Sunday, June 30, 2013

Prayers, Please

Please pray that the correct choice be made in a very important decision. I will most appreciate any and all prayers for this particular intention.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Return of the Rudd-bot

So poor hapless Gillard is gone, three years and two days after she took over the Prime Ministership from her dysfunctional predecessor, now spurned by the same fickle Caucus that promoted her in the first place – and smirking self-righteous Rudd is back from the dead to lead Labor again, like some Lazarus lookalike (but surely, "by this time he stinketh" – John xi, 39).

Roll on a vote of no-confidence in the House to-morrow, and an early election. Let the people decide!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Vacant Sees

Counting vacant Latin rite dioceses alone (omitting sundry eparchies, territorial prelatures and so forth), the Holy Father has well over a hundred appointments to make just to catch up on filling the many sees without bishops; as of today, the number of such widowed dioceses is as follows:

39 since start of 2013;
57 since start of 2012 to end of 2012;
18 since start of 2011 to end of 2011;
4 since start of 2010 to end of 2010;
5 since start of 2009 to end of 2009;
2 since start of 2008 to end of 2008.

Here in Australia, Wilcannia-Forbes has been vacant for over four years now (why Cardinal Ouellet didn't decide to suppress it I cannot tell), Canberra-Goulburn has been a year without an archbishop, and three dioceses – Lismore, Rockhampton and Hobart – have ordinaries who have passed retirement age; in the case of Hobart, my own archdiocese, poor Archbishop Doyle has been waiting for a successor for more than eighteen months.

I recall another prelate saying to me over a decade ago, "Where will the next generation of bishops come from?", meaning that those priests in the usual age range for promotion were by and large formed in the worst years of the postconciliar chaos, prior to the reform of seminary life carried out during the nineties and more recently. We don't need any more men like Morris, late of Toowoomba, who was damnably described by Benedict XVI as lacking the theological acumen necessary for a bishop (a polite way of characterizing his gormless heterodoxy).

Pray for good and holy priests to be appointed, and that the Holy Ghost grace them to become yet holier as bishops yet.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Liturgical Calendar of the Australian Ordinariate

In between reading up on Byzantine Rite liturgiology (I have been making my way through Taft, as well as sundry liturgical works), I have noticed that Australia's Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross has published its official liturgical calendar.

Note that the Ordinariate of course observes all celebrations proper to the Calendar for the Latin Rite dioceses of Australia, such the Solemnities of St Patrick, Our Lady Help of Christians, and St Mary of the Cross (Mackillop).

Herewith, my transcription of the celebrations proper to the Ordinariate itself, first noting that it includes 32 optional memorials (1 downgraded from memorial), 4 memorials (3 upgraded from optional), 2 feasts (one upgraded from memorial) and 1 solemnity:

12 January - St. Benedict Biscop, abbot - optional memorial
13 January - St. Kentigern (Mungo), bishop - optional memorial
19 January - St. Wulfstan, bishop - optional memorial
1 February - St. Brigid of Kildare, abbess - optional memorial
4 February - St. Gilbert of Sempringham, religious - optional memorial
1 March - St. David, bishop - optional memorial
16 April - St. Magnus of Orkney, martyr - optional memorial
19 April - St. Alphege, bishop and martyr - optional memorial
21 April - St. Anselm of Canterbury, bishop and doctor of the Church - memorial
23 April - St George, martyr – memorial
4 May - The English Martyrs - optional memorial
19 May - St. Dunstan, bishop - optional memorial
27 May - St Augustine of Canterbury, bishop and Patron – feast
8 June - St William of York, bishop – optional memorial
9 June - St. Columba, abbot - optional memorial
15 June - [Anniversary of the erection of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, by Pope Benedict XVI, 2012] – optional memorial [sic]
16 June - St. Richard of Chichester, bishop - optional memorial
20 June - St. Alban, martyr - optional memorial
22 June - St. John Fisher, bishop, and St. Thomas More, martyrs - memorial
23 June - St. Etheldreda (Audrey), virgin - optional memorial
1 July - St. Oliver Plunkett, bishop and martyr - optional memorial
15 July - St. Swithun, bishop - optional memorial
30 August - St. Margaret Clitherow, St. Anne Line and St. Margaret Ward, martyrs - optional memorial
31 August - St. Aidan of Lindisfarne, bishop, and Saints of Lindisfarne - optional memorial
1 September - Our Lady of the Southern Cross, titular celebration of the Australian Ordinariate - solemnity
4 September - St. Cuthbert, bishop - optional memorial
19 September - St. Theodore of Canterbury, bishop - optional memorial
24 September - Our Lady of Walsingham – feast
3 October - St. Thomas of Hereford, bishop - optional memorial
8 October – [optional memorials transferred from 9 October]
9 October - Bl John Henry Newman, priest – memorial
10 October - St. Paulinus of York, bishop - optional memorial
12 October - St. Wilfrid, bishop - optional memorial
13 October - St. Edward the Confessor - optional memorial
19 October - St. Frideswide, abbess - optional memorial
26 October – St. Chad and St. Cedd, bishops - optional memorial
7 November - St. Willibrord, bishop - optional memorial
17 November - St. Elizabeth of Hungary, religious, or St. Hilda, abbess, or St. Hugh of Lincoln, bishop - optional memorials
20 November - St. Edmund, martyr - optional memorial
1 December - St. Edmund Campion, priest and martyr - optional memorial

The Ordinariate, now just over a year old, has thirteen priests (with an upcoming diaconal ordination in early July); and doubtless (no figures are available) a small but goodly number of lay members. One trusts that God will grant the increase. Forward the Ordinariate!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sunday of the Blind Man: Vespers and Divine Liturgy

Being in marvellous Melbourne, I betook myself to the Russian Catholic Church of Holy Trinity–St Nicholas, for Vespers on Saturday and Divine Liturgy on Sunday. I'd not been to Byzantine Rite Vespers before; luckily for me (since I can't understand Church Slavonic), Vespers was almost wholly sung in English, to settings drawn from the ancient znamenny chants: including None (which is customarily chanted before Vespers), the service took a little over an hour – apparently the only element that in a parish might otherwise be included was a litia or procession, since in parishes the chanting of the first kathisma of the psalter (Psalms 1 to 8) is much abbreviated, and only fully carried out in monasteries. It was an atmospheric setting: only the many icon lamps shone out to begin, with the chandeliers lit midway through the Hour. A particularly touching aspect of the service was the sight of the deacon's young son happily playing with a children's book - which he took and propped on the singer's bookstand, alongside the horologion and all the other books needed for the service (I counted eight or ten!)...

Driving over from Essendon to East St Kilda (and avoiding toll roads) meant that I only arrived on Sunday morning five minutes before the notional service time of half ten; Terce was being chanted, then Sext; then the Divine Liturgy began. I would say that the majority of the service was in English (the deacon alternated - one litany in English, one not), as was the excellent sermon, but the choir chanted a good deal in Church Slavonic, as several of the older members of the parish joined in the singing. The Liturgy took two hours, concluding with the Prayers of Thanksgiving after Holy Communion read aloud by the subdeacon. (I should mention that, according to the Julian Calendar, Russian Easter fell very late this year, and this Sunday was the Sunday of the Man Born Blind, the last Sunday before the Ascension.)

Afterwards, I enjoyed breakfast with the Russian Catholic community; I am envious of Chris, who flew to Moscow for Holy Week this year, and attended some very grand liturgies there. God willing – I suggested to several friends there, including Subdeacon Justin and his wife – a party of us ought go do the Trans-Siberian in a few years' time, and visit the far-flung sanctuaries of Holy Russia. After an even later lunch, I travelled to Philip Island at the invitation of David Schütz, he of blogging fame; I stayed with his family on Sunday night, and motored back to Melbourne, before flying home to Tasmania, on Monday.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mass in Hobart, Holy Hour in Launceston

After a good sleep-in, I M.C.'d our Missa cantata – and well attended it was too, with fifty in the congregation; we also celebrated one young fellow's First Holy Communion, and welcomed a new server into the altar party. Since the choir had prepared for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, Father celebrated that Mass, rather than the external solemnity of Corpus Christi (and as a commenter noted on the last post, this Sunday's Proper is actually very apposite indeed); unfortunately the family who made and bring with them the vestments had thought we would do Corpus Christi, so Father wore white... ah well, call it very pale green...

Mass, which began late owing to many coming for confessions beforehand, finished just before one o'clock; I quickly changed out of cassock and surplice and jumped behind the wheel, so as to return to Launceston in time for our parish's special four o'clock Holy Hour in union with the Holy Father in Rome – a few stops later, I arrived with ten minutes to spare, and ended up serving as thurifer. Unfortunately my right knee (injured years ago) played up rather – thank you, Lord, for this penance!

Less is more: Exposition began in the usual manner with O salutaris hostia (in English), then Father led us in a few short prayers, before forty minutes of silent adoration. (I decided 'twere best to employ myself in the day hours, and managed to get from Lauds up to half-way through Vespers...) We then concluded in the usual manner with Tantum ergo (in English) &c., Benediction itself, the Divine Praises, and two favourite hymns to end: "Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all" at reposition, and "Let all mortal flesh keep silence" as recessional. We concluded at five o'clock.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Corpus Christi?

I haven't checked, but I assume that to-morrow's monthly Missa cantata in Hobart will be of the external solemnity of Corpus Christi (which in the EF Calendar fell on Thursday), rather than of the first [sorry! second*] Sunday after Pentecost – I will find out on Sunday morning!

Now, time to grab a few items, load up the car and drive down south... I will stay overnight and catch up with a dear friend, before acting as M.C. at the Mass. Directly afterward, however, I must head back north, since our parish is having Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 4 pm, and I need to be back in time to assist, as I promised.

Next weekend, a long weekend (given the Queen's Birthday holiday on Monday), I will be in marvellous Melbourne; I suppose I'll attend the Divine Liturgy in East St Kilda with my Russian Catholic friends, although all things being equal I wouldn't mind hearing High Mass at Caulfield; or I could go to the  nearby Ordinariate Mass (that part of Melbourne being a "liturgical triangle"). Decisions, decisions...

[* Thanks for the correction, Kate; luckily the sacristan at St Canice alerted me to this, after I'd already set the Missal on the altar, else it would have been a particularly embarrassing error for me to make as an M.C. with liturgical pretensions... in my defence, I was thinking of it being the first after Trinity...]