25 January 2013

Sacred Sexuality


There is a good article on the blog of the Russian Orthodox Monastary of Our All-Merciful Saviour that I commend to your reading.  At first glance what it says may seem like common sense for the Christian, but one would be surprised at the number of Christians who never invite God into their sexual identity or their sexual lives.  Here is a snippet from The Morning Offering:

Without the help of a spiritual father or mother, abstinence can seem impossible, especially given the powerful drive of our sexual nature, and the pressures of our society to express our sexuality freely. For the young man or woman who is bombarded with the tales of the sexual exploits of one's friends, the struggle for purity can seem impossible. One more reason why we need so surround ourselves with friends who are committed Christians, and who know the importance of living lives that are centered on Christ. 
+Salve Regina Angelorum!

23 January 2013



What does it mean "to expect too much of our bishops"?  Can one ever expect too much of the successors to the Apostles when human life is on the line?

+Kyrie eleison imas.

22 January 2013

The disaster that is the Vatican Press Office

S. Vincentius

The last thing on Earth we need is a Vatican spokesman endorsing the political intentions of the U.S. President.  Father Federico Lombardi is doing incredible damage to the Church, and when added along with various Vatican spokesman and potentates putting forward all sorts of questionable opinions, it either shows the Church in total disarray or it shows a Church with a political agenda with which I want nothing to do.  

Every year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade I have a Missouri Synod Lutheran friend who writes to me a long e-mail in which he claims that the bishops of the Catholic Church in the USA have been bought and paid for by special interests of the Left.  "If your bishops were even remotely genuine, they would excommunicate all Catholic lawmakers and Catholic citizens who vote for, participate in, or support abortion, and they would do it publicly.  That they don't do anything but pose at the March for Life is proof enough that the Catholic Church in the USA is not the Church of John Paul II and is in so many respects a bogus misrepresentation of Truth."

Okay, so I am accustomed to fiery statements from Confessional Lutherans, but the sad thing is that he is correct in large part.  Many should have been excommunicated publicly.  The Requiem Mass for Ted Kennedy was an abomination on top of a host of abominations in the Church that many still refer to when they explain why they will not enter the Catholic Church.  I don't know if any of the bishops in the USCCB really care at all about how these things negatively impact Evangelisation.  Maybe a few of the newer ones do, but the old men do not.

If the USCCB were truly against Abortion ...  every year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade (or a workday closest to it) they would call for and lead at least a one day General Strike if not a three day strike by all pro-life people in the USA.

Anyone expect to see such a General Strike in your lifetime?

+Kyrie eleison imas.  

Radio Walsingham today


Today on Radio Walsingham Online we are observing a Day of Mourning for the Slaughtered Unborn.  The musical selections are drawn from compositions for the Feast of the Holy Innocents and from various settings of the Requiem Mass and other compositions from Holy Week.

+Kyrie eleison imas.

21 January 2013

Inauguration Day


I would like to share two prayers from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (USA).  They contain the substance of my prayers today as a man is once again sworn in as President, a man who is an unrelenting enemy of so many things I hold sacred:

O LORD, our heavenly Father, the high and mighty Ruler of the universe, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee, with thy favour to behold and bless thy servant THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and all others in authority; and so replenish them with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that they may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue them plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant them in health and prosperity long to live; and finally, after this life, to attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

 O LORD our Governor, whose glory is in all the world; We commend this nation to thy merciful care, that being guided by thy Providence, we may dwell secure in thy peace. Grant to THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and to all in Authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness; and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
+Kyrie eleison imas. 

Healey Willan's Mass Settings


The music of Healey Willan is part and parcel of the Anglican Patrimony.  His musical compositions are useful not only for Ordinariate parishes and Anglican Use congregations, but within his oeuvre there are many pieces that are useful for the entire Church.  (Be sure to read this post on the New Liturgical Movement blog.)

In the now old 'New St. Basil Hymnal' there is  a beautiful congregational Mass setting by Willan (the Mass of St. Theresa).  It is a setting in Latin and is now available through the Healey Willan Society website here.

