Friday, January 24, 2014

A COOL TRUE STORY FOR THE WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

Welcome to The Order of Saint Helena

The Mission of the Order of Saint Helena (Episcopal) is to show forth Christ through a life of monastic prayer, hospitality and service. We are women living communally under a vow of monastic poverty, celibate chastity and obedience to God. From Benedictine roots, we discern new ways to interpret traditional monasticism, striving to grow in diversity and inclusivity.
More about our mission and our history.

OSH Online

VIDEO about being an Episcopal nun
VIDEO of Faith Anthony's Life Profession
RECORDINGS of our chant including Compline
RECORDING of radio interview with Sr ES
RECORDING of Ch 6 TV interview with Srs ES and Ellen Francis
  Keep up with us on Facebook
December 2013 issue of the saint helena newsletter is now online.

eBreviary and ePsalter

DONATION: In appreciation for your donation of $25 or more, we are offering a gift of the Saint Helena Breviary: Monastic Edition and Saint Helena Psalter in PDF (Portable Document Format) on a CD.

Blessing of the Land for our New Convent

The service of Blessing was held on Sat Oct 26, 2013, and The Rt Rev W Andrew Waldo was the presider for the liturgy.

Upcoming Events -- Register Here

FLYER FOR ALL EVENTS

Contemplative Prayer for Peace and Justice

Monthly group meeting on Sat mornings, starting at 9:30 a.m.: Jan 18, Feb 22, Mar 22; led by Sr. Linda Elston, OSH

Advent: Season of Hope, Justice, and Joy

Dec 6-8, 2013,led by Sr. Ann Prentice, OSH

New Convent Update

ARCHITECT'S RENDERINGS of our new convent! Our architects are Cheatham, Fletcher and Scott of Augusta GA. We currently expect the construction to begin in January 2014, for the building to take at least a year.

MY STORY AND I'M STICKING TO IT:

I grew up in Augusta, Georgia moving there when I was six years old in 1960. In the woods near our rented home there was an Episcopal Convent of nuns called St. Helena's. They were called the Protestant nuns which sent shivers down my spine as Catholic nuns were bad enough, but Protestant ones? Parrish the though!

We kids in the neighborhood would trespass onto their secluded property and play in there barn. On more than one ocassion one of the Protestant sisters would chase us off telling us that she would call the police if we came back.

Flash forward to 1991 when I was named pastor of Augusta's downtown Church of the Most Holy Trinity, now at the age of 37. My first Saturday Vigil Mass there in June of 1991 I saw sitting on the front row this elderly Protestant Episcopal Sister. My heart stopped. Had she finally caught up with me after all these years since I had trespassed on her property and in her barn at the age of 6. Did she have a warrant for my arrest?

Well it turns out that it was the same sister since she had been at the convent since the late 1950's! And was the only one of that era still there. She was in her late 80's and had grown disillusioned with the path the Episcopal Church had taken and her convent now had sisters who were also Episcopal Priestesses. She could not go to the Holy Eucharist presided over by a priestess. So she began to attend Mass at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, where her good friend and former Episcopal priest who had become a Catholic priest under the pastoral provision of Pope John Paul II assisted.

Some years later I was able to get Bishop Kevin Boland to extend to Sister Clare permission to recieve Holy Communion at our Vigil Mass since she qualified for it due to her circumstances, age and that she actually believed in transubstantiaion and was more faithful that most craddle Catholics.

Eventually around 2002 or 03, she asked to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church and the Feast of Saint Augustine the First Bishop of Canterbury.

I was transferred from Most Holy Trinity in 2004 but in 2006 since died and had left a request that I preside at her funeral at Most Holy Trinity.

Keep in mind that she continue to live in the Episcopal Convent until her death at the age of 102.

At her Requiem Mass the entire convent of Episcopal Sisters were present!

How's that for ecumenism during this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity?

3 comments:

qwikness said...

I went to an Anglican Catholic Church here in Macon recently. Anglican Catholics are part of what's called "Continuing Anglican." They had a problem with the Changing of the Book of Common Prayer and Priestesses. The liturgy was ad orientem, kind of low church. There was kneeling at an altar rail. Not many people though. The priest had a thick Columbian accent. I had been by that church all my life and wanted to check it out. Now that I have I don't think I'll be going back.

James Ignatius McAuley said...

Father,

When you get a chance, you may want to check out Father Hunwicke's articles over on his site, Father Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment. He is very thought provoking and I do believe you would like it.

Is this true ecumenism - indeed! Wonderful anecdote! A dear deceased friend of mine always insisted he was a "Methodist Catholic" and not a Protestant. He firmly believed in transubstantiation. He also would go to the Catholic Church for confession!

Anonymous said...

Oh, spell check! Where art thou?

Perish the thought, not parrish.

Their barn, not there.

Cradle, not craddle.

Continued, not continue.