Friday 25 May 2012

Diversity champions?

Trads beware!

If one sees this from Vatican II - where now?
The easy answer to the question ‘where now’ is ‘nowhere in particular’. The Ordinary Magisterium will continue slowly to rein in the power that the Bishops think that they have.
or perhaps this:
For many years now priests and others have attempted always to prove their Church "street cred" by referring back to the documents of the Council, as if someone is looking over their shoulder at all times and requiring that they do so to prove their loyalty to the "company program". I have never felt so free as a priest now that I no longer use the Council as a wall in the past [,] the immense and beckoning vista beyond which I cannot see.
Can one really blame the proponents of Ireland assembly of religious and laypeople calls for open church, re-evaluation?
"It's about looking to a new church where the voice of the faithful, the voice of the laity, is heard more clearly as the Second Vatican Council wanted to happen," O'Hanlon said.

Asked whether he thought the Vatican was willing to listen to the voices calling for change around the ordination of women and an end to mandatory celibacy, he said "without trying we'll never know."

He said the vision of Second Vatican Council had to be fully realized: "If you have co-responsibility, you have to have some power. You can't ask people to be responsible without power...."
Remember, the context of the Year of Faith called by Pope Benedict XVI is the anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. So, dear Trads, if you wish to abandon the Council as a reference point for the Catholic Church of the present times, please don't try and claim that to do so is in line with the project of Pope Benedict XVI. And don't, either, complain if those of a liberal inclination wish, at the same time, to disregard the Council while speaking in its name. If you want to be a champion of diversity ...

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Hail Mary and the Prayers of the Faithful

For some time now I have noticed that the "Hail Mary" has not been said as part of the Prayers of the Faithful in the parish where I generally attend Mass on Sunday. This has also been the case in other nearby parishes. Though no public promulgation of the change has been formulated, the lay faithful can definitely detect the effect of some "guidance" offered to their clergy on this matter.

Instead of the "Hail Mary", the last of the bidding prayers in my usual parish has been formulated along lines somewhat like these:
With the prayers of Mary, we place our own private intentions in silence before the Lord.
The absence of the "Hail Mary" has not meant an absence of a Marian character to the prayer. I have not had any issue with this, generally feeling that the new practise is more reflective of the idea that elements of devotional life should not be inserted/intruded into the Liturgy properly so-called. Marian character is profoundly Liturgical; the "Hail Mary" itself a devotional prayer.

The report on this matter at The Catholic Herald, however, indicates a slightly different take on the part of some when it quotes from a parish newsletter:
Parish priests in Bishop Conry’s diocese have asked those who prepare the bidding prayers to exclude the Hail Mary. “However, this should not in any way undermine the importance of devotion to Mary and we strongly encourage the use of Marian prayers in the home and other non-Eucharistic liturgies,” said the newsletter of the parish of the Nativity of the Lord in Redhill, Surrey.
The question here seems to be one of a separation of Marian devotion from Eucharistic devotion, and not one of the relation between Liturgy in its strict sense and devotions, the question that the Holy See seems to be raising if a later paragraph of The Catholic Herald report is correct .

Given the number of feasts of the Blessed Virgin that are celebrated in the Church's calendar with their proper Mass texts, and given that the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin contains 46 formularies for Masses in honour of Our Lady, it appears profoundly non-Liturgical to suggest that Marian prayers and devotions should be reserved only for "non-Eucharistic liturgies" (small "l" which I take to refer to what I would consider "devotions" outside of the Liturgy, capital "L", properly so called).

Quite the contrary. The Liturgy of the Eucharist has a profoundly Marian character to it, even when the Mass being celebrated is not one of a Marian feast or a votive Mass of Our Lady. And Eucharistic devotions - adoration, benediction - should also reflect that character.

Sunday 20 May 2012

World Communications Day 2012: Silence and Word

Pope Benedict XVI has written a message for the 2012 World Communications Day entitled Silence and Word: Path for Evangelisation.

The Daughters of St Paul have a particular mission to evangelising through the media, historically the print media, but nowadays the electronic means of communication too. My side bar has a link to an initiative of one of their sisters in the United States: Windows to the Soul Blog. Another of their sisters has written a reflection on silence to mark the World Communications Day: The Sounding Silence. I was particularly taken by this paragraph, referring to Pope Benedict's message (my emphasis added):
The Pope wrote exclusively about silence as it relates to interpersonal communication and the sharing of “advice, ideas, information, and answers,” especially with respect to evangelization. He could just as easily have included entertainment. In fact, entertainment now constitutes one of the most frequent uses of media overall. One source claims that 100 million video clips are viewed on YouTube every day. Can we abstain here and there? We seem to guzzle much of what comes our way: food, commodities, sexual and social interaction, and media. Even naturally speaking, occasional abstinence from these sharpens the appetite, refines sensibilities, and increases pleasure. Chronic and indiscriminate indulgence, instead, dulls them and increases the risk of dependence. I was intrigued by the number of my Facebook “friends” who gave up the networking site for Lent. I would be interested in what they thought of their experience. Mere abstinence doesn’t bring us closer to the Lord, but when this “silence” is filled with the Word of God in one way or another, it can prepare us to search for God in our media experiences and integrate them with Gospel values.
The last paragraph of this post suggests that we take a moment each day to stop and listen to the sounds of the world around us.  On those unusual occasions when I travel on a train during rush hour as people are travelling too and from work, I am always stunned by how inattentive many are to their surroundings, to the people and environment around them. The earphones and the iphones rule.

The slide show at this page usefully explores some of the ideas associated with this theme. Some of the slides strike a particular chord with someone whose working life involves responding to the situations of colleagues or to consultations about changes taking place in the workplace. "In the practice of silence we avoid being tied to our own untested point of view". If a trade union representative fires off before they have fully understood a situation they can all too easily make a situation worse and render themselves ineffective in contributing to resolving it. "... silence is essential for discernment in order to distinguish what is important from what is insignificant or secondary". That, again, is an important skill in trade union work - seeing what really matters in a situation, and focussing on responding to that. And a slide that kind of sums up its relevance to my line of work: "In silence, we gain clarity and understanding of: what we want to say, what we expect of others; how we choose to express ourselves".

These considerations are evangelising, and people do notice when you put them into practice. I have in a past role (not a trade union one, as it happens, but one that did involve quite high powered meetings) been complimented by officers involved on being someone who asked good questions. And only this week a colleague commented on my more thoughtful approach to things in comparison to others. And that is effective communication.

Saturday 19 May 2012

ACN: Night of Witness

I had hoped to take part in this event, but in the end did not make it.

Auntie Joanna's report is here: A stunning ....

Aid to the Church in Need's own report is here: UNITED KINGDOM: Night of Witness is a night to remember.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Archbishop Nichols: Faith finding a Voice

Faith finding a Voice is the title of a lecture given by Archbishop Vincent Nichols on 15th May 2012. A report can be found here, and there is a link to the full text of the lecture at the foot of that report. It is a lecture that is worth reading as a whole, so I would encourage you to do that.

In the opening paragraphs, Archbishop Nichols reflects on the words of St Augustine with regard to St John the Baptist:
'John is the voice, but the Lord in the beginning was the Word. John is a voice for a time but Christ is the eternal Word from the beginning.' (eg Sermon 293 cf Office of Readings for Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist.)
Applying this to Christians today, Archbishop Nichols suggests that we should recognise that, though we are a voice today and there as a legitimate creativity that belongs to that, the One of whom we speak is the Word for eternity, and our proper attitude to that is faithfulness. He summarises:
Faithfulness to what is given is a key and essential quality of the way in which the great mystery of faith finds fresh expression. And we have clear ways of understanding that faithfulness: it is a faithfulness to Jesus, the Word of God, as expressed in the Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church and safeguarded by its Teaching role, or Magisterium.  
There is much contained within that last sentence which I cannot explore now. But its meaning is not a prison, even though some would wish to suggest it is. Fidelity to a gift - whether the love of one's beloved or to the gift of how the Holy Spirit works within the Church - is not a prison, not an impeding of freedom. Rather it is a form, a shape, the result of a decision, through which freedom is tutored to explore ever more deeply that which it has accepted as lovely, true and beautiful. It is the harness of love which holds us to the task and guides us, often against our more wayward instincts, more deeply into the gift we have received. 
From this flows a second and crucially important point, already implicit in what I have said so far: the voice has to be for today if it is to be a true service of the Word. Replaying the voice of yesterday will not be enough, even if a yearning for the familiar, or even a nostalgia for the past are frequently at play within us. In order to fashion a voice for today one thing is necessary: an attentive listening to the heartbeat of the age of which we are a part. In the language of the Church this is to say that dialogue is the essential partner of proclamation.
"..the voice has to be for today ..". It is not enough to be obedient to the Magisterium, and to make great public play of that. That is why I have never felt this strapline
Contributors are loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and to Pope Benedict XVI and his liturgical reforms.
has much to recommend it. I think I would "enter into dialogue", as one might say, with Archbishop Nichols account of the nature of dialogue as "attentive listening". I suspect that there is a fuller account of the nature of dialogue to be found among the documents of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. Archbishop Nichols account of the pathway of beauty, the pathway of goodness and the pathway of truth that then forms the main part of his lecture is worth reading. It provides very practical and useful suggestions for what ordinary Catholics might do to be a voice for their faith in the places where they find themselves, in their places of work etc. We can often underestimate how it is the rather ordinary in the place where we happen to be which constitutes the part we are called to play.

From this part of the lecture, I was particularly struck by what Archbishop Nichols had to say about prayer. I do not read the tabloid newspaper, and I do not see television, so the willingness of the media to talk about prayer during the time that Fabrice Muamba spent in hospital to some extent passed me by. The italics added are mine, and highlight a part that particularly struck me and which I think expresses neatly the idea that our voice needs to be a voice for the circumstances and the place in which we find ourselves:
Christian prayer is an explicit statement about the existence of God, about the gift of the Incarnate Word in Jesus Christ, and about how we live our lives in God's presence every moment, every day.

There is a great openness in much of society to the reality of prayer. It may not be fully understanding of all that is involved, it may be an unformed instinct, but there is an awareness of the reality which prayer touches. Think of the example of Fabrice Muamba, the young footballer who suffered heart failure on the pitch. There was a huge appeal for prayer. Newspapers had headlines such as 'God is in charge.' The young man and his family have never ceased to speak about the importance of prayer alongside deep appreciation of the dedication and skill of the medical professionals. In a recent interview he spoke of waking up to find his family around the bed saying psalms for his recovery. 'They were praying so loud', he laughed. 'No one could sleep through that!' Also, at a time when there is often controversy about the place of religious belief in the work place, his fiancé spoke so gratefully of 'a young African cleaner in the hospital who would come into the room every day to pray silently in the corner.' She gives us all good example not only of the importance of prayer, but also of the importance of respecting the circumstances and the needs of each particular situation. Prayer is not to be imposed.

In my experience, no one has ever rejected me when I have offered to include them in my prayers, particularly when they have told me of something burdening or troubling them. Sometimes people ask for our prayers. That is an important sign. We should be ready to offer, sensitively and even a little diffidently, to pray for others. To make such an offer is a simple, everyday way in which faith finds a voice in our lives and its truths are proclaimed. Its fruit is clear. Fabrice Muamba states it clearly. He said, and it was a newspaper headline: 'If God is with me then who can be against me?'
 H/T Independent Catholic News.

Reality gap

Does Cardinal Ranjith really think that French integrism is an appropriate contibution to the formation of the clergy of an archdiocese in Sri Lanka?

The most recent development in the discussions between the Sacred Congregation for Doctrine and the Society of St Pius X, or, as it now appears, between the Sacred Congregation for Doctrine and the separate and individual bishops of said society, indicates a need for a certain caution.

It really does not seem wise for those with a hankering after the positions that the Society of St Pius X has held over the years to assume that reconciliation will be in effect a legitimisation for the rest of the Church of the positions, or perhaps just some of the positions, held by that Society to date.

And, as a priestly society, would it in any situation be the best Society to use for training priests for diocesan ministry?

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Questions about the Ordinariate

Some time ago I commented that it is not appropriate to visit upon the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (or any other Ordinariate for former Anglicans for that matter) agendas that do not belong. So, for example, the line that uses the penury of the Ordinariate to berate the Bishops of England and Wales for their so-called attempts to undermine Pope Benedict's wishes with regard to the Ordinariate; and the line that sees Ordinariate clergy as "stop gaps" to plug vacancies left by the lack of vocations in Dioceses; or the inverse that makes great play of criticising the collaboration of Ordinariate priests with the pastoral work of Dioceses emphasising instead a different mission for them in the Church.

