Congratulations to the newest members of the Sodality of Our Lady of Walsingham, who were inducted at a special ceremony this morning.
An asterisk denotes our new brothers.
A cross denotes a Sodality Form Officer
Jake Drysdale, V. President
David Holmes, Prefect
John Russell, President
Director: Brother Dunstan Holms, O.S.B.
Chaplain: Father Ambrose Bennett, O.S.B
Father Ambrose's Sermon From The Induction
Today we will induct new members into the Sodality of Our Lady of Walsingham. But first, what is a sodality? Well, in Latin, a sodalitas is a fellowship, a group that comes together for companionship in a common goal. The Sodality is a fellowship of baptized believers, seeking to live out our baptismal call to faith and holiness. Pope Pius XII explained the spirit of this fellowship in this way:
These sodalities are to be called Sodalities of Our Lady, not only because they take their name from the Blessed Virgin Mary, but especially because each Sodalist makes a profession of special devotion to her by a total consecration, undertaking—though not under pain of sin—to strive by every means and under the standard of the Blessed Virgin, for his own perfection and eternal salvation, as well as for that of his neighbors (Pope Pius XII in the Apostolic Constitution Bis Saeculari).
Now each of us was sanctified—that is, consecrated or made holy in God’s sight— in our baptism. For most of us, our parents made the act of faith for us when we were baptized. And what a blessing it is that they did that, so that we could receive the grace of baptism and the other sacraments and a Christian upbringing! But now the Lord has called you by name to respond to him, to follow Christ in a free and personal way, by coming to him through his mother Mary. St. Paul writes that “this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4.3).
In the Bible, sanctification is connected with divine worship and especially with the offering of sacrifice: for ultimately it is God alone who is the Holy One. Now the sacrifice, the consecrated offering, that God truly asks of us is the surrender and dedication of our hearts—our very selves—to him and to him alone, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Once we are old enough to understand this, there is no substitute for the personal surrender of our lives to Christ. Mary is our straight way to the Savior: Ad Jesum per Mariam, to Jesus through Mary.
But, someone might say, can’t we simply come to the Lord Jesus? Of course, we can and we do, all the time. But to be a Catholic Christian is to recognize that salvation means being a member of God’s family and living out that vocation. So our faith and sanctification needs to be worked out in fellowship with others, and not all alone. In other words, we are companions on the journey to heaven, helping one another along the way, following in the steps of Mary and of her divine Son.
Our Sodality wishes to be like St. Luke’s wonderful description of the early Church in Jerusalem, as they awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit: “All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren” (Acts 1.14).
I will conclude with this lovely and very ancient prayer of St. Ildephonsus:
I beg you, holy Virgin, that I may have Jesus from the Holy Spirit, by whom you brought Jesus forth. May my soul receive Jesus through the Holy Spirit by whom your flesh conceived Jesus.... May I love Jesus in the Holy Spirit in whom you adore Jesus as Lord and gaze upon Him as your Son. Amen.