Sunday, December 31, 2006

Te Deum

O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.

All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!

Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,

The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.

Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.

When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.

Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.

Thou sitest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge.

We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood. Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.

V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!
R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.
V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.
V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
R. O Lord, in Thee I have put my trust; let me never be put to shame.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

ANSA: Petition a flop

Head over to Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog, for the English translation of an article regarding the petition against the Traditional Latin Mass.

“Signatures” included: Annibale Bugnini Massone, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Mohammed, and Homer Simpson. A sense of humor is needed at times like these!

Nuptial Mass

This afternoon I had the opportunity to celebrate a Nuptial Mass for a young couple. It was the most solemn, reverent wedding I have ever celebrated. In fact, it was the most solemn and reverent Mass I’ve ever celebrated at this parish. The small wedding party was dressed appropriately. The guests were respectful. The readings and oracions were thoughtfully selected. The additional décor was seasonal. At the family’s request, the music was also seasonal (Gloria, Silent Night, Joy to the World.) The vocalists sang with aplomb. It was nice to incorporate the Christmas season with this particular Mass. Truly a joyful experience.

Many thanks to the families involved, and blessings to the couple!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Overheard in the blogosphere

Thanks, Patricia, for pointing me to Paramedicgirls’ My Fantasy Bulletin Notice priceless post at her Salve Regina blog:

Here's a bulletin notice that I would love to see at my Novus Ordo Church, but probably never will...

In an attempt to restore the sacredness to the Holy Mass, and piety to the people, the following changes will be implemented immediately at Sacred Heart Parish:

Sacred Silence is prescribed for 15 minutes before and after every Mass. Please refrain from socializing in front of the Blessed Sacrament. You are encouraged to spend this time in prayer, in preparation for the Mass and in thanksgiving to God.

Effective immediately, Sacred Heart Parish will no longer be allowing girls to altar serve. Since altar serving is traditionally a stepping stone to the priesthood, only boys will be encouraged to serve.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are no longer required. The priest will be distributing Communion, and even though this may take a few moments longer, your cooperation is requested.

Applause is not encouraged, nor will it be tolerated during the Mass. If you wish to acknowledge another person's achievemnets, please do so privately after Mass.

Please refrain from visiting the sacristy prior to Mass, as the priest needs to spend some moments in prayer as he vests for the Mass.

Parishioners will notice a change to the choir in the coming weeks. We will be singing more Latin hymns, with special emphasis on sacred songs that reflect the Divine Mysteries of the Mass. Only an organ will be used for musical accompaniment. Anyone wishing to learn Gregorian Chant, please see the choir director after Mass.

We are looking for volunteers to re-install the communion rails and the kneelers. If you can help with this, please see Father to sign up.

In the comments Anita adds:

In order to promote reverence at the altar, Sacred Heart Parish proudly announces a new program of formation for altar boys. Starting next Sunday, altar boys will wear their hair short and neatly combed, and will only wear black dress shoes. Sneakers and sandals are prohibited. Novices will be expected to successfully complete three dress rehearsals and pass a written examination before being allowed to serve on the altar, even for daily Mass.

Sacred Heart Parish loves children and strongly encourages parents to bring children of all ages to Mass; however, parents are asked not to allow their children to scream, run around, tear pages out of hymnals, or otherwise behave in an unruly manner. Parents are also asked to clean up after their children and not to leave food on the floors or in the pews.

All Oregon Catholic Press music materials will be completely phased out of this parish by Advent of 2007.

Pursuant to the requirements of the Catholic Church on homilies, only men in holy orders will preach the homily after the Gospel, effective immediately. From here on out, parishioners can expect to hear nothing but solid Catholic teaching from the pulpit.

Beginning next month, Sacred Heart Parish will revive the 40 Hours Devotion, which will begin on the First Friday of every month.

Many thanks to Linda Liberal for her years of service as the liturgist of our parish. She has certainly left her mark on the liturgy of our parish. Effective on Monday, Linda will be retiring, and the duties and responsibilities she discharged with such energy for so long will revert back to our pastor. Good luck in your new pursuits, Linda!

In order to assist in the transition taking place at Sacred Heart, the prior of our local chapter of Lay Dominicans will be leading a series of talks on "The Letter of Vatican II: What the Council Fathers Really Taught." Everyone is cordially invited, and indeed encouraged, to attend.

Amen. Sisters!

Five gold rings

"On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me five gold rings."

The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, give the history of humanity's weakness and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Spirit and Truth

When Chittister and friends start criticizing the Pope just hand them this little phrase from one of the true fruits of Vatican 2–Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium—promulgated by Pope Paul VI, November 21, 1964:

The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power.

Also, when they start complaining about Latin in Catholic worship, offer them this gem again from the true fruits of Vatican 2—Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium—promulgated by Pope Paul VI, December 4, 1963:

Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.

