There will be a Requiem Mass for King Richard III on Thursday 26th March (the day of his burial in Leicester) at 7pm in St Wilfrid’s Church after the events in York Minster. This is at the request of some members of the Richard III Society who point out that King Richard left instructions for a chantry chapel in York Minster with one hundred priests to say Masses for his soul.
The celebrant will be Rt Rev. Terence Drainey the Bishop of Middlesbrough and the preacher, Fr Richard Duffield, Parish Priest of St Wilfrid's.
The Mass will be in English with the Latin Plainchant familiar to King Richard sung by the choir.
The 19th annual Catholic Cup football tournament will take place in Hull on Saturday, May 9th and we will be taking both a boys’ and girls’ team this year. The fantastic event is still the only time in the year when more than fifty schools from across the diocese get the chance to meet up. Now the organisers are urgently looking for volunteers to help ensure the event continues in future years. If anybody can offer their help on the day (car parking, water stewards, etc.) or with longer term planning (sorting the fixtures, making the programme, etc.) please can you let Mr Dan Jones know and he will pass your details on.
Parishioners and friends of St Wilfrid's may be interested in some York Catholic news from the Press.
The Poor Clares' Monastery site in Lawrence Street recently had planning permission for redevelopment. This prompted a nicely illustrated article about the life of the convent over the years. York Poor Clares continue to live a prayerful religious life at their new monastery at Askham Bryan and the Order continues to attract vocations to its many houses elsewhere in the UK and around the world. For information click here.
Meanwhile congratulations to the students from All Saints' School who have been sweeping the board with academic success.
REGULAR EVENTS IN LENT
Fridays of Lent: Stations of the Cross at 11.30am
Friday Lent Lunches after the 12.10pm Mass
Joint Lenten Meditations at St Joseph’s & St Wilfrid’s
Sermon, Prayers and Benediction
“The Characters of the Passion”
Thursdays at 6pm in St Joseph’s and St Wilfrid’s in alternate weeks. 19th February (St J’s), 26th February (St W’s), 5th March (St J’s), 12th March (St W’s), 19th March (St J’s), 26th March St W’s)
Apart from the usual times (Saturday, 10.45am - 12 noon and twenty minutes before every Msss) there will be a Day of Reconciliation on Saturday, 28th March Priests from the different York Parishes will be available for Confessions in St Wilfrid’s from 10am until 3pm.
For full details of Lenten Services at St Wilfrid's (and St Joseph's) please click here.
There will be a Day with Mary at St Wilfrid's on Saturday, 14th March. To view the flier with full details of the day, please click here.
The bells of Westminster Abbey are among the most famous in the world, ringing out for state occasions broadcast on television and radio. They are one of the very few rings of bells to be rung by a paid team of ringers - the Westminster Abbey Company. Every New Year’s Day, the Abbey ringers invite a band from elsewhere in the UK to ring their bells, and it was the great privilege of the St Wilfrid’s ringers to be invited on 1st January 2015.
We took the opportunity to have a few days in the capital, including many unforgettable experiences ringing, socialising and toasting the New Year’s fireworks from a vantage point high in Parliament Square. Our first ringing was on the 30th December when we joined the London members of the Ancient Society of College Youths for their weekly practice which took place at St Sepulchre without Newgate, Holborn Viaduct.
On New Year's Eve, we began the day ringing ten bells at St Dunstan's in the West, Fleet Street. We were confident in our repertoire here because this is the same number of bells we ring at St Wilfrid's. Following a tasty pub lunch, we visited St James, Garlickhythe and enjoyed ringing the eight Royal Jubilee Bells. It is extraordinary to remember that the same bells were rung from a boat during the Diamond Jubilee Thames river pageant in 2012.
Our next tower was St Michael, Cornhill (12 bells) where we worked up an appetite for our evening meal at Pizza Express. Our final tower of the day was St Margaret-of-Antioch, Parliament Square, Westminster. Following some special ringing here, we greeted the turn of the New Year standing on the roof of the tower listening to the chimes of Big Ben and appreciating the magnificent fireworks.
On New Year's day, we began with the twelve bells at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square. The energy from parade crowds added to our gathering excitement on the walk to our next tower, Westminster Abbey. After climbing the tower steps, I enjoyed reading the commemorative boards of ringing for Royal occasions and it was easy to feel the weight of history here. We are proud to have scored a quarter peal at the Abbey (1,282 changes of Cambridge Surprise Royal in 52 minutes) and this achievement has been added to the online national ringing record. The quarter peal was conducted by our youngest member, 12-year-old Ewan Hull.
Following a well earned lunch, we concluded our tour at Imperial College in South Kensington. The 87m tall, freestanding "Queen’s Tower" houses ten bells, each named for Queen Victoria, her children and grandchildren. The unusual, exaggerated sway of the tower during ringing offered exciting technical challenges alongside uninterrupted views of the London skyline.
It was a special privilege to be able to ring at so many London towers and thanks are due to our St Wilfrid's ringing master, David Hull, for organising an excellent bellringing tour.
To know more about St Wilfrid's bells and the ringers please click here.
The Feast of Candlemas on 2nd February is one of the most beautiful in the Church's year. It commemorates the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple at Jerusalem after forty days of life according to Jewish custom. It is a feast rich in meaning. God comes into his Temple.
On the following day, the commemoration of St Blaise, we will have the customary blessing of throats after the 12.10 Mass.
St Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratory, was born in Florence in 1515 so this year is the 500th anniversary of his birth. There will be celebrations in Florence and in Rome in the course of the year. For those members of his spiritual family unable to get to those celebrations a bust containing our founder's relics will visit every Oratory in the world. In that way we can be united in spirit with our holy father St Philip and with each other. The bust will probably come to York towards the end of this year.
Fr Richard was privileged to visit Goa and Sri Lanka in the first two weeks of January. There were three main reasons for the visit: to encourage a group of priests who want to refound the Oratory in Goa; to represent the Oratorian Confederation at the Canonisation of St Joseph Vaz who was a founding member of that community and went on to become the Apostle of Sri Lanka; finally to take part - with hundreds of thousands of others - in the exposition of the relics of St Francis Xavier. The body of this great Jesuit Missionary saint is exposed for veneration every ten years and still inspires enormous devotion among Catholics - and members of other faiths - across India and further east. Family members from our Goan community in York made him very welcome. Here is a link to an article he wrote about St Francis Xavier and St Joseph Vaz, and a few photographs. York now feels very cold!
With Fr Mario Aviles, the Procurator of the Confederation of the Oratory outside the sacristy on the beach and with Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao the Archbishop of Goa; St Joseph Vaz's birthplace, Benaulim, Goa; the former house and church of the Goa Oratory, India; the procession of the relics; and the shrine of St Francis Xavier in the Jesuit Church of Bom Jesus.