27 September 2010

A new shrine in the works...

We've started plans for a Shrine to Blessed John Henry Newman, which will be located in the baptistry at Our Lady of the Atonement Church.  We have commissioned a full-length oil painting depicting him during the time he was a Cardinal.  The painting will be five feet high, and slightly less than three feet wide.  It will be placed within a specially designed niche, surmounted by a large spire, and will match the existing shrine to the Virgin Mary and Child already in the baptistry (see pictures below).

Incorporated within the shrine will be a second class relic, which is a small piece of a cope which belonged to Blessed John Henry Newman.  There are no first class relics available.  In fact, when an attempt was made to move his remains to the Birmingham Oratory, upon opening his grave it was found that there was nothing left of his body.  The coffin had not been lead-lined, and the cemetery was in very damp land.  Indeed, we're fortunate to have even this relic.

As the shrine progresses, I'll post updates.  I'm very happy that we will have this center of devotion to a great Anglican convert and faithful son of the Church, now raised to Her altars.

New Anglican Use Group

Fr. Prentice Dean, a former Episcopal priest, and now a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Nashville, has established the Our Lady of Martyrs Anglican Use Society.  The group is sponsoring its first event, which will be Solemn Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, which will take place at 7 p.m. on October 7th, at The Church of the Assumption, 1227 7th Avenue, North, Nashville, Tennessee.

I've put their website as a link on the sidebar of this blog.  Let's keep this new group in our prayers -- it may well provide the beginning of a future parish for the Ordinariate!

26 September 2010

Watch it all again...

The Holy Father's recent visit to Great Britain was a resounding success in every way, much to the disappointment of Catholic haters and most members of the media... but I repeat myself.

Here's a website where you can see and hear all the major events of his trip.  I'd suggest you save it as a "favorite site."

23 September 2010


The following press release appears on the website of the USCCB:

Doctrine Of The Faith Congregation Names Archbishop Wuerl To Guide Bringing Anglican Groups Into Catholic Church In U.S.

WASHINGTON (September 23, 2010)—The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has named Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington to guide the incorporation of Anglican groups into the Catholic Church in the United States.

In this position, he is a delegate of the congregation and heads the U.S. bishops’ ad hoc committee charged with assisting CDF in implementing the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. Pope Benedict XVI issued the document in November 2009 to provide for establishing personal ordinariates for Anglican groups who seek to enter corporately into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The personal ordinariate is a canonical structure similar to a diocese that covers the area of a bishops’ conference. This permits the incoming Anglicans to be part of the Catholic Church while maintaining aspects of their Anglican heritage and liturgical practice.

Other members of the ad hoc committee are Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth, Texas, and Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts. The committee will be assisted by Father Scott Hurd, who was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1993, joined the Catholic Church in 1996, and was ordained a Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Washington in 2000. Father Hurd will assist Archbishop Wuerl as staff to the ad hoc committee and a liaison to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Interested Anglicans are asked to contact Archbishop Wuerl through the Washington Archdiocese.

The ad hoc committee has two tasks:

To facilitate the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States
To assess the level of interest in such an ordinariate in the United States.

21 September 2010

We have a problem...

Our Lady of the Atonement is a remarkable parish, and it occupies a unique place, not only in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, but far beyond the archdiocesan boundaries. Our parish has a leading role in the return of Anglicans to the unity of the Catholic Church. It has distinguished itself in the areas of liturgy, music, and Catholic education. Our parishioners take seriously the responsibility to support the Church’s teaching in all aspects of life, and our members are active in pro-life work, working to strengthen family life, and in caring for the homeless and hungry. Our students have forged a relationship with schools in the Holy Land, giving support through the Latin Patriarchate.

God has given a vision for this parish, and over the years we have done all we can to remain faithful to that vision. Each of us can recount stories of how God’s grace has worked in our lives through this parish, and some of the greatest evidence of God’s love and care is seen in our parish school. Every day, children’s lives are affected in wonderful ways. Their love for God is increased; their souls are formed according to the mind of Christ; their minds are opened to the knowledge and mystery of God’s universe. A new generation of Catholics is being formed through the authentic Catholic teaching they receive, through a rigorous academic program, and through the sacramental life in the school, especially the daily Mass and frequent Confession.

The Atonement Academy is sixteen years old, and already in that brief time, our school has been recognized nationally for its excellence; indeed our parish and its school is known even at the Vatican itself. Our graduates are being accepted by some of the great universities in our country, and every student is formed in a fully Catholic way.

But we have a problem – in fact, a very good problem – a problem not being faced by many other Catholic schools. We’re growing. In fact, our growth this year has exceeded that of any other school in the archdiocese. We have more students seeking entrance, than we have room to take. Parents know that the spiritual and intellectual formation we give is the best around, and they are lining up, hoping to find a place here.

