Little Sisters of the Poor, Newcastle – TLM

From a reader:

Mass at the Little Sisters of the Poor, Newcastle
Tonight there will be a Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at the chapel of the Little Sisters of the Poor, Westmorland Road, Newcastle at 7pm. This is in response to a request from a group of residents in the home. It has taken two and a half years of negotiation to bring this about so we hope all goes well. Thanks to David O`Neill for working to bring this about

Two years….

Why should it have to be so hard.

Oh well.

Brick by brick, folks!


A biretta tip  o{]:¬)   to Forrest Murmurs

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  1. Legisperitus says:

    The devil knows what can really hurt him.

  2. TJM says:

    Negotiate? That’s an odd term. All’s well that ends well. Tom

  3. Ken says:

    The Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, D.C. have attended the TLM on more than one occassion, usually before collecting donations after Mass. They would be a natural TLM order if their leadership had enough of an interest to make it happen. This is the only novus ordo group Mel Gibson has ever donated to, to the best of my knowledge. They got a huge chunk of the Passion of the Christ money.

  4. chironomo says:

    I have this image of a group of nuns in full habits on one side of a table with their lawyers, and on the other side, a group of nuns in jeans and Birkenstocks with their lawyers…

    “Alright, we’ll allow the Te Christe rex supplices Kyrie, and the readings can be in Latin, but must be read by female laity in vestments…”

    “No can do…readings have to be done by the Deacon…”

    “Then you’ll have to use the Lord Have Mercy from Mass of Creation…”

    “Now Sister…you know we can’t do that…it has to be in Latin. We’ll use the shorter Lux et origo Kyrie if you’ll allow the Deacon to proclaim the readings in English…”

    And so it went for 2 1/2 years….

  5. Jim Dorchak says:

    This made me think of some family history I felt would be interesting to share.

    For 65 years my maternal Grandfather provided free medical care as a physician to the the Little Sisters of the Poor in Cincinatti Ohio (24 x 7days). It was his obligation as a good and devout Catholic (a quality less seen today in the medical profession).

    Over this same period my Grandfather secretly sent Graters Ice cream (Best Ice Cream in the World hands down) to the Little Sisters of the poor for their personal use in their dining room. This was a gift that the nuns would have surely refused had they found out it was my Grandfather sending the sweets to the sweets. It was just their way.

    My Grandfather told me of the many Masses he had attended at their chappel with his sons as altar boys serving for the glory of God (all Masses were the old Mass back in the 1940s). He also told me of some extraordianry events and Medical Miracles that happended at the convent where he was in attendance as the Catholic physician. Equally interesting was his description of an Exorcism performed at the convent in the hospital section. (This was back when the Bishop in Cincinatti believed in the God AND recognized the devil.) This event changed my Grandfathers entire life (his words), and I like to think changed the lives of millions since he had 5 children and 15 grand children, some of who endured the banners and butterflies and remain Catholic.

    Grandpa was a great Catholic and only missed Mass one Sunday in his 89 years when he was on a ship to Europe and it was not offered.

    What has happened to the old days? What has happened to the Little Sisters of the Poor where they are so opposed to what the Holy Father has asked be accepted wide and generous through out the whole Catholic Church?

    Jim Dorchak

  6. Girgadis says:

    Pardon my ignorance in asking this question, but if the Holy Father removed
    the requirement that permission be granted to celebrate Mass in the EF, why
    are there still so many obstacles? What would have to be “negotiated”? I ask
    in all sincerity because I’m new to this, but is there reluctance to offer
    this kind of Mass because it’s perceived to be more work? Are some clergy worried that their
    flocks would demand Mass in this form more often and they would just rather not
    be bothered? Is it fear of the “unknown” on the part of priests who never had
    any education on the TLM while in the seminary? Is there concern that there will
    be friction between proponents of the TLM and those of the NO? These are issues
    I never had to think about before so I hope no offense is taken at my asking these
    questions. thanks

  7. Hidden One says:

    Two years… it only took that long.

    Other places and people are still waiting.

    A tardy gift horse is still a gift horse.

  8. Bailey Walker says:

    God bless the Little Sisters of the Poor! Years ago (back in the 60’s when I was an undergraduate student) I spent a summer working for the Little Sisters of the Poor in Richmond, Virginia. I would start my day at 7:00 AM attending Mass with the Sisters and residents. I vividly remember one morning after Mass when “Soeur Assistante” came up to me and stated that Bonne Mere wanted me to serve Mass starting the next morning. It was not a request. Serving those Masses every morning for the Benedictine monks who came from Benedictine High School to say Mass for the Little Sisters changed my life. The devotion of the Little Sisters and their complete trust in Divine Providence as well as in the intercession of St. Joseph made a profound impression on me. Believe me, there were signs of God’s love everyday in that place. It was the real thing.

    I also remember a brief conversation I had with one of the Little Sisters. We were expressing our relief and gratitude that the Holy Father had finally settled the controversy over birth control in Humanae Vitae. Little did we know what storm was coming. I long for the simplicity of that time in my life.

  9. irishgirl says:

    ‘That’ long? Oy vey….

    Chironomo-that ‘negotiation’ was pretty funny.

    Soon-to-be Saint Jeanne Jugan, pray for your ‘daughters’!

  10. Clement says:

    “Pardon my ignorance in asking this question, but if the Holy Father removed
    the requirement that permission be granted to celebrate Mass in the EF, why
    are there still so many obstacles? What would have to be “negotiated”?


    The Holy Father has told the Church to do many things that are not obeyed by members of the Church.

    The Holy Father told the President of the PCED, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, that he wants the Gregorian Rite of Mass to be offered, not in some parishes, BUT IN EVERY PARISH.
    So you see, disobedience to the Holy Fathers wishes is rampant in the Church.
    Pride and selfishness, which are fueled by the goadings of Satan.

  11. Anthony says:

    off topic, but mr. Dorchak, did your father ever tell you the story of that exorcism? After reading fr. Amorth’s books i find such stories to be of great interest, perhaps you could post it?

  12. Kimberly says:

    I am the Director of Development for the Washington, DC home of the Little Sisters of the Poor. I have been in this office since October. I am a fourth year convert to the Catholic Church, although I married in the Church and my husband (an extremely devout Catholic who would have made a good priest)and I will celebrate our 22 year anniversary this coming Saturday. We also have two children who have been raised in the Church and attended Catholic schools. The point of my comment is that my spiritual advisor cautioned me against working in my local Diocese because he thought that as a new Catholic I would be appalled at the politics and some of the lack of reverence I’d see, but he was thrilled when I told him that I had accepted a position with the Little Sisters. I can honestly say that I have never met a more devout group of women. They are in full habit 365 days a year — I can’t even imagine them wearing “jeans and birkenstocks” as mentioned above. I have to think that if there was any apprehension about having a Latin Mass in any of the homes, it was specific to that home or that Mother Superior and not the congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor overall. Nuns are as individual as the rest of us are. They each have their own personalities. I have not heard anyone argue against the reintroduction of the Latin Mass. I would want to hear more about this story before I would assume what is meant by “negotiate”. As the Director of Development, I’m also curious about the supposed support from Mel Gibson. I’m not aware of that. I do know of another Catholic group in DC who got a nice gift from the Passion money, but unless Mel used another name, no record exists in my database about such a gift to the Little Sisters. Trust me, these Sisters are the real deal. They’re good and holy women. The ones I work with would be the first to welcome the Latin Mass in our home.

  13. Fr Michael Brown says:

    I was the celebrant of the Mass and the author of the piece you have quoted on your blog, which appeared on my blog. I wasn`t involved in the discussions. After the Mass the superior sent the following message to the organiser: `the understanding when we allowed the mass (sic) was that it was to be a one off and I am afraid that will stand. We have no desire to make it a regular feature in the home.`

    [Thanks for posting. Here is a link to your blog, Forrest Murmurs. ]

  14. TJM says:

    Kimberly, I know the Little Sisters of the Poor from my work in the healthcare field. They are absolutely tops as nuns and as caregivers. You are
    fortunate to be associated with them. Tom

  15. TJM says:

    Fr. Michael Brown, doesn’t sound very friendly does it? What if the folks there continue to desire it? Tom

  16. Clement says:

    Father Brown,

    Why doesnt the Mother Superior want the Gregorian Rite of Mass offered at the Home on a regular basis?
    Seems as if the nuns all are supportive of it and the TLM especially nourishes religious communities in a way that the NO cannot.

  17. Ken says:

    Kimberly, here is the Mel Gibson information:

    And know the Little Sisters are loved by the TLM congregation at Saint Mary’s in Chinatown.

  18. Fr Michael Brown says:

    Clement, I`ve not met the superior. She didn`t come to say `hello` that night. A couple of the sisters stayed for part of the Mass. Back in the 1970`s when the EF Mass was alowed under the Heenan indult it used to happen at the Little Sisters in Sunderland but we`ve never had it at Newcastle.

    I suppose if the residents invoke their rights under SP it could get interesting.

  19. C.L. says:

    An important and fascinating angle on liturgy and beauty from the Holy Father reported here.

  20. I’d say that it was red tape put up by the
    liberal nuns and the local Ordinary.

    The Pope has said that priests do not need the
    permission of their Ordinaries to implement
    Summorum Pontificum and yet so many of those
    said Ordinaries do interfere.

  21. ef says:

    There is a Little Sisters of the Poor not too far from me, in Palatine, Illinois. I’ve been there several times for Days of Recollection given by Miles Christi priests and have felt that that place would be a wonderful place to live when you’ve reached that point of needing constant care,…….other than the fact that it’s only Novus Ordo Masses. I’m praying that changes in this location also.

  22. Clement says:

    Father Brown,

    Thank you for the information.

    I am sorry to hear that the sisters did not stay for the Mass and you were not greeted by the Mother Superior.

    Thank you so much for offering the TLM there, anyhow.
    From an American who loves what you are doing.

  23. tecumseh says:

    I imagine that Westmorland Rd, Newcastle means, Newcastle England. Two years eh..!! I live only 60 miles from Newcastle, we have never even had one mass in the region where I live despite various requests. Including walking into Deanery meetings and putting the request in writing on the table.
    The English Bishops must be amongst the worst bunch of chancers in the World. They have been getting told for years what needs to be done, yet they do nothing.
    Never mind, although we don’t have the Traditional Mass, we are to have a “Sacred Circle Dance Prayer Event” in the church hall, bet we wouldn’t have to wait two years for this “Sacred Event”
    to be front and centre at Sunday Mass, if some of the parish worthies asked for it. We would of course have to put up with it in the name of diversity or something like that.

  24. cuaguy says:

    I have been to the residence by me about 2 times a month since about October, and I love it there. The sisters are great, and its right across the street, so its wonderful to get to.

  25. Kevin says:

    I continue to read about parishes inplementing EF Masses and the beginnnings of chant and Latin in churches around the country and “Brick by Brick” progress. Well that might be in some places but not where I live. I am from a small near west parish in a mostly rural area but still with maybe 400 faimilies. Any mention of chant and Latin is met with negative responses by priest or parishioner. I am on the liturgy committee and have tried to get our priest to allow at least one Mass a month with some experimentation in Latin and chant in the ordinaries of the Mass. I recently left another one-on-one meeting with our priest frustrated anew. Arguments about sacredness, renewing the mystery of the Mass, spirituality, etc. are met with the people won’t sing, they don’t know what the words mean, the church goes through these cycles every so often. The bishop and the other priests of the diocese seem to share our priest’s sentiments. So it looks like it will be “On Eagles Wing” and Mass of Creation again this Sunday (and the Sunday after, that and the Sunday after that, and …) with no relief in sight. Sorry to sound so negative but there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

  26. chironomo says:


    I meant no offense to the Little Sisters of the Poor…I am well aware of their integrity and envisioned them as the nuns in full habit in my brief parody. But who were they having to negotiate with? What concessions were demanded of them in return for allowing the TLM (that is what is implied by negotiations after all!)? I’m not asking you this, of course, but I was hoping my small attempt at humor might illustarte what I was trying to say.

  27. chironomo says:


    Things could be a lot worse than “On Eagles Wings” and “Mass of Creation”…try suggesting that you have a friend (or friends…) who play in a local garage band who have been working on some hard-screaming rock versions of the Holy Holy as well as some other “Church-like Songs” and would like an opportunity to play during Mass. Tell your pastor that you thought it would be a good fit at your parish given the other music done regularly. See what he says…

    Yes…I’m absolutely serious.

  28. Tom says:

    As an ex-resident of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese, I suspect that the politics surrounding the Extraordinary Form are still difficult. The diocese was, certainly in the 1970s and 80s, bitterly hostile to the TLM. An uneasy accommodation has been reached in more recent years, but there is a lot of work to be done before the divisions are healed.

    Pray for all involved.


  29. Jim Dorchak says:

    Exorcism performed:

    TO: off topic…………Comment by Anthony — 29 April 2009

    Yes Anthony my Grandfather did tell me the story, more than once and it was always the same (which is a feat for an elderly man). I will post the story of the Exorcism performed on my blog so as not to take up Fr Z blog space.

  30. michigancatholic says:

    Actually, TJM, I suspect it’s not at all a weird term. We have a religious order here that’s split right down the middle. As of 2 years ago, they had two councils, and two governing bodies, the works. But only one property so there they were. It’s all about negotiation.

    This order rents out rooms for retreats, programs & such and when I was there about 2 years ago, you could see the two groups in the lunchroom: the older ex-teachers in habit, and the middle-aged eco-farmers in polyester (of all things). Very visible difference between the 2 groups.

    Just recently, this house consolidated with six others of the same order because they’re not getting vocations anymore and there are beaucoup empty rooms on that property. I don’t know how it came out for the older members. I shudder to think.

  31. Mary-Magdalene says:

    The Petites Soeurs des Pauvres are a French order well known in Brittany where their founder is from.
    They wear a white habit.
    I am glad they can assist now at the TLM.

  32. Kimberly says:

    Don’t worry — I’ve taken no offense to anything I’ve read here regarding the Little Sisters. I know that there are a lot of well meaning Catholics who are against the Latin Mass and so it wouldn’t surprise me to even hear that some Sisters were against it if I didn’t know the group that I work for. I just wanted to say that the Little Sisters I’ve met so far are truly wonderful women who are completely devoted to God. To the person who sent the information about the Mel Gibson donation, I thank you. He apparently visited the Kentucky home, not DC. I was curious about it because he (Mel) was in DC right after The Passion was released. I had a meeting with a Catholic client one afternoon who told me that I had literally just missed Mel Gibson by about five minutes. Mel had showed up unexpectedly at his organization or I might have run into him. That was before I came to work for the Little Sisters and it wouldn’t have surprised me to hear that he had stopped by our home too. In Washington, DC anything can happen. Please let me say that in my work with Catholic groups over the years I have learned that the devil doesn’t attack the bad people — they’re already in his corner. He attacks the good people and where do you find better people than in the Church? I tend to believe that the better a person is — the closer to God — the more he will come under attack. Just think of Padre Pio! We all need to pray constantly for our religious and for our Church. We should not underestimate the devil or overestimate our ability to keep evil at bay. But that’s all I’ll preach about today!

  33. berenike says:

    Maybe it should be mentioned that there is an OF Mass in Newcastle every Sunday, at about 11 or 12, in St Dominic’s, New Bridge St. It’s been going a long time, I think.

  34. Ken says:

    Kimberly — thanks for your comments. If you and/or the sisters can make it, there will be a traditional Solemn High Mass at Saint Mary’s at 5th and H streets, N.W., at 5 p.m. on Sunday 5/10. Monsignor Pope, a wonderful homilist, will offer the Mass, and Gregorian chant will be sung.

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