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!


Pope Adrian IV (c. AD 1100 – 1159)

[#14 in the series This Week in English Catholic History: Week of December 2 – 8]



HIS week, on December 4, the anniversary of his election as Pope, we remember Pope Adrian IV. Pope Adrian IV is the only Briton ever elected Pope.

Pope Adrian IV was born Nicholas Breakspear, son of Robert Breakspear, in Abbotts Langley, England. Robert later became a monk at St. Albans. Nicholas was refused admission to his local monastery, so he traveled to France and became a canon regular at St. Rufus monastery near Arles. He eventually became prior, then abbot in 1145. Continue reading

Two New Ordinariate Chant Projects

Over at The Acolyte’s Tool Box, news of a new chant project for the Ordinariates.

Steven Rabanal writes:

I am excited to announce two new chant projects in progress for use in the Personal Ordinariates for Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony. One is for priests and one for choristers.

The first project is one started very recently by myself and some friends. Many Catholics are familiar with the common tone the priest uses to chant the preface, the solemn tone, found here: https://youtu.be/eX-DnCtcVL0?t=4241. This is only one of three tones traditionally used in the Roman Rite. The Missale Romanum, the missal used for the Tridentine Mass, gives three tones to use for the preface: the ferial tone, the solemn tone, and the more solemn tone (titled “in praefatio tono solemniori”). The Anglican Missal adapts the ferial and solemn tones to English, however, I have not found adaptations of the more solemn tone, so this is a project I wanted to do for a few months now and just begun.


The second project is being done by James Scott. He is creating an English Gradual for the Ordinariates in the style of the Plainchant Gradual by the Rev. G.H. Palmer, Mus. Doc. and Francis Burgess. Although the Plainchant Gradual is currently in use in Ordinariate parishes, those who use them regularly will know that the texts do not match up all the time with Divine Worship. His project will set these traditional melodies to the text of Divine Worship, and he hopes to eventually set the entire missal. He is currently looking for trial participants and can be contacted at ordinariatechants at gmail dot com.

Go on over for the entire post, that includes audio and visual.

That precious sanctuary light

I recently visited the Boston area to bury my mother, who passed away in October.  On the Sunday morning of her memorial reception, I attended Mass in a suburb.

When I went to the parish nearest where I was staying, I could not find the tabernacle.  I had no idea in what direction to genuflect when I took my seat.  It was only after the Consecration, when someone went into a darkened chapel along the side to get some of the reserved Sacrament, that I saw where it He was.

At the end of Mass, I went to the darkened chapel to pray the Rosary before the Tabernacle and poured out my gratitude for Christ’s physical presence there. Continue reading

Second miracle confirmed for Blessed Cardinal Newman –Catholic Herald

You can read more about it here:

Another source with knowledge of the Cause told the Herald that panels of both the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints had judged the healing of a woman to be miraculous. The canonisation is likely to take place after Easter 2019.

The Archdiocese of Chicago had investigated the inexplicable healing of a woman who prayed for Newman’s intercession after suffering with with a “life-threatening pregnancy”. Doctors who treated her reported that they had no explanation for her sudden recovery.

Blessed John Henry Newman was one of the most prominent converts to Catholicism from Anglicanism of the 19th century.

Good news!

Christians did not co-opt pagan festival for Christmas says William Tighe

William Tighe, who is a historian and a member of the board of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society, has an article in Touchstone Magazine that disputes the popular idea that Christians co-opted a pagan festival by making Christmas happen on Dec. 25.

In fact, he argues it is the reverse:

Many Christians think that Christians celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th because the church fathers appropriated the date of a pagan festival. Almost no one minds, except for a few groups on the fringes of American Evangelicalism, who seem to think that this makes Christmas itself a pagan festival. But it is perhaps interesting to know that the choice of December 25th is the result of attempts among the earliest Christians to figure out the date of Jesus’ birth based on calendrical calculations that had nothing to do with pagan festivals.

Rather, the pagan festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Sun” instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the “pagan origins of Christmas” is a myth without historical substance.

For his arguments, head on over to Touchstone Magazine for the full article.