Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Feast of St Elijah the Prophet

A few years ago, Shawn Tribe published an article about the presence of Saints of the Old Testament in the Eastern liturgies, and their almost total absence from those of the West. Although a large number of Old Testament Saints are mentioned in the Martyrology, the Seven Maccabees Brothers are the only ones on the traditional Roman Calendar, and their feast was suppressed in the new rite, despite its great antiquity. A number of churches in Venice, a city always marked by strong Greek influences, are dedicated to Saints of the Old Testament, such as San Moisè and San Giobbe. (Moses and Job) The most prominent exception to this absence, however, is the celebration of the Prophets Elijah and Elisha as the founders and patriarchs of the two Carmelite Orders. Of these the former has his feast day on July 20th, the latter on June 14th, the same days on which they are observed in the Byzantine Rite.
Seen above is the central panel of the altarpiece painted by Pietro Lorenzetti (ca. 1280 - 1347) for the Carmelite church of his native city of Siena, San Niccolò del Carmine. The altarpiece is now dismembered and removed from its original frame; most of the surviving pieces are in the National Gallery of Siena, but the two narrower panels originally on either side of the central one are in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, and a smaller piece from the top is at Yale University.

To the left of the Virgin stands St Nicholas, to whom the church is dedicated; to the right is the prophet Elijah. On the scroll in his hands are written the words which he speaks in 3 Kings 18, 19: “Nevertheless send now, and gather unto me all Israel, unto Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty.” The Carmelites have traditionally honored the prophet Elijah and his disciple Elisha as their founders; in the liturgical books of both the Old Observance and the Discalced, they are each given the title “Our Father”, as is St Dominic in the Dominican Use, St Benedict in the Monastic Use, etc. Both orders also add the name of Elijah to the Confiteor, the Discalced even before that of St Theresa of Avila. Their feasts were kept with octaves, a traditional privilege of patronal feasts, even before an octave was given to the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16th.

The tradition behind this is recorded in the lessons of the Roman Breviary for that day, with the cautionary parenthetical note “ut fertur – as the story goes” added at the beginning. In the Books of Kings, there are several references to a group of holy men called “the sons of the prophets”. They foretell to Elisha that Elijah is to be taken away by the Lord, although Elisha already knows this, and afterwards bear witness that “the spirit of Elijah resteth upon Elisha,” who then works several miracles on their behalf. The traditional Carmelite legend claims that a group of men dedicated to God remained on Mount Carmel until the days of the New Testament, when they were “prepared by the preaching of John the Baptist for the coming of Christ”, and “at once embraced the faith of the Gospel.” They are also said to be the first Christians to build a chapel in honor of the Virgin Mary, on the very spot on Mount Carmel where Elijah had seen the “little cloud”, understood as a symbol of the Virgin Mary.

One of the two pieces now in Pasadena shows St John the Baptist; it was originally placed to the right of the central panel, so that he would be next to Elijah, since John went before the Lord “in the spirit and power of Elijah”, and the Lord Himself said in reference to him, “Elijah has already returned.” On the left was the panel of Elisha, looking very much like an Eastern monk, despite his Carmelite habit; on his scroll is written “Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw him, and cried: My father, my father, the chariot of I[srael, and the driver thereof.]” (4 Kings 2, 11-12)
Even for an age in which the veneration of the Virgin Mary may truly be described as omnipresent, the city of Siena stood out as a place of particular devotion to Her. In 1260, before the crucial battle of Montaperti, the city placed herself by a special vow under the protection of the Virgin, and proceeded to heavily defeat her long-time rival Florence, whose army was nearly twice as large as her own. Both the cathedral and the city hall were prominently decorated with famous paintings of the Virgin enthroned, of the type known as a “Maestà”; the former had that of Duccio di Buoninsegna, commissioned less than twenty years before Lorenzetti’s Carmelite altarpiece, and the latter that of Simone Martini from just twelve years before. When Lorenzetti’s work was finished, the mendicant Carmelites could not afford to pay for it, and so the artist’s fee was provided by the city itself.

