Saturday, March 31, 2007

St. Josemaria Escriva - on YouTube

H/T to Fr. John Boyle, who hat-tipped an entire line of fellow bloggers for bringing this to light.

Click to watch the start of this documentary. I have found three total.

Click for part 2

Click for part 3

Get those birettas ready....

Hold on to your chair (or biretta if you are a priest). Something really interesting happened yesterday: The Catholic News Service - aka publishing arm of the USCCB- acknowledged the forthcoming motu proprio on the Tridentine. Here is a good excerpt:

From the outside, allowing the old Mass has been seen primarily as a concession to the followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated in 1988 for his intransigence on liturgical and other reforms of Vatican II.

But some Vatican officials believe that aspect has been overblown. More than making peace with Archbishop Lefebvre's followers, they said, the pope is trying to make peace with the church's own tradition.

One big clue to the pope's thinking came in his 1997 book, titled "Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977" and written when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in which he sharply criticized the drastic manner in which Pope Paul VI reformed the Mass in 1969.

The almost total prohibition of the old missal, which had been used for 400 years, was unprecedented in the history of the liturgy, he said in the book.

In effect, he said, "the old building was demolished" and a new one put in its place. Thus the liturgy ceased to be a living development and was treated as something manufactured by experts, which has caused the church "enormous harm," he said.

Even before he wrote those words, then-Cardinal Ratzinger had caused a stir when he said it made sense for the priest to celebrate Mass facing the same direction as the congregation, in the pre-Vatican II style, although he also said it would be confusing to turn the altar around once again.

Over the years, he has sharply criticized what he sees as a tendency for the worshiping community to celebrate only itself.

Today, text of a Le Figaro Magazine interview is flying around the blogosphere. The magazine's website has not yet released it online, but ..... it's "out there".

Le Figaro: Is a Decree widening the possibility of celebrating the Latin Mass according to the rite from before Vatican II (the so-called Mass of Saint Pius V) still expected?

Cardinal Bertone: The merit of the conciliar liturgical reform is intact. But both [for reasons of] not losing the great liturgical heritage left by Saint Pius V and for granting the wish of those faithful who desire to attend Masses according to this rite, within the framework of the Missal published in 1962 by Pope John XXIII, with its own calendar, there is no valid reason not to grant to every priest in the world* the right to celebrate according to this form. The authorization of the Supreme Pontiff would evidently preserve the validity of the rite of Paul VI. The publication of the motu proprio which specifies this authorisation will take place, but it will be the pope himself who will explain his motivations and the framework of his decision. The Sovereign Pontiff will personally explain his vision for the use of the ancient Missal to the Christian people, and particularly to the Bishops

Hat Tip to Rorate Coeli

Fr. Z is naturally covering this, as well

Sacramentum Caritatis - English Translation Corrected!!!

Fr. Zuhlsdorf reports that the English translation of Sacramentum Caritatis, has been corrected with the following:

Fr. Z writes:

Now it seems that the official English version has been revised and corrected, at least in respect to par. 62.

The Latin: exceptis lectionibus, homilia et oratione fidelium, aequum est ut huiusmodi celebrationes fiant lingua Latina.
The OLD official English: with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, such liturgies could be celebrated in Latin.

The NEW official English: with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, it is fitting that such liturgies be celebrated in Latin.

It seems that the English translation and that of other languages is being carefully scrutinzed right now and hopefully, we can expect to see what is owed us: Genuine translations.

Here is an excellent example of how good the internet can be. It was less than 10 hours following the release of the Exhortation that this particular watered-down translation was spotted. Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog was crashing the server with so much sudden traffic. Other bloggers picked up what he was providing, and what other Latinists were finding was being shared publicly. It comes as a welcome surprise that by making these things highly visible, as they should be.

Just think, before the internet age, even if a Latinist found an error, how could he get the word out to create such an outcry? There are many forms of "gatekeepers" and the old guard, with it's banalization of the faith and the liturgy is simply not going to get away with it any longer.

Go read Fr. Z's post

EDIT: You may want to read the followup post Fr. Z has made: Who's guarding the guards?

Childhood Memories: Who do you love the most?

When I was very young - probably 4 or 5, my father would tuck me in bed at night and ask me, "Who do you love the most?"

My answer would always be the same (you can trick children so small again and again, so I was put to the test many times over the next few years and this helped it to sink in).

"I love you both the most?"

What else could a child say?

My father would say, "Wrong answer, you are suppose to love God the most".

Back then, I didn't realize just how profound Dad's lesson was. However, when we look at the many decisions we must make daily, if it is not rooted in love for God first, then sometimes God gets placed second. For example, a young person with a vocation may not follow that call because mom or dad are not happy about it.

There are many applications with this profound question and answer. It has stuck with me and guided me for many years.

Dad died in October of 1991. He was devoted to the Holy Rosary and truly received one thing he prayed for: A happy death. It wasn't without pain, but with closeness to Our Lord and the Blessed Mother. He also prayed that Rosary daily for his children and others.

Thanks Dad.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Catch it now on EWTN - Pope Benedict in Penitential Service with Youth

If you are visting this blog around the time of this post, you can catch Pope Benedict in the Pentitential Service with youth (replay) on EWTN TV. If you don't have it on your television, just go to and choose Television - Live TV and pick your connection. You can watch it right on your computer or laptop, if you have a decent connection.

Individal confessions were heard by some 200 priests.

This is simply beautiful and we need such big services in every city to bring back awareness of this magnficent sacrament. I pray our bishops will follow the lead of our Holy Father in this regard.

Here is coverage from Zenit.

As a sidenote, "communal penance" is not something that is permitted as was very popular some years ago (and may still be in some communities). Any grave or mortal sin must be confessed to a priest following any such service.

April 2nd - Anniversary of the Death of Pope John Paul II

At the website of Father John Trigilio, Jr. and Father Kenneth D. Brighenti (Authors of Catholicism for Dummies among others, and the Crashcourse in Catholicism on EWTN) Fr. Trigilio anounces:

APRIL 2nd, 2007, is the second anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul
the Great

Honor his memory, pray for his soul and for his canonization.

ALL THE FAITHFUL are asked to make a Holy Hour before the Blessed
Sacrament in the Tabernacle or pray a Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm on
April 2nd, which is also Monday of Holy Week

I'll be at work, but I will try to offer a Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 by taking a quick break at that point.

Do visit their website and take a look at the photos of them with Pope Benedict and the book on "John Paul II for Dummies"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hot off the Press: Easter Season Orchestra Massses at Grotto

Fr. Eduard Perrone, Pastor of Assumption Grotto conducts during last year's Easter Sunday Orchestral Mass.

Click the poster-pic for a link to a full sized PDF file. Below is an HTML version you can use, as well.

Click here for an HTML version

Help get the word out and print out these PDF files if you live locally and post them. You should always ask a pastor for permisison to place anything in the parish vestibule.

Email the PDF and HTML links to interested friends and family.

Provide a link to this post on your blog. You can always access the parish website via the "Grotto and Related" links section in the sidebar from the Te Deum homepage, or clicking here.

Where is Assumption Grotto in Detroit?

Bring your family to Assumption Grotto this Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday.

A few notes:

  • Prelude music often begins up to 20 minutes prior to many orchestral masses. Come early.
  • Parking can get tight - another reason to get there early.
  • The Mass is the post-Vatican II liturgy, but it is celebrated in Latin. Grey booklets will allow you to follow along. Any of four Eucharistic Prayers are used, but look for EP1 at these Masses (I could be wrong, so don't hold me to it).
  • While there is likely no social on Easter Sunday, I suspect the weekly BBQ fair will be available following the Masses for Divine Mercy Sunday. (EDIT: The Ushers are having their pancake breakfast so follow the crowd to the gym for the works!)
  • Assumption Grotto has a giftshop that will likely be open on Divine Mercy Sunday too, but I don't expect it to be open on Easter.
  • Benediction follows any noon Mass. During warmer weather it takes place at the outdoor Grotto following a procession.
  • Don't expect a typical 50 minute liturgy. Latin Novus ordo masses at Grotto usually run approx 1 hour 20 minutes. This is due to time associated with incensing, and the kind of music that enables one to rest in the Lord as we work our way through the Liturgy. Orchestra Masses can take a little longer. Time goes by fast in these liturgies and it won't seem that long. I couldn't believe how much time went by without my realizing it the first time I went.

