Young Adults (18 to 35 years-old) are invited to join us for a social evening this Saturday, the Vigil of Pentecost. We will meet at 5pm in the parish room at the eastern end of the Church of Christ the King in Bedford (MK42 0SP). After a talk with Q & A entitled “The Blessed Trinity: Principle of Everything“, we will head to a local venue for dinner and drinks. Outline for the talk:
– Biblical Revelation of the Blessed Trinity
– Patristic & Scholastic theology: St Augustine & St Thomas
– Blessed Trinity and the person / marriage / life
– Blessed Trinity contra divorce / abortion / contraception
– Our final purpose, the beatific vision, is beholding the Blessed Trinity
As tomorrow’s weather is expected to be excellent, it may be we change venue for the talk to the north bank of the River Great Ouse–at a spot opposite the Longholme Boathouse, on the green strip between Russell Park and the river. There is free parking along The Embankment. Please email us here if you plan to join us, or else simply turn up.
‘Ego Eimi – It is I’ (John 6:51)
A series of conferences on the Most Holy Eucharist
By Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP, Rector of St Mary’s Shrine
Given live at St Mary’s Shrine Church, Buttermarket Street, Warrington WA1 2NS, England
In preparation for the National Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool (7-9 Sept. 2018)
Free for all. All welcome.
Each 40-min conference starts at 7:00pm GMT and will be broadcasted onLiveMass.net
• Monday 11 June, 7:00pm: Transubstantiation: how the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ occur under the externals of bread and wine
• Tuesday 12 June, 7:00pm: Concomitance: how Christ’s Blood also is in the Host, and His Body also in the Chalice
• Wednesday 13 June, 7:00pm: Fragments: why each of them is Christ, and how to treasure them
• Thursday 14 June, 7:00pm: Gradation: how God’s presence is supreme in the Holy Eucharist
“Every perfect gift is coming from above, coming down from the Father of lights… for of His own will has He begotten us in the word of truth… You know, my dearest brethren.”
What is a parent? What is a father? What are brethren? I would like to reflect with you today on parenthood, fatherhood and brotherhood. On the link between fatherhood and brotherhood. Essentially, there can be no brethren unless there is a father.
Today, like millions of people of every faith and none, you may feel that our little brother Alfie Evans was unjustly treated. He died yesterday in Liverpool. Adults in power said that Alfie should die where and in the manner they decided. They prevented Alfie’s parents from taking him to another hospital, or even to die at home in their arms. They refused to provide basic support such as oxygen, and for a while, water.
An innocent child died. The point is not to accuse anyone. Perhaps, Alfie would have died soon anyway, perhaps. Although, nobody can assure that. What has been put to death though, is parenthood. Parenthood has been killed. Alfie’s parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, were denied the most fundamental right. The right to secure basic support for their child, such as oxygen, and the right to choose where he would die; if death was near.
If parents failed to meet their child’s basic needs, such as oxygen and water, then the State or some other institution could intervene, and takeover the responsibility from them. But not the other way round. When parents want their child to breathe and drink, no one has any right to prevent them. Oxygen and water are not a medical treatment. They are basics of life. If you invite a friend to stay in your home (not in a hospital), and you don’t provide oxygen and water, your friend is not going to enjoy his stay very long. It has nothing to do with illness. It is good manners.
Parents have an inalienable natural right to protect the life of their children, body and soul. Such a right is not granted by the State. Parents have this right by the very fact that they gave life to that new human being, their child. The Alfie Evans ruling denied this obvious truth. Lord David Alton of Liverpool, wrote about it: “Every parent has a fundamental right – and I would say duty – to fight for and care for the child to whom they gave life.” Pope Francis surely agreed, actively supporting Alfie’s evacuation to Italy.
But the legal and medical establishment have ruled otherwise, against immense pressure from all over the world. By doing so, the legal and medical establishment have killed the natural understanding of parenthood. That is, a father and a mother who share primary responsibility for the life of their child, because they have given him life.
Not without significance, the judge at the centre of the Alfie Evans case, Justice Hayden, has co-authored a book titled Children and Same-Sex Families, a legal handbook described as a guide for those “who provide advice and support to same-sex families.” With the best of intentions, how could Justice Hayden understand that the natural right of Alfie’s parents upon their child takes precedence? The very word proves it: “parent” comes from the present participle of “parere”, that is, “to bring forth, to give birth to”. Whatever their good intentions, two men (or two women) never did conceive and give birth to a child. They are not “parents.”
Against natural evidence, “parents” in modern Britain have become a social and legal construct, not a natural reality anymore. Like marriage, family, gender and personhood, parenthood is now defined by the State, not by nature anymore. If the interests of the State change, then the definition of parenthood will change as well. But when any institution ignores God’s law as embedded in nature, the tendency is to claim always more control over bodies and souls.
The truth is, there are no parents left in modern Britain. But if there are no parents, how can there be any brethren? Living in peace together, with mutual respect, in a brotherly way, is possible only if all acknowledge a common father, whether at home, or in town, or as a people. The State may not call itself father, yet, but the Alfie Evans tragedy should make everyone understand that the State has taken the place of the natural parents. George Orwell’s Big Brother is not a fiction anymore.
The cruel irony is that, on St George’s day, when Alfie’s parents were denied the right to take him out of hospital, another young couple, William and Kate, walked out of another hospital, with their little boy. The entire nation rejoiced when watching the happy Cambridge family. It would have been a beautiful statement if the Royal baby had been called Alfie, as one of his several names. Why was the nation rejoicing for Prince Louis? Many newborn boys were taken home by their parents that day. What about him? Because a dynastic birth embodies filiation and the natural transmission of life, and we humans love it! Prince Louis is son of William, son of Charles, son of Elizabeth, daughter of George, etc.
“Every perfect gift is coming from above, coming down from the Father of lights… for of His own will has He begotten us in the word of truth… You know, my dearest brethren.”
Thankfully, far above the blindness of many, and above the malice of some, there is a Father indeed. It is God the Father “Of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named” (Eph 3:15). Fatherhood is the main relationship which shapes our identity. Fatherhood expresses our origin and guarantees our identity. The original sin committed by Adam and Eve was a denial of God’s fatherhood. They denied that God was willing or competent to foster their best interests. By turning away from God, they fell under the power of created beings.
Denying God’s fatherhood brought about three consequences.
1. Divorce between Adam and Eve: mutual trust turns into accusation. Tenderness turns into domination.
2. Divorce between mankind and nature: Adam and Eve lost their peaceful dominion over nature. No more stewards of the material world, men must sweat and fight against nature, against viruses, against tsunamis, earthquakes and tornados to keep alive. Nature is not a divine gift anymore; it has become man’s chaotic re-creation.
3. Divorce within man, between his two main faculties. Our intellect designed by God to know the truth turns blind to truth and imagines deadly fictions and lies. Our will-power designed by God to desire the good is allured by selfish interests, sensuality and pride. Intellect and will do not work in harmony anymore, but ignore each other or compete with each other.
So, dear friends, what can we do?
Practically, we can try and get better laws. We should also commit more actively to the pro-life cause. But supernaturally, the only way to secure peace as among brethren, in modern Britain as in all times, is to come back to God the Father. Because our filial relation to God as common Father conditions our mutual relationship as brethren, as fellow citizens. If we truly care for what happened to Alfie and his parents, then we should examine how we do as children of God. If we wished the British medical and legal establishment acted as brothers to us citizens, and to natural families and natural parents in particular, then we must become better sons, daughters, children of God, of the Father of lights.
If we wished oxygen, water and food had been given to our little brother Alfie, then let us check that we make good use of God’s grace, the oxygen and water of our souls. Let us become more hungry for the divine food God offers us, that is, His Body, in the Holy Eucharist. Let us revive our filial connection with our loving Father God, through sacramental absolution for our sins.
Lastly, let us offer our difficulties and sufferings, small and big, in sacrifice for all our fellow citizens – with and without the establishment – to discover the joy of being children of light. We ask this, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of all men, but especially of the more vulnerable ones.
[You can watch this homily onhttp://livemass.net/ > Warrington > Sunday – Starts 35:00 – ends 49:00]
Last Saturday over two dozen families gathered in Bedford to hear about a new opportunity for their children’s education. For parents who are worried about the corruption in mainstream education but who are not prepared for full-time home-schooling, Regina Caeli offers “classical hybrid education in the Catholic tradition”. This system involves children following a solidly Catholic curriculum by gathering at an academy on Mondays and Thursdays while home-schooling for the other days. The benefits of this approach include:
Regina Caeli’s excellent curriculum, media policy and modesty policy
Avoiding destructive agendas of atheism / materialism / gender which are corrupting even Catholic schools
Socialisation: human beings complete their development in a society much wider than their own family, so it is an inestimable good for children to meet regularly at an academy with their peers, with older and younger children and with trusted adults. Moreover there are few goods as high as friendships, and naturally the hybrid system offers more opportunities for these to develop than pure home-schooling.
If you are interested in such an educational system for your children, and wish to be put in touch with like-minded families in the Bedfordshire area, contact us here and we will pass your details on to them. Annual fees are being calculated, and will depend partly on the scale of interest.
The presentations given by Regina Caeli’s Executive Director Kari Beckman and Director of Education Erika Ahern on Saturday were well received. Besides the goods one would hope for from any educational system (religious formation, academic learning, sports, drama etc), there are advantages which set Regina Cael above what are widely counted as the best schools in England. For example, it was exciting to note how the realism of Aristotle and St Thomas Aquinas thoroughly inform the practical running of Regina Caeli. Specifically:
Man is made for God. Beyond serving temporal goals (like qualifications to secure a good job), education should serve our ultimate end which is to reach Heaven.
Developing the whole person: man is composed of body & soul.
the intellect is fulfilled by knowing the true; the will is fulfilled in desiring the beautiful and enacting the good. An education which serves our human nature in these ways is literally life-giving.
media policy: all electronic devices such as phones and computers are prohibited from the campus (except for administrators). This protects children from the psychological devastation of pornography.
modesty policy: uniforms for students and faculty uphold the dignity of the person.
All families are welcome for this Saturday’s Catechism Day in Chesham Bois (details below). If you have a moment in advance, please practice this version of Ave Verum Corpus which we will sing during exposition:
…or with audio…
Family Catechism Days 2018
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church
30 Amersham Road
Dates (on 4th Saturdays)
24 Feb, 24 March, 28 April, 26 May, 23 June 2018
2 – 4pm:
Catechism for Children*
followed by Altar Server Practice
4 – 4.30pm:
Rosary & Benediction
Talk for Adults (at the home of a local family–contact us for address).
*Approximate schedule for catechism sessions: fiirst the children under 7 years-old (for about 10 minutes); then children aged about 7 to 12 years-old (for about 20 minutes); then teenagers 13 to 18 years-old (for about 40 minutes); then altar server training until 4pm, followed by the Holy Rosary and Benediction.
Families are invited to stay for as much of the programme as they wish. Tea and coffee will be available in an adjacent room.
The themes for the five Saturdays will be as follows:
Theme for Catechism (from 2pm)
Theme for Evening Talk for Adults (from 7pm)
The Holy Trinity
Holy Mass–the greatest treasure on Earth
“Salvation is from the Jews”–Jn 4:22
The BVM, the Apostles, the Angels
Denying supernatural Revelation–the 1st beast of the Apocalypse?
The Sacraments & the Church
Denying natural Revelation–the 2nd beast of the Apocalypse?
Young Adults (18 to 35 years-old) are invited to join us for a social evening this Saturday. We will meet at 5pm in the parish room at the eastern end of the Church of Christ the King in Bedford (MK42 0SP). After a 10-minute video and discussion about the Book of Esther, we will head to a local venue for dinner and drinks. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to join us, or else simply turn up.
The short video linked in the image above is superb quality but it seems the guts are missing. A Protestant team (The Bible Project) has worked hard to produce technically excellent videos explaining the various books of the Bible. It is all done with impressive learning and expertise, but as non-Catholics they have missed the best part.
The image above illustrates a wonderful symmetry in the Book of Esther, and the Bible Project identifies as the pivot of the whole story the stake (or gallows) upon which Mordecai is to hang. But being Protestant, they are unable to interpret the hidden, salvific meaning of the Book: that Mordecai & Queen Esther stand for Jesus & the Virgin Mary; that the giant gallows foreshadows the Cross of Calvary; that we share in their temporal victory for eternity through Holy Mass. Positively the video succeeds in emphasising that plot to murder the innocent Jew upon the gallows resulted, by God’s design, not only in the defeat of evil (which fell into the very pit it had dug) but also the glorification of the holy victim and the salvation of all God’s People. And elsewhere, in another excellent video, the Bible Project does point to Jesus as the key to all the Scriptures. But as they reject the authority of the Church, and reject the full canon, then they miss both the full significance of the whole and also crucial parts, for example the enduring centrality of sacrifice and Mary as Co-redemptrix.
What Mordecai & Esther did for the Jews at one point in history, Jesus & Mary do for the whole world for all generations. Before we die, the closest we can get to Mordecai & Esther, and to sharing in their achievement, is by assisting at Holy Mass. Inspiring everlasting praise and love of God, this is the ultimate reason why the Book of Esther was written and still exists. The command to perpetually keep the Feast of Purim is an admonishment for Christians to attend the living memorial of Calvary–namely, Holy Mass.
Protestants are welcome to join us on Saturday for the discussion, dinner & drinks.
If you are interested in exploring a new opportunity for solid Catholic education, please join us for a talk by representatives of Regina Caeli who will be giving presentations at the hall of Bedford’s Christ the King Church (MK42 0SP) from 10:30 – 14:30 on Saturday 21st April. More details about tickets here and a video below.
A very successful Altar Servers Training Weekend was held at St Mary’s Shrine Church, Warrington from March 2nd to March 4th.
The course was attended by people from across the country wishing to learn to serve the Traditional Roman Mass, especially the Low Mass.
The weekend was packed with information as students worked hard practising how to assist the Priest at the Altar during Holy Mass and Benediction.
An added bonus was the meals which were beautifully cooked by Choir Member Kirsty.
One of the younger trainee severs said, “I thought the training I received from the F.S.S.P. at Warrington was first class. Superior Father de Malleray was very clear on what he wanted the trainee altar servers to do, i.e. what to carry, directions to walk around the altar, etc.. It was very enjoyable and I consistently prayed to St Stephen to make a success of the training.”
“Sancte Stephane, ora pro nobis!”
Men and youg men interested are invited to contact Fr Loewenstein, FSSP (email: email@example.com) to book for a lesson.