Feast of St. Martin of Tours November 11

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“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” -Sermon on the Mount

Blessings and Apostolic Benediction!

I would like to invite all of our friends and associates, who feel called, to join us in prayer on November the 11th, the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, praying for the peace of ourselves, our communities, and the world. As is our tradition, we will be offering the Litany For Peace every hour on the hour. Won’t you please join your prayer with ours?

Pax Christi,
+Brian E. Brown, OSH

Christ Catholic Church
Archdiocese of the Prince of Peace
Order of the Shepherd’s Heart

Litany For Peace
By Bishop Karl Pruter

Lord, Heavenly Father help us to become peacemakers, that we may be called, “The Children of God”

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, help us purge ourselves of those attributes which make not for peace but which set the stage for war.

Lord hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, open our minds to see ourselves as Thou seest us, or even, as others see us, and save us from all unwillingness to know our infirmities.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

From all hasty utterances of impatience; from the retort of irritation and the taunt of sarcasm; from all infirmity of temper in provoking or being provoked; from love of unkind gossip, and from all idle words that may do hurt, save us, O Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Grant us, O Lord, the strength to obey Thy commandments, that we defraud our brother in nothing. May we never commit adultery or do anything to disturb our neighbor’s home or family.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, grant that we covet nothing that is our neighbors, neither his house, nor his auto, his bank account, his job, nor anything that is our neighbors.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Heavenly Father, help us to maintain peace within our own households, with our neighbors in our communities, within our own nations, and in the world.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father we pray not only for the absence of war, but more especially for Thy peace, which passeth all understanding.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, grant us Christ’s wish that we may become One with Him, and with Thee; that in union with Thee, we may desire only what Thou dost desire, and thus come to know Thy perfect peace.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace, this day and for evermore. Amen.

Feast of St. Martin of Tours November 11

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” -Sermon on the Mount

Blessings and Apostolic Benediction!

I would like to invite all of our friends, who feel called, to join us in prayer on November the 11th, the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, praying for the peace of the world. As is our tradition, we will be offering the Litany For Peace every hour on the hour. Our local observance will take place here on Bear Mountain in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Pax Christi,
+Brian E. Brown, OSH
Order of the Shepherd’s Heart

Litany For Peace
By Bishop Karl Pruter

Lord, Heavenly Father help us to become peacemakers, that we may be called, “The Children of God”

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, help us purge ourselves of those attributes which make not for peace but which set the stage for war.

Lord hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, open our minds to see ourselves as Thou seest us, or even, as others see us, and save us from all unwillingness to know our infirmities.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

From all hasty utterances of impatience; from the retort of irritation and the taunt of sarcasm; from all infirmity of temper in provoking or being provoked; from love of unkind gossip, and from all idle words that may do hurt, save us, O Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Grant us, O Lord, the strength to obey Thy commandments, that we defraud our brother in nothing. May we never commit adultery or do anything to disturb our neighbor’s home or family.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, grant that we covet nothing that is our neighbors, neither his house, nor his auto, his bank account, his job, nor anything that is our neighbors.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Heavenly Father, help us to maintain peace within our own households, with our neighbors in our communities, within our own nations, and in the world.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father we pray not only for the absence of war, but more especially for Thy peace, which passeth all understanding.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, grant us Christ’s wish that we may become One with Him, and with Thee; that in union with Thee, we may desire only what Thou dost desire, and thus come to know Thy perfect peace.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace, this day and for evermore. Amen.

Say Hallelujah! Bishop Mary Ann – RIP

Bishop Mary Ann Croisant, OSH

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” -Revelation 21:4

On the verge of tears I listened to “Say Hallelujah” by Tracy Chapman the other night. Tracy is one of my favorite musical artists and a person who exudes a deep love of life and an ever present compassionate understanding of the human condition. In so many wonderful ways she’s an activist for the poor, the oppressed, the down trodden, and an incredible empowerer of women. Her spirit is fierce, her heart loving and her personality exuberating.

Well, why the tears? A few days earlier I had just been at the bedside of a very dear friend, Bp. Mary Ann Croisant, OSH (Mac to her friends). As I sat by her bed she slipped into the arms of her loving God and away from her bishop who held her frail hand. When I heard Tracy Chapman sing this song I was reminded of Mary Ann, in oh so many ways, and I couldn’t help myself as tears finally fell for the loss of my dear friend and colleague.

You see, Mary Ann embodied all of those attributes that I ascribed to Tracy Chapman and so much more and the song itself was a remembrance of Mac’s life and her ministry and mission and how she would want us to respond to her life and her passing.

Let me go back a little ways…

Mac and I met years ago on the internet as we both began to explore the Independent Sacramental Movement (ISM). We had a lot in common in terms of spirituality and how we saw the world and we both felt a strong call to the priesthood and to service in the Church universal (catholic). She was a cradle Episcopalian and I, a much later convert, but both of us came from that venerable Anglican tradition and we shared a typical “via media” approach to being church in terms of polity and ecumenism. I think we actually met in an egroup for the Celtic Catholic Church. A deep love of Celtic Christianity was awaking in us and we felt its natural pull along our path, a pull that drew us into that wonderful Christian tradition of the Celtic people of long ago but also a pull that drew us closer to one another. I read her posts to the egroup with great admiration and joy, as I had found someone who thought and felt much like I did. We became fast friends, or perhaps a better way to describe our relationship was that of “anam cara,” the Celtic “soul friend.”

After the Celtic Catholic egroup we discovered the Thomasines and shared in the development of the Community of the Companions of St. Thomas. While we were never officially a part of that community we counted them amongst our friends and companions on the path. We wound our way around the internet exploring different jurisdictions within the ISM and finally wound up on slightly separate paths, Mary Ann with an Anglican group and I with the United Catholic Church and later Christ Catholic Church. We finally came together with a shared ministry in the Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion, as a brother and sister in the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart, and that’s when our relationship bloomed.

On its positive side, the ISM is full of people with hopes, dreams, drives, motives, passions, exuberance, creativity, wisdom, compassion, and a desire to put all of that to work serving within the greater Commonwealth of God. They are people of great spirituality and insight who only want to serve for the sake of service by answering a calling whispered in their ear and placed upon their heart by God. They serve in many different ways and from within many different traditions as lay people, religious brothers and sisters, deacons, priests, and bishops. They work tirelessly often with no thought for themselves or their own well being and they take to heart the command from Jesus to love God and to love one another regardless. They do wonderful things helping many, many people when often no one else will. They more often than not live on the edge searching for those who have fallen through the cracks from the mainline churches. They minister as they can, where they can, and as needed. They do so at great personal costs and with usually little to no financial help. They live on faith and trust in grace.

On the darker side, the ISM also offers a home to dysfunctional people with over-sized egos and immature passions, who all too often pontificate as arm-chair theologians in order to simply hear the sound of their own voices. These would-be clerics quite possibly suffer from a borderline personality disorder and are almost always full of schemes, ulterior motives, and out right fraudulent behaviors. These hacks suffer from an obscure and curious disorder we call, “scarlet fever,” which manifests as an all-consuming desire to be a catholic bishop, sport a pointy hat, and wear purple while collecting titles and paper mill degrees. Most all of them in time become archbishops, metropolitans, patriarchs, first among equals, et cetera ad nauseum. In my time in the ISM I have run into many, many on the darker side of the ISM and to my own ever-lasting shame and great sadness I have been duped into participating in consecrating a few of them myself. God forgive me.

Even though those poor souls on the darker side of the path were ever present in our respective ministries, Mac and I were still drawn to this wonderful mismatch movement of misfits called the Independent Sacramental Movement. Though we each thought about turning back to our roots in the Episcopal Church the spirit of the ISM wouldn’t let us go. We realized independently of one another that ministering to the misfits was what we really wanted to do, what we were called to do, and indeed misfits were who we were called to be.

It took some time and some talking and praying but Mary Ann finally answered the call to serve the Church as a bishop and I was honored and humbled to consecrate her and welcome here into the historic episcopacy on April 18, 2009. I laid my hands upon her head, and the High King of Heaven Himself, through the power of Holy Spirit, marked her as a bishop in His Church forever.