Despite all this, the panels at the bottom of the altarpiece are not dedicated to the principal subject of the main panel, as they would normally be, but rather to the prophet Elijah. In the first, an angel appears to his father, with a prophecy of his son’s future greatness, just as an angel would later appear to the father of St John the Baptist.
In the second, we see hermits in the desert around a fountain, which was said to have been built for them by Elijah. These would be the spiritual ancestors of the Carmelite Order, men who lived as monks in the Greek tradition in the Holy Land, before being organized under a rule during the period of the Crusader kingdoms.
The striped mantle which they are wearing is part of the habit worn by the Carmelites when they still lived in the Holy Land; because of it they were often called in Latin “fratres barrati – barred friars”, or “fratres virgulati – striped friars.” A tradition of the medieval Carmelites held that these stripes represented the tracks of the chariot that took Elijah into heaven, and had been inherited as part of their habit from Elisha.

When the Carmelites were forced to abandon the Holy Land at the fall of the Latin kingdoms, they brought their traditions, including the habit, with them to Western Europe, where the striped mantle was considered completely outlandish for religious of any kind, but especially for medicants. Many of the universities refused to admit them dressed that way; hence, the decision of a general chapter held at Montpelier in 1287 to replace it with the white mantle still worn to this day. This was a matter of some controversy within the order at the time, and the prophets are shown by Lorenzetti in the “new” habit probably as a gesture to persuade the friars to accept it.

Patronal Feast of the St Ann Choir in Palo Alto

Celebrate the patronal feast of the St Ann Choir next Wednesday, July 26 at 8:00 p.m. They will sing the Missa Sesquialtera of Orlando di Lasso and the Gregorian chants for the day at St Thomas Aquinas Church, located at 751 Waverly at Homer, in Palo Alto, California.

More Details on the Pilgrimage from Burgundy to Pluscarden Abbey

Fr Dunstan Robertson has reminded me of the pilgrimage being organised by Pluscarden Abbey, the Benedictine house in northeast Scotland. It started in June, and is going on now, but people can still join for the rest or part of the pilgrimage, which will end in September.

Fr Dunstan himself is a monk at a daughter house of Pluscarden, St Mary’s in Petersham, Massachussets. He writes:
Our motherhouse, Pluscarden Abbey (founded 1230 AD), is conducting a 1230 mile pilgrimage from their founding monastery in France to the Abbey in an effort to raise funds for a major building renovation. There will be 13 legs of roughly 80 miles with different groups of pilgrims each week, with daily Mass and talks. They’re looking for physical pilgrims (to walk), virtual pilgrims (to pray and offer organizational help), and financial pilgrims (who can help cover costs.) Academic credits available for US college students. For more information contact Fr. Dunstan at St. Mary’s at or 978–724–3350.
You can read more on a webpage here, or see Fr Dunstan being interviewed by the folks at Catholic TV in Boston (old friends of mine who produced the Way of Beauty TV series which I presented a few years ago). In this interview, he talks about both the monastery in Petersham, and the Pluscarden Pilgrimage.

Here is a photo of Pluscarden Abbey, built in the 13th century. The pilgrimage has spiritual and material aims - it will raise money for the renovation of the original abbey building. It’s good to see the medieval practice of mixing spirituality and money at work in the 21st century!
And here is a photo of the interior of the abbey with a San Damiano crucifixion painted by yours truly:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Photos of Cardinal Meisner’s Funeral

This past Saturday, the Archdiocese of Cologne, Germany, celebrated the funeral rites of His Eminence Joachim Cardinal Meisner, who held that see for over 25 years, from December of 1988 until his retirement at the end of February, 2014; he passed away on July 5 at the age of 83. The website of the archdiocese’s radio station ( has published photos of the ceremony, including the cortege from the church of St Gereon, in which a large number of Catholic associations participated. This selection is reproduced here with the permission of the editors; see the complete set at this link. It is particularly good to see the use of black vestments of a more traditional form, as well as the placement of a miter, chalice and stole on the coffin, signifying the priestly and episcopal office, and the unbleached candles.
Deus, qui inter apostolicos sacerdotes famulum tuum Joachim, Presbyterum Cardinalem, pontificali fecisti dignitate vigere: praesta, qusesumus; ut eorum quoque perpetuo aggregetur consortio. Per Dominum.

O God, who among the apostolic priests invested thy servant the Cardinal-Priest Joachim with the pontifical dignity: grant, we beseech thee, that he may also be joined unto their perpetual society. Through our Lord...

EF Mass in Detroit for Beatification of Ven. Solanus Casey

There will be a special High Mass in the Extraordinary Form in honor of the beatification of Ven. Solanus Casey this Sunday, July 23, at 2:00 pm at one of Detroit’s grandest historic churches, Most Holy Redeemer. The celebrant will be Fr Ben Luedtke, locally known for his preaching and retreats; a reception will follow the Mass in the parish hall. The church is located at 1721 Junction Street.

Holy Redeemer is designed to resemble the Roman Basilica of St Paul Outside-the-Walls. The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity staffs the parish, and their seminarians live there while attending Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary. The parish serves an Hispanic neighborhood and has thousands in attendance every weekend. EF Masses have been held there on occasion over the years, with the support of the pastor and some of the seminarians.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fota X Conference Papers Day 3, and Photos of Card. Burke’s Mass

On Monday, July 10th, the following papers were presented at the tenth annual Fota Liturgical Conference, focusing this year on the Church Fathers and the sources of the Roman Rite.

Fr Kevin Zilverberg - The Latin Fathers’ Daniel in Antiphons and Responsories

Medieval liturgical texts of the Mass and Office of the Roman Rite preserve many remnants of the Old Latin version of the Old Testament book of Daniel, which in Bibles was gradually replaced by St Jerome’s new, “Vulgate” version. This study considers the importance of a handful of these remnants, all from Chapter 3, the story of the three young men in the fiery furnace. For example, liturgical texts preserve the Old Latin “spiritus - spirit”, where the Vulgate has “ventus - wind”, each of which lends itself to different theological interpretation. Indeed, the Latin Fathers tended to understand this “spirit” to be the Holy Spirit, even well beyond the initial diffusion of the Vulgate revision “wind”. Not only do such liturgical remnants aid our understanding of patristic theology, but they contribute to progress in fields such as philology and Greek and Latin biblical textual criticism as well.

Fr Manfred Hauke - The Holy Eucharist in the Life and Work of Pope Gregory the Great.

St Gregory’s most important texts on the Eucharist are contained in his homilies on the Gospels and in the Dialogues; when treating of St Benedict, he shows the importance of interior preparation to participate at the liturgy and receive Holy Communion. The intercession of St Benedict for two deceased nuns is linked to his participation in the offering which unites itself to the sacrifice of Christ represented on the altar. The last part of the Dialogues is entirely dedicated to the efficacy of Eucharistic sacrifice for the souls in purgatory. Gregory praises the practice of offering the sacrifice of the Mass daily and its relation to the daily offering of our lives to God. His preferred expression when speaking of Eucharistic sacrifice is ‘Missarum solemnia’ which refers not only to solemn liturgies, but also to the ‘simple’ daily Masses.

The risen Christ does not die any more, but is sacrificed in the ‘mystery of holy oblation’; His passion becomes a mystical presence that feeds the faithful in Holy Communion. The Sacrifice of the Mass is not a ‘repetition’ of the Passion, but the ‘sacramental’ presence thereof. The minister of Eucharistic sacrifice is the priest or bishop, but the faithful also participate in the holy action by their offering and by Communion.

In the daily offering of our life to God, every element of the Christian existence is important and reaches its apex in Eucharistic sacrifice. The paper also examines the influence of St Gregory on the Eucharistic liturgy, distinguishing historical facts from probable influences and mere hypotheses attached to later imagination. The extraordinary form of the Roman Mass can correctly be called ‘the Rite of St. Gregory’, who represents the classical tradition of Roman liturgy, but is also open to pastorally useful liturgical adaptations.

Fr Sven Leo Conrad, FSSP - The Christian Sacrifice according to St Augustine: Prospectives taking into Consideration Joseph Ratzinger`s Approach.

This paper discusses the Christian idea of cultic sacrifice according to St Augustine, focusing on mainstream misinterpretations of the Fathers of the Church, which often totally neglect the dimensions of the clerical back-bone of the Holy Eucharist, its soteriological background and its cosmic dimension. By pointing these out, it refers to Joseph Ratzinger, who is indebted in his entire academic activity to St Augustin for essential insights into cultic  theology, which he himself further developed this theology. His central considerations protect us from a one-side reception of the Church Fathers, which would seek to empty the salvific Cross on the altar.

