Below is a listing of events at the Community of Jesus, an ecumenical Christian community in the Benedictine tradition located in Orleans MA. Liturgies are held at the Church of the Transfiguration. Also included are events presented by Elements Theatre Company (www.elementstheatre.org) and Gloriae Dei Cantores (www.gdcchoir.org). For more information please call 508-240-2400.
If theology is thinking about faith and arranging those thoughts in some systematic order, then Irenaeus has been righty recognized by both Catholics and Protestants as the first great systematic theologian. He was a third generation Christian, having been discipled by Polycarp who was discipled by John. He in turn took Christianity to Lyon in southern France.
Iraneaus’s enduring fame rests mainly on his large treatise, entitled Against Heresies. Here Irenaeus describes the major Gnostic systems thoroughly, clearly, and often with biting humor. This defense of Christianity has become a classic.
Peter and Paul, the two greatest leaders of the early church, are commemorated separately; Peter on January 18 for his confession of Jesus as the Messiah, and Paul on January 25 for his dramatic conversion. They are commemorated together on June 29 in observance of the tradition of the church that they both died as martyrs in Rome during the persecution under Nero in AD 64.
What the Roman emperor Claudius meant for evil turned out for good for Priscilla and Aquila. They were living in Rome in 49 when Claudius expelled all the Jews because of a riot over a certain “Chrestus,” probably an allusion to Jewish arguments over Christ. Jewish Christians like Priscilla and Aquila were also forced to leave.
So the couple moved to Corinth, where they set up their tentmaking business. When Paul arrived, Priscilla and Aquila opened their home to him and invited him to work with them. The trio later worked and ministered together in Ephesus, which may be where Priscilla and Aquila “risked their necks” for Paul, possibly when he “fought with beasts at Ephesus.” Priscilla is sometimes pictured with two lions who refuse to attack her, lending credence to this tradition.
When Claudius died in 55, Priscilla and Aquila returned to Rome and again hosted a church in their home, to whom Paul sent greetings in his letter to the Romans. A tradition of the sixth century claims that the Roman church “Prisca” on the Aventine Hill stands over their original house-church.
“The story of Mary Magdalene reminds everyone of a fundamental truth: She is a disciple of Christ who, in the experience of human weakness, has had the humility to ask for his help, has been healed by him, and has followed him closely, becoming a witness of the power of his merciful love, which is stronger than sin and death”
Pope Benedict XVI (2006)
COLLECT FOR THE FEAST OF ST. JAMES
Almighty ever-living God,
who consecrated the first fruits of your Apostles
by the blood of Saint James,
grant, we pray,
that your Church may be strengthened by his confession of faith
and constantly sustained by his protection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
“Here we have the story of Bartholomew and the other apostles, to assure us that we need not give up our usual manner of life in order to serve God. The most humble station in life is the means of maturing the highest Christian character, even that of an apostle. Bartholomew read the scriptures and prayed to God; and thus was trained at length to give up his life for Christ, when he demanded it.” –John Henry Newman