Archive for the ‘Ambrose Phillipps De Lisle’ Tag

Feast of Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle (March 5)   1 comment

Above:  Mount Saint Bernard Abbey

Image in the Public Domain

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AMBROSE CHARLES MARCH PHILLIPPS (DE LISLE) (MARCH 17, 1809-MARCH 5, 1878)

English Roman Catholic Convert, and Founder of Mount Saint Bernard Abbey

Spiritual Writer and Translator of Spiritual Writings

Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via other saints I have added and whose lives intersected with his.  Our saint’s contacts included here include George Spencer/Venerable Ignatius Spencer (1799-1864), St. John Henry Newman (1801-1890) [canonized in October 2019], Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849), and Frederick William Faber (1814-1863).  Our saint was a central, crucial figure.

Our saint, Ambrose Charles March Phillipps prior to 1862, came from landed English gentry and an Anglican family.  He, born in Leicestershire on March 17, 1809, was a son of Charles March-Phillipps (1779-1862), a Whig/Radical/Liberal and a Member of Parliament (1818-1820 and 1831-1837).  The family was pre-Oxford Movement High Anglican.  Our saint, educated at South Croxton then at Maisemore School (near Gloucester) met his first Roman Catholic priest, a French emigré, at Maisemore.  When Ambrose was in Paris, France, in 1823, he experienced his first Roman Catholic Mass.

The lure of Roman Catholicism proved irresistible to young Ambrose.  Back in England, he, still Anglican, persuaded his rector to place a cross on the altar.  This proved to be controversial, and Herbert Marsh, the Bishop of Petersborough (1819-1839), objected to the placement of the cross; he overruled the rector’s decision. Before the end of 1823 Ambrose converted to Roman Catholicism.  This decision prompted his expulsion from Maisemore School.

Charles March-Phillipps handled his son’s religious conversion better than many others did.  The father arranged for Ambrose to continue formal education close to home.  In 1826, when Ambrose matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he became one of two Roman Catholic students there.  Our saint left in 1828, due to a burst blood vessel in one lung.  He could not have received a degree prior to Catholic Emancipation (1829) anyway.  The following year, Ambrose met George Spencer/Venerable Ignatius Spencer (1799-1864), then an Anglican priest.  Ambrose married Laura Mary Clifford.  His father’s wedding present was an estate.  The couple’s long-term residence was Grace Dieu Manor, built in 1833-1834.  They had sixteen children, eleven of whom outlived our saint.

Ambrose established three goals for himself:

  1. To restore monasticism to England,
  2. To restore Gregorian Chant to England, and
  3. To reunite The Church of England with the Roman Catholic Church.

He fulfilled the first goal in 1835.  Ambrose founded Mount Saint Bernard Abbey, near Coalville, Leicestershire.  It, a Trappist monastery, was the first monastery founded in England since the English Reformation.

The Association of Universal Prayer for the Conversion of England was another project.  Ambrose and Spencer founded it in 1838.  These two men plus Laura Phillipps (Ambrose’s wife) and two of the Phillipps children toured Europe in 1844 and spread word of the Association.

Ambrose established contact with St. John Henry Newman (1801-1890) when the future Cardinal was still an Anglican.  Ambrose helped to facilitate Newman’s conversion to Roman Catholicism, too.

In 1850 Ambrose had reason to rejoice.  Pope Pius IX restored the Church hierarchy in England.

Nevertheless, our saint’s ecumenism prompted Papal disapproval.  He helped to found the Association for the Promotion of the Unity of Christendom on September 8, 1857.  The founders were Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox; they prayed for Christian unity.  An encyclical from 1864 prompted our saint to withdraw from this Association.

Ambrose wrote and translated spiritual works.  One of the works our saint translated was Blessed Dominic Barberi‘s Lamentations of England.

Our saint, 68 years old, died in Leicestershire on March 5, 1878.

This, my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, has a catholic quality.  Therefore, I, an Episcopalian with no intention of converting to Roman Catholicism, honor Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle without reservation.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 15, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER AND MARTYR, 1968

THE FEAST OF ABBY KELLEY FOSTER AND HER HUSBAND, STEPHEN SYMONDS FOSTER, U.S. QUAKER ABOLITIONISTS AND FEMINISTS

THE FEAST OF BERTHA PAULSSEN, GERMAN-AMERICAN SEMINARY PROFESSOR, PSYCHOLOGIST, AND SOCIOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF GENE M. TUCKER, UNITED METHODIST MINISTER AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN COSIN, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF DURHAM

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Almighty God, we praise you for the men and women you

have sent to call the Church to its tasks and renew its life

[such as your servant Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle].

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your Church and proclaim the reality of your kingdom;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Elizabeth Prout and Venerable Ignatius Spencer (January 10)   2 comments

Above:  The Union Jack

Images in the Public Domain

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VENERABLE IGNATIUS SPENCER (DECEMBER 21, 1799-OCTOBER 1, 1864)

Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest, and Apostle of Ecumenical Prayer

Born George Spencer

Also known as Father Ignatius of Saint Paul

mentor of

ELIZABETH PROUT (SEPTEMBER 2, 1820-JANUARY 11, 1864)

Foundress of the Cross and Passion

Also known as Mother Mary Joseph of Jesus

The Roman Catholic Church is in the process of eventually canonizing Prout and Spencer.  Holy Mother Church has her procedures, which take much time.  So be it.  On this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, I canonize them and place their commemorations on the same date. One cannot properly tell the story of one of these saints without recounting the story of the other one.

GEORGE (IGNATIUS) SPENCER

Image in the Public Domain

George Spencer came from a wealthy, prominent, and Anglican family.  He, born in London on December 21, 1799, was a son of Lady Lavinia Bingham and George Spencer, the Second Earl Spencer, the First Lord of the Admiralty.  Our saint, well-educated, studied at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge.  In 1819, when Spencer toured Europe with his parents, he did not find Roman Catholicism impressive.  Our saint, ordained to the diaconate of The Church of England in 1822 then to the priesthood two years later, was an attentive priest at Bringham for six years, until 1830.  Then he resigned to convert to Roman Catholicism.

Spencer, as an Anglican priest, became interested in patristics, which he read closely.  Ambrose Phillipps De Lisle (1809-1878), who had converted to Roman Catholicism in 1823, proved instrumental in Spencer’s conversion, as did various Roman Catholic priests.

Spencer spent 1830-1832 in Rome, where he studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood.  His mentor in the Eternal City was Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849), the Apostle to England.  Barberi went on to be crucial in the conversion of John Henry Newman (1801-1890), scheduled to become a full saint in October 2019, in 1845.  Spencer, ordained a deacon then a priest in 1832, returned to England that year.  His duties over time ranged from being a parish priest to being a chaplain to seminarians, but he eventually became a well-traveled and popular preacher instead.

In 1838 Spencer founded the Crusade of Prayer for the Conversion of England.  This project aroused opposition within the Roman Catholic Church and outside it, as hoped to convert England back to Holy Mother Church.  This work filled much of Spencer’s time for the rest of his life; even after he joined the Passionists in 1847 and became Father Ignatius of Saint Paul.  Spencer worked very hard and maintained a rigorous schedule.

ELIZABETH PROUT

Image in the Public Domain

Elizabeth Prout also grew up an Anglican.  She, born to an Anglican mother and a lapsed Roman Catholic father, entered the world at Coleham, Shrewsbury, on September 2, 1820.  Her parents initially opposed her conversion to Roman Catholicism (by the hand of Blessed Dominic Barberi) in her early twenties.  Later, however, her parents converted, also.

Prout found a spiritual mentor, Father Gaudentius Rossi (1817-1891).  With his encouragement, she joined the Sisters of the Holy Infant in Northampton, in 1848.  When the order proved to be a bad fit for her, he invited Prout to teach in the school attached to his parish, St. Chad’s, Manchester.  She accepted.  Our saint worked with poor people in that industrial setting.  Prout organized a small, informal, community of women to work among the industrial poor of Manchester.  With Rossi’s help, that community became the Institute of the Holy Family on November 21, 1852.  Prout became Mother Mary Joseph of Jesus.  The sisters were poor, too, as they focused on helping impoverished women.

PROUT AND SPENCER

The sisters, who relocated to Sutton, St. Helens, in 1855, did have patrons, tough.  They needed patrons if they were to operate schools, such as the one at Sutton, and to help the poor.  One of these patrons was Father Ignatius Spencer, who took over from Rossi, transferred to the United States in 1855.  Spencer helped Prout reform the Institute of the Holy Family along Passionist lines.  In 1863 he took the new rule (replacing the old rule, which Rossi had written) of the order to Rome and secured the approval of Pope Pius IX.  Prout, who overworked herself and whose health was failing, became the first Mother General.

Prout, who taught in or founded nine schools, died, aged 43 years, on January 11, 1864.

The order became the Sisters of the Cross and Passion in 1874.

Spencer, who worked himself to death, did not survive the year, either.  On October 1, 1864, after returning from a mission trip to Scotland, he was Carstains when he had a heart attack, fell into a ditch.  There he died alone.  He was 64 years old.

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Loving God, we thank you for the holy lives of your servants,

Elizabeth Prout and Venerable Ignatius Spencer.

May we, inspired by their examples,

dedicate our lives to glorifying you and improving the lives of the less fortunate.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Leviticus 19:9-18

Luke 1:46-55

Acts 6:1-7

Matthew 28:16-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 2, 2019 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORG WEISSEL, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ANNA BERNADINE DOROTHY HOPPE, U.S. LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN GOTTFRIED GEBHARD, GERMAN MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MUSIC EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF JULIAN EYMARD, FOUNDER OF THE PRIESTS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, THE SERVANTS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, AND THE PRIESTS’ EUCHARISTIC LEAGUE; AND ORGANIZER OF THE CONFRATERNITY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

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