LMS’s “residential” TLM training conference

I received the follow from the Latin Mass Society in England.


The Latin Mass Society’s (LMS) residential training conference for priests wishing to learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) held at Ushaw College, Durham from Monday 20 April to Thursday 23 April (Low Week) has been a great success.

Twenty priests, mostly from the northern English dioceses, received intensive training in the celebration of Mass in the Usus Antiquior or Extraordinary Form.
Tuition was given in small groups by priests who regularly offer Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite. Four of the groups were for beginners or near-beginners and concentrated on Low Mass. The other two groups were for priests already proficient in Low Mass and who wished to study the more complicated forms of Missa Cantata or Solemn Mass.

The conference participants felt thoroughly welcomed at Ushaw College, one of England’s most prestigious seminaries. Particularly useful was the availability of many side altars suitable for practice and private Masses. The conference made use of no less than ten of these. 

The magnificent St Cuthbert’s Chapel was used for all the public services. These included Lauds, Vespers, Compline, Rosary and Benediction as well as the daily conference Mass. The plainsong chant was provided by the schola of the Rudgate Singers; and at the final Solemn Mass the polyphonic choir, Antiphon, sang Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices. 

As a seminary chapel with plenty of choir stalls, St Cuthbert’s Chapel was ideally suited for a gathering which included so many priests. The impressive Gothic architecture, cathedral-like acoustic and traditionally styled sanctuary made a perfect setting for the Latin liturgies.

The Holy Father in his Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum not only ‘released’ the Mass but also the other sacraments and Father Thomas Crean OP, who includes part-time hospital chaplaincy amongst his duties, gave a well-received lecture on the pastoral relevance of the Traditional Rite of Holy Unction, Viaticum and Commendation of the Dying.

Canon Stephen Shield, Dean of St Peter’s Cathedral, Lancaster, who celebrated some of the conference liturgies, gave the keynote address at the convivial Gala Dinner at which the priests lustily sang ‘God Bless Our Pope’.

One of the priest participants said afterwards, “It rejoiced our hearts to hear the Gothic splendours of the Pugin chapel of St Cuthbert ringing once more to the sound of plainsong and the Mass of Ages. It is to be hoped that more clergy will rekindle joy in the priesthood through discovering the riches of our Catholic heritage.”

Doctor Joseph Shaw, LMS Chairman, said, “The glorious sight of the great chapel with Solemn Mass, two choirs, more than a score of priests in choir, and a good number of local faithful, was surpassed by the bustle of the enormous sacristy and the whisper of private Masses at innumerable altars in the early morning. What the LMS conference represented is the re-establishment of the Traditional Mass as part of the tool-kit of parish priests. It was wonderful to see Ushaw College doing what it has done for two centuries: enabling the training of priests in the Church’s great liturgical tradition”.

The training conference at Ushaw College is the third the LMS has organised. Two very successful conferences were held at Merton College, Oxford, in 2007/8, attended by over 95 priests. However, the LMS wanted to move its conferences to unambiguously Catholic surroundings and Ushaw College was an obvious choice.

The LMS is organising a further training conference for priests at All Saints’ Pastoral Centre, London Colney, St Albans, Herts (the Archdiocese of Westminster’s premier conference centre) from Monday 24 to Friday 28 August. Details are available from the LMS office.

Latin Mass Society, 11-13 Macklin Street, London WC2B 5NH
Tel: 020 7404 7284
E Mail: thelatinmasssociety@snmail.co.uk
Website: latin-mass-society.org

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TJM says:

    Father Z, thankyou for posting this heartening story. I particularly liked the observation that the TLM may “rekindle joy in the priesthood.” That man gets it! Tom

  2. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Some brilliant photos over at the Middlesbrough blog of the Latin Mass Society. Particularly good is the shot Fr Z used of priests saying their private masses.


  3. Joseph Shaw says:

    Thank you Fr Z! I was able to attend the last evening and morning of the conference and it was a very happy occasion. It was wonderful to see so many private Masses taking place in the early morning on the numerous side altars around the main chapel.

