30 September 2011

More patrimony...

You might like to read my post on The Anglo-Catholic, titled "Another Example of Patrimony."  It's about the importance of schools in the future Ordinariate, and it also has a link to a recording of one of our Academy choirs singing Mozart's "Ave Verum."  The link to the music alone is worth it!

26 September 2011

Ss. Cosmas & Damian

Almighty and Everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the hearts of thy holy martyrs Saints Cosmas and Damian: Grant to us, thy humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in their triumph may profit by their example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

24 September 2011

Our Lady of Walsingham

O God, who through the mystery of the Word made flesh didst in thy mercy sanctify the house of the blessed Virgin Mary, and wondrously place it in the bosom of thy Church: Grant that being made separate from the tabernacles of sinners, we may become worthy to dwell in thy holy house; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

23 September 2011

Sublime meets ridiculous...

I'm not sure when I've witnessed a greater disconnect between what I'm seeing and what I'm hearing. The Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ on earth, preparing to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass... all to the easy-listening strains of throw-away background music. Errrgh!!

At the end of the clip, have a look at the expression on the Pope's face. It says it all...

Opening of the Mass in Berlin .

This week's "Crusader Bulletin"

Here's the latest edition of the Crusader Bulletin.  Keep up with what's happening at The Atonement Academy.

22 September 2011

Pesky protesters...

...oh, wait. Never mind. They seem to be lost in the crowd of wildly ecstatic supporters!

17 September 2011

This week's collect...

Grant us, O Lord, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to cleave to those that shall abide; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

14 September 2011

By the cross...

At the cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful mother weeping,
where he hung, the dying Lord:
for her soul, of joy bereaved,
bowed with anguish, deeply grieved,
felt the sharp and piercing sword.

O how sad and sore distressed
now was she, that Mother blessed
of the sole-begotten One.
Deep the woe of her affliction,
when she saw the crucifixion
of her ever-glorious Son.

Who, on Christ's dear mother gazing,
pierced by anguish so amazing,
born of woman, would not weep?
Who, on Christ's dear Mother thinking,
such a cup of sorrow drinking,
would not share her sorrows deep?

For his people's sins chastised,
she beheld her Son despised,
scourged, and crowned with thorns entwined;
saw him then from judgment taken,
and in death by all forsaken,
till his spirit he resigned.

O good Jesus, let me borrow
something of thy Mother's sorrow,
Fount of love, Redeemer kind;
that my heart fresh ardor gaining,
and a purer love attaining,

Litany of the Holy Cross

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy upon us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy upon us.
God the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, Have mercy upon us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy upon us.

Christ Jesus, laden with the Cross and led to Calvary, Have mercy upon us.
Christ Jesus, nailed to the Cross, Have mercy upon us.
Christ Jesus, raised up on the Cross, Have mercy upon us.
Christ Jesus, obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross, Have mercy upon us.
Christ Jesus, bearing our sins in thine own Body on the Tree, Have mercy upon us.
Christ Jesus, by whose stripes we are healed, Have mercy upon us.

By thine Agony and Bloody Sweat, Good Lord, deliver us.
By thy buffetings and stripes, Good Lord, deliver us.
By thy Crown of Thorns, Good Lord, deliver us.
By thy Cross and Passion, Good Lord, deliver us.
By the anguish of thy Sacred Heart upon the Cross, Good Lord, deliver us.
By thy most precious Death, Good Lord, deliver us.

We sinners do beseech thee to hear us, that we may die unto sin and live unto righteousness,
We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.
That we may take up our cross daily and follow thee,
We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.
That we may perfectly know thee, the Crucified,
We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.
That we may never crucify thee afresh,
We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.
That being made partakers of thy sufferings, we may share also in thy consolations,
We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.

Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy upon us.

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, our merciful High Priest, who on the Cross didst offer to the Father a pure offering, to reconcile sinners unto God by the infinite merits of thy Life, thy Passion and thy Death; give us grace, we beseech thee, to die to the world, and live to thee alone, and finally depart in peace, through thy merits; who livest and reignest ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

[The pictures show our parish relic of the True Cross.]

13 September 2011

St. John Chrysostom

O God, who didst give to thy servant St. John Chrysostom grace eloquently to proclaim thy righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of thy Name: Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellency in preaching, and fidelity in ministering thy Word, that thy people may be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

12 September 2011

To forgive and forget...

“Forgive and forget” goes the old saying, and surely three of the most precious and welcome words that could be heard when they’re needed are “I forgive you.”  Forgiveness is an essential part of the exercise of our Christian faith, and so is forgetting – as long as it is the wrong that is forgotten, and not the person.

There’s an aspect of human nature that pushes pain away, and so it becomes a temptation to set aside those whom we even think have caused us pain.  To do that is not to forgive, rather, it’s merely an attempt at forgetting.  Far more grace-filled is the loving embrace, knowing that just as all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, so all (even ourselves) are in need of forgiveness.  It should be the goal of each follower of Christ to be as quick in forgiving others as He is in forgiving us.

11 September 2011

A little bit of history...

Who would think you could honor Mary and celebrate a Catholic victory over Muslim invaders, just by having a cup of coffee and a croissant? Let me explain.

The feast began in Spain and was approved by the Holy See in 1513. Cut now to September 12, 1683. The Turks had been hammering the city of Vienna for a couple of months, and finally enough was enough. Under the leadership of Poland’s King John Sobiesky, an army comprised of Germans, Austrian and Poles made their move against the Turks, routing them completely. In thanksgiving for this important victory, Pope Innocent XI extended the observance of the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary to the whole Church.

