31 July 2016

St. Alphonsus Liguori


Alphonsus Liguori, born in 1696, was the son of an ancient Neapolitan family. His father was an officer in the Royal Navy. At the age of sixteen, Alphonsus received his doctorate in both canon and civil law and for nearly ten years practiced at the bar. When he found that one of the legal cases he was defending was not based on justice but on political intrigue, he gave up the practice of law and dedicated his life to God.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1726, St. Alphonsus Liguori joined a group of secular priests dedicated to missionary activities. He involved himself in many kinds of pastoral activities, giving missions and organizing workers, and had a part in the founding of an order of contemplative nuns.

In 1732, he founded the Redemptorists, a congregation of priests and brothers, to work especially among the country people of Italy who often lacked the opportunity for missions, religious instruction, and spiritual retreats. Strangely, his first companions deserted him; but Alphonsus stood firm, and soon vocations multiplied and the congregation grew.

The Redemptorists were approved by Pope Benedict XIV in 1749, and Alphonsus was elected superior general. In 1762, he was appointed bishop of Sant' Agata near Naples, and as bishop he corrected abuses, restored churches, reformed seminaries, and promoted missions throughout his diocese. During the famine of 1763-64, his charity and generosity were boundless, and he also carried on a huge campaign of religious writing.

In 1768, he was stricken with a painful illness and resigned his bishopric. During the last years of his life, problems in his congregation caused him much sorrow and when he died on August 1, 1787, at Pagani, near Salerno, the Redemptorists were a divided society. He was beatified in 1816, canonized in 1839, and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1871.

(Excerpted from the The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens)


O God, who didst inflame blessed Alphonsus, thy Confessor and Bishop, with zeal for souls, and didst through him enrich thy Church with a new offspring: we beseech thee; that being taught by his wholesome precepts and strengthened by his example, we may be enabled to attain in gladness unto thee; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

29 July 2016

St. Peter Chrysologus


In the fifth century, Ravenna, not Rome, was the capital of the Roman Empire in the West, and Ravenna itself became a metropolitan see. St. Peter Chrysologus was one of the most distinguished archbishops of that See.

Peter was born in Imola about the year 400 and studied under Cornelius, bishop of that city, who ordained him deacon. In 433, the archbishop of Ravenna died, and when a successor had been chosen by the clergy and people of Ravenna, they asked Bishop Cornelius to obtain confirmation of their choice from Pope Sixtus III. On his trip to Rome, Cornelius took his deacon, Peter, as his companion; upon seeing Peter, the pope chose him for the See of Ravenna instead of the one selected by the clergy and people of Ravenna.

Peter was consecrated and was accepted somewhat grudgingly at first by both the clergy and the people. Peter, however, soon became the favorite of Emperor Valentinian III, who resided at Ravenna and was also highly regarded by Pope St. Leo the Great, the successor of Pope Sixtus.

There were still traces of paganism in Peter's diocese, and his first effort was to establish the Catholic faith everywhere, rooting out abuses and carrying on a campaign of preaching and special care of the poor. Many of his sermons still survive, and it is on the basis of these that he came to be known as Chrysologus, or "the golden word."

In his concern for the unity of the Church, Peter Chrysologus opposed the teaching of Eutyches, condemned in the East, who asked for his support. Peter also received St. Germanus of Auxerre to his diocese and officiated at his funeral.

Knowing that his own death was near, Peter returned to his own city of Imola and after urging great care in the choice of his successor he died at Imola about the year 450 and was buried in the church of St. Cassian. In 1729, Pope Benedict XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church.

O God, who madest the Bishop Saint Peter Chrysologus an illustrious preacher of thy incarnate Word: grant, through his intercession; that we may constantly ponder in our hearts the mysteries of thy salvation and faithfully manifest them in our lives; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

28 July 2016

St. Martha of Bethany


Our first thought upon hearing the name of St. Martha is probably the recollection of the woman preparing a meal for the Lord Jesus, upset that her sister Mary is not helping her, and who then is gently rebuked by Christ when He told her that “Mary has chosen the better portion.” What we should more readily recall, however, is her exchange with the Lord when He came to her house after the death of her brother Lazarus.

Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world."

Here is Martha, the woman of great faith; the woman who professes Jesus as the Christ; the woman who professes the power of God in the coming resurrection. Is there any doubt that in her heart, Martha, too, had chosen “the better portion,” as Christ urged her to do?

Almighty and most merciful God, whose Son did vouchsafe to be welcomed in the home of blessed Martha: grant, we beseech thee, by the merits of her who lovingly served him; that we of thy mercy may be received into our heavenly home; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

22 July 2016

Catholic Claim to Anglican Patrimony


Before it gets lost in the bowels of the internet, I thought it would be good to reprint what might be considered to be one of our historical documents; namely, a paper I delivered in October 2011 at the conference titled "Council and Continuity" which took place in Phoenix, Arizona. The paper outlines the background to "The Book of Divine Worship," which resulted finally in "Divine Worship" which today is used by Ordinariate and Pastoral Provision parishes and communities.

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THE BOOK OF DIVINE WORSHIP: A Catholic Claim to Anglican Patrimony
A paper delivered at the Conference “Council and Continuity”
Phoenix, Arizona in October 2011
by Fr. Christopher G. Phillips


The Book of Divine Worship is one of the results of the implementation of the Pastoral Provision of Blessed John Paul II, which he approved in 1980, and which opened the way for Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while maintaining worthy elements of their Anglican heritage. In this brief presentation, we are looking particularly at the Book of Divine Worship as it contains many of those elements, and as part of the Church’s response to requests which had come from various corners of Anglicanism, but most especially from some Episcopal clergy in the United States.

The initial appeal made to the Holy See included a request for the Catholic ordination of Anglican clergy, with the possibility of dispensations from celibacy for married clergy, which was granted. It included also the request for some sort of parish structure to which the laypeople could belong, which was granted. And it included a request for elements of our Anglican liturgical heritage to be incorporated into a fully Catholic liturgy. This, too, was granted. It is this liturgical aspect of the Pastoral Provision which interests us for the purposes of this presentation.

When we made the request for “elements of our liturgical heritage” to be approved, those of us who asked knew very much what was in our minds. In addition to the daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, it was a request for what would be needed for parish life, not only such things as the Rite of Baptism, Matrimony, and Burial of the Dead, but especially it was a request for a fully Catholic rite of the Mass.

The liturgical life which had formed us, and which had nurtured in us the desire for full unity with the Catholic Church, had always found its expression in the traditional Missals found in Anglo-catholicism – whether the English Missal (known as the Knott Missal) or the Anglican Missal, or the American Missal – all of which are variations based upon the same principle; namely, the supplementing of the Book of Common Prayer to make it a more Catholic expression of our faith. Although the various Anglican Missals had been developed while we were in a state of separation from the Holy See, nonetheless these developments tended to focus and define our desire for Catholic unity, and so our request was based on our desire to bring this enriched form of Prayer Book worship into the fertile soil of full Catholic communion.

In 1983 a special committee was established by the Holy See, under the jurisdiction of the Sacred Congregation for Sacraments and Divine Worship (as the CDW was called then), in conjunction with the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The task of the committee was to propose a liturgical book to be used by the parishes and congregations being established under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. I was privileged to serve on that committee. Then-Archbishop (later Cardinal) Virgilio Noe served as chairman, and there were various liturgists and theologians taking part. I was the only member of the committee who would actually be using the liturgy we were to discuss.

As we began our deliberations, it became evident the members of the committee did not all have the same agenda – and that, of course, would not be unexpected. The majority of the membership did not share an Anglican background, and so had not been formed by an Anglican liturgical life – again, that would be expected, and it was perfectly reasonable that the committee membership would be comprised of people from different backgrounds.

Within a short time after beginning our work, it became clear that there were three positions developing within the committee. There was the position (certainly my position) that all of the Anglican Missal tradition should be approved; there was the position that none of the Anglican Missal tradition should be approved; and there was the position that we should pick and choose, incorporating bits and pieces of the Book of Common Prayer.

The Book of Divine Worship which resulted shows much of the strain we experienced within the committee. It is marked by evidence of necessary compromise and committee decisions. There is some evidence of the Missal tradition; however, there is even more evidence of the desire by many on the committee to jettison that tradition, and to make this a liturgy more contemporary in its style, which meant that much of the source material was taken from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer – a version of the Prayer Book which none of us who had made the initial request had ever even used.

In some ways, the Book of Divine Worship is an unsatisfying book, easily criticized by those on both banks of the Tiber. In some important instances, it is incomplete. There is a jarring mixture of linguistic styles within it. It has the feeling of being a “cut and paste” document, because, in a very real sense, it is exactly that. Bits of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer have been joined with pieces of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The Offertory Rite from the modern Roman rite has been inserted. The Gregorian Canon has been lifted out of the traditional English Missal, and inserted as an alternate form of the First Eucharistic Prayer, but it bears the marks of some ICEL adaptations in the words of institution, and with the Mysterium Fidei separated from its tradition place. Even such things as the magnificent Prayer of Humble Access – so much a part of our traditional preparation before receiving Holy Communion – is in a truncated version, quite different from its more traditional and familiar form.

A list of the shortcomings of the Book of Divine Worship could go on at some length, but to what end? Its importance is not so much in what it contains; rather, it is important because of what it is. The existence of the Book of Divine Worship, as a fully-approved Catholic liturgy, means that it is – at the very least – a place-holder, a “foot in the door,” if you will. For the first time, because of the approval given to the Book of Divine Worship, the mellifluous English translations of Thomas Cranmer were fully incorporated into a liturgy of the Catholic Church. What Dr. Cranmer would think of such a thing, we cannot know; however, although his heretical theology has no place here, his brilliant skills as a translator most certainly do. It is this “Cranmerian” or “Prayer Book” style of English which is perhaps one of the greatest treasures of our Anglican patrimony, and it is what defines the traditional versions of the Anglican Missal. It is what moves the Anglican Missal away from simply being the Extraordinary Form in English, and transforms it into a liturgy which is firmly grounded in the traditional Catholic rite of the Mass, but expressed in a particularly Anglican way, with specific Anglican enhancements. It is this “Prayer Book” style of expression which is basic to the Book of Divine Worship. In fact, the “cut and paste” sections of the Book of Divine Worship are immediately evident, because there are portions of it which depart from this traditional style of English.

We should make a special note that it is not simply a matter of including “thee” and “thou” in the text. There is something else about the soaring phrases and time-proven sentences which make them so memorable and so pleasing to the ear. Consider, for instance, the Collect for Purity, one of the opening prayers of the Mass, which has its roots in an ancient collect, but which has been superbly translated by Cranmer:
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Or, even lovelier I think, the Prayer of Humble Access, said just before Holy Communion:
We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

Certainly, the sentiments expressed in these and so many of our traditional prayers make them memorable. But there is more to those prayers than just the thoughts contained in them. There are principles having to do with the particular rhythm of the words, and the cadence of the phrases, which were put into practice and perfected by those who compiled the prayers found in the Book of Divine Worship, and which we consider to be an important part of our patrimony.

There is an excellent essay titled “The Prayer Book as Literature,” written by Dr. W. K. Lowther Clarke in 1932 and included in his larger work, Liturgy and Worship. In his essay he discusses possible reasons for the beauty of some of the phrases we use in our worship. In part, he says, “A particular theory has recently been propounded to account for the literary qualities of the sixteenth-century Prayer Book, namely, the survival of the cursus, or flow of the cadence in prose. The beauty of Latin prose depended on the arrangement of long and short syllables, especially at the end of the sentence… The cursus had three main forms: planus, with the accent on the second and fifth syllable from the end; tardus, on the third and sixth; and velox, on the second and seventh.”

