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Pentecost & London 2017

June 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Metropolitan Jerome of Selsey during his broadcast homily for Pentecost Sunday referred to the news of the terrorist attacks in London on Saturday 3/6/17, resulting in the tragic deaths of seven people and seriously injuring another forty-eight, including Emergency Service personnel and Police.

His Grace began with a reflection concerning the fulfilment of the promise of the Holy Spirit to the Church and its enabling power upon the Apostles. He made reference to an allegory of the Tower of Babel and the event of Pentecost in Jerusalem, where once God had confounded humanity by the curse of language, how He then enabled the Apostles to preach the Gospel through the “gift of tongues” i.e. in the languages then spoken in Jerusalem as referred to in today’s Epistle from Acts, resulting in the conversion by St Peter’s preaching of 3’000 people!

Revisiting a favourite Johannine theme, heavenly citizenship, Metropolitan Jerome reminded the faithful that,

“…our eternal life, remember, has already begun from the moment of our baptism, so that whatever happens in this life, we are assured by the promises of Christ and our own fidelity, that salvation which will ensure that we receive, light, joy and peace for evermore in love and in union with God.”

Having established that confidence which the faithful should have by virtue of their heavenly citizenship, he then went on to admonish them to be receptive to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, particularly for our own time…

“But the time is now for us ourselves too, to be inspired by the Holy spirit to spread the Gospel and enable others to know the peace, love and light of Christ, particularly as our world becomes ever darker by this false religiosity of hatred that is threatening our communities, threatening our way of life, threatening our very being. We should not be afraid my brothers and sisters either, to speak the truth again, to allow the Holy Spirit to enable us to have the strength and the confidence to name that false religiosity which is Islamism.”

Metropolitan Jerome continued urging the faithful to be empowered and enabled by the Holy Spirit to respond to the present crises affecting families and communities globally, i.e. Islamism*, by preaching and living the Gospel.

How many more of our brothers and sisters in the faith must be persecuted and martyred before the Church speaks with one voice? Not just to bemoan and bewail the atrocities, but to speak for the Truth and give the solution, which is the Gospel, which is the good news of redemption, of repentance and forgiveness and of being embraced by the love of God and embracing each other with that true love, with that self-sacrificial love, of that love in service, of that love that seeks the good truly of the other, without thought for oneself. Its time my brothers and sisters, for the Church, particularly in the West, and particularly in this country, to wake up! To be truly prophetic, rather than pathetic. To speak the Gospel, to speak the Gospel Truth, and with confidence.

The homily recorded at The Brighton Oratory, June 4th, 2017 is available to view in full here beginning at 12:39.

*N.B. it should be appreciated that “Islamism” should not be confused with “Islam” according to the peaceful practice of the majority of religious adherents. Islamism is a concept whose meaning has been debated in both public and academic contexts. The term can refer to diverse forms of social and political activism advocating that public and political life should be guided by Islamic principles, or more specifically to movements which call for full implementation of sharia. It is commonly used interchangeably with the terms political Islam or Islamic fundamentalism.

Manchester Arena 2017

May 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Metropolitan Jerome of Selsey’s statement concerning the awful tragedy of the suicide bomber at the Manchester Arena, UK, yesterday evening:

After the confusion of last evening, the nation has awoken this morning to the awful clarification of an horrific event, a suicide bomb attack at Manchester Arena, as young adults and children were exiting the venue after a pop concert. The thoughts and prayers of our faithful should of course be for those families and friends affected by the tragedy of such a needless loss of young life and potential at the hands of a tortured individual clearly motivated by intolerance, hatred and bitter sadness. 

“If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26) as local churches and congregations respond to the suffering and grief of those affected, and as the nation grieves and offers consolation, let us Christians, wherever we may be, strive together to bear witness to the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and Light of the world (John 8:12), Our Lord Jesus Christ. May we in the sharing of suffering and compassion, testify to the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15), demonstrate and share that hope with others, that hearts might yet be comforted and brought to share in the knowledge of that only true love which conquers hate, the love of God.

