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Friday, December 25, 2009

The House of Bread

Dominus dixit ad me...
The Lord hath said to me:
Thou art my Son, this day I have begotten Thee...
The First Mass of Christmas in honour of God the Son,
eternally begotton of the Father,
was celebrated in Our Lady's chapel, Stronsay.
The weather was calm.
We made the trip in our boat the Stella Maris through easy waters.
Carols at 11.00 p.m.

From the womb before the day star I begot Thee.
-Gradual, Psalm 109
The Night Mass was celebrated by Father Anthony Mary who is seen, immediately before Mass, ready to place the Infant Jesus in the manger.

Apparuit gratia Dei Salvatoris nostri...
The grace of God our Saviour hath appeared...
[Epistle: Titus 2] infantem positum in praesepio...
...and the infant lying in the manger...
[Luke 2]

For twenty years now, we have decorated the refectory by laying straw on the floor and placing the image of the Infant Jesus in our midst. This year, as last year, the straw was given to us by our neighbour Mr. Don Peace. The refectory becomes a memorial of the stable of Bethlehem. During the meals over Christmas, we sing carols.
Return to the cell
The Christmas Dawn
The second Mass of Christmas,
the Dawn Mass,
is in honour of the temporal birth of Our Saviour
on Christmas morning.

Dawn Mass
Lux fulgebit hodie super nos...
A light shall shine upon us this day:
for the Lord is born to us.
[Isaias 2]
Dawn Mass
Exalta, filia Sion...
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion:
Behold thy king comes, holy, the Saviour of the world.
[Communion: Zacharias 9]
After the Dawn Masses we left Papa Stronsay for the Mass of the Day in Stronsay.
The sea was quiet.
Puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis...
A child is born to us, and a son is given to us...
[Introit: Isaias 9]
The Mass of the Day celebrates the Third Nativity of the Son of God,
which is His nativity for us on the altar in every Mass.
Here, Jesus is born for us under the appearances,
but only the appearances,
of bread.

Thus our little chapel becomes Bethlehem,
(which means the House of Bread,)
for here, in this house, in the tabernacle,
under the sacramental sign of Bread,
Jesus awaits us,
is physically close to us
comes to us in Holy Communion.
It is His Third Nativity,
the Sacramental Nativity
that we honour in the Mass of the Day
where a child is really born for us
and a son is truly given to us in every Mass.
Blessing with the image of the Infant Jesus.
Dies sanctificatus illuxit nobis:
A sanctified day hath shone upon us
Come ye Gentiles and adore the Lord:
for this day a great light hath descended upon the earth.
[Alleluia of the Mass of the Day]
After the Mass of the Day the sun appeared.

All is calm. All is bright.
We wish you a blessed continuation
of the Nativity of Our Lord
for the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R. and all on Papa Stronsay.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Venite Adoremus!
Come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

A Message of Thanks

I was asked by Mr. Pat Seeber
to thank you for the messages of condolence that were received,
and for the prayers that were offered,
at this recent time,
of the passing of Mrs. Monica Seeber into eternity.
That Mrs. Seeber died well is a consolation for us all.
We hear of so many bad deaths,
that a good death warms our hearts with hope.
It is indeed possible to die in the friendship of God.
In this vale of tears what we so long for is:
to live a holy life and to die a happy death.

(Fr. Michel Mary, F.SS.R.)

Our hearts are made for Thee O God,
and they are restless until we rest in Thee.

- St. Augustine

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Passing of Father Anthony Mary's mother

Father's Mom
-19 September, 2009 -
(left click on the photos to see them bigger)

We send our deepest sympathy
to Father Anthony Mary,
to Mr. Pat Seeber,
and to Father Anthony Mary's brothers and sister,
on the passing of
Monica Jeanne Marthe Seeber, R.I.P.,
who died today, 12 December 2009,
in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Pat and Monica
- 54 years of marriage -

The blessed parents
a daughter and eight sons.

Monica Jeanne Marthe Seeber

Born in Gent, Belgium, 25 April 1928
Daughter of John and Yvonne Taylor
Married Patrick Leo Seeber,
in Salisbury, S. Rhodesia, 14 May, 1955.

This morning, Saturday, 12 December, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Father Anthony Mary offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass near his dying mother and administerd to her the holy Viaticum. Mrs. Seeber’s beloved husband Pat and daughter Elise were also present. Immediately after Mass they prayed together the chaplet of Divine Mercy and then began the Holy Rosary during which Mrs. Seeber, peaceful and conscious to the very end, passed into her eternity at 11.00 A.M.

Requiem aeternum dona ea, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat ea. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.

Father Anthony with his Mother, Bishop Fellay and his Father
after his Ordination to the Subdiaconate.
- 31 March, 1990 -

Mrs. Seeber receiving the First Blessing from her priestly son
on his day of Ordination.
Econe, 27 June, 1991,
Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour.

A priest, one evening, made his weary way
Into a graveyard where his mother lay;
And scarcely had he reached the humble mound
Than tears stole out to bless the hallowed ground.
Beside the humble grave the priest then knelt
To tell the sorrow that his heart then felt.
Full many a messenger of sorrow went
To make excuse that yet no monument
Stood guard o’er his mother’s sacred head,
To honour her who lay among the dead.

And then a voice came swiftly from the tomb:
“My monument was builded in my womb;
My greatest laurels, greatest praise were won
The hour that thou became my priestly son.
Behold the mothers that beside me lie,
Whose monuments point proudly to the sky
Of all these honoured mothers, everyone
Would change her tombstone for a priestly son.
Go, then, my son, and never more lament
That o’er my grave there stands no monument;
Return thou to the desert sands of sin,
And win the lost sheep to the fold again;
For all the souls in heav’n whom thou hast sent
Fore’er proclaim thee as my monument.”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Papa Stronsay Calendar

We welcome those who are visiting this blog in order to purchase the Papa Stronsay Calendar.

You can do so by clicking here.

You can read about the calendar and our monastery by scrolling down this page or by clicking here and here.

Monastery Life - The Laundry

Doing the laundry for the community is a daily job in the Monastery.

The clean, dry laundry is folded and sorted.

Each member of the community has a place on the shelves.

Once a week, on a Saturday, the clean laundry is distributed to the community.

The bags of clean laundry are placed in the small antichamber called the 'Ave Maria'.

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