St. Kevoca of Kyle – May 1

St. Kevoca (Kennotha, Quivoca) of Kyle, Virgin
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7th century; feast day may be March 13 instead. She is venerated at Kyle, Scotland (Benedictines).

Sources:

Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, NY:
Penguin Books.

Baring-Gould, S. & Fisher, J. (1907) The Lives of the British
Saints. 4 volumes. Charles J Clarke.

Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

Bowen, Paul. When We Were One: A Yearbook of the
Saints of the British Isles Complied from Ancient Calendars.

Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gill, F. C. (1958). The Glorious Company: Lives of Great
Christians for Daily Devotion, vol. I. London:
Epworth Press.

Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler’s
Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
London: Virtue & Co.

Roeder, Helen. (1955). Saints and Their Attributes.
Chicago: Henry Regnery Company.

For All the Saints:

http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

These Lives are archived at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints

St. Ceallach (Kellach) of Killala – May 1

St. Ceallach (Kellach) of Killala, Bishop
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6th century. A disciple of Saint Kieran of Clonmacnoise, Saint Ceallach became bishop of Killala but ended his life as a hermit, perhaps as a martyr (Benedictines).

Sources:

Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, NY:
Penguin Books.

Baring-Gould, S. & Fisher, J. (1907) The Lives of the British
Saints. 4 volumes. Charles J Clarke.

Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

Bowen, Paul. When We Were One: A Yearbook of the
Saints of the British Isles Complied from Ancient Calendars.

Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gill, F. C. (1958). The Glorious Company: Lives of Great
Christians for Daily Devotion, vol. I. London:
Epworth Press.

Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler’s
Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
London: Virtue & Co.

Roeder, Helen. (1955). Saints and Their Attributes.
Chicago: Henry Regnery Company.

For All the Saints:

http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

These Lives are archived at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints

St. Brioc the Traveller – May 1

St. Brioc the Traveller, Bishop of Brittany
(Bryan, Brieuc, Briocus)
——————————————————–
Born in Cardiganshire, Wales; died in Brittany, c. 510; feast of his translation is October 18. Brioc was the founder of a monastery near Treguier, Brittany, which grew into the town and see called Saint-Brieuc. He was probably born in Ceredigion (Cardiganshire). According to legend, his father was named Cerpus and his mother was Eldrude, both of whom he is said to have converted following his ordination.

Brioc appears to have worked in southwestern Britain before migrating to Brittany; there is a place called Saint Breock or Breoke in Cornwall and Saint Briavels in the Forest of Dean is at root the same name. Saint Brioc’s medieval biography contains a number of particulars and marvellous tales, but its historicity is slight. It says, for instance, that Brioc was trained in Gaul by Saint Germanus of Auxerre, who died in 448, which makes it highly unlikely.

Brioc is reputed to have built a famous church called Grande-Lann, where he gathered a number of disciples. In Treguier, he converted a wealthy nobleman named Conan who provided the funds to build a monastery in northern Armorica. Then Brioc is said to have returned to Britain and with the help of his relative, Prince Rigald of Domnonia, built the church of Saint Stephen there.

Brioc is styled a bishop in an inscription in marble at his shrine built in 1210, but it is not certain that he was a bishop; more likely he was an abbot of the Celtic type who kept a bishop in his monastery because no evidence claims his successor in the see, which dates only to 844. Brioc’s relics were translated to the abbey of Saint-Sergius in Angers in the mid-9th century to protect them from Norse invaders. In 1210, an arm, two ribs, and some cervical bones were given back to Saint Brieuc’s (Attwater, Benedictines, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth).

In art, Saint Brioc is a bishop with a fiery pillar above him. He is venerated in Treguier, Brittany, and Cornwall (Roeder). Because of the legends regarding his great charity, Brioc is considered the patron of purse-makers (Farmer).

Sources:

Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, NY:
Penguin Books.

Baring-Gould, S. & Fisher, J. (1907) The Lives of the British
Saints. 4 volumes. Charles J Clarke.

Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

Bowen, Paul. When We Were One: A Yearbook of the
Saints of the British Isles Complied from Ancient Calendars.

Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gill, F. C. (1958). The Glorious Company: Lives of Great
Christians for Daily Devotion, vol. I. London:
Epworth Press.

Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler’s
Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
London: Virtue & Co.

Roeder, Helen. (1955). Saints and Their Attributes.
Chicago: Henry Regnery Company.

For All the Saints:

http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

These Lives are archived at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints

St. Asaph of Llan-Elwy – May 1

St. Asaph of Llan-Elwy
————————

Like St.Deiniol, St.Asaph was a grandson of Pabo Post Prydyn, but he went to train under the great St.Kentigern and followed his master when he left Scotland to avoid persecution. The two of them first visited St.David at Menevia and then settled on land given to Kentigern by Cadwallon, father of Maclgwn, who was then King of Gwynedd, at a place in the valley of the river Elwy. Most of what we know of Asaph comes from the twelfth century Life of St.Kentigern by Joscelyn, a monk of Furness.

Asaph had a great devotion to his master and Joscelyn relates that one very cold night when Kentigern had performed his usual discipline of reciting the psalter while immersed in freezing water, Asaph saw him crawl to his cell so numb with cold that he thought that he would die. He ran to fetch fire to warm the saint, and finding no pan in which to carry the embers, he gathered them up in the folds of his cloak and carried them without suffering hurt to his flesh or his clothing. This act so endeared him to Kentigern that shortly afterwards he ordained him to the priesthood, and when he returned to Glasgow, he appointed Asaph his successor as Abbot of Llan-Elwy.

It is said that Kentigern left his church with 665 monks by the north door and subsequently that door was always kept closed in mourning, except on the Feast of St.Asaph. 300 monks remained with Asaph, who was held by them in great affection and reverence. These figures approximate to those given by John of Tynemouth in his description of the monastery in St.Kentigern’s time. He says there were 995 brethren, 300 were illiterate and worked the land, 300 prepared the food and did the domestic work in the abbey, while the 365 who were learned sang the daily offices. The learned were divided into three choirs, which succeeded each other in rotation, so that prayer never ceased in the church.

Asaph died in the year 596 and was buried at Llan-Elwy. We hear very little about this Christian centre for the next six hundred years except that the original wooden church was replaced by one of stone. The Normans made this church the Cathedral of an extensive diocese and much of the present building dates from the 13th century (Baring Gould and Fisher, Bowen).

Another Life:

St. Asaph of Wales, Bishop
————————————–
Died c. 600; feast day formerly on May 1. The small town of Saint Asaph in northern Wales was once the scene of a busy and thriving monastery, for here came Kentigern of Scotland who founded by the river side the monastery of Llanelwy. He was probably returning at the time from a visit to Saint David, and he had with him Asaph, his favourite pupil, whom he left behind at Llanelwy as abbot to consolidate his work. Others say that it was Saint Asaph who founded the abbey after having been trained by Kentigern–the truth is shrouded by time. There is, however, certainty that Saint Asaph founded the church of Llanasa in Flintshire. An interesting account exists of Llanelwy’s establishment. “There were assembled in this monastery no fewer than 995 brethren, who all lived under monastic discipline, serving God in great continence.” A third of these, who were illiterate, tilled the ground and herded the cattle; a third were occupied with domestic tasks inside the monastery; and the remainder, who were educated men, said the daily offices and performed other religious duties.

A distinctive feature was its unbroken continuity of worship, for, like the Sleepless Ones, the monks of Llanelwy divided themselves into groups and maintained an unceasing vigil. “When one company had finished the divine service in the church, another presently entered, and began it anew; and these having ended, a third immediately succeeded them.” So that by this means prayer was offered up in the church without intermission, and the praises of God were ever in their mouths.”

Among them, we are told, “was one named Asaph, more particularly illustrious for his descent and his beauty, who from his childhood shone forth brightly, both with virtues and miracles. He daily endeavoured to imitate his master, Saint Kentigern, in all sanctity and abstinence; and to him the man of God bore ever a special affection, insomuch that to his prudence he committed the care of the monastery.” A later medieval writer penned about Asaph’s “charm of manners, grace of body, holiness of heart, and witness of miracles.” Still little is actually known about him.

The story has been handed down to us that one bitter night in winter when Kentigern, as was his custom, had been standing in the cold river reciting from the Psalter, and had crawled back to his cell, frozen and exhausted, Asaph ran to fetch hot coals to warm him. Finding no pan, however, and being in great haste, fearing that the shivering abbot might die, he raked the glowing coals into the skirt of his monk’s habit, and ran with them, at great risk and discomfort, and cast them on the hearth of the saint.

That story is typical of his spirit, for he was devoted both to his master and to the welfare of his monks. We are not surprised that Kentigern, with every confidence, left the monastery in his care. Under Asaph’s leadership it flourished, and when Asaph was made bishop, it became the seat of his diocese. The goodness of one man spread and infected many others with holiness, including many of his kinsmen, e.g., Deiniol (September 11) and Tysilo (November 8). Today on the banks of the River Elwy stands the cathedral that bears his name (Attwater, Benedictines, Gill).

Sources:

Attwater, D. (1983). The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, NY:
Penguin Books.

Baring-Gould, S. & Fisher, J. (1907) The Lives of the British
Saints. 4 volumes. Charles J Clarke.

Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

Bowen, Paul. When We Were One: A Yearbook of the
Saints of the British Isles Complied from Ancient Calendars.

Farmer, D. H. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gill, F. C. (1958). The Glorious Company: Lives of Great
Christians for Daily Devotion, vol. I. London:
Epworth Press.

Husenbeth, Rev. F. C., DD, VG (ed.). (1928). Butler’s
Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints.
London: Virtue & Co.

Roeder, Helen. (1955). Saints and Their Attributes.
Chicago: Henry Regnery Company.

For All the Saints:

http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

These Lives are archived at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints

The Easter Resurrection: Grace Spilling Over

“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” Matthew 27:51-53

We’ve all heard the Easter story many, many times. We’ve heard it told at least every Easter throughout our childhood and hopefully if we’ve been faithful attendees at church we’ve also heard it on into our adulthood. We’ve heard it so many times that, dare I ask, has the story has become less inspiring and awe-filled and simply repetitive and sadly maybe a little more mundane to us? Or am I wrong and we’re all moved to tears every time the crowd yells, “crucify him” as the Passion narrative is re-enacted?

I myself am moved to tears and near speechlessness during the Passion narrative year after year but even so, I am left with the question that I imagine haunted the minds of the apostles and friends of Jesus, the question of “okay, what now?”

I have a sterling silver cross I crafted many, many years ago while in college that I call, “The Dancing Jesus” and I think this image is part of the answer to the question of “okay, what now.” Unlike so many other representations, the crucifix pendant I crafted is somewhat abstract and demonstrative rather than a creation of representational realism. Christ’s body forms the cross in an almost sensual way and if one looks hard enough one can see life, movement, triumph, and celebration within this small silver interpretation of the crucifixion, an interpretation I call “The Dancing Jesus.”

The inspiration for the pendant came after reading a passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew 27:51-53. Never before had I realized that others were resurrected during that time! How had I missed that? Well, as it turns out many of us have missed that little fact all of our Christian lives. Wow!

The vision I was given was one of dance, of celebration, of triumph, of empowerment, and of love. It was as if a light, unable to be contained, spilled out of the darkness and brought light to the dark corners of the world, to the darkest corners of our souls. In the moment of Christ’s death, overpowering grace spilled out upon the entirety of creation and changed the whole world. The joy and permeating grace couldn’t be contained and it seeped into the depths of rock and soil and transformed or re-created men and women long dead, raising their bodies from the earth and empowering them to go out and proclaim the Good News – the earth shattering, death defeating, empowering love of God: Christ is risen!

While it is important to recognize our own sinfulness and need for grace during this time of the church year let us not stop there, soaking up grace and reveling in our own individual salvation. Let us not neglect the empowerment that is offered to us as Christians to “raise the dead” in celebration and remembrance of what Christ has done for us, indeed for the entire world!

Nelson Mandela said, “And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

That is the meaning of Easter! That is the empowerment that Christ offers each one of us! That is what we are called to do by virtue of His crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension! As Christians we are called to love fiercely and sacrificially, we are called to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth, we are called to baptize, and we are called to empower others to do the same. That’s what Christ did for us and is still doing!

I invite you to do the same this Easter season. May the overpowering grace of this Easter Resurrection pour over you and forever change your life! May Christ illumine the darkest corners of your soul and shine through your life in this broken world and may you go out and change the world for the love of God! Let your light shine so that you may empower others even as you have been empowered by the Light of the World.

Blessings upon you and yours this Resurrection Day!

Amen!

Rules of Engagement

May Saint Isidore of Seville guide us as we surf the internet.

As our world becomes more complex and new ways of communicating happen along we need to try to keep in mind that there are real flesh and blood people on the other end of the internet with whom we are trying to engage. It’s a challenge to translate our new modes of communication into our old understanding and often something is lost in the translation.

Several years ago I put together a list of “ground rules” to help us communicate on various church egroups et cetera. While it was developed to help our interaction in an egroup or elist setting, this list of “rules” is a great thing to keep in mind when you’re trying to communicate with another child of God in cyberspace. This is certainly not my wisdom but the wisdom of saints and wise men, both past and present.

Here are the ground rules I gathered together. I hope this helpful to you in some small way as you navigate cyberspace developing and deepening relationships with other children of God:


1. Our guiding rule as we post:

“Let the tongue have it’s rein firmly in the heart.” –St. Columbanus

2. A good thing to remember when companioning our brothers and sisters:

“Oppression is not only evil, it is blasphemous because it makes a child of God doubt that s/he is a child of God.” –Archbishop Desmond Tutu

3. A good thing to practice with our brothers and sisters during disagreement:

“He [the monk] should not speak evil of, or harshly reproach, another, nor should he put anyone to the blush. Never should he violently rebuke anyone or carry on a conversation with a boorish person, and his speech at all times should be noted for its lack of boastfulness.” –Monastic rule of St. Ailbe

4. When we take ourselves too seriously remember:

“Pious humbug is an invention of the devil.” –St. Comgal

5. When you’re feeling a little full of yourself and tempted to speak down to a companion think on this:

“Do not ever think yourselves better than the rest of your companions who share the same faith.” –St. Cuthbert

6. When someone new comes to the list seeking fellowship keep in mind:

“Do not despise those faithful who come to you seeking hospitality. Receive them, put them up, and set them on their way with kindness, treating them as one of yourselves.” –St. Cuthbert

7. In the haste of irritation be mindful of your free will and your choice of posts:

“The freedom to choose makes us like God: if we choose evil, that freedom becomes a curse;if we choose good, it becomes our greatest blessing.” –Pelagius

8. And when you interact try your best to see Christ present in the other person:

“See in each herb and small animal, every bird and beast, and in each man and woman, the eternal Word of God.” –St. Ninian

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