Just as music follows certain rules to achieve a beautiful end, so it is with literature. Excellent writing does not consist simply of stringing words together. It involves a rhythm. It shows sensitivity to the zenith of a phrase. It allows for a cadence. In the liturgy, when we think of a prayer as being “beautiful,” it describes not only the sentiment it contains, but also the way in which the thought is expressed. This is why so many contemporary prayers are unmemorable. The ancient principle of cursus has been put aside because of the mistaken notion that ignoring it would somehow make prayers clearer.

The “Prayer Book style” (if I may call it that) has survived in the Book of Divine Worship, and it is part of the very patrimony being referred to by Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus. In the third section of that Constitution, the Holy Father says,

III. Without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite, the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.

We should notice an important statement within that section of Anglicanorum coetibus, where it refers to “…the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See…” One of the principles expounded by some members of the 1983 committee was a requirement that the only material that could be used in the Book of Divine Worship was material which could be found in a Prayer Book which had been approved by an official Anglican body. It was this (mistaken, I believe) requirement that kept out liturgical material from the traditional Anglican Missals, which had not received such authorization, even though such material was very much a part of Anglican tradition. But Anglicanorum coetibus states clearly that the Ordinariates may use elements of the Anglican tradition “which have been approved by the Holy See,” with no reference to previous official Anglican approval.

Now that we are entering the era of the Anglican Ordinariates, we have a unique liturgical opportunity. In fact, although the title of this short presentation is “The Book of Divine Worship: A Catholic Claim to Anglican Patrimony,” I think that title might be backwards. In light of what Anglicanorum coetibus is calling for, a more accurate title might be “An Anglican Claim to Catholic Patrimony.” In other words, we want – indeed, we need – a fully Catholic and historic liturgy, which can be expressed in a particularly Anglican way. We need a liturgy with its own integrity – not a “cut and paste” effort which attempts to put an “Anglican veneer” on an invented liturgical use. The Book of Divine Worship was a necessary first step towards an authentic Anglican Use liturgy. At the press conference on the day Anglicanorum coetibus was announced to the world, Archbishop DiNoia held up a copy of the Book of Divine Worship and stated that it would be a “template” for the Ordinariate liturgy. But we should not stop with a “first step,” nor should we consider a “template” to be a finished product. This liturgical chapter in the Church’s history must have its place in the hermeneutic of continuity.

Some of us have been using the texts of the Book of the Divine Worship in public worship for a generation. Because our spiritual and liturgical lives were formed by the Anglican Missals of the past, so we have attempted to uphold that important hermeneutic of continuity by conforming the Book of Divine Worship to those Missals as completely as the rubrics would allow. Our efforts are now confirmed by the words of Anglicanorum coetibus itself: that the members of the Ordinariates are “to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.”

The various editions of the Anglican Missals are undoubtedly part of Anglican tradition, since their very purpose was to enhance and enrich the Prayer Book liturgy, moving it in a more Catholic direction. These Missals were used by Anglo-Catholics within the Anglican Communion throughout the world. Those of us who entered into full communion through Blessed John Paul’s Pastoral Provision a generation ago, were using some version of the Anglican Missal up until the time of our reception, and those Anglicans awaiting their reception into the Church through the Ordinariate continue to worship according to a traditional Anglican Missal.

Certainly, the Ordinariate Catholics who wish to use the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite – or even the Extraordinary Form – have full permission to do that. It is stated very clearly in Anglicanorum coetibus, and in fact that is presently the preference in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England.

However, for those who will enter the Ordinariate in the United States, or Canada, or Australia, there is a clear preference for a liturgy which exhibits a hermeneutic of continuity with the historic Missals which have been foundational to the spirituality which has brought us home to the Holy Catholic Church.

The Church has called for an Anglican Ordinariate liturgy. We know this liturgy is to have the Book of Divine Worship as its starting point. The Book of Divine Worship is now poised to be enriched and completed by what we have known in the various editions of the Anglican Missal. Therefore, to ignore the Missals in the development of a global Anglican Use liturgy for use in the Personal Ordinariates would be not only a rupture with the past, but it would miss the clear expectation expressed in Anglicanorum coetibus, to maintain those good things from our Anglican heritage which have nurtured our faith.

