Wednesday, 30 October 2013

An Old Mass in an Old Seminary

A happy day in the diocese of Aberdeen.  Following an initial request to Bishop Hugh Gilbert O.S.B., the Ordinary of the See of Aberdeen, the Chapel of the old Scottish junior seminary (1829 - 1986), was designated as the location where the Vetus Ordo could be offered.  A very fitting place indeed.  Blairs College must be a place of fond memories for the hundreds of Scottish boys who went on to receive Holy Orders and served, as some still do, in parishes throughout Scotland and overseas.
The Chapel and college
So it was that on Saturday the 19th October a Missa Cantata was offered by Fr Michael Mary, Rector Major of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.  Father brought Br. Martin Mary and Br. Jean Marie with him, two sterling examples of men fit for the priesthood.  Despite an autumnal gale with heavy rain which kept numbers down, it was a grand occasion in every sense. 
Thanks too must go to the Mr Ian Forbes, the curator of Blairs Museum, who ensured we had everything to hand including a set of wonderful Marian vestments.  He had attended Blairs as a boy and was looking forward to Mass but ended up clearing the drains to prevent the boiler room from flooding.  Oh the joys of being a museum curator! 
Blairs Chapel - Mass of Our Lady in Sabatto
Blairs Chapel - Mass of Our Lady in Sabatto
Blairs Chapel - Mass of Our Lady in Sabatto
Fr Michael Mary F.SS.R.
The next Vetus Ordo Mass is scheduled for Saturday the 16th November at 11:00 am.  It will be another Missa Cantata and that of the Feast of St Margaret of Scotland, our 2nd Patron Saint in Scotland.  So, if you find yourself in our neck of the woods, please do come along.

As usual more photographs may be viewed HERE

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Its a Small World

In our decision as to where we are going on an overseas holiday, one of the decisive factors in my "must have" list, is the availability of the Vetus Ordo.  Why the Old Mass and not the Novus Ordo?  Simply that in all my extensive travels around the world I have yet to be able to fully engage and pray the Mass when surrounded by people responding in their own language.  For example try saying the Our Father when surrounded by say Portuguese, Italians or Germans. Understand the bidding prayers or join in the hymns? forget it.  As a result I have always left those churches feeling undernourished and somehow thinking I had not fulfilled my Sunday Obligation.
When we chose to spend a long weekend in Berlin this was naturally a deal breaker for me.  By the way Berliners will tell you that Christianity is only practiced by about two per cent of the population - yes TWO per cent.  Thankfully there is a wonderful community in Berlin called the Institute of St Philip Neri led by the  indomitable Father Gerald Goesche.
I was kindly given permission to take some photographs during Mass, Fr Goesche belongs to the more publicity the better camp.  During Mass my attention was drawn to one of the gentlemen in the schola who had a "weel kent" face, as we say in Scotland.  Lo and behold after Mass who should seek me out but Frater Marcin Góral whom I had last seen on the small Scottish island of Papa Stronsay when he was with The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.
Fr. Jatzkowski, left   Fr Goesche centre,   Frater Marcin right.
Needless to say we had a good gossip and catch-up of news over a splendid cup of coffee before setting of by taxi to our next appointments.  He to visit parishioners and me to have lunch with she who must be obeyed.  How marvellous that we should meet again thousands of miles away and how wonderful to learn he is now studying for the priesthood. 
Please do go to their website; there is an English version which requires updating, but nevertheless gives a detailed account of the Institute.  One of their fund raising activities of late has been to install a wonderful organ found in England regarding which you can read about HERE
Yes it certainly is a small world.