Saturday, June 30, 2012

July 4th - independence from God?

Some thoughts from the First President of the United States, George Washington:

From Historic Valley Forge:
The Prayer below was written by Washington at Newburgh, New York, at the close of the Revolutionary War on June 14, 1783. It was sent to the thirteen governors of the newly freed states in a "Circular Letter Addressed to the Governors of all the States on the Disbanding of the Army."

Circular Letter Addressed to the Governors of all the States on the Disbanding of the Army, June 14, 1783

I have thus freely declared what I wished to make known, before I surrendered up my public trust to those who committed it to me. The task is now accomplished. I now bid adieu to your Excellency, as the chief magistrate of your State, at the same time I bid a last farewell to the cares of office and all the employments of public life.

It remains, then, to be my final and only request that your Excellency will communicate these sentiments to your legislature at their next meeting, and that they may be considered the legacy of one, who has ardently wished, on all occasions, to be useful to his country, and who, even in the shade of retirement, will not fail to implore the divine benediction on it.

I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow-citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for brethren who have served in the field; and finally that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.

At his first inauguration, George Washington took the oath of office for the presidency on April 30, 1789. He was standing on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City with his hand on an open Bible. After he finished taking the oath, the audience in attendance gave a thunderous ovation and bells of the various churches began ringing in his honor. After his oath of office was completed, he went to deliver his inaugural address to Congress.

April 30, 1789

Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations and whose providential aide can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes; and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge.

In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States.

Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their United government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which them past seem to presage.

These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me I trust in thinking, that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free Government can more auspiciously commence.

We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps finally, staked of the experiment...

I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the Benign Parent of the Human Race, in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessings may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.
The "Earnest Prayer" has been re-written into a prayer form and is found on display at St Paul's Chapel just across the road from Ground Zero in New York City:
Almighty God,
      We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field.
     And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source: George Washington Prayers.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Erection of Personal Ordinariate in Australia

Today the Vatican has announced the erection of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. Here is the announcement: (English translation below). See also here.
La Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, a norma della Costituzione Apostolica Anglicanorum coetibus, ha eretto l’Ordinariato Personale di Our Lady of the Southern Cross nel territorio della Conferenza Episcopale Australiana

Nel contempo il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha nominato primo Ordinario di Our Lady of the Southern Cross il Harry Entwistle. Harry Entwistle

Il Harry Entwistle è nato il 31 maggio 1940 a Chorley, in Inghilterra ed è stato battezzato come anglicano. Dopo gli studi presso il "St. Chad's College" nell'Università di Durham, è stato ordinato prete anglicano il 20 settembre 1964 per la diocesi di Blackburn. Dopo avere esercitato il ministero a Fleetwood, Hardwick, Weedon, Aston Abbots e Cubligton, è stato cappellano nelle carceri dal 1974 al 1981 e dal 1981 al 1988 "Senior Chaplain" presso il carcere di Wansworth.

Emigrato in Australia nel 1988, è stato "Senior Chaplain" per il "Department of Corrective Services" nella diocesi di Perth.

Dal 1992 al 1999 è stato Arcidiacono e Parroco di Northam, dal 1999 al 2006 Parroco a Mt Lawley. Nel 2006 è entrato a far parte della "Traditional Anglican Communion" ed è stato nominato vescovo per la regione occidentale e Parroco a Maylands a Perth.

Dopo essere stato accolto nella piena comunione con la Chiesa Cattolica ed essere stato ordinato diacono, riceve l'ordinazione sacerdotale nella Cattedrale di Perth oggi, 15 giugno 2012.

* * *

Reverend Harry Entwistle was born on May 31, 1940 at Chorley, Lancashire, England and baptised an Anglican in the Parish Church on July 7, 1940. After studies at St. Chad's Theological College in the University of Durham, he was ordained priest on September 20, 1964 for the Anglican Diocese of Blackburn, Lancashire. After priestly service in Fleetwood, Hardwick, Weedon, Aston Abbotts and Cubligton, he was Chaplain in Her Majesty's Prison Service from 1974 to 1981 and from 1981 to 1988, Senior Chaplain at HM Prison Wansworth.

He migrated to Australia in 1988 where he was the Senior Chaplain for the Department of Corrective Services in the Anglican Diocese of Perth, Western Australia.

From 1992 to 1999 he was Archdeacon and Parish Priest of Northam; from 1999 to 2006 Parish Priest of Mt Lawley. In 2006 he joined the Traditional Anglican Communion and was appointed Western Regional Bishop and Parish Priest of Maylands in Perth.

After reception into the Church and ordination as a deacon, he was ordained to the priesthood in St. Mary's Cathedral, Perth on June 15, 2012. [Errr... That's today!]

Thursday, June 14, 2012

CDF meeting with Bishop Felay - SSPX to reply soon

This from the Vatican News Service:

On the afternoon of Wednesday 13 June, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei', met with Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X who was accompanied by an assistant. Also present at the encounter were Archbishop Luis Ladaria S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Msgr. Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei'.

The purpose of the meeting was to present the Holy See's evaluation of the text submitted in April by the Society of St. Pius X in response to the Doctrinal Preamble which the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith had presented to the Society on 14 September 2011. The subsequent discussion offered an opportunity the provide the appropriate explanations and clarifications. For his part, Bishop Fellay illustrated the current situation of the Society of St. Pius X and promised to make his response known within a reasonable lapse of time.

Also during the meeting, a draft document was submitted proposing a Personal Prelature as the most appropriate instrument for any future canonical recognition of the Society.

As was stated in the communique released on 16 May 2012, the situation of the other three bishops of the Society of St. Pius X will be dealt with separately and singularly.

At the end of the meeting the hope was expressed that this additional opportunity for reflection would also contribute to reaching full communion between the Society of St. Pius X and the Apostolic See.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Knights of Columbus set charitable giving record

The Knights of Columbus is a wonderful association for Catholic men to join. I recently became a First Degree Knight and am proud to be associated with them. They often carry out ceremonial duties in the Church such as providing an honor guard at our Blessed Sacrament Procession last Sunday (see above). I would very much recommend men to join so that they may be strengthened in their Catholic faith and sense of service to the Church.

Catholic News Agency carries this report on the KC's charitable activities in 2011.

Members of Council 3199 in Ridgecrest, Calif. spread new sand at the playground at St. Ann School to ensure it meets local and state safety standards. Credit:
New Haven, Conn., Jun 13, 2012 / 12:55 pm (CNA).- The Knights of Columbus Catholic fraternal organization broke records in 2011 with over $158 million in donations to charity and over 70 million volunteer hours worked, the organization’s worldwide annual survey says.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson praised the achievement.

“At a time when many in our communities continue to experience economic hardship, the increasing charitable work of the Knights of Columbus is a testament to the power of love of neighbor and to the great things that can be done by those committed to the common good,” he said June 11.

Anderson presented the results to the Knights of Columbus board of directors and state leaders in their June 6-10 meeting at the organization’s international headquarters.

Charitable contributions in 2011 exceeded 2010 figures by over $3.4 million, while knights worked 3,716 more volunteer hours in 2011 than the previous year.

State and local affiliates of the organization donated $128.9 million, while the organization’s Supreme Council donated almost $29.2 million.

Large donations in 2011 included $7.5 million in support of priestly and religious vocations, $3.6 million for the Special Olympics, and $515,000 for the Knights of Columbus program Coats for Kids. The donations included continued support for a program with Project Medishare that provides prosthetic limbs to Haitian children who were injured during the January 2010 earthquake.

Knights of Columbus members also donated blood more than 418,000 times.

Over the past decade, the organization has donated $1.4 billion to charity and worked over 653 million volunteer hours in support of charitable initiatives.

