Letter from Fr. Allen - October 11, 2018



Dear Friends,

Time flies! Here we are in the middle of October, though we are still dodging hurricanes and if autumn has arrived the humidity hasn't gotten the news. But November will soon be here and with it the great feasts of the Church Triumphant and Expectant. You will see notices for both All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day below. I remind you that All Saints' is a Holy Day of Obligation.

As a happy prelude to All Saints' Day and a reminder of the joy and comfort of the saints' intercession and companionship, this Sunday brings the canonization in Rome of six blesseds. They are:

  • Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini), Supreme Pontiff;

  • Oscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez, archbishop of San Salvador, martyr;

  • Francesco Spinelli, diocesan priest, founder of the Institute of the Sisters Adorers of the Most Holy Sacrament;

  • Vincenzo Romano, diocesan priest;

  • Maria Katharina Kasper, virgin, founder of the Institute of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ;

  • Nazaria Ignacia de Santa Teresa de Jesús (née: Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa), founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church.

Get to know these dear saints!

All Souls', while not obligatory, is an important and sweet day as well, as we pray for the repose of our faithful departed loved ones. To submit names of loved ones to be remembered at All Souls' Day Masses, please do so on the form here. May God grant them rest!

God bless you,
Fr Allen

[Editor’s note: You can watch the canonizations of the six Blesseds live Sunday morning, 14 October 2018, starting at 3.30AM Eastern time on EWTN. An encore will air at 12.00 noon. This article details more ways to find live and encore broadcasts of the canonization Mass. ]


The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

The Prayers of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Opening prayers

1. While holding a rosary, make the Sign of the Cross.
2. On the first small bead, recite the Our Father
3. On the second small bead, recite the Hail Mary.
4. On the third small bead, recite the Apostles’ Creed.

For Each Decade

1. On the large beads, recite:
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
2. On the ten small beads, recite: 
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Concluding Prayer

Recite three times: 
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

All Saints Day and All Souls Day Mass Schedule Announced

 image: All Saints by Fra Angelico

image: All Saints by Fra Angelico

All Saints Day, Thursday, 1 November 2018
Holy Day of Obligation
Holy Mass:
8.00AM Divine Worship
6.00PM Roman Missal

All Souls Day, Friday, 2 November 2018
Holy Mass:
12.00PM Roman Missal
6.00PM Divine Worship

To add names of the faithfully departed for whose repose the All Souls Day Masses will be offered, submit them here or call the St Mary church office at 843.722.7696.

Hurricane Michael Updates

This information is up to date as of 5.16PM on 9 October 2018:

  • Wednesday School for October 10 has been cancelled due to Hurricane Michael.

A note from Fr Allen:


Due to expected adverse weather and flooding conditions conditions associated with hurricane Michael, Wednesday School is cancelled this week. We will be back on track next Wednesday.

Please keep those in the Florida panhandle in your prayers.

Stay home and stay safe!
Fr. Allen

Letter from Our Seminarian


[This week I yield my space, a couple weeks late, to the epistolary eloquence of our seminarian, Robb Lester. Robb is studying at St Joseph's Abbey Seminary College in St Benedict, Louisiana. - Fr Allen]

Dear Fr Allen and Corpus Christi Family,

As I’m writing this Florence is rolling around off the coast trying to make up her mind where to go.  After just going through preparations a few weeks ago with Gordon, I understand the frustration of not knowing when and where these hurricanes go.  For us here at the abbey, we were lucky in that Gordon didn’t make it this far but we were prepared and well stocked with goldfish and other refreshments! I have offered prayers for all of you and ask St Scholastica to intercede for you. St Scholastica is St Benedict’s sister and is invoked against rain and storms.

It’s been a month or so since I arrived back at St. Ben's.  Mom and Dad helped me move back in and we all were able to take a side trip to Houston.  We attended mass at the cathedral with Bishop Lopes as celebrant and met up with a few of my seminarian brothers.  We dined with Bishop Lopes at his home. The bishop is not only a great shepherd who gives inspiring homilies but can cook a gourmet meal!  It was a wonderful evening to share with him and meet his mother, who is a delightful woman.

Classes have been the usual challenge, but I enjoy the opportunity to further my knowledge of the Church and continue my discernment process.  I must admit the recent scandal of abuses have shocked our community here at the seminary. As we have seen a small part of fatherhood, both spiritual and secular, has been affected, brotherhood and sonship must be protected. I know that our Blessed Mother will clean Holy Mother church by her authority as Queen of Heaven.  Please continue to pray for all seminarians, our formation directors and bishops and our Holy Father and that they who God has called to a holy priesthood will rightly and duly administer his holy word and be the fathers that the Church needs in these trying times. Please join with all in the Ordinariate Friday, 9/21 as we follow Bishop Lopes’ designation of this Ember day as a day of penance and fasting for the victims of abuse and for the Church’s healing.

I noted last year that I was the only one from the Ordinariate here at St Ben's. This year I have a brother seminarian who is part of the ordinariate. He, too, is learning that he has to do a little educating of those who do not know us.  It would have been helpful had Bishop Lopes had been able to come back the first week in September. He was to do our mass for the entire seminary and give a little background about us.  Gordon unfortunately had other plans! Tentatively, he is to come in December and show the beauty of our patrimony which is definitely a treasure to be shared.

All seniors have to participate in a mission trip for graduation requirements. Usual countries visited are in Central America, but I have been assigned to Ecuador.  We will leave in January for a few weeks to work with the locals there and share our common faith. Our faith doesn’t stop at the border, our faith doesn’t stop anywhere.  Where the poor and hungry are, Christ is still present.

I’m on several committees here, one being hospitality.  I am responsible for keeping rooms available for visitors in the hospitality hall thus making sure that Chapter 53 of The Rule of Saint Benedict is followed to always welcome guests and invite them to prayer.   I also have found myself on the Bonfire committee. Each November we have a joint venture with Notre Dame Seminary, not the famous Indiana one, but the major seminary in New Orleans! We host a day of flag football and fellowship and then light a bonfire that the men of St Ben's build on campus from trees on the property. It's a fun day just before we leave for Thanksgiving and I'm looking forward to the construction and to the demolition!

Below is our class picture.  We have about 150 young men discerning from all over the southern US.  I am constantly amazed that there are so many men in this day and age who want to give themselves to Christ and his Church.  Please pray for them and the monks and our lay instructors that their words will be God’s word and raise up an holy priesthood.

As always, you are in my prayers and I will offer up all of you to Our Lady when I go to Houston in a few days to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham.  Please keep me in your prayers and I hope to see everyone at Thanksgiving.

In Christ's love,

The Rosary, Sub tuum praesidium, and the St Michael the Archangel prayer

 Image: Our Lady of the Rosary with Saints by Unknown Artist. Brooklyn Museum.

Image: Our Lady of the Rosary with Saints by Unknown Artist. Brooklyn Museum.

Our Lady of the Rosary, Pray for Us!

Prayers in time of Spiritual Turbulence

October 7, which falls on Sunday this year, is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which commemorates victory of the Holy League over invading Turks at the Battle of Lepanto. Pope St Pius V attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, after a campaign for the faithful throughout Europe to pray the rosary on the day of the battle. 

Pope Francis has asked all the faithful in this time of "spiritual turbulence" to pray the rosary daily during the month of October, and also the Marian prayer Sub tuum praesidium and the St Michael the Archangel prayer.

  • How to recite the Rosary (pdf).

  • Sub Tuum PraesidiumWe fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

  • Prayer to St. MichaelSaint Michael Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Franciscans return to Walsingham after 480 years

 Photo: Catholic Herald

Photo: Catholic Herald

Catholic Herald
Friday, 28 September 2018

‘We feel we’ve come home’: Franciscans return to Walsingham for first time in 480 years

The new community of Greyfriars comes amid a flourishing of vocations

Franciscan friars have returned to England’s national Marian shrine for the first time since the Reformation.
Three Greyfriars – members of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor – arrived at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in June.
Fr James Mary McInerney, the guardian of the community, said: “It’s a great joy for us. We feel we’ve come home.”
He and two other Franciscan priests will welcome pilgrims, hear Confessions and oversee a daily Holy Hour, as well as assist in the work of the shrine in whatever way is needed.
Franciscans first came to Walsingham in the 14th century. They ministered there for 201 years, looking after lepers and giving poor pilgrims a place to stay.
During that time the shrine became one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in Europe, but in 1538 it was dissolved.
The Holy House was burned to the ground and the priory attached to it was left in ruins.
The site has never been restored....

