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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Visit of the Episcopal Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney.

This afternoon we welcomed to Papa Stronsay
the Right Rev. Dr. Robert Gillies,
of the the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Bishop Gillies was elected to his position
over the Episcopal diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney
in April 2007.
On his episcopal ring the bishop has engraved
the image of the Papa Stronsay Cross.

Dr. Gillies was accompanied by the Reverend David Bowen
our friend and neighbour on Stronsay.
David and his wife, Ruth are semi-retired;
their house looks across Papa Sound to Papa Stronsay.
The visit was for about an hour and a half and
during this time the bishop himself took responsibility
for the beautiful weather!

Passiontide's Feast

The early morning of the
Feast of the Annunciation
Monday 26 March.

The sheep we pass on the way to meditation.
~Passiontide Waiting~
And I lay down my life for my sheep.
(Jn 10:15)

Morning Meditation.
~ The Feast of the Annunciation in Passiontide. ~
Since yesterday the images are veiled,
an atmosphere of shrouded sorrow tinges the feast.

Passiontide purple mixes with the flowers of the feast.
Since Adam's fall, the world, purpled in mournng
awaited the coming of salvation.
The Blessed Virgin Mary,
the only Lily of our vale,
is by a singular privilege raised up by God
to receive into Her spotless womb on this feast,
the Word
through Whom all things were made,
the Saviour of the World - Salvator Mundi.

It was a splendid morning as our boat left Papa Stronsay
for Mass on our neighbouring island.
Nature reflected the season and the feast.

The sea was calm,
the sun on the horizon
announced itself, majestically present indeed,

Yet, like the images on the altar,
it was present in the sky all veiled, restrained,
brilliant through a cover of haze.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ite ad Joseph!

 I thought that you might like to see these photos from the traditional Redemptoristines in Sao Fidelis, Brazil. They are subjects of the Apostolic Administration St Jean Vianney in Campos. These photos were taken on the feast of St Joseph.  The Sisters prepared a beautiful bier in honour of St. Joseph.

 Sister begins construction of the bier.

 Arranging Flowers.

 The bier, almost complete is placed in the Church, and the finishing touches applied.

 "I took for my advocate and lord the glorious Saint Joseph and commended myself earnestly to him;...I do not remember even now that I have ever asked anything of him which he has failed to grant." - St. Teresa of Avila

 St. Joseph is carried in procession.

 An altar in honour of St. Joseph.

 Ite ad Joseph!

The Redemptoristine's grill can be seen on the left of the bier.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III

Shenouda III
3 August 1923 – 17 March 2012.

Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III
died today, Saturday 17 March
aged 88 years.
He was the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church for 40 years.

Friday, March 16, 2012

SSPX and the Holy See

Vatican City, 16 March 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a communique relating to the Society of St. Pius X, released this morning by the Holy See Press Office.

"During the meeting of 14 September 2011 between Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei', and Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, the latter was presented with a Doctrinal Preamble, accompanied by a Preliminary Note, as a fundamental basis for achieving full reconciliation with the Apostolic See. This defined certain doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation Catholic doctrine, which are necessary to ensure faithfulness to the Church Magisterium and 'sentire cum Ecclesia' [means: thinking with the Church].
"The response of the Society of St. Pius X to the aforesaid Doctrinal Preamble, which arrived in January 2012, was examined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before being submitted to the Holy Father for his judgement. Pursuant to the decision made by Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Fellay was, in a letter delivered today, informed of the evaluation of his response. The letter states that the position he expressed is not sufficient to overcome the doctrinal problems which lie at the foundation of the rift between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X.
"At the end of today's meeting, moved by concern to avoid an ecclesial rupture of painful and incalculable consequences, the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X was invited to clarify his position in order to be able to heal the existing rift, as is the desire of Pope Benedict XVI".

From the Website of the Holy See
+ + +

(Radio Vaticana):

"Bp. Fellay is invited to clarify his position, in order to be able to heal the existing rift, as is the desire of Pope Benedict XVI, from now until April 15."

[UPDATE - 1500 GMT]
In an article on today's events, Salvatore Izzo reports the following for Italian news agency AGI:

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, delivered [the content of the communiqué] to the Superior General of the Society, Bishop Bernard Fellay, in a conversation that lasted for over two hours ... . During today's meeting in the Palace of the Holy Office - in which the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Abp. Luis Francisco Ladaria, and the Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, Mgr. Guido Pozzo, also took part, while Bp. Fellay was joined by his assistant Fr. Nelly - a complete rupture was avoided by the Holy See, making it clear that Benedict XVI still expects a recomposition.
From the blog: Rorate Caeli

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Not to be missed!

Don't deny yourself this video clip!

This it is a strong message called:

"I have a say"
by Father John Hollowell
an American priest.

Sign with the Cardinal: Marriage needs to be defended!

+ Fearless Cardinal O'Brien. +

Join our Cardinal
and sign to defend marriage
and the holy union of man and woman.

Click on the image to be taken to the petition.
Please put it on your Facebook or send it to others.

"You signed the petition with me?
- Well done, God bless you!
Now please tell somebody else about it!"

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Passing of Mrs. Hollowood, the Mother of Br. Paul Mary

Of your charity
please remember the soul of
Mrs. Patricia Hollowood,
the mother of our Brother Paul Mary,
who passed into eternity
6 March, 2012,
in Melbourne, Australia.