Since parish priest Fr. Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Conn. in 1882, the organization has grown into the world’s largest lay Catholic organization. It has over 1.8 million members in North and Central America, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Poland.

US Bishops launch Fortnight for Freedom

The Bishops of the US are promoting two weeks of prayer for religious liberty beginning on the eve of the feast of Ss Thomas More and John Fisher and concluding on Independence Day.
The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.
The Diocese of Marqette has a webpage with resources and information and the following events will take place at St Peter Cathedral: 
  • June 21st: Viewing of "A Man for All Seasons", the acclaimed movie about the trial of St Thomas More for refusing to accept the King's authority over the Church.
  • June 27th: Claves Regni Ministries presents a discussion panel on religious freedom with the following program:
    5:15pm Mass celebrated by Bishop Sample
    6:00pm Discussion Panel made up of Bishop Sample, various clergy and lay legal and medical representatives focussing on how to be faithful to Church teaching in civil life. Light supper provided.
  • July 4th: St Peter Cathedral sponsoring an entry in the Marquette 4th of July parade celebrating themes of life, liberty, religious freedom. Participants/marchers sought.

O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be “one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Could the SSPX and the Holy See be reconciled Friday?

Many, many people are praying that this may be so. See Rorate Caeli for further information. The autor quotes from Italy's La Stampa:
After having studied with attention the text of the doctrinal preamble, with the modifications requested by the Superior of the Society of Saint Pius X, Benedict XVI would have made his decision and had delivered it to Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and to the Secretary of the same Dicastery, Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, during the audience granted to both last Saturday.

The text of the doctrinal declaration is a top secret, but it will be published - this was assured from the beginning - if an agreement between the Holy See and the Society founded by Archbishop Lefebvre is formalized. It is not possible to know, therefore, if modifications or clarifications were added to the text that Bishop Bernard Fellay had sent to Rome in mid-April and that the Cardinals had examined and discussed on May 15, in the Feria Quarta [Wednesday meeting] of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In the upcoming hours, the papal response may be delivered to the Lefebvrian superior. It will be up to him to give final assent to the preamble. ... If Fellay, after having received the Vatican response, signs the doctrinal declaration, the agreement will be officially announced.
Do join with your prayers for this intention. Friday is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, the Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.

St Anthony of Padua

The statue of St Anthony in our Church.
Today is our parish patronal feast. The Solemnity is being transferred to this coming Sunday when Bishop Sample will come to celebrate the 11am Mass in honour of our centennial celebrations.

A commemorative prayer card has been produced:

St Anthony won many heretics and others in error back to the Catholic faith. There are many in our own parish who have lapsed from the practice of the faith or who have joined other denominations. My prayer request for St Anthony's intercession is their return to the one true fold of Christ.

Here's the prayer in larger print (it is being recited daily after Mass as a Novena in preparation for Sunday):
St. Anthony, you are glorious for your miracles and for the condescension of Jesus Who came as a little child to lie in your arms. Obtain for me from His bounty the grace which I ardently desire. You were so compassionate toward sinners, do not regard my unworthiness. Let the glory of God be magnified by you in connection with the particular request that I earnestly present to you.

[State your request here.]

As a pledge of my gratitude, I promise to live more faithfully in accordance with the teachings of the Church, and to be devoted to the service of the poor whom you loved and still love so greatly. Bless this resolution of mine that I may be faithful to it until death.

St. Anthony, consoler of all the afflicted, pray for me.

St. Anthony, helper of all who invoke you, pray for me.

St. Anthony, whom the Infant Jesus loved and honored so much, pray for me. Amen.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Corpus Christi Procession, Gwinn

I hope you enjoy this slideshow of our parish Corpus Christi Procession yesterday. It kicked off a week of celebration of the centennial of the first Mass celebrated in the basement of the still uncompleted church and was followed by Benediction in the Peter Nordeen Park and luncheon.