Most Catholics haven’t a clue that much of the drivel imposed on them over the past 40 years has little basis on the works of the Council. Manipulation and deceit is the “smoke of Satan” referred to by Pope Paul VI.

I understand why Benedict XVI suggests a scholarly interpretation of the V2 documents.

Of popes and thrones and such

The first photo shows Blessed Pope John XXIII upon a familiar looking throne in front of the Papal Altar in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The second photo is of Pope Pius XII wearing the Tiara
being borne aloft in a sedia gestatoria flanked by the flabella.

The third photograph shows Pope John Paul II
wearing the fanon over a Roman chasuble and dalmatic.

Rummaging through the ecclesiastical vestry we find:

TIRA: The triregnum, or triple tiara, is the traditional crown of the Popes. It is a beehive-shaped ornament encircled by three diadems and usually surmounted by a cross. The last three Popes have not worn it.

SEDIA GESTATORIA: The sedia gestatoria is the portable throne on which Popes are sometimes carried. It consists of a richly-adorned, silk-covered armchair, fastened on a suppedaneum, on each side of which are two gilded rings; through these rings pass the long rods with which twelve footmen (palafrenieri), in red uniforms, carry the throne on their shoulders.

FLABELLUM: Two large fans (flabella) made of white ostrich feathers—a relic of the ancient liturgical use of the flabellum, mentioned in the Constitutiones Apostolicae, VIII, 12—are carried at the sides of the sedia gestatoria.

PAPAL FANON: the fanon is a Mass vestment worn only by the Pope during Solemn High Mass. It resembles a shoulder cape with stripes and is worn over the chasuble. The white woolen pallium is arranged over top of it. While no longer an obligatory part of papal vesture, the fanon was never abolished.

CAPPA MAGNA: The cappa magna (literally, "great cape") is a voluminous ecclesiastical garment with a long train, proper to cardinals, bishops, and certain other honorary prelates. No longer mandatory (and therefore rare), the cappa magna was never abolished and still appears in the Ceremonial of Bishops. Ordinarily scarlet for cardinals and purple for bishops, the garment dates to the first millennium and its train has varied in length over the ages. Traditionally, one can distinguish between the normal (or "summer") cappa magna, and the "winter" version, which has the upper portion covered in white fur. The latest regulations abolished the winter version.

FERRAIUOLO: The ferraiuolo is a formal cape worn by the clergy over the non-choir cassock on special, non-liturgical occasions. From the time of Bl. Pius IX (I believe) until the 1969 revisions of Paul VI, it was required of any cleric received in audience by the Pope or attending a non-liturgical function at which His Holiness was present.

The ferraiuolo comes in three colors: black, purple, and red. Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church wear red, bishops and the highest ranks of honorary monsignors (now only the upper eschelon of the Roman Curia and protonotaries apostolic -- although, before, prelates of honor also had the privilege) wear purple, and everyone else wears black. Cardinals and others directly representing the Pope may use watered silk as the material.

GLOVES: Episcopal gloves, also called episcopal gauntlets, are liturgical gloves used by bishops in the traditional Roman Rite of the Mass. Following Vatican II, a number of traditional items of vesture were abolished, but the gloves seem merely to have stopped being mentioned.

Thanks to the Rev. Fr. Jim Tucker for most of these definitions from his Dappled Photos site.

Bishop says "No."

“we have the sincere wish that centre could become an ecumenical centre where all believers could pray" -- The President of the Junta Islámica de España, Mansur Escudero (sounds like typical liberal jibber-jabber, exactly who are “all believers?”)

Bishop of Córdoba rejects Islamic prayer in the city Mosque
By h.b. | Thu,
28 Dec 2006 | ©

The Bishop of Córdoba has rejected the request from the Islamic community to allow Islamic prayer in the city’s famous Mosque-Cathedral.

Monseñor Asenjo said the measure would ‘generate confusion’ and lead to ‘religious indifference’. The Bishop went on to say the Christian roots in Córdoba deserve to be respected, and under these, the Catholics can live in peace with the believers of other faiths.

He said that the Bishopric had valid judicial documents which meant the building can be used exclusively by the Catholic Church.

The Córdoba Diocese however wants to maintain the relations of respect and value it has with the Muslims.

The Junta Islámica de España made a formal request on December 24 to the Vatican for them to be allowed to pray in the Mosque.

The President of the Junta Islámica de España, Mansur Escudero, today organised an Islamic pray in at the doors of the Córdoba Mosque to protest at the rejection by the Bishop of Córdoba of his suggestion of joint prayer inside.

