Sunday, October 19, 2014


I spent some time in a Dominican community prior to becoming Orthodox. The community and people it ministered to were rather traditionally minded, while the Prior was much more contemporary.  I learned a great deal from Father Prior in my time associate with the community.  I had been ordained as a deacon rather young, and set on a study track with an eye towards canon law and administration.  My diaconate assignment was to serve as secretary to my bishop, a very traditional churchman, while I finished my studies toward ordination as well as secular studies. The archbishop was not fond of flying, so anytime he needed to go somewhere, it was usually by car, with me driving.  Cincinnati Ohio, Montreal, Nashua, Boston, Springfield, Hartford, New York and as far South as Richmond Virginia were all points that I knew well over a period of two years.   After ordination to the priesthood, I continued to serve as the archbishop's secretary and assistant. I knew policy and procedure, canon law, liturgy, administration and all of the personal problems, challenges, strengths and weaknesses of the clergy of the diocese. I didn't know squat about the pastoral care of souls.  When I preached, I read from my prepared text, usually a theological explanation of the readings of the Mass.  

Several issues in my life changed significantly and what was supposed to be a rather rapid climb up the ecclesiastical ladder came not only to a stop, but an outright fall to the ground.  There I was in the early ninety's entering a semi-contemplative community, a priest, bishop's secretary entering my canonical year as a novice, a beginner.  The man I entered with was almost thirty years my senior, not ordained, but had a treasure trove of ministry experience with the poor, sick and suffering.  He had served with Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity in Washington DC and New York City.  He was very down to earth and related very well to people in need. I was still detached, reading my sermon on the few times I was allowed to offer Mass and preach. (Father Prior though progressive in many ways, kept his novices humble.  Maybe I'll share more of my experiences in this community, and my pastoral education in a future another post.) 

The life and works of Pere Lataste were a significant part of novitiate. Mercy was a community motto in addition to "there is no past here, only the present and the future hope."  I was researching some information on one of the books I have an extra copy of that I listed on eBay this evening.  In my search I came upon the icon of Blessed Jean Joseph Lataste, OP that I posted above.  He has long been considered by many in the Dominican Community as the Apostle of Mercy and the Apostle of Prisons due to his ministry with women in prison as well as to those coming out of prison in the Seventeenth Century France.  At the time it was rare to encourage these women to enter a religious community of any kind, never mind allowing them to be treated as equals of the "choir sisters."  Pere Lataste was one of the first to do this. There is a recent book, the only one in English, about his life available for less than ten dollars you might consider reading.

Every night after Compline we chanted the Marian Antiphon (usually the Salve Regina) in Latin and then recited the Prayer of Father Lataste, after which began Grand Silence until after Mass the following morning. To this day, no matter what time I go to bed, the last prayer that passes my lips is this prayer of Pere Lataste. 

O my Jesus, I want to love you.  Give yourself to me and grant that I may give myself to you.  Make me one with you.  May my will be yours.  Unite me to you, so that I may live only in and for you.  Grant that I may spend for you, all that I received from you, keeping nothing for myself.  May I die to all for you and bring others to you.  O my Jesus, many others.  Amen.

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Thursday, September 04, 2014

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Prayer for the Defense of the Church & All Christians

In searching for prayers I compiled from different sources last year about this time titled for Protection from Persecution by Unbelievers & for their Conversion, I also happened upon the text of an email I sent to the clergy I am honored to serve. As the situation has not changed in the course of the last year, I share this with you, along with some of the prayers.  For those interested, I will try to have the full text of these prayers as well as the propers for the Votive Mass for the Defense of the Church on the archdiocesan website liturgical resources page(It might take a day or two.)
I share the original letter and some of the prayers with you here in the meantime.

A mosaic from the Church of Saint Clement in Rome

23 September 2013

Glory to Jesus Christ now and forever!
Please forgive this email blast intrusion into your email.  I try to avoid doing so  at all costs as I am aware how annoying they can be.  You are free to hit the delete button of course, but I would appreciate just few moments of your time.

No I am not asking for money!  It is much more important than that. I am asking for your prayers.

Violence against Christians,as well as other religious minorities, in the Middle East is increasing day by day.  Extremists Muslims are out of control and moderate Muslims, except for the few brave voices, are silent.  Perhaps because apathy, but more likely fear, because they are the "wrong kind" of Muslims who could be next on the terror list after the Christians are wiped out.

Some of you are active politically in your attempts to stop the violence and I applaud you for that. 

Our Lord instructs us that some demons can not be cast out as easily as others. When His disciples asked him privately why they were not able to cast the demons out of a boy,".. He said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."  Certainly those persecuting Christians are under the influence of the worst kind of evil.  Please join me in praying for those being tortured and killed.  Please join me in praying and fasting for the protection of those remaining and the conversion of those committing these atrocities.

The attached one page Prayers for Protection from Persecution by Unbelievers & for their Conversion is compiled from three sources;  the Byzantine Troparion (short hymn) of the Holy Cross, a litany of saints, the majority of whom were martyred by Muslims, and finally a modified version of the Third Collect of Good Friday from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

Should you find these prayers useful, you are free to disseminate them to the four winds.  All I ask is that you do so without modifying them.

Prayers for Protection from Persecution by Unbelievers 
& for their Conversion

O Lord, save Your people,
and bless Your inheritance!
Grant victory to all right believing Christians
over their adversaries,
and by virtue of Your cross,
preserve Your habitation.(1)

Our Lady of Victory; intercede for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel; defend us in battle.
Saint George, pray for us.
Saint Casilda of Toledo, pray for us.
Saints Abdon and Sennen, pray for us.
Saints Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us.
Saint Abo of Tiflis, Pray for us.
Saint Bashnouna, of Scetes, pray for us.
Saint Philotheos of Egypt, prayer for us
Saint Bernulf of Asti, pray for us.
Saint John of Syracuse, pray for us.
Saint Triantafyllos, pray for us.
Saint Filothei, pray for us.
Saint Cosmas of Aetolia, pray for us.
Saint Anthim the Iberian, pray for us.
Saints Adolphus and John, pray for us.
Holy Martyrs of Córdoba, pray for us.
Forty-two Holy Martyrs of Amorium, pray for us. (2)

O merciful God, who has made all men, and hates nothing that You have made, nor desires the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; have mercy upon all Infidels, and Heretics, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of Your Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to Your flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, unto the ages of ages. Amen.(3)

(1) Troparion of the Holy Cross
(2) Litany of Saints (except Our Lady, St. Michael and St. George) all were martyred by Muslims
(3) 1662 BCP Third Prayer of Good Friday
Compiled by Abp. Dominic Martin, 2013, Mustard Tree Publications, Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of St. Titus

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mobile Blog Posting

Found an app that will allow me to blog from my tablet. Thought I might try it out. Maybe this will help me blog more regularly.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


It is regular practice in most Orthodox Churches to remember the saints native to or who served in their lands, on the second Sunday after Pentecost, which according to Old English rendering is the first Sunday after the Feast of the Holy Trinity. 

Troparion — Tone 8

As the bountiful harvest of Your sowing of salvation, / The lands of North America offer to You, O Lord, all the saints who have shone in them. / By their prayers keep the Church and our land in abiding peace / Through the Theotokos, O most Merciful One.

Kontakion — Tone 3

Today the choir of Saints who were pleasing to God in the lands of North America / Now stands before us in the Church and invisibly prays to God for us. / With them the angels glorify Him, / And all the saints of the Church of Christ keep festival with them; / And together they all pray for us to the Pre-Eternal God.
From the OCA website where you will also find a brief synopsis of the events in their lives.

 Come, let us praise the Saints of North America,
Holy hierarchs, venerable monastics and glorious martyrs,
pious men, women and children, both known and unknown.
Through their words and deeds in various walks of life,
by the grace of the Spirit they achieved true holiness.
As they now stand in the presence of Christ who glorified them,
they pray for us who celebrate their memory in love.

Come, let us assemble today,
and glorify the luminaries of the North American lands,
the glorious martyrs and holy bishops who confirmed our Faith,
the righteous dwellers in the wilderness,
and guides of the spiritual life.
Let us cry out to them in joy:
O All Saints of North America, known and unknown, pray to God for us.

As the brightest sun, as the brilliance of the morning star,
the precious feast of the Saints of North America has dawned for us,
to illumine us and to set our hearts on fire,
to imitate their godly lives,
and to follow their example of zeal for God.

Come let us assemble today,
and let us praise the elect of North America.
Having fought the good fight you have persevered in the Faith,
receiving your crowns of victory from God.
Beseech Him to deliver from every calamity and sorrow,
all who keep your holy memory in faith and love.

The principle observance for June 22 is the First Sunday after Trinity, according to the Sarum Missal.

O God, the strength of all them that put their trust in Thee; mercifully accept our prayers; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without Thee, grant us the help of Thy grace, that in keeping of Thy commandments we may please Thee, both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Spirit even one God, unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O God, Who renews us who are created  after Thine own Image, both by the Sacraments and by precepts, mercifully accept the prayers and gifts of Thy suppliants, that, what trust in their own merits cannot secure, these propitiatory offerings may obtain for them. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, through all the ages of ages. Amen.

Epistle 1 John 4: 8-21 
Gospel Luke 16: 19-21

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Sunday, April 20, 2014


Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

I am risen and am still with you, alleluia: You have laid your hand upon me, alleluia; your knowledge is become wonderful, alleluia, alleluia. V  Lord, you have searched me, and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up.  V. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning is now and unto the ages of ages. Amen.  I am risen and am still with you, alleluia: You have laid your hand upon me, alleluia; your knowledge is become wonderful, alleluia, alleluia (Introit)


Hail Light and Source of the highest glory: God have mercy.
R/.  Lord have mercy upon us.
By Whose command all things are ordered, have mercy.
R/.  Lord have mercy upon us.
Thou alone canst bring mercy.
R/.  Lord have mercy upon us.
O Redeemer of men who art Salvation, have mercy.
R/.  Christ have mercy upon us.
Who by thy Cross we have been redeemed, have mercy.
R/.  Christ have mercy upon us.
Whose Word is light, whose Light sows truth, from whose truth blooms piety, have mercy.
R/.  Christ have mercy upon us.
O God, Holy Spirit and Comforter, have mercy.
R/.  Lord have mercy upon us.
O Thou loving-kindness, healing ointment, have mercy.
R/.  Lord have mercy upon us.
O Holy Trinity One God, have everlasting mercy.
R/.  Lord have mercy upon us.

May almighty God bless you by the intervention of today's Paschal solemnity, and may he be pleased to defend you from all evil, in His compassion.  R. Amen.

And may he that by the Resurrection of His Only begotten restored you to eternal life clothe you, at his coming, in the joys of immortality.  R. Amen.

And may you that, after the days of fasts and of the Lord's Passion, celebrate the joys of the Paschal Festival, come with his help, and with exulting souls, to those feasts which are not kept annually but eternally.  R. Amen.

Which may he deign to grant, whose kingdom and dominion abides world without end, unto the ages of ages.       R. Amen.

May the blessings of almighty God, of the + Father, and of the +Son, and of the Holy + Ghost, and His peace, descend upon you, and remain with you always.  R. Amen.

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