When the Turks made their hasty retreat there were all sorts of things left behind, including several sacks containing a strange bean unknown to the victors. Thinking it was food for the invaders’ camels, the Viennese were about to dump it all in the Danube. But there was a citizen of Vienna who had been a captive under the Turks. He knew these beans were roasted by the Turks, and after grinding them up they would put them in hot water, making a drink they really seemed to relish. This man, Kolinsky, received exclusive permission to make and sell this new and unfamiliar drink – coffee.

The Viennese people hated it. It was bitter. The grounds got stuck in their teeth. It didn’t seem much better than drinking a cup of mud. Then a friend of Kolinsky made a suggestion. Strain out the grounds. Put a little milk in it to lighten it up. Add some sugar to make it more palatable. After following that advice, the people flocked to buy it, and so the first coffee house was born.

But let’s face it – what’s a cup of coffee without something to go with it? And with that came a new pastry which not only tasted good, but poked a stick in the eye of the Muslims. The delectable comestible was formed into the shape of a crescent – that symbol which had become so hated during the Turkish occupation – and with every bite the Viennese were able to have another small victory over their invaders.

So there we have it. There’s the story of how Turkish coffee was made drinkable, and how the croissant – the “Turkish crescent” – came into being. And it all happened as part of the victorious triumph achieved under the banner of the Most Holy Name of Mary.

America the Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

- Katharine Lee Bates

09 September 2011

Archbishop Chaput's installation

Embedded in Whispers in the Loggia you will find the full video of the Installation of Archbishop Charles Chaput as the Archbishop of Philadelphia.  This is one of the great moments in the Church in this country.

08 September 2011

Nativity of Mary

"The day of the Nativity of the Mother of God is a day of universal joy, because through the Mother of God, the entire human race was renewed, and the sorrow of the first mother, Eve, was transformed into joy." - St. John Damascene

The birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated as a liturgical feast at least from the sixth century. Its origin can be traced to the occasion of the consecration of a church in Jerusalem just inside St. Stephen’s Gate, near the Pool of Bethesda, on the traditional site of the house of Ss. Joachim and Anne. Within a few years the liturgy was celebrated in Rome, having been introduced by monks from the East, and the celebration included a procession to the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

Although the actual date of Mary’s birth isn’t known, the Church settled on September 8th, and the celebration Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception was fixed on December 8th, as the date corresponding to nine months before the celebration of her Nativity.

These two feasts can be seen as a kind of bridge between the Old Testament and the New Testament. With the conception and birth of the Blessed Virgin, God completed the new Ark – the living Temple – in which He would dwell. Through Mary, Jesus the Incarnate God has come to us.

At the parish we have a special tradition attached to this day. The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin is the day on which all administrators and teachers at the Academy take the Oath of Fidelity. We began this tradition shortly after the founding of our school. After the reading of the Gospel at Mass, the oath is taken to uphold Catholic teaching and the promise is made to live in accordance with the teaching of the Church. The oath is taken in the presence of all the students, and it leaves a great impression on everyone. It’s a reminder of the solemn and serious obligation which belongs to every Catholic educator.

"I promise that I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church whether in the words I speak or in the way I act.

"With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the responsibilities by which I am bound in relation both to the universal church and to the particular church in which I am called to exercise my service according to the requirements of the law.

"In carrying out my charge, which is committed to me in the name of the church, I shall preserve the deposit of faith in its entirety, hand it on faithfully and make it shine forth. As a result, whatsoever teachings are contrary I shall shun.

"I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the whole church and shall look after the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those which are contained in the Code of Canon Law.

"With Christian obedience I shall associate myself with what is expressed by the holy shepherds as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith or established by them as the church's rulers. And I shall faithfully assist diocesan bishops so that apostolic activity, to be exercised by the mandate and in the name of the church, is carried out in the communion of the same church.

"May God help me in this way and the holy Gospels of God which I touch with my hand."

07 September 2011

The Red Mass

Here are some pictures from the Red Mass in Monroe, Louisiana, which marked the opening of the 4th District Court.  I was invited to be the preacher, and it was a great honor to take part in this Mass with Bishop Duca of the Diocese of Shreveport.

While I was in Monroe, I also officiated at Solemn Evensong and then met with several people who have expressed an interest in forming an Ordinariate group.  We had a great Q&A session, and I think there's real potential for a developing Ordinariate work in the Monroe area.  Please keep this in your prayers.

05 September 2011

04 September 2011

Here's where I'll be...

...for the next few days.

I'm flying to Monroe, Louisiana where I'll be preaching at the Red Mass at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, then on Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. we'll be having Choral Evensong, and I'll be meeting with a group for a Q&A on Anglicanorum coetibus and the upcoming Ordinariate. It all takes place at St. Matthew's Catholic Church in Monroe, which is a beautiful place, from the look of these pictures.

01 September 2011

The net of the Gospel...

I just finished celebrating the daily Sung Mass with all the students and faculty, where we heard this Gospel:

While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men." And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Every year, when this Gospel is read at the school Mass, I talk to them about fishing nets.  After describing how the apostles used their nets to catch fish, I move on to our Lord's promise to St. Peter, "...henceforth you will be catching men."  Jesus would give the apostles a new net - the net which is the Gospel - and with this net they would gather people and bring them as a catch, to the Table of the Lord.  It gives me an opportunity to remind them that we ourselves have been caught up in this Gospel net, and then I point out to them the symbolism we have on the ceiling of the nave: the blue color (reminding us of heaven) with a gold net superimposed upon it (reminding us of this Gospel which was read today). 

The Nave Ceiling - Our Lady of the Atonement Church