Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Grand Priory of Great Britain sponsors Summer Conference

Europe and the Faith : 
an inter-disciplinary Catholic conference
30th July to 3rd August 2018

The Grand Priory of Great Britain is sponsoring the Summer Conference in Chavagnes International College and Studium this year, where Order Chaplain Fr Mark Lawler is the Chaplain and also one of the speakers (G K Chesterton as his subject).

Although set in the beautiful and historic Vendée in the west of France, the College classes are taught in English (for boys of secondary age and now also at degree level at the Studium there). The Conference is also in English.

The Grand Priory is sponsoring the College Conference because it is a place of truly Christian education, where the Faith is an integral part of daily life and the boys are taught to embrace the Faith with  both joy and courage. It is also hoped that those attending the Conference might be a good audience among which to promote the work of the Order - approaching people already interested in their Faith. The Order will have an active presence at the Conference, with our Grand Prior, Chaplain General and at several other members - and prospective members -  hoping to be present.

Joseph Pearce will be the Keynote Speaker  -  “The Catholic vision of JRR Tolkien”  -  at the Summer Conference in Chavagnes, France, this year. Now in its third year, the Conference has proved to be a lively and interesting event in a convivial atmosphere, with daily Mass and visits to local places of Catholic interest.

Although in France (Nantes is the nearest airport) the Conference talks take place in English (which is also the language in which the College and Studium teach their secondary and tertiary students.)

JOSEPH PEARCE is a senior fellow at The Cardinal Newman Society and editor of its journal. He is a senior contributor at The Imaginative Conservative and senior editor at the Augustine Institute. Up until recently, Director of the Center for Faith and Culture at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee he was previously on the staff of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire,  Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan and at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida. His books include biographical works on C.S. Lewis, Shakespeare, Tolkien, Chesterton, Wilde, Solzhenitsyn and Belloc. He is a visiting professor for the Studium’s new Liberal Arts degree being launched in September 2018.

Pontifical High Mass from one of the previous Conferences.

"A man’s view of himself is not an “aspect:” it is a comprehension. Now then, so it is with us who are of the Faith and the great story of Europe. A Catholic as he reads that story does not grope at it from without, he understands it from within. He cannot understand it altogether because he is a finite being; but he is also that which he has to understand. The Faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith.”                                                                                                                                              Hilare Belloc

You can find out more about the Conference (which is very reasonably priced and will also provide transport to and from Nantes Airport) - as well as an online booking form at:

The College is set in the beautiful countryside of the French Vendée.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider speaking at a previous Conference.

The Little Office of Our Lady being sung in the Baudouin Chapel.

A convivial evening in the gardens.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

New Grand Prior for Great Britain

The annual Chapter meeting of the Grand Priory took place in Lancashire yesterday. Members of the Grand Priory were delighted to give our wholehearted assent to the Grand Master's appointment of H.E. Chev. Anthony Dickinson KLJ CMLJ as our new Grand Prior.  

H.E. The Grand Master, Jan Count Dobrzensky z Dobrzenicz, writes:
"He will enjoy my full confidence, protection and respect. Success within the Order has been based upon unity, fraternal respect and Christian love. As members in Great Britain it is my wish that you embrace and support the leadership of your new Grand Prior and assist him in this challenging vocation. I commend this mission to you."

The Grand Prior outlined a strategic plan for us to move forward with some bold new initiatives and some welcome encouragement for our existing and prospective new members - already petitioning to become our brothers and sisters at our Investiture later this year on 28th and 29th September.

Thanks to Chaplain of the Order, Fr Michael Thompson for his hospitality and welcome.
It has been our tradition to hold the Chapter Meeting in the parish of one of our Chaplains; this year we were hosted by St Richard's Church in Skelmersdale.

 The church was designed by Edward Welby Pugin in 1864, 
and was opened on the 18th June 1865 by the Right Reverend Alexander Goss, 
the second Bishop of Liverpool.

H.E. Chev. Matthew Jackson, Secretary to the Grand Magistry, represented the Grand Master.

From the new Grand Prior's address to Chapter:
"Drawing from our Charter, our Tradition and our individual life experiences we must move forward together. Over recent years we have tended to be cautious about our momentum but if we look at our record of giving and compare it with our small number of members and, with respect, our even smaller number of ‘active’ members it is time to cast caution aside and move ahead, t a k i n g pride in our achievements and using that as a selling point to try and attract new members."
“Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” [Mt. 13:52]

 A few members orienting themselves in in the Order of Service.

Final prayers.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Easter Message from the Grand Master

 Hæc dies quam fecit Dominus, Alleluia! 

The recent atrocity in Paris focuses our mind on the call to embrace a sacrificial life of service, understanding that during this season “Christ became obedient for us, even to death, death on a cross.” It is a reminder that to fully understand the glory of the Resurrection, we must first experience the tribulations of Holy Week. 

The Declaration of Legitimacy, promulgated in 2013, encompasses the essence of who we are as an ancient Order of Chivalry. During this most glorious of Solemnities I ask you to contemplate the importance of its opening exhortation: “The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is, since its origin in the Holy Land, a Catholic institution. Its spiritual vocation was solidified with the search for Christian unity during the nineteenth century.” 

In a very real sense it re-enforces our identity through 3 clear facets: Tradition as we embrace our foundations in the very city where Our Lord walked the road to Calvary and Easter; Catholicity as a universal Order reaching out to all people of good will with the offer of God's mercy, so often spoken of by our Holy Father Pope Francis; and Spirituality through which we support the marginalised, the abandoned and the sick. 

The Apostolic Exhortation Laudato Si speaks of a spirituality that embraces the whole of creation. It reminds us that the Earth, as our mother and common home, requires protection. In these simple words, our Holy Father is challenging us to cultivate a spiritual awareness that does not put man above all creation, rather placing ourselves at the service of God’s beautiful works. 

In a subsequent address to the Polish Bishops, our Holy Father focused on two pillars of the Gospel which I see as fundamental tenets for us to follow in the Order. He acknowledged that Christ’s teaching, “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me” has to be underpinned by a genuine belief in the Beatitudes. It is, in fact, through these teachings that we promise serve God as brothers and sisters in the Order of Saint Lazarus. 

The hardship of Holy Week reminds us of the broken world in which we live. The joy of Easter reminds us of the hope to which our Faith and our vocation calls us. Our Blessed Lord himself reminds us that those who are truly blessed are those who share the qualities that He values; these are what make us truly noble, not the qualities valued by the world. 

I pray that you and your families will have a blessed Eastertide and go forth with new hope. 

In the name of God, the Virgin Mary and Saint Lazarus, 

Jan Count Dobrzensky z Dobrzenicz 
50th Grand Master

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Burns' Night Supper 2018 Photopost

Thanks to our Piper for the evening - Mr Bob Wilson.

A very well attended Burns' Night Supper took place (a little after the poet's birthday - we take it as a moveable feast) at Leyland in Lancashire (not quite Scotland but far enough North to be well on the way). A very enjoyable evening, raising £600 for the charitable causes of the Grand Priory of Great Britain. Attended by members and friends of the Order, as well as some prospective postulants. Thank you to everyone who came along.

An aperitif on arrival seemed to hit the mark.

The Chancellor with a smile on his face!
What an evening!

 Under the watchful eye of our parish patron - St Catherine Labouré,
particularly appropriate for a French guest.

We are a suave and bohemian lot!

And so to business with the Haggis.

 You need a military man to wield the sword.
That Haggis was not going to escape!

The Secretary for the Grand Priory 
and our music maestro for the evening.

The Piper sneaking a wee dram from the Quaich!

Preparing the for the entertainments.

 A medley of Scottish songs.

All listening intently.

 A little assistance at the keyboard.

I think that's what they call "Gi'en it laldy" 
in the Scottish vernacular!

 A toast to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns...
and one to the King over the Water...

 Traditionally the entertainments include a Toast to the Lassies, 
a tongue in cheek tribute to the fairer sex,
for which Mr Burns had quite a penchant.

The Lassies get the opportunity to reply...
...sweet revenge!

Finally, a regailing with some Scottish poetry with an authentic accent.

Last but not least, the dynamic duo. Two authentic Scottish members of the Order responsible for the delicate task of preparing the Haggis for the English. Quite a task!