"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Latin Mass saves church from closure

St Walburge's Church

Published on 07April  2014

Services at Preston’s landmark St Walburge’s Church, which were threatened by falling congregations, are to continue . . . in Latin.

The imposing building, whose 309-foot spire can be seen for miles around, had been facing the prospect of closure as the Catholic Church struggles for an audience in the centre of the city.

But now the Bishop of Lancaster has announced the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, which celebrates the traditional Tridentine Mass, could be conducting services in the church by the autmun. “The future of St Walburge’s Church came into very serious question in the light of much fewer people at Mass in this vast and yet most beautiful church,” said Bishop Michael Campbell in a statement read out at Preston churches on Sunday.

“The arrival and presence of the Institute at St Walburge’s will enable the sustainability and care of this magnificent church so that it can be open each day as a shrine or centre for Eucharistic devotion and adoration.”

St Walburge’s was built in 1847 and its spire is the third tallest in the UK. But falling attendances - a cause for concern within inner Preston - meant it could have faced decommission.

“There are some voices - even now - who tell me that the presence of the Catholic Church in inner Preston is finished,” added Bishop Campbell. “I cannot agree. We need to be here in a new shape and form and at the same time to strengthen our missionary presence and vitality.”

St Walburge’s will continue to celebrate the Ordinary Form Mass on a Sunday for as long as there is a need.

“Importantly, the announcement of this initiative - following twelve months of negotiations - delivers good news: it will ensure the future sustainability and patrimony of St Walburge’s church; a church so dear to local Catholics and many others in Preston. Thankfully, this announcement means St Walburge’s is secured for the future, will be used each day for prayer and cared for as it continues to bear witness to the faith and mission of the Catholic Church in Preston.” [Source: Diocesan Press Release.]

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