Liverpool! First “personal” TLM parish in the UK!

Here is a great piece!   As I was telling a journalist on the phone today, things are picking up speed.

Take a look at the Catholic Herald.

Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool is preparing to create Britain’s first parish dedicated to celebrations of the traditional Latin Mass.  [HUZZAH! HUZZAH! HUZZAH!]

The archbishop is planning to revive an ailing parish [YES!] in Liverpool’s inner city by turning it into a centre for traditionalists.

He is following the example set by the Diocese of Rome, [Better and better!] which set up a parish dedicated exclusively to Mass in the extraordinary form earlier this year.

The Church of St Vincent de Paul, St James Street, Toxteth, will become a traditionalist parish as early as September if the plans are approved by the archdiocese.

It is one of four churches in the city centre overseen by Fr John Southworth and attracts a weekly congregation of about 25 to 30 people.

Fr Southworth is reported to have announced the change to parishioners on Sunday.

The church’s new priest will be Fr Simon Henry, who was previously parish priest at St Cuthbert’s, Wigan, Lancashire, for nine years.

Fr Henry has been in talks with Archbishop Kelly for some time over how the diocese can do more to offer the traditional Latin Mass.

At present the Latin Mass Society organises a weekly Mass at St Anthony’s Church, Scotland Road, Liverpool, celebrated by a rota of different priests.

The Sunday afternoon Masses draw congregations of about 40 to 50 people but as the church is not very central many worshippers find it difficult to get to.

St Vincent’s Church, designed by E W Pugin in 1856, is considered to be more suitable for traditional liturgy because it has not yet been re-ordered.

The church is located next to Chinatown [Good Chinese food after Mass?  Can't get better than that!] and near to the city docks. It was founded by one of Liverpool’s first bishops, Bishop Bernard O’Reilly, who raised the money for it and commissioned Pugin to design it when he was still just a priest.

John Medlin, general manager of the Latin Mass Society, said he was "very pleased" at the news. "In fact, we have heard from our sources that some other dioceses may be working on similar plans," he said.

He explained that St Vincent’s was a "beautiful and appropriate" church for the extraordinary form Mass and that very little re-ordering would be needed.

He said that the archbishop should be "congratulated" [Huzzah!] for heeding the words of Cardinal Castrillon, president of the pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei. The cardinal said on a visit to London this month: "It is… important to find a centrally located church, convenient to the greatest number of the faithful who have requested [the extraordinary form] Mass."

The cardinal said earlier this year that an exclusively traditionalist parish in Rome was an "example" for dioceses around the world. The parish of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, which celebrates Mass only in the extraordinary form, is overseen by the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter. It was designated a traditionalist parish by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Vicar of the Diocese of Rome, in May.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Liverpool hinted that plans to widen the provision of the traditional Latin Mass extended beyond just one parish.

He said: "The archbishop is considering some proposals regarding the ministry of churches in the city. These proposals would be centred on the Metropolitan Cathedral but will also include the Church of St Vincent." The planning was still at an "early" stage, he added. In July last year Benedict XVI issued a Motu Proprio which granted priests much greater freedom to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass.

The decree said priests could celebrate the Mass publicly without the permission of a bishop and that it should be offered in parishes whenever a "stable group" of the faithful requested it.

Earlier this month Cardinal Castrillon, who is responsible for implementing the Motu Proprio, celebrated Mass in the extraordinary form at Westminster Cathedral. At a press conference he told journalists that the Pope wanted the traditional Latin Mass to be offered in every parish "so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist".

 

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36 Responses to Liverpool! First “personal” TLM parish in the UK!

  1. Hugh B says:

    Having read all the reports, I can’t see that the Archbishop (who is well know for his opposition to the extra-ordinary form) has set up a parish. He has merely said one of the churches in a larger parish will have the EF Mass said there. I think we seem to be popping the chapagne corks a little too early. Sorry if that sounds pessimistic but it is realistic.

  2. John says:

    “The cardinal said earlier this year that an exclusively traditionalist parish in Rome was an “example” for dioceses around the world. The parish of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, which celebrates Mass only in the extraordinary form, is overseen by the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter.”

