Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane – wonderful things happening!

I received a note from Fr. Robinson of the little church in Maiden Lane near Covent Garden in London, Corpus Christ.  Father has quite the restoration project going and it is worthy of notice by everyone.

I also remind the readership of the public witness of so many priests in England regarding Catholic doctrine and the dictates of reason.  HERE

Here is another image of work in progress on the little Lady Chapel at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane.


Also, by email I learned that Fr. Robinson will soon be visiting the counterpart church in NYC, St. Malachy’s, also an “actors church”.  Let us not forget that actors have souls.  Given the difficulties of their environments, they too need the help of prayers, sacraments and sacramentals.
___ UPDATED May 11, 2015
I was recently reminded of the great work Fr. Robinson is doing at Corpus Christi in London, Maiden Lane near Covent Garden.  He has a great restoration project going that could use some global support!

You should know that this is one of the locations where the TLM was preserved even during some of the earliest and more difficult times.

____ Originally Published on: Jan 14, 2015 @ 16:51

I recently visited the beautiful little Church near Covent Garden, Corpus Christi. HERE It is, among other things, the local “actors church”. However, it was originally intended by Cardinal Manning to be a site for special veneration of the Blessed Sacrament in the heart of London. This is a city that needs it!

If you haven’t been in Corpus Christi for awhile, you are in for a treat the next time.

The parish priest, Fr. Robinson, has undertaken an extensive project of renovation. The results so far are wonderful. You might recall that, in the back of the church, the brickwork was covered over with a rather dingy – let’s call it white. The red bricks are now exposed and everything has been tuck-pointed. The lady chapel is being spiffed up with new marble and a new meter high (or so) marble statue of Our Lady of Walsingham from Italy. And, drum roll, an ad orientem altar!

Joseph Shaw of the Latin Mass Society posted a few photos of what the sanctuary is like now without the free standing altar.

The sanctuary right now is free of the free standing table altar and, if I understood Father correctly, it might not be coming back!

I’ve been promised some photos of before and after.  Hopefully I’l be able to post them soon.  In the meantime, check out some renderings. HERE

Every Monday there is a sung Mass at Corpus Christi at 6:30 pm, after which some people go for a drink and a bite.

This parish doesn’t have a church hall, which limits how they can bring in income.  It is a good project and there is a way for Americans to donate and get a tax deduction.  HERE

BTW… since my trip this time has been so filled with Turner, the painter was born in Maiden Lane!  And another point, today – 14 January – is the anniversary of the death of Card. Manning, mentioned above.

And do you know the hymn Sweet Sacrament Divine?  It was written by a former priest of the parish, Fr. Francis Stanfield.

Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Robinson for the great start on the restoration.  I hope people will visit the church when they are in London.  It is close Covent Garden which so many people visit (remember My Fair Lady).

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Fr. Z KUDOS, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

New Chant CD from the outstanding Benedictine Monks of Norcia! (And a note about a pilgrimage.)

Click here to Pre-Order

Click here to Pre-Order

Here is some great news.  The wonderful Benedictine Monks in Norcia, Italy (they make the best beer you may ever have), are releasing a new Gregorian Chant CD on 2 June.  It is available for pre-sale now.

Click HERE

It is dedicated to chants of Marian Feast Days.  BENEDICTA: Marian Chant from Norcia

BTW… the Traditional Mass pilgrimage group I am leading in October, for the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage, is going to visit Norcia!  Click HERE or see the ad on the sidebar.

Here is a spiffy video about the life of the monks.

Here is video:

A sample of the chant:

Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Of snakes and Ireland

From the often amusing Eye of the Tiber:

Ireland Approves Reentry Of Snakes Into Country By Popular Vote

Ireland overwhelmingly approved a referendum to allow “snakes” back in the country on Saturday, becoming the first country in the world to allow such a move by popular vote. Though the final tally is yet unknown, the referendum achieved the support of an estimated 65 percent of the population.

Michael Fitzpatrick, prominent supporter of the “Hell No” campaign, conceded the referendum’s defeat Saturday morning.

“It is a said day now that Ireland has approved reentry of paganism,” Fitzpatrick said, explaining how, although snakes have never actually existed in Ireland, that the referendum would now allow the “pagans,” which he believed the snakes represented in the time of St. Patrick, to take back their country from Catholicism.

Supporters of the reentry of paganism erupted with jubilation in Dublin, which has long been a liberal stronghold. But the referendum received support throughout the whole country.

As a result of the referendum, which amends Ireland’s constitution to approve of snakes “without distinction as to length or toxicity of their venom,” pagans in the country will be permitted by law to begin deconstructing everything Catholicism has built as soon as this summer.


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Ireland… What is Ireland?

At Crisis I saw something about what the Irish did that serves as a pretty good summary.  The whole thing is HERE.

This is a sample:


Some scholars tell us that the gothic genre of story-telling grew up as a response to the Catholic Irish. A society that saw itself as enlightened, rational, secular, and modern suddenly found itself haunted by some frightful other, a ghoul, a return of the repressed: an avatar of superstitious, atavistic, arcane Catholicism. The Irish and Catholic response to such tales of Whiggery was easy: Catholicism “returns” not as the ravenous claw of the past reaching up from the grave to strangle the present, but as the truth, which never goes anywhere. Truth always asserts its inescapable claim on every person.

But what is one to do when that claw represents not simply the past, but also the future, the Catholic nation that Ireland was meant to become, but never quite did? What is one to do when the gothic monster is not something intruding from the depths beneath one’s society, but is, if anything, the institution that seemed to represent the most distinctive virtues of that society? Kill it, of course. Kill it, and take joy in the sport.

The joy with which the “gay marriage” referendum is being greeted not only in the streets of urban Dublin but across the whole country must surely be a complex emotion. Insofar as the Irish are just like most of us westerners, they are celebrating a new freedom of the will to assert itself without any moral prohibition. But the therapeutic triumphed long ago, and didn’t need Ireland to cement its victory.

The reason the Irish—as Irish—are celebrating is that they have with this referendum delivered a decisive and final blow to their venerable image as a Catholic nation. They have taken their vengeance on the Church. They must relish the unshackling; they must love the taste of blood. But, finally, they take joy in becoming what, it seems, they were always meant to become. An unexceptional country floating somewhere in the waters off a continent that has long since entered into cultural decline, demographic winter, and the petty and perpetual discontents that come free of charge to every people that lives for nothing much in particular.

That’s about right.


Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Sign up for ‘Summorum Pontificum’ Pilgrimage to Rome with Fr. Z (19-29 October)


I want to bring to your attention the upcoming annual Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage to Rome 19-29 October.   It is handled by Orbis Catholicus and my friend John Sonnen.  I will be going, as chaplain.  That means TLMs everyday and probably some spiffy meals.


I was with the pilgrimage last year and things went pretty well.  I am pretty sure they will be even better this year.

This pilgrimage will coincide with the 4th Annual “Populus Summorum Pontificum” events. (See graphic below.)

This year, instead of going to Orvieto for a day trip we are going to go to Norcia!  (Hint: Benedictines, sausage and the best BEER I’ve ever had – and they have a new chant CD HERE)

BTW.. it was in the context of last year’s trip that, during the visit to the Swiss Guards’ barracks, I started planning the Breastplate Project.  I suspect that we will be very warmly received by them this year.

Also, we attended a Pontifical Mass with Card. Burke in St. Peter’s Basilica after the procession through the streets of Rome.  I believe he will be the celebrant again this year.  The pilgrimage overlaps with this…




Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 5 Comments

IMPORTANT: Closed pre-Synod planning session held, “shadow council”

Here’s a disturbing report about how the upcoming Synod is being shaped.  There is a lot to read here, but take time to do it.  This is important.

From CNA and Le Figaro with my emphases and comments:

.- While the Synod of Bishops’ ordinary council gathered to discuss the upcoming Synod on the Family this week, a private group of bishops and experts convened behind closed doors in Rome to consider the most controversial issues at the synod, [to plan] particularly support of gay unions[to the delight  I’m sure, of the Fishwrap] and Communion for the divorced and remarried.

Pope Francis chaired the May 25-26 meeting of the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops, which is preparing for this October’s synod on “the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in contemporary world.”


[NB… this is important…] The council also considered modifications to the synod’s modus operandi. [Get that?]

The Synod of Bishops’ secretary general, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri – who was appointed in September 2013 – had changed the synod’s working rules.

Prior to Cardinal Baldisseri’s leadership, the synod had provided summaries in many languages of each scheduled intervention from the synod fathers. [Published in L’Osservatore Romano … shown to the world.]

That system was suppressed under Cardinal Baldisseri, replaced with a brief summary presented daily by Holy See press officer Fr. Federico Lombardi.

In the face of criticism that this change negatively affected the synod’s transparency, Cardinal Baldisseri claimed that “information is provided by a verbal summary” and is transparent, and that synod fathers were “not forbidden to speak to the press,” though they were prohibited from publishing their interventions, as any synod text “is property of the synod.”  [Cool, huh?  And keep in mind that copies The Five Cardinals Book™, which was sent from Italian Post to every member of the Synod, during the Synod, to their individual Vatican Post boxes, were confiscated… at someone’s orders.]

On the other hand, the impossibility of seeing the extent of the discussion within the synod paved the way for media speculation.

This autumn’s synod may re-present the same dynamic, given that while the Synod of Bishops’ ordinary council was meeting, a “shadow council” held a closed-door meeting regarding the most contentious issues of the Synod on the Family, which include approval of gay unions and Communion for the divorced and remarried.

The May 25 discussion was held in a conference center of the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University – though the meeting itself was not managed by the university. Bishops and theologians spoke before a select audience of 50, according to French daily Le Figaro.

[Get this…] The conference was called the “Mutual Convention of the French, German and Swiss Bishops Conferences concerning the issues of the pastoral care of marriage and family at the eve of the Synod of Bishops.”

The meeting was not in fact for all the bishops of the interested countries, but only  for some of them –  while others were not even informed of the meeting.  [Transparency, right?]

Among the speakers at the meeting were Bishop Jean-Marie Lovey of Sion; Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin of Le Havre; the theologian Eva Maria Faber; Anne-Marie Pelletier, who won the 2014 Ratzinger Prize for Theology; Fr. François Xavier Amherdt, professor of pastoral theology at the University of Freiburg; Eberhard Schockenhoff, professor of moral theology in Freiburg; and the theologian Alain Thomasset.

The final remarks were given by Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising.

One person who took part in the discussion stressed to CNA May 26 that “the tune was that of a pastoral opening on issues such as communion for the divorced and remarried, and the pastoral care of homosexuals.”

One of the speakers, who asked to be kept anonymous, refused to comment on the purpose of the conference and the tone of the discussion, as “it is unfortunately forbidden to us by the organizers to give any interview or explanation about yesterday’s conference.” [Transparency, again!]

So, what’s going to happen?

It seems to me that the next step for those who are trying to guide the upcoming Synod to a desired conclusion would be to eliminate the “forum” for possible dissent from the Synod’s MO.  What I would do, were I trying to force an agenda, is eliminate the meetings of the language groups after the midpoint point in the Synod, wherein the members discuss the first part of the Synod’s relatio.  That is where resistance to certain paragraphs built up last October.  Remember that the midpoint relatio was – almost miraculously – swiftly translated into various languages and distributed with amazing speed and it included paragraphs about things which weren’t discussed by the Synod members.  My guess is that the small language groups is where the knife will cut.

Step 1) Don’t let the members’ interventions be known.
Step 2) Don’t let the members discuss the relatio.

And if that doesn’t work…

Step 3) Have a third Synod!

UPDATE 27 May 1204 GMT:

At the National Catholic Register, Edward Pentin has some coverage.

Confidential Meeting Seeks to Sway Synod to Accept Same-Sex Unions

NEWS ANALYSIS: Around 50 participants, including bishops, theologians and media representatives, took part in the gathering, held at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

ROME — A one-day study meeting — open only to a select group of individuals — took place at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Monday with the aim of urging “pastoral innovations” at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in October.


One of the key topics discussed at the closed-door meeting was how the Church could better welcome those in stable same-sex unions, and reportedly “no one” opposed such unions being recognized as valid by the Church. [No one?]

Participants also spoke of the need to “develop” the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and called not for a theology of the body, as famously taught by St. John Paul II, but the development of a “theology of love.”  [How a single word makes a difference.  Consider what the Obama Administration was and is trying to do to change “freedom of religion” to “freedom of worship“.  So, change “theology of the body” to “theology of love” and what would the result be?]

One Swiss priest discussed the “importance of the human sex drive,” while another participant, talking about holy Communion for remarried divorcees, asked: “How can we deny it, as though it were a punishment for the people who have failed and found a new partner with whom to start a new life?”

Marco Ansaldo, a reporter for the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, who was present at the meeting, said the words seemed “revolutionary, uttered by clergymen.”

[…]The closed-door meeting, masterminded by the German bishops’ conference under the leadership of Cardinal Marx, was first proposed at the annual meeting of the heads of the three bishops’ conferences, held in January in Marseille, France.

The study day took place just days after the people of Ireland voted in a referendum in support of same-sex “marriage” and on the same day as the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met in Rome. Some observers did not see the timing as a coincidence.


Why the Lack of Publicity?

No one would say why the study day was held in confidence. So secret was the meeting that even prominent Jesuits at the Gregorian were completely unaware of it. The Register learned about it when Jean-Marie Guénois leaked the information in a story in Le Figaro.

Speaking to the Register as he left the meeting, Cardinal Marx insisted the study day wasn’t secret. But he became irritated when pressed about why it wasn’t advertised, saying he had simply come to Rome in a “private capacity” and that he had every right to do so. Close to Pope Francis and part of his nine-member council of cardinals, the cardinal is known to be especially eager to reform the Church’s approach to homosexuals. During his Pentecost homily last Sunday, Cardinal Marx called for a “welcoming culture” in the Church for homosexuals, saying it’s “not the differences that count, but what unites us.”

Cardinal Marx is also not alone, among those attending the meeting, in pushing for radical changes to the Church’s life. The head of the Swiss bishops, Bishop Büchel of St. Gallen, has spoken openly in favor of women’s ordination, saying in 2011 that the Church should “pray that the Holy Spirit enables us to read the signs of the times.” Archbishop Pontier, head of the French bishops, is also known to have heterodox leanings.


Father Schockenhoff

Among the specialists present was Father Eberhard Schockenhoff, a moral theologian. Faithful German Catholics are particularly disturbed about the rise to prominence of Father Schockenhoff, who is understood to be the “mastermind” behind much of the challenge to settled Church teachings among the German episcopate and, by implication, at the synod on the family itself.

A prominent critic of Humanae Vitae (The Regulation of Birth), as well as a strong supporter of homosexual clergy and those pushing for reform in the area of sexual ethics, Father Schockenhoff is known to be the leading adviser of the German bishops in the run-up to the synod.

[…]Media Participation

Also noted were the large number of media representatives. Journalists from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, German broadcasters ZDF and ARD, the Italian daily La Repubblica and French-Catholic media La Croixand I-Media were also present. Their presence was “striking,” said one observer, who predicted they will be used to promote the agenda of the subject matter under discussion in the weeks leading up to the synod.

Monday’s meeting is just the latest attempt to subtly steer the upcoming synod in a direction opposed by many faithful Catholics. A statement on the study day released by the German bishops’ conference May 26 said there was a “reflection on biblical hermeneutics” — widely seen as code words for understanding the Bible differently from Tradition — and the need for a “reflection on a theology of love.”

Critics say this, too, is undermining Church teaching. By replacing the theology of the body with a “theology of love,” it creates an abstract interpretation that separates sex from procreation, thereby allowing forms of extramarital unions and same-sex attractions based simply on emotions rather than biological reality. Gone, say critics, is the Catholic view of marriage, which should be open to procreation.

The statement, which conspicuously failed to mention sin, ended by saying that “further discussion on the future of marriage and family is necessary and possible” and that it would be “enriched by a further, intensive theological reflection.”

This, too, is code for wanting a change in teaching, giving the impression that the doctrine in these areas is open to change. But for the Catholic Church, it is a settled issue.

“Imagine if the Church accepted homosexual relationships,” said one source speaking on condition of anonymity. “Ultimately, that is what these people want.”

That’s exactly what they want.   Last autumn I suspected that the real agenda wasn’t Communion for the divorced and remarried.

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Si vis pacem para bellum!, Sin That Cries To Heaven, Synod, The Coming Storm, The Drill | Tagged | 18 Comments

Fr. Z’s Voice Mail

I have received a few more voicemails…

Remember, I don’t call back, but I listen to it.

  • Greg in Denver says he once called from a hospital 5 years ago.  He wanted this time to thank people for prayers, thank this online community, to say that he prays for us.  He wants me to continue to encourage you to GO TO CONFESSION!   Thanks, Greg!
  • Bea in Arizona observes that the “Credo priest petition” post has scrolled off.  She contacted some priests who signed, but some names didn’t appear. I can do that in a couple days.
  • Charles from Georgia asked about a priest who gave people waiting in line a general absolution after getting out of confessional when going to say Mass.  Yes, probably valid, provided you had the right intentions.  However, you should make a sacramental confession, auricular confession, of all mortal sins in kind and number as soon as possible.  You can’t receive “general” absolution twice in  row… so GO TO CONFESSION (… that was for everyone).
  • Peter in Cleveland started in Latin!  He wants me to push the news that I am to be chaplain for a pilgrimage to Rome in October.  Okay!  HERE
  • Marian from Florida to wish me well for my anniversary of ordination.  She said that she would say a Rosary for me today.  Sweet.  Thanks.

Wanna leave me voice mail?  You have three options:


 020 8133 4535


Since I pay a fee for the two phone numbers, USA and UK, I am glad when they get some use.  I have occasionally thought about how to integrate the audio into posts, when there are good questions or comments, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

TIPS for leaving voice mail.

  1. Don’t shout.  If you shout, your voice will be distorted and I won’t be able to understand you.
  2. Don’t whisper.  C’mon.  If you have to whisper, maybe you should be calling the police, instead.
  3. Come to your point right away.  That helps.
Posted in HONORED GUESTS, What Fr. Z is up to, ¡Hagan lío! | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ordination Anniversary – VIDEO

Many priests observe the anniversary of their ordination at this time of year. It is a common time for ordinations, probably because Ember Days were common times for ordinations and Ember Days fall during the Pentecost Octave.

It is my anniversary of ordination today, 24 years ago, by St. John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica.  I suppose that might make me a 2nd class relic.

It was not only the Feast of St. Philip Neri, but it was also Trinity Sunday. A beautiful sunny day.

I got up that morning, ate breakfast, said my prayers, and walked alone across town to the basilica, where I entered through the main doors with the rest of the crowd. After that, however, I went to the right, to the nave near the Pietà, where we vested and waited for the Holy Father. My family members came separately from a different part of town. They had special tickets which brought them very close to the altar.

Since we were 60 in number, and from many countries, the basilica was absolutely jammed with people from all over the world who had come for the ordinations. The number of people, probably some 50k since it was packed to the gills with families and friends and whole colleges and the inevitable tourists, made the responses during the Litany of Saints flow over us palpably as we lay on the floor. Bl. Mother Theresa of Calcutta was there (in front of where my folks sat) because a couple men were being ordained for the male component of the Missionaries. That group never really got traction. I had arranged for my grandmother, a convert to Catholicism in her 80’s, to receive Communion from the Holy Father.

I often wonder what happened to the other men with whom I was ordained. I only knew a couple of them personally, since I had been at the Lateran University with them. I know that one fellow is now a bishop in Haiti. Also, it was the first year that the Iron Curtain was raised enough in Romania so that a few men were permitted out of the country to come to Rome to be ordained by the Pope. There were quite a few Opus Dei guys ordained with us. Another was the sad, so very sad, John Corapi of the SOLT group. Another of them was ordained that day too. One priest is in England, in Southwark, I think. It would be great to meet with him during some trip. I reached out to a few some years ago and got a few responses. I may try again for our 25th, perhaps by writing to their dioceses or institutes and asking that my letter be forwarded.

God doesn’t choose men who are worthy. He chooses those whom it pleases Him to choose. In regard to myself, it’s all a great mystery to me. I probably won’t get it until I die.

The sermon from the Mass HERE

Here is an excerpt from the broadcast of the ordination, the moment of the essential laying of on hands (this plugin might not work for some browsers… I had trouble with Chrome, but it can be downloaded and viewed, otherwise, in a new Chrome window put chrome://flags/#enable-npapi into the address bar, enable the plugin, and then click the “Relaunch” button at the bottom of the page.):


Anecdote: After our ordination we lined up, new priests on one side of the side nave, all the cardinals and various prelates on the other. The Holy Father came and greeted us all.  To my shock, my boss, the late and great Augustine Card. Mayer who had joined the recessional, came across the nave and, in front of the Roman Pontiff, knelt down and asked for my blessing. It was one of several startling lessons Card. Mayer gave me.


The video of the sermon for the Mass of Ordination.  The sermon is in Italian.  Listen to the way St. John Paul speaks, even if you don’t understand Italian.  I miss him.


Posted in Linking Back, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood | 17 Comments

Jihad Brides

Years ago I read a Friday mosque speech in which the imam, or whatever, said “If before we couldn’t win with the long sword, we will win with the short sword!”   He went on to explain that the men had to breed with Western women.

I just saw a segment on TV about women who are going to ISIS held territory in order to become jihad “brides”.  They are going freely.  They are purposing to provide lots of jihad offspring for the future of the caliphate.

They are thinking long term.  They intend to have lots of children for their future… projects.

Meanwhile, the wealthy, free West is contracepting and aborting its future into oblivion.

That got me thinking about the long term effects on our society of a) romantic “luv” and b) “no fault” divorce.

Posted in Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Of the dropping of rose petals

Some years ago I posted photos of the Roman firefighters on top of the Pantheon (I shot them from my apartment’s window) as they prepared to drop rose petals through the oculus on Pentecost. HERE It’s a great custom.

I received a note from one of the guys at St. John Cantius in Chicago. Not to be outdone by the gang at the Pantheon…

And go look at the great photos of people reacting to the rose petals!  HERE

A Shower of Rose Petals

I wonder if they will drop white rose petals on 5 August.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments