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Dominica in Quinquagesima 

THE OLD ROMAN Vol. II Issue XXIV W/C 14th February 2021


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Today on Quinquagesima Sunday, three days before Ash Wednesday, the Church helps us to get our proper orientation for the holy season and Lent. We need to hear the Word of God with that in mind.

Lent for catechumens preparing for Baptism — and for the rest of us preparing to renew and live better the promises of our Baptism — is meant to be a period of illumination, going from relative darkness into the ever greater light of faith, as we turn to the Lord for the healing of our blind spots so that we may see all things in his light. That’s what today’s Gospel of the healing of the blind man by the side of the road is meant to teach us.

Like rabbis were accustomed to do on the triennial pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the major feasts, Jesus was teaching the crowds along the journey. The blind man, whom St. Mark in his Gospel identifies as Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. He was in Jericho, literally the lowest place on earth. He heard the commotion of the crowd and asked what was happening. Upon hearing that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, he immediately began to cry out. He didn’t cry out for alms, which would have been small. He didn’t cry out at that point for a miracle. He cried out simply for mercy. “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” He had doubtless heard of Jesus’ reputation for working miracles to the north in Galilee and was responding in faith. The fact that he called him “Son of David” was a sign he believed Jesus was the Messiah. The word St. Luke uses means basically an animal cry, something coming deep from his woundedness. His crying out for Jesus, however, was annoying those who were trying to hear Jesus’ teaching. So the first people in the group rebuked him and told him to shut his trap. But that only led him to cry out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!”

Jesus stopped and ordered that Bartimaeus be brought to him. For Jesus, caring for this man was more important even than what he was teaching at that moment, because frankly it was an illustration of the why-behind-the-what he was communicating. He had been telling them that they were ascending from Jericho to Jerusalem and there everything written in the prophets about the Suffering Servant, about the Just Man being beset by evil doers, about Isaac carrying the wood for the sacrifice, about Abel being slain by Cain, would be fulfilled as he would be betrayed to the Romans, mocked, insulted, spat upon, scourged and killed, but on the third day rise. As important as those words were, however, he was doing all of it to lift us up from our own Jerichos, to heal our spiritual blindness, to respond to our cries for the Messiah to give us God’s mercy.

Jesus, however, was going to involve Bartimaeus, just like he wants to involve us, in his healing. After the blind man had cried out, it would have been very easy for Jesus to come to meet him exactly where he was begging. Instead he got close, but then he had Bartimaeus get up to come to him, to engage Bartimaeus’ freedom more, to stoke his desire, to exercise his faith, to give him greater participation in the miracle Jesus himself was about to accomplish. It takes courage to get up and leave our comfort zone to respond to the Lord. Bartimaeus had that courage and did. St. Mark tells us, “He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.” The cloak was his outer garment that kept him warm at night. It was in a sense his security blanket. It was quite valuable to him and part of his life. But he was intentionally embracing a new life and establishing a new security. He left it behind, which is not just a fact but an important symbol of how he was thinking more about clinging to Jesus and the new life for which he was hoping than clinging to the past. He also “sprang up.” Even though he was blind, he got up immediately. He raced to respond to his being called by the Lord. Unlike the excuse makers in other sections of the Gospel who said that they would follow Jesus after they had buried their father (who might die three decades later), inspected their oxen, enjoyed their honeymoon, etc., Bartimaeus responded with alacrity. Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?,” and Bartimaeus said, “Lord, please let me see!” The word used by St. Luke — anablepo— means in Greek to “see again.” He had lost the sight he once had. He wanted to be able to see anew. In Lent we recognize that all of us have similarly fallen and lost our innocence or purity of vision. Jesus in this season asks us, “What do you want me to do for you?,” and we’re called to allow him to help us to see again fully. Jesus replied to Bartimaeus, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” The Lord not only gave him his wish to see but heard his initial cry to have mercy on him. Jesus’ generosity far outdid Bartimaeus’ imagination to ask. Faith in response to God leads to salvation, and even though Bartimaeus didn’t dare ask for that, God gave it. Bartimaeus used his sight and his freedom, St. Mark tells us, to follow Jesus. He left the depth of Jericho behind and followed Jesus up to Jerusalem. St. Luke’s comment, “He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God, and when they saw this, all the people gave praise to God” (Lk 18:43), suggests he spent the rest of his life glorifying God in such a way that others joined him in that divine praise. So Lent is the time in which, in whatever pits we’re in, however deep or dark, we cry out to the Lord for mercy. Christ comes by, calls us to arise and come to him, where he seeks to restore our vision and strengthen us to live by the faith that saves us, so that we might follow Jesus fully and spend our lives glorifying God.

What should be our attitude toward Lent? Many times we approach it in a minimalistic way, as a duty we have to fulfil, as a penance we reluctantly assume. If we do so, then we’ll receive very little. We need to live Lent, rather, with great love. That’s why the Church gives us today’s epistle to frame our attitudes. St. Paul describes for us that if we speak the word of God in tongues, if we have the gift of prophecy and understand every mystery, if we have faith more than a mustard seed to move mountain ranges, if we give away everything we have as alms and even hand our body over as martyrs, but don’t do so with love, then we gain nothing. In Lenten terms, if we rigorously fast all 40 days and six Sundays, if we give over 99 percent of what we have in alms, if we pray from dawn to dusk but don’t do so with love for God and love for others, then we will gain nothing. Loving God with all our mind, heart, soul and strength and our neighbour as God as God has loved us is that essential.

Very often Lent is marked by a minimalism unworthy of someone who passionately loves God with all his mind, heart, soul and strength and passionately loves one’s neighbour in need. People often give up something, like chocolate and sweets, or alcohol, or chewing gum, for their fasting; frequently put some loose change in a Rice Bowl box for almsgiving; or commit themselves to praying the Stations of the Cross on Fridays for prayer. There’s nothing wrong with any of these practices, which are all steps in the right direction, but to be honest, they’re very small steps. They’re a little like a husband’s picking up a generic card for his wife on Valentine’s Day, or getting some aging carnations at the florist because he thought roses were too expensive for his wife or because he didn’t think about getting roses until the last minute and they were sold out. We can contrast such an approach with that of husbands or boyfriends who really seek to show, on Valentine’s Day and beyond, just how much they love the woman in their life, not in exclusively material ways like jewellery, but in the thoughtfulness and time they put into demonstrating why, how and how much they cherish her. Real love, after all, is shown in a capacity to sacrifice for the one loved, even to the point of laying down one’s life. Valentine’s Day is an occasion to show that type of sacrificial love. Stinginess, whether in terms of monetary cheapness or a general lack of effort, is often a sign of a weak love.

As Christians, we should love God more than any man has ever loved any woman. We should be willing to sacrifice for him more. We should be willing to make more time for him than those in love make for each other. We should be more passionate about pleasing him than any boyfriend seeks to make happy the woman to whom he wishes to propose. Just as people who love each other want to spend time talking to each other, so we should long for time to converse with God in prayer. Just as those in love eat together we should eat not as epicureans or pagans do, but with the fasting Lord. Just as a husband and a wife sacrifice for each other and their children, we should sacrifice for the Lord and for others.

Lent is a time when we can focus above all on whether God’s love for us and our love for him are as they ought to be. As Pope Benedict, who resigned the papacy five years ago today and for whom we pray, used to stress, Lent is not about making minor course corrections in our lives, but about experiencing a radical and total conversion. It’s meant to be a moral exodus in which we give up the easy superficiality in which we live and resolve to adopt faithfully, step by step, Christ’s own path of total self-giving. It’s meant to be a Passover from mediocrity to sanctity, from being a part-time disciple to inserting ourselves fully into Christ’s paschal mystery, dying to ourselves so that Christ can truly live within us.

The confluence of Quinquagesima and Valentine’s Day can be an occasion for us to focus precisely on this total conversion to a life of real love by and for God. This is the type of love that’s patient, kind, not arrogant, rude, boastful or self-seeking, as St. Paul describes, with adjectives that all apply to the way Christ loves us and ought to be predicated of the way we love him and others. God asks us, not “Do you want to be my Valentine?,” but rather, “Do you want me to be the love of your life?” The ashes we will bear, testifying to our desire for conversion, can be like roses presented before him. Our fasting can show our hunger. Our prayer can reveal how much we wish to share time with him, even in silence. Our almsgiving can be a means by which we share not only in his lavish goodness to us but also in his deep concern for our needy neighbour. And just as in a relationship where the love expressed on Valentine’s Day should be echoed far beyond February 14, so the love for God we show on Ash Wednesday is supposed to effuse Lent and beyond.

Lent is ultimately meant to be a season in which we ponder the incredible, spousal love of Jesus Christ for his Church shown in his dying so that his Bride might live. There’s no greater love story in history that that of the true, indeed extreme, love of Christ for us. There’s no greater choice we’ll ever make than to respond to God’s eschatological marriage proposal and align our lives with his nuptial passion. Lent is a pilgrimage toward Holy Thursday when the marriage between Christ and his Bride is consummated as his Bride takes within his body and blood and becomes one flesh with him, when the New Eve is formed from the pierced side of the New Adam on what St. Edith Stein called the bed of the Cross on Calvary, and then culminates in the joy of the Easter Vigil, when the prophecy of Isaiah, proclaimed as the fourth Old Testament reading in the novus ordo, is fulfilled when he says, “The One who has become your husband is your Maker. … The Lord calls you back like a wife!” Lent is fundamentally about God’s passionate love for us and the help he gives us to love him back, by his own self-giving standard.

Today Jesus asks us as he asks Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” Let us each ask him, for ourselves, for each other, and for all Catholics, especially those in most need of God’s mercy, to help us to live Lent with the passionate, all-consuming love God desires and deserves!
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ORDO w/c Sunday 14th February 2021
    OFFICE   N.B.
14.02 S Quinquagesima Sunday
Com. St Valentine, Priest
(V) Missa “Esto mihi
sd 2a) St Valentine
3a) A cunctis
Benedicamus Domino
15.02 M SS Faustinus & Jovita, Martyrs
(R) Missa “Salus autem”
s 2a) of Saints
3a) Pro.Eccles
16.02 T
Feria of Quinquagesima
(V) Missa “Esto mihi
sd 2a) of Saints
3a) Pro.Eccles
Station at St Sabina’s
(V) Missa “Misereris omnium  
sd 2a) of Saints
3a) living&dead
noGl.Pref.of Lent
18.02 T Feria V after Ash Wednesday
Com. St Simeon of Jerusalem

Station at St George’s in Velabro
(V) Missa “Dum clamarem 
sd 2a) St Simeon
3a) of Saints
noGl.Pref.of Lent
19.02 F Feria VI after Ash Wednesday
Station at SS John & Paul
(V) Missa “Audivit Dominus  
sd 2a) of Saints
3a) living&dead
noGl.Pref. of Lent
20.02 S Sabbato after Ash Wednesday
Station at St Tryphon’s
(V) Missa “Audivit Dominus 
sd 2a) of Saints
3a) living&dead
noGl.Pref. of Lent
21.02 S Quadragesima I Sunday
Station at St John Lateran
(V) Missa “Invocabit me
sd 2a) of Saints
3a) living&dead
noGl.Pref. of Lent
KEY: A=Abbot A cunctis=of the Saints B=Bishop BD=Benedicamus Domino BVM=Blessed Virgin Mary C=Confessor Com=Commemoration Cr=Creed D=Doctor d=double d.i/ii=double of the 1st/2nd Class E=Evangelist F=Feria Gl=Gloria gr.d=greater-double (G)=Green H=Holy Heb.=Hedomadam (week) K=King M=Martyr mpal=missae pro aliquibus locis Mm=Martyrs Pent=Pentecost P=Priest PP/PostPent=Post Pentecost PLG=Proper Last Gospel Pref=Preface ProEccl=for the Church (R)=Red (Rc)=Rose-coloured s=simple s-d=semi-double Tr=Tract Co=Companions V1=1st Vespers V=Virgin v=votive (V)=violet W=Widow (W)=white *Ob.=Obligation 2a=second oration 3a=third oration
Nota Bene
a) Septuagesima Season begins with Septuagesima Sunday and goes until the eve of Ash Wednesday (Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras). It includes Sexagesima Sunday and Quinquagesima Sunday.
b) The characteristic mark of Septuagesima is the absolute suppression of the Alleluia, which is never mentioned again in the sacred liturgy until its solemn re-introduction at the Easter Vigil.
c) The colour of the season is violet, but it is nevertheless permitted to play the organ and use flowers on the altar during this season. By custom, relics may also remain on the gradines during this season.
d) The Mass on ferial days is that of the preceding Sunday (votive Masses are permitted), without Gloria or Credo, and with the common preface. After the Gradual, the Tract is said on Sunday but is omitted when the Mass is used during ferial days in the subsequent week. On the Sundays of the season, the preface is of the Holy Trinity.

From Ceremonies of the Roman Rite described by Fr Adrian Fortesque
  • The time from Septuagesima Sunday to Ash Wednesday partakes in many ways, but not in all, in the character of Lent. The colour of the season is purple from Septuagesima to Easter. The Te Deum is not said at matins, nor the Gloria in excelsis at Mass, except on feasts
  • At the end of Mass the deacon (or celebrant) says Benedicamus Domino instead of Ite missa est.
  • In no case is the word Alleluia used at all from Septuagesima till it returns at the first Easter Mass on Holy Saturday.
  • On all days, even feasts, a tract (tractus) takes the place of the Alleluia and its verse after the gradual.
  • In the office, at the end of the response to Deus in adiutorium nostram, Laus tibi DomineRex aeternae gloriae is said instead of Alleluia.
  • But from Septuagesima to Ash Wednesday, although purple is the colour, the ministers at High Mass use dalmatic and tunicle. The organ may be played then, as during the rest of the year. 
  • From Ash Wednesday to Easter the ministers wear folded chasubles at High Mass; the organ is silent till the Mass of Holy Saturday (except on mid-Lent).

Quinquagesima Sunday

The Church gives us to-day another subject for our meditation: it is the Vocation of Abraham. When the waters of the Deluge had subsided, and mankind had once more peopled the earth, the immorality, which had previously excited God’s anger, again grew rife among men. Idolatry, too, into which the ante-diluvian race had not fallen, now showed itself, and human wickedness seemed thus to have reached the height of its malice. Foreseeing that the nations of the earth would fall into rebellion against him, God resolved to select one people that should be peculiarly his, and among whom should be preserved those sacred truths, which the Gentiles were to lose sight of. This new people was to originate from one man, who would be the father and model of all future believers. This was Abraham. His faith and devotedness merited for him that he should be chosen to be the Father of the children of God, and the head of that spiritual family, to which belong all the elect, both of the old and new Testament. It is necessary, therefore, that we should know Abraham, our father and our model. This is his grand characteristic:- fidelity to God, submissiveness to his commands, abandonment and sacrifice of everything in order to obey his holy will. Such ought to be the prominent virtues of every Christian. Let us, then, study the life of our great Patriarch, and learn the lessons it teaches. Genesis Ch. xii.

Could the Christian have a finer model than this holy patriarch, whose docility and devotedness in following the call of his God are so perfect? We are forced to exclaim with the holy fathers: “O true Christian, even before Christ had come on the earth! He had the spirit of the Gospel before the Gospel was preached! He was an apostolic man before the apostles existed!” God calls him: he leaves all things—his country, his kindred, his father’s house—and he goes into an unknown land. God leads him, he is satisfied; he fears no difficulties; he never once looks back. Did the apostles themselves more? But see how grand is his reward! God says to him: “In thee shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed.” This Chaldean is to give to the world Him that shall bless and save it. Death will, it is true, close his eyes ages before the dawning of that day, when one of his race, who is to be born of a Virgin and be united personally with the divine Word, shall redeem all generations, past, present, and to come. But meanwhile, till heaven shall be thrown open to receive this Redeemer and the countless just who have won the crown, Abraham shall be honored, in the limbo of expectation, in a manner becoming his great virtue and merit. It is in his bosom, that is, around him, that our first parents (having atoned for their sin by penance), Noah, Moses, David, and all the just, including poor Lazarus, received that rest and happiness which were a foretaste of, and a preparation for, eternal bliss in heaven. Thus is Abraham honored; thus does God requite the love and fidelity of them that serve Him.

When the fullness of time came, the Son of God, who was also Son of Abraham, declared His eternal Father’s power by saying that He was about to raise up a new progeny of Abraham’s children from the very stones, that is, from the Gentiles. We Christians are this new generation. But are we worthy children of our father? Let us listen to the apostle of the Gentiles: “By faith, Abraham, when called (by God), obeyed to go out into a place which he was to receive for an inheritance: and he went out not knowing whither he went. By faith, he abode in the land, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the co-heirs of the same promise; for he looked for a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

If, therefore, we be children of Abraham, we must, as the Church tells us during Septuagesima, look upon ourselves as exiles on the earth, and dwell by hope and desire in that true country of ours, from which we are not banished, but towards which we are each day drawing nigher, if, like Abraham, we are faithful in the various stations allotted us by our Lord. We are commanded to use this world as though we used it not; to have an abiding conviction of our not having here a lasting city, and of the misery and danger we incur when we forget that death is one day to separate us from everything we possess in this life.

How far from being true children of Abraham are those Christians who spend this and the two following days in intemperance and dissipation, because Lent is so soon to be upon us. We can easily understand how the simple manners of our Catholic forefathers could keep a leave-taking of the ordinary way of living, which Lent was to put a stop to, and reconcile their innocent Carnival with Christian gravity; just as we can understand how their rigorous observance of the laws of the Church for Lent would inspire certain festive customs at Easter. Even in our own times, a joyous Shrovetide is not to be altogether reprobated, provided the Christian sentiment of the approaching holy Season of Lent be strong enough to check the evil tendency of corrupt nature: otherwise the original intention of an innocent custom would be perverted, and the forethought of Penance could in no sense be considered as the prompter of our joyous farewell to ease and comforts. While admitting all this, we would ask, what right or title have they to share in these Shrovetide rejoicings, whose Lent will pass and find them out of the Church, because they will not have complied with the precept of Easter Communion? And they, too, who claim dispensations from abstinence and fasting during Lent, and, from one reason or another, evade every penitential exercise during the solemn Forty Days of Penance, and will find themselves at Easter as weighed down by the guilt and debt of their sins as they were on Ash Wednesday, – what meaning, we would ask, can there possibly be in their feast-making at Shrovetide?

Oh! that Christians would stand on their guard against such delusions as these and gain that holy liberty of the children of God which consists in not being slaves to flesh and blood, and preserves man from moral degradation! Let them remember that we are now in that holy season, when the Church denies herself her songs of holy joy, in order the more forcibly to remind us that we are living in a Babylon of spiritual danger, and to excite us to regain that genuine Christian spirit, which everything in the world around us is quietly undermining. If the disciples of Christ are necessitated, by the position they hold in society, to take part in the profane amusements of these few days before Lent, let it be with a heart deeply imbued with the maxims of the Gospel. If, for example, they are obliged to listen to the music of theaters and concerts, let them imitate St. Cecily, who thus sang, in her heart, in the midst of the excitement of worldly harmonies: “May my heart, O God, be pure, and let me not be confounded!” Above all, let them not countenance certain dances, which the world is so eloquent in defending, because so evidently according to its own spirit; and therefore they who encourage them will be severely judged by Him, who has already pronounced woe upon the world. Lastly, let those who must go, on these days, and mingle in the company of worldlings, be guided by St. Frances of Sales, who advises them to think from time to time on such considerations as these—that while all these frivolous, and often dangerous, amusements are going on, there are countless souls being tormented in the fire of hell, on account of the sins they committed on similar occasions; that at that very hour of the night, there are many holy religious depriving themselves of sleep in order to sing the divine praises and implore God’s mercy upon the world, and upon them that are wasting their time in its vanities; that there are thousands in the agonies of death, while all that gaiety is going on; that God and His angels are attentively looking upon this thoughtless group; and finally, that life is passing away, and death so much nearer each moment.

We grant, that, on these three days immediately preceding the penitential Season of Lent, some provision was necessary to be made for those countless souls, who seem scarce able to live without some excitement. The Church supplies this want. She gives a substitute for frivolous amusements and dangerous pleasures; and those of her children upon whom Faith has not lost its influence, will find, in what she offers them, a feast surpassing all earthly enjoyments, and a means whereby to make amends to God, for the insults offered to his Divine Majesty during these days of Carnival. The Lamb, that taketh away the sins of the world, is exposed upon our Altars. Here, on this his throne of mercy, he receives the homage of them who come to adore him, and acknowledge him for their King; he accepts the repentance of those who come to tell him how grieved they are at having ever followed any other Master than Him; he offers himself to his Eternal Father for poor sinners, who not only treat his favours with indifference, but seem to have made a resolution to offend him during these days more than at any other period of the year.

It was the pious Cardinal Gabriel Paleotti, archbishop of Bologna, who first originated the admirable devotion of the Forty Hours. He was a contemporary of St. Charles Borromeo and, like him, was eminent for his pastoral zeal. His object in this solemn Exposition of the most blessed Sacrament was to offer to the divine Majesty some compensation for the sins of men, and at the very time when the world was busiest in deserving His anger, to appease it by the sight of His own Son, the Mediator between heaven and earth. St. Charles immediately introduced the devotion into his own diocese and province. This was in the sixteenth century. Later on, that is, in the eighteenth century, Prosper Lambertini was archbishop of Bologna; he zealously continued the pious design of his ancient predecessor, Paleotti, by encouraging his flock to devotion towards the blessed Sacrament during the three days of carnival; and when he was made Pope, under the name of Benedict XIV, he granted many Indulgences to all who, during these days, should visit our Lord in this mystery of His love, and should pray for the pardon of sinners. This favor was at first restricted to the faithful of the Papal States; but in the year 1765 it was extended, by Pope Clement XIII to the universal Church. Thus, the Forty Hours’ Devotion has spread throughout the whole world and become one of the most solemn expressions of Catholic piety. Let us, then, who have the opportunity, profit by it during these last three days of our preparation for Lent. Let us, like Abraham, retire from the distracting dangers of the world, and seek the Lord our God. Let us go apart, for at least one short hour, from the dissipation of earthly enjoyments and, kneeling in the presence of our Jesus, merit the grace to keep our hearts innocent and detached, while sharing in those we cannot avoid.

We will now resume our considerations upon the liturgy of Quinquagesima Sunday. The passage of the Gospel selected by the Church is that wherein our Savior foretells His apostles the sufferings He was to undergo in Jerusalem. This solemn announcement prepares us for Passiontide. We ought to receive it with feeling and grateful hearts, and make it an additional motive for imitating the devoted Abraham, and giving our whole selves to our God. The ancient liturgists tell us that the blind man of Jericho spoken of in this same Gospel is a figure of those poor sinners who, during these days, are blind to their Christian character and rush into excesses, which even paganism would have coveted. The blind man recovered his sight because he was aware of his wretched state, and desired to be cured and to see. The Church wishes us to have a like desire, and she promises us that it shall be granted.

In the Greek Church, this Sunday is called Tyrophagos, because it is the last day on which is allowed the use of white meats, or as we call them, milk-meats. Beginning with tomorrow, it is forbidden to eat them, for Lent then begins, and with all the severity wherewith the oriental Churches observe it.

The Station is in the Church of St. Peter, on the Vatican. The choice was suggested, as we learn from the Abbot Rupert’s Treatise on the Divine Offices, by the Lesson of the Law given to Moses, which used then to be read in this Sunday’s Office. Moses was looked upon, by the early Christians of Rome, as a type of St. Peter. The Church having, since that time, substituted the Vocation of Abraham for the passage from Exodus, (which is now deferred till Lent), – the Station for this Sunday is still in the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles, who was prefigured also by Abraham, the Father of believers.

The Introit is the prayer of mankind, blind and wretched as the poor man of Jericho; it asks for pity from its Redeemer, and beseeches him to guide and feed it.

Be thou unto me a God, a protector, and a house of refuge, to save me; for thou art my strength, and my refuge; and for thy name’s sake thou wilt lead me, and nourish me. Ps. In thee, O Lord, have I hope, let me never be confounded; deliver me in thy justice, and rescue me. ℣. Glory. Be thou.

How appropriate for this Sunday is the magnificent eulogy of Charity, here given by our Apostle! This virtue, which comprises the love both of God and our Neighbour, is the light of our souls. With out Charity, we are in darkness, and all our works are profitless. The very power of working miracles cannot give hope of salvation, unless he who does them have Charity. Unless we are in Charity, the most heroic acts of other virtues are but one snare more for our souls. Let us beseech our Lord to give us this light. But, let us not forget, that however richly he may bless us with it here below, the fulness of its brightness is reserved for when we are in heaven; and that the sunniest day we can have in this world, is but darkness when compared with tile splendour of our eternal charity. Faith will then give place, for we shall be face-to-face with all Truth; Hope will have no object, for we shall possess all Good; charity alone will continue, and, for this reason, is greater than Faith and Hope, which must needs accompany her in this present life. This being the glorious destiny reserved for man, when redeemed and enlightened by Jesus, is it to be wondered at, that we should leave all things, in order to follow such a Master? What should surprise us, and what proves how degraded is our nature by sin, is to see Christians, who have been baptised in this Faith and this Hope, and have received the first-fruits of this Love, indulging, during these days, in every sort of worldliness, which is only the more dangerous because it is fashionable. It would seem as though they were making it their occupation to extinguish within their souls the last ray of heavenly light, like men that had made a covenant with darkness. If there be Charity within our souls, it will make us feel these offences that are committed against our God, and inspire us to pray to him to have mercy on these poor blind sinners, hoc they are our brethren.

In the Gradual and Tract, the Church sings the praises of God’s goodness towards His elect. He has set them free from the slavish yoke of the world by enlightening them with His grace; they are His own children, the favoured sheep of His pasture.

Jesus tells his Apostles, that his bitter Passion is at hand; it is a mark of his confidence in them but, they understand not what he says. They are as yet too carnal-minded to appreciate Our Saviour’s mission; still, they do not abandon him; they love him too much to think of separating from him. Greater by far than this, is the blindness of those false Christians, who, during these three days, not only do not think of the God, who shed his Blood and died for them, but are striving to efface from their souls every trace of the divine image! Let us adore that sweet Mercy, which has drawn us, as it did Abraham, from the midst of a sinful people; and let us, like the blind man of our Gospel, cry out to our Lord, beseeching him to grant us an increase of his holy light. This was his prayer: Lord that I may see. God has given us his light; but he gave it us, in order to excite within us the desire of seeing more and more clearly. He promised Abraham, that he would show him the place he had destined for him; may he grant us, also, to see the land of the living! But our first prayer must be, that he show us him self, as St. Augustine has so beautifully expressed it, that we may love him, and show us our own selves, that we may cease to love ourselves.

In the Offertory, the Church prays that her children may have the light of life, which consists in knowing the Law of God. She would have our lips pronounce His doctrine and the divine commandments, which he has brought us from heaven.

Blessed art thou, O Lord, teach me thy justifications: with my lips I have pronounced all the judgments of thy mouth.

The Communion antiphon commemorates the miracle of the manna, which fed in the desert the descendants of Abraham; and yet this food, though it came from heaven, did not preserve them from death. The living Bread, which we have had given to us from heaven, gives eternal life to the soul: and he who eats it worthily shall never die.

They did eat and were filled exceedingly, and the Lord gave them their desire: they were not defrauded of that which they craved.


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Quinquagesima Sunday Missa “Esto mihi in Deum protectórem”

Quinquagesima is the name used in the Western Church for the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. It was also called Quinquagesima Sunday, Quinquagesimae, Estomihi, or Shrove Sunday. The name Quinquagesima originates from Latin quinquagesimus (fiftieth), referring to the fifty days before Easter Day using inclusive counting which counts both Sundays (normal counting would count only one of these). Since the forty days of the Lenten fast does not include Sundays, the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, succeeds Quinquagesima Sunday by only three days. The name Estomihi is derived from the beginning of the Introit for the Sunday, Esto mihi in Deum protectorem, et in locum refugii, ut salvum me facias.

In today’s epistle St. Paul speaks of the necessity, the excellence and the nature of true charity. He says that all natural and supernatural gifts, all good works, even martyrdom, cannot save us if we have not charity; because love alone can render our works pleasing to God. Without charity, therefore, though ever so many prayers be recited, fasts observed , and good deeds performed, nothing will be acceptable to God, or merit eternal life. Strive then, O Christian soul, to lead a pious life in love, and to remain always in the state of grace.

By today’s Gospel, the Church wishes to remind us of the painful passion and death of Jesus, and to move us by the contemplation of those mysteries to avoid and despise the wicked, heathenish amusements of carnival, sinful pleasures which she has always condemned, because they come from dark paganism, and, to avert the people from them, commands that during the three days of carnival the Blessed Sacrament shall be exposed for public adoration, sermons given, and the faithful exhorted to have recourse at this time to the Sacraments of Penance and the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. A true Catholic will remember the words which St. Augustine spoke, at this time, to the faithful, “The heathens (as also the wordly people of our days) shout songs of love and merriment, but you should delight in the preaching of the word of God; they rush to the dramatic plays, but you should hasten to Church; they are intoxicated, but you should fast and be sober.”

INTROIT Psalm 30:3-4

Be my rock of refuge, O God, a stronghold to give me safety. You are my rock and my fortress; for Your name’s sake You will lead and guide me. Ps 30:2 In You, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In Your justice rescue me and deliver me. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Be my rock of refuge, O God, a stronghold to give me safety. You are my rock and my fortress; for Your name’s sake You will lead and guide me.


O Lord, we beseech You, mercifully hear our prayers; loose us from the chains of our sins and keep us from all adversity. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen

Collect for the Saints
Defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body: and through the intercession of the blessed and glorious Mary, ever Virgin, mother of God, of St Joseph, of Thy holy apostles, Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy loving-kindness grant us safety and peace; that, all adversities and errors being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom.

For the Church
Graciously accept the prayers of Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that, overcoming all hostility and error, She may serve Thee in safety and freedom. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen

EPISTLE 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Lesson from the first letter of St Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians: Brethren: If I should speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have charity, I have become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, yet do not have charity, I am nothing. And if I distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, yet do not have charity, it profits me nothing. Charity is patient, is kind; charity does not envy, is not pretentious, is not puffed up, is not ambitious, is not self-seeking, is not provoked; thinks no evil, does not rejoice over wickedness, but rejoices with the truth; bears with all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Charity never fails, whereas prophecies will disappear, and tongues will cease, and knowledge will be destroyed. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect has come, that which is imperfect will be done away with. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away the things of a child. We see now through a mirror in an obscure manner, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know even as I have been known. So there abide faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

GRADUAL Psalm 76:15-16    TRACT Psalm 99:1-2

You are the God Who alone works wonders; among the peoples You have made known Your power. V. With Your strong arm You delivered Your people, the sons of Israel and Joseph.

Sing joyfully to God, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness. V. Come before Him with joyful song; know that the Lord is God. V. He made us, His we are; His people, the flock He tends.

GOSPEL St. Luke 18:31-43

At that time, Jesus taking to Himself the Twelve said to them, Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that have been written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and scourged and spit upon; and after they have scourged Him, they will put Him to death; and on the third day He will rise again. And they understood none of these things and this saying was hidden from them, neither did they get to know the things that were being said. Now it came to pass as He drew near to Jericho, that a certain blind man was sitting by the wayside, begging; but hearing a crowd passing by, he inquired what this might be. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! And they who went in front angrily tried to silence him. But he cried out all the louder, Son of David, have mercy on me! Then Jesus stopped and commanded that he should be brought to Him. And when he drew near, He asked him, saying, What would you have Me do for you? And he said, Lord, that I may see. And Jesus said to him, Receive your sight, your faith has saved you. And at once he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people upon seeing it gave praise to God.


Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes. With my lips I declare all the ordinances of Your mouth.


May these offerings, O Lord, we beseech You, wash away our sins; may it sanctify the bodies and souls of Your servants for the celebration of this sacrifice. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God. Forever and ever. R.Amen.

Secret for the Saints
Graciously hear us, O God our Saviour, and, by virtue of this Sacrament, defend us from all enemies of soul and body, bestowing upon us Thy grace here and Thy glory hereafter.

For the Church
Protect us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries, that holding fast to things divine, we may serve Thee both in body and soul. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen

PREFACE Holy Trinity

It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, art one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out, with one voice saying: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…


They ate and were wholly surfeited; the Lord had brought them what they craved: they were not defrauded of that which they craved.


We beseech You, almighty God, that we who have received the Bread of heaven, may by it be protected from all adversity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.

Postcommunion for the Saints
May the gift of this Divine Sacrament which we have offered, cleanse us and defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord; and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, of St. Joseph, of Thy holy apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, free us from all iniquity and deliver us from all adversity.

For the Church
We beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wouldst not allow to be exposed to human perils, those whom Thou hast been pleased to make sharers of these divine mysteries. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen


How are Old Roman vocations to the Sacred Ministry discerned, formed and realised? If you are discerning a vocation to the Sacred Ministry and are considering exploring the possibility of realising your vocation as an Old Roman or transferring your discernment, this is the programme for you! 
Questions are welcome and may be sent in advance to anonymity is assured.
Richard Challoner (1691–1781) was an English Roman Catholic bishop, a leading figure of English Catholicism during the greater part of the 18th century. The titular Bishop of Doberus, he is perhaps most famous for his revision of the Douay–Rheims translation of the Bible.