    This statement is technically true because the parish of Ss.ma Trinita is exclusively extraordinary form; the building, however, of Ss.ma Trinita is not. It is shared by the new parish, by the Archconfraternity of the same name, and by the community of St. Aegidius. The Archconfraternity still has an ordinary form Mass on Sundays (not celebrated by the FSSP pastor of the new parish, although he is also now their chaplain). In addition, the community mentioned above sings a form of evensong in Italian loosely derived from the oriental rites every evening.

    I mention this because in the last homily delivered at the old FSSP apostolate, San Gregorio dei Muratori, the pastor of Ss.ma Trinita clarified that the ‘example’ which the diocese wanted to give to the world is the integration of the extraordinary form in the regular life of the diocese. The peaceful co-existence of these three entities in the same building is to demonstrate this.

    Keeping in mind the true example being set by Rome, it is not enough for a bishop to reluctantly set up a parish (I make this a general statement and has nothing to do with the diocese of Liverpool,) and hide all the ‘unwanted’ elements from the rest of the faithful.

  3. Diane Taylor says:

    Great News to this Liverpullian in exile living in the Antipodes (New Zealand)
    As a formal student of Church History (M’Phil) I have been researching and commenting on the very time of the ‘birth’ of this Church after the establishment of the great Cardinal Wiseman as first Primate of England after Emancipation
    (recommend his Pastoral from the Flaminian Gate).
    Well done Liverpool LM priest and laity! The glorious port is returning maybe to it’s old leadership role in the Faith that it had in the time of restoration after Emancipation.
    I hope to visit next year & will be able to share in the joy of attending the TLM parish (as I’ve been able to do here in Auckland – the only one in NZ)
    God be with you all!

  4. Diane Taylor says:

    Great News to this Liverpullian in exile living in the Antipodes (New Zealand)
    As a formal student of Church History (M\’Phil) I have been researching and commenting on the very time of the birth of this Church after the establishment of the great Cardinal Wiseman as first Primate of England after Emancipation
    (recommend his Pastoral from the Flaminian Gate).
    Well done Liverpool LM priest and laity! The glorious port is returning maybe to its old leadership role in the Faith that it had in the time of restoration after Emancipation.
    I hope to visit next year & will be able to share in the joy of attending the TLM parish (as I have been able to do here in Auckland – the only one in NZ)
    God be with you all!

  5. Jack Regan says:

    Liverpool is a fascinating town in Church terms. It is virtually the only place in England & Wales where the sectarian hostilities seen in Northern Ireland and Glasgow are (to a degree) seen in the UK. The mode of Catholicism is also very heavily influenced by the Irish culture rather than by a more Anglicised style. These things both make the way of things far more traditional in the City especially. For that reason I can see that the EF might get more support in Liverpool then elsewhere.

    As for Archbishop Kelly, whatever views he might have of the EF, he is a very good Bishop. He was very much loved in Salford, where he began as a Bishop, and he is widely loved in Liverpool. He has also been the subject of media reports (both Catholic & secular media) which those close to him will tell you are erroneus.

    Hence, I hope that discussion on this matter doesn’t go down the road of criticising the guy too much.

  6. Cathguy says:

    I agree with Fr. Z that this is great news! Wonderful!

    I raise the following point as food for thought only: There is one caveat that tempers my enthusiasm for this endeavor. Has anyone considered the argument that folks are attached to their parish communities, love their Church, and have NO DESIRE to go to a new Parish? They would just like a Traditional Latin Mass offered at their own parish! Why do we need to “balkanize” as it were?

    I see no reason why EVERY parish couldn’t have one TLM. At my parish, there are 7 masses on a weekend. What does it communicate when we say not even one of those ought to be a TLM?

