17 September: The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

Claude Vignon, Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, 1629

Claude Vignon, Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, 1629

Collect of the Day  Almighty and everlasting God: give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R Amen.

Lesson  Sirach 27.30-28.7  Anger and wrath, these also are abominations, and the sinful man will possess them. He that takes vengeance will suffer vengeance from the Lord, and he will firmly establish his sins.  Forgive your neighbour the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.  Does a man harbour anger against another, and yet seek for healing from the Lord?  Does he have no mercy toward a man like himself, and yet pray for his own sins?  If he himself, being flesh, maintains wrath, will he then seek forgiveness from God?  Who will make expiation for his sins?  Remember the end of your life, and cease from enmity, remember destruction and death, and be true to the commandments.  Remember the commandments, and do not be angry with your neighbour; remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook ignorance.

Epistle   Romans 14.7-9  Brethren: None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.  If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.  For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Gospel  Matthew 18.21-35 At that time: Peter came up and said to Jesus, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.  When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.  So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.'  And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, 'Pay what you owe.'  So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.'  He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.  Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant!  I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?'  And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt.  So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

A Short Introduction to Corpus Christi & the Ordinariate


Here is a brief note Fr Allen wrote for the people of St Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church, our "host parish," explaining what the Ordinariate is, who are people are, and a little of what to expect at an Ordinariate Mass.

Dear friends -

This week daily Mass is restored to St Mary’s for the first time in a couple of years - wonderful news, indeed! Holy Mass will be celebrated Monday through Thursday at 8AM, and on first Fridays at noon, when Mass will be followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, with Benediction given at 1PM.

As a further note, you should know that Mass on Monday and Tuesday will be celebrated according to the “Ordinary Form” — that is, the “normal” form of Mass you are used to. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, Mass will be celebrated according to “Divine Worship” — that is, the form of Mass provided for the Personal Ordinariates created for those communities of former Anglicans/Episcopalians (and others!) who have come into full communion with the Catholic Church. Which gives me the opportunity to say something briefly about the Ordinariate and Corpus Christi Catholic Community and our partnership with St Mary’s and the Diocese of Charleston.

Pope Benedict XVI laid the groundwork for the Ordinariates (there are also Ordinariates in England and in Australia) with the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus (“Groups of Anglicans”) in 2009 in response to requests going back decades from Anglican/Episcopalian clergy and faithful who shared the Catholic faith and wished to come into full communion with the Catholic Church. The Ordinariates are equivalent to a normal diocese, except they are “personal” — bound by particular relationships and conditions — rather than geographic. We have a bishop, the Most Reverend Steven J. Lopes, and a Cathedral, the beautiful Our Lady of Walsingham, in Houston, Texas (high and dry after Harvey, thank you for asking!). At present, we have 43 parishes and communities scattered across the United States and Canada, and 67 priests. Pope Francis has confirmed and extended this work.

Further, the Vatican has provided  liturgical forms (collectively known as Divine Worship) that are fully Catholic but incorporate elements of the Anglican liturgical patrimony (mainly, of course, from The Book of Common Prayer). This is a great gift to those of us who were formed in that tradition — it is as if the Holy Father not only welcomed us into the gracious home that is the Catholic Church, but also built on a room so that we could bring some of our familiar and beloved furniture with us.

So, I am a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, and Corpus Christi is an Ordinariate community. As I think most of you know, I was a priest of the Episcopal Church for 12 years before I entered the Catholic Church and was ordained a Catholic priest right here at St Mary’s. Most, but not all, of the people of our community are former Anglicans/Episcopalians, though some are “cradle Catholics” attracted to our form of the liturgy or the life of our community or, perhaps, dragged along by a spouse! And this is important to note: we are fully Catholic! We are fully Catholic, but we bring with us all that the Church has discerned is good and true and beautiful in the Anglican tradition, and the particular spiritual habits and dispositions formed in us by that tradition. But, even had the Ordinariates never been created, we had to become Catholic, because, as we promised when we were received into the Church, “[We] believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.” So, the Ordinariate communities are not “half-way houses” between the Catholic Church and Protestantism, though they are intended to be places of invitation and warm welcome to all our brothers and sisters in Christ who are called to full communion with the Church. Any Catholic, and only a Catholic, properly disposed, may receive Holy Communion and meet his or her Sunday and Holy Day obligations at an Ordinariate Mass.

You will immediately recognize the Ordinariate Mass as the one Catholic Mass, but it will, at first, be just different enough to really confuse you! Texts and translations of the ordinary parts of the Mass are slightly different, rendered in a more poetic, “sacral” kind of English — so, it is “And with thy spirit,” rather than “your spirit,” and “Glory be to God on high,” rather than “Glory to God in the highest.” And there are also old Anglican prayers that will be new to you. As an example, I particularly love the “Collect for Purity” prayed at the beginning of Mass, and which comes from the old Sarum Missal, the form of Mass most common in England prior to the 16th century Reformation:

“Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

But perhaps the most immediately noticeable, and even strange, difference is that an Ordinariate Mass is normatively prayed ad orientem - that is, with the priest standing on the same side of the altar and facing the same direction (“East” toward the coming Lord) as the people. This of course is how Mass was celebrated anciently and for long centuries, and is still in many “normal” parishes. You can read a helpful set of Ordinariate “FAQ’s” here, and more about our liturgy and spirituality here.

All of these things and more, as Pope Benedict said in Anglicanorum Coetibus, the Church gives to us as “a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.” And we hope you will share this treasure with us, just as we are so grateful to share with you in the treasure that is St. Mary’s!

Corpus Christi’s goal in this partnership with St Mary’s is to grow and flourish so that we may, in God’s good time, acquire a home of our own, for the work of the Gospel and the building up of the Church here in Charleston, and to do so in a way that works also for the benefit of St Mary’s — a mutually enriching, mutually beneficial partnership in the Gospel, and a particular sign and instrument of the unity Christ wills for his Church (Jn 17.21). To this end, Bishop Guglielmone (in close cooperation with Bishop Lopes) has appointed me Parochial Vicar for St Mary’s to assist Fr West in ministry.

That is a little of how I and Corpus Christi come to be here and just what it is we are up to. We are grateful for your support and hospitality, and hope that our presence and prayer will give you cause for gratitude as well. And I especially hope you will mention to your Anglican and Episcopal friends that all that is best in their tradition has a true and abiding home in the Catholic Church!


Fr. Allen



Dear friends,

Even as we continue to pray for and support those recovering from hurricane Harvey in Texas, hurricane Irma now bears down upon us. I urge all of you to pay close attention to the warnings and guidance given by the civil authorities, and above all to be safe. It is now being reported that Charleston will be under a mandatory evacuation order to take effect Saturday morning, when the I-26 eastbound lanes will be reversed.

There will be one Mass at St. Mary's on Sunday at 9AM for both our communities. There will be no 11AM Mass.

Members of Corpus Christi are dispensed from their Sunday Mass obligation. Of course, all are encouraged to attend Mass wherever you may safely do so.

Evensong & Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is cancelled for this Sunday. 

Daily Mass, scheduled to begin this Monday, is suspended until further notice.

Please be safe, and God bless you!
Fr Allen

10 September: The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

Peace, be still. O GOD, merciful and compassionate, who art ever ready to hear the prayers of those who put their trust in thee; Graciously hearken to us who call upon thee, and grant us thy help in this our need; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Peace, be still.

O GOD, merciful and compassionate, who art ever ready to hear the prayers of those who put their trust in thee; Graciously hearken to us who call upon thee, and grant us thy help in this our need; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect of the Day  Almighty and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service: grant, we beseech thee; that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R/ Amen.

Lesson  Ezekiel 33.7-9  Thus says the LORD: "You, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.  If I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.  But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way; he shall die in his iniquity, but you will have saved your life."

Epistle  Romans 13.8-10  Brethren: Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law.  The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself."  Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Gospel  Matthew 18.15-20  At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.  If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.  But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.  Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

3 September: The Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

Collect of the Day  Almighty and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve: pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R/ Amen.

Lesson Jeremiah 20.7-9  O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed.  I have become a laughingstock all the day; every one mocks me.  For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, "Violence and destruction!" For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long.  If I say, "I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name," there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.

Epistle  Romans 12.1-2  I appeal to you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Gospel  Matthew 16.21-27  At that time: Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.  And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid, Lord!  This shall never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan!  You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men." Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?  Or what shall a man give in return for his life?  For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done."

Ordinariate Cathedral & Chancery in Houston: Safe and Dry



Jenny Faber, Director of Communications for the Ordinariate, reports from Houston.

HOUSTON — The Chancery staff of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter have remained safe during the catastrophic floods caused by Hurricane Harvey. 

The Ordinariate’s Chancery and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham — located just north of I-10 on the west side of Houston — were not flooded during the cataclysmic rains that began on Saturday, Aug. 26.  

All Chancery staff evacuated the Chancery campus on Friday, Aug. 25 in anticipation of the storm.  

Father John Vidal and Deacon Michael Noble, clergy of St. Anselm of Canterbury Ordinariate Community in Corpus Christi, Texas, evacuated their residences in the coastal city on Aug. 25, as well. Father Vidal confirmed he returned to Corpus Christi on Aug. 28 and found his home to be in fair condition, with only minimal damage to a fence.  

Bishop Steven J. Lopes, bishop of the Ordinariate, drove to the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Aug. 26, ahead of the flooding in Houston. There, he celebrated Mass and visited with the Ordinariate community of St. John Vianney in north central Texas. On Aug. 27, he left the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for Australia, where he is meeting with the Ordinaries of the other Personal Ordinariates in the world and is presenting at the Clergy Assembly for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.  

Ordinariate Parishes, Parochial Communities and faithful are encouraged to visit the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops’ web page on Hurricane Harvey Recovery Relief,txcatholic.org/harvey, to learn more about ways to support those in need. 

The Chancery Offices have re-opened for business, but some employees are working remotely while roadways remain impacted by floodwaters. 

Please join Bishop Lopes and the Chancery staff in praying for everyone affected by the storm and in need of assistance during this natural disaster. May God protect all those who are still in danger and all the first responders working to save others.  

27 August: the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."   Pietro Perugino 1481

"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."  

Pietro Perugino 1481

Collect of the Day  O God, who declarest thy almighty power most chiefly in showing mercy and pity: mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace; that we, running the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R Amen.

Lesson  Isaiah 22.19-23  Thus says the Lord to Shebna, who is over the household: "I will thrust you from your office, and you will be cast down from your station.  In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your girdle on him, and will commit your authority to his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.  And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.  And I will fasten him like a peg in a sure place, and he will become a throne of honour to his father's house."

Epistle  Romans 11.13-15, 29-32  Brethren: O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!  "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor?" "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be glory for ever.  Amen.

Gospel  Matthew 16.13-20  At that time: When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona!  For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."  Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

20 August: The Tenth Sunday after Trinity


Collect of the Day  Let thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants: and that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. R/ Amen.

Lesson  Isaiah 56.1, 6-7 Thus says the Lord: "Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, every one who keeps the sabbath, and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant - these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples."

Epistle  Romans 11.13-15, 29-32  Brethren: I am speaking to you Gentiles.  Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.  For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.  Just as you were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy.  For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.

Gospel  Matthew 15.21-28  At that time: Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.  And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon." But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying after us."  He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." And he answered, "It is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith!  Let it be done for you as you desire."  And her daughter was healed instantly.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

There appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet; and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. (Ps) O sing unto the Lord a new song: for he hath done marvelous things. 

There appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet; and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. (Ps) O sing unto the Lord a new song: for he hath done marvelous things. 

8.00AM: Said Mass (Roman Missal)

6.30PM: Sung Mass (Divine Worship)

The Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation.

13 August: Ninth Sunday after Trinity

Rembrandt, c. 1638

Rembrandt, c. 1638

Collect of the Day   Grant to us, Lord, we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as be rightful: that we, who cannot do any thing that is good without thee, may by thee be enabled to live according to thy will; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. R Amen.

Lesson  1 Kings 19.9a, 11-13a  In those days: When Elijah came to [Horeb the mount of God,] he lodged in a cave; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him.  And he said, "Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord." And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

Epistle  2 Peter 1.16-19  Brethren: I am speaking the truth in Christ, I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.  For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.  They are Israelites, and to them belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed for ever.  Amen.

Gospel  Matthew 14.22-33  After the crowd was satisfied,] Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.  When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them.  And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.  But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!"  And they cried out for fear.  But immediately he spoke to them, saying, "Take heart, it is I; have no fear." And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

6 August: The Transfiguration of Our Lord

Collect of the Day  O God, who on the holy mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thine Only Begotten Son wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening: mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may be permitted to behold the King in his beauty; who with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without end. R/ Amen.

Lesson  Daniel 7.9-10, 13-14  As I looked, thrones were placed and one that was ancient of days took his seat; his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, its wheels were burning fire.  A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.  And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

Epistle  2 Peter 1.16-19  Beloved: We did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  For when he received honour and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.  And we have the prophetic word made more sure.  You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Gospel   Matthew 17.1b-9  At that time: Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart.  And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light.  And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.  And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah."  He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe.  But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear."  And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead."



Solemnity of the Transfiguration: Sunday, 6 August, 5.00PM

Reception to follow in honor of seminarian Robb Lester

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15 August: Said Mass 8AM; Sung Mass 6.30

Holy day of Obligation

30 July 2017: The Seventh Sunday after Trinity

Collect of the Day  Lord of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things: graft in our hearts the love of thy Name; increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R/ Amen.

Lesson   1 Kings 3.5, 7-12   In those days: At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask what I shall give you."And Solomon said, "O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.  And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude.  Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to govern this great people of yours?" It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.  And God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word.  Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you."

Epistle  Romans 8.28-30    Bretheren:  We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.  And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Gospel  Matthew 13.44-52   Jesus said to the crowds, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad.  So it will be at the close of the age.  The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. "Have you understood all this?" They said to him, "Yes." And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."

23 July 2017: The Sixth Sunday after Trinity

Eugène Burnand (1850-1921): "Parable of the Wheat and the Tares"

Eugène Burnand (1850-1921): "Parable of the Wheat and the Tares"

Collect of the Day  Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee: that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance; that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. 

Lesson  Wisdom 13.12,16-19  Neither is there any god besides you, whose care is for all men,  to whom you should prove that you have not judged unjustly; For your strength is the source of righteousness,  and your sovereignty over all causes you to spare all. For you show your strength when men doubt the completeness of your power, and rebuke any insolence among those who know it. You who are sovereign in strength judge with mildness, and with great forbearance you govern us; for you have power to act whenever you choose. Through such works you have taught your people that the righteous man must be kind, and you have filled your sons with good hope,  because you give repentance for sins.

Epistle  Romans 8.26-27  Bretheren:  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, becausej the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Gospel  Matthew 13.1-23  At that time: Another parable Jesus put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants j of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ” Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.” All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.” Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.





Dear friends,

I have important and exciting news to share with you regarding the life of our community!

Effective July 1st, our home will once again be at St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church in downtown Charleston. I - and all of us! - will be working together with new pastor of St. Mary's, Fr Gregory West, in shared Catholic witness for the growth and mutual benefit in the Gospel of both communities. Fr. West is and will remain the pastor of St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church on Daniel Island. St. Clare, which just celebrated the 3rd anniversary of its establishment, is already a large and rapidly growing parish meeting at Bishop England High School, and is soon to break ground on church buildings of its own. Fr West will continue to spend the bulk of his time at St. Clare, and I will  be his parochial vicar and the primary priestly presence on a daily basis at St Mary's. 

I'm very excited about and grateful for this new step in our life together. Fr. West has been encouraging to me and supportive of the Ordinariate project from the beginning, and he is eager to see us grow and fulfill our mission of inviting all, and especially our brothers and sisters in the Episcopal/Anglican churches and other Protestant communities, into the joy and peace of full communion with the Catholic Church, "that they all may be one" (Jn 17.21). This move will allow me to be less "scattered" in my duties and to give more of my attention, time, and energy to Corpus Christi. Both Bishop Lopes and Bishop Gugleilmone of the Diocese of Charleston are agreed that this arrangement will be a help to both communities and, please God, an excellent and empowering next step in our journey to self-supporting independence. 

This partnership will  allow us to work together with St. Mary's in Christian formation and programs for all ages, boost our music program, nurture common prayer, increase opportunities for Confession as well as Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and other devotions, and grow new ministries in service to the Gospel. In September we will begin daily Masses (which have been suspended for some time at St. Mary's due to lack of clergy), and two of those Masses each week will be in our Ordinariate form. Our Sunday Mass will be at 11.00AM, and we will begin a regular Sunday choral evensong with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. 

There are of course still details to be worked out, and no doubt there will be difficulties to overcome, and so I ask your prayers for me, for Fr. West, and also for the people of St Mary and St Clare as we take this new step together. I will continue to keep you informed - and ask for your help! - as the transition approaches. In the mean time, if you have any questions, please do let me know.

Finally, though we will do so more formally at the appropriate time, please do join me in expressing our gratitude to Fr Miles and the people of Sacred Heart who have been so kind and generous in their hospitality.

God bless you,
Fr Allen

Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion Photos!

At Mass on Sunday, 7 May, we celebrated Holy Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communon!

(Photo credits: Jason Miller)

Bishop's Visit Photo Gallery

Bishop Steven Lopes made his first pastoral visit to Corpus Christi on Sunday, 12 March - it was a great day!

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Holy Mass & Imposition of Ashes
6.30PM at St. Mary's, 89 Hasell Street
Confession: 5.30-6.15PM

"Lent is at hand, and the trumpet will soon sound gain, the great and holy trumpet, of which it is written, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain” (Joel 2:1). The sound of it will be heard [on] Wednesday, by all who have ears to hear. The true and dutiful children of the Church, the loyal soldiers of Christ Jesus will [on] Wednesday hear the call of their Leader’s trumpet, rousing them up, as on all Ash-Wednesdays, to set about his work, to fight his battle, in earnest. It will be the old note, but you will not therefore scorn it, if you are true men and brave soldiers. You know it would never do for a soldier, when the trumpet or bugle sounds in the morning, to say, “It is only the old call over again, what I have been used to so very often; I am not going to disturb myself for that,” and so to stay quietly in his quarters. No more will it do for you, Christian warriors, to make light of your Lord’s summons, now that he is calling upon you at the opening of another Lent; another holy season of penitent self-denial and prayers. He calls you morning by morning, and morning by morning, you must answer his call."
 - John Keble

Fasting & Abstinence During Lent

From the USCCB:
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.

For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.

Members of the Eastern Catholic Churches are to observe the particular law of their own sui iuris Church.

A Reflection on Lenten Fasting

If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the "paschal fast" to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily his Resurrection.

More information on fast and abstinence can be found below.


For members of the Latin Catholic Church within the United States, please see the USCCB's Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence and the complementary norm to canon 1253.

Code of Canon Law (cc. 1249-1253). . .

Questions and Answers About Lent

"May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need."

Read Pope Francis' Message for Lent

"Let works of piety, therefore, be our delight, and let us be filled with those kinds of food which feed us for eternity.  Let us rejoice in the replenishment of the poor, whom our bounty has satisfied.  Let us delight in the clothing of those whose nakedness we have covered with needful raiment.  Let our humaneness be felt by the sick in their illnesses, by the weakly in their infirmities, by the exiles in their hardships, by the orphans in their destitution, and by solitary widows in their sadness:  in the helping of whom there is no one that cannot carry out some amount of benevolence.  For no one’s income is small, whose heart is big:  and the measure of one’s mercy and goodness does not depend on the size of one’s means.  Wealth of goodwill is never rightly lacking, even in a slender purse.  Doubtless the expenditure of the rich is greater, and that of the poor smaller, but there is no difference in the fruit of their works, where the purpose of the workers is the same."
 - Pope St Leo the Great


CANDLEMAS / 2 : II : 2013 / Lk 2.22-40

Fr Patrick Allen

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On my parents' bookshelves when I was growing up was an old book of cartoons collected from Punch, the English magazine of humor and satire. There's one I remember very well. It was from the 1920's: a drawing of young Lord Somebody-or-other who had gone up to Oxford for college, and had had his two-seater car painted red down one side and blue down the other in order to "confuse witnesses," the caption said, "in the event of an accident."

Today's feast, which this year happens to fall on a Sunday, always reminds me of that cartoon - this feast which travels under three different names as if to confuse worshipers in the event of a liturgy.  In the old calendar it was called, and many still think of it as, the feast of “the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”  In the current calendar it is called the feast of “the Presentation of the Lord.”  And since very early days and still it is most commonly called “Candlemas.”

I know this will be review, but since the feast does fall on Sunday this year, maybe we ought to think about it, consider its meaning, under those three titles.

So, “The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”  Mosaic law as it is stated in the book of Leviticus stipulated that a woman was ritually - not morally, but ritually, ceremonially - unclean for seven days after giving birth to a child.  If the child were male, he would be circumcised on the eighth day (and that happens in the verse immediately preceding the point at which our Gospel lesson began), and then she was required to remain at home for a further thirty-three days for the purification of her blood.  I realize you may be curious about the religious or even medical significance of this period of “uncleanness” and purification of blood, but I would just point out that the practical effect for the woman in question is that she is exempted from all her normal religious, social, and economic duties  - it amounts to six weeks of enforced maternity leave.  Actually, 40 days to be precise, and today of course is the fortieth day after Christmas, the Nativity of our Lord.

After this, she is to present a purification sacrifice - a lamb and a turtle-dove or pigeon being the norm, though there was a provision, in the case of the very poor, for the offering only of two turtle-doves or pigeons, which is what the Holy Family did, for they were poor, and we cannot remind ourselves of that too often.

Mary of course is the Immaculate.  She is ever-Virgin - before, during, and after birth.  She has no need for purification of any kind.  This child she bears to the Temple has come for the purification of the whole world.  And yet humbly she submits to the law, to the will of the Father there expressed, and so ever the Lord’s handmaiden, she serves by her obedience the fulfillment of his promises of grace, and you and I are purified, made clean and new by the self-offering of Mary’s Son and Savior, our robes washed and made “white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rv 7.14).

So today is the Purification, but it’s also the Presentation.  We read that when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.  Again, the Mosaic Law stated - and Luke quotes it in our lesson - that the firstborn son is sacred to the Lord, consecrated to the Lord’s service.  However, the child could be “redeemed”, bought back, for five shekels, payable to any priest in the land.  St. Luke is vague about the details, but apparently rather than being redeemed and restored to his parents,  Mary and Joseph actually brought the child to Jerusalem and handed him over completely to God in the Temple.  The word we have translated here as “to present” is the normal word for “to offer” - the same word used to describe the offering of sacrifices in the Temple.

So, you see, in the Presentation, in the offering of the Lord, in the Temple, we see already the shadow of the cross falling across the infant Jesus.  This is why he has come after all, “the firstborn of all creation” as St. Paul describes him, to offer himself, to offer a perfect and pure life of love up to the Father on our behalf, as one of us, the right response to God’s act of love in creation.

Purification, Presentation, and now “Candlemas.”  When the Holy Family comes to the Temple, they are met by aged Simeon, righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, to whom the Holy Spirit had revealed that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.  And also the octogenarian prophetess Anna, who did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.  

Simeon makes his song - the Nunc dimittis - as he takes the child into his arms, whom he recognizes as the Lord’s salvation: a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.  This child is the coming of God’s light into the darkness of this world, and so from ancient times it has been the Church’s custom on this day to bless the candles to be used in the liturgy for the coming year - it’s the Candle Mass.  

“God is light and in him there is no darkness at all,” St. John proclaims in his first epistle, and Jesus, this child resting in Mary’s arms, is “the pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,” through our humanity.  Today is really the last day of Christmas, and so we behold again today this tiny child, crying for his Mother’s warm embrace, crying to be fed - this Son of Mary who is God the Son, God giving himself to us, God becoming small and vulnerable for us - in other words, God come to set the world to rights, not by the power of his might, but by the simple invitation to love.   In this Mass, on this Altar, he makes that invitation again, presenting himself offering himself to the Father, for our purification and salvation - a perfect gift of love.  That light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

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