Catholic Life

Success for training conference at Downside

The Latin Mass Society, with Bishop Schneider in the centre, gathers for its Downside conference

The Latin Mass Society’s residential training conference for priests wishing to learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) held at Downside Abbey, Somerset, from Tuesday August 10 to Friday August 13, was a great success.

The highlight was the Solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated at the Faldstool by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Karaganda in Kazakhstan on the Thursday. Fr Andrew Southwell, LMS national chaplain, and Rev Matthew McCarthy FSSP were deacon and sub-deacon, with Canon Marcus Kunkel ICKSP as assistant priest. There were over 30 priests in choir and a congregation of more than 100.

During the conference 20 priests received intensive tuition in the celebration of the usus antiquior and 11 laymen were instructed in serving the Mass.

Bishop Schneider gave a well-received keynote lecture on the priest as “Eucharistic man” and was also the main speaker at the closing conference dinner. His book, Dominus Est, which advocates receiving Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling, has attracted worldwide attention. The conference included daily Sung Mass, Lauds and either Vespers or Compline in the evening; there was Benediction after Vespers.

Fr Ray Blake, who attended the conference, said: “Downside was a tremendous experience. Most of all I enjoyed the sense of fraternity amongst the priests, the solidarity, the sharing of our love for Holy Mother Church and her liturgy.”