Fr. Paul of Graymoor and the Chair of Unity

In October of 1909, a foreshadowing of the Ordinariate occurred: an Episcopalian order of friars and sisters was received as a corporate body in to the Catholic Church. To-day both the Friars and Sisters continue, while their founder, Fr. Paul, is a candidate for beatification. Mother Lurana, co-foundress, waits her turn. Fr. Paul introduced the “Chair of Unity of Octave,” – eight days of prayer for the reunion of all Christians under the Pope, and all other people with the Church that starts on January 18 – the traditional feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Rome, and ends on January 25, the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Each day has a different class of people to be prayed for. After Vatican II the prayers were somewhat “softened;” and the practise itself became rare.  But surely the original Octave, as composed by Fr. Paul himself, is a part of the Patrimony and worthy of at least private use during the eight days in the waning weeks of the Christmas season! Here they are. On a private note, Fr. Paul was responsible for the conversion of a local teenager named Charl Van Horn. Decades later, Mr. Van Horn would be my writing instructor at New Mexico Military Institute, where I learned my trade. In a very real sense, were it not for Fr. Paul, you might not be reading these words!

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