Pentecost in Appleby
By Michael Davies
1979 has been a momentous year for Catholic traditionalists, particularly for those who support the Society of Saint Pius X. It would not be fitting to let the year pass without recording an event which took place in a small town in
is one of the countless small towns and villages in
Times have changed, of course.
In 1179 the traditional Latin Mass was the only form of eucharistic service
PENTECOST SUNDAY was a beautiful day. The town's silver band played outside the Public Hall. A large crowd watched a procession emerge from the Moot Hall—a procession which could not have been more typically English. The Mace Bearer and Sword Bearer led the way in their ancient robes, the town-councillors followed, robed as well. There was the town clerk with his legal wig, and Mr. Folder looking splendid in his scarlet robes, cocked hat, and gold chain of office. Accompanying him was the Lord Mayor of Machester in robes that were possibly even more splendid—he is also a traditional Catholic and, together with his Lady Mayoress, had made the long journey to show his friendship for and solidarity with Mr. Folder on that day. The civic procession was followed by the Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) and representatives of other civic groups.
Local traditionalists, and the
Mayor himself, spared no trouble or expense to make the hall a worthy
setting for a solemn
O God, who on this day didst teach the hearts of Thy faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things and ever to rejoice in His consolation.
We must indeed pray to the Holy Ghost that our judgments will be sound—never rash or hasty, never intemperate, never motivated by anger or by personal affronts but rather by Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and the Fear of God. When this is the case, the Holy Ghost will certainly grant us His consolation as He did in Appleby on Pentecost Sunday 1979. It was indeed a consolation to see so public and courageous a stand for the traditional faith and traditional Mass made by Mr. Reg Folder with the calmness and quiet dignity which make themselves apparent to those who have known him for only a few minutes. In its own way his stand was directly in the tradition of the English martyrs, of whom St. John Boste from that neighborhood shed his blood for the very Mass celebrated in the Public Hall of Appleby that day. Sadly, in the sixteenth century it was the Protestant government which forbade that Mass-today it is the Catholic hierarchy which prevented the Mayoral Mass from being celebrated within the Catholic church.
It was also consoling to know that we have such fine young priests as Father Black and Father Gierak whose youth and dedication guarantee the survival of that Mass for the rest of this century and beyond. After the Mass they stood with the new Mayor in the square outside the Moot Hall and the band played again. No one present at that relaxed and happy gathering would have imagined that what had taken place would be described in the press as a "Rebel Catholic Mass." The square was so full of civic dignitaries that nothing could have appeared more official.
REG FOLDER has earned himself an
honorable place in English Catholic history: Appleby has witnessed another
historic event to add to its already impressive record. Nor should this
Pentecost Sunday be looked at in isolation-it should be seen in conjunction
with the huge gathering at Saint Mary's, Kansas this year, the Pilgrimage
to Lourdes, the 20,000 Catholics at the Archbishop's Jubilee, and the
continuing influx of vocations to the Society of Saint Pius X. The traditional
faith is far from dead while the seeds of decline and degeneration are
everywhere present in the
The courage of Reg Folder is a
consolation to all. If you visit
On Sunday, 17 June 1979, His Grace Archbishop Lefebvre celebrated a Solemn High Mass and conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Guidhall Theatre,
Preston, Lancashire. The congregation of 600 included the Lord Mayor of , Councillor Gerald Fitzsimons, and the Mayor of Appleby, Councillor Reg Folder. After the Mass the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Preston received His Grace in his parlor and expressed regret that he had been unable to attend the Manchester In a private audience granted to Councillor Folder the Archbishop assured him that Appleby-in-Westmorland and its residents occupied a very special place in his heart and would always be remembered in his prayers. Mass.