There are two related aspects to the life of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham that I do not quite understand. The first is what might be called the "choreography" around Anglican clergy and their (relatively few) lay faithful who cease to celebrate/attend in the Church of England at the beginning of Lent, with a view to being received into the Catholic Church at Holy Week or Easter. What exactly do they think their Anglican priesthood is about on that last Sunday that they celebrate in the Church of England, usually having had it already announced that it will be their last celebration before a move to the Roman Catholic parish nearby? A letter from Rev Norman Wallwork in The Times a few weeks ago referred to the former Anglican priests being "re-ordained" in the Ordinariate, giving the impression that this was a term being used by the Roman Catholic Church in this regard (it isn't - so far as I can see, this term is never used in Anglicanorum Coetibus or in the Complementary Norms) and seeing in it a recognition by the Roman Catholic Church of a legitimacy in Anglican orders.  A part of the idea underlying the Ordinariate is that those Anglicans who are recieved into the Ordinariate can preserve that which is of value in their Anglican practice and belief ("Anglican patrimony") as they become Roman Catholics. But, at the level of the experience of the individual Anglican priest being received into the Ordinariate, what does this mean with regard to the way in which they see their Anglican priesthood?

I think it is fair to say that the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is in need of more money than it has available to it, and that this gives rise to calls for financial generosity towards it by other Catholics. As it is developing, it seems to me to be presenting for ordination more priests (many more) than the pastoral care of its own faithful requires. In the phase of establishing the Ordinariate, and given that it is of the nature of the situation that many of the converts being recieved in the Ordinariate will be former Anglican clergy, there is an extent to which this can be understood. It also makes the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus and the Complementary Norms with regard to the collaboration of Ordinariate clergy with the pastoral work of their local Diocese something intrinsic to the situation rather than something accidental to it. This is the second aspect of the life of the Ordinariate that I feel I do not quite understand. In this situation, should there not be a preference for ordaining those former Anglican clergy who are not married, so that the law of celibacy is promoted, and fewer are ordained, contributing at least something towards financial stability for the Ordinariate?

A relation exists between these two questions, since both touch on the question of how the  priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church is experienced in relation to that previously experienced as an Anglican priest.

As a postscript: if the Ordinariate is to be seen as in some way a "new ecclesial movement" with a particular mission of evangelisation in the Catholic Church and in the world ... Many of the new movements have the juridical status of a Private Association of the Faithful, not of an Ordinariate. It is interesting in the present circumstances of the Ordinariate, with its quite disproportionate numbers of clergy compared to lay faithful (60 clergy to 1200 laity), to wonder whether Canon Law does offer another juridical status that would have been more appropriate than that of an Ordinariate.

Saturday 12 May 2012

Dialogue or Communion?

The placing of the words "dialogue" and "communion" in opposition to each other, as suggested by the title of this post, is, when those words are properly understood, a nonsense. Dialogue, correctly understood, is at the service of communion, correctly understood; and this is true at the level of ordinary human relations and it is true at the theological level of relationships in the Church.

