A weekend on Marian devotion

20181013_103528On Saturday, Oct. 13, we had a votive Mass for the Immaculate Conception, followed by breakfast in the parish hall, and a talk by Dennis and Angelina Girard about devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Behind them is a replica of the miraculous statue of Our Lady of the Cape at Canada’s national Marian shrine.

Then, on Sunday, we re-inaugurated our renovated Lady Chapel.


Dennis Girard is a cradle Catholic who fell away from the faith, then found it again through the evangelical world, before returning to the faith.  His wife Angelina is a convert. They believe they have discovered a recipe for renewal, through researching what paved the way for an explosion of Marian devotion and Catholic faith in the province of Quebec in the late 1800s that led to its being the most faithfully Catholic of all the Canadian provinces.

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Saint Mary MacKillop (AD 1842 – 1909)    





IGHT years ago, Mary MacKillop, also known as Mary of the Cross, was made Australia’s first canonized Saint by Pope Benedict XVI on October 17th, 2010. Mary’s parents emigrated  from Scotland to Australia while it was still a part of the British Empire.

Mary’s father Alexander had studied to become a priest in Rome at the Scots College, but fell ill and chose to live in holy wedlock with Flora MacDonald whom he married in Scotland.

The two immigrated to Australia, seeking a better life, and Mary was born one of their nine children in 1842 in Melbourne. The family was poor. By the age of 14, Mary was already working, often her family’s main source of financial support. In 1860, she moved away and became a governess for her better-off aunt and uncle. But she insisted on educating not only the couple’s children, but the poor of the town.

Her work was endorsed by a young priest named Fr. Julian Tenison Woods. With his help, in 1866, Mary formed Australia’s first religious order of nuns, the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, taking vows and becoming the Mother Superior the following year. They also founded a free school in a converted barn. Just one year after that the sisters founded an orphanage, a half-way house for women released from prison, and similar schools in other Australian cities. By 1871, over 130 Josephite sisters were working in more than 40 schools across Australia. Continue reading

Keep Calm and Catholic On

I have been Catholic for 8 years now. This is my third year as a member of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. Never have I been so dismayed as a Catholic by what I hear in the news about our hierarchy and their doings.

I recall fondly now speaking with the Protestant father of a friend over breakfast. He was reading a newspaper as we sat at his kitchen table on a sunny day in Abilene, Texas while I was visiting. I was relatively a new Catholic at the time.

“Looks like your Pope just said contraception is okay now.”


I do not remember what my answer was at the time, but what I remember quite clearly was the immediate and absolute certainty in my mind that Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Institution formerly known as The Roman Inquisition had not said that, and the media was pulling a typical telephone-game stunt, where they take something the Pope says out of context, then further distort it by asking “experts” what they think of what the Pope supposedly said.

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First impressions of the Anglican Use

This author describes her experience visiting an ordinariate parish, the first time she had attended our liturgy. Her experience echoes that of many others who have had a chance to pray in the Anglican tradition of the Catholic Church, but I think there is a point that needs to be added to one of her conclusions.dec29-928522_237975739743512_1015715270_n

“I was grateful for the establishment of the Ordinariate, but I confess… that I did think sometimes… Why can’t they just become Roman…?

If you have the opportunity, I’d encourage you to worship with an Anglican Use community. Here’s what struck me about the liturgy:

The differences between this and the Roman Rite Mass were clear. I’m sure you can find discussions and comparisons online, perhaps even contentious ones. The structure is, of course, the same, but the differences are intriguing and expressive of a more explicit sense of humility as well as greater formality than your typical, contemporary Roman Rite Mass

What struck me most about the Anglican Use liturgy was the same thing that struck me about Eastern Rite liturgies – not the external postures so much as the internal posture of humility which it assumes and fosters. The emphasis is on supplication and humility. You don’t pray “have mercy on us” a zillion times as you do in an Eastern liturgy, but you do say it – or something like it – a lot more than you do in the Roman Rite.

You will say a lot more of everything in the Anglican Use liturgy. The post-Vatican II Roman Rite is quite stripped down and streamlined, that being, of course, one of the intentions of those who constructed it. There is a verbal richness about the Anglican Use that I found comforting and akin to a richly adorned physical space.

So, it was a great experience, and I finally ‘get it.’ I get the reluctance to leave it behind – it preserves much – not just in the Mass itself, but in the other traditions that the Anglican Use brings with it that were lost in the Roman Rite after the Second Vatican Council…”

This reaction highlights the internal Latin nature of the Anglican liturgical tradition. Since the Catholic Church didn’t begin the process of re-integrating the Anglican liturgy until the Pastoral Provision in 1980, and then greatly sped up post-2009, the more traditional form of the Anglican liturgy didn’t undergo the same dramatic rupture that affected the Roman Rite after the Council. So the Latin tradition has been preserved in Anglican liturgy in ways that it hasn’t in the 1970 Roman Missal.

That said, many people cherish the Anglican Use because it is more traditionally Roman in some respects than even the common form of the Roman rite itself. But this is not the principle raison d’etre of the Anglican Use.

Anglicanorum Coetibus gave Catholics in the Anglican ordinariates the ability to pray using our own traditional “liturgical books proper to the Anglican communion” as well as the “Roman rite” in either its Ordinary or Extraordinary Form.

The liturgical integration produced by the Anglicanae Traditiones Commission, that was setup to analyse the Anglican liturgical texts and secure the Holy See’s approval, is intended to establish the received Anglican liturgy in the Catholic Church, shorn of any Protestant elements and re-centred on its own integrity as found in its own history.

The work of the Anglicanae Traditiones Commission – excellent, but arguably incomplete – has been another step in the healing of two ruptures in the Anglican liturgical tradition, a healing that began with the work of a similar committee of the Roman Curia back in the 1980s. The rupture in Anglican liturgy wasn’t just synchronic vis-à-vis other Catholic liturgies extant today, but also diachronic vis-à-vis its own past and traditional origins prior to Cranmer’s works.

So what the liturgy of the ordinariates actually preserves is the inner Catholic integrity of the Anglican tradition, which itself reflects the intrinsic Latin logic of Anglican liturgy. It was not mandated by Anglicanorum Coetibus so as to be what the Second Vatican Council intended with the liturgical reform, even if that is what, in the end, it has actually come to resemble.

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Blessed John Henry Newman (AD 1801-1890)  




N October 9, we celebrate Blessed John Henry Newman. Bl. John Henry Newman was a famous convert from Anglicanism to Catholicism in England during the 1800s. He was a nationally known Anglican priest who became a Catholic priest and cardinal.

Newman is mainly remembered for giving intellectual credibility to English Catholicism during the 1800s, for founding University College Dublin and the London Oratory, and for his writings (Parochial and Plain Sermons, Idea of a University, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, many prayers, and the hymn “Lead, Kindly Light”).

Newman had an intense conversion experience when he was 15. He became an evangelical Calvinist and believed the Pope was the antichrist. After graduating from Oxford, he became an Anglican priest at age 24 in 1825.

From 1828 to 1833, Newman’s views gradually became less Low Church and more High Church. However, he was still firmly Protestant: in an 1832 letter, he described Rome as “the most wonderful place on Earth,” but the Catholic Church as “polytheistic, degrading, and idolatrous.”

From 1833 to 1841, Newman was one of the main authors of Tracts for the Times, a series of pamphlets defending High Church ideas like apostolic succession, fasting, prayers for the dead, religious orders, vestments, the Eucharist, confession, etc. This movement was called the Oxford Movement or the Tractarians.

In 1843, Newman published a retraction of the hard things he had said about Catholicism in the Oxford Conservative Journal. He was received into the Catholic Church in 1845. His conversion alienated many of his colleagues, friends and family. In 1846, Newman was ordained a Catholic priest in the Oratorians. In 1879, he was made a cardinal.

Newman’s spiritual routine consisted of celebrating the sacraments, the Divine Office, the rosary, study, and spiritual reading, especially the Bible. His favorite saints were the Virgin Mary, St. Philip Neri, and St. Athanasius.

Personality-wise, Newman was a shy and spiritually sensitive intellectual. Many of his writings touched on the theme of beauty, and he often referred to Jesus as “The Beautiful One.” He deeply loved his friends and the truth.

When he died, Newman was buried in the same grave as his lifelong friend Ambrose St. John. The pall over his coffin said “Heart speaks to heart” (a quote from St. Francis de Sales) and the tombstone read “Out of shadows and phantasms into the truth” (a reference to Plato’s allegory of the cave).

“O my Lord Jesus, low as I am in Your all-holy sight, I am strong in you, strong through your Immaculate Mother, through your saints and thus I can do much for the Church, for the world, for all I love.”

“To be deep in history, is to cease to be Protestant.”

Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us!

For a weekly dose of English Catholic Patrimony, if your Ordinariate parish or parochial community would like to receive our This Week in English Catholic History articles in advance in single page black-and-white pdf form (perhaps inserted in the bulletin), please contact us at <foster1452@gmail.com>, and we will be happy to oblige, gratis

Written by Mr. John Burford, IV and Dr. Foster Lerner of Incarnation Catholic Church in Orlando, Florida; a parish of The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter (C) 2018.

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John is the founder and owner of Magnolia Prep, an SAT and ACT tutoring business with branches in several major US cities. Foster holds a Doctorate in Medicine from  Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, and is currently pursuing post-graduate studies in medicine.

Annual Conference of the Three Ordinaries Oct. 13-17 in England

This came across the proverbial transom:

Bishop Lopes (Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter in the USA and Canada) and Monsignor Harry Entwhistle (Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Australia) will be visiting Monsignor Keith Newton (Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, UK) October 13-17 for the annual Ordinaries’ Conference. Please note the following events for your calendar (the two Masses on Sunday morning October 14th take place at more or less the same time and in different locations): Continue reading

Pope Francis opening address to the synod on “youth, the faith and vocational discernment”

Here is Pope Francis’ opening address to the synod that began today in Rome on youth, the faith and vocational discernment so you can read it in its entirety and not just the parts that will get picked up by various blogs.

Those of us coming from the Anglican tradition have reason to view synods with much trepidation, though the Roman Catholic version is not one that allows doctrine to be decided by a majority vote.   At least not yet!

So, hold onto your prayer books and rosary beads and use them as it will be an interesting ride over the next month.   The address follows:

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Philip James French: the Fake Catholic Bishop of Whitby

In my recent article James Atkinson-Wake:“Who wears the Mitre of Satan” about the identity changing individual who heads a questionable international network of Episcopi-Vagantes and has been targeting Anglo-Catholics, I mentioned a Philip James French- the only one of the many “bishops” of the “Catholic Church OF England and Wales” (CCEW) which seems to actually have a Church building in the UK, St Ninians Whitby. Soon after this I was contacted by residents of the small town of Whitby asking if I could help them- it did not take long to uncover a disturbing tale, back up by official statements of multiple churches familiar with French.

The numerous allegations against Philip James French including abusive behaviour towards Whitby residences (including old women), alcohol abuse and drunken behaviour, it being an open secret he is in a homosexual relationship with the other “monk” at his cottage based monastery, and a long history of misrepresenting himself as a ‘Roman Catholic’ priest: which many only find out he is not after complaining to the local Catholic diocese. Of course it helps when allegations are back up with official statements from several different churches and screen shots like this Facebook conversion after a night out drinking: Continue reading