31 December 2009

As we enter a new year...


O most loving Father, who willest us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of thee, and to cast all our care on thee, who carest for us; Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which thou hast manifested unto us in thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


"Groups of Anglicans" Forum


There's a new forum called "Groups of Anglicans," and it's for Anglicans (formerly or presently) - or anybody else, really - with an interest in Anglicanorum coetibus.  It's hosted by The Anglo-Catholic, a blog moderated by Christian Campbell.  Mr. Campbell is a member of the Diocese of the Eastern United States, part of the Anglican Church in America.  They're affiliated with the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). 

You can click here to get to the forum.  Membership is small now, but I encourage you to register and take part in the discussion.  It's a good way to get to know others outside the Anglican Use parishes.  When Anglicanorum coetibus is implemented our family is going to grow, and many of those whom you'll meet in this forum will be in the Ordinariate with us.

Of course, as with any forum, there will be people posting who "don't get it," or who have some strange ideas.  Don't be put off.  It's an opportunity to talk about our own experience of maintaining an Anglican identity within the Catholic Church, which is an experience many others haven't yet had.

Te Deum

A venerable tradition is that of singing the Te Deum on the last day of the year.  I figured you might like to take the lazy way, and allow the Choir of Westminster Abbey do the singing for you...



We praise thee, O God: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship Thee, the Father everlasting.
To Thee all Angels cry aloud: the Heavens and all the powers therein.
To Thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry, Holy, Holy, Holy: Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy Glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles praise Thee.
The godly fellowship of the Prophets praise Thee.
The noble army of Martyrs praise Thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge Thee;
The Father of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true, and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost: the Comforter.

Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou tookest upon Thee to deliver man: Thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, Thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge.
We therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints in glory everlasting.

O Lord, save Thy people: and bless Thine heritage.
Govern them and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnify Thee; and we worship Thy Name, ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let Thy mercy lighten upon us: as our trust is in Thee.
O Lord, in Thee have I trusted: let me never be confounded.

Holy Day of Obligation

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Vigil Mass on Thursday, 31 December, at 6:30 p.m.
Solemn High Mass on Friday, 1 January, at 10:00 a.m.



O God, who didst vouchsafe that, as at this time, thy Word was made flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary: grant to us thy humble servants; that we, believing her to be indeed the Mother of God, may by her intercession find favor in thy sight. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

30 December 2009

A special window...

It's special, not because it's of rare artistic value or of great age.  In fact, as stained glass, it's very nice but not remarkable.  No, it's special because of the occasion it commemorates.  I have the story in the side bar of this blog, which says:
"With all my heart, I bless you and your people..."
In 1983 I was a newly-ordained priest. In November of that year, it was my privilege to be in Rome to take part in developing The Book of Divine Worship. During that time an invitation was extended to celebrate Mass with His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in his private chapel. After we had said Mass, and in those few moments I had with the Holy Father, he told me that he remembered considering the request for my ordination, and he described how he came to an affirmative decision. For me, our brief conversation was an experience which will be treasured forever. At the conclusion of our time together, I asked him if I could take his blessing back to the people of my parish. His very simple words remain precious to me: "With all my heart, I bless you and your people." He then embraced me, and I knew that I was forever "home in my Father's house."
The window is a half-window located over a door by the pulpit, and here are a few pictures showing the details.
 
The Coat of Arms of Ven. John Paul II is at the top,
connected by the grape vine to our parish symbol of the Pelican.
 

 
The words spoken to me by the Holy Father:
 


The date and place:


 
Detail showing the Pelican (a symbol of the Atonement):
 


The name of the parish and the date of its founding:


 
The blessing given to us by the Holy Father has been wonderfully fruitful over these past several years, and with the promulgation of Anglicanorum coetibus, I'm sure the blessings will continue to multiply!

29 December 2009

In the Octave...


Almighty God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin: Grant that we, being regenerate and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

28 December 2009

Eyewitness to a martyrdom...



The murderers of St. Thomas Becket entered Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 1170.  They called out for the archbishop, and finding him, they came at him with their swords.  When one of the swords was brandished at the head of Thomas, a young cleric named Edward Grim reached out to protect the archbishop.  As the sword came down, Edward's arm was severed.  He survived, however, and left this account of that terrible day.
After the monks took [Thomas] through the doors of the church, the four aforementioned knights followed behind with a rapid pace. A certain subdeacon, Hugh the Evil-clerk, named for his wicked offense and armed with their malice, went with them - showing no reverence for either God or the saints because by following them he condoned their deed. When the holy archbishop entered the cathedral the monks who were glorifying God abandoned vespers - which they had begun to celebrate for God - and ran to their father whom they had heard was dead but they saw alive and unharmed. They hastened to close the doors of the church in order to bar the enemies from slaughtering the bishop, but the wondrous athlete turned toward them and ordered that the doors be opened. "It is not proper," he said, "that a house of prayer, a church of Christ, be made a fortress since although it is not shut up, it serves as a fortification for his people; we will triumph over the enemy through suffering rather than by fighting - and we come to suffer, not to resist." Without delay the sacrilegious men entered the house of peace and reconciliation with swords drawn; indeed the sight alone as well as the rattle of arms inflicted not a small amount of horror on those who watched. And those knights who approached the confused and disordered people who had been observing vespers but, by now, had run toward the lethal spectacle exclaimed in a rage: "Where is Thomas Becket, traitor of the king and kingdom?" No one responded and instantly they cried out more loudly, "Where is the archbishop?" Unshaken he replied to this voice as it is written, "The righteous will be like a bold lion and free from fear," he descended from the steps to which he had been taken by the monks who were fearful of the knights and said in an adequately audible voice, "Here I am, not a traitor of the king but a priest; why do you seek me?" And [Thomas], who had previously told them that he had no fear of them added, "Here I am ready to suffer in the name of He who redeemed me with His blood; God forbid that I should flee on account of your swords or that I should depart from righteousness." With these words - at the foot of a pillar - he turned to the right. On one side was the altar of the blessed mother of God, on the other the altar of the holy confessor Benedict - through whose example and prayers he had been crucified to the world and his lusts; he endured whatever the murderers did to him with such constancy of the soul that he seemed as if he were not of flesh. The murderers pursued him and asked, "Absolve and restore to communion those you have excommunicated and return to office those who have been suspended." To these words [Thomas] replied, "No penance has been made, so I will not absolve them." "Then you," they said, "will now die and will suffer what you have earned." "And I," he said, "am prepared to die for my Lord, so that in my blood the church will attain liberty and peace; but in the name of Almighty God I forbid that you hurt my men, either cleric or layman, in any way." The glorious martyr acted conscientiously with foresight for his men and prudently on his own behalf, so that no one near him would be hurt as he hastened toward Christ. It was fitting that the soldier of the Lord and the martyr of the Savior adhered to His words when he was sought by the impious, "If it is me you seek, let them leave."

With rapid motion they laid sacrilegious hands on him, handling and dragging him roughly outside of the walls of the church so that there they would slay him or carry him from there as a prisoner, as they later confessed. But when it was not possible to easily move him from the column, he bravely pushed one [of the knights] who was pursuing and drawing near to him; he called him a panderer saying, "Don't touch me, Rainaldus, you who owes me faith and obedience, you who foolishly follow your accomplices." On account of the rebuff the knight was suddenly set on fire with a terrible rage and, wielding a sword against the sacred crown said, "I don't owe faith or obedience to you that is in opposition to the fealty I owe my lord king." The invincible martyr - seeing that the hour which would bring the end to his miserable mortal life was at hand and already promised by God to be the next to receive the crown of immortality - with his neck bent as if he were in prayer and with his joined hands elevated above - commended himself and the cause of the Church to God, St. Mary, and the blessed martyr St. Denis.

He had barely finished speaking when the impious knight, fearing that [Thomas] would be saved by the people and escape alive, suddenly set upon him and, shaving off the summit of his crown which the sacred chrism consecrated to God, he wounded the sacrificial lamb of God in the head; the lower arm of the writer was cut by the same blow. Indeed [the writer] stood firmly with the holy archbishop, holding him in his arms - while all the clerics and monks fled - until the one he had raised in opposition to the blow was severed. Behold the simplicity of the dove, behold the wisdom of the serpent in this martyr who presented his body to the killers so that he might keep his head, in other words his soul and the church, safe; nor would he devise a trick or a snare against the slayers of the flesh so that he might preserve himself because it was better that he be free from this nature! O worthy shepherd who so boldly set himself against the attacks of wolves so that the sheep might not be torn to pieces! and because he abandoned the world, the world - wanting to overpower him - unknowingly elevated him. Then, with another blow received on the head, he remained firm. But with the third the stricken martyr bent his knees and elbows, offering himself as a living sacrifice, saying in a low voice, "For the name of Jesus and the protection of the church I am ready to embrace death." But the third knight inflicted a grave wound on the fallen one; with this blow he shattered the sword on the stone and his crown, which was large, separated from his head so that the blood turned white from the brain yet no less did the brain turn red from the blood; it purpled the appearance of the church with the colors of the lily and the rose, the colors of the Virgin and Mother and the life and death of the confessor and martyr. The fourth knight drove away those who were gathering so that the others could finish the murder more freely and boldly. The fifth - not a knight but a cleric who entered with the knights - so that a fifth blow might not be spared him who had imitated Christ in other things, placed his foot on the neck of the holy priest and precious martyr and (it is horrible to say) scattered the brains with the blood across the floor, exclaiming to the rest, "We can leave this place, knights, he will not get up again."

But during all these incredible things the martyr displayed the virtue of perseverance. Neither his hand nor clothes indicated that he had opposed a murderer - as is often the case in human weakness; nor when stricken did he utter a word, nor did he let out a cry or a sigh, or a sign signaling any kind of pain; instead he held still the head that he had bent toward the unsheathed swords. As his body - which had been mingled with blood and brain - laid on the ground as if in prayer, he placed his soul in Abraham's bosom. Having risen above himself, without doubt, out of love for the Creator and wholly striving for celestial sweetness, he easily received whatever pain, whatever malice, the bloody murderer was able to inflict. And how intrepidly - how devotedly and courageously - he offered himself for the murder when it was made clear that for his salvation and faith this martyr should fight for the protection of others so that the affairs of the church might be managed according to its paternal traditions and decrees.
Below: the site of the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket.


St. Thomas Becket

On December 29th, the Mass commemorating St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, will be offered at the high altar, where there is a relic of the saint in the altar stone.  Also, his statue (along with one of St. Stephen Protomartyr) flanks the tabernacle door.  Within the door is an icon of the Holy Archangels Michael and Raphael.  The tabernacle itself is surmounted by a 19th century bishop's blessing cross made of silver, with identical icons of the Crucified on each side.




O God, our strength and our salvation, who didst call thy servant St. Thomas Becket to be a shepherd of thy people and a defender of thy Church: Keep thy household from all evil and raise up among us faithful pastors and leaders who are wise in the ways of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ the shepherd of our souls, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

25 December 2009

"...looking stedfastly up to heaven..."




Something I posted a few years ago...
I find it spiritually invigorating to move so rapidly from celebrating the birth of Our Lord, into the next day's commemoration of the first one to die for his faith in that same Lord. St. Stephen - the great deacon, the compelling preacher, the martyr whose blood was a seed of faith in St. Paul - his was a life which showed very early that the Catholic faith was not designed for cowards!

St. Stephen has been something of a patron saint for me for many years, but in an unconventional way. In 1975, I was ordained as an Anglican deacon in Bristol, England, and was assigned to St. Stephen's Church, Southmead, which was one of the post-war council housing estates outside the city. The martyr Stephen had never been particularly important to me up to that point, but a spiritual bond began, which caused me to want to know more about him. The idea of his intercessory role in my life was not part of my thinking at that time in my spiritual life, but as I look back, I can see that was exactly what was happening.

In 1976, my ordination as an Anglican priest took place in St. Stephen's Church, Providence. Oddly, the thing I remember most about that day was kneeling before Bishop Belden, wishing that he was a Catholic bishop so that I could be a Catholic priest. Why should such an idea have come into my mind at that very moment? Because of St. Stephen's prayers, no doubt. Of course, at that time it was a ridiculous thought, and I pushed it aside as being one of those silly things that pops into one's head at odd times. Now I can see that it was God's plan for me being unfolded gradually. Only a few years later, Pope John Paul II approved the Pastoral Provision, which allowed that very thing to happen.

When I celebrate Mass each year on St. Stephen's Day, it is a special day for me. It always has a sense of quiet holiness, after the crowded Masses of the day before. It is a day when I especially give thanks to God for the priestly vocation He has given me, and the day serves as a reminder to me that the diaconate remains part of priestly ministry. Even the year when my father died on St. Stephen's Day, it was bittersweet - it seemed to me to be right for such a good man to have died on the feast of such a good saint.

Pray, good St. Stephen... pray for us all.
Grant, O Lord, that in all our sufferings here upon earth for the testimony of thy truth, we may stedfastly look up to heaven, and by faith behold the glory that shall be revealed; and, being filled with the Holy Ghost, may learn to love and bless our persecutors by the example of thy first Martyr Saint Stephen, who prayed for his murderers to thee, O blessed Jesus, who standest at the right hand of God to succour all those who suffer for thee, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.

24 December 2009

A holy and blessed Christmastide to you...


Everything's ready...

After the last Mass of Advent at 7:00 a.m. this morning, everything has gone silent here.  We're ready for the Vigil to begin.

The creche is in the Lady Chapel, waiting for the Christ Child...






The St. Joseph Shrine is ready for devotion to the Foster-father of Our Lord...


The High Altar is ready for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice...


The bread and wine are in the credence, ready to be taken to the altar for consecration...


And the Chapel of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is prepared for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, God With Us, to begin in the morning...


Adeste Fideles,
Laeti triumphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte
Regem angelorum.
Venite adoremus
Dominum.

23 December 2009

Christmas 2009 - Mass schedule



Christmas Eve
5:00 p.m. - Vigil Mass
11:00 p.m. - Christmas music
11:30 p.m. - Solemn Proclamation of Christmas,
Procession to the Creche and Solemn Mass

Christmas Day
10:00 a.m. - Sung Mass

21 December 2009

A pretty spot...

I've mentioned the outdoor shrine before, but it's especially pretty now, surrounded by the pyracantha bushes showing their berries.  This is a view from the back of the shrine:


The shrine marks the spot on which the first Mass was offered on the land which was to become the site of our church and school.  In fact, the original wooden altar is now inside the stone altar which is shown here:


The roses are out of season now, of course, but it makes for a quiet and beautiful place for meditation.  I so often recall the first time I made my way through the dense woods and underbrush and came upon a clearing, where I found a small crucifix.  To this day, I don't know why it was put there, or by whom, but I saved it and it is now mounted in the retable of this altar, just below the Calvary scene, as a remembrance of the blessings that have flowed from that first Mass and all the parish Masses since.

Anglicanorum Coetibus: A Glorious New Era of Christian Unity

In The Reading Room, I linked to an interesting article about the recent information day on Anglicanorum coetibus, which we hosted on December 12th.

The article is by Mary Ann Mueller, and is titled Anglicanorum Coetibus: A Glorious New Era of Christian Unity.

20 December 2009

O precious Lord...

I've posted this text before, but people seem to like it.  We sang it today as a post-communion hymn.
O precious Lord, once born for us
in stable small and poor;
be born again within our hearts,
and there let us adore.

As once our Savior thou didst come,
both Man and God divine,
so now thou givest Flesh and Blood
'neath forms of Bread and Wine.

Sweet Fruit of Virgin Mary's womb,
once hid from earthly sight,
may we thy children fruitful be,
and show the world thy Light.

Now stay with us, Lord Jesus Christ,
in solemn Mystery,
that when our work on earth be done
thy glory we may see.

Text: Fr. Christopher G. Phillips
Music: St. Botolph, by Gordon Slater

19 December 2009

Fourth Sunday of Advent


We beseech thee, Almighty God, to purify our consciences by thy daily visitation, that when thy Son our Lord cometh he may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

17 December 2009

The Baptistry...

We've been working to complete the baptistry at Our Lady of the Atonement, and here are some pictures of what we've done so far.


(Above) The view when entering the Baptistry from the Narthex.
(Below) Close-up of the statue of the Blessed Mother and Christ Child.



(Above) Icon of the Baptism of Christ
(Below) Icon of the Nativity and the Holy Water container


(Above) The Aumbry for the Holy Oils
(Below) Close-up of the Icon of the Dormition of Our Lady

(Below) Crucifix from the Holy Land


(Above) Carved musical angels at the Baptistry altar
(Below) Close-up of the musical angels

(Below) A view of the stone font, with carved cherub faces


Almighty and immortal God, the aid of all who need, the helper of all who flee to thee for succor, the life of those who believe, and the resurrection of the dead; We call upon thee for this Child, that he coming to thy holy Baptism, may receive remission of sin, by spiritual regeneration. Receive him, O Lord, as thou hast promised by thy well-beloved Son, saying, Ask, and ye shall have; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. So give now unto us who ask; let us who seek, find; open the gate unto us who knock; that this Child may enjoy the everlasting benediction of thy heavenly washing, and may come to the eternal kingdom which thou hast promised by Christ our Lord. Amen.

16 December 2009

Experts (self-proclaimed)...

(Below) The Parish Shrine of St. Joseph

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us... please!

A video of our Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is posted on the web, and it's been linked to several Catholic sites.  Liturgical videos tend bring out every eccentric and sacristy rat in existence.  Now, I like things done decently and in order, but the level of minutiae and the amount of harping from some of these people is breathtaking. 

The exchange of comments that tickled me the most was between two "experts in their own minds" about the use of the cope at Mass.  "Should it be worn at all?"  "Should it be worn only for the procession in?"  "Changing from cope to chasuble is fake medievalism."  "There is no warrant at all for using the cope in the way it was used in that liturgy."  "That's not part of the Anglican Use."  And on and on and on.  I can't believe the amount of bandwidth they were using for a discussion about the cope!

A Cistercian brother with whom I occasionally exchange emails wrote me a note, and with tongue firmly in cheek, said, "I can't wait to visit Our Lady of the Atonement and watch you commit wanton copery."

"Wanton copery."  That's a phrase that I'll keep in my liturgical lexicon.

15 December 2009

Ready and willing...


During my daily visit to Catholic Culture, I noticed this news story:
Australian bishop: Anglican entries will be slow, gradual process


An Australian bishop who is himself a former Anglican has cautioned that the establishment of “personal ordinariates” for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church, under the terms of the Pope’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, will be a gradual process, requiring time for discernment. Bishop Peter Elliott, an auxiliary of the Melbourne archdiocese, pointed out that Anglican leaders in Australia have done nothing to ease the path of those who wish to become Roman Catholics, and “great sacrifices will be required of them.” He recommended a patient, prudent approach.
Bishop Elliott is exactly right - about Australia, that is.  And really, about every place else in the world... except, I think, for the United States.

Why is the situation different here?  Because the Pastoral Provision has existed here since the early 1980's, which means we already have parishes and communities of former Anglicans, with their own clergy.  Unlike other countries, we have lots of former Anglicans, now Catholics, ready to enter and (this is important) to finance an Ordinariate.

In other countries, time will have to pass while individual Anglicans decide whether they really want to accept the Holy Father's invitation.  Priests will have to go through the process leading to Catholic ordination.  There will be the wrenching experience of leaving familiar buildings and maybe even losing old friends.  Communities of the Faithful will have to be built up, and financial arrangements made for the support of an Ordinariate.  The bishop is absolutely right - that's all going to take time.