Mrs. Hollowood with her son Brother Paul Mary,
as she arrived to visit Brother on Papa Stronsay,
2nd February, 2003.

Requiem Mass will be sung for the repose of her soul,
Wednesday, 7th March,
Papa Stronsay.

Réquiem ætérnam dona ea, Dómine:
et lux pérpetua lúceat ea.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.

Requiéscat in pace.
May she rest in peace.

DEUS, cui proprium est...
O GOD, whose property is
ever to have mercy and to spare,
we humbly supplicate Thee
for the soul of Thy servant Patricia,
which Thou hast this day called out of this world,
that Thou deliver it not to the hands of the enemy,
nor forget it forever,
but command for it to be received by the holy angels
and taken to Paradise, its home,
so that,
since it hath hoped and believed in Thee,
it may not bear the pains of hell,
but possess everlasting joys.
Through our Lord.

(Collect from the Mass of the Day of Burial.)

Monday, March 05, 2012

Fearless Cardinal O'Brien - to the Church and the World

Cardinal O'Brien to the Church and the World

The Government is this month launching a consultation on same-sex marriage, asking the public whether it should be introduced in England and Wales.

I hope many respond and consider signing the petition in support of traditional marriage organised by a new organisation, the Coalition for Marriage.

On the surface, the question of same-sex marriage may seem to be an innocuous one.

Civil partnerships have been in place for several years now, allowing same-sex couples to register their relationship and enjoy a variety of legal protections.
When these arrangements were introduced, supporters were at pains to point out that they didn’t want marriage, accepting that marriage had only ever meant the legal union of a man and a woman.

Those of us who were not in favour of civil partnership, believing that such relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, warned that in time marriage would be demanded too. We were accused of scaremongering then, yet exactly such demands are upon us now.

Since all the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples, it is clear that this proposal is not about rights, but rather is an attempt to redefine marriage for the whole of society at the behest of a small minority of activists.
Redefining marriage will have huge implications for what is taught in our schools, and for wider society. It will redefine society since the institution of marriage is one of the fundamental building blocks of society. The repercussions of enacting same-sex marriage into law will be immense.

But can we simply redefine terms at a whim? Can a word whose meaning has been clearly understood in every society throughout history suddenly be changed to mean something else?

If same-sex marriage is enacted into law what will happen to the teacher who wants to tell pupils that marriage can only mean – and has only ever meant – the union of a man and a woman?
Will that teacher’s right to hold and teach this view be respected or will it be removed? Will both teacher and pupils simply become the next victims of the tyranny of tolerance, heretics, whose dissent from state-imposed orthodoxy must be crushed at all costs?

In Article 16 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, marriage is defined as a relationship between men and women. But when our politicians suggest jettisoning the established understanding of marriage and subverting its meaning they aren’t derided.

Instead, their attempt to redefine reality is given a polite hearing, their madness is indulged. Their proposal represents a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.
As an institution, marriage long predates the existence of any state or government. It was not created by governments and should not be changed by them. Instead, recognising the innumerable benefits which marriage brings to society, they should act to protect and uphold marriage, not attack or dismantle it.

This is a point of view that would have been endorsed and accepted only a few years ago, yet today advancing a traditional understanding of marriage risks one being labelled an intolerant bigot.
There is no doubt that, as a society, we have become blasé about the importance of marriage as a stabilising influence and less inclined to prize it as a worthwhile institution.

It has been damaged and undermined over the course of a generation, yet marriage has always existed in order to bring men and women together so that the children born of those unions will have a mother and a father.

This brings us to the one perspective which seems to be completely lost or ignored: the point of view of the child. All children deserve to begin life with a mother and father; the evidence in favour of the stability and well-being which this provides is overwhelming and unequivocal. It cannot be provided by a same-sex couple, however well-intentioned they may be.
Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father.

Other dangers exist. If marriage can be redefined so that it no longer means a man and a woman but two men or two women, why stop there? Why not allow three men or a woman and two men to constitute a marriage, if they pledge their fidelity to one another? If marriage is simply about adults who love each other, on what basis can three adults who love each other be prevented from marrying?

In November 2003, after a court decision in Massachusetts to legalise gay marriage, school libraries were required to stock same-sex literature; primary schoolchildren were given homosexual fairy stories such as King & King. Some high school students were even given an explicit manual of homosexual advocacy entitled The Little Black Book: Queer in the 21st Century. Education suddenly had to comply with what was now deemed “normal”.

Disingenuously, the Government has suggested that same-sex marriage wouldn’t be compulsory and churches could choose to opt out. This is staggeringly arrogant.

No Government has the moral authority to dismantle the universally understood meaning of marriage.
"No one will be forced to keep a slave."
Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that “no one will be forced to keep a slave”.

Would such worthless assurances calm our fury? Would they justify dismantling a fundamental human right? Or would they simply amount to weasel words masking a great wrong?

The Universal Declaration on Human Rights is crystal clear: marriage is a right which applies to men and women, “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State”.

This universal truth is so self-evident that it shouldn’t need to be repeated. If the Government attempts to demolish a universally recognised human right, they will have forfeited the trust which society has placed in them and their intolerance will shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world.

Cardinal O’Brien
is President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
and Britain’s most senior Catholic.

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