Canon Gribbin’s Farewell to Shrewsbury!

Canon Gribbin, as announced here, will leave St Winefride’s for Ardee, Co. Louth to be chaplain to the Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus. He will celebrate a farewell Mass here on the 26th September at 12.30pm

General Chapter

Canon Wiener will be leaving Shrewsbury between August 8th and August 28th to visit Germany and to attend the chapter in Gricigliano. Please pray for the superiors of the Institute and all canons attending this year’s chapter as also for Canon Wiener’s safe return to Shrewsbury.

During Canon’s absence Father Anselm Gribbin will return to Shrewsbury to celebrate all weekday Masses between Wednesday, August 11th, and Sunday, August 22nd (incl.). The Masses on August 9th and 10th had to be cancelled.

During the chapter meeting, Father Gerard McGuiness most generously agreed on coming to St. Winefriede’s to celebrate the daily Masses between Monday, August 23rd and Saturday, August 28th (incl.). The usual Mass schedule applies. However, the Adoration and Benediction on Tuesday, August 24th and August 26th has had to be cancelled.

On Sunday, August 29th, Father Stephen Goodman of the Archdiocese of Birmingham (Wolverhampton) will come to us to celebrate the Mass at 12:30pm. We are most grateful for Father’s generous offer to assist Canon Wiener who, due to COVID travel restrictions, will not be able to celebrate publicly for several days after his return. Father Gribbin will celebrate the weekday Masses of August 30th to September 4th.

Brown Scapular Enrolment

In the year 1251 Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, an Englishman and Prior of Carmelite Order. She handed him a brown woolen scapular and said, “This shall be a privilege for you and all Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall not suffer eternal fire.” In time, the Church extended this magnificent privilege to all the laity who are willing to be invested in the Brown Scapular of the Carmelites and who perpetually wear it.

The Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel has promised to save those who wear the scapular from the fires of hell and to shorten their stay in purgatory if they should pass from this world still owing some debt of punishment.This promise is found in a Bull of Pope John XXII. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him and, speaking of those who wear the Brown Scapular, said, “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in purgatory I shall free so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.”

Unlike typical sacramentals, scapulars are not merely blessed, but need to be invested/imposed by a priest to enroll the faithful.Any Catholic priest may invest a baptized Catholic with the Brown Scapular. Lay people are unable to bless a Scapular

On Sunday, July 18th 2021 after the 12:30pm Sung Mass at St Winefride’s there will be an enrolment for those wishing to avail of this powerful sacramental. Scapulars will be available on the date.

Elements of Catholic Reform Bases on Truth

Canon Wiener has ordered copies of Msgr. Rudolf Michael Schmitz’ “Elements of a Catholic Reform Based on Truth.” Monsignor talked in 2018 at the ‘Catholic Voice’ conference in Limerick and gave in this fascinating presentation a comprehensive description of the most important areas in the Church’s life. His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke wrote the foreword. – These booklets will be available for purchase after Mass on Sunday 20th June (£3.00).

Scaffolding Works at Shrewsbury Cathedral

During the week of Monday, June 14th to Friday, June 18th scaffolding will be erected in the Cathedral. Masses in the Extraordinary Form (Adoration/Benediction included) will be transferred to St. Winefride’s church according to the usual schedule:

Monday: 10:00am Holy Mass
Tuesday: 6:30pm Holy Mass; (5:30-6:15p Adoration/Benediction)
Wednesday: 10:00am Holy Mass
Thursday: 6:30pm Holy Mass; (5:30-6:15pm Adoration/Benediction)
Friday: 10:00am Holy Mass

Christmas can never be cancelled even in the most unfavourable of conditions: Bishop Davies

Christmas can never be cancelled even in the most unfavourable of conditions, the Bishop of Shrewsbury said in his Christmas homily.

During midnight Mass at Shrewsbury Cathedral, the Rt Rev. Mark Davies acknowledged that it is “easy to focus on the dark shadows” of 2020.

