Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Good Counsel Network Ball

The Good Counsel Network ball was a great success this year. Some past members of Juventutem Reading were present for the ball. It was wonderful to see Young Catholics dressed up for the occasion.

Just an example that they do exist.
Some interesting observations:
Of the women:
  1. Women outnumbered men by about 2:1
  2. Most were single.
  3. Most were below the age of 30.
  4. Of the single women, not one refused a dance.
Of the men:
  1. Men were outnumbered by about 2:1
  2. Fewer than half were dancing.
  3. Of the men that were dancing, most were courting/engaged/married.
  4. Of the men that were not dancing, most were single.
  5. Of the men that were single, few asked women to dance.
Question: Where are you Catholic men? and what happened to your spines?

If you were there, and you have any observations or disagree with mine, leave a comment. God bless.

Art for Souls tour to Tate Britain - Review

The theme of this months Art for Souls tour at the Tate Britain was Motherhood.

The Tate is not well known for it's collection of religious paintings so it was quite a different experience looking at secular art and then having Father de Malleray draw upon them to share Catholic teaching with the group.

In brief the tour went from the heights of the idealism of Motherhood as exemplified in the statue by Hamo Thornycroft "The Kiss" (above), and then descended into fallen humanity, it's effect on Motherhood as exemplified in the trio of paintings by Augustus Leopold Egg "Past and Present No. 1, 2 & 3".
Augustus Leopold Egg, ‘Past and Present, No. 1’ 1858Augustus Leopold Egg, ‘Past and Present, No. 2’ 1858Augustus Leopold Egg, ‘Past and Present, No. 3’ 1858
Rising to it's restored and even greater dignity in Our Blessed Lady in William Dyce's "St John Leading Home his Adopted Mother"
 William Dyce, ‘St John Leading Home his Adopted Mother’ 1844-60
and finally on to the great motherhood of the Church in John Martin's "The Plains of Heaven"
John Martin, ‘The Plains of Heaven’ 1851-3
There were a great deal more paintings pondered and commented upon, it was a profound and moving meditation, and we look forwards to the next.

If you have been to any London galleries and have spotted an interesting theme that you are interested in, why don't you let us know, or if you were there and you would like to add anything, please add a comment.

All photos courtesy of the Tate Britain website

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Catholic Youth - some statistics

There has been some interest of late in statistics regarding Catholic youth and youth groups. Being slightly surprised that secular media would be interested in finding out about the statistics, I thought I best look at it myself and what I found was very interesting.

So I have always known about the dire lack of young Catholic adults in the Church (18-30). But what I have found interesting is that it is remarkably difficult to find any data. What comes to mind is the infamous scene in the Planet of the Apes...
There is some things that people are just not willing to look at, particularly people in the Magesterium of the Church.

So if you want to find Statistics you have to look at the National year book, the statistics are tucked away at the back. So what's the news? Well not good.

The current average Parish closure rate over the last 3 years is 98 parishs. If we extrapolate that for every year, then there would be no more Catholic Parishes by 2039 (27 years).

Catholic Population
The Catholic Population over the last 3 years has reduced by an average of 57,357. Which, if continues, means there won't be any Catholics by 2081 (69 years).

Catholic Mass Attendance
The Catholic Mass Attendance over the last 3 years has reduced by an average of 16,838. Which, if continues, means there won't be anyone in Church by 2063 (51 years - though if Parishes continue to close they won't have a Church to go to).

But a more dire situation is marriages. 10301 in 2010. Well if every one of those families had three children then that's still less than the average population decrease. To actually increase the Catholic population of England and Wales, every couple that married in 2010 (and every subsequent year) would have to have at least four children. Please note, that is every couple.

So what is the purpose of this information, apart from "Doom and Gloom" "it's the end of the world". Well. The original purpose and intent of this post was to highlight how difficult it is to find other young Catholics. It's not going to get any easier. In fact it is probably going to get harder. The real question is what to do about it.

Catholic youth meet, and ultimately can find suitable husbands and wives and to get married to. It is vital to the life of the Church that youth meet. Don't meet and there will be less marriages, which means less children (or more children in fewer families). It's the end of the line.

So what is the answer?
We could all leave the UK. Well that's not going to solve the problem, we just migrate it elsewhere. England and Wales becomes a black hole of pro-death paganism, great. But like I said, we would just migrate the problem elsewhere.

The problem is within us. The problem is apathy. An apathy which has paralysed us. Now I am sure there are the heroic souls out there who are going blue in the face at what I am saying here "I do all I can to bring young people together, I volunteer X amount of times at my Church, I run a youth group" and please, I commend you brave souls. But I am principally pointing the finger at myself.

That is the only person I can accuse. Until we start looking at ourselves as the source of the problem, this won't change. We need an attitude change. If you have any ideas on how to bring that about. please leave a comment. God bless.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Catholic group to go visit the Tate Museum

Father Armand de Malleray FSSP, who the joined 40 Days for Life Vigil at Bedford Square last week, will be guiding the next ‘Art for Souls’ tour on Saturday, 10 November 2012.

The tour will be on the theme of Motherhood.

Father de Malleray will lead the group through the exhibition on Pre-Raphelite Art at the Tate Gallery, London SW1P 4RG, exploring the relation between mothers and children as illustrated in classical art from a Traditional Catholic perspective.

The event is free for all and is open to the public, so all are welcome. They will be meeting inside the hall at Manton Entrance (the side entrance on Atterbury Street) at 1.45pm and the tour is expected to end at 3pm.

No booking needed. Nearest underground: Pimlico.
More info on: www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-britain.

 Why is this important?
Well, the Church and art cannot be separated; just as She cannot be separated from any pursuit of that which as good, true and beautiful. The relationship between mothers and children is just this, for the child the love of their mother is a dim reflection of the love of God; unconditional and eternal. This relationship is exemplified in our Blessed Lord and our Blessed Mother.
Our Lady loved and adored Christ as Lord from the moment He was conceived; then raised Him and loved Him as her son during his earthly life. She fed Him, clothed Him, taught Him and then finally stayed beside Him until the very end even when the Apostles had run, proving herself to be the best of mothers and the first and best of Christians.
 Having already given Himself totally for us Our Lord then gave us His mother from the Cross, so that we might have for all eternity His Blessed Mother as our mother and intercessor.
It is in this perspective that we can then look at the dignity and glory of motherhood as reflected in our lives. It's a wonderful subject to ponder.

How to find other young Catholics - the answer

Young Catholics, where are they?
A lot of young Catholics in the UK find themselves asking this question.
Sure, we can find one or two, here and there, but what where have they all disappeared to?

Now we're not going to delve into the theories on why, but we will certainly give you some pointers on where you can find them.

On Friday 26th October there will be a Mass followed by social for young Catholic adults in London at 6.45pm. The Church is St Mary Moorfields which can be found at 4-5 Eldon Street, City of London, EC2M 7LS
View Larger Map
The social is a great place to meet other Catholic youth. Aged anywhere between and 18 and 35 as a rule, they are a fantastic bunch. A refreshing group, which is always accompanied by jovial laughter, fraternity, good banter and sometimes the odd challenging debate.

It's totally free, you get Mass and then a social, where copious amounts of food and drinks are provided. So give it a try and get out of isolation!

What am I supposed to do in life? Find the answers here

So just how to answer this question. What am I supposed to do in life?
What I have found to work is not to sit around naval gazing, or searching for some intellectual answer but to get up and to get out there. To do something radical about finding the answer.

So if you are based in England, here's one that will challenge anyone (and sorry ladies, this one is lads only. If you are a lady and you would like to find out something for you, leave a comment).

Don't turn your nose at it, don't fall to the in-head voice of prejudice. Just do it.

Contact Father de Malleray FSSP on 0118 966 5284 or email malleray [at] fssp [dot] org. Sign up to his vocations discernment weekend.
The full-board residential weekend runs from the 14th to the 16th of December 2012 at St John Fisher House in Reading.

It's for any English-speaking Catholic men between 18 and 35 years of age (though if you're older or younger ask anyway!).

There is no set cost for students or unwaged, though donations are welcome and for all others the whole weekend, 2 days + 2 nights, including full board accommodation at St John Fisher House is only £50!

This will answer your questions. And no, don't worry, you won't come away a Priest!

Want to learn how to serve the Mass?

Altar servers’ weekend (residential): at St John Fisher House in Reading on 26-27-28 October 2012:
For single Catholic men between 18 and 35 years of age (under 18 please contact us).
Starts on Friday 26 October at 6pm – ends on Sunday 28 October mid-afternoon. Led by Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP, with Fr Matthew Goddard, FSSP.

In a convivial atmosphere, come and learn (or improve) how to set the vestments and sacred items before Mass and to serve EF Masses and Benediction. EF Mass on the Friday evening, Saturday morning and Sunday morning. Limited overnight accommodation: please book now. Non residential participants welcome.

Cost [for the whole weekend, 2 days + 2 nights, including full board accommodation at St John Fisher House]: no set price for students or unwaged – any donation welcome; others: £50 suggested.
Contact: Tel: 0118 966 5284; Email: malleray@fssp.org; website: www.fssp.co.uk/england.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

International Youth Pilgrimage to Chartres

Perhaps one of the most important youth events of the year, has been lauded as the largest annual gathering of young people outside of World Youth Day.

The three-day Pilgrimage goes from the the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris to the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres.

8,000 youth are expected from all over the world. If you'd like to get more details check out chartresuk.blogspot.com or www.lms.org.uk who are offering £100 bursary to anyone between 16 and 30 years of age.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Mass at Milton Manor on Saturday 11th Feb

For those with cars, and supposing that the snow holds off, there is a rare chance to see a sung Mass in the private chapel at Milton Manor House, Milton, Abingdon. OX14 4EN. If you are an altar server, and are available, please do get in contact with us.

Some splurge on Milton Manor: 

The estate was purchased in the mid-16th century by a London goldsmith and the present house was probably built by his descendant, Paul Carlton, shortly after his marriage in 1659.

The architect is not known but it may well have been the London builder, John Jackson, who moved to Oxford in the 1630s to superintend the construction of the Canterbury Quadrangle at St John's College.

In 1764 the property was purchased by Bryant Barrett, lace maker to George III. The next year he commissioned Stephen Wright, master-mason in the Office of Works, to add wings and provide further service accommodation in outbuildings to the north.

 The wings contained a Roman Catholic chapel and library but because Catholicism was still officially banned in England the exterior of the wings was kept deliberately plain. The interiors, in contrast, were decorated in elaborate Gothic style.

From this period onwards there have been no major alterations to the house and the property has passed by descent to the present owner, Anthony Mockler-Barrett.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Events in Reading

We are looking for a new events co-ordinator for the Reading area: Great rewards! - can you, or do you know somone who can help?

Some upcoming events in the Reading University area:

Sunday 5th February there will be a Polyphonic Sung Mass at St William of York at 11am. The Mass will be accompanied by a professional chior singing Victoria's Missa dominicalis and Du Fay’s motet Ave Regina caelorum. After the Mass will be an opportunity to meet with other members of Juventutem.

Importantly, though a bit late, tonight there is a prayer group for men only at the Rectory (St John Fisher House) 17 Eastern Avenue, Reading RG1 5RU at 7pm. The prayer group starts with Mass and then is led by Father Leworthy (see photo below, on the left)

Tomorrow (4th February) there is a prayer group for ladies only at St William of York Church (RG1 5JT - just next to the campus), from 10am with a public Mass at 11.20am and then packed lunch afterwards. The prayer group is led by Father de Malleray (see photo below, on the right)

Father Leworthy and Father De Mallery, the  priests flanking, the central celebrant (Father Barker).

Saturday 10th March,  there is a "Pilgrimage" to Our Lady of Caversham, okay so it's only over the Thames, but did you know...
  • The Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham, that is at the Church of Our Lady and St Anne, Caversham, is the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady in the Archdiocese of Birmingham?
  • That it was a Medieval shrine, which dated from Saxon times, was venerated by English kings and queens up to Queen Catherine of Aragon?
  • That the restored shrine was solemnly consecrated in 1958, with a fine Medieval Virgin and Child?
  • That the shrine image was crowned by Papal mandate in 1996 (JPII)?

...and it's right there on our doorstep! So now you have no excuse to attend! The Mass will start at 11.30am and there will be a Gregorian Chant Schola (if you've never heard of that, there's another reason!).

Juventutem Bristol

Fr McCarthy offering Mass at Holy Cross, Bedminster
Juventutem Bristol: Good news! Juventutem has returned to Bristol. Regular events have been booked for the rest of the year, and details will be published in due course.

It is hoped that there will be Sung Masses and High Masses in future, as well as recollections. There will also be social events.

The first event will be a Low Mass on Wednesday 08 February 2012 at 6.30pm at Holy Cross, Dean Lane, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 1DB. The celebrant will be Fr Andrew Goodman, and there will be an opportunity for a social gathering after the Mass.

Details of future Masses and social events will be published in the near future. For further information please visit: http://lmsclifton.blogspot.com/ or email: juventutembristol@gmail.com

Please spread the word and encourage people to come along.

The Mass is open to anyone of any age. (It is only the social events that are designed for 18-35 year olds).

Juventutem London: Rosary at Tyburn for the conversion of Europe, Wed...

Juventutem London: Rosary at Tyburn for the conversion of Europe, Wed 15 February:
Our Lady presenting the Rosary to St Dominic
"There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls."
~ Sister Lucia of Fatima

Join Juventutem London on Wednesday 15 February as we pray the Rosary for the conversion of Europe at Tyburn, a site where at least one hundred and five martyrs gave their lives in witness to the truths of the Holy Catholic Church.

We will meet at 6.30pm in The Relic Chapel at the Tyburn Convent, 8-9 Hyde Park Place,  London W2 2LJ

Father Marcus Holden will preach beforehand and lead the Rosary. During the fifth mystery of the Rosary we will walk to the site of the Tyburn Tree and conclude the Rosary there with a blessing from Father Holden.

All our welcome to come and join us in the Rosary.

Afterwards there will be a social at The Carpenters Arms pub for those aged 18-35, with an exception for priests and religious. The Carpenters Arms itself has a wonderful connection to the martyrs:

    "The gallows itself subsequently consisted of two uprights and a cross-beam, erected on the morning of execution across the Edgware Road, opposite the house at the corner of Upper Bryanston Street and the Edgware Road, wherein the gallows was deposited after being used; this house had curious iron balconies to the windows of the first and second floors, where the sheriffs sat to witness the executions. After the place of execution was changed to Newgate, in 1783, the gallows was bought by a carpenter, and made into stands for beer-butts in the cellars of the 'Carpenters' Arms' public-house, hard by."

reference: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45231

Join us as we unite our prayers with Our Lady and the English Martyrs for the conversion of Europe.

"I pray God that my blood may increase the Catholic faith in England."
~ Blessed George Haydock, executed at Tyburn, 12 February 1584.

Nuptial Mass in Bath

St John the Evangelist, Bath
We're very happy to announce that two of our members will be getting married at the Church of St John the Evangelist in Bath on Saturday 4th February at 2pm.

Most of us Juventutem'ers will be attending, and the Mass is open to the public.

All of us express our heartiest congratulations to the two lucky spouses! May God bless them both abundantly.

How to find a Catholic husband or wife

Retreat on the Sacrament of Matrimony, Open to All
23 JANUARY 2012

We all agree on the necessity of promoting the family as an institution, so badly attacked in our modern world.

For us youth, it is really important to support this too, we need to be pro-active in discerning our vocations, which means meeting other young men and women and being courageous. No one ever got married by sitting around wishing to get married, after all.

We're very blessed to have a local retreat specifically on this subject, reflecting on the riches of this sacrament will enable us to appreciate it better, for our own benefit whether we are married, single, on the journey towards marriage or not, it's simply a great way to learn more about it.

For this reason, Fr de Malleray FSSP, is hosting a retreat at Douai Abbey on 24-26 February on the theme: ‘The beautiful sacrament of Matrimony’.

Starts Friday 24th February 5pm (arrival from 4pm) – ends Sunday 26th February 2012 (departure from 4pm). Please note: depending on your working hours and means of transportation, later arrival or earlier departure times should not prevent you from attending.

Location: Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 5TQ, England. Abbey website: www.douaiabbey.org.uk. Nearest train station (1.2 mile): Midgham (between Reading and Newbury).

Cost: Substantial discounts granted by Abbey: please contact the FSSP if money is an obstacle. Or: £150/person for single room or £120 for shared room, full board, including VAT.

Booking: please send a £30 deposit to the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, St John Fisher House, 17 Eastern Avenue, Reading RG1 5RU, Berkshire, England or Tel: +44 (0)118 966 52 84 for more details.