Fr Joseph Briody - As He Promised: Davidic Hope Resurgent - the Message of 2 Kings 25:27-30

This is largely a Scripture-based paper veering in the direction of the Church Fathers and the Roman Liturgy; this direction is natural and organic since the Fathers were steeped in Sacred Scripture and the Roman Liturgy is replete with scriptural and patristic underpinnings. The last four verses of 2 Kings provide not merely the last historical note available to the Deuteronomistic historian after the exile, but rather an intentional and clear note of Davidic hope. After the disaster of 587 BC, a Davidic king is released from prison, exalted and honored. Against all odds, the line of David continues, resilient and resurgent, because of the unconditional promise made by God to David through the Prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 7, a promise which reemerges at the end of a history of sin and loss as a note of hope and even grace. The paper outlines the resurgence of Davidic hope in 2 Kings 25:27-30 and traces this concern within the broader canonical context, concluding with mention of the Fathers and the Roman Liturgy.

We conclude with some nice pictures taken by Fr Briody’s brother John of the Pontifical Mass celebrated by His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke during the conference on Sunday July 9th, at the Church of Ss Peter and Paul in Cork.

TLM Pilgrimage in New York City This Saturday

The sixth annual Traditional Latin Mass Pilgrimage to the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, located at 448 East 116th St. in East Harlem, New York City, will be held this Saturday, July 22nd, beginning at 10 am.

Exposition at the shrine during a recent all-night series of liturgies held on the vigil and feast of St John the Baptist to pray for nascent life.

Third Annual Summorum Pontificum Congress in Santiago, Chile, July 27-29

Magnificat-Una Voce Chile will hold its third annual Summorum Pontificum Conference in Santiago, Chile, to commemorate 10 years of the motu proprio, July 27-29, at the church of Nuestra Señora de la Victoria, located at Bellevista 37, Recoleta. For the full schedule, see their website, and the posters below. (Click to enlarge.) The liturgical celebrations are all open to the public.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Visit to Innsbruck (1): The "Mariahilf" Icon of Cranach: A Protestant's Contribution to Marian Iconography

Right at the end of June and the beginning of July, I had the pleasure of spending a few days with a friend in the city of Innsbruck, Austria, where I had never been before. He wanted to share with me the cultural and religious treasures of his town. I was deeply impressed. As with every other place in Austria, Innsbruck is permeated with the monuments and the spirit of Catholicism. In a number of installments I will share with NLM readers the best and most interesting things I got to see there.

Today's article will focus on the cathedral church of Innsbruck, the Domkirche St. Jakob, which was rebuilt in the years 1717-1724 in the Baroque manner according to plans by Jakob Herkomer aus Fuessen and since 1964 has been the cathedral of the Diocese of Innsbruck.

In the sanctuary, directly above the high altar, stands the famous Mariahilf icon, a beloved painting by Lukas Cranach the Elder (1472-1563), which is considered the city's patroness (as we would say in English, Our Lady, Help of Christians).

(This last one is from Wikimedia Commons)

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Antepreparatory and Preparatory Documents of Vatican II (1959-1962)

Some time ago, I started on a project to make the primary sources of the Second Vatican Council more accessible to the general public. The Acta Synodalia of both the first session and second session of Vatican II have already been made available electronically on NLM, and I am working (albeit slowly!) on the third and fourth sessions.

However, I can now also present scans of some of the other very interesting material of the Council: the Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II Apparando. These volumes, documenting all the discussions and work done leading up to Vatican II, have long been out of print, and provide a major part of the background necessary for a proper understanding of the Council.

The Acta et Documenta is split into two series: the Antepraeparatoria, covering the pre-preparatory work done in 1959 and 1960 (including the individual responses of the worldwide episcopate to the question of what to discuss at the Council), and the Praeparatoria, which deal with the work of the Central Preparatory Commission and the related commissions between 1960 and 1962. Unfortunately, due to the scarcity of the volumes not all of them are available here, but I do hope to rectify this eventually.

Pope John XXIII during the preparation of Vatican Council II

Antepreparatory Period (May 1959 - November 1960)
Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II Apparando. Series I (Antepraeparatoria)

Volumen I: Acta Summi Pontificis Ioannis XXIII (1960)

This volume contains all the documents, letters, speeches, etc. given by Pope John XXIII in the antepreparatory period of the Second Vatican Council. It is perhaps worth noting that, at the time, this was the only antepreparatory volume made available to the public; all others were sub secreto for the exclusive use of the pre-conciliar commissions.

Volumen II: Consilia et Vota Episcoporum ac Praelatorum. Pars I: Europa (1960)

Volume II contains the written submissions and replies (vota) to the letter of Domenico Cardinal Tardini and the follow-up letters of Mgr (later Cardinal) Pericle Felici, asking the bishops and prelates of the world what they would like to see discussed at the upcoming Council. It is split into eight parts: one part for Italy, two parts for the rest of Europe, one part for Asia, one part for Africa, one part for North and Central America, and one part for South America and Oceania. Three parts are available here: part 1, part 2 and part 8.

Part 1 contains the vota from the following European countries/territories: United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Gdansk/Danzig (now part of Poland), and Germany.

Volumen II: Consilia et Vota Episcoporum ac Praelatorum. Pars II: Europa (1960)

Part 2 of Volume II contains the vota from the following European countries: Gibraltar, Greece, Switzerland, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Netherlands, Hungary, Iceland, Yugoslavia (now split into the countries/territories of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia), Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Malta, Norway, Poland, Monaco, Sweden, and Turkey (European).

(Parts 3-7 of Volume II are unfortunately not available as yet.)

Volumen II: Consilia et Vota Episcoporum ac Praelatorum. Pars VIII: Superiores Generales Religiosorum (1961)

Part 8 of Volume II contains the vota from the superior generals of religious congregations.

Appendix Voluminis II: Analyticus Conspectus Consiliorum et Votorum quae ab Episcopis et Praelatis data sunt. Pars I and Pars II (1961)

These two volumes are better known as just the Analyticus Conspectus, and provide an analytic overview of the eight volumes of the vota. All the responses of the bishops, prelates and religious are distilled into 9,348 brief propositions, organised by subject, with each proposition having one or more diocese/religious order cited in the footnotes. The Analyticus Conspectus is a very handy tool, and has been largely neglected by historians of Vatican II due to the anti-curial bias evident in, for example, the Bologna School.

Part 1 deals with the following subjects: Chief Doctrines; General Norms of the Code of Canon Law; Persons; Clerical Discipline; Seminaries; Religious; Laity.

Part 2 deals with the following subjects: The Sacraments; Sacred Places; Precepts of the Church; Divine Worship; Magisterium of the Church; Benefices and Goods of the Church; Processes (re. Canon Law); Offences and Punishments; The Missions; Ecumenism; The Activity of the Church.

(Volume III, a stand-alone volume which contains the responses from the Roman Curia, is unfortunately not available as yet.) 

Volumen IV: Studia et Vota Universitatum et Facultatum Ecclesiasticarum et Catholicarum. Pars II: Universitates et Facultates extra Urbem (1961)

This volume contains the vota of the various Catholic faculties and universities around the world. It is split into two parts in three tomes: Part 1 (two tomes) deals with the institutions in Rome, and unfortunately is not available at the present time; Part 2 contains the vota of the institutions outside of Rome.

Indices (1961)

The antepreparatory series ends with an index volume, which includes detailed statistics of the responses and response rates for the worldwide Church.

Preparatory Period (November 1960 - July 1962)
Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II Apparando. Series II (Praeparatoria) 

(Volume I, a stand alone volume containing the documents, letters, speeches, etc. of Pope John XXIII in the preparatory period of Vatican II, is unfortunately not yet available.)

Volumen II: Acta Pontificiae Commissionis Centralis Praeparatoriae Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II. Pars I: Sessio prima (12-20 Iun 1961), Sessio secunda (7-17 Nov 1961) (1965) and Pars II: Sessio tertia (15-23 Ian 1962), Sessio quarta (19-27 Feb 1962) (1967) and Pars III: Sessio quinta (26 Mar-3 Apr 1962), Sessio sexta (3-12 Maii 1962) (1968) and Pars IV: Sessio septima (12-19 Iun 1962) (1968) 

Volume II, split into four parts, contains the acts of the Central Preparatory Commission, which met over seven sessions from June 1961 to June 1962 in order to discuss and refine the schemata that would be put before the Council at the first session.

