Track the Pope’s Flight in Real Time

I post this because: 1) I never knew you could do it, and 2) I think modern technology is just great!

The Pope is flying over the heart of the United States this afternoon. Track his flight here in real time…

Check it out here.

Pretty cool!



Former Anglican Rector Joins Ordinariate in Scotland

News from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham as she grows:

Sunday 18 March marked an important event in the life of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in Scotland, when the Reverend Stanley Bennie was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church. He had served as Rector of St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Stornoway for 30 years until his retirement in 2010.

Having attended the Catholic Church of Our Holy Redeemer in Stornoway for over a year, Mr Bennie was received by the Parish Priest, Fr Roddy Johnston, whilst Fr Len Black, the Ordinariate priest in Scotland, gave the homily also acted as sponsor.

Fr Black said, “The welcome we have received from the Catholic community in Stornoway equalled the warmth with which the Ordinariate has been welcomed in Scotland.”

Fr Johnston, Parish Priest of Our Holy Redeemer, said “It was a very joyful occasion in which someone who had worshipped with us for so long became one with us at the table of the Lord”.

Stanley Bennie now hopes to serve as a Catholic Priest in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in Scotland.


Bible Archaeology

The Best Maps of Israel

On the Bible Places blog:

The best maps for detailed work in historical geography of Israel are the 1:50,000 series published by the Survey of Israel and the Survey of Western Palestine maps produced in the 1880s by the Palestine Exploration Fund. The first set comprises 20 maps and the second 16 (only going as far south as Beersheba), indicating the level of detail involved. Maps in the first set cost about $20 each and the second set costs in the thousands of dollars in the rare event that one comes on the market. In order to gain access to the Survey of Western Palestine, when one went on the market for sale in Germany some years ago, we purchased it and “shared the cost” by making an electronic version available.

An excellent new resource is available that combines the two maps in a single (free) website entitled amud anan (“pillar of cloud”). You can navigate on either map and then toggle to the other to see the land 130 years earlier (or later). The differences are dramatic. In addition, a “3D” option overlaps the maps on Google Earth topography so that the hills and valleys look like hills and valleys.

The 1:50,000 maps are in Hebrew. If you need to use detailed maps of Israel, and you don’t think you need to know Hebrew for anything else, these maps provide sufficient justification to learn the alphabet. (It really doesn’t take that long; there are only 22 letters and everything is phonetic.)

With a a tablet and a good internet connection (or with purchase of the iPad app; Android coming), hiking in Israel may never be the same!

Northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Survey of Western Palestine sheet 6


Farewell Letter from Bishop David Moyer

This is his last communication to the TTAC. He has been replaced by Bishop Craig Botterill.

Dear Fathers and good people of the TTAC,

I learned officially today from Archbishop Samuel Peter Prakash, who has assumed the role of Acting Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, that my time has ended as your Episcopal Visitor; and that Bishop Craig Botterill has been appointed by Archbishop Prakash as my replacement.

I will not comment on how I perceive what has happened because nearly everything I say or write is posted on the internet in ways that do not advance the Gospel and my intent to be a servant of the Lord. I do not want in any way to further division, but pray that, in God’s time, we “all be one.”

I ask that you, who choose to remain in the TTAC, give your full support and affection to Bishop Botterill. If he experiences a small dose of the support and affection you gave to me, he will be blessed.

Please know that I view my time in serving you as a great privilege, and as a time when my understanding of the Church and the priests who serve her so well was enlarged. I will hold in my bank of memories our times together in Synod and when I visited with you and your people, experiencing such gracious hospitality and acceptance. I so enjoyed my times staying with Vicar General Father Ian Gray and his dear wife, Christine, at Reasby Manor, and what they provided for me in so many ways.

I need to also say that no words are adequate to express the depth of love and respect I have for Robert Mercer, CR. I am so pleased for his upcoming ordinations to the diaconate and priesthood of the Catholic Church. As I tongue-in-cheek referred to him as my “Curate,” I will say that he was much more than that, and that I have profited immensely from his spiritual depth and wisdom.

I pledge my daily prayers for you, and humbly ask that you will afford me the same.

With fraternal love,

+David L. Moyer

You can download it in pdf. here.



Pope Uses a Cane for the First Time in Public

When he arrived at the airport in Rome at the start of his six-day trip to Mexico and Cuba this morning:

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday used a cane – apparently for the first time in public – to help him walk up to a plane during an airport ceremony to see him off on a pilgrimage to Mexico and Cuba.

Benedict, who turns 85 next month, leaned on a black cane with his right hand as he walked steadily for about 100 meters (yards) to the foot of the Alitalia plane from the helicopter which flew him from the Vatican to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport Friday morning.

Papal aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the pope started using the cane about two months ago in private because it makes him feel more secure, and not for any medical problem.

Italian Premier Mario Monti and church officials greeted him at the departure ceremony. Benedict then climbed the steps of the aircraft unaided, stopping at one point to wave, before entering the plane, which began a 13-1/2 hour-flight to Mexico.

Benedict returns to Rome on March 29.

A few months ago, Benedict started using a wheeled platform to save his energy when navigating the vast length of St. Peter’s Basilica. On Wednesday, Benedict didn’t hold his usual weekly public audience, Vatican officials said, so he could rest before the trip.



Priest Ordained Early to Fulfill Father’s Dying Wish

A beautiful vocation story, courtesy the National Catholic Register:

In the past several months, new priest Father Richard Dyer has experienced  deeply the highs and lows of the Christian life.

In late December, he was ordained a priest six months early for the Diocese  of Arlington, Va., by Bishop Paul Loverde to fulfill his dying father’s wish to  be present at his ordination.

After seeing his son become a priest, Father Dyer’s father, Richard Dyer Sr.,  passed away the following day — at almost the same time his son finished  celebrating his first Mass.

“Even amongst the sadness, there’s so much grace being poured out on me, my  dad and my family,” Father Dyer said. “We do have our moments of sadness and  deep sadness, of course, on the natural level, but because of our faith, we turn  to Christ in hope of the Resurrection.”

As Father Dyer and his family continue to grieve, he is back at Mount St.  Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., as both priest and seminarian, finishing his  final coursework this spring semester with his classmates.

His ordination is the latest chapter in a vocation story that has involved  his whole family, especially his dad.

Father Dyer grew up in Germany, Georgia and other locations that Richard Dyer  Sr.’s job as an Air Force colonel took the family. After college, Father Dyer  asked his father to commission him for four years of Air Force service.

He worked at a power plant, where he moved up to vice president. “It really  was a nice career, but, in that process, I was discovering I had this burning  desire for something more — and that emptiness that I felt can only be fulfilled  in Christ,” he said.

Father Dyer started attending St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Clifton, Va.  While participating in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults with his  brother-in-law, who was preparing for confirmation, he convinced his mother (a  Catholic) and father (who wasn’t Catholic) to attend, too. “Monday Night  Football was on. I’m sure Dad didn’t want to go. But that Easter [2000], he  entered the Church.”

As his faith grew, Father Dyer wondered if he was called to the priesthood.  After a lot of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and novenas to St. Thérèse of  Lisieux, he applied to the seminary.

At age 43, he didn’t doubt his call, but his ability to be a priest. “I  thought, I’m going to seminary, but there’s no way I’ll end up being a priest,” he said. “He just wants me to grow in holiness, and, eventually, I’ll come out,  and I’ll get married.”

But he came to see that God truly wanted him to be a priest.

A year before Father Dyer’s scheduled ordination, he learned that his father  had stage-4 kidney cancer. By fall, doctors gave Richard Dyer Sr. a 50% chance  of living until the June 2012 ordination.

“He was doing everything to focus on June,” Father Dyer said. “That was  really a concern to him at the end: just to be able to make it to my  ordination.”

In December, Father Dyer explained the situation to Bishop Loverde in a  letter and asked him to pray to know God’s will about ordaining him early.

The bishop responded by saying he would ordain Father Dyer on Dec. 27.

“When Father Dyer first wrote to me about his father’s failing health, his  humility and servant’s heart were very clear,” said Bishop Loverde. “He  asked me to discern God’s will as to whether he should be ordained now, and I  set to prayer and consultation to decide the correct path. At the end of this  process, I was led to be absolutely convinced that it was right and fitting to  ordain Father Dyer to the priesthood this past December.

“I believe the ultimate unfolding of events reveals this to be a concrete  example of God’s loving care for us and may inspire us all to pray regularly, ‘Give me, O Lord, a discerning heart.’”

The bishop’s decision is extremely unusual for the Arlington Diocese and  reveals the bishop’s love for priests, said Father Brian Bashista, diocesan  vocations director. “It was a beautiful accommodation, and many graces have  flown from it,” he said. “It’s very rare, and, as the circumstances unfolded, it  was just a beautiful way the bishop gave him consideration.”

Read the rest.

HT and source (of above).