There seems to be a problem with creating a slideshow on picasa currently. Click on the image below to view the photographs.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pray for Ireland

The International Eucharistic Congress begins tomorrow, Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Let us pray that Ireland will be renewed in its faith, that the Church in Ireland may once again be the beacon of light it once was. It was St Patrick's mission to bring the pagan Irish of his day to the Light of Christ. May Ireland spread that Light well beyond its borders.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Corpus Christi and the Restoration of the Sacred

It is wonderful to see the resurgence of processions of the Blessed Sacrament on Corpus Christi. God-willing there will be one here in Gwinn this coming Sunday and it appears that it is the first in living memory.

Pope Benedict led the traditional procession in Rome Thursday, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi according to the Universal Calendar.

His homily during the Mass made some powerful observations about the times we now live in. The Holy Father chose to dwell on two interconnected aspects of the eucharistic Mystery: the cult (or worship) of the Eucharist and its sacrality. He said how it is important to consider these two aspects in order to protect oneself from an incomplete vision of this Mystery, as has been the case in recent times.

A unilateral interpretation of Vatican Council II had penalized the dimension of adoration, in practice restricting the Eucharist to the moment of its celebration (i.e. the Mass). Of course, it is very important to recognize the centrality of the Eucharistic celebration (Mass) in which the Lord calls his people, unites it around the dual table of the Word and of the Bread of life, nourishes it and unites it to Himself in the offering of the Sacrifice. But an appropriate equilibrium is required. It has often happened that underlining one aspect results in sacrificing the other. What has happened is that the just emphasis on the celebration of the Eucharist has been made to the detriment of Eucharistic adoration as an act of faith and of prayer directed to the Lord Jesus, really present in the Sacrament of the Altar. Confining one's relationship with the Eucharistic Jesus solely to the Mass risks removing any sense of his presence from the rest of time and space. And so one perceives less the sense of Jesus' constant presence among us and with us, a concrete presence, one which is near, among our homes, as the "pulsating Heart" of the city, the country, the territory with its varied expressions and actvities.

It's a mistake to counterpose the celebration of the Mass and adoration of the Eucharist. On the contrary, the cult of the Most Holy Sacrament constitutes the spiritual "environment" in which the community can celebrate the Eucharist well and in truth.

So the Holy Father is putting adoration and Mass together. Each is necessary for a fuller appreciation of the other. Surely a symptom of the mistaken contra-positioning of adoration and celebration is the removal of the Tabernacle from its central location in our parish churches. Thankfully we are seeing a return of the Tabernacle to its rightful place at the heart of our churches.

The Holy Father also speaks about his experience of adoration as uniting the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood as both find themselves called as one in the eucharistic cult. He refers to his experiences of the youth vigils in Cologne, Hyde Park (London), Madrid and elsewhere, when all - priest and faithful - were united, and how these times of adoration prepared the hearts of all for a more fruitful encounter with the Lord in the Holy Mass.
For everyone to be in prolonged silence before the Lord present in his Sacrament, is one of the most authentic experiences of our being Church, which accompanies itself in a complementary manner with that of celebrating the Eucharist, listening to the Word of God, singing, drawing close together to the table of the Bread of life. Communion and contemplation cannot be separated, they go together.
Pope Benedict also considered the aspect of sacrality. He refers to a secularistic mentality of the sixties and seventies of last century which as influenced the cult of the Eucharist. It is important that the sacred nature of the Eucharist be manifest by appropriate signs.
If, for example, in the name of a secularized faith which has no longer any need of sacred signs, this city procession of Corpus Domini were to be abolished, the spiritual profile of Rome would be rendered flattened, and our personal and communitarian conscience would become weakened. Or let us consider a mother and a father who, in the name of a desacralized faith, would deprive their children of all religious ritual: in reality they would end up by leaving an open field to so many surrogates present in our consumer society, to other rites and other signs, which could more easily become idols. God, our Father, has not made humanity in this way: he sent his Son into the world not to abolish but to bring to fulfilment the sacred.
There are many, many people who no longer participate in the Mass and I have no doubt that this is due in large part to the desacralisation that has occurred over recent decades. It is my prayer and hope that a re-sacralization will result in recapturing the field of people's spiritual lives which have been overcome by consumerism or, lacking any real purpose in life, by despair, bitterness...

