Ordinations on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

May 25, 2020
by Ordinariate Communications
With praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God
the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
joyfully announces and invites you to attend
the Ordination of
Rev. Mr. Armando G. Alejandro, Jr.
Rev. Mr. B. Nathan Davis
Rev. Mr. Matthew M. Hummel
to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ
through the Imposition of Hands
and the Invocation of the Holy Spirit by
Most Rev. Steven J. Lopes, S.T.D.
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
Monday, the Twenty-ninth of June
Two Thousand and Twenty
at Six Thirty in the Evening
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham
7809 Shadyvilla Lane, Houston, Texas 77055

Here is a link to the beautiful Solemn Evensong for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Fr. Hayman preaches series for children

Fr. Doug Hayman, Dean of the Canadian Deanery of St. John the Baptist of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, has been doing a series of special talks for children.

We are also blessed to have him as our pastor in Ottawa at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

He has one up now for Trinity Sunday in which he describes the Trinity!

You can find his previous talks at his YouTube channel. Subscribe and enjoy!

Toronto Conference Liturgies

All of the liturgies and three of the four talks from the Anglican Tradition in the Catholic Tradition Conference last November 15-16 in Toronto are available online at our Anglicanorum Coetibus Society YouTube channel. Please go on over and subscribe!

You can find out more information about the conference at our website. And while you’re over there, why not considering joining us and becoming a supporter of our mission to promote Anglican tradition in the Catholic Church to help form disciples of Jesus Christ for the glory of God.

Here is the Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for Anglicanorum Coetibus:

Choral Mattins in the Anglican Tradition

Choral Evensong and Benediction

Three of the four talks are also available at our YouTube channel:

Bishop Steven Lopes

David Warren

Fr. Jack Barker

and soon to come, Fr. Derek Cross

More on The Cloud of Unknowing

Lisa Nicholas looks at Chapter Three of The Cloud of Unknowing, a classic work of English Catholic Mysticism at her Learning God: Readings in the Contemplative English Tradition blog:

She writes:

The subtitle of this chapter promises that it will explain two things: how to put in practice what the book will teach, and why the reason doing so is the most worthy thing one can do.

So first the how: Lift your heart to God, our author says, thinking only of Him, but not of His benefits (“goods”) or any part of His Creation. Think on Him as He is, but not of what He does. This will be difficult, but we must persist in the effort, no matter how difficult it seems, until it is no longer difficult. At first, and for a long time, we will face a great “cloud of unknowing,” but if we persist eventually the cloud will disperse and we will see/know Him as He is, to the extent that this is possible in this mortal life.

Why persist in something so difficult and frustrating? Our teacher encourages his pupil to make the effort, not only for one’s own sake (the benefit of experiencing God as He is), but also because doing so will frustrate the fiends of Hell and benefit the souls in purgatory.


The method of prayer introduced in this chapter (to be explained in detail later) sounds a little like that old gag, “Don’t think about elephants.” As soon as someone says that, you find yourself thinking about elephants. So, how do we fix our minds and hearts on God without thinking of all the good things He does for us or all the wonderful things He has created that bear witness to Him? How can we make it our naked intent simply to adore Him as He is, when it is impossible for us to know Him except through the created order, His interventions in the created order, including His becoming Man for our sake?

It sounds impossible, rather like trying to know what we don’t know. Our teacher acknowledges this difficulty — we must not try to think of God with our intellect (we’re not engaging in theology) nor to feel Him with our affections (we can’t conjure Him up with our emotions). But, if not thinking or feeling, what? Our “naked intent” — our will. Our desire itself to know Him.

This, he says, is what the Angels and Saints do: they desire God with a pure and unflagging desire, and their reward is to know Him as He is. This is the encouragement that will help us persevere in what will seem, at first and for a long time thereafter, a most impossible and frustrating task.

Part one of this series is here. Part two is here. Please not only read all three but also read The Cloud of Unknowing for yourself.

Please listen to the two-part podcast with David Torkington on Christian mystical prayer and the role he believes the Ordinariates can play in reviving it. You can find the podcasts at the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society website here.

Diaconal Ordinations on Ascension will be live-streamed from Houston

From the website of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter:

May 18, 2020
by Ordinariate Communications
With praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God
the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
joyfully announces and invites you to attend
the Ordination of

David H. Delaney
Stephen A. Hilgendorf
Samuel N. Keyes
Scott R. Wooten

to the Sacred Order of Deacon
through the Imposition of Hands
and the Invocation of the Holy Spirit by

Most Rev. Steven J. Lopes, S.T.D.

Thursday, the Twenty-first of May
Two Thousand and Twenty
at Six Thirty in the Evening

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham
7809 Shadyvilla Lane, Houston, Texas 77055

I will embed the link to the live-stream when I have it.  Meanwhile, keep an eye on the PCSP website and the website of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham at 6:30 pm CDT or 7:30 pm EDT.


David Torkington podcasts now available

David Torkington Width 597 pixelsThe two part interview I did with David Torkington, an author and expert on Christian mystical prayer, is now available on the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society website at www.acsociety.org/podcasts.  

I am so blessed to have been able to have this conversation with him!  I hope it whets your appetite to read his works.   He asked me to give you the link to an entire course on prayer online that will soon be published as a book.  You can find it at Dan Burke’s spiritualdirection.com website at this link.

Lisa Nicholas [Please see podcast with Lisa Nicholas on the podcasts page!] had introduced me to David Torkinton late last year.  I found reading his book  Wisdom from the Christian Mystics: How to pray the Christian way and other writings on the web revitalized my prayer life.   His writings prompted me to muse whether a key to evangelization in the Ordinariates for Catholics of Anglican tradition was to make our parishes Schools of Prayer.

Over Lent, a group of us from our parish held a Lenten School of Prayer during which we read Wisdom from the Christian Mystics together.  The school migrated online once the pandemic shutdown began.

Thank you to Tim Motte for the beautiful production of this video.  The music is the Sanctus by Herbert Howells in the Collegium Regale that was sung at the Mass of Thanksgiving that opened the Anglican Tradition in the Catholic Churchconference in Toronto Nov. 15-16.

You can find the Mass here:



Archbishop Di Noia on the pandemic in light of the Paschal mystery


Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, OP, has an important piece in First Things Magazine about the pandemic in light of both Lent and Eastertide entitled In God’s Time.

What is the properly Christian meaning of the providential concurrence of the pandemic with Lent and Eastertide? What light can our faith shed on the darkness that otherwise prevails during these days? The paschal experience of our crucified and risen Lord shows us the path of grace that turns our own experience of suffering into an opportunity for conversion and transformation, a passage from death to life with our Redeemer who suffered and died for our sake.

This fundamental pattern of the liturgical year, with its specific grace in this season, seems all the more significant for us during this crisis. It may seem that the pandemic has taken Lent and Easter captive, but in liturgical time—in God’s time, that is—the reverse is true. The invitatory antiphon at the start of the Liturgy of the Hours every day in Lent was “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” During Easter it becomes “The Lord is risen, alleluia.” The divine judgment we experience during Lent as a call to repentance yields during Eastertide to the hope and promise of a share in the victory of our Risen Lord over sin and death. This deeply distressing crisis has sharpened our sense of the paschal mystery.

Please read the whole thing.  Here’s my summary: God is calling us to repentance.  He is also reminding us that outside of Him there is no true safety, real peace or lasting security.

It has been difficult to think of blog posts to write because much of my focus during the pandemic—aside from a rather monastic level of prayer in my quasi-hermitage— is on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its role not only in hiding the origins of the  novel coronavirus but also in allowing it to spread throughout the world.  Now as I learn that we no longer manufacture the ingredients to make our antibiotics, our insulin and other essential pharmaceuticals, I see how wholly unprepared we were for this pandemic.  In the interests of globalization and making money,  we hollowed out our manufacturing sector to slave labor in China so we could have cheaper phones, drugs, computers and so on.

It is becoming more and more clear to me that China under this evil regime is an existential threat to the West. It concerns me people remain so asleep to this threat.  However, I have not found a way to get at this in a way that’s on topic for this blog.  But maybe Archbishop Di Noia helps bring its relevance into focus.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, we will confront the worst economic crisis in history—with millions of people unemployed and massive government spending needed to bail out industries and banks and keep families afloat. The number of people in the world facing food shortages could double to 265 million. If millions of people either cannot get food because the supply chains have broken down, or cannot pay for it because they have run out of money, then there is the danger of massive social disorder. The U.N. estimates that $2.5 trillion will be needed to respond to the pandemic in the developing world. The fragility of institutions that only a few months ago appeared almost indestructible is now exposed for all the world to see. We have seen it, and it terrifies us.

Archbishop Di Noia doesn’t mention China, but this looming economic crisis is brought to you by the CCP.   That’s not all: some suspect the pandemic may have originated in experimentation with coronaviruses as part of a biological weapons program,  and the CCP’s People’s Liberation Army has been doing research partially funded by the West(!)    Whether the virus was manipulated in the lab, or merely studied there and leaked out because of careless safety measures,the CCP covered up the human to human transmission of the virus for weeks, allowing it to spread throughout the world.

Everyday I listen to War Room Pandemic that has been covering the pandemic since late January, when almost everyone else in the United States was distracted by the impeachment of President Trump.  The hosts of the program have brought in experts on China, on the economic and financial crisis, on the outsourcing of our drugs to China, and how China is engaging in an information and economic war with the United States.

But at the basis it’s a war over a vision of human dignity, of men and women being made in the image of God vs. men and women as meaningless products of evolution.  In the latter vision, anything goes, from CCP harvesting of organs from live political prisoners to feed their lucrative transplant industry to the placing of a million Uighurs in concentration camps, to widespread surveillance and control of every aspect of a person’s life.  Is it about human flourishing or is it about power and control.

Our problem here in North America is that we had hoped to make China more like us through opening trade with her, but instead we have become more like China.   It’s our high tech industry that helped China build its surveillance network and the great electronic fire wall that keeps citizens of China from finding out any information contrary to the CCP Party line.

Look at us though with our abortion, our pornography, our addiction rates, our obesity, our lack of serious Christian faith and observance.   We are getting swallowed up in darkness.

My prayer is that it is not too late for repentance and conversion to sweep the land so that we may be delivered from the looming tyranny that awaits us and our grandchildren if we do not wake up.

Archbishop Di Noia again:

Christians cannot be silent. If we do not declare what our faith tells us, the scroll will remain sealed, with its divine meanings locked within. Only if the scroll is opened and read to us will we know in faith that precisely because God loves us so much, we are experiencing his wrath—the wrath of the Lamb himself (Rev. 6:16–17). As  [Anglican theologian Joseph] Mangina explains, “[T]he divine wrath is the form that God’s love assumes when it encounters resistance on the part of the creature, it is the divine ‘no’ to the plight of humanity in this ‘present evil age’; and so Christ appears on the same side as the Father, equally the agent of God’s love and his judgment.” Christ enacts God’s decisive turning toward the world in grace, mercy, and peace. But some turn away, “misunderstanding God’s righteous judgment as an expression of his hatred.” It is providential that the pandemic of 2020 has coincided with Lent and Easter. There is still time to turn to him and live, for barely concealed in God’s judgment are his upwelling grace and mercy in the Lamb slain for our sake and risen now in glory.



Podcast with Catalina Brand of The Holy House Academy in Houston

catalinaA number of weeks ago, I interviewed Catalina Brand, the director of The Holy House Academy, a home school enrichment program of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham.  I’m pleased to announce the podcast is now up at the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society website under podcasts.

The music accompanying the podcast is provided by one of the children’s choirs.

This was the second of two podcasts  (the first was with Sr. Thomas Aquinas, director of the cathedral’s high school project) that I did looking at Catholic education as a means of evangelization.

Here are some pictures from The Holy House Academy that Catalina provided from the pre-pandemic days, showing one of the children’s choirs, a dance recital, a Christmas pageant and a session with Fr. Charles Hough, the cathedral’s rector.


imageholyhousechristmaspageantimageholyhousepriestimage (0000000B)While the pandemic’s social distancing measures have forced The Holy House Academy to change some of its methods—-with classes online, more assignments sent to children’s homes—the program remains up and running.

The Holy House is only one of several educational projects ongoing in communities of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.  St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Omaha, Nebraska, offers a classical liberal arts high school at  St. Barnabas Classical Academy that continues to operate though under pandemic restrictions.

St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania, offers a home education enrichment program through the Maria Kaupas Academy.    St. John the Evangelist in Calgary, Alberta, also offers a home education enrichment program through The Holy House of Our Lady and St. John.

Catalina Brand describes the origins of The Holy House  that take us back to the beginnings of the parish of Our Lady of Walsingham. It’s a story of encouragement and hope.  Catalina also has some advice for communities that might wish to embark on their own educational projects.

Podcast on evangelization through education with Sr. Thomas Aquinas


Sr. Thomas Aquinas is a Dominican sister who serves in the chancery of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston Texas.   She is director of a project to develop a Catholic high school near the cathedral.

Earlier this year, I interviewed her for a podcast on education as a tool for evangelization.  In our discussion, she highlights Bishop Steven Lopes’ vision regarding Catholic education, a vision that is inspiring several parishes in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter to offer Catholic education of some form to their local communities.

You can find the podcast here.   Enjoy!    Soon, we will also have a podcast up with Catalina Brand, director of the cathedral’s The Holy House Academy, a home education enrichment program that she tells me was still operating, though online, through the pandemic.    Many other parishes in North America are also running home school enrichment programs, though they have had to adapt under pandemic restrictions.  It’s exciting what is being done to evangelize a new generation into the Catholic faith and at the same time impart the beauties of our liturgical tradition.

St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Omaha, Nebraska already runs a high school, and I’m told St. Barnabas Academy has continued to offer courses.   At their site, they have posted Bishop Lopes four pillars of Catholic education. Have a look!

Requiem Mass in Ottawa May 2

On Saturday at 10:00 a.m. EDT,  Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ottawa will offer a Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Henry J. Stauffenberg, a long-time parishioner who passed away on April 16.   The Mass will be live-streamed via Annunciation’s Facebook page.
Even if you did not know him, you might find the beautiful Catholic Requiem Mass in the Anglican Tradition a balm for the soul in this time of pandemic.
Here is a link to the bulletin for the Mass
Here are some words Michael Trolly our organist and cantor shared about  Henry J. Stauffenberg, PhD (1947-2020) on our Facebook page.
We are saddened to announce that longtime Annunciation parishioner Dr. Henry J. Stauffenberg, PhD, passed away at his home on Thursday, April 16. A native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Henry first moved to Ottawa in 1971 to begin his doctoral studies in English literature at the University of Ottawa. He joined the English Department at the University of Scranton in 1973, and received his PhD from the University of Ottawa in 1978, with a thesis on the topic of the Middle English poem “Cursor Mundi”; he later edited a section of the work for publication by the University of Ottawa Press in 1985. Between 1987 and 1997 he taught various courses at the Ottawa Lay School of Theology, now known as the Ottawa School of Theology and Spirituality. For a number of years he served as an Examining Chaplain for the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada; he was himself ordained Deacon in 2000, serving at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in addition to his duties for the church across the country. In 2012, Annunciation was received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church, and Dr. Henry was reconciled with the Church in which he had been raised.A Requiem Mass will be celebrated for the repose of Dr. Henry’s soul on Saturday, May 2, at 10 AM EDT, and will be broadcast live on Facebook, due to current emergency measures.