Wednesday, March 25, 2009

See You at Easter!

I've decided over the last few days that my Lent has not progressed as I would like. Oh, sure, I've kept (for the most paret) the committments I made. However, I don't feel closer to Christ, and I have really felt distracted and sort of uncentered (perhaps due to all of the studies for Patristics and deacon formation). Anyhow, I've decided that I need to refocus and put my attention somewhere else for the remainder of Lent—primarily on scripture and meditation. I'm going to take a break from blogging (reading and writing) for the time. God bless you all.

Also, please keep in your prayers Bobbie Van Steenburgen, a St. John's parishioner and a member of my wife's small faith community. She has been recivering from her third hip surgery in the last year and fell in the bathroom two nights ago. She struck her head and suffered a subdural hematoma. There were some other complicating factors. Suffice it to say, we're all concerned for her recovery. Please keep her in your prayers.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Man and His Need for Grace

This is the seocnd of three papers required for my Patristics class. Note that I am not an expert on the Church Fathers and write only from my limited experience. Feel free to leave suggestions.

================
One of the challenges facing the Fathers of the early Church was the need to attend to and communicate matters divine while relating and adapting to matters mundane. Following the Christological and Trinitarian controversies of the fourth century, the Fathers came more and more to find a need to express fundamental truths about mankind in relation to God. The Incarnation itself, while revealing the Godhead as a set of relations among the three divine Persons, also led to the need to define just what it means to be human. As Jaroslav Pelikan notes,

The definition of “human” was a part of the presupposition of christological doctrine, and that in at least three ways: the understanding of the human condition and its need for salvation; the definition of the human nature of Christ; and the picture of a human race redeemed and transformed by his coming.
Ultimately, the Fathers addressed what it meant to be created human in the image of God, how mankind fell from its original state in disobedience, and how God chose to respond graciously to mankind’s disobedience.[1]

By necessity, the Christological question raises an additional question of what it means to be human and how man as a created being relates to the Creator of all. The starting point for Christian anthropology is Genesis 1:26, in which God says, “‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness[.]’” While God is purely incorporeal, man is both material and immaterial, either in a dualistic sense (body and soul) or even a triadic sense (body, soul, and spirit). St. Paul seems to at times support the former (1 Corinthians 2:13) and at other times, the latter (Thessalonians 5:23). In both psychologies, it is the immaterial aspect (either soul or spirit) that accounts for the spiritual and intellectual activities of man.[2]

Some early Fathers such as Clement of Alexandria, incorporating Platonic and Stoic influences, chose the dualistic view. However, along with Origen in the minority, Clement accepted the Greek notion of a pre-existent soul.[3] Other Fathers, such as Tatian, chose the triadic formula.[4] Likewise, some Fathers like Origen diverged from the main in their thought concerning bodily resurrection.[5] In addition, the Fathers held divergent positions on the natural immortality of the soul,[6] some such as St. Clement of Alexandria and Origen (influenced by middle Platonism) holding that the soul was naturally immortal,[7] while others such as St. Irenaeus, Tatian,[8] and St. Basil[9] held, in St. Irenaeus’ words, that “the soul itself is not life, but participates in the life conferred upon it by God” and continue to exist solely through God’s grace and will.[10]

The existence of an immortal soul (whether naturally so or not) and mankind’s fashioning in the image of God imply a similitude between man’s and God’s incorporeal existence (man’s by creation and God’s by essence). As St. Ambrose notes, “And what is God, flesh or spirit? Certainly not flesh, He is spirit, to which flesh can have no likeness; for spirit is incorporeal and invisible, while flesh is bounded and seen.”[11] Christological doctrine ratified at Chalcedon had asserted that Christ possessed a rational human nature (in addition to His divine nature). This rational nature (either endowed through spirit or soul depending on the psychology) reflected this image of God. The Fathers, affirming this aspect of man’s rational nature, insisted that to reflect truly the image of God, man must be made free.[12] The Fathers stressed personal freedom in the face of Gnostic, Stoic, and Manichean claims to the contrary.[13] In that freedom, we can choose life or death. In the words of St. Gregory of Nyssa, “That some are saved and some perish depends rather upon the deliberate choice of those who hear the word.”[14]

