This blog contains information about the Secular Franciscan Order and the Catholic Church in general from a more traditional perspective. The blog is associated with the Secular Franciscan Fraternity of St. Angela Merici Fraternity located in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada within the Archdiocese of Toronto.

The views expressed on this blog are those of its administrator and do not necessarily reflect the views the Oshawa Fraternity.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Personal Reaction

The decision by the Church of England to ordain women as bishops, in some ways, marks the end of a long road for me which began around 1980. I did not leave the Anglican Church of Canada simply over the issue of women's ordination. That was part of my decision to become a Roman Catholic. The main reason is that I had come to accept many of the truths that the Catholic Church of Rome embodied within the Magisterium. Two stumbling blocks for me intitially were the Marian dogmas, but with much reading and the help of Catholic friends I came to a better understanding of these dogmas which led to eventual acceptance. Thus, close one week before the Feast of the Assumption, in 1981 I entered into full communion with the Church of Rome.

The decision on Monday at the Church of England Synod, however, for me represents my final break with Anglicanism. I no longer regard the claims to apostolic succession of the Church of England to be legitimate and I no longer regard the Anglican priesthood to be valid. 

The act of ordaining women bishops has  placed an insurmountable barrier on the road to the achievement of full unity between the  Anglican communion and the Roman Catholic Church. What I do foresee is that whole sections of the more conservative elements within the Anglican communion eventually leaving for the Church of Rome or the continuing Anglican movement.. I say eventually, because I don't think there will be a massive exodus of conservative  Anglicans into the Ordinariate or elsewhere. What I do think will happen is that after a number of years the Anglican communion will slowly bleed away as it's numbers decrease through attrition by natural means and former Anglicans trickle away into the Ordinariates, the continuing Anglican movement, simply become Roman Catholics or even consider the Orthodox Church as an option.

In my opinion, the Church of England has now completed its break with Rome that began in 1534 and since this is an act of protestation against Rome's refusal to ordain women, has become truly Protestant and can lay no claim to being Catholic or Apostolic The concept of the branch theory is also now totally dead.

I do not  rejoice in any of this. It really saddens me that a part of Christendom that has such a rich patrimony and heritage  is in the process of committing spiritual suicide. All we can do is pray that those who remain within the Anglican communion and find themselves equally dissatisfied with this event, will eventually, at least consider a way out of all this. Right now there are limited choices: continuing Anglicanism, the Ordinariates or Orthodoxy. My hope is that they would choose the Ordinariates, but I must point out that I do have a great respect for those in the continuing Anglican movement.

As far as my own personal choice is concerned, despite the fact that I have been quite involved in the Ordinariate, I have decided to take time out from this. I will not get into the details of why I am doing this only to say that I need more time to discern whether to continue with this or not. Nevertheless, no matter what decision I will make, I will remain as a Roman Catholic.

St. Simon Stock of England and the Brown Scapular of Carmel

Born in Kent, England, a place where many of my ancestors lived, St. Simon Stock left his home at the the tender age of 12 in order to live out his life. He took for his hermitage a tree trunk. Hence, he received the surname of Stock. It was here that he spent a good twenty year in a spirit of penance and prayer. When the White Friars came to England, otherwise known as the Carmelites, Simon decided to join their order. In 1245 at Aylesford near Rochester he was chosen to be the prior-general  of the order during the course of the general chapter. In facing many difficulties, Simon had recourse to Our Lady. It is reputed that on July 16th 1251 that Our Lady appeared before him assuring him of her protection in all his difficulties, It was at this point that she presented him with the scapular promising that all those who had devotion to this would be given the gift of final perseverance. This devotion soon spread through all of Christendom. Pope after Pope endowed it with rich indulgences and many miracles were connected to the devotion. For example, it is told that a man in Winchester was dying of despair. and was healed when the scapular was laid upon him by St. Simon Stock. The most amazing story is one that took place in 1636. In an engagement in battle, a cornet by the name of M. de Guge was mortally wounded. Although in a state of sin, he had time to make his confession to a priest and write his last testament. Undergoing surgery, the surgeon upon probing the wound found the bullet had driven his scapular into his heart. On being withdrawn, de Guge passed away in a state of grace. Our Lady, through her intercession, had prolonged his life miraculously so he could make his peace with God, thus preserving him from eternal death. 

