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Thursday, January 19, 2012

There Goes the Neighborhood


Roman and Anglo-Catholics in the Baltimore area may wish to attend Mass Sunday morning at Mount Calvary Church at 10:00 a.m. so they may, in addition to worshiping and receiving the sacraments--as well fulfill their obligation, pray for the clergy (rector above) and parishioners at that church as they are received into the Holy Catholic Church. The activities for the day are as follows.

Solemn High Mass on Sunday, January 22, 2012, at 10:00 am, the parishioners and clergymen of Mount Calvary Church will make their profession of faith and be confirmed as Roman Catholics and members of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter by the first Anglican Use Ordinary of the United States, Father Jeffrey Steenson.

Solemn Evensong at 4:30 pm, with Father Dwight Longenecker preaching.

Gala receptions will follow both liturgies.
Given that this is an Anglo-Catholic parish going over to Rome, we can only believe both liturgy and receptions to follow will be nothing short of spectacular. Come and pray, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness and have a rollicking good time. Deo Gratias!

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!
― Hilaire Belloc

h/t Daniel Page

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Behaving Like Christians

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has released a statement outlining the terms of agreement reached with the parishioners of Mount Calvary Church of Baltimore as they part from the Episcopal Church and join the Holy Catholic Church via Anglicanorum Coetibus. Given the rancor and litigation other parishes have suffered when attempting to leave the Episcopal Church, the parishioners of Mount Calvary could scarcely have done better. They will keep most of their property (paying an undisclosed sum) and the diocese will have right of first refusal should they wish to dispose of it in the future. Seems fair to me.

Most important, the statement is a model of grace and decorum and ought serve as a paradigm for the Episcopal Church in her future dealings with parishes that wish to depart. From the statement's closing paragraph:
The Rev. Canon Scott Slater, on the bishops’ staff and part of the mediation team representing the Episcopal diocese, said, "This has been a thoughtful, prayerful, and respectful process by all three entities, and I am pleased that we have reached a solution that meets the needs of all three groups."
Amen, Amen.

Thanks to Augustine.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Diary of a Papist Convert: the Anglican Way

Thanks to Father Rutler for alerting me to this splendid (and brief) piece by George Weigel: Converts and the Symphony of Truth, in which the author celebrates the varieties of religious experiences of Catholic converts. It seems the experiences of those converting, not surprisingly, nearly equal their number. Coming as I did, however, from a quasi-WASPy Anglican background, I had most empathy with Evelyn Waugh, who, as Weigel relates, "became a Catholic with, by his own admission, 'little emotion but clear conviction': this was the truth; one ought to adhere to it." Quite so. While I will confess for years having a bit of envy for those who had some dramatic experience, an epiphany of sorts, that suddenly infused them with a true and lively faith, mine was undramatic: a years-long process of discernment consisting of questioning, reasoning, reading, consultation and prayer, eventually leading me to the Catholic Church, with no fireworks. So be it and thanks be to God.

Even more gratifying, though, in Weigel's essay is his description of a common thread running through the diverse tales of conversion:
that men and women of intellect, culture and accomplishment have found in Catholicism what Blessed John Paul II called the “symphony of truth.” That rich and complex symphony, and the harmonies it offers, is an attractive, compelling and persuasive alternative to the fragmentation of modern and post-modern intellectual and cultural life, where little fits together and much is cacophony.
There is no doubt of that. The times we live in are as corrupt, superficial and shallow as they were before my conversion but I find them now just a bit more bearable, armed as I am with the full Catholic faith and the promise of salvation to those who live by Church teachings (not always easy, of course).

Next weekend, I will have the great pleasure of witnessing the reception of an entire Episcopal parish, Mount Calvary Church in Baltimore, and its rector Fr. Catania, an old friend, into the Holy Catholic Church by the newly appointed American Anglican Ordinary, Msgr. Steenson. Priest and parishioners have gone through a period of discernment similar to mine, reasoned and deliberate (it's the Anglican way--I give you Cardinal Newman). Holy Church will be richer than she already is by this happy occurrence and I pray those good people will find themselves enriched as well.

Monday, January 02, 2012

They Must be Nuts--They Enlisted, Right?

Interesting that so many in the media, when reporting on the recent fatal shooting of a Mount Ranier park ranger, find it newsworthy that the deranged suspect was (his body was found earlier today) an "Iraqi War Veteran." What is the relevance of his military past? Do you recall it being reported of crime suspects they were veterans of the Second World War or the Korean War? No, the military background of perps only began attaining relevance at the time the media turned against the military and, more pertinently, the draft, and has become a vital fact now that the nation's conflicts (especially those for which presidents named Bush may be blamed) are fought by an all-volunteer army. What a stunning coincidence.

Imagine That

An entertainer by the name of Cee Lo Green, engaged by NBC to entertain the assembled throng in New York's Times Square this New Year's Eve, got himself into a bit of trouble for altering the lyric of one of the ditties he crooned, John Lennon's, "Imagine." It seems he changed a stanza in this treacly ode to atheism from "nothing to kill or die for / and no religion too" to "nothing to kill or die for / and all religion's true." Lennon fans are crying blasphemy.

I doubt, however, Mr. Lennon, who was a cynic but no dummy, would have been terribly ruffled over this controversy (certainly his estate receives a nice royalty check whatever the words sung). Lennon would have known, even if Mr. Green does not, the multi-culti substitution of "all religion" for "no religion" changes the meaning not one wit, as an idiot quoted in the Rolling Stone account (and are you as astonished as I to learn that tired old relic of the 'sixties is still extant?) nicely, if entirely inadvertently, confirms:
"The whole point of that lyric is that religion causes harm," tweeted someone with the handle @geekysteven. "If 'all religion's true' it would be a pretty bleak place.
Sing it, brother!