The Mass of St. Peter by Willan is another treasure -- almost completely unknown -- and as a setting in Latin it is very effective for a congregation or a small choir.  Both of these settings -- of St. Peter and of St. Theresa -- express the reverence and dignity that should attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Almost all of Willan's settings of the Mass in English includes the Kyrie in Greek.  I note that because any choir can immediately make use of those settings of Kyrie eleison at any celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Each one is a sublime echo of the choirs of heaven.

Those familiar with Healey Willan's Mass for Saint Mary Magdalene (found in The Hymnal 1940 and The Hymnal 1982) may be surprised to learn that Willan authorised a nine-fold version of the Kyrie in Greek that was available in one of the early Hymnal Studies of the Episcopal Church.  Even without seeing that score it is very easy to simply substitute the Greek words... really it is a setting that almost sings itself.

Here is to a mighty revival of Willan's music ... especially within the Catholic Church!  Now can I interest anyone in the Canticles of Mrs. Amy Beach?

+Salve Sancta Maria Magdalena!

Beauty and the True


At one of my most favourite blogs, The New Liturgical Movement, there is a post by David Clayton on Beauty that I would like to commend to my readers.  It is not long, and it is so very true.  Any glimpse into St. Augustine's thought is always worthwhile: 'Beauty Communicates Something Beyond Words'.

+Iubilate Domino

20 January 2013

New Mass Settings of Note

Sunday of the Marriage at Cana in Galilee

I would like to commend to my readers new mass settings (written for the new English translation of the Mass) composed by two Dominican Sisters of St. Joseph in England. These are well done compositions, and I imagine most congregations would be able to learn them and sing them well. They are the Mass of St John Mary Vianney, the Mass of St Rose of Lima,  the Mass of St John the Baptist, the Mass of St Dominic, the Mass of St Bernadette, and the Mass of Blessed Jordan of Saxony. 

Please do visit their website (at the very least you may enjoy the video of their snow-fight), and if you are able please donate from your abundance to support the Sisters in their vocation.

+St. Dominic, pray for us.

Hymn for Today: At a Wedding Feast in Cana

The Marriage at Cana of Galilee 

At a wedding feast in Cana
 Jesus, Mary, and their friends
joined to celebrate a marriage-
 covenant which on Love depends.
And the party it went on
till the bowls of wine were gone.
Mary nudged her Son Christ Jesus,
urged him to step up and please us.

 "Dearest woman, let's have no show.
You know well it's not my time."
Mary smiled and told the servants,
"Follow all his words sublime.
Do whatever he may say.
It's the way he'll save the day."
And the servants did her bidding
and to Jesus all were listening.

 Jesus guided all their actions
and turned water into wine.
How amazing this great wonder
his first miracle and sign!
It was not to raise the dead
or to heal as it is said,
but to keep a party going --
 this his first and wondrous showing.

 Let us hearken then to Mary
and do all that Christ shall say.
Heal the sick and feed the hungry,
love the living of each day.
Walk on water when we must,
make disciples of the lost.
Raise the dead and banish demons.
Preach and teach through all the seasons.

 Praise and worship to the Father,
Laud and glory to the Son,
For the Holy Spirit muster
songs of joy on every tongue.
With Our Lady walk the way
leading to Christ's glorious day
when the faithful rise to meet him
and rejoicing we will greet him!

Words: Copyright © 1998 by Vincent W. Uher III
Music: Genevan Psalter Psalm 42 (Comfort, Comfort, ye my people)

+Ave Jesu Christe!

18 January 2013

Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity

The Octave of Prayer
For Christian Unity

The Chair of Saint Peter


 ANTIPHON: That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me. 

 V. I say unto thee, thou art Peter; 
 R. And upon this rock I will build my Church. 

 [Here is brought to mind the intention for the day's prayer.]

  • January 18: For the return of the "other sheep" to the One Fold of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
  • January 19: For the return of the Eastern Orthodox Christians to communion with the Apostolic See.
  • January 20: For the return of the Anglicans to the authority of the Vicar of Christ. 
  • January 21: For the return of all Protestants throughout the world to the unity of the Catholic Church. 
  • January 22: That Christians in America may be one, in union with the Chair of Saint Peter. 
  • January 23: That lapsed Catholics will return to the Sacraments of the Church. 
  • January 24: That the Jewish people will be converted to the Catholic Faith. 
  • January 25: That missionary zeal will conquer the world for Christ. 

