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Doubles of the First Class: St. Patrick and St. Joseph.

The luck of the Irish to you! This is an ancient greeting and perhaps I will need it as I broach, as chaplain of this humble programme, the coming feasts of St. Patrick and St. Joseph.

Many have not quite understood that Septuagesima70 is one way to live the Church’s liturgical year in its traditional manner. It is not the old ways (which are not mandated by anyone in the Church these days despite suggestions to the contrary), and it is not “Novus ordo” ways, it is just the Septuagesima70 ways. We have never pretended them to be anything else.

So tomorrow (18 May 2024) is the (transferred) feast of St. Patrick (it is transferred everywhere where it is a Double of the First Class which includes Ireland, Certain Diocese of the USA and England, and also Australia), and Tuesday (19 May) the feast of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church.

For adherents of Septuagesima70, as explained in the practices document from the beginning of the programme, we will relieve ourselves from all penances of Double First Class Feasts, except for one (penance).

Should you feel so inclined to choose not to do this in a spirit of personal prayer and penance, by all means, but whatever I do, Christian charity demands that I not make any assessment of another who chooses to act differently, especially someone who has chosen to live the earlier-expressed practices of Septuagesima70. This includes opining about whether one form or other is superior or not, even if I do not intend to be critical of others.

As I have repeated ad nauseum there are no fasts, penances, imposed under the new dispensations, under pain of mortal sin. When such a situation returns, I will be one of the first to advocate our adherence to Church-imposed fasts. In the meantime, let us prepare ourselves to fast, most particularly from the sin of hypocrisy, and, in a few days, by trying to re-live a spirit of penance, in the once-traditional manner, during the remaining days of Passiontide.

Enjoy this small break from the rigours of the programme so that in a couple of days we can return to it with renewed gusto.

St. Patrick and St. Joseph…pray for us!

Fr. Withoos


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