Canon Thomas Thelluson Carter, Founder
Extracts from the sermon preached by the Superior-General at the Centenary (2001) of Carter’s death at St. Andrew’s, Clewer.
“We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Christ, for He is our salvation, our life and our resurrection. Through Him we are saved and made free”. The opening of the daily prayer for priests of the Society of the Holy Cross (and the opening antiphon for the Mass of the Holy Cross Day).
Canon Thomas Thelluson Carter was the founder of CBS (1862). He was also the Master of the Society of the Holy Cross (1876-79) and Rector of Clewer where he founded the Community of Sisters (who have recently moved from their house). He may well have been unique to have held high office in both societies at the same time, such is the esteem and affection with which he was held in the catholic movement of his own day.
It needs to be remembered that the use of the Sacrament of Penance was one of the very reasons for CBS’s coming into being: in an effort to put the catholic Christian in a right relationship with his or her God as they solemnly approached the altar to receive the Sacrament of the Body and the Blood of Christ – something they did a lot less frequently than we are able to today.
The use of the Confessional and the encouragement to come to Mass fasting lie at the very heart of our Confraternity and we have to thank God for Fr. Carter and others like him for this pivotal devotional aspect to out catholic-Anglican Christian living.
How times have changed! Only 150 years ago secrecy surrounded membership and association with such groups as CBS & SSC. These days – who cares? That is the question that comes to mind!
Our forefathers believed in these things with a passion that is almost foreign (or fanatical) to us today – but were they wrong in promoting such things? I think not -just the opposite.
We can regain their zeal, recall their devotion, re-invent ourselves – not necessarily in their image, for times have indeed changed. But we are the poorer spiritually for not lusting after the external truths of our catholic heritage. They are to aid our devotion and express our faithfulness to the Gospel: for should we not be seeking to glory in the cross Our Lord Jesus Christ, not be weighed down by the burden of it, as a millstone round our necks adding to the busyness and cares if this world?
Whilst we can rejoice in that fact that many churches now have the Mass as their main act of Sunday worship, and that the Eucharist has become the primary way many parishes worship, even daily, we must not lose sight of the other main objects of the Confraternity: we rejoice that the Lord’s own Service is the main focus of the Lord’s Own Day, but how much richer it could be if we looked at all our Objects.
Prepare for Sunday Communion (read the readings before hand; pray to the Lord telling him how much you are looking forward to receiving Him). Fast before Mass (do not eat or drink anything one hour before receiving Holy Communion). Go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) at least before the major seasonal festivals.
Times have changed: a lot has happened in the last 100 years since he has died. But we are called to preach afresh to each generation and we do that in the work of the CBS since Canon Carter died.