Let us pray. 

O Lord Jesus Christ, who saidst unto Thine Apostles: Peace I leave you, My peace I give to you; regard not our sins, but the faith of Thy Church, and grant unto her that peace and unity which are agreeable to Thy Will; Who livest and reignest ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

+Father Paul Wattson, pray for us to the Lord that all may be one.

15 January 2013

European Court rules against British Airways

Time after Epiphany

This is an important victory, and one to which all Catholics and other Christians should draw attention:

AFP - A British Airways employee suffered discrimination at work over the wearing of a cross, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday. 
Nadia Eweida, a 60-year-old Christian, took the airline to the European court after British courts upheld BA's decision to ban her from wearing a crucifix. 
The Strasbourg-based court ruled that the British courts had given "too much weight" to BA's desire to "project a certain corporate image" and her right to manifest her religious beliefs had been violated.

Nadia Eweida shows forth her crucifix.

+Ave Crux spes unica!

12 January 2013

Our Lady of Walsingham Scapular


In looking at an old 1928 Pilgrim's Manual for the Anglican Shrine, I was reminded of the Scapular of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Walsingham.  My point in writing this post is simply to suggest that it would be salutary for the Ordinariates and Anglican Use congregations to vigorously promote revival of and enrollment in this scapular in the context of the Roman Catholic Church.  This Anglican scapular was an adaptation of the Theatine Blue Scapular of the Immaculate Conception as I understand it; however, another sage individual has assured me that it was a separate development.  I imagine others better versed in its history can sort those things out.  Whatever the origin, this unique scapular if promoted for use by those of Anglican heritage or attracted to the spirituality of the Anglican Patrimony within the Catholic Church would be a very good thing I think.

Such a devotional item could unite those of Anglican heritage wherever they may be in the Catholic Church whether in the Ordinariates, in the Latin Rite or in the Eastern Catholic Churches ... the Anglican diaspora may be found in all of those.  Such a revival of the Scapular of Our Lady of Walsingham within the context of the Catholic Church strikes me as a simple and wonderful way to honour Our Blessed Mother and to grant to those who desire a sacramental means by which they may be clothed as children of Our Lady of Walsingham and daily rejoice in her Immaculate Conception.

Below are two scans from the 1928 Pilgrim's Manual of the little service for the Scapular of Our Lady of Walsingham:

If such a thing as I proposed above is too much, then perhaps promoting the devotion to Our Lady of the Atonement is something worthy of the same group of people as it is the only devotion to have originated in a branch of the Anglican Communion to have then been brought into the Catholic Church with papal blessing and promulgation.  

+Ave Maria!

Anglican Prayer: New Evangelisation


With the Call for the New Evangelisation of Blessed Pope John Paul II ever before us, let us remember that great Prayer for Mission of the sainted Charles Henry Brent, a prayer that stands as the perfect response from Roman Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony to express our acceptance of the Call to the New Evangelisation given by Blessed Pope John Paul II and renewed by Pope Benedict: 

Lord JESUS Christ, who didst stretch out thine arms of love upon the hard wood of the Cross, that all men everywhere might come within the reach of thy saving embrace: So clothe us with thy Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know thee to the knowledge and love of thee; for the honour of thy Name.  Amen.

This prayer by Dr. Brent may be found in two forms in The Book of Divine Worship (authorised by the Holy See for the Anglican Use communities in the USA and for the worldwide membership of the Personal Ordinariates of the Anglican Patrimony). 

It would be encouraging to see this prayer placed prominently on websites and literature of those groups involved in bringing the Anglican patrimony to safe harbour within the Catholic Church.

 +Laus Deo!

Precious Blood Church given to OLW Ordinariate

Epiphany Saturday

It was a joy to learn that a rumour has become a fact.  The Catholic Church of the Precious Blood in London was under the care of the Salvatorians and for about a year an Ordinariate congregation has met there.  With the Salvatorian's departure the local bishop has placed the parish in the hands of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.  It is excellent news to hear that the Ordinariate in England is finally gaining parishes of their own.  One cannot underestimate how important a matter this is in the formation of identity and in the work of evangelisation.

