Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Our upcoming events surrounding the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. Indeed, we just celebrated St. Thomas’s feast on the 28th. But due to the use of the Dominican Rite we can do it again on the old day of our brother’s memorial, 7 March. His Mass will be preceded by Fr. Mansini’s lecture on 6 March.
From our brothers at eh Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.
Saint Luke the Evangelist is also the Patron of all who work in the health and medical field, due to his traditionally ascribed metier as a physician. He has also long been venerated as an artist.
Appropriately, our parish of St. Catherine of Siena will hold its annual White Mass tomorrow (18 October) at 12 noon, on St. Luke’s feast, in support of all medical professionals. (It is called the “White Mass” because of the white lab coats… although the liturgical vestments will be red, in honor of the martyr’s blood!) In addition, there is a concert at 2:30 pm to benefit health care providers and their patients and families. For details, call 212.988.8300.
Our sister parish, St. Catherine of Siena, and its awesome Siena Forum, is sponsoring this event as part of its year-long series on Marriage. (Parishioners receive a discount.)
About a week ago, I received a package in the mail from a lively and very good priest friend of mine, Fr. Patrick. The box had big magic marker letters all over it that said, “Do Not Open Until Feast Day!” I don’t know what FedEx made of that, but I acquiesced, and, the optional memorial of St. Bruno being a number of days away, I placed it in a corner of my office to forget about it.
Today, going to my community’s Morning Prayer, I learned that Fr. Bernard “Larry” Keitz had passed away earlier this morning. He had served at St. Vincent Ferrer for the last twelve years, although he had been in and out of nursing home and hospitals for the last six months or so. I was able to visit him from time to time, as several members of our community and parish were able to do; and I was also able to see him the day before yesterday. My prior had called me up and said, “Bruno, you probably want to go see Larry. He’s not long.” I am grateful for that.
Fr. Keitz is the first Dominican I’ve known pretty well and lived with who’s passed away. We Dominicans have a rather profound commitment to suffrage (prayer for the dead); and I remember something an elder friar told me once, “You’re not totally a member of a community until one of your brothers dies.” So, you can imagine the impact of this morning.
To be sure, he and I sat on rather opposite sides of the aisle. I am what Fr. Keitz would call, without histrionics, “an ultra-conservative.” Nevertheless, we actually reached many of the same conclusions about things—e.g., the priest should pray the Mass ad orientem, all our meals should be in silence, our president is a disaster—even if we reached these same conclusions by way of different paths.
But more seriously, he stood out for me as a member of the community who would regularly ask me what I thought of a Scripture passage, how I preached on a particular Saint, or what I happened to be reading; and he would share with me the same of his own. Although we’re an Order of Preachers, we’re also guys; so, this kind of conversation doesn’t happen as much as you might think. At any rate, what was able to develop was a Dominican friendship.
Around mid-morning, I went to condole with our cook, a Sicilian from the old country who loves us all very much. (She used to call him “Fr. Keitzy,” and, as only a nona could think salutary, would bring him milkshakes in the hospital so he would get better.) Seeing the tears in her eyes and reading the lines from my priest’s script, I told her that at least we know he is at peace now; he is in a better place. After all, when I had seen him last he was quite out of it, moaning and trying to take off his gown and get out of bed; and his body had been marked with deep and numerous scratches he was giving himself in his sleep. So, I pointed out that, due to his experiences in recent months, at least he knew what he was in for and had been given the grace of time to prepare: a genuine blessing and therefore source of consolation.
Maria said, “Fr. Bruno, I know what you say is true. But you know what? We are never prepared as we would like to be. Everybody knows he’s gonna die; everybody knows he has to prepare. But who doesn’t want more time?”
Well! I might have silently offered one minor revision, (changing “never” to “rarely” to provide for the saints), but this scholastic had just gotten schooled with a life-earned sed contra. As I went to my office I was thinking, “She’s totally right… and I’m not so ready myself.”
Then, sitting down at my desk, I remembered Fr. Patrick’s box. And what did I find inside that package that had admonished me a week ago to wait until today to open it?
A human skull with a note on it: Memento mori frater. (Remember your death brother.)
Having processed the weight of the morning (and having made plans to go to Confession), I went to report to Maria what had ensued after our first exchange. She said, “God has His ways of talking to us so we hear Him. Who lives his life every day asking God to admit him to heaven?”
Now, Maria’s a pious woman, but not a daily communicant or the kind that would read the daily Mass lessons as part of her prayers. So, you can imagine how my feeling a little spooked changed to feeling profoundly grateful for God’s personal Providence when I discovered today’s Gospel (Lk 11.5-13):
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
“Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,”
and he says in reply from within,
“Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.”
I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.
“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?”
Today’s reminder is that we ought to be as prepared as possible for death. St. Bruno founded the Carthusian order, who’s strict contemplative and hermit-like community amounts to as complete and perpetual a death to the world as may exist (and has existed, without major reforms, for close to a millennium). Ironically and little-known, Fr. Keitz had something of a moribund fascination with the Carthusians. He manifestly found their kind of commitment to solitude and silence extreme—and yet, he always read the latest book on the order, and kept a book of “Carthusian spirituality” in his room. (Sometimes I think he took to me simply because of my name.) So, all things being considered, I’m sure he knew about the memento mori as much as anyone. Nevertheless, as Maria said, however much we all know we’re going to die, when that final time finally comes, many of us would have appreciated a bit more.
So, ask every day such that you will one day receive; seek all the time, that at the end of your time you will find; and knock with all your soul, so when it finds itself separated from the body the door will be opened to you.
And also recall that in Christ’s parable, the person knocking at the door is doing so to feed a friend who has just arrived home after a long journey.
Father Keitz was 84. Requiescat in pace.
Perhaps we’re caving in to the overly anticipated commercialism of Christmas, but our Dominican Sisters in Summit, NJ produce great soaps, and you can be sure to have a unique gift.
This is “Priesthood Sunday,” aimed toward raising awareness and respect for the priesthood. Many aren’t big fan of these Sundays, as if the liturgical themes and biblical readings weren’t enough… but anyway…
In this video, Fr. Basil Cole, O.P. pithily considers whom God calls to the priesthood and how. In addition to being a highly regarded mission and retreat preacher, and the current prior of St. Gertrude in Cincinnati, OH (which houses our currently bustling novitiate), Fr. Cole is the author of The Hidden Enemies of the Priesthood, which Archbishop (Cardinal elect) Raymond Burke loved so much that he bought a copy for all his then seminarians of St. Louis.
Toward establishing the new Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI released yesterday a motu proprio, Ubicumque et semper (Wherever and Always). Below are extracts from the not-yet translated document, which, you might recognize, has an especial relevance for the Order of Preachers:
The Church has the duty to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ always and everywhere. … Over history this mission has assumed new forms and methods, depending on place, situation and historical moment. In our own time, one of its most singular characteristics has been that of having to measure itself against the phenomenon of abandonment of the faith, which has become progressively more evident in societies and cultures that were, for centuries, impregnated with the Gospel…
The social transformations we have seen over recent decades have complex causes, the roots of which are distant in time and have profoundly modified our perception of the world. … If, on the one hand, humanity has seen undeniable benefits from these transformations and the Church received further stimuli to give reasons for the hope she carries, on the other, we have seen a worrying loss of the sense of the sacred, even going so far as to call into discussion apparently unquestionable foundations, such as faith in the God of creation and providence; the revelation of Jesus Christ our only Savior, the shared understating of man’s fundamental experiences like birth, death and family life, and the reference to natural moral law…
At the root of all evangelization there is no human project of expansion, but the desire to share the priceless gift that God wished to give us, sharing His life with us…
Fr. Carelton Jones, O.P. celebrated Sunday Mass in farewell to his beloved parish, now entrusted to the pastorate of Fr. Watler Wagner, O.P. Click below to listen to Fr. Jones’s homily, and to watch his interview regarding Henry Cardinal Newman, who will be beatified this month in England.
The General Chapter, which is the highest authority in the Dominican Order, is an assembly of friars representing the Provinces of the Order. It gathers to discuss and define matters pertaining to the good of the entire Order. This will be the 290th General Chapter in the history of the Order. When necessary, it elects the Master of the Order. And indeed, one of the tasks of this Chapter will be to elect the eighty-seventh Master of the Order.
Please pray for our Order worldwide, for our collective wisdom, and for our fidelity to the Truth and the charism bequeathed to us by our Holy Father, St. Dominic!
