Reviving “the Method” for the Ordinariates

Every Advent, at the start of a new liturgical year, I make a “New Year’s” resolution to more religiously pray the daily offices.   I am grateful for John Covert’s site that updates the psalms, canticles and readings for morning and evening prayer so one really has no excuse not to pray them if one has a smart phone.  Otherwise, it does require a stack of books, though I agree with Cardinal Robert Sarah that using the holy books adds to the sacred nature of the experience.   But let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  It’s better to pray the Office on a phone or a tablet than to not pray it at all.

So, with more diligent attention to the daily offices, I was very interested in this August 2016 article that Christopher Mahon discovered and reposted in an Anglican  Ordinariate Facebook group from  The New Liturgical Movement  on the role praying the daily offices played in John Wesley’s “Method.”

David Clayton writes in The Power of the Divine Office to Transform a Church and Society:

The ‘Method’ of the Methodists!

I was idly investigating forms of the breviary on the internet the other day (as one does), and came across a page about the history of the Anglican breviary, here.

Contained within it was the following:

 Regular praying of the Divine Office was likewise central to John and Charles Wesley’s “method,” which included scriptural study, fasting, and regular reception of Holy Communion in addition to daily celebration of Morning and Evening Prayer. John Wesley’s Rule of Life is, in its essentials, thoroughly orthodox and Catholic. It has been said that if Wesley had only been born in 1803 rather than 1703, he would have been a follower of those great Oxford divines — John Henry Newman, Edward Bouverie Pusey, and Hurrell Froude — who by their preaching and Tracts turned the Church of England to its apostolic and sacramental roots.

Indeed, it was those 19th century “Tractarians” who kindled new interest in the pre-Reformation forms of celebrating the Holy Eucharist and daily prayer. In the mid and late nineteenth century, the Anglican Church in England and America witnessed nothing less than a Catholic Revival, including the rebirth of organized religious orders, renewed emphasis upon and appreciation for the Episcopate and Priesthood, the Sacraments, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the sacrificial nature of the Holy Communion, devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, and the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.

How about we revive this method within the Ordinariates:

” . . .scriptural study, fasting, and regular reception of Holy Communion in addition to daily celebration of Morning and Evening Prayer.”

Add to that, Marian consecration and the daily praying of the Rosary. 

Clayton writes that as a former Methodist now Catholic, he was astonished to read this about the Anglican breviary.  He also pointed out everyone used to talk about the method without laying out what it was.  He adds:

This reinforces my belief that that if we want to transform the culture and revive the Church, we can do this through the Domestic Church and the family centered on liturgical piety, including the chanting of the Liturgy of the Hours at home. Furthermore, this means that we need to encourage this in the vernacular, so that people who are not fluent in Latin (i.e. most people) can genuinely pray it. I suggest that the Anglican Use Divine Office is a way to do this, as I described in a review of the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham. And it is the prayer of the family in the domestic church, centered on a liturgical piety, that can drive such societal change today as well as transform the Church. We need to form people as contemplatives as a matter of course, not as the exception.

Your thoughts?





Professor Feulner receives second Knighthood for work with Catholic Church

IMG-20181210-WA0003Dr. Hans-Jürgen Feulner of the University of Vienna, Austria, a liturgical expert who played a key role in the liturgical commission that developed Divine Worship: The Missal has been awarded a second Knighthood for his contribution to the Catholic Church and to society.   Here Professor Feulner is shown being greeted by Archduke Simeon of Hapsburg-Lorraine who installed him as a Knight in the Constantinian Order of St. Georg at a ceremony in Innsbruck, Austria on Dec. 10.


Professor Feulner is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society.

Here is the professor with the Archduke’s wife Princess Maria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies


In a message to the Society president from Austria, Professor Feulner said:  “The Archduke told me at lunch he was impressed by my work for former Anglicans and would like to talk more in Vienna soon.”

This is not the first high honor Professor Feulner has received.

Pope Francis knighted him in Dec. 2014, elevating him to the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great along with Dr. Clinton Brand for their work on the Anglicanae Traditiones commission, which developed the Divine Worship: the Missal, the liturgy used by the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans in the Catholic Church.


St. John Roberts, Martyr (AD 1577 – 1610)

[#15 in the series This Week in English Catholic History: Week of December 9 – 15]



HIS week, on December 10, the day of his martyrdom, we remember St. John Roberts. St. John Roberts was a Welsh Benedictine monk and priest. He was born in 1577 at Trawsfynydd, a small village in northern Wales. His parents were John and Anna Roberts of Rhiw Goch Farm. Like many members of the Ordinariates of Anglicanorum cœtibus today, John was baptized as a Protestant.

He attended Oxford in 1595 before leaving after two years to study law at Furnival’s Inn, London. He later traveled in Europe, and converted to Catholicism after visiting Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Also instrumental in his conversion was the influence of a Catholic fellow-countryman. When John converted, he abandoned his legal studies. On the advice of Fr. John Cecil, Roberts moved to Spain to attend the English seminary at Valladolid, before later leaving to become a monk at the local monastery, St. Benedict’s.

