Wednesday, August 06, 2008

St Catherine's Trust at Arundel Castle

St Catherine's Trust held its fourth Summer School last week in Sussex, England, covering the week of the Merton Priest's Training Conference, with the result that I did not go exactly to any of the latter. As usual, it was a tremendous week, with our volunteer staff teaching a variety of Catholic-related subjects (history, philosophy, art, music, Latin and Greek, as well as catechesis); we had a record number of students (53, ages 11 to 18). And there was a lot of singing: Traditional Sung Mass (usus antiquior) and Sung Latin Compline (from the 1960 breviary) every day, and as a finale some polyphony sung by the students at the final Mass.
One of our speakers was the blogger-priest Nicholas Schofield, who reports on it on his blog, Roman Miscllany, here.

Of particular interest perhaps to NLM readers was our trip to Arundel, which is not far from our base at Ardingly College, near Haywards Heath. By kind permission of the Duke of Norfolk we not only had a guided tour of the castle but we had Sung Mass in the Castle chapel, celebrated by our Chaplain, Fr Andrew Southwell. Tourists are not usually allowed into the chapel, although they can look into it from a gallery.

The Dukes of Norfolk are also the Earls of Arundel (the title is used by the Duke's oldest son as a 'courtesy title'); the premier dukedom of the land and the oldest Earldom were united by the parents of the St Philip Howard, who converted to the Catholic faith and died after ten years of ill-treatment in the Tower of London. St Phillip's father was deprived of the Dukedom (and executed) in 1572 by Queen Elizabeth (the title was restored to the family in 1660), but he inherited the Earldom from his mother's father, and carved 'Arundell' on the wall of his cell in the Beauchamp Tower in the Tower of London, where it can still be seen, with a motto: 'the more we suffer for Christ, the greater will be our glory with Him in Heaven'. (I took this photo, below, myself on a recent trip to the Tower). The shrine of St Phillip is in the nearby Arundel Cathedral, which itself was built by the Dukes.

I wasn't allowed to take photographs of the displays in the Castle, but here are some pictures of the Mass in the chapel. The castle as a whole is a fascinating example of Victorian medievalism: it was wrecked in the Civil War, and not restored until the 19th Century. It combines medieval elements with restoration work which ranges from the painstakingly historical to the fanciful, creating a truly splendid whole. (An example of the first: in the Fitzalan Chapel in the grounds the glorious medieval ceiling was comprensively rotten, but not only was the intricate pattern exactly reproduced but every scrap of salvable timber was incorporated into it.) The Castle is a storehouse of entirely authentic Catholic artifacts, however: a fabulous Fabergé icon of the Virgin and Child; the gold Rosary carried by Mary Queen of Scots at her execution (see the picture, from their website), and a relic of the True Cross.

More pictures and details of the Summer School can be found here and here. In due course our Newsletter will be downloadable here.

Something else to mention is St Catherine's Trust's new logo, an image drawn for us by the remarkable Daniel Mitsui, the blogger and artist of The Lion and the Cardinal. Congratulations to him on his wedding recent wedding!

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: