year there were also Traditional Confirmations at Reading and New Brighton, organised respectively by the Fraternity of St Peter and the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest.
LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: "We are very grateful to Bishop Arnold for agreeing to confer the Sacrament on what has been a very successful and happy day. We always attract a good number of candidates to receive Confirmation in the traditional Rite, but this year's turnout has been exceptional. It demonstrates that the attraction of the Extraordinary Form as part of Catholic life for many families is continuing to grow.
Theresa & I have decided to stand down as Local Reps for the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle at the end of 2014. We have seen over the years ageing representatives continue in office to the disadvantage of the LMS. Our reason for announcing this now is to allow 12 months for younger LMS members to take up the baton. New ideas are needed to take the society into the future. Please give serious thought to whether you or someone you know might be willing and able to take on this responsibility.
Having just returned from holiday I hope that 'someone' will describe the High Mass celebrated at St Joseph's, Gateshead to mark the Silver Jubilee of his ordination on 19th November. PLEASE!!!!!!!!
Several other events took place during the time we spent swanning around the Caribbean Islands on board MV Marco Polo. We missed the annual meeting of Local Representatives in London but trust that a precis of what took place will be forthcoming (LMS HO please note).
Our Mass schedule for Christmas has just been submitted and includes Midnight Mass at St Wilfred's in Gateshead on Christmas Eve and the usual Masses at Sunday times at Barnard Castle and Thornley. There will be no regular Thursday Mass at Coxhoe on 26th December but these will recommence on Thursday 2nd January 2014.
I close by thanking our priests, Frs Brown, Elkin, Swales, Dickson, Phillips & Tully for their continued sterling work in celebrating the EF Masses for us. I couple these thanks with our wishes for a Happy & Holy Christmas and a Peaceful & Healthy New Year. These wishes we extend to all readers.