‘This prayer is to show that we do not demand the ownership of the temple or a shared liturgy, only that we have the sincere wish that centre could become an ecumenical centre where all believers could pray’.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The return of the Throne

Do you like my chair? Hasn't been used in over 40 years. Just like Latin, Gregorian Chant, and ad orientem, it was thrown out the "open windows" with the bath water.

Hear, O Lord, our prayers, and our petitions, and deliver us for thy own sake: and grant that we may find favour in the sight of them that have led us away: -- 2 Baruch 2:14 Douay-Rheims

Low Mass Video

42-minute TLM by the Rev. Fr. Eric Flood, a priest of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, last summer's Feast of the Transfiguration.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

2007: Year of Liturgical Renewal

The youthful Nicholas Larkin at Mysterium Fidei is calling 2007 The Year of Liturgical Renewal. He has included the following in the sidebar of his blog:

Are you tired of false interpretations of the spirit of Vatican II? If so, join me this year in celebrating the Year of Authentic Liturgical Renewal in the Roman Liturgy. Through this, we can reawaken the Church to the real meaning through exploring Church documents, and texts. Feel free to join me by posting this on your blog, and if you have any further questions, email
His December 22 post is a very basic start.

What did Pio Nono smell like?

What mindless surfing brings.

Visit Dominicanus Wednesday, December 27 post for this interesting article: Doctor’s inspiration is heaven scent San Rafael man re-creates fragrance possibly worn by Pope Pius IX.

Monday, December 25, 2006

To the City and the World

Dear brothers and sisters, wherever you may be, may this message of joy and hope reach your ears: God became man in Jesus Christ, he was born of the Virgin Mary and today he is reborn in the Church. He brings to all the love of the Father in heaven. He is the Saviour of the world! Do not be afraid, open your hearts to him and receive him, so that his Kingdom of love and peace may become the common legacy of each man and woman. Happy Christmas! -- Final paragraph of H.H. Pope Benedict XVI Urbi et Orbi Message December 25, 2006

Pray for them

U.S. soldiers get their Christmas lunch served
by their colleagues at the U.S. Embassy dining facility

inside the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq.
Pray for this nation's men and women of the armed forces stationed around the world away from their families this Christmas Day. They sacrifice much protecting our freedom.

Can you say tagged?

I just got home from Midnight Mass—I love incense and bells—to find that Caveman has tagged me with this Favorites Meme. (I knew this would happen some day.)

Your Favorite Film?


Juliette Binoche, Alfred Molina, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp

A single mother and her daughter move to rural France and open a chocolate shop across the street from the local church where they are met with the harsh reality of gossip and prejudice, and the truth of reconciliation. (Hugh O’Conor as Pere Henri is my second favorite film priest. His character matures throughout the movie.)

Your Favorite Film with a Religious theme?

The Miracle of Marcelino (Marcelino Pan y Vino)

Marcelino is an orphan who grows up in a monastery. One day when he eats his meal in an upstairs room full of old things he gives a piece of his bread to an old wooden Jesus figure. A truly unforgettable film.

Your Favorite Film Priest?

Bing Crosby as the easy-going, French-cuffed, odd hat-wearing Reverend Father Chuck O'Malley (who made up that name?) in The Bells of St. Mary's

He and Sister Mary Benedict (Ingrid Bergman)—they don’t make sisters like that anymore—work together to save a run-down parochial school on the verge of condemnation. The student Nativity play is a classic. Right, Mr. Horace P. Bogardus?

Your Favorite Film Nun?

Lilia Skala as Mother Superior Maria in Lilies of the Field

Everyone’s faith is summed up in Mother Superior’s as-a-matter-of-fact statement, “He’s gonna build us a shappel.” A-men. A-men. A-men.

Great line by Homer Smith (Sidney Poitier): [one of the nuns has just given Homer his breakfast; one fried egg and a half cup of milk] "That's a Catholic breakfast, ain't it?"

I tag Ginny, The Inspired Traditionalist.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

1 And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. 2 This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, 5 To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.

6 And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. 9 And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. 10 And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people:

11 For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: 14 Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will. 15 And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us.

16 And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. 18 And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. – Luke 2:1-20 Douay-Rheims

Merry Christmas

Christmas 1957
Merry Christmas from that pesky little kid with the big ears. Do you like my pajamas? Do you know where can I find a slightly larger size? It has been very cold lately.

Anyway -- Joyeux Noël, Froehliche Weihnachten, Kala Christouyenna, Nollaig Shona Dhuit, Buon Natale, Natale hilare, Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia, Feliz Natal, Srozhdestovm Kristovim, Feliz Navidad, Maligayang Pasko, Chuc Mung Giang Sinh, Nadolig Llawen, Merry Christmas -- to all!

(French, German, Greek, Gaelic, Italian, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Welsh)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas with Pope Benedict

EWTN Eastern Standard Time

Solemn Mass at Midnight with the Holy Father from St. Peter's Square in Rome.
December 24 |
6:00 p.m.
December 25 | 8:00 a.m.

Urbi et Orbi from St. Peter's Square: Join the Holy Father for his inspiring Christmas Day message to the world on the celebration of Christ's birth.
December 25 |
6:00 a.m.
December 25 | 10:00 p.m.
December 26 |
3:00 a.m.
December 26 | 5:00 p.m.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Venite adoremus

Saint Charles Borromeo Parish
Peoria, AZ

The Vigil of the Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 23 | 5:00 p.m.

The Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24 | 8:00 & 10:00 a.m.

The Vigil of Christmas
December 24 | 4:00 p.m.

Christmas Midnight Mass
December 25 | 12:00 a.m.

Christmas Day Mass
December 25 | 10:00 a.m.

The Vigil of The Holy Family
December 30 | 5:00 p.m.

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
December 31 | 8:00 & 10:00 a.m. | 12:00 & 5:00 p.m.

The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
January 1 | 10:00 a.m.

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.

O Emmanuel, God with us, our King and lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior: come to save us, O Lord our God.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

O Rex Genitum

O Rex genitum, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

O King of the gentiles and their desired One, the cornerstone that makes both one: come, and deliver man, whom you formed out of the dust of the earth.

Would a saturno stay on my head?

This photo is for my friend Connie who recently called me a “conservative-odd-hat-wearing-mexican-talking-white-boy cleric!” – It’s not easy playing soccer with your buddies
wearing that odd hat.

What time is Midnight Mass?

ROME, DEC. 19, 2006 ( Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: When, where and why did the practice of Midnight Mass begin? -- F.S., Columbus, Ohio

A: Like many liturgical practices the origin of the three Christmas Masses (midnight, dawn and during the day) is not totally certain.

Christmas as a liturgical feast falling on Dec. 25 originated at Rome, in or around the year 330. It is very likely that the feast was first celebrated in the newly completed basilica of St. Peter.

From Rome the celebration of Christmas then slowly spread eastward and little by little was incorporated into the liturgical calendar of the principal Churches. Some of these Churches had celebrated Christ's birth on Jan. 6 and they have continued to give more importance to this date even after accepting Dec. 25.

During this period the Church at Jerusalem had established some particular customs.

Egeria, a woman who made a long pilgrimage to the Holy Land from 381 to 384, described how the Christians of Jerusalem commemorated the Christmas mystery on Jan. 6 with a midnight vigil at Bethlehem, followed by a torchlight procession to Jerusalem arriving at dawn to the Church of the Resurrection (Anastasis in Greek).

Fifty years later at Rome, Pope Sixtus III (432-440) decided to honor the proclamation of Mary's divine maternity at the Council of Ephesus (431) by building the great basilica of St. Mary Major on the Esquiline hill.

Among other elements Sixtus III built a chapel that reproduced the cave of Bethlehem. (The relics of the Crib, still found today in St. Mary Major's, were not placed in this chapel until the seventh century.) Sixtus III, probably inspired by the custom of the midnight vigil held in Jerusalem, instituted the practice of a midnight Mass in this grotto-like oratory.

In Rome the custom already existed of commemorating important feasts with two distinct offices, one held at night and the other toward dawn. It is easy to see how the simple feast initiated by Sixtus III at St. Mary Major's increased in importance and developed. The first development was that the oldest Christmas office, which was sung at St. Peter's, began to be also held at St. Mary Major's.

A further development occurred around 550. The Pope, and some members of the curia, celebrated a second Mass sometime before dawn at the Church of St. Anastasia.

At the beginning this happened because St. Anastasia's feast day also fell on Dec. 25 and had nothing to do with Christmas. Later however, probably inspired by the practice of the dawn Mass in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, and coupled with the similarity of the name Anastasia, this celebration was transformed into a second Christmas Mass.

After this almost-private Mass, the Pope would go directly to St. Peter's where a large assembly of faithful awaited the solemn dawn office of Christmas. This custom continued at least until the time of Pope Gregory VII (died 1085).

Initially the privilege of three celebrations at Christmas was reserved to the Pope. The first evidence we have of a single priest celebrating the three Masses is from the Monastery of Cluny before the year 1156.

All priests may still avail of this privilege and celebrate three Masses on Christmas Day providing they respect the proper hours. The first Mass is celebrated at Midnight (the vigil Mass of Dec. 24 does not count as the first of the three Masses), the second at dawn and the third at some time during the day.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tantum Ergo Sacramentum

This morning a small group of parishioners and I gathered in the church to pray a Holy Hour for the Pope’s intentions and the deepest intentions of our hearts.

In the presence of the exposed Blessed Sacrament we meditated on the Joyful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, sang O Salutaris Hostia, Tantum Ergo, and Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.

We sat in quiet Adoration for over 30-minutes. Together we proclaimed His Divine Praises. I offered Benediction of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar as incense rose and the Sanctus bells rang out.

All of this is fitting, reverential worship of our Most High God. We are so blessed!

Papal gift

Pope Donates €1 Million to Holy-Land Custodian
For Parish Center in Nazareth

JERUSALEM, DEC. 20, 2006 ( The president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" gave the Custodian of the Holy Land, Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, a check for €1 million on behalf of Benedict XVI.

Surrounded by the Nazareth Parish council as he made his presentation last Saturday, Archbishop Josef Cordes explained, "This money was collected in Germany, more specifically in Bavaria, at the initiative of the dioceses of Munich, Passau and Regensburg in the enthusiasm of the Pope's visit to his native country last September."

Having received this gift from his compatriots, the Holy Father gave the sum to "Cor Unum," "the Pope's charity," as Archbishop Cordes put it.

The pontifical council, in turn, sought a project on which to bestow the €1 million, worth about $1.3 million.

Its search for a beneficiary met with the Holy Land Custody's search for funds to open a large parish center in Nazareth, the largest parish in the Holy Land.

"The Holy Father would like to show the Christians of the Holy Land his support," Archbishop Cordes said. "The country of Christ should not become a museum without any remaining Christian presence."

The Custodian of the Holy Land, Father Pizzaballa, thanked the Pope and the German faithful for the donation, and added that "the city has not yet had a parish center capable of offering Christians a place of life, encounter and formation. It has long been a desire of the Custody to build this community space."

The Franciscan said that the first stone for the center could be laid as soon as February.

Advent Prayer 6

Lord God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ experience the joy of salvation and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

O Oriens

O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol iustitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis.

O dawn of the east, brightness of light eternal, and sun of justice: come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

O Clavis David

O clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel: qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris.

O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: come, and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Thank you brothers

Many thanks to my brother priests who assisted me in hearing confessions last evening. I appreciate your kindness and fellowship. My parishioners too are grateful for your generosity of time during this busy season. Blessings to you always!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hope for mankind

Christian renaissance coming, predicts French academician

Philosophies and ideologies are almost dead, argues well-known anthropologist René Girard in a newly published book in which the French Academy member predicts a new Christian cultural revolution that will make the Renaissance "seem like nothing".

In a book published recently in Italian, Verite o fede debole. Dialogo su cristianesimo e relativismo ("Truth or Weak Faith: Dialogue on Christianity and Relativism"), Professor Girard writes that "we will live in a world that will seem and be as Christian as today it seems scientific", Zenit reports.

"I believe we are on the eve of a revolution in our culture that will go beyond any expectation, and that the world is heading toward a change in respect of which the Renaissance will seem like nothing," says Girard.

The book, which is the product of 10 years of discussion between the French thinker and Italian professor Gianni Vattimo, theorist of so-called "weak thought", transcribes three debates between the authors on topics such as faith, secularism, Christian roots, the role of the Gospel message in the history of humanity, relativism, the problem of violence, and the challenge of reason.

In the book, Professor Girard argues that "religion conquers philosophy and surpasses it."

He says that ideologies and political theories are "almost dead" and confidence in science "has already been surmounted."

"There is in the world a new need for religion," the French thinker said.

"Anthropology has failed because it has not succeeded in explaining the different human cultures as a unitary phenomenon, and that is why we are bogged down in relativism.

"In my opinion, Christianity proposes a solution to these problems precisely because it demonstrates that the obstacles, the limits that individuals put on one another serve to avoid a certain type of conflicts."

The French academic continues: "If it was really understood that Jesus is the universal victim who came precisely to surmount these conflicts, the problem would be solved."

O Radix Jesse

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.

O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: come, to deliver us, and tarry not.

Prayer request

Dear friends,
man and beast alike,
please pray for my special intention this week.
I truly appreciate it.
-- fr lwg

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Advent Prayer 5

Father in heaven, the day draws near when the glory of your Son will make radiant the night of the waiting world. May the darkness not blind us to the vision of wisdom which fills the minds of those who find him. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

O Adonai

O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

O Lord and Ruler the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: come, and redeem us with outstretched arms.

"religious paranoia"

Outrage as Head Bars the Virgin
by Tom Carlin -

A school head was slammed last night after removing the word Virgin from Mary's name for Christmas celebrations - so as not to upset Muslim pupils.

Sarah Watson said the move was needed to "tread a line between two faiths" at Walter Street primary in Brierfield, Lancs, where 90 per cent of 370 pupils are of Pakistani descent.

Mrs Watson said: "We cut the name to just Mary because Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet, not son of God."