[Read the whole article here]

Letter from Fr. Allen on the Leonine Prayers - September 27, 2018



Dear Friends,

In 1884, with turmoil in Italy leading to the loss of the Papal States (those portions of Italy over which the Pope had temporal/political sovereignty), Pope Leo XIII prescribed a set of prayers to be prayed after Mass by priest and people: three Hail Mary's; Hail, Holy Queen; and a collect (soon standardized as a prayer for "the liberty and exaltation of our Holy Mother, the Church"), to which was also soon added the prayer to St Michael the Archangel. These became known as the "Leonine Prayers." 

There was some adjustment over the years both in form and intention: Pope Pius X allowed for a three-fold invocation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Pope Pius XI asked that the prayers be particularly offered for the conversion of Russia and for the freedom of Catholics there to practice their faith. These prayers were said after every Mass until 1965, when they were suppressed in an instruction regarding the implementation of the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

Since the revelations of abuse this summer, many parishes and even some entire dioceses have returned to the use of these prayers. And beginning this Sunday, immediately after the dismissal at each Mass for both Corpus Christi and St Mary's, we will pray the Leonine prayers. Writing to the people of St. Mary's, Fr. West has said "We ask one another, 'What can we do?'  The first line of defense against sin and evil is prayer, our best sword and shield. All of us need to commit to praying frequently and fervently against the dark forces which seek the ruin of souls, families, marriages, schools, houses of worship, and any other noble pillar of human society."

And so we offer these prayers particularly for the protection of the Church and her ministers against the attacks of the enemy that have led to and exploit this time of grave scandal in the Church. While it is true that we must discern and enact those reforms necessary for the protection of our children and to promote the faithfulness of the Church's ministers, this is also and at root a spiritual battle which must be fought with spiritual weapons. The Leonine prayers are a strong and tested arrow in our quiver.

For just this reason, Pope St. John Paul II encouraged a more frequent use of these prayers, particularly the prayer to St Michael:

May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians, "Draw strength from the Lord and from his mighty power" (Eph 6.10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Rev. 12.7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St Michael throughout the Church. "St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil." Although today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it, and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world. [24 April 1994]

There will be a card in the pew racks for you to use, and they are included [here]. We will pray the Leonine prayers at least through Advent in place of the Last Gospel (the Hail Mary's and Hail, Holy Queen also serve to commemorate the Incarnation which is the devotional heart of the Last Gospel).

God bless you,
Fr Allen

Leonine Prayers



Beginning this Sunday and through Advent, at the conclusion of Mass, and in place of the Last Gospel, we will pray the Leonine Prayers for the protection of the Church in this time of scandal.

℣ Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. 
℟ Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. (3x)

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

 Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
 That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

 Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,  Have mercy on us. (3x)

Fr Jonathan Mitchican on being ordained in the midst of scandals

 Photo credit: supplied to Aleteia.org

Photo credit: supplied to Aleteia.org

Newly ordained Ordinariate priest Fr Jonathan Mitchican shares his experience of being ordained to the priesthood in the midst of scandals in this article on Aleteia.org

I have had a devotion to St. Mary of Egypt for a long time. I see in her story a powerful narrative of grace that resonates with my own sense of gratitude for the way that Jesus has changed my life. She ran about as far away from God as she could and she wounded herself deeply in the process. Her transformation from sinner to saint was not instantaneous but took humility and a willingness to suffer over a long period of time. It is that kind of humility that we need in the Catholic Church today if we are going to heal from decades of dark secrets and broken promises. It is a patient, slow stripping away of our defenses that will be the only cure for what ails the willful and battered Bride of Christ.

As the news stories began to break during the week of my ordination, I wondered if I was really in the right place. Yet as a new priest, I remain hopeful—optimistic even—for the future of the Catholic Church in my lifetime.

Click to read the entire article.

Letter from Fr. Allen - September 20, 2018



Dear Friends,

Well, my vocabulary has increased by one neologism: "hurrication." Last week when we were confidently informed that Hurricane Florence would be making an unwelcome and extended visit to the Lowcountry, Fr West and I decided to cancel all activities through the weekend, and my family and I skedaddled to Atlanta. I'm grateful for the time we had with family and old friends there, but I am sorry to have missed being with all of you at the Lord's Altar. In any case, this Sunday we will together give thanks for having been spared the storm's rain and winds, and also pray for our neighbors (quite near) who have suffered so terribly. [Here] you will see information for donating to relief of those impacted by Florence, and I encourage you prayerfully to consider making a gift.

After a week's weather-imposed delay, things are very suddenly getting very busy for us:

  • This Friday, 9/21, is Ember Friday in September, a day of abstinence for Ordinariate members. I encourage you to join me for a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament in reparation for the sins of abuse in the Church and for the healing and wholeness of victims. The Holy Hour will be from 7 - 8.00PM.

  • Our Wednesday School program of family supper, class for adults, and catechesis of the Good Shepherd for children begins next week - Wednesday, 9/26; supper at 5.30PM; class at 6.00PM.

  • Next Sunday, 9/30, at 4.00PM will be our first Evensong & Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament of the fall.

Finally, we are in need of nursery workers for Wednesday nights. These are paid positions; if you or anyone you know of might be interested, please email me.

God bless you,
Fr Allen

USCCB: Turning to the Lord

September 19, 2018

WASHINGTON--The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Administrative Committee has issued the following statement today in response to the recent sex abuse scandals.  In the statement, the bishops say they pledge to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us."

Turning to the Lord

"When each of us was ordained as a bishop, we were told:

'Keep watch over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has appointed you to shepherd the Church of God.'

We, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, assembled last week in Washington at this time of shame and sorrow.  Some bishops, by their actions or their failures to act, have caused great harm to both individuals and the Church as a whole.  They have used their authority and power to manipulate and sexually abuse others.  They have allowed the fear of scandal to replace genuine forgiveness from both the Lord and those who have been harmed.  Turning to the Lord for strength, we must and will do better.

The Administrative Committee took the following actions within its authority:

[Continue reading]


Passion to Evangelize Drives New Ordinariate Catholic Communities

NATION | SEP. 17, 2018

Passion to Evangelize Drives New Ordinariate Catholic Communities

Young Catholics, invigorated by the ordinariate's English-Catholic expressions of faith, are actively 'church-planting' and inviting people into their fledgling Catholic communities.

Peter Jesserer Smith

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- At 22 years old, Sarah Rodeo, a Catholic graduate student at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, is engaged in work more associated with evangelical Protestants than Catholics in the Northeast: building a new church community from the ground up.

Rodeo belongs to the Ordinariate Fellowship of Connecticut, one of the nascent groups that aspire to become an official community-in-formation for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a diocesan structure established by Benedict XVI that reunited the Anglican patrimony to the Catholic Church.

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is one of three established dioceses under the Holy See that reintegrate the Anglican patrimony with the Catholic Church.  In North America, the ordinariate began with a wave of Anglican and Episcopal communities that entered into full communion with the bishop of Rome.  But the ordinariate is seeing its own communities grow, and new communities develop, through active evangelization built on common prayer, fellowship, hard work and perseverance.


[continue reading]


Letter from Fr. Allen - September 6, 2018



Dear Friends,

I'm very much looking forward to the beginning of our Fall Christian formation program - "Wednesday School" - and hope you will consider participating if you have not in the past. We have a simple supper in the parish hall beginning at 5.30PM, our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program for children and class for adults start at 6(-ish)PM, and we make sure everyone is on their way home by 7PM. Read here for more about our offerings.

Parents of children in Catechesis must register their children and also attend the Safe Environment workshop this coming Wednesday (9/12) at 5.30PM in the church. Please read more about the Safe Environment meeting here.

If you would like help by volunteering to provide one of our Wednesday evening meals or a portion thereof (let us not neglect dessert as is the habit of some!), please contact Judi.

We are also hoping to provide a nursery for children below Catechesis age. If you or someone you know would be interested in staffing the nursery, please let me know.

God bless you,
Fr Allen