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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Chad Varah, Anglican vicar RIP

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has some explaining of his own to do at St Peter's Gate , after Luther who called the Pope a donkey and Galileo the Pope a dunce, to show the paucity of their theological arguments.

He had conceived, at the age of 9, the idea of a land called Refugia which would provide a homeland for all dispossessed and fugitive peoples; and referred to the Pope as “a good holy man, but Public Enemy No 3 or 4”

for his obduracy on contraception, telling The Sunday Telegraph in 1993: “It was a great mistake to make an ignorant Polish peasant into a Pope.”


What is the point of running around in a Pelagian frenzy of good works and not have a good word to say about the Vicar of Christ on earth? While I may have some reserve about Pope John Paul II's use of personalist philosophy, an ignorant peasant he was not.

Google blogsearch makes a mistake

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As they make the Church of England a Catholic Church. But they do put Cathcon at the top. Typing Catholic Church into google gives Cathcon place 30, so must be doing something right.



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Carnage in Buffalo

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Chautauqua church closing recommendations sent to bishop

"Thirteen Catholic parishes in northern Chautauqua County would be reduced to six under a restructuring plan being forwarded to Bishop Edward U. Kmiec. A Diocese of Buffalo commission appointed by Kmiec more than two years ago made the recommendations, based upon suggestions brought forth by parishioners and priests in the region, which stretches from Silver Creek to Ripley and includes the City of Dunkirk and the village of Fredonia. Among the churches slated to close under the plan are St. Hedwig in Dunkirk, St. Joseph in Fredonia, Immaculate Conception in Cassadaga and St. Thomas More in Ripley. Kmiec will make the final decision on the closures."

Blessed Dominic Barberi – England's Second Apostle

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An article by my wife.
Nobody has shown greater love for England and nobody could have suffered as much for the conversion of England than the Passionist monk Dominic Barberi, or Domenico della Madre di Dio, as he was called in Italy. The crown of his many achievements was the conversion of John Henry Newman, one of the leading Anglicans of his day to Catholicism. Dominic's whole life was a sequence of events that can only point to the mysterious ways of Divine Providence. This gives grounds for hope that Our Lord has not forsaken England, his Mother's Dowry, and that one day this country may be returned to the Catholicism brought by the first Apostle of England, St Augustine of Canterbury.

Biographies usually start with the date of birth, details of parents and early childhood. But in the case for Dominic Barberi, we cannot do this! Our starting point must be prior to his birth, in fact, forty years before, with Paul Danei, later St Paul of the Cross, (1694 – 1775) who was the founder of the Congregation of the Discalced Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, better known as the 'Passionists'. St Paul of the Cross had a great love for England and prayed all his life for the conversion of England to the Catholic faith, although he did not know when and how this might be achieved. Towards the end of his life, when kneeling at the altar of Our Lady in the Church of San Carlo in Castellazzo in Ventrella, he had a vision in which he saw the monks of his Order transported to England converting the English people.

When a few decades later the Passionist Order was dissolved under Napoleon I, this extraordinary vision must have appeared an even more wishful dream than at the time of St Paul of the Cross. There seemed little hope of the Order's re-establishment, and even less the prospect of going to England, as their funds were depleted and the Passionist monks were scattered, taking refuge wherever they could. Dominic Barberi, as a young boy, encountered some of the these Passionists-in-exile sheltering near his home town in Merlano. He later said that he felt strangely touched when he saw their black habit with a prominent emblem of a white heart with a cross and the inscription 'JESU XPI PASSIO' and he had a strong premonition that one day he, too, would wear this very same habit.

In 1813, he had the first call from Our Lord, when he was told that he was destined, "to announce the truths of the Gospel and bring back stray sheep to the way of salvation " . A startling and strange message that did not specify exactly where these 'strayed sheep' were. Dominic's first thoughts were, possibly in China or America.

A year later, in 1814, after he was accepted as a lay brother by the Passionists, and when he was kneeling at the same altar of Our Lady in the Church of San Carlo, just where St Paul of the Cross had knelt before him forty years before, a voice told Dominic that "he would not remain a lay brother, but would begin his studies as a cleric forthwith, and enter after six years on the apostolic ministry. He was to labour not in China or America, but in North-West Europe, especially in England."

Dominic was stupefied. In the first instance, he could not see how, without education, he could be ordained a priest and secondly, that his Order would send him as a missionary to Northern Europe, at a period, when, after the Napoleonic suppression, their priorities were of a different nature. In fact, both St Paul's vision and Blessed Dominic's vision, seemed to belong to the realm of dreams which could not be fulfilled.

Let us examine the many other extraordinary factors and combinations that are difficult to explain in Dominic's life. First of all, who had instilled in him this passionate love for England; after all, England was a country he could hardly have known anything about. Why should an Italian from a sunny climate near Rome have such a passionate desire to go to a rainy and grey island in Northern Europe to convert its people?

The more we look at Dominic' s life, the more we find that many incidents, however small and unremarkable at first, later assumed a new perspective with powerful repercussions. These incidents were like building blocks that fitted neatly into an overall pattern determined by Divine Providence. Let us just imagine, if Napoleon had not suspended the Passionist Order, how likely would Dominic have come across the Passionist habit in the streets of Merlano? What if Dominic had been drafted into Napoleon's army for the march on Russia in 1812? If he had, he probably would have perished in the Russian winter. What made the Father General of the Passionists depart from the Order's strict ruling, not to change the status of entrants into the Order, and allow Dominic to study for the priesthood? What if Dominic had not been transferred by his Order to Rome in 1830? He would not have met The Hon George Spencer, his later successor! What if the Passionist Order had not received the generous offer of a retreat house in Belgium and later on in England? And, what if Dominic had, after all, not been chosen to head up the foreign mission?

The long period of 28 years of waiting with its many disappointments and set backs - he called them 'crosses' - served in a unique way to prepare Dominic for the precarious situation later on in England, when he had to draw on all his past experiences as well as his mental and physical resources to meet the challenges of so much adversity. With hindsight, it can be said that all the trials he had to master in Italy were shaping and moulding him to become England's great Apostle. He could not have been equipped better! There were the many missions and retreats that he had preached to Catholics in Italy which prepared him for the challenge later on in England to deliver them to non- or to lapsed Catholics. When in Ceprano, Italy, cholera had broken out and he was sent by his monastery to help with the sick and dying, Dominic learned how to deal with it. A similar situation arose in England in 1845 and 1846, when cholera broke out amongst the Irish immigrants who hade been swarming into England in search for food and work. And when, upon his arrival in Belgium, he found an empty house, with no furniture, he had coped with an identical situation before in Lucca where the new monastery was empty.

Let us briefly return to the beginning of Dominic Barberi's life. He was born in Palanzana near Viterbo, in the Papal States of Italy on June 22 1792. He was the youngest in a family of eight and as the youngest had the most to lose when his father died early on, followed by the death of his mother at the age of 11. He often talked about his mother in later life and it seemed that it was she, who had instilled in him a profound religious conviction and a deep devotion to Our Lady. His parents were not rich, but they were not poor either. They owned their own farm and their work was hard, but there was always plenty of food. The one thing he lacked was a school education, as most peasants at that time could not see any use in it. After his mother died, Dominic was adopted by his childless uncle and aunt, also farmers, who did their best to provide the orphan with a loving home.

Nothing stood in Dominic's way of settling down on their farm and getting married, especially after he had met a suitable girl. In 1812, however, he had made a vow to Our Lady that he would become a Passionist monk, if his lot was not drawn and he was not drafted into Napoleon's army. By drawing a high number he avoided being conscripted. But once this danger was averted, he tried to make excuses to himself and to Our Lady. An inner voice told him that he must keep his vow, yet Dominic was not prepared to listen and had to undergo great pains and struggles, until he finally cut his ties with the girl and asked to be accepted by the Passionist Order as a lay postulant. But these were difficult times for the Order and they could only ask their would-be entrants to wait due to the prevailing uncertainties.

He did not have to wait too long, because in 1814, the Passionists were re-established by the Pope and Dominic was accepted as a novice in Paliano. His monastic life began in a similar way to the way it ended. There was no room for him when he arrived and he had to spend his first night in the outhouse . Thirtyfive years later when he was dying in England, no room could be found for him at the railway station in Pangbourne, as it was suspected he had cholera and everyone was afraid of infection.

It had already been mentioned that the Order had a strict rule not to change the status of their entrants. His own elder brother, Adeodato, for example, followed Domenico as a lay brother into the same monastery, and he stayed a lay brother throughout his life . Dominic's intelligence and capabilities were recognised early on and his immediate superior asked the Father General to make an exception and to change his status and enter him as a cleric. Permission was granted in view of his exceptional ability, provided the local Chapter unanimously voted in favour of it. However, the Father Provincial was on his annual visitation and the whole voting procedure could have been in jeopardy, as it was known that he was averse to any change in status, so it was decided to postpone the voting, which then only took place after the Provincial had left. This assured a unanimous vote and Dominic could begin his study for the priesthood He proved a talented and diligent student with great ability and was ordained in 1818. The first part of his vision had thereby been fulfilled.

His devotion and love for Our Lady became deeper after his mother had died. He wrote that, as he was now motherless, he begged Our Lady to adopt him as her son.

"You see that I am deprived of a mother on earth, so now it is up to you to be my Mother. To you I commit myself, in you I trust, from today you shall be my Mother."

He approached her confidently and addressed her gently with 'Mamma'. There is a particularly touching account of his feeling of unworthiness, when as a newly ordained priest he was celebrating his first Mass and he confided in Our Lady his fears:

"When I am about to celebrate [Mass], how I long to have your heart as a fitting resting place for my Jesus, your hands with which to touch Him, and your voice to summon Him to the holy altar. But I have neither your voice, nor your hands, nor your heart…."

It was noted that whenever he entered a room and there was a picture or statue of Our Lady, she would be the first he would see and greet. She was consulted by him on all important matters and he would spend long hours in prayer in front of her altar.

He was soon appointed professor of scholastic philosophy in 1821 in Ventrella and recalled to Rome in 1829 to become professor of theology. He was a discerning scholar and excellent lecturer, who decided to write his own philosophy and theology text books. His stay in Rome was another example in an extraordinary chain of events. He was asked by his Superior to assist Sir Harry Trelawney, who was residing at the Dominican convent of Santa Sabina in Rome, to teach him the prayers and ceremonies of the Mass. Sir Harry was a convert to Catholicism who was preparing to receive his ordination. It was never ascertained as to why Dominic Barberi was asked to perform this task, but the Passionist monastery of Saints John and Paul on the Celian Hill was nearby, and Dominic's intense love for England was well known by his superiors. (He asked all his students to pray three Hail Marys for the conversion of England after his lectures.) It may have been overlooked by his superiors that he could not speak English, and, therefore, he could not communicate with Sir Harry. But translators were found at the nearby English College in the persons of The Hon George Spencer and Ambrose de Lisle Phillipps. These three men were, in fact, the first real Englishmen Dominic Barberi ever met. They were going to play decisive roles later in Dominic's life, in the furtherance of Catholicism in England, in a way that could hardly have been foreseen by them all. The Hon. George Spencer, the youngest son of the Earl of Althorp, had been an Anglican minister, converted to Catholicism and was re-training for the priesthood at the English College in Rome. Ambrose Phillipps, was a Catholic convert and close friend, also staying at the English College. Both were delighted to meet an Italian monk with such a passionate love for England who was tirelessly praying for its conversion and who was waiting to be sent there as a missionary. They themselves had great hopes that England would soon return to the 'faith of their fathers', encouraged by the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, that seemed to lift many of the restrictions for Catholics in England. They unwittingly conveyed to Dominic a false impression of the conditions in England, by putting a romantic gloss on them and leading themselves and him to believe that a revival of Catholicism in England was imminent and easy to hand.

It is no wonder when, Dominic delighted to be in such congenial company, began to think that the fulfilment of his visions was now very near. Was it not Divine Providence that had lead him to meet these three important Englishmen in Rome? He could not have known at that stage that he was to have to wait another eleven years.

During his stay in Rome, Dominic showed to Ambrose Phillipps his essay entitled 'Lamentations of England', which he had written. Ambrose Phillipps was so delighted with it that he translated it into English and paid for its publication. It is based on the Lamentations of Jeremiah, which were always read at the first Nocturn during Holy Week, and which were adapted by Dominic, as he felt they equally apply to England. Just as Jeremiah had wept over the ruins of Jerusalem, so does England weep over her spiritual ruin.

The essay shows a diversity of style and expression, as it was written at different periods and it can be divided into three parts. The first part was written during Holy Week of 1825.

"We have sinned against thee, …we have abandoned thy holy spouse, the Catholic Church, …we have erred, O Lord, we have forfeited the title of they children."

and more specific:

"Our temples were built by our ancestors and dedicated, thy divine majesty, thy select people … we have been seized and polluted by strangers, by the followers of Calvin and Cranmer…",

begging God for mercy:

"Behold, O Lord, if though willt accomplish this, new temples shall be raised to the honour of thy name, and new altars and sacrifices also shall be offered acceptable unto thee, even the sacrifice of Jesus in the Eucharist…"

The second part of the 'Lamentations' was written in 1827, when, to quote Dominic "the writer was immersed in grief at not seeing even a ray of hope with regard to the state of England" . In it, Dominic not only identifies with Jeremiah, but appeals directly to God for his compassion to put England out of her misery:

"When will arrive the time of the Divine mercies? I know that a thousand years in the presence of God are but one day, but for me it is not so, to whom indeed the delay of but one day seems as if it were a thousand years…"

In part three, which was written after the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1829, whilst Dominic rejoices in it, he states that:

" …my object was not merely to witness the Emancipation of the Catholics in England alone, but the return of the entire kingdom to the bosom of the Catholic Church."

Ambrose Phillipps forwarded the published essay to John Henry Newman. We do not know what Newman thought of it at the time, but its direct appeal and its highly emotional language could not have failed to leave a profound impression.

'The Lamentations of England' give us also an inkling of how serious and single-minded Dominic must have been. His hopes of being sent to England, however, were yet again dampened, when in 1831, after the many conversations and meetings with the three English converts in Rome, he was appointed Rector at a newly established Passionist foundation in Lucca. It was in Lucca, where for the first time he left the lecture room and became involved in organising and giving retreats to both clergy and nuns as well as leading missions, an all important task that served him well later in England. In 1832, the newly ordained Father Spencer, visited Dominic in Lucca briefly which he passed on his return to England. Dominic's sadness at Father Spencer's departure can be seen from the letter he wrote to the Revd. Ford:

"… he [George Spencer] is to depart to England, whither he will bear with him the half of my heart, if not, indeed, the whole…I may venture to say that, loving England as tenderly as I do, my heart is more there than in Italy or in Lucca…"

Dominic's hopes were once more dashed, when in 1833, he was first appointed Consultor, then Provincial for the Southern Province, which brought about his transferral to Rome in 1837. Instead of moving further north, towards England, he was moved further to the south. In addition, the news about England was not encouraging. The letter he received from the Father General, recognised Dominic's 'boundless confidence and courage' with respect to a foreign mission in England, but thought that Dominic would not stand the strain involved. The letter he received from Father Spencer, shows how disheartened and depressed Spencer was about England, as he realised the many practical difficulties and obstacles there would be in the mission to England. He wrote to Dominic:

"From a distance, as from Rome, one does not see these things so plainly…
… 'I know that in a day, God is able to change the face of this whole country, I find it not easy to imagine this being done… seeing with my own eyes… the marks of worldly mindedness and of an unbelieving proud spirit which the new religion of Protestantism has engendered here…"

In fact, the interior voice that had told Dominic in 1813 'I have chosen you to announce the truths of faiths to many nations', seemed to have promised something that was unachievable both for him and his Order.

But however dismayed Spencer must have been when writing the above letter, he soon recovered and joined Ambrose Phillipps and Lord Clifford in Paris, enlisting the help from Archbishop Msgr de Quélin for a prayer crusade for the conversion of England. The idea was enthusiastically received and other countries like Holland, Italy, Germany, Belgium and Ireland as well as other religious Orders joined in consistent prayers and the offering of Masses. Slowly practical offers of help were added to the prayers. In 1839, the General Chapter of the Passionists, under the leadership of a new Father General, voted to take up the offer of the use of a Chateau in Belgium, with the prospect of setting up a foundation in Aston Hall, England, at a future date. They voted in favour of Belgium for setting up their first foundation outside Italy, because they received this offer through Abbé Bernard, who had been known to them for many years. He had been very keen to get the Passionists established in his native France, but the Vicar General in France considered this unwise as the French government was not forthcoming on issuing a formal approbation. With France out of the question, Abbé Bernard secured for them the house in Belgium via the Bishop of Tournai.

At last, it seemed that Dominic's fervent prayers were answered and he was near the fulfilment of his visions. The Chapter drew up a list of names for those who were to depart for Belgium. To everyone's surprise, and this included Dominic, his name was not on the list; instead, he was elected Provincial for the South for a second time, an appointment that was for a period of three years. Dominic's disappointment must have been great, but confident in God's Divine Providence, he was heard to say: 'The General will change his mind. Without me, they will not set out – I have to go with them.'

The very next day a letter arrived from the Father General telling Dominic to give up his office as Provincial immediately and to return to Rome. He was appointed Superior for the new foundation, Belgium. Dominic's appointment preceded an extraordinary sequence of events. It seems that Father General's first choice, Fr Anthony had asked to be dispensed from the task of leading the first mission outside Italy, which in itself was unusual, as he would be bound by obedience to carry out what was asked of him. Fr Anthony's request was granted. This is how it came about that on May 26 1840, Dominic and three other religious left Italy with the destination Belgium. Dominic took it for granted that from there he would proceed to England and he wrote: 'I am going to the land I have desired to see for so many years… things at last turn out as God has disposed ab aeterno…'

Dominic Barberi was not the perfect candidate for a mission. He lacked the one thing that was vital for a mission to a foreign land: the native language. Although a good linguist – he knew Latin, Greek and had acquired a reasonable command of French during the French occupation of the Papal State, he found the language difficult, especially the pronunciation . It is reported that people listening to him during his first years in England, were often more struck with the unusualness of his person and the appealing tone of his voice than with his actual words that he pronounced in a strange way. He was short and stocky in stature and did not strike an imposing figure. He had never travelled beyond the borders of Italy and had no experience of people and their customs outside Italy. The only Protestant he had ever met was in Rome, the Revd. Ford, an Anglican clergyman and friend of Father Spencer. The other three Englishmen he had met in Rome, were aristocrats and Catholic converts; they were in no way representative of the English people.

And yet, he has had a remarkable career. He had risen from lay brother to priest and from professor of theology and philosophy, to Rector, Consultor and Provincial. He had become a perfect religious by his outstanding self contempt and self-sacrificing charity. He had given numerous retreats and missions and had preached many sermons. His style was simple and direct. His academic ability was outstanding and of such discernment that he recognised heretical principals in the writings of de Lamennais, five years before the latter was officially condemned by the Pope The only other writer who recognised this before the public condemnation was John Henry Newman.


But, nevertheless, Dominic was chosen and it seems that appearance and language presented no barrier for Divine Providence!

Let us now join Dominic in Belgium, where he arrived on May 27 1840 with Father Seraphim, Father Piero and Brother Crispino. It had been a long and arduous journey via Marseilles, Dijon, Lille and Froidmont. Due to the anti-clerical feeling in France they were advised to wear plain travelling cloaks over their conspicuous monastic habit, but they soon found their fears unfounded, especially in the countryside, where people stopped and asked for their blessing. The Chateau, given to them free of rent by the Baroness de Croeser, was devoid of any furniture and they had to ask for temporary accommodation with the Brothers of Charity at Froidmont, until they could get the bare necessities. Several weeks later the four Passionists were able to move into the former hunting lodge amidst three acres of gardens and woodland. It had a small oratory, but no chapel. They had to walk for their daily Mass several kilometres on a muddy country lane to the nearest village of Wez every day. They needed the Bishop of Tournai's permission, to reserve the Blessed Sacrament at the Chateau, and to hear confessions. When they called on the Bishop of Tournai, he was not too pleased with their peasant-like appearance; he gave them permission to reserve the Blessed Sacrament, but had his reservations about them hearing confessions. He considered that this request was probably beyond their capability and asked Dominic to undergo an examination in moral theology. It was soon discovered that the Bishop's fears were unfounded and that Dominic was an eminent professor who could not only answer all the questions, but – due to his excellent memory – could give exact references to the various authors and their text books.

In addition there was, however, the problem of finance. They had arrived penniless in a strange land where their Order and their conspicuous habit were unknown. They could not beg for money . Dominic relied totally on Divine Providence, as his report to the Father General states: "Although I can see no earthly sources on which I rely for aid, but God will provide. The God who feeds the sparrows will not let us die of hunger." Somehow donations and furniture found their way to them, often from the most unexpected sources, as the letter written by Father George Spencer to Dominic Barberi, dated March 5 1840, illustrates:

"I have done nothing but mention your intended settlement in a Catholic magazine, and without me asking for contributions, some sums have been sent to me voluntarily, in all amounting to thirty pounds sterling…"

Dominic's first concern was to furnish the chapel, then to start with the regular night- and day- choir observance, and to open a novitiate thereafter. He and his companions became more and more proficient in the French language, which enabled them to undertake assignments for preaching, retreats and hearing confessions.

During this time he kept up his correspondence with his English friends and upon the invitation of Bishop Wiseman, it was proposed he should go to England, to inspect Aston Hall, the prospective Passionist foundation. Dominic's later account of that journey shows that he was once more warned about the many setbacks and trials that he was to suffer in England.

"When I came to Boulogne and went to say my prayers, I received great favours from the Lord, but was told at the same time that I should be prepared to suffer great tribulations, the nature of which was not revealed to me."

He travelled to Oscott via Boulogne, Folkestone, London and Birmingham to meet Bishop Wiseman. It was in many ways an illuminating journey for Dominic, because as he stepped off the boat in Folkestone on November 5 1840, there were shouts and cheers in celebration of Guy Fawkes and effigies of the Pope were burned everywhere. He could have never witnessed anything like this before. At Oscott, he was told that he could not see Aston Hall, as it was occupied at the moment by a priest who had refused to leave and Bishop Wiseman thought it best that the priest should not feel pressurised through Dominic's presence. Meeting his old friend, Father Spencer, who was teaching at Oscott, must have been some compensation to Dominic. There was little else for him to do, so he travelled to Grace Dieu, in Leistershire, where his other acquaintance from Rome, Ambrose Phillipps, was residing. There he met Mr Phillipps' personal chaplain, Dr Gentili, a Rosminian, and Dominic decided to accompany him on his missions, to see for himself what a mission in a Protestant country was like. He wrote to the Father General about his experience: 'On that occasion a poor Protestant walked seven miles to hear Gentili preach… and in the town from where he came, there is not a single Catholic! Poor people! To make them Catholics, all they need is someone to instruct them with zeal and charity…'

Dismayed and disappointed, Dominic had no choice, but to return to Belgium after his six week stay in England. Back in Belgium things were looking up. Dominic was much in demand and was asked to preach in Valenciennes, Boulogne and Lommelet. The Father General sent a further four Italian priests and one Brother, among them Father Seraphim, the Master of Novices.

Still in Belgium, Dominic's hopes of a rapid conversion of England were once more fuelled by a new movement that had started in Oxford. He had come across an article in 'L'Univers' in April 1841, in which the anonymous author was at pains to explain the Tractarian movement, as this new movement was called. Dominic decided to respond in Latin, and addressed it 'Letter to the Oxford Professors', but did not to send it to 'L'Univers' for publication. Instead he sent it as a private letter to Father George Spencer, with the request to forward it to the relevant person or persons. Spencer re-addressed it to Mr Bloxam, who in turn passed it on to John Dobree Dalgairns, the latter was, in fact, the anonymous author of the article in 'L'Univers'.

Dominic's response, dated May 5 1841, is a powerful appeal to the mind and emotions. Let us first examine its emotional language, which, even in nineteenth century terms, is highly unusual in its directness and undisguised passion. Dominic started with the assurance of his love for them:

"Did you know, beloved brethren, how many prayers I myself have said, … how many souls have I found in Italy, of every age and sex, who never cease praying for you! … not only to pour out prayers, but their very life's blood if need be, for your return to the Church!"

and:

"Tell me, dear brethren, what is the sacrifice you would wish me to make for you?… And trusting in God's assistance, I will make it. I wish God would grant me the favour of giving my life for your conversion! …Since I cannot shed my blood, permit me to shed my tears…"

If we next examine Dominic's argumentation, it displays a remarkable knowledge of the 39 Articles contained in the Book of Common Prayer and the Tracts.

In Article XIX, he questions the statement as to the liability of error and he writes:

"Can protestations be forbidden against a Church which derives her origin from protesting? If Luther, Calvin and Cranmer were justified in protesting against the Universal Church, why is it not permitted to me to protest against a particular one? Will you excommunicate them? They have a right then to complain of your injustice, as your fathers complained of the injustice of Trent and the tyranny of the Supreme Pontiff."

He compares Article XXVIII on the transubstantiation with the definition of the Council of Trent (Session XIII, Canon 2) and remarks:

"The question is not merely about the word Transubstantiation, but about the changing of the substance of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, a thing our Church confesses, and your formulary denies."

To Dalgairns' complaint that 'he is little satisfied with the 39 Articles and considers them a burden', Dominic's reply is simple:

"You have borne indeed, and long enough, those loads, but why, I beseech you, why do you continue carrying them? Who can compel you to go on burdened any longer!."

Finally, Dominic urges them not to delay their decision:

"Ah, beloved brethren, the grace of the Holy Spirit knoweth not tardy delays. Be not slow to be converted to God, do not put it off from day to day, for suddenly His wrath will come… I rejoice exceedingly in your progress, but my joy is not full. I beg therefore that my joy may be full, and that yours may be increased…"

The importance of Dominic's 'Letter to the Oxford Professors' cannot be stressed enough, because this letter was read out by Dalgairns to the small community at Littlemore, lead by Newman, the latter being already acquainted with Dominic's 'Lamentations of England'. Dominic could have had little idea that his letter would become the starting point for a lengthy correspondence and lasting friendship between him and John Dobree Dalgairns, that would eventually lead Dalgairns and then Newman to be received into the Catholic Church.

Baroness de Croeser decided in 1841 to pass her Chateau on to the Passionists as an outright gift . This gift allowed the Passionists to draw up plans for a large church next to the house. At last, on October 5 1841, Dominic and one other Passionist said goodbye and left for England. They left behind six Passionists and two novices. In Belgium was to be a novitiate, from which the religious could spread to other countries. At the time when Dominic left, the foundations for the new church were laid and he could watch the building progress year after year when he returned on his annual visitation.

Dominic's joy must have been overwhelming. Finally, in his fiftieth year, his second vision, that he would go to England, was to be fulfilled, and with it, the prophecy of St Paul of the Cross would be accomplished. A passage of the letter he wrote to the Revd. Ford dated November 10 1841 from Oscott reflects his great joy and gratitude:

"After 28 years of desire, His Divine Majesty has vouchsafed to grant my prayers. I shall never be able sufficiently to thank the Divine Goodness for so great a favour. My duty is to do all I can; I will therefore seek to employ all my weak powers for the glory of God and for the salvation of my dear brethren in Jesus Christ."

Although Dominic was in many ways well prepared, nothing could have prepared him for what he was to encounter in England. He was going to a people that were roughly divided into two groups. There was the Protestant majority who had strayed from the Catholic faith and had adopted a fiercely anti-Catholic stance and hatred of anything foreign. And there was the small Catholic minority, known as recusants, who had for centuries been subjected to persecution and accused of disloyalty to the nation. They had been practising their Faith privately with downcast resignation. How were these two groups to receive him? How would they react to this committed and passionate Catholic missionary from Italy?