Consider first, that 'tis not for nothing that the Son of God, in the Gospel, so often declares against the world, as a capital enemy of him and his; because light and darkness are not more opposite than the world and the Gospel. The maxims and practices of the one are quite contradictory to the other. The world perpetually recommends what the Gospel condemns, and condemns what the Gospel recommends. The world is made up of pride, ambition, and vain-glory; the Gospel breathes nothing but humility, self-contempt, choosing the lowest place, and becoming as little children; assuring us that otherwise there is no heaven for us. The world inspires a covetous spirit, the love of Mammon and a fondness for worldly toys; the Gospel inculcates the necessity of despising all these things, and of quitting all things, at least in affection, to follow Christ. The world is a slave to sensual pleasures, and places its whole happiness in gratifying and indulging its own humours and inclinations; the Gospel requires, as the very first and most necessary condition to be a disciple of Christ that we should deny ourselves, hate our own humours and inclinations, and take up our cross, and follow him. The world imagines them blessed, that abound the most with worldly honours, riches, delicacies, pastimes, and other worldly enjoyments, and have no one to thwart or contradict them. The Gospel, on the contrary, pronounces those blessed that are poor in this world; that suffer injuries and affronts with meekness; that weep and mourn, and are reviled and persecuted by men. In a word, the life of worldlings is a perpetual contradiction of the Gospel of Christ; and the life of Christ, and of all the true children of the Gospel, is a perpetual censure of the world and its maxims. See, my soul, which thou wouldest rather follow, the world or the Gospel; the road way, or the narrow; the way of perdition, or the way of life.

Consider 2ndly, that Christianity never had a more dangerous enemy than the world; and never yet suffered half so much from all the persecutions of infidels, that have been from the beginning, as it continually suffers from those false brethren, who under the Christian name, are perpetually undermining the Gospel of Christ, and promoting the kingdom of Satan. The persecution of infidels made innumerable Saints, and served very much to purify, and to propagate the church and kingdom of Christ; whereas, this war that is continually carried on by wicked Christians against the morals and maxims of the Gospel, draws away innumerable souls from Christ, corrupts the innocence even of the best inclined, and enslaves them to Satan and sin, and condemns to hell. O let us beware of this mortal enemy of our salvation, this torrent of worldly custom, these pernicious maxims of a deluded and deluding world. 

Consider 3rdly, with relation to this very time of Shrove-tide, how wide a distance there is between the true spirit of Christianity and the practice of the children of this World. The Church sets aside this time for a time of devotion and penance, that it may be a suitable preparation for the solemn fast of Lent; therefore she puts on, at this time, her penitential attire, she calls upon her children to enter into a penitential disposition, to renounce now their evil ways, and to confess their sins, that they may be properly prepared for melting with mercy and grace, at this approaching time of mercy and grace. The very name Shrove-tide, in the ancient English signifies the time of confession and sins, because our Catholic ancestors were taught to turn to God at this time with their whole hearts, by humble confession and penance. But how sadly has the spirit of the world perverted this pious institution, and turned this time of devotion and penance into a time of riot and sin, even of such excesses and extravagances, as would much better suit with the heathenish festivals of Bacchus, than with any Christian solemnity, much less with preparation for a penitential fast! Beware then, my soul, of conforming thyself to the world, in any of its extravagances at this time, lest by joining now with this enemy of God and of thy salvation, thou come to lose both thyself and thy God for all eternity. 

Conclude to give ear to the divine oracles. 'Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.' 1 John ii. 15. 'The friendship of this world is the enemy of God; whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God,' James iv. 4. and since the word of God thus expressly declares that there can be no such thing as being a friend both to God and the world, keep off from the love of the world, and from its maxims and customs, lest thou make God thy enemy.



Consider first, how God calls upon us, by his Prophet, in the lesson of this day: 'Be converted to me,’ saith he, 'with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning - and rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God,’ Joel ii. 12,13. Christians, hearken to this summons from heaven. O let it sink deep into your souls; and if this day you hear the voice of God sweetly inviting you, turn to him in good earnest; now at this holy season harden not your hearts, lest provoked by your impenitence he turn away from you, and you die in your sins. O let us repeat and amend, as we are admonished by the Church on this day, whilst we have time, lest being overtaken by death, which is ever following at our heels, we should seek for time of penance, and not be able to find it.

Consider 2ndly, the meaning of the ashes which are put on our heads this day with these words: 'Remember that thou art dust; and into the dust thou shalt return.’ Sackcloth and ashes were the ancient habit of penitents. The Ninevites by fasting in sack-cloth and ashes found mercy. Let these ashes then, which we receive on our heads at the beginning of this penitential fast, be a lesson to us to enter upon it with the like penitential spirit. They are an emblem of contrition and humility; let us receive them with a contrite and humble heart. They are also a remembrance of our mortality, of our frail composition, and of our hasty return to our mother earth. O let us think well on this, and renounce henceforward our unhappy pride and presumption; O let us make good use of this our time, and prepare for that moment which shall ere long send away our souls into another region, and turn our bodies into dirt and dust.

Consider 3rdly, Christian soul, those words, as if, they were addressed to thee: ‘Yet  forty days and Nineve shall be destroyed,’ Jonas iii. 4. Alas have not thy sins, like those of Nineve, called to heaven this long time for vengeance? And hast thou not too much reason to fear, lest the mercy which thou hast so long abused should now quickly give place to justice, and should suffer thee to die in thy sins? Perhaps this is the last reprieve that God will grant thee. In all appearance the good use, or the abuse of these forty days, may determine thy lot for an eternity.

Conclude then to spare no pains to avert the judgment that hangs over thy head, and so spend these forty days of reprieve in suing for mercy, after the manner God has appointed, that is, by fasting, weeping, and mourning, that thou mayest effectually find it.


15. On the dispositions with which we are to enter upon the service of God
16. On true devotion
17. On the opposition there is between the world and the Gospel. For Shrove-tide.
18. On fighting under the standard of Jesus Christ .
19. On the rules prescribed by Jesus Christ to his followers, Matt. xvi.

19 March. On St. Joseph.
25 March. On the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin.

On Ash-Wednesday
Thursday after Ash-Wednesday. On fasting
Friday. On the rules of fasting
Saturday. On the great fast of a Christian

Revd Dr Robert Wilson PhD

Today marks Quinquagesima Sunday or fifty days before Easter. It is also the Sunday before Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday. As Lent is the time when we seek to deepen the seriousness of our Christian discipleship it is important above all that we approach it in the right spirit, so it is appropriate that the Epistle today is St. Paul’s great hymn to charity.

The charity of which St. Paul speaks is caritas, the love of God which is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is bestowed upon us. In Greek there were four words for love, eros- sexual love, philos- the love of friends, storge- warmth and affection. But the love of which St. Paul speaks is agape, the love of God, translated in Latin as caritas, meaning charity. In all the other three loves there is an element of self seeking or self interest, but it is not so with the love of God. “Charity is patient, is kind; charity feels no envy; charity is never perverse or proud, never insolent; does not claim its rights, cannot be provoked, does not brood over an injury; takes no pleasure at wrongdoing, but rejoices at the victory of truth; sustains, believes, hopes, endures all to the last.” God does not need to create, but does so because absolute goodness and love is by nature expansive. God did not need to create the universe, but he did so of his own volition to create, and so brought all things into being from nothing. When the human race fell and became mired in its own sinfulness and shortcomings, God came in the person of Jesus Christ to redeem them, not because we deserved it, for we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, but because of his love and mercy.

As it is the nature of love or charity and goodness to be expansive and to create, so it is the nature of evil to contract and collapse upon itself, for evil, as St. Augustine said, is a privation of goodness, just as darkness is the absence of light. He defined sin as disordered love, and in the City of God said that “two loves have built two cities,” the city grounded on the self, in contrast to the city grounded on the love of God. For whereas we should put God first, others second and ourselves last, we tend to put ourselves first, others second and God last, for it is our fallen nature that leads us to be selfish. That is why it is better to see life as a shipwreck rather than an exam. If we see life as an exam, it is one in which we have all failed, so none of us have any occasion for pride and self seeking. Rather, life is a shipwreck in which all humanity is trapped in the same boat, but the great mercy and love of God provides us with a lifeboat to safety.

So when we approach Lent we should not see it as an exam in which we either pass or fail, but rather as a response to the love of God in the person of Jesus Christ. It is an expression of gratitude for forgiveness experienced, knowing that all are doings are worth nothing without charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues.

This is a difficult doctrine to accept at the present time, because contemporary society encourages an attitude which is the opposite of charity. The world is divided into winners and losers, and success is defined as “playing the game”, in others words manipulating as many people as possible to enable the person to achieve success, which is defined in purely material terms. Those who are not successful in material terms are left angry and frustrated because they are excluded from the success that they see others enjoying. However, the paradox is that those who are successful in material terms are also angry and frustrated because they can never have enough and become imprisoned by what they own. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing. That is why a society that prizes material success rather than charity produces unhappiness and misery.

This false spirit of competitiveness and self seeking can invade the Church as well. If religious observance is viewed as an exam in which we pass and fail, then those who think that they have succeeded can start to trust in themselves that they are righteous and despise others. The Pharisee in the Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector was doing the right thing for the wrong reason. He fasted, he gave alms and prayed, but he did not have charity, and so he became proud and self conceited. His prayer was about himself rather than about his own unworthiness before God. The Publican who prayed that God be merciful to him a sinner, approached God in the right spirit.

In today’s Gospel Jesus is approaching Jerusalem for the last time with his disciples, and he speaks of his forthcoming passion. He came to give life by giving his life. His messianic destiny of enthronement and rule would come about through reversal, repudiation, suffering and death. The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. This was the divine charity giving itself to atone for the sins of the world, that suffers long and is kind, that bears all things and endures all things. Confronted with a world filled with violence he did not consent to it, but took the evil upon himself and somehow subsumed it into good.

The season of Lent which is now approaching is a battle and a struggle to observe. The good news is that it is a battle that has already been fought and won on our behalf. We can use Lent to deepen our Christian discipleship in gratitude for the divine charity that offered itself on our behalf for our redemption.

O Love how deep, how broad how high!
How passing thought and fantasy
That God, the Son of God should take
Our mortal form for mortals’ sake.

He sent no angel to our race
Of higher or of lower place,
But wore the form of human frame,
And he himself to this world came.

For us to wicked men betrayed, 
Scourged, mocked in crown of thorns arrayed;
For us he bore the cross’s death;
For us at length gave up his breath.

For us he rose from death again,
For us he went on high to reign,
For us he sent his Spirit here
To guide, to strengthen, and to cheer.

All honour, laud and glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin born to thee,
All glory as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete.
Saint Valentine
February 14 Priest and Martyr
(† 268)

Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who assisted the martyrs during the persecution under Claudius II. His great virtue and influence became known, and he was apprehended and brought before the emperor's tribunal. Why, Valentine, do you want to be the friend of our enemies and reject our friendship? The Christian priest replied, My Lord, if you knew the gift of God, you would be happy, and your empire with you; you would reject the cult of your idols and would adore the true God and His Son Jesus Christ. One of the judges interrupted, asking the martyr what he thought of Jupiter and Mercury. That they were miserable, and spent all their lives in debauchery and crime! The judge, furious, cried, He has blasphemed against the gods and against the empire! The emperor nonetheless continued his questioning with curiosity, pleased to have this opportunity to know what Christians thought. Valentine had the courage to exhort him to do penance for the blood of Christians which he had shed. Believe in Jesus Christ, be baptized and you will be saved, and already in this life you will insure your empire's glory and the triumph of your arms. Claudius began to be convinced, and said to those in attendance, Hear the beautiful doctrine this man is teaching us! But the prefect of Rome, dissatisfied, cried out, See how this Christian is seducing our prince! Claudius, weakening, abandoned the holy priest to another judge.