But Christian and Muslim leaders branded the move absurd.

Canon Chris Chivers, head of inter-faith relations in East Lancs, said: "It's religious paranoia."

Il Bambino Jesu

His Holiness addressed the child in everyone of us as he spoke to the children and youth gathered in Saint Peter's Square for the Sunday Angelus. At the end of the prayer he added:

“I bless from my heart all the ‘Baby Jesus’ statues. Dear children, before the crib, pray to Jesus for the intentions of the pope as well! I thank you and wish you a happy Christmas!”

(During the month of December, Benedict XVI prays "that Christ, meek and humble of heart, may inspire those responsible for nations to use power wisely and responsibly.")

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Lord is nigh

O Sapientia

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodidisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviter disponensque omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come, and teach us the way of prudence.

From Rorate Caeli

Traditionalists of the world, unite!
In defense of Christian Civilization

If you wish to join the thousands who wish to support the Socci Manifesto (click), write to:

Subject: Appello di Antonio Socci


“Esprimiamo il nostro plauso per la decisione di Benedetto XVI di cancellare la proibizione dell’antica messa in latino secondo il messale di san Pio V, grande patrimonio della nostra cultura da salvare e riscoprire”. [English: "We express our praise for the decision of Benedict XVI to cancel the prohibition of the ancient Mass in Latin according to the Missal of Saint Pius V, a great legacy of our culture, which must be saved and rediscovered."]

Sign (Name and Country of Residence)

See entire article at

Domine non sum dignus

Why Holy Communion on the Tongue?

* Emphasizes the uniqueness of Holy Food as compared to ordinary food.

* Emphasizes the uniqueness of the ordained priest touching the Sacred Species.

* Emphasizes the presence of Christ feeding His flock, and fosters humility.

* Gives a strong sense of identification with the past Catholics and Saints on the tongue from time immemorial.

* Minimizes the danger of the Sacred Host being dropped or ignored.

* Fosters a sense of unity in the Liturgy.

* Reaffirms the facts that Holy Orders is a Sacrament that ordains a man to the priesthood.

* Expresses complete obedience to the Church.

-- From post this summer by Moneybags.

Busy Benedict

Vatican announces pope's Christmas schedule

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI will preside over a full schedule of public Masses and prayer services over the Christmas period. The Vatican released the pope's calendar of liturgical celebrations Dec. 14. The pope is scheduled to: celebrate Christmas Mass at midnight in St. Peter's Basilica; give a message and the traditional blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city of Rome and to the world) from the central balcony of the basilica Dec. 25 at noon; preside over evening prayer and offer a prayer of thanks for the past year at a 6 p.m. service in St. Peter's Basilica Dec. 31; and preside over Mass at 10 a.m. Jan. 1 in St. Peter's Basilica for the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and the World Day of Peace.

Friday, December 15, 2006

My 15 minutes

One fine supper

Stella Artois

Oreo and I shared tamales and a bottle of Stella Artois for supper this evening.

Another Must Read!

Kansas City Catholic

Too darn funny!

Benedict: Perfect Pastoral Model

Benedict XVI doesn’t seek applause, he doesn’t harangue the crowds, but he’s still extremely popular. He himself has explained his secret: it is “obedience to the truth, not to the dictatorship of popular opinion” -- read more by Sandro Magister at

My take: Popular opinion (the expression of liberalism) has taken us to the gates of Hell. Obedience to the Truth leads us to the Gates of Heaven!

Sources close to the Vatican ...

Motu Propio after Christmas, Apostolic Exhortation in January

Rome, Dec. 15, 2006 (CNA) - Sources close to the Vatican have told Catholic News Agency that the Motu Propio by which Pope Benedict XVI would allow for the universal use of the Missal of St. Pius V may be published after Christmas, while the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist could come in mid-January 2007.

Sources confirmed the recent statements to reporters by Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, who told them after participating in a meeting of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, where the text of the Motu Propio was reviewed, that the document would come soon.

The declaration would allow the Mass of St. Pius V—often called the Tridentine Mass—to be celebrated freely and do away with the current requirement to have the explicit permission of the local bishop. The Motu Propio does not address the canonical status of the Society of St. Pius X, the schismatic organization founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

The Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist, according to the same sources, has already been finished by Pope Benedict XVI and is being translated into the different languages in which it will be presented.

The document, which sources say will be issued after January 15, reaffirms the Church’s commitment to a celibate priesthood, encourages the use of Latin in liturgical celebrations, and even requests that seminarians learn the language as part of their formation.

It will also promote the recovery of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphonic music as a replacement to modern music, which would result in a gradual elimination of musical instruments that are “inappropriate” for the solemnity and reverence of the Eucharistic celebration.

