Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors – Letter of a Missionary Priest

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“When a priest comes to their houses they first salute him as a stranger unknown to them, and then they take him to an inner chamber where an oratory is set up, when all fall on their knees and beg his blessing. If he says he must go tomorrow, as he usually does, for it is dangerous to stay longer, they all prepare for Confession that evening. The next morning they hear Mass and receive Holy Communion; then after preaching, and giving his blessing a second time, the priest departs, conducted by one of the young gentlemen (that is, of the Catholic Association). No one is to be found to complain of the length of the Services. If the Mass does not last nearly an hour many are discontented. If six, eight, or more Masses are said in the same place, and in the same day (as often happens when there is a meeting of priests), the same congregation will assist at all. When they can get priests they confess every week. Quarrels are scarce known amongst them. Disputes are almost always left to the arbitration of the priest. They do not willingly inter-marry with heretics, nor will they pray with them, nor do they like to have any dealing with them.”

MLA Citation

  • Father Henry Sebastian Bowden. “Letter of a Missionary Priest”. Mementoes of the English Martyrs and Confessors, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 April 2019. Web. 2 August 2021. <>