Red Wednesday

This evening, 22nd November there will be an Ordinariate Use Mass at Our Lady of Ransom Church on Grange Road at 7:30pm. This mass is being held to support “Red Wednesday,” a compaign by Aid to the Church in Need to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians around the world. As the charity highlights on their website Christians today are the largest faith group to suffer persecution. The Red comes from the colour of the blood shed. It is the colour the Church uses to celebrate the feast of any Martyr. ACN is asking Catholics to go to one extra Mass this week “for someone who can’t.” The intention for the mass is those who are persecuted for their faith and all are invited to wear something red. There will be a retiring collection for ACN.

    Sacrament of Reconciliation

    ConfessionFrom Sunday 12 November, Confessions and the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be routinely offered 3:00–3:30pm, before Mass, rather than afterwards. Clergy are also available as published in the diocesan parish newsletter (usually on Saturdays, at Our Lady of Ransom 11:30am–12:30pm and 5:15–5:45pm, and after the 4pm Saturday Mass at S Agnes), and by appointment.

    Bishops’ statement on abortion

    This statement , published by the Catholic Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 UK Abortion Act, is addressed not only to Catholics of our countries, but more broadly to all people who seek to uphold the dignity of human life and protect the unborn child. Over the last fifty years, the bishops of our countries, along with many other people, have spoken consistently in favour of the intrinsic value of human life and both the good of the child in the womb and the good of the mother. This anniversary provides an opportunity to lament the loss of life due to abortion and seek a change of minds and hearts about the good of the child in the womb and the care of mothers who are pregnant.

    Fifty years ago, few envisaged the possibility of that there would be almost 200,000 abortions in Great Britain in 2015. Every abortion is a tragedy and few consider that abortion is the desirable or best solution to a pregnancy, which may be challenging on account of many different factors. The complex set of conditions in which a woman finds herself pregnant and may consider having an abortion may limit the exercise of freedom and diminish moral culpability. When abortion is the choice made by a woman, the unfailing mercy of God and the promise of forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation are always available. There is always a way home to a deeper relationship with God and the Church, as recent Popes have emphasised, which can heal and bring peace.

    Today the language of ‘choice’ dominates discourse about marriage, gender, family and abortion. This needs further exploration. Choice has come to mean doing whatever I feel to be right for me — a very subjective view of the good — rather than taking into account a wider set of fundamental values. This is a very inadequate understanding of free choice, which requires an education in important truths about what is truly good and the possibility of other options. In this case, these must include the good of the unborn child, care and support for pregnant mothers, and the responsibility of the father.

    This statement presents a number of different challenges for the future: a new understanding of the intrinsic value and worth of every human life in the womb, a better protection of unborn children diagnosed with a disability, a great need for education in moral responsibility about human sexuality and the meaning of sexual expression within marriage. Many professionals face the challenge that respect for conscientious objection against abortion has been eroded. Personal conscience is inviolable and nobody should be forced to act against his or her properly informed conscience on these matters. We encourage greater debate about this right and these challenges in our society.

    Finally we thank many people, of religious faith and none, who have sought to protect unborn life and the life of the mother over the last fifty years; mothers who have continued their pregnancies in difficult circumstances, politicians who have sought to reform the legislation to better protect unborn life, those people whose prayers have been offered for greater respect to be shown to the wonder of the life in the womb, for mothers and those whose lives are cut short by abortion. Together let us better cherish life.

    Full statement


    Editorial note: The image which accompanies references to this post on social media is by Lennart Nilsson in his collection A Child is Born and was not included in the bishops’ statement.

      Annual Report 2016/17

      The diocesan parish of Our Lady of Ransom with St Agnes and St Gregory held its AGM on Thursday 20 July. We presented a report of our activities for their information.


      For the last eighteen months we have been using Divine Worship on a Monday evening at 7:30pm, at OLR. This is the Ordinariate Use Missal that draws on Anglican prayer, the Extraordinary Form and the Novus Ordo, all united in traditional language. It is beautiful to pray and has been fruitful in aiding prayer and worship.

      Since Advent this liturgical year, we have also used Divine Worship at the Sunday afternoon Mass at St Agnes. This is a sung Mass. Some have found the transition difficult, while others have found it has deepened their experience of the Mass and have been drawn to it.

      In February, we had a group retreat to Bournemouth, which was such a great success that we have booked up to go again. During this week we walked, prayed and ate together, and it was good to make contact with the Ordinariate group there too. We made one-day trip to the New Forest, where most of us ended up in a tea salon with teapots that poured from the bottom! For one day we were joined by Fr James Bradley, an Ordinariate priest currently based in Southampton. He recently completed a doctorate on Divine Worship, and was able to share some of his insights and give a wider perspective to its history and use.

      We have had four young people confirmed this last year, with Mgr Keith presiding. A few months before this, Mac was also confirmed and took his First Holy Communion aged 91! We will be looking to begin another confirmation course later this year.

      More recently, there has been our annual pilgrimage to England’s Nazareth in Walsingham. This year we began with sprinkling in the Priory grounds before our procession to the Shrine and Mass in the Ordinariate Use. The pilgrimage will take place on the same weekend next year (23–24 June) and is open to any who wish to reconnect with our own native shrine to Our Lady.

      We continue to seek to encourage the use of Morning and Evening Prayer as a foundation for our prayer life. We have a sung Compline once a month at OLR on Sunday evenings at 8pm. We will aim to get this in the parish diary so that more people can experience its sheer beauty.

      We are hoping in the near future to have training on singing plainchant, and something should be appearing in the newsletter about that. We will be able to forward details in due course.

      The 4pm Mass community continues to work alongside the parish as cleaners, flower arrangers, extraordinary ministers, servers and readers at weekday masses. Our members also provide support with music on Sunday mornings and we have also worked together contributing to evening celebrations for major feasts and solemnities.

      PDF version of this report

        Pentecost Novena: Day 9 (3 June)

        The Holy Spirit as a dove in the Bernini window at St Peter's Basilica, Rome

        Saturday the Vigil of Pentecost

        Thou, on those who evermore
        Thee confess and Thee adore,
        in Thy sevenfold gift, descend;
        Give Them Comfort when they die;
        Give them Life with Thee on high;
        Give them joys which never end. Amen.

        The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

        The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.

        Prayer

        Come, O Divine Spirit,
        fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits,
        Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity,
        goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance,
        that I may never weary in the service of God,
        but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration
        may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

        Our Father,
        who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
        Thy kingdom come,
        Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.
        Give us this day our daily bread,
        and forgive us our trespasses
        as we forgive them that trespass against us.
        And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
        For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
        for ever and ever. Amen.

        Hail Mary, full of grace;
        the Lord is with thee.
        Blessed art thou amongst women,
        and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
        Holy Mary, Mother of God,
        pray for us sinners now
        and at the hour of our death. Amen.

        Then the Gloria is said seven times

        Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
        and to the Holy Spirit;
        as it was in the beginning, is now
        and ever shall be,
        world without end. Amen.

        Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit

        On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I o?er myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Your servant heareth.” Amen.

        Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

        O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

          Pentecost Novena: Day 8 (2 June)

          The Holy Spirit as a dove in the Bernini window at St Peter's Basilica, Rome

          Friday of the seventh week of Easter

          Bend the stubborn heart and will,
          melt the frozen warm the chill.
          Guide the steps that go astray!

          The Gift of Wisdom

          Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written “all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands.” It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savour, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: “Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.”

          Prayer

          Come, O Spirit of Wisdom,
          and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things,
          their exceeding greatness, power and beauty.
          Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth.
          Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.

          Our Father,
          who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
          Thy kingdom come,
          Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.
          Give us this day our daily bread,
          and forgive us our trespasses
          as we forgive them that trespass against us.
          And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
          For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
          for ever and ever. Amen.

          Hail Mary, full of grace;
          the Lord is with thee.
          Blessed art thou amongst women,
          and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
          Holy Mary, Mother of God,
          pray for us sinners now
          and at the hour of our death. Amen.

          Then the Gloria is said seven times

          Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
          and to the Holy Spirit;
          as it was in the beginning, is now
          and ever shall be,
          world without end. Amen.

          Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit

          On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I o?er myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Your servant heareth.” Amen.

          Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

          O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.