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O Lord, have mercy
on the suffering of the Poor
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Even those who have done harm to me,
All, by you, Lord, who are particularly loved,
All, who most longed for you,
All, who suffer most,
All, who are furthest from liberation,
All, who have received the least assistance,
all, who have most served the Church,
All the rich, who are the poorest,
The powerful, who are now as the lowest servants,
The blind, who now see their foolishness,
The idle who wasted their time,
The poor, who have not searched for the richness of God,
The onlookers, who prayed so little,
Those with burdens, who missed so much work,
Those weak in Faith, who have neglected the Holy Sacraments,
Those who sin habitually, who can only be saved by a miracle of grace
Parents who do not take care of their children,
Those in power, who cared not for the salvation of their subordinates,
The poor people, who sought neither money nor pleasure,
The worldly minded, who did not put their money or talents at the disposal of heaven,
The proud, who saw so many die, but did not consider their own death,
Those who do not keep their house in order and who are not prepared for the long journey,
All those who you will most strictly judge, with whom you have entrusted the greatest matters,
Popes, kings and princes,
The bishops and their advisers,
Teachers and spiritual shepherds,
The deceased priests of this diocese,
The priests of the whole Catholic Church,
The defenders of the Holy Faith,
Those solders fallen on the battlefields,
Those who have drowned at sea,
Those who have drowned in a flood,
Those who leave this world without the Sacraments,
All, who die today or tomorrow.
My own poor soul, when it appears before you in the heavenly court.
Lord, give everyone eternal rest, and let light perpetual shine upon them.
Gloria Patri….

Published with ecclesiastical approval in the Diocese of Linz prior to the Council.

German original.

O Herr, erbarme Dich der armen leidenden
Seelen und hilf:

Meinen lieben Eltern und Vorfahren.
Mein Jesus Barmerzigkeit! (300 Tage Ablaß)
Meinen Geschwistern und nächsten Anverwandten,
Allen meinen geistigen und leiblichen Wohltätern,
Meinen früheren Freunden und Untergebenen,
Allen, denen ich Liebe und Gebet schulde,
Denen ich Nachteil und Schaden gebracht,
Auch denen, die sich gegen midi verfehlt haben,
Allen, die von Dir, o Herr, besonders geliebt sind,
Allen, die am sehnlichsten nach Dir verlangen,
Allen, die am meisten zu leiden haben,
Allen, die der Befreiung am fernsten sind,
Allen, die am wenigsten Hilfe empfangen,
Allen, die am meisten um die Kirche verdient sind,
Allen Reichen, die dort am ärmsten sind.
Den Mächtigen, die nun wie geringe Diener sind,
Den Blinden, die jetzt ihre Torheit einsehen,
Den Eitlen, die ihre Zeit verschwendeten,
Den Armen, die Gottes Reichtum nicht suchten,
Den Lauen, die das Gebet nur wenig übten,
Den Trägen, die so manches Werk versäumten,
Den Schwachgläubigen, die die heiligen Sakramente vernachlässigten,

Den Gewohnheitssündern, die nur durch ein Wunder der Gnade gerettet sind,
Den Eltern, die nicht über ihre Kinder wachten.
Den Vorgesetzten, die sich um das Seelenheil der Untergebenen nicht kümmerten.
Den armen Menschen, die fast nur noch nach Geld oder Vergnügen strebten,
Den irdisch Gesinnten, die ihr Geld oder Talent nicht für den Himmel nutzbar machten,
Den Toren, die so viele sterben sahen und dennoch ihres Todes nicht gedachten,
Denen, die ihr Haus nicht beizeiten bestellten und zur größeren Reise sich nicht zeitig rüsteten,
Allen, die Du um so strenger richtest, je Größeres Du ihnen anvertrautest,
Den Päpsten, Königen und Fürsten,
Den Bischöfen und ihren Ratgebern,
Meinen Lehrern und Seelenhirten,
Den verstorbenen Priestern dieses Bistums,
Den Priestern der ganzen katholischen Kirche,
Den Verteidigern des heiligen Glaubens,
Den auf den Schlachtfeldern Gefallenen,
Den im Meere Begrabenen,
Den am Schlagfluß Gestorbenen,
Den ohne Sakramente Dahingeschiedenen,
Allen, die heute oder morgen sterben werden.
Meiner eigenen armen Seele, wenn sie einstens vor Deinem Gerichte erscheinen wird.
Herr, gib allen die ewige Ruhe, und das ewige Licht leuchte ihnen. Ehre . . .



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