Tuesday, 27 September 2016

School of the Annunciation: Foundations in Faith for the New Evangelisation

I have just received this news from the excellent School of the Annunciation, with a request that I publicise it:

Exciting new developments from the School of the Annunciation – the Foundations in Faith for the New Evangelisation (FFNE) course which began in June in Nelson Parish, Salford Diocese has three centres beginning this autumn and winter.

The FFNE course is an 18 month course which takes students systematically through the foundations of Church teaching.  Subjects include the triune God, Jesus Christ, the Church, Our Lady and the saints, introduction to Sacred Scripture, the Liturgy and the Sacraments, the dignity of the human being, Christian moral life, Sacred Art, media and the parish.

The course is for all Catholics who wish to know their faith better, especially those who pass it on to others, such as catechists, parents, grandparents, children’s liturgy leaders, youth workers, parish staff and volunteers, and anyone who has ever fumbled when they have been asked a question about the faith which they have struggled to answer.  As students study the course material they learn how to express it both for themselves and for others.  There are also practical workshops included in the study days and weekends.

After attendance at either the residential weekend at Buckfast or the study days at Ealing and Southwark, students work on their own with constant support by email from their course tutor. 

No prior learning is necessary, no essays or exams to be taken.  Students work at their own level through the course material and send in short 500 word assignments to their tutor every 7-10 days.

The forthcoming centres are:

Buckfast Abbey on 28th October with a residential weekend in the lovely and relaxing setting of the Abbey enjoying excellent accommodation and food, as well as excellent lectures and liturgy of course.

Ealing Abbey on 12th November (the course is run over 2 years at this centre)

Southwark Diocese on 7th January in Tooting Bec (under the title “Diocesan Catechetical Certificate”)

Both the Ealing and the Tooting Bec centres structure the course around 6 days of attendance.

Please forward these details to all your Catholic contacts and encourage them to get in touch with Mrs Carol Ann Harnett if they have any questions. 

Mrs Carol Ann Harnett

School of the Annunciation
Telephone Number (01364) 645660.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The Seven Dolours of the BVM

Today is the feast of the Seven Dolours of the  Blessed Virgin Mary.  It is one of the few occasions that the Mass includes a Sequence: the Stabat Mater. The other Sequences in the Liber Usualis are the Dies Irae, the Lauda Sion, the Veni Sancte Spiritus, and the Victimae Paschali - distinguished company by any standard! Perhaps that is a mark of the importance our forefathers attached to this feast.

Here is the Sequence:

If you are unfamiliar with the Latin text, you may know the English: At the Cross her station keeping, which is often sung at the Stations of the Cross.  I include both below (the translation is by Caswell; the original may well have been written by Jacopo da Todi in the thirteenth century.)

Today's gospel is the one about Our Lady standing at the foot of the Cross - and, in that moment when her heart is being pierced as foretold by Simeon, being given to us as our Mother.

Stabat mater dolorósa
juxta Crucem lacrimósa,
dum pendébat Fílius.

Cuius ánimam geméntem,
contristátam et doléntem
pertransívit gládius.

O quam tristis et afflícta
fuit illa benedícta,
mater Unigéniti!

Quae mœrébat et dolébat,
pia Mater, dum vidébat
nati pœnas ínclyti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si vidéret
in tanto supplício?

Quis non posset contristári
Christi Matrem contemplári
doléntem cum Fílio?

Pro peccátis suæ gentis
vidit Iésum in torméntis,
et flagéllis súbditum.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriéndo desolátum,
dum emísit spíritum.

Eia, Mater, fons amóris
me sentíre vim dolóris
fac, ut tecum lúgeam.

Fac, ut árdeat cor meum
in amándo Christum Deum
ut sibi compláceam.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifíxi fige plagas
cordi meo válide.

Tui Nati vulneráti,
tam dignáti pro me pati,
pœnas mecum dívide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifíxo condolére,
donec ego víxero.

Juxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociáre
in planctu desídero.

Virgo vírginum præclára,
mihi iam non sis amára,
fac me tecum plángere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passiónis fac consórtem,
et plagas recólere.

Fac me plagis vulnerári,
fac me Cruce inebriári,
et cruóre Fílii.

Flammis ne urar succénsus,
per te, Virgo, sim defénsus
in die iudícii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exíre,
da per Matrem me veníre
ad palmam victóriæ.

Quando corpus moriétur,
fac, ut ánimæ donétur
paradísi glória.


At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?

For the sins of His own nation,
She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
All with scourges rent:

She beheld her tender Child,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
be Thy Mother my defense,
be Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.

In these troubled times, we should have incessant recourse to our Blessed Mother...--