But in this country, many of us have already been through all that.  For some of us, it was more than a quarter of a century ago!  Of course, there still are many here who are at the beginning of the journey, but it seems to me that they would want the Holy See to go ahead with the establishment of an Ordinariate, taking in those who are ready now, and getting things up and running, able to receive even more converts as they're ready.

A quick assessment of the Pastoral Provision parishes and communities would indicate that there are probably more than three thousand Catholics ready to be part of an Ordinariate.  There are several priests and deacons already giving pastoral care.  Scarcely a week goes by that I don't get an email from someone wanting to know how they could begin something in their area.  The fields really are white for harvest, and the good news is that we actually have laborers ready and willing to get going.

And the practical consideration of financing an Ordinariate?  We're ready for that, too.  The annual budget for our parish alone is nearly three million dollars.  The amount of support we presently contribute to our archdiocese would, I think, be an adequate beginning budget for an Ordinariate - and that's not even considering the available assets from the other Pastoral Provision parishes.

We have been cautioned to "have patience."  And of course we will, because we have to.  This is something that will happen in God's time and according to His schedule.  But it doesn't hurt to let Him know that we're ready.

14 December 2009

New friends, old family...


Our meeting this past Saturday provided an opportunity for new friendships to be forged.  In fact, with several Anglican clergy there, it was as though we were able to reestablish contact with our extended family.  And this is important.  As members of various Anglican groups move closer to being part of the future Ordinariate, we'll be living in the same house.  For a whole generation it's just been the parishes and communities of the Pastoral Provision who've been holding up the flag within the Catholic Church, and it was easy to think we were on our own.  But the steady progress of other groups, like the Traditional Anglican Communion, is bearing fruit. 

I'm excited that we'll be moving in together, to take up residence in this wonderful new structure being given to us by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.  I'm glad I had the opportunity to make new friends, and to rediscover spiritual brothers, and I'm looking forward to strengthening family ties.

13 December 2009

Information day on Anglicanorum coetibus



I'll have more to say about our successful day yesterday, but meanwhile, here are the links:

Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Session I (Ralph Johnston, inspiring! Mike Dunnigan, fascinating, especially when "reading the Holy Father's thoughts"!)
Session II (Duane Galles, learned, but a bit heavy. "Nuts and bolts" information, much of it useful, but a lot of it!)
Session III (questions and answers)

Happy St. Lucy's Day - and also, please spare a prayer for me... I turn 60 years old today.

08 December 2009

Innocence...


I just had to show you this picture of newly-baptised Sophie Vander Sys.  What a precious little girl... and the look on her face!  Enough to melt your heart...

07 December 2009

Information day will be webcast...


The information day we're sponsoring on December 12th, to have a closer look at Anglicanorum coetibus, will be webcast.  This means that people who aren't able to be here on the day can watch it by logging on to this web address: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/anglicanorum.

We're including the Mass in the webcast, and that will begin at 10:00 a.m. (central time).  There will be a brief break in the webcast while we move to the St. Anthony Hall for the meeting, which should begin at about 11:00 a.m., or just after.  The whole webcast should be available afterwards at the same web address, so if you miss it in "real time," you should be able to watch it at your leisure, and forward it to others.

Of course, if you're in the San Antonio area, you'll want to make every effort to be here.  Webcasting is nice, but it's not the same as being present and taking part. 

If you haven't already, let me know if you plan to attend.  My e-mail address is FrPhillips@atonementonline.com.

The day that shall live in infamy...

December 7, 1941




A Prayer for our Country
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

06 December 2009

Our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land...

The Atonement Academy has, for many years, supported various Catholic schools in the Holy Land.  The work of education is an important part of the Latin Patriarchate, and it's a privilege to help with that apostolate.  We're presently giving support to St. Joseph's in Jifna.  Their priest, Fr. Firas Aridah, is a dynamic and dedicated man who loves his parish, and especially the children of his school. 

He sent these pictures of their St. Barbara Feast.  It's the tradition for each child to assemble a "St. Barbara Dish" on her feast day, and you can see the excitement in their faces as they bring their offerings to Mass for Father to bless their efforts.








05 December 2009

Second Sunday of Advent


Merciful God, who didst send thy messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.