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