The Parish of St Jeanne Jugan, Leeds

  • Sunday Masses
  • St Urban's
  • 6:00pm
  • Saturday Vigil
  • Our Lady of Lourdes
  • 8:45am
  • St Urban's
  • 10:30am

JJ's appoints new Parish Administrator

The parish has recently employed Patrick Hogan as parish administrator. Patrick will be providing all the administrative help to Father Michael and the parish for the forseeable future. He is available on 0113 262 0270 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and his email address is available on the bulletin.

The Yorkshire Brethren

Blessèd Nicholas Postgate Throughout Yorkshire, and throughout the year, we often see masses being dedicated to The Yorkshire Brethren, but who are these people? What do they do, and what do they represent?

The Yorkshire Brethren is a society that was formed around 1660 by priests and people of Yorkshire “to establish and invest a fund that would collect and invest money, the revenue helping to support priests from the Yorkshire dioceses (Middlesborough, Leeds and Hallam) who are unable to carry out their ministry because of ill health, or who have resigned from their assignments due to age.” The Yorkshire Brethren

All priests and lay people who contribute a minimum of £30 may become benefactors, and benefactors benefit by having a certain number of masses said for them – either during their life, or after their death – as requested.

Grants are given to sick priest members, and an annual monetary gift is given to retired priest members. The society currently supports around 80 priests in this way.

The patron of the society is Blessèd Nicholas Postgate who was beatified by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1987. His was a remarkable life, and truly he was a man who helped the catholic faith to survive through difficult times into the present day.

Nicholas Postgate was born around 1597 at Egton Bridge, and was renowned for being the mildest of men and much loved by many, and yet he was destined to suffer the most vicious of deaths as a result of the persecution of catholics (and especially catholic priests) in the reign of Elizabeth I.

He began his studies at the English college of Douai in France and was ordained a catholic priest in 1628 – the vocation being illegal in England at that time. He returned to England two years later, and became part of the movement to restore Catholicism in those areas which had suffered so much persecution in the Reformation.

Father Postgate did not have the luxury of a permanent home, but instead led a nomadic life, relying on the hospitality of catholics in Yorkshire, moving on when danger became great, but always saying Mass and administering the sacraments wherever he went.

There were however, some catholic families who could have offered priests of the time the post of chaplain to their families, and doubtless Father Postgate had such an opportunity during his life. It is all the more remarkable therefore that he chose to lead a life of danger as a missionary priest in the inhospitable environment of the North Yorkshire Moors. He became a familiar figure as he walked across the moors, dressed in a dark brown cape, and with staff in hand. He was a thin and wiry man – intelligent and always cheerful.

Around 1680 persecution of catholic priests became more intense with the false allegations made by Titus Oates and Ezrael Tonge. At this time, father Postgate was around 80 years of age and he was to become a victim of these allegations. He was imprisoned for four months at York castle before being tried at the Guildhall. He was found guilty (of being a priest!) and sentenced to death – a death by hanging, disembowlment and quartering. In addition, the top of each forefinger was then cut off as these were the fingers that held the Sacred Host during Mass. It is not known where he was buried, but many relics of this Blessèd martyr can be found throughout Yorkshire.

Read a more comprehensive version of the life of Blessèd Nicholas Postgate (Google Books).

Blessèd Nicholas Postgate, Pray for Us!