Thursday, November 12, 2009

De Lisle's Dream Come True

Beware the Litanies of the Dominicans!

Fr. Brian Mulcahy, O.P., of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph (Eastern Province) posts an article written by Leon Pereira, O.P. entitled, "De Lisle’s Dream Come True". It concerns the desire of Ambrose Philips de Lisle, founder of Mount St. Bernard's Abbey in England, for Anglican unity with the Catholic Church and its fulfillment with the new Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus, which provides for the reception of large portions of the Anglican Communion into Full Communion with the Catholic Church.
Two hundred years ago an extraordinary man was born in Leicestershire, Ambrose Philips de Lisle. He was a scion of the ancient De Lisle family, and the founder of Mount St. Bernard's Abbey. His descendants still come to Mass at Holy Cross. Ambrose de Lisle was a visionary ahead of his time. A convert to the Catholic faith, he dreamed of Christian unity. He wrote a pamphlet in 1876, voicing the idea of a corporate re-union of the Anglican Communion with the Catholic Church, whilst retaining Anglican juridical structures, liturgy and spirituality. When his friend Cardinal John Henry Newman read it, he wrote to him,
Nothing will rejoice me more than to find that the Holy See considers it safe and promising to sanction some such plan as the Pamphlet suggests. I give my best prayers, such as they are, that some means of drawing to us so many good people, who are now shivering at our gates, may be discovered.
The plan was doomed to be thwarted in De Lisle's lifetime. To console him, Newman said:
It seems to me there must be some divine purpose in it. It often has happened in sacred and in ecclesiastical history, that a thing is in itself good, but the time has not come for it ... And thus I reconcile myself to many, many things, and put them into God's hands. I can quite believe that the conversion of Anglicans may be more thorough and more extended, if it is delayed - and our Lord knows more than we do.
Indeed! Read the whole article.

It should also come as no surprise that Dominicans also played an important role in this effort to respond to the requests of Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Pereira notes:
On 21 February this year, our brother Fr. Augustine DiNoia, O.P., then Under-secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asked all Dominicans to pray the Litany of Dominican Saints from February 22 (the Feast of the Chair of St Peter) till March 25 (the Solemnity of the Annunciation) for an at-the-time undisclosed intention - it was for this intention. It is no wonder that in our history people have remarked, 'Beware the Litanies of the Dominicans!'

Hat tip to Mark at Dominican Idaho

The Reform of the Roman Liturgy

... and the Position of the Celebrant of the Altar.

An article by Uwe Michael Lang, taken from his book, "Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer". Excerpt:
Cardinal Ratzinger is equally emphatic that the celebration of the Eucharist, just as Christian prayer in general, has a trinitarian direction and discusses the question of how this can be communicated most fittingly in liturgical gesture. When we speak to someone, we obviously face that person. Accordingly, the whole liturgical assembly, priest and people, should face the same way, turning towards God to whom prayers and offerings are addressed in this common act of trinitarian worship. Ratzinger rightly protests against the mistaken idea that in this case the celebrating priest is facing "towards the altar", "towards the tabernacle", or even "towards the wall". The catchphrase often heard nowadays that the priest is "turning his back on the people" is a classic example of confounding theology and topography, for the crucial point is that the Mass is a common act of worship where priest and people together, representing the pilgrim Church, reach out for the transcendent God.

Vincent Ferrer, Doctor of the Church?

Hat tip to the Dominican nuns over at Moniales:
The French diocese of Vannes, in which St. Vincent Ferrer died in 1419 and where he is buried in the Cathedral, has adhered to the petition to declare the saint a Doctor of the Church. This was confirmed by the bishop Raymond Centène, who was received by the Archbishop of Valencia (Spain), Carlos Osoro.

Mgr. Centène declared that he had spoken to the Archbishop about this proposal, which is being promoted by the Dominican Order, to whom the saint from Valencia belonged, and the Chapter of the Knights of Saint Vincent Ferrer, together with several other entities, in order to «start this work together», as the Archdiocese of Valencia informed. The French bishop cited the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Valencia and the Bishoprics of Vannes, Valencia and Perpignan, among the institutions that participate in this proposal.

This proposal wants to «indicate Saint Vincent Ferrer as an eminent master of the faith for the faithful of all times», as was asserted by the president of the Knights of Saint Vincent Ferrer, Ignacio Carrau.

Mgr. Centène recalled that each year thousands of Valencians make the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Vannes in order to venerate the relics of their patron saint. The temple, built during the 13th century in the gothic style, guards the tomb of the Valencian saint who died in the French city on the 5th of April 1419.

During his four day visit to the Diocese of Valencia, the French bishop met the provincial and the community of the Dominicans and other civil authorities in the house where Saint Vincent Ferrer was born.
I took the name Vincent Ferrer when I was admitted to the Order of Preachers as a lay member. I did so because I was inspired by Ferrer's determination to preach the Gospel to those of his own land who had gone years without having heard it. He describes in many of his letters his experiences among the inhabitants of the villages of the backhills of Europe who had essentially become isolated from the Church and had fallen into bizarre heresies. In many ways, I consider my vocation, both as a lay Catholic and as a Dominican, to be one of reaching out to those of my own generation who have become isolated, in some sense, from the Church, and have fallen into nihilism or a rigid scientism.


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