1 May 2009

SSC at Reading

Yesterday, to Reading with the brethren of the local chapter of the SSC. Mass at S Giles, celebrated by the learned and right-thinking Fr Melrose; Novus Ordo but with the Canon Romanus in Latin, said with the practised ease and accuracy that comes from regular use. We did the Pax with a relic of the True Cross; and afterwards I took the oportunity of saying a prayer at the shrine of Frather's predecessor as Vicar of S Giles', Blessed John Eynon OSB , martyred (or as Father, who gives no hostages, put it, 'murdered') by Henry VIII (not to be confused with our more recent Sovereign Lord Henry IX). An all too brief homily on S Pius V, who, as Father explained, was a great lover of the Church of England. How nice it is to be among people who see History the right way round. But then, Fr Melrose can be expected to be accurate, because he has just about the most covetable clerical library I have ever seen ... surpassing even that of my friend Fr John Shanahan, pp of Knightstown on Valentia Island in the blissful Kingdom of the West.

Then to lunch in the Rectory; where we ... but No; I won't describe the simple and humble repast which Father had prepared for us. We doin't want a lot of heterodox riff-raff trying to join the SSC just for the carnal goodies. For the same reason I won't go into the arrangements for the Chapter's mid-summer Henley River Devotion. You never know; we do have a detailed system for discerning applicants and a very amusing 'black ball' arrangement, but one can never be too careful. The SSC ...

... but, Roman Cathoilcs among you are clamouring to know, what is the SSC? The Societas Sanctae Crucis is a priestly society (I think you would call it a secular institute in the RC Church) founded in 1854 and with about a thousand members. It is dedicated to sancyifying the priestly lives and pastoral ministries of its members, who have to be orthodox catholics in belief and practice. It supports individual priests by meetings for prayer, study, and fellowship, and by a Regula Vitae drawn up by Dr Pusey.

Do you have such a fellowship in the RC Church? Something to bring together orthodox clergy so that they can support each other as they struggle to survive the sulphorous atmosphere of circumambient liberalism? (Don't pretend: you have much the same problems as we do.)

10 comments:

Little Black Sambo said...

I was blackballed by Fr Blagdon-Gamlen (*simpers modestly*).

John said...

I think the closest thing in the Roman Catholic Church is the Fraternal Society of St. Peter (FSSP). In the US they celebrate the TLM.

Found their website (www.fssp.org) & the correct Latin name:
FSSP - Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri

frbader said...

Doesn't Opus Dei have the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross?

Fr Robert Bader, SSC

rev'd up said...

Real Catholic priests in the Roman Communion have the FSSBoB (Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Bottle o' Booze). Most that I know go to bed alone, hounded, exasperated and imbibing. Real ACs *unofficially* belong to this Society with (Deo gratias) the exception of going to bed with their wives (three cheers!).

Lurking within this Society are a group of be-damned posers, either Roman or Anglican, who do not sleep alone, but with one similarly plumbed. YUCK - it's to the cusp of the Malebolge for you suckers.

Maurice said...

The most well-known would be the Jesus Caritas Movement, founded around the life of Charles de Foucauld. An hour of Adoration of the BS is followed by midday prayer, lunch, discussion of 'state of life' and tea. Most helpful.

But, generally, everyone is orthodox and each priest goes to bed very much alone.

It's a shame that such cynicism as listed immediately above abounds. Surely such things simply don't go on in the RC Church, even if in C of E?

Sue Sims said...

The FSSP is not the equivalent of the SSC, but a ' Clerical Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical right' - not unlike the Oratory, in that priests live in community where possible, but do not take the vows of religion.

The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei is a closer fit, though not exact. I suppose that organisations (if that's the word) like Priests for the Gospel of Life or The Society of St Catherine of Siena pick up various sides of the priestly vocation, too.

rev'd up said...

"It's a shame that such cynicism as listed immediately above abounds. Surely such things simply don't go on in the RC Church, even if in C of E?"

What an outrage...I don't have a cynical bone in my body! Just kidding. But really, this isn't a CoE/Roman issue, it's about the faith. Either you're catholic or you're not. I don't know many of either stripe that aren't as I described them. The truth in this case stinks.

On the whole, Roman fraternal societies are sloppy and ignorant. The SSC has a basic rule that, if followed, is just what it is - a basic rule; minus all the precious crap that Roman fraternities like to "adorn" themselves with; it is very Benedictine - simple. It's my suggestion that Fr. McGuire's, 1943 Bruce publication, THE MASS PRESENTED TO NON-CATHOLICS be read so they can know what real followers of Christ "both do and teach."

Little Black Sambo said...

Maurice, darling, you are an example to us all.

Anon said...

I am really genuinely concerned that so much on this blog is a very weird kind of pseudo-historical narcissistic fantasy. And even more so that it has any influence on those training for Ordination.

servusmariaen said...

I pray for all priests of the SSC every evening. My former pastor Father Barry Swain is a member.