The 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”.
From the Anglican Diocese of Egypt http://dioceseofegypt.org/2013/08/urgent-prayers-for-egypt/
Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
As I write these words, our St. Saviour’s Anglican Church in Suez is under heavy attack from those who support former President Mursi. They are throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the church and have destroyed the car of Rev. Ehab Ayoub, the priest-in-charge of St. Saviour’s Church. I am also aware that there are attacks on other Orthodox churches in Menyia and Suhag in Upper Egypt (photo above), as well as a Catholic church in Suez. Some police stations are also under attack in different parts of Egypt. Please pray and ask others to pray for this inflammable situation in Egypt.
Early this morning, the police supported by the army, encouraged protestors in two different locations in Cairo, to leave safely and go home. It is worth mentioning that these protestors have been protesting for 6 weeks, blocking the roads. The people in these neighborhoods have been suffering a great deal—not only these people, but those commuting through, especially those who are going to the airport. The police created very safe passages for everyone to leave. Many protestors left and went home, however, others resisted to leave and started to attack the police. The police and army were very professional in responding to the attacks, and they used tear gas only when it was necessary. The police then discovered caches of weapons and ammunition in these sites. One area near Giza is now calm, but there is still some resistance at other sites. There are even some snipers trying to attack the police and the army. There are even some rumors that Muslim Brotherhood leaders asked the protestors in different cities to attack police stations, take weapons, and attack shops and churches.
A few hours later, violent demonstrations from Mursi supporters broke out in different cities and towns throughout Egypt. The police and army are trying to maintain safety for all people and to disperse the protestors peacefully. However, the supporters of former President Mursi have threatened that if they are dispersed from the current sites, they will move to other sites and continue to protest. They also threatened to use violence. There have been a number of fatalities and casualties from among the police as well as the protestors, but it seems that the numbers are not as high as expected for such violence. However, the supporters of former President Mursi claim that there are very high numbers of casualties. The real numbers will be known later on.
Please pray that the situation will calm down, for wisdom and tact for the police and the army, for the safety of all churches and congregations, and that all in Egypt would be safe.
May the Lord bless you!
A new website has been launched with the blessing of the Primate for the Old Roman Catholic Church Latin Rite; www.orcclr.org. The new website is designed deliberately to be an introduction to the Communion of the ORCC LR, the largest Old Roman Catholic jurisdiction and the only one to have a global presence i.e. with communities on every continent. The new website is part of a review affecting the whole of the Communion which, due to its growth now requires certain key structures in place at its centre.
The Old Roman Catholic tradition has always prided itself on developing “local” churches, usually on national lines, but due to the generally small size of such local communities, key aspects of administration can become either onerous and time/resource-consuming, or barely sustainable. The recent appointment of a Primatial Chapter is purposefully to look at the governance of the Communion and identify those aspects of administration that may be operated centrally for the benefit of all, leaving local churches to focus on mission and pastoralia rather than administration. Refocusing the organisation of the Communion at the Provincial level should enable local churches at the diocesan and parochial level to concentrate their energies on growth rather than administration.
Embracing and harnessing modern technologies, it is hoped to be able to provide the Communion with a method of reporting key events and statistics that will not require copious amounts of printing and paper; together with a global presence comes a global concern for the environment! Similarly, reporting directly to the centre should avoid unnecessary duplication of procedures and free resources for mission. Whilst the size of the Communion is far from comparable to other much larger denominations, the implications of an internationally organised body are very relevant – languages, communication, legal differences etc, all have an impact on the efficiency and working of the Communion.
- ORCC LR Apostolic Vicar & Primatial Chapter appointed (orcce.wordpress.com)
On Sunday, 21 April 2013 in London, Ontario, Canada, His Eminence Archbishop Boniface Grosvold, Primate of the Old Roman Catholic Church Latin Rite (ORCC LR), consecrated to the holy Episcopate, the Most Reverend David Brian Fucci, Vicar Apostolic, having full ecclesiastical and legal jurisdiction over the Military Vicariate for the Old Roman Catholic Church. His Excellency, remains a military chaplain, as well as the Founder and Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual in the Old Roman Catholic Church. The Primate was assisted by His Excellency Bishop Benedict Gregory, OSB, Archbishop of Toronto, as co-consecrator. Clergy of the Military Vicariate were represented by the Vicar General, the Rt. Reverend Monsignor Joseph Thomas; witnesses included Canon Nioclás Kelly (Diocese of Kentucky ORCC LR).
A Military Vicariate is a canonical jurisdiction placed under the care of one who has spiritual responsibility for the military personnel in that jurisdiction. The Vicariate has jurisdiction over the military chaplains, personnel of the armed forces and their families. The Military Vicariate under Bishop Fucci was canonically erected in 2010 to serve military personnel serving in the USA armed services in Active, Reserve, National Guard and Veteran personnel. The Military Vicariate serves only those priests who belong to Old Roman Catholic jurisdictions that are in intercommunion with ORCC LR, and who are incardinated in the Military Vicariate. All priests incardinated in the Military Vicariate must remain in canonical residence with their Ordinary.
A wide range of chaplaincies are provided by the Vicariate including stational bases in the USA to wherever armed services personnel may be deployed in the world, as well as all institutional chaplaincies (Fire departments, hospitals, hospices, police departments, prisons (State and Federal) etc.
Please pray for His Excellency Bishop Fucci, the serving chaplains, the personnel and the families of the Old Roman Catholic Church Military Vicariate.
Effective April 23, 2013, His Excellency Bishop Fucci has appointed Rt. Reverend Monsignor Joseph Thomas as Vicar General of the Military Vicariate for the Old Roman Catholic Church, its Ecclesiastical Endorser and Canon Theologian.
In addition to the much valued and appreciated efforts of Bishop Will Myers OSF of Kentucky’s Saint Gabriel Theological Press republishing liturgical and other books no longer in print, including the “Old Catholic Ritual and Missal” 1909 of Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew, new authors are also being published. Two recent publications of note by Old Roman Catholics are:
“Finding My Way to Salvation”
A Traditional Old Roman Catholic Priest’s View of the Past 50 Years by Rev. Fr. Richard A. Ege, V.G.
This is a book about our changing world — the Spiritual content is the important aspect. Finding Truth and migrating to a thought process which helps us to move away from the avarice and greed – so prevalent today. Understanding the wiles and wickedness of the devil perhaps we can incorporate a true faith that will aid and assist us on our pilgrimage here below. Incorporating the teachings of the Church Fathers and our Lord Jesus Christ — may we find our way back to that happiness and zeal through a greater understanding of God, Jesus and Mary. “Finding my way to Salvtion” may be purchased online here available in printed or Kindle form.
Fr Ege is parish priest of Our Lady Queen of Angels, Venice, Florida and Vicar General for the ORCC LR Diocese of Florida
“Point of Origin: The Evolution of Religious Consciousness and Its Ultimate Expression”
By the Rt Revd Mgr Joseph (Ericjon) Thomas DMin PhD
The Point of Origin investigates the development of religious consciousness as an integral reality in the human person. The evolution of religious consciousness is an experience found throughout human history beginning with the earliest known human species, the Cro-Magnon. In this work Mgr. Thomas identifies empirical data that lends itself to his theory that spirituality is not a bi-product of the human phenomena but an essential characteristic of being human. The author delves into conscious acknowledgement of the natural law as a universal norm guiding human activity in the wake of the plurality of religious expressions (Atheism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, etc.). In a crescendo effect of his work Mgr. Thomas illustrates how mysticism becomes the ultimate expression of religious consciousness in the human experience. “Point of Origin” may be purchased online here available in printed or Kindle form.
Mgr Thomas is a chaplain of the ORCC LR Military Vicariate USA
“Carissimi! Let us rejoice that the Holy Ghost has seen fit to inspire the Cardinal Electors to choose a man who has truly embraced and demonstrably lives the spirit of the evangelical counsels. A religious Pope, the first for many years and the first from Latin America! How providential that the new Pope of a relatively “new” religious order (i.e. the Jesuits), should follow in the footsteps of a Pope inspired by the founder of the Church’s “senior” religious order, Benedict (ref the Benedictines). How wonderful too that he should take the name of the most renowned exemplar of the missionary and evangelical life, St Francis, surely one of the most beloved of the Saints whose life still inspires so many around the world and who himself was the founder of a religious order. Taking the name of Francis seems to speak in so many ways to us regarding the nature and spirit of the Pontificate the new Pope might desire to lead; holiness, evangelisation, simplicity, humility and most of all, charity. Let us pray for him, for our new Chief Shepherd. Let us pray for the Church. Let us pray for one another. Let us pray that this Pontificate will be blessed with an increase in faith, hope and charity for the Church, building upon the foundation of the solid teaching and example of Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. ”
- Old Roman Catholicism is the orthodox continuation of the ancient See of Utrecht that was detached from communion with Rome by Pope Blessed Pius IX in 1853; despite a canonical case that had been in process since effectively 1710 upon the death of Archbishop Petrus Codde, when the Cathedral Chapter of the See of Utrecht exerted its ancient privilege to fill the vacant See by Papal grant of Pope Eugene III in 1145. As had always been the custom, the Cathedral Chapter elected a candidate for consecration and notified the Holy See who refused to ratify the decision, insisting instead upon its own candidate irrespective of the historical privilege of the Chapter. An impasse was then created but throughout which and to this day, the Old Roman Catholic Church has continued to send notice of the election and consecration of her bishops to the Holy See.
- Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew was forced to declare independence from the See of Utrecht for the preservation and continuance of orthodox Old Roman Catholicism in 1910 when the Protestantising influence of the German and Swiss “Old Catholics” became clear and certain liturgical and doctrinal reforms contrary to the spirit of Old Roman Catholicism were being promoted within the “Union of Utrecht”. Unable to reach an accommodation with the Holy See, Archbishop Mathew sought and achieved approbation from other Apostolic Patriarchates and in 1911 the Old Roman Catholic Church was granted autocephalous status and membership of the holy synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch, this was recognised in 1912 by Pope Photius of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
- Reunion with the Holy See still remains a goal of the various Old Roman Catholic bishops conferences and the Metropolitan is here expressing that sentiment in his letter regarding the Conclave.
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