The time has come, yet again, to expand our facilities. From its small beginning in 1994, The Atonement Academy now serves students from more than twenty zip codes and five counties surrounding us. In fact, the reputation of the Academy goes even beyond our borders, and we have admitted several carefully-selected international students from Mexico, Taiwan, China and the Philippines, each one contributing to our strong Catholic and classical culture.

With 552 students enrolled this academic year, our present building is at capacity. We have carefully studied our needs, and have designed a master plan which envisions an eventual student body numbering 750 in our present configuration of grades Pre-K through Twelve.

We have begun our capital campaign for the expansion, which includes three phases. Phase 1 involves the construction of nineteen new classrooms and four science labs, plus a dining hall, with all the necessary site preparations which include a new driveway, additional parking and a sky-bridge linking our existing building with the new expansion. We will continue to be one school under one roof – although certainly a very large one! Phase 2 will be a second gymnasium and locker rooms. Our present gymnasium is magnificent, but with the expanding sports program, it is difficult to find enough hours to schedule playing time for all our indoor sports teams, making an additional sports facility necessary. Phase 3 will be a performing arts center, which will give us a venue for concerts, theatrical productions and other programs which call for an auditorium setting.

Of course, we hope to raise enough funds to complete as much of this as possible and as soon as possible, but it is Phase 1 that is critically important right now. We want to be able to accept as many qualified students as we can, and that means we need more classrooms. If we can begin this phase of construction in 2011 with completion date by the summer of 2012, it will take care of our immediate requirements.

The parish has not had a capital campaign since we launched the last school expansion in 2001, nine years ago. That campaign raised two million dollars and allowed us to borrow another three million dollars which completed the church and school expansion, adding more than 83,000 square feet of space.

Our current financial position is healthy for both the church and the school. The original church, completed in 1987, and then expanded in 2003-05, is totally debt free; the St. Joseph Parish House is debt free; the St. Anthony Hall, built in 1997, is debt free. The only debt service we have presently is the school expansion (completed in 2005), and those payments are approximately $24,000 per month. We owe about 2.1 million dollars on the remaining note, at a 4.12% interest rate, and the payments will be completed in 2016. Due in part to an 11% rise in student enrollment over last year and good fiscal stewardship, the school is self-sustaining and is able to operate without a parish subsidy. In fact, the church is in a financial position to contribute $250,000 towards the Capital Campaign this academic year.

If we consider just Phase 1 of this project, the estimated cost will be as follows:

• Site prep, civil engineering and utility work: $300,000
• Architecture and Engineering:  $80,000
• Phase One (19 Classrooms, 4 labs, offices, dining hall):  $2,600,000
• Sky-bridge connector:  $180,000

Subtotal: $3,160,000
10% Contingency: $316,000

Total Estimated Completion Cost [Phase 1]: $3,476,000

Three different banks have expressed strong interest in providing financing for this project, and are offering excellent interest rates. We are confident we can secure a $1.5 million loan and be able to service that debt over a 15-year note through ongoing operations. So, we can begin this expansion after raising $2 million. Gifts and pledges have begun coming in, and we are on the way to our goal. Every gift is important, no matter what the amount. There are some who have pledged a particular amount and are giving it in monthly installments; others are giving a gift in one payment. Of course, it will take the generosity and prayers of many people, but what an investment it is – to have a part in forming young Catholics, who will be building tomorrow’s strong families, serving as priests, or giving themselves to religious life.

It was a blessed coincidence that we began this campaign on the very day when our Holy Father beatified one of the best-known Anglican converts, John Henry Cardinal Newman. Blessed John Henry Newman was a man dedicated to the cause of education, and he spent most of his life in the world of education. For that reason, we have placed this very important project under his patronage. Please join your prayers with those of Blessed John Henry Newman, asking God’s blessing upon this project and upon those whose sacrifices will make it possible.

20 September 2010

St. Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist

AND as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
St. Matthew 9:9

O ALMIGHTY God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist; Grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires, and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

19 September 2010

Pope speaks of Anglicanorum coetibus

During the Holy Father's talk to the Catholic bishops in Birmingham, after the beatification of Blessed John Henry Newman, he made mention of Anglicanorum coetibus. In his brief reference he makes it clear that he wishes this to be implemented soon, and he makes it equally clear that Anglicanorum coetibus defines the future of ecumenism.

You'll hear his words at the 10 minute mark.

Blessed John Henry, pray for us...

14 September 2010

Litany of the Holy Cross

Crucifix of San Damiano.

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

Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy upon us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Ghost, the Comforter,
Have mercy upon us.

Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy upon us.

Christ Jesus, laden with the Cross and led to Calvary,
Have mercy upon us.

Christ Jesus, nailed to the Cross,
Have mercy upon us.

Christ Jesus, raised up on the Cross,
Have mercy upon us.

Christ Jesus, obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross,
Have mercy upon us.

Christ Jesus, bearing our sins in thine own Body on the Tree,
Have mercy upon us.

Christ Jesus, by whose stripes we are healed,
Have mercy upon us.

By thine Agony and Bloody Sweat,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy buffetings and stripes,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy Crown of Thorns,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy Cross and Passion,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By the anguish of thy Sacred Heart upon the Cross,
Good Lord, deliver us.

By thy most precious Death,
Good Lord, deliver us.

We sinners do beseech thee to hear us,
that we may die unto sin and live unto righteousness,
We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.

That we may take up our cross daily and follow thee,
We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.

That we may perfectly know thee, the Crucified,
We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.

That we may never crucify thee afresh,
We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.

That being made partakers of thy sufferings,
we may share also in thy consolations,
We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.

Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
Hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy upon us.

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

13 September 2010

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September 14th

Low Mass at 7:00 a.m.
High Mass at 9:15 a.m.

There will be Exposition of the
Relic of the True Cross
in the
Shrine Chapel of Our Lady of the Atonement
throughout the day.

The Parish Relic of the True Cross.

12 September 2010

"I will not leave you comfortless..."

Photograph by Ray Ranzau

This close-up picture of the Sacred Host in the monstrance was taken in the Chapel of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus at Our Lady of the Atonement Church.

Most Holy Name of Mary

If September 12th hadn't come on a Sunday this year, we'd be commemorating the Most Holy Name of Mary.  I posted this story here a few years ago, but it's now posted on The Anglo-Catholic.  If you haven't read it, have a look at "Coffee, Pastry, and Our Lady."

We beseech thee, O Lord, pour into our hearts the abundance of thy heavenly grace: That like as the child-bearing of the Blessed Virgin Mary was unto us thy servants the beginning of salvation, so the devout remembrance of her Most Holy Name may avail for the increasing of our peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

09 September 2010

Come home...

"The Invitation" by Jenedy Paige.

Here's an article I wrote and posted on The Anglo-Catholic.  It's addressed primarily to Anglicans, especially members of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC).  Here's the link to "It's Time To Decide."

Please do pray for all those who are making these important decisions about their place in the Catholic Church.

08 September 2010

The Oath of Fidelity

Within the context of a glorious Sung Mass in honor of Our Lady on the Feast of her Nativity, the members of the faculty and staff of The Atonement Academy made an Oath of Fidelity in the presence of God and the student body of the Academy.  This is the annual practice here, to bind our teachers, by oath, to teach everything within the context of the revealed truth which comes to us from God through His Holy Catholic Church.

+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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

With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the responsibilities by which I am bound in relation both to the universal Church and to the particular Church in which I am called to exercise my service according to the requirements of the law. In carrying out my charge, which is committed to me in the name of the Church, I shall preserve the deposit of faith in its entirety, hand it on faithfully and make it shine forth. As a result, whatsoever teachings are contrary I shall shun.

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

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

May God help me in this way, and the Holy Gospels of God which I touch with my hands.

I'm asked frequently what is the "secret" of the success of our parish school.  There's nothing secretive about it.  The education we offer is of the highest intellectual calibre, imparted always in the context of the Catholic faith, and strengthened by the daily celebration of Holy Mass with the regular use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

07 September 2010

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

We beseech thee, O Lord, pour into our hearts the abundance of thy heavenly grace; that, like as the child bearing of the Blessed Virgin Mary was unto us thy servants the beginning of salvation, so the devout observance of her Nativity may avail for the increase of our peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Read my post on The Anglo-Catholic here.

Such a beautiful prayer...

06 September 2010

Crusaders Football...

Here are some photos of our new football team.  We're proud of all our students and their many accomplishments, and we're especially excited that these young men have dedicated themselves to being part of the team which will always be remembered as our "founding team."

05 September 2010

Collect for Pentecost XV

Grant us, O Lord, we pray thee, to trust in thee with all our heart; seeing that, as thou dost always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so thou dost not forsake those who make their boast of thy mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

04 September 2010

Your scribe at work...

Here are a couple of articles I've posted on The Anglo-Catholic.  They're related in the subject matter, and the second article contains some thoughts I had after I posted the first one.

First, there's Headin' For Beulah Land, and after you've read that, you might be interested in Bridezilla.

03 September 2010

Academy news...

News, announcements, great pictures, future events -- you can find it all in The Crusader Times.  Go here to read it...

...and congratulations to our Atonement Crusaders football team -- they triumphed over the Lutheran High School Mustangs, 33-12, in the second pre-season game!

02 September 2010

"...you will be catching men..."

I just finished celebrating the two morning Masses.  The second was the regular daily Sung Mass with all the students and faculty, and the Gospel reading was from St. Luke (5:1-11).

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

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

The Nave Ceiling - Our Lady of the Atonement Church

01 September 2010

In thanksgiving for the day...

ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men; We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may he unfeignedly thankful; and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.