But he reminded the congregation that Christmas leads the faithful back to the “point of light” that shines in all our darkness, the child born for us all.

“Christmas can never be cancelled,” Bishop Davies said, “for its light is not dependent on favourable conditions for even the darkness makes its light shine the more brightly”.

Besides the coronavirus pandemic, the Bishop also lamented attempts over the passing year to extend abortion and the renewed efforts to legalise assisted suicide as assaults upon the sanctity of human life.

He reminded the faithful that the modern nursing and medical profession was inspired by Christian belief in the value and inviolability of innocent human life and for the care of the weakest and most vulnerable in society.

The dedicated service and self-sacrifice shown by medical professionals in helping the victims of Covid-19 stood in a stark contrast to the “culture of death and despair,” the Bishop said.

He encouraged people either attending the Christmas Mass in person or viewing by live-stream to heed the words of Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter, Patris Corde, of December 8, and to share with St Joseph the responsibility for “every poor, needy, suffering or dying person, every stranger, every prisoner, every infirm person” in whom the Child Jesus can be recognised.

Also echoing the hopes of Pope Francis, the Bishop said that “a new vision of fraternity and social friendship” which recognises how all the lives of all people are bound together is the antidote to “present-day attempts to eliminate or ignore others”.

“This is surely a happy lesson to be drawn from the trauma of the past year,” the Bishop said.

Bishop Davies said: “At the cradle of Bethlehem, we have learnt to value the life and dignity of every human being, especially the weakest and most vulnerable. The recognition of the sanctity of human life and the cherishing of the frailest – both notions utterly unthinkable to the ancient mind – would become the light which forged our civilisation; the vision, which first inspired our medical and nursing professions and has guided our best efforts in response to the recent pandemic.

“For we heard the voice of the same Child of Bethlehem say, ‘Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters you do to me’. And we now see the stark contrast between a culture of death and despair, which readily discards human life, and that spirit of charity and self-giving service Christ’s coming inspired: a contrast between darkness and light.”

He said: “How precarious Christian civilisation can appear in the face of an ever-growing assault upon the value of human life whether in the extension of the legalised killing of the unborn; or in the increasing threat to the elderly and vulnerable by euthanasia under the guise of ‘assisted suicide’.”

The bishop added: “Amid every lengthening shadow, may we never lose the light of the Child who was born for us, who allows us to glimpse who we really are and discover our deepest identity as children of God. At this Christmas of 2020 and in the face of the challenges of a New Year to come, may we return to the light which first dawned in Bethlehem, the same light which shines for us at every ‘Christ’s Mass’.”

A message from Father Edmund and Canon Wiener

Since 2018 the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest had been invited by His Lordship, Bishop Davies, to participate in the ministry at the Cathedral of Shrewsbury. In autumn of this year 2020, the Institute has been welcomed to celebrate Holy Mass at the Cathedral also on Sundays at 9:30 am, in addition to weekday Masses.

The Institute’s clergy and many faithful from near and far felt very honoured and are most grateful for this generous invitation by Bishop Davies who, by including the Sunday into the liturgical schedule for the Extraordinary Form Masses, had the spiritual welfare and health of all the faithful in Shrewsbury at his heart.

Unfortunately, the celebrations of Masses in the Extraordinary Form on Sundays are not easily possible without disrupting the very active community life at the Cathedral parish and causing organisational difficulties for all faithful. Upon request of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, His Lordship graciously decided therefore to change the location of the Masses on Sundays: Starting on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021, Masses in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated (again) at 12:30 pm at St. Winefrides Church, Crowmere Road, Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, SY2 5RA.

The liturgical schedule on weekdays remains unchanged and as announced on December 13th. We are certain that this change will be very beneficial for the entire community of faithful in the entire diocese of Shrewsbury.

