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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Pontifical Vespers for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

 Brother Seelos Maria, Book-bearer.

Bishop James D. Conley
Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska
 Brother Seelos Maria and Brother Peter Mary
Book-bearer and Candle-bearer
with seminarians and clergy at
Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary

The Vespers Magnificat Antiphon:
Hodie egressa est*
This day a rod came forth out of the root of Jesse;
This day Mary was conceived without any stain of sin;
This day the head of the old serpent was crushed by Her,

V. Immaculata Conceptio est hodie sanctae Mariae Virginis.
This day is the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
R. Quae serpentis caput virgineo pede contrivit.
With Her virginal foot She crushed the head of the serpent. 

Thy Immaculate Conception O Virgin Mother of God.
Has heralded joy to all the world. 

Trahe nos Virgo immaculata, post te curremus
in odorem unguentorum tuorum.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Now Available: Papa Stronsay Calendar 2017

Our Papa Stronsay Calendar for 2017 is now available for order here.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

If possible, choose to remain in unmarried chastity.

Brother Seelos Maria  vows unmarried chastity for life.
August 15, 2016.

His disciples say unto him: 
If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry.
Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given... 
He that can take, let him take it.
(Mt. 19)
Here, according to the authorities, 
Our Lord does not simply offer celibacy as an option 
but rather
He exhorts all who can, 
to follow Him by living in unmarried chastity.

This is the teaching of St John Chrysostom, Origen, Theophylact, Euthymius, St Jerome, St Augustine, St Ambrose, Tertullian and others:

Jesus Christ and St Paul advise every believer to live in unmarried chastity.
"Christ in this place, as well as St. Paul (1 Cor. 7:7), 
gives the counsel of continence to every believer.
For nothing is counselled except what is in man's power
 and good pleasure with God's grace, 
which truly he offers and provides for all who ask it." 
(Cornelius A Lapide on St Matthew XIX, Vol. 2., pg 330.)

If you are married, 
be faithful to your duties. 
Pray daily to persevere in your married life until death.
There is no doubt that marriage is good.
And there is no doubt that it is the more difficult road to heaven. 
The best advice is that it should be taken only if it is the only road that is open to you.

If you are still unmarried, 
pray earnestly for chastity, 
decide on celibacy. 
Serve God as a monk or nun. 
Decide to be wholly occupied with serving God 
in prayer and in a life serving your neighbour for the love of Him. 

The chaste life is, according to Our Lord and St Paul,
the happier of the two life options.

 Leave the world and give yourself wholly to Jesus Christ!
Seek a holy life. 
Pray that by this means 
you will save your immortal soul and the souls of others.

Brother Peter Mary signs the register after making perpetual vows
15 August, 2016.

If you would like to do something about your vocation
begin by writing to:
fr.michael at the-sons dot org  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Rejoice with us!

Dear Friends,

For the love of Jesus and Mary
rejoice with us!

We rejoice because of the Beatification today of 
not now the Venerable, but the  
Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa.

Rejoice with us!
Today is the 8th anniversary of our 
reconciliation with the Holy See in 2008
thanks to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo.
The mercies of the Lord I will sing for ever. (Ps. 88:2)

On this anniversary of that great grace, 
from which we have never looked back, 
I publicly announce the joyful news
that we have received yet another grace 
for which we are most deeply grateful to God.

On 18th May 2016, 
His Lordship, the Bishop of Aberdeen, 
Dom Hugh Gilbert, O.S.B. 
signed the Decree of Approval 
for the Constitution of our Congregation.

May God reward him exceedingly!

Deo gratias et Mariae! - 
Thanks be to God and to Mary!

Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.
Rector Major

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

25 May AD 716 - 2016. 1300 years since St Duncan, Abbot of Iona.

Celtic Cross on St Columba's island of Iona.

St Duncan, Abbot of Iona, in Scotland.
St Duncan's name in Irish is St Dunchadh. (It means Brown (Dun) Noble, Chief or Warrior.

If the ancient Annals of Ulster and the Annals of the Four Masters are correct, today marks 1300 years since this holy man's soul took flight for heaven, leaving his exiled body in the monastery-island of Iona. It was 25 May, 716.

Duncan was a rich young man; well connected. 
His paternal grandfather was Moelcobh, King of Ireland. 

But Duncan heard Our Lord in the Holy Gospels saying...

"If thou wilt....Si vis... If you will

Duncan, if thou wilt be perfect go, 
sell what thou hast and give to the poor, 
and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, 
and come follow me."

Si vis.... If thou wilt... follow Jesus perfectly... 

It would not be an easy choice. 

The Gospel records another young man who being struck at those words went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. But no! 

We rejoice today. 
All rich that he was, Duncan abandoned the world!
He made the perfect choice!
Guided by Jesus he chose for himself
the happiest of all happy options: 
the monastic and missionary life.

We rejoice today.
By God's grace Duncan joined St Columba's missionary-monastic order. 

First he lived in an Irish coastal monastery.  

After a time, he willed to embrace a holy exile for the love of Jesus by leaving his native country. St. Columba had done this. Thousands of other monks had done this same thing.

He had been thinking of going to live as a foreigner in Germany, but instead, it became clear in prayer that God willed him to cross the sea to the monastery island of Iona. He was soon made Abbot. Under his guidance the monks of Iona adopted the Roman calculation for Easter and the Roman Tonsure. Fishermen and seafarers invoked him for the protection of their boats and safety on the sea. He was a saint with the gift of miracles. As a man he was a Scripture scholar. His preaching was persuasive, eloquent and zealous.

We Rejoice that Religious life, 
opened by Jesus to all who will to embrace it
The happiest of all happy options.

Jesus said to him:
"Thou knowest the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, bear not false witness, do no fraud, honour thy father and mother. But he answering, said to him: Master, all these things I have observed from my youth.

And Jesus looking on him, loved him, and said to him: One thing is wanting unto thee: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. 
Who being struck sad at that saying, went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looking round about, saith to his disciples: How hardly shall they that have riches, enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus again answering, saith to them: Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches, to enter into the kingdom of God? It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Who wondered the more, saying among themselves: Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking on them, saith: With men it is impossible; but not with God: for all things are possible with God. 

And Peter began to say unto him: Behold, we have left all things, and have followed thee.  

Jesus answering, said: Amen I say to you, there is no man who hath left house or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, Who shall not receive an hundred times as much, now in this time; houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come life everlasting. (Mk. 10: 19-30)

Monday, May 09, 2016

Written in Her Heart

On Sunday, 8 May, 2016, 
the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer in Christchurch,
 New Zealand, had the joy of once more 
organising what would become the 
fifth annual Maryfest and Grand Procession
 in honour of Our Lady of Christchurch. 
The first procession took place in 2011,
after the terrible earthquake of 22 February that year, 
when the image of Our Lady
 which was standing in the (since collapsed) Cathedral tower
 was seen to have turned to face out towards the torn city;
reminiscent of the Salve Regina:
"Turn then, Most Gracious Advocate, 
thine eyes of mercy towards us."
Much work of preparation bears fruit 
in the rapid assembly of everything required 
in the church hall of the 
Christchurch parish of Our Lady of Victories.
Our Lady's bellringers await the moment 
when they will ring the glory or their Heavenly Queen.
This year a very beautiful crown was 
made painstakingly by the hand 
of a hidden servant of Our Lady 
and offered to her by 
the little cortege of the 
Crown Bearer, May Queen and Train Bearer.

The bier leaves the church borne by the sedarii
assisted by the ribboniers and flanked by the torch bearers.
Our Lady's flower girls and bell ringers go ahead 
strewing the ground with petals
 and ringing little bells.
The Mother of God represented as 
Our Lady of Christchurch is borne aloft 
through the streets 
wearing her silver tiara in preparation for the coronation.
As we process along Main South Road 
the Holy Rosary is played,
the band taking up the Gloria 
and interspersing the decades with 
a verse of the Fatima Ave.
A dozen garlanded banners add to the spleadour of the occasion.

The return to the Church of Our Lady of Victories.
This year for the first time, 
His Lordship Bishop Barry Jones
 was sadly absent, having passed away 
on 13 February this year.
In his stead
Very Rev. Fr Rick Loughnan, 
our Diocesan Administrator, 
consecrated the city and diocese once again to 
the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary 
and gave the Solemn Benediction
of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
As the fanfare resounded through the church...
....our May Queen crowns the image of the Queen of the May.
A miniature orchestra accompanies the congregation 
during the exposition of 
the Blessed Sacrament, 
playing "Jesus my Lord, my God, my All
and the "Tantum Ergo".
Unfortunately pictures cannot sufficiently capture the 
 moving witness of hundreds of souls from the Diocese 
kneeling, singing sweetly to this accompaniment 
in adoration of Our Eucharist Lord.
For the first time Our Blessed Lady 
was, this year, offered an antique votive heart
 enclosing the names of more than 1500 souls
 who had been enrolled
 from all around the diocese.
The very large number of sheets of names 
were gathered, printed in miniature 
and enclosed in the receptacle in the back of the heart
... literally "written in Our Lady's heart"... 
This was formally offered to Our Blessed Mother 
by our Very Rev. Diocesan Administrator.
This year the sedarii were 
captained by Mr Matthew Green 
and the men of our city,
 proud to serve under the banner of Heaven.
Surely another crown is to be found for 
Our Lady in the 
beautiful and innocent souls
 of the children of our Oratory
 pictured here after the procession  
with their chaperons.
They are truly "building Jerusalem" 
once more here in the South Pacific.
May she keep them always as the apple of her eye.
Our human eyes see perhaps
the beauty of the day,
but the wonder of a city placed under 
the mantle of our Heavenly Queen is far greater. 
Everything we saw was brought to
 the feet of their Queen
 by those who live in our city and its environs,
 a truly remarkable witness to their faith.
Our Lady of Christchurch,
turn always thine eyes of mercy towards us!

A large album of photographs may be found here: 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Paschal Vigil on Papa Stronsay

Resurrexit sicut dixit!
 The Blessing of the Fire and Procession with the Paschal Candle
All the candles in the chapel are lit using the paschal fire
Exsúltet iam Angélica turba coelórum
exsúltent divína mystéria
et pro tanti Regis victória tuba ínsonet salutáris!
Let the angelic choirs of Heaven now rejoice
let the divine Mysteries rejoice
and let the trumpet of salvation sound forth the victory of so great a King!

During the Gloria the bells are triumphantly rung once again and the chapel is flooded with light as the Church joyfully proclaims the Glory of the Risen Lord.

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia. 
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. 
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia. 
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia!

The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer wish you a blessed Easter

+ Deo Gratias et Mariae +

Friday, March 25, 2016

Holy Week IV: Good Friday

Holy mother pierce me through
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour Crucified
Stations of the Cross on Papa Stronsay

At the sacred hour of 3pm the Solemn Ceremony of Good Friday was held in our chapel on Papa Stronsay

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to St John
Adoration of the Cross

+ Ecce lignum Crucis, in quo salus mundi pependit +
Venite, adoremus!

 The body of Our Lord is then carried in solemn procession to the sepulchre

Almighty and merciful God, who hast restored us by the Passion and Death of Thy Christ: preserve within us the work of Thy mercy; that by our entering into this mystery we may ever live devoutly. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Deo Gratias et Mariae +

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