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Lenten Regulations

Father Bradford has brought these regulations to our attention:

  • Abstinence — Catholics over 14 years of age are bound to the obligation of abstinence. Abstinence is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays of Lent. On days of abstinence, meat may not be used at all.
  • Fast — Catholics over 18 and up to the beginning of their 60th year are bound to the obligation of fasting.  Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the days of fasting. On these days only one full meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength. may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together, they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices are allowed.

Regarding other weekdays of Lent, participation in daily Mass and the voluntary observance of fasting is recommended. Commendable, particularly during Lent, is generosity to local, national, and world programs of sharing our abundance, the traditional Lenten Devotions, and all the self-denial summed up in the Christian concept of “mortification.”

Lenten cross


A PDF of these Lenten regulations is here.

Our Founding Verger on Journey Home on EWTN

Enquiring minds might wonder how a very traditional birth Catholic found himself spending a good quarter of a century among a species of Christians he previously didn’t  know existed — “anglocatholics” — and has ended up a full member of the new portion of the Church erected by Pope Benedict specifically for Anglicans and Episcopalians who wish to undo what Henry, the Eighth of that Name did about 500 years ago, bringing their liturgical patrimony with them — part of which is the office of Verger. If you want to find out what THAT is, go here; but to hear the whole story watch THE JOURNEY HOME on EWTN, January 22, at 8PM.

The show will repeat five hours later at 1 in the morning on Tuesday and once more on Friday at 1 in the afternoon. In about a week or so the episode will appear online on the websites of both EWTN and THE COMING HOME NETWORK; on the latter, it will be available in high-definition and it — like all other episodes — can also be found by keyword search (such as “anglocatholic;” “birth catholic;” “anglican,” and such). These links will take you to the correct pages at EWTN and The Coming Home Network.


At the front left is Saint Gregory the Great’s founding Verger, subject of tonight’s JOURNEY HOME episode in the company of Seán, Cardinal O’Malley and some of the other clergy who attended the Ecumenical Choral Evensong our community offered during the Week for Christian Unity, 2015.

Bishop Lopes talks about our Missal

We use Divine Worship: The Missal for our worship. Our Bishop, Bishop Steven Lopes, recently presented the Hillenbrand lecture on the origins of this Missal at the Liturgical Institute at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. You can read the text of his lecture here and view our pew Missal here.

Saint John Fisher’s Suggestions for Short Private Prayer…

June Twenty-second is the Feast of Saints John Fisher, Bishop — the only one of the English Bishops to refuse the acknowledge Henry VIII’s claim to be the head of the Church of England, and the only Cardinal to “earn” his red vestments, which symbolize willingness to shed his blood for the Catholic Faith — and Thomas More — once holder of the highest office in the Realm of England, a man who loved music, art, learning, and — especially — his family; but who gave them all up on a point of conscience, touching the Petrine Ministry and the Sanctity of the Sacrament of Marriage. Their feast is celebrated on the date of John, Cardinal Fisher’s death; More would follow him up the scaffold two weeks later, on July 6th. Between these two dates a slide on our home page allows you to see these men as they looked in life, via the wonderful portraits by Torrigiano (of Bishop Fisher, probably about 1510, in terra-cotta) and Holbein (of More, as a Privy Counsellor in 1527, in oil). In their own day, Fisher was perhaps the more honored; of his great friend, More himself wrote: I reckon in this realm no one man, in wisdom, learning, and long approved virtue together, meet to be matched and compared with him. Over time however — partly because England remained Protestant, perhaps, and while it became possible to honor “the King’s good servant…but God’s first,” as a man of upright morals, it was almost impossible to offer equal praise to the one Bishop who didn’t “go along” (although it should be noted both men, most commendably, are now honored in the Calendar of the Church of England and some other members of the Anglican communion) and, from the mid-20th century assuredly because of the influence of Robert Bolt’s remarkable stage play A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS and the film made of it, Thomas More has quite eclipsed John Fisher. Both were eventually imprisoned in the Tower of London and condemned to the same end, the death of a traitor: hanging, drawing, and quartering; but in both cases the King commuted this to execution by beheading.

They spent much of their time in the Tower writing, and much of that writing survives. You can find the corpus of Fisher’s printed works here; among them are two letters of spiritual encouragement written to his sister Elizabeth during his imprisonment in the last year of his life. From the second of these I have taken his final, practical suggestion to her: a series of short prayers which he suggests she memorize so that they can be used by praying silently — therefore useful in any circumstances. Bp Fisher composed seven, one for each day of the week. I have abstracted the final paragraph in which he introduces his idea and gives Elizabeth his directions, and his farewell, modernizing his language slightly and his spelling entirely. The short prayers are then given in their original form, followed by modern versions, treated in the same fashion as the introduction. Click here to see a downloadable, printable copy as a PDF. Copies will be available at Mass on Sundays between the dates of the martyrdom of John Fisher (June 22nd) and Thomas More (July 6th).


Saint John Fisher, Pray for us!

Saint John Fisher, Pray for us!