After his ordination in 1602, John led an undercover mission of Catholic priests to England, where as an important part of his evangelization he worked with plague victims in London. He was repeatedly caught, imprisoned, and banished to the continent, but Saint John kept returning to England. On his fifth mission to England, he was followed by his former mentor, ex-priest-turned-spy John Cecil (alias John Snowden), who had traitorously compiled a dossier on Roberts for King James I–Yes, the same King James after whom was named the much-celebrated 1611 King James Version of the Bible, which included the deuterocanon and almost verbatim the words of the Lord’s Prayer as they currently appear in the Catholic Novus Ordo Missal of 1970 and the Ordinariates’ Divine Worship Missal of 2013. God uses whom He will for his unsearchable purposes.

Fr. Roberts was arrested by the King’s agents right after he had finished saying Mass, and he was taken to prison while still wearing his Eucharistic vestments. The night before his hanging, a devout Spanish lady arranged for him to have dinner with 18 other Catholic prisoners. During their supper together, St. John was full of joy. He felt self-conscious about this, and asked his hostess, “Do you think I may be giving bad example by my joy?” She said, “No, certainly not. You could not do any better than to let everyone see the cheerful courage you have as you are about to die for Christ.”

On December 10, St. John Roberts – as was traditionally allotted commoners deemed traitors to King and country – was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn. Like our Lord himself by tradition at the time of his crucifixion, John was 33 years old. In jubilant mockery of a ceremony designed to strike fear into the hearts of would-be Catholics, when John saw the fire in which his bowels were to be burned, he said, “Ah, I see you have prepared a hot breakfast for us!”

Usually, the prisoner was disemboweled while still alive, but St. John Roberts was so popular among the poor because of his work with plague victims, that they insisted he be killed first so as not to feel the pain, and the will of the common people prevailed at least that far.

His heart was then held aloft by the executioner, who said, “Behold the heart of the traitor!” But the angry crowd, instead of saying the standard response (“Long live the king!”), said nothing. It was dead silent.

Saint John Roberts, defender of the Poor and the Sick, Martyr for the True Faith, pray for us sinners!


For a weekly dose of English Catholic Patrimony, if your Ordinariate parish or parochial community would like to receive This Week in English Catholic History in advance in single page black-and-white pdf form (perhaps inserted in the bulletin), please contact us at <>, and we will be happy to oblige, gratis

Written by Mr. John Burford, IV and Dr. Foster Lerner of Incarnation Catholic Church in Orlando, Florida; a parish of The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter © 2018.

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John (wearing purple tie, above) is the founder and owner of Magnolia Prep, an SAT and ACT tutoring business with branches in several major US cities. Foster (wearing golden tie, above) holds a Doctorate in Medicine from  Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, and is currently pursuing post-graduate studies in medicine.

john roberts

From Sir John Betjeman –

And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,
No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare –
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

Heads Up: Obligatory No Meat this Friday for Canonical Members of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

In one of the few deviations from the extremely minimal fasting requirements of Roman Catholics in the United States and Canada, Ordinariate Catholics of POCSP — on pain of grave sinmust abstain from meat (like the Fridays in Lent for all Roman Catholics) this Friday, December 7th, 2018. No alternative penance (as is required for other Roman Catholics on this day if they choose not to abstain) is permitted. (I cannot speak to the situation of Ordinariate Catholics in OLW and OLSC Ordinariates, though if readers know with certainty, please comment). See POCSP Ordo:

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We have come to the Ember Days of this season, which — along with the ministry of Instituted Acolyte, First Evensong on the evening before Feasts rather than just Solemnities, and other excellent Traditions — the Ordinariates are bringing back into the common practice of the Latin Church. Spread the word in your parochial communities, and be sure we all can fully share in this joyful but truly penitential time, when we recall the Lord’s first coming, yes, but much more, the End of Time, when He shall come in awesome Glory and Power to be our Judge.

UPDATE: Steven Rabanal, Instituted Acolyte writes:

‘”From the Chancery: We can eat meat after 4pm today. The solemnity trumps Ember Friday.’

However, of course, this is likely not due to technicalities of canon law but because the bishop permits it.”

I aplogise my comment below was in error. You’re good to go on your meats after 4pm today.


The Last Judgment, Stefan Lochner, c. AD 1435

A day in a life of a hospital chaplain

47574762_10215777411619948_2460588675138846720_nMany of our Ordinariate priests work as hospital chaplains for their local dioceses, perhaps because their new Ordinariate communities cannot fully support them financially or for other reasons.  One of our priests in Ottawa is a full time hospital chaplain, and so is our priest in Toronto.  It is demanding but meaningful work.

Fr. Christopher Stainbrook, pastor of St. John Vianney Ordinariate parish in Cleburne, Texas, posted the following reflection, with the photo above on Facebook and I asked if I could share them on this blog.  Thank God for hospital chaplains!

My “On Call” Monday yesterday made me a bit reflective this morning. Three calls: First an 81 year old lady in the ICU. Two adult daughters weeping quietly, and a respectful cleaner who paused in her duties and softly joined in the responses.

Then (at the County Hospital) a 18 year old girl who was in a terrible automobile accident. Large family in the ICU waiting room. Mother and her daughter’s boyfriend, (who was in the same accident, and also a patient at the hospital as well), in a hospital gown and wheelchair, waiting for me in the girl’s room. Three nurses/aides by the door who joined in the responses. 

And the third Hospital Call, an unconscious (sedated) man in the Hospice Unit (at yet another hospital) alone in his room with soft music on the radio. No one present but me, him, and the host of heaven looking on.

The old, the young, the forgotten – each receiving the full and ancient rites and sacraments for the dying which Holy Mother Church provides for all her children. Deo Gratias!