Find Us Online

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 1

There has recently been a question regarding the Papa Stronsay Calendar, which you can purchase at the bottom of this post.

The question regards the signs of the Zodiac which are marked on the calendar.  The Zodiac does not mean astrologyAstrology is a superstitious system of divining which is condemned by the church.  With the signs of the Zodiac we simply track the sun through the constellations of the Zodiac during the year.  The sun takes very nearly one month exactly to transit one constellation.  Thus it is simply marking the months.  Nothing whatever to do with predicting the future.

It is a venerable method of time-keeping and has been used by the Church since the beginning.

"In the fifth century there was a controversy between Rome and Alexandria about what the latest possible date for Easter could be.  According to Alexandrian tradition, it was April 25.  Pope St. Leo the Great (440-461) criticized this very late date by pointing out that, according to the Bible, Easter should fall in the first month, and the first month did not mean April, but the time when the sun is passing through the first part of the Zodiac — the sign of Aries.  The constellation in the heavens seemed to speak, in advance and for all time, of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (Jn I:29), the one who sums up in himself all the sacrifices of the innocent and gives them their meaning.  The mysterious story of the ram, caught in the thicket and taking the place of Isaac as the sacrifice decreed by God himself, was now seen as the pre-history of Christ.  The fork of the tree in which the ram was hanging was seen as a replica of the sign of Aries, which in turn was the celestial foreshadowing of the crucified Christ." - Pope Benedict XVI, The Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 99-100

Scholars show Pope Gregory XIII a chart of the Sun against the Zodiac to indicate the location of the Sun throughout a year.  This great pontiff was responsible for the reform of the calendar into form we have today.

The Zodiac is profoundly bound up with Catholicism.
More to come, so watch this space!

You can order the Calendar right here and now:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Papa Stronsay Calendar - Better than Ever!

The Papa Stronsay Calendar for 2015 is out now!  Have a look at the video below to see what you're missing out on:

There really is so much packed into our calendar, that you won't need any other calendar for the whole year!

You can order the Calendar right here and now:

If you have problems, you can use this link to do it directly from our online store.

Remember that if you are already a subscriber to our Catholic Newspaper, you will automatically receive one copy of the calendar as part of that subscription.  Please also allow up to three weeks for delivery of you calendar.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Phase Two Completed

August, 2014, saw the completion of phase two
 of the work on the Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour,
 the chapel attached to our monastery in
 Christchurch, New Zealand.
The Oratory as it stood after phase one in March, 2013.
 The dome over the altar and beautiful arch window
 allowing light to stream in during the morning Mass is in place.
 Much of the sanctuary furnishing is in place along with the altar steps.
The Oratory on 31 August, 2014. 
The Gospel side of the sanctuary in March, 2013.
The Holy Baptism of little Ambrose Green on 31 August, 2014.
The Gospel side of the sanctuary has been transformed
 with a new door and window installed,
 new panelling fixed on the lower walls.
 To see the many young families that crowd into the
 Oratory every Sunday, injecting so much
 life and joy into the community is 
an hundred fold reward to all those 
who have contributed to the work.

In the wall of the Gospel side of the sanctuary
 an Ambry for the reservation of the Holy Oils
 has been installed. 
Two side altars have been installed
 in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
 and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The altar of the Sacred Heart is erected
 in memory of Mr Duncan Simon, R.I.P. 
while the altar of the Immaculate Heart
 is erected in memory 
of Mrs Nancye Price, R.I.P.

The Altar of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima in its own chapel. 
This altar is erected in memory of Mr Michael Hayes, R.I.P.
The shrine of St Joseph 
erected in memory of Rev. Fr Augustine Cummins, C.SS.R., R.I.P.
The first and last thought in entering the Oratory 
is Our Blessed Lady of Christchurch.
 The ceiling around her altar is coffered 
and embellished with fleur-de-lis.
 The newly refurbished 
Stations of the Cross line the walls. 
 The stars which adorn the ceiling remind us
 of our Heavenly home,
 wherein dwells the Father of Lights!  
Our thanks to all our many and dear friends in Christchurch
 who gave of their time and substance
 to make this beautiful work possible
 for the glory of God and His Holy Church -
 helping with painting, woodworking, building,
 purchasing materials,
 cooking and catering for the work days, etc.
  This chapel is a fitting tribute to you all. 

As Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, 
it has been our privilege to make this humble effort
 for the rebuilding of the fair city of Christchurch,
 and provide a little sanctuary
 where souls may come to spend time
 with Our Heavenly Queen,
 and may enjoy some of the
 beauty of the traditional Rite.

