St Francis Xavier Cathedral
History / Structure
The Legion of Mary was founded by Frank Duff on September 7th, 1921 in Dublin, Ireland. His idea was to help Catholic laypeople fulfill their baptismal promises and be able to live their dedication to the Church in an organised structure, supported by fraternity and prayer.
The organization of the Legion is modeled on the Roman Army, hence the use of Latin name Legio Mariae.
In the Bahamas, it started at St. Francis Cathedral in the late 1940's by Father Brendan Forsythe.
It is an association of practicing Catholics, who with the sanction of the Church and under the powerful leadership of Mary Immaculate, Mediatrix of all Graces, offer service in the warfare which is perpetually waged by the Church against Satan, his legionaries, the word and its evil powers.
The Basic Unit is called a Presidium.
Each Praesidium takes a Name of Our Lady. At St. Francis Xavier Parish we have Our Lady of Grace Preasidium. There are six other Preasidium in New Providence and one Praesidium is in Grand Bahamas.
Types of Membership
There are two types of membership:
- Attend weekly meetings and carry out weekly assignments, visits to the sick, elderly and shut-ins as well as other work assignments requested by the Pastor.
- Auxiliary: Pray the prayers of the Tessera daily. This includes a prayer to the Holy Spirit, the Rosary, the Magnificent and concluding prayers.
We usually have weekly meetings that take place on Wednesdays at St. Francis Old Cathedral at 5:30 p.m. and include Prayers, Rosary, Report on Visits and Assignments undertaken.
History / Objectives
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul - a nonprofit organization that provides direct assistance to needy men, women and children, was founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam, a 20 year-old student at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France.
Challenged to “practice what they preach”, Frederic and a group of fellow students sought out the poor of Paris in their homes and brought them bread, clothing and most importantly, friendship. This small group took as their Patron the great friend priest St. Vincent de Paul, known as the “Apostle of Charity - a friend of the poor”.
In The Bahamas, as we know it, is quite young. It was established here in 1962 by Mr. Otway Prevatt of Trinidad, a former Town Planning Officer, while he was employed here by The Bahamas Government.
He, being a member of St. Francis Parish, gave it the opportunity of being the first Conference of the society to be set up in The Bahamas.
At that time it comprised all men, some of whom were the late Sir Cyrus Davis, Edward Carey, Frank Clarke, Leonard Archer and Charles Richardson, just to name a few.
Soon afterwards the Vincentian (as its members are called) spirit spread to other parishes and within a year, conferences were set up at Our Lady's, St. Ceclia's and St. Anselm's Parishes, each with memberships numbering under teh (10). During the period, these conferences were active, many acts of charity were bestowed on the poor of the various communities.
In addition to visits, the conferences take care of the needs of the old and some destitute people, by giving them cash and food. The St. Francis Conferences has had a hot meal program where it provides meals daily for some fifty (50) persons. Presently it is inactive due to circumstances beyond its control.
The society obtains its inspiration in this saints's work and tries to relieve the material and spiritual distress of all, by the personal engagement of each Vincentian in a spirit of charity and justice, adapting itself permanently to the situations that may arise.
Being universal and Catholic, the society, however, is opened to all those who are inspired by that same spirit, whether Christians of others conferessions, or members of other creeds, all being one in the eyesight of God.
The necessary funds required to carry on this good and charitable work are obtained from collections taken up at the weekly meetings of the Conferences, the poor boxes at the doors of Churches, where there are St. Vincent de Paul Conferences and private contributions from the outside. Here again, the St. Francis Parish has its annual Christmas Appeal, where a substantial amount of funds are raised.
The conferences meets on Fridays at 5:45 p.m., for very short meetings to hear and make report.
If you would like to become a member of The St. Vincent de Paul Society, please fell free contact any of the following members:
- Lynda Carey - President
- George Sherman
- Joy Ferguson
- Brian Serville
- Bridgette Bowe
- Leonard Archer - Treasurer
- Charles Richardson
- Lorraine Armbrister
- June Smith
- Ruth Fawkes
- Norma Lightbourne
- Tiffany McKinney
- Juffure Russell
- Irvin Lightbourne
- Rochell Smith
The Hospitality Ministry will serve God and the Church with decent and order, greeting people warmly, welcoming every one and offering hospitality to all.
The ministry of hospitality started officially in the early nineties under the direction of Fr. Patrick Pinder - now the Archbishop of Nassau. Several training sessions were held briefing the new body on the expected duty of an usher, the outline of the mass and important sections or equipment in the church.
The first elected president was Mr. Henry Johnson who was ably assisted by a new group comprising of females for the the first time. The second president was Mrs. Janice Longley followed by Mrs. Janette Francis. This new body has brought structure to ushering.
Meeting / Venue & Time
Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month in St. Benedict's Hall at: 6:30 p.m.
Requirements for Joining
Any Practicing Catholic with a sense of the liturgy of the mass. This person should be comfortable with others, must be of pleasant character and personality having a gift for hospitality.
History - Growth of the Knights of Columbus
On Oct. 2, 1881, a small group of men met in the basement of St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut. Called together by their 29-year-old parish priest, Father Michael J. McGivney, these men formed a fraternal society that would one day become the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization.
They sought strength in solidarity, and security through unity of purpose and devotion to a holy cause: they vowed to be defenders of their country, their families and their faith.
These men were bound together by the ideal of Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of the Americas, the one whose hand brought Christianity to the New World. Their efforts came to fruition with the incorporation of the Knights of Columbus on March 29, 1882.
They were Knights of Columbus.
How to Join
If you are a practical Catholic man, age 18 or older, we welcome you to Knights of Columbus.
Being a Knight is more than camaraderie; it is being involved with your community; it is supporting your local Catholic Church, while enhancing your own faith; it is about protecting and enhancing your family life.
You can learn more about this organization at kofc.org.
Altar Servers Schedule
First & Third Saturday:9:30 a.m.
An altar server is a lay assistant to a member of the clergy during a religious service. An altar server attends to supporting tasks at thealtar such as fetching and carrying, ringing the altar bell, etc.
Formally, and still in traditional catholic orders (FSSP, ICTK, SSPX, etc) only young men, among whom the Church hoped to recruit for the priesthood, and seminarians, who need the training, are altar servers; and thus altar boy was the usual term until Canon 230 was changed with the promulgation the code of Canon Law in 1983 which provided the option for females to serve at the altar. The term altar server is now widely used and accepted due to this. An Acolyte is one of the minor orders which is ordained by a Bishop. The title of Acolyte is still only given to men as it is an ordained minor order. This term is now usually reserved for the ministry that all who are to be promoted to the diaconate, whether permanent or transitory, must receive at least six months beforehand (canon 1035 of the Code of Canon Law).
Duties of the Acolyte
The Roman Rite of the celebration of Mass, Acolytes have the following responsibilities (depending which type of mass) during
- Mass of the Catechumens;
- Processional: Acolytes carry the thurible, incense boat, processional cross and candles (flambeaux) in a Missa Cantata;
- After the sacristy bells are rung and first genuflection at the high altar, the Acolyte takes the Priest’s biretta, kisses it, and places on the Presidential Chair;
- Post-Epistle: Acolytes move Missal from Epistle side of the altar to the Gospel side of the altar;
- Mass of the Faithful;
- Acolytes ring the altar bell once as the Priest unveils Chalice and places Veil on Altar;
- Preparation of the chalice: Acolytes present the cruets of water and wine for the Deacon or Priest to pour in the chalice;
- Lavabo: An Acolyte administers the water to the Priest as he ritually washes his hands.
- Beginning of the Sanctus: Altar bell is rung thrice;
- Canon of Mass: When the Priest extends his hands over the chalice, Acolytes ring altar bell once, stand, take the bell, without genuflecting kneel on either side of the Priest;
- Consecration: At each Consecration Acolytes make a deep bow at the Priest’s first genuflection, and ring the bell once. During each Major Elevation, Acolytes kneel erect, raising the back of the chasuble and ringing the bell thrice. During the Priest’s second genuflection, Acolytes release chasuble, make a deep bows and ring the bell once. After the Consecration, holding the bell, Acolytes return to their posts and kneel;
- Post Agnus Dei: Acolytes get patens from credence table and go back to posts with genuflections and kneeling. When the Priest genuflects and says the triple "Domine, non sum dignus..." Acolytes ring the bell thrice;
- Communion: Follow Priest with paten in hand and hand over breast for the Faithful's Communion;
- Ablutions: Get the water and wine cruets from credence table. For the first Ablution at center of the Altar, the Acolyte with the wine approaches as the Priest tips the chalice toward the Acolyte. The Acolyte pours a little wine into the chalice, he bows and turns to his right and returns to theEpistle corner and wait for the Priest. When the Priest approaches for the second Ablution, the Acolyte makes a moderate bow, pours a little wine over his fingers and then as much water as he desires. Then, with genuflections, switch the chalice veil from the Gospel side to the Epistle side with the Missal at the same time;
- Ending procession: Same as Processional;
In the Ordinary Form
In the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite of the celebration of Mass, Acolytes have the following responsibilities during
- Entrance: Acolytes may carry the processional cross and candles (also called acolytes, or flambeaux) at the front of the entrance procession. Others may carry incense and athurible.
- Proclamation of the Gospel: If it is a regional habit, candles and/or incense can be carried in procession to the ambo or lectern.
- Offertory: When the priest receiving these gifts, Acolytes assist him by carrying them.
- Preparation of the chalice: Acolytes present the cruets of water and wine for the deacon or priest to pour in the chalice.
- Lavabo: An Acolyte administers the water to the priest as he ritually washes his hands.
- Liturgy of the Eucharist: Acolytes ring altar bell at the Hanc Igitur and both elevations of the species.
- Recessional: When the priest and the Acolytes leave the altar, again the processional cross and candles are carried.
At a solemn Mass, four or more Acolytes is ideal. A weekday Mass usually only requires a single Acolyte. If a bishop celebrates Mass solemnly, two vimpas, so as to take care of mitre and crosier, as well as other functions.
Acolytes formally wear a cassock and surplice during a liturgy. According to the general rule of the Latin Rite a surplice should always be worn over a cassock. Traditionally, an Acolyte wore the same color as the church's pastor or rector. Thus, a red cassock would be worn if the pastor had that privilege. Black and red are the most common colors for an Acolyte cassock. Another common vestment is the alb. Acolytes do not wear a clerical collar or Rabat (clothing). In English-speaking countries that collar is traditionally worn from ordination as a sub deacon onward, but in others it was worn by all seminarians.