Wednesday, 22 November 2017

          Ampleforth Abbey upgrades its monks' accommodation with en suite cells for £6.8 million.


  •  THE TELEGRAPH Anita Singharts and entertainment editor 


The Benedictine monks of Ampleforth Abbey have had a new subject to contemplate: should the monastic life include an en suite bathroom?

The Abbey is undergoing its first major refurbishment in 120 years, at a cost of £6.8 million. For the community of 58 monks, it challenges their vow to lead a life of simplicity.
Their cells, unchanged in the last century except for the introduction of electric light and the installation of a hand basin, are to be revamped with an emphasis on comfort and privacy. Where once they had to queue for a shower in one of the three shared bathrooms, now they will have their own facilities. The new accommodation will be "homely".


Architect’s impressions of the new rooms include comfortable furnishings and modern storage - and even a selection of Molton Brown products in the bathroom.
Father Chad Boulton, resident at the North Yorkshire monastery for the past 25 years, said the modernisation is badly needed. While money has been spent over the years on the adjoining school, where old boys include Julian Fellowes, William Dalrymple and Antony Gormley, the monks’ accommodation has been neglected.
“We have had a great debate as a community over what is acceptable for a monk. Is an en suite going too far for a monk?” said Fr Chad, 52.
AN ARTISTS IMPRESSION OF A REFURBISHED MONK'S CELL

“A monastery has to adapt to change. Our old rooms had sinks backing on to the one in the next room. The noise they made was horrendous - it sounded like Niagara Falls. We had to introduce a rule where no monk could use the sink between 10.30pm and 5.30am.
“We have heating problems, water leaks, windows that don’t close. You wonder how much energy we are actually wasting.



“It is a fantastic and much-loved building in a beautiful location. Monks are not very good with change, but these renovations are needed to make the building feel cared for.”

The youngest monk in the community is 25, and the oldest is in their 90s. Fr Henry, 83, who whizzes around the grounds on his scooter, first moved into the monastery 65 year ago - before the arrival of sinks or central heating.
“Standards have risen while ours have not,” he said. “I tried to tape my window shut to stop the window banging but it didn’t really do anything.


“We are not after luxury, not even comfort, but acceptable living arrangements. I don’t think there are many buildings that have not been renovated in 120  years.”
As well as the living quarters, the refurbishment will include replacing all the windows and repairing the chimney. A loop system will be installed for monks who are hard of hearing.
The monks are temporarily living in another building on site while the work takes place. The Abbey is appealing for help to raise the final £1 million of the renovation cost, but the monks are doing their bit.

“We looked at everything we didn’t really need and sold it,” Fr Wansbrough said. “Even a monk acquires clutter over the years.


AMPLEFORTH COLLEGE FEES:        FROM COLLEGE WEBSITE

BOARD:    £10,473

TUITION: £ 23,919

TOTAL:     £ 34,392


DAY PUPILS - TUITION: £23,919


EXTRAS: £1,000 - £1,500 per pupil, per year.


STONYHURST - THE JESUITS - FEES


97 comments:

  1. Pat, why don't you turn your sights on the Church of England exclusive schools. The fees are higher and you have to be an inbred aristocrat whose parents are loaded to go there.
    You wouldn't have passed the entrance exam.

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    1. FROM THE TELEGRAPH:

      "Research by the guide found that Queen Ethelburga’s College, York, was the most expensive mainstream boarding school, charging international sixth-formers £39,885 a year.
      Cheltenham Ladies’ College charges up to £34,302 for boarding, while fees are £34,137 at Tonbridge School, up to £33,408 at Sevenoaks, £32,280 at Marlborough, £32,490 at Westminster and £32,067 at Eton.
      In all, the average boarding fee now stands at £27,600.
      According to the guide, a place of boarding was just £2,400-a-year in 1980 – far lower than the £6,000 average salary of a British adult".


      So it seems that Ampleforth fees are at the same rate if not higher than the other colleges you mention?

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  2. What's the purpose of this article? The Monks are entitled to upgrade, redesign and carry iut necessary maintenance wirk on their Abvey. I agree wholeheartedly with them. God bless their ministry, prayer, dedicatiin to the best school education and their hospitality which is wonderful. I love the Benediction tradition of prayer, learning, art, philosophy and spirituality. Very learned and wise men.

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    1. Wise men? Gold, frankincense and myrrh?

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    2. At Pat 10.47

      Thats an unbecoming response. Rather ignorant even.

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    3. @ 01:05. Well, I suppose they're probably fed up pissing in the sinks overnight. A chamber pot under the bed would do them fine.

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    4. Is that what you do @ 23.25?

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  3. I personally don't grudge the mainly elderly monks a shower and a window that closes in that draughty big building. Not many of us would like those living conditions from 19th century. I wouldn't be a begrudger.

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    1. A zinc hip bath would be more appropriate for their station in life.

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    2. Silly post to suggest a hip bath.

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  4. I think it would be wrong to let a wonderful historic old building like that become decrepit from the neglect of the last hundred years. It wouldn't be allowed to happen to a National Trust property so good luck to them, I say.
    Life has been tough enough.

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  5. I find it disgusting that the Church promotes the most expensive private education for the children of the elite but then rails against academic selection and grammar schools for 11 year olds in Northern Ireland.How many bishops were previously heads or presidents of Catholic grammars in the North yet now they sing a different tune? Where is their continuity?

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  6. Sounds cheap enough for a building designed to accommodate 58+ monks. I say well done and drive on. The iriginal monastary probably cost similar relative to the cost of things back then.

    And those tuition fees, cheap for what you get mate.

    Pat, this blog is a chip on the shoulder blog. Normally you do much better; but then your UK vased work is always sketchy stick to the Irish church where you're on the ball.

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  7. I would not begrudge the monks 20th century living standards. Everyone should have reasonable accommodation where possible. We are challenged to tackle issues of poor accommodation in the community

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  8. "Go sell everything you own, give the money to the poor, then come and follow Me?

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    1. I now know where I went wrong in life. I should have taken a vow of poverty and I would have lived like a Lord. I should have taken a vow of chastity and I would have had a great sex life. I should have taken a vow of obedience and I would never had to make any hard decisions. Lord, if there is reincarnation please send me back as an English Benedictine monk.

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    2. "Go sell all..." I bet you have no plans to do that though!

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    3. @22.51.
      In a futile attempt to be smart ass and provocative, you just come across as crude and ignorant. So really not worth the effort of a response...

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  9. Do you have ensuite bedrooms in your new little people house?

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  10. I am an old age pensioner on 170 euro a week and I feel so sorry for the poor monks needing to redo their bedrooms that I am sending them 20 euro this week. That means that they now have to raise only £999.985 towards their new bedrooms. After all they have given up everything for God.

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    1. +Pat, maybe the blog could help raise some money for the poor Benedickteens? Dublin PP.

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  11. I have stayed as a guest in the monastery at Ampleforth and mainly remember the shower cubicles - they had curtains but the hooks for the towels were some way away.
    Religious houses generally tend to have quality fixtures and furnishings but which are looked after poorly and replaced in rare bursts so there is a strange mixture of apparent luxury and complete squalor.

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    1. The seminarian accommodation in Maynooth in the 1980s was absolutely squalid. Filthy, bare floors, crumbling plasterwork, no hot running water in the bedrooms, a few showers between say fifty seminarians. Lay students were much better looked after.

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    2. "... among fifty seminarians"

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  12. It's more than bedrooms that are being refurbished. So the cost is quite reasonable for the work and the size of the building. An ensuite room is not the height of luxury and the artist's impression seems to show quite a simple room.

    As for the Fees for the school it's cheaper than Eton, Westminster, Uppingham, Oundle, Lancing College and Roedean just for starters!

    But then this blog needs more salt and vinegar with all the chips on the shoulder it has. So more than likely this will be a post that gets ignored and not posted as it doesn't fit the bias of the site!

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    1. I am suitably reprimanded.

      Ampleforth only educates the poorer rich.:-)

      And OMG ! You got published :-)

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    2. There is a type of person who hasn't that much money but they absolutely insist that most of what they have goes into education.
      Also, most of those prestigious schools have some scholarship children(very intelligent or interested in working hard poorer pupils)and bursary opportunities. I don't know whether Ampleforth has anything like that but I would be surprised if it hadsn

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    3. The trickle down effect of wealth. Like piss down a leg. Bones for the dogs.