The word "dialogue" can be easily transferred from its context of dialogue between the Church and the modern world, between the Church and other believers, to a context of "dialogue within the Church". The former might be defined after the manner of this paragraph from Vatican II's  Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes (n.10), which comes at the end of the Constitution's introductory survey of the situation of man in the modern world, (I have added italics to focus on where this passage suggests a definition of dialogue, though it cannot be removed from the context of the whole paragraph):
The Church firmly believes that Christ, who died and was raised up for all, can through His Spirit offer man the light and the strength to measure up to his supreme destiny. Nor has any other name under the heaven been given to man by which it is fitting for him to be saved. She likewise holds that in her most benign Lord and Master can be found the key, the focal point and the goal of man, as well as of all human history. The Church also maintains that beneath all changes there are many realities which do not change and which have their ultimate foundation in Christ, Who is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever. Hence under the light of Christ, the image of the unseen God, the firstborn of every creature, the council wishes to speak to all men in order to shed light on the mystery of man and to cooperate in finding the solution to the outstanding problems of our time.
And for the latter we might turn to Pope Paul VI's call, in his first Encyclical written at the time of the Second Vatican Council, for the Church to come to a deeper self-knowledge. This passage is from the Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam n.9, and represents the first of three priorities that Paul VI identified for his Pontificate (the pontifical "We" seems rather anachronistic to a generation used to its not being used by more recent incumbents):
...We are convinced that the Church must look with penetrating eyes within itself, ponder the mystery of its own being, and draw enlightenment and inspiration from a deeper scrutiny of the doctrine of its own origin, nature, mission, and destiny. The doctrine is already known; it has been developed and popularized in the course of this century. But it can never claim to be sufficiently investigated and understood, for it contains "the publication of a mystery, kept hidden from the beginning of time in the all-creating mind of God . . . in order that it may be known . . . through the Church." It is a storehouse of God's hidden counsels which the Church must bring to light. It is a doctrine which more than any other is arousing the expectation and attention of every faithful follower of Christ, and especially of men like us, Venerable Brethren, whom "the Holy Spirit has appointed to rule the very Church of God."
Vatican II's Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, contains the following paragraph (n.23) that can be seen as a summary of the practical, visible meaning of communion in the Church. It should be fully understood by reading other passages of Lumen Gentium about the sharing of the lay faithful in the priesthood of the Church and the collaboration that should exist between a bishop and his co-workers, his priests and deacons. One should use the word "collegiality" in the sense expressed here, and not in a democratic sense.
This collegial union is apparent also in the mutual relations of the individual bishops with particular churches and with the universal Church. The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity of both the bishops and of the faithful. The individual bishops, however, are the visible principle and foundation of unity in their particular churches,  fashioned after the model of the universal Church, in and from which churches comes into being the one and only Catholic Church. For this reason the individual bishops represent each his own church, but all of them together and with the Pope represent the entire Church in the bond of peace, love and unity.
For the priest, deacon, religious or member of the lay faithful this has a very practical import. Communion in the Church is achieved by communion with the local Bishop, whose communion with the Holy See then assures communion with the universal Church. In many cases, this communion with the local Bishop is mediated through an affiliation with a particular community, namely a parish.

It is important to analyse the statement from the recent meeting in Ireland "Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church" in the light of these understandings of dialogue and communion:
“Over 1000 people, representative of a broad range of opinions in the Catholic Church, gathered today at a meeting called by the Association of Catholic Priests. The meeting agreed on the need to recapture as a matter of urgency the reforming vision of the Second Vatican Council.

The meeting called for a organised dialogue in the Irish Church, a dialogue that would work towards establishing appropriate structures that would reflect the participation of all the baptised. This dialogue should take place at parish, diocesan and national levels, and should address all issues facing our people at this time of crisis. We call on all who are concerned with the future of our Church, including our Church leaders, to participate in this dialogue.

Despite all the difficulties, despite the fear, today was a real experience of hope and of the presence of the Spirit among us all.”
[See also Fr Hoban's reflection on the day here.]

Absent the idea of dialogue as a deeper study of the doctrine of the nature of the Church as suggested by Pope Paul VI. Absent any reference to the structures of communion as taught by Lumen Gentium. In other words, absent the genuine understanding of the "reforming vision of the Second Vatican Council".  The reference to dialogue at parish, diocesan and national levels seems deliberately aimed at undermining the structures of diocesan communion, and replacing them with an alternative set of structures, topped by a "national assembly".  The office of the Bishop, who represents his local Church according to the teaching of the Council, is reduced to that of "Church leader" and replaced by a kind of alternative authority in the to be established new structures.

Or, if one is to use the words in their wrong senses, it really is a question of "dialogue" or "communion", but not both.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

A different Ireland

As things have worked out, I will not be in Dublin for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress. But at a time when Ireland and Catholicism means Cardinal Sean Brady (here)and the Association of Catholic Priests of Ireland (here and here... but beware that call for "dialogue" which intends a very particular outcome) ....

If you explore the programme for the International Eucharistic Congress, I think you might find a different Ireland: here. Look out for the extent of the involvement of Focolare, Emanuel Community, Youth 2000 ....

Sunday 6 May 2012

"Distress" and the new English translation

The liturgical texts for the Feast of the English Martyrs (4th May) brought to my attention an interesting juxtaposition of uses of the word "distress".

The Entrance Antiphon, taken from the Common of Several Martyrs for Eastertide, was given as being Rev. 7:13-14:
These who are clothed in the white robes are they who have survived the time of great distress and have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, alleluia.
The Scriptural reference is clearly to times of persecution and martyrdom, and the word distress used in the antiphon might more usually be recognised as being translated as persecution.

The prayer said by the priest at Mass immediately after the Our Father also includes the word distress, that word in the new translation replacing the word anxiety in the previous translation:
Deliver us, Lord we pray, from every evil
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour Jesus, Christ.
The resource Become One Body One Spirit in Christ points out that the last two lines of this prayer are a quotation from St Paul's letter to Titus (Titus 2:13), and only comments generally on a wider sense that the word distress has compared to the previously used word anxiety.

I have not been able to verify textually whether or not the use of the word distress in this prayer of the Communion Rite at Mass is a really intended reference to martyrdom (and therefore the intercession for "peace in our days" a specific prayer that the Church might live in peace and not just a prayer for peace in general). It might just be an accident of translation. The more knowledgeable might like to enlighten me via the comments box.

But if we grant that it is a reference to martrydom, its location in the Communion Rite where we approach a most intimate moment of union with God and our fellow believers is interesting. The following passage from the encyclical Ut Unum Sint n.84 offers an insight into the relation of distress to communion:
In a theocentric vision, we Christians already have a common Martyrology. This also includes the martyrs of our own century, more numerous than one might think, and it shows how, at a profound level, God preserves communion among the baptized in the supreme demand of faith, manifested in the sacrifice of life itself. The fact that one can die for the faith shows that other demands of the faith can also be met. I have already remarked, and with deep joy, how an imperfect but real communion is preserved and is growing at many levels of ecclesial life. I now add that this communion is already perfect in what we all consider the highest point of the life of grace, martyria unto death, the truest communion possible with Christ who shed his Blood, and by that sacrifice brings near those who once were far off (cf. Eph 2:13).

Saturday 5 May 2012

Innkeeper of Cuerden (d.1761)

Joseph Holland, innkeeper of Cuerden.

Buried 4/4/1761 at Leyland Parish Church.

Deed of 1756 describes him as Innkeeper of Cuerden, late of Preston. This deed also mentions a deed of 1742 when he bought land in Cuerden.

Deed of 1748: Thomas Woodcock Gentleman of Woodcock Hall, Cuerden, buys a cottage in Cuerden on the west side of the King's Highway from Wigan to Preston in trust for Joseph Holland, Innkeeper of Cuerden. The Inn was situated on the east side of the King's Highway from Wigan to Preston.

Will dated 31/3/1761 and proved 29/1/1766. Leaves everything to Elizabeth his wife during her natural life so long as she continue in her chaste widowhood. After her death or on her marriage to be divided equally among his children share and share alike after all just debts and funeral expenses be paid.

Elizabeth (Holland)

Born c. 1707.

Buried 22/10/1787 at Leyland Parish Church.

Papist List 1767 describes her as widow aged 60 who has resided in Leyland parish for 20 years (Cuerden).

Deed dated 20/11/1787 describes her as deceased late in the possession of a cottage on the west side of the King's highway leading from Wigan to Preston and half a rood of land situated in Cuerden.

Historical Note

Papists (ie Roman Catholics) were penalised at this time in not being able to convey land and property. This seems to have been overcome by employing trustees who were willing to have the conveyances in their name in trust for the heirs and assigns of the papists concerned. Some deeds were enrolled invoking double land taxes.

Cuerden was located just to the south of Preston. It is now apparent in one or two road names (Cuerden Way) on the southern edge of Preston.

All Joseph's children could write. Elisabeth, his wife, used her mark "X" to sign all deeds.

Papist lists recorded the names of Roman Catholics who, at one time, would have paid fines rather than attend Church of England services. As in the case of Joseph Holland, other penalties applied, too.

My mother's maiden name was Holland, and, on her side of our family, we trace back to Joseph Holland. Catholic all the way. It gives the Feast of the English Martyrs that we celebrated yesterday a quite personal resonance. I enjoy, from time to time, confusing people by describing myself as a "papist" in recognition of my family history.