Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Ember Day Prayer

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed various orders in thy Church: Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all who are called to any office and ministry for thy people; and so fill them with the truth of thy doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name and for the benefit of thy holy Church; 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.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What's Your Favorite Christmas Movie

POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica
What's Your Favorite Christmas Movie?
by David Trumbull
December 12, 2008

Democrats’ favorite Christmas movie is "Miracle on 34th Street."
Republicans’ favorite Christmas movie is "It's a Wonderful Life."

I first heard that aphorism at a holiday party about a decade ago. It’s been around longer than that and I haven’t been able to determine who first said it and when.

On the face the saying makes sense. After all, what better movie for adults who still believe in Santa Claus than Miracle on 34th Street? Besides (watch out for plot spoiler) the picture’s crisis is resolved when a huge federal government agency—the Post Office—comes to the rescue. And with a divorced mother rearing a child alone, Miracle features a non-traditional family, surely a plus in the eyes of liberals.

It’s a Wonderful Life, on the other hand, celebrates the infinite worth of an individual human being, a worth that far exceeds even the biggest financial fortune. In Wonderful Life the hero’s crisis is resolved (another plot spoiler) by the spontaneous voluntary action of family, friends, and local community; emphatically not by the government. The film also shows people in fervent prayer, not to some generic higher power but to the God of the Bible as worshipped in the Protestant and Catholic churches shown full of believers in the picture. That alone must drive some liberals nuts when the film is broadcast over the public airwaves.

But the game can be played the other way. Wonderful Life presents negative stereotypes of bankers, so much so that when it was released some Hollywood observers (but not, as is erroneously asserted on some liberal websites, the Federal Bureau of Investigations) charged that it was a vehicle for communist propaganda. The charge is easy to ridicule today, but in the 1940s communist infiltration of the motion picture industry was a real and serious threat to American values. Now look at the favorable treatment—not to mention free advertising—that Miracle gives to two large department stores! Main Street Republicans surely must find that refreshing compared to the negative views of business that Hollywood gives us today.

The lesson? It’s just a movie! Enjoy them both, or whichever ones you choose to watch this holiday season. Santa’s list does not include your political affiliation, but he does have a lump of coal for those who would strip our public life of all sense of Wonder at the Love of God and thankfulness for all Miracles big and small.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Bible in Literature

From Shakespeare's Henry V Act IV Scene 8
Do we all holy rites;
Let there be sung Non nobis and Te Deum;
The dead with charity enclosed in clay:
And then to Calais; and to England then:
Where ne'er from France arrived more happy men.
Psalm for Evening Prayer on the Second Sunday of Advent
Psalm 115. Non nobis, Domine.
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy Name give the praise; * for thy loving mercy, and for thy truth's sake.

In the Vulgate
Non nobis Domine non nobis sed nomini tuo da gloriam

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Bible in Literature

Psalm 97. Dominus regnavit.
The LORD is King, the earth may be glad thereof; * yea, the multitude of the isles may be glad thereof.

Psalm 99. Dominus regnavit.
The LORD is King, be the people never so impatient; * he sitteth between the Cherubim, be the earth never so unquiet.

From Morning Prayer for Tuesday, November 18, 2008, in the Book of Divine Worship

Also a clue in the Dorothy Sayers mystery, The Nine Tailors.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Collect for the Week of the Sunday closest to November 16

Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Beat your plowshares into swords

The first lesson at Morning Prayer according to the Anglican Use of the Roman Catholic Church for Saturday, November 15, 2008 -- Joel 3:9-17.

3:9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. 3:11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. 3:12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. 3:13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. 3:15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 3:17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae
[Canadian Poet, 1872-1918]

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The Torch: be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


John McCrae, physician, soldier, and poet, died in France a Lieutenant-Colonel with the Canadian forces.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tennyson's Ulysses

When I get to the part where Ulysses addresses his mariners I am always reminded that he has no mariners, for they perished on the voyage home--some through the accidents of fate, some through their own foolishness, and, yes, some as the result of Ulysses' own arrogance and risk-taking. And yet I am equally confident that if they had it to do over they'd be on that little ship with Ulysses again. He gave them high adventure, visits to wondrous lands, and a part in an under-taking greater than themselves.

The final lines are often quoted out of context; that's a pity, for like Ulysses and his men, you need to get through the whole thing to "earn" them.

Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892)

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vexed the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers;
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breath were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle —
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me —
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads — you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An Ember Day Prayer

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed various orders in thy Church: Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all who are called to any office and ministry for thy people; and so fill them with the truth of thy doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name and for the benefit of thy holy Church; 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.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Today is Felt Hat Day

September 15th is Felt Hat Day the end 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 Straw hats may not be worn again until Straw Hat Day which is May 15th.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Contra Mundum for September 2008

The September issue of Contra Mundum, the news-letter of The Congregation of St. Athanasius is available.

Solemn Evensong & Sermon

September 21, 2008 at 4:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Mary, Stonehill College Easton, Massachusetts. This service sponsored jointly by The Congregation of St. Athanasius and Saint Paul’s Anglican Church, Brockton. A reception follows the service

This is the third such joint service with St. Paul’s Church.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Latin Mass at Boston Cathedral Sun., July 20th

The Celebrant this Sunday, July 20, will be Fr Raymond Van de Moortel, of St John's Seminary, and St Adelaide Parish, Peabody. Fr Frederick O'Brien will be available, 20 minutes before Mass to hear Confessions

Schola Amicorum, choir
George Krim, organist

Double - Green
Latin Low Mass in the Tridentine Rite
Sunday, July 20, 2008 - 11:00 AM
Cathedral of the Holy Cross - Boston

Organ Prelude "Sarabande" G. F. Handel
Processional Hymn"Bringing Our Praise, We kneel before Your Altar"
(Tune: "Soul of my Saviour") L. Dobici
The Introit "Dum clamarem ad Dominum…." Gregorian Chant
Kyrie Eleison "Missa Orbis Factor" XI
The Gradual & Alleluia "Custodi me, Domine…."Gregorian Chant
The Offertory "Ad te Domine levavi…." Gregorian Chant
Sanctus/Benedictus "Missa Orbis Factor" XI
Agnus Dei "Missa Orbis Factor" XI
The Communion "Acceptabis sacrificium stitiae…."Gregorian Chant
Prayers at the foot of the Altar
Recessional Hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth" C. Kocher
Novena Prayers after Mass and
The Angelus

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Jacobite Anniversary, July 14th

Franz Bonaventura Adalbert Maria Herzog von Bayern (born July 14, 1933), styled as His Royal Highness The Duke of Bavaria, is head of the Wittelsbach family, the former ruling family of the Kingdom of Bavaria.

Franz is a great-grandson of the last King of Bavaria, Ludwig III, who was deposed in 1918. He is also the current senior co-heir-general of King Charles I of England and Scotland, and thus is considered by Jacobites to be the heir of the House of Stuart and the rightful ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland, though he himself does not advance the claim.

Book of Divine Worship and Rule of Benedict

In honor of St. Benedict on this his day, I prepared a comparision of the Daily Office in the Book of Divine Worship with the Rule of Benedict. It's part of a larger, uncompleted, effort to annotate the Rule and is on the web at Agathon Associates (Click on E-TEXTS The Great Books of Western Civilization free online.)

In chapters 8 through 20 Benedict lays out the regulations for saying the daily office.

He begins with the regulations for Matins, which he prescribes to be read in the early morning in the winter (the eigth hour corresponding roughly to two a.m., and in the summer just before dawn. Matins is followed by Lauds and together correspond to Morning Prayer in the BDW.

Our Morning Prayer begins, after preparatory sentences of scripture and penitential rite, with the invitatory "Lord open thou our lips. And our mouth shall show forth thy praise." (Domine, labia mea aperies...) followed by Psalm 95 (usually in an altered form) as prescribed by Benedict. But the "O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us." (Deus, in adjutorium meum intende...) has been moved to the opening of Evening Prayer in the BDW.

The body of Benedict's Matins is largely preserved in our Morning Prayer--the recitations of Psalms and the lessons from the Old and New Testaments.

A weakness of the Daily Office in the BDW compared to Benedict's prescriptions is the lack of assigned readings from the Fathers. Our Office also omits the Kyrie of Benedict's Office.

Benedict varies the length of the office according to the time of year in order to accomodate the variance in the length of an hour of time as the nights waxed or waned in length. Today, with the hour a fixed duration of time this no longer is applicable.

Benedict prescribes the Te Deum laudamus for all Sundays at Matins; the BDW suggests this canticle for all Feasts and Solemnities.

Now that Matins and Lauds are combined to form our Morning Prayer and the Psalms are distributed in the BDW according to the seven week or 30-day arrangment, Benedict's presciptions for the Psalms at Lauds no longer apply. One wonders what Benedict, who wrote, "Our holy forefathers promptly fulfilled in one day what we lukewarm a week" would say about our even laxer arrangment of the Psalms?

The BDW follows Benedict's prescription of the Our Father at each of the morning and evening offices.

owever, we depart from Benedict in not prescribing the Ambrosian hymn (Te Deum laudamus) at every morning office. Like Benedict, the BDW offers several choices at Morning Prayer for canticles drawn from the Old and New Testament.

As prescribed by Benedict, the feasts of the saints and solemn festivals take precedence over the ordinary weekday or feria in the BDW.

As does Benedict, the BDW provides for a distinctive tone to the liturgy for Lent, for Easter, and for the balance of the year.

For the little hours, Benedict prescribes Psalms, the Kyrie and the collects. The BDW Noonday Office is composed of some of the Psalms. The collects have been moved to Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer and the Kyrie dropped from the Office.

As does the DBW, Benedict concludes the day with a brief office of Compline with the 4th, 91st, and 134th Psalms.

While Benedict arranges for entire Psalter to be read once every seven days, our BDW provides for two distributions of the Psalms, one over 30 day, the other over seven weeks. The current Roman breviary has a four-week distribution of the Psalms.

The biggest change between Benedict's order of prayer and the Daily Office of our BDW is the number of offices, or hours. The BDW has four hours: Morning Prayer being the longest and corresponding to Matins, Lauds, and some elements of the little hours. Evening Prayer, which is a bit shorter than Morning Prayer, corresponds to Vespers and some elements of the little hours. Noonday Prayer, as mentioned above, incorporates Psalms from the former hours. Compline is largely as arranged by Benedict. The current Roman breviary has seven hours, Lauds (Morning Prayer) the little hours of Terce (9 a.m.), Sext (noon) , and None (3 p.m.), Vespers (Evening Prayer), Compline, and the newly fashioned Office of Readings. The little hour of Prime was suppress as one of the Vatican II reforms. The modern revision of the Liturgy of the Hours allows for one to recite either one single "Daytime Prayer", which one can choose to be Terce or Sext or None according to the time of day that the recitation takes place, so effectively, for those who elect that option, the Roman breviary can be said to also have five offices.

--David Trumbull, Boston

Thursday, July 10, 2008

ora et labora

Benedict, Abbot (480-543), Memorial – July 11th

When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law.

–Deuteronomy 31:11 & 12. From the first lesson at Morning Prayer on Friday, July 11, 2008 (Friday of the week of the Sunday closest July 6, according to the Anglican Use of the Roman Catholic Church)

Of the Daily Work

Idleness is the enemy of the soul; and therefore the brethren ought to be employed in manual labor at certain times, at others, in devout reading. Hence, we believe that the time for each will be properly ordered by the following arrangement; namely, that from Easter till the calends of October, they go out in the morning from the first till about the fourth hour, to do the necessary work, but that from the fourth till about the sixth hour they devote to reading. After the sixth hour, however, when they have risen from table, let them rest in their beds in complete silence; or if, perhaps, anyone desireth to read for himself, let him so read that he doth not disturb others. Let None be said somewhat earlier, about the middle of the eighth hour; and then let them work again at what is necessary until Vespers.

If, however, the needs of the place, or poverty should require that they do the work of gathering the harvest themselves, let them not be downcast, for then are they monks in truth, if they live by the work of their hands, as did also our forefathers and the Apostles. However, on account of the faint-hearted let all things be done with moderation.

From the calends of October till the beginning of Lent, let them apply themselves to reading until the second hour complete. At the second hour let Tierce be said, and then let all be employed in the work which hath been assigned to them till the ninth hour. When, however, the first signal for the hour of None hath been given, let each one leave off from work and be ready when the second signal shall strike. But after their repast let them devote themselves to reading or the psalms.

During the Lenten season let them be employed in reading from morning until the third hour, and till the tenth hour let them do the work which is imposed on them. During these days of Lent let all received books from the library, and let them read them through in order. These books are to be given out at the beginning of the Lenten season.

Above all, let one or two of the seniors be appointed to go about the monastery during the time that the brethren devote to reading and take notice, lest perhaps a slothful brother be found who giveth himself up to idleness or vain talk, and doth not attend to his reading, and is unprofitable, not only to himself, but disturbeth also others. If such a one be found (which God forbid), let him be punished once and again. If he doth not amend, let him come under the correction of the Rule in such a way that others may fear. And let not brother join brother at undue times.

On Sunday also let all devote themselves to reading, except those who are appointed to the various functions. But if anyone should be so careless and slothful that he will not or cannot meditate or read, let some work be given him to do, that he may not be idle.

Let such work or charge be given to the weak and the sickly brethren, that they are neither idle, nor so wearied with the strain of work that they are driven away. Their weakness must be taken into account by the Abbot.

Chapter 48, Rule of Benedict.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Communique on Results of a Vote in Anglican Church

VATICAN CITY, 8 JUL 2008 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a communique released late this morning by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, concerning recent events within the Anglican Communion.

"We have regretfully learned the news of the Church of England vote that paves the way for the introduction of legislation which will lead to the ordaining of women to the episcopacy.

"The Catholic position on the issue has been clearly expressed by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. Such a decision signifies a break with the apostolic tradition maintained by all of the Churches since the first millennium and is, therefore, a further obstacle to reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Church of England.

"This decision will have consequences on the future of dialogue, which had up until now borne fruit, as Cardinal Kasper clearly explained when on 5 June 2006 he spoke to all of the bishops of the Church of England at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

"The Cardinal has been invited once again to express the Catholic position at the next Lambeth Conference at the end of July".

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs. July 9th

[Accounted excerpted from]


1st. October 2000

From the earliest beginnings of the Chinese people (sometime about the middle of the third millennium before Christ) religious sentiment towards the Supreme Being and diligent filial piety towards ancestors were the most conspicuous characteristics of their culture, which had existed for thousands of years.

This note of distinct religiousness is found to a greater or lesser extent in the Chinese people of all centuries up to our own time, when, under the influence of western atheism, some intellectuals, especially those educated in foreign countries, wished to rid themselves of all religious ideas, like some of their western teachers.

In the fifth century, the Gospel was preached in China, and at the beginning of the seventh century the first church was built there. During the T'ang dynasty (618-907) the Christian community flourished for two centuries. In the thirteenth, thanks to the understanding of the Chinese people and culture shown by missionaries like Giovanni da Montecorvino, it became possible to begin the first Catholic mission in the Middle Kingdom, with the episcopal see in Beijing.

At the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth, there were numerous people who, having undergone the necessary preparation, asked for baptism and became fervent Christians, while always preserving with just pride their Chinese identity and culture.

Christianity was seen in that period as a reality that did not oppose the highest values of the traditions of the Chinese people, nor place itself above these traditions. Rather, it was regarded as something that enriched them with a new light and dimension.

Unfortunately, however, the difficult question of “Chinese rites”, greatly irritated the Emperor K'ang Hsi and prepared the persecution. The latter, strongly influenced by that in nearby Japan, to a greater or lesser extent, open or insidious, violent or veiled, extended in successive waves practically from the first decade of the seventeenth century to about the middle of the nineteenth. Missionaries and faithful lay people were killed, and many churches destroyed.

Blessed Augustine Zhao Rong, a Chinese diocesan priest. Arrested, he had to suffer the most cruel tortures and then died in 1815.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Peterkins Celebrate the Fourth of July

The day began early.

A compact had been made with the little boys the evening before.

They were to be allowed to usher in the glorious day by the blowing of horns exactly at sunrise. But they were to blow them for precisely five minutes only, and no sound of the horns should be heard afterward till the family were downstairs.

It was thought that a peace might thus be bought by a short, though crowded, period of noise.

The morning came. Even before the morning, at half-past three o'clock, a terrible blast of the horns aroused the whole family.

Mrs. Peterkin clasped her hands to her head and exclaimed: "I am thankful the lady from Philadelphia is not here!" For she had been invited to stay a week, but had declined to come before the Fourth of July, as she was not well, and her doctor had prescribed quiet.

And the number of the horns was most remarkable! It was as though every cow in the place had arisen and was blowing through both her own horns!

"How many little boys are there? How many have we?" exclaimed Mr. Peterkin, going over their names one by one mechanically, thinking he would do it, as he might count imaginary sheep jumping over a fence, to put himself to sleep. Alas! the counting could not put him to sleep now, in such a din.

And how unexpectedly long the five minutes seemed! Elizabeth Eliza was to take out her watch and give the signal for the end of the five minutes, and the ceasing of the horns. Why did not the signal come? Why did not Elizabeth Eliza stop them?

And certainly it was long before sunrise; there was no dawn to be seen!

"We will not try this plan again," said Mrs. Peterkin.

"If we live to another Fourth," added Mr. Peterkin, hastening to the door to inquire into the state of affairs.

Alas! Amanda, by mistake, had waked up the little boys an hour too early. And by another mistake the little boys had invited three or four of their friends to spend the night with them. Mrs. Peterkin had given them permission to have the boys for the whole day, and they understood the day as beginning when they went to bed the night before. This accounted for the number of horns.

It would have been impossible to hear any explanation; but the five minutes were over, and the horns had ceased, and there remained only the noise of a singular leaping of feet, explained perhaps by a possible pillow-fight, that kept the family below partially awake until the bells and cannon made known the dawning of the glorious day,–the sunrise, or "the rising of the sons," as Mr. Peterkin jocosely called it when they heard the little boys and their friends clattering down the stairs to begin the outside festivities.

They were bound first for the swamp, for Elizabeth Eliza, at the suggestion of the lady from Philadelphia, had advised them to hang some flags around the pillars of the piazza. Now the little boys knew of a place in the swamp where they had been in the habit of digging for "flag-root," and where they might find plenty of flag flowers. They did bring away all they could, but they were a little out of bloom. The boys were in the midst of nailing up all they had on the pillars of the piazza when the procession of the Antiques and Horribles passed along. As the procession saw the festive arrangements on the piazza, and the crowd of boys, who cheered them loudly, it stopped to salute the house with some especial strains of greeting.

Poor Mrs. Peterkin! They were directly under her windows! In a few moments of quiet, during the boys' absence from the house on their visit to the swamp, she had been trying to find out whether she had a sick-headache, or whether it was all the noise, and she was just deciding it was the sick headache, but was falling into a light slumber, when the fresh noise outside began.

There were the imitations of the crowing of cocks, and braying of donkeys, and the sound of horns, encored and increased by the cheers of the boys. Then began the torpedoes, and the Antiques and Horribles had Chinese crackers also.

And, in despair of sleep, the family came down to breakfast.

Mrs. Peterkin had always been much afraid of fire-works, and had never allowed the boys to bring gunpowder into the house. She was even afraid of torpedoes; they looked so much like sugar-plums she was sure some the children would swallow them, and explode before anybody knew it.

She was very timid about other things. She was not sure even about pea-nuts. Everybody exclaimed over this: "Surely there was no danger in pea-nuts!" But Mrs. Peterkin declared she had been very much alarmed at the Centennial Exhibition, and in the crowded corners of the streets in Boston, at the pea-nut stands, where they had machines to roast the pea-nuts. She did not think it was safe. They might go off any time, in the midst of a crowd of people, too!

Mr. Peterkin thought there actually was no danger, and he should be sorry to give up the pea-nut. He thought it an American institution, something really belonging to the Fourth of July. He even confessed to a quiet pleasure in crushing the empty shells with his feet on the sidewalks as he went along the streets.

Agamemnon thought it a simple joy.

In consideration, however, of the fact that they had had no real celebration of the Fourth the last year, Mrs. Peterkin had consented to give over the day, this year, to the amusement of the family as a Centennial celebration. She would prepare herself for a terrible noise,–only she did not want any gunpowder brought into the house.

The little boys had begun by firing some torpedoes a few days beforehand, that their mother might be used to the sound, and had selected their horns some weeks before.

Solomon John had been very busy in inventing some fireworks. As Mrs. Peterkin objected to the use of gunpowder, he found out from the dictionary what the different parts of gunpowder are,–saltpetre, charcoal, and sulphur. Charcoal, he discovered, they had in the wood-house; saltpetre they would find in the cellar, in the beef barrel; and sulphur they could buy at the apothecary's. He explained to his mother that these materials had never yet exploded in the house, and she was quieted.

Agamemnon, meanwhile, remembered a recipe he had read somewhere for making a "fulminating paste" of iron-filings and powder of brimstone. He had written it down on a piece of paper in his pocket-book. But the iron filings must be finely powdered. This they began upon a day or two before, and the very afternoon before laid out some of the paste on the piazza.

Pin-wheels and rockets were contributed by Mr. Peterkin for the evening. According to a programme drawn up by Agamemnon and Solomon John, the reading of the Declaration of Independence was to take place in the morning, on the piazza, under the flags.

The Bromwicks brought over their flag to hang over the door.

"That is what the lady from Philadelphia meant," explained Elizabeth Eliza.

"She said the flags of our country," said the little boys. "We thought she meant 'in the country.'"

