Bishop Athanasius Schneider is giving a evening at at St Mary’s Priory,
Smith Street, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 2NS
on Thursday 25th February for clergy
- bishops, deacons, priests, seminarians and Religious.
I have had the privilege of meeting him before and always found him a wonderful priest. I'm sure it will be well worth travelling to Warrington if you can.
A note - if you have not been to St Mary's before there is only very limited parking at the presbytery (which you won't know how to get to via the rear entrance unless you have been before) but it is easy to park across the road in one of the town car parks.)
6:00pm: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (confessions heard during that time)
[You may arrive any time before 7pm]
7:00pm: Spiritual Talk to clergy:
"The priest as a minister of the truth"
7:45pm: Questions and Answers
Bishop Athanasius Schneider was born in Tokmok, Kirghiz SSR in the Soviet Union. His parents were ethnic Germans from Ukraine who were sent by Stalin to gulags in the Ural Mountains after the Second World War. They traveled to the Kirghiz SSR after being released from the camps.
In 1973, shortly after making his first Holy Communion by the hand of Bl. Oleksa Zaryckyj, priest and martyr, he left with his family for Germany. He joined the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross of Coimbra, a Catholic religious order, and was ordained a priest in 1990, earning a doctorate in Patristics, a topic he taught at Mary Mother of the Church Seminary in Karaganda.
On 2 June 2006 he was consecrated Bishop at the Altar of the Chair of Saint Peter in the Vatican by Angelo Cardinal Sodano. In 2011 he was transferred to the position of auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Astana. He is the Secretary of the Bishops' Conference of Kazakhstan. In Karaganda, formerly the centre of Sovietic atheistic persecution, he managed to build a superb landmark Catholic cathedral.
I can heartily recommend his book "Dominus Est":
I –Turning our gaze towards Christ
In order to speak of new evangelization correctly, it is necessary first to turn our gaze towards Him Who is the true evangelizer, namely Our Lord and Saviour Jesus-Christ, the Word of God made Man. The Son of God came upon this earth to expiate and redeem the greatest sin, sin par excellence. And this sin, humanity's sin par excellence, consists in refusing to adore God, in refusing to keep the first place, the place of honor, for Him. This sin on the part of man consists in not paying attention to God, in no longer having a sense of the fittingness of things, or even a sense of the details pertaining to God and to the Adoration that is His due, in not wanting to see God, in not wanting to kneel before God.
For such an attitude, the incarnation of God is an embarrassment; as a result the real presence of God in the Eucharistic mystery is likewise an embarrassment; the centrality of the Eucharistic presence of God in our churches is an embarrassment. Indeed sinful man wants the center stage for himself, whether within the Church or during the Eucharistic celebration; he wants to be seen, to be noticed.
For this reason Jesus the Eucharist, God incarnate, present in the tabernacle under the Eucharistic form, is set aside. Even the representation of the Crucified One on the cross in the middle of the altar during the celebration facing the people is an embarrassment, for it might eclipse the priest's face. Therefore the image of the Crucified One in the center of the altar as well as Jesus the Eucharist in the tabernacle, also in the center of the altar, are an embarrassment. Consequently, the cross and the tabernacle are moved to the side. During mass, the congregation must be able to see the priest’s face at all times, and he delights in placing himself literally at the center of the house of God. And if perchance Jesus the Eucharist is still left in His tabernacle in the middle of the altar because the Ministry of Historical Monuments—even in an atheist regime—has forbidden moving it for the conservation of artistic heritage, the priest, often throughout the entire Eucharistic celebration, does not scruple to turn his back to Him.
How often have good and faithful adorers of Christ cried out in their simplicity and humility : “God bless you, Ministry of Historical Monuments ! At least you have left us Jesus in the center of our church.”
II – The Mass is intended to give glory to God, not to men
Only on the basis of adoring and glorifying God can the Church adequately proclaim the word of the truth, i.e., evangelize. Before the world ever heard Jesus, the eternal Word made flesh, preach and proclaim the Kingdom, He quietly adored for thirty years. This remains forever the law for the Church’s life and action as well as for all evangelizers. “The way the liturgy is treated decides the fate of the Faith and of the Church,” said Cardinal Ratzinger, our current Holy Father Benedict XVI. The Second Vatican Council intended to remind the Church what reality and what action were to take the first place in her life. This is the reason for which the first of the Council’s documents was dedicated to the liturgy. The Council gives us the following principles: in the Church, and therefore in the liturgy, the human must be oriented towards the divine and be subordinate to it; likewise the visible in relation to the invisible, action in relation to contemplation, the present in relation to the future city to which we aspire (see Sacrosanctum Concilium, 2). According to the teaching of Vatican II our earthly liturgy participates in a foretaste of the heavenly liturgy of the holy city of Jerusalem.
Everything about the liturgy of the Holy Mass must therefore serve to express clearly the reality of Christ’s sacrifice, namely the prayers of adoration, of thanks, of expiation, and of impetration that the eternal High Priest presented to His Father.