Sadly this tragedy speaks to a darkness many are frightened to recognise but which is yet consuming our world unabated, despite its horrendous crimes against humanity. Islamism. Our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Middle East and Africa have already borne brave witness and great suffering to this threat which yet would destroy the peace and stability we currently enjoy in the West. Let us not be afraid to call out that false religious fervour that destroys faith in God and in neighbour and by our witness to Jesus Christ, show to all “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6) that will bring true peace to all. Oremus pro invicem.

Given at The Brighton Oratory, May 23, 2017.

Octave of Christian Unity 2017

January 18, 2017 Leave a comment

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins today, the Feast of the Chair of St Peter, January 25th 2017. Begun in 1908 as the “Octave of Christian Unity”, and focused on prayer for church unity, the dates for the week were proposed by Father Paul Wattson, cofounder of the Graymoor Franciscan Friars. He conceived of the week beginning on the ancient Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter (the Confession of Peter, the Protestant variant) on 18 January, and concluding with the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul on 25 January.

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This year’s theme on the occasion of the 500th anniversary year of the beginnings of the Reformation, the theme: “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us” (2 Corinthians 5:14-20) has been chosen. The materials for the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has two accents: reflection upon the main concerns of the churches marked by Martin Luther’s Reformation and secondly recognizing the pain of the subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the unity of the Church. In selecting this theme, it is viewed as an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation.

For 2017, it should be noted that this biblical text emphasizes that reconciliation is a gift from God, intended for the entire creation. “God was reconciling the world (kosmos) to God’s self in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (v.19). As a result of God´s action, those who have been reconciled in Christ are called in turn to proclaim this reconciliation in word and deed: “The love of Christ compels us”.

The 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity CBTI (Churches Together in Britain & Ireland) material is dedicated to the memories of the Revd Stephen Brown who passed away in February 2016 and the Revd Canon Gwynn ap Gwilym in July 2016 (with whom, Metropolitan Jerome of Selsey studied biblical Hebrew at Aberystwyth University). Both had served as dedicated members of the CTBI Writers Group for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for many years, making enormous contributions through their creativity and colleagueship which will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

Archbishop Mathew who ensured the continuance of the Old Roman Catholic Church at the beginning of the 20C, understood that it was necessary for the unifying of Christ’s Church on the basis of the original tenets of the Christian Faith as it was once believed by all Christians everywhere, to have complete cooperation with Christians of the Eastern Churches. Thus he was able to affect in 1912 a union between our western Latin Church with those of the Byzantine East, namely the Apostolic Sees of Antioch and Alexandria. It has been the constant goal of the Old Roman Catholic Church to affect this unity with the See of Rome expressed in the following prayer composed by Archbishop Mathew. It is still a prayer of current Old Roman Catholic hierarchs to realise this intention for Our Lord Jesus Christ “ut unum sint” (Latin: ‘That they may be one’ cf John 17:21).

Archbishop Mathew’s Prayer for Christian Unity

Almighty and everlasting God, Whose only begotten Son, Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd, has said, “Other sheep I have that are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd”; let Thy rich and abundant blessing rest upon the Old Roman Catholic Church, to the end that it may serve Thy purpose by gathering in the lost and straying sheep. Enlighten, sanctify, and quicken it by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, that suspicions and prejudices may be disarmed, and the other sheep being brought to hear and to know the voice of their true Shepherd thereby, all may be brought into full and perfect unity in the one fold of Thy Holy Catholic Church, under the wise and loving keeping of Thy Vicar, through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who with Thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen.

Categories: Churchwide, Social News

A message for Christmas 2016

December 23, 2016 Leave a comment

abplloydselseya1The Metropolitan of Europe’s Christmas message for 2016 is published ahead of the celebration of the commemoration of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ this coming Sunday. In his message, Metropolitan Jerome OSJV, Archbishop of Selsey, reflected on the meaning of the Incarnation as a practical reality in the lives of those seeking to realise the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. His Grace referred to the many hundreds of volunteers who will be hosting and serving Christmas Day lunches “to the poor, the disadvantaged and the unwanted of society” expressing the significance of the Incarnation i.e. “the manifestation of God’s love in Christ Jesus” by their service “giving of their time and energy”.

Referring to a “host of cherubic volunteers” – a nod to the Cherubs Kitchen apostolate he founded in 2013 – Metropolitan Jerome made mention of his own efforts to provide hospitality to one hundred of the homeless of the city of Brighton & Hove on Christmas Day in conjunction with the Brighton Corps of the Salvation Army; His Grace will be the chef! Inspired by “The Hub” homeless drop-in with which he partnered The Brighton Oratory with the Salvation Army for over six years, the Cherubs Kitchen apostolate operates commercial franchise kitchens“not for profit” fundraising to support local homeless projects and provide NVQ catering apprenticeships and work experience/rehabilitation placements.

The central message of the broadcast however, emphasised the possible universal application of the meaning of Christmas, i.e. the Incarnation of God’s love in Christ, through following the command of Our Lord “to love one another” cf John 13:34-35. His Grace suggested that was the simplest way to interpret the meaning of Christmas and to “receive faith, be inspired by hope and by experience in the sharing of both, God’s love toward us and toward each other”. His Grace concluded the broadcast by imparting his apostolic blessing to all viewers.

The film was recorded in the main kitchen of the Cherub’s apostolate and the music composed by Kevin Macleod is titled “Everlasting Hope”.

A Pastoral Letter for Christmas 2016

December 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Metropolitan William of Kentucky’s pastoral letter for Christmas to the clergy and faithful of North America.

willmyerscoaCHRISTMAS PASTORAL: 2016

DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST:

As we progress in this new Church year and this new calendar year we acknowledge that 2016 was a challenging year for Americans. A divisive election, violence throughout the world, and uncertainty made us reflect on our core values. Sometimes the problems of the world seem insurmountable. But we then remember that we are not of this world. In all things we must aspire towards sainthood and an eternity with God. This is not an easy path—it is a marathon and not a sprint. But we are comforted by the words of Saint Augustine “You aspire to great things? Begin with little ones.”

Let us then reflect on the littleness of an infant. Our Lord became “incarnate by the Holy Spirit, of the Virgin Mary: and was made man” first in the form of an infant. How easy it is to love a God who came to us as something so fragile, sensitive, and most in need of care. Infants, like God, give us hope and deserve our love and devotion. Through our understanding of Our Lord’s infancy we can grow to understand His progression to manhood and eventual suffering on the Cross. As Our Lord grew, so does our faith and understanding of the complexities of our faith.

It is understandable, then, why so many pious devotions like the Infant of Prague, the Holy Infant of Atocha, Santo Niño de Cebu, etc. have grown among the faithful with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Christ Child helps us to see God, as Christ Jesus, as vulnerable like us and helps us understand His mission as man. I commend you to the Christ Child and hope He will bless you and your family abundantly now and always.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Metropolitan’s response to the murder of Abbé Jacques Hamel

July 27, 2016 Leave a comment

HE Metropolitan Jerome OSJV of Selsey issues a Pastoral Letter on the feast of St Pantaleon, Martyr in response to the murder by ISIS terrorists of Abbé Jacques Hamel, an 84 year old priest during Mass…

Categories: Churchwide, Metropolitan

Archbishop Boniface Grosvold, Memory eternal!

July 21, 2016 Leave a comment

bonifaceWith great sadness we convey the news that His Grace, Archbishop Boniface Grosvold, fortified by the sacraments of Holy Mother Church, peacefully passed away in his sleep at 1:00 AM (6am BST) today July 21, 2016 in the ICU of University Hospital, London, Ontario. His Grace was attended by Monsignor George Hamilton-Roberts who administered to him the comfort and consolation of the sacrament of holy Unction and remained praying at the side of the archbishop as he continued his pilgrimage home to God Who is One. Archbishop Boniface was one of the few remaining third generation Old Roman Catholic bishops following those who had known the pioneers of our movement after Archbishop Mathew (memory eternal).

From the Old Roman Catholic Clerical Directory: Most Rev. Dr. Boniface Grosvold was born on 4 June 1942 in Chester, Nova Scotia. As a young man he moved to Ontario where he was employed as a church musician and where he discovered Old Roman Catholicism.
On 28 October 1969 (Feast of SS Simeon & Jude) he was tonsured and admitted to the minor order of cleric by Archbishop Nelson Dudley Hillyer of the Ontario Old Roman Catholic Church. He at that time took the religious name of “Boniface” and has been known by that name since. During successive Sundays in January of 1970 Bro. Boniface was admitted by +Hillyer to the minor orders of door keeper, reader, exorcist, and acolyte. On Easter Sunday (29 March) 1970, +Hillyer admitted Bro. Boniface to the sub-diaconate.
Feeling that his future was in another jurisdiction, Brother Boniface resigned in the summer of 1970 from the Ontario Old Roman Catholic Church and joined Holy Saviour Old Roman Catholic Parish of Niagara Falls, New York, and its bishop-elect Fr. William Mark Plested.
On 30 and 31 August 1970 respectively, Boniface was ordained a deacon and a priest by the retired Old Roman Catholic Archbishop of Toronto, the Most Rev’d Earl Anglin Lawrence James (1901 to 1978). On 28 September 1970 Fr. Plested was consecrated bishop for the Old Roman Catholic community in Niagara Falls, NY by +James, and both he and the now Father Boniface based their work there.
On 19 January 1972 the work was legally organized by the incorporation in the Province of Ontario of the Old Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Ontario, which took in also the American Parish of Holy Saviour, which then served as the Pro-Cathedral.
On 20 July 1974, Fr. Boniface was consecrated the auxiliary bishop for the Old Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Ontario in Holy Saviour Old Roman Catholic Pro-Cathedral by the Old Roman Catholic Archbishop of New England, the Most Rev’d Edward Carleton Payne, assisted by Archbishop William Mark Plested of the ORCC Diocese of Ontario.
On 30 November 1974 Bishop Grosvold was enthroned as the second Bishop of the ORC Diocese of Niagara Falls, New York, and Ontario, in succession to Archbishop Plested. On September 11th. – 12th., 1976, he was elected Metropolitan-Archbishop and Primate.
Since October of 1997, the See of the Diocese, also known as the “Old Roman Catholic Church In Canada”, has been in London, ON Canada.

Archbishop Boniface’s legacy includes great strides ecumenically in Canada between the Old Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church in Canada and the Roman Catholic Church, the respective bishops of which locally in Ontario he had continually counted as both friends and colleagues. Successive Anglican bishops of London (ONT) had continually extended gracious hospitality to +Boniface both by inclusion at their important diocesan events and in the lending of churches for great ORC occasions, most notably Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church and the Collegiate Chapel of the University of Huron. Episcopal consecrations, often of an international character, celebrated by +Boniface were always supported by Anglican colleagues and usually accompanied musically by the choir of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, London (ONT). The Roman Catholic diocese too had been gracious in the lending of churches for ORC missions and liturgies, most notably the chapel of St Joseph’s hospital for many years, providing a home for the local ORC congregation until the Lady Chapel of Bishop Cronyn was generously provided by the Anglican diocese. With his guidance and interest, the Old Roman Catholic Church solidified its presence in Africa, South America, India, Europe as well as in North America and many of today’s ORC bishops are “Apostolic sons” of +Boniface.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Archbishop Boniface, for the bishops he fostered and the faithful they serve. Memory eternal. Requiescat in pace.

Categories: Ad Clerum, Churchwide
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