Tag Archives: novena

Cullman, Alabama and the Original Novena

This morning I woke up in a hotel room in Cullman, AL. I checked. Still had both kidneys.

Like most mornings, the first order of the day is Mass. my wife and I headed off to the Christ the King Monastery just outside of town. First, owing to my obsession with tornadoes, I feel compelled to mention that Cullman, along with most of the rest of Alabama, was the site of a massive tornado outbreak in 2011. The storm is legendary in the tornado enthusiast community. That sounded stranger than it actually is. There is a scientific purpose to studying these things. I do it because I like things that go boom. In any event, I showed my wife a video of one of the twisters that touched down in Cullman that day and, to my surprise, found the exact intersection from the video while driving to Mass.

Now then, the monastery… The place was interesting. I don’t have to remind any of my fellow trads that traveling and trying to find TLM’s is not the easiest of tasks. This place, though, was both unusual on many levels and absolutely exactly what I expected. Touching on the latter first; it’s a Latin Mass. Of course it’s going to be what I expect. That’s the beauty of it. It does not change. Now to the former. The building appeared to have been constructed in the early 1990’s and built purposely as some kind of Benedictine abbey church. If you’ve ever been to Clear Creek, OK then you know what I mean. The side chapels, the raredos in the middle of the sanctuary blocking out another high altar in an enlarged apse, the statues and windows of Benedict and Scholastica everywhere… According to their website, the monastery is now under the care of a group called the Alliance of the Holy Family International. What I could tell right away was that this was a very diverse community. Again, the universality of the Church was on display but in a much more beautiful way than some of the “multi-cultural” Novus Ordo Masses I’ve been to. Because here, every nation and tongue came to worship in the unique unity that is the Roman Rite.

I sat down and set my ribbons for the feast of St. Peter Celestine, the pope of the 1200’s who validly abdicated the throne of Peter. Father threw a wrench into my ribbon-setting when he announced that he was saying a votive Mass of the Sacred Heart. A quick re-set and we were off. Father preached a beautiful sermon on the gifts of the Spirit. Now I was really confused. Sacred Heart? Holy Ghost? Where was he going? I got my answer immediately after the sermon as Father proceeded to lead everyone in the first day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost. That’s right, it is nine days before Pentecost and THIS is the original novena.

I include it here in this link for all to join in. If you are unaware of this fact, the whole reason we as Catholics pray novenas (nine days of consecutive prayer) goes back to this very first novena when the Blessed Mother and the Apostles took refuge in the upper room after the Ascension and prayed for nine days until the outpouring of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost.

This year, I think I will pray specifically for the grace to know what to pray for. I know that sounds strange but think about it. The Spirit of Truth is He Who instructs us. Who better to ask than the Third Person of the Trinity as to how I should pray if my ultimate goal is to submit my will to His?

Unfortunately we had to leave pretty quickly as we had someone waiting at a nearby restaurant for breakfast and I was only able to get one picture of the church. Even worse, it is not a picture from inside the church but rather of an outdoor chapel built into the side wall. Still, it is interesting to see. If I pass through this town again I will definitely spend more time and grab more pics. Tomorrow we’re off to Atlanta and a parish I have visited several times.

Come Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the first of Thy love!

Incarnation Novena Starts Saturday

As promised, here is a link to this wonderful novena.

The novena is simply a series of prayers already familiar to most readers of these pages – a Hail Holy Queen, Memorare, Hail Mary, etc., with a petition prayer inserted in the middle. It is simple to pray and easy to remember. This is good because the novena is prayed every day for nine months between the Annunciation and Christmas. In other words, the focus of this novena is to keep watch the Blessed Mother during her expectancy. Anyone who has ever awaited the joyful arrival of his or her own child knows that these nine months are among the most joyful, anticipatory, impatient, and prayerful. The petitioner is to pray for three specific intentions. When I first heard of this novena, I was told by the priest who mentioned it that 1) I should not be surprised if God grants to me my intentions even before the novena is prayed and 2) that this novena is very efficacious. I prayed at that time for my first job in school administration. I began on March 25th, got a lead on a job on the 26th, interviewed on the 29th, and was hired as a vice principal by mid-April. Ultimately, I discovered that this was not the job for me but I did learn many valuable lessons from that experience. My point is that this novena is no joke.

Will you join me in this prayer?

Virgin Mother of the Incarnation, pray for us!

Another Devotional: St. Joseph Novena

Here is another novena to St. Joseph sent in from longtime reader Anne in PA. Anne has been with me almost from the beginning and I have truly enjoyed her emails and comments over the years. she sends along what is, perhaps, one of the most widely known of the St. Joseph novena prayers. In fact, when I saw this in my inbox, I couldn’t believe I had forgotten it. May it bring you closer to St. Joseph, and by extension, closer still to the Infant Jesus asleep in his arms.

Oh St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

Oh St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the Loving of Fathers.

Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.

St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us [add your intention here]. Amen.

Seeking Advice

In the spirit of humility, I, your humble blogger, am seeking some assistance.

I would like to offer a novena in honor of St. Joseph, in particular to seek a special grace. the only problem is that the novenas I’ve come across online are all a bit squishy.

Anyone have any suggestions for a St. Joseph novena that’s a little more manly and traditional?

Thanks in advance!

PS: If you have a link to one, email me at harvey@harveymillican.com

Another Round, Please!

It’s time once again for another St. Rita novena. Please send any intentions my way and I will happily add them. I continue to pray for all the intentions that have been sent thus far.

More from the Saint of the Impossible

Regular readers of this page will note that nine days or so have roughly passed since last I mentioned my ongoing novena in honor of St. Rita of Cascia, patron saint of impossible causes.

That must mean it’s time for another go-round!

Bring your impossible requests to her. It seems Our Lord is only too pleased to grant great favors when His beloved servant Rita asks. And please know for what it’s worth that I have taken the ever growing list of intentions people have emailed me to her in my novena.

Just this past week, a friend texted me a picture with the caption, “Look what I found while packing some boxes!”

Schlocky as the day is long, terrible dubbing, yet still one of my favorites.

No cause is ever lost.

St. Rita of Cascia, pray for us!

A Different Novena

Today let’s begin nine days of prayer in honor of Padre Pio, who’s feast is nine days hence.

Here is one novena I found

Also, I’m still keeping up with St. Rita. im eventually going to wake up, pray novenas for 16 hours, and go to bed. And that’s OK.