EDIT: Fr. Z was kind enough to "plug" this Mass series on his blog. Read his entry on the Paray Mass being featured.

Pope John Paul II, a mysterious nun, and his sainthood cause

Many news agencies are reporting on this. Here is a link to the Reuters article.

Mysterious nun at heart of John Paul sainthood bid

The nun, whose identity is known to only a handful of clerics and doctors, wrote anonymously of her experiences in a magazine published by the Italian Catholic Church.

"I was losing weight day by day. I could no longer write and if I did try to, it was difficult to decipher. I could no longer drive ... because my left leg became rigid," she wrote.

She describes how she and her fellow nuns in her religious community prayed to the late Pope for her healing.


On June 2, 2005, exactly two months after the Pope's death, she said she felt the sudden urge to pick up a pen.

"My handwriting was completely legible ... my body was no longer pained, no longer rigid ... I felt a profound sense of peace," she wrote.

continue reading at Reuters

How grand it is to have witnessed the lives of two people I consider saints: Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa. They are both shoe-in's, in my humble opinion. We have so much to learn by their examples.

Source: Newsday Photos (click for more with purchase opportnities)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pope Benedict on Detachment from Sin

Date: 2007-03-26

Pope Says Sin Is True Enemy

Visits Parish of Diocese of Rome

ROME, MARCH 26, 2007 ( Hell consists in closing oneself off from the love of God, and sin is the true enemy of the human person, Benedict XVI says.

The Pope made that comment on Sunday when celebrating Mass at the Parish of St. Felicity and Martyred Sons in the northern sector of the Diocese of Rome.

"If it is true that God is justice, then we should not forget that he is above all love; if he hates sin it is because he has an infinite love for all human beings," the Holy Father explained.

The Pontiff reflected on the Gospel account of the day's liturgy. It dealt with the adulterous woman who was to be stoned to death, but who was saved and forgiven by Jesus.

Benedict XVI stated: "Jesus does not start a theological debate about the law of Moses; he is not interested in winning an academic dispute on an interpretation of the Mosaic laws. His objective is to save a soul and reveal that salvation can be found only in the love of God.

"Jesus came to tell us that he wants us all in heaven and that hell, of which so little is said in our time, exists and is eternal for those who close their hearts to his love.

"Therefore even in this episode, we understand that our true enemy is our attachment to sin, which can lead us to failing our existence."

Recalling that Jesus sent the adulterous woman away with the words, "go and sin no more," the Pope explained, "Only God's forgiveness and his love, received with an open and sincere heart, give us the strength to resist evil and to sin no more, to let us be touched by God's love which becomes our strength."

Benedict XVI concluded, "Jesus' attitude thus becomes a model to be followed by all communities, called to make love and forgiveness the pulsating heart of their lives."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

"The Annunciation" (1644) by Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674)
Source: Artcyclopedia


V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae.
R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. * Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V. Ecce ancilla Domini,
R. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. * Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V. Et Verbum caro factum est,
R. Et habitavit in nobis.

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus.* Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix,
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus. Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

ANGELUS (English)

V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with Thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.* Holy Mary, Mother of God, prayer for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
R. Be it done to me according to Thy word.

Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with Thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.* Holy Mary, Mother of God, prayer for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

V. And the Word was made flesh,
R. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with Thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.* Holy Mary, Mother of God, prayer for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that, as we have known the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, by the message of an angel, so by His Passion and Cross we may be brought to the glory of the Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

via EWTN

Saturday, March 24, 2007

More news on forthcoming motu proprio for the Tridentine

I saw this several days ago on the New Liturgical Movement's website, and now Fr. Zuhlsdorf has gotten just a little excited about it. From Fr. Z:

Something is up.

From the Bolletino:

Yesterday evening the Pope received in audience:

His Eminence Francis Card. Arinze, Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments;

His Eminence Darío Card. Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei".

Remember that reports have the Motu Proprio coming out after 25 March but before the Triduum.

Today I spoke with someone to whom a bishop recently received by the Pope said that the Pope was "determined".

Start practicing your responses…

"Introibo ad altare Dei…"

This could be interesting. Keep your ears to the wire the next few days. I still think it would be good for this thing to be released on Annunciation - a day which marks the day Our Lady said, "yes" - accepting God's will for her, and ultimately for all of us. What better day for a Pope to ask his priests and bishops for their fiat?

I know that in some communities, perhaps even our own, where some enjoy a beautiful Latin Novus Ordo, there are a few who would like to keep things as they are. I myself have still not assisted at a Tridentine thus far. Any opportunity I had to do so was somehow lost at the last minute. I have a 1962 Missal ready for use and I'm going to be very open to whatever happens.

In other areas of the country, people cannot find a solemn and reserved liturgy with sacred music and chant even if they drive for hours. The masses may be even be fully licit, but for some folks, something remains missing without some Latin, chant and sacred polyphony - as well as being purely majestic. This says nothing of the banality in many homilies today - something even the Pope has pointed out. All of this, I believe, has resulted in people attending SSPX Masses and similar. And, it has resulted in some who would consider coming home to the Catholic Church, to head elsewhere, or to stay in the Protestant denomination they are in. Some are not inspired to make that leap of faith because of the banality of liturgies to which they have been exposed.

After much reflection on the issue, my conclusion is that bringing back the Tridentine would be a win on many fronts: Lapsed Catholics, non-Catholics considering the faith, and an open door to those in the SSPX looking for a way back in without compromising what they value liturgically.

I think this is necessary not only for fallen away and disinterested Catholics, and to help the reform of the reform, but I think it will inspire those particular folks to make that shift. Catholics and non-Catholics alike in the years following the release of this motu proprio will know WHERE they can find a solemn and reverent liturgy without any question. For those who don't care for the Tridentine, for some years to come, it will likely be only a small minority of parishes that offer it. This is why I am mystified by some Bishops, priests and laypeople who are working hard to put a halt to this effort by the Pope. The Catholic Church has been big enough to accept Charismatic masses, folk Masses, Youth Masses, and I won't mention a few others that have gone unchecked for years. But, the tent is too small for the Tridentine - the Mass many of our cherished saints assisted in and celebrated?

Along with that it will identify parishes that are Eucharistic and Marian, and where Confession is highly valued, along with hard-hitting, soul-stirring homilies. This is not to say that there aren't Eucharistic and Marian parishes among those without Latin Masses. These will just stand out and be visible. My gut feeling is that as the youth discover the majesty, awe, solemnity and reverence, they and their young families will be duly attracted.

Let the Spirit blow where He wills.

Therefore, be open-minded even if you hate Latin, and don't like the format of the more silent Tridentine. Flow with it.

This will be a very good thing for the Church.

What say you???

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sunday: Mass with Bishop Olmsted on EWTN

It's nice to see EWTN spreading it's wings around the country, bringing us some of the beautiful liturgies out there. You may recall some months ago, they brought us the Mass from St. John Cantius in Chicago. Now, this Sunday at 11:30 (assumed to be local time or 1:30 EST), they will broadcast a Mass celebrated by Bishop Thomas Olmstead.

Musica Sacra brings us details, as follows:

On March 26th at 11:30am Eastern time, the Holy Mass will be shown from Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in the Diocese of Phoenix on EWTN. The Most Rev. Thomas Olmsted will be Celebrant. The Cathedral Schola, which sings the Solemn Mass every Sunday at 11:00am, will sing the Introit, Communio and the Ordinary of the Mass, along with some solid Catholic hymns. The Schola is made up of professional musicians.

Remember, just because you don't have cable doesn't mean you can't watch this. If you are accessing the internet with some kind of broadband, like SBC, you can watch it right online. Just go to EWTN, and place your cursor over "Television" in the upper left hand side of the menubar and select Live-TV, followed by a connection. I'm not sure which connection is best for the lower end of high speed. It might take a couple minutes to buffer and if the video isn't that good, you'll still be able to listen from your PC.

Bishop Olmstead has done wonders in the Phoenix area. This is a bishop who understood that a diocese needs cloistered nuns who would be the fuel for the engine. Not many today understand the power of prayer.

On a related note, recall that when Mother Angelica's order was getting too big - a pure grace of God - it had to spread it's wings. This resulted in Bishop Olmsted giving a small handful of sisters from Mother's order a new home in the Phoenix diocese where the are now growing!

Related reading on Bishop Olmsted, and on the Poor Clares in Phoenix:

Bishop Finn - on a roll - new Benedictine Community (Te Deum - scroll down to read about the Poor Clares in Phoenix)

Update on Desert Nuns (Te Deum)

Bishop Olmstead Blesses future home of Poor Clares (Catholic Sun)

Bishop in the Desert: An Interview (Ignatius Insight)

New Phoenix Bishop Shows Impressive Leadership - Dares to Directly Address Homosexuality(LifeSite)

Olmsted's Stamp on Diocese (East Valley Tribune)

Last, but not least, is the website of the Desert Nuns - something worth checking in on now and them. They have a section of photos showing their progress.

Bishop Olmsted blesses future home of the "Desert Nuns"

Helpers of God's Precious Infants - Update for April 14, 2007

EDIT: Date has been corrected. It previously showed the last week of April.

Please see details at the Helpers of God's Precious Infants blog for the upcoming prayer vigil on Saturday, April 14, 2007. Click the picture for a direct link to the blog.

Also, someone emailed me wanting to get in touch with Dan Goodnow, the President of HGPI-Michigan. That email was inadvertently lost. Please email me again at

Saturdays are always busy, but remember, the sacrifice of time is also a prayer. Be there and if you are unable to walk or stand, you can be with us in prayer at home, or at an adoration chapel. The adoration chapel at Assumption Grotto will be open, as always on Saturday. If you live locally and have never been to the chapel, contact the sisters at or call them at 313-527-1739. There are special instructions for getting into the chapel.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fr. Fessio is back at AMU........sort of

Amy Welborn is carrying something in a post that was pasted into a combox there. I suggest watching the combox in this post, which has only one or two posts as of this copy. She gets much more traffic and many more comments. Keep in mind, this is unofficial and unconfirmed.

From: Nick Healy
Sent: Thu 3/22/2007 6:22 PM
To: Fla-Faculty; Fla-Staff; FLA-Students
Subject: Father Fessio - update

We expressed yesterday that the separation of Father Fessio from the
University’s administration had nothing to do with our shared
commitment to our mission as a Catholic university ex corde ecclesiae.
As a sign of our esteem for his great gifts and abilities, we have
asked Father Fessio and he has agreed to continue a relationship with
us. This will include the following:

(i)He will be designated a theologian in residence and maintain a room
on campus.

(ii)He will join us for the Commencement exercises.

(iii) He will teach the planned summer program for high school

(iv)He will explore a semester abroad program in Rome and how our
Austrian semester abroad program might be continued. It is expected
that in developing plans for study abroad programs Father Fessio will
be spending a significant amount of time in Europe.

(v) It is anticipated that beginning in the spring semester, Father
Fessio will assume teaching responsibilities at AMU, although the
precise schedule for the teaching hours will need to be worked out.

We are pleased that we can confirm the continuing association with
Father Fessio and his commitment to the ongoing development of Ave
Maria University in a non-administrative capacity.

Holy Week Schedule at Assumption Grotto

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil 2006: Fr. Perrone - stationary -carries the Paschal Candle as the altar boys - moving - follow in a flame.


Holy Week 2007 Schedule - Assumption Grotto Church

Holy Thursday, April 5
(No morning Masses)
7:00 p.m. Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Procession with Blessed Sacrament & Adoration until Midnight

Good Friday, April 6
(No morning Masses)
12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. - Tre Ore Services
Office of Midday (Sext)
Solemn Liturgy with sung Passion according to
Saint John; Veneration of the Cross; Holy Communion
3:00 p.m. Divine Mercy Prayers
7:00 p.m. Stations of the Cross

Holy Saturday, April 7
(No morning Masses and no 4:00 p.m. Mass)
1:00 p.m. Blessing of Easter foods and baskets
8:00 p.m. Easter Vigil Mass

Easter Sunday, April 8, Masses
6:30 a.m.; 9:30 a.m. Orchestral Mass by Paul Paray; other music from
Rédemption by César Franck.; 12:00 noon

Thursday, April 5: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday, April 6: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.;
7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 7: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(Note: There will not be confessions Saturday evening or on Easter Sunday morning)

Altar boys and priests process in during the Tre Ore Services following the Office of Midday (Sext) on Good Friday, 2006

All bow as the "Gloria Patri" is prayed at the end of one of the psalms during Sext

The Crucifix following veneration at the conclusion of the Tre Ore Services

If you are within driving distance of Assumption Grotto, consider the drive in for one or more of our Holy Week Masses or services.

Also noteworthy is the Orchestra Mass that will take place at the 9:30am Latin Novus Ordo with Rev. Eduard Perrone conducting. This will feature a Mass written by Paul Paray for the 500th Anniversary of the Death of Joan of Arc and will have a very large orchestra. If you can't make that Mass, you will have another chance on Divine Mercy Sunday - likely the noon Mass. There is an opportunity to provide donations to aid the music program at Assumption Grotto after the Liturgy.

Note about Good Friday's Tre Ore Services

Each year Assumption Grotto seats fill closer to capacity as people learn about the unique and magnificent Tre Ore Service. I can guarantee that if you have never been to Assumption Grotto on Good Friday afternoon, you will be blown away.

If you have been given the day off by your company or school, give God those three hours, or at least part of that time and if possible, come to Assumption Grotto for this most solemn service. This year, by the grace of God, I may be able to provide some video footage.

What is so unique about it? (EDIT: Not all is "unique" per se, such as the priests laying prostrate (click the link two paragraphs down to find out what is suppose to happen when they enter the sanctuary during the Good Friday service).

It begins with a silent procession of priests and altar boys - entering from the sides of the church and all chant - alternating sides - the midday office.

Next, the priests and altar boys exit as silently as they entered, then return a short time later from the rear of the church as seen in the photo above. The priests then lay prostrate on the floor.

The Passion, which is normally read at most parishes, is chanted and sung in its entirety!!! Priests take the appropriate parts, and a variety of other singers, including the choir do the other parts. There are opportunities for lay people to sing, as well.

Then comes the veneration of the Cross, with a long trail of altar boys leading the way.

Hope to see you at the Grotto!

Fr. Joseph Fessio - Fired from Ave Maria University

Fr. Fessio at Assumption Grotto, April 1, 2006

CWNews reports that Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ - founder of Ignatius Press and publisher of Catholic World Report - who kicked off his Spirit of the Liturgy conference at Assumption Grotto, has been fired from Ave Maria University.

Naples News has published a brief email sent out by Fr. Fessio, as follows:

"To the Ave Maria University community: I have been asked to resign my
position as provost and leave the campus immediately.

I will miss Ave Maria and the many of you whom I hold dear.

Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J."

Naples News continues...

In a statement, university officials said Fessio was asked to step down as a result of "irreconcilable difference over administrative policies and practices."

"There has never been any difference in our commitment to our mission or to the Magisterium of the Church. Nor is there any diminishment in our commitment to maintaining the highest quality of scholarship," according to the statement.

There are rumors swirling that the "irreconcilable differences" had something to do with a difference in liturgical taste between Fr. Fessio's traditional Latin, reform of the reform, and President Nicholas Healy's Charismatic taste. According to Rocco Palmo, Masses offered on either end of the spectrum had a huge draw. Both were popular. Rocco writes:

The hourlong general session of faculty and students took place 90 minutes after a meeting of the new campus' senior staff, at which the university's official statement (found below) was hammered out. A standing-room crowd packed a hall that seats around 300, as university president Nicholas Healy and other top officials offered their reflections. As with the earlier demonstration, the audience was largely pro-Fessio, with two standing ovations given the absent former provost -- the first of which came following a question from the floor asking for his reinstatement.

A senior university official said that one crux of the "irreconcilable differences" cited as the reason for the requested resignation was a divergence on liturgical tastes; Healy and much of his leadership team take their cue from the evangelical Charismatic school of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (to which they maintain close ties), while Fessio's crowd gravitated toward a more solemn manner of ritual. The Jesuit's Latin Masses -- Novus Ordo, celebrated ad orientem -- were reported to have drawn large numbers, while similar crowds were had for monthly Healing Masses celebrated by priest-in-residence Fr Richard McAlear, a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

According to a sign hoisted during the impromptu protest which formed immediately after news of Fessio's ouster broke, the new score in Naples was said to be "Healy 1, Benedict 0."
So, does this mean, Ave Maria University is going the way of Franciscan University of Steubenville in terms of liturgical flavor?There is a public interview now available, in which Fr. Fessio expresses relief, yet considers it a mistake.

