Daily Archives: August 24, 2009

The Ad Orientem Revolution has Begun!

Even before his election as the successor to St. Peter, Pope Benedict has been urging us to draw upon the ancient liturgical practice of the Church to recover a more authentic Catholic worship. For that reason, I have restored the venerable ad orientem position when I celebrate Mass at the Cathedral. (Bishop Edward J. Slattery, East Oklahoma)

Okay, it’s only in one diocese – and then only in the Cathedral when Bishop himself celebrates mass, nevertheless, it shows what can be done when a bishop decides to use his own proper authority for regulating the liturgy in his own diocese. No need to wait for Vatican III on this, guys!

You can read his full article here.slattery(He looks a “let’s do it” kinda guy, doesn’t he?)


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“Revised Mass Texts: Exploring the Change” with Fr Paul Turner this Thursday night

Turner Paul
This event organised by the Archbishop’s Office of Evangelisation looks good. I’ve just rearranged my Thursday night schedule so that I can be there. You might want to go along too (if you are in Melbourne), as it will address a very important issue for all of us.

Fr Paul Turner is a prolific writer of books and articles on the sacraments of Christian Initiation and liturgical ministry and he will present a seminar on the revised Mass texts. Fr Turner is playing an integral role in this project and has a valuable perspective from which to view the revision process and the new texts themselves.

The seminar will be held 7.30 pm, Thursday August 27, 2009, Cardinal Knox Centre, 383 Albert Street, East Melbourne (enter via Lansdowne Street car park). Cost is $15 per person and for registrations and further information contact the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation ph: 03 9926 5761 or email mrohban@melbourne.catholic.org.au

Fr Turner’s website has a lot of interesting stuff on it. I have just read through a couple of his articles from the Articles section (which is quite extensive). From what I have read, it appears that Fr Paul is a meticulous yet pastoral scholar and celebrant of the liturgy. And a good scripture scholar to boot. (His article on the biblical roots of confirmation is one that I would like to write more about at some stage.) For those who can’t get to his session on Thursday, you will find a number of articles on the new mass translations on this page.

The introduction of the new mass texts will be the greatest challenge the Archdiocese has faced liturgically since the introduction of the vernacular. Of course, we are living in a very different time from the early 70’s and have many resources available to us today which were not available then. But then people are different too – and attitudes to liturgy have also changed. So it is good to be starting early to prepare the ground. I expect this is the first of many such sessions that we can look forward too over the coming years. Please pray for the Church in this regard at this time.

(Update: The US Bishops Conference has just launched this really helpful site: http://www.usccb.org/romanmissal/, which includes a “Scripturally Annotated” version of the new translation – which emphasises the fact that scriptural allusions are much clearer in the new translation than in the one we are currently using).

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Quotes from Bishop Christopher Prowse’s Installation Sermon in Sale

I just found today the following quotations taken from Bishop Christopher Prowse’s Installation homily in Sale on July 15 (from the “Stones will Shout” newsletter). He certainly struck the right note. Please pray for +Christopher and the Catholic people of the Sale Diocese.

 We gather on this day of fresh beginnings in Christ for the Diocese of Sale …

 Our gathering too generates hope for the future as a new chapter in the history of the Diocese of Sale begins today.

 To all, pray that I be the kind of Bishop Jesus, the Good Shepherd, wants me to be.

 Dear people of the Sale Diocese, I have noticed over these past months your hunger and desire for a bishop to be appointed …. It was an unspoken belief that surfaced declaring that a Catholic diocese needs a bishop to be her visible principle of unity and communion.

 …let us pray that Jesus, fully alive in the Catholic Church, will lead us all together with great confidence and hope into the future in unbreakable communion with the Church throughout the world, led by our teaching Pope, Benedict XVI.

 We are faced with many challenges from within the Church as well. For example, in Australia, and no doubt linked with secularism, we find too many Catholics absenting themselves from the practise of their faith or even becoming nonbelievers. Vocational commitment thus becomes an issue. We find Catholics in public life or the scientific world confused or ignorant about Catholic teachings on ethics or conscience. We can encounter Catholic communities who are locked in various types of ideological battles that sap missionary energies. Also, the bad example of some can have a poisonous effect on the faith of so many others. …This new situation demands that Catholics today are to be well formed in their Catholic faith and well informed of the world around us. It is not the time to e “dumbing down” Catholic identity. …

 Let us take very seriously Pope John Paul II’s invitation to the Catholic world at the start of this third Christian millennium when he called us to start afresh from Christ (cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte, 29).


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O For a Voice like Thunder!

Lutheran_church-150x150I was listening to Christopher Hitchens hold forth on a podcast lecture the other day about the way primitive man came to associate thunder with the anger of God through a chance rumbling at the very moment he engaged in a misdemenour with a guilty conscience….

Here is a story that leads one to think there might be something in the caveman’s understandable reaction.

And here are some verses to help us reflect on this strange manifestation of God’s Mighty Opinion:

O for a voice like thunder, and a tongue
to drown the throat of war! – When the senses
are shaken, and the soul id driven to madness,
who can stand? When the souls of the oppressed
fight in the troubled air that rages, who can stand?
when the whirlwind of fury comes from the
throne of God, when the frowns of his countenance
drive the nations together, who can stand?
when Sin claps his broad wings over the battle,
and sails rejoicing in the flood of Death;
when souls are torn to everlasting fire.
and fiends of Hell rejoice upon the slain,
O who can stand? O who hath caused this?
O who can answer at the throne of God?
The Kings and Nobles of the Land have done it!
Hear it not, Heaven, thy Ministers have done it!
William Blake

Or, for that matter, why not let an Old Lutheran have his say:

Built on a rock the church shall stand,
even when steeples are falling;
crumbled have spires in every land,
bells still are chiming and calling –
calling the young and old to rest,
calling the souls of those distressed,
longing for life everlasting.
Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig


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