Quite a company assembled; but it seemed nobody had a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Elizabeth Eliza said she could say one line, if they each could add as much. But it proved they all knew the same line that she did, as they began:–

"When, in the course of–when, in the course of–when, in the course of human–when in the course of human events–when, in the course of human events, it becomes–when, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary–when, in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people"–

They could not get any farther. Some of the party decided that "one people" was a good place to stop, and the little boys sent off some fresh torpedoes in honor of the people. But Mr. Peterkin was not satisfied. He invited the assembled party to stay until sunset, and meanwhile he would find a copy, and torpedoes were to be saved to be fired off at the close of every sentence.

And now the noon bells rang and the noon bells ceased.

Mrs. Peterkin wanted to ask everybody to dinner. She should have some cold beef. She had let Amanda go, because it was the Fourth, and everybody ought to be free that one day; so she could not have much of a dinner. But when she went to cut her beef she found Solomon had taken it to soak, on account of the saltpetre, for the fireworks!

Well, they had a pig; so she took a ham, and the boys had bought tamarinds and buns and a cocoa-nut. So the company stayed on, and when the Antiques and Horribles passed again they were treated to pea-nuts and lemonade.

They sung patriotic songs, they told stories, they fired torpedoes, they frightened the cats with them. It was a warm afternoon; the red poppies were out wide, and the hot sun poured down on the alley-ways in the garden. There was a seething sound of a hot day in the buzzing of insects, in the steaming heat that came up from the ground. Some neighboring boys were firing a toy cannon. Every time it went off Mrs. Peterkin started, and looked to see if one of the little boys was gone. Mr. Peterkin had set out to find a copy of the "Declaration." Agamemnon had disappeared. She had not a moment to decide about her headache. She asked Ann Maria if she were not anxious about the fireworks, and if rockets were not dangerous. They went up, but you were never sure where they came down.

And then came a fresh tumult! All the fire-engines in town rushed toward them, clanging with bells, men and boys yelling! They were out for a practice and for a Fourth-of-July show.

Mrs. Peterkin thought the house was on fire, and so did some of the guests. There was great rushing hither and thither. Some thought they would better go home; some thought they would better stay. Mrs. Peterkin hastened into the house to save herself, or see what she could save. Elizabeth Eliza followed her, first proceeding to collect all the pokers and tongs she could find, because they could be thrown out of the window without breaking. She had read of people who had flung looking-glasses out of the window by mistake, in the excitement of the house being on fire, and had carried the pokers and tongs carefully into the garden. There was nothing like being prepared. She had always determined to do the reverse. So with calmness she told Solomon John to take down the looking-glasses. But she met with a difficulty,–there were no pokers and tongs, as they did not use them. They had no open fires; Mrs. Peterkin had been afraid of them. So Elizabeth Eliza took all the pots and kettles up to the upper windows, ready to be thrown out.

But where was Mrs. Peterkin? Solomon John found she had fled to the attic in terror. He persuaded her to come down, assuring her it was the most unsafe place; but she insisted upon stopping to collect some bags of old pieces, that nobody would think of saving from the general wreck, she said, unless she did. Alas! this was the result of fireworks on Fourth of July! As they came downstairs they heard the voices of all the company declaring there was no fire; the danger was past. It was long before Mrs. Peterkin could believe it. They told her the fire company was only out for show, and to celebrate the Fourth of July. She thought it already too much celebrated.

Elizabeth Eliza's kettles and pans had come down through the windows with a crash, that had only added to the festivities, the little boys thought.

Mr. Peterkin had been roaming about all this time in search of a copy of the Declaration of Independence. The public library was shut, and he had to go from house to house; but now, as the sunset bells and cannon began, he returned with a copy, and read it, to the pealing of the bells and sounding of the cannon. Torpedoes and crackers were fired at every pause. Some sweet-marjoram pots, tin cans filled with crackers which were lighted, went off with great explosions.

At the most exciting moment, near the close of the reading, Agamemnon, with an expression of terror, pulled Solomon John aside.

"I have suddenly remembered where I read about the 'fulminating paste' we made. It was in the preface to 'Woodstock,' and I have been round to borrow the book to read the directions over again, because I was afraid about the 'paste' going off. READ THIS QUICKLY! and tell me, Where is the fulminating paste? "

Solomon John was busy winding some covers of paper over a little parcel. It contained chlorate of potash and sulphur mixed. A friend had told him of the composition. The more thicknesses of paper you put round it the louder it would go off. You must pound it with a hammer. Solomon John felt it must be perfectly safe, as his mother had taken potash for a medicine.

He still held the parcel as he read from Agamemnon's book: "This paste, when it has lain together about twenty-six hours, will of itself take fire, and burn all the sulphur away with a blue flame and a bad smell."

"Where is the paste?" repeated Solomon John, in terror.

"We made it just twenty-six hours ago," said Agamemnon.

"We put it on the piazza," exclaimed Solomon John, rapidly recalling the facts, "and it is in front of our mother's feet!"

He hastened to snatch the paste away before it should take fire, flinging aside the packet in his hurry. Agamemnon, jumping upon the piazza at the same moment, trod upon the paper parcel, which exploded at once with the shock, and he fell to the ground, while at the same moment the paste "fulminated" into a blue flame directly in front of Mrs. Peterkin!

It was a moment of great confusion. There were cries and screams. The bells were still ringing, the cannon firing, and Mr. Peterkin had just reached the closing words: "Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

"We are all blown up, as I feared we should be," Mrs. Peterkin at length ventured to say, finding herself in a lilac-bush by the side of the piazza. She scarcely dared to open her eyes to see the scattered limbs about her.

It was so with all. Even Ann Maria Bromwick clutched a pillar of the piazza, with closed eyes.

At length Mr. Peterkin said, calmly, "Is anybody killed?"

There was no reply. Nobody could tell whether it was because everybody was killed, or because they were too wounded to answer. It was a great while before Mrs. Peterkin ventured to move.

But the little boys soon shouted with joy, and cheered the success of Solomon John's fireworks, and hoped he had some more. One of them had his face blackened by an unexpected cracker, and Elizabeth Eliza's muslin dress was burned here and there. But no one was hurt; no one had lost any limbs, though Mrs. Peterkin was sure she had seen some flying in the air. Nobody could understand how, as she had kept her eyes firmly shut.

No greater accident had occurred than the singeing of the tip of Solomon John's nose. But there was an unpleasant and terrible odor from the "fulminating paste."

Mrs. Peterkin was extricated from the lilac-bush. No one knew how she got there. Indeed, the thundering noise had stunned everybody. It had roused the neighborhood even more than before. Answering explosions came on every side, and, though the sunset light had not faded away, the little boys hastened to send off rockets under cover of the confusion. Solomon John's other fireworks would not go. But all felt he had done enough.

Mrs. Peterkin retreated into the parlor, deciding she really did have a headache. At times she had to come out when a rocket went off, to see if it was one of the little boys. She was exhausted by the adventures of the day, and almost thought it could not have been worse if the boys had been allowed gunpowder. The distracted lady was thankful there was likely to be but one Centennial Fourth in her lifetime, and declared she should never more keep anything in the house as dangerous as saltpetred beef, and she should never venture to take another spoonful of potash.
The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia P. Hale (1820-1900). Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, c1886, c1914.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The End of Holy Trinity, The Beginning of??


I thought I'd better mention some of the things that happened last Sunday at the high Tridentine Mass at Holy Trinity Church of Boston.

Holy Trinity, as you know, has been hosting a traditional Tridentine rite mass in Latin in the Diocese of Boston for the last nineteen years. This church was founded in 1844 (the current building dates from 1877) by German immigrants, and it used to be known as the the "Christmas Parish" because it was from these German churchgoers that the post-puritan Bostonians learned to celebrate Christmas copying from them such rituals as decorating fir trees, midnight processions and greeting cards.

The church was full, easily twice the number of congregants I had seen at its fullest previously. Unfortunately, the rather elderly and barely audible priest -- rather than the peppery Father Taurasi -- was main celebrant. The music was, of course, heartbreaking. The thing that always makes me choke up -- the ringing of the tower bells at the elevation of the host and chalice -- I had never encountered before going to Holy Trinity.

At the Homily a rather youngish and broad shouldered priest mounted the pulpit. He was Father Connelly (sp?), the pastor, and he read the decree from the Cardinal that at noon on Monday (the 30th) Holy Trinity Church was to be "suppressed." Then he uttered a lot of very sympathetic words towards the two congregations of HT (the German and the traditionalist). I don't know; he may be sincere.

But here is the news: The Diocese want to get the congregation to come over to the the Cathedral and to entice them the rector is offering a "German-American" novus ordo service upstairs AND (pending the arrangement of "logistics") a TRIDENTINE rite in the "basement" the first extraordinary rite to be held this Sunday (6th) at 11:00AM.

The people of the Holy Trinity have been praying for a "miracle" to save their church. I'm wondering if they are getting one -- just not the one they were looking for. The chancery and the Diocese, is, to be sure, trying to protect themselves from the appeal to the Vatican by the HT people who are basing it on the Motu Proprio.

BUT, is this the first time in over thirty-five years that the Old Mass will have been said in Holy Cross Cathedral? When was the last time it was said in ANY diocesan cathedral in North America?

David, you should spread the word. I'll probably be down on Cape Cod this Sunday. I hope I may hear from somebody who goes to it.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Holy Trinity (German) Parish Suppressed

Holy Trinity Parish was suppressed on June 30, 2008 per order of His Eminence, Seán Cardinal O’Malley, OFM Cap. and the church is now closed. The parish’s assets, including the church building, are currently frozen and will remain so while the parishioners exercise their canonical rights to appeal this decision. The parish’s most valuable sacred objects have been removed from the church for safekeeping and the building is now secured. It is being monitored by a professional property management firm to ensure the building’s well being.

Inquiries concerning the sacramental records of Holy Trinity should be addressed to the Pastor of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, 75 Union Park Street, Boston, 02118 (617-542-5682). All other matters concerning the parish should be directed to the office of Rev. John J. Connolly at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center, 66 Brooks Drive, Braintree, MA 02184 (617-782-2544).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Saturday is Flag Day and Gay Pride Parade in Boston

Res Publica
Flag Day
by David Trumbull
June 13, 2008

Saturday, June 14th, is Flag Day, which commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States by resolution of the Second Continental Congress, June 14, 1777. Since 1966 the week that includes June 14th has been designated National Flag Week.

In issuing this year’s Flag Day and National Flag Week proclamation President George W. Bush said:
The American flag has been our national symbol for 231 years, and it remains a beacon of freedom wherever it is flown. Since the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as our flag in 1777, it has stood for freedom, justice, and the resolve of our Nation.

Since the first days of our Republic, Americans have flown the flag to show their pride and appreciation for the freedoms they enjoy in this great Nation. Every day, Americans pledge their allegiance to the flag of the United States, and our troops carry it before them as they defend the liberties for which it stands.
A quick check of the City of Boston official calendar of events showed no scheduled municipal observance on Flag Day. However, flags of various colors and designs will be in abundance at the big parade that day, the Gay Pride Parade which starts at noon in the Back Bay and travels to City Hall Plaza. Several local politicians signed up well in advance to march, including Michael Flaherty, Sara Orozco, Sonia Chang-Diaz, and Mike Ross. Prior years’ marchers have included Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino.

Gay pride observances are getting to be as main stream as celebrations of Italian heritage at Columbus Day or Irish heritage on March 17th. Today every group in America seeks recognition as a group. In proper proportion such pride in one’s group is a good thing. But group identity, taken too far, corrodes our common heritage as Americans. When Al Gore mistranslated E Pluribus Unum as “out of one, many” he spoke an unintended truth about politicians who are quick to embrace identity politics over national unity. This June 14th fly your American flag and reflect on our American liberties, including the liberty to express pride in your group—whatever group that is.

[David Trumbull is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee. Boston's Ward Three includes the North End, West End, part of Beacon Hill, downtown, waterfront, Chinatown, and part of the South End.]

Morning Prayer New Testament Reading

From Morning Prayer for Thursday, June 12, 2008:

The Second Lesson is taken from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapter 16, Verses 13 through 20--
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

--Here endeth the second lesson.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rosary at Holy Trinity in June

The Rosary will be prayed during the month of June on Wednesdays at 8:00 pm and and Saturdays at 2:00 pm in the lower church. Everyone is welcome! Please pray a daily Rosary for Holy Trinity Parish throughout this month.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Holy Trinity Parish Events Related to Church Closure

Friday, June 27 - Holy Hour with Exposition, silent Adoration, group prayers, and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM in the upper church.

Sunday, June 29 - Latin Tridentine High Mass at 9:00 AM in the upper church.
Concelebrated English/German Mass at 11:00 AM in the upper church followed by Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and a reception in the lower church hall.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Update on Holy Trinity Church, Boston

From the June issue of Monatsbote, the monthly newsletter of Holy Trinity Church:
Dear Monatsbote Readers,

It is with great sadness and regret that we must inform our readers that His Eminence, Seán Cardinal O’Malley has set June 30, 2008 as the date for the closure of Holy Trinity. Although four years have passed since this intention was first announced, we still do not know why our church was specifically identified for elimination. While it seems to us that successful parishes with unique missions should be among the last to be sacrificed to help the Archdiocese adjust to administration challenges and demographic changes, others apparently do not see it that way. We have repeatedly been asked to accept on faith that the Archdiocese will be better off without us. Those requests not withstanding, it is expected that some parishioners will exercise their canonical right to appeal this order to the appropriate parties and at the appropriate time.

For everyone’s information you will find in this issue the text of the Archbishop’s “letter of intent.” You will also find a copy of the letter sent by members of the Parish Council to Bishop Hennessey in which they raised concerns with many parts of the letter he read to the Presbyteral Council in March when he asked them to consider the Holy Trinity case. (The Bishop’s letter appeared in the May issue of Monatsbote.) Although there was no reply or acknowledgement from Bishop Hennessey, the authors are convinced that their objections are both pertinent and valid to the closure decision.

Many questions have been raised about the disposition of the parish’s property and resources. Unfortunately, we currently do not know the answers. It is expected that over the next few weeks, we will learn what needs to happen both during and after the appeal process takes its course. We are hopeful that the matter will be clearer by the time that our next (and possibly final) issue goes to press.

Peter V. Cooper, Editor

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Update on Boston Latin Mass Online Resources

  • Sacred Heart Parish, 303 Paris Street, East Boston, MA 02128-3063 -- Phone: (617) 567-5776; Fax: (617) 567-3042 - offers the traditional Latin Mass on Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. The church's website is

  • According to one news account Saint Columbkille's Parish, 321 Market Street, Brighton, Massachusetts 02135; Tel.: (617) 782-5774 offers a traditional Latin Mass one Friday per month. This could not be verified on the church's website which has not been updated since June 2007.

  • Una Voce (from the Preface of the Most Holy Trinity (with one voice) is dedicated to ensuring that the Roman Mass codified by St. Pius V is maintained as one of the forms of eucharistic worship which are honored in universal liturgical life, and to restoring the use of Latin, Gregorian Chant, and sacred polyphony in Catholic liturgy. There is a Boston chapter, however their website has not been updated since July 2007.
  • 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 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

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

    Sunday, April 27, 2008

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    Bay State Miracle Moves Newman Closer to Sainthood

    According to the Catholic News Agency the Vatican has approved the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, the English convert and theologian. The Church has accepted as miraculous the cure of an American deacon’s crippling spinal disorder. The deacon, Jack Sullivan of Marshfield, Massachusetts, prayed for John Henry Newman’s intercession.

    President Proclaims May 1st National Day of Prayer

    A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

    America trusts in the abiding power of prayer and asks for the wisdom to discern God's will in times of joy and of trial. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we recognize our dependence on the Almighty, we thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us, and we put our country's future in His hands.

    From our Nation's humble beginnings, prayer has guided our leaders and played a vital role in the life and history of the United States. Americans of many different faiths share the profound conviction that God listens to the voice of His children and pours His grace upon those who seek Him in prayer. By surrendering our lives to our loving Father, we learn to serve His eternal purposes, and we are strengthened, refreshed, and ready for all that may come.

    On this National Day of Prayer, we ask God's continued blessings on our country. This year's theme, "Prayer! America's Strength and Shield," is taken from Psalm 28:7, "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped." On this day, we pray for the safety of our brave men and women in uniform, for their families, and for the comfort and recovery of those who have been wounded.

    The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on our Nation to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society by recognizing each year a "National Day of Prayer."

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2008, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God's continued guidance, comfort, and protection. I invite all Americans to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

    Saturday, April 19, 2008

    The Cardinal and the Pope

    Much as Jesus himself ministered to prostitutes and tax collectors, the Pope was in Washington, DC, this week. Cardinal O'Malley joined him and has a report.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Monday, April 21st, is Patriots' Day

    Listen my children and you shall hear
    Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
    On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
    Hardly a man is now alive
    Who remembers that famous day and year.
    --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    George W. Bush a Closet Catholic?

    Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI's election in 2005, President Bush met with a small circle of advisers in the Oval Office. As some mentioned their own religious backgrounds, the president remarked that he had read one of the new pontiff's books...READ MORE AT The Deacon's Bench.

    Monday, April 14, 2008

    Peggy Noonan on the Pope

    This piece by Peggy Noonan is worth a read. She argues that, as John Paul II was a Pope suited to television, Benedict XVI is suited to the Internet, by which she seems to mean written text, which, to be fair, existed in other forms before it existed on the Internet.

    She notes, because Benedict recently did, that John Paul adopted the mantra "be not afraid." This always impressed me particularly coming from someone who spent the first four decades of his adult life living under Nazis and Communists. What Noonan doesn't mention, but what I connect with the context in which John Paul rejected fear, is the effect that Parkinson's disease had on his last few years, and the effect that it didn't have. The charismatic athlete eventually lost his vigor, but never his dignity. And this seems to be Noonan's point, if I'm reading her correctly: that Pope Benedict is valuable for his reason and his words (which he may have intended when he chose his name), while John Paul was more important as a role model and a sub-rational communicator.

    I also wanted to note Noonan's description of the Regensburg address:
    There he traced and limned some of the development of Christianity, but he turned first to Islam. Faith in God does not justify violence, he said. "The right use of reason" prompts us to understand that violence is incompatible with the nature of God, and the nature, therefore, of the soul. God, he quotes an ancient Byzantine ruler, "is not pleased by blood," and "not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature." More: "To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm." This is a message for our time, and a courageous one, too. (The speech was followed by riots and by Osama bin Laden's charge that the pope was starting a new "crusade.")
    What struck me about that paragraph is that she isn't really distorting anything much, except in implying that Islam was more of a focus of Benedict's address than it actually was. If anything, he hits on the Protestants more than the Muslims. The rioters were really completely insane, but I encourage you to read the speech - it's pretty short, and has food for thought.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008

    Massachusets GOP has reached its lowest ebb since before the Civil War

    This column originally appeared in the March 21, 2008 edition of the Post-Gazette of Boston.

    by Edward W. Wagner

    The atmosphere was cheerful and collegial with no dissent as all offices, from national committeeman to assistant secretary, were filled by acclamation of uncontested elections. Most of these were re-elections of the current office holders. Overall the tone was one of cautious optimism.

    In other words it seemed a party meeting for some other state rather that Massachusetts where the GOP has reached its lowest ebb since before the Civil War. There was no sense of crisis. The lack of palpable aura of doom hanging over the proceedings only lent to them a feeling of unreality, like listening to the officers on the deck of the Titanic discuss the next day’s shuffleboard tournament.

    Above all there was no perception that the state party had just perhaps been lately ill-served by its leadership. The longest serving officers, National Committeeman, Ron Kaufman and National Committeewomen, Jody Dow proudly noted that they have been at their posts since, respectively, 1988 and 1981. But they did not point out that that means they have presided over one of the most precipitous declines of a major party in any state outside the Democrats in the old confederacy.

    I think in large part that members of this committee believe that the Mass GOP has been on receiving end of some hard knocks and poor luck but that they could not have done anything to prevent the current state of affairs. They are now hopefully looking forward to a change in luck. It is true that, since the defeat of Kerry Healy and the ending of Mitt Romney’s presidential hopes, the clutch of multimillionaires who have been riding the party hard to serve their own ambitions seemed to have finally walked away. But what remains is a committee that largely served their interests over any other consideration. If the Healy for Governor Committee no longer shares the same address as the party headquarters it’s only because one of them went out of business; and one wonders how long the other will be able to pay the rent.

    What I heard about party finances was not encouraging. Sitting state chairman, Peter Torkildsen, who presided over the meeting, graciously agreed to forego a large part of his six-figure salary until the state party has raised enough money to pay him. He did not note that, until his tenure, no recent chairman had pulled down any salary at all.

    The composition of this committee is still in flux. Eighteen seats (out of eighty) were uncontested at the primary election. In the interim three persons have been elected (and were seated at this meeting) by district caucus and there was at least one successful sticker campaign. I don’t know if this could provide the elements of a dissenting or even a conservative caucus in the committee. Nowhere did I see one in action at this meeting.

    [Note, Mr. Wagner is Chairman of the Boston Ward 11 (Jamaica Plain) Republican Committee. He joins us a guest columnist this week. (dt)]

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Fireworks Over Boston Harbor Saturday Night

    At approximately 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 29, 2008, there will be a fireworks display over the Boston Inner Harbor, launched from a location [42 deg 21'42'' N, 071 2'36'' W] in the middle of the main channel opposite Long Wharf. The pyrotechnics are in conjunction with wedding festivities.

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    March 25, 1821

    Zito H Ellada!

    Greek Independence Day Parade Sunday, April 6, 2008, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

    Parade Route: Boylston Street to Charles Street

    Grand Marshals: His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios & City of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino

    Celebration at the Boston Common immediately following the Parade. Featuring traditional Dance performances, Greek Food, Greek Music and dancing. Music by Orfeas Orchestra. Presented by the Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of New England In Cooperation with The Metropolis of Boston, The Consulate General of Greece and The Mayor’s Office of Special Events and Tourism.

    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    Easter Greeting

    Ex-Justice Glad to be God’s Humble Servant

    He once sat on the state’s highest court, but on the altar he is a humble page to the king of kings.

    Boston -- Number of Altar Boys Spikes with Return of Traditional Latin Mass

    According to the Boston Herald--
    A new generation of young altar servers captivated by the solemn rituals of Latin Mass is mastering the traditional rite in growing numbers in the Boston archdiocese as the liturgy makes a comeback after a four-decade hiatus.
    Read the rest of the story.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    Holy Week Anglican Use Services in Boston

    Congregation of St. Athanasius
    Archdiocese of Boston — Anglican Use
    Palm Sunday, March 16

    10:30 a.m. Blessing & Distribution of Palms, Solemn Procession, The Reading of the Passion, Solemn Mass and Sermon

    Tuesday in Holy Week, March 18
    10:00a .m. Low Mass

    Maundy Thursday, March 20
    7:30 p.m. COMMEMORATION OF THE LAST SUPPER, Convent Chapel

    8:30 p.m. Adoration until midnight, St. Theresa of Avila Chapel

    Good Friday, March 21
    12 noon – 2:45 p.m. THE THREE HOURS
    Stations of the Cross
    Seven Last Words & Meditation
    Convent Chapel

    3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
    The Good Friday Liturgy
    St. Theresa of Avila Church

    Holy Saturday, March 22
    9:00 a.m. The Altar Service, Convent Chapel

    3:00–4:00 p.m. Confessions, St. Theresa Chapel

    St. Theresa of Avila Church

    Easter Day, March 23
    10:30 a.m. Solemn Mass & Sermon

    Monday, March 10, 2008

    Holy Week Latin Masses at Holy Trinity

    There will be no 9:00 a.m. Tridentine Mass on Sunday, March 16 (Palm Sunday) at Holy Trinity Church on Shawmut Ave. in Boston's South End.


    Palm Sunday.
      9:00 a.m. NO MASS
      11:00 a.m. Mass in English/German.
    Holy Thursday
      7:00 p.m. High Mass in Latin
    Good Friday
      7:00 p.m. Chanted Mass of the Pre-Sanctified in Latin
    Easter Vigil
      8:00 p.m. Mass in English/German

    Monday, February 25, 2008

    The Voting Catholic

    At National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru explains how a Catholic is expected to vote:
    The bishops do not suggest that conscientious citizens should be single-issue voters. They do say that voters should will justice for the unborn, which precludes voting for a pro-choice candidate because he is pro-choice and also precludes voting for such a candidate without ascribing to the injustice of killing the innocent the profound weight it is due.
    I'm not a Catholic, and abortion isn't a salient issue for me, but I see this misunderstanding a lot, and it seems worth clearing up. A faithful Catholic may not vote for a pro-choice candidate over a pro-life candidate because of their stands on abortion (does this even need to be said?), nor may he ignore their stands on abortion, but he may vote for the candidate who is less aligned with the church on abortion if the reasons for doing so outweigh the reasons for not doing so. A pro-choice stance must be considered a count against a candidate, but it doesn't necessarily have to be decisive.

    Thursday, February 21, 2008

    Here Let Us Stop

    “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.”

    —George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796

    Poor George, both revered and kicked around by us. He was born February 11th but when he was 20 Britain and her colonies finally caught up with Catholic Europe by switching to the Gregorian Calendar, moving his birthday to the 22nd of the month. Then, starting in 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 moved the official celebration of his birth to the third Monday in February. In popular parlance we slight our first President by neglecting the legal name of the holiday, WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY and refer to it as a generic “Presidents’ Day”.

    We likewise neglect Washington’s sage warning against entangling foreign alliances. Even in our commercial relations our leaders, not content merely to trade with the rest of the world, have entered into binding agreements restricting our ability to control our own commerce, to encourage domestic manufacturing, or even to protect our citizens from unsafe products. Our legal obligations to the World Trade Organization and our bilateral and multilateral trade agreements entangle us in a network of supra-national laws that can, effectively, overturn the actions of our elected Congress and President.

    Imports of unsafe toys were, briefly leading up to Christmas 2007, a big news story. After years of shopping only for price, Americas woke up to find that an estimated 75 percent of all toys on the market were the products of one nation—China—which had been exposed as tolerating a manufacturing industry criminally unconcerned with the safety of her consumers half-way ‘round the globe. Worse, Americans found they had few options. Decades of failed public policy had driven much light manufacturing from our States where we could have monitored working conditions and inputs. Binding WTO obligations prohibited the U.S. taking any effective prompt and broad action to restrict imports from a known offender.

    That leaves The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a relatively small federal bureaucracy, in charge of protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Daily the CPSC issues new notice of recall of some product or other than is a risk for explosion, fire, strangulation, lead poisoning or other threat to human health, safety or even life.

    In my industry, textiles, CPSC has already in 2008 issued three notices of recall of dangerous—, potentially fatally so—consumer products. It will be no surprise to anyone who has followed the news that all three involved imported—Chinese and Korean—products. On our industry association blog, I have started posting, as a public service, links to CPSC recalled of textile and apparel products. The safe consumer is the informed consumer—Caveat emptor.

    Thursday, February 14, 2008

    Coast Guard Proposes Gull Point Special Anchorage Area in Weymouth Fore River

    Federal Register: February 14, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 31)][Page 8635-8637]

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish Gull Point(PT) Special Anchorage area in the Weymouth Fore River, Weymouth, Massachusetts. This proposed action is necessary to facilitate safe navigation and provide a safe and secure anchorage for vessels of not more than 65 feet in length. This action is intended to increase the safety of life and property in the Weymouth Fore River, improve the safety of anchored vessels, and provide for the overall safe and efficient flow of vessel traffic and commerce.

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before April 14, 2008.

    You may mail comments and related material to Commander (dpw) (USCG-2007-0199), First Coast Guard District, 408 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA 02110, or deliver them to room 628 at the same address between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection or copying at room 628, First Coast Guard District Boston, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Pray for Vocations

    Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of this week are the traditional spring Ember Days.
    Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed various orders in thy Church: Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all who are called to any office and ministry for thy people; and so fill them with the truth of thy doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name and for the benefit of thy holy Church; 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.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Advisory Council Public Mtg March 5th

    [Federal Register: February 12, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 29)][Page 8062]

    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service

    Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Advisory Council; Notice of Public Meeting

    AGENCY: Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.

    ACTION: Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Advisory Council will be held on Wednesday, March 5, 2008, at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at University of Massachusetts--Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Campus Center, 3rd floor Bayview Room, Boston, MA.

    This will be the annual meeting of the Council. The agenda will include a presentation on the development of a new guide book: Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands, membership review and election of officers, ``park report card'' update 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.

    DATE: March 5, 2007 at 6 p.m.

    ADDRESSES: University of Massachusetts--Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Campus Center, 3rd floor Bayview Room, Boston, MA.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Superintendent Bruce Jacobson, (617) 223-8667.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Advisory Council was appointed by the Director of National Park Service pursuant to Public Law 104-333. The 28 members represent business, educational/cultural, community and environmental entities; municipalities surrounding Boston Harbor; Boston Harbor advocates; and Native American interests. The purpose of the Council is to advise and make recommendations to the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership with respect to the development and implementation of a management plan and the operation of the Boston Harbor Islands NRA.

    Thursday, February 7, 2008

    In wrath remember mercy

    From Morning Prayer for Thursday, February 7, 2008:
    "O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy." –Habakkuk 3:2

    President Bush Attends National Prayer Breakfast

    THE PRESIDENT: Gracias, mi amigo. Thank you, friend. Laura and I are honored to join you all here for the 56th National Prayer Breakfast. A lot of reasons to pray, and one of course, is to strengthen us against temptation, particularly this morning -- from temptation to stay in bed. Obviously there's a lot of prayerful people here. And I appreciate your warm welcome.

    We have a lot of distinguished guests here today -- members of Congress, military leaders, captains of industry. Yet at this annual gathering, we are reminded of an eternal truth: When we lift our hearts to God, we're all equal in His sight. We're all equally precious; we're all equally dependent on His grace. It's fitting that we gather each year to approach our Creator in fellowship -- and to thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon our families and our nation. It is fitting that we gather in prayer, because we recognize a prayerful nation is a stronger nation.

    I want to appreciate -- I appreciate Senator Salazar and Enzi. Thank you for putting this deal on. Madam Speaker, Leader Hoyer, Leader Blunt, thank you all for being here. Welcome the members of Congress. I appreciate the heads of state who are here. Welcome to America, again. I thank the members of the Diplomatic Corps who have joined us. Appreciate the distinguished dignitaries, all the members of my Cabinet -- don't linger, get back to work.

    Admiral, thank you for your leadership. Always proud to be with the members of the United States military. I thank the state and local officials. Ward, thanks for your remarks. Those were awesome. I guess that's a presidential word. Proud to be here with Michael W. and Debbie. They're longtime friends of our family. Thank you for lending your beautiful voice. Judge, I'm not going to hold the Texas thing against you.

    Every President since Dwight Eisenhower has attended the National Prayer Breakfast -- and I am really proud to carry on that tradition. It's an important tradition, and I'm confident Presidents who follow me will do the same. The people in this room come from many different walks of faith. Yet we share one clear conviction: We believe that the Almighty hears our prayers -- and answers those who seek Him. That's what we believe; otherwise, why come? Through the miracle of prayer, we believe he listens -- if we listen to his voice and seek our presence -- his presence in our lives, our hearts will change. And in so doing, in seeking God, we grow in ways that we could never imagine.

    In prayer, we grow in gratitude and thanksgiving. When we spend time with the Almighty, we realize how much He has bestowed upon us -- and our hearts are filled with joy. We give thanks for our families, we give thanks for the parents who raised us, we give thanks for the patient souls who married us, and the children who make us proud each day. We give thanks for our liberty -- and the universal desire for freedom that He has written into every human heart. We give thanks for the God who made us in His image -- and redeemed us in His love.

    In prayer, we grow in meekness and humility. By approaching our Maker on bended knee, we acknowledge our complete dependence on Him. We recognize that we have nothing to offer God that He does not already have -- except our love. So we offer Him that love, and ask for the grace to discern His will. We ask Him to remain near to us at all times. We ask Him to help us lead lives that are pleasing to Him. We discover that by surrendering our lives to the Almighty, we are strengthened, refreshed, and ready for all that may come.

    In prayer, we also grow in boldness and courage. The more time we spend with God, the more we see that He is not a distant king, but a loving Father. Inspired by this confidence, we approach Him with bold requests: We ask Him to heal the sick, and comfort the dying, and sustain those who care for them. We ask Him to bring solace to the victims of tragedy, and help to those suffering from addiction and adversity. We ask him to strengthen our families, and to protect the innocent and vulnerable in our country. We ask Him to protect our nation from those who wish us harm -- and watch over all who stepped forward to defend us. We ask Him to bring about the day when His peace shall reign across the world -- and every tear shall be wiped away.

    In prayer, we grow in mercy and compassion. We are reminded in prayer that we are all fallen creatures in need of mercy. And in seeking God's mercy, we grow in mercy ourselves. Experiencing the presence of God transforms our hearts -- and the more we seek His presence, the more we feel the tug at our souls to reach out to the poor, and the hungry, the elderly, and the infirm. When we answer God's call to love a neighbor as ourselves, we enter into a deeper friendship with our fellow man -- and a deeper relationship with our eternal Father.

    I believe in the power of prayer, because I have felt it in my own life. Prayer has strengthened me in times of personal challenge. It has helped me meet the challenges of the presidency. I understand now clearly the story of the calm in the rough seas. And so at this final prayer breakfast as your President, I thank you for your prayers, and I thank our people all across America for their prayers. And I ask you not to stop in the year ahead. We have so much work to do for our country, and with the help of the Almighty, we will build a freer world -- and a safer, more hopeful, more noble America.

    God bless.

    Tuesday, February 5, 2008

    Create and make in us new and contrite hearts...

    Collect for Ash Wednesday
    Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. –Book of Divine Worship

    Monday, February 4, 2008

    Boast not Thyself of To-morrow

    From Morning Prayer for February 4, 2008, the Monday of the Week of the Last Sunday after Epiphany:
    Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forthProverbs 27:1

    Sunday, February 3, 2008

    Steve Jens Interviewed in Today's Boston Globe

    "...Steve Jens says that one of his earlier memories of Cambridge came when he was growing up in Iowa and heard about the city's devotion to rent control. But after the young conservative graduated from MIT, he found himself staying here. He liked the bookstores and the presence of the universities, even if his political views put him in the minority... " Read more at Blue city blues

    Saturday, February 2, 2008

    Pray the Daily Office in Lent

    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.

    Lent is a good time to begin or renew a commitment to saying the daily office. The Daily Office from the Roman Catholic Anglican Use Book of Divine Worship is available online at

    The offices for lent have been revised and reposted to make it easier than ever to say the daily office.

    Friday, February 1, 2008

    William J. McCarthy Running for State Committee in Worcester County

    Bill McCarthy is running a write-in campaign for the February 5th Republican State Committeeman election in the First Worcester district. There is no nomination on the ballot. If 50 voters write in Bill's name he will be the new committeeman for that district.

    The First Worceter district is made up of:
    Worcester, wards 1 to 4, inclusive, 9 and 10, Berlin, Boylston, Clinton, precincts 3 and 4, Holden, Northborough, precincts 1, 2 and 4, Paxton, Princeton and West Boylston.
    Bill may be contacted at

    Mike Potaski Running for State Cmte in Blackstone Valley

    Mike Potaski is running a write-in campaign for the February 5th Republican State Committeeman election in the Worcester and Norfolk district. There is no nomination on the ballot. If 50 voters write in Mike's name he will be the new committeeman for that district.

    The Worceter and Norfolk district is made up of:
    Blackstone, Douglas, Dudley, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millville, Northbridge, Oxford, Southbridge, Sutton, Uxbridge and Webster, in the county of Worcester; and Bellingham, in the county of Norfolk.
    Mike may be contacted at