Our three Ordinaries meet in the UK

30E14C4E-418F-49D2-976E-8A66C5BD0239Last weekend, our three Ordinaries met in England, and Donato Tallo sent us some photographs taken Sunday Oct. 14 at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Gregory, Warwick St., London.  Many thanks!   We appreciate receiving news and photos!


Holy Mass was celebrated at 10:30 a.m, according to Divine Worship. The principal celebrant was Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and the preacher was Monsignor Harry Entwistle, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.
During his Homily Monsignor Harry Entwistle reflected on the readings of the day and asked all those present to consider what is God asking of us at this time? He reminded us all that God asks us to love him, to believe his truth revealed by Jesus, to proclaim the Faith and to live it.

Why bother with a synod when you have Veritatis Splendor–The Splendor of Truth?

Fr. Z had this excerpt on his blog yesterday marking the 40th anniversary of the election of Saint John Paul II to the pontificate.  It should be read out at the synod on youth, the faith and vocational discernment going on in Rome this month  Oh, for this kind of clarity.  This kind of proclamation of the Truth is why I am Catholic.

From the 1993 Encyclical Veritatis splendor 103-4:

Only in the mystery of Christ’s Redemption do we discover the “concrete” possibilities of man. “It would be a very serious error to conclude… that the Church’s teaching is essentially only an ‘ideal’ which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man, according to a “balancing of the goods in question.” But what are the “concrete possibilities of man”? And of which man are we speaking? Of man dominated by lust or of man redeemed by Christ? This is what is at stake: the reality of Christ’s redemption. Christ has redeemed us! This means that he has given us the possibility of realizing the entire truth of our being; he has set our freedom free from the domination of concupiscence. And if redeemed man still sins, this is not due to an imperfection of Christ’s redemptive act, but to man’s will not to avail himself of the grace which flows from that act. God’s command is of course proportioned to man’s capabilities; but to the capabilities of the man to whom the Holy Spirit has been given; of the man who, though he has fallen into sin, can always obtain pardon and enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit.”

In this context, appropriate allowance is made both for God’s mercy towards the sinner who converts and for the understanding of human weakness. Such understanding never means compromising and falsifying the standard of good and evil in order to adapt it to particular circumstances. It is quite human for the sinner to acknowledge his weakness and to ask mercy for his failings; what is unacceptable is the attitude of one who makes his own weakness the criterion of the truth about the good, so that he can feel self-justified, without even the need to have recourse to God and his mercy. An attitude of this sort corrupts the morality of society as a whole, since it encourages doubt about the objectivity of the moral law in general and a rejection of the absoluteness of moral prohibitions regarding specific human acts, and it ends up by confusing all judgments about values.


Keeping one’s focus on Christ

I spend a lot of time on social media.  Way too much time.  However, because I am a journalist, social media keep me informed on what’s going on.  Twitter and Facebook provide me with links to a number of interesting stories and keep my up to date on what’s happening in the Church.

There are downsides, though, especially when we are deluged with bad news about the sexual abuse crisis, about ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s serial abuse of seminarians, and the latest doctrinal controversy coming out of the Vatican.

I know I used to spend a lot of time feeling appalled and frustrated at what I was reading until I realized those are not fruits of the Spirit and started making a conscious effort to not fan negative emotions and judgments, though it’s not always easy. Continue reading

A weekend on Marian devotion

20181013_103528On Saturday, Oct. 13, we had a votive Mass for the Immaculate Conception, followed by breakfast in the parish hall, and a talk by Dennis and Angelina Girard about devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Behind them is a replica of the miraculous statue of Our Lady of the Cape at Canada’s national Marian shrine.

Then, on Sunday, we re-inaugurated our renovated Lady Chapel.


Dennis Girard is a cradle Catholic who fell away from the faith, then found it again through the evangelical world, before returning to the faith.  His wife Angelina is a convert. They believe they have discovered a recipe for renewal, through researching what paved the way for an explosion of Marian devotion and Catholic faith in the province of Quebec in the late 1800s that led to its being the most faithfully Catholic of all the Canadian provinces.

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Saint Mary MacKillop (AD 1842 – 1909)    





IGHT years ago, Mary MacKillop, also known as Mary of the Cross, was made Australia’s first canonized Saint by Pope Benedict XVI on October 17th, 2010. Mary’s parents emigrated  from Scotland to Australia while it was still a part of the British Empire.

Mary’s father Alexander had studied to become a priest in Rome at the Scots College, but fell ill and chose to live in holy wedlock with Flora MacDonald whom he married in Scotland.

The two immigrated to Australia, seeking a better life, and Mary was born one of their nine children in 1842 in Melbourne. The family was poor. By the age of 14, Mary was already working, often her family’s main source of financial support. In 1860, she moved away and became a governess for her better-off aunt and uncle. But she insisted on educating not only the couple’s children, but the poor of the town.

