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MARCH 16 2012 THE CATHOLIC HERALD
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Pugin church is established as a shrine to St Augustine
BY STAFF REPORTER
AUGUSTUS PUGIN’S church of St Augustine in Ramsgate, Kent, has been declared a shrine of “the Apostle of the English”.
In an official decree Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark established the shrine’s canonical privileges and designated it as a place of pilgrimage.
The establishment of the new pilgrimage site follows a 500-year gap created following the destruction of the last shrine of St Augustine of Canterbury in the 16th century, when it was demolished during the Reformation. A shrine to St Augustine existed on the Isle of Thanet in the early Middle Ages, near where the saint arrived in the Kingdom of Kent in 597.
St Augustine had arrived in the pagan kingdom after being sent there by Pope Gregory I. St Augustine had started to turn back in Francia before being told in a dream by St Peter that he must continue.
King Ethelbert was persuaded by his Frankish Christian Queen, Bertha, to convert and then allowed a large number of his countrymen to embrace the Christian faith, which soon spread across the Thames to the neighbouring kingdom of Essex.
The foundation of the shrine has officially been named as March 1, the 200th anniversary of Pugin’s birth.
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, the 19th-century Catholic architect, wrote in his letters that he selected the Ramsgate site because “blessed Austin landed nearby” and he personally chose the dedication name and wanted the church to be a memorial to the founding father of Christian England and its early saints.
The feast day of the saint is already celebrated in Ramsgate with a festival of Catholic history and culture called “St Augustine’s Week”, with Prayers and hymns sung in his honour.
St Augustine’s has already functioned as a quasi-shrine and pilgrims journey there from all over England and beyond to learn about the conversion of the English and the beginnings of Christianity in this land.
In 1997 thousands descended on the site to celebrate the 1,400th anniversary of Augustine landing. Hundreds of monks joined Cardinal Basil Hume and Archbishop Michael Bowen in the pilgrimage.
In the year 2000 St Augustine’s was a “Jubilee shrine” and had special indulgences attached. This continued a long pilgrimage tradition surrounding St Augustine in Ramsgate and Thanet.
St Augustine’s attracts a large number of Christians from other churches and communities who are interested in learning about common roots in the faith of Christ. Many secular visitors enjoy the architecture, the art and the atmosphere of the place and thereby enhance their relations with the Catholic church. Local schools have a visiting programme to learn about the saints and about Pugin.
The church is decorated with a collection of images of St Augustine in the finest stone and stained glass, including a Hardman Powell series of windows above Pugin’s tomb relating the story of Augustine’s mission and especially the moment of setting foot on a land explicitly demarcated as “Thanet”.
Fr Marcus Holden, parish priest and custodian of St Augustine’s said: “This is amazing news for us. Pugin’s church is secured by this added living identity which also fulfils many of his own dreams in honouring the English saints and St Augustine in particular.
“There was need here not only to rescue the church as a great work of art but also to find a fitting spiritual significance for the future of the site. Through his decree, the archbishop has done just that. The shrine will now draw pilgrims keen to learn about the early saints and to pray for a conversion of England in our own times,” Fr Holden said.
The church is presently being restored to its former glory and major celebrations are planned this year surrounding the feast day of St Augustine.
The shrine will highlight the close bond between Rome and England as St Augustine was sent on his mission directly by Pope Gregory the Great.
One of the pastoral recommendations of the Holy See for the Year of Faith, which begins in October, is to “work toward the dissemination of a knowledge of the local saints” because the saints give an “authentic witness to the faith”.
School breaks record with lesson in bubbles
Bishop Challoner Catholic College in Kings Heath, Birmingham, broke the Guinness World Record for biggest practical science lesson last week when 276 pupils were taught to make bubbles Photo:PA
Eucharistic Congress will be a humble affair, says archbishop
BY CINDY WOODEN
THE INTERNATIONAL Eucharistic Congress in Dublin will be characterised by humility, moderation and a renewed focus on the Eucharist as the source and nourishment of unity in the Church, the president of the Vatican committee charged with overseeing the gathering has said.
Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, said that the congress from June 10 to June 17 will reflect that this year is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, but also that Catholics in the host country, Ireland, are still reeling from the clerical sex abuse scandal and are engaged in a process of repentance and reform.
The archbishop spoke to the American Catholic New Service after presenting the Italian edition of The Eucharist: Womb of the Church, a series of theological and pastoral reflections published in preparation for the congress.
The Dublin congress will have “two very positive aspects, in my opinion: the lack of triumphalism – and, so, a congress based on interiority, on moderation, also because of the difficult economic situation. The other aspect is the focus on the Second Vatican Council’s teaching that communion is the centre of the Eucharist, its primary aim.”
The theme of the 2012 congress, which is expected to bring together more than 80,000 Catholics from around the world, is: “The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with One Another.”
The Eucharistic liturgy brings individuals into communion with Christ and creates communion among them, said Archbishop Marini. “Christ comes to transform us into himself”, into the body of Christ, he said.
“Communion is needed within the Church, where we fight with one another, but also outside the Church, for our witness in the world, our witness for a more just, more tolerant world where people are more respectful of one another and of nature,” he said.
Archbishop Marini, a liturgical scholar, began serving at the Vatican in 1965, working in the office charged with implementing the council’s liturgical renewal. In 1987, he was named master of papal liturgical ceremonies, serving both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI until October 2007 when he was named president of the Eucharist congresses committee.
The international congresses, which began in the late 1800s, accompanied and encouraged the liturgical, biblical, patristic and ecumenical movements that were developing in the church at the same time, Archbishop Marini said. “The Eucharistic congresses were the place the movements were most manifest” until the 1960s, when their scholarly and pastoral foundations were deepened and they were accepted by the Second Vatican Council.
Until the 1960 International Eucharistic Congress in Munich, though, the congresses still were centred around Eucharistic processions, adoration and the reception of Holy Communion outside the Mass.
“The procession was considered a show of strength, a demonstration that Christians were present in society, which stemmed from the congress’s origins in France when Catholics felt a need to say publicly: ‘We are here.’ With the liturgical movement, there came a need to adjust the triumphalist aspect,” Archbishop Marini said.
Since the Second Vatican Council, he said, the congresses have been centred around the daily celebration of Mass, although the processions and Eucharistic adoration are still present.
At the book presentation, he encouraged the mainly Italian audience to travel to Dublin for the Eucharistic congress as a sign “of solidarity with the Christians of Ireland”.
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Vatican wishes diocese success in Confession drive Rome approves ordinariate’s first liturgical texts
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE VATICAN has praised a Lenten initiative taking place in the Diocese of Lancaster this year.
The Congregation for the Clergy in Rome wrote to Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster to congratulate him on the evangelisation initiative aimed at bringing people back to Confession.
In a letter to Bishop Campbell, Archbishop Celsa Iruzubieta, secretary to the Congregation, wrote: “The Congregation has received... a copy of Your Lordship’s press release concerning the Lenten initiative The Light is On for You to encourage the practice of Confession among the faithful in Lancaster.
“It is earnestly to be hoped that the initiative will be enthusiastically received and will bring about greater recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the part of all the faithful.”
Lancaster diocese’s initiative is a high profile celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, making Confession available every Wednesday in Lent, in every Catholic church, between 7 and 8pm.
Explaining the purpose of The Light is On for You, Bishop Campbell said: “During the Lenten season, in a particular way we are continuing to invite those who seek to strengthen their relationship with the Lord to join us in this celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
“Our priests are here to welcome you home, to pray with you, to be of service in the name of Jesus Christ, who offers all of us forgiveness for our sins and the gift of His mercy and love.”
Fr Robert Billing, the cocoordinator of The Light is On for You, said that Bishop Campbell was “delighted and encouraged” to receive the Vatican’s letter.
Fr Billing said: “We’ve had two weeks of Confessions so far in Lent and from asking around the diocese it does seem that there has been a serious rise in Confessions.
“If they hear an average of 12 confessions, at least three are penitents who have been away from Confession for up to 25 years and four out of the 12 will have been away from Mass and the Church altogether.
“While Confessions are happening we have Holy Hour, which has been attended by a core group of parishioners who have come to support people coming back and there have been up to 30 people there for Holy Hour.”
Fr Billing said that advertisements of the campaign had featured in both secular and religious media.
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE HOLY SEE has approved an edition of the Bible in close keeping with the Anglican tradition for use in the liturgy of the Papal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments published a decree permitting the Revised Standard Version (Second Catholic Edition) of the Holy Bible in the ordinariate liturgy, enabling members to use a biblical translation which is more familiar to them.
This Revised Standard Edition of the Bible is closer to the King James Bible than the Jerusalem Bible which is a traditionally Catholic translation. Its origins go back to William Tyndale’s New Testament translation of 1525 and it was revised for Catholics in the mid-20th century. The second Catholic edition was published in 2006.
The Holy See has also approved and confirmed the Proper Liturgical Calendar of the Personal Ordinariate, which retains certain celebrations in the Church year that are significant to those from the Anglican tradition. The calendar, while closely reflecting the General Roman Calendar used in Catholic churches across England and Wales, also makes use of older titles such as “Sundays after Trinity”. The Bible translation and the Catechism are the first of the liturgical resources to be approved by the Holy See for former Anglicans who have entered the full communion of the Catholic Church.
Mgr Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham, said: “This is very welcome. For the ordinariate to make a distinctive contribution to Catholic life and witness in England and Wales, these liturgical resources are essential. They show, as Pope Benedict has recently said, how traditions can thrive within the wider Tradition of the Catholic Church.”
Meanwhile, it emerged last month that it may take five years for Rome to approve the ordinariate’s liturgical texts.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has already given interim approval to all the ordinariate’s liturgical texts, except for the rite of Mass. These texts include the Calendar, Divine Office, marriage rite and funeral rite.
But the CDF has asked a commission of scholars to scrutinise the Mass text.
Canterbury Press will publish the ordinariate’s interim approved texts later this year in a book called The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham.
NEWSBULLETIN TV chef Delia Smith says believers are under attack TELEVISION chef Delia Smith has criticised atheists who are trying to drive Christians out of the public square.
In her Lenten appeal for Cafod, posted on her website, she said: “I am, as you may or may not know, a passionate believer but of late we are somewhat under the cosh.
“There is a running battle going on in the press, and militant neoatheists and devout secularists are busting a gut to drive us off the radar and try to convince us that we hardly exist.”
She said she had been spurred into action by Richard Dawkins saying religion was increasingly irrelevant. She said that Christians were “alive and kicking”.
Cardinal to cooperate with inquiry CARDINAL Seán Brady has said that the Catholic Church will cooperate fully with a government-led investigation into institutional abuse being launched in Northern Ireland.
A similar inquiry in the Republic of Ireland – the Ryan Commission – reported in 2009 and found that physical abuse was widespread and sexual abuse was endemic in many institutions for boys run by members of religious congregations.
Cardinal Brady, whose Armagh Archdiocese straddles Northern Ireland and the Republic, spoke after a meeting with the group Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland. He was accompanied by representatives of religious communities that managed institutions for children and vulnerable adults. Cardinal Brady said: “We apologise wholeheartedly and without reserve for the abuse that they suffered as children.”
Catholic lawyer is mourned HUNDREDS of mourners gathered in Glasgow this week to say farewell to one of Scotland’s leading lawyers.
Paul McBride QC died suddenly in his sleep at the age of 47. About 500 people packed into St Aloysius’s church in Glasgow. Celtic manager Neil Lennon, a close friend, was one of the coffin bearers.
Irish nun faces abuse charges AN IRISH nun is to appear in court on 87 charges of the sexual abuse of primary school girls.
The nun, whose name has been withheld to protect her alleged victims, appeared at Sligo Circuit Court on Tuesday.
The nun’s barrister complained about the delay in the trial, as the original charge had been made in January 2010.
CTS offers readers daily missals THE CATHOLIC HERALD has six copies of the Catholic Truth Society’s New Daily Missal to give away to readers who can tell us how many pages the missal has. Answers should be emailed to email@example.com or posted to The Catholic Herald, 15 Lamb’s Passage, EC1Y 8TQ, marked “Missal Competition”.
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