To read the story in full please click on this link: http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/6529

And to visit the Precious Blood parish's new website please click on this link: http://www.preciousblood.org.uk

+Ave Jesu Christi

Salve Regina + Walsingham

Epiphany Saturday

I thought it may be useful for some readers to have the following: a copy of the Salve Regina translated into English from the Pilgrim's Manual of the 1950's once used at the Anglican Shrine of Walsingham.  Perhaps some Ordinariate communities and other member of the Anglican diaspora will find it of use. Click on the image for a slightly larger version:

+Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae!

09 January 2013

The Baby Lives in the Mother

Epiphany Wednesday

Our Lady of the Sign + Znamensakaya Ikon

Scientific American magazine has presented an article popularising information some of us already knew: that the cells of babies migrate into the mothers' bodies and continue living with their mothers in their mothers' brains.

LifeSiteNews.com has published a piece by Jill Stanek that looks at the implications of this with regard to the form of legalised murder called abortion.  You will want to read her article and absorb the implications.  The following is a link to Jill Stanek's article: Scientists discover aborted baby cells living in mothers' brains.  It is a stunning thought that none of those women who wish to rid themselves of these children ever succeed in doing so.  There are of course positive implications too.  Those who lose a baby late in pregnancy or suffer the sorrow of a child's death will now have the knowledge that cells from that little life continue on in the mother's body.  With proper pastoral explication and application this news could be a tremendous comfort for those who grieve the passing of a child.

There is another implication to these studies and their discoveries which theological folk seem to be missing: the cells of the body of the Lord and Our Lady's body and brain.  You may ask what then am I suggesting, but I am only suggesting that we ponder it.  What did it mean to have these perfect cells of the God-made-man alive and living within the body of Our Lady?  Like Our Mother, ponder that one in your heart.

Was something intuitively known in ancient Israel so that the mother of the King sat at his right hand as Queen rather than his wife or one of his wives?  Even if a question cannot be answered, sometimes the framing of such a question can remind one of the great truths of the faith i.e., that Our Lady is the davidic Queen Mother who sits at the right hand of her Son the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Znamenskaya + Our Lady of the Sign

+Salve Mater misericordiae!

04 January 2013

A Friend to have in Heaven: Saint Anthony Mary Claret


If you are like most Catholics in all likelihood you have not heard of Saint Anthony Mary Claret (San Antonio Maria Claret)  I think it is the work of the devil that keeps this great saint so unknown, and we have such need of his intercession in our age.

This new year why don't you get to know of him and make of him a friend in Heaven.  You can read something of his life here (Catholocism.org) or here (EWTN.com).

My personal observation is that Catholics in the Americas especially need his intercession and heavenly intervention in a host of areas.  If you are part of a Catholic prayer group, Bible study, or other gathering that would be open to such an idea, please consider taking St. Anthony Mary Claret as your group's "patron saint for 2013" in addition to your group's usual patron or patroness.

As kids say around here, "We need him bad."  Yes, things are bad. Governments are bad.  More and more human hearts seem to have gone bad.  And in such a time and place we have great need of such a great friend of Jesus and Mary.

Saint Anthony Mary Claret, pray for us.

+Ave regina caelorum!

02 January 2013

S. Edmund Campion Missal & Hymnal


The new Saint Edmund Campion Missal & Hymnal is now available from those gifted souls at CCWatershed in Corpus Christi, Texas.  It is intended for the traditional Latin Mass, but I would note that much of it would be very useful for the Personal Ordinariates throughout the world.

The example below is of a new hymn tune sung a cappella.  The tune is by the young brilliant U.S. American composer Kevin Allen:

For more information on the Saint Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal, click here.
+ Lux hodie!

Our Lady's Ordinariate: A Church of Their Own


Quoting at length from the great good news of the press release of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (UK): 

Our Lady & Saint Gregory, Soho, Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham


"The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, has today announced that the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Gregory, Warwick Street, is being dedicated to the life of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. The historic church, which is situated in Soho, previously served as the chapel of the Portuguese, and later Bavarian, embassies.  In the nineteenth century the sanctuary was rebuilt by the architect, J. F. Bentley, who designed Westminster Cathedral. In his ‘Apologia’ Blessed John Henry Newman mentions a visit to the church as a young boy with his father. He converted from Anglicanism to the Catholic faith in 1845and is the patron of the Personal Ordinariate. 