This man, named Asterius, had a little girl who had been blind for two years. Hearing of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, he asked Valentine if he could convey that light to his child. Saint Valentine placed his hand on her eyes and prayed: Lord Jesus Christ, true Light, illuminate this blind child! The child saw, and the Judge with all his family confessed Christ and received Baptism. The emperor, hearing of this, would have turned his gaze away from these conversions, but fear caused him to betray his sense of justice. With several other Christians Saint Valentine was tortured and martyred in the year 268.

This illustrious martyr has always been held in great honor in Rome, where there still exists a catacomb named for him.

Reflection. In the cause of justice and truth, human prudence should not be consulted; in that case, it is mere human respect. Saint Paul says: The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. (I Cor. 3:19)

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).


Saints Faustinus and Jovita
February 15 Martyrs
(† 122)

Faustinus and Jovita were brothers, nobly born, and were zealous professors of the Christian religion, which they preached without fear in their city of Brescia in Lombardy, during the persecution of Adrian. Their remarkable zeal excited the fury of the heathens against them, and procured them a glorious death for their faith.

Faustinus, a priest, and Jovita, a deacon, were preaching the Gospel fearlessly in the region when Julian, a pagan officer, apprehended them. They were commanded to adore the sun, but replied that they adored the living God who created the sun to give light to the world. The statue before which they were standing was brilliant and surrounded with golden rays. Saint Jovita, looking at it, cried out: Yes, we adore the God reigning in heaven, who created the sun. And you, vain statue, turn black, to the shame of those who adore you! At his word, it turned black. The Emperor commanded that it be cleaned, but the pagan priests had hardly begun to touch it when it fell into ashes.

The two brothers were sent to the amphitheater to be devoured by lions, but four of those came out and lay down at their feet. They were left without food in a dark jail cell, but Angels brought them strength and joy for new combats. The flames of a huge fire respected them, and a large number of spectators were converted at the sight. Finally sentenced to decapitation, they knelt down and received the death blow. The city of Brescia honors them as its chief patrons and possesses their relics, and a very ancient church in that city bears their names.

Reflection. The spirit of Christ is ever a spirit of martyrdom. It is always the spirit of the cross. The more we share in the suffering life of Christ, the greater share we inherit of His Spirit, and of the fruits of His death. To souls mortified in their senses and disengaged from earthly things, God gives frequent foretastes of the sweetness of eternal life, and ardent desires of possessing Him in His glory. This is the spirit of martyrdom, which entitles a Christian to a happy resurrection and to the bliss of the life to come.

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year, edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O. Cist., Ph.D. (Catholic Book Publishing Co.: New York, 1951-1955).


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For the ORC Policy Document click below
Coronavirus Policy Document
The Coronavirus Policy document [above] mentions specifically consideration pastorally of those in isolation, whether self-isolating i.e. a person or someone in their household has symptoms, or quarantined i.e. positively infected and required to convalesce at home or receive treatment in hospital. As the guidance posits, those who are hospitalised are unlikely to be permitted visitors, but in the section "Pastoral Care of the Isolated" those who are in isolation at home may require regular contact and communication as well as occasional practical assistance e.g. to get supplies.

The Policy suggests that parishioners and clergy... 
  • inform one another as soon as possible of any church member becoming isolated,
  • that the pastor or church secretary records the date of the start of a person's isolation (to calculate the date they should be free of infection),
  • that the pastor make every effort to stay in regular contact with the isolated person.
The Policy also suggests for those parishes/missions with a localised congregation in a neighbourhood, a system of "street wardens" be established. A "street warden" is a nominated member of the church who agrees to become a point of contact between the church and any church member living on their street who is self-isolating, and even perhaps for anybody else as well (as a form of witness and outreach). The "street warden" would let the pastor know of someone becoming self-isolating, would maintain regular contact with the member perhaps through electronic means eg mobile phone, talking through a door or window and be prepared to arrange the supply of provisions eg medicine or food etc. 
Practical advice for staying at home
You might be worried about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include having to stay at home and avoid other people.

This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing. 

Eat well and stay hydrated
  • Think about your diet. Your appetite might change if your routine changes, or if you’re less active than you usually are. Eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable can help your mood and energy levels.
  • Drink water regularly. Drinking enough water is important for your mental and physical health. Changing your routine might affect when you drink or what fluids you drink. It could help to set an alarm or use an app to remind you. You should drink enough during the day so your urine (pee) is a pale clear colour.
  • You can use over-the-counter medications, such as paracetamol, to help with some of your symptoms. Use these according to the instructions on the packet or label and do not exceed the recommended dose.
  • If you are self-isolating, you can ask someone to drop off essential food items for you. If they do this, ask them to leave food at your doorstep, to avoid face-to-face contact with each other.
Take care of your immediate environment
  • If you are spending a lot of time at home, you may find it helpful to keep things clean and tidy, although this is different for different people.
  • If you live with other people, keeping things tidy might feel more important if you’re all at home together. But you might have different ideas about what counts as 'tidy' or how much it matters. It could help to decide together how you’ll use different spaces. And you could discuss what each person needs to feel comfortable. 
  • Cleaning your house, doing laundry and washing yourself are important ways to help stop germs spreading, including when there are warnings about particular diseases. 
  • When cleaning you should use your usual household products, like detergents and bleach, as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, remote controls and table tops. This is particularly important if you have an older or vulnerable person in the house.
  • Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.
  • Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. To minimise the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry.
  • Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. All dirty laundry can be washed in the same load.
  • If you do not have a washing machine, wait a further 72 hours after your 7-day (for individual isolation) or 14-day isolation period (for households) has ended when you can then take the laundry to a public launderette.
For parents and carers of children and young people
  • If you are working from home more than usual, you may find it especially difficult if you are also looking after children would usually be in nursery, school or college while you work.
  • Think about how to balance your work with caring for your children. If you have an employer, they may be able to help you balance your work and childcare responsibilities.
  • Some employers may ask if there is another adult who can supervise your children while you’re working. It may help to speak to your employer if you are concerned about this.
  • Think about being more lenient with your children’s social media and mobile phone use during their time at home. If your children would normally go to school or college, they will be used to being around other children for several hours a day. They might find it difficult to be removed from this, especially if they're also worried about their health.
  • Ask their school or college if any digital learning is available while your children are at home, and what technology they may need. Remember to add time in for breaks and lunch.
  • You can also think about card games, board games and puzzles, and any other ways to stay active or be creative.If no digital learning is available, you could encourage your children to select books or podcasts they'd like to explore during their time away from school or college.
  • For older teens, there are free online courses they could try out.
Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing
If you are staying at home more than you usually would, it might feel more difficult than usual to take care of your mental health and wellbeing.

Keeping in touch digitally
  • Make plans to video chat with people or groups you’d normally see in person.
  • You can also arrange phone calls or send instant messages or texts.
  • If you’re worried that you might run out of stuff to talk about, make a plan with someone to watch a show or read a book separately so that you can discuss it when you contact each other. 
  • Think of other ways to keep in contact with people while meeting in person is not possible. For example, you could check your phone numbers are up to date, or that you have current email addresses for friends you've not seen for a while. 
"Online is the only place I can really make friends, so that helps obviously. For people who cannot get out to socialise, the internet is a link to the outside world. It IS a social life of sorts."

If you're worried about loneliness
  • Think about things you can do to connect with people. For example, putting extra pictures up of the people you care about might be a nice reminder of the people in your life.
  • Listen to a chatty radio station or podcast if your home feels too quiet.
Decide on a routine
  • Plan how you’ll spend your time. It might help to write this down on paper and put it on the wall. 
  • Try to follow your ordinary routine as much as possible. Get up at the same time as normal, follow your usual morning routines, and go to bed at your usual time. Set alarms to remind you of your new schedule if that helps.
  • If you aren’t happy with your usual routine, this might be a chance to do things differently. For example, you could go to bed earlier, spend more time cooking or do other things you don’t usually have time for.
  • Think about how you’ll spend time by yourself at home. For example, plan activities to do on different days or habits you want to start or keep up.
If you live with other people, it may help to do the following:
  • Agree on a household routine. Try to give everyone you live with a say in this agreement.
  • Try to respect each other's privacy and give each other space. For example, some people might want to discuss everything they’re doing while others won’t.
Try to keep active
Build physical activity into your daily routine, if possible. Most of us don’t have exercise equipment like treadmills where we live, but there are still activities you can do. Exercising at home can be simple and there are options for most ages and abilities, such as:
  • cleaning your home 
  • dancing to music
  • going up and down stairs
  • seated exercises
  • online exercise workouts that you can follow
  • sitting less – if you notice you’ve been sitting down for an hour, just getting up or changing position can help.
Find ways to spend your time
  • Try having a clear out. You could sort through your possessions and put them away tidily, or have a spring clean.
  • You could also have a digital clear out. Delete any old files and apps you don’t use, upgrade your software, update all your passwords or clear out your inboxes.
  • Write letters or emails, or make phone calls with people you’ve been meaning to catch up with.
Find ways to relax
There are lots of different ways that you can relax, take notice of the present moment and use your creative side. These include:
  • arts and crafts, such as drawing, painting, collage, sewing, craft kits or upcycling
  • DIY
  • colouring
  • prayer and meditation
  • playing musical instruments, singing or listening to music
  • writing.
Keep your mind stimulated
  • Keep your brain occupied and challenged. Set aside time in your routine for this. Read books, magazines and articles. Listen to podcasts, watch films and do puzzles.
  • There are lots of apps that can help you learn things, such as a foreign language or other new skills.
Fr Thomas Gierke OSF shares an insight into his bi-vocation as a priest and an EMS
Bishop Joash with newly commissioned Youth Officers
The faithful celebrated with Bishop Joash his first anniversary of episcopal consecration!
Santa Isidro Labrador, Laguna
San Isidro parish church and Tagapo Chapel dressed and ready to celebrate the Feast of Santo Nino on Saturday January 31st 2021! The parish will celebrate with a motorcade procession through the streets with thirty vehicles and floats and Father Porteza will bless homes and images of the Christ-Child on route. This year is the 500th anniversary of Christianity coming to the Philippines and the devotion to the Christ-Child "Santa Nino" derives from those times, being one of the first images the Spanish missionaries introduced to the native people who took to the devotion instantly.
Thank you very much to all who joined and joined us Viva Sto Nino de Dita 2021
Tagapo Chapel, Laguna
First Holy Communions January 2021
The children make their First Confession and then practice processing for the Mass
The children make their First Holy Communion with Father Jose
Santa Cruz, Houston
Brighton Oratory
Parish priest, Metropolitan Jerome of Selsey celebrated his birthday this past week and the faithful in the Philippines recalling his visitation last year, hosted a birthday celebration in his honour at the Divine Mercy parish were he stayed!

Persons experiencing homelessness encounter significant barriers to self-care and personal hygiene, including limited access to clean showers, laundry and hand washing facilities. The obstacles to personal hygiene associated with homelessness may increase risk of infectious disease, yet hygiene-related behaviours among people experiencing homelessness receives limited attention. 

Due to COVID the situation for people sleeping on our streets has become more difficult as homeless provision services affected by the pandemic have ceased operating or had to scale back significantly their operations; some unable to operate at all. For Brighton & Hove there is no only one provider of showering and washing facilities for those sleeping rough.

Usually at this time of year, the Archbishop would be planning a Christmas Day lunch with the Salvation Army for the homeless, but due to COVID restrictions, regrettably neither the regular Wednesday drop-in nor Christmas Day Lunch are realisable.

The Archbishop is supporting a new homeless project in Brighton & Hove, Soup & socks that will be tackling food poverty and serving the homeless of the city a hot meal four nights a week throughout winter. In addition to socks, His Grace is keen to provide necessary items for personal hygiene, toiletries, sanitiser, change of underwear and particularly women’s health items such as sanitary towels and fresh wipes. These items are often overlooked. Funding for such items is seldom available.

Please help the Archbishop to help others by way of a donation so that necessary personal hygiene items can be purchased wholesale and distributed to those who need them most.

King of Mercy Mission
Adoration Chapel Appeal
An opportunity to present Christ - Emmanuel - in the heart of people's lives. To bring the peace of Christ's presence to the hustle and bustle of daily life. To provide an opportunity for spiritual encounter in a worldly environment...

The King of Mercy mission in Detroit, currently being established by the order of Little Marion Sons (FMCD), has the opportunity to create an Adoration Chapel in the heart of a shopping mall south of the city of Detroit, Michigan. The concept is to provide a spiritual oasis where people can take time out to pray. The chapel will be supported by a religious 
repository selling devotional objects, rosaries. icons, statues, books etc, the proceeds from which will support an outreach programme to the local homeless population.

The Little Marion Sons need help to cover initial costs for moving chapel appointments from storage to the outlet and fitting out the spaces for a sanctuary, shop and café areas.
You can make a tax-exempt donation to the order via PayPal.

Filii Minimi Cordis Dulcissime, LLC is a registered charity 501(c)(3) and non-profit company registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), EIN: 47-3962843

Following last issue's article about "How to participate in online worship" Metropolitan Jerome took the opportunity this past week to record a series of four talks on "How to worship online". In each episode his grace gives both a theological dimension as well as practical suggestions as to the disposition one should have toward worship online and to maximise the spiritual experience.
EPSIODE 1: first principles
EPISODE 2: preparation
EPISODE 3: practicalities
EPISODE 4: Spiritual Communion
Timings are GMT London UK
0830 Mass & Homily
1200 Angelus & Meditation
1800 Angelus & Rosary
1845 The Domestic Church
1800 Holy Hour & Benediction
1500 Stations of the Cross
1845 Old Romans Unscripted
0830 Mass

Timings are GMT London UK

LIVE broadcasts from The Brighton Oratory, UK
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QUESTION: What benefits do I derive from watching the traditional Latin Mass on the internet? I know I don’t get the full benefit I would if I were there in person.

RESPONSE: It is clear, based on the teaching of pre-Vatican II theologians regarding hearing Mass over the radio or television, that one could not fulfill his Sunday obligation by viewing a Mass broadcast over the internet. The law requires physical presence at the Holy Sacrifice, or at least being part of a group that is actually present (in the case of a congregation so large, for example, that it spills out beyond the doors of the church into the street).

So, if you were able to be physically present at Mass under the usual conditions on a Sunday or a Holy Day, you would be obliged to go to it. You could not choose instead to remain at home glued to your computer— or indeed, to remain in the church parking lot, hovering over your iPhone — and still fulfil your duty to assist at Mass.

Thus the question of the obligation.

However, the spiritual benefit of a broadcast Mass is another matter — you can indeed benefit from it. This is clear from the comment of Fr. Francis Connell, a well-known moral theologian at Catholic University in the 1950s, who addressed the question of hearing Mass over the radio:

“One may participate in the benefits of the Mass without being actually present — namely, by directing one’s intention and devotion to the sacred rite. By hearing Mass over the radio one can certainly foster his devotion, and thus profit considerably from the offering of the Holy Sacrifice. Indeed, it could happen that one who participates in the Holy Sacrifice in this manner will gain much more benefit than many of those who are actually present.” (Father Connell Answers Moral Questions [Washington: CUA 1959] 75–6)

So, in these days when true Masses offered by real priests are few and far between, Catholics can at least have the consolation of knowing that a facet of modern technology so often used for evil can also be used to foster their own devotion — and indeed, to bring to them the benefits of a true Mass, wherever it is offered.
Gesimatide, the three-Sunday long season between the Transfiguration of our Lord and Ash Wednesday, is the Church’s journey down the mountain of the Transfiguration to the valley that is Lent.

On the last Sunday after the Epiphany, the Gospel appointed for Transfiguration shows us a glimpse of Christ’s reality, a reality seldom seen on this side of eternity. The God-Man Jesus, who in complete submission to the Father left the glory of heaven and humbled himself to be born in the flesh, blood, and bone of man; the Christ of God who, through his life, teaching, and miracles gives glory to the Father, stands before the disciples—and us—fully displayed in his own divine glory and majesty. And with him are the icons of the Law and the Prophets: Moses who was secretly buried by God at his death, and Elijah who did not die, but was taken by God into heaven. And Jesus is having a conversation with them.

It is exactly the fact that Jesus, Moses, and Elijah were having this conversation that has led to the liturgical placement of the Transfiguration as the final Gospel of Epiphany. Epiphany as a feast and as a season is about the revelation of God in Christ. First in the story of the magi from the east—signifying the revelation of the Messiah beyond the tribes and people of Israel. Then his baptism is celebrated not only marking the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, but also revealing him as the Son of God anointed for his work and blessed by the Father. The Gospels for the Sundays that follow present the revelation of God through the preaching, teaching, miracles, healing, and the announcement of the forgiveness of sins, that Jesus performed during his three-year ministry. On the mountain of the Transfiguration, not only is the full divine glory of Jesus revealed, but there is this holy conversation about Jesus’ exodus, his departure, in other words his coming suffering and death, which is the ultimate revelation of God.

This mountain-top conversation must be the continuation of the conversation of heaven: the plan of God for the salvation of man and the means by which Jesus would work out that merciful plan. The heavenly hosts—the angels and the whole community of saints—waited in eager expectation for the working-out of the timeless plan of the Father in time, but that does not mean they necessarily waited in silence. The heavenly conversation, now glimpsed at on the mountain of Transfiguration was about Jesus’ departure, the conversation was about the Passion to come, the conversation was about the awesome reality that holy justice required the ultimate payment, the conversation was most certainly about the Son of God paying the price for sin: the death of the Son as the all-sufficient sacrifice.

As much as the disciples wanted to, they could not remain on the mountain. Too soon Moses and Elijah were gone, the glory of the almighty Son was again hidden, and the glimpse of the Lord’s reality—a reality that confirmed the promise of God for a life after death—was gone. None record it, but the descent down the mountain was probably fraught with emotion, and the memory of what the disciples had seen likely sparked contemplation and conversation, and prepared them for the hard days soon to come.

We too cannot stay on the mountain of Christmas, Epiphany, and Transfiguration. Certainly the most ancient and most joyous season of the Church Year is yet to come, but between these two great liturgical mountains is the hard wilderness, the penitential valley of Lent. The Sundays of Gesimatide provide a deliberate descent during which we can contemplate both the mountaintop experience above and the coming wilderness journey below. It is an opportunity to gradually adjust to the change in altitude and the change in attitude. Septuagesima (70-some days before Easter), Sexagesima (60-some days before Easter), Quinquagesima (50-some days before Easter) are the angel-like hands of the Church Year that would keep us from dashing our feet against the stony pavement of Lent.
Christians, like adherents to many other religions, have long fasted. But it was only after Christians began to fast specifically prior to Easter, about 300 years after Jesus’s death, that anyone looked to the Bible to find a source for the practice. Before then, surprisingly, the two hadn’t been connected. So how did it happen?

Fasting – not eating (and sometimes drinking) for an extended period of time – is a practice that goes back long before Jesus. Ancient Jews fasted on certain days throughout the year. Mark 2:18–23 and Matthew 6:16–18, for example, both take for granted that fasting is a normal part of Jewish religious practice. Other Jewish texts from the Greco-Roman period depict fasting as an effective substitute for sacrifice. About a hundred years before Jesus, the Psalms of Solomon 3:8–9 describe fasting as a way to atone for sins and as a habitual practice of the righteous.

In the earliest years of Christianity, Christians seem to have observed the same fast days that Jews observed. Some authors were violently opposed to this cultural and religious intermingling. John Chrysostom (c. 349-407), writing against Christians sharing anything in common with Jews, admonishes Christians who fast on the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

Not eating and not drinking could be seen as a means of atonement, as with Yom Kippur, but it could also clear the way for an expected meeting with God. Moses, for example, fasted prior to going up the mountain to meet with God and receive the Ten Commandments in Exodus 34:28. Fasting is also prominent in other texts, closer in date to Jesus’s time, such as 4 Ezra. In this first century text, Ezra prepares to receive revelations from God by abstaining from food and drink for seven days. After his period of fasting, an angel tells him divine secrets.

Jesus’s fast in the desert, then, would have been understood to prepare him to commune with God and to strengthen him against the devil’s temptations. It is little wonder, then, that later Christians began to associate fasting with being close to God. Perhaps the most well-known development of fasting practice that emerges after antiquity is the so-called “holy anorexics” – women, such as Angela of Foligno (1248–1309) and Catherine of Siena (1347–1380), who refused all food but the Eucharist.

Christian texts as early as the second century talk about fasting leading up to Easter, but different Christian groups appear to observe different types and lengths of fasts, and even within a church there were differences of opinion. Irenaeus of Lyons noted the variety:

For the dispute is not only about the day, but also about the actual form of the fast. For some think that they should fast one day, others two, others again more; some for that matter, count their day as consisting of 40 hours day and night.

The earliest reference to a sustained fast of more than two or three days is in the Didascalia, a Syrian Christian document probably from the the third century AD.

Therefore you shall fast in the days of the Pascha from the tenth, which is the second day of the week; and you shall sustain yourselves with bread and salt and water only, at the ninth hour, until the fifth day of the week. But on the Friday and on the Sabbath fast wholly, and taste nothing … For thus did we also fast, when our Lord suffered, for a testimony of the three days …

This text connects a six-day fast with Easter and with Jesus’s suffering, but surprisingly still not with Jesus’s 40-day temptation depicted in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It was Peter I of Alexandria in the fourth century who connected Christian penitential (still not Lenten) fasting to Jesus’s 40-day fast in the wilderness:

It is sufficient, I say, that from the time of their submissive approach, other forty days should be enjoined upon them, to keep them in remembrance of these things; those forty days during which, though our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ had fasted, He was yet, after He had been baptised, tempted of the devil. And when they shall have, during these days, exercised themselves much, and constantly fasted, then let them watch in prayer, meditating upon what was spoken by the Lord to him who tempted Him to fall down and worship him: ‘Get behind me, Satan; for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’

Indeed, the likely reason why fasting later became associated with the run-up to Easter is that people started holding baptisms at Easter. The three-week long preparation for becoming a Christian through baptism included fasting, and as baptism became more strongly associated with Easter in the fourth century AD, it is possible that fasting in the lead-up became more generalised to include people who were already Christians. Until Christians decided on a standard way to calculate the date of Easter, under the Emperor Constantine, a specific Lenten fast was far from universal.

Fasting can be a powerful practice for a Christian, but it’s also significantly misunderstood and culturally challenging, so it tends to be either badly practiced, or not practiced at all. Lent would be a great time to experiment with fasting, but it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into! So we’ve written up a few pointers on how to fast for Lent (or any other time).

