Monday, 16 October 2017

Extra Details for the YCA Douai Weekend 2017

On Arrival

Please report to Douai Abbey reception and from there you will be able to get your key (or be directed to the cottages). For those arriving on Friday 20th, the time of arrival is from 5-6pm onwards. The address for the Abbey is
:- Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 5TQ, England.  RG7 5TQ. The weekend ends at 2pm after lunch on Sunday 22nd.

Please Note

Some of the rooms in the Guest House have been let out to the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge; they will be helping to make the weekend a success– (providing Gregorian Chant Workshops and the singing at Masses/Vesper/Compline).

Feel free to take photos/make recordings (audio/video) including at the Masses and Marian Procession, please  email them to either or after the weekend.
An amount of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks and nibbles will be available for at the socials. Please feel free to bring your own drinks/snacks as well.

If anyone has any dietary requirements, please email or
This will be available at the weekend and will appear at:- in the next few days.
There is ample parking available at the Abbey.
The Guest House
Soap and towels are provided.
The Cottages
The Abbey supply each resident of the cottages with linen viz: a towel, 2 pillow cases, a duvet and duvet cover, and also a sheet. However, if anyone wants to bring their own linen, they get a 20% reduction on the per person per night charge. They do not supply soap. For those who are self- catering there is a fully equipped kitchen located in the cottages.


If you would like to have a lift from the train station (lifts are available this year between the times of 5-6pm on Friday and after 2pm on Sunday) , please contact Damian on 07908 105787 a couple of days before the weekend with your estimated time of arrival:- there may be a delay in picking you up depending on available cars. Alternatively, the following taxi services are available:-
24 7 Taxi Services
Park La, Thatcham
RG18 3PJ
T 01635 868781

A 2 B Taxi Co
46 Ullswater Close, Thatcham
RG19 3UJ
T 01635 877777
A N D Cars
2 Victor Rd, Thatcham
RG19 4LX
T 01635 877555


Please note that trains run from Midgham Station (the station is 10 mins away from Douai Abbey, station is called MIDGHAM, but it is actually in Woolhampton village,) on Sundays as well Sat-Monday. Trains run from London Paddington, Reading & Newbury. It's about 40 minutes from London Paddington.


Douai Abbey is situated 1 mile north of the A4 about half way between Reading and Newbury in Berkshire.

The turn off the A4 is about 6 miles from M4 Junction 12.

By rail the nearest station is called MIDGHAM, but it is actually in Woolhampton village.

To Walk

You will need to leave the station and head towards the centre of Woolhampton village, when you reach the main road, turn left and walk c. 50 yards until you reach the "The Falmouth Arms"; turn right here, then walk up WOOLHAMPTON HILL which is then signposted to Douai Abbey. Pass Elstree School (right) and St Peter's Church (right) and on up to a T-junction. Turn left past the Thatched Cottage (on left), and then after 800 yards is the DOUAI ABBEY Entrance. It takes about 15 mins to walk from the station.


By Car

From Reading on the A4:

At roundabout after dual carriageway, continue on A4 towards Newbury for half a mile.
Turn right at sign to Douai Abbey (picture) up CODS HILL, pass Sports Ground on left.
Pass Thatched Cottage (on left), after 100 metres pass St Mary's Church (on right).
DOUAI ABBEY Entrance is a further 100 metres on the right.
After turning in, fork right for RECEPTION or left for PARKING.

From Newbury on the A4:

At Woolhampton village, on the left is "The Falmouth Arms", very prominent.
Turn left here, up WOOLHAMPTON HILL which is signposted to Douai Abbey (picture).
Pass Elstree School (right) and St Peter's Church (right) and on up to a T-junction.
Turn left past the Thatched Cottage (on left), and in 200 metres is the DOUAI ABBEY Entrance.
After turning in, fork right for RECEPTION or left for PARKING.

Many thanks,

Damian Co-ordinator Young Catholic Adults.

Friday, 13 October 2017

A Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary of all connected to Young Catholic Adults


A Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary of all connected to Young Catholic Adults:-

Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate  all connected to the Young Catholic Adults association to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.

Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.

O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.

We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.