Bishop Mary Ann Croisant Blessing the ChildrenWe served together with Bp. Eugene Kyle as the three Convening Bishops of the Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion. I leaned on her, learned from her, and valued her wisdom, compassion, and loyalty. She, Eugene, and I were almost always of a single heart and mind in our corporate vision of how and where we wanted to shepherd the Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion. We made a wonderful team and the Council of Three will not be the same without her. She was a clear voice – always calling for compassion, inclusivity, and ecumenical understanding. She celebrated the freedom of being “free catholic” and never once shrank from her responsibilities as a bishop of the Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion. Though once she did tell me that while she had been a perfectly happy priest, that could not always be said of her tenure as a bishop.

On a more personal note, Mary Ann was a fiercely loyal friend and confidant. She was encouraging when things were uncertain or were looking down within the communion or life itself. She was empowering when my strength or resolve sometimes seemed to fade and I just didn’t know what to do next. However, her greatest gift was just simply the unconditional love that she gave when I needed a friend and someone I could count on. When Mary Ann loved you, you knew you were loved no doubt about it, and that love never wavered.

While I would not want to rob her of one moment with the God she loved so dearly, nor would I want to drag her away from heaven, I will miss her so very, very much. I look forward to celebrating with her in heaven where once again, as we all gather on the other side, we will be able to cry out together, in one voice, hallelujah!

She was by every definition a Child of God and a Good Shepherd of His people. May she rest in peace and may we all be inspired, encouraged, and empowered to follow the shining example given us by St. Mary Ann Croisant.

Amen.

Shepherd’s Heart Books and Gifts Re-Make

We re-opened our Ebay store, Shepherd’s Heart Books and Gifts in March of this last year. For years now Shepherd’s Heart Books and Gifts has been a supplier of books new, used, and antique, as well as all things catholica. It’s also offered a venue for us to sell books we publish ourselves through St. Willibrord Press.

We’ve just re-vamped the store from our spring opening, and changed our look just a bit.

As time goes by we’ll add more selections but we’ve reopened with a great selection from Bp. Karl Pruter as well as a couple from our small press.

As time allows we will be adding handmade items from members of our Order including blown, fused, and stained glass as well as hand dipped candles and fancy cut and curl carved candles.

Enjoy, bid high and visit often! You never know what you may find!

http://stores.ebay.com/Shepherds-Heart-Books-and-Gifts?refid=store

Feast of St. Bride

O God, by whose grace Abbess Bride, being enkindled with divine love, became the light of the world and a bright burning candle upon your heavenly altar: Grant that we who rejoice to celebrate her fame may, like her, be inspired by love and discipline, that we may walk with her as children of the light; through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

New Location in Second Life for Shepherd’s Heart

Attention all citizen sims of Second Life, Shepherd’s Heart Ministries has moved in Second Life (SL) to a new sim, San Marquis Straits. (188.186.21)

We now have a little larger place that is a little more pleasing to the eye and easier to access, along with being offered at a little better price.

For those of you who don’t know about Second Life we’ve included a former post for you to learn all about it. If you’re interested join us in SL. We look forward to seeing you!

Previous Post: Second Ministry in Second Life

We’ve embarked upon a new ministry in a largely undiscovered mission field, in a land on the fringes of society, and unexplored by many other Christian ministries. You can’t get here by plane, train, automobile, nor boat. This is a land so exotic and primitive that you can lose yourself and in the losing of yourself, quite possibly discover a whole new you.

We’re building churches, creating community, offering counsel, creating safe spaces, preaching the word, building schools, offering prayer, and reaching out in fellowship. Our ministry is reaching new heights and probing new depths of human spirituality and is being sought after more and more.

Where in the world is this new mission field you ask? Well, not in this world, but in a virtual world called Second Life (SL).

From Wikipedia:

Second Life (SL) is a virtual world developed by Linden Lab that launched on June 23, 2003 and is accessible via the Internet. A free client program called the Second Life Viewer[1] enables its users, called Residents, to interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another, or travel throughout the world (which residents refer to as “the grid”). Second Life is for people aged 18 and over, while Teen Second Life is for people aged 13 to 17.