My lament: usquequo peccatores Domine usquequo peccatores gloriabuntur. How long shall sinners, O Lord: how long shall sinners glory? -- Psalms 93:3

Drums are inappropriate.

Pro multis

A must read on the Pro multis statement:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Advent Prayer 4

God of power and mercy, open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy, so that we may share his wisdom and become one with him when he comes in glory, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Advent Vespers

A small portion of Novus Ordo Advent Vespers in Latin

Buon Natale!

Vatican Christmas tree – tallest ever – arrives from southern Italy

VATICAN CITY – (AP) The pope's Christmas tree – the tallest to date to adorn the Vatican – is finally in position in St. Peter's Square after bad weather and other problems delayed its arrival for more than a week.

“This morning I saw the tree from my window,” Pope Benedict XVI told several thousand people gathered in St. Peter's Basilica for the weekly public audience Wednesday.

The 109-foot fir tree from the mountains of Sila National Park in Calabria, southern Italy, arrived during the night. Thick fog encountered en route was the last of a series of delivery problems.

Workers had problems cutting down the tree because of heavy winds. Then they had to figure out how to hoist the 9-ton tree onto the helicopter that carried it on the first leg of the trip to the Vatican.

“We were on the Sila for three days,” Eugenio Ripepe, supervisor of the delivery, told AP Television News as he described the transportation difficulties.

The tradition of erecting a Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square, next to a larger-than-life Nativity scene, was introduced by Pope John Paul II in 1982.

According to Vatican statistics, the trees, which over the past 24 years have come from different European countries or regions of Italy, have never surpassed 105 feet, making this year's tree the tallest.

The tree will be decorated and finally lit on Christmas Eve.

Season of Hope

Season of Hope: An Advent Musical premiered this evening. The event was a production of the parish liturgical ministries in conjunction with our family catechetical program. I enjoyed the fine balance of Sacred Scripture, drama, seasonal music, dance, and contemporary praise music in the one-hour production. Most of the talent came from the efforts of many wonderful people of the parish. The actors, dancers, musicians, vocalists, costumers, and technical support were appropriate for our parish of 2000 families. Our conference of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society was the recipient of the “entrance fee” of canned food and monetary donations. In fact, the assembly participated in the The Offering by bringing forth the food as the ensemble sang How Shall We Know You. The script was a collaborated effort of several members of the pastoral staff.

The Church has always been a patron of the arts as I explained in my opening remarks this evening. The gifts of our bodies and voices are lifted up as an act of thanksgiving to our God. The gospel message of peace, justice, hope, and longing were proclaimed in word and deed. It is in this type of production that our God-given c0-creativity is appropriately enacted.

The musical will be presented again on Friday evening.

Overheard at CWN

Italian political party petitions for Latin Mass

Rome, Dec. 13, 2006 ( - Italy’s National Alliance party is leading a petition drive among Catholics in the Liguria region, asking the bishops there to allow at least one Sunday Mass each week celebrated in the Tridentine rite.

The National Alliance, concerned about the steady influx of immigrants from South America and Eastern Europe into Liguria, argues that the use of the 1962 Missal would be an effective way to help integrate the new residents into the region’s traditional culture…

Dashes! Foiled again!

I brought home a familiar gift today--tamales. Oreo was very excited. I gave him a peanut butter and molasses biscuit to distract him, but he dropped the biscuit, came back to the package to see me put it into the freezer. He returned to the treat on the floor which he relished. We'll enjoy the tamales later.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Vatican News Flash

VATICAN CITY: Just moments ago the Roman Catholic Church confirmed the rumors about a new Vatican office. Limited information has been released about the new office. The extent of the office's authority has not been disclosed, but it is assumed that its power will be universal. Vatican officials have reported that the new office is titled The Pontifical Office of the Liturgical Police.

Due to their dress of black and mandatory stylish ray bans given to each recruit upon assignment to the Pontifical Office, the Liturgical Police have already been given the alias Men in Black. Vatican Officials also reported that Benedict XVI hand picked the first squad of priests. The requirements to be part of the new office are stringent as each member must be trained in the ways of liturgy, speak latin and 5 other languages, have grey hair, and know how to blend into every culture in the world -- including women's reading circles, halloween masses, and coffee shops. Not explicitly stated, the Liturgical Police are expected to employ help from every kind of person ranging from small children, street bums, professionals, gutter punks, and teenagers. The more it looks that a person is disinterested in liturgical abuses and misuses means that it is most likely that they will be working with the Liturgical Police.

The purpose of the office is to lay the smack down on heresy and end liturgical abuses.

– Great satire lifted from!