Thursday, 12 October 2017

100 Years from the Miracle of the Sun - When Athiests were Converted on the Spot

A Photograph Taken During the Miracle of the Sun in 1917
Tomorrow, on October 13th 1917, the greatest miracle of modern times took place at Fatima in Portugal, 70,000 people saw the "Miracle of the Sun." It was so incredible, even athiests could not deny it. The secular Lisbon paper O Dia, indicates:

"The silver sun … was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds. A cry went up from every mouth and the people fell on their knees on the muddy ground. … The light turned a beautiful blue as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands. The blue faded slowly and then the light seemed to pass through yellow glass. … People wept and prayed with uncovered heads in the presence of the miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they."

Donel Foley has an excellent detailed article on this miracle at the Catholic Herald, see:-

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Draft Timetable for Young Catholic Adults Douai Weekend 20-22nd Oct 2017

 Theme: Building small, more convinced communities (Pope Benedict XVI)

Timetable for Young Catholic Adults
 Douai Weekend 20-22nd Oct 2017
5-6pm Arrival
7pm Supper
8pm-8.30pm Rosary (church) or Chant Workshop (conference room)
8:40 Sung Compline after Workshop (Dominican Rite)
9pm: Social

8-9am Breakfast
9-9:40am - Chant Workshop (conference room) followed by Schola rehearsal (church)
11am: Votive High Mass of the Douai Martyrs (with exposition of relics of the Douai Martyrs) -  Roman Rite in the Parish Church ( EF Gregorian Chant ) preceded by confessions
12.00pm: Marian Procession in honour of Our Lady of Fatima around the extensive grounds  of Douai Abbey, followed by enrolment into the Brown Scapular
1-2pm: Lunch
2-2.45pm: 1st Talk – Canon Poucin – the community of the Institute of Christ the King (tbc)
3-4pm: Chant workshop
[4-4.30pm: Chant rehearsal for Schola Gregoriana]
4.30-5.15pm 2rd Talk – Fr. Lew  “The
Angelic Warfare Confraternity
5:15-6pm: Free time
6-6.30pm: Vespers (Dominican Rite)
7pm-7:40pm Supper
7.45-8:30pm: Rosary, Adoration and Confessions
8.30pm: Social

8-9am Breakfast
9am-9:45am: Schola Gregoriana workshop (conference room)
10:30am: Sung Mass – 20th Sunday after Pentecost - Dominican Rite in the Parish Church 
( EF Gregorian Chant)
11:30pm: Rosary
12-12:45-3rd Talk – “Building a Greater Knowledge of the Mass – the Canon”
1pm: Lunch

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Monks that Protestantism Couldn't Break

St. Alban Roe

From the Catholic Herald article authored by James Kelly:-

To the Protestant establishment’s fury, exiled Benedictines kept popping up at crucial moments in history

"A strange sight greeted those assembled at Tyburn one January morning in 1601. The executions of two Catholic priests – Mark Barkworth and the Jesuit, Roger Filcock – and one Catholic lay woman, Anne Line, were set to provide the day’s spectacle.

First to be hanged was Anne Line, who had been sentenced to death for assisting Catholic clergy. Having watched her fate, Barkworth stepped forward, fully conscious of the butchery that awaited him for the treason of having been ordained a Catholic priest in mainland Europe.

However, the gathered throng must have been momentarily taken aback, for Barkworth had somehow procured a Benedictine habit and was tonsured. Such an attire had not been worn in England since before Elizabeth I had ascended the throne more than 40 years earlier but there, before the mob, stood a Benedictine monk.

Any hesitation caused by such a spectacle was not enough to save Barkworth – in fact, some cruel wretch even shouldered the monk’s body weight during his hanging to ensure that he was fully conscious for the subsequent drawing and quartering. Yet Barkworth’s death marked the start of an English Benedictine presence that remains to this day.

