In our mission to “fidem servare” i.e. to “keep the faith”, establishing Old Roman intentional Catholic communities requires deliberate effort and planning to create a tight-knit congregation centered around shared beliefs and values. To establish an intentional Catholic community, it is important to develop a growth-focused vision centered on shared values and beliefs.
Like other traditional Catholic apostolates, Old Roman missions and chapels have been established as places independent of the institutional hierarchy to provide the traditional Mass and sacraments. Old Roman missions and chapels aim to provide a more traditional and spiritual approach to worship, and they have a strong following among the faithful who seek a more authentic Catholic experience. But in order to develop intentional communities, it is necessary to have an appreciation for the faith that goes beyond the reception of the sacraments, and instead focuses on a deeper understanding of Catholic teaching and theology.
To foster a Catholic way of life, regular catechism, spiritual direction, and formation of a Catholic worldview that guides all aspects of one’s life is essential. Moreover, intentional communities necessitate a shared set of values and a strong commitment to live by them collectively. This entails a willingness to prioritize the common good over personal preferences, a devoted practice of prayer and spiritual development, and a readiness to serve others. By creating intentional communities based on these principles, Old Roman missions and chapels can offer a compelling testimony to the life-altering potential of the Catholic faith.
How to begin…
Choosing a location served by the Old Roman apostolate or some other traditional Catholic mission or chapel can have several benefits for those seeking to practice their faith. Firstly, such locations often provide a more traditional form of worship, with a focus on ritual and reverence. This can be appealing to those who prefer a more solemn and contemplative atmosphere. Additionally, these locations may offer a greater sense of community, as fellow worshippers are often like-minded individuals who share similar beliefs and values.
Forming a traditional Catholic community can be a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor for those who seek to deepen their faith and connect with like-minded individuals. Here are some steps to get started:
Identify like-minded individuals: Reach out to fellow Catholics in your area who share a desire to live out their faith in a traditional way. Attend Latin Masses and traditional Catholic events to meet others who may be interested in forming a community.
Define your community’s values: Decide what values will guide your community. could include devotion to the traditional of the Catholic Church, a commitment to prayer and sacraments, a dedication to serving others, or a focus on traditional family life.
Establish a regular meeting schedule: Determine a regular time and place to meet as a community. This could be for Mass, prayer, fellowship, or any of these.
Plan events: Organize events and activities that align with your community’s values. These could include traditional devotions, study groups, retreats, volunteer work, and social events.
Seek guidance from a priest: It’s important to seek guidance from a traditional Catholic priest who can provide spiritual direction and support for your community.
Stay connected: Use social media and other communication tools to stay connected with your community members between meetings and events. This can help build a sense of community and deepen relationships.
Forming an intentional traditional Catholic community takes time and effort, but the rewards can be significant. By coming together in faith and fellowship, you can strengthen your own faith and build a community that supports and encourages one another in your journey to heaven.
Finding like-minded individuals
If you are a traditional Catholic looking to connect with others who share beliefs there are several ways to find like-minded individuals.
Attend Traditional Latin: The Traditional Latin Mass is celebrated according to the pre-Vatican II liturgy. Attending the Traditional Latin Mass can be a great way to find traditional Catholics who share your beliefs and values.
Join Catholic Groups: Joining Old Roman and Traditional Catholic groups on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit can be an excellent way to connect with like-minded traditional Catholics from all around the world.
Attend Traditional Catholic Conferences: Traditional Catholic conferences are held in different parts of the world and offer an opportunity to meet and connect with other traditional Catholics.
Read Traditional Catholic Literature: Reading Catholic literature can provide an opportunity to connect with other traditional Catholics who share your interests and values.
Volunteer at Traditional Catholic Organizations: Volunteering at Old Roman or traditional Catholic organizations can be an excellent way to connect with other traditional Catholics who share your beliefs and values.
In conclusion, finding like-minded traditional Catholics can be challenging, but attending Traditional Latin Mass, joining Traditional Catholic groups, attending Traditional Catholic Conferences, reading Traditional Catholic Literature, and volunteering at Traditional Catholic Organizations can help you connect with other traditional Catholics who share your values and beliefs.
To define traditional Catholic values for an intentional community, it is essential to first understand what these values entail. The Catholic faith is built on a foundation of love, compassion, and service to others. It emphasizes the importance of family, community, and the common good.
To find traditional Catholic values for an intentional community, one can start by looking to the teachings of the Church and the writings of the saints. These sources provide a wealth of knowledge on how to live a life that is rooted in Catholic values.
Additionally, it can be helpful to consult with other Catholic communities and organizations to learn from their experiences and practices. These communities can provide guidance how to incorporate Catholic values into daily life and decision-making processes.
Finally, prayer and reflection are critical components of defining traditional Catholic values for an intentional community. By seeking guidance from God and the Holy Spirit, community members can discern what values are most important and how to live them out in their daily lives.
Overall, defining traditional Catholic values for an intentional community requires a commitment to learning, collaboration, and spiritual growth. By seeking guidance from the Church, other Catholic communities, and God, community members can build a strong foundation that fosters love, compassion, and service to others.
Establishing a house
Starting an intentional Catholic community is exciting opportunity to live out your faith in community with others. However, finding the perfect house to start your community can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you find the right house for your intentional Catholic community.
Pray for guidance: Begin by praying for guidance. Ask God to lead you to the right house and to provide for your needs. Trust that He will guide you to the right place.
Consider your budget: Determine your budget before you begin your search. This will help you narrow down your options and prevent you from getting in over your head financially. Will you rent a place or buy property?
Location: Consider the location of the house. Is it in a safe neighborhood? Is it close to an Old Roman mission or other traditional Catholic community resources? Is it easily accessible for visitors?