Cardinal Bertone speaks

Vatican Secretary of State:
Dissident Catholics More Worrying than Atheists

Empress of the Americas

Santa María de Guadalupe, Mística Rosa, intercede por la Iglesia, protege al Soberano Pontífice, oye a todos los que te invocan en sus necesidades. Así como pudiste aparecer en el Tepeyac y decirnos: "Soy la siempre Virgen María, Madre del verdadero Dios", alcánzanos de tu Divino Hijo la conservación de la Fe. Tu eres nuestra dulce esperanza en las amarguras de esta vida. Danos un amor ardiente y la gracia de la perseverancia final. Amén.

O Notre Dame de Guadalupe, Rose Mystique, intercède pour la Sainte Eglise, protège le Souverain Pontife, viens au secours de tous ceux qui t’invoquent dans leurs besoins, et puisque Tu es Marie,toujours Vierge, Mère de Dieu, obtiens nous de Ton Très Divin Fils, la grâce de garder notre foi, de garder une douce espérance au milieu des amertumes de la vie, d’avoir une brulante charité et accorde nous le don de la persévérance à l’heure de la mort. Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mystical Rose, make intercession for the Holy Church, protect the Sovereign Pontiff, help all those who invoke thee in their necessities, and since thou art the ever Virgin Mary, and Mother of the True God, obtain for us from thy most holy Son the grace of keeping our faith, of sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, of burning charity, and the precious gift of final perseverance. Amen.

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's worth saying

The politically correct "Happy Holidays" causes my blood pressure to rise. I gave these pins to my staff to wear around town, encouraging them to respond with "Merry Christmas" to all greetings.

Salve Regina

Dulce Marie by Miguel Martinez
On this eve of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I just returned home after the annual Advent dinner hosted by Bishop Olmsted for the priests ministering in the Diocese of Phoenix. We ended our evening with the chanting of the Salve Regina. I have always been touched by this chant, yet especially so this evening with over 100 male voices intoning the ancient hymn.

Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae,
Vita dulcedo et spes nostra salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes, in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eja ergo advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

New Cathedral being built in TX

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is in the midst of building the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston, TX. I believe the design of this cathedral to be an extraordinary example of what is possible in contemporary church design. It is refreshing to see traditional design (cruciform) and materials (limestone) being used.

Visit the Archdiocesan website for more renderings and photos of the building-in-progress. Please note the artist's rendering of the Resurrection window; a beautiful example of contemporary art.

News from La Republica & I.Media

The Pope: Time drawing near for reconciliation with Lefebvre

Benedetto XVI stringe i tempi per la riconciliazione con i seguaci di mons. Marcel Lefebvre. La Commissione "Ecclesia Dei", istituita a questo scopo da Giovanni Paolo II, si riunira' infatti domani in una prima sessione plenaria per discutere della questione della liberalizzazione della messa in latino. E' quanto riferisce l'agenzia cattolica francese "I. Media", che precisa che anche il cardinale Jean-Pierre Ricard, arcivescovo di Bordeaux e presidente della Conferenza episcopale francese e' giunto a Roma per partecipare alla riunione. Durante la loro riunione, dal 4 al 9 novembre, i vescovi francesi avevano espresso preoccupazione per il progetto di liberalizzare la messa in latino e "il loro attaccamento alla liturgia voluta dal Concilio Vaticano II", pur ribadendo in un messaggio indirizzato al Pontefice "la loro comunione" con Benedetto XVI, e la loro volonta' "di aprire alla riconciliazione nella verita' e nella carita'". – La Republica

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Advent Prayer 3

Father in heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of his coming may find us rejoicing in his presence and welcoming the light of his truth. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.

Rosary repair service

Send broken rosaries in a padded envelope to Betty and Dick Holden, 7930 Estero Blvd., 502, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931, from November to April, to be repaired and returned within a week of receipt. Donations of old/broken rosaries also accepted to be repaired and sent to missions. Include a note indicating repair and return or donation. 239-463-3993 or e-mail – from

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Pope encourages public religious symbols

Pope: Religious Symbols Should Be Displayed on Public Buildings

VATICAN CITY Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday encouraged the display of religious symbols in public buildings including schools, courthouses, hospitals and prisons, saying that God needs to be present in community life…,2933,235700,00.html

Big Gulp

What Happens To Your Body If You Drink A Coke Right Now?

Have you ever wondered why Coke comes with a smile? It’s because it gets you high. They took the cocaine out almost a hundred years ago. You know why? It was redundant.

* In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.

* 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)

* 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dialate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.

* 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.

* >60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.

* >60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.

* >60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

This will all be followed by a caffeine crash in the next few hours. (As little as two if you’re a smoker.) But, hey, have another Coke, it’ll make you feel better.

*FYI: The Coke itself is not the enemy, here. It’s the dynamic combo of massive sugar doses combined with caffeine and phosphoric acid. Things which are found in almost all soda.