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    4. And in your case, poster 19.21 probably more a case of pearls before swine

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    5. And for 22:53, if you belong to the clerical class, a pearl necklace is probably yours.

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    6. You're away off the mark. I am female and yes, I do have an old pearl necklace..

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  13. Crikey! All that Ampleforth beer, brandy, cidre, etc. (Tongue-hanging drool👅)

    Think I'll switch to the Ampleforth Benedictines. Request a position in quality control.😆🍻

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    1. But you CANNOT bring your Caldey chocolates there MC!

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    2. I know.

      There's always a fork in the road. (Sigh)

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  14. My neice went to St Mary's Ascot. One of her friends at St Marys was one of 10 children and all the boys went to Ampleforth College. I think her parents must have come from the landed gentry when you think of the total school fees.

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  15. Actually this is cheap and I would gladly send my children to this school.

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    1. Luck you. If you ha e 2 Sains that would be Nearly £69,000.

      Did you win the lottery.

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  16. Perhaps their Common Entrance Exam results showed that some pupils were eligible for complete--or partial--scholarships or bursaries. Many of those few-paying schools have offers like that.

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    1. Good to have a few oiks aboard. A token inner-city black would look diverse too.

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    2. We do not engage in racial discrimination. A big proportion of our pupils are from abroad with parents working sometimes there and sometimes here or children whose parents are in the army or navy and are stationed in different places. So it is unfair to apply the stereotypes. Our students deserve their places and work hard. If they are unable to fulfil our tough but fair expectations, we respectfully suggest to their parents that their child might gain more benefit from a day school or an apprenticeship etc

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    3. Ampleforth College does not depend on "token inner-city black" children ((as you disrespectfully put it) in order to look diverse. There are constantly pupils from the African nations and children from Hong-Kong and India. The children learn and benefit from the variety of nationalities and cultures. That's the whole point.

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    4. I.e. children whose parents have the resources to have a *choice* about where to educate their children. In other words the international privileged.

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    5. Well, you can get children who are privileged in one way but maybe not in some other ways.... That's all I can say here in semi public...

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  17. Pat, what are you trying to prove by your blog today? In all honesty and conscience, what is your purpose? You are such an arrogant hypocrite. I've been to Ampleforth on retreat twice in my life and what a beautiful place. The hospitality and welcome of the Monks were uplifting, as was their liturgy, prayer and Masses. I find it incomprehensible as to your agenda with Ampleforth. The Monks are right to upgrade their Abbey. What's your grief? You should learn to mind your own business. You are simply making trouble.

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    1. I don't have to MAKE trouble.

      The clerics make it all themselves :-)

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    2. So you 17.31 don’t mind that a monk abused and his colleagues pretended they never noticed.
      All monk places should be closed down
      We don’t need learned men anymore, there is free education now in th 21 st century.
      We don’t need retreats either, just the odd spa weekend now and again should relieve our stresses.
      As for praying etc...get a job and earn your living,
      All this praying is claptrap
      Earn you4living by your hands like th3 early monks.
      Monk life is over, extinct,totally absolutely unnecessary.

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    3. Eh? Are there strange goings-on at Ampleforth as well.

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    4. A few historic ones but careful Safeguarding Policies in place and adhered to nowadays.

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  18. I continue to find EBC type monastic life bizarre. St Benedict says they are truly monks when they live by the work of their hands. How this can be squared with running an expensive private school with a large staff is beyond me.
    The fact that a papal decree in the 19th century actually had to say that the EBC was monastic in every way implies there was some question about it.
    Additionally Ampleforth has this strange culture of being a prominent or top monastery - that really is strange.
    It's not all monasteries in the EBC - Belmont feels quite different, for example.
    I would love to be a fly on the wall in chapter meetings at Ealing, though.
    One thing is certain - recruitment in the EBC is in freefall (except at St Louis abbey) - my 1993 yearbook gives 104 in the community at Ampleforth, including monks resident outside the abbey and four novices.

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    1. Yes, but monasteries from the earliest centuries were always seats of learning and study. Ireland's early monasteries were so famous in this regard that the country was known as "the land of Saints and Scholars". Monks were often the only people who were literate and there was a duty to pass on that learning in one way or another. The world famous Book of Kells, housed in Trinity College, Dublin shows the most exquisite calligraphy of the early monks and has colourful Celtic design work in a large copy of the Gospels. Visitors from all over the world have seen it. Museums also have treasured and priceless copies of the earliest music books of Gregorian chant written out by monks patiently by hand. These tend to be large books since the idea was that a group of monks could gather round and sing Office from the same copy. Ireland's monks were great teachers and travellers eg St. Gall and they spread the Gospel across Europe . An interesting question for you.. Which countries have Irish monks as their patron saints?
      The Church traditionally expected a monastery to be instrumental in providing Catholic education for young people whose parents lived abroad or who were constantly travelling around as members of the Forces añd so continually disrupting their education. Boarding schools became the solution and were intended to be places of safe stability. In many cases that was/is exactly what they were but whenever abuses occurred then that was a most disgraceful betrayal of everything that was expected. So it is not at all surprising that schools are seen to be run by monasteries!

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    2. Seats of learning - totally.
      Seats of privilege and power - that's the beginning of an abuse and should be avoided.

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    3. The Benedictines pulled out of their parishes in the Lancaster diocese about 2 years ago. They had some parishes in the poorer and more isolated parts of the Lake district.

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    4. I think most monks are happy to spend their Ives quietly busy in the subservient tasks which are allocated to them. I struggle to see where the idea of "privilege and power"comes into it.
      Sounds as if you are describing the Royal family!

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    5. Oh please! Obviously if you've been to Ampleforth your chances in life are greatly improved over someone who's been to a comprehensive. How can you struggle to see that?
      The whole place is built on privilege lol.

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    6. Yes.. but it wasn't Ampleforth that caused that difference.. That difference was already there and would have happened anyway if you think about it...

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  19. There is a picture of a monk's room towards the end at Fort Augustus abbey here -
    http://lochnessunderstood.com/ch19m3-8888b.html

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    1. Thanks for sharing that link 18:41

      It's a very sad but interesting account regarding the demise of the Abbey by the last bursar, Tony Harmsworth.

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  20. Pat, if I ever win the lottery, I promise that you will get at least 1 ensuite bedroom.

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  21. One of my children passed the 11 plus back in the 70’s so was accepted into a catholic grammar.i preferred to send her to our nearest catholic high school....a university education followed.




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    1. You knew your daughter. Horses for courses. Other parents may feel that their child would benefit more from a grammar school. Both decisions are fine. You made the right choice. (What I am saying is that if you even had to think about the decision following her exam result, then I would say the high school was the right place for her in your case..)

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    2. No I had thought about it years before, the taking of the exam was optional,but as her mates were doing it she did too.
      My reason was....I had been to a grammar, bus ride annoying, and I preferred my family to be in a local environment, have local friends and less travel.The education side of it was irrelevant, if children want to study, they will....but nothing compares to a good and secure family feeling for our young ones.

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    3. There are different ways to look at it though... Another parent might well think that getting to explore and know friends from outside your own cosy environment was part of the growing up and maturing process of and that it led to the confidence needed to go to university soon coming up afterwards. A day student always has plenty of home life anyway but without oversheltering.

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  22. It's not called Amplecash for nothing.

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  23. The painful, unalloyed truth is that in the developed world monasteries/convents/friaries have become residential/nursing homes. The post-Vatican II renewal decimated places such as Ampleforth. Yet tradition-focused houses such as this Benedictine friary in Co Meath have waiting lists. Wake up and smell the incense.

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  24. Here's the link https://www.cenacleosb.org/

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  25. Fort Augustus became apartments, as did the school buildings at Douai Abbey. It'll happen to them all.

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  26. When did Fr Brian Darcy's Passionists last have a novice? Or Fr Tony Flannery's Redemptorists, for that matter. And the Killala priest, for ever moaning, whose name escapes me. Was Killala's most recent ordination held in the 20th century?

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    1. There are six priests resident in The Graan - -Passionist monastery where Fr Brian D'Arcy USED to be. Catch up!

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    2. Hey 0:55, have you ever been to the Graan? The huge novitiate that had at least 50 bedrooms has been turned into a lay nursing home. The handful of remaining priests are knocking on a bit.

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    3. I live in Enniskillen.. on the road that leads out to the Graan. So yes, we go regularly.

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    4. Is Fr Darcy still driving a Merc? How are his elderly groupies in the Graan getting on without him. I went to a few of his Masses - it was all about him and there were hardly any under-50s present.

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    5. Why were you at Mass poster @18.22?(Clue :.. there should be four reasons, a fourfold answer then. Fr D'Arcy's car is not one of them as it's irrelevant)

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    6. Well said @ poster 23.53

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    7. Why is Fr D'Arcy's luxury motor irrelevant? He took a vow of poverty and the limo must have been paid for out of the widow's mite.

      Though he also took a vow of chastity but by his own account was constantly tempted by women.

      As if.

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    8. It is irrelevant to why you were at Mass.

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  27. Er, the Passionists had ordained a number of novices in recent years. (Gareth! Frankie!)

    They currently have a number of students.

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    1. Good man Magna! - That holy chocolate has done you a power of good. Order more!

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    2. Good man Magna! - That holy chocolate has done you a power of good. Order more!

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    3. How many ordinations and how many students do they have? They have a lot of houses to fill, some of them massive, such as Mount Argus.

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  28. Yes I met Gareth....Welsh I think.

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    1. Yes, Gareth is Welsh, from Merthyr Tydfil.

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  29. Just one or 2
    No different to any other order.
    Very few bothering with the priesthood anywhere in Ireland.

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  30. Was at mass in the graan on Sunday.
    Just about half of previous Sunday congregations.
    Fr Brian always gave lovely inspiring talks of a Sunday.He kept my faith alive.
    Let’s put it this way
    I dont think I will be back there.

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    1. Then your faith was already weak and dependent on other's opinions. Be your own person for Heaven's sake! Be stronger than that. Don't be so easily put off. Your faith should be something deep within and not subject to every wind that blows.

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    2. Exeunt the groupies. Point made. The sanctuary was a stage, the sacristy a green room. And there was Fr Victor, the camp priest who while celebrating Mass would pop over to the organ to play a hymn, chasuble and all, then return to the Mass.

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    3. I didn’t say my faith was weak, I said he kept my faith alive.
      I like to listen to inspirational talks and it was always a pleasure to travel there.
      You just sound like someone who is jealous of another’s popularity.


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    4. Try not to jump to conclusions..! You have no way of knowing whether another person is popular or not. (Or more significantly perhaps, whether or not popular opinion features highly on the list things which the poster thinks important... He/sounds much more grounded and confident than that)

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  31. There are hardly any under 50’s anywhere in our congregations.

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    1. Very true. The LMS Chairman blog discusses that.

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    2. I thought post-Vatican II it was a new Pentecost?

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    3. In our church, you just arrive and go straight to the pew of your choice. Nobody takes your age on the way in or out. I'd say most of us prefer it than way.

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    4. If you have eyesight you can tell if people are young or not. In every Catholic church I've been too it's mostly middle-aged and older women, and a few men. A handful of young families and then a whole missing generation (the 20s to the 40s) and no teenagers. The older people, together with the clergy and the schools have failed to pass on the Catholic faith.

      I also have been to Traditional Latin Masses where there were plenty of young people, and to Presbyterian congregations where the congregation is evenly balanced across all groups.

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    5. I have seen plenty of younger folk at our Saturday evening Vigil Mass and the whole folk group choir and musicians are youthful.
      The noon Sunday Mass has to have a creche facility in a side chapel. I am a very regular Mass goer but I cannot remember the last time I heard a priest say in a homily or a sermon that it was wrong to miss Mass.When I was a child it was regularly described as a "mortal sin". Are priests nowadays being trained or advised to no longer say that? I don't mind whether the answer is yes or no..It will make no difference to my attendance. I merely ask the question as everyone has gone quiet on the matter. Please enlighten us.

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  32. Compare and contrast Ampleforth or any other EBC house, with St Hugh's, Parkminster. The Carthusians are proper monks.

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    1. Travelling back from Brighton in the early 1990's I took a chance and called in at Parkminster. A lovely old lay brother was, to my surprise and delight, very happy to let me see the Chapel with it's depictions of reformation martyrs. Parkminster is indeed impressive and the carthusian life of the monks, a rarefied vocation though I imagine the lay brothers are more cenobitic. You wont regret taking a look at their website. https://www.parkminster.org.uk/site.php?use=default

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