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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”.

Chapter of the bishopric of Selsey

October 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Metropolitan Jerome preaches during Solemn Mass on the Octave Day of St Wilfrid, founder and heavenly patron of the bishopric of Selsey

Lynmouth, UK: Between Sunday 18th October to Thursday 22nd October, clergy of the bishopric of Selsey joined their Ordinary, Metropolitan Jerome OSJV in Chapter. Accommodation was provided courtesy of Canon Emilio Tundidor-Suarez OSJV at The Rock House hotel and by gracious permission of the Anglican Bishop of Exeter, the daily round of liturgical Offices, private Masses and Conventual Solemn Mass took place in the parish church of St John the Baptist, Lynmouth. During the week, the clergy enjoyed addresses and facilitated discussions concerning the pastoral application of the priestly life by Fr Christopher Buckley CMP.

The Chapter enabled clergy from all over England to come together in prayer and in fellowship and provided the opportunity for both personal interviews with the Metropolitan as well as the more formal consultative process of a Chapter with His Grace. Resulting from the discussions of the formal Chapter itself, the Metropolitan acceded to a petition seeking permission to offer liturgically the Sarum Use for Mass and the development of closer working relationships in mission with other Christian denominations sympathetic to the faith and ethos of the Old Roman Catholic Church. A report was also received from the Chicago Synod courtesy of Metropolitan William and shared with the Chapter.

All who attended very much appreciated the opportunity to gather in such a beautiful location as the small seaside harbour village of Lynmouth and the comfortable surroundings of The Rock House hotel and the very great privilege of worshiping in St John’s church. A vote of thanks was made by Chapter for the facilitation and company of Fr Buckley, the hospitality of Canon Tundidor-Suarez and the generosity of the Bishop of Exeter and the people and parish of Lynmouth in the use of their church.

capelyffinReturning to the north of England, Frs Charlesworth and Buckley with Metropolitan Jerome visited the shrine of Our Lady of Capel y Ffin courtesy of Fr Richard Williams of Haye-on-Wye and prayers of thanksgiving were offered there for the success of the Chapter and the safe journeying home of all Chapter attendants.

New oratory blessed

October 20, 2015 Leave a comment

9725163_origKentucky, USA: The Oratory of Our Lady of Victory in Goshen, KY was solemnly blessed by Archbishop Douglas Lewins on October 18th. A Mass celebrating St. Luke, whose feast was commemorated, followed the blessing.

Categories: Social News, USA

Archbishop Carfora memory honoured

October 19, 2015 Leave a comment

905167_origChicago, USA: On October 11th, 2015 the grave of Archbishop Carmel Henry Carfora was solemnly blessed with a new headstone. This was secured through the efforts of Canon Kelly, to whom the Church is truly grateful. Following the blessing the clergy and faithful gathered at St. Anne’s Mission for a Pontifical Low Mass celebrated by Archbishop Lewins, during which Br. Jamie Alaniz OSF received the minor order of Porter. Afterwards a reception was held in the parish hall.4303729_orig

Categories: Churchwide, Social News, USA

Chicago Synod 2015

October 19, 2015 Leave a comment

9678087_origChicago, USA: A regional Synod of the Old Roman Catholic Church in America was held in Chicago on October 10th hosted by  the St. Anne Mission. Archbishop Douglas Lewins from the United Kingdom joined Archbishop Myers and his clergy as they identified opportunities for growth. A Votive Mass of the Holy Ghost was celebrated and further discussion was held about the growth of the Church and its relationship to the world around us.

Categories: Churchwide, Social News, USA

Metropolitan speaks at House of Lords

October 14, 2015 Leave a comment

HOL meeting roomLondon, UK: His grace, Metropolitan Jerome OSJV of Europe was a keynote speaker and member of the “expert panel” at the House of Lords in a debate entitled “Refugees and Migrants – morals and dilemmas” hosted by Baron John, the Lord Laird of Artigarvan. The other keynote speakers were Councillor Christopher Precious, the Mayor of Dover and Jeremy Savill, retired Commander of the Metropolitan Police. Approximately seventy people attended the debate including MP’s, academics and Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts and members of the Foundation for International Collaboration, as well as members of the general public including some of the faithful from the Brighton mission. His grace visited Westminster Abbey and the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor prior to arriving at the Houses of Parliament and was honoured to share in the Shrine Prayers on the Confessor’s feast day in the Abbey.

The Shrine of St Edward, with the tomb of Henry III in the background.

The Shrine of St Edward the Confessor

Metropolitan Jerome spoke about the plight particularly of Syrian refugees, providing the debate with much background information concerning the religious and political dimensions to the Syrian crisis. His grace particularly criticised the UK Government’s lack of coordinated and comprehensive provision in response to the crisis and highlighted the considerable effort that will be required of charities and other institutions in making up the discrepancy in the Government’s provision. His grace mentioned that “Cherubs Kitchen” his own charitable apostolate in Brighton would be participating in the city’s “Sanctuary by the Sea” initiative and called on others to do similarly in the “City of Sanctuary” movement. Lord Laird thanked his grace’s contribution to the discussion at the end of the evening and gave an impromptu tour of the House for the Brighton contingent, whilst accompanying his grace to St Stephen’s Door.

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