Monday, March 23, 2015


Fr Stephen blessing with the relic of the True Cross
Yesterday during our sung Mass I was struck by the thought that I really am fortunate, we were coming to the end of our short parish retreat given by Fr Stephen Morrison, who was ordained four months ago and Brother Gregory Davies, they are part of the vibrant youthful Norbertine community in Chelmsford, both of them were born after I was ordained. Any other Parish Priest looking for some sound young Religious, with zeal and enthusiasm, I can't recommend them highly enough and my parishioners were impressed too.

 Exposition during our Passion-tide Retreat

The retreat was rigorous, in the sense of lots of things happening, challenging but also tiring. I mean plenty of time for prayer, intelligent but accessible conferences by Fr Stephen, beautiful and very carefully crafted devotional exercises by Br Gregory and a good turn out by our parishioners. The red light outside of the confessional was on practically all of the time.
Br Gregory leading the Stations of the Cross
The church was veiled for Passiontide, which always shocks me, that familiar sight of the church is no longer quite so familiar, reminding us of the immanence of Holy Week. We left the ivory Lenten altar crucifix uncovered until Passion Sunday
Fr Stephen preaching
The music, our choir just seems to get better and better, they sang the Palestrina Missa Brevis, it was breathtaking, and the chant, everyone sang together and the polyphonic bits were very competently sang, I really do value what they do. They are certainly better than some cathedral choirs.

And on top of all that we have a new bishop, who at the very least has a fear of God and believes that prayer is important.


Once I Was A Clever Boy said...

It sounds very good - but I may be abiased commentator as I know both Fr Stephen and Br Gregory , and they are excellent yoing men. They were also assisting in a splendid parish with, may I opine, a splendid parish priest.

gemoftheocean said...

Looks great. My, but what long veils you have! I've only seen them the length of the statue. I've always loved the Premonstratensians. Spotting a white biretta is like spotting a prothonotary warbler. So sound. And nice you had a good confession line. Best wishes on the new bishop.

Michael Crabb said...

Dignum et justum est.