Indeed we cannot repeat too often in our lives: 
Thanks be to God for all He has done
 and is doing for us.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

In His Great Goodness

God in His great goodness
 through the prayers of Our Lady and St Joseph
 has given Holland Farm in Stronsay
 into our possession. 

We give Him our humble thanks
 that such a great gift should be added
 to our monastery in Papa Stronsay. 

We also offer our loving thanksgiving to Our Lady, Most Holy Mary,
 who never ceases to watch over Her children's 
spiritual and financial necessities. 
Countless are the times that She has prayed for us
 and we have experienced so many miracles
 as a result of Her prayers. 

If all men and women would accept Holy Mary as their Mother
 how happy the world would be! 
She is always looking out for us and Her prayers to God
 in our behalf are always heard, even with miracles. 

This is the reason that through the centuries Her countless children
 have given Her so many loving titles such as:
Star of the Sea
Mother of Perpetual Succour
Flower of Carmel
Mother Most Loving
Refuge of Sinners
Mother of the Afflicted and so very many more.

Her titles are humble expressions of love from Her grateful children.

Today we too publicly offer our humble thanks to so loving a Mother. 

To God alone be all Glory!
Our Thanksgiving is offered  to Jesus through Mary.

Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.
Rector Major

Holland Farm, Stronsay

Friday, August 22, 2014

Always a beautiful day!

22 August
Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Since our foundation in 1988, 
we have kept the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
as a red letter day.
On this day Fr. Anthony Mary made his first vows in 1989;
this is his Silver Jubilee.
Congratulations from us all Father!
Ad multos annos!

Fr. Anthony Mary as a novice (left), at tea on his clothing day
Monastery of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Isle of Sheppey, Kent, England
22 August, 1988.
Brother Nicodemus Mary made his first vows in 1993;
this is his 21st anniversary.
Congratulations Brother!

Brother Nicodemus Mary with Novice Brother Edmund
2 February, 2014.
Brother Seelos Maria was born on this Feast in 1991;
this is his 23rd birthday.
Happy Birthday Brother!

Brother Seelos Maria with his family on his clothing day
2 August, 2011.
For the perpetually professed
today is the second anniversary of our Public Profession 
Religious Vows
as members of the newly erected
Congregation of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.
Thanks be to God and to Mary!
After the Public Religious Profession
with His Lordship
the Right Reverend Dom Hugh Gilbert, O.S.B.
Bishop of Aberdeen
22 August, 2012. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ready to die for the love of Jesus.

MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- A group of 11 sick, disabled and elderly Iraqi Christians --including an 80-year-old woman with breast cancer -- defied terrorists who ordered them to convert to Islam or be beheaded, saying they preferred death to giving up their faith.

The united resistance prompted the Islamic State extremists to drop their demands and order the Christians to immediately leave their village of Karamless after first robbing them of their possessions, according to one of the survivors.

Sahar Mansour, a refugee from Mosul, told Catholic News Service in an Aug. 18 email that the group turned up at Ankawa refugee camp, where she is living, after they were released by the Islamist fighters. They had remained behind in Karamless because they were too weak to flee when the town was overrun by Islamic State militants the night of Aug. 6-7.

Mansour said she met the 80-year-old woman with cancer, who gave her name as Ghazala, in Ankawa Aug. 18 and heard her account of their escape.

"When the people of Karamless fled from the village they (the elderly) were alone," Mansour said. "She (Ghazala) told me when they woke up in (the) morning they were surprised when they saw nobody in the village."

Instead they were "afraid and terrified," she continued, when they met masked fighters from the Islamic State, who ordered them to go home and remain indoors.

Mansour said Ghazala told her that on Aug. 16, the terrorists assembled the group "and told them either to convert or to be killed by sword."

"Ghazala told me that all the people told the terrorists that 'we prefer to be killed rather than convert,"' Mansour said. She said Ghazala added that members of the group scolded the terrorists for ignoring Islamic sacred texts that forbade forced conversions of non-Muslims.

Mansour said the elderly told the militants that the Islamic State had nothing to gain from the conversion of a group of sick, disabled and elderly people.

"When ISIS heard that they told the people to leave Karamless immediately, without taking anything, to leave with only with the clothes they were wearing," she said.

"ISIS took all their money from all of them and their gold," Mansour said, adding that one person had the courage to ask the terrorists to return some of their money so they could buy food for their journey to the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

The group of five men and six women later arrived at the Kalak checkpoint, the gateway to Kurdish-controlled territory, in two cars.

There, they were allowed to contact relatives already in refugee camps, who were taken to meet them, Mansour said.

Ghazala was reunited with her brother, and she is receiving medical treatment for her cancer.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

1500 Christians and Yazidi forced into "sexual slavery"

Fr. Peter of the Angels ransoms Jesus.
The Miraculous Statue of the Most Holy Redeemer
was ransomed along with slaves from the Moslems in the 1600's. 
Let us pray to the Ransomed Jesus, our Most Holy Redeemer,
for the 1,500 souls taken as slaves in recent days.

13 August 2014 – Two senior United Nations officials today condemned in the strongest terms the “barbaric acts” of sexual violence and “savage rapes” the armed group Islamic State (IS) has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control.

In a joint statement from Baghdad, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence (SRSG) in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov urged the immediate protection of civilians.

"We are gravely concerned by continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities ...
“Atrocious accounts of abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner," Ms. Bangura and Mr. Mladenov stated, pointing out that some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery.

The officials condemned, in the strongest terms, the explicit targeting of women and children and the barbaric acts IS has perpetrated on minorities. Acts of sexual violence are grave human rights violations that can be considered as war crimes and crimes against humanity, they warned.

Mr. Mladenov called on regional Governments and the wider international community for the immediate release of the women and girls held in captivity and to support the Government of Iraq’s efforts to protect its citizens. He pledged that his Office would closely monitor the situation to ensure accountability and advocate for support to the survivors of the “barbaric acts.”

Thursday, August 07, 2014

While world leaders and newspapers keep guilty silence.

We are helpless to come to the assistance of our brethren in Iraq except by our prayers.
Of your charity read this letter from the Patriarch and carry them in your hearts to God.

They carry the Holy Cross and follow the Lamb to slaughter; 
Agnus redemit oves ~ the Lamb redeems the sheep;
the innocent Eastern Christians die 
for their guilty Western brethren;
with our rosaries let us wait beside them in their passion;
to pray for their perseverance.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

To all who have faith in Jesus Christ

Open Letter of His Excellency Youhanna Boutros (John Peter) Moshe, 
Syriac Catholic Archeparch of Mosul and Qaraqosh

Sunday, July 27, 2014

To All Priests, to all Monks and Nuns, to all Deacons, and to all those who have faith in Jesus Christ:

May the peace and love of God come upon you, your homes, and your families, and upon all those who have come to protect you, and to all those who have come to you for protection!

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
The Gospel according to Saint John, 16:33

With these words, Jesus strengthened the determination of his Apostles, who asked for the perseverance that would confirm their victory for good, and the defeat of evil.

The line of lies is a short one. And evil -- regardless of its gaining strength, regardless of the fact that it lasts for long time -- does not prevail. Our appeal to you, dearly beloved, is so that your determination will not be weakened, and that you will not be frightened by the false propaganda and the rumors that have no other goals than to take away your dignity and make you abandon your homes and churches.

Therefore, be patient and persevere, because one who is patient wins in the end. And know that the responsibility of those who spread the rumour about the crime is not smaller than the responsibility of those who commit the crime themselves.

The Archbishop's letter.

No one can stop those who wish to emigrate, because emigration has its own causes, and one who considers emigration evaluates one's own situation and takes one's own decisions. But why leave a country that is ours, and whose land we have inherited from our own fathers? We have not taken it by force or by invasion, and an inheritance is [something] precious and respected, even it is small.

Have some faith, first in God, then in our Mother the Virgin Mary, who with her kindness protects our villages that have not fallen in the hands of the enemy, and will not fall, by the grace of God. So much so that there are people who are convinced that their fate is linked to our own, who have allowed the coming together of our fates, and who have come exclusively to protect us, who have sacrificed their blood and their rest to protect us. We should be taking up arms and standing at their side to repel the enemy and keep evil away from us, rather than thinking about fleeing and losing. In this event, we could not be proud and have trust in ourselves.

And we are the children of forefathers who were not afraid of death, and who were not terrorized by persecution, because they wanted to preserve their religions and their values, both social and moral, and to protect their sacred places, and their monasteries, and their churches.

Well then, be not afraid, and preserve your heritage and your land. Stand strong in your faith as you are in love and in hope, and bring to each one the faith of [being able to] face the challenges, filled with courage against the obstacles on the path of your life.

May God, the keeper of peace and security, be with you. "For whoever is not against us is for us," (Mk 9:40); Jesus Christ said, "if God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rm 8:31), as the Apostle Paul confirms.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mar Mattai monastery taken.

Located 20 miles north-east of Nineveh, Mar Mattai monastery lies tucked away on top of Maqlub Mountain known to the Assyrians as Tura D'alpayeh.

Mosul (Iraq) (AFP) – Jihadist militants have taken over a monastery in northern Iraq, one of the country’s best-known Christian landmarks, and expelled its resident monks, a cleric and residents said Monday.

Islamic State (IS) fighters stormed Mar (Saint) Behnam, a 4th century monastery run by the Syriac Catholic church near the predominantly Christian town of Qaraqosh, on Sunday, the sources said.

Fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) stormed the Saint Behnam monastery on Monday, located 30 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of Mosul. 

“You have no place here anymore, you have to leave immediately,” a member of the Syriac clergy quoted the Sunni militants as telling the monastery’s residents.

He said the monks pleaded to be allowed to save some of the monastery’s relics but the fighters refused and ordered them to leave on foot with nothing but their clothes.

Christian residents from the area told AFP the monks walked several miles along a deserted road and were eventually picked up by Kurdish peshmerga fighters who drove them to Qaraqosh.

The Syriac cleric said five monks were expelled from Mar Behnam. Christian families in the area said there may have been up to nine people living at the monastery.

The incident was the latest move by the Islamic State, which last month declared a “caliphate” straddling large swathes of northern Iraq and Syria, to threaten a Christian presence in the region spanning close to two millennia.

Over the weekend, hundreds of families fled Mosul, a once-cosmopolitan city which is the country’s second largest and lies around 15 kilometres (10 miles) northwest of Mar Behnam.

They abandoned homes and belongings after IS fighters running the city issued an ultimatum for Christians to convert, pay a special tax, leave or face the sword.

Families who were forced on the road and leaders of Iraq’s Chaldean and other churches said Mosul was now emptied of Christians for the first time in history.

Jihadist fighters want to create a state based on an extreme interpretation of sharia — or Islamic law — and have targeted all minorities in the Mosul area.

Other groups such as Shiite Turkmen, Shabak and Yazidis have suffered even more than the Christians, who have largely escaped summary executions since IS swept the region in early June.

Mar Behnam is a major Christian landmark in Iraq and a site where the local community and pilgrims traditionally pray for healings and fertility.

It was built by Assyrian king Sennacherib II as a penance for having his children Behnam and Sarah killed because they had converted to Christianity.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Urgent Appeal

"Christian families have been expelled from their houses and their valuables were stolen and ...their houses and property expropriated in the name of the Islamic State." 

Genghis Khan

"This has never happened in Christian or Islamic history. Even Genghis Khan or Hulagu didn't do this," Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako said. 
(Hulagu Khan led a Mongol army which sacked Baghdad in 1258, killing tens of thousands.)

An urgent message of 
Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Baghdad

To all who have a living conscience in Iraq and all the world
To the voice of moderate brother Muslims who have a voice in Iraq and all the world
To all who have a concern that Iraq could remain a country for all His Children
To all leaders of thought and opinion
To all who announce the freedom of the human being
To all protectors of the dignity of human beings and of religion

The control exercised by the Islamist Jihadists upon the city of Mosul, and their proclamation of it as an Islamic State, after several days of calm and expectant watching of events, has now come to reflect negatively upon the Christian population of the city and its environs.

The initial sign was in the kidnapping of the two nuns and 3 orphans who were released after 17 days. At the time, we experienced it as a flash of hope and as a clearing of the sky after the appearance of storm clouds.
Suddenly we have been surprised by the more recent outcomes which are the proclamation of an Islamic state and the announcement calling all Christians and clearly asking them to convert to Islam or to pay the jizyah (the tax all non- Muslims must pay while living in the land of Islam) – without specifying the exact amount. The only alternative is to abandon the city and their houses with only the clothes they are wearing, taking nothing else. Moreover, by Islamic law, upon their departure, their houses are no longer their properties but are instantly confiscated as property of the Islamic state.

In recent days, there has been written the letter ‘N’ in Arabic on the front wall of Christian homes, signifying ‘Nazara’ (Christian), and on the front wall of Shiite homes, the letter ‘R’ signifying ‘Rwafidh’ (Protestants or rejecters). We do not know what will happen in future days because in an Islamic state the Al-sharia or Islamic code of law is powerful and has been interpreted to require the issuance of new I.Ds for the population based on religious or sectarian affiliation.

This categorization based upon religion or sect afflicts the Muslims as well and contravenes the regulation of Islamic thought which is expressed in the Quran which says, “You have your religion and I have my religion” and yet another place in Quran states, “There is no compulsion in religion”. This is exactly the contradiction in the life and history of the Islamic world for more than 1400 years and in the co-existence with other different religions and nations in the East.

With all due respect to belief and dogmas, there has been a fraternal life between Christians and Muslims. How much the Christians have shared here in our East specifically from the beginnings of Islam. They shared every sweet and bitter circumstance of life; Christian and Muslim blood has been mixed as it was shed in the defense of their rights and lands. Together they built a civilization, cities, and a heritage. It is truly unjust now to treat Christians by rejecting them and throwing them away, considering them as nothing.
It is clear that the result of all this discrimination legally enforced will be the very dangerous elimination of the possibility of co-existence between majorities and minorities. It will be very harmful to Muslims themselves both in the near and the distant future.

Should this direction continue to be pursued, Iraq will come face to face with human, civil, and historic catastrophe.

We call with all the force available to us; we call to you fraternally, in a spirit of human brotherhood; we call to you urgently; we call to you impelled by risk and in spite of the risk. We implore in particular our Iraqi brothers asking them to reconsider and reflect upon the strategy they have adopted and demanding that they must respect innocent and weaponless people of all nationalities, religions, and sects.

The Holy Quran has ordered believers to respect the innocent and has never called them to seize the belongings, the possessions, the properties of others by force. The Quran commands refuge for the widow, the orphaned, the poor, and the weaponless and respect "to the seventh neighbor."

We call Christians in the region to act with reason and prudence and to consider and to plan everything in the best way possible. Let them understand what is planned for this region, to practice solidarity in love, to examine the realities together and so be able together to find the paths to build trust in themselves and in their neighbors. Let them stay close to their own Church and surround it; endure the time of trial and pray until the storm will be over.

 † Louis Raphael Sako 
Patriarch of Babylon for the Chaldean
 17 July 2014

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Regular Traditional Sunday Mass in Aberdeen

UPDATE: The Mass time in 11:15am, not 11:00am as previously advertised

 We are very pleased to announce that, at the request of Bishop Hugh Gillbert, OSB of Aberdeen, we, the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, will now be offering a regular Sunday Traditional Mass once a month in Aberdeen.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered according to the 1962 Missale Romanum on the second Sunday of every month in Sacred Heart Church, Aberdeen.

 The Traditional Mass will be celebrated at 11:15am.

If you would like to attend the Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form, please feel free to come on the Second Sunday of every month to:

Sacred Heart
Roman Catholic Church
15 Grampian Road, Torry
AB11 8ED

To keep up with any developments and to receive updates, please follow us on Facebook.

Cruise Orkney

 There are three large cruise liners coming into Orkney today with an aproximate total of 7000 tourists!  The shopkeepers will be pleased.

After Morning prayers this ship could be seen from Papa Stronsay making its approach to Kirkwall.  It is the MSC Magnifica.  At a build cost of $547 million, it weighs in at 95,128 tonnes.  Today it is carrying 2569 Passengers and 953 crew.
It was quite magnificent to see this huge vessel gliding along the usually empty horrizon.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Bonnie Prince in France

This year the image of the Bonnie Prince was chosen to lead the Scottish Chapter at the annual Chartres Pilgrimage. If you have never heard of the Chartres Pilgrimage, click on the link and see what it's all about.

The Scottish Chapter also took the Bonnie Prince as its name!  On returning from the pilgrimage, the organiser of the Scottish Chapter sent an email to relate the Bonnie Prince's success:

"Thank you so much for letting us carry Bonnie Prince Jesus for our banner. He was very much loved by the pilgrims at Chartres especially the French, so much so that he was chosen to lead the procession into Chartres Cathedral for the final Mass!
 We are already planning to return next year. I hope that we will be able to have the Bonnie Prince lead us again..."

 The Scottish Chapter members preparing to depart Edinburgh airport en route to Paris.  The Chapter was fortunate to have two of the Dominican sisters from Elgin as part of its number.

Scottish pilgrims stand with the Bonnie Prince out side the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, where the pilgrimage begins.

 The Scottish Chapter: Bonnie Prince Jesus!

 Walking on the Chartres Pilgrimage.

 Processing out of Chartres Cathedral after the final Mass at the end of the pilgrimage.  As the email said, The Bonnie Prince was honoured by leading the procession into the Cathedral, and thus is the last out at the end.

Posing for photos with the Bonnie Prince.

Thank you Team Scotland for taking the Bonnie Prince on the Chartres Pilgrimage!

Anyone in Scotland who might be interested to joining the Scottish Chapter on next year's Chartres Pilgrimage can keep an eye on the Chartres UK blog where all the information will be posted.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...