    For those who are interested I have posted a lot of photographs on Flickr. See

  4. irishgirl says:

    That’s the seminary of my priest-friend from Wigan! He was ordained by JP II in 1982…exactly twenty-seven years ago at the end of this month! And it was on the Feast of Pentecost, too!

    My friend has sent me pictures of the interior of the chapel of Ushaw College, and has attended class reunions at the seminary, too.

    Beautiful shots of the Masses in the chapel!

  5. Jeremy UK says:

    I was part of the plainsong schola. It was a marvellous week. The priests were so happy to be there and the atmosphere was very cordial and harmonious throughout. The ceremonies from Laudes to Compline through wonderful High Masses on such a sumptuous sanctuary was unforgettable. In fact the seminary (once 400 strong, now about 20) simply came back to life. The huge chapel is now only used for major ceremonies. A smaller chapel with chairs and a piano seems to be more the norm, I gather, for ordinary day to day use.

    One of the most striking signs of priestly unity was to see the parallel celebration of individual Masses early in the morning at separate altars (most not used for many decades). This was far more striking symbolically than concelebration (which obvously in the EF did not take place). Someone described the ceremonies as “manly” meaning essentially, I think, solid, no-nonsense. Holy Mass and the priesthood are inseparable,to state the obvious, yet I wonder if this link is felt as strongly now at it was used to be. The new rite has certainly blurred this intentionally or not.

    The few days course was meant to be (and was) a time primarily for priests. I hope it gave them new heart and courage to persevere with what is still seen, alas, as non-mainstream. The Pope’s vision, as we knoew, is quite otherwise, and this was a sure step in harmony with that intent.

    On the last day (feast of St George for which we had solemn High Mass) a visiting choir sang Byrd’s Mass for 4 voices – including the Credo. It fitted beautifully in that setting and they (who would normally sing more often in a concert situation) were also thrilled to see what Byrd was writing for and what exactly had inspired him.

  6. Aquino says:

    It is wonderful that this great event is getting such publicity. The event itself is a great testimony to those priests involved, both as trainers and trainees, and to their lay supporters.

    Unfortunately the good news will be ignored or sidelined by the bishops and much of the catholic press here in the UK.

    Ushaw has a wonderful tradition, founded from Douai, the seed-bed of the priest-Martyrs of our land. Thankfully, the faith for which they gave their lives, is being kept alive by the likes of the priests attending the Ushaw event – not by the establishment of Ushaw today – and by a growing band of lay-folk. Brick-by-brick.

  7. LMS Member says:

    “The LMS wanted to move its conferences to unambiguously Catholic surroundings.” Behind this glib phrase lurks a whole raft of controversy including the profound opposition of many of the LMS Committee and staff to the success of the Merton Conferences and to those who designed and organised them, as well as the ambition of the acting Chairman. The future and role of the LMS is by no means certain whilst it is in the hands of such people. Hopefully the forthcoming AGM will be a forum for open discussion.

  8. Mitchell NY says:

    As this is the year of the Priest, so designated by our Holy Father it would be great to offer sponsorship to our Priests this year in an effort to help them to learn the UA Mass. I am sure there are fees for these conferences and maybe we could help to cover a Father’s expense while he attends a training seminar..it would be a gift not only to Priests but to our whole Parish..How can we spread the idea?

  9. Rubricarus says:

    It’s odd that there is a processional cross in the first picture and in the other pictures of these Masses on the LMS Middlesborough website: the processional cross is only used for pontifical Masses in TLM. It’s a pity the LMS doesn’t stick to the rubrics.

  10. An English Pastor says:

    I applaud the moving of the LMS Conference into the Catholic Seminary where students, whether they attend the TLM or not, at least know the TLM movement has been welcomed into their seminary. I attended the Merton Conference last year and while its teaching and surroundings were excelent, and while indeed Murton does have the secular prestige of being an ‘Oxford’ college and a pre-reformation Catholic history, it was not the ideal venue, i.e., there was no Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and participants had to be bussed out at 6.30am to celebrate private Masses elsewhere due to the lack of side altars. I myself found I had to celebrate Holy Mass on a table in a meeting room. Ushaw, more propely called St Cuthbert’s College, has its own beautiful surroundings; has a number of side altars; is a child of Douai and the seminary in which Cardinal Merry del Val was formed and where he taught as a minor prof before becoming Secrtary to Pope St Pius X, so its Catholic pedigree makes it the ideal setting for training in the TLM. I think the LMS has taken Summorum Pobtificum by the horns by turning to the training priests to celebrate the TLM, and particularly by giving it a place in the English Seminary system, which can only be a cause for joy.

