Wednesday 24 April 2013

Happy St George's Day!

Our 2013 St George's Day dragon cake was only slightly scarier than the 2012 version ( note claws, improved teeth and extra scary flames in the latest release) but, filled with strawberry jam / blood and slain by fearless knights it was no less tasty.

We went to Mass this morning as usual instead of the evening Missa Cantata for the feast day which would hsve been our preference (you can see why: look what we missed!), but two of our children had won prizes in a poetry competition and the awards ceremony was tonight to coincide with World Book Day. Even so, we were glad to see St George's statue (above) in pride of place next to the Sanctuary this morning, and said the Prayer for England as a family with our night prayers.

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England thy "Dowry" and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the cross. O sorrowful Mother! intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the supreme Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home. Amen.


Sunday 21 April 2013

Vocations Sunday


Pray for priests.

Pray for good priests.

Pray for good and holy priests.

Pray for many good and holy priests.

Pray for many good and holy priests from among the families you know.


Pray that those young men and boys who are not called to become priests, become good and holy husbands and fathers, because without many good and holy husbands and fathers there will be no families from which the many good and holy priests that we need must come.


St John Vianney: Ora pro nobis!

Saint Joseph: Ora pro nobis!


...and let us never also forget to pray for girls and women to be called to the religious life, to serve Our Lord be the great powerhouses of prayer, contemplation and teaching that have and continue to be integral to the Church Militant.
Carmelite martyrs

...and let us pray that those girls not called to serve God in the religious life may embrace their roles as good and holy wives and mothers who may, with the complementary help of good and holy husbands, and the support of good and holy priests and religious, bring up children for the greater glory of God in an atmosphere that will be fertile for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.



Thursday 18 April 2013

Astonishing spontaneous pro-family demonstrations to protest French Government's intention to force through redefinition of marriage, family. Meanwhile traditional Catholics are publicly tarred with the 'Nazi' brush by a government minister and a TV documentary

Following the French government's sly fast-tracking the so-called "marriage pour tous" bill through the Assembly and Senate and moving the date of the final reading forward by a month to April 23, thereby halving the debating time, French pro-family demonstrators have taken to the streets in a succession of spontaneous protests.


Various French pro-family blogs report a heavy-handed attitude by the police, with peaceful demonstrators even being hauled off to police cells for several hours on spurious grounds, before being released. One demonstrator was told by the gendarmerie that he was not allowed to walk home carrying an unfurled Tricolour. Demonstrations in France are usually tightly regulated, requiring advance notice to be given to the local police, however escalating fury at the government's steamrolling the "loi Taubira" legislation (nicknamed after the Minister of Justice who proposed it) has prompted dozens of large-scale protests in Paris and throughout the country. Roads have been blocked by "go slow" corteges of cars, and tens of thousands of demonstrators have made their displeasure felt in a peaceful and non-violent way. None of the protests that has taken place since Friday have been OKed with the police, nor do they have any one source (although the "Manif Pour Tous" network of organisations are a common thread, as evidenced by the well produced banners and placards: as one might expect, when the French "do " protest they do it with style). Twitter, Facebook and other new media have rallied crowds who - unlike their counterparts in the London riots of 2011, despite being mobilised by new technology and motivated by discontent - have caused no criminal damage and committed no acts of violence. They have, however, been clear in their demands: don't change the definition of marriage - for the sake of the family and the sake of children.

Despite the numbers involved, the media here in the UK appears almost oblivious to the protests: both the BBC and the Telegraph felt that some new detail in the tired breast implant story was worth leading with, while I had to dig for anything on the Manif Pour Tous and even when I did find the story the slant favoured the gay lobby point of view with only a nod to the pro-family protests emphasising that they were "right wing" provoked "scuffles with police" and quoted one leftist politician hinting darkly about "nazi salutes". The BBC didn't carry it at all and a search for showed that the last (and only) report on the Manif Pour Tous was in Januay and it grumbled uncomfortably about the fact that while there seemed to be lot of people protesting the redefinition of marriage legistion, obviously the young people they talked to were all in favour of it. The sot of fair reporting we've come to expect from our national treasure. If I had more time I would fisk the article, it's begging for it.


So that's it then: being against the redefinition of marriage makes you a thug and a crypto-nazi to boot. I'm not being entirely frivolous here: for the last year or so there has been a sinister undercurrent in French politics attempting to blacken the reputation (and thereby the credibility) of traditionalist Catholic groups in France. Consider the government's list of groups to be monitored for allegedly displaying a "religious pathology": this list specifically targeted Traditional Catholics (who, thanks largely to a relationship with the French state characterised by overt mutual distrust, are much better organised than their Britsh counterparts who tend to pretend to like and get on with the government even when it is clear that the government is unjust and immoral). Whether or not this set a precendent for a US Army TrainingBrief last week categorising Catholics as "extremists" ("defined by beliefs, attitudes or feelings far removed from the 'ordinary") is a moot point but certainly represents a trend that deserves to be scrutinised. In France, however, the most recent outrage is a TV "expose"of a Traditionalist Catholic group where two journalists had infiltated the group over the course of a year to expose the "truth" about the Traditionalist movement in France. The programme was aired on state owned France2 television station and Daniel Hamiche, who is behind the Riposte-Catholique (think a French version of Rorate crossed with the LMS Chairman's blog) was called into the studio to discuss what he thought was to be a documentary on Traditional Catholicism in France. He describes what happened as follows:

It was not [as he had been led to believe] an update on the traditionalist movement in France, but a charge - which was not that of the Light Cavalry, believe me - against Catholic traditionalism.


As indicated in the programme's title, journalists were "infiltrators" in a group calling themselves [Catholic] "traditionalist" in Bordeaux for more than a year in an attempt to find evidence against the group in particular, but also against [Catholic] Traditionalism generally. This group, Dies Irae - its members call it "DI" - which I did not know even existed, is actually a small formation of the radical right. By infiltrating the group and using hidden cameras, the reporters gave viewers a really disreputable image of this organisation.


The essence of the report is: "traditionalists = Nazis", schools indpendent of state control = incubators o fascism; priests in cassocks = chaplains LVF [the division of the Nazi army made up of French volunteers n WW2]. It was "reductio ad hitlerum" ...


What's happening in France is in many ways a mirror to what is happening here in the UK - our government is on the cusp of pushing through unwanted legislation that will redefine marriage and by extension change the legal framework of the family forever. Do we have the determination and organisation demonstrated by French Catholics? I don't think that we currently do and I think that our relationship with the state goes some way to explain that. More to the point, can we generate the kind of passion and commitment that the French have shown if required in the near future? And even if we can, will our government listen? Unlikely. Last week Larousse - France's O.E.D. - thrust two obscene fingers up at democracy and changed the definiton of marriage from a union of "a man and a woman" to a union of "two persons"for the 2014 edition of the book that defines the French language. Like David Cameron's bogus "consultation" on the redefinition of marriage, the powers that be in France are confident of the outcome. But are they as confident of the public's reaction to that outcome? Judging from recent comments by Manuel Valls, the interior minister, that "extemist groups" protesting the loi Taubra are seeking to "destabilise the Republic" I reckon that the French government is deeply uneasy by the alliance of peaceful, ordinary people who have come out to protest in a measured and ordered way, particularly as one of their main demands is for a referendum on the matter. I'm interested to see how this develops as it will inevitably have repecussions for the UK.

Redefining marriage is a risky and reckless social experiment, and seems an odd novelty on which to focus given the dire state of our economy and the unease British society in general. As the placards waved in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Perpignan and throughout France say: "Leave marriage alone and concentrate on unemployment!"


Friday 12 April 2013

Pro-Ecclesia et Pontiface "Faith of our Fathers" conference 2013


A friend sent me details of this upcoming conference which sounds sounds interesting: how can you resist an event where Fr Hunwicke and Michael Voris share top billing? And it's a snip at a mere tenner.

Details of the programme and where to buy tickets listed below. I've copied the event notice from the Pro-Ecclesia et Pontiface website.

The event also has a Facebook page


Every informed Catholic must see that the Church is now in crisis. As long ago as 1993, Pope John Paul wrote in Section 5 of his Encyclical Veritatis Splendour that “the Church is now certainly facing a genuine crisis” This ‘genuine crisis’ must be addressed soon, or it will become a genuine disaster.

