Friday, 27 November 2009

The Voice of... Pope Leo XIII (Part II)

On 15th February, 1882, Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Etsi Nos to the Archbishops and Bishops and the Other Ordinaries of Italy on conditions in Italy:

"18. But your chief cares and thoughts, Venerable Brethren, must have for their object the due appointment of fitting ministers of God. For if it be the office of Bishops to use very much labor and zeal in properly training the whole of their youth, they ought to spend themselves far more on the clerics who are growing up as the hope of the Church, and are to be some day sharers in the most sacred duties. Indeed, grave reasons, common to all times, demand in priests many and great graces; but this time in which we live demands that they should be even more and greater. In truth the defense of the Catholic Faith, in which the industry of priests ought specially to be employed, and which is in these days so very necessary, demands no common nor ordinary learning, but that which is recondite and varies; which embraces not only sacred, but even philosophical studies, and is rich in the treatment of physical and historical discoveries. For the error which has to be eradicated is multiform, and saps all the foundations of Christian wisdom; and very often a battle has to be waged with adversaries well prepared, pertinacious in disputing, who astutely draw confirmation from every kind of science. Similarly, since in these days there is great and far extended corruption of morals, there is need in priests of singular excellence of virtue and constancy. They can by no means avoid associating with men; by the very duties of their office, indeed, they are compelled to have intimate relations with the people; and that in the midst of cities where there is hardly any lust that has not permitted and unbridled license. From which it follows that virtue in the clergy ought at this time to be strong enough peacefully to guard itself, and both conquer all the blandishments of desire and securely overcome dangerous examples. Besides a paucity of clerics has everywhere followed the laws which have been enacted to the injury of the Church, so plainly, that it is necessary for those who by the grace of God are being trained to Holy Orders, to give double attention, and by increased diligence, zeal, and devotion to compensate for the sparse supply. And, indeed, they cannot do this advantageously unless they possess a soul resolute of purpose, mortified, incorrupt, ardent with charity, ever prompt and quick in undertaking labors for the salvation of men. But for such tasks a long and diligent preparation must be made; for one is not accustomed to such great things easily and quickly. And they indeed will pass their time in the priesthood holily and purely, who have exercised themselves in this way from their youth, and have so advanced in discipline that they seem not so much to have been instructed to those virtues, of which We have spoken, as to have been born to them."

"19. For these reasons, Venerable Brethren, the Seminaries of clerics demand a very great portion of your zeal, care, and vigilance."

"20. As to virtue and morals, it does not escape your wisdom with what precepts and instruction the youth of clerics must be surrounded. In graver studies Our Encyclical Letters, "Aeterni Patris," have pointed out the best way and course. But since in such a condition of mental activity many things have been wisely and usefully discovered, which it is not fitting to ignore especially when wicked men are accustomed to turn, as new weapons, against divinely revealed truths, every addition of this kind which the day brings -- take care, Venerable Brethren, as far as lies in your power, that the young clerics be not only better instructed in natural sciences, but also properly educated in those arts which have connection with the interpretation or authority of the Sacred Scriptures. Of this surely we are not ignorant, that many things are needful for perfection in the highest studies, the means for which in the religious seminaries of Italy hostile laws are taking away or diminishing. But in this also the time demands that by their bounty and munificence Our children should strive to merit well of the Catholic religion. The pious and beneficent goodwill of our ancestors had admirably provided for necessities of this kind; and this the Church had been able by prudence and economy to accomplish, so that she had no necessity whatever to recommend to the charity of her children the care and preservation of sacred property. But her legitimate and sacred patrimony, which the attacks of former ages had spared, the tempest of our times has dissipated; so that there is again a reason why those who love the Catholic name should be induced to renew the liberality of their ancestors. Illustrious indeed are the proofs of munificence on the part of Frenchmen, Belgians, and others in a cause not very dissimilar from this munificence most worthy the admiration not only of contemporaries, but also of posterity. Nor do We doubt but that the Italian people, moved by the consideration of their common circumstances, will, in proportion to their means, act so as to show themselves worthy of their father, and will imitate the example of their brethren."

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Cardinal Barbarin Establishes Seminary for Both Forms of the Roman Rite

by Gregor Kollmorgen

Recently there was a meeting of French faithful attached to the usus antiquior, the rencontre pour l’Unité Catholique (Meeting for Catholic Unity), in Versailles, France. In the course of the meeting, Fr. Laurent Spriet of the Association Totus Tuus made an important announcement.

(The Association Totus Tuus, which was established in 2007 by the Archbishop of Avignon and this year recognised canonically by Cardinal Barbarin, the Primate of Gaul and Archbishop of Lyon, is itself attached to the celebration of the usus antiquior, without excluding saying Mass in the Ordinary Form if so requested by the bishop. Msgr. Jean-Pierre Batut, former pastor of the Parisian parish of Saint Eugène-Sainte Cécile, which is equally dedicated to both forms of the Roman Rite, who was appointed auxiliary of Lyon last year, functions as the protector of this association.)

Fr. Spriet announced, that Cardinal Barbarin will open next year in Lyon a "bi-formalist" seminary, i.e. a seminary dedicated to both forms of the Roman Rite, which will be both taught and celebrated there. This is the first diocese in France after that of Toulon which offers this possibility to its seminarians. Cardinal Barbarin's project will even go further than that of Toulon: not only will the seminarians have the opportunity to be formed according to the extraordinary form, Mass according to the usus antiquior will be celebrated every day in the seminary, open to all seminarians, including those of the ordinary form.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Priestly Ordination to be Conferred

from FSSP North American District / Una Voce Carmel:


Priestly Ordination of Rev. Mr. Jose Zepeda, F.S.S.P. by Bishop Salvatore Cordileone

December 19, 2009, at 11:00 A.M.

St. Jarlath Church
2620 Pleasant St.
Oakland, CA

For more info please contact Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary at (+1) 402-797-4400.

On November 7th in the Year of Our Lord 2009, The Most Reverend James D. Conley, Auxilary Bishop of Denver, ordained 14 seminarians of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter to the Minor Orders and one to the Diaconate. The ordination Mass took place at St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Lincoln Nebraska. Please keep the newly ordained in your prayers as they continue their ascent to the Altar of our Lord.

The Voice of... Pope Leo XIII (Part I)

On 3rd December, 1880, the feast of St. Francis Xavier, S.J., Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Sancta Dei Civitas to all the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, and Bishops of the Catholic World regarding Mission Societies.

If I may interject a personal prejudice here, I would thoroughly recomment the Encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII to everyone of every rank, degree, condition, state or age for spiritual reading. They are models of style and form and, in my opinion, unsurpassed for the clarity and comprehensiveness of their content, coupled with a brevity that is as delightful as it is wonderful. Sadly, but too few examples will be included on this blog, restricted as I am by the theme of 'The Holy Year for Priests' but the devout reader cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer variety of subjects. The Encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII are, without reservation or qualification, my favourite spiritual reading. Herewith an extract from Sancta Dei Civitas:

"7. On the other hand many and grave necessities weigh upon and oppress the Apostolic missions, since the number of sacred laborers decreases every day, nor do We find that as many or as zealous missionaries replace those whom death has carried off, whom age has enfeebled, or whom work has broken down. For We see Religious communities, whence a large number of missionaries came forth, dissolved by iniquitous laws, the clergy torn away from the altar and obliged to undergo military service, and the goods of both orders of clergy almost everywhere put up to sale and proscribed."

"8. In the meanwhile new routes have been opened, in consequence of more complete exploration of places and populations, towards countries hitherto accounted impracticable; numerous expeditions of the soldiers of Christ have been formed, and new stations have been established; and thus many laborers are now wanted to devote themselves to these missions, and contribute seasonable help. We pass over in silence the difficulties and obstacles arising from contradictions. For it often occurs that deceivers, sowing error, simulate the Apostles of Christ, and, being abundantly furnished with human resources, interfere with the ministry of Catholic priests, or creep in after their departure, or raise pulpit against pulpit, thinking it sufficient to render the way of salvation doubtful to the persons who hear the word of God interpreted in different ways. Would that their artifices had no success! This is certainly to be regretted, that even those who are disgusted with such teachers, or have never met with them, and who desire the pure light of truth, should often have no man at hand to instruct them in wholesome doctrine and to bring them into the bosom of the Church."

"9. Truly the little ones ask for bread, and there is none to break it to them; the regions are white for the harvest, and the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few and will soon, perhaps, be fewer still."

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Contemplative Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate

by Fr Joseph M Taylor

I imagine many readers of the NLM will already know the name Lanherne. Lanherne Convent in Cornwall, in the far south west of England, is the home of the Contemplative Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate in the UK. This branch of the Franciscan Order has four contemplative houses for women religious in the world. Two in Italy (Citta Di Castello and Albenga), one in the Philippines, and Lanherne. Someone with a vocation first enters the apostolic sisters where she does her postulancy, novitiate and takes temporary vows and probably final vows also. It is only after some years – perhaps five, six or seven - that a sister feels her vocation is to the contemplative life. Perhaps the superiors think that this sister is called to the contemplative life. Therefore at this stage a sister might well pass from one way of the religious life to the other vocation. My point being one does not enter the contemplative life direct from “the world”.

After the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum in 2007 the FSI superiors decided that these four contemplative houses would take up the full and exclusive use of the 1962 liturgical books.

I wrote an article several months ago for the Latin Mass Society’s magazine, The Mass of the Ages which gives a brief resumé of what goes on at Lanherne and gives a history of the convent and of the Carmelites who own the house and lived in it for about two hundred years. Yes, indeed, the Carmelites (the few remaining ones are in a Carmel in the north of England) have been very generous towards our Franciscan nuns as on vacating Lanherne, they then welcomed the Franciscans to live there as their “guests”. Eight years have now passed and quite naturally the Franciscans are concerned about the future of the convent building. It would be a wonderful work of Providence if our nuns were more secure at Lanherne.

Several good things have happened at Lanherne Convent since my article appeared in Mass of the Ages in the early part of this year. In fact, the full Office (1962) has been sung since Christmas Eve 2008 and the Little Office of Our Lady has been recited (in full on a daily basis) over the last couple of months. The Little Office is said every day except on Mondays, when the Office of the Dead is recited.

I thought the readers of this journal might well be interested in the liturgical timetable of the nuns. Perhaps you could say some Office at the same time as the community or the rosary or other devotions. Just as the sisters are praying for you, so you can pray for them and for the intentions for which they offer the Office. A real union in prayer.

  • Rise at midnight - Matins and Lauds at 12.10 am
  • 5.35 am - Lauds of Our Lady (in cell)
  • 6 am - Prime followed by Little Office Prime
  • Meditation and Terce and Little Office Terce
  • 7.30 am - Conventual Mass (sung daily)
  • 12.20 pm - Sext (+ Little Office Sext)
  • 1.20 pm - None (+ Little Office None)
  • 3 pm - Vespers (Little Office – in cell)
  • 3.15 pm - Vespers
  • 3.45 pm - Rosary and Litany
  • 4.15 pm - Meditation and anticipated Little Office Matins until 5.40 pm
  • 8.25 pm - Compline (followed by Little Office Compline in cell)

  • Stations of the Cross – Fridays at 8.20 pm
  • Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction – Fridays 8.40 am – 1 pm

The Sunday timetable varies very slightly – the main difference is that the Conventual Mass is at 10 am

It is important to remember that at Lanherne we have a contemplative community. Therefore there is a strict observance of “enclosure”. Today enclosure is much misunderstood. People, including many Catholics, ask such questions as how can such a life be justified in view of the Gospel, which invites Christians to become a light in the world and to proclaim the “good news” to all people? Historically enclosure was freely chosen from the very beginning by the nuns themselves in order that they could be truly free to get on with their daily business of the praise and worship of Almighty God. It was much later that enclosure became an object of canonical legislation.

When writing before I explained that the nuns at Lanherne live entirely on the alms of the faithful. They are truly poor! As the community is the only one we have in England and Wales which offers Holy Mass and the Divine Office according to the 1962 liturgical books it is very important that we should support them by our prayers and our donations. I am aware that Lanherne is a long way from almost everywhere else in the UK and is therefore difficult to visit, but perhaps the readers of the article should be thinking about a visit to Cornwall during 2010.

By the time you read this article another sister will have joined the Lanherne community, this will bring the total to fourteen sisters. At this stage there will be a problem. Fourteen is about the maximum number that Lanherne can accommodate. You will ask what next? Indeed a good question. An additional house will soon be needed and it is here that you may be able to help. Do you know of any convent which is either up for sale or about to be up for sale? The Sisters would need a property to be bought by a benefactor(s) as they themselves own nothing. The ideal building would be one with an existing enclosure and therefore we are thinking of ex-Carmelite, Poor Clare, Benedictine, etc. but other buildings might be suitable also. Let me have any suggestions and thoughts on ways of raising funds!! Please write to me:- Father Joseph M Taylor c/o Lanherne Convent (address below).

Reverend Mother at Lanherne wishes me to thank you all for your gifts during the last year. If you have donated you have no doubt received a little note from Mother. At present we are in need of funds for a number of liturgical items, in particular a Tenebrae Hearse (used at the Sacred Triduum to hold the 15 unbleached candles). This year we had to made do and mend with something very unsuitable! We also are in need of a good, very good ombrellino (an “umbrella” for transferring the Blessed Sacrament from one altar to another and Reliquaries (we have the relics, but not the containers).

Please continue to be generous – the address for benefactions is:- Reverend Mother, Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, Lanherne Convent, St Mawgan, Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4ER UK. Cheques can be made payable to "Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate".


Fr. Taylor also sends in some photos from the convent and the life of the nuns there.

The Skull of English Martyr, St. Cuthbert Mayne

(all photos by and copyright Wayne Perry;
reproduced from The New Liturgical Movement)

Saturday, 14 November 2009

FSSP Solemn Mass in Guadalajara

by Carlos Antonio Palad

The Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) maintains an apostolate in Guadalajara, the Capellania de San Pedro Apostol, which is one of the two places in Mexico where weekly regular and public Traditional Latin Masses that fulfil the Sunday obligation are available under diocesan auspices (according to the list of Una Voce Mexico.) The other place is a parish in the Archdiocese of Monterrey that has an "anticipated" Sunday TLM every Saturday at five in the afternoon.

Most TLM's in Mexico continue to be offered by the SSPX.

The following video recently posted on Youtube has excerpts of the Solemn Mass offered on October 12, 2009 by Fr. John Berg FSSP.

(reproduced from Rorate Cæli blog)

Friday, 13 November 2009

Clear Creek annual retreat

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Father Mark Kirby of Our Lady of the Cenacle is leaving this afternoon for the Monastery of Our Lady of the Annunciation at Clear Creek, to preach the monastic community's annual retreat until the afternoon of November 21st, the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Please pray that Our Lord may open fountains of living water in all their hearts.

The Voice of... Blessed Pius IX (Part XIV)

On 23rd March, 1875, Blessed Pope Pius IX issued his Enclyclical Graves Ac Diuturnae to the Bishops, to the Clergy, and to the Swiss People who enjoy Grace and Communion with the Apostolic See. Indeed, it was almost his last Encyclical. The forces of secularism were in the ascendent. They had deprived him of the States of the Church. They were depriving the Church of her rights across Europe and the World:

"6. We are very confident in the Lord, beloved sons, pastors, and clerics, that you, who have been ordained not only for your own sanctification and salvation but also for that of others, in face of this huge conspiracy of the unholy and of so many dangerous allurements will prove yourselves a strong comfort and help to your bishops because of your demonstrated piety and zeal. Under their leadership, you will eagerly take up the task of diligently working for the cause of God, for the Church, and for the salvation of souls. You will strengthen the powers of the faithful who stand firm, assist the weakness of those who falter, and increase daily before God the merits which you have already attained by patience, constancy, and priestly fortitude. The labors which those who act as ambassadors of Christ must sustain are very heavy at this time. But our trust should be placed in Him who has conquered the world. He helps those who labor in His name and rewards them with a crown of unfading glory in heaven."

Thursday, 12 November 2009

IBP Resources for the English Language

by Shawn Tribe

The Institute of the Good Shepherd have started up a blog and a Facebook group which is directed toward the English speaking audience under the guidance of Abbé Hugues Beaugrand, one of their recently ordained priests.

(reproduced from The New Liturgical Movement)

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Minor Orders

by Scott Arbuckle, Una Voce Carmel


The minor orders are the lower degrees of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, in contrast to the “major” or “sacred” orders. In the Latin Church, there are four minor orders: porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte. They are all mentioned in a letter of Pope Cornelius to Bishop Fabius of Antioch in A. D. 252. More recently, the Council of Trent of July 15, 1563 said of the minor orders and subdiaconate:

... From the very beginning of the Church the names of the following orders and the duties proper to each one are known to have been in use, namely those of the subdeacon, acolyte, exorcist, lector, and porter, though not of equal rank; for the subdiaconate is classed among the major orders by the Fathers and the sacred Councils, in which we also read very frequently of the other inferior orders (D.958).

Minor orders are conferred by the presentation to the candidate of the appropriate instruments of his office, in accordance with the ritual given in the Satuta Ecclesiæ antiqua, a document which originated in Gaul about the year A.D. 500. This ritual was later introduced in Rome. By the ordination to any of the 4 minor orders, the recipient receives official authority to perform the liturgical functions of this office.

Porter or doorkeeper (ostiarius in Latin; from the word ostium, a door), denoted among the Romans the slave whose duty was to guard the entrance of the house. From the end of the second century, the Christian communities began to own houses for holding church services. Church doorkeepers were found at least in larger cities. The texts of the ritual clearly express the duties of the porter as well as the virtues he must practice, especially zeal for the house of God.

Lector is someone who is sufficiently educated to be able to read publicly the Sacred books in the Church. The text of the ritual requires from the lector clear and precise diction as well as the understanding of the words of Sacred Scripture. The first mention of a Christian liturgical reader is by St. Justin, who died a Martyr, in A.D. 165.

The word Exorcist finds its origin in the Greek language. In general, it refers to anyone who casts out or professes to cast out demons. IN particular, It refers to him who is ordained or appointed to this office by the bishop. IN the early ages of the Church, this function was not confined to clerics. But with the development of the rites of baptism (since catechumens had to be exorcized every day by an imposition of hands), some clerics were specially appointed o this office. Currently only priest are authorized to use the exorcizing power conferred by this ordination. In each diocese, the local bishop appoints a priest to the special task of casting out demons from the possessed.

Acolyte, in Greek, means someone who follows, who attends. The chief duties of an acolyte are to light the candles on the altar, to carry them in procession and during the solemn singing of the Gospel. He is also in charge of preparing the wine and water for Mass. Unlike the other minor orders, the ritual of the ordination of acolytes ends with three prayers of blessing instead of one. This underscores the importance of the minor order of Acolyte, the last step before the “sacred” or “major” orders.

Since 1972, minor orders are no longer conferred in the Latin Rite, except in those communities where the 1962 liturgical books are in use.


Monasteries and Orders who observe Minor Orders:

(reposted from Una Voce Carmel)

Friday, 6 November 2009

The Voice of... Blessed Pius IX (Part XIII)

On 5th February, 1875, Blessed Pope Pius IX issued his Encyclical Quod Nunquam to the Archbishops and Bishops of Prussia (in Germany) concerning the state of the Church in their country:

"1. What We never expected to happen has come about. Thus, We look back on those things which this Apostolic See established for the welfare of Catholics in agreement with the supreme ruler of Prussia in the twentyfirst year of this century and We observe that it has turned out otherwise. A wild and unexpected storm now reigns in your land, where the Church of God once enjoyed peace and tranquillity. Other new laws have been added to those laws against the rights of the Church which were proposed recently and which struck down and removed from their positions many clerics and laymen. These new laws thoroughly overturn the divine establishment of the Church and totally destroy the holy rights of the bishops."

"2. These laws gave power to lay judges to cast bishops and others in charge of caring for souls from their dignity and from the exercise of their duty. They placed many serious impediments before those who were appointed to exercise legitimate jurisdiction in the absence of the pastors. The cathedral chapters were told that they could elect vicars according to the canons when the episcopal see is not yet vacant. Finally, passing over many other things, they entrusted the prefects of the provinces with the power to appoint even non Catholic men who, as substitutes for the bishops, preside over the administration of the temporal goods in the dioceses, even if those temporal goods were intended for holy people or the use of the Church. You know well, venerable brothers, what harm and abuses followed from these laws and from their harsh execution."

"3. We shall pass over these matters in order not to increase our common sadness with recollections of them. However, we cannot keep silent concerning the damage to the dioceses of Gniezno and Poznan, as well as to the diocese of Paderborn. Miescyslaw, Archbishop of Gniezno and Poznan, and Konrad, Bishop of Paderborn, have been imprisoned and unjustly sentenced to be deposed from their episcopal see and divested of their authority. These dioceses are deprived of the assistance of their shepherds and are sorrowfully hurled into a mass of serious difficulties and sorrows."

"4. However, We ought not to weep over Our brothers just mentioned. Rather We should esteem them and follow them with rejoicing. "Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal on account of the Son of Man." Those who remember these divine words are not deterred by the punishment of the laws; instead they keep the laws and the commandments of the Church because of the seriousness of their ministry. These men have drawn honor and glory to themselves, just as other highly esteemed bishops from the same region. They suffer undeserved condemnation and the punishments of criminals for the sake of justice and show great virtue which overflows for the edification of the whole Church. They deserve praise rather than the tears of mourners."

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Blog Help Wanted

One of the authors of this blog intends to retire from blogging by Spring 2010. If you have time to help out with this blog, and see it continue, please leave a comment, or email markadm at catholic dot org.

All comments are moderated, hence private comments can be left which will remain unpublished.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

News from Norcia, Italy

by Shawn Tribe

The Benedictine Monks of Norcia, Italy, who in past months began celebrating both forms of the Roman rite, recently celebrated the solemn vows of one of their brothers, which coincided with a Solemn Mass in the usus antiquior:
On October 6th, Br John McKenzie made Solemn Profession in Norcia. As always, the Mass included the mystical burial and resurrection ceremony, along with the Suscipe, litany and singing of the Vows. This time however, the Mass was offered in the extraordinary form as a Solemn Mass. Br Thomas acted as deacon and Fr Clement as subdeacon. Musica Traditio, the polyphonic choir from Perugia which sings for us on special occasions chose a beautiful Mass from a little known composer, Ludovico Grossi da Viadana (1560-1627).

Special guests in attendance were the Abbot of Grottaferrata with several of his monks, priests of the diocese of St. Louis, students of the Casa Balthazar and most importantly, Br John’s uncle, aunt and brother. A reception in the cortile of the monastery followed the Mass. Guests and monks alike were delighted to take part in the solemn ritual of profession. The extraordinary form added even greater grandeur to the rite.

They have provided some photos of the event. Here are a selection.

To see all the photos, visit: Notes from Norcia #20

Allow me to also take the opportunity to remind readers that the monks also provide live recordings of their liturgical life: Broadcasts from Norcia.

(reposted from The New Liturgical Movemement