St Mary’s Shrine Bulletin, Sunday 26 April 2020
St Mary’s Priory, Smith Street, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 2NS, England
01925 635664 – firstname.lastname@example.org – https://fssp.co.uk/warrington/ facebook.com/fssp.england
The Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) is a Roman Catholic priestly community, canonically established in the Archdioceses of Liverpool, of St Andrews & Edinburgh, and in the Dioceses of Portsmouth and of Northampton.
Rector: Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP: email@example.com
Assistant: Fr Ian Verrier, FSSP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant: Fr Henry Whisenant: email@example.com
In residence: Fr Alex Stewart, FSSP: firstname.lastname@example.org
With precautions taken, we are available on request for the sacraments. Call or email us for an appointment, or simply if you feel like talking with one of the priests.
Full schedule available on LiveMass.net (during lockdown):
- Sunday 11:00am Sung/Solemn holy Mass
- Mon-Sat 12:10pm Holy Mass (often Sung) with daily homily
- Every Sunday 5pm Sung Vespers & Benediction;
- Every Wednesday 8pm Men’s Talk & Sung Compline
|Sun 26||Second Sunday after Easter Sung Vespers & Benediction||11:00am 5:00pm||Haig & Lomzik Families|
|Mon 27||St Maughold||12:10pm||St Mary’s LiveMass worshippers and benefactors|
|Tue 28||St Paul of the Cross||12:10pm||Martha Keenan|
|Wed 29|| St Peter Martyr |
Men’s Talk, Litany of St Joseph & Sung Compline
|12:10pm 8:00pm||The Good of the Nation|
|Thu 30||St Catherine of Siena||12:10pm||Annie Doyle RIP|
|Fri 1||St Joseph the Worker||12:10pm||John & Simone Sunderland (Wedd Anniv)|
|Sat 2||St Athanasius (Votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary)||12:10pm||John Sunderland|
|Sun 3||Third Sunday after Easter Sung Vespers & Benediction||11:00am 5:00pm||Kate Gately RIP|
|Mon 4||Martyrs of England & Wales Men’s Talk, Litany of St Joseph & Sung Compline||12:10pm||St Mary’s LiveMass worshippers and benefactors|
|Tue 5||St Pius V||12:10pm||Fr Peter Sibert RIP|
|Wed 6||Feria (Votive Mass in Times of Pestilence) |
Men’s Talk, Litany of St Joseph & Sung Compline
|12.10pm 8:00pm||Baby Jack Parkinson|
|Thu 7||St Stanislaus||12:10pm||Joseph Parkinson|
|Fri 8||Feria (Votive Mass for priestly Vocations)||12:10||Fr Oliver O’Connor|
|Sat 9||St Gregory Nazianzen||12:10||Our Lady’s Intentions|
|Sun 10||Fourth Sunday after Easter |
Sung Vespers & Benediction
|St Mary’s LiveMass worshippers and benefactors|
Our Education Information Day scheduled for Sunday 26 April 2020 in Warrington is postponed until further notice. Please do continue to pray for this essential intention. While most families in the UK experience some sort of home education due to the virus lockdown, and with the Government’s plans to enforce questionable sex education on very young children in nearly every school from September, we are in the best of times to ask God for assistance to find alternative and safe ways to teach our children holiness.
INTERCESSORESS: The Servant of God Elizabeth Prout (1820-1864), Mother Mary Joseph, Foundress of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion, the female branch of Bl. Dominic Barberi’s Passionists in England. Elizabeth Prout spent her life in the North West of England (Shrewsbury, Stone, Manchester, St Helen’s), caring for poor families and children. In 1899, her community opened St Mary’s school in Warrington where they taught until 1964. Our current Priory Court building stands on its very footprint of the original St Mary’s School. Her order asks us to inform them of any favour received through her intercession. Let us ardently ask her for success for this initiative as we prepare for the bicentenary of her birth on 2nd September 2020. CONTACT Shrine Rector: email@example.com
O God, source of all life,
Your servant, Elizabeth Prout, responded to your call by bringing together a new family to welcome the poor and the abandoned, and to keep alive the memory of your love for all our children, shown to us in the passion of Jesus, your Son.
Give us the courage to follow her example of living faith and untiring love.
Through her intercession, grant us the favour for which we pray.
Watch this moving and short video just released: https://youtu.be/jdG_VW658SA
Novena for the Safe Re-opening of the Churches and the Restoration of Public Mass as soon as possible
The following Litany of the Sacred Heart will be said by Catholics across the UK from Sunday, 26th April, until the following week Monday, 4th May, the Feast of the English Martyrs.
Please join us. If you hear about it later than those dates, please join anyway. This novena petitions Our Lord, the Good Shepherd, that it may be safe to re-open Churches and restore public Masses as soon as possible.
Musical chairs at St Mary’s:
The acquisition of Priory Court allowed us to move the Music Room into the new building, with the very many boxes of music sheets on brand new shelves.
This freed up the original sacristy, which was returned to its natural purpose, giving the 4 priests and servers sufficient space to spread the vestments and display liturgical items.
The former only sacristy became the Servers’ Vesting Room.
The former temporary Servers’ Vesting Room will become a confessional again.
The Memorial Chapel, currently used as confessional, may become a chapel only, e.g. for Mothers’ prayer group.
Please continue to pray for the remaining £135,000.00 to be raised by October for us to complete the purchase of Unit 1 of Priory Court.
Support St Mary’s Shrine: Even with empty pews, we need £1,700.00 per week all included.
Thank you very much to all of you who gave money to us since the beginning of the lockdown, including all of you members of our virtual Shrine community via LiveMass.
Please give via PayPal on this our UK FSSP England page https://fssp.co.uk/donate/, mentioning ‘Warrington’ in your order.
Or give by bank transfer to our Warrington account: Bank details: FSSP LTD – Warrington Current. Account number: 30993368. Sort Code 30-80-27. Lloyds Bank, Palmerston Road Branch.
For international transfers to the same Warrington account, you may also need:
Bank Branch: Palmerston Rd Southsea
Bank Address: Ariel House, 2138 Coventry Road, Sheldon, B26 3JW
SWIFT code: LOYDGB21721
Ask us for Gift Aid forms and envelopes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presentation given on the National Consecration of England to the Blessed Virgin – March 29th 2020, by Fr Henry Whisenant, Assistant Priest at St Mary’s Shrine, Warrington, England
What a blessing that because of the LiveMass facilities in this church, those of you watching at home can join us in these devotions for the national consecration of England to Our Lady, even if we cannot be united in person.
This consecration, taking place across our country today, is to renew the offering of England to the Blessed Virgin under its privileged title of Dos Mariae, the Dowry of Mary.
It’s difficult to know when such a title was first in use – perhaps by the time of St Edward the Confessor – but there are at least clear, indisputable references to it by the 14th century. Already in 1350, one preacher was able to state: “it is commonly said that the land of England is the Virgin’s Dowry”. And on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt, priests in England prayed to Our Lady under the title, “Protectress of her dower”.
What does the term mean: Our Lady’s Dowry or Our Lady’s Dower? It refers to the custom in marriages of old, that when a woman was married, the bride’s family provided certain possessions or property to be given with her to her husband. This property, this “dowry”, could not simply be liquidated by the husband – rather it was a conditional gift that was still in some way attached to the bride, so that if the husband were to die, the widow would have some financial security for herself and her children. It was also customary in certain cultures for the husband himself to provide a “dower”, a gift of wealth of property to his bride upon their wedding, for this same purpose.
England then was seen to be Our Lady’s Dowry, or Our Lady’s Dower, in this sense: that the Lord God, the Divine Spouse of her immaculate soul, entrusted to her this small island country to be her portion, to be under her custody and at her disposal. Throughout the centuries, from its evangelisation until the wanton destruction of the country’s faith under the Protestant revolution, the people of this land felt a great affection for the Mother of Christ as their mistress and protector, and they had a devotion to her that was famed in Europe.
At the height of this devotion, in 1381, around the Feast of Corpus Christi, King Richard II took the step of formally consecrating the country to Our Lady, in front of her image in Westminster Abbey, an event which is famously commemorated in the Wilton Diptych, which you can go see (but not right now, alas!) in the National Gallery in London.
On this Passion Sunday, in 2020, we gather, if not in body then in spirit, to renew this same consecration to Our Lady once again.
We might be forgiven for regretting the timing of this renewal, with all this happening around us. We might be forgiven for hankering after the solemn ceremony of 1381, and for thinking that – with the current virus doing the rounds, and everything cancelled and everyone in lockdown – we are, by contrast, in the very worst possible circumstances – the most dispiriting, the most underwhelming – for a renewal of that national consecration today!
But I suggest we look again at that first consecration of 1381… For we will find that, in reality, even more than ours today, that historic event took place in the midst of terrible pestilence and disease, social disruption and national anxiety.
To see this, we must go back 33 years before that consecration to the Black Death. The Black Death, the Plague, was a disease that also began in China, and was carried to Europe in 1348 by infected rats along prominent trade routes from East to West.
Between 1348 to 1349, the Black Death swept through England, and wiped out as much as 40-60% of the population. To get a sense of the magnitude of this, compare it to the coronavirus today. To this date, roughly 20,000 people in the UK are said to have tested positive with the virus: that’s 0.3% of the population. And just over 1,000 deaths have been attributed to the virus: that’s less than 0.002% of the current population… And now imagine a disease that claimed 40-60% of the populace! Not only this, but the plague returned every dozen years or so until the end of the century… For example, from autumn 1379 to 1380, it carried off up to another20% of England’s population!
The country, in terror, came to a standstill. Parliament was postponed. The King’s court was dismissed from Easter until midsummer. The London Guildhall was closed.
Keep in mind that this was less than a year before King Richard’s consecration of the country to Our Lady. The consecration took place in a country that was struggling to function normally after such a great atrocity – a plague significantly more crippling than anything we are yet facing today.
And not only this…
Because of the dramatic and sudden loss of life, England under Richard II was also experiencing profound social unrest. With the drastic shortage of labourers, those who were left to do the work demanded a greater salary for the increased work that was left to them. But the landowners, the employers, were reluctant to do this, and the ongoing tension led finally to the Peasants’ Revolt in June of 1381, when thousands of workers marched on London, killed anyone they found connected to the Royal Court (including the chancellor and the treasurer), and forced King Richard to meet with them and accede to their demands. It wasn’t until the end of June that this riot was largely quelled, and the rebels killed or dispersed.
Now bear in mind that this was the very same month when the Dowry Consecration took place. In other words, the King was not consecrating England to Our Lady simply as a nice and pleasant thing to do…! He was consecrating it to her, as her Dowry, as a way of saying: “Help! I don’t know what to do about all this! I don’t know how to manage all this chaos in my country! Come and be the mistress and protector and ruler of this land, your possession.” The consecration of 1381 was a plea to Our Lady in a time of great confusion and need.
It is in that same spirit that we present England to Our Lady on this day. “Mary, come to the aid of this country! Protect us from calamity, but protect us also from fear!” Let us not be paralysed by the daily media updates of new cases and hypothetical outcomes calculated to keep us in constant suspense and anxiety. Let us not have that fickle spirit of the world, that one day appears so confident and secure, even invincible, in its emancipation from God and in its freedom to sin, and then when the first threat comes along is paralysed by a terror mixed with morbid fascination. Such is not the spirit of the followers of Jesus Christ, who are called, rather, to live by the words of the Psalmist: “Those who put their trust in the Lord are like Mount Sion – they shall never be moved”.
We ask Mary, the mistress of her Dowry, to protect us also in these times from a spirit of bitterness and frustration…
Perhaps many of you watching these ceremonies today are frustrated that you cannot be here in the church. You might think, “What kind of consecration is it if I have to do it in the obscurity of my own home?” You may have had plans to be here, to be in your local cathedral, to be in the national shrine in Walsingham, before the lockdown made that impossible.
But let’s remember what the message of that particular shrine is about. Let’s move our focus for the last part of this reflection from the Richard II’s consecration in Westminster Abbey in 1381, to the vision of Richeldis de Faverche in Walsingham in 1061. When Our Lady appeared to Richeldis, what did she ask? She asked for a copy of the Holy House of Nazareth to be built in that place – the house where the angel announced to Our Lady herself the Incarnation of the Lord, and her vocation as the Virginal Mother of God.
Recall that event as it happened in the Scriptures. Recall that in the first chapter of St Luke’s Gospel that mystery of the Annunciation is paralleled with another announcement: to Zechariah, the father of St John the Baptist. Zechariah, a priest of Israel, was in the sanctuary of the Temple, offering incense to the Lord, and the Angel Gabriel appeared to him to tell him that his wife Elisabeth would, in her old age, conceive a son. Zechariah doubted the angel’s message, and as punishment for his doubt was struck dumb, until the birth of the Baptist…
Notice this… Zechariah is a priest… he is in the Temple… but he is not by virtue of these things alone at one with God. Rather, he is found wanting.
Then St Luke recounts the angel’s announcement to Mary. She is called full of grace, she is told that the Lord is with her, and that she will conceive the Son of the Most High by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost! And all this took place, where? Not the Temple in Jerusalem, where Our Lady had spent her girlhood, but in the obscurity of her parents’ home, in the unremarkable, unimportant town of Nazareth. It was in the isolation of her own home that Our Lady, by her Fiat, consecrated herself to the service of Jesus Christ as His mother.
