Tuesday, May 27, 2008


The Ancient Diocese of Canterbury was the Mother-Church and Primatial See of All England, from 597 till the death of the last Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal Pole, in 1558.

History - 597 to 1558

When St. Augustine was sent to evangelize England by St. Gregory the Great, he found an opening for his labours in the fact that Æthelburga, or Bertha, Queen of Æthelberht, King of Kent, was a Christian and a disciple of St. Gregory of Tours. This led him to Canterbury, where he converted the king and many thousands of Saxons in 597, the very year of his landing. Though St. Gregory had planned the division of England into two archbishoprics, one at London and one at York, St. Augustine's success at Canterbury explains how the southern archiepiscopal see came to be fixed there instead of at London. The first beginnings of the diocese are told by St. Bede (Hist. Eccl., I, xxxiii). "When Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, assumed the episcopal throne in that royal city, he recovered therein, by the King's assistance, a church which, as he was told, had been constructed by the original labour of Roman believers. This church he consecrated in the name of the Saviour, our God and Lord Jesus Christ, and there he established an habitation for himself and all his successors".

There were in all sixty-eight archbishops during the period, just short of a thousand years, in which Canterbury was the chief Catholic see in England. In the following list the dates of some of the earlier prelates cannot be regarded as critically certain, but are those usually given. Those marked with an asterisk became cardinals.

St. Augustine, 597-604.
St. Laurence, 604-619.
St. Mellitus, 619-624.
St. Justus, 624-627.
St. Honorius, 627-653.
St. Deusdedit, 655-664.
St. Theodore, 668-690.
St. Berhtwald, 693-731.
St. Tatwin, 731-734.
Nothelm, 735-740.
Cuthbert, 741-758.
Bregwin, 759-765.
Jaenberht, 766-790.
Ethelhard, 793-805.
Wulfred, 805-832.
Feologild, 832-.
Ceolnoth, 833-870.
Ethelred, 870-889.
Plegmund, 890-914.
Athelm, 914-923.
Wulfhelm, 923-942.
St. Odo, 942-958.
Alfsin, 959-959.
St. Dunstan, 960-988.
Ethelgar, 988-989.
Sigeric, 990-994.
Elfric, 995-1005.
St. Ælphege, 1005-1012.
Living, 1013-1020.
St. Ethelnoth, 1020-1038.
St. Eadsi, 1038-1050.
Robert, 1051-1052.
Stigand, 1052-1070.
Lanfranc, 1070-1089.
St. Anselm, 1093-1109.
Ralph d'Escures, 1114-1122.
William de Corbeuil, 1123-1136.
Theobald, 1139-1161.
St. Thomas Becket, 1162-1170.
Richard, 1174-1184.
Baldwin, 1185-1190.
Hubert Walter, 1193-1205.
Stephen Langton*, 1207-1228.
Richard Grant, 1229-1231.
St. Edmund Rich, 1234-1240.
Boniface of Savoy, 1245-1270.
Robert Kilwardby*, 1273-1279.
John Peckham, 1279-1292.
Robert Winchelsey, 1294-1313.
Walter Reynolds, 1313-1327.
Simon Meopham, 1328-1333.
John Stratford, 1333-1348.
Thomas Bradwardine, 1349-1349.
Simon Islip, 1349-1366.
Simon Langham*, 1366-1368.
William Whittlesey, 1368-1374.
Simon Sudbury, 1375-1381.
William Courtenay, 1381-1396.
Thomas Arundel, 1396-1414.
Henry Chicheley*, 1414-1443.
John Stafford*, 1443-1452.
John Kemp*, 1452-1454.
Thomas Bourchier*, 1454-1486.
John Morton*, 1486-1500.
Henry Dean, 1502-1503.
William Warham, 1503-1532.
Thomas Cranmer, 1533-1556.
Reginald Pole*, 1556-1558.

Of this list seventeen archbishops were recognized as saints, nine were cardinals, and twelve became Lord Chancellors of England.

The last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury - Reginald Pole.

Having broken his own vow of celibacy, Thomas Cranmer easily divorced the king from Queen Catherine. He allowed the shrine of St. Thomas to be desecrated and plundered in 1538, and in 1541 he ordered the tombs of all the canonized archbishops to be destroyed. Most of the property of the see he was forced to surrender to the king. In 1539 the two great monasteries of Christ Church and St. Augustine's had been suppressed, and their property seized. By his office Cranmer was the head of the Church in England, but under Henry he helped to despoil it, and under Edward he led the reforming party against it, abolishing the Mass, and stripping the churches. The spiritual and material ruin thus accomplished could not be effectually remedied during the brief episcopate of Cardinal Pole (1556-1558). This prelate did all that was possible in so short a time, but his death, which took place on the 17th of November, 1558, brought to a close the line of Catholic archbishops. With the accession of Elizabeth—which took place on the same day—the new state of things, which has continued to the present time, was begun. Canterbury, as a city, has never recovered from the loss of St. Thomas's shrine and the destruction of the two great monasteries, but the cathedral still remains, one of the finest buildings in the country, as a witness to its former glory.

Source. Burton, Edwin. "Canterbury." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 27 May 2008 .

May 27th - St. Augustine of Canterbury

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for thy servant Augustine, whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of England. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land evangelists and heralds of thy kingdom, that thy Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Latin Mass Church to Close at End of June

In a May 15, 2008 letter of intent Sean Cardinal O'Malley has informed parish administrator John J. Connolly that he is ordering the closure of Holy Trinity Church effective June 30, 2008. Holy Trinity is the only church in Boston offering the traditional Latin Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Newspaper Reports Pending Closure of Latin Mass Church

According to a story in the Boston Herald Holy Trinity Church in Boston's South End is scheduled to be closed by the archdiocese. Holy Trinity's future had been in question for the past four years but especially since this February when, in an affront to Sean Cardinal O'Malley, the church instituted a celebration of the traditional Latin Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Boston Harbor Islands Nat'l. Recreation Area Advisory Council Mtg. June 4

There will be a meeting of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Advisory Council on Wednesday, June 4, 2008, at 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Massachusetts State House Gardner Auditorium.

This will be a quarterly meeting of the Council. The agenda will include a discussion of a proposal for a learning center, next steps for the council, report from the Superintendent, and public comment.

The meeting will be open to the public. Any person may file with the Superintendent a written statement concerning the matters to be discussed. Persons who wish to file a written statement at the meeting or who want further information concerning the meeting may contact Superintendent Bruce Jacobson at (617) 223-8667.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Boston Independence Day Fireworks

The Commander, First Coast Guard District, has issued a temporary deviation from the regulation governing the operation of the Craigie Bridge across the Charles River at mile 1.0, at Boston, Massachusetts. Under this temporary deviation the bridge may remain in the closed position for two hours to facilitate a public event, the Boston Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration. This deviation is necessary to facilitate public safety during a public event.

DATES: This deviation is effective from 11 p.m. on July 4, 2008 through 1 a.m. on July 5, 2008.

Collect for the Feast of Saint Matthias (May 14th)

O Almighty God, who in the place of Judas didst chose thy faithful servant Matthias to of the number of the Twelve: Grant that thy Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
--Book of Divine Worship.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Home of Suicidal Poetesses

Boston is no longer the Hub of the Universe, but this region remains the undisputed capital of America in one respect - home of suicidal poetesses. For the rest of this essay by Con Chapman which ran in the May 13, 2008, Boston Herald, click here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thursday is Straw Hat Day

May 15th is Straw Hat Day the beginning of the season when men may wear their straw boaters and Panamas rather than the fur felt fedoras, porkpies, homburgs, and bowlers that we wear (You do wear a hat, don't you?) the rest of the year. For more information see http://www.thefedoralounge.com. Straw hats may be worn until Felt Hat Day which is September 15th.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pray the Daily Office During Pentecost / Trinitytide

The Daily Office is the official prayer of the Church. Its order of prayers, praises, and readings proper to each season, day, and time of day serves to sanctify time. When you pray the Office you join the communion of saints who have recited these prayers daily for century upon century.

The Daily Office in an "Anglican style" liturgy, approved by the Vatican, and published in The Book of Divine Worship is available in a free online version at www.bookofhours.org.

The Offices for the long season of Pentecost which begins on May 11th have just been updated and are ready to use.