The FUMARE blog, a little creativity is going into the discussion:

They also have a post up, Fr. Fessio Whacked, Dollarbransky Next?

Fr. Fessio at Assumption Grotto during the Spirit of the Liturgy Conference, April 1, 2006

Helpers of God's Precious Infants - April 14, 2007

Just wanted to get preliminary word out that the first prayer vigil for Helpers of God's Precious Infants will be Saturday, April 14, 2007.

Details will follow soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Opus Angelorum Parish Mission at Assumption Grotto

Those at Grotto have heard, and seen posters, on the parish mission to be conducted by the priests of Opus Angelorum.

"Aid to the Spiritual Life"

The mission is spread out over 4 evenings, as follows:

Wed, Thurs, Fri. starting at 6:30. Holy Mass at 7:00pm - Conference to follow with benediction at 8:45.

Thursday night will also have the Passio beginning at 9:00 til 11:00.

Sat is the 4pm Mass and conference following.
If you can't make it for all of the evenings, perhaps you can make it for one or more.

Call to Holiness: Reserve your Tickets!!!!

Click the pic for a PDF file with details

It's coming. Call to Holiness is back and is bringing some excellent speakers to the metro Detroit area on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - in two locations! Speakers will be commuting between St. Rene Goupil on the East side of metro Detroit, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Wyandotte on the west side. You can catch them all at either location. Click on the flyer below to get the PDF flyer and form for tickets. Make me aware of any technical glitches with this approach so I can fix them.

This is going to be an excellent event with Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska as keynote speaker. Others include Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, Dr. Robert Fastiggi, Marcus Grodi and Fr. Neil Roy. Bishops John M. Quinn will be celebrating Mass at St. Rene's at 4:00 pm, while Detroit's new Auxiliary, Bishop Daniel Flores will be celebrating Mass at OLMC at 8:00am.

Join us for this one day event.

I will be talking more about this event over the next few weeks.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Laetare Sunday

It's the middle of Lent. Laetare Sunday falls around the middle of Lent and it is known as a day of rejoicing. From New Advent - the online Catholic Encyclopedia:

Strictly speaking, the Thursday before Laetare Sunday is the middle day of Lent, and it was at one time observed as such, but afterwards the special signs of joy permitted on this day, intended to encourage the faithful in their course through the season of penance, were transferred to the Sunday following. They consist of (like those of Gaudete Sunday in Advent) in the use of flowers on the altar, and of the organ at Mass and Vespers; rose-coloured vestments also allowed instead of purple, and the deacon and subdeacon wear dalmatics, instead of folded chasubles as on the other Sundays of Lent. The contrast between Laetare and the other Sundays is thus emphasized, and is emblematical of the joys of this life, restrained rejoicing mingled with a certain amount of sadness.

Note it says the vestments are Rose - not pink!!!

I'm cheating in the photos above, but they are hard to beat when it comes to showing Rose vestments. I did not have my camera with me this morning, so I am using photos from Gaudete Sunday, this past Advent. In these photos, Fr. Eduard Perrone is shown during elevation wearing what is known as a Roman chasuble. It is sometimes referred to as a "fiddleback" chasuble, but the fiddle shape is actually on the front.

Today, Fr. Perrone wore the Rose-colored Gothic chasuble, seen here on a priest we all respected during his time at the Grotto, who is now serving in the Philippines. While you are at it, say a prayer for him and all those in his new mission.

Exhortation: Knowing and using Latin

At the blog of Fr. Zuhlsdorf (aka, Fr. Z), we are getting some ongoing discussion about translation and how it applies to the exhortation: Sacramentum Caritatis. This is interesting, in general, on the issue of Latin translations, even aside from the exhortation.

Keep in mind that Fr. Z's website is being inundated with hits - to the point that it has taken the server down. To prevent his hosting service from shutting him down completely, Father has been putting up a one-pager asking people to visit in non-peak hours. I have had no problem reading his site at 4:30 or 5:00am, but can't get in during regular working hours. He is continuing to work on a more permanent solution to fix the problem caused by so many interested people visiting his site.

All I can say, is just keep trying at different times. Perhaps he will continue to put one or two of his last posts up on that one pager as I saw this morning.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sacramentum Caritatis: Introduction - Food of Truth

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to do a slow read of the new exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis, and will periodically post on sections in the order they appear. I am merely looking at this from a spiritual standpoint, since I am not a theologian. I just know that from what little I have read, I have been moved deeply. Pope Benedict's style works for me as he builds a foundation from the ground up, layer by layer. People often go after specific points that interest them and never go back and read the full document. I'm guilty of this and have promised myself - and God - that this is one document I will chew on very slowly.

I won't make a post on every paragraph so I encourage you to do your own slow read. Feel free to add any comments on those things I do cite.

I would like to start with paragraph 2: Food of Truth (emphasis mine with bold and/or red text)

The food of truth

2. In the sacrament of the altar, the Lord meets us, men and women created in God's image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:27), and becomes our companion along the way. In this sacrament, the Lord truly becomes food for us, to satisfy our hunger for truth and freedom. Since only the truth can make us free (cf. Jn 8:32), Christ becomes for us the food of truth. With deep human insight, Saint Augustine clearly showed how we are moved spontaneously, and not by constraint, whenever we encounter something attractive and desirable. Asking himself what it is that can move us most deeply, the saintly Bishop went on to say: "What does our soul desire more passionately than truth?" (2) Each of us has an innate and irrepressible desire for ultimate and definitive truth. The Lord Jesus, "the way, and the truth, and the life" (Jn 14:6), speaks to our thirsting, pilgrim hearts, our hearts yearning for the source of life, our hearts longing for truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth in person, drawing the world to himself. "Jesus is the lodestar of human freedom: without him, freedom loses its focus, for without the knowledge of truth, freedom becomes debased, alienated and reduced to empty caprice. With him, freedom finds itself." (3) In the sacrament of the Eucharist, Jesus shows us in particular the truth about the love which is the very essence of God. It is this evangelical truth which challenges each of us and our whole being. For this reason, the Church, which finds in the Eucharist the very centre of her life, is constantly concerned to proclaim to all, opportune importune (cf. 2 Tim 4:2), that God is love.(4) Precisely because Christ has become for us the food of truth, the Church turns to every man and woman, inviting them freely to accept God's gift.

I want to zero-in on that sentence highlighted in red. Note the footnote number (3). Going back to the document and scrolling to the bottom of where references are listed, this quoted statement comes from Pope Benedict himself, as follows:

(3) Benedict XVI, Address to Participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (10 February 2006): AAS 98 (2006), 255.

What my eyes really focused on was the word "lodestar". There are two definitions at

  1. A star, especially Polaris, that is used as a point of reference.
  2. A guiding principle, interest, or ambition.

Do you see how good it can be when we encounter a word that we don't commonly use and it eventually grabs our attention. Just a simple understanding of this word gives real power to that statement by Pope Benedict.

It brings back a conclusion I made very shortly after I heard Pope Benedict speak to the Cardinals as they headed into Conclave: Jesus Christ: "The Measure of True Humanism". For days I was being pursued like a jackrabbit running from a hawk by these words:

How many winds of doctrine we have known in these last decades, how many ideological currents, how many fashions of thought? The small boat of thought of many Christians has often remained agitated by the waves, tossed from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, etc.

Every day new sects are born and we see realized what St. Paul says on the deception of men, on the cunning that tends to lead into error (cf. Ephesians 4:14). To have a clear faith, according to the creed of the Church, is often labeled as fundamentalism. While relativism, that is, allowing oneself to be carried about with every wind of "doctrine," seems to be the only attitude that is fashionable. A dictatorship of relativism is being constituted that recognizes nothing as absolute and which only leaves the "I" and its whims as the ultimate measure.

We have another measure: the Son of God, true man. He is the measure of true humanism. "Adult" is not a faith that follows the waves in fashion and the latest novelty. Adult and mature is a faith profoundly rooted in friendship with Christ. This friendship opens us to all that is good and gives us the measure to discern between what is true and what is false, between deceit and truth.

I say these words chased me, because I was still living a materialistic, relativistic lifestyle where work and hobbies were placed before God in many respects. I kept trying to get away from these words, but turning on the radio - there it was. Turning on the TV, ditto. Opening up my newspaper - "Dictatorship of relativism". I realized I did not even know what relativism was and looked it up in Yourdictionary - in part