Size: Determine the size of the house you need. How many people will be living in the community? How much space do you need for common areas, a domestic altar and individual living spaces?
Amenities: Consider the amenities needed. Do you need a large kitchen for communal meals? Do you need multiple bathrooms and bedrooms? Do you need a garden or outdoor space for community activities?
Community zoning: Check the zoning laws in the area to ensure that you can legally operate an intentional community house or house of multiple occupation.
Inspection: Before making an offer on a house, be sure to have it inspected. Look for any potential issues that may need to be addressed before moving in, particularly maintenance of the building and whose responsible.
Remember, finding the perfect house for your intentional Catholic community may take time, but with prayer and patience, you will find the right place. Trust in God’s plan and allow Him to guide you in this exciting new chapter of your faith journey.
Old Roman assistance
The Congregation of Divine Charity is an Old Roman organization that offers guidance and support to individuals and communities who are interested in establishing intentional Catholic communities. The organization’s primary mission is to help individuals discern their religious vocation, to support religious communities, and to support lay apostolates. In addition, the Congregation works to promote the establishment of intentional Catholic communities, groups of individuals who live together in accordance with Catholic values and principles. If you are interested in learning more about intentional Catholic communities or would like assistance in establishing one, the Congregation of Divine Charity is a valuable resource to consider.
“Keeping the faith” (cf. 2 Tm 4:7) is the principal task and the ultimate criterion to be followed in the life of the Church. In today’s increasingly secularised world, ever-changing social mores and negative influences in culture and politics have led many people to question the role of religion in society. However, even in the face of these challenges, religion remains an important and meaningful aspect of human life. Religion provides a sense of purpose and meaning, offering individuals guidance and a moral compass for navigating the complexities of life. It also fosters a sense of community, bringing people together and creating opportunities for social interaction and support.
The Catholic faith has been a source of strength for people around the world for centuries. It provides a sense of stability and comfort in times of uncertainty and chaos. The Catholic religion offers a framework for individuals to understand their place in the world and provides solace during times of hardship and struggle. Moreover, Catholic organizations are involved in charitable work and humanitarian efforts, providing aid and support to those most in need. Catholicism, in particular, has a long history of philanthropy and remains the largest provider of assistance among all the world’s religions. Its emphasis on love, compassion, and service has inspired countless individuals and organizations to make a positive impact in the world.
Thus the preservation of the Church must be a priority for today’s “living stones” [cf. 1 Peter 2:1–8] – not just for the sake of the institution, not for the material power and political influence it sometimes wields, but for the sake of the spiritual legacy that it embodies. The Church has been a foundation of faith and a source of comfort for countless generations, and it has played a vital role in shaping the moral and ethical frameworks of our societies. Its teachings and traditions have helped to guide individuals towards a better understanding of their place in the world and their responsibilities to others. Therefore, it is the duty of those who value these ideals to work towards preserving the Church, not only as an institution but as a living symbol of our shared spiritual heritage.
Contemporary intentional communities are voluntary living arrangements where individuals come together to share resources, responsibilities, and property based on a common vision. These communities often come in different forms such as ecovillages, housing cooperatives, and collective households. They are designed to promote social cohesion and teamwork and are sometimes referred to as an “alternative lifestyle”. Intentional communities can be found all over the world, from Anabaptist Christian Bruderhof Communities to traditional ashrams. Overall, intentional communities are designed to promote a sense of community and togetherness among individuals who share a common vision.
The concept of intentional community has been present in Christianity since the earliest days of the Church. In fact, Acts 2:42 describes the early Christians as “continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” This devotion to communal living continued with the emergence of monasticism in the late 3rd century, which eventually became an established institution in the Church by the 4th century. During this time, monks and nuns lived in small, isolated communities, dedicating themselves to a life of prayer and manual labor. These early intentional communities were a reflection of the Christian ideal of living in unity and fellowship with one another.
In his book “The Benedict Option,” Rod Dreher argues that Christians should consider withdrawing from contemporary society and forming communities based on the teachings of St. Benedict. According to Dreher, the current cultural climate is hostile to traditional Christian values, and Christians are at risk of losing their faith if they continue to engage with it. He suggests that Christians should follow the example of Benedictine monks, who withdrew from the corrupt society of their time to form communities based on prayer, work, and learning.
Dreher cites the example of the Benedictine monastery at Norcia, Italy, which has become a model for his vision of Christian community. The monks there live according to the Rule of of St. Benedict, which emphasizes the importance of prayer, humility, and service to others. Dreher argues that such communities can provide a refuge for Christians who feel alienated from the dominant culture and help them to deepen their faith.
While some critics have accused Dreher of advocating for isolationism and a retreat from the world, he insists that the Benedict Option is not about turning inward or abandoning the world, but rather about building strong communities that can serve as a witness to the Gospel in a secular age. Dreher acknowledges that the Benedict Option is not for everyone, but he believes that it offers a way forward for Christians who are struggling to maintain their faith in an increasingly hostile culture.
Creating intentional Catholic communities
I’ve long held the belief that God has preserved the Old Roman apostolate for an important role to play in addressing the crisis that is prevalent in the Church today. Specifically, in a time where sound teaching and leadership from the institutional hierarchy cannot be reliably counted on, the apostolate must step in and fill the gap, acting where others have failed to do so. By doing this, the apostolate can help ensure that the Church remains true to its teachings and continues to provide spiritual guidance and support to its followers.