  11. Hawker says:

    Just a comment about processional crosses; Yes the processional cross did originate with pontifical high Mass, but it was standard to use it in consecrated churches. Also, the rubrics do state that it should be used in processions, and for the funeral liturgies and for holy Saturday. Now it strikes me as odd that most parish churches have pre-concillior crosses if were only to be used by visiting bishops; therefore it must have another place as well surely, as it is an expensive piece of furniture. Also it seems to have been too widely used to be regarded as a liturgical abuse.
    I’m afraid I can’t be more specific as I don’t have the books in front of me. However I can assure you that it was not an abuse of the rubrics, or I wouldn’t have allowed it!

  12. Rubricarus says:

    Sorry Hawker, but it is an abuse to use a processional cross for a Mass with no liturgical procession following it (such as a funeral procession – and this is why churches had processional crosses).

    If you were in charge you should have known this or you should have checked it. But perhaps the crossbearer on seemingly every occasion – Mr Luzar of Luzar vestments – just had to show off his collection? [In the future, please park your snark at the door before posting.] Really, the Liturgy is too important to be a parade ground for commercial sellers of ecclesiastical goods!

  13. TJM says:

    Rubricacus, remember this little ditty? “Every party has a pooper that’s why we invited you – Rubricarus, Rubicarus!”

    Really, couldn’t you just relish a wonderful moment like this, just once?


  14. roydosan says:

    Actually Ushaw’s Chapel had its own cross which was used for at least two Masses so Mr Luzar was hardly ‘hawking his wares’.

  15. UK Priest says:

    More self-congratulatory LMS spin!

  16. tecumseh says:

    There have been a couple of these courses now. Has anyone any statistics on how many Parishes have regular Latin Masses after these initiatives. How many parishes have the Traditional Mass as a regular mass, Fr Shield says the mass in the Cathedral at Lancaster, but this is an “added on mass” tacked on to the time table, just to show that there are some masses available. I live in Lancaster Diocese and have asked repeatedly asked for the traditional mass in our area, you can guess what the response has been.

    We have a new Bishop as of last Friday, and in our parish here in Carlisle we have a new parish priest as of yesterday, I requested the Traditional Mass again,yesterday, but I don’t think we are going any where fast.

    My question is, New Bishop, new Parish priest, SAME OLD DECLINE. ???????? SAME OLD MANAGEMENT OF FAILURE..????????????

    Come on guys, lets see the some action. One way or the other. If we are not to have the Traditional Mass lets have the guts to say so. Lets have the Bishops and the parish priests say straight out that they are not going to do it. Lets hear them tell the Pope where to get off.

    The good news from here is that the Society of St Pius X is opening a new Priory 80 miles north of here at Carluke in Scotland.

    Lancaster diocese is closing parishes, because they are wedded to failure, and improvised, boring, masses.

  17. TJM says:

    UK Priest, not helpful to the discussion. I believe that if the Church had maintained the Latin Liturgy (even alongside the reformed liturgy) the numbers of people in the pews would be much higher today. Whether you want to accept it or not, a lot of folks got fed up with the constant changes of the 60s and 70s, and quite frankly, the banality of the new service in terms of how it’s usually done (the langauge of course is banal in and of itself). I would suggest a little introspection. If the “new and improved” liturgy was soooooo wonderful, then the pews should be filled and organizatons like the Latin Mass Society would not exist. Tom

  18. UK Priest says:

    TJM – I have nothing against the traditional Latin Mass, just the travesty that is the Latin Mass Society and especially how they treat the clergy. Many UK clergy hold this view.

  19. TJM says:

    UK priest, sorry to misunderstand you. I’m a bit surprised by your comments, however about the LMS. Isn’t the LMS dependent on the goodwill of priests? At least it would seem logical to me. Tom

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