While the doctrine of original sin was still in its formative stages, the Fathers still held a vague notion of original justice—a sense that Adam and Eve enjoyed certain supernatural and possibly some preternatural gifts prior to the Fall.[15] Among the supernatural gifts, of course, would be grace, which was restored to us by Christ’s redeeming act. However, other gifts, the preternatural ones (for example, freedom from suffering or illness), would only return to us after the resurrection. Yet we see the seed of the doctrine of original sin in the early Fathers. St. Irenaeus in Against Heresies sets up Adam as the figure of fallen mankind: “Indeed, through the first Adam, we offended God by not observing His command.”[16] According to Athanasius, by disobedience men “‘became the cause of their own corruption and death.’”[17] Other beliefs and practices of the early Church also strongly influenced the development of the doctrine of original sin. Cyprian and other Fathers mention the practice of infant baptism in relation to a notion of original sin, and Sts. Ambrose and Augustine after him would flesh out this doctrine.[18] And finally, the doctrine of the virgin birth also pointed to the idea that some corporate fault had been passed down through Adam.[19] Concerning these two elements, Jaroslav Pelikan notes, “[G]iven their increasingly secure place in cultus and confession, they became the premises from which conclusions could be drawn about the fall and original sin.”[20] St. Augustine would later build on these themes to develop our current understanding.[21]

While our fall came about by our own free will and disobedience, our redemption came about by God’s response.[22] St.Irenaeus identified Adam as the origin of sin and the figure of sinful man. In the Incarnation, St. Irenaeus sees the undoing of our disobedience. His doctrine of recapitulation, which he taught in response to the Gnostic teaching of self-redemption, posited the notion that Christ is a second Adam: “The disobedience of the first Adam was undone through the complete obedience of the second, so that many could be justified and attain salvation.”[23] In this recapitulation, Christ restores the damage done through sin. In His saving work, Christ becomes our example, and in fact, the exemplar of the mature Christian and prototype of the image of God.[24] For St. Athanasius, the Incarnation divinizes human nature and raises it up to God, making us adopted sons and daughters of God.[25] The supernatural grace to which we are redeemed in Christ’s saving work brings us salvation from sin and its effects and heals us.[26] It instills in us the life of the Holy Spirit and allows the indwelling of the Trinity. Baptism plays an important part in the imparting of grace. St. Clement of Alexandria outlines the effects of grace imparted through this rebirth in Christ: “Being baptized, we are illuminated; illuminated, we become sons; being made sons, we are made perfect; being made perfect, we are made immortal.”[27] God’s grace, then, not only redeems us from past faults but helps us to rise up to Him and to become perfected. While Gnostic, Stoic, and Manichean thought all limited or nullified human responsibility and freedom, the Fathers stressed that through grace and redemption we could be free from sin and its effects.[28] While the pagans proposed inevitability, the Church proposed true liberty. While we were enslaved through sin, faith in Christ and the grace it brings restored our original liberty.[29]

In liberty, there is sometimes an overabundance of choice. Fathers held various positions concerning sexuality, marriage, and virginity, some of which were heavily influenced by anti-materialist views of the Platonists and Stoics.[30] An element of the early thinking about the virgin birth was that sexual intercourse lacked holiness. Even St. Paul recommends marriage as recourse for human weakness in 1 Corinthians and indicates the suitability of celibacy for Christians. St. Augustine highlights this view in his own writings about marriage:

“Marriage has also this advantage, that the carnal or youthful incontinence, even if it is defiling, is turned to the honorable talk of propagating offspring, so that marital intercourse makes something good out of an evil appetite.”[31]

In large, marriage was still considered a good (though perhaps not the highest good for the Christian in pursuing holiness).[32] Nonetheless, virginity was highly prized by the Fathers,[33] so long as it was a matter of choice.[34]

In addition to the personal nature of sin, the Fathers also recognized its communal aspect. In the growing awareness of the sacramental nature of the Church, the Fathers saw the Church and its rites as elements of sanctification—divinely instituted means of grace.[35] One rite that arose early in the life of the Church was penance, or what we now call the Sacrament of Reconciliation. While private confession had always been a practice of the Church, some public act of penance could be required for reconciliation. Early Christians recognized that sin harmed the entire community, so reconciliation needed to be made with both God and the Church.[36] Again, there were varying beliefs concerning who was allowed to be reconciled. Some Fathers (for example, Hippolytus and Tertullian) believed in a very restrictive view of reconciliation, demanding the absolute holiness of its members.[37] Cyprian insisted that, at very least, priests must be holy for the efficacy of Christian rites. However, the Church ultimately sided with the view of Pope Callistus, who cited the Genesis account of Noah’s ark (carrying both clean and unclean animals) as well as the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew to symbolize the presence of both sinners and saints in the Church.[38] Certainly, though God demands justice, His mercy shines through in the saving work of His Son.

St. Augustine, the Doctor of Grace, would later flesh out the Church’s understanding of original sin and grace,[39] and in his exhaustive treatment of the teachings of the early Church.[40] At the end of the fourth century, the Church had come more and more to represent the unity of spirit and simultaneous diversity of expression that we see today.

1 Jaroslav Pelikan, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition: The Christian Tradition, Vol. 1 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1971), 284.
2 Rev. Douglas Mosey, “Patristics: Lecture 4,” International Catholic University, (Catholic Educational Television, Inc., 2006), 2.
3 Pelikan, 46–48.
4 Ibid, 51.
5 Ibid, 48.
6 Mosey, 2.
7 Pelikan, 47–48.
8 Ibid, 51, also Mosey, 2.
9 William A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2, (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1979), 35.
10 Pelikan, 51.
11 Jurgens, Vol. 2, 167.
12 Rev. Douglas Mosey, “Patristics: Lecture 2,” International Catholic University, (Catholic Educational Television, Inc., 2006), 6–7.
13 Mosey, 3. Also, Pelikan, 283.
14 Jurgens, Vol. 2, 55.
15 Mosey, 5.
16 William A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1, (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1970), 101.
17 Pelikan, 285.
18 Mosey, 4.
19 Pelikan, 286–291.
20 Ibid, 286.
21 Mosey, 4.
22 Ibid, 5.
23 Pelikan, 144.
24 Ibid, 145.
25 Mosey, 6.
26 Ibid, 7.
27 Pelikan, 164.
28 Mosey, 3.
29 Ibid, 8.
30 Ibid, 2.
31 Jurgens, Vol. 3, 70.
32 Mosey, 4.
33 Jurgens, Vol. 2, 44.
34 Jurgens, Vol. 3, 71.
35 Pelikan, 156.
36 Mosey, 11.
37 Pelikan, 157.
38 Ibid, 158–159.
39 Mosey, 7.
40 Jurgens, Vol. 3, 1.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Compelled Freedom

R.R. Reno has review of a biography on modernist architect, Le Corbusier. While his emphasis is on the architect's dehumanizing style, he makes a comment that applies more broadly:

When men are forced to be free and compelled into an imagined state of equality, we invariably end up with grey ugliness—and the vague odor of violence that empties public spaces.


Or, in the words of Neil Peart, "Now the trees are all made equal by hatchet, axe, and saw."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Word from Our Sponsor

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard. —Proverbs 21:13


Or as Archbishop Chaput said in a homily at Red Rocks, "If we ignore the poor, we will go to hell."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Travel Tip from Michael Totten

Don't ever fly Alitalia.

And don't ever piss off a journalist.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lecture 4 Study Questions

Describe What is Meant by the Theological Anthropology of the Fathers
Theological anthropology addresses the relationship between humanity and God and involves mankind’s essence in relation to God, his fall in the sin of Adam, and his redemption by grace in the saving work of Jesus Christ. The discussion on theological anthropology and grace overlap considerably, so I will try to separate them as I’m able.

The Fathers attempted to come to terms with just what constitutes the human person. Clearly, some aspect of the human person is physical, but for there to be any afterlife, something must survive beyond the physical body. In addition, pagan thought had already passed on various notions of an animating principle, the psyche, which inhabited the body, although there was some disagreement of how that habitation took place. For Platonists, the body was a prison, something rather hellish that constrained the human soul. For Aristotle, the body was a composite of soma and psyche, with the latter giving form to the former. Two visions of the human composite emerge in the thought of the Fathers. One, the triadic view, proposes a union of the physical flesh (sarx), an animating soul (psyche), and a rational/moral spirit (pneuma or nous depending on the emphasis). (This latter component was what Apollinaris proposed was replaced in the Incarnation by the divine Logos.) A second, the dyadic view, proposes a body (soma) and soul (psyche) composite in which the animating and rational principles are one, or as Francis Aveling notes in The Catholic Encyclopedia (“Man,” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/
09580c.htm), a human body whose form is a soul. The natural mortality or immortality of the soul was still a question seeking an answer (Moser, “Lecture 4”). In addition, there were differing influences on the Fathers from pagan philosophy that determined whether the body was seen as something negative (as with the Platonists or the Stoics).

Pagans had a very different view of human freedom than the early Fathers. For the Stoics and many of the Greeks, all human endeavors were governed by fate, and humans were simply caught in the repetitive cycle of history (in which all events and human action are predetermined). The Manicheans taught that humans, because they possess a material body created by the evil god, cannot help but fall into sin. Gnostics posed a class system in which some people (pneumatics) were spiritual people (hence, the elect), while others (somatics) were clearly bodily people (hence, hopelessly reprobate), and still others (psychics) could actually gain gnosis and rise above evil. All three of these views negate free will in the individual for most if not all people, and so eliminate the possibility that one could work toward salvation. The Church Fathers, on the other hand, saw a connection between man, made in the image of God, and free will. If God, who embodies certainly the highest expression of freedom in creation, has created man in His image, as Genesis 1:26 proposes, then it is only fitting that man, too, has free will.

As Fr. Mosey notes in Lecture 4, the doctrines of original sin and the original state of mankind were not fully developed until St. Augustine. Because the Fathers of the era were focused on shoring up the notion of human freedom against the Stoic, Manichees, and Gnostics, they may have not been quite ready to deal fully with the corporate sin of Adam. However, Adam was recognized as a type for all sinners, and this perspective in combination with the practice of infant baptism and further reflection on the letters of St. Paul eventually led to the development of the doctrine of original sin. In addition, there was some speculation on the state of mankind before the fall and whether they enjoyed some benefits that mankind lost during the fall (for example, immortality, physical perfection, freedom from suffering) referred to as preternatural gifts, in that they were not part of human nature but not exactly supernatural either.

Describe the Themes of the Church Fathers Concerning Grace
Most of the discussion since the Reformation has focused on the relationships between faith and works, grace and nature, and grace and free will. However, as with most doctrine, the teachings on grace grew slowly out of consideration of scripture and in response to the false teachings of such groups and the Gnostics and the Pelagians. For the early Fathers, Christ’s Incarnation and His saving work were His grace-bearing gift to us. According to the lecture, the Fathers emphasize that the bestowal of grace and gifts is a work of the Trinity, flowing from the Father, by the Son, in the Holy Spirit. Of course, we are baptized in the name of all three, which confirms the unity of the Godhead. In addition, we can see an analogy to the dynamic of the Trinity at work here as well. Everything flows from the Father, finds itself expressed by the Logos, and then proceeds through the two to the Holy Spirit. (That’s more theologizing on my part rather than something expressed by the Fathers.)

The early apologist and Church Father St. Irenaeus formulated much of his theology around the doctrine of recapitulation, in which all humanity is redeemed in Christ’s saving work and is restored to the original state of Adam. As Jaroslav Pelikan notes, “Christ became the example for men, as Adam had been the example for Christ; being the Logos of God, Christ was not only the example, but the exemplar and prototype of the image of God according to which man had been created” (The Christian Tradition, Vol. 1, p. 145).

For Athanasius, this gift divinized us and brought us into participation in the divinity of God. For Ignatius, the bridge or connection that makes the difference for humanity is the flesh that Christ assumed, without which there would’ve been no profit to us. Through the Incarnation, we are adopted through grace to be sons and daughters of God (Mosey, “Lecture 4”). So grace is required for our divinization. The Western Fathers stress the need of grace for our sanctification. Whereas the Eastern Fathers see grace lifting us up to God, the Western Fathers see the healing effects of grace on the wound caused by original sin.

This gift of grace, according to Fathers such as Origen and Gregory of Nyssa, comes to us not merely as a blanket or covering but an indwelling of the Trinity in each Christian. St. Paul’s reference in 1 Corinthians 3 to the body as a temple evokes this notion of the Holy Spirit dwelling in the believer, and there’s also the idea of Christ’ life in us in Galatians 2:20. St. Paul also uses the image of giving birth to the one in whom Christ is formed (perhaps relating back to Jesus’ words to Nicodemus in the Gospel of John), a theme that is picked up by both Origen and St. Irenaeus. St. Clement of Alexandria also picks up on a Johannine image of darkness and light, describing the illumination of the Christian that takes place at baptism.
The Fathers defended the notion of free will vociferously, and they noted that one aspect of grace is the concept of liberty. As mentioned previously, for man to be truly made in imago Deo, man must have been made free. However, sin destroyed that freedom and enslaved mankind. In Christ’s saving work, we are given a new gift of liberty through grace in faith.

Describe the Themes of the Church Fathers Concerning the Sacraments
Sacramentum is the Latin term employed by Tertullian to translate the Greek word mysterion, a term that had been used generally up to the fourth century to describe Christian beliefs and practices. For St. Paul, the mysterion is something once hidden but now revealed, primarily man’s redemption through Christ. This usage contrasted with the use of term mysterion as used by the Pagans and Gnostics, which indicated a secret and religious initiation. Unlike the useage f the Pagans and Gnostics, the Christian use of the term suggested an action that was hidden in the symbolic act or a hidden meaning in an institution (Mosey, p. 9). The direct translation into Latin would normally be something closer to initia, sacra, arcana or mysteria. However, each of those terms was already common parlance in Rome for many Pagan mystery rites. Tertullian introduced the use of the word sacramentum as a general term for Christian rites (Mosey, p. 9).

We now apply the term sacrament to a very specific set of rites in the Christian faith. The Father did not have such a narrow definition and applied it to rites, doctrine, and discipline. In addition, they had no sacramental theology. Their emphasis was on those initiation rites that affected their communities. Over time, thought about these rites developed and extended to other rites. The Fathers notion of a sacrament involved two elements: symbolism (which conveys multivalent meaning) and sanctification (which bestows holiness). We today would describe it as an outward sign (symbol) of an inward grace (sanctification). In the Patristic era, the Fathers saw these signs of holiness as an indication of a holy reality and an aid to this reality. Certainly, their view has formed and shaped our own. The seven sacraments we now recognize were only differentiated from the overall sacramental reality of the Church in 1547 at the Council of Trent.

The Father recognized early on that initiatory rites were critical to the life of the Church, particularly baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. Tertullian included marriage in this group as well (Mosey, p. 10). Confirmation was (and, in the Eastern Church, still is) very closely connected with baptism. Private penance in some form was mentioned and had always been available to the baptized in some form. Holy orders (Matt. 28:18; John 20:23) and anointing of the sick (Mark 6:13; Jas. 5:14-15) clearly have a scriptural basis, although their sacramental nature wasn’t clearly established for some time. We now see these as sacraments based on the clear traditions and the obvious initiation of these rites by Christ. All of these rites include both the physical, symbolic aspects (laying on of hands, anointing or immersion, recitation of formulas, or sanctification of materials) and all are considered vehicles of grace.

In both the early Church and during the Reformation, the matter of valid baptism came to the forefront. During the Patristic era, the words of the formula were of prime importance, and the notion of one baptism for the forgiveness of sins was so important as to be included in the Nicene-Constantinople creed. The importance of the baptismal formula and its singular effects were to come into debate again during the Reformation. However, the groundwork laid by the Fathers endured. While the doctrine of heretics was clearly a problem, the rites themselves were valid, so long as the correct formula and the correct matter were used (Mosey, 12). The principle ex opere operato was, then, established by the Fathers and persistently held by the Church throughout the ages.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Put Up or Shut Up

Have you ever heard the argument from pro-choice folks that our advocacy and protest activities are meaningless (if not hypocritical) if we don't personally do something to rectify the situation? Sometimes, their loud proclamations during a debate can cow prolife people into silence. Surely, we all must consider our abilities in responding to the situation. However, keep in mind that prolife efforts do involve both advocacy and direct action.

A good example is actor Jim Caviezel, who has adopted two disabled children. However, not all of us can afford to adopt. So we engage in other activities, such as donating time or resources to Birthright or other counseling services that don't promote abortion, or to organizations like Several Sources that provide support for single mothers who choose to carry their children to term. There is no shortage of people who are willing to help, but there is a shortage of publicity—which is why those on the prolife end often take a beating.

It's not that people aren't willing to adopt or willing to support single mothers in their efforts to keep their children. It's that public social programs aren't designed to make it easy or even probable.

That aside, let's consider the challenge we are given. If we don't do a direct action (adopt a child, prevent a pregnancy, support a single mother), we somehow lose our right to voice an opinion about a candidate's policies. I've given several examples of pro-life direct action, so clearly we have a right to speak even by this specious qualification. However, is the qualification even legitimate? If so, you would have to imagine that it would apply equally regardless of the circumstance.

Do pro-choice protestors bother to apply this logic to their own activities?

To apply this criterion to an immediate circumstance, do pro-choice Catholics who supported Obama because of his opposition to the war have any moral high ground? Is there truly any moral equivalency here?

We can talk about the vast sea of difference between the number of casualties (40 million over 40 years versus ~1.3 million over 5 years), or we can address the matter of legitimate defence (against terrorists) versus pure selfish aggression (active killing of innocents for personal convenience), but those won't make any dent. We know that there's a disconnect in terms of moral action—an absurd argument of moral equivalency. We can rail as we like, but that criterion won't matter for people who believe in moral relativism.

We won't convince the diehards, but we can point out their own hypocrisy.

Many Catholics who voted for Obama did so believing that the war in Iraq was wrong. The same often claim that the rest of us are single-issue voters and are hypocritical because we don't all actually adopt children or open homes for disabled children (despite the fact that many of us support those efforts financially). So ask this.

When did you last go to Gaza to convince Hamas to stop lobbing rockets at innocent civilians in Sderot?

When did you last go to Pakistan to tell Al Queda to stop flying planes into office buildings?

When did you last dialogue with a terrorist to pursuade them not to sever people's heads on film, or to execute innocents, or to stop attacking targets from within innocent people's homes?

You see? The pro-life movement has been doing direct action for years. We don't have to be ashamed that we don't individually adopt 24 disabled children or personally house a dozen unwed mothers. We are not hypocrites for doing what we are able to do, and we should not let progressives attempt to claim the high ground through their own hypocrisy.

Catholicism is a Man-Made Religion

Have you ever heard this claim?

All religions are man made.


It's usually invoked as a way to say that they're all necessarily fallible, involve personal human interest and bias, and are just as prone to corruption and falsehood as any other human institution.

I want to go on record that I believe that Catholicism is absolutely a man-made religion.

Of course, the man who made it was Jesus Christ Himself:

15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."


Of course, that doesn't mean that the human institution hasn't at times failed to live up to its Founder's principles. However, Jesus Himself promised that the powers of death shall not prevail against it. Given a choice over the skiff of sola scriptura, the ferry of sola fide, or the dinghy of predestination, I'll gladly choose the barque of St. Peter.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Finally!

When Rosalind Moss and Dcn. Harold Burke-Sivers came to speak to us almost two years ago, both attempted to point at the crucifix in our sanctuary when making a point about the Passion, only to discover that our cathedral's sanctuary had no crucifix. It was an odd moment of both embarrassment and vindication, as we had been noting the lack for some time and encouraging our rector to recitify (no pun intended) the situation.

I'm happy to say that on Ash Wednesday, our wait came to an end. Fr. Henry spent considerable time picking out the right crucifix, and I for one am happy with his choice—a very simple, traditional crucifix. Here's a photo of the high altar with crucfix and Fr. Henry, our rector, standing in front.



Yes, I know it would be preferable for the bishop's chair to be to the side, but I'm not in charge here.