When I became Primus, I shared with some brother clergy my concept of an “oratorian model” for the Old Roman apostolate; intentional Catholic communities i.e. groups of Catholics who come together with the purpose of sharing their faith and living in accordance with traditional Catholic teachings. Communities not isolated from society but rather integrated within their neighborhoods and local communities. By creating intentional Catholic communities, Catholics can support each other in their faith journeys, deepen their understanding of Catholic teachings, and engage in acts of service and evangelization in their local communities. These communities can also serve as a witness to the broader society of the power of the Catholic faith in everyday life.
Intentional communities could become a growing trend among faithful Catholics who seek to live together in a shared environment. These communities could be as small as single households where like-minded individuals houseshare, or families coming together to form a close-knit community in a local neighbourhood. The aim of intentional communities is to foster a sense of fellowship, mutual support, and common purpose. Members of these communities can share resources, responsibilities, and spiritual practices, such as daily prayer or Mass attendance. By living in intentional communities, Catholics can deepen their faith, strengthen their relationships with one another, and create a more meaningful and purposeful life.
An excellent example though admittedly not an originally nor deliberately intended one, is the traditional Catholic community in St Mary’s Kansas. Here traditional Catholic families supported the SSPX apostolate, sending their children to the school, which grew into an academy and became a beacon of traditional Catholic education. St. Mary’s Academy and College is now one of the leading institutions for traditional Catholic education in the United States. Today, it stands as a testament to the power of traditional Catholic education to shape the lives of young people in a positive way.
The traditional Catholic community in St. Mary’s, Kansas has a rich history dating back to 1848 when the Jesuits established the Church of the Immaculate Conception, now known as St. Mary’s Academy & College. In 1978, the Society of St. Pius X acquired the property and has since built a new monumental church named The Immaculata, which is dedicated to the traditional Latin Mass and other sacraments according to the traditional rites of the Catholic Church. The traditional Catholic families in the area have been instrumental in rebuilding the community and growing the school, resulting in a thriving traditional Catholic presence. The recent consecration of The Immaculata is a symbol of hope for traditional Catholicism worldwide.
The success of St. Mary’s Kansas as a traditional Catholic community can serve as a source of inspiration for other traditional Catholic communities looking to emulate its positive aspects. While replicating the model on a large scale may not be feasible, the underlying principles that created the strong sense of community in St. Mary’s can be adapted to suit the needs and circumstances of other communities. By focusing on fostering strong relationships among members, promoting shared values and beliefs, and creating a sense of belonging, communities can create an atmosphere that is conducive to growth and development. This, in turn, can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life for all members.
The Domestic Church
So an intentional Catholic community is a group of people who are committed to living out their traditional Catholic life in a communal setting. This can include families, couples, or individuals who share a common goal of deepening their relationship with God and each other. However, the success of such communities will be dependent on a strong foundation of prayer. Prayer is the backbone of the Christian’s life and is essential for building relationships with God and with each other. Through prayer, intentional Catholic communities can come together to support each other, grow in their faith, and serve the wider community.
Building an intentional household requires more than just physical space. It also involves establishing a domestic church where household members can come together to strengthen their faith and relationship with God. This designated area within the home fosters deeper and more meaningful connections within the family and provides a sense of belonging and purpose. The domestic church serves as a sanctuary where members can pray, read the Bible, and participate in other spiritual activities. It also serves as a reminder that the community’s faith is an integral part of their daily lives and helps to build a strong and vibrant Catholic household.
In ancient Rome, religion played a significant role in the daily lives of its citizens. As such, it was common for households to have a designated space within their homes to pray or direct their prayers. This space, as the domestic church, could range from a simple prayer corner to a room that was set apart as a chapel. The purpose of the domestic church was to provide a private and sacred space for individuals and their families to connect with their faith and spirituality. This tradition of having a domestic church has persisted over the centuries and is still observed in many Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian households today.
The concept of the domestic church refers to the idea that family home can be a sacred space where God’s presence is felt. It is rooted in the biblical understanding of the family as a foundational unit of society. The family, as a microcosm of the larger Church, has a responsibility to teach and transmit the faith to its members. By doing so, the family not only strengthens its own faith but also contributes to the overall health and vitality of the wider Church. The domestic church is a reminder that God is present in all aspects of family life, and that every moment can be an opportunity to encounter the divine.
The domestic church represents the truth of God’s covenant to His chosen people, a promise made by Christ, that He would reside with them. It is “holy ground” dedicated by the devotion with which it is treated and respected irrespective of whether it has been blessed or set apart by a priest or not. God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him. The prayers and devotion of the household make the space sacred. Whether marked by a simple cross or decorated with icons and statuary, as the focus of God’s place in the heart of the house and household, it serves to manifest the faith of the people. Making a distinct place for God in their home is what sets apart the faithful from the unfaithful and the unbeliever.
Of course, it is to be hoped that in any given location there might be several intentional Catholic communities or households able to come together and provide for a regular chapel in which to worship according to the traditional liturgy, like The Immaculata in Kansas. This certainly is something the Old Roman apostolate could hope for and work towards, but in the first instance our focus should be on people.
Rejection of secularism
Old Romans as traditional Catholics who are seeking a more authentic Catholic life would benefit from seeking out like-minded individuals and forming intentional communities. By attending traditional Latin Mass together, studying Catholic doctrine and history, and supporting one another in living out the teachings of the Church, individuals could deepen their faith and strengthen their commitment to Christ. By working together, traditional Catholics can explore the possibilities of living a more authentic Catholic life and grow in their understanding of and love for the Church.
Catholic individuals must adopt a radical shift in their attitudes and approach to living life if they are to reject secularism and live ‘contra mundum’ (against the world). The decline in attendance at Mass and the growth of secularism have been identified as major threats to the Church. Scandals in the Church and a lack of belief in its teachings are some of the factors behind this decline. Youth-focused groups are increasingly incorporating progressive elements to seemingly make the Church more attractive to millennials and in doing so threaten the integrity of the faith and it’s doctrines.
Yet the traditional Catholic family and way of life is a concept that has been around for centuries. It is based on the belief that the family is the foundation of society and that the roles of men and women are clearly defined. The traditional Catholic family values such as love, respect, and obedience are instilled in children from a young age. However, in recent times, this way of life has come under attack from various angles. The increasing secularization of society has led to a decline in the number of people who identify as Catholic. This decline in faith has led to a decline in the number of people who uphold traditional Catholic values.
Furthermore, the rise of individualism and feminism has challenged the traditional roles of men and women within the family. The traditional Catholic family values of submission, obedience, and sacrifice are seen as outdated and oppressive. Instead, modern society promotes individualism, self-expression, and the pursuit of personal happiness above all else. However, despite these challenges, many Catholic families continue to uphold traditional values and pass them on to their children. They believe that the traditional Catholic family is the cornerstone of society and that it is their duty to preserve it. These families face numerous challenges, but they remain steadfast in their beliefs and continue to live according to their faith. The Old Roman apostolate in its missions and chapels must do everything to support and promote this traditional approach to family life.
Passing the Torch: Intergenerational Interaction for Sharing Knowledge and Experience
Therefore it is crucial for the preservation of the faith and the survival of the family that the younger generation is taught the values and traditions of Catholic culture. In today’s world, many young people are exposed to a variety of cultures and traditions. While learning about different cultures can be a positive experience, it is also important for young people to understand and appreciate the values and traditions of their own culture. By preserving these values and traditions, families can maintain a sense of identity and belonging, which can be particularly important during times of change or uncertainty.
Teaching the younger generation about their Catholic culture involves more than just passing on information. It requires creating opportunities for young people to experience and participate in cultural traditions, as religious services or participating in family celebrations. By involving young people in these activities, families can help to ensure that Catholic cultural traditions are passed down from one generation to the next. But this cultural induction must not be superficial but communicate a true and proper understanding of Catholic culture and spirituality based on the Scriptures and doctrine of the apostles.
The Catholic faith is rich with traditions that are shared by Catholics all around the world. These traditions, ranging from communal family devotions to individual prayers, from traditional communal customs to personal acts of piety, have been passed down from generation to generation. It is important to revive and preserve these traditions, especially while the older generations are still with us. By doing so, we can retrieve the knowledge and praxis of these traditions before it is too late. These traditions not only provide a sense of continuity and connection to our past but also serve as a powerful means of fostering faith and spirituality in our lives.
Every local mission of the Old Roman apostolate must carry out thorough research and actively promote local cultural customs to ensure their transmission to the present generation through catechesis. The revival and preservation of Catholic cultural traditions are critical for the Church’s survival. These traditions connect us to our spiritual heritage, providing a sense of continuity with the past. By reclaiming these traditions, our faith can be strengthened, and our worship can be enriched. We can also pass on a legacy of beauty and reverence to future generations, making it a matter of utmost importance.
We are initiating the process of developing a program that has the goal of promoting cultural enrichment and intentional Catholic communities across different age groups. Our aim is to create a platform that facilitates meaningful dialogue, fosters understanding, and brings people together within the Old Roman apostolates. Our ultimate goal is to build a closely-knit community that is united in faith and purpose.
One of the key aspects of our program is the formation of intentional Catholic communities. These communities will provide individuals with an opportunity to come together and support each other in their faith journeys. By working together, we hope to create an environment where people can grow in their faith and deepen their appreciation for the Church’s cultural heritage.
Through this initiative, we will strive to promote intergenerational collaboration, constructive dialogue, and understanding. We believe that by working together, we can build a stronger and more vibrant community that is rooted in faith and cultural heritage.
The decline of religious belief in the UK is a matter of concern, as highlighted by recent reports. A newly published report, commissioned four years ago by then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, cites a profound need for improving Britons’ knowledge of religion in general and for protecting faith in an increasingly secularized landscape. According to The Bloom Review: An independent review into how government engages with faith, only 38% of the population believes in God, and there is a lack of religious knowledge among the British population. This trend is deeply disturbing, as it affects the social fabric of our society.
In the UK, a random probability sample of 3056 adults was analysed from March to September 2020, of whom 1645 were from England, 523 from Scotland, 437 from Wales, and 446 from Northern Ireland. This data was measured against 24 other countries and compared with results from 1981. The report surveyed more than 21,000 people, more than half of whom said they believe that freedom of religion is under threat in the U.K. This view was held by Christians more than any other group, with 68% saying that people were penalized for being open about their faith in the workplace.
The Bloom Review published by the British government, stresses the significance of religious education in schools and promotes interfaith dialogue as a means of building a cohesive and inclusive society. The report notes that religious literacy is essential to understanding the diversity of beliefs and practices present in contemporary society. According to the Bloom Review, increased engagement with religious communities is necessary to this goal. The report cites several examples of successful interfaith initiatives, including the Near Neighbours program, which promotes community cohesion by bringing together people of different faiths to work on local projects (Bloom Review, 2023). Additionally, the report recommends improving the quality of religious education in schools by providing training for teachers and developing a national framework for religious education (Bloom Review, 2023).
The lack of religious knowledge is not just limited to the British population but also extends to the United States. The Pew Forum’s religious knowledge survey Who Knows What About Religion found that only 2% of their respondents answered 29 or more questions correctly, indicating a lack of basic religious education. The survey covered topics such as the Bible, Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, world religions, religion in public life, and atheism and agnosticism. This highlights the need for better religious education not only in schools but also in society as a whole.