What fasting is and isn’t
Christian fasting isn’t the same thing as dieting, or going on a hunger strike, or punishing our bodies, or fasting for a medical procedure.

Christian fasting is not:
  • A way to suffer for God
  • A spiritual practice that demonstrates how pious or devout you are
  • Righteousness (i.e. it doesn’t equal holiness or sanctification)
  • A way of trying really hard spiritually that God will respond to
  • The same thing as repenting of sin (we don’t “fast” from sin, we confess it, receive forgiveness, and turn from it)
  • An addiction treatment program (if you feel powerless to break a dependence, reach out for help!)
Instead, Christian fasting is intentionally withholding something we’d normally partake in (normally food) for the purpose of creating space in our lives to feast on the presence of Jesus “directly.”

So, Christian fasting is:
Wisdom – it’s love and knowledge meeting together in a practice that avails us to God’s resources to meet our needs.
Training – it’s the indirect effort that gives us access to something we can’t try or make happen on our own.
Surrender – it’s voluntarily “making ourselves weak” so that we can know and receive the strength and power of God (2 Cor 12:9-10).
Simply put: fasting is a way to place ourselves in the way of grace by withdrawing our reliance on earthly things so that we can feast on God’s presence and power.

Possible ways to fast during Lent
If you’ve never practiced fasting before, an easy way into the practice is to engage in a partial fast. A partial fast can involve food and drink, or certain habits. Here are some possibilities for a partial fast:
  • Fasting from foods associated with “feasting”: chocolate, desserts, coffee/caffeine, alcohol, etc.
  • Fasting from media or entertainment: cell phone, TV, streaming video, radio, music, email, computers, video games, etc.
  • Fasting from habits and comforts: shopping, looking in the mirror, makeup, elevators, parking in a spot close to the store, finding the shortest checkout line, reading online, following sports, etc.
Here are some questions to help you discern a partial fast that will be challenging enough to be fruitful:
  • What cravings have a hold on me?
  • What would be truly liberating to leave behind?
  • Short of an addiction, have I become dependent on a particular food, drink, substance, or activity?
  • What would be truly challenging for me to give up during Lent?
  • What is Jesus asking of me?
As you pray through these questions, try picking one food or drink and one media, comfort, or habit to give up, and then share this with a loved one as a way to embrace accountability.

One more thing about partial fasting during Lent: Sundays don’t count! Sundays are “feast days,” which means you don’t practice your fast on Sundays. (The entire season of Lent is actually 46 days long: 40 days of fasting and 6 Sundays of feasting!) Practicing a feast day helps make our Lenten fasts sustainable.

Also, think about a whole fast!
In addition to a partial fast, you may also consider embracing a whole fast. A whole fast is not abstaining from food for all of Lent, but rather the practice of skipping entire meals (and snacks) for a specific amount of time. During a whole fast, you can continue to drink water or some other non-substantial liquid, like chicken broth.

(We don’t recommend fruit juices when you’re on a whole fast, as their sugar content is typically very high!)

It should be pointed out that a whole fast isn’t for everyone. Small children, the elderly, pregnant or nursing mothers, and those with relevant health issues should not attempt a whole fast. If you’re concerned about fasting, talk with a medical professional about it before trying it.

But if you decide to try a whole fast during Lent, consider starting with a 24-hour fast once a week. Traditional days for Christians to fast are Wednesdays (to commemorate Jesus’ betrayal) and Fridays (to commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion). Here’s how to do it:
  • Have a light dinner the night before, and don’t eat anything more before bed.
  • Then skip breakfast and lunch the next day, breaking your fast at dinnertime that evening.
Other traditional days to practice a whole fast are Ash Wednesday, and some people will fast all the way from Maundy Thursday to Holy Saturday, breaking their 3-day fast on Easter morning.
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. The name Shrove comes from the old middle English word ‘Shriven’ meaning to go to confession to say sorry for the wrong things you’ve done. Lent always starts on a Wednesday, so people went to confessions on the day before. This became known as Shriven Tuesday and then Shrove Tuesday.
The other name for this day, Pancake Day, comes from the old English custom of using up all the fattening ingredients in the house before Lent, so that people were ready to fast during Lent. The fattening ingredients that most people had in their houses in those days were eggs and milk. A very simple recipe to use up these ingredients was to combine them with some flour and make pancakes!
The custom of making pancakes still continues today, and in many U.K. towns and villages pancake races (where people race with a frying pan while tossing a pancake in it!) and pancake tossing competitions are held on Shrove Tuesday.
In other countries Shrove Tuesday is known as ‘Mardi Gras’. This means ‘Fat Tuesday’ in French and also comes from the idea of using up food before Lent.
Many countries round the world have Mardi Gras celebrations and carnivals. Some of the most famous are in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, New Orleans in the U.S.A., Venice in Italy and Sydney in Australia.
In Rio, the streets are filled, over several days leading up to Shrove Tuesday, with large processions of people marching, singing and dancing. People taking part in the parade dress up in very bright exotic clothes. Sometimes the costumes are made on large wire structures so the people wearing them look very big, like butterflies or birds. There are big floats, with stands for singing and dancing on built into cars or lorries that take part in the parade, they are decorated as brightly as the people and help make the procession look amazing!
The most popular place to watch the parade is on the Marquês de Sapucaí Avenue, often called the ‘Sambódromo’ or ‘Avenida do Samba’ that mean Samba Avenue (the samba is a popular Brazilian dance). Apart from the main organised carnivals, there are small groups of people who go round the streets singing and dancing known as ‘blocos’ or ‘bandas’. People from the local streets will often join the processions until a party starts!
The Rio carnivals started over 250 years ago when the Portuguese settlers bought form of carnival called ‘entrudo’ with them. It consisted of people throwing flour and water over each other! In 1856 the police banned entrudo carnivals because they were becoming violent and lots of people were getting hurt. This is when the carnival, like it is today, started. From the turn of the 20th century, people started to write fun marching songs to be sung during the carnival processions. When cars started becoming more widely available, they were made part of the carnival as away of displaying the performers. These grew into the large carnival floats that take part today.
ASH WEDNESDAY is February 17th THIS WEEK and from a liturgical point of view is one of the most important days of the year. In the first place this day opens the liturgical season of Lent, which formerly began with the First Sunday and comprised only thirty-six days. The addition of Wednesday and the three following days brought the number to forty, which is that of Our Lord’s fast in the desert.
In the Old Law ashes were generally a symbolic expression of grief, mourning, or repentance. In the Early Church the use of ashes had a like signification and with sackcloth formed part of the public penance. The blessing of the ashes is one of the great liturgical rites of the year. It was originally instituted for public penitents, but is now intended for all Christians, as Lent should be a time of penance for all. The ashes used this day are obtained by burning the palms of the previous year. Four ancient prayers are used in blessing them, and, having been sprinkled with holy water and incensed, the priest puts them on the foreheads of the faithful with the words: “Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shall return.”
We continue to love, pray and help each other, whether we are on Earth, in Purgatory on in Heaven.
Weekly News Roundup 
Rosary Guild
The Manghera family Rosary Guild is once again taking orders for homemade rosaries, scapulas, Miraculous Medals and holy cards to support their parish mission!  If you are interested to place an order, please contact Fr Kristopher 
How to pray the Rosary
  1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say the “Apostles’ Creed”
  2. Say the “Our Father”
  3. Say three “Hail Marys” for Faith, Hope, and Charity
  4. Say the “Glory Be”
  5. Announce the First Mystery and then say the “Our Father”
  6. Say ten “Hail Marys” while meditating on the Mystery
  7. Say the “Glory Be” (Optional: Say the “O My Jesus” prayer requested by Mary at Fatima)
  8. Announce the Next Mystery; then say the “Our Father” and repeat these steps (6 through 8) as you continue through the remaining Mysteries.
  9. Say the closing prayers: the “Hail Holy Queen” and “Final Prayer”
  10. Make the “Sign of the Cross”
If you’ve never prayed the Rosary before, this article will give you the basics; and, if you’re returning to the Rosary after a long time away, you can use this article as a "refresher course." Keep in mind, though, that there are no "Rosary police" checking up on you to make sure that you’re doing it "the right way."

In the long run, you may pray the Rosary however you prefer to pray it. The main objective of the Rosary is the same as any method of prayer—to nourish your intimacy with the triune God and with the communion of saints in this world and the next. So whatever serves that purpose is good.

If you want to pray the Rosary in the customary manner, however, there is a traditional way to go about it. The prayers of the Rosary will be provided here, in case you don’t already know them.

Because praying the Rosary involves repetitive prayer, it’s a good idea to have a rosary. If you don’t have a religious goods store in your area, you can find several sources on the Internet—some of which even offer free rosaries.

There are two basic ways to pray the Rosary—alone or with one or more people. If you are praying the Rosary with others, the custom is for one person to lead the group, primarily by saying the first half of each prayer and announcing each of the mysteries. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll assume here that you are praying the Rosary by yourself. If you join a group, most likely many of those present will understand how to pray the Rosary as a group, so all you’ll need to do is follow along. When praying the Rosary alone, you may either recite the prayers aloud or say them silently—it’s up to you.

The rosary consists of six Our Father beads and five decades (sets of ten) Hail Mary Beads plus one set of three Hail Mary beads. The Apostles’ Creed is said on the crucifix, and the Glory Be is said on the chain or knot after each set of Hail Marys. The Hail, Holy Queen is said at the end of the Rosary. Here’s how to go about it. You may be surprised when you see how easy it really is:

Make the Sign of the Cross

You begin the Rosary by making the sign of the cross using the small crucifix on the rosary. Simply hold the crucifix on your rosary with your fingers and trace the sign of the cross on your forehead, your chest, and then your left and right shoulders while saying,

In the name of the Father [forehead], and of the Son [chest], and of the Holy [left shoulder] Spirit [right shoulder]. Amen.

Say the Apostles’ Creed

Still holding the crucifix, pray the Apostles’ Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Say the Our Father

Holding the first bead of your rosary (the bead closest to the crucifix), pray the Our Father:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

(If you came, or are coming, to Catholicism from a Protestant tradition, remember that Catholics say a doxology—"For the kingdom, and the power, and the glory are yours now and forever"—only in the context of the Mass, and then it is separated from the Our Father by a prayer said by the priest.)

Say Three Hail Marys

Next, hold each of the three beads in the next series one at a time, and pray a Hail Mary for each bead:

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee (you). Blessed art thou (are you) among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy (your) womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Say the Glory Be/Doxology

Holding the chain or knot that comes after the series of three Hail Mary beads, pray the Glory Be:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, it is now and ever shall be, world without end. (now and forever.) Amen.

If you like, you can say the following lines at the end of each Glory Be:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy (your) mercy. Amen.

It’s up to you whether you use this prayer, or not. If it appeals to you, go ahead and say it. If not, skip it.

Say the Five Decades

The next set of prayers—consisting of an Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and a Glory Be—is repeated five times, once for each mystery of the Rosary. While holding the next, single bead, announce the first mystery of the kind you are praying today—joyful, sorrowful, glorious, or luminous. For example, "The first joyful mystery, the annunciation." Theoretically, the idea is to meditate or reflect upon this mystery while praying an Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and a Glory Be. If you can do that, great. If not, don’t worry about it. Personally, I suspect that the repetitive nature of the Rosary actually short-circuits conscious reflection on anything—let alone a mystery of faith—and acts something like a mantra does in the meditation methods of Zen Buddhism. The Rosary gives the fingers and tongue something to do, so that your mind and heart can "go deep," as it were, in wordless prayer.

After announcing the first mystery, and still holding the single bead, pray the Our Father. For each of the ten beads in the first decade of the Rosary, say one Hail Mary. When you reach the chain or knot after the tenth Hail Mary bead, say one Glory Be. Then hold the next single bead, announce the next mystery, say an Our Father, say the next set of ten Hail Marys, and say another Glory Be. Do this until you finish all five decades.

Say the Hail, Holy Queen/Salve Regina

When you have completed the fifth decade of the Rosary and said the final Glory Be, say the Hail, Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee (you) do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; (the children of Eve;) to thee (you) do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale (valley) of tears. (in this land of exile.) Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine (your) eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, (lead us home at last and) show unto us the blessed fruit of thy (your) womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

If you wish, you may also add this final verse-and-response prayer:

V: Pray for us, O holy mother of God,
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

And that’s it. That’s all there is to praying the Rosary. After you have prayed the Rosary a few times, you’ll know how easy it is. The more you pray the Rosary, however, the deeper you’ll get into it and the more you’ll discover its spiritual riches.

An excerpt from The Rosary Handbook by Mitch Finley.

NEW serialisation of Archbishop Carfora's historic sketch of Old Roman Catholicism...
The Roman Catholic Church has repeatedly affirmed its recognition of the validity of the Orders and Sacraments of the Old Roman Catholic Church in North America and throughout the world. See Addis and Arnold's Roman Catholic Dictionary, which says of this Church, "They have retained valid Orders… We have been unable to discover any trace of heresy in these books," (i.e. those officially ordered for use in the North American Old Roman Catholic Church). A Catholic Dictionary, by Donald Attwater, bearing the imprimatur of Cardinal Hayes of New York, states of the Old Roman Catholic Church: "Their orders and sacraments are valid." A more recent statement concerning the North American Old Roman Catholic Church, appears in the work by Father Konrad Algermissen, Christian Denominations, published in 1948 and bearing the imprimatur of John Cardinal Glennon of St. Louis: "The North American Old Roman Catholic Church (has) re-ceived valid episcopal consecration..." (p. 363). In 1928, The Far East magazine, published by the St. Columban Fathers of St. Columban's, Nebraska, answered an inquiry concerning the validity of the orders conferred in the North American Old Roman Catholic Church. The magazine article mentions Archbishop Carfora favorably and states that "these orders are valid.. ." (p. 16, Jan. 1928 issue).
Fr. Anthony Cekada's Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI.
Spiritual Conferences by Bishop Sanborn
Broadcast on Fridays, "Contra Mundum" looks at the issues affecting 21C Christians today and proposes how to overcome them through faith, hope and charity. Treating contemporary issues frankly, using inspiring testimonies from around the world, Divine Revelation, traditional piety and praxis to encourage, equip and enable Christians to respond to them.
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How are Old Roman vocations to the Sacred Ministry discerned, formed and realised? If you are discerning a vocation to the Sacred Ministry and are considering exploring the possibility of realising your vocation as an Old Roman or transferring your discernment, this is the programme for you! 
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For health & well-being…
John & Peggy A, Sue D, Bob F, Linda I, Michael & Esther K, Andrew M, Margaret S, Sandra W, Karen W, Paul & Margaret W, John M,  Christopher, Lyn B, Simon G, Dagmar B, Karen K, Debbie G, Finley G, Diane C, Paul, +Rommel B, Penny E, Colin R, John, Ronald, Lilian & family, Ruth L, David G, David P, Fr Graham F, S&A, +Charles of Wisconsin, Fr Terrence M, +Guo Xijin, +John P, Karl R-W, Fr Kristopher M & family, Mark Coggan, Fr Nicholas P, Ounissa, Ronald Buczek, Rik C, Juanita Alaniz & family, Shirley & Selwyn V, Trayanka K, Amanda A, Evelyn B, Matt & Bethan, Ros R, Ralph S, Brenda M, Carmen, Tony, Marie, Ryan, Eva, Tello, Olive S, David, Joyce T, Ray & Ruth M, Diane & Rebecca, Czarina, William H., Zofia K., Sean H., Laura P, +Andrew Vellone, Marvin, Rene, Czarina, Hunter, Audrey, Susie, Ed Julius De Leon, Trayanka, Bayani Antonio, Jovita Villanueva, Migdelio, Tomas, Divina Dela Paz Labayen, Patrick H, Katherine G, Angela & Claire D, Maria, James T, Luke & Mariane, Eugenia B, Cristina H, Marina M,  

For those vocationally discerning…
James, Breandán, Manuel, Vincent, Darren, Akos, Roger, James, Adrian, Carlos, Thomas, Yordanis, Nicholas, Tyler, Micha, Michael, Pierre, Bryan, Abel, Neil, Austin, Dan, David, Adam, Brian, Felix, Paul

For the faithful departed…
Lauretta (21.01.19), Clive Reed (23.01.19), Fr John Wright (24.01.19), Shelley Luben (11.12.18), Mick Howells (13.12.18), Daniel Callaghan (13.02.19), Alfie (Hub guest), Père Pierre Fournier (08.02.19), Jill Lewis (24.02.19), Cynthia Sharpe Conger (28.02.19), Richard (Ricky) Belmonte (10/03/19), Fr Leo Cameron OSA (29.03.19), Fr John Corbett (30.03.19), Deacon Richard Mulholland (Easter Day), Peter, Bernard Brown (27.06.19), Peter Ellis (01.08.19), Petronila Antonio (10.09.19), Fr Mark Spring (13.09.19), Jean Marchant (15.09.19), Mary Kelly (15.10.19), John Pender (23.10.19), Fr David Cole (17/12/20), Fr Graham Francis (03.01.20), Pauline Sheila White (06/01/20), Wendy Lamb (04/03/20), Sister Sienna O.P. 02.04.20 (COVID19), David Harvey 05.04.20 (COVID19), Fr Antonio Benedetto OSB, Pam Finch, Alejandro Garcia, Mrs Hayes, Kevin Browne, +Amadeus Dion Batain, Anthony Page, Ravi Zacariah, Jeniffer Basbas Lopoz, Amelia Santos Mcasera, Evelyn Tantay Batitis, Teroy Ambrad, Escolastico Ibanez, Angelita Lachica Morales, Amadeus Dion Batain, Fr Beaumont Brandie, Pjerin, Tom, Ambrocio Cruz, Natividad Cruz, Anita Cruz, Alice Juan, Officer Sutton, Peter Sheriff (05.06.20), Walenty Kolosionsek (30.06.20), Fr Bill Scot, Emmanuel Narciso, Remedios Legaspi, Robin Plummer (15.07.20), Eunice Banag (09.08.20), Fr Anthony Cedaka (11.09.20)

For those who mourn…
Barbara R & family, Brenda W & family, Joseph S, Catherine L & family, Rev George C & family, Jean C, Margaret & Bonita C, Debbie M & family, Phil E & Family, Adrian Kelly & family, Fr Nicholas Pnematicatos & family, Fr Andrew White & family, Richard Cole & family, the Francis Family, the White family, the Finch Family, the Garcia Family, the Hayes Family, the Browne Family, the Zachariah Family, the Brandie Family, the Manghera Family, the Cruz Family, the Hounsome Family, the Sheriff Family, The Banag Family, The Havelock Family, The Balanescu Family, The Macsim Family,

For those defending the faith...
Aid to the Church in Need (supporting persecuted Christians)
Association of Christian Teachers (Christians who work in – or care about – education)
Centre for Bio-ethical Research (pro-life) UK / USA
Christian Hacking (pro-life)
Christian Legal Centre (safeguarding the legal freedom of Christians)
Barnabus Fund (supporting persecuted Christians)
Jerusalem Merit (supporting the Iraqi refugee community in Jordan)
40 Days for Life (pro-life)


PHILIPPINESBacoor Parish of Jesus the Divine Mercy, Copper St. Platinum Ville, San Nicolas III, Bacoor, Province of Cavite

Sundays 0600 Mass
  0800 Mass
  1030 Mass & Children’s Catechesis
  1130 Baptisms
  1700 Mass
Wednesdays 1800 Mass (1st Weds’ Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Devotions)
Thursdays 1800 Mass
Fridays 1800 Mass (1st Fri’ Sacred Heart Devotions)
Saturdays 1800 Holy Hour

PHILIPPINES, Lagunas Parish of San Isidro Labrador, Dita, Sta. Rosa

Sundays 0730 Mass
  1000 Baptisms
1st Wednesday 1800 Mass & O.L. Perpetual Succour Devotions
1st Friday 1800 Mass & Sacred Heart Devotions


UK, Brighton The Brighton Oratory of SS Cuthman & Wilfrid, 1-6 Park Crescent Terrace, Brighton BN2 3HD Telephone +44 7423 074517

Sundays 0830 Mass & homily
Daily 0800
Mass & homily
Compline & Benediction
Wednesdays 1730 Holy Hour & Benediction
  1900 Conference
Saturdays 0830 Mass & homily
  1000 Catechism Conference

Full schedule of services for Lent & Easter at

UK, Bristol The Little Oratory of Our Lady of Walsingham with Saint Francis, 11 The Primroses, Hartcliffe, Bristol, BS13 0BG

Sundays 1030 Sermon & Holy Communion
  1500 Vespers


USA, Brooklyn, NY Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community, Mustard Residence 440 Lenox Road, Apt 3H Brooklyn, New York 11226

USA, Chicago IL Parish Mission of St Anne, Church of the Atonement, 5749 North Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, IL 60660 Telephone: (773) 817 – 5818

Sundays 1800 Mass & homily (2nd of the month)
Wednesdays 1930 Catechism & Reception Class

USA, Chicago IL Missionary Franciscans of Christ the King, The Friary

Sundays 1100 Mass

USA, Glendale AZ St. Joseph’s Mission Contact address: 7800 N 55th Ave Unit 102162 Glendale AZ 85301 Telephone +1 310 995 3126

Sundays 1115 Mass

USA, Houston, TX Santa Cruz Mission address: 13747 Eastex FRWY, Houston, TX 77039

Sundays 1100 Mass
    Confessions 1015-1045
    1st Sunday, Adoration 0945-1045
Fridays 1200 Via Crucis devotions

USA, Las Vegas, NV Christ the King 4775 Happy Valley Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89121 Telephone 702 379 4320 or 702-215-3930

Sundays 0800 Mass (Spanish)
  0945 First Communion and Confirmation Catechesis / English and Spanish
  1100 Mass (Bilingual)
  1300 Mass (English)
  1700 Mass (Spanish)
Thursdays 1900 Holy Hour

USA, Phoenix, AZ Santo Niño Catholic Community address: 3206 W. Melvin St., Phoenix, AZ 85009 Telephone +1 623 332 3999

Sundays 1000 Mass (English)
  1100 Escuela para Primera Comunion y Confirmaccion
  1130 Misa en Espanol
  1700 Misa en Espanol

CHILE, Santiago Child Jesus Chapel Tegualda #321, La Florida. Santiago de Chile

Sundays 1200 Mass
Fridays 1930 Stations of the Cross & Mass
Please be aware that orthodox and authentic Old Roman Catholic jurisdictions, bishops and clergy are usually listed with the Old Roman Catholic Clerical Directory, which the faithful and enquirers are strongly invited to contact if unsure as to the credentials of a cleric presenting himself as “Old Roman Catholic”.
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