WE'RE MOVING!

NEW LOCATION BEGINNING 2 JULY 2017!

ST MARY OF THE ANNUNCIATION CATHOLIC CHURCH: 89 HASELL STREET, CHARLESTON

SUNDAY MASS: 11AM


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
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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.

MORE INFORMATION

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!

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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The Epiphany of the Lord

When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.  And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Click here for the Collect & Lessons for this Sunday, the Epiphany of the Lord (1/8).

The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

The shepherds went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Click here for the Collect & Lessons for this Sunday (1/1/17).

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Now the birth of Jesus Christ f took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you  shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.

Click here for the Collect & Lessons for this Sunday (12/18).

The Third Sunday of Advent: Gaudete Sunday

When John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.”

Click here for the Collect and Lessons for this Sunday (12/11).

The First Sunday of Advent, Last Things, Bambinelli Sunday

Jesus said to his disciples, “As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming."

Click here for the Collect & Lesson for this Sunday.

Dear friends - 

I hope you each had a happy, festive, and well-provisioned Thanksgiving. I certainly did!

This Sunday (unbelievably to me) is the First Sunday of Advent. If you are one of those who are annually put out by the encroachment, to the point of an almost complete obliteration, of secular, consumerist winter holiday (one can hardly call it "Christmas") upon a quiet, reflective, and watchful Advent, have I got just the thing for you! On the four Sundays of Advent, I will be preaching on the traditional "Four Last Things": Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell.

I know, it sounds brutal, but please keep in mind a few things:

  • I intend these homilies to be brief (i.e., short) meditations provoking reflection, not intense catechetical dissertations
  • It was for centuries the tradition of the Church to meditate, and for preachers to preach, on the Four Last Things is Advent; indeed, medieval churches were dominated by art depicting the Last Things for the meditations fo the faithful
  • St. Philip Neri, who had a reputation for cheerfulness and fun, said, "Beginners in religion ought to exercise themselves principally in meditation on the Four Last Things."

In Advent we are preparing to meet our Lord, who came to us once in great humility, and who will come again in great majesty, "to judge the quick and the dead." By pondering the Last Things, we prepare our ousrselves to greet him with joy and hope, who comes to us in love and glory.

Also in Advent, we will continue the tradition we have begun of keeping "Bambinelli Sunday" on the Third Sunday of Advent ("Gaudate Sunday," 12/11), when families are invited to bring the Christ Child from their family crèche to be blessed at the conclusion of Mass. This year our tradition will be enhanced with the opportunity for children to make their own Bambinelli after Mass on the Second Sunday of Advent (12/4). The children of Sacred Heart Church will be joining us, and there will be refreshments - so please plan on joining us for this time of fellowship and joy! More details below.
 

God bless you,
Fr Allen


“BAMBINELLI SUNDAY”

Make your own Bambinelli: Advent II, 4 December
Gaudate Sunday (Advent III), 11 December
 

Each year on the 3rd Sunday of Advent (“Gau­date Sunday”), children in Rome gather with their families in St. Peter’s Square for “Bene­dizione del Bamninelli.” The children bring with them the “Bambinello” – the Christ Child figu­rine – from their family’s home crèche, and at the noon Angelus, the Pope blesses the children, their families, and the figurines they have brought. On Gaudate Sunday, we will unite our hearts to the Holy Father’s and the children and families gathered with him and bless our own “Bambinelli.”

This year, on the second Sunday of Advent (12/11), we will have the opportunity for families to craft their own Bambinelli. After Mass we gather in the parish hall at Sacred Heart for refreshments and Bambinelli-making. The children of Sacred Heart will be joining us - so please come for the fun and fellowship!

“Advent and Christmas are about welcoming the Word of God into our lives – which means our homes. The blessing of the Bambinelli – which we bring from our homes and return there – is an embodiment of this.”— Amy Welborn

Learn more!

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

At that time: The rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingly power.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Trinity

Jesus said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be a time for you to bear testimony. Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives."

The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity

Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the  God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him.”

Click here for the Collect & Lessons for this Sunday.

The Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity

And there was a man named Zacchae'us; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchae'us, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 

Click here for the Collect & Lessons for the Sunday (10/30).

The Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Click here for the Collect & Lessons for this Sunday (10/23).

The Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity

And Jesus told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Vindicate me against my adversary.’ For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.’ ” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Click here for the lessons for this Sunday.