Thursday, May 19, 2022

Dunstan

Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988

The Collect:

Direct your Church, O Lord, into the beauty of holiness, that, following the good example of your servant Dunstan, we may honor your Son Jesus Christ with our lips and in our lives; to the glory of his Name, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Dunstan was born near Glastonbury in the southwest of England about the year 909, ten years after the death of King Alfred. During the Viking invasions of the ninth century, monasteries had been favorite targets of the invaders, and by Dunstan's time English monasticism had been wiped out. In its restoration in the tenth century, Dunstan played the leading role. He was born of an upper-class family, and sent to court, where he did not fit in. At the urging of his uncle, the Bishop of Westminster, he became a monk and a priest, and returned to Glastonbury, where he built a hut near the ruins of the old monastery, and devoted himself to study, music, metal working (particularly the art of casting church bells, an art which he is said to have advanced considerably), and painting. A manuscript illuminated by him is in the British Museum. He returned to court and was again asked to leave; but then King Edmund had a narrow escape from death while hunting, and in gratitude recalled Dunstan and in 943 commissioned him to re-establish monastic life at Glastonbury. (Glastonbury is one of the oldest Christian sites in England, and is associated in legend with King Arthur and his Court, with Joseph of Arimathea, and with other worthies. It has been said that the Holy Grail, the chalice of the Last Supper, is hidden somewhere near Glastonbury.) Under Dunstan's direction, Glastonbury became an important center both of monasticism and of learning. The next king, Edred, adopted Dunstan's ideas for various reforms of the clergy (including the control of many cathedrals by monastic chapters) and for relations with the Danish settlers. These policies made Dunstan popular in the North of England, but unpopular in the South. 

Edred was succeeded by his sixteen-year-old nephew Edwy, whom Dunstan openly rebuked for unchastity. The furious Edwy drove Dunstan into exile, but the North rose in rebellion on his behalf. When the dust settled, Edwy was dead, his brother Edgar was king, and Dunstan was Archbishop of Canterbury. The coronation service which Dunstan compiled for Edgar is the earliest English coronation service of which the full text survives, and is the basis for all such services since, down to the present. With the active support of King Edgar, Dunstan re-established monastic communities at Malmesbury, Westminster, Bath, Exeter, and many other places. Around 970 he presided at a conference of bishops, abbots, and abbesses, which drew up a national code of monastic observance, the Regularis Concordia. It followed Benedictine lines, but under it the monasteries were actively involved in the life of the surrounding community. For centuries thereafter the Archbishop of Canterbury was always a monk. 

Dunstan took an active role in politics under Edgar and his successor Edward, but under the next king, Ethelred, he retired from politics and concentrated on running the Canterbury cathedral school for boys, where he was apparently successful in raising the academic standards while reducing the incidence of corporal punishment. On Ascension Day in 988, he told the congregation that he was near to death, and died two days later. *

 * The Lectionary, James Kiefer, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Dunstan.htm

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Treasure


The Truth about Treasure - Matthew 6:19–24

What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?

This is Tertullian’s famous question contrasting the difference between God's truth and human philosophy.It  highlights the challenge of living in this world with our eyes fixed on other things.

In a similar way, we might ask the same question about rewards: What does money have to do with our eternal destiny?

Indeed, in a world where money motivates, secures, comforts, and corrupts, we are painfully aware of the problems that money (and its lack) bring. Yet, as Jesus instructs us in Matthew 6:19–24, our earthly riches also provide an important avenue for discipleship and increasing our eternal joy. The question is how!

With that in mind, join us today, Wednesday, May 18, as we consider Jesus’s teaching about earthly and heavenly reward at St. Alban's for Holy Eucharist today at 12:10 p.m. or join all our Monroe Episcopal churches tonight for 

Zoom Evening Prayer & Video Study - 5:30 p.m. with Father Whit+

Zoom Evening Prayer

Meeting ID: 867 8157 7595
Passcode: 530
Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 779

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Marshall

Thurgood Marshall, Public Servant, 1993.

The Collect:

Eternal and ever-gracious God, who blessed your servant Thurgood Marshall with grace and courage to discern and speak the truth: Grant that, following his example, we may know you and recognize that we are all your children, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving from October 1967 until October 1991. Marshall was the Court's 96th justice and its first African-American justice.

Before becoming a judge, Marshall was a lawyer who was best known for his high success rate in arguing before the Supreme Court and for the victory in Brown v. Board of Education, a decision that desegregated public schools. He served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit after being appointed by President John F. Kennedy and then served as the Solicitor General after being appointed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. President Johnson nominated him to the United States Supreme Court in 1967.

Marshall was a devoted Episcopalian and an active member of St. Philip’s Church in Harlem, serving on the Vestry, as Senior Warden and as Deputy to the 1964 General Convention, before moving to Washington. *

 *  The Lectionary, via Wikipedia, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Thurgood_Marshall.html 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Monday Morning


 









In the Morning - From Psalm 51
 
Open my lips, O Lord, *
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence *
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again *
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
 
The Book of Common Prayer, page 137

Saturday, May 14, 2022

This Sunday


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, May 15, The Fifth Sunday of Easter, at St. Alban’s, St. Thomas’, St. Patrick’s, and Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas.

Holy Eucharist, Rite Two
St. Alban’s - 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.*
St. Thomas' on the Bayou - 10:00 a.m.* - Camp Hardtner & Children’s Sunday
St. Patrick’s – 11:00 a.m.** These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. Download a pdf of the leaflet to print or to use on your phone or tablet with this link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tloDXu44I2xXwU1M_ypIgfSPB20OVYbd/view?usp=sharing

La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos
Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m. (transmitido en Facebook)
Zoom Compline - All Welcome
Sunday - 8:00 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83861688528?pwd=WFdBcndxV3hzbUpETDNTSFFzc3Z0QT09
Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528
Passcode: 800
or dial in at +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799

We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!

Rita+, Rob+ and Whit+

Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org

Guidance


 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Johann Arndt and Jacob Böehme

Johann Arndt and Jacob Böehme, Mystics, 1621 and 1624


Today, the Church remembers Johann Arndt and Jacob Böehme. Join us today at St. Alban's for Holy Eucharist at 12:10 p.m. to learn more about these two mystics.


Note: There is no Zoom Evening Prayer and Video Class tonight. It will resume on May 18.


The Collect:

Holy God, who dwells with those have a contrite and humble spirit; Revive our spirits; purify us from deceitful lusts; and cloth us in righteousness and true holiness; though Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen.

Johann Arndt (27 December 1555 – 11 May 1621) was a German Lutheran theologian who wrote several influential books of devotional Christianity. Although reflective of the period of Lutheran Orthodoxy, he is seen as a forerunner of pietism, a movement within Lutheranism that gained strength in the late 17th century.

He was born in Edderitz near Ballenstedt, in Anhalt-Köthen, and studied in several universities.

Arndt's fame rests on his writings. These were mainly of a mystical and devotional kind, and were inspired by St Bernard, Johannes Tauler and Thomas à Kempis. His principal work, Wahres Christentum, i.e. "True Christianity", which has been translated into most European languages, has served as the foundation of many books of devotion, both Roman Catholic and Protestant. Arndt here dwells upon the mystical union between the believer and Christ, and endeavors, by drawing attention to Christ's life in His people, to correct the purely forensic side of the reformation theology, which paid almost exclusive attention to Christ's death for His people.

Jakob Böhme ( 24 April 1575 – 17 November 1624) was a German philosopher, Christian mystic, and Lutheran Protestant theologian. He was considered an original thinker by many of his contemporaries within the Lutheran tradition, and his first book, commonly known as Aurora, caused a great scandal. In contemporary English, his name may be spelled Jacob Boehme.

Böhme was born on 24 April 1575 at Alt Seidenberg (now Stary Zawidów, Poland). When he was 14 years old, he was apprenticed to become a shoemaker. He regularly prayed and read the Bible as well as works by visionaries such as Paracelsus, Weigel and Schwenckfeld, although he received no formal education. By 1599, Böhme was master of his craft with his own premises in Görlitz. That same year he married Katharina Kuntzschmann, and together he and Katharina had four sons and two daughters.

Böhme had a number of mystical experiences throughout his youth, culminating in a vision in 1600 as one day he focused his attention onto the exquisite beauty of a beam of sunlight reflected in a pewter dish. He believed this vision revealed to him the spiritual structure of the world, as well as the relationship between God and man, and good and evil. At the time he chose not to speak of this experience openly, preferring instead to continue his work and raise a family. In 1610 Böhme experienced another inner vision in which he further understood the unity of the cosmos and that he had received a special vocation from God.

Twelve years after the vision in 1600, Böhme began to write his first book, Die Morgenröte im Aufgang (The rising of Dawn). The book was given the name Aurora by a friend; however, Böhme originally wrote the book for himself and it was never completed. A manuscript copy of the unfinished work was loaned to Karl von Ender, a nobleman, who had copies made and began to circulate them. In 1619 Böhme wrote "De Tribus Principiis" or "On the Three Principles of Divine Being". It took him two years to finish his second book, which was followed by many other treatises, all of which were copied by hand and circulated only among friends. The year 1622 saw Böhme write some short works all of which were subsequently included in his first published book on New Year's Day 1624, under the title Weg zu Christo (The Way to Christ).

The publication caused another scandal and following complaints by the clergy, Böhme was forced into exile in Dresden. In Dresden he was accepted by the nobility and high clergy. His intellect was also recognized by the professors of Dresden. He eventually returned home, but he fell terminally ill with a bowel complaint and died on 17 November 1624.

The chief concern of Böhme's writing was the nature of sin, evil and redemption. Consistent with Lutheran theology, Böhme preached that humanity had fallen from a state of divine grace to a state of sin and suffering, and that God's goal was to restore the world to a state of grace. There are some serious departures from accepted Lutheran theology, however, such as his rejection of sola fide (justification by faith alone). A difficulty with his theology is the fact that he had a mystical vision, which he reinterpreted and reformulated. God exists without time or space, he regenerates himself through eternity. Böhme restates the trinity as truly existing but with a novel interpretation. God, the Father is fire, who gives birth to his son, whom Böhme calls light. The Holy Spirit is the living principle, or the divine life. Evil is seen as "the disorder, rebellion, perversion of making spirit nature's servant", which is to say a perversion of initial Divine order.

* The Lectionary, via Wikipedia, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/arndt-boehme.html 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Enough?


Too often we look around and find that there is not enough, but Jesus takes what there is, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it back to us…


“And all eat and are filled. What is left over is gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.”

Luke 9:17 (Paraphrased)



Monday, May 9, 2022

Gregory of Nazianzus

Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop and Theologian, 389

The Collect:

Almighty God, who has revealed to your Church your eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like your bishop Gregory of Nazianzus, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Gregory of Nazianzus, one of the Cappadocian Fathers, loved God, the art of letters, and the human race—in that order. He was born about 330 in Nazianzus in Cappadocia (now Turkey), the son of a local bishop. He studied rhetoric in Athens with his friend Basil of Caesarea, and Julian, later to be the apostate emperor.

Gregory, together with Basil, compiled an anthology of Origen’s works, The Philokalia. Two years later, he returned to his home, a town then rent by heresies and schism. His defense of his father’s orthodoxy in the face of a violent mob brought peace to the town and prominence to Gregory.

In 361, against his will, Gregory was ordained presbyter, and settled down to live an austere, priestly life. He was not to have peace for long. Basil, in his fight against the Arian Emperor Valens, compelled Gregory to become Bishop of Sasima. According to Gregory, it was “a detestable little place without water or grass or any mark of civilization.” He felt, he said, like “a bone flung to the dogs.” His friendship with Basil suffered a severe break.

Deaths in his family, and that of his estranged friend Basil, brought Gregory himself to the point of death. He withdrew for healing. In 379, Gregory moved to Constantinople, a new man and no longer in despair. He appeared as one afire with the love of God. His fame as a theologian rests on five sermons he delivered during this period on the doctrine of the Trinity. They are marked by clarity, strength, and a charming gaiety. 

The next year, the new Emperor Theodosius entered Constantinople and expelled its Arian bishop and clergy. Then, on a rainy day, the crowds in the Great Church of Hagia Sophia acclaimed Gregory bishop, after a ray of sunlight suddenly shone on him.

Power and position meant nothing to Gregory. After the Ecumenical Council of 381, he retired to Nazianzus, where he died in 389. Among the Fathers of the Church, he alone is known as “The Divine,” “The Theologian.” *

A Great Cloud of Witnesses - A Calendar of Commemorations, Copyright © 2016 by The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Fourth Sunday of Easter & Mother’s Day


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, May 8, The Fourth Sunday of Easter & Mother’s Day, at St. Alban’s, St. Thomas’, St. Patrick’s, and Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas.
 
Holy Eucharist, Rite Two
St. Alban’s - 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.*
St. Thomas' on the Bayou - 10:00 a.m.*
St. Patrick’s – 11:00 a.m.*

* These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. Download a pdf of the leaflet to print or to use on your phone or tablet with this link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oJx5BRTSkRsAXTPXFDUR35Zv2C4lNnVA/view?usp=sharing

La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos
Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m. (transmitido en Facebook)

Zoom Compline - All Welcome
Sunday - 8:00 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83861688528?pwd=WFdBcndxV3hzbUpETDNTSFFzc3Z0QT09
Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528
Passcode: 800
or dial in at +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799

We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!

Rita+, Rob+ and Whit+

Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org

Praise to God


Thursday, May 5, 2022

Martyrs of the Reformation Era

Martyrs of the Reformation Era

Today, we remember the Martyrs of the Reformation Era. 

The Collect:

Almighty and Most Merciful God, give to your Church that peace which the world cannot give, and grant that those who have been divided on earth may be reconciled in heaven, and share together in the vision of your glory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Roman Catholic Church commemorates the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales on this date: men and women who were executed for treason between 1535 and 1679 for their allegiance to the Catholic Church. In recent years, the Church of England has shared this commemoration, broadening it to all of the English saints and martyrs of the Reformation era. This commemoration remembers not only Anglican martyrs like Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, and Nicholas Ridley, who died for their adherence to the Church of England, but those Catholics who were killed by Anglicans - along with all other Christians who were persecuted by their fellow Christians for their beliefs, most notably the Anabaptists and the Quakers. *

* Lesser Feasts & Fasts 2018, via The Lectionary, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/martyrs_reformation.html

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

A Saint for Mothers

Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387

A Saint for Mothers


Today, the Church remembers Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo. To learn more about Monica, join us today at St. Alban’s for Holy Eucharist - Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 12:10 p.m.


or join all our Monroe Episcopal churches tonight for 
Zoom Evening Prayer & Video Study - Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. with Father Whit+.

Zoom Evening Prayer
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86781577595?pwd=VjNnZTZnUFFadkJPc3VOVTh3K21Idz09

Meeting ID: 867 8157 7595
Passcode: 530

Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 779

The Collect:

Deepen our devotion, O Lord, and use us in accordance with your will, that inspired by the example of your servant Monica, we may bring others to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, One God, forever and ever. Amen.

We know about Monica almost entirely from the autobiography (the Confessions) of her son Augustine, a major Christian writer, theologian and philosopher (see 28 August). Monica was born in North Africa, near Carthage, in what is now Tunisia, perhaps around 331, of Christian parents, and was a Christian throughout her life. Her name has usually been spelled "Monica," but recently her tomb in Ostia was discovered, and the burial inscription says "Monnica," a spelling which all AC (Archaeologically Correct) persons have hastened to adopt. (On the other hand, it may simply be that the artisan who carved the inscription was a bad speller.) As a girl, she was fond of wine, but on one occasion was taunted by a slave girl for drunkenness, and resolved not to drink thereafter. She was married to a pagan husband, Patricius, a man of hot temper, who was often unfaithful to her, but never insulted or struck her. It was her happiness to see both him and his mother ultimately receive the Gospel. 

Monica soon recognized that her son was a man of extraordinary intellectual gifts, a brilliant thinker and a natural leader of men (as a youngster he was head of a local gang of juvenile delinquents), and she had strong ambitions and high hopes for his success in a secular career. Indeed, though we do not know all the circumstances, most Christians today would say that her efforts to steer him into a socially advantageous marriage were in every way a disaster. However, she grew in spiritual maturity through a life of prayer, and her ambitions for his worldly success were transformed into a desire for his conversion. He, as a youth, rejected her religion with scorn, and looked to various pagan philosophies for clues to the meaning of life. He undertook a career as an orator and teacher of the art of oratory (rhetoric), and moved from Africa to Rome and thence to Milan, at that time the seat of government in Italy. His mother followed him there a few years later. In Milan, Augustine met the bishop Ambrose, from whom he learned that Christianity could be intellectually respectable, and under whose preaching he was eventually converted and baptized on Easter Eve in 387, to the great joy of Monica. 

After his baptism, Augustine and a younger brother Navigius and Monica planned to return to Africa together, but in Ostia, the port city of Rome, Monica fell ill and said, "You will bury your mother here. All I ask of you is that, wherever you may be, you should remember me at the altar of the Lord. Do not fret because I am buried far from our home in Africa. Nothing is far from God, and I have no fear that he will not know where to find me, when he comes to raise me to life at the end of the world." *

*  The Lectionary,  James Kiefer, http://satucket.com/lectionary/Monnica.htm 

And, May the Fourth be with you...

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Elisabeth Cruciger

Elisabeth Cruciger, Poet and Hymnographer, 1535

The Collect:

Pour out your Spirit upon all of your sons and daughters, Almighty God, that like your servant Elisabeth Cruciger our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, and our worship may give you glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Elisabeth Cruciger (c. 1500 - 2 May 1535) was the first female poet and hymn writer of the Protestant Reformation and a friend of Martin Luther.

She was born into a noble family in Meseritz in Farther Pomerania (now part of Poland), and while still a child entered Marienbusch Abbey, in Treptow an der Rega. She converted to Lutheranism, and in 1522 left the abbey to move to Wittenberg. Then in 1524 she married the theologian Caspar Cruciger the Elder, a student and assistant of Luther.

She is primarily known as the author of the hymn, Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn (Lord Christ, the only son of God). She died in Wittenberg. *

* The Lectionary, via Wikipedia, http://satucket.com/lectionary/elisabeth_cruciger.html

Monday, May 2, 2022

Saint Philip and Saint James


Saint Philip and Saint James

Today, the Church remembers Saint Philip and Saint James, Apostles.

 

“It seems like we know nothing about these men. But what we do know is enough. We know Jesus called Philip and James to be his disciples. We know Jesus sent them out as his apostles. And that is enough.” *

 

The Collect:

 

Almighty God, who gave to your apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


* Text and Art: http://e-nklings-revschuldheisz.blogspot.com/2016/05/sermon-for-feast-of-st-philip-and-st.html

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Sunday, May First


Sunday, May 1, 2022

Join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, May 1, The Third Sunday of Easter, at St. Alban’s, St. Thomas’, St. Patrick’s, and Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas. 

Holy Eucharist, Rite Two
St. Alban’s  - 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.* 
St. Thomas' on the Bayou - 10:00 a.m.* 
St. Patrick’s – 11:00 a.m.*
* These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. Download a pdf of the leaflet to print or to use on your phone or tablet with this link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mkbwv7ffXS8Zw4Wdc3Yh-uxnAMgkckXV/view?usp=sharing
  
La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos
Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m. (transmitido en Facebook)
 
Zoom Compline - All Welcome
Sunday - 8:00 p.m.
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83861688528?pwd=WFdBcndxV3hzbUpETDNTSFFzc3Z0QT09
Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528
Passcode: 800
or dial in at +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799

We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!

Rita+, Rob+ and Whit+

Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org

A Collect for Saturdays


 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Catherine of Siena

Catherine of Siena, Mystic and Prophetic Witness, 1380

The Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of thy love in the heart of your servant Catherine of Siena: Grant unto us the same strength of conviction and power of love that, as we rejoice in her triumph, we may profit by her example; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Catherine Benincasa, born in 1347, was the youngest (one of my sources says the 23rd) of twenty-five children of a wealthy dyer of Sienna (or Siena). At the age of six, she had a vision of Christ in glory, surrounded by His saints. From that time on, she spent most of her time in prayer and meditation, over the opposition of her parents, who wanted her to be more like the average girl of her social class. Eventually they gave in, and at the age of sixteen she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic (First Order = friars, Second Order = nuns, Third Order = laypersons), where she became a nurse, caring for patients with leprosy and advanced cancer whom other nurses disliked to treat.

She began to acquire a reputation as a person of insight and sound judgement, and many persons from all walks of life sought her spiritual advice, both in person and by letter. (We have a book containing about four hundred letters from her to bishops, kings, scholars, merchants, and obscure peasants.) She persuaded many priests who were living in luxury to give away their goods and to live simply.

In her day, the popes, officially Bishops of Rome, had been living for about seventy years, not at Rome but at Avignon in France, where they were under the political control of the King of France (the Avignon Papacy, sometimes called the Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy, began when Philip the Fair, King of France, captured Rome and the Pope in 1303). Catherine visited Avignon in 1376 and told Pope Gregory XI that he had no business to live away from Rome. He heeded her advice, and moved to Rome. She then acted as his ambassador to Florence, and was able to reconcile a quarrel between the Pope and the leaders of that city. She then retired to Sienna, where she wrote a book called the Dialog, an account of her visions and other spiritual experiences, with advice on cultivating a life of prayer.

After Gregory's death in 1378, the Cardinals, mostly French, elected an Italian Pope, Urban VI, who on attaining office turned out to be arrogant and abrasive and tyrannical, and perhaps to have other faults as well. The Cardinals met again elsewhere, declared that the first election had been under duress from the Roman mob and therefore invalid, and elected a new Pope, Clement VII, who established his residence at Avignon. Catherine worked tirelessly, both to persuade Urban to mend his ways (her letters to him are respectful but severe and uncompromising -- as one historian has said, she perfected the art of kissing the Pope's feet while simultaneously twisting his arm), and to persuade others that the peace and unity of the Church required the recognition of Urban as lawful Pope. Despite her efforts, the Papal Schism continued until 1417. It greatly weakened the prestige of the Bishops of Rome, and thus helped to pave the way for the Protestant Reformation a century later.

Catherine is known (1) as a mystic, a contemplative who devoted herself to prayer, (2) as a humanitarian, a nurse who undertook to alleviate the suffering of the poor and the sick; (3) as an activist, a renewer of Church and society, who took a strong stand on the issues affecting society in her day, and who never hesitated (in the old Quaker phrase) "to speak truth to power"; (4) as an adviser and counselor, with a wide range of interests, who always made time for troubled and uncertain persons who told her their problems -- large and trivial, religious and secular.

The Lectionary, James Kiefer, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Catherine_Siena.htm

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Holocaust Remembrance Day

The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. When the actual date of Yom Hashoah falls on a Friday, the state of Israel observes Yom Hashoah on the preceding Thursday. When it falls on a Sunday, Yom Hashoah is observed on the following Monday. In the United States, Days of Remembrance runs from the Sunday before Yom Hashoah through the following Sunday.

To Learn more, click here to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website - https://www.ushmm.org/

This video provides an overview of the Holocaust, Days of Remembrance, and why we as a nation remember this history. See - https://www.ushmm.org/remember/days-of-remembrance/resources/why-we-remember 

Let us pray.

God of the past, present, and future, we remember today the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, the millions of other victims of Nazi persecution, and all those who have been targeted and killed in subsequent genocides.

We remember those who, having survived genocide, share their stories with us: We give thanks to You for the lessons of human stories, both in their suffering and in their joy. 

We remember those who stood up against injustice and saved lives: We give thanks to You for their example.

Together we acknowledge the sacrifice of those that stood together with those who suffered during the Holocaust and other genocides.

And we affirm that every life is loved by You and sacred. 

Yet, during the Holocaust too many failed to stand together with their neighbors. Oppression stains Your world and contradicts Your love.

So we pray that You will inspire us now as we stand together on this day in the love that we know of God in Christ Jesus.

Let us commit to remembering: And glorify God in our words and actions.

We make these prayers in the name of Christ Jesus who, through His life, death, and resurrection, journeys with us into the eternal hope of Your truth and light. 

Amen.

#HolocaustRemembrance  #WeRemember

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Zita of Tuscany

Join us today for Holy Eucharist at 12:10 p.m. at St. Alban’s and learn about more about Zita of Tuscany.

Remember, we have no Evening Prayer or Video Class via Zoom this evening. All the local clergy are traveling to Shreveport to attend the installation of Michael Cannon as the new rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Shreveport. Please say a pray for Father Michael and all the folks at St. Paul’s. 

Zita of Tuscany, Worker of Charity, 1271

The Collect:

Merciful God, who has given to us all things necessary for life and godliness; Grant that we, like your servant Zita, may be faithful in the exercise of our duties and that, whatever you give us to do, we may do it heartily to you for the honor and glory of your Name; through him who has called us to virtue, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Zita (c. 1212 – 27 April 1272) is an Italian saint, the patron saint of maids and domestic servants. She is often appealed to in order to help find lost keys.

Zita was born in Tuscany in the village of Monsagrati, not far from Lucca where, at the age of 12, she became a servant in the Fatinelli household. For a long time, she was unjustly despised, overburdened, reviled, and often beaten by her employers and fellow servants for her hard work and obvious goodness. The incessant ill-usage, however, was powerless to deprive her of her inward peace, her love of those who wronged her, and her respect for her employers. By this meek and humble self-restraint, Zita at last succeeded in overcoming the malice of her fellow-servants and her employers, so much so that she was placed in charge of all the affairs of the house. Her faith had enabled her to persevere against their abuse, and her constant piety gradually moved the family to a religious awakening.

Zita often said to others that devotion is false if slothful. She considered her work as an employment assigned to her by God, and as part of her penance, and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God. She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and employed in prayer a considerable part of the time which others gave to sleep.

One anecdote relates a story of Zita giving her own food or that of her master to the poor. On one morning, Zita left her chore of baking bread to tend to someone in need. Some of the other servants made sure the Fatinelli family was aware of what happened; when they went to investigate, they claimed to have found angels in the Fatinelli kitchen, baking the bread for her.

According to another story, a housemaid who worked with her, maybe jealous of the affection Zita received from everybody, told their master that Zita used to steal from the Fatinellis what she gave to the poor. One day her master met Zita while she was going to see a needy family, with her apron full of things for them. He asked Zita what she was carrying and she answered that she was carrying only flowers and fronds. When she loosened her apron, flowers fell at her feet. *

* The Lectionary, via Wikipedia, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Zita.html

Monday, April 25, 2022

Saint Mark

Saint Mark the Evangelist

The Collect:


Almighty God, by the hand of Mark the evangelist you have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The book of Acts mentions a Mark, or John Mark, a kinsman of Barnabas (Col 4:10). The house of his mother Mary was a meeting place for Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). When Paul and Barnabas, who had been in Antioch, came to Jerusalem, they brought Mark back to Antioch with them (12:25), and he accompanied them on their first missionary journey (13:5), but left them prematurely and returned to Jerusalem (13:13). When Paul and Barnabas were about to set out on a second missionary journey, Barnabas proposed to take Mark, but Paul thought him unreliable, so that eventually Barnabas made one journey taking Mark, and Paul another journey taking Silas (15:36-40). Mark is not mentioned again in Acts. However, it appears that he became more reliable, for Paul mentions him as a trusted assistant in Colossians 4:10 and again in 2 Timothy 4:11.

The Apostle Peter had a co-worker whom he refers to as "my son Mark" (1 Peter 5:13). Papias, an early second century writer, in describing the origins of the Gospels, tells us that Mark was the "interpreter" of Peter, and that he wrote down ("but not in order") the stories that he had heard Peter tell in his preaching about the life and teachings of Jesus.

The Gospel of Mark, in describing the arrest of Jesus (14:51f), speaks of a young man who followed the arresting party, wearing only a linen cloth wrapped around his body, whom the arresting party tried to seize, but who left the cloth in their hands and fled naked. It is speculated that this young man was the writer himself, since the detail is hardly worth mentioning if he were not.

Tradition has it that after the death of Peter, Mark left Rome and went to preach in Alexandria, Egypt, where he was eventually martyred.

It is natural to identify the John Mark of Acts with the Gospel-writer and interpreter of Peter, and this identification is standard in liturgical references to Mark. However, "Mark" is the commonest of Latin first names, and they may well have been separate persons.

Mark's symbol in art is a Lion, usually winged. In the book of Revelation, the visionary sees about the throne of God four winged creatures: a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle. (Compare with the cherubs in Ezek 1 and 10.) It has customarily been supposed that these represent the four Gospels, or the four Evangelists (Gospel-writers). One way of matching them is to say that the man stands for Matthew, whose narrative begins with the human genealogy of Jesus; that the lion stands for Mark, whose narrative begins with John the Baptist crying out in the desert (a lion roars in the desert); that the ox, a sacrificial animal, stands for Luke, whose narrative begins in the Temple, and that the eagle stands for John, whose narrative begins in Heaven, with the eternal Word. How old this correspondence is I do not know. I have seen it in an illustrated Gospel-book from the early 800's. An alternative assignment, which I think to be far more recent, calls Matthew the lion (because he portrays Christ as the Messiah, the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy, "the lion of the tribe of Judah"), Mark the ox (because he portrays Christ the servant, constantly doing the work for which he was sent), Luke the man (because he portrays the humanity and compassion of Christ), and John the eagle (because he portrays Christ as the eternal Word, who came down from Heaven). *

The Lectionary, James Kiefer, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Mark.htm

Saturday, April 23, 2022

The Second Sunday of Easter


Sunday, April 24, 2022


Join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, April 24, The Second Sunday of Easter, at St. Alban’s, St. Thomas’, St. Patrick’s, and Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas.


Holy Eucharist, Rite Two

St. Alban’s  - 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.* 

St. Thomas' on the Bayou - 10:00 a.m.* 

St. Patrick’s – 11:00 a.m.*


* These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. Download a pdf of the leaflet to print or to use on your phone or tablet with this link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jV6oCgFOO6rImM5j4rVCuQ73uJ7YYGeO/view?usp=sharing


La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos

Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m. *               


Zoom Compline - All Welcome 

Sunday -  8:00 p.m. 


Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83861688528?pwd=WFdBcndxV3hzbUpETDNTSFFzc3Z0QT09

Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528

Passcode: 800

or dial in at  +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799


We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!


Rita+, Rob+ and Whit+


Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org

Saturday in Easter Week


Saturday in Easter Week

Blessed Eastertide! There are appointed proper readings for each day of the week following Easter, until we reach The Second Sunday of Easter. You can find the readings full readings at this link - 
https://www.episcopalchurch.org/lectionary/ Each day, we will share the collect of the day and some art inspired by the day's Gospel reading.

The Collect:

We thank you, heavenly Father, that you have delivered us from the dominion of sin and death and brought us into the kingdom of your Son; and we pray that, as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his love he may raise us to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Art - José de Ribera: The Penitent Magdalene or Vanitas - According to the tenets of the church at the time of this painting, Mary Magdalene was an example of the repentant sinner and consequently a symbol of the Sacrament of Penance. According to legend, Mary led a dissolute life until her encounter with Christ. Mary Magdalen was a witness of Christ who renounced the pleasures of the flesh for a life of penance and contemplation. Penitent Magdalene or Penitent Magdalen refers to a post-biblical period in the life of Mary Magdalene, according to medieval legend. Mary became one of Christ’s most devoted followers and he absolved her of her former sins. 


Perhaps a painting like this captures the grief of Mary, which was transformed by her experience on Easter morning!