The time has come to stop arguing about the cause of the crisis and to start taking steps to solve it. We do know that it is a crisis of Ignorance, for Pope Benedict XVI told us in 2003, when, as Cardinal Ratzinger, he launched the Commission to compile “The Compendium”, “our problem now is widespread religious ignorance.” This means we can only address it by admitting that religious ignorance, and nothing else, is our main problem and then by giving well structured, complete and sound Catholic teaching in our schools and parishes again - whatever the resistance by those who prefer the ‘new’ failed teaching.

We no longer have any time to waste. Latest official figures show that 96% of Catholic school leavers lapse from the Faith every year, so if nothing is done, it will be only a short time before the Church in this country is reduced to small scattered pockets of believers served by a few travelling priests. Already Catholic churches are being sold and even elderly priests are looking after two or three parishes.

How to make this problem known.

We have decided to hold a Conference next May 11th, 2013 in London to show everyone how this appalling ignorance arose when we were once so well taught that H.E. Cardinal Spellman of New York was able to say in 1964 at the second Vatican Council that “Never before has the Church had such a well-informed laity."

Details of the Conference for your diary.

Name “The Catholic Church; Crisis and Revival.”
Date Saturday 11th May 2013.
Venue The Regent Hall, 275, Oxford Street, London W1C 2DJ

Times Doors open 9.30, Talks begin 10.00,
Lunch 12.00 to 1.30. Conference ends 4.00

Tickets £10 each, available on the day or from Graham Moorhouse, 118, Shepherd’s Lane, Dartford, London DA1 2NN graham @

The programme for the day will include:

Prayers and Devotions led by our Chaplain Father Leaworthy;

10.15 – 11.15 brief talks on

1. How this crisis arose – Daphne McLeod
2. How a victim of Modern Catechetics feels – Paul Smeaton
3. Graham Moorhouse reads two letters -
a) one from a Catholic Diocesan worker;
b) one from a Catholic teacher of R.E. dismissed for teaching the true Faith.
4. Why we Home-school our children – Tom Windsor.

11.15 Father Hunwicke – “The Catholic Faith in A Hostile Culture.”

12.00 The Angelus, then break for Lunch.

1.30 Harriet Murphy B.A. D.Phil. – “Feminist Dissent in the Church”

2..30 Michael Voris – “The Future of the Church in Europe.”
You can visit Michael’s web-site at

4 .00 Final Prayers and Close.


Monday 8 April 2013

Meet the blog author

(You didn't really think I was going to give away my pseudonymous status now, did you?)

Twitch of the mantilla to

Thursday 4 April 2013

Resurrection play with paper puppets

The result of this afternoon's crafty fun: enjoy!


Resurrection Craft Fun


As today was unseasonably snowy and I was fighting off a migraine, I felt that some low-effort, low noise crafty fun would be in order this afternoon. Thanks to an idea and some print-outs from the children spent the a couple of hours making this resurrection scene complete with tomb and the linen cloths, while I made an almond cake that we will eat with raspberries this evening after dinner. I do love the feasting aspect of celebrating the Easter octave!

Inside the tomb and the linen cloths




Wednesday 3 April 2013

Honoured guests

One of the great joys of blogging is seeing where readers come from: in addition to the Blogger stats page I also use the free version of Site Meter which gives much more detailed location information about visitors. I love it when I see a reader from a small town that I know well in France or Canada or Ireland, and equally am fascinated to think of somebody up in the Scottish highlands or Texas or Indonesia reading my words.

This evening, however, I had the location to trump all locations: a reader from the Holy See. I'm sure that my favourite priestly bloggers have entire delegations of internet visitors from Vatican City, and that more serious and longstanding bloggers can get a bit blasé about this sort of thing, but for me the novelty of somebody within a few hundred meters of the Holy Father reading my blog is seriously cool. So I'll drop any pretence of being cool myself (cool is way overrated) and say "Salve visitor from Vatican City and welcome! I hope you found something worth reading and please do come back: it would make my day!"


Domain Name ? (Holy See (Vatican City State))
IP Address 212.77.0.# (Holy See - Vatican City State)
ISP Holy See - Vatican City State
Continent : Europe
Country : Holy See (Vatican City State) (Facts)
Lat/Long : 41.9, 12.45 (Map)
Distance : 881 miles
Language Italian
Operating System Microsoft WinNT
Browser Internet Explorer 9.0
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.1; Trident/5.0)
Javascript version 1.3
Resolution : 1280 x 1024
Color Depth : 32 bits
Time of Visit Apr 3 2013 6:00:11 pm