Barkworth himself had been trained as a priest at the English College, Valladolid, but, on his way to England as a missionary, he had been received as a novice at the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria in Irache, and was told he would die a martyr, in the Benedictine habit. Many of the first wave of Englishmen to become Benedictines after the Reformation similarly entered the religious life in Spain, while another sizeable body entered the Cassinese congregation in Italy...But nor were they solely about the new: they also tracked down the last surviving monk of Westminster Abbey. By the start of the 17th century, the infirm Sigebert Buckley lived under a form of house arrest. In 1607, he aggregated two of the new monks to him, thereby ensuring the continuity of the English Benedictines from the medieval period. As the new monastic movement grew and the monks re-founded the English Benedictine Congregation in 1619, this symbolic act took on greater significance.
It meant that the English Benedictines of the 17th century could lay claim to the old monastic properties which the Order had once enjoyed. As such, the English Benedictines throughout the period elected priors of, for example, Durham, Canterbury and Ely cathedrals, ready for the moment when England – as they believed, inevitably – returned to the Catholic faith.

This did not stop the monks forming new houses in exile, three of which remain to this day. St Gregory’s, founded at Douai in northern France in 1606, is now better known as Downside Abbey; St Laurence’s, founded in the town of Dieulouard in Lorraine in 1608, is now Ampleforth Abbey; St Edmund’s, Paris, founded in 1616, is now settled at Woolhampton, Berkshire, as Douai Abbey."

For the full article see:-

Monday, 2 October 2017

Who were the Douai Martyrs

Who were the Douai Martyrs? The blog tells us more:-

The Martyrs of Douai, 1577-1680
In the Archdiocese of Westminster in London, today is the feast of the Martyrs of Douai College which was transplanted from the Spanish Netherlands to London:

The English College at Douai was established by William Allen, later Cardinal, on Michaelmas Day, 29th September, 1568. It offered an opportunity to form clergy for England in accordance with the system laid down by the Council of Trent. 

Originally it was intended as a college home for exiles from England, a place where they could continue their studies in a way no longer possible for Catholics at the English Universities. In time Allen recognised its potential as a place for training clergy ready for the return to England when 'the new religion' had run its course. The new priests, however, proved unwilling to wait for that event and quickly Douai College found itself dedicated very largely to the training of missionary priests.

Between 1577, the date of the martyrdom of St Cuthbert Mayne, the college's protomartyr, and 1680, the date of the execution of Thomas Thwing, the college's last martyr, one hundred and fifty eight college members, priests and layman, secular and religious, met with a martyr's death.

The College was suppressed in 1793, and the collegians imprisoned for thirteen months at Doullens, Picardy. They were released in November 1794, returning to Douai for only a few months before obtaining permission to return to England. They found their first refuge at Old Hall Green, Ware, and dedicated the new work of the college to St Edmund of Canterbury on his feast day, November 16th, 1794.

The webpage lists the martyrs by year--the class of 1588 was the largest: Nicholas Garlick, Robert Ludlam, Richard Sympson, William Dean, William Gunter, Robert Morton, Hugh More, Thomas Holford, James Claxton, Thomas Felton, Robert Wilcox, Edward Campion, Christopher Buxton, Ralph Crocket, Edward James, John Robinson, William Hartley, John Hewett, and Robert Leigh.

The bookends (just to switch metaphors) are St. Cuthbert Mayne and St. Thomas Thwing:

St. Cuthbert Mayne was the first Englishman prepared for the priesthood at Douai and he is the protomartyr of the English seminaries established on the Continent. Born in Devonshire, he was ordained an Anglican minister but became Catholic in the early 1570's while at Oxford. He returned to England in 1575, serving in Cornwall, and was arrested a year later. One of the charges against him was that he had an Agnus Dei, an image of Jesus as the Lamb of God, blessed by the pope. He was hung, drawn and quartered in Cornwall on November 29, 1577.

St. Thomas Thwing suffered during the Popish Plot hysteria in 1680. From 1664 to 1679 he served as a missionary priest in England. He and other members of Sir Thomas Gasciogne's household, including the master, were accused of a conspiracy to kill King Charles II and brought to London for trial. The others were acquited but he was found guilty and condemned; the King pardoned him but the House of Commons demanded his execution. Of course he was innocent of any charges of conspiracy; he was guilty of being a Catholic priest.

One could research each of the names on that list and read a common, yet individual pattern of vocation, service, suffering, and martyrdom. At the bottom of the list of names, there is a quote from William Allen, founder of Douai College--

"Joy in the Lord because the victory won by Christ's confessors predominates over earthly sorrow
at the grievousness of their suffering."
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