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.
“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
John Chrysostom was Patriarch of Constantinople in the late fourth century and early fifth century. As an ascetic and a monk he set about to reform the morally corrupt city. He was so effective that he was banished twice, and died in exile. John was given the name “Chrysostom,” which means “the golden-mouthed,” because he was one of the greatest preachers in the history of the church. People flocked to hear him. He was also the favorite saint of Mother Cay, one of our founders.
Matthew, identified as Levi in the Gospels of Mark and Luke, was a tax collector who became one of the first disciples of Jesus. Matthew tells us that he was seated in the tax booth when Jesus called him. Immediately he left everything and followed Jesus. Tax collectors were viewed as collaborators with the dreaded Roman establishment. They were spurned as traitors and outcasts. Matthew was hardly the type of man that a devout Jew would have among his closest associates. He is an encouragement to us who tend to use our “unacceptability” as an excuse. Matthew wrote his Gospel specifically to reveal how Jesus “completed” the Jewish faith and how he fulfilled Old Testament prophecies.
The feast of the archangel Michael is held on September 29th. He is the great leader of the heavenly hosts and represents the victorious heavenly powers. Four times he is mentioned by name in Scripture; twice in Daniel where he fights on behalf of God’s people against the forces of evil, once in Jude where he disputes with the devil over the body of Moses, and once in Revelation where he leads the hosts of heaven in victory over the dragon and his forces and throws them out of heaven.
He has long been regarded as the helper of Christian armies against the heathen, and as the protector of individual Christians again the devil. Thus, he is usually depicted with a sword standing over or fighting with a dragon.
Numerous churches are dedicated to him, including Mont-Saint-Michael, the monastery fortress off the coast of Normandy.
Jerome was the foremost biblical scholar of the ancient church. His greatest achievement was the translation of the entire Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek texts into Latin, known as the Vulgate version. Along with his commentaries and homilies on biblical books, this made him a major intellectual force in the Western church. Jerome was born in northern Italy in 347 and was converted and baptized during his student days in Rome. He was secretary to Pope Damascus and spiritual director of many noble Roman ladies who were interested in monastic life. Upon leaving Rome he established a monastery at Bethlehem, where he lived and worked until his death in 420.
Francis was born in 1182, the son of a wealthy merchant of Assisi. His early youth was spent in harmless revelry and fruitless attempts to win military glory. He soon gave this up for a life of poverty, joyfully and literally following the sayings of Jesus. When Jesus spoke to him from a cross in the neglected chapel of San Damiano and told him to go build up His house, Frances took this to mean repairing the chapel. Over time he realized that God was speaking about the larger Church. He founded the Franciscan Order and devoted himself and his order to serving the poor. Not long before his death he received the marks of Jesus’ wounds, the stigmata, in his own hands, feet and side. He was canonized in 1228 and the great basilica of St. Francis was built over his tomb in Assisi. His great love of nature and for animals led the church to make him the patron saint of animals.