Father Edmund Montgomery and Canon Michael Wiener

New Mass schedule – starting 3rd January 2021:

12.30pm at St. Winefride’s
10.00am at Shrewsbury Cathedral
6.30pm (with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction and Confessions beforehand at 5.30-6.20pm) at Shrewsbury Cathedral
10.00am at Shrewsbury Cathedral
6.30pm (with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction and Confessions beforehand at 5.30-6.20pm) at Shrewsbury Cathedral
10.00am at Shrewsbury Cathedral
10.00am at Shrewsbury Cathedral

Second lockdown: A statement from the Rt Rev. Mark Davies, the Bishop of Shrewsbury

“We appreciate the difficult choices faced at this time by government and parliament in responding to the public health crisis conscious of the hardships which even necessary measures bring for society and especially the most vulnerable.

“The Prime Minister mentioned in his statement that he judged it necessary to close much that is judged by the Government as being non-essential in society.  We need to be sure that such judgments are based upon clear evidence that, for example, schools, universities and the football premier league will continue as essential elements of our society’s life.

“The Prime Minister made no reference in his statement to public worship so we were astonished to find in national guidance that the Government was seeking the authority of parliament to close all places of worship.

“It is a momentous act for any political authority to seek to ban public worship across a nation.

“No evidence has been offered to justify why the Government seeks to ban public worship that invariably takes place amid some of the most stringent Covid safety measures in the whole of society.

“The vital role which public worship has for the well-being of hundreds of thousands of people in this Shrewsbury Diocese together with faith communities across the nation can never allow public worship to be dismissed as something non-essential.

“Neither can we lightly overlook how from public worship flows support for the most vulnerable and countless charitable activities in the service of the common good.

“We are asking our Government and political representatives to provide the evidence on which they seeking to impose a ban on all public worship in England.  We believe that public worship is not part of the problem we face rather it is part of the solution to this deeply human crisis.”

+ Mark, Bishop of Shrewsbury, 1st November 2020

Temporary Closure of St Winefride’s for works

In order to facilitate a complete re-wiring of the electrics at St Winefride’s, weekday Masses will be suspended for the time being. A date for resumption of the usual schedule will be advised in due course.

This does not effect Masses on Saturday and Sunday where Mass will be celebrated as usual.

Weekday Masses at the Cathedral Church of Our Lady Help of Christians and Saint Peter of Alcantara are as usual, details of which can be found in the occuring weeks newsletter here.

New Year Message from Canon Smith

Thank you for your warm Christmas Greetings and for the generosity you have shown to us in so many ways over the past year and especially recently as the New Year approached. This coming year of Our Lord 2020 will be a year rich in His Grace. It is my prayer that we will recognize the many opportunities which will be offered to us to cooperate with Him in the work of redemption, not only for our own salvation, but for those of our families, friends, acquaintances and those with whom we come into contact in our daily lives.

This Christmas Season will conclude with the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord which is also the Feast of the Purification of Our Lady on Sunday the 2nd of February. Let us take these last weeks of the Christmas Season, a Season of Light, to reflect on the light we have been given in Christ Our Lord, a light that should not be hidden but placed on a stand so as to shine in the darkness for all to see. As a sign of this, candles are blessed on that day and distributed before a solemn procession that brings the Light into the world, a manifestation or Epiphany of Christ in the World.

This year of Our Lord is also the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. So I ask for your prayers for this young foundation, for its founder, Monsignor Gilles Wach and for the co-founder and rector of the Institute’s seminary, Very Reverend Canon Philippe Mora together with all of the priests, oblates, sisters, seminarians, members of the Society of the Sacred Heart and those discerning their vocations as postulants with the sisters or as candidates for the seminary. I ask also for your prayers for the apostolates, works, and missions entrusted to the Institute. Please pray especially for the Bishops and the clergy that support this young Institute. May God reward you for your prayers and sacrifices offered for these intentions.

Be assured of my daily prayers for you and your loved ones.

In Christ the King Sovereign Priest,
Canon Smith
Prior of the House of St. Chad