As you may have heard, Divine Providence has blessed our province with extremely encouraging vocation numbers and vocation quality! of late. (To learn more about the men and their paths to the province, visit our provincial website by clicking here.)
Please pray for the 21 men who were clothed with the habit of St. Dominic on Our Holy Father’s feast day, as well as for the 8 men who made their simple profession of vows on the feast of Our Lady’s Assumption.
As many of you know by now, the Dominican Province of St. Joseph (which serves the Northeast, USA) elected a new Prior Provincial (our major superior) a couple of weeks ago – Very Rev. Brian M. Mulcahy, O.P.
Fr. Mulcahy is already known to many of you, as his previous assignment as vicar of and assistant to the provincial (“Socius”) led him to reside at St. Vincent Ferrer about a year ago. Many have expressed gratitude for his preaching and celebration of the liturgy, which he regularly offers.
Please continue to pray for him as he leads our province to follow in the footsteps of our Holy Father Dominic.
These summer weeks have been replete with encouraging news from the St. Joseph Province of the Dominican friars.
On the twenty-eighth of last month, two wonderful men were ordained to the priesthood by our own brother, His Excellency, Augustine DiNoia, O.P, Reverends James Dominic Brent, O.P., and John Chrysostom Kozlowski, O.P.
And just last Friday, the election of a new prior provincial was announced, that of the Very Reverend Brian Mulcahy, O.P. – a friar many St. Vincent parishioners already know and have heard preach.
And in August, twenty-one young men will receive the habit of St. Dominic, to begin the novitiate in Cincinnati, OH.
At the assembly that elected Fr. Brian, (i.e., the “provincial chapter”), Archbishop DiNoia delivered conferences. His reflections on what is attracting men to our order, and in general to religious life these days, repays reading. His conference, “New Vocations in the Province of St. Joseph: Ecclesial, Historical, and Cultural Perspectives,” is available on our provincial website, where one can also find a video of the lecture he delivered in NY two weeks ago, “Facing the Challenges to Faith in Christ Today: The Dominican Way.”
Above all, please pray for our Dominican order – for our health and vigor, for our courage and fidelity, for our religious life and evangelical mission. Thank you!
Holy Mary, Mother of Christ, hear your humble servants, alleluia, alleluia.
As an Order of the Church dedicated in its very constitution to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Order of Preachers sets aside one day a year to renew its filial devotion to her. According to the Dominican calendar, that day is today, May 8.
We ask, therefore, that you join us in honoring Our Lady today, and that you remember to her in a special way the Dominican Order worldwide, which owes the graces of its 800-year history to her maternal care and protection.
From the Dominican Ordo:
It has been customary for the Church to invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary under titles such as Mediatrix, thereby indicating the continuing saving role of her maternity in the order of grace, for “by her many acts of intercession she continues to gain for us gifts of eternal salvation” (Lumen Gentium, 62).
Blessed Humbert of Romans declares that “the Blessed Virgin was of great help in beginning the Order . . . and it is to be hoped that she will bring it to a good end” (Opera II, 70-71). From its foundation the Order has not hesitated to acknowledge the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin, to continuously experience it and to commend it to the hearts of the brothers and sisters, so that encouraged by this maternal help they might adhere more closely to their Mediator and Redeemer as they labor to carry out their mission of salvation in the world (see Lumen Gentium, 62).
Until the recent restoration of the liturgical calendar, the Order celebrated the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 22, the anniversary of the approval of the Order by Pope Honorius III (December 22, 1216). Keeping in mind the special character of the weekdays of Advent which take precedence over all other memorials, it is suggested that the commemoration of this Patronage be celebrated on May 8 — during the month which is specially dedicated to the Blessed Virgin mary and on the day when she is honored under similar titles in other proper liturgical calendars.
you willed that the Order of Preachers
be instituted for the salvation of souls
under the special patronage
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
and that it be filled with her unceasing favors.
Hear our prayers and bring us to the glory of heaven,
protected by her whose feast we celebrate today.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
PRAYER DEDICATING THE ORDER OF PREACHERS
TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Virgin Mother Mary, with trust we approach you. We, your preachers, fly to you who believed in the words sent from heaven and pondered them in your heart. We stand close around you, who are always present to the gathering of apostles.
In you the Word was made flesh, that same Word which we receive, contemplate, praise together and preach. Therefore, under your guidance we today devote ourselves anew to the ministry of the Word. Furthermore, we declare to you that, hearing with you the Word within ourselves and anointed by the Spirit, whose sacred vessel you preeminently are, we are consecrated in the name of Jesus Christ to the evangelization of the world.
With the eyes of your heart enlightened, you understood the mystery of the Word. Through you we, too, are able to perceive the presence of that same Word in the history of our time, so that we may finally contemplate him face to face.
Through you the Father sent his Son into the world that he might save it. Through you we will be powerful in the sight of your people, becoming witnesses of that truth which frees and of that love which unites.
To this place we have brought our needs and here we ponder them. Do you, Mother, give us strength and preserve the harmony of our family, so that what was begun by our profession may be brought to completion by our love for one another, for the salvation of the world and to the praise and glory of God.
During last Wednesday’s General Audience in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI continued his ongoing exposition of medieval Christian culture by remembering the life and witness of our Holy Father Dominic. He celebrated fact that, early in the thirteenth century, St. Dominic brought authentic renewal and reform to the Church by uniting in the life of his friar preacher-theologian (that’s the Pope’s term) the evangelical thirst for the salvation of souls and the assiduous study of sacred doctrine. As a result, the Holy Father observed, Dominican preaching, rooted as it is in contemplative study and prayer, offers the world a presentation of Gospel truth that is fully conscious of its power to turn minds, convert hearts, and hence build among members of the human family a Christian culture centered on the Word of God.
Below is the full text of the Holy Father’s catechesis.
GENERAL AUDIENCE ADDRESS
February 3, 2010
Dear brothers and sisters,
Last week I presented the luminous figure of Francis of Assisi; today I would like to speak to you of another saint who, in the same period, made an essential contribution to the renewal of the Church of his time. It is St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers, known also as the Dominican Friars.
His successor in the leadership of the order, Blessed Giordano di Saxony, gives a complete portrait of St. Dominic in the text of a famous prayer: “Inflamed by zeal for God and supernatural ardor, by your limitless charity and the fervor of a vehement spirit, you consecrated yourself wholly with the vow of perpetual poverty to apostolic observance and to evangelical preaching.” It is in fact this essential feature of Dominic’s witness that is underlined: He always spoke with God and about God. In the life of saints, love of the Lord and of neighbor, the seeking of God’s glory and the salvation of souls always go together.
Dominic was born in Spain, in Caleruega, around 1170. He belonged to a noble family of Old Castille and, supported by an uncle priest, he was educated in a famous school of Palencia. He was distinguished immediately for his interest in the study of sacred Scripture and for his love of the poor, to the point of selling books, which in his time constituted a good of great value, to help victims of famine with what he collected.
Seven hundred ninety-three years ago today, Pope Honorius III gave official ecclesiastical recognition to the Order of Preachers. In the bull of confirmation, the pope expressed the great hope he put in St. Dominic and his small band of disciples: “Expecting the brethren of your Order to be the champions of the Faith and the true lights of the world, we confirm your Order.” A firm supporter of St. Dominic’s project, Honorius would issue in the subsequent five years over 60 bulls, letters, and documents granting certain privileges of the Order, which helped it to spread quickly all over Europe.
Click below for a brief description of the Order’s approval by Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, OP, the current Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. This audio was recorded in 1992 when (then) Fr. Di Noia taught theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington.
Before the recent liturgical reforms, the Order celebrated today the Feast of the Patronage of Our Lady. We now observe the usual Advent weekday, the Marian feast being transferred to May 8. Still, Dominicans around the world today thank God, Our Lady, and St. Dominic for providing the Church such a sure and certain way of living close to and serving the Grace of the Word. Please join us today in offering this prayer of gratitude.
who for the salvation of souls
didst place the Order of Preachers
under the special protection of the most Blessed Virgin Mary,
and wast please to pour out upon it her constant benefits:
grant unto thy suppliants
that we may be led unto the joy of heaven
through the aid of that same protectress
whose memory we revere today.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today the Church’s Advent prayer takes a sharp turn toward Christmas. The texts of the Divine Office and Mass now point us directly to the mystery of the Nativity. The Gospel readings we’ll hear over the next week are especially worth noting in this regard. Listen well to them. Pray with them. Through them, draw near to Mary and Joseph as they travel to Bethlehem.
Every year around this time, the Church’s “O Antiphons” receive a lot of attention. We begin using them this evening. Include these, too, in your prayer. Each calls out to Christ according to one of his Messianic titles. All together the antiphons summarize the content of Israel’s waiting for the Messiah, as well as the wonders wrought by his birth.
For a brief history and listing of the O Antiphons, click here.
In 2006, the student brothers of the English Province recorded their singing of the O Antiphons to the traditional Dominican tones. Over the next week, I’ll post each of their videos on the appropriate day. First up, “O Sapientia.”
quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ.
coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.
The student brothers in Washington invite you to join them in offering a Rosary Novena for Vocations. Beginning today, December 17, please offer your daily Rosary and other spiritual exercises for the men and women God is calling to the Order of Preachers.
The Lord has been very good to the Province of St. Joseph in recent years. We owe him our gratitude and continued trust.
Click above for video of the Mass of Solemn Profession celebrated here this past November 7th, during which Fr. Gabriel Gillen, O.P., and I professed our final vows in the Order of Preachers.
The music heard in the video is an ancient Dominican chant entitled “Sicut in holocaustis arietum.” It was sung during the Offertory of the Mass by a schola composed of student brothers from the Dominican House of Studies, who traveled to New York to attend the Profession Mass. The full text of the chant reads, in English: “As a holocaust of rams and bullocks, and of thousands of fatted lambs, so let our sacrifice be in your sight on this day, that it may be pleasing unto you. For there is no shame for those who put their trust in you, O Lord.” In his Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas uses the image of the holocaust, mentioned in the chant, to illustrate the complete nature of the sacrifice required by religious when they make solemn profession. “The religious state may be considered . . . as a holocaust,” writes the Angelic Doctor, “whereby a man offers himself and his possessions wholly to God” (ST.II-II.186.7).
Fr. Dominic Izzo, O.P., Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Joseph, celebrated and preached the Mass.
The St. Vincent Ferrer Chorale shared musical duties with the chant schola, thus adding their own beauty and reverence to the solemn liturgy. Other student brothers assisted at the altar. Fr. Jordan Kelly, O.P., served as the Master of Ceremonies.
In a recent article published at Inside Catholic, Edward Short brings the evangelical witness of the Hawthorne Dominicans to bear on the current debates surrounding health care reform. Entitled “Rose Hawthorne and a More Human Vision of Health Care,” Short’s brief essay sets the congregation’s care for the dying poor in sharp contrast to certain provisions contained in the reform bills advancing through Congress. After distinguishing these two visions of health care, Short concludes that the Dominican sisters’ century-long practice of charitable medicine serves to remind lawmakers that compassionate sacrifice should trump pragmatic calculation in all efforts to reform health care. He writes:
For their compassionate vision of health care, the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne can cite the authority of Pope Benedict XVI, who wrote in his first encyclical:
“Love — caritas — will always prove necessary, even in the most just society. There is no ordering of the State so just that it can eliminate the need for a service of love. Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such. There will always be suffering which cries out for consolation and help. There will always be loneliness. There will always be situations of material need where help in the form of concrete love of neighbour is indispensable. The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person — every person — needs: namely, loving personal concern.”
These insights, which describe so accurately the “service of love” for which the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne were founded, should also guide those who wish to bring about truly humane health-care reform.
Click here to read the article’s full text.
This summer, the Priory of St. Vincent Ferrer has had the privilege of hosting three of the province’s student brothers. Perhaps you’ve seen them at Mass or around the neighborhood. Below you’ll find their biographies and brief descriptions of their summer apostolates.
Please keep them and all of the province’s student brothers in your prayers.
Br. Paul Martin Kennedy, O.P.
Br. Paul is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio where he was a member of the province’s parish, St. Gertrude. Br. Paul is currently in simple vows and is the Province of Saint Joseph’s first student studying for the Cooperator Brotherhood in more than 30 years. This summer Br. Paul has been living at St. Vincent Ferrer Priory while working with the friars at St. Catherine of Siena Priory and the pastoral care office at the Hospital for Special Surgery, where he has worked as a Catholic chaplan visiting the patients and their families during their time of need. His responsibilities include not only offering a friendly and sympathetic ear, but also administering Holy Communion. In the fall Br. Paul will return to Washington, DC for his second year of studies at the Dominican House of Studies.
Br. Albert Duggan, O.P.
Br. Albert Duggan entered the Dominican province of St. Joseph in 2007 and will be starting his second year at the Dominican House of Studies in the fall. He has a particular interest in moral theology, bioethics, and the relationship between theology and the natural sciences.
During his stay at St. Vincent Ferrer, he has been volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity in the Bronx (the first mission established in North America by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, in 1971). In June, he worked at the Queen of Peace Home, where the sisters operate a soup kitchen and an emergency shelter for homeless men. Throughout the month of July, he’ll be working as a counselor for a summer camp run out of St. Rita’s Church, a nearby parish in the South Bronx. This camp provides a valuable opportunity for local children to grow in the Catholic faith while enjoying many other activities and outings, like trips to the Bronx Zoo and local sporting events.
Br. Peter Martyr Yungwirth, O.P.
Br. Peter Martyr Joseph Yungwirth, O.P. was raised in Hagerstown, MD and attended the University of Maryland, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s in Reformation History. It was at the university where he first met Dominican priests, who would celebrate Mass and hear confessions, and also Dominican student brothers, who would help out with RCIA classes, lead Bible studies, and preach during Eucharistic Adoration. Br. Peter Martyr made Simple Profession on August 15, 2008 and finished his first year of philosophy at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC this past spring.
This summer, Br. Peter Martyr is working with the Missionaries of Charity in the South Bronx, currently helping out with their annual summer camp. This daily ministry includes leading a group of eight and nine year old boys closer to Christ through various activities throughout the day. Whether it is catechesis, carpentry, or even manners class, Br. Peter Martyr assists the children in their development, both on a spiritual and a human level. “Since these kids come from broken families and are influenced far more by the culture than the Gospel, getting them to apologize to one another and quote the Scriptures from memory,” he says, “is quite an accomplishment.”
O lamp of the world and shining pearl,
you were worthy to become the Apostle to the apostles
by announcing the resurrection of Christ:
O Mary Magdalen, be for us always a holy intercessor with God who chose you.
“Sing we now the praise of Mary!”
Today the Church Universal observes the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, and in its own celebrations the Order of Preachers honors one of its patronesses. For centuries, Dominicans have revered the Magdalen as an icon of preaching and a model of penitence. Accordingly, her feast is described in the Dominican Ordo as follows:
Mary Magdalen, who was healed by the Lord Jesus, followed him with great love and ministered to him (Luke 8:3). Later when the disciples fled, Mary Madgalen stood at the cross with the Mother of the Lord, John and some of the women (John 19:25). On Easter morning Jesus appeared to her and sent her to announce the news of his resurrection to the disciples (Mark 16:9; John 20:11-18).
Her cult spread throughout the western Church, especially in the eleventh century, and flourished in the Order of Preachers. As Humbert of Romans attests: “After Magdalen was converted to penitence the Lord bestowed such great grace upon her tha tafter the Blessed Virgin no woman could be found to whom greater reverence should be shown in this world and greater glory in heaven.”
The Order of Preachers numbers her among its patrons. Its brothers and sisters of every age have honored her as the “Apostle to the Apostles”—for thus is she celebrated in the Byzantine liturgy—and have compared the mission of the Magdalen in announcing the resurrection to their own mission.
The Church’s musical treasury contains many beautiful hymns to the Magdalen. The following text was written by Philip the Chancellor (+1236) and published in the 14th-century Sarum Breviary. The English translation below was prepared by Fr. Becket Soule, OP. It can be sung to the familiar Pange lingua tune (or to any Long Meter melody).
PANGE LINGUA MAGDALENAE
Sing, we now the praise of Mary,
All her tears, her joy, her love;
High in laud we raise our voices,
While our hearts accordant move;
So the nightingale descanteth
Sweetly to the plaintive dove.
Nought the number of the feaster,
Seeking Jesus, did she fear;
She her Master’s feet anointed,
Washed them with her falling tear,
Wiped them with her tresses, gaining
Pardon through her love sincere.
Lo, the cleansed doth wash the Cleanser,
Stream to Fountain floweth fain;
Balm that from the flow’r distilleth,
Fragrance sheds on flower again;
And the dew from earth ascendeth
To the heav’n that gave the rain.
Spikenard in the alabaster
Is her off’ring pure and rare;
She, in pouring of the ointment,
Doth a mystic sign declare;
Sick, anointeth her Physician,
To receive his healing care.
Gazed the Lord with special favor
Down on Mary tenderly;
Much she loves; her sins, though many,
Have forgiveness full and free;
On the Resurrection morning
She shall Jesus’ herald be.
Glory be to God, and honor,
Who the Paschal victim gave,
Lamb in death, in fight a lion,
On the third day from the grave
Carrying the spoils of Hades
Rose again mankind to save. Amen.
The Dominican friars of the Toulouse Province have custody of the Grotto of St. Mary Magdalen, known as La Sainte Baume, where tradition has it the Magdalen spent the last thirty years of her life. Click here for the shrine’s homepage.
After the break you will find another of Philip’s hymns, and also several depictions of Mary Magdalen in classical art. Enjoy, and please continue to ask the Magdalen’s intercession for the Order of Preachers!
your only begotten Son
entrusted the joyful news of his resurrection
to Mary Magdalen before all others;
by her prayers and example,
grant, we beseech you,
that we may proclaim the living Christ
and may see him reigning in glory.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Over a dozen bishops, nearly 200 priests, and scores of the lay faithful—many of them Lay Dominicans—gathered yesterday in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to celebrate the episcopal ordination of Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, OP, who was elevated to the episcopacy last month by Pope Benedict XVI.
The Ordination Mass was televised on both EWTN and CTV.
One of the many impressive elements of yesterday’s ordination was the brief series of acknowledgments Archbishop DiNoia delivered at the end of Mass. His words were striking both for their focus and for the intense emotion with which he delivered them.
Please pray for Archbishop DiNoia as he prepares to assume his new duties in Rome as the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
On Saturday in Washington, DC, Fr. Augustine DiNoia, OP, a Bronx native, will be ordained a bishop in accord with the honor and duties of his new office. Last month, Pope Benedict XVI named him the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Since 2002, Fr. DiNoia has served as the Undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The Ordination Mass will begin at 2:00 PM in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. EWTN will broadcast the Mass live.
Below is the article covering Fr. DiNoia’s new appointment published in the June 18th issue of Catholic New York.
New York-born Dominican Theologian Named to Vatican Post
Pope Benedict XVI has named U.S. Dominican Father J. Augustine DiNoia an archbishop and secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
“I am happy the pope has entrusted to me an area that he considers so important,” the archbishop-designate told Catholic News Service June 16, shortly after the Vatican announced his new assignment.
“I think the liturgy should give us a sense of the heavenly liturgy; it’s about God, not us,” he said.
Archbishop-designate DiNoia, 65, has served as undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2002. Pope John Paul II had named him to the Vatican position and for his first three years at the doctrinal congregation, his superior was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, elected pope in 2005.
A native New Yorker, he grew up in the Wakefield section of the Bronx, where he was one of at least a dozen altar boys who served with Father Nicholas F. Milazzo at St. Anthony’s, Richardson Avenue, to become a priest.
A graduate of Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, he was ordained for the Dominicans in 1970. He taught theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, for a year as a visiting professor before moving to the Vatican in 2002.
His episcopal ordination will be July 11 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington; U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the doctrinal congregation, will preside at the liturgy, he said.
Eleven candidates for the Province of St. Joseph will arrive today at Providence College to begin their postulancy, a three-week initiation into the essential features of Dominican religious life. At the end of the month, they will travel together to Cincinnati, where at St. Gertrude’s Priory they will spend one year in the novitiate preparing for simple vows. The novitiate year will officially begin on August 8, the Feast of St. Dominic, when the prior of the community will clothe the postulants in the habit, give them a copy of the Order’s constitutions, and bestow upon them a new religious name.
One of the new postulants, Charles Shonk, credits Fr. Jones and the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer for inspiring his Dominican vocation.
Please pray fervently for these eleven men, asking God to preserve and prosper them in religious life.
Fr. Steven Bird
For pictures and short biographies of our new postulants, please visit the province’s Vocations Blog.