I encourage all to wear the brown scapular of Carmel.

St. Simon Stock of England, pray to the Lord for us.




Martyrologium (anticipated)

On the morrow we keep the feast of the holy Confessor Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, of whom mention is made upon the 4th day of December, [in the year 1099.] 

July 17th anno Domini 2014 The 20th Day of Moon were born into the better life

At Rome, the holy Confessor Alexius, [in the year 404,] son of the Senator Euphemian. Upon the first night of his marriage he left his bride untouched, and absconded from his home. After a long pilgrimage he returned to the city, where he was received as a beggar out of charity in his own father's house, and there remained unknown for seventeen years, thus deceiving the world by a new craft. After he was dead, in the Supreme Pontificate of Innocent I., he was recognised by a voice which was heard throughout the churches of the city and by his own writing, and his body was carried with the greatest honour to the Church of Saint Boniface, where he hath been illustrious for many miracles. We keep feast in his honour upon the 24th day of this present month of July. 

At Carthage, the holy martyrs of Scillita, [now Csarin, in Tunis,] Speratus, Nazales, Cythinus, Veturius, Felix, Acyllinus, Laetantius, Januaria, Generosa, Vestina, Donata, and Secunda. At the command of the Prefect Saturninus, after their first confession of Christ, they were cast into prison, where they were laid in stocks and afterward beheaded, [in the year 180.] The body of Speratus was brought from Africa to Gaul, along with the bones of blessed Cyprian and the head of the holy martyr Pantaleon, where it has been laid with religious honour in the church of St John the Baptist at Lyons. 

At Amarserah, in Paphlagonia, the holy martyr Hyacinth, who suffered many things under the President Castrisius, and fell asleep in prison, [fourth century.] 

At Tivoli, the holy martyr Generosus. [His body lies, with that of the Monk and Confessor St Severinus, under the high altar in the Cathedral of St Lawrence, at Tivoli.] 

At Constantinople, the holy Theodota, martyr under the Emperor Leo the Iconoclast. 

At Rome, the holy Pope Leo IV. [He was elected in 847 and died in 855. He was a Benedictine monk in the monastery of Saint Martin, which was joined to the ancient Vatican Basilica.] 

At Pavia, the holy Confessor Ennodius, Bishop [of that see, in the year 521. He was born at Arles, about 473] 

At Auxerre, holy Theodosius, Bishop [of that see, in the year 512.] 

At Milan, [in the year 398,] the holy Virgin Marcellina, sister of the blessed Bishop Ambrose, who received the holy veil from Pope Liberius in the church of St Peter at Rome. Her holiness is attested by the said blessed Ambrose in his writings. 

At Venice is commemorated the translation, [in the year 1230,] of the holy Virgin Marina. 

V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

July 16th- The Canonization of St. Francis of Assisi

On this day, in the year of Our Lord, 1228 on the 16th of July, Francis of Assisi was declared a Saint of Holy Mother Church.

 Mira Circa Nos

On the Canonization of St. Francis of Assisi
Pope Gregory IX
Bishop Servant of the Servants of God
for an everlasting memorial

July 16, 1228 A.D.

How wondrously considerate of us is God's pity! How priceless a love of charity which would sacrifice a Son to redeem a slave! God neither neglected the gifts of His mercy nor failed to protect uninterruptedly the vineyard planted by His hand. He sent laborers into it at the eleventh hour to cultivate it, and with their hoes and plowshares to uproot the thorns and thistles, as did Samgar when he killed 600 Philistines (Judges 3: 31). After the copious branches were pruned and the sucker roots with the briars were pulled out, this vineyard will produce a luscious, appetizing fruit, one capable of storage in the wine cellar of eternity, once purified in the wine- press of patience. Wickedness had indeed blazed like fire, and the human heart had grown cold, so as to destroy the wall surrounding this vineyard, just as the attacking Philistines were destroyed by the poison of worldly pleasures.

