Friday, February 26, 2010

Could Anglicanorum Coetibus Lead to Liturgical Renewal

Being raised an Episcopalian, I have always had a deep love of sacred liturgy and by sacred liturgy I mean that there is a real sense, by the community gathered, that one is in the presence of God during the Holy Eucharist. Since my conversion to the Catholic faith, I have joked with many of my Catholic friends that one could argue that the traditional Anglican service has more Catholic elements than the Mass celebrated in many Catholic churches in the United States.

So it has been a surprise that, since the publication of Anglicanorum Coetibus, there has been a lot a anticipation about allowing Anglican Use elements into mainstream Catholic Churches. Just this week, an article in the Wall Street Journal covered a story about Evensong being celebrated from the Book of Divine Worship (an Anglican Use liturgy approved by Rome) in, of all things, a Catholic Church that regularly celebrates the Tridentine Mass.

Is the attraction to this Liturgy, especially to traditional Catholics, due to the fact that it is not only in the vernacular but maintains a sense of the sacred? Could the foundation of Anglican Ordinates within dioceses around the United States lead to a renewal of that sense of the sacred within the Mass in those dioceses? This process will certainly be an interesting thing to observe over the next few years; especially with the introduction of the revised Missal, which is due out next year.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Feast Day of St Polycarp

Today is the feast day of St Polycarp. Since I live in the city of Smyrna Georgia, I feel it is appropriate to pause and reflect on one of the true heroes of the Church. He was a disciple of St John the Apostle, bishop of Smyrna in the 2nd century and was martyred at the age of 86.

As we enter the first week of Lent, Polycarp reminds us, in his "Letter to the Philippians", of where we should focus our attention.

"Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from the beginning; "watching unto prayer," and persevering in fasting; beseeching in our supplications the all-seeing God "not to lead us into temptation," as the Lord has said: "The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak."

After almost 2,000 years,these words are as applicable today as they were then.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Growing Church in North Georgia

Yesterday I had the privilege to assist as an acolyte at the Rite of Election in Atlanta, Georgia. Over 2,000 people were present to continue their preparation for full communion into the Catholic Church. Reports are that this group is much larger than dioceses with three times the population of the Diocese of Atlanta. It is further proof of the vitality of the Church in the American South.

You can get more details over at Whispers in the Loggia.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

LENT Begins

We are entering the preparatory process for welcoming the Risen Jesus on Easter Sunday. Each year I try to do two things beyond the ordinary. First, I find something to change in my life that I want to be permanent (not something that is just given up during Lent). Second, I try to find a way to deepen my understanding of the Passion so that the joy of Easter is tangible.

During that search I found an interesting site that provides daily reflections during lent and is based on spiritual exercises of St Ignatius. Take a look at it here.

I pray that we all take this time of year to:

  • Reflect on who Jesus is in our lives;
  • Deepen our understanding of our relationship with him; and
  • Learn to do His will.
If we do these things, the joy of Easter will be tangible and I sincerely believe that we can make a little bit of heaven on earth.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

ROME REPORTS TV News Agency - The 67 miracles of Lourdes

ROME REPORTS TV News Agency - The 67 miracles of Lourdes

Sin and Confession

Over lunch, I read an article about sin and confession over at Fr Longenecker's blog. It was a good read especially where he was discussing how many of the sins we discount may be some of the most serious. Some of the most common examples are where he says:

".... to gossip and talk badly about others, to complain and grumble all the time and to be bitter and negative habitually may be far more serious because we ignore it and pretend we're not doing anyone any harm. At least with the big fight we feel bad and know it is a sin. With the casual gossip, back biting, nasty comments and negativity we often come away actually feeling better about ourselves."

All good food for thought. You can read the entire article here.

Our Lady of Lourdes

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. She holds a special place in my heart since I credit her, more than any other person, with being the one that showed me the way to her son (in spite of my protestant upbringing). She was the one that pointed Him out to me. It is a long story that I hope to find time to share later.

We see examples of God working miracles through the prayers of Mary and Bernadette Soubirous is a perfect example. After more than 130 years, Bernadette is still the perfect picture of peace.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Growing Church in the South

Growing up in North Georgia, Catholics were very much in the minority. The area was dominated by protestant churches, especially those of the baptist faith.

That situation has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. This change was recently illustrated in the latest "Book of Lists", published by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. My parish, St Thomas the Apostle , is now listed as the second largest parish in the region (19,780 members). Catholic Churches now make up eight (8) of the top 25 churches in the metro area (based on registered members). That is more parishes than any other denomination on the list. To handle the load, St. Thomas now has nine (9) Masses every weekend. This heavy Mass schedule is seen throughout parishes in the Archdiocese.

As a result, this growth has resulted in a building boom in the metro area, and the need for more schools. Recently, the Deacon's Bench blog featured an article on the success of Catholic education in Atlanta. You can read more about that topic HERE.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Last night was the Institution of Reader (class of 2013) and Acolyte (class of 2012). It was a wonderful evening with our new Auxiliary Bishop Luis Zarama.

Two more years of work to go.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Media Bias in Pro-life Issues

The video speaks for itself. Watch it HERE.