Monday, January 31, 2011

The Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenary Healers Cyrus and John

Today the Byzantine Churches keep the feast of these two saints. According to In Persona Christi:

These Saints lived during the years of Diocletian. Saint Cyrus was from Alexandria, and Saint John was from Edessa of Mesopotamia. Because of the persecution of that time, Cyrus fled to the Gulf of Arabia, where there was a small community of monks. John, who was a soldier, heard of Cyrus' fame and came to join him. Henceforth, they passed their life working every virtue, and healing every illness and disease freely by the grace of Christ; hence their title of "Unmercenaries." They heard that a certain woman, named Athanasia, had been apprehended together with her three daughters, Theodora, Theoctiste, and Eudoxia, and taken to the tribunal for their confession of the Faith. Fearing lest the tender young maidens be terrified by the torments and renounce Christ, they went to strengthen them in their contest in martryrdom; therefore they too were seized. After Cyrus and John and those sacred women had been greatly tormented, all were beheaded in the year 292. Their tomb became a renowned shrine in Egypt, and a place of universal pilgrimage. It was found in the area of the modern day resort near Alexandria named Abu Kyr. 
 More information is available from the Orthdox Church in America.

The following antiphons are used in the Byzantine Rite office today:

Troparion: The grace of the Trinity settled in your pure hearts, most blessed Cyrus and John. You have become marvelous exorcists of impure spirits. You were doctors over hidden and visible illnesses. Now that you stand before God, heal our spiritual diseases by your unceasing prayers.

Kontakion: Receiving the gift of miracles from divine grace, you work all sorts of wonders, O holy ones. By your invisible labors you uproot all our passions, for you are heavenly doctors, O God-wise Cyrus! O glorious John!

On retreat

So here I am at Holy Transfiguration Skete. Was up just after 4am to be in good time for Matins and Divine Liturgy which all commenced at 5am. Five monks (two priests, a deacon, two lay - in the canonical sense of non-ordained). Beautiful singing and sweet odours of incense. Mary is very prominent in all the liturgical services:
You are more honorable than the Cherubim, beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim! In virginity You bore God's Word; O Mother of God, we extol you!
And again:
Since we have no one in whom to confide because of our many sins, O Virgin Mother of God, intercede for us with the one who was born of you, for a mother's prayer is a powerful means for obtaining the Master's favor. O you who are most worthy of veneration, do not turn away from the pleading of us sinners, for the one who willed to suffer in the flesh for our sake is full of mercy.
Was all over as we approached 8am. After which the monks invited me to join them for breakfast (normally breakfast is not had with the monks but in one's cabin) at which I enjoyed their friendship. Will maybe get some photos of the monks and the liturgy in due course.

Although I attended the Divine Liturgy and received Holy Communion, Fr Basil the guestmaster kindly arranged for me to celebrate the Latin Rite Mass which he said I may do at any time. Tomorrow I shall concelebrate at the Divine Liturgy after a practicum following mid-day prayer today.

Some photos:

The Church

The Holy Doors

Latin Rite Mass (Extraordinary Form) arranged on the Eastern altar.

My cabin!

Downstairs study.

Upstairs bedroom/sitting room.

Cold outside, warm inside! Icicles are a sign that there is heat inside, some of which has escaped causing some of the ice/snow to melt only to re-freeze as it falls from the roof.

Kitchen which has been well stocked with provisions by the monks.

Downstairs bedroom.

I recommend it!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

More on abortion

I received an email recently from a contact with good news of a "save": a few months ago a volunteer stopped a young couple on their way in to an abortion clinic in Brighton, Sussex, UK. She showed them a picture of what abortion did to an 8 week old baby. They changed their minds - and their lives. Ruby was born recently to a couple of very happy parents.

The email contained a link to (For the benefit of non-UK readers, 1967 was the year abortion became legal in Great Britain.) From there I was also taken to The Grantham Collection.

Both websites have some extremely graphic videos of what abortion actually entails. I have to admit to having been left very shaken by what I saw. The videos give you a countdown warning so that you can navigate away from the website or stop the video if you wish. I have opted not to embed the videos on this blog as young people might be reading it. Make up your own mind as to whether you wish to view them or not. I was shocked by two things: (a) the sheer bloodiness of abortion and the attack on the child; (b) the violation of the mother it entails.

How can an abortionist's conscience be so numbed as to be able to do this?

There are those who say images of the horror of abortion are not the way to change minds. I agree completely that there are places where these images are not helpful. But from the point of view of campaigning for justice in the political arena, they are necessary. And such an image helped save Ruby.


I hope to get hold of this book when I have read through the many unread books I have accumulated.

Order it from Ignatius Press.

Apparently Abby Johnson is to become a Catholic. See Catholic San Francisco:
The woman who walked away from her job as a Planned Parenthood clinic director after helping with an ultrasound-guided abortion is on the verge of entering the Catholic Church.

Abby Johnson, 30, who will speak at the 11 a.m. Walk for Life West Coast rally in San Francisco Jan. 22, is preparing with her husband Doug to enter the Catholic Church in her native Texas within the next few months. The couple has a 4-year-old daughter.

“When we went to the Catholic Church for the first time we knew that was where we were supposed to be and we have been there ever since,” said Johnson, who said she particularly loves the church’s reverence for Mary as the mother of God. “The more we started learning about the beliefs of the church and the Eucharist and everything, it seemed like this was what had been missing our whole lives.”

After eight years as a Planned Parenthood volunteer and employee, Johnson walked away from her job as director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan/College Station, Texas, Oct. 6, 2009 during a prayer vigil by 40 Days for Life. Johnson, who had two abortions at 20 and at 23, first began working as a clinic escort while a student at Texas A&M University. Assisting with an ultrasound during an abortion in September 2009 turned her into a pro-life advocate.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Learn to celebrate and/or serve the Latin Mass

Once again the Latin Mass Society is running a Priests Training Conference in May this year. Here is the information they have provided. Having attend one a few years ago I can personally recommend it.
The Latin Mass Society has announced its seventh residential conference for priests who wish to learn the Extraordinary Form of Mass. The conference will take place at Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh, Devon from Tuesday 3rd to Friday 6th May.

Tuition will be given in small groups selected according to ability, and will cover Low Mass, Missa Cantata and Missa Solemnis. It is also hoped to provide tuition in the sacraments of baptism and marriage. Only rudimentary Latin is required.

There will also be a residential course for laymen wishing to learn to serve the Extraordinary Form.

The conference will begin late morning on the Tuesday, although there will be the opportunity for those travelling long distances to stay at Buckfast Abbey on the Monday night. The conference will end after lunch on the Friday.

There will be sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form each day; parts of the Office will also be sung.

The inclusive fee is £85 which covers all tuition, accommodation and board.

Application forms for both priests and servers training are available from the LMS office (+44 (0)20 7404 7284) or the LMS website.

LMS Chairman, Doctor Joseph Shaw said: “The LMS’s training conferences are now well-established in the Church’s calendar of activities. We have already trained over a hundred priests and many more Extraordinary Form Masses are being offered around the country due to our training activities”.

For Downloadable Pictures go here.

I'm sorry....

but this...

... is an abomination.

(From Damian Thompson's blog.)

March for Life in 50 seconds!

Great video:

March for Life - malicious media cover up

It is said that some 400,000 attended last Monday's March for Life in Washington DC. Yet what coverage did it get in the mainstream media?

Michelle Malkin is a fiery columnist and journalist. She appears regularly on Fox News. I always enjoy hearing what she has to say - she says things with that outraged indignation that is refreshing, even if at times one might filter some of her rhetoric.

Here she gives her view of the media cover up and the importance of this event in a column on her website: The March for Life 2011: America’s REAL rally to restore hope and sanity.

She writes:
Today marks the 38th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. Throngs of peaceful activists — increasingly young and minority — will fill the streets of the nation’s capital to speak up and stand up for unborn life.

It has become an annual ritual to watch the national media and liberal commentariat strain to ignore or marginalize the burgeoning movement.

Expect no different this year. 
Malkin contrasts President Obama's comments on Roe vs Wade with those he made concerning what she calls the Philadelphia Horror (Scissors-wielding abortionist arrested on multiple murder counts):
Here is President Obama’s statement on Roe v. Wade:
Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.

I am committed to protecting this constitutional right. I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.

And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.
Here is his statement on the Philadelphia Horror:

Oh, wait. There isn’t one.
Here's a youtube video about the cover up last year:

Going on retreat

Tomorrow evening I hope to get away for a week's retreat at the Holy Transfiguration Skete in Eagle Harbor on the Keewena Peninsula.

Here are some photos I took when I visited with my brother (Fr Stephen) in Summer 2009. It will look and feel rather different in February!

Father Nicholas.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

March for Life - the journey home

After concluding our march we travelled overnight to Detroit for morning prayer, Mass and breakfast at Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, followed by a guided tour. And then we went on to Ann Arbor to visit the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist.

The March for Life

Here is a slide show of some of my photos from yesterday's March for Life. Huge crowds including masses of youth. That's what happens when you are pro-life - you get lots of young people!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Off to DC tonight for the March for Life

Some opportunities for cheerful sacrifice on the way and back: two overnights on the bus, but good company with prayers and fun. See more information here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Is Religion a Myth? Talk at NMU (Northern Michigan University) Catholic Campus Ministry

Yesterday evening the above unfortunates had to endure my rabbiting on about science and religion, evolution and the interconnectedness of everything in the universe, how everything in the universe is contingent and must have a cause, how the observability of law and order in the universe demonstrates the existence of an Intelligent Mind behind it, and that there is clearly a design and purpose in the universe which indicates the existence of a Mind that directs the unfolding of that purpose.

Much of what I spoke about can be heard in talks given by speakers at Faith conferences, some of which can be downloaded at the Faith movement website.

Useful pamphlets can be downloaded here.

I recently purchased a copy of Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. He makes the following assertion about religious believers:
Of course, dyed-in-the-wool faith-heads are immune to argument, their resistance built up over years of childhood indoctrination using methods that took centuries to mature (whether by evolution or design).
We must prove Dawkins wrong about this. Catholics must be prepared to debate the findings of science on science's own grounds, using the rules of science and appealing to the use of reason.

Pope Benedict spoke in Westminster Hall about the "corrective" role of religion vis-a-vis reason:
The role of religion in political debate is not so much to supply these (objective moral) norms, as if they could not be known by non-believers - still less to propose concrete political solutions, which would lie altogether outside the competence of religion - but rather to help purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles.

On the other hand, the Pope also spoke about the "purifying and structuring role of reason within religion" which is necessary to counter "distorted forms of religion, such as sectarianism and fundamentalism."
These distortions of religion arise when insufficient attention is given to the purifying and structuring role of reason within religion. It is a two-way process. Without the corrective supplied by religion ... reason ... can fall prey to distortions, as when it is manipulated by ideology, or applied in a partial way that fails to take full account of the dignity of the human person. Such misuse of reason, after all, was what gave rise to the slave trade in the first place and to many other social evils... That is why I would suggest that the world of reason and the world of faith - the world of secular rationality and the world of religious belief - need one another and should not be afraid to enter into a profound and ongoing dialogue, for the good of our civilisation.
Such a dialogue is also essential between the worlds of science and faith. Both can experience a mutual "purification" and "correction".

I mean, how can Dawkins posit this as a valid hypothesis:
Any creative intelligence, of sufficient complexity to design anything, comes into existence only as the end product of an extended process of gradual evolution. Creative intelligences, being evolved, necessarily arrive lat in the universe, and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it.
Therefore (so Dawkins is saying) there cannot be a God, an intelligence, who put the universe there in the first place.

This from Kevin McKenna of The Observer January 2nd 2011:
The Pope's visit (to the UK) was great but tinged with sadness because it reduced that once-great biologist Richard Dawkins to a rambling and wild-eyed madman hurling foam-flecked adolescent insults at the Roman holy man. I trust someone is giving the scientist his soup and caramelised biscuits as he recuperates. I even hear of a Richard Dawkins care fund. Could someone forward me the address? So the award must go to Craig Levein, the Scotland international football team coach.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Altar Servers Day at Good Shepherd Church, New Addington

My brother, Father Stephen Boyle, Pastor/Parish Priest of Good Shepherd Church, New Addington, writes:

Here is a photo of our altar servers day on 8th January. It was a reunion of servers who went to Rome in October, but also served as a day for servers who had attended any previous events. Input was given on the sites of Rome, including a mention about the visit to the congregation of the doctrine of the faith with Mons. Burke. The Italian theme continued with pizzas eaten after the Mass. Fr. Behruz Raf'at helped out at the day.

New Missal - English & Welsh Bishops ahead of the game

The new translation of the Missal is due to be published in time for Advent this year. But it will begin to be used in parishes in England and Wales from September onwards. This is so that there can be a period of "in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration."

Catholic Communications Network Press Release
Liturgy Office webpage on the Roman Missal.
Bishops' Press Release about Become One Body One Spirit in Christ - interactive DVD

Monday, January 17, 2011

Deacons and continence

My blog visitor count is up again, this time because of comments I have made on the above topic.

For my readers who don't trawl the blogosphere, here are some blogs that are currently discussing the issue, some humorously, others more seriously, some with misgivings...

The Anchoress: Deacons in the Center-Ring.

Dr Edward Peters, the one who started the whole thing:
His Studia Canonica article can be found here.
Canon 277 and clerical continence in the Roman Church
Why Canon 277 § 3 does not allow bishops to exempt clerics from the obligation of continence
Some thoughts on Dcn. Ditewig's comments on diaconal continence
The difference between personal status and the objective requirements of law
Let's avoid “consequence-driven analysis”
Debating complex points of law is hard enough; having to repudiate false quotations is too much
Addressing questions on clerical continence requires attention to Holy Orders as well as to Matrimony
Four options regarding continence and married clergy in the West (summary)
Four options... full article.

Dr Peters' son Thomas: Church Law says Permanent Deacons (and all clerics) are obliged to abstain from sex, notes Canonist Edward Peters {updated}

Deacon Greg Kandra: Can you countenance continence?

Deacon William T. Ditewig

Abbey Roads: Can the new Anglican Catholic priests keep "doin' it"?

John Martens in America Magazine: Sex and the Married Deacon

Father Ray Blake: Clergy and Sex.

A concerned Eastern Rite Catholic writes A Critical Consideration of The Case for Clerical Celibacy

Anglican Ordinariate - odd announcement from Vatican Information Services


- Appointed Rev. Keith Newton as first ordinary of the new Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the territory of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. Rev. Newton was born in Liverpool, England in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1976 for the Anglican diocese of Chelmsford. In March 2002 he was ordained as suffragan bishop of Richborough.

All good news, of course. Why the inclusion of his Anglican cv (almost giving tacit recognition of his anglican orders: "ordained a priest") and nothing about his ordination as a Catholic priest on 15th January?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ordination of Father Alex Hill, a former anglican

I am glad to find news of a friend and former student of mine who was ordained to the priesthood yesterday. His ordination is also significant as it is one of many that have taken place over the years and are still about to take place of men who have become Catholics and who wish to serve in the already established dioceses of England and Wales, and other dioceses. See Jeffrey Steel's blog de cura animarum. Jeffrey also was once an anglican priest.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Anglican Ordinariate Established

On the day when three former anglican bishops are ordained priests of the Catholic Church, the new Ordinariate is erected with one of their number, Father Keith Newton, as Ordinary. For further information about today's historic events visit St John the Baptist, Sevenoaks where Father James Bradley's sense of being part of history is made palpable: Archbishop Nichols' homily, Statement by the First Ordinary, Great Day Indeed, Done, Adsum, Priests for ever, Ite Missa est. And pray for Father Bradley and others who must be considering their positions.

VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2011 (VIS) - "In accordance with the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum coetibus' of Pope Benedict XVI (4 November 2009) and after careful consultation with the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has today erected a Personal Ordinariate within the territory of England and Wales for those groups of Anglican clergy and faithful who have expressed their desire to enter into full visible communion with the Catholic Church", reads an English-language communique released today. "The Decree of Erection specifies that the Ordinariate will be known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and will be placed under the patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman.

  "A Personal Ordinariate is a canonical structure that provides for corporate reunion in such a way that allows former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their distinctive Anglican patrimony. With this structure, the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum coetibus' seeks to balance on the one hand the concern to preserve the worthy Anglican liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions and, on the other hand, the concern that these groups and their clergy will be fully integrated into the Catholic Church.

  "For doctrinal reasons the Church does not, in any circumstances, allow the ordination of married men as bishops. However, the Apostolic Constitution does provide, under certain conditions, for the ordination as Catholic priests of former Anglican married clergy. Today at Westminster Cathedral in London, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, ordained to the Catholic priesthood three former Anglican bishops: Reverend Andrew Burnham, Reverend Keith Newton, and Reverend John Broadhurst.

  "Also today Pope Benedict XVI has nominated Reverend Keith Newton as the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Together with Reverend Burnham and Reverend Broadhurst, Reverend Newton will oversee the catechetical preparation of the first groups of Anglicans in England and Wales who will be received into the Catholic Church together with their pastors at Easter, and will accompany the clergy preparing for ordination to the Catholic priesthood around Pentecost.

  "The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church. The initiative leading to the publication of the Apostolic Constitution and the erection of this Personal Ordinariate came from a number of different groups of Anglicans who have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has now come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion". OP/VIS 20110115 (460)

Conferral of Papal Honours at St Peter Cathedral, Marquette

 Bishop Sample pictured with our honoured members after the Solemn Vespers.
"If one part (of the body) is honoured, all the parts share its joy."
This was the sentiment taken from St Paul's first letter to the Corinthians and shared by Bishop Alexander Sample with all who were gathered at the Cathedral yesterday for Solemn Vespers during which took place the conferral of the papal honours of Knight Commander and Dame of the Order of St Gregory the Great upon Robert and Barbara Stebler and Prelate of Honour upon Monsignor Michael Steber, pastor of the Cathedral parish.

 With Jocelyn Basse, director of the Cathedral children's choir.

With Cassie Cram and Matthew Anderson.

With Father Tim Ekaitis, former Associate Pastor of the Cathedral and currently Pastor at Norway, and Dustin Katona, youth ministry co-ordinator.

 Msgr Steber with his brother Tom and sister-in-law Linda.

With the first lady of the diocese, Mrs Joyce Sample, the Bishop's mother.

That reading from St Paul also refers to the suffering of one part of the body causing all the parts to suffer with it. Msgr Steber's mother's funeral took place just last Monday. All joined in offering their prayers for the repose of her soul.

Friday, January 14, 2011

SPUC aims to prevent bedroom abortions

The very thought of a young girl or of a woman living with an abortion going on inside her and then delivering the dead baby at home is appalling. Here's SPUC's press statement of yesterday.
London, 13 January 2011 – Leading pro-life group the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has said that it will seek leave to intervene in a court case on the legality of so-called bedroom abortions.

SPUC was responding to a High Court challenge launched by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), one of Britain’s main abortion providers. BPAS is seeking to widen the scope for using the drug misoprostol, used in conjunction with RU486, the abortion drug. BPAS uses the drugs to poison the uterine environment and kill unborn children. Allowing misoprostol to be taken at home will increase the numbers of women delivering their dead child at home.

Paul Tully, SPUC’s general secretary, said “Abortion is an appalling ordeal for women, as well as the killing of an unborn child. In taking this legal action BPAS is trivialising abortion and jeopardising women’s welfare. We will seek to intervene in this case on behalf of unborn children, whose right to life has been protected from the time of Hippocrates in ancient Greece to the establishing of international human rights law in modern times. In contrast, the right to abortion – the killing of an unborn baby - does not exist in English law or any international human rights instrument.

“Ann Furedi, head of BPAS, has said that ‘rising abortion rates are not a problem’ (Spiked Online, 31 March 2008 ). This cynical attitude is deeply disturbing”, concluded Mr Tully.

Some facts about RU486 and misoprostol:
  • The woman is directly involved in the abortion by having to take the pills herself.
  • The nature of the drug means that the woman must live with her abortion over the course of a number of days. The president of Roussel Uclaf, the original makers of RU486, said “The woman must live with this for a full week. This is an appalling psychological ordeal”. (Edouard Sakiz, chairman, Roussel-Uclaf, August 1990)
  • The woman may abort at home and suffer the distress of seeing the expelled embryo/foetus, which she is required to keep and return to the hospital or clinic to help determine if the abortion is complete. If BPAS challenge is successful, women taking misoprostol will go into labour at home.  This can be very distressing as labour, usually associated with child-birth, now becomes associated with the delivery of a dead child.
  • Use of RU486/misoprostol may cause any of the following: haemorrhage requiring blood transfusion, severe pain requiring strong pain killers, incomplete abortion, rupture of the uterus, vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, muscle weakness, dizziness, flushing, chills, backache, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, palpitations, rise in temperature and fall in blood pressure. The number and diverse nature of the side effects of RU486/ misoprostol point to the fact that these are powerful chemicals.
To subscribe to SPUC's email information services, please visit The reliability of the news herein is dependent on that of the cited sources, which are paraphrased rather than quoted. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the society. © Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, 2011

Abortion a motherly act?

Found this via a news item from SPUC (separate post on this). Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS says

Why rising abortion rates are not a problem

Let’s welcome the fact that women take motherhood so seriously that, with the aid of abortion, they put it off till they’re ready.

She writes:

Caitlin Moran, a columnist for The Times (London), argued this point eloquently in April 2007, in an article headlined ‘Abortion: why it’s the ultimate motherly act’. ‘My belief in the ultimate sociological, emotional and practical necessity for abortion [became] even stronger after I had my two children’, she wrote. ‘It is only after you have had a nine-month pregnancy, laboured to get the child out, fed it, cared for it, sat with it until 3am, risen with it at 6am, swooned with love for it and been reduced to furious tears by it that you really understand just how important it is for a child to be wanted. And, possibly even more importantly, to be wanted by a reasonably sane, stable mother.’

How perverse society's thinking has become. Read Furedi's article here.

March for Life, Washington DC, coming up

I have received information from Priests for Life about the upcoming March for Life which takes place in Washington DC on Monday 24th January. Together with our pastor Msgr Michael Steber I'm hoping to attend with a group from the diocese of Marquette.

There is a lot going on that weekend as the following from the Priests for Life website describes:

2011 March for Life - Walk for Life

Attend and participate in the activities below

Support the men and women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign by attending the Campaign gathering in Washington, DC or San Francisco, CA and listening to the testimonies.  If you regret your abortion or lost fatherhood, sign up to hold a sign or give your testimony by emailing Georgette at  Whether or not you can attend the gatherings, please spread the testimonies found at

Attention: Pro-Life materials available: We would like to provide your entire parish with Pro-life prayer cards and You Can Save Someone’s Life Today bulletin inserts, free of charge! This bulletin insert provides several ideas for how anyone can participate in the pro-life movement. The prayer cards, along with a video, are also available for buses going to the March for Life in DC or the Walk for Life in San Francisco. Schools can also benefit from the prayer cards by getting all of the students to pray together for life.  Call us at 1-888-735-3448 x238 or email

West Coast Walk for Life

Friday, January 21: San Francisco, CA
8-9pm PT: Fr. Frank to speak at an Interfaith Prayer service to be held from 8-9pm PT at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough St., San Francisco. Georgette Forney, co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will also participate in this event.

Saturday, January 22: San Francisco, CA
8am PT: Fr. Frank will concelebrate Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 8am PT.
11am PT: West Coast Walk for Life beginning with a rally at 11am PT at Justin Hermann Plaza. Georgette Forney and Fr. Frank will March in front with the women and men of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.

1:45pm PT:  Women and men of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will gather and give testimonies at Marina Green Park on Marina Boulevard. Please come to support the men and women of the Campaign.  Spread the testimonies!

3pm PT: Fr. Frank will speak at a Youth Rally at Ft. Mason on the Bay arena.

March for Life in Washington, DC

Saturday, January 22: Washington, DC
5:30pm ET: Life Prizes celebration at the Ritz-Carlton.  Dr. Alveda King of Priests for Life and Marie Smith of Gospel of Life Ministries will both receive awards.  Click here to read the press release.

Sunday, January 23: Washington, DC
3:30-5:30pm ET:  Book signing at the bookstore of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception with Fr. Frank and Priests for Life full-time associates Theresa and Kevin Burke of Rachel’s Vineyard.

9am-9pm ET: Students for Life Conference, Bethesda, MD.  Priests for Life will have an information table at this conference.

6:30pm ET: Pro-Life Mass in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine

Monday, January 24: Washington, DC
8am-10:15am ET: The nation's premier pro-life service on Capitol Hill, The National Memorial for the Pre-Born and their Mothers and Fathers. Fr. Frank to deliver the homily. We are confirming the exact location in one of our Federal buildings, and will provide that detail shortly.

12pm-1:30pm ET: March for Life Rally at the National Mall at 4th Street NW.

1:30pm ET: March for Life. Fr. Frank, Janet Morana and Georgette Forney will March with men and women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign at the front of the crowd.

3pm ET: Gathering of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign at the steps of the Supreme Court.  Come to support and listen to the men and women who have lost children to abortion.  Fr. Frank and Dr. Alveda King will address the crowd, followed by testimonies. Please come to support the men and women of the Campaign.  Spread the testimonies!

6pm ET: March for Life Rose dinner.  Fr. Frank and other Priests for Life staff will be in attendance.

Visit the Priests for Life booth at the March for Life Exhibit Hall: Located on the lower level of the Hyatt Regency hotel. The hours of operation are 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Saturday, January 22; 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday, January 23, 2011; 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM and approximately 3:00 PM (following the March) until 6:00 PM on Monday, January 24.

Pope John Paul II to be Beatified next Divine Mercy Sunday

VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 (VIS) - On 1 May, the second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Benedict XVI will preside at the rite of beatification for John Paul II in the Vatican.

According to a note released by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, "today 14 January, Benedict XVI, during an audience granted to Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, authorised the dicastery to promulgate the decree of the miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla). This concludes the process which precedes the rite of beatification.

"It is well known that, by pontifical dispensation, his cause began before the end of the five-year period which the current norms stipulate must pass following the death of a Servant of God. This provision was solicited by the great fame of sanctity which Pope John Paul II enjoyed during his life, in his death and after his death. In all other ways, the normal canonical dispositions concerning causes of beatification and canonisation were observed in full.

"Between June 2005 and April 2007 the principal diocesan investigation was held in Rome, accompanied by secondary investigations in various other dioceses, on his life, virtues, fame of sanctity and miracles. The juridical validity of these canonical processes was recognised by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints with a decree of 4 May 2007. In June 2009, having examined the relative 'Positio', nine of the dicastery's theological consultors expressed their positive judgement concerning the heroic nature of the virtues of the Servant of God. The following November, in keeping with the usual procedure, the 'Positio' was submitted for the judgement of the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who gave their approval.

"On 19 December 2009, Benedict XVI authorised the promulgation of the decree on John Paul II's heroic virtues.

"With a view to the beatification of the Venerable Servant of God, the postulator of the cause invited the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to examine the recovery from Parkinson's disease of Sr. Marie Simon Pierre Normand, a religious of the 'Institut des Petites Soeurs des Maternites Catholiques'.

"As is customary, the voluminous acts of the regularly-instituted canonical investigation, along with detailed reports from medical and legal experts, were submitted for scientific examination by the medical consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 21 October 2010. The experts of the congregation, having studied the depositions and the entire documentation with their customary scrupulousness, expressed their agreement concerning the scientifically inexplicable nature of the healing. On 14 December the theological consultors, having examined the conclusions reached by the medical experts, undertook a theological evaluation of the case and unanimously recognised the unicity, antecedence and choral nature of the invocation made to Servant of God John Paul II, whose intercession was effective in this prodigious healing.

"Finally, on 11 January 2011 the ordinary session of the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints took place. They expressed their unanimous approval, believing the recovery of Sr. Marie Simon Pierre to be miraculous, having been achieved by God in a scientifically inexplicable manner following the intercession of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, trustingly invoked both by Sr. Simon herself and by many other faithful". CCS/VIS 20110114 (570)
Published by VIS - Holy See Press Office - Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One good reason for leaving the Anglican "Church"

The Anglican bishop of Massachusetts, the Rt Revd M Thomas Shaw SSJE, witnesses the "marriage" of the Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale and Mally Lloyd, Canon to the Ordinary on New Year's Day 2011.

By Father James Bradley of St John the Baptist Church, Sevenoaks, Kent who, by the way, are using the Evangelium course to learn about the Catholic Faith.

Ordinariate diaconate ordinations in London today

The same Father James Bradley whose tweet I referred to yesterday has blogged about the diaconate ordination today of the three former anglican bishops who were received into the Catholic Church on New Year's Day. Priesthood on Saturday.

Father Bradley, who remains an assistant curate at the Anglican church of St John the Baptist in Sevenoaks, Kent, writes:

Where were you when JFK was shot? Where were you when the white smoke came from the Sistine Chapel that elected Pope Benedict? Where were you when the Ordinariate began?

Tonight, quietly and calmly - but with the beauty and splendour of the Mass - the face of English Christianity changed. Tonight the first three men were ordained for the Ordinariate in these isles and another step towards the fulfilment of Christ's prayer - that all may be one - was made.

John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton are brave men of great integrity who, only a few days ago, left their old lives behind to follow Christ's call and to take up the great challenge laid out by the Holy Father in Anglicanorum coetibus. These three, now in the full communion of the Catholic Church, gave up all they had been given and this evening submitted humbly to 'the quiet rectification', in Aidan Nichols' words, of their orders.
It was moving beyond words to be present at this momentous occasion.

Go read more, and pray for Father Bradley and others who must surely be yearning for the fullnes of Christian Unity, as indeed we Catholics are yearning to have communion with him and others like him.

Does there exist an 'internal forum' solution for divorced and remarried Catholics?

The situation of those whose marriages have, sadly, broken down and who have entered into new unions without the Church's blessing is a common object of the pastoral attention of priests. It can be very tempting to propose a solution that does not reflect the Church's constant teaching in this regard. It is not 'pastoral' to admit people in this situation to absolution and Holy Communion unless they undertake to live as 'brother and sister' and, then, to only receive the sacraments in places where scandal would be avoided.

A couple of years ago I wrote a paper on the subject. I have now provided a link to it in the sidebar of this blog. I hope it is helpful.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Portal Magazine launched

From a tweet from Rev. James D Bradley, assistant curate at St John the Baptist Anglican Church, Sevenoaks, Kent, news of the launch of an online magazine (ezine) The Portal, an independent review in the service of the Ordinariate.

EWTN programme on the Ordinariate

Father Timothy Finigan, together with Fathers Roger Nesbit and Peter Geldard were interviewed at Arundel Castle for a programme to be broadcast on EWTN. Father Nesbit is parish priest at Folkestone. The Anglican parish there was one of the first to announce that it would be taking advantage of the provisions set out in Anglicanorum Coetibus. Father Geldard is a former anglican clergyman and now a priest for many years in the archdiocese of Southwark. He has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes with individuals and groups who have been seeking communion with the Catholic Church.

Ordinariate to be established on or before January 15th

Fr Marcus Stock, General Secretary, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has published some background information on the forthcoming establishment of the Personal Ordinariate for groups of faithful and their clergy from the Anglican Communion entering into full Communion with the Catholic Church.
On or before 15 January 2011, it is expected that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will publish a Decree which will formally establish a ‘Personal Ordinariate’ in England and Wales ... for groups of Anglican faithful and their clergy who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.
There is very detailed and helpful information to assist all the faithful understand better what the Ordinariate is about and how it will function. Fr Stock writes:
The Ordinariate will then bring a mutual enrichment and exchange of gifts, in an authentic and visible form of full communion, between those baptised and nurtured in Anglicanism and the Catholic Church.
A question that many may ask is why priests for the Ordinariate are being ordained so quickly without the normal length of preparation being observed:
A key aspect of the establishment of the Ordinariate by Pope Benedict is that it enables groups of former Anglicans and their clergy to stay together. This is quite new as previously former Anglican clergy seeking ordination in the Catholic Church were separated from their communities, even if some members of those communities also became Catholics. A different timetable is required if this new aspect is to be achieved. For this reason, the ordinations of the first priests for the Ordinariate will take place while their formation is still in process so as to enable them to minister to their communities within the full communion of the Catholic Church. The ordinations of the former Anglican bishops are taking place at this time with the expressed permission of the Holy Father so that they can play a role in the very first stages of the development of the Ordinariate.
The three former Anglican bishops who were received into full communion on New Year's Day are to be ordained deacon tomorrow and priest on 15th. History is being made...


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