2. Behold how the Lord, when He destroyed the earth by water, saved the just man with a contemptible piece of wood (Wis. 10:4), did not allow the scepter of the ungodly to fall upon the lot of the just (Ps 124:3). Now, at the eleventh hour, he has called forth his servant, Blessed Francis, a man after His own heart (I Sam 13: 14). This man was a light, despised by the rich, nonetheless prepared for the appointed moment. Him the Lord sent into his vineyard to uproot the thorns and thistles. God cast down this lamp before the attacking Philistines, thus illumining his own land and with earnest exhortation warning it to be reconciled with God.

3. On hearing within his soul his Friend's voice of invitation Francis without hesitation arose, and as another Samson strengthened by God's grace, shattered the fetters of a flattering world. Filled with the zeal of the Spirit and seizing the jawbone of an ass, he conquered not only a thousand, but many thousands of Philistines (Judges 15: 15-16) by his simple preaching, unadorned with the persuasive words of human wisdom (I Cor 1:17), and made forceful by the power of God, who chooses the weak of this world to confound the strong (I Cor 1:17). With the help of God he accomplished this:

God who touches mountains and they smoke (Ps 103:32), so bringing to spiritual service those who were once slaves to the allurements of the flesh. For those who died to sin and live only for God and not for themselves (namely, whose worse part has died), there flowed from this jawbone an abundant stream of water: refreshing, cleansing, rendering fruitful the fallen, downtrodden and thirsty. This river of water reaching unto eternal life (Jn 7: 38), could be purchased without silver and without cost (Is 55:1), and like branches far and wide its rivulets watered the vineyard, whose branches extended unto the sea and its boughs unto the river (Ps 79:12).

4. After the example of our father Abraham, this man forgot not only his country and acquaintances, but also his father's house, to go to a land which the Lord had shown him by divine inspiration (Gen 12). Pushing aside any obstacle he pressed on to win the prize of his heavenly call (Phil.3:14). Conforming himself to Him (Rom 8:29) who, though rich, for our sake became poor (II Cor 8:9), he unburdened himself of a heavy load of material possessions so as to pass easily through the narrow gate (Mt 7:13). He distributed his wealth to the poor, so that his justice might endure forever (Ps 111:9).

Nearing the land of vision he offered his own body as a holocaust to the Lord upon one of the mountains indicated to him (Gen 22:2), the mountain which is the excellence of faith. His flesh, which now and then had tricked him, he sacrificed Jephthah his only daughter (Judges 11:34), lighting under it the fire of love, punishing it with hunger, thirst, cold, nakedness and with many fasts and vigils. When it had been crucified with its vices and concupiscences (Gal 5:24), he could say with the Apostle: "I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me" (Gal 2:20). For he really did not live for himself any longer, but rather for Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification (Rom 4:25), that we might no longer be slaves to sin (Rom 6:6).Uprooting his vices and like Jacob arising at the Lord's command (Gen 35:1-11) he renounced wife and farm and oxen and all which might distract those invited to the great feast (Lk 14:15-20), and took up the battle with the world, the flesh and the spiritual forces of wickedness on high. And as he had received the sevenfold grace of the Spirit and the help of the eight beatitudes of the Gospel, he journeyed to Bethel, the house of God, on a path which he had traced in the fifteen steps of the virtues mystically represented in the Psalter (gradual psalms). After he had made of his heart an altar for the Lord, he offered upon it the incense of devout prayers to be taken up to the Lord at the hands of angels whose company he would soon join.

5. But that he might not be the only one to enjoy the blessings of the mountain, clinging exclusively to the embraces of Rachel, as it were to a life of contemplation lovely but sterile, he descended to the forbidden house of Leah to lead into the desert the flock fertile with twins (Cant4:2) and seeking pastures of life (Gen 29). There, where the manna of heavenly sweetness restores all who have been separated from the noisy world, he would be seated with the princes of his people and crowned with the crown of justice. Sowing his seed in tears, he would come back rejoicing carrying his sheaves to the storehouse of eternity (Ps 125:5-6).

Surely he sought not his own interests (Phil 2:21), but those of Christ, serving Him zealously like the proverbial bee. As the morning star in the midst of a cloud, and as the moon at the full (Eccles. 50,6), he took in his hands a lamp with which to draw the humble by the example of his glorious deeds, and a trumpet wherewith to recall the shameless with stern and fearsome warnings from their wicked abandon.

Thus strengthened by charity he courageously took possession of the Midianite camp (Judges 7:16-22), that is, the camp of those who contemptuously disregard the teaching of the Church, with the support of Him who encompassed the whole world by His authority, even while still cloistered in the Virgin's womb. He captured the weapons on which the well-armed man trusted while guarding his house and parceling out his spoils (Lk 11:21-22), and he led captivity captive in submission to Jesus Christ (Eph 4:8).

6. After defeating the threefold earthly enemy, he did violence to the Kingdom of Heaven and seized it by force (Mt 11:12). After many glorious battles in this life he triumphed over the world, and he who was knowingly unlettered and wisely foolish, happily returned to the Lord to take the first place before many others more learned.

7. Plainly a life such as his, so holy, so passionate, so brilliant, was enough to win him a place in the Church Triumphant. Yet, because the Church Militant, which can only observe the outer appearances, does not presume to judge on its own authority those not sharing its actual state, it proposes for veneration as Saints only those whose lives on earth merited such, especially because an angel of Satan sometimes transforms himself into an angel of light (II Cor 11:14). In his generosity the omnipotent and merciful God has provided that the aforementioned Servant of Christ did come and serve Him worthily and commendably. Not permitting so great a light to remain hidden under a bushel, but wishing to put it on a lampstand to console those dwelling in the house of light (Mt 5:15), God declared through many brilliant miracles that his life has been acceptable to God and his memory should be honored by the Church Militant.

8. Therefore, since the wondrous events of his glorious life are quite well known to Us because of the great familiarity he had with Us while we still occupied a lower rank, and since We are fully convinced by reliable witnesses of the many brilliant miracles, We and the flock entrusted to Us, by the mercy of God, are confident of being assisted at his intercession and of having in Heaven a patron whose friendship We enjoyed on earth. With the consultation and approval of our Brothers (i.e. the cardinals), We have decreed that he be enrolled in the catalogue of saints worthy of veneration.

9. We decree that his birth be celebrated worthily and solemnly by the universal Church on the fourth of October, the day on which he entered the Kingdom of heaven, freed from the prison of the flesh.

10. Hence, in the Lord We beg, admonish and exhort all of you, We command you by this apostolic letter, that on this day reserved to honor his memory, you dedicate yourselves more intensely to the divine praises, and humbly to implore his patronage, so that through his intercession and merits you might be found worthy of joining his company with the help of Him who is blessed forever. Amen.

Given at Perugia, on the fourteenth Calends of August,
in the second year of Our pontificate.

Jul 16 - Homily from the Franciscans of the Imaculate: On this Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Father Maximilian comments on the numerous aids to our salvation which Our Lady has acquired for us out of Her Maternal solicitude. Let us gratefully take up the Rosary, wear the Brown Scapular, and gratefully incorporate all these helps towards our salvation that Mary, our Mother and Advocate, has given us.

July 16th- In Commemoratione Beatae Mariae Virgine de Monte Carmelo

On the holy day of Pentecost, it is said that many men, who were walking in the footsteps of the holy prophets Elias and Eliseus, embraced the faith of the Gospel, and began to build a chapel to that purest of Virgins on that very spot of Mount Carmel where Elias of old had seen a cloud arising, a remarkable symbol of the Virgin. Honouring this same most blessed Virgin as the special protectress of their Order, they were thenceforth called the brethren of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The special protection of the most blessed Virgin hath never failed their Order, which Honorius III was dissuaded by a dream from abolishing, and to which she granted the badge of the holy scapular with the promise that those who are enrolled and observe the slight abstinence and say the few prayers prescribed, will be taken as soon as possible from the fire of Purgatory to the heavenly fatherland. Therefore the Order, laden with so many and such great favours, hath instituted a solemn Commemoration of the most blessed Virgin, to be celebrated year by year.

V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.


O Lord, Who hast given this excellency unto the Order of Carmel that the same should be especially styled the Order of the Most Blessed Mary, always a Virgin, thine Own Mother, mercifully grant that we who on this day do renew her memory in solemn worship, may worthily be shielded by her protection, and finally attain unto thine everlasting joy.
Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.
R. Amen


Lord, have mercy on us.
 Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
 Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
 Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
 Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
 Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
 Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
    pray for us sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Queen of Heaven,
    pray for us sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, vanquisher of Satan, etc.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, most dutiful Daughter,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, most pure Virgin,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, most devoted Spouse,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, most tender Mother,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, perfect model of virtue,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, sure anchor of hope,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, refuge in affliction,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, dispenser of God's gifts,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, tower of strength against our foes,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, our aid in danger,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, road leading to Jesus,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, our light in darkness,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, our consolation at the hour of death,
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, advocate of the most abandoned sinners,

For those hardened in vice,
With confidence we come to thee,
O Lady of Mount Carmel.
For those who grieve thy Son,
With confidence we come to thee,
O Lady of Mount Carmel.
For those who neglect to pray, etc.
For those who are in their agony,
For those who delay their conversion,
For those suffering in Purgatory,
For those who know thee not,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
 Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
 Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
 Have mercy on us.

V. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Hope of the Despairing,
R. Intercede for us with thy Divine Son.

Let Us Pray

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, glorious Queen of Angels, channel of God's tenderest mercy to man, refuge and advocate of sinners, with confidence I prostrate myself before thee, beseeching thee to obtain for me [Mention request silently]. In return I solemnly promise to have recourse to thee in all my trials, sufferings and temptations, and I shall do all in my power to induce others to love and reverence thee and to invoke thee in all their needs. I thank thee for the numberless blessings which I have received from thy mercy and powerful intercession. Continue to be my shield in danger, my guide in life, and my consolation at the hour of death. Amen.

July 16th- Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jul 14 (Mon) Litany of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy upon us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World have mercy upon us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy upon us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy upon us.

Kateri, lily of purity, pray for us.
Kateri, consoler of the heart of Jesus, pray for us.
Kateri, bright light for all your people, pray for us.
Kateri, courage of the afflicted, pray for us.
Kateri, lover of the cross of Jesus, pray for us.
Kateri, flower of fortitude for the persecuted, pray for us.
Kateri, unshakeable in temptations, pray for us.
Kateri, full of patience in suffering, pray for us.
Kateri, keeper of thy  virginity in persecutions, pray for us.
Kateri, leader of many of your people to the true faith through thy love for Mary, pray for us.

Kateri, who loved Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
Kateri, lover of penance, pray for us.
Kateri, who traveled many miles to learn the faith, pray for us.
Kateri, steadfast in all prayer, pray for us.
Kateri, who loved to pray the rosary for all people, pray for us.
Kateri, example to thy people in all virtues, pray for us.
Kateri, humble servant to the sick, pray for us.
Kateri, who by thy love of humility, gave joy to the angels,
pray for us.
Kateri, thy holy death gave strength to all  your people.
to love Jesus and Mary, pray for us.
Kateri, whose scarred face in life became beautiful after death,
pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, 0 Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, 0 Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.


0 Jesus, who gave Kateri to her people as an example of purity, teach all people to love purity, and to console Thy immaculate Mother Mary through the lily, Kateri Tekakwitha, and Thy Holy Cross, Amen.

Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.

Medieval 'Sistine Chapel' in Rome opens its doors

Jul 14 - Homily from the Franciscans of the Immaculate : St. Kateri Tekakwitha