In this space, we will post news items of interest - both in terms of local events, as well as items of global importance. You may contact us through the Contacts portion of the website to bring news items to our attention.
Please see our Facebook page for information about the upcoming Evensong next weekend, and other events:
Congratulations to Our Lady of Atonement, for entering the Ordinariate ....
... and thanks to Rome for letting them come!
In Newman's (insufficiently read but brilliant) novel Loss and Gain, a young Ritualist clergyman called Bateman is trying to reclaim for the Church of England a fellow Oxonian, Willis, who has become a Roman Catholic. "Do tell me, just tell me, how you can justify the Mass as it is performed abroad; how can it be called a 'reasonable service', when all parties conspire to gabble it over, as if it mattered not a jot who attended to it, or even understood it?"
Willis explains that Catholicism and Protestantism are essentially two different religions. "The idea of worship is different ... for, in truth, the religions are different. Don't deceive yourself, my dear Bateman: it is not that ours is your religion carried a little further - a little too far, as you would say. No, they differ in kind, not in degree: ours is one religion and yours is another".
This is an important perception today, when much misunderstanding is caused both in ecumenical dialogue and in the subject called 'Comparative Religion' by those who fail too realise that religions can have radically different structures; their fundamental grammar may be wholly different, not just their superficial features. As so often, Newman is a thinker and an analyst very much for our time. But let us follow Willis's explanation:
"To me nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so overcoming, as the Mass, said as it is among us. I could attend Masses for ever, and not be tired. It is not a mere form of words - it is a great action, the greatest action that can be on earth. It is, not the invocation merely, but, if I dare use the word, the evocation of the Eternal. He becomes present upon the altar in flesh and blood, before whom angels bow and devils tremble. This is that awful event which is the end, and is the interpretarion, of every part of the solemnity. Words are necessary, but as means, not as ends; they are not mere addresses to the throne of grace, they are instruments of what is far higher, of consecration, of sacrifice. They hurry on as if impatient to fulfil their mission".
In other words, for classical Protestantism, the Eucharist is an acted word; it is a sermon dramatised; it is intended to instruct the witnesses and draw their heart to that saving faith which justifies. But for the Catholic, it is an opus operatum; an action which by the powerful and indefectible promise of Christ is objectively (not merely subjectively and in the heart of the believer) effective. So the celebrant is not in the business of moving or instucting or edifying or converting the viewer - if such may be the the by-products, even useful ones, of the action, they are not its intrinsic purpose. The priest's intrinsic purpose is to confect and offer the Body and Blood of the Redeemer in sacrifice for the sins of men. Failure to realise this is at the heart of what is wrong with so much modern and 'relevant' liturgy. And failure to realise this is to fall into the structured error which we call the Enlightenment.
"[The words of the Mass] hurry on as if impatient to fulfil their mission. Quickly they go, the whole is quick; for they are awful words of sacrifice, they are a work too great to delay upon; as when it was said at the beginning, 'What thou doest, do quickly'. Quickly they pass, for the Lord Jesus goes with them, as he passed along the lake in the days of his flesh, quickly calling first one and then another; quickly they pass ... " but I invite the reader to get and read the book.
In terms of rhetoric and apologetic, it might seem that Newman has cleverly (no wonder Protestant England considered him dangerously sinister in his cleverness!) justified 'gabbling' the Mass. But his purpose is deeply theological. I would put it like this (I am borrowing the illustration from Eric Anglican Patrimony Mascall's section in Corpus Christi where he explains the logic of 'Private Masses'). If a Protestant went into a Catholic church and saw half a dozen side-altars, and at each of them a priest murmuring a 'private' Mass, his reaction would be likely to be 'Why are all those Ministers taking separate services, each of them with no more than one person to watch? What good does it do? Actors don't put on Hamlet to empty theatres just for the sake of it. It's pointless'. But the priest knows that offering the One Sacrfiice for the sins of all the world is the most worthwhile thing a man can do, whether his congregation is thousands ... or no-one. It is not a performance to impress.
Naturally, Doing This each day takes hold of a man and changes him. To quote Newman again, "You, who day by day offer up the Immaculate Lamb of God, you who hold in your hands the Incarnate Word under the visible tokens which He has ordained, you who again and again drain the chalice of the Great Victim; who is to make you fear? what is to startle you? what to seduce you? who is to stop you, whether you are to suffer or to do, whether to lay the foundations of the Church in tears, or to put the crown upon the work in jubilation?"
"This in thankworthy, if a man for conscience towards God endure grief, suffering wrongfully." I S.Peter ii. 19
Praise to our Pardoning God! though silent now
The thunders of the deep prophetic sky,
Though in our sight no powers of darkness bow
Before th’ Apostles’ glorious company;
The Martyrs’ noble army is still ours,
far in the North our fallen days have seen
How in her woe the tenderest spirit, towers
For Jesus’ sake in agony serene.
Praise to our God! not cottage hearths alone,
And shades imperious to the proud world’s glare,
Such witness yield: a monarch from his throne
Springs to his Cross and finds his glory there.
Yes: wheresoe’er one trace of thee is found,
As in the sacred land, the shadows fall:
With beating hearts we roam the haunted ground,
Lone battle-field, or crumbling prison hall.
And there are aching solitary breasts,
Whose widow’d walk with thought of thee is cheer’d,
Our own, our royal Saint: thy memory rests
On many a prayer, the more for thee endear’d.
True son of our dear Mother, early taught
With her to worship and for her to die,
Nurs’d in her aisles to more than kingly thought,
Oft in her solemn hours we dream thee nigh.
For thou didst love to trace her daily lore,
And where we look for comfort or for calm,
Over the self-same lines to bend, and pour
Thy heart with hers in some victorious psalm.
And well did she thy loyal love repay:
When all foresook, her Angel still was nigh,
Chain’d and bereft, and on thy funeral way,
Straight to the Cross she turn’d thy dying eye.
And yearly now, before the Martyrs’ King,
For thee she offers her maternal tears,
Calls us, like thee, to His dear feet to cling,
And bury in His wounds our earthly fears.
And Angels hear, and there is mirth in Heaven,
Fit prelude of the joy, when spirits won
Like thee to patient Faith, shall rise forgiven,
And at thy Saviour’s knees thy bright example own.
It concerns marriage, faithfulness, and Amoris Laetitia.
Read "A Pledged Troth" here.
It is good to be a member of the Ordinariate.
We hope you are having a Merry Christmas and a happy new year! As part of our tidings of great joy, we'd like to announce that we're having Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany on, at Fr. Jurgen Liias, who is visiting us from the Boston area, will be celebrating Mass according to Divine Worship: the Missal at the old Good Shepherd Church, in Henrietta, NY.
Fr. Jurgen Liias was born in post-WWII Germany and emigrated with his parents to the United States as Displaced Persons in 1952, settling eventually in Boston. He was ordained an Episcopal Priest in 1973 and worked for 40 years as a parish priest in the Boston area with strong commitments especially to charismatic renewal, and the pro-life movement. On August 15, 2012 he was received and confirmed into the Catholic Church. On April 20, 2013 he was ordained a Catholic priest by Cardinal O’Malley for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
Please feel to join us after Mass in taking Fr. Liias for dinner, as we conclude the 12 Days of Christmas.
An article by him appears here: http://catholicexchange.com/why-catholicism-an-episcopalian-priests-story
November 13, and November 20, we will be having mass at 1:30pm, at Good Shepherd church in Henrietta.
Fr. Soule will be visiting the 13th, and the Vicar General for the Ordinariate, Fr. Perkins, will be visiting on the 20th.
We hope to see you there!
Fr. Becket Soule, Professor of canon law at the Josephinum pontifical college will be visiting us and saying mass for our group.
He will be visiting the second weekend of the month for September, October, and November.
Our Facebook page will carry the details of the services.
St. Alban, protomartyr of England, pray for us.
The Jordan family will host a "Welcome Spring, Farewell Fr. Catania" garden party at their home on Sunday May 1, from ~3-6pm. Hamburgers and dot hogs will be provided; guests are requested to bring something to share: Drinks, side dishes, desserts, etc. Those who wish to attend and are not already on our email list may use our Contact page to obtain further information.
Our music director, Jacob Kasak, is turning 21! Those who wish to celebrate with him before he returns to Sacramento for the summer will meet at the Old Toad English pub on Wednesday May 4th at 8pm.
Following this week's last mass with Fr. Catania, our usual mass will be suspended until further notice.
We ask for your prayers for the group and for Fr. Catania as he begins the next phase of his ministry in Nebraska.
Mass in the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite, Sixth Sunday in EasterSaturday, April 30
Good Shepherd church
Fr. Jason Catania, celebrant
FATHER CATANIA’S LAST MASS
This will be Father Catania’s final Mass for the Fellowship of St. Alban. Weekly Mass for the Fellowship will be suspended until further arrangements can be made by the Ordinariate.
- We encourage all to join us in worship, and to also express thanks to Fr. Catania for his time with us, especially in light of the difficulties he has undergone for us.
- As has become our custom, those who wish will go out for dinner to the Wegman's Cafe following the mass. All are welcome.
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