The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christ and Hanukkah (Did Jesus Have a Dradle?)

From the Advent 2005 issue of Anglican Embers (Volume 1, Number 8) comes this Bible study by Mark J. Kelly, one of the founders of the Anglican Use Society, on the revelation of Christ during the Jewish Festivals, and particularly during the Feast of the Dedication as related in the tenth chapter of St. John's Gospel. Here the light of the world points to himself as the true Temple, the true home of the Shekinah of God.

"John wants us to look at Christ with new eyes. He would have us behold the glory of Christ who came to the people of his day. Jesus shone as a light that drew people to Him, like a moth to a warm and glowing flame on a long winter vigil. St. John delights to play with verbs of sight in his Gospel. There are over 170 uses of such simple but crucial words (many occurring in the first chapter) as “look, see, revealed, manifest, behold etc.” These plain but pivotal verbs set a tone and preach their own message in the theological Gospel of John. In other words, John is a Gospel of vision, and new sight."

Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Lessons and Carols in Boston

For those of you who would like to attend, the Congregation of St. Athanasius will be continuing the celebration of Christmas with Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 28th at the Church of St. Lawrence. 

A Living and Developing Patrimony: A Homily on Acts 10:17-33.

"At every pivotal moment in the Church’s history, Peter is there, the person of the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, who carries the mission forward, keeping the Church ever ancient and ever new, as he’s doing now, in our own day."

From the 2011 Anglican Use Conference at St. Mary the Virgin in Arlington, Texas, Fr. Christopher Phillips preached this homily, which was published in Volume 3, Number 9 (Lent 2012) issue of Anglican Embers. Preaching on the reception of Cornelius and his household into the Church, Fr. Phillips' homily is perhaps something to read and meditate on in a time when many in the Church are perturbed about current events in Rome and reports about Pope Francis. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Our Lady and Christian Unity

On the feast of La Virgencita we bring you an article from our Lenten 2010 issue (volume 3 no 1) comes this sermon by the very reverend Peter Stravinskas on Our Lady and Christian Unity. This was preached during Evensong for Our Lady of Walsingham, and tells the story of Our Lady of Siluva and Our Lady of Walsingham, but alludes to the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady. And in it Fr. Stravinskas preaches about the scandal of Christian disunity and the need for all Christians to take seriously Dante's short but powerful statement in the Commedia "In His will is our peace." Both that we find peace in doing his will and that we will have no peace until we do his will.

Ven con nosotros a caminar, Santa Maria, ven!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

New chaplain for St. Edmund's in Ontario

Gary Freeman of St. Edmund's Sodality reports that Father Jason Catania, former pastor of Mount Calvary Church in Baltimore, Maryland, will now be the full-time priest for St. Edmund's and arrived this past week.

He will be residing in the Rectory of St. Mary, Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, Kitchener, Ontario.

Fr. Catania's first Mass with St. Edmund's will be this Sunday, at St. Mary's - Advent II, at 5:00 p.m.  I know it is short notice, but please make an effort to attend, if possible.  Our plan, initially, is to have a 5:00 p.m. Mass every Sunday at St. Mary's.

The sodality expresses its thanks to Father George Nowak CR, the Pastor of St. Mary's for offering accommodation for Father Catania and the use of his church, as well as to His Excellency, Douglas Crosby, Bishop of Hamilton, and to his Chancellor, Monsignor Murray Kroetsch for their assistance in getting them to this stage.

And, of course, a special thanks to Father Bill Foote, Pastor of St. Patrick's in Cambridge, who has served as the Chaplain for almost 3 years, and has said an Ordinariate Use Mass for the sodality's members every Sunday since January 1, 2012, the date their tiny community was received into the Catholic Church!

The Sodality of St. Edmund's meets at St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows, 56 Duke Street West, Kitchener, Ontario.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

On the Necessity of Confession

From our series "From the Anglican Patrimony" comes this urgent recommendation of Confession from Jeremy Taylor, one-time chaplain to King Charles I and a frequent guest of Puritan prisons, who was later made Anglican bishop of Down and Connor in Ireland.
This was published in our Advent 2012 issue.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Recusancy: Catholic fidelity in the face of the Penal Laws

Rounding off our historical articles in Anglican Embers is a survey of the history of Catholic Recusants in England by Dr. Philip Crotty. Subject to often draconian penal laws beginning with the 1560s and continuing into the 20th century, Catholics who refused to conform to the state Church suffered for their fidelity to the Catholic faith. Read Dr. Crotty's article at

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Nonjurors: The Repudiationof Erastianism and The Recovery of Sacrifice

Following the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, the Church of England suffered a notable schism, as several prominent bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury among them, with hundreds of the lower clergy, refused to take an oath of allegiance to William as King, regarding the ousted, but not abdicated King James II as their lawful leige. These clergy were deposed, and other clergy appointed to their place, which led many of the laity to also go into schism to follow the men they regarded as their rightful pastors. Because they refused to take the oath, they became known as Nonjurors. 

The Nonjurors would go on to recover even more of the Catholic theology and practice in liturgy that had been lost, at least de facto, in the Church of England, and to draw inspiration not only from their own Catholic heritage but from the heritage of the Eastern Church. Read about them and the link they provided from the old Church Papists and Prayer Book Catholics to the Oxford Movement in our issue from Lent 2011:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Restoration in England

Following the Puritan Rebellion and Cromwell dictatorship, England restored the monarchy, the episcopate and the Book of Common Prayer to national life. Charles II, who had been smuggled to France with the help of Catholic subjects, and who grew up in Catholic France, returned to England and as king was also Governor of the Church of England. But both he and his heir, James II (VII of Scotland) would convert to Catholicism. James being the last Catholic to sit on the throne.

In a presentation to the Anglican Use Society in 2010, Dr. Anne Barbeau Gardiner tells the story of these two royal brothers who brought the Church of England near to a full restoration - to Catholic communion. But who ultimately failed due to the Puritan objections that would once more bring war to the realm and a foreigner to the throne.
Read Dr. Gardiner's fine essay in our Advent 2010 issue:

Archbishop Laud and the Restoration of Public Worship in the Church of England

Under Elizabeth I and James (I of England and VI of Scotland) the public worship in the churches of England deteriorated as the Puritan party within the Church of England extended its influence. The official doctrine of the Church of England, as stated in Convocation, still took note of "the ancient Catholic fathers and doctors", but the Puritan reading of Scripture, tending toward a fundamentalist reading (which would ultimately resurrect the fundamentalist teachings of Arius and result in many Puritan churches becoming Unitarian) would ban anything not explicitly found in Scripture, for example clerical dress such as the surplice.

But under Charles I's Archbishop William Laud, the "Catholic" party within the Church, which found support in the writings of divines such as Richard Hooker and Jeremy Taylor, found renewed strength. And while the Puritan backlash, which resulted in Laud's execution and the regicide of Charles by the Scottish rebels seemed overwhelming, when the monarchy and episcopate were restored under Charles II, it was largely a Laudian pattern of worship and church government that flourished.
In the second of a three-part series, you can read about Laud's efforts to restore the public worship (and larger public role of the Church) as published in Volume 2, Number 2 (Pentecost 2007) at the Anglican Embers page of the Anglican Use Society: