Friday, October 24, 2008

"American Soldier of the Little Oratory"

Although on the other side of the globe by distance, and a world away by culture, our Frater Ronaldus is still united with the Brotherhood in San Diego. Ronald is stationed in northeastern Afghanistan (location withheld), serving our country with the U.S. Army fighting in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), under command of the First Infantry Division (1st ID).

Afghanistan, almost unanimously Muslim, has sporadic pockets of tribal/animistic religions, a small Hindu population, and a comparable Christian population. Frater Ronald keeps united with the Brothers of the Little Oratory by daily prayer and good works. It may very well be the first time the Oratorian Spiritual Excercises have been prayed in this Islamic Republic, although the Land was under British control from 1839-1919. We’ll leave it to other researchers to see.

Saint Philip Neri, Patron Saint of the U.S. Army, Pray for us and Protect our Troops! HOOAH!
(Frater Ronald is shown in Afghanistan by his Humvee vechicle with his copy of the "Manual of the Little Oratory".)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Polyphony for 1st Vespers of All Hallows

1st Vespers of the Feast of All Hallows will feature a program of special polyphony contributed by members of the Bach Collegium San Diego. The program will include:

~ Claudio Monteverdi: "Magnificat" Primo Tuono ca.1610

~ Andrea Gabrielli: Antiphon "Angeli et Archangeli" (sung as the repeat of the Mag. antiphon).

~ T.L. de Victoria: Motet "O Quam Gloriosam" (sung as a motet at Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament).

Updates to the Musical Program will be published in coming days. All are welcome to attend this special liturgy which seeks to "Reclaim All Hallows' Eve for Christ" by returning Christian Substance to the secular Halloween celebration. Halloween may have its place in the calendar of worldly fun, but it is definately behind the procession of Saints whose lives and sacrifices have begun the work of building Christendom through the centuries.

Please join us on October 31st, 2008 at 7:00pm,
St. Anne's Church,
621 Sicard Street,
San Diego 92113

as we "Reclaim All Hallows' Eve for Christ!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Admission to the Little Oratory

The 7th of January A.D. 2007, was a memorable day for me. That was the day when I became a brother of the Little Oratory in London, through a beautiful ceremony that is recorded here:

On that day, during the Sunday Exercises, the candidates were blessed with a relic of St. Philip Neri and made Brothers by the Rev. Fr. Ronald Creighton-Jobe, Cong. Orat. Lond., who was impeccably assisted by Mr. James Cross. I am grateful to an Italian friend of mine, Federico, who had come to London with me and shot the movie of that happy event.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Reclaim All Hallows Eve for Christ!

The Brothers of the Little Oratory in conjunction with Fr. Carl Gismondi FSSP will celebrate 1st Vespers of the Feast of All Hallows (All Saints) at 7:00pm in the Church of St. Anne, 621 Sicard St., San Diego CA 92113.

For Catholics All Hallows Eve is about much more than just candy, tricks and treats, ghouls and goblins: it is a time to celebrate the golden array of Holies who shine around the throne of Almighty God. Parents, make All Hallows Eve into something truly important for your children. Encourage a costume of a Saint, rather than a spectre. "Reclaim All Hallow Eve for Christ" with us at St. Anne's on Oct. 31st. We hope to see you there!

Further information will be posted shortly.

A "Precious" Gift

A package arrived in (or on) my mailbox, recently. I knew from the sealing wax it must be from abroad, probably from England, and therefore likely had an Oratorian connection! The Brothers were duly informed of its (not entirely unexpected) arrival.

Last Monday night it was presented at the regular rehearsal. Some time was spent in speculating about its contents. What could it contain?

Imagine our delight to find within not only an example of a proper "fascia" with real Oratorian tassels (from Gammarelli's Ecclesiastical Tailors in Rome)...

...but probably the only Precious Blood robe on the North American Continent! The Precious Blood robe is meant to be worn in altar service, procession, and adoration, over collar and tie by members of the Archiconfraternity of the Precious Blood, established in England at the London Oratory by Fr. Faber in the 1860's. All Brothers of the Little Oratory at London are simultaneously enrolled at the time of their admission to the Brothers, and are entitled to wear the robe of the Archconfraternity.

The robes were recently renewed at London, and one was earmarked by a benefactor, and graciously sent over to the San Diego Brothers to be replicated. We hope to undertake this work as soon as possible and to have at least four to six completed by Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 2 February.

The San Diego Brothers are most grateful for this gift, and recognize fully the unusual degree of trust that has been placed in them to dispose of it constructively. We are indeed blessed, and hope to make the best use of this wonderful gift.

If you would like to contribute to the replication of the Precious Blood robes for the Brothers of the Little Oratory in San Diego, please contact us. All donations to the Brothers of the Little Oratory are fully TAX DEDUCTIBLE.