Volumen III: Acta Commissionum et Secretariatuum Praeparatoriorum Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II. Pars I and Pars II (1969)

Volume III, split into two parts, details the acts of the ten Preparatory Commissions and two Secretariats involved in drafting the schemata.

Part 1 contains those prepared by the following five Commissions: Theological Commission, Commission for Bishops and the Governance of Dioceses, Commission for the Discipline of the Clergy and the Christian People, Commission for Religious, and Commission for the Discipline of the Sacraments. 

Part 2 contains those prepared by the other Commissions and the two Secretariats: Commission on the Sacred Liturgy, Commission for Studies and Seminaries, Commission for the Oriental Churches, Commission on the Missions, Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity, Secretariat for Communications Media, and Secretariat for Christian Unity.

(Volume IV, the acts of the various Subcommissions of the Central Preparatory Commission, split into four parts, is not yet available.)

Some Calendar Notes for Mid-July

In the Missal and Breviary of St Pius V, July 13th is the feast of Pope St Anacletus, which was carried over from the pre-Tridentine editions. The 14th is that of St Bonaventure, who died in 1274, while attending the Second Council of Lyon, and was canonized in 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV (1471-84), his fellow Minister General of the Franciscan Order. His feast was originally kept by the Franciscans on the second Sunday of July, but in the Tridentine books, it was fixed to July 14th. The Acta Sanctorum gives an account of the uncertainty about the proper date of his death, but it is now generally agreed from the earliest accounts that he actually died on the 15th.
The Lying-in-State of St Bonaventure, by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1629
The Holy Roman Emperor St Henry II died on July 13, 1024, and was canonized by Blessed Pope Eugenius III in 1146. The See of Bamberg, Germany, which he founded, and in whose cathedral he is buried, traditionally kept his feast on the day of his death. He was added to the Roman Calendar in 1631 on the same day, as a commemoration on the feast of St Anacletus. When he was given his own feast in 1668, it was assigned to July 15, then the first free day after that of his death.

By the time St Camillus de Lellis was canonized in 1746, Our Lady of Mt Carmel had been assigned to July 16th, and St Alexius (whose very existence is rather doubtful) to the 17th. He was therefore place on the 18th, and the Saints previously kept on that day, an early Roman martyr named Symphorosa and her 7 sons, reduced to a commemoration.

Pope Anacletus is now recognized to be the same person as Pope Cletus, who shares his feast with Pope Marcellinus on April 26th. For this reason, a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites issued on February 14, 1961, ordered the July 13th feast to be completely removed from the calendar. Although the current EF calendar therefore has July 13th as a feria with no feast at all, and St Alexius as a commemoration, Bonaventure, Henry and Camille all remain effectively displaced by Anacletus. They were reordered in the OF Calendar, so that each would be kept on the day of his “birth into heaven,” with St Henry on the 13th, St Camille on the 14th, and St Bonaventure on the 15th. St Alexius has been completely removed.

An illustration from a 1501 Breviary according to the Use of Bamberg; St Henry and his wife, St Cunegond, holding the cathedral of Bamberg, which they founded in 1002, together with the See itself.
As I have written before, there have always been Saints’ feasts which were kept on different days in different places, and the divergence between the temporal cycles of the EF and OF is far more significant than the differences in the two calendars of Saints. The principle that a Saint’s feast should be assigned to his death day is a very ancient one, but has never been the sole criterion for choosing a day. A very prominent recent example is Pope St John Paul II, who died on April 2, 2005; since that date often occurs in Holy Week or Easter Week, his feast day is kept on October 22, the date of his inauguration. Nevertheless, we have here in July an occasion where the two calendars might easily be reconciled with no harm done, when and if the time comes to thaw the EF Calendar.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fota X Conference, Day 2: Pontifical Mass with Card. Burke and Presentation of Fota IX

On Sunday, July 9, His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke celebrated a Pontifical High Mass at the church of Ss Peter and Paul in Cork, Ireland, as part of the tenth annual Fota liturgical conference. As always, the Mass was sung by the wonderful Lassus Scholars, conducted by Dr Ite O’Donovan. Here are a few samples; we will certainly publish more later on as they become available.

Ecce Sacerdos Magnus at the entrance of the Cardinal.
The Gloria from Orlando de Lassus’ Missa Vinum Bonum
Sanctus and Benedictus from the same Mass, with the Consecration
Te Deum for thanksgiving at the end of Mass
Continuing with the theme of this year’s conference, on the Church Fathers and the sources of the Roman Rite, Fr Mark Withoos delivered a paper entitled “Ad audiendum silentium narrationis eius (Ep. 147): Silence and liturgy in St Augustine.” This examined how St Augustine, the great Doctor and Father of the Church, understood the concept of silence particularly within the contexts of liturgy and prayer. Looking first at how St. Augustine saw silence generally – a rich and complex idea quite far from the idea of a mere absence of noise  – it is then possible to see how for Augustine, silence properly understood has as its primary purpose to facilitate listening to God in and through his mysteries. He then considered the implications of these viewpoints for our modern understanding of liturgy, particularly in regards to our own very modern problem of liturgies which can become very noisy, leaving little space for the faithful to ‘hear the silence of His telling.’

The Sunday session concluded with the presentation of the collected papers of last year’s Fota IX conference, Verbum Domini: Liturgy and Scripture,  by His Eminence Card. Burke and Fr Joseph Briody, the editor. Fr Briody is a priest of the Diocese of Raphoe in Co. Donegal, Ireland, and a Professor of Sacred Scripture at St John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, where he also serves as the liturgy director. It is now available from Smenos Publications at a special price of 20 euros plus shipping and handling, through their website.
The articles highlight the bond between the Sacred Scripture and the Sacred Liturgy in which it emerges into light. Like the Fathers and Saints of the Church, we are encouraged to accept the Word, “not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is at work in you believers.” (1 Thess. 2, 13). This volume is an invitation to pray and read Scripture from the heart of the Church and the Liturgy. May this book foster a more intentional and receptive hearing of the Word of God, personally and in the Sacred Liturgy, that the seed which is the Word of God may bear much fruit (Matt. 13:23), and that we may acquire more and more ‘the surpassing knowledge of Christ Jesus’ (Phil 3:8).

The contibutors, listed in alphabetical order are:
Fr Joseph Briody, formation advisor and professor of Sacred Scripture at St John’s Seminary, Brighton, Mass.
Raymond Leo Card. Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Fr Sven Leo Conrad, FSSP, theologian and scholar with particular competence in the area of the liturgy.
Fr John M. Cunningham, O.P., a member of the Irish Province of the Dominicans and former lecturer in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical University of St Thomas in Rome.
Gregory DiPippo, editor and one of the principle contributors to the New Liturgical Movement.
Bishop Peter J. Elliott, an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Director of the Melbourne session of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, and a member of the Australian Bishops’ Liturgical Commission.
Fr Stefan Heid, professor of the history of liturgy and hagiography at the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology in Rome, and associate professor of the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome.
Mons. Michael Magee, Chair of the Systematic Theology Department and Professor of Sacred Scripture at St Charles Borromeo Seminary of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, former Official of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Dr William Mahrt,  Associate Professor of Music at Stanford University, President of the Church Music Association of America, and editor of its journal Sacred Music.
Fr Paul Mankowski SJ, scholar-in-residence at the Lumen Christi Institute, Chicago.
Fr Thomas J. McGovern, author of a number of books concerning the priest­hood and the Eucharist.
Ann T. Orlando, professor of Patristics and Church History at St John’s Seminary, Brighton, Mass. Fr Kevin J. Zilverberg, Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture at St Paul Seminary School of Divinity (U. of St Thomas) in Minnesota, USA; currently on a three-year study leave as a guest researcher in Madrid for the National Research Council’s team of scholars studying the transmission and tradition of the Bible in Greek and Latin.