Her work was endorsed by a young priest named Fr. Julian Tenison Woods. With his help, in 1866, Mary formed Australia’s first religious order of nuns, the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, taking vows and becoming the Mother Superior the following year. They also founded a free school in a converted barn. Just one year after that the sisters founded an orphanage, a half-way house for women released from prison, and similar schools in other Australian cities. By 1871, over 130 Josephite sisters were working in more than 40 schools across Australia. Continue reading

Keep Calm and Catholic On

I have been Catholic for 8 years now. This is my third year as a member of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. Never have I been so dismayed as a Catholic by what I hear in the news about our hierarchy and their doings.

I recall fondly now speaking with the Protestant father of a friend over breakfast. He was reading a newspaper as we sat at his kitchen table on a sunny day in Abilene, Texas while I was visiting. I was relatively a new Catholic at the time.

“Looks like your Pope just said contraception is okay now.”


I do not remember what my answer was at the time, but what I remember quite clearly was the immediate and absolute certainty in my mind that Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Institution formerly known as The Roman Inquisition had not said that, and the media was pulling a typical telephone-game stunt, where they take something the Pope says out of context, then further distort it by asking “experts” what they think of what the Pope supposedly said.

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First impressions of the Anglican Use

This author describes her experience visiting an ordinariate parish, the first time she had attended our liturgy. Her experience echoes that of many others who have had a chance to pray in the Anglican tradition of the Catholic Church, but I think there is a point that needs to be added to one of her conclusions.dec29-928522_237975739743512_1015715270_n

“I was grateful for the establishment of the Ordinariate, but I confess… that I did think sometimes… Why can’t they just become Roman…?

If you have the opportunity, I’d encourage you to worship with an Anglican Use community. Here’s what struck me about the liturgy:

The differences between this and the Roman Rite Mass were clear. I’m sure you can find discussions and comparisons online, perhaps even contentious ones. The structure is, of course, the same, but the differences are intriguing and expressive of a more explicit sense of humility as well as greater formality than your typical, contemporary Roman Rite Mass

What struck me most about the Anglican Use liturgy was the same thing that struck me about Eastern Rite liturgies – not the external postures so much as the internal posture of humility which it assumes and fosters. The emphasis is on supplication and humility. You don’t pray “have mercy on us” a zillion times as you do in an Eastern liturgy, but you do say it – or something like it – a lot more than you do in the Roman Rite.

You will say a lot more of everything in the Anglican Use liturgy. The post-Vatican II Roman Rite is quite stripped down and streamlined, that being, of course, one of the intentions of those who constructed it. There is a verbal richness about the Anglican Use that I found comforting and akin to a richly adorned physical space.

So, it was a great experience, and I finally ‘get it.’ I get the reluctance to leave it behind – it preserves much – not just in the Mass itself, but in the other traditions that the Anglican Use brings with it that were lost in the Roman Rite after the Second Vatican Council…”

This reaction highlights the internal Latin nature of the Anglican liturgical tradition. Since the Catholic Church didn’t begin the process of re-integrating the Anglican liturgy until the Pastoral Provision in 1980, and then greatly sped up post-2009, the more traditional form of the Anglican liturgy didn’t undergo the same dramatic rupture that affected the Roman Rite after the Council. So the Latin tradition has been preserved in Anglican liturgy in ways that it hasn’t in the 1970 Roman Missal.

That said, many people cherish the Anglican Use because it is more traditionally Roman in some respects than even the common form of the Roman rite itself. But this is not the principle raison d’etre of the Anglican Use.

Anglicanorum Coetibus gave Catholics in the Anglican ordinariates the ability to pray using our own traditional “liturgical books proper to the Anglican communion” as well as the “Roman rite” in either its Ordinary or Extraordinary Form.

The liturgical integration produced by the Anglicanae Traditiones Commission, that was setup to analyse the Anglican liturgical texts and secure the Holy See’s approval, is intended to establish the received Anglican liturgy in the Catholic Church, shorn of any Protestant elements and re-centred on its own integrity as found in its own history.

The work of the Anglicanae Traditiones Commission – excellent, but arguably incomplete – has been another step in the healing of two ruptures in the Anglican liturgical tradition, a healing that began with the work of a similar committee of the Roman Curia back in the 1980s. The rupture in Anglican liturgy wasn’t just synchronic vis-à-vis other Catholic liturgies extant today, but also diachronic vis-à-vis its own past and traditional origins prior to Cranmer’s works.

So what the liturgy of the ordinariates actually preserves is the inner Catholic integrity of the Anglican tradition, which itself reflects the intrinsic Latin logic of Anglican liturgy. It was not mandated by Anglicanorum Coetibus so as to be what the Second Vatican Council intended with the liturgical reform, even if that is what, in the end, it has actually come to resemble.

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