news, views & info


… to this twenty-second edition of “The Old Roman” a weekly dissemination of news, views and information for and from around the world reflecting the experience and life of 21C “Old Romans” i.e. western Orthodox Catholics across the globe.
CONTRIBUTIONS… news items, magazine, devotional or theological articles, prayer requests, features about apostolates and parish mission life are ALL welcome and may be submitted via email. Submissions should be sent by Friday for publication the following Sunday.

ORDO w/c Sunday 26th January 2020 Vol I issue xxi

S26.01St Polycarp of Smyrna
Com. Sunday III post Epiphany
(R) Missa “Sacerdotes”
2a) Sun.III.PEph
M27.01St John Chrysostom D&B
(W) Missa “Ecclesiam tuam”  
T28.01St Agnes of Rome (ii) 
(R) Missa “Vultum tuum”  
s.2a) de S. Maria
3a) ProEcclesia

W29.01St Francis of Sales D&B
(W) Missa “In medio”  
T30.01St Martina of Rome V&M
(R) Missa “Loquebar”  
s.d2a) de S. Maria
3a) Pro.Eccles
F31.01St Peter Nolasco
(W) Missa “Justus ut palma”  
S01.02St Ignatius of Antioch B&M
(R) Missa “Mihi autem”  
S02.02Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary “Candlemas”
Com. Sunday III post Epiphany
(W) Missa “Exsultat gaudio”
d.ii2a) Sun.III.PEph

ORDO w/c Sunday 2nd February 2020

S02.02Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary “Candlemas”
Com. Sunday III post Epiphany
(W) Missa “Exsultat gaudio”
2a) Sun.III.PEph
M03.02St Blaise B&M
(R) Missa “Sacerdotes Dei”  
s.d2a) de S. Maria
3a) Pro.Eccles
T04.02St Andrew Corsini B&C
(W) Missa “Statuit”  
W05.02St Agatha V&M
(R) Missa “Gaudeamus”  
T06.02St Dorothea V&M
(R) Missa “Me expectaverunt”  
s.d2a) de S. Maria
3a) Pro.Eccles
F07.02St Romuald, Abbot
(W) Missa “Os justi”  
S08.02St John of Matha
(W) Missa “Os justi”  
Com. St Cyril of Alexandria D&B
 St Apollonia V&M
(V) Missa “Circumdederunt me”
priv2a) St Cyril
3a) St Apollonia


KEY: A=Abbot A cunctis=of the Saints B=Bishop BD=Benedicamus Domino BVM=Blessed Virgin Mary C=Confessor Com=Commemoration Cr=Creed D=Doctor d=double d.i/ii=double of the 1st/2nd Class E=Evangelist F=Feria Gl=Gloria gr.d=greater-double (G)=Green H=Holy K=King M=Martyr mpal=missae pro aliquibus locis Mm=Martyrs Pent=Pentecost P=Priest PP/PostPent=Post Pentecost PLG=Proper Last Gospel Pref=Preface ProEccl=for the Church (R)=Red s=simple s-d=semi-double Co=Companions V1=1st Vespers V=Virgin v=votive (V)=violet W=Widow (W)=white *Ob.=Obligation 2a=second oration 3a=third oration


Throughout this time after Epiphany, the Church does not cease to manifest our Lord’s divinity and therefore His Kingship over men. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth Sundays after Epiphany have the same Introit, Gradual, Offertory and Communion which testify to our Lord’s divinity, to the fact that He worked miracles, and to the worship that we owe Him.
He is King over Jew and Gentile alike; and thus, following St. Matthew, the Church chooses a Gospel which records two miracles worked by our Lord to prove His divine Sonship to both. The first of them was on behalf of a leper, the second of a centurion. The one, as a member of the chosen race was bound by the Law of Moses; the other, our Lord Himself implies, was not of the house of Israel. By one word of our Lord the leper is cleansed, and his cure is to be made known in the priest as “a testimony unto them” of the divinity of Christ (Gospel). The centurion, himself bears witness that our Lord is God, by his words of humility and trust, which the Church puts on our own lips daily in the Holy Mass. Moreover, he gives the same testimony by the argument which he builds up; taking his own office as an illustration, he affirms that our Lord has only to speak the word and illness will obey Him; thus he obtains the great miracle which he asked.
The two miracles mentioned in today’s Gospel are put by St. Matthew at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, at which “the people were in admiration,” and so they confirm the fact, that truly it was “from the mouth of God” that that doctrine proceeded, which caused so much wonder in the synagogue at Nazareth (Communion).

The Martyrdom of St Polycarp of Smyrna


Polycarp had known those who had known Jesus, and was a disciple of St. John the Apostle, who had converted him around the year 80 AD. He taught, says his own pupil Irenaeus of Lyons, the things that he learned from the Apostles, which the Church hands down, which are true. Irenaeus, who as a young boy knew Polycarp, praised his gravity, holiness, and majesty of countenance. He had lived near Jerusalem and was proud of his early associations with the Apostles.
Polycarp became bishop of Smyrna and held the see for about 70 years. He was a staunch defender of orthodoxy and an energetic opponent of heresy, especially Marcionism and Valentinianism (the most influential of the Gnostic sects). Toward the end of his life he visited Pope St. Anicetus in Rome and, when they could not agree on a date for Easter, decided each would observe his own date. To testify his respect and ensure that the bonds of charity were unbroken, Anicetus invited Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in the papal chapel on this occasion. Polycarp suffered martyrdom with 12 others of his flock around the year 156.
On the day of his death (February 23) the Martyrology recounts with deep reverence:

“At Smyrna, the death of St. Polycarp. He was a disciple of the holy apostle John, who consecrated him bishop of that city; and there he acted as the primate of all Asia Minor. Later, under Marcus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, he was brought before the tribunal of the proconsul; and when all the people in the amphitheater cried out against him, he was handed over to be burned to death. But since the fire caused him no harm, he was put to death by the sword. Thus he gained the crown of martyrdom. With him, twelve other Christians, who came from Philadelphia, met death by martyrdom in the same city.”


Tradition has it that the church at Antioch was founded by St. Peter himself, who served as its bishop for seven years before moving on to found the church at Rome.
Only decades later, during the reign of Trajan (98-117), another bishop of Antioch would also make the journey to Rome. This was St. Ignatius, who had succeeded St. Evodius as Antioch’s third bishop. Sometime around 107 or 110, by order of Trajan, ten soldiers brought Ignatius to Rome, where he was exposed to wild beasts.
There were multiple stops on the journey to Rome. At Smyrna, Ignatius met with the bishop there, St. Polycarp, and with representatives of several Christian communities of Asia Minor. He gave those representatives letters to bring to Ephesus, Magnesia and Tralles. Also sent from Smyrna was his letter to the Church in Rome, in which he reflected at length on his impending martyrdom.
Later, stopping at Troas, Ignatius sent letters to Philadelphia and Smyrna, as well as a personal letter to Polycarp. There seems to have been a persecution in Antioch which ended during Ignatius’s journey, for in the letters from Troas, he asked the recipients to send envoys to congratulate and rejoice with the Christians in Antioch.
These seven Epistles of Ignatius of Antioch are rich in theological and mystical content, and are significant for their consistent depiction of a monarchical episcopate. Their authenticity is attested by Eusebius, who lists them in the above order and describes the content of each, and by Origen and St. Irenaeus, who quote from them. St. Polycarp, the recipient of the seventh letter, mentions them in his own letter to the Philippians:

The Epistles of Ignatius which were sent to us by him, and others which we had by us, we send you as requested. They are enclosed herewith. You will be able to benefit greatly from them. For they are conducive to faith and patience and to every kind of edification pertaining to our Lord.

[Quoted in Quasten, Patrology, Vol. I, 1950, p. 73]

Ignatius’s writing is passionate and energetic. The letters to the Romans and to Polycarp contain particularly striking imagery and fresh modes of expression. In addition, we find here the first appearance of the term “Catholic church,” meaning the whole body of the faithful (Smyrn. 8).
According to Quasten, the mysticism of St. Ignatius draws from both St. Paul’s mysticism of union with Christ and St. John’s mysticism of life in Christ, leading to Ignatius’s ideal of “imitation of Christ” [Quasten, p. 70]. Imitation of Christ involves a transformation as much as an abandonment of the earthly way of life:
They that are carnal cannot do those things which are spiritual, nor they that are spiritual the things which are carnal; even as faith cannot do the works of unbelief, nor the unbelief the works of faith. But even those things which ye do according to the flesh are spiritual; for ye do all things in Jesus Christ. (Eph. 8)
If we do all things in Christ, it is because Christ does all things in us. Ignatius emphasizes Christ’s immanence in the soul, describing Christians as “God-bearers and temple-bearers, Christ-bearers” (Eph. 9). In all his letters, in fact, he introduces himself as “Ignatius, also called Theophorus [God-bearer].”
Christians bring others to Christ by prayer, love and good example. We ought to “pray without ceasing” for others, for there is always hope that they might repent. Teaching by example and love is paramount:
See, then, that they be instructed by your works, if in no other way. Be ye meek in response to their wrath, humble in opposition to their boasting, [etc.]… While we take care not to imitate their conduct, let us be found their brethren in all true kindness. (Eph. 10)
Actions are preferable to words, and the efficacy of the latter depends on the former:
It is better for a man to be silent and be a Christian, than to talk and not to be one. It is good to teach, if he who speaks also acts…. He who possesses the word of Jesus, is truly able to hear even His very silence, that he may be perfect, and may both act as he speaks, and be recognized by his silence. (Eph. 15)
Indeed, faith is more than just a verbal profession. Faith cannot be separated from love: “Those that profess themselves to be Christians shall be recognized by their conduct. For there is not now a demand for mere profession, but that a man be found continuing in the power of faith to the end” (Eph. 14).
We are called to imitate Christ not just in His virtue but in His passion and death. For Ignatius, willingness to die for Christ is requisite for discipleship. Indeed, he frequently calls himself one who is “now but being initiated into discipleship” (Eph. 3), by means of his captivity and imminent death.
He considers himself inferior to those to whom he is writing, because he is a convict and cannot speak to them as though he were an Apostle. He calls his own church in Syria that “from which also I am not worthy to receive my appellation, being the last of them” (Trall. 13), which is all the more striking given that one of the major themes of his letters is the dignity of the episcopate and the importance of submission to and unity with the bishop. He refers to his own need for humility, and begs his addressees to pray that he may be found worthy of martyrdom.
For all his apprehension because of his own unworthiness, Ignatius shows great eagerness for martyrdom. He considers his bonds to be “spiritual jewels” (Eph. 11), and begs the Romans not to try to rescue him: “Suffer me to obtain pure light: once arrived there, I shall be a man” (Rom. 6).
One of the most famous passages of Ignatius describes in vivid terms the spiritual consummation of martyrdom:
I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may leave nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep [in death], I may be no trouble to any one. Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. (Rom. 4)

The Martyrdom of St Ignatius of Antioch

Christian unity and the episcopate

The most pervasive theme in all of Ignatius’s letters is Christian unity. Union with Christ is not just a personal (in the sense of private and individual) matter, rather it is “the bond which encircles all Christians.” This union cannot exist without unity with one’s bishop “through faith, obedience and particularly through participation in divine worship” [Quasten, p. 73]. There can be no independence in the spiritual life; rather, there is only one union with Christ in which all Christians participate, in community and liturgy.
Ignatius constantly exhorts his addressees to respect their bishop. He urges them to “defer to him, or, rather, not to him, but to the Father of Jesus Christ, the bishop of all men” (Magn. 3). This comparison of the bishop with God the Father is found throughout the Epistles. Christians are to follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, to follow the presbyters as though they were the Apostles, and to honour the deacons (Eph. 6, Trall. 3, Magn. 6-7, and elsewhere). “Apart from these, there is no Church” (Trall. 3).
The exhortation to “run together in accordance with the will of your bishop” (Eph. 4) indicates in a general sense the importance of respect and obedience towards ecclesiastical authority. But Ignatius seems to have the liturgy particularly in mind, since it is in common worship that unity with Christ, under the bishop and with the whole community, is expressed and effected. He writes:
Let no man deceive himself: if any one be not within the altar, he is deprived of the bread of God. For if the prayer of one or two possesses such power, how much more that of the bishop and the whole Church! He, therefore, that does not assemble with the Church, has even by this manifested his pride, and condemned himself.… Let us be careful, then, not to set ourselves in opposition to the bishop, in order that we may be subject to God. (Eph. 5)
The bishop is high priest of the liturgy, and in practical terms, this means that baptism, the agape meal and the Eucharist may not be held without authorisation of the bishop, which renders such things “valid” (Smyrn. 8). Those who wish to get married must also have the bishop’s approval, so that “their marriage may be according to God, and not after their own lust” (Poly. 5).


If you count 40 days after the celebration of Christmas you reach February 2. Early on, the Church marked that day with a special feast and it is the final “baby Jesus” day in the liturgical calendar before the celebration of Lent.
The feast has many different names in the Roman Catholic Church. It has been called the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and, more familiarly, Candlemas. Each name highlights a different aspect of the feast that the Church celebrates.
First of all, it is called the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary on account of an ancient Mosaic law explained in Leviticus.

[If a woman conceives, and bears a child she shall be unclean] And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the door of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering, and he shall offer it before the Lord, and make atonement for her; then she shall be clean.

Leviticus 12:6-7

Mary, being a faithful Jew, abided by the law and did what was required of her. After 40 days passed she approached the priest with the proper offering to be declared “clean.”
The liturgical celebration is also called the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, and again corresponds to an ancient Jewish practice of presenting the first-born to God.

Everything that opens the womb of all flesh, whether man or beast, which they offer to the Lord, shall be yours; nevertheless the first-born of man you shall redeem.

Numbers 18:15

As a result, Mary and Joseph brought with them Jesus, as St. Luke narrates, “And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought [Jesus] up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord’)” (Luke 2:22-23).
St. Luke narrates how, while at the Temple, the Holy Family encountered an old man named Simeon and what he said next constitutes the basis for why the feast is called Candlemas.

Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.

Luke 2:29-32

Simeon declared that Jesus would be a “light,” and the Church developed a custom of lighting and blessing candles on this day. Historically the priest would bless all the candles used during Mass for the entire year. The congregation also received candles and the words of Simeon were repeated in song.
Though not a holy day of obligation, it is a beautiful day in the Church’s calendar, one that signals the end of the “Christmas-Cycle” and looks forward to the light that will shatter all darkness at the Easter Vigil — when another candlelight service is performed in recognition that, “the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen” (Matthew 4:16

Of your charity…

For health & well-being…

Christopher, Lyn B, Simon G, Dagmar B, Karen, Debbie G, Fr Graham F, Fr Stephen D, Heather & Susanna L-D, Finley G, Diane C, Pat, Paul, +Rommel B, Penny E, Colin R, John, Ronald, Fr Gerard H, Lilian & family, Ruth L, David G, David P, Patrick H, Debbie G, Karen K, Fr Graham F, S&A, Dave G, +Charles of Wisconsin, +Tissier, Fr Terrence M, +Guo Xijin, +John P, Karl R-W, Fr Antonio Benedetto OSB, Fr Kristopher M & family, Mark Coggan, Ounissa, Ronald Buczek, Rik C, Adrian & Joan Kelly, Juanita Alaniz & family, Shirley V,

For those vocationally discerning…

James, Breandán, Manuel, Vincent, Darren, Akos, Roger, James, Adrian, Carlos, Thomas, Yordanis, Nicholas, Tyler, Micha, Michael,

For the recently departed…

Lauretta (21.01.19), Clive Reed (23.01.19), Fr John Wright (24.01.19), Shelley Luben (11.12.18), Mick Howells (13.12.18), Daniel Callaghan (13.02.19), Alfie (Hub guest), Père Pierre Fournier (08.02.19), Jill Lewis (24.02.19), Cynthia Sharpe Conger (28.02.19), Richard (Ricky) Belmonte, Fr Leo Cameron OSA (29.03.19), Fr John Corbett (30.03.19), Deacon Richard Mulholland (Easter Day), Peter, Bernard Brown (27.06.19), Peter Ellis (01.08.19), Petronila Antonio (10.09.19), Fr Mark Spring (13.09.19), Jean Marchant (15.09.19), Mary Kelly (15.10.19), John Pender (23.10.19), David Cole, Pauline White, Fr Graham Francis

For those who mourn…

Barbara R & family, Brenda W & family, Joseph S, Catherine L & family, Rev George C & family, Jean C, Margaret & Bonita C, Debbie M & family, Phil E & Family, Adrian Kelly & family, Fr Nicholas Pnematicatos & family, Fr Andrew White & family, Richard Cole & family, the Francis Family

Daily Missal

To accompany your worship why not invest in a St Andrew’s Daily Missal that contains ALL the Propers for ALL the Masses offered throughout the year?
The St Andrew’s Daily Missal also contains historical commentary and footnotes on the Feast days, devotions, prayers of preparation for before and after Mass as well as the Ordinary of the Mass and Propers for Vespers for Sundays and major Feast days throughout the year in Latin and in English. It also contains forms for Morning and Evening Prayer, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Compline. It really is a treasury of devotion!

To order directly from the publishers, visit here $68 = £52.50 approx

Mass Centre Directory

If you would like your mission’s Mass times and other activities included here just submit details via email.


PHILIPPINESBacoor Parish of Jesus the Divine Mercy, Copper St. Platinum Ville, San Nicolas III, Bacoor, Province of Cavite

1000Mass & Children’s Catechesis
1st Wed’s1900Mass & O.L. of Perpetual Succour Devotions
1st Frids’1900Mass & Sacred Heart Devotions

PHILIPPINES, Lagunas Parish of San Isidro Labrador, Dita, Sta. Rosa

1st Wed’s1900Mass & O.L. Perpetual Succour Devotions
1st Fri’s1900Mass & Sacred Heart Devotions


UK, Brighton The Brighton Oratory of SS Cuthman & Wilfrid, 1-6 Park Crescent Terrace, Brighton BN2 3HD Telephone +44 7423 074517

Sundays0830Mass & homily
& Daily1000Breaking fast
Wed’s1730Holy Hour & Benediction
Sat’s0830Mass & homily
1000Catechism Conference

UK, Bristol The Little Oratory of Our Lady of Walsingham with Saint Francis, 11 The Primroses, Hartcliffe, Bristol, BS13 0BG

Sundays1030Sermon & Holy Communion


USA, Chicago IL Parish Mission of St Anne, Church of the Atonement, 5749 North Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, IL 60660 Telephone: (773) 817 – 5818

Sundays1800Mass & homily (2nd of the month)
Wed’s1930Catechism & Reception Class

USA, Chicago IL Missionary Franciscans of Christ the King, The Friary


USA, Glendale AZ St. Joseph’s Glendale AZ. Contact address: 7800 N 55th Ave Unit 102162 Glendale AZ 85301 Telephone +1 310 995 3126


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