Sunday, 31 August 2014

Hired!


I am no longer unemployed. Hurrah! Much as I love Cash in the Attic, and Floggit a priest can have enough. And enough I have had.

Rather famously Our Lord sent labourers out into the harvest, and I shall be harvest ready again. But you cannot go out if there is nothing to do... and so sadly I am leaving Clifton Diocese for the next few years (though still remaining incardinated). If there is no work for a priest, then there is no work for him. So I  have followed Lord Tebbit's advice and get on my bike.


I will be the private chaplain to a family in Great Swinburne in Northumberland near Hexham. They say a parish is like one big family, well for me that will be literally true! I am now "A Private Chaplain Abroad" - thank goodness I do not have to change the name of the blog! At the same time I hope to be doing a PhD at Durham in Old Testament Covenantal theology and Catholic Ecclesiology.

I will be moving in the next few week. A whole new exciting chapter begins!


A Chaplain Abroad, abroad, again!!!


Saturday, 16 August 2014

British Claims on France Renewed?

£2 coin issued in 2013
As a Chaplain Abroad, the arguments went back and forth. The French boys claimed that England was French (because of William the Conqueror), and of course we pointed out that most of what was to become France came to us through Eleanor of Aquitaine. And moreover that the Royal House had still a claim on the French throne - King George III had stopped mentioning the claim to the throne only at the beginning of his reign in the first years of the 19th century.

Arms of King George III - without Fleurs de Lys
Visually you see this as his arms no longer bear the fleurs de lys of the royal arms of France.

Note then my shock and delight to see that royal coats of arms still bearing the claim of the French throne have appeared on British coinage! The £2 coin issued in 2013 (I've just seen one for the first time) has the arms commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Guinea. It contains the French symbol of Royalty.

Top right - France is ours
Is this renewed claim to be made public? How marvellous to have a restored French monarchy! And how wonderful that it should be Her Britannic Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

Her Majesty with her new prime minister of oversees territories
inspecting her new palace, the Elysee

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Croix des Vents

Croix des Vents 
For the last few days I have ben visiting the FSSP school of Croix des Vents, you can see thier school website here.

The Cloister
It is not the first time that I had been there, as Chavagnes had played them at Rugby some years ago. I remember being very impressed by a priest refereeing a match, completely caked in mud. See here, and here.

The High Altar
I had forgotten just quite how wonderful the building is, I quite like the style of 1930s, 1940s France. It is made of concrete, which is exceedingly useful for a school, and French building regulations.

Side Altars
The glass in the chapel is not quite to my taste, but it is of a piece, and is striking. The FSSP have done wonders really. It used to be the Diocesan Seminary, designed for over a hundred... but we know what has happened to vocations.

No matter what, the place remains a school!
A very pleasant few days.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Cats sniffing cars


For those who do not believe what I asserted in the last post of the sniffing desires of cats, concerning my Morris Minor, behold photographic evidence.

Hello, St Catherine

I
In my perigrinations over the past few weeks (which have included being a painter and decorator, and an unfortunate incident with a hammer and a lavatory) I went to visit Frs SImon Henry and Mark Lawler in St Catherine Laboure in Leyland. Fr Simon Henry's blog, Offerimus Tibi Domine is here.

This is not my car, mine does not have eyebrows
The cats were strangely interested in my car. Now that is fine because it is a wonderful car, but usually it does not get the response of a good sniffing.


The Church is fine, Eastward facing and beautifully kept.

St Catherine Laboure
The Blessed Virgin

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Explained


Some very nice chap emailed me and said that coats of arms (and indeed arms of coats) are all well and good, but that the explanation of them is even better, so here goes.

Starting on the bits around. A black galero with one tassle on each side is because I am a priest (still, by the way, available for bar mitzoth etc...). There is the motto "Clamate Voce Maiore". This means "cry out with a louder voice". It was what the prophet Elijah said to the prophets of Ba'al when they could not get their so-called god to start a fire. Sometimes you just have to mock the Devil.

From the top, the half sun with rays is a symbol of St Bede the Venerable.

St Bede the Venerable

 The fleurs de lis are for the Blessed Virgin.

The bees are because my initial is "B", Bede, and the oars are because my surname is Rowe. They are in the colours of my college rowing team, Oriel, of which I was never a part, but for whom I cheered enthusiastically for many years.

The open book is because I am an academic institution. No, its the ecclesiastical history by St Bede, and I like books and learning and stuff.

So there you go.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Arms of Coats


A man should have a coat of arms, especially if he finds himself bored of an evening. They are wonderful things to put on altar cards and in books and the like.

And especially for them be accidentally discovered by boys. When they do so, then they are most wonderful and sweet and paint them on bits of wood for you as presents.

Here is my coat of arms so executed on a bit of wood.

It was done by Henri and Balthazar.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Guard of Honour


When a visiting prelate comes, there is only one thing to do, and that is to give him an honour guard.


When Mgr Castet comes to us he puts up with a lot of things that are not found in rural France, such as polyphony, boys genuflecting before him (one the correct knee of course) and now honour guards. I tried to explain to him what was going to happen, but I honestly think that the simply thought "Poor Father, his French really is not as good as he thinks!" Well, HA!


I have, to say that he played the part very well. as we progressed, he had a word to say for all of our guards. He even expressed his views on Scottish independence. I will not break the Bishop's confidence and tell the world of his views. Let is just be said that I had to stifle a coughing fit!


Rather more impressive is the fact that we got through the whole thing and did not slice his episcopal nose off. Although we are a school known for our fencing prowess, it would have been simply ghastly if the final day of term had ended with the Bishop having to be rushed to accident and emergency.


Everyone survived. 
Phew!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Newly Confirmed

I thought that when I was a chaplain to a school, that I would not have much experience of the normal things of a priest's life, baptism, funerals, anointing etc. But it turned out not to be the case. Of course I did not do many of these things. I sang a Requiem Mass for the grandfather of one of the boys in College and regularly anointed the sick husband of one of our teachers.

The one to be baptised and his Godfather
And here I baptised one of our pupils, Philip. Needless to say he had not been baptised before! He has been in the school for a while, and had come to know the faith through the other boys, daily Mass, and, well, just being around. He made the decision with the support of his family.



He was baptised in the Old Rite, and as such there are a great number of exorcisms. Which is a good thing.


I drenched him, just so that he knew he was well and truly baptised.


After the baptism, we went to our College Chapel, where I said a traditional Mass and Philip and his Godfather served. How wonderful to receive Holy Communion for the first time serving at the altar of God!


He it was that the Bishop confirmed.



All photos to be found on Chavagnes facebook page, and rights to M. de Soos and Mr Leach.
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