Our Blessed Sacrament procession on Sunday will be a public manifestation of our faith in the abiding presence of the Eucharistic Jesus who lives in the town, who wants to be close to the people of this town, who wants to walk by and bless the homes and businesses of this town and all who dwell or work in them.

St Anthony Parish Centenary (or Centennial if you are American) celebrations

Detail of the statue of St Anthony of
Padua in our church
This year marks 100 years since the celebration of the first Mass in the basement of the as yet uncompleted church. The schedule of this week's celebrations is as follows (do come and join us):

Sunday June 10
Solemnity of Corpus Christi
11:00am      Mass followed by Procession of the Blessed Sacrament along Pine St (M-35) to the Peter Nordeen Park where there will be Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and luncheon provided by the parish Altar Society.

6:00pm        Vespers followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Forty Hours of Adoration.

Monday June 11
9:30am         Mass (Exposition will be interrupted for Mass)
Tuesday June 12
9:00am         Solemn Benediction and conclusion of Forty Hours
9:30am         Mass

Wednesday June 13
9:30am          Votive Mass of St Anthony of Padua (our Parish Solemnity is transferred to the coming Sunday)

Thursday June 14
7:00pm          Mass (Latin, 1962 Missal)

Friday June 15
Solemnity of the Sacred Heart
7:00pm          Mass and Consecration of the Parish to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Saturday June 16
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
10:00am        Mass and Consecration of the Parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Sunday June 17
11:00am        Mass of St Anthony of Padua, our Parish Patron Saint, celebrated by His Excellency the Most Reverend Alexander K Sample, Bishop of Marquette, followed by celebratory luncheon.

Wildlife at the rectory

Here are some of the species that give me pleasure in my back yard:


Humming Birds

Ground Squirrel

Blue Jays

Sparrows (or are they?)

Clouds tonight

In case you'd like to see the interesting cloud formations outside the rectory this evening. This is a very beautiful part of the world. Lift up your hearts to the Lord!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Communion at St John's Espicopalian Church Detroit

I was searching for a video of the Rendez a Dieu hymn music since it is the tune to the hymn set for Vespers of Corpus Christi at and I came across this one. See how in this video communicants all receive kneeling, and they have an interesting solution to the distribution of Communion under both kinds - a number of ministers of the chalice who come to the communion rail after the priest has distributed under the form of bread, and things run smoothly and reverently. Of course the eucharist is celebrated in an eastward facing direction.

You can watch the Canon here.  All familiar with the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will notice unmistakeable similarities: the repeated signings of the Cross over the offerings, and the signs of the Cross made with the consecrated bread at the "Through him, with him..." If this is an example of Anglican Patrimony that may now be considered part of the treasury of the Catholic Church as a result of Pope Benedict's creation of Personal Ordinariates for former anglicans, how enriched the Church will be.

Our Catholic parishes could take note...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pope Benedict: Europe is missionary territory

Each month I make sure the Pope's General and Missionary Intentions are included in the Prayers of the Faithful. I was struck by the Pope's Missionary Intention for June:
European Christians. That Christians in Europe may rediscover their true identity and participate with greater enthusiasm in the proclamation of the Gospel.
Loss of identity... lack of enthusiasm... faith fatigue... old Europe... like sheep without a shepherd... the harvest is rich... send labourers... clear in their identity... full of youthful enthusiasm for the proclamation of the Gospel... send forth Your Spirit... renew the face of Europe and the earth.

My previous parish celebrates 25 years

On Saturday May 26, Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark visited the parish of St Simon Stock, South Ashford, where I was parish priest from 2001 - 2010. There are some lovely photographs at the diocese's flickr page.

Many treasured memories came flooding back.


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