The lack of religious knowledge among the British population is also highlighted in a report by Church Times that states that only 6% of the population can name all four Gospels. This highlights the need for better religious education in schools. In 1981, three-quarters of the surveyed UK adults said that they believed in God, compared with just under half (49 per cent) in 2022. Just five countries had a lower percentage of belief in God: China (17 per cent), Sweden (35 per cent), Japan (39 per cent), South Korea (41 per cent), and Norway (46 per cent).
The latest British Social Attitudes Survey 2021 showed that the share of the population belonging to no religion had continued to grow, then standing at 53%, with 12% Anglicans, 7% Catholics, 18% other Christians, and 9% all other religions. It also showed that the share of non-religious people will continue to rise over the coming decades, with some 68% of 18-24 year olds saying they belong to no religion, versus just 18% saying they are Christians – including 0.7% saying they are Anglicans. The Church of England has experienced the largest decline in affiliation, halving from 40% to 20%. BSAS report suggests generational replacement is the main reason for this change as younger generations are less religious than older ones. The British Social Attitudes survey is considered as a credible source for measuring religious belief in British society.
The Bloom Review highlights that the lack of religious knowledge is not confined to Christianity alone but extends to other religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. This presents a clear need for a better understanding of religion and its role in society. Religious education can be a great tool to promote mutual respect and understanding among different faiths and cultures. By learning about different religions and their beliefs, people can develop a better of the world around them. This can ultimately lead to a more tolerant and accepting society, where people from different backgrounds come together to build a better future.
The Bloom Review calls for increased involvement of religious groups in the public sphere, and Archbishop Lloyd’s work in his local community has been particularly focused on this area in recent years. Formerly Chair of Trustees of Brighton & Hove Faith in Action, and as a trustee of the Racial Harassment Forum Brighton & Hove, he continues to work towards building bridges between different faith communities and promoting social cohesion. His membership of the Brighton & Hove Local Education Authority’s Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) enables him to speak to the condition, content and standard of religious education in schools locally. ✠Jerome believes passionately that such efforts are an essential witness to the inherent truth of Christianity and to dispelling ignorance of the important contribution religion makes to society and community.
There is no clear consensus on why religion has declined in the UK. However, the Bloom Review report recommends improving religious education, promoting interfaith dialogue, and increasing engagement with religious communities. The Bloom report claims that Christianity is being marginalized and discriminated against in society. This resonates with the British Foreign Office’s 2019 commissioned report on Christian persecution globally revealing that around a quarter of a billion Christians across the world are suffering persecution, with reports indicating the problem is worsening. Anglican Bishop Philip Mounstephen’s recommendations to the Foreign Office included imposing sanctions against religious human rights abusers and having more detailed policy regarding anti-Christian persecution. Colin Bloom’s report on religion and the state in Britain, suggests that the government needs to intervene more to weed out oppression, violence, and radicalization in religious settings.
Aside from the recommendations made to the Government and institutional strategies to counter religious indifference and ignorance, ✠Jerome is convinced that Christians themselves need to become bolder in witnessing to the Gospel in our communities. He firmly believes that British Christians themselves need to comprehend and appreciate that they are no longer an influential majority in Britain and avail themselves more of the protections and advantages that recent equalities legislation now provides. It can no longer be assumed that even major festivals in our Christian cultural tradition like Christmas and Easter are understood by the majority of British people anymore. From day to day interactions in a variety of settings, the Archbishop is constantly made aware of the ignorance of people about the most fundamental of Christian beliefs or naive assumptions made about our religion.
However, ✠Jerome also believes all these reports demonstrate there is an opportunity as well as a need identified here for a revival of orthodox Christianity in British society. By no longer labouring under the assumption that a latent or residual cultural influence exists in contemporary British society, Christians should evangelise by focusing on the core teachings of the Christian faith. This would involve a renewed emphasis on the Bible and the gospel message, rather than cultural traditions or an attempt to adapt Christian beliefs to fit with contemporary secular values. By doing so, orthodox Christians could offer a clear distinct message that differs from the surrounding culture and provides a compelling alternative to the relativistic and individualistic values of modern society. In this sense, the challenges posed by secularism and the decline of Christianity in Britain offer an opportunity for revitalization of the faith, one that can bring new life to Christian communities and help to share the transformative power of the gospel with others.
A.M.D.G. Feria Quarta Quattuor Temporum Pentecostes
Applications are invited from men keen to explore the possibility of vocation to the sacred ministry in a household-style setting in Brighton, UK where the men share daily Mass, prayer, meals, household responsibilities and volunteer activities under the direct tutelage of ✠Jerome.
One of the presenting issues for Old Roman vocations has often been the lack of a stable seminary. We have been fortunate that most vocations come from men who have attended traditionalist or institutional seminaries or are graduates in theology from credible academies. But as demand for places at the few traditional seminaries continues to rise following the increased persecution of the Traditional Latin Mass by the institutional Church, a solution needs to be found for Old Roman seminarians.
Before the creation of seminaries, clergy training for the priesthood received academic formation from universities, and spiritual and formational training from religious orders or the bishop’s household. Unlike the traditional seminary training, which primarily focuses on academic education, the House of Formation combines academic formation with spiritual and formational training.
Seminaries can create a rarefied atmosphere that encourages clericalism, which can lead students to develop an exclusive and superior attitude. This can produce an attitude of ingratitude and false expectations of dependency on others materially. As a consequence, subsequent clergy may prioritize their own power and authority over the needs and concerns of the people they are supposed to serve. This can create a culture of elitism and reduce accountability, which can have negative consequences for both the seminary and the wider community.
The household-style setting for vocational discernment is a valuable and innovative approach to nurturing future pastors of the Church who are grounded in the Gospel, formed in community, and equipped for ministry. Though realized in a contemporary context, the household model was used for centuries in the Church before the more recent and conventional seminary setting that became prevalent just 500 years ago. It is a model that can inspire other forms of intentional Christian living and witness in a world that is hungry for authentic spirituality, meaningful relationships, transformative action and true religion. May God bless those who respond to this call and may they be faithful servants of Christ and His Church.
A shared house of formation for traditional Catholic ordinands can be a great way to provide a supportive environment for those preparing for the priesthood. The concept involves a community of men living together in a house, sharing meals, prayer, and study. This can create a strong sense of fraternity and accountability, as well as provide opportunities for spiritual growth and discernment.
This approach allows seminarians to develop a deeper understanding of their faith and their vocation while also gaining the necessary knowledge and skills needed for their future ministry. With the House of Formation, seminarians are equipped not only to become knowledgeable priests, but also compassionate and empathetic pastors, to serve their communities with humility and love.
In such a house, seminarians can learn from each other, share their struggles and, and each other in their journey towards the priesthood. Communal living also allows for a more holistic formation, as ordinands can develop practical skills such as cooking, cleaning, and managing household finances.
Furthermore, a shared house of formation can be a cost-effective way of providing formation for Old Roman seminarians. By sharing the financial contribution among the members of the household, the expenses of rent and utilities can be reduced. Ultimately, a shared house of formation can be a powerful tool in the formation of future priests who are well-equipped to serve the Church and its people.
There are several advantages to a house of formation over a seminary experience. One of the main benefits is the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. In a house of formation, seminarians can work and gain practical experience while also studying for the priesthood. This can be especially valuable for those who may not have a lot of work experience prior to entering the seminary. Additionally, a house of formation can provide specialized pastoral training and practical resources for seminarians, which can help them better prepare for the unique challenges and responsibilities of the priesthood.
It has long been Archbishop Lloyd’s vision to establish local oratories served by clergy living together, ideally located in a town or city, to cater to missions and cells in the area. The Formation House model of clergy houses would be perfect for replicating this setup, as it allows for a community of clergy to live and work together, fostering collaboration, support, and accountability. This model could provide a sense of stability and continuity for the community, as well as a space for spiritual guidance and growth.
As the majority of Old Roman vocations are “bivocational” i.e. clergy support themselves financially, the shared-house model would be perfect for lightening the financial burden on our clergy while providing them with the support they need. In this model, several clergy members share a residence, splitting the cost of living expenses between them. This would allow for more flexibility in their schedules, as well as provide emotional and spiritual support. Additionally, the shared-house model could help foster a sense of community among the clergy, helping to combat the loneliness and isolation that can come with the vocation. Overall, the shared-house model could be an effective solution to alleviate the financial and emotional burdens of bivocational clergy.
Brighton Formation House
The Formation House, located in Brighton & Hove in the UK is where individuals will come to share in the Archbishop’s apostolate of working with the homeless and ministering to the faithful. Life in the Formation House will be based on the four basics of all priestly common life, which are prayer, study, meals, and recreation. The house will offer a peaceful and contemplative environment where individuals can deepen their spiritual life, grow in knowledge, and build lasting relationships with others who share similar interests and goals. The Formation House will be an ideal place for any man who wants to deepen his faith and discern a call to the priesthood.
Brighton is located on England’s South Coast in the county of East Sussex. It’s only an hour away from Central London by train and 30 minutes from London Gatwick, one of the UK’s major international airports. Granted city status in 2000, today Brighton and Hove district has a resident population of about 277,103 and the wider Brighton and Hove conurbation has a population of 474,485 (2011 census). It is ranked the 57th most populous district in England. Compared to the national average, Brighton has fewer children and old residents but a large proportion of adults aged 20–44. Brighton is identified as one of the least religious places in the UK, based upon analysis of the 2011 census which revealed that 42 per cent of the population profess no religion, far higher than the national average of 25 per cent.
In the Georgian era, Brighton developed as a highly fashionable seaside resort, encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent, later King George IV, who spent much time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion in the Regency era. Brighton continued to grow as a major centre of tourism following the arrival of the railways in 1841, becoming a popular destination for day-trippers from London. Many of the major attractions were built in the Victorian era. Every May the city hosts England’s biggest arts festival. Brighton Festival features theatre, music, art and visual media by leading names from around the world. And all year round there are plays, art exhibitions, gigs and events at many of the theatres, pubs, museums and galleries in the city.
In December 2021, new data released by Shelter, revealed that “one in 78 people in Brighton and Hove are homeless”. The report also records the city as having the third highest rate of homelessness in England, with London claiming the top spot followed by Luton. In a previous charity report issued in November 2016, three areas in Brighton & Hove, East Brighton, Queen’s Park, and Moulsecoomb & Bevendean ranked in the top ten per cent nationally for deprivation. Homelessness figures released by Crisis in December 2018 reported a record high in the UK, with figures in Sussex, including Brighton and Hove, reported as being “high”. At a meeting of the full B&H Council on 25 March 2021, Brighton and Hove became the first UK City to adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights.
Brighton is a vibrant and diverse city, home to a wide range of communities and cultures. It is also a city with a high level of social need, including poverty, homelessness, and addiction. For those looking to engage in missionary and outreach work, Brighton presents both an exciting and challenging territory. The Formation House will be an ideal base for those looking to serve the local community and spread the word of God and the traditional Catholic life and faith.
Candidates seeking to enter the seminary or house of formation of the religious clergy, certain qualities are generally considered important. These include a sense of vocation, moral and theological virtues, human and psychic equilibrium, affective balance, and a positive and stable sense of one’s masculine identity. In addition, the candidate should have the freedom to be enthused by great ideals and the capacity to integrate their sexuality in accordance with Christian vision, including celibacy.
will be baptised and confirmed traditional Catholics;
will be passport holder UK citizens, or have a verifiable visa or leave to remain in the UK;
must agree to participate for a minimum of one year;
will provide character references and comply with all background checks including DBS;
will be in full or part time employment or education with sufficient financial support (grant/scholarship/income) to cover their share of rent and subsistence;
or, if not already apprenticed or studying, must be eligible and prepared to enroll in an apprenticeship, tertiary or higher education course (preferably in theology);
or, if already sufficiently academically qualified must be self-supporting financially to cover their share of rent and subsistence;
maturer candidates not in education or employment must be financially self-supporting i.e. able to cover their share of rent and subsistence;
if not a graduate of theology must be prepared to study theology academically at least to diploma level;
must agree to abide by the house rules and participate in the domestic, liturgical and devotional life of the household;
must be willing to participate in activities and projects as required and directed to support the pastoral, liturgical and missionary life of the Brighton Oratory.
The duration of the formation will depend on the individual candidate’s discernment and progression. Candidates will progress through the minor orders before major ordination to the subdiaconate, diaconate and priesthood. Candidates already graduates in theology should expect 3-4 years formation, others 5-6 years including minor and major ordinations.
It is hoped candidates will have their own study-bedroom but dependent on numbers and shared finances, shared rooms may have to be considered. All members of the house will be expected to contribute equally towards maintaining the household. This will help promote a sense of community and shared responsibility among the candidates, and may be a good opportunity for them to learn important life skills.
All members of the household will share responsibility for decisions on spending and paying household bills e.g. rent, utilities, subsistence, etc. Monies sufficient to cover household expenses will be paid monthly by members into a household account.
Members will be required to provide their own black cassock, surplice and clerical clothing in approved styles and from recommended suppliers. Otherwise to limit their personal belongings to the available personal space they will occupy (determined by the available accomodation).
The horarium will be prescribed by the observance and requirements of the liturgical office and the commitments of the inhabitants to work, study or duties. Daily Mass, Lauds and Vespers will be offered communally and the evening meal whenever possible.
Exploring Vocation in a Household-Style Setting
The call to the sacred ministry is a noble and challenging vocation that requires a sacrificial and sustained commitment to God and His people. For traditional Catholic men who are keen to explore this path, a unique opportunity will now available in the form of a household-style setting that provides a supportive and immersive environment for discerning their calling.
Under the direct tutelage of ✠Jerome, a seasoned pastor and spiritual guide, these men will share daily prayer, meals, household responsibilities, and volunteer activities, to help them develop the virtues of humility, charity, obedience, and perseverance. By living in community with other like-minded men, they will learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and build lasting bonds of friendship and support.
This household-style setting offers a holistic approach to vocational discernment that integrates spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and social dimensions of the person. The men will be exposed to a wide range of pastoral experiences, including preaching, teaching, counseling, visiting the sick and the poor, and participating in parish life. They will also be given ample opportunities for personal reflection, spiritual direction, and academic formation, which will help them deepen their knowledge of Scripture, theology, pastoral ministry, and human development.
While the journey towards priesthood is not an easy one, the household-style setting offers a safe and challenging context for men to test their vocation, discern their gifts and limitations, and grow in their love for God and His people. The men are not isolated from the world but are encouraged to engage with it in a way that witnesses to the Gospel values of compassion, justice, and peace. They are also supported by a network of priests, religious, and laypeople who share their vision and mission.
Expressions of interest
To initiate the application process interested candidates should first contact Archbishop Lloyd by submitting a detailed curriculum vitae, a covering letter or email, and a brief account of their spiritual journey and vocational discernment in not more than 3000 words. The covering letter/email should clearly state the candidate’s interest and intentions with regards to their inquiry, as well as their eligibility, capability and availability to commence the potential formation program.
The size and location of the initial Formation House in Brighton will be determined by the number of successful candidates, who will be included in discussions concerning the selection of the property and level of rent. The initial set-up costs including the deposit will be covered by the Archbishop’s Discretionary Fund.
A Formation House is a unique opportunity for the Old Roman apostolate. It will be a place where individuals can come together to receive training and guidance in their spiritual journeys. The Formation House will provide a structured environment where individuals can grow in their faith and develop a deeper understanding of the teachings and traditions of the Church. It is an exciting opportunity for those who wish to deepen their relationship with God, discern their vocation and share their faith with others. The formation house can potentially serve as a hub for the Old Roman apostolate in Brighton, providing a central location for outreach and evangelization efforts.
After the western celebration of Easter, His Grace ✠Jerome retired to the Greek island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea for a customary Paschal retreat. This year his visit coincided with the Eastern Orthodox celebration of Pascha and His Grace’s generous hosts included him in their family celebration of this important religious festival common to all Christians. Though known primarily as a summer resort, Zakynthos has an incredible history very relevant to the history and knowledge of Latin Catholics.
The great Battle of Lepanto took place just off the coast of the island and islanders participated in the battle to protect Europe from Ottoman incursion. On 7 October 1571, the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic states, fought off the Ottoman Empire in the Gulf of Patras. The Holy League, arranged by Pope Pius V and largely financed by Philip II of Spain, dealt a significant blow to the Ottoman fleet. The Ottoman forces were sailing from Lepanto, their naval station, when they encountered the Holy League’s fleet sailing from Messina, Sicily. The Spanish Empire and the Venetian Republic were the primary powers in the coalition, with Venice providing most of the ships.
During the period of the Byzantine Empire, specifically from the 7th to the 12th centuries, Zakynthos was a part of the Theme of Cephallenia. The local bishopric was also subordinate to Cephallenia, and later to the Metropolis of Corinth. In 880, the island was attacked by the Aghlabids, but the Byzantine navy led by Nasar was able to defeat them. The Pisans looted Zakynthos in 1099, while it was captured by Margaritus of Brindisi in 1185. From then on, it became a part of the County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos. A Latin bishopric was also established on the island, alongside the existing Orthodox one.
During Mehmed II’s reign in 1460, the Ottoman Turks gained control over most of the Peloponnese except for a few towns controlled by Venice. This is reflected in the architecture of the island’s churches, many – despite earthquakes – still possessing an imposing pastiche reproduction of the campanile of St Mark’s cathedral, Venice, a tradition that has continued in new-builds. Zakynthos was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1478 but conquered by Venice in 1482. It remained under Venetian control until 1797 before passing under French rule and becoming part of the autonomous Septinsular Republic in 1800, before returning to the French in 1807. Seized by the British in 1809, it formed part of the United States of the Ionian Islands until the Union of the Ionian Islands with Greece in 1864.
In World War II during the period of German occupation in Greece, Mayor Loukas Karrer and Bishop Chrysostomos bravely defied the Nazi orders to provide a list of the Jewish community members in their town, which was intended for deportation to the death camps. Instead, they chose to hide the Jewish people in nearby rural villages, ultimately saving their lives. As per available sources, all or most of the town’s 275 Jewish inhabitants in Zakynthos were able to survive the war. Both Karrer and Chrysostomos were later recognized as Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem. Unfortunately, despite their heroic efforts, over 80% of Greek Jews were still deported to the death camps and became victims of the Holocaust. The film above with the last remaining survivor of this period provides a fascinating retelling of these heroic endeavours from an eyewitness and beneficiary.
His Grace was able on this occasion to visit the main town of Zante’s museums, including a very interesting exhibition of historic icons from the island’s many churches, some rescued from earthquake damage. Notable among the rich collection of typical Byzantine icons ranging from the 16C to the present day, were icons from the later-Venetian rule period of the 18C reflecting the influence of western style art.
✠Jerome was also able to visit the cathedral of St Denis and visit the tomb and relics of St Dionysius (Denis) of Zante, a 16th-century Orthodox Christian Archbishop of Aegina. He was born on the island in 1546. He is the patron saint of Zakynthos (sometimes called Zante in English) and his body is incorrupt, his feasts are celebrated on August 24 and December 17.
St Dionysius’s ancestry is traced back through the Venetian conquerors to a family tree whose roots lay in part in Italy and in part Normandy. Born into the ruling class at a time when Venice was a dominant force in the area, Dionysios is said to have been baptised into the Christian faith with the name Draganinos by no less a godfather than Gerasimos of Kefalonia, who was himself destined to become a venerated saint of the Church. Dionysios came of the royal household of the Venetians through his mother, but he led no one to believe – from childhood through maturity – that he was anything but a child of God. He formed lasting friendships with his fellow islanders from all walks of life.
With the death of his parents, Dionysios entered the Monastery of Strophades, where he was in due course tonsured a monk with the name of Daniel. By the time that he was ordained priest in 1577, he was already a seasoned campaigner for Christ and was highly respected not only for his piety but also for his wisdom and beneficence. He had long since given his entire worldly goods to the poor and had earned a reputation for kindness and charity which had carried to the mainland among the clergy and laity alike.
On a mission to the Holy Land where Dionysios anticipated the exhilaration of walking where Jesus had trod, he stopped over in Piraeus to book passage to Palestine but never completed his journey. Greeted warmly by church dignitaries, he was prevailed upon by Archbishop Nikanor of Athens to assume the episcopy of the island of Aegina, an appointment that was heartily approved by the Ecumenical Patriarch. In 1572 he assumed the post and with it the name of Dionysios.
One rainy night, a desperate man came to the monastery and asked for help. This man had just committed a murder and as the monk found out, through continuous questions, this man had killed the brother of Dionyssios and the family of the dead man was chasing after him. Despite the bitterness and his lament, Dionysios provided shelter to the murderer and even helped him to escape the island, to save his life, because, as he said, he wanted to prevent another crime. Local tradition affirms that the murderer later returned and became a monk in that same monastery. This story certainly touched the heart of the Zakynthians.
The saintliness of this prelate had been evidenced in many ways throughout his service to the Messiah, but as Archbishop it took on greater proportions. As a result he was sought out by pilgrims from all around seeking his blessing and benediction that seemed to produce true miracles. While he found these manifestations gratifying, he was overwhelmed by his immense popularity, and after much soul searching asked for and was given permission to return to the comparative tranquility of his native island. Dionysios seemed to have the favour of the Lord and emerged from the seclusion of his monastic retreat from time to time to share this divine spark with his fellow Christians. He died peacefully at the age of seventy-five on December 17, 1622.
As usual, ✠Jerome joyfully blessed the crops and animals of the farm he was visiting with Paschal water that he had brought with him. The Therianos family, who hosted him, are a renowned Zakynthian family with an ancient olive grove they have farmed for centuries since 1489. Their organic olive oil has won multiple gold medals in international competitions, even in Italy and Spain. Additionally, they are one of the last remaining farms to produce raisins, which were once a significant source of wealth for the island until World War II. The farm also produces honey and wine!The family are long-standing friends of a member of the Brighton Oratory’s congregation in the UK and in 2022 His Grace played host to them on a sightseeing tour of London.