Tag Archive: pope benedict xvi


In a letter that Pope Benedict XVI sent to the bishops of the world on the occasion of the publication of his Apostolic Letter Summorum pontificum regarding the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the 1970 reform, the Holy Father expressed a hope that the Extraordinary Form (according to the 1962 books) and the Ordinary Form (according to the post-Vatican II reforms) would be “mutually enriching.”  That is, both forms have something to contribute to the way we celebrate, and further, that one has things to say to the other, thereby making each better.  This will be a slow and gradual process.

In this letter, the Holy Father was only speaking of the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms.  However, it seems to me that “mutual enrichment” is going to come from another source as well: the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans.  Their manner of celebrating the sacred liturgy has the potential to bring enrichment to the way we celebrate in non-ordinariate parishes.

The following photos, of liturgies from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the UK, speak for themselves, and I hope that some of these practices will “enrich” the celebration of the Ordinary Form generally.

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Bring on the mutual enrichment!  Coming to a parish near you …

I’ve just come across a nice reflection written by Archbishop Coleridge on the pilgrimage he and thirty others from the Archdiocese of Brisbane made for him to receive the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI.

You can read it here.

Please remember in your prayers our Archbishop, Mark Coleridge, who will receive the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.  Various representatives of the Archdiocese are present in Rome with him for the pallium ceremony.

The pallium is a band of fabric about two inches wide, made of white lamb’s wool, that circles the neck and hangs down in the front and back.  It is worn over the chasuble during Mass.  “The pallium signifies the power which the metropolitan, in communion with the Roman Church, has by law in his own province” (canon 437).

On the Feast of Saint Agnes in February each year, two lambs are blessed by the Pope, and the wool from these lambs are made by a group of nuns into the pallium, which is presented on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul to all those who have become Metropolitan Archbishops in the previous year.

Regions of the Church are broken up into ecclesiastical provinces.  Each province has a Metropolitan Archbishop, and then there are one or more suffragan sees/dioceses in the province.  Canon Law ascribes to the bishops of an ecclesiastical province certain responsibilities, e.g. every three years they are to compose a list of priests suitable for the office of bishop and send the list to the Apostolic See (c. 377), and to determine the offering to be given for the celebration and application of Mass (c. 952).   Canon 436 outlines the competencies of a Metropolitan Archbishop in his province.   The pallium may only be worn within the territory of the Metroplitan’s province.

Being made of lamb’s wool, I like to think of the pallium – which is worn over the shoulders – as a reminder that the Metropolitan Archbishop is to act like Christ the Good Shepherd, who cares for the flock, even carrying the sheep back to the safety of the pasture.

Lent with Pope Benedict

I saw a review of the book Lent with Pope Benedict XVI: Meditations for Every Day just recently, and then I saw it in the bookstore yesterday so I bought it.

There are many “daily reflection” books available, but this one stands out for me.  We are blessed to have Benedict XVI as our Pope, and he is a wonderful teacher of the faith.  This book allows the reader to be fed on the riches of that teaching.  The sample for each day of Lent is only about two pages and provides plenty of material to meditate on.

This book would be useful for anyone to use as spiritual reading for Lent, or as food for meditation in your daily prayer or holy hour.  It will also be useful for preachers.  It may even whet your appetite to delve more into the rich spiritual teaching of Benedict XVI.

More or less coinciding with the Year of Faith called for by Pope Benedict XVI, the Australian Bishops have called the Church in Australia to celebrate a Year of Grace from Pentecost 2012 to Pentecost 2013.  The Bishops see this Year as a chance to “start afresh from Christ” and to renew our contemplation of the face of Christ.

In a letter to Australia’s Priests and Deacons, Archbishop Philip Wilson, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, wrote:

“We make the same call to the members of your parishes and communities, to the Religious, and to all the agencies which are part of our mission – our schools and universities, our social justice and welfare organisations, our myriad committees and agencies.  We will challenge ourselves to keep asking the question: “What’s this got to do with Jesus?” 

We ask and invite ourselves to pray, to grow in prayer, to help others to pray and to pray better.  We hope you will share this challenge with us.

We will call ourselves to repentance for the areas in which we have failed, individually and corporately, by commission and omission.

And we will celebrate the gift of holiness, the gifts of the Spirit, with which the Father has blessed us through the Risen Lord.”

I’m interested to hear your practical suggestions of how we can achieve these goals that Archbishop Wilson mentions.   We can exhort people to pray – or deepen their prayer life – but would actually help you to do that?

What would help you to make Pentecost 2012 to Pentecost 2013 truly a Year of Grace that would draw you closer to Christ?

Leave a comment below!

See: Year of Grace – Starting Afresh from Christ

Archbishop Wilson’s message to Catholics in Australia: