Letter from Fr. Allen: Quinquagesima & Ash Wednesday - February 28, 2019

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+JMJ+

Dear Friends,

This Sunday is Quinquagesima, which means that the holy season of Lent is upon, and that it is also time for the Bishop's Annual Appeal.

Lent
In his message for Lent, Pope Francis encourages us to be urgent in our Lenten observance: "Let us not allow this season of grace to pass in vain! Let us ask God to help us set out on a path of true conversion. Let us leave behind our selfishness and self-absorption, and turn to Jesus’ Pasch. Let us stand beside our brothers and sisters in need, sharing our spiritual and material goods with them. In this way, by concretely welcoming Christ’s victory over sin and death into our lives, we will also radiate its transforming power to all of creation."

You will see [here] a schedule for special Lenten devotions, including the Imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday, added times for Confessions, Stations of the Cross, and more. Don't let this season, a privileged time for growth in grace, slip away! Make a plan now for your own Lenten disciplines of almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, and especially for how those disciplines will be lived out in the domestic church which is your home and family. Here's a helpful guide to keeping a holy Lent in preparation for the commemoration of the Lord's blessed Passion and precious Death, and the joy of his mighty Resurrection and glorious Ascension. And here's my own favorite source of inspiration for Lenten meal planning!

Bishop's Appeal
The annual Bishop's Appeal for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter also begins on Quinquagesima. At Mass this Sunday I will read a letter from Bishop Lopes inviting you to participate, but here I will make my own appeal: give generously! As a member of the Ordinariate's Governing Council, I can assure you that your gifts to the appeal will be a real and fruitful investment, carefully husbanded, in our common mission and ministry of evangelism and unity. Even beyond the fiscal realities of our Ordinariate's youth and relatively small size, our chancery is an intentionally lean operation. Your gift will make a substantial difference in the chancery's services and the Bishop's ministry, which - and this bears emphasis - is our ministry, too. Your gift is a tangible expression of our unity.

Many of you will have received a pledge card and information about the appeal in your mailboxes this week, and if not, we will have more available at Mass. Ashley and I have already made our pledge and first payment, and I urge you prayerfully to consider your gift and to make your pledge as well (might as well do it now!). 

God bless you,
Fr Allen

Letter from Fr. Allen: Chair of St Peter - February 21, 2019

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+JMJ+

Dear Friends,

The image [below] shows the great reliquary of the Chair of St. Peter in the apse of St Peter's Basilica. The reliquary, in gilt bronze, is the work of the great renaissance artist Bernini. I'm not usually a fan of the baroque myself, but the reliquary is an astonishing work of art, with its contrast of putti and monumental Doctors of the Church eastern and western (Chrysostom and Athanasius, Augustine and Ambrose).

But all that of course is only the reliquary. The relic it contains is an oak chair, not at all comfortable looking, trimmed with ivory. It is missing pieces and pretty worm-eaten as well. The chair was a gift to Pope John VIII from Charles the Bald, Holy Roman Emperor, in the AD 875. For many centuries it was believed to have been the actual chair St Peter, that in which he sat to teach while in Rome, though more modern investigations by the Vatican have revealed that it dates from the 6th century. Nevertheless, the chair represents teaching authority of Peter and his successors, and their vocation and duty to preside over the whole Church in charity. 

As you know, our Ordinariate takes its name from this Chair and the gift of authority and love it represents (particular for those of us for whom, in former days, "the lack of papal primacy and the Magisterium [was] experienced as an ecclesial deficit," as Cardinal Müller once put it). This year our "Solemnity of the Title" is transferred from its usual date of February 22nd to this Sunday. We will keep the feast at our 11AM Mass, and continue our prayer and praise with Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 4.30PM. I hope you will join us!

I ask you to pray for the Meeting for the Protection of Minors in the Church, called by Pope Francis, which began earlier today at the Vatican, that the meeting will be an effective exercise of the power of Peter's Chair, and so a turning point in battle against the filth of sexual abuse in the Church. Today is the memorial of St. Peter Damien, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, a reformer who crusaded against clerical sexual abuse and licentiousness in his own time. May he intercede for the Church our time as well!

God bless you,
Fr Allen

RSVP Yes or No for Wednesday School: 27 February 2019

Joining us for Wednesday School on February 27th? Please RSVP using the form below so that we may adequately prepare. If you’re one of our regularly Wednesday School families and you’re not able to make it this week, would you please also respond and mark the number of people coming as 0? This also helps us prepare. Thank you!

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How to pregame Lent: Septuagesima, Carnival, and Shrovetide

How to pregame Lent: Septuagesima, Carnival, and Shrovetide

by Mary Rezac for Catholic News Agency
 

Sunday, Feb. 17 is Septuagesima Sunday, followed by Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Sundays. Sunday kicks off Carnival season, which comes right before Shrovetide, which culminates in Shrove Tuesday - more popularly known as Mardi Gras.

“Septuagesima is kept in the personal ordinariates established by Pope Benedict XVI for former Anglicans, now within the full communion of the Catholic Church,” said Father James Bradley, a priest from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom.   “Septuagesima is still marked in the older Anglican prayer books, and is part of the Anglican patrimony preserved by Divine Worship: The Missal, used by the ordinariates,” Bradley told CNA.

Read the whole article

 

Holy See: McCarrick dismissed from the clerical state for abuse

The Congresso of the CDF, which investigated the accusations, has issued a decree finding McCarrick “guilty of the following delicts while a cleric: solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power”.

The Congresso has imposed the penalty of “dismissal from the clerical state”. 

This decision, following the recognition by the Holy Father, is definitive and admits of no further recourse or appeal.

Read the entire article on the Vatican News site