Monday, April 28, 2008

Feast of St Peter Chanel

Tonight I did something unusual: I drove over to the Polish church (where Mass is said, in Polish of course, for emigrants from Poland), and attended Mass there, as I have done from time to time in the past: for it's only 8 k's away, and has Mass at the convenient hour of 6.30pm on weekdays; but I took with me my old missal, and mutatis mutandis read the texts to myself of the Mass of this day... It seemed somehow more attractive a way to participate than to haul over my modern missal, and get annoyed by its jejune translations which are more and more just an unpleasant memory to me. Of course, I still stood, sat and knelt as the rest of the congregation did, and responded (quietly, in Latin) to the priest's greetings and prayers, since of course I recognize what he's saying, tho' I speak no Polish. In fact, I find the Polish must be very faithful to the Latin Novus Ordo: one can notice points like the Polish version of mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

One reason that I decided to assist at Mass in this odd manner is that I was sore tempted a few days back to attend some weekday Masses at Jolimont for convenience's sake, since Mass there is at 6.30pm too, according to WikkiMissa (the SSPX's own website gives quite other times!), and it is the Trad Mass to boot - but the priests there are SSPX! Hence, they are of course suspended a divinis (no, I won't have people try and convince me otherwise, it's the plain unvarnished truth), and so in conscience I could not assist at their Mass, just as I could not do so if it were the Mass of any other suspended priest - it would be to join in an act of disobedience.

Another reason for not going there is that the Society is in an irregular position vis a vis both the local archdiocese and the universal Church, despite offers for them to come back into union, whether individually or corporately, as famously happened with those who established the FSSP and from time to time since then have left the Society for that Fraternity. (And consider the dreadful treatment meted out to those who dare to defy them and leave them, as in the case of Fr Rizzo, an excellent priest whom they persecuted: such acts are a mark of a sect.) Especially now that the Trad Mass has been declared never abrogated, what reason to remain apart? (I don't share the Society's intransigent views, other marks of their schismatic spirit, not known for its charity or lack of pride; and as for anti-semitism...!)

Furthermore, when the Society came here to Perth, like cuckoos in the nest, they (through the initial intrusion of some Transalpine Redemptorists, another irregular group, who in turn let them in) took over Jolimont, which was then used for archdiocese-approved Masses, and Fr Rowe, who had also been saying the Latin Mass there, had perforce to follow his conscience, publicly separate himself from the intruded priests lest the faithful be led astray, and ask the Archbishop to find some other place for him and the licit TLM to relocate to, since the Jolimont chapel was privately owned and the SSPX were made welcome there and were unable to be driven out by the lawful authorities ecclesiastical. (This all happened some years back; I tell the story - which is much more complicated than the partial outline I give here - as recorded, for instance, in back issues of the local Catholic paper, The Record, which praised Fr Rowe for making his stand in the face of such a debacle; and I understand he gained quite some kudos among the priests of Perth for doing so.)

As Fr Rowe is my friend, I could not disrespect him by going along to that church.


On a much more positive note, in Australia, according to the Ordo in both the EF and OF of the Roman Rite, today is devoted to St Peter Chanel, missionary priest and martyr, a Marist, who came from France (where he was born in 1803) to preach the Gospel in the heathen isles of Polynesia, and was clubbed to death on the island of Futuna on this day in 1841. Up till then, he had made few if any converts; but his blood proved the seed of Christians, in Tertullian's phrase, and within a few years the whole island was converted to the True Faith: it must be a great feast there today indeed. Again, I must be a very weepy fool: every time I read the account the Office gives of his labours and martyrdom, I get tears:

"...He would refuse nothing to the people of Futuna, not even to those who were persecuting him...

"...he was called by the people of Futuna 'Great heart'. He said... to his companion [a lay religious]: 'In so difficult a mission it is necessary for us to be saints.'...

"...on the day before his martyrdom he had said: "It does not matter if I die; the religion of Christ had taken root so firmly in this island that it cannot be removed by my death.'"

Even his murderer himself was converted and baptized, and asked on his deathbed to be buried at the door of the church where his victim was now revered, that those coming to pray therein might step over his grave to enter.


Mass of St Peter Aloysius Mary Chanel, Protomartyr of Oceania (T.P.)

(With, at Low Mass, commemorations of both St Paul of the Cross, Confessor, and today, Rogation Monday.)

Introit (Isaias lxvi, 19; Ps. 96:1)

Mittam ex eis qui salvati fuerint ad gentes in mare, ad insulas longe, ad eos qui non audierunt de me, et non viderunt gloriam meam; et annuntiabunt gloriam meam gentibus. Alleluja, alleluja. Ps. Dominus regnavit, exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. Gloria Patri.


Deus, qui beatum Petrum Aloisium Mariam Martyrem tuum, ad prædicandum Evangelium, mira mansuetudine, flagranti caritate, et invicta constantia decorasti: da nobis, quæsumus; ut, ejus vestigiis inhærentes, fidem, quam profitemur, usque ad mortem teneamus. Per…

Epistle (Colossians iii, 12-17)

Fratres: Induite vos sicut electi Dei, sancti, et dilecti, viscera misericordiæ, benignitatem, humilitatem, modestiam, patientiam: supportantes invicem, et donantes vobismetipsis, si quis adversus aliquem habet querelam: sicut et Dominus donavit vobis, ita et vos. Super omnia autem hæc, caritatem habete, quod est vinculum perfectionis: et pax Christi exsultet in cordibus vestris, in qua et vocati estis in uno corpore: et grati estote. Verbum Christi habitet in vobis abundanter, in omni sapientia, docentes, et commonentes vosmetipsos, psalmis, hymnis, et canticis spiritualibus, in gratia cantantes in cordibus vestris Deo. Omne, quodcumque facitis in verbo, aut in opere, omnia in nomine Domini Jesu Christi, gratias agentes Deo, et Patri per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum.

Paschal Alleluia (Ps 20:3; Isaias xxiv, 15-16)

Alleluja, alleluja. V/. Desiderium animæ ejus tribuisti ei, Domine, et voluntate labiorum ejus non fraudasti eum. Alleluja. V/. In insulis maris nomen Domini Dei Israël; a finibus terræ laudes audivimus, gloriam justi. Alleluja.

Gospel (St Matthew xvi, 24-27)

In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Si quis vult post me venire, abneget semetipsum, et tollat crucem suam, et sequatur me. Qui enim voluerit animam suam salvam facere, perdet eam: qui autem perdiderit animam suam propter me, inveniet eam. Quid enim prodest homini, si mundum universum lucretur, animæ vero suæ detrimentum patiatur? aut quam dabit homo commutationem pro anima sua? Filius enim hominis venturus est in gloria Patris sui cum angelis suis : et tunc reddet unicuique secundum opera ejus.

Offertory (Isaias lii, 7)

Quam pulchri pedes annuntiantis et prædicantis pacem: annuntiantis bonum, prædicantis salutem, dicentis Sion, Regnabit Deus tuus. Alleluja.


Hæc hostia, Domine, quem in beati Petri Aloisii Mariæ triumpho deferimus: corda nostra tui amoris igne jugiter inflammet: et ad promissa perseverantibus præmia disponat. Per…

Communion (Ps 20:4)

Prævenisti eum in benedictionibus dulcedinis: posuisti in capite ejus coronam de lapide pretioso. Alleluja.


Angelorum pane nutriti, et superna dulcedine perfusi: te, Domine, suppliciter exoramus; ut, beati Petri Aloisii Mariæ, Martyris tui, exemplo, discamus terrena cuncta despicere, et amare cælestia. Per…

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