  7. Giovanni says:

    I need help. I am a lay Catholic who would like to request the TLM in my diocese, where there seems to be little desire for it currently. I am not sure which approach to take. Should I write (speak) directly to the Bishop and politely make a request for this mass, or should I make a request to the parish priest (who I know well and will undoubtedly refuse), or should I begin eliciting the support of other lay Catholics before going to the Bishop or priest? Do any of you have advice for effectively requesting the TLM. What experiences can you share that would help in doing this the right way. Keep in mind that I live in a diocese that has a significant protestant influence. I expect to primarily encounter apathy with doses of passive hostility from the hierarchy. I could be wrong, of course.

  8. Martin Leon says:

    Cathguy is right. There are too many catholics shopping around for masses to accomadate their own liturgical tastes. We should be talking about the conversion of the masses rather than isolating the masses!

  9. Justin says:

    Jack,

    “The mode of Catholicism is also very heavily influenced by the Irish culture rather than by a more Anglicised style. These things both make the way of things far more traditional in the City especially.”

    It is my understanding that it is precisely the Irish-influence that tend to favour ‘low’ simpler liturgies, as opposed to the more elaborate Sarum influenced style in favour with the recusants.

  10. Cathguy, I am with you. While I see the importance of one parish in the diocese being set up exclusively for the sacred liturgy of 1962, including all sacraments, I think it is vitally important that Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form be offered in every parish possible. Not some- but all!!!

  11. Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese says:

    Further proof why the need for the SSPX is lessening every day.

  12. Cathguy says:

    Greg,

    Why this missive against the SSPX? It is entirely a non-sequitur. This article is about the Anglicans.

    However, I have to tell you, I do not see this proof you refer to at all.

    What I see is a vast majority of Bishops and priests who either a) don’t agree with, or b) have no desire to work to implement, the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio.

    I see faithful traditional laity called names and being lectured for making reasonable and respectful requests for the TLM under the Motu Proprio.

    I am getting a little tired of all the beating up on traditionalists that goes on. No, I don’t support the SSPX’s episcopal ordinations. Yes, I do think they ought to agree to the Holy Father’s reasonable request. I agree entirely with the author of this blog who says NOW is a time to show some humility.

    But has the following truth ever struck you as strange? According to the best data available, 90-95% percent of the U.S. laity either disagree with or ignore Church teaching on contraception. (If its 95%, those that do assent to Church teaching represent a statistically irrelevant portion of the population. Most polls like these have a +or- 5% degree of error)

    These folks are presenting themselves for communion week after week, and never attend confession.

    Yet, to hear some people here tell it, the SSPX are the greatest heretics since the gnostics, and everything is peachy keen in the Novus Ordo Church.

    Doesn’t that strike you as… well… ludicrous?

  13. Geoffrey says:

    I have mixed feelings on personal parishes devoted exclusively to the Extraordinary Form. While on the one hand I think it’s great, I also feel that the powers-that-be are simply putting all those attached to that form in a “ghetto”… sort of like: “you guys go play over here while we do our thing over here”. I would much rather see both forms side-by-side in regular parishes.

  14. James M says:

    Giovanni,

    A group of us asked for the TLM in Townsville, Australia–and failed miserably!(http://eccematertua.blogspot.com/2008/03/no-tlm-for-townsvilleyet.html)

    We were out manouvered. But our response to that was to offer it up and carry on asking for the TLM in prayer–it will happen in God’s time.

    Even if your request will probably fail, it is important to ask (so that the Bishops and priests know people are interested) and important not to spit the dummy if they say “no” (so that the Bishops and priests realise that the people making the requests are not lacking in charity).

    The bishop in Townsville can fairly say that he does not have enough priests and lay interest is not very evident to provide the TLM. My hope was that he would help us discover the level of lay interest, even encourage it. Bit optimistic that.

    Good luck!

  15. leo says:

    i dont believe that this will be anything more than the transfer of the present sunday afternoon mass to a new venue . The present church has been closed because of a fire and another church is being used where the sanctuary has been completly reorderd and is hidden in the docklands.The church of st vincent de paul is a hughe gothic building which will never look full, its also in a very rundown and possibly dangerous area , certainly no one would be attending evening devotions of any kind.Catholicism in liverpool is in as bad a state as anywhere in england.I would suggest that the archbishop could easily have transferred the old mass tolutyens crypt of the cathedral which still has an eastward altar and big six, its smaller perfectly suited to worship and has safe parking ,also with the modern cathedral it really has lost its role . I suspect that the church of st vincent de paul is destined to close. The city centre has st anthony’s a very large gothic church , st francis xavier another massive jesuit church with a sodality chapel the size of a parish church, the cathedral , st philip neri originally built to house an oratory,the blessed sacrament fathers shrine a small but very popular church with daily lunchtime mass and exposistion in the very centre of the shopping are and st vincents which is on the periphary of the city centre in the unfashionable part of the docklands

  16. Mark M says:

    Cathguy:

    It’s not about the Anglicans either!

  17. [Liverpool] is virtually the only place in England & Wales where the sectarian hostilities seen in Northern Ireland and Glasgow are (to a degree) seen in the UK.

    Jack: last time I checked, Glasgow and NI were both still part of the United Kingdom.

  18. Richard says:

    “It is one of four churches in the city centre overseen by Fr John Southworth and attracts a weekly congregation of about 25 to 30 people.”

    25 to 30 people?

    Yow.

  19. Adam says:

    Hugh B,
    Can you substantiate that the Archbishop of Liverpool is “well know for his opposition to the extra-ordinary form”? He is the only Metropolitan in England and Wales to have celebrated the EF in public in recent years. Even the Una voce website recognises this basic fact.

    Now there is something of an enigma in Liverpool and I wonder if Fr Z can make any sense of it. Mgr Malone, the retired auxiliary in Liverpool, has celebrated the EF for the Latin Mass community in Liverpool a number of times in recent years, this same bishop has gained considerable notoriety for suggesting that
    women might hear confessions and give absolution.

  20. Adam says:

    Mgr Malone also wore a pontifical dalmatic at his episcopal ordination in 1989, by order of the metropolitan, the notorious, supposedly liberal, Mgr Worlock.

  21. Adam says:

    Leo,
    The transfer of the Mass to the cathedral crypt is a very good idea. The crypt contains the neglected shrine of Our Lady of Liverpool, which evokes the memory of the ancient Marian shrine of St Mary del Key, which is mentioned in the Vatican Registers of Calixtus II. It would be marvelous for Mass to be celebrated at the Lady Altar once again, either EF or OF, at least, it might revive that great white elephant on Brownlow Hill. Incidentally, the history of the medieval shrine can be found at http://www.salvesanctusparens.blogspot.com

  22. Richard2 says:

    I wonder if the regular TLMs at St Anthony’s will now stop now that there is a dedicated TLM parish.

  23. Caecilia says:

    Off topic (sorry)
    Bishop Fellay has granted an interview (in Italian) to the Swiss Italian Radio. I have posted the link under the ‘Thoughts on the SSPX opportunity’ not to parasyte the thread here.

  24. Caecilia says:

    that was the ‘Thoughts on the SSPX opportunity post.’

  25. Paul, south midlands says:

    While I suspect Archbishop Kelly is not a personal enthusiast for the ER he is a damn good orthodox bishop and should have been appointed to Westminster after Hume. He still might be of course.

    He is also a very pleasant person and made a point of supporting the University Chaplaincies while Bishop of Salford (and was rewarded with vocations to the priesthood from said universities).

    It does not surprise me that he is the first to do this.

  26. Syriacus says:

    The link to the RealAudio file of the Fellay Interview is:

    http://real.xobix.ch/ramgen/rsi/rg/2008/rg_12_06282008.rm

  27. Peter says:

    The Society of St Pius X have a regular Mass in Liverpool.They are there for 20 years or so

  28. Mark says:

    Giovanni:

    It seems that my diocese is a carbon copy of yours. The consensus around here is to go up the chain of command: build the interested laity into a cohesive named group first (even if it’s only a handful of people), approach the parish priest with a signed written request second, then approach the Bishop third.

    It seems to us that it’s very important to document everything in writing, including names and dates. One person can act as the secretary. If the replies are oral (or the request is just completely ignored), document it. Needles to say, avoid acrimony, accusations, sour grapes, long winded theological expositions, etc. When the time comes, this documentation will become a record on which the Ecclesia Dei Commission will act, after you provide it to them. Una Voce website may be of assistance in drafting the appropriate requests. See link below:

    http://www.unavoce.org/articles/2007/SP_Info.html

    The replies we received around here were a “NO!” from the laity that de-facto run this diocese and silence from the ordained top, for now. We’re in this together for the long haul, so any feelings of hopelessness or discouragement are our enemy. May God smile on our efforts.

  29. Patrick says:

    [Liverpool] is virtually the only place in England & Wales where the sectarian hostilities seen in Northern Ireland and Glasgow are (to a degree) seen in the UK.

    Jack: last time I checked, Glasgow and NI were both still part of the United Kingdom.

    True — but last time I checked, they weren’t in England!

  30. Mitchell says:

    All,

    I experience many of the same frustrations as you all..Parishes around me will not budge on the Non-interest issue…Party Line, through and through..Liverpool is a great example of what can be done but I agree with others who think that there should still be one Gregorian Mass available in our Churches with our own Priests encouraging it…If not the divisions set in..Us and them…It is a dangerous prospect for the Church…..In Liverpool for example this Church should be the “Super Church” of the Diocease where all other parishes can look to set the example..Maybe a future development but would be the best situation for all..The US is going to be a tough cookie on this one. I pray that people in Liverpool grow in faith and learn to love this Mass so that the statistical growth can be documented and spread throughout the world.

  31. Quyite right, Patrick – my bad! Apologies to Jack, et al.

  32. Patrick says:

    On a more serious note —

    St Mary’s in Washington is next to Chinatown, so I can attest to the goodness of Chinese food after Mass (at least until they opened the Irish Channel across the street!).

    It sounds like a similar situation in Liverpool. When they brought the TLM to St Mary’s, it too was a very poor parish, with rather low attendance. Now there are several hundred attending Mass every Sunday. The collection has been such that they were able to renovate, in the true sense of the word, the church back in around 97. It’s beautiful!

  33. Giovanni says:

    James & Mark,

    Thank you for your advice and comments. I was not aware of the una voce website. It will certainly be of great assistance when the time is right.

  34. Calleva says:

    Cathguy’s suggestion of having one of several weekend masses as a TLM won’t work in many of our parishes. Certainly in Arundel and Brighton diocese priests are not allowed to say more than two masses a day. Our parish priest manages three parishes an one of the churches must make do with a Saturday vigil Mass. Our bishop is on record as having said there are ‘too many masses’ at the cathedral. I am not sure if he means that some are so poorly attended that they are superfluous or what.

    We are told there are no more available priests in the diocese. I know this isn’t Liverpool where there are more Catholics, but there is a growing priest shortage. I personally would like to see the FSSP brought in to manage churches. In fact, my own parish church is small, gothic-style and has its high altar intact as well as two little side altars. It would be ideal for the TLM – but I’m not holding my breath.

    I’m delighted for Liverpool and hope that this is the first of many such churches. Bishop Kelly deserves praise for his generosity. Let’s all say a prayer for him in gratitude.

  35. Simon Platt says:

    This is excellent news indeed for the church in Liverpool and I hope will be an example to be repeated elsewhere in England.

    An announcement of this news was made this morning at mass at St. Mary Magdalen’s, Penwortham, in the north of Liverpool archdiocese and where Fr. Henry has occasionally celebrated the traditional mass.

    I understand that Fr. Henry will move to St. Vincent de Paul in September and that some details are still to be worked out, but I think that he will be the parish priest (“pastor”) and that he will use the traditional rites exclusively.

    I know Fr. Henry slightly and like him very much. I think that he can provide a good example to his fellow diocesan priests of how the traditional rites can be integrated into the daily life of parishes everywhere – as many commentators, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos and, apparently, the Holy Father all desire.

    I think the church in England is crying out for this sort of initiative, and I’d like to join Calleva, in particular, in welcoming this excellent news, thanking Archbishop Kelly, and praying for Fr. Henry and the success of his new parish.