Diaconal Ordination

This morning I attended the ordination of William “Doc” Holiday, a former Anglican priest and good friend, to the Catholic diaconate. The ordination took place at Incarnation Catholic Church, in Orlando, Florida, formerly the Anglican Cathedral of the Incarnation, for which, as Rector’s Warden, I had the honour of organising the process by which the parish entered the Holy and Apostolic Church via the Personal Ordinariate erected under the auspices of the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum cœtibus.

John Noonan, the Bishop of Orlando, performed the ordination on behalf of the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson. The ordination and Mass were conducted in accordance with the modern Roman Rite (Novus Ordo). Mass was celebrated ad orientem, as of course, the Anglo-Catholic church’s altar abuts the east wall. Everything was done decently and in good order, though obviously the “Ordinary Form” of the Latin Rite is not at all my cup of tea (to put it very mildly). In the spirit of Christian Unity, I will refrain from commenting on the liturgical vestments supplied by the Diocese.

As the event was only announced recently, and it was conducted at nine o’clock on a business morning, there were few in attendance (the bishop’s entourage was more numerous than the parishioners). Bishop Noonan spoke briefly about the ministry of the deacon in the Church.

Deacon Holiday will be ordained to the priesthood on this coming Saturday, at Incarnation Church, at nine o’clock in the morning. Every indication is that he will, at some point, assume the rectorship of the church, as the first and likely last native Anglican-turned-Catholic priest in the community. Please pray for him as he prepares for the fulfilment of his ministry as a Catholic priest.

Flag of the State of Florida (1861)

Flag of the State of Florida, 1861.

The Flag of Florida. — The following is a description of the flag recently adopted by the State of Florida:

The one half of the flag next to the staff is dark blue; the other half has alternately one red, one white stripe. Each stripe (three in all) of equal width, and perpendicular to the staff.  [The stripes are the same as the Confederate stripes, only they form one half the flag.] On the blue ground and occupying somewhat more than one-half of it, is an elliptical band (the axis of the ellipse [illegible] the proportion of fifteen to thirteen, the longitudinal axis parallel with the flag staff) bearing superiorly, “In God is our Trust”; inferiorly, “Florida” –making, as it were, a frame for the shield. In the centre of the ellipse is a single strong live-oak tree. Beyond it is seen the Gulf of Mexico, with sailing vessels in the distance. — In front of and near the front of the oak, is a piece of Field Artillery. Beyond the gun, and resting against the bole of the oak, is seen a stand of six colors — the Confederate and State flags to the front. To the left of the field piece are four muskets stacked. To the right and near, balls piled, and a drum.

— Charleston Mercury, 5 October 1861, p. 1, c. 6.

Here’s to Our Confederacy

Cover of sheet music for the popular song The Bonnie Blue Flag.

The third verse of the song misstates the order in which the states seceded from the Union. The dates on which the states seceded are as follows:

South Carolina (December 20, 1860), Mississippi (January 9, 1861), Florida (January 10, 1861), Alabama (January 11, 1861), Georgia (January 19, 1861), Louisiana (January 26, 1861), Texas (February 1, 1861), Virginia (April 17, 1861), Arkansas (May 6, 1861), North Carolina (May 20, 1861), and Tennessee (June 8, 1861).

Thus, Alabama did not take South Carolina by the hand, but delayed its secession until the departure of Mississippi and Florida. The most likely reason for the discrepancy is literary license and a desire to fit within a certain poetic meter.

* * *

We are a band of brothers
And native to the soil,
Fighting for the property
We gained by honest toil;
And when our rights were threatened,
The cry rose near and far–
“Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star!”

Hurrah! Hurrah!
For Southern rights hurrah!
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

As long as the Union
Was faithful to her trust,
Like friends and like brothers
Both kind were we and just;
But now, when Northern treachery
Attempts our rights to mar,
We hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

First gallant South Carolina
Nobly made the stand,
Then came Alabama,
Who took her by the hand.
Next quickly Mississippi,
Georgia and Florida
All raised on high the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

Ye men of valor, gather round
The banner of the right;
Texas and fair Louisiana
Join us in the fight.
Davis, our loved president,
And Stephens statesman are;
Now rally round the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

And here’s to old Virginia–
The Old Dominion State–
Who with the young Confederacy
At length has linked her fate;
Impelled by her example,
Now other states prepare
To hoist on high the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

Then cheer, boys, cheer;
Raise the joyous shout,
For Arkansas and North Carolina
Now have both gone out;
And let another rousing cheer
For Tennessee be given,
The single star of the Bonnie Blue Flag
Has grown to be eleven.

Then here’s to our Confederacy,
Strong are we and brave;
Like patriots of old we’ll fight
Our heritage to save.
And rather than submit to shame,
To die we would prefer;
So cheer for the Bonnie Blue Flag
That bears a single star.

— Lyrics by Harry Macarthy (d. 1880).

The Bonnie Blue Flag.

A Recent Photo of Your Curator

Christian Clay Columba Campbell in kilt, next to car.

External Solemnity of St. Pius X

This morning, at St. Thomas More Priory, we celebrated the external solemnity of the Feast of St. Pius X which fell on this past Monday, Labour Day.  Of course St. Pius X is the patron of the FSSPX, so all of the finest vestments, altar cards, and sacred vessels were employed as on Christmas or Easter.  Fr. Vernoy gave an excellent sermon against both Quietism and the Christian Materialism promoted by Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer and his Opus Dei.  Labour is simply a means to an end, and is marked by penance.  It hurts and this pain is a consequence of Original Sin.

Overcast and Rainy

It looks like we’re in store for at least an entire day of overcast skies and more or less steady rain from the tropical storm out in the Gulf of Mexico.  I love those rare mornings (at least in Florida) where the ambient light is the same at 8:00 AM as it was at 6:00 AM.  When you wake up, you are not quite certain what time it is; your circadian rhythm is telling you one thing, but the day seems to be telling you another.  On these days I wake up slowly and peacefully, and Magaidh and I spend some quality time snuggling up in the bed covers before I go to work.  The atmosphere also reminds me of my beloved Highlands, though the temperature here may be twenty degrees warmer than the ideal.

At Least There’ll Be Some Rain…

It doesn’t look like the heart of the storm is going to come anywhere near Orlando, so I’m calling off the hurricane party.  However, we should get some good intense downpours from Isaac; indeed, the first outer band of the tropical storm just went through (though the centre of the storm is currently in the Florida Straits).  The rain is what I look forward to the most, so hopefully it will be a wonderfully dreary and wet several days as the storm moves through the Gulf of Mexico.

Just in case, after Holy Mass this morning, Fr. Vernoy prayed an oration and imparted a special blessing against foul and dangerous weather.