Built into the software is a three-dimensional modeling tool based around simple geometric shapes that allows a resident to build virtual objects. This can be used in combination with the Linden Scripting Language which can be used to add functionality to objects. More complex three-dimensional sculpted prims (colloquially known as sculpties), textures for clothing or other objects, and animations and gestures can be created using external software. The Second Life Terms of Service ensure that users retain copyright for any content they create, and the server and client provide simple digital rights management functions.

I became a member of Second Life some years ago when it first began. I had heard a report on National Public Radio (NPR) about this new virtual world created by Linden Labs and was intrigued. I joined but in the early days it was rough going. The technology and programming just didn’t work well together or at least my old computer didn’t work well with the new platform and its resource demands. Just this last fall I head a new report about Second Life again on NPR and decided to revisit the place. I found a whole new world.

Always thinking about the Gospel Message and how to spread the Good News I immediately started thinking about a Second Life missions field and began doing research and learning everything I could. I visited many church structures in SL and even sat in on a couple of prayer services and daily offices. I was hooked and started making plans for Shepherd’s Heart “Second Ministry.”

In SL you create a virtual avatar that represents you and your personality. Needless to say I created that of a monk: Abbot DeSantis. I look like a monk, gesture like a monk, do the work of a monk, and in SL live like a monk. In this new world you can be anything you want to be and look like anything you want to look like. In my heart of hearts I am a Celtic catholic monk in the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart and so that’s who I chose to be in SL.

We’re still in the preliminary stages but we have some virtual land and have built a “mother house,” a beautiful chapel, and some Celtic monk’s cells. We also have a “Garden of the Stations” where we have stations of the cross set up for people to pray at. We have offered compline a few times and are working on a steady schedule of service times, including but not limited to Sunday worship service.

This is a whole new world for us and we’re just beginning to explore it and find our way around it. Won’t you visit the “Second Ministry” of Shepherd’s Heart and join us in the quest? When you arrive simply do a search for “Shepherd’s Heart Abbey” and teleport in. If you will befriend me I can help you if I’m in world. My avatar name, as already mentioned, is Abbot DeSantis. We also currently have three different groups in SL, the Ecumenical Free Catholic Communion, the Order of the Shepherd’s Heart, and one just dedicated to Christian ministry in Second Life called Second Ministry. I invite you to join the groups as you like.

See you in Second Life!

Abbot-Bishop Brian E. Brown, OSH in Real Life
“Abbot DeSantis” in Second Life

Litany For Peace on 9/11

If you would be so kind, please join me in the Litany for Peace which I’ll be offering evey hour on the hour in rememberance of 9/11 and for the peace of this broken world. Let us be mindful of our lives and our own contributions to either turmoil or to peace. Let peace begin with us and it will surely spread out from there. Prayer is the beginning of developing a life of peace. Please, let us pray and we shall all be free and at peace. The lord be with you, let us pray…

Litany For Peace

Lord, Heavenly Father help us to become peacemakers, that we may be called, “The Children of God”

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, help us purge ourselves of those attributes which make not for peace but which set the stage for war.

Lord hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, open our minds to see ourselves as Thou seest us, or even, as others see us, and save us from all unwillingness to know our infirmities.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

From all hasty utterances of impatience; from the retort of irritation and the taunt of sarcasm; from all infirmity of temper in provoking or being provoked; from love of unkind gossip, and from all idle words that may do hurt, save us, O Lord.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Grant us, O Lord, the strength to obey Thy commandments, that we defraud our brother in nothing. May we never commit adultery or do anything to disturb our neighbor’s home or family.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, grant that we covet nothing that is our neighbors, neither his house, nor his auto, his bank account, his job, nor anything that is our neighbors.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Heavenly Father, help us to maintain peace within our own households, with our neighbors in our communities, within our own nations, and in the world.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father we pray not only for the absence of war, but more especially for Thy peace, which passeth all understanding.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace.

Lord, Heavenly Father, grant us Christ’s wish that we may become One with Him, and with Thee; that in union with Thee, we may desire only what Thou dost desire, and thus come to know Thy perfect peace.

Lord, hear our prayer, and grant us Thy peace, this day and for evermore. Amen.

Radio Free Catholic Returns to the Air

We’re pleased to announce that Radio Free Catholic will be returning to the air on Blog Talk Radio September 15th 2010 with hosts Abbot Brian Brown and Fr. Robert Christopher. It will air via the internet every Wednesday evening at 10 pm Central time.

We currently have shows booked through to the second week in October and are working on scheduling even more topics. If you have an idea for a show topic or have any questions please feel free to email us using the form located at the bottom of our “About” page on Shepherd’s Heart main website.

You may listen to us by dialing in to the show at (347) 633-9741 or you can visit the website and listen there while you join Sr. Virginia and our other listeners in our real time chat room at Radio Free Catholic.

For those who may miss our live broadcasts from time to time, all of our shows are archived for your listenig pleasure and you can listen to those archives at at Radio Free Catholic or on Christ’s Catholic Church main website.

Our Show Topics and Dates Include:

Religious Tolerance in America Today 09-15-10
In this show Ab. Brian Brown and Fr. Robert Christopher will be discussing Religious Intolerance in America. With Islamophobia on the rise and Christian fundamentalism threatening to choke the life out of the Christian mainstream, how are we to respond? How can we be a part of the solution while being true to our own faith without being part of the problem by becoming intolerant of other people’s beliefs? Please join us for a quiet evening of fun, fellowship, and shared information. As always, call-ins are encouraged and welcomed!

Sin and Radical Evil 09-22-10
In this show Ab. Brian Brown and Fr. Robert Christopher will be discussing sin and radical evil in our lives and in the church. We will be taking a look at the dark side of human nature and societal evil in the world around us. Please join us for a quiet evening of fun, fellowship, and shared information. As always, call-ins are encouraged and welcomed!

Progressive Christianity 09-29-10
In this show Ab. Brian Brown and Fr. Robert Christopher will be discussing progressive Christianity and its slow rise in American religious culture today and what they means to the church and to society at large. Please join us for a quiet evening of fun, fellowship, and shared information. As always, call-ins are encouraged and welcomed!

Universal Salvation and Grace 10-06-10
In this show Ab. Brian Brown and Fr. Robert Christopher will be discussing the doctrine of universal salvation, God’s love for us, and his never ending grace. Please join us for a quiet evening of fun, fellowship, and shared information. As always, call-ins are encouraged and welcomed!

The Relevance of Religion in Celebrating Human Sexuality 10-13-10
In this show Ab. Brian Brown and Fr. Robert Christopher will be discussing human sexuality in our lives and in the church. We will be taking a look at human nature, sexual expression, alternative relationships and religious and societal acceptance. Please join us for a quiet evening of fun, fellowship, and shared information. While we will be joined by a special guest during this show, as always, call-ins are encouraged and welcomed!

And More to Come…

Ordination of Deacon Bruce Davison

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. To the Faithful in Jesus Christ throughout the world, Peace and Apostolic Benediction.

Be it known by the tenor of these presents that in the year of our Lord two thousand and ten, in the fifth year of our Episcopate, on the eighteenth day of July, the Feast of Saint Camillus of Lellis, we, The Right Reverend Brian Ernest Brown OSH, Abbot-Bishop of the Diocese of the Prince of Peace of Christ Catholic Church, in the due exercise of our sacred commission and pursuant to the powers vested in us by virtue of our Apostolic Succession, during a Pontifical Celebration of the Holy Eucharist did impose our hands upon Bruce Patrick Richard Davison, OSH ordaining him to the sacred and holy Order of Deacons in Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church to be a servant to the people of God and to care for the poor, the needy, the oppressed, and to preach the Gospel.

He is commended to take his place as a servant of Christ’s flock in assuming the office of Deacon in Christ’s Catholic Church. The said rite took place at the Cathedral of the Shepherd’s Heart in the city of Branson Missouri according to the rites of the Diocese of the Prince of Peace of Christ Catholic Church.