Our Lady, Destroyer of all Heresies
Well, what can you say? Except thank God for Fr. Marcus Holden! This should really go around the world so that everyone knows the faith is still strong in England, thanks to priests like Fr. Marcus.
Fr Marcus Holden is a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark. He was ordained in 2005 after six years of seminary at the Venerable English College in Rome. He became parish priest of Ramsgate and Minster in 2010 after serving as assistant priest in Balham (2005-2008) and Royal Tunbridge Wells (2008-2010). He holds several academic degrees in theology including a Masters from Oxford University and a Licentiate from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Among his many publications are the Evangelium Course and the Saints of the English Calendar. He is co-founder of the Evangelium Project and the British Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and regularly works with the media on behalf of the Catholic Church and in the production of documentary films on faith and religion. He is a popular speaker and lecturers at the Maryvale Institute in the MA Apologetics course.
The sermon he delivers in the video below is at Westminster Cathedral for the A Day With Mary (DWM) Apostolate which organises days of prayer open to everyone. These are held in a Catholic church or shrine and emphasise worship of the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to Our Lady.
In his homily, Fr. Marcus presents a clear overview of the history of the faith, hi-lighting the way in which Mary safeguards orthodoxy and confirms doctrine. It is stirring stuff rarely heard from the pulpit these days it has to said. Fr. Marcus certainly has a gift for explaining complex theological ideas very clearly.
Solid food indeed. Enjoy!!
Deacon Nick Donnelly has this account of the day on his blog:
Day with Mary at Westminster Cathedral.
Having got up at 6.30 (which is painful for us oldies) we arrived rather late, after ten, to find it had already started with the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate singing the Litany of Loreto in Latin.
At 10.30 there was the normal Sung Mass, but unusually for Saturdays it was in Latin with an excellent sermon by Father John Ablewhite on the Conversion of St Paul. The sisters then led us through the five joyful mysteries. By this time the Cathedral was packed with an estimated 2,000 people – about 80% full and with a very large proportion from ethnic communities.
There were seven priests hearing confessions and yet I had to queue for about an hour leaning against a pillar and being able to survey the whole congregation. What struck me was the devotion of the congregation and their familiarity and ease with Latin. At lunch I discovered that the Day with Mary organisation is a separate autonomous movement and that the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate are mandated to assist them which they do in providing half a dozen or so sisters to help on these days.
After the lunch break there was Exposition and a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament round the Cathedral – accompanied by some Latin and some English hymns and prayers. We then had a marvellous talk by Father Marcus Holden on Our Lady as Guardian of Doctrine. He explained how Our Lady’s role was essential in defining Jesus Christ as having two natures in one person thus contradicting gnosticism and other heresies at the time of the early Church. He went on to say that it is necessary to accept all the Doctrines of the Church and he specifically mentioned Humanae Vitae – cafeteria catholicism or picking and choosing was simply anathema. Our Lady crushes the serpent of heresy. He recommended that in these difficult times we should remember the slogan “KEEP CALM AND SAY THE ROSARY”. He finished by going through the Creed and asking us to assent to each part which the congregation did with gusto. Here was a priest who should be made a Bishop at the earliest opportunity.
Then we had the five Glorious Mysteries, an Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary followed by Benediction. Lastly the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was processed down the main aisle and out into the Piazza and Victoria Street while the congregation sang the traditional Fatima hymn of farewell waving white handkerchiefs. I trust passersby were suitably intrigued!
Talking to one of the Sisters and a Friar of the Immaculate afterwards they are obviously dismayed and suffering at what is happening back in Italy but they put their complete trust in Our Lady. I see their persecution as beating them into the steel we need! Pray for them. One of those whom I have met before – Sister Consolatrice – an American – has now left to join the contemplative part of the Order in Italy.
My wife and I are always inspired and lifted up by these Days with Mary. But why are there are not more indigeneous English Catholics attending them? Have they all been seduced by the likes of ACTA into becoming modernists? Are these ethnic communities who seem conversant with Latin and traditional catechetics the mustard seed of the future Church in this country? They turn out every Saturday – next week it is Clapton, then New Malden, then Blackfen (Father Tim Finigan’s parish), then Tottenham, Ponders End, Newbury Park, Muswell Hill, Acton, Roehampton and on and on throughout the year. Father Holden said they would be with him in Ramsgate in May although he doubted whether he could accommodate so many!
There have been calls on this blog to set up an organisation to counteract the likes of ACTA. It seems to me that the Day with Mary organisation fits the bill; we need to support it and see what developments can grow out of it.
Further details can be found at: http://www.adaywithmary.org/