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Original Post (Thread Starter)
#421663 10/18/2021 2:49 PM
by Fr. Al
Fr. Al
I seem to recall someone mentioning a Russian Catholic Paschal Vigil by the late Fr. Mowatt which lasted six hours. Even with Nocturnes, the procession around the church, Paschal Matins, all three Paschal Hours, and Divine Liturgy, that seems like a long time. I just wonder if anyone could enlighten me.
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#421716 Nov 3rd a 08:10 AM
by Irish Melkite
Irish Melkite
Originally Posted by theophan
Is this the same Father Mowatt who served at the Byzantine chapel at Fatima? I recall a picture in a magazine by the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima (many years ago) where a Father Mowatt was holding an icon from Russia that was eventually given to Pope St John Paul 2.

Bob,

Yes, that was the same Father Mowatt, of blessed memory. He served, at various times, Our Lady of Kazan Russian Greek-Catholic Chapel in South Boston, the Byzantine Chapel at Fatima, and a Ukrainian Greek-Catholic parish in Rhode Island, among others.

Father John happens to have been my introduction to the Byzantine Rite and the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church in particular. He was a close friend of Father Joe Monahan, of blessed memory, a Latin priest who was administrator of the grammar school I attended. In 1958, during the Chair of Unity Octave, Father Monahan invited Father Mowatt to serve the Divine Liturgy in our school chapel, in an effort to help we kids better understand that there were 'other Catholics' (we actually knew, very vaguely, about Orthodoxy because we had a few Orthodox classmates). As the school's senior altarboy, I was more than a bit miffed that some visiting priest was going to say Mass but the services of myself and my two best friends would specifically not be needed.

When the day came, I sat and stood and I think occasionally knelt, in awe, for the entire time. It would be about 2 more years before I next had the opportunity to attend another Divine Liturgy, about 5 before I came into contact with the Melkites, and about 7 before I requested and received (as it was then termed) a 'change of rite'. By then, I had long since burned my way through every document and text on the Eastern and Oriental Churches on which I could lay hands. But, to this day, I consider that Father Mowatt's beautiful service of that first Divine Liturgy and the extraordinary presentation he gave afterwards about Eastern sprituality (maybe, maybe, 5% of which I actually understood) was the start of my Eastern journey, something for which I had the opportunity to thank him many years later, when he was present at the Melkite Cathedral on the occasion of some hierarchial event or patriarchal visit. May his memory be eternal!

Many years,

Neil
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