"Speaking of the news, Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate, said, “We are very grateful to Archbishop Vincent Nichols for this gesture of goodwill and support for the Ordinariate. The church is a beautiful example of ecclesiastical architecture in a very central part of London. We will be challenged to provide a strong Christian witness to those who frequent the surrounding area of Soho. It will also provide a fitting place for the liturgical and spiritual traditions of the Anglican tradition to flourish, in complete union with the Catholic Church. These demonstrate our fervent hope for the realisation of the ultimate goal of all ecumenical work, the restoration of full ecclesial communion”. 

"The missionary work of the slum clergy of our Anglican forebears to the marginalised of our society must be at the heart of our mission. We relish the opportunity to engage in this important pastoral ministry, faithfully presenting the teaching of the Catholic Church as the means by which light of Jesus Christ can shine on the dark places of our world. Together with the recent formation of a religious community of former Anglican religious within the Ordinariate this is really good news as we begin 2013". 

"Ten former members of the Anglican Community of St Mary the Virgin in Wantage were received into the full communion of the Catholic Church on 1 January, the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, by Monsignor Newton at the Oxford Oratory. Together with two other sisters, who were already Catholics, they form a new religious community to be called the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Monsignor Newton erected the community as a Public Association of the Faithful with the view to it being eventually granted the status of an Institute of Consecrated life. 

"The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 as a way for groups of Anglicans to enter into communion with the Catholic Church, whilst retaining aspects of their Anglican tradition, both to nourish the faith of the members of the Ordinariate, and as a treasure to be shared with the wider Church."
+ Ave Maria!

01 January 2013

Hymn of the Holy Family


Click here for tune.

Lonely travellers from the stable
Out beneath the hard blue sky
Journeying*, wand'ring, hoping, praying
For the safety of their child
While our mother Rachel's weeping
Fills the streets of Bethlehem.
Kyrie eleison.

Warned by angels, moved to save him
Who was born our kind to save,
Joseph leads his holy family
Far from Herod and harm's way.
Mary shielding and consoling
Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Kyrie eleison.

Fleeing from the land of promise
They in Egypt find a home
Strange the workings of God's mercy --
House of bondage now God's throne.
But for sons who all were murdered
Sorrow breaks the House of Bread.
Kyrie eleison.

True the tale of flight and exile.
Out of Egypt comes God's Son.
Angels tell of Herod's dying.
All is ended, all begun.
Jesus will grow up in Nazareth
And the world will all be stunned.
Kyrie eleison.

Words: Copyright © 1997 by Vincent Uher. For use in Christmastide especially from Holy Innocents through Holy Family Sunday.  
Music: Divinum mysterium
Meter: 87 87 87 7

* Note: The word "Journeying" is sung in contracted form Journ'ying or Journ'ing.  Likewise "wandering" is sung as two syllables wand'ring.

+Ave Jesu Christe!


Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

'Within her virginal womb Christ our Lord already bore the exalted title of Head of the Church; in a marvelous birth she brought Him forth as the source of all supernatural life, and presented Him newly born, as Prophet, King and Priest to those who, from among Jews and Gentiles, were the first to come to adore Him. Furthermore, her only Son, condescending to His mother's prayer in “Cana of Galilee” performed the miracle by which “His disciples believed in Him.” 

'It was she, the Second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam, sin-stained by his unhappy fall, and her mother's rights and her mother's love were included in the holocaust. Thus she who, according to the flesh, was the mother of our Head, through the added title of pain and glory became, according to the Spirit, the mother of all His members. 

'It was she who, through her powerful prayers, obtained that the spirit of our Divine Redeemer, already given on the Cross, should be bestowed, accompanied by miraculous gifts, on the newly founded Church at Pentecost; and finally, bearing with courage and confidence the tremendous burden of her sorrows and desolation, she, truly the Queen of Martyrs, more than all the faithful “filled up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ...for His Body, which is the Church”; and she continues to have for the Mystical Body of Christ, born of the pierced Heart of the Savior, the same motherly care and ardent love with which she cherished and fed the Infant Jesus in the manger.'

Excerpt from Mystici Corporis Encyclical Letter 
Pope Pius XII, June 29, 1943

+Ave Maria!