Friday, 30 April 2010

Concerts and Events 2010

The programme of concerts and cultural events for 2010 has just been published, and as always there's plenty to look forward to. A great variety is on offer, ranging from chant workshops to the popular Candlelight Baroque concert in December. You can see all the details in pdf format, by clicking here.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Beside the Seaside

As many Blog readers will know, Fr Andrew left the Cathedral parish last week to take up new duties as assistant priest at St Bernadette's in Bispham, and to be the Catholic chaplain to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. A couple of days after his arrival in Blackpool, St Bernadette's was celebrating its 60th anniversary. Bishop Campbell celebrated Mass for the parish, and took the opportunity to present to the people their new priest - this picture captures the moment!

Fr Stewart Keeley, who left St Bernadette's to replace Fr Andrew at the Cathedral, returned to Blackpool for the Mass. At the buffet afterwards, the priests of the parish past and present posed for a photo. Here is Fr Stewart (now safely installed at the Cathedral parish) is with Fr Andrew.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Responding to the criticisms

Following the extensive media criticism of the Church, a number of writers have offered responses to balance the media's reporting of scandal within the Church. A parishioner has recommended a piece in The Tablet by Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP (read it here). Other useful pieces include an article by Bishop James Conley of the Archdiocese of Denver (see here); George Weigel has written a helpful article here; former Holy See Press Officer Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who is also a doctor, has written a defence of the Pope here, and a Rabbi has spoken out against the media's coverage of the situation (see here). These and many other articles are available online, reminding us that there is another side to this story, even if it remains largely unreported by the secular media.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Chrism Mass 2010

This morning the diocesan Chrism Mass took place in the Cathedral, and the Lord blessed us with fine weather for the priests' annual walk through the Cathedral gardens. On these occasions the concelebrants tend to enter the Cathedral through the main west doors, and so form a public procession as they approach the church. At the Chrism Mass priests come, in many cases with some parishioners, from all parts of the Diocese. It is the occasion each year on which priests are asked to renew their commitment to service, and in this Year for Priests the Mass this renewal seemed particularly important. In his homily, the Bishop spoke about how the Holy Oils reveal the fundamental calling given to the priest. You can find the full text here.

After Mass, the three oils: the Oil of Catechumens, used just before baptism, the Oil of the Sick, used to anoint those who are ill, and the Oil of Chrism, which is used in baptism, confirmation and at ordinations, are distributed to the priests of the Diocese for them to take back to their own parish. The fact that all the oils used in the sacraments come from this one source reminds us of the unity of our Diocese. Now all those who came this morning have returned to their own parishes, ready to celebrate the great Triduum - the three days of Our Lord's suffering, death and resurrection. The Triduum begins here at the Cathedral with the Mass of the Lord's Supper, celebrated this evening at 7:30pm. The full Holy Week timetable can be found here.