St Simon's Parish Blog

Welcome to the Blog of St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, UK. Our address is: Brookfield Road Ashford Kent TN23 4EU

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For nine years up till July 2010, I was parish priest at St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, England. From July 2010 until June 2011 I was Associate Pastor at St Peter's Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan USA and then Pastor at St Anthony Parish, Gwinn, MI until October 2013. I then transferred to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon to serve as Director of the Tribunal. And that's what I am currently doing. Since February 2015 I have also been serving as Pastor at St Stephen Parish, South East Portland. I miss "da UP" (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) but love being here in the Pacific North West.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

St Simon Stock - Parish Solemnity - Missa Cantata

Today we had a Sung Latin Mass in honour of our parish patron St Simon Stock. A choir of three led by Mr John Simmonds came to sing the Mass and Mr Andrew Cesana played the organ.

The photos in this post (taken by Cllr David Hurley) are displayed in the order in which they were taken.

We had a good team of servers who did very well. We are not London Oratory by any means but for a small parish in Kent I think we did extremely well.

Parishioners commented on how beautiful the Mass was. One parishioner said how the atmosphere in the church had changed simply in the way the altar had been set up. There was a clear sense of expectancy as people waited for the unfolding drama to commence. They were captivated by the ceremony.

The servers were delighted too and said they would love to serve another sung Mass. So I have decided that next Saturday's Mass in the Day with Mary will also be a sung Mass in the extraordinary form.

UPDATE: The Sisters who organise the Liturgy at the Days with Mary and who love singing the Extraordinary Form Mass have now said they cannot arrange this for next Saturday so Mass will be in the Ordinary Form. Another appropriate opportunity will be found.

A cheeky wink from one of our servers on the way out:

At the end of the Mass I enrolled a number of parishioners into the Brown Scapular. I can't think what I was pointing my finger about but I can assure everyone that, despite the look of fear on Tim's face, I was not telling him off!

My sincere thanks to all who helped organise the Mass and to all who came.

And a word to those who stayed away: The Mass - in whichever form it is validly and legitimately celebrated - is the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Mystery of our Faith. Don't walk away from it. Don't miss the opportunity to be at Mass. It was nice to see a good number of our parishioners present, but I know there were some who decided not to come because the Mass was in the older form. We would all loved to have had you celebrate our parish patronal feast with us. Clearly many appreciate the beauty of the ancient liturgy. By providing it, I am giving these people access to their spiritual birthright. I am therefore giving them something they have a right to. My own growth into love for the 'old Mass' is something that developed, from not being particularly interested to really appreciating its beauty, and this is not to denigrate in any way the 'new Mass'. I would encourage you to allow yourself some time to appreciate the extraordinary form of the Mass and to live by faith in the great Mystery that is accomplished on the altar.

Our young servers loved it, and their parents and sisters possibly had a sense of pride that their son/brother was involved in something so beautiful.

My homily for the Mass follows:
Homily for the feast of St Simon Stock 2009 Homily for the feast of St Simon Stock 2009 jboyle4027

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Blogger Zephyrinus said...

Dear Fr. A Point of Information, reference the lovely Mass last Saturday morning for the Patronal Feast of St. Simon Stock: The Leader of the Choir was John Simmonds (not Symonds, as previously stated). As Fr. Faber said, last century, about the Mass: "The most beautiful thing this side of Heaven". There were 65Parishoners in the Congregation. I should think that, next year, there will be 165. Thank you, Fr, for a memorable occasion.

7:02 pm  
Blogger Father John Boyle said...

Thank you for this point of information. I'll correct the spelling. As for numbers at the Mass, I would imagine not all were parishioners but a good number were there. All the parents of the servers have been saying what a privilege it was for them.

7:32 pm  
Blogger Father John Boyle said...

Zephyrinus: I foolishly pressed the 'Reject' button and there's no mercy, no 'Are you sure you want to reject?' Apologies. So I have cut and pasted your comment here:

Dear Fr Boyle. I had the privilege and pleasure of attending the Missa Cantata on Saturday for the Parish Solemnity of St. Simon Stock. Suffice to say that it was magnificent. The Mass was an extremely moving occasion and the young Servers, under the expert guidance of the MC, Guy Beresford, performed marvellously. It was a joy to watch and participate in. The Choir and Organist performed wonderfully well and, surely, had come straight from the Sistine Chapel Choir !!! Congratulations to you, Fr, and to the Parish on a memorable occasion. The photographs were splendid, too. Please can we have another sung Mass, soon !!!

7:33 pm  
Blogger Father John Boyle said...

Please note the update to the effect that next Saturday's Mass will be in the Ordinary Form.

7:38 pm  
Blogger Dale said...

Fr, we came as a family to the Latin sung Mass on Saturday as we have never been to one previously. It as a very moving occasion and can only serve to deepen one's faith. Thank you to all that provided an opportunity to see a part of our faith displayed that isn't commonplace. A real special time.

7:55 pm  

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