21 July 2016

Construction update...

Here are some pictures of the construction for the expansion of The Atonement Academy...

Architect's rendering of the finished building.


The steel structure is being erected.


The building will add approximately 117,000 sq. ft. of space.


It will be a three-story building.


We hope to have a completed section for use sometime in January.


17 July 2016

St. Camillus de Lellis


St. Camillus is the patron saint of hospitals, hospital workers and those who are sick. Here is his story, excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, by Pius Parsch.

St. Camillus' mother was nearly sixty years old when he was born in 1550. As a youth he gave himself to the sinful pleasures of this world. His conversion dates from the feast of the Purification, 1575. Two attempts to enter the Capuchin Order were frustrated by an incurable sore on his leg. In Rome St. Camillus was received in a hospital for incurables; before long he was put in charge because of his ability and zeal for virtue. He brought to the sick every imaginable kind of spiritual and bodily aid.

At the age of thirty-two he began studying for Holy Orders and was not ashamed of being numbered with children. After ordination to the holy priesthood he founded a congregation of Regular Clerics, the "Ministers to the Sick." As a fourth vow the community assumed the duty of caring for the plague-ridden at the risk of their lives. With invincible patience Camillus persevered day and night in the service of the sick, performing the meanest of duties. His love shone forth most brightly when the city of Rome was stricken by epidemic and famine, and when the plague raged at Nola. Having suffered five different maladies, which he called God's mercy, he died in Rome at the age of sixty-five. On his lips was the prayer for the dying: "May the face of Christ Jesus shine gloriously upon you." Pope Leo XIII declared him the heavenly patron of hospitals and added his name in the litany for the dying.


O God, who for the comfort of souls striving in their last agony, didst adorn Saint Camillus with singular gifts of charity: we beseech thee, by his merits, to pour upon us the spirit of thy love; that in the hour of our death, we may be worthy to overcome the enemy and to attain to the heavenly crown; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

15 July 2016

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel


O God, who didst adorn the Order of Mount Carmel with the especial title of thy most blessed Mother the Ever-Virgin Mary: mercifully grant; that as we do this day remember her in our solemn observance, so by the help of her succor we may be found worthy to attain to everlasting felicity; who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Flower of Carmel, vine blossom laden,
Joy of heaven, who yet a maiden,
Bore God's Holy One.
Gentlest Mother, who never man did know,
On Carmel's children your privilege bestow,
Star of Ocean.

Root of Jesse, flower in the cradling bud,
Take us to you, keep us with you in God,
His together.
All chaste lily, rising despite the thorn,
Strengthen, help us, so feeble and forlorn,
Great Protectress!

Be our armor, valiant for Christ when war
Rages round us, hold high the Scapular,
Strong and saving.
In our stumbling, guide us on God's wise way,
In our sorrow, comfort us when we pray;
Rich your mercy.

Holy Lady, Carmel's great Friend and Queen,
Feast your people from your own bliss, the unseen
Grace, God's goodness.
Key and Gateway, opening on Paradise,
Mother, win us a place with you in Christ
Crowned in glory.


Elijah's Cave atop Mt. Carmel, where we have offered Mass while on pilgrimage.

09 July 2016

Our Title: A Call to Unity


This week we celebrate the Feast of our Patroness, Our Lady of the Atonement. For thirty-three years she has cared for us and guided us, supporting us with her prayers, and placing our needs at the feet of her Divine Son Jesus Christ. Although not as well-known as some of her other titles, ours has a depth and a beauty which is distinctive, and her call to unity (which is the foundation of the title) is especially needed in our day.

Our patronal title embraces two mysteries of our faith: first, the atonement itself – the complete and perfect at-one-ment which was achieved by our Lord Jesus Christ as He shed His Most Precious Blood upon the Cross at Calvary, through which came the reconciliation of man with God, and of man with man, making us "at one" in His Sacred Heart; and second, the role of the Virgin Mary in the perfect atonement given by God – her coöperation with the Divine Will at the annunciation, and her participation in her Son's sufferings and death as she stood at the foot of the Cross. The words which Simeon spoke to her came to pass: "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” The crowning act of redeeming love, Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, is for all of us the means whereby mankind finds salvation, peace, and unity. There upon the Cross Jesus gave us the greatest gift: His precious life. There He gave us His Blessed Mother. There Mary stood, and there we stand next to her as her children, at the foot of the Cross.

08 July 2016

Our Patronal Solemnity



July 9th is the Feast of Our Lady of the Atonement; however, we are transferring its main celebration this year to Sunday, July 10th, so we can keep it with greater solemnity. The Mass schedule will be as usual: 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. (all Anglican Use liturgy) and 6:00 p.m. (Latin, Ordinary Form).

The Collect:

Deus, qui dispersa congregas, et congregáta consérvas: quæsumus, per intercessiónem beatíssimæ Vírginis Maríæ, Dóminæ nóstræ Adunatiónis, super ecclésiam tuam uniónis grátiam clementer infunde; et Spíritum Sánctum in totam múndi latitúdinem defunde ut omnes unum sint; per Dóminum nostrum Jésum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sáncti, Deus, per ómnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

O God, who dost gather together those who have been scattered, and who dost preserve those who have been gathered together: We beseech thee through the intercession of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Atonement, that thou wilt pour out upon thy Church the grace of unity and send thy Holy Ghost upon all mankind, that they may be one; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Fr. Paul of Graymoor wrote these words about the title in 1919:

I am writing this letter on the day which we are accustomed to observe at Graymoor in special honor of Our Lady of the Atonement. This particular name of Our Blessed Mother is very dear to us and we believe it is dear to Our Lady herself. We hold it as among the most treasured and sacred traditions of our Institute that it was the Blessed Virgin who first taught us to call her by that name and there are cogent reasons why she should give this title a favorite place among the many by which she is invoked.

First among these reasons must be her own devotion to the mystery of the Atonement, for it was by the death of her son on the Cross, which cost him the last drop of his blood and made her preeminently the mother of sorrows, that the wall of division between God and man was broken down and both were made one (Ephesians 2:14), through Christ's atoning sacrifice.

As the Blessed Virgin is inseparably associated with our divine redeemer in the mystery of his incarnation, so is she closely associated with him in the great act of the atonement. Thus, is she always represented in the Gospel and in the liturgy and thought of the Catholic Church as standing by the cross, when Christ was crucified there.

There is a second reason, hardly less weighty than the first, why the title, Our Lady of the Atonement, should powerfully appeal to the mother of God. It was through the Incarnation she become the mother of Christ, but through the atonement she became the new Eve and the mother of all the regenerate, who being redeemed by the precious blood are predestined to eternal life as the adopted sons of God and heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven. The third time Our Lord spoke upon the cross it was to emphasize this phase of the Atonement, when he said to his mother: "Woman, behold your son," and to St. John, "Son, behold your mother." [John 19:26-27] Thus by virtue of the atonement Mary is the mother of all who live through Christ. Can anyone therefore possibly conceive the depth of significance this title "Our Lady of the Atonement" must possess for Our Blessed Mother herself?

But someone will ask, if so highly esteemed, why should it be kept hidden for nineteen hundred years, to be made known to the faithful in the twentieth century? Is it not the custom even of earthly mothers to preserve the choicest fruits in the summer time and hide them away under lock and key, to bring them forth to their children's delight in the depth of winter and did not the master of the wedding feast say to the bridegroom at Cana, "Every man at first brings forth good wine and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But you have kept the good wine until now." [John 2:10] "My ways are not your ways," [Isaiah 55:8] says the Lord of Hosts.


Stabant juxta crucem Jesu mater ejus, et soror matris ejus Maria Cléophæ, et Salóme, et María Magdaléne. Múlier, ecce filius tuus: dixit Jesus; ad discípulum autem: Ecce mater tua.

07 July 2016

"Thy will be done..."


In the Lord's Prayer we pray for God to reign in our lives and in our world: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

What do we mean when we pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? We are praying that something will come about, but which has not yet fully happened. We are praying that God will bring about his heavenly purpose on earth. We are praying that God would use us to do his will. We are making ourselves available to do the will of our heavenly Father, to fulfill his purpose.

This was the prayer of Mary after the angel Gabriel had revealed to her the will of God in bearing the Incarnate Word, Jesus. “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.” Mary prayed that God’s divine will might be done in her life, and the world was transformed because of her “yes” to God’s will.

Even our Lord Jesus, the Incarnate Word of God, when He was in agony in Gethsemane, prayed to His Father, “Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.”

When we pray, “Thy will be done” we are not simply resigning ourselves to whatever happens; rather, we are praying for triumph – that is, the triumph of God’s divine will. That prayer is not an invitation to passively stand by, to acquiescence to prevailing circumstances; rather, it is a means to buttress our resolution to fight for what is right, noble and true, for whatever is pure, lovely and admirable. It is to pray for the spirit of victory, the victory of God’s will, of God’s reign, of God’s kingdom – here on earth, as it already is in heaven.

02 July 2016

St. Thomas the Apostle


At that time: Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
- St John 20:24-31

Almighty and everliving God, who for the greater confirmation of the faith didst suffer thy holy Apostle Thomas to be doubtful in thy Son’s Resurrection: grant us so perfectly, and without all doubt, to believe in thy Son Jesus Christ; that our faith in thy sight may never be reproved; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

01 July 2016

Novena to Our Lady of the Atonement


The feast day of Our Lady of the Atonement is on July 9th; however, we'll be transferring it to Sunday, July 10th, so that we can keep it with greater solemnity. Leading up to our celebration of the day, we'll be praying the novena prayers, beginning on Friday, July 1st.

The Novena to Our Lady of the Atonement

To take part in the Novena:

On each day, if possible, assist at Holy Mass, and go to Confession and Communion at least once during the Novena. The following prayers are recommended to be said daily:

ONE DECADE OF THE ROSARY
(One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, one Glory be.)

MEMORARE OF ST. BERNARD
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

THE THREE-FOLD SALUTATION
We salute thee, Holy Mary, Daughter of God the Father, and entreat thee to obtain for us a devotion like thine own to the most sweet Will of God.

We salute thee, Virgin Mother of God the Son, and entreat thee to obtain for us such union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that our own hearts may burn with love for God and an ardent zeal for the salvation of souls.

We salute thee, Immaculate Spouse of God the Holy Ghost, and entreat thee to obtain for us such yielding of ourselves to the Blessed Spirit, that He may, in all things, direct and rule our hearts, and that we may never grieve Him in thought, word, or deed.

THE LITANY
Lord have mercy upon us.
Christ have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, 
have mercy upon us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy upon us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy upon us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy upon us.

Our Lady of the Atonement, Daughter of God the Father, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother of God the Son, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Spouse of God the Holy Ghost, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, standing by the Cross, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, given to us as a Mother, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, our Mediatrix, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, firm Hope, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, sure Refuge, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother of Divine Love, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Shepherdess of the wandering sheep, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, pillar of Unity, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother of Conversions, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother of the outcast, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Star of the pagans, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother of missionaries, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother most sorrowful, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Lily of Israel, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Model of resignation, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Haven of peace, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Comfort of the afflicted, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Guide of the doubtful, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Welcomer of the pilgrims, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Handmaid of the Father, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mirror of the Son, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Queen of the Precious Blood, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, true Model, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, strong Protectress, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, hailed by the Archangel Gabriel, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Splendor of Heaven, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Delight of the Saints, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Strength of the weak, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Comfort of the dying, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, triumphant with Jesus, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Queen of the Universe, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Queen of the Children of the Atonement, pray for us.


Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy upon us.
Pray for us, O Blessed Mother;
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. O God, who didst deign that we, thy children, shouldst invoke our Mother Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Atonement; grant that through her powerful intercession we may obtain the fullness of thy blessings; through thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.