At the same time, it was in in her womb, under the roof of that ordinary house, and not in a great stone temple, that Christ was consecrated High Priest of the Human Race. For at His conception in the womb, the Eternal Son of God took to Himself a human soul, and flesh and blood, and thereby the priestly power to offer sacrifice.
Again, it was not in a Temple, but on a hill of execution, outside the city walls, that the Lord offered that most sublime priestly sacrifice of Himself to save us from our sins – not on a richly carved altar, but on a rough wooden cross – a wonder that we are preparing in this Passiontide soon to commemorate.
And you too, in whatever place you are, are not hindered from acting under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and performing a supernatural and meritorious act, in consecrating England to Our Lady today. Because, by virtue of our Baptism, each one of us has become a Temple of the Holy Ghost. Whatever we do, whatever action we perform and wherever we are, if we are in a state of grace, and perform our actions for the love of God… then everything we do has a supernatural character, and becomes a pleasing offering in God’s sight. St Paul says, “Whether you eat of drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God”. So within the walls of your home today you can offer to God a prayer for this country that will pierce through to the sanctuary of Heaven itself, and that will increase, in a sense, the glory of God in this land.
So let’s be undaunted and encouraged as we make this collective consecration of our nation today. Let’s put England squarely in the hands of Our Lady, and ask her in the midst of these trying times to be the protectress of her Dowry…
May she protect England’s people from fear and anxiety, by leading them to place their security not in temporal prosperity and health, but in the saving sacrifice of her Son Jesus Christ, and in the eternal life He won for us.
And may she, the Virgin of the Annunciation, speak to us the words that echo still in her heart from the announcement of the angel: …the words, “Do not be afraid!”… and the angel’s greeting: Kaire! Which we translate as Ave, “Hail”, but which means – more than this – Rejoice! Be happy! Rejoice… for we are giving England back to her who is the Cause of our Joy, and whose Son ever harries and destroys the sadness of the Fall.
Our Lady of Walsingham: Pray for us!
Cause of Our Joy: Pray for us!
Easter Sunday 12 April 2020
Announcements: Thank you for your support through prayer and gifts over the past weeks of lockdown.
Lockdown continues. It is painful for us clergy and servers to celebrate the sacred mysteries with no one in the pews, since only those residing at St Mary’s Shrine can take part in our liturgical celebrations.
Please support this Shrine financially: bank transfer to WARRINGTON and PayPal on https://fssp.co.uk/donate/ .
Easter Sunday Homily, by Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP
How do you explain Easter to modern man? How do you bear witness of the resurrection when asked by men whose souls have been allowed to thirst and so far never tasted the true water of life? They simply don’t know what Easter is about.
I will venture a comparison for their sakes. Do you have special hobbies, skills? When you learn to drive, learn to play the piano, learn watercolour painting; learn to swim; learn mountain climbing… It takes a coach; it takes someone who knows; someone who’s done it before and who knows the technique perfectly. At first, when our coach tells us that he can make us proficient within six months, or six years, we think we will never make it. We fear that we won’t have what it takes; or that our coach could get fed up with us and might let us down.
So, what are we Christians doing this morning? What are we training for? Oil painting? Scuba diving? Wine tasting? None of that. Better than that. This morning we train for eternity. We listen to the One – Jesus Christ – Who is much more than a coach. He is our guide into eternity. He is truly a man, like we are human beings. We will die; and Jesus died. Jesus rose from the dead and we… Well, this is what it is all about it. We can rise from the dead – if… We can enter blissful eternity – if …. If what? We can enter blissful eternity if we follow the only One who walked through death successfully. Really, is Jesus the only One who can take us through death and beyond, to blissful eternity? Did not other people die and rise again? Like, Lazarus, the friend of Jesus. Or the young man, the only son of the widow, outside the town of Nain. Or the young daughter of Jairus? Yes, those were dead, and yes, they came back to life. But no, they did not rise by themselves. They were raised by another one, mightier than them. The Lord Jesus raised these dead people and brought them back to life. Furthermore, after these miracles, they died again some years later. Not so with the Lord Jesus. He rose from the dead of his own power, because He is not only man, but God incarnate. Also, He will never die again. The Lord Jesus is alive forever. No one else every achieved this. Jesus is the only one.
But we need a witness, don’t we? We need clues.
A significant clue is the sacred relic of the Holy Shroud of Turin. What does the Holy Shroud look like? It is a depiction of Our Lord’s tortured Body (both back and front), spread across a 14.5-feet-long by 1.4-foot-wide linen cloth, with such accuracy that this sacred relic has been termed ‘The Fifth Gospel’. The Holy Shroud – presently kept in Turin, Italy – is the most tested object in the world. The scientific findings, due to their number and complexity, now constitute a distinct branch of science called sindonology, after the word ‘sindon’, the Greek word for ‘shroud’.
Let us recall a few sindonological discoveries. It took nineteen centuries to realise that the Shroud is a photographic negative: inversing paler and darker areas reveals the actual picture. Further analysis established that the depiction results from irradiation, not from the application of pigments upon the linen material. Later on, the image was found to be three-dimensional, allowing the shaping of a resin model of Our Lord’s Body as when it was lying wrapped in the Shroud. Anomalies such as the absence of thumbs on either hand were explained, while microscopic examination found diverse pollens from the Middle-East stuck in the fibres of the cloth. The Holy Shroud is a very powerful incentive for our faith in the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And yet, the Shroud is not necessary for us to believe. We have billions of witnesses: these countless men, women and children who professed their faith in Christ, who followed his teaching, imitated his virtues, and often died for his love. They bear witness to the historical reality of the resurrection of Christ.
If you need witnesses, read the lives of the saints. If you need witnesses, start with St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. St Paul never met Christ until after his resurrection. But he met the Lord once risen, as he affirms: “if Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain: for you are yet in your sins. Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of them that sleep” (1 Co 15: 17-20).
If you need witnesses, look around you for those Catholics in whose lives the virtues of Christ shine with utmost fidelity, truth, gentleness, firmness, compassion, purity, piety. Look carefully, because the souls closest to Christ might not know it themselves, and surely they would not boast of it, so that the world would normally take no notice of them.
But dear friends, if you need witnesses, perhaps other people need them even more urgently than you do. So, why not becoming a witness yourself? Why not bearing witness of the resurrection of the Lord? I know, we think ourselves too lazy, too selfish, too incredulous, too heavy, too tired… But witnessing Christ is not about our own capacity. It is all about His divine power performing wonders through our emptiness. Becoming a witness of the resurrection takes a while. It does not happen in one instant. It is like unfolding the Holy Shroud. We know the full picture of Christ is impressed upon the cloth, but it takes our entire lives to unfold it in our mind and in our souls.
Let us fly back to Jerusalem. This Easter morning, St Peter, St John and St Mary Magdalene found the empty linens wrapped together in the empty tomb. Some time on that day, they took with them the precious relic. Back home in the Upper Room, with what emotion they slowly unfolded the linens, gradually displaying the Master’s silhouette: first his shoulder, then his elbow, now his foot and then his Head… Everywhere, their eyes would meet so many wounds, all endured for their redemption. For my redemption. For your redemption. For the redemption of all men.
I imagine St Peter alone at last in the Upper Room. Simon had unfolded the long strip of cloth, nowhere more fittingly than across the trestles of the Last Supper table. Three nights earlier, upon another cloth, the Lord had made Himself truly present under the Eucharistic species at the first holy Mass. The apostles had walked with the Lord to Gethsemane. Before cockcrow, Simon had thrice denied his Lord. Since then Jesus had died and was risen.
Back in the Upper Room on Easter day, today, Simon was on his knees at the far end of the long narrow linen rectangle. His eyes slightly higher than the level of the cloth swollen in successive waves upon the trestles, the fisherman would look at the maculated Shroud as a seaman looks at a vast archipelago spread across a limitless map. Wide or tiny, each bloodstain was an island, mystically bearing the name of each and every sinner, redeemed through the wounds of the Lamb.
Which stain bore Simon’s name? It could not be less than three, one for each denial – and so many more… Dear friends, which stain bears my name, your name? In St Peter’s soul, contrition connected the reddish shapes of various sizes like the stars under which he was reborn, as in a new constellation named Absolution. It was probably no surprise to Simon then, when he became aware of Christ’s bodily presence, standing at the other end of his unfolded Shroud. The contrite Vicar had opened his soul to the Saviour already. Christ confirmed his pardon and left, until they met again by the Sea of Galilee.
His Vicar remained on his knees looking across the bloodied sheet, while on either side of the table of redemption, hundreds of men, of women, of children materialised, imitating his posture. Billions of them. Billions of us. All the way down to us, my friends, and beyond, and further. All those who would believe in this extraordinary event are gathered in faith around this sacred cloth and bear witness to the One who lay in it no more, because He is risen, forever alive! Such is our glorious training for eternity.
May the Immaculate Mother of the Risen One, the Blessed Virgin Mary whose Sorrowful heart begot us to grace in union with Our Lord on Calvary two days ago, may she lead us to Jesus, our Resurrection and our Life, into bliss eternal.
Many more homilies to watch here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/londonjuventutem/videos/