Mass of Thanksgiving for Summorum Pontificum in Notre-Dame de Paris

Here are some beautiful photos of a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, celebrated in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, in thanksgiving for Pope Benedict’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum on recently passed tenth anniversary.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ICK to Save Another Historic Church in England

The following is a press release from the Diocese of Lancaster, England, announcing a new apostolate for the Institute of Christ the King. The pictures are reproduced from Bishop Campbell’s blog with permission of the Diocese of Lancaster. Our congratulations to the Institute, and we wish them every success in their mission.

The historic and landmark (Grade II Listed) Catholic Church of St Thomas of Canterbury & the English Martyrs on Garstang Road, Preston (known simply as English Martyrs) has been given a promise of a sustainable future following an announcement made today by the Bishop of Lancaster, the Rt Rev Michael G Campbell OSA. (NLM note: the church was designed by E.W. Pugin, opened in 1867, and enlarged in 1888.)

Bishop Michael Campbell and Monsignor Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, together with Rector, Canon Adrian Towers, have agreed that, as from the autumn, the Institute will assume the administration of the church.

This move will enable the church to be open each day to become a vibrant shrine of devotion to and promotion of the English Martyrs under the care of the Institute who already have the administration of St Walburge’s Shrine Church, Weston Street, Preston. The new shrine will specifically provide for the celebration of Holy Mass and the other Sacraments in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

English Martyrs’ Church is one of two church buildings belonging to St John XXIII Parish, Preston – the other being St Joseph’s on Skeffington Road. As part of the arrangement with the Institute, English Martyrs church remains part of St John XXIII Parish and a priest from there will celebrate an English-language ordinary form Mass in the church, at least for the next 12 months, each Saturday evening.

Recently, the Mass attendance at English Martyrs has averaged around 70 people and activities and voluntary parish involvement have become somewhat limited making it difficult for the parishioners to shoulder their responsibility for the care of the church building.

Bishop Campbell upon making this announcement commented: “We are very grateful for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and the dedication they have to evangelizing through use of the extraordinary form. The Institute has shown tremendous energy in conveying a sense of the sacred through their proven ministry at St Walburge’s and around the world. We are especially encouraged that their care and ministry in large and historic churches may also be instrumental in preserving English Martyrs church now and going forward.”

Canon Amaury Montjean for the Institute added: “We are deeply grateful to Bishop Campbell for his gracious invitation. Our entire Institute family is very glad for this new apostolate at English Martyrs. Like St Walburge’s, it will be a unique spiritual home offering Masses with sacred music, daily confessions, days of recollection, classes in spirituality and doctrine etc”.

Bishop Campbell concluded: “Finally and importantly, the announcement of this initiative will ensure the future sustainability and patrimony of English Martyrs’ church; a building so dear to local Catholics and many others in Preston. Thankfully, this announcement means English Martyrs is saved from the prospect of closure and is thus secured for the future. The fact that the church will be used each day for prayer and cared for by the Institute means it will continue to witness to the faith and mission of the Catholic Church in Preston for many years to come.” (press release ends)

The English Martyrs’ Church is located near to Preston city centre and stands on the corner of the A6 (Garstang Road), between Aqueduct Street and St George’s Road. It is built on the site of an area that used to be called Gallows Hill, a name which it received after the Battle of Preston of the Jacobite rising of 1715. After the government overcame the rebel army, it was on Gallows Hill that the rebel prisoners were executed; on January 5, 1715, it was recorded that sixteen of them were rebels “were hanged upon Gallows Hill, for high treason and conspiracy.”

In September 2014, at Bishop Campbell’s invitation, the Institute assumed the care of St Walburge’s Church in Preston, which he then designating as a shrine church. The Institute also has charge of the church of Ss Peter, Paul and Philomena, generally known as “the Dome of Home,” in the Diocese of Shrewsbury.

Coptic Catholic Liturgy in New York City

Our thanks to one of our regular photopost contributors, Diana Yuan, for these images of a Coptic liturgy celebrated at the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New York City, by Abouna (Fr) Francis Fayez of the Coptic Catholic Church of the Resurrection in Brooklyn. The Coptic clergy and faithful guided the congregation in participating in their beautiful Rite, which was followed by a blessing of the sick. This liturgy at Mt. Carmel is a part of the Pallottine tradition of presenting Eastern Catholic liturgies.

Let us remember to pray for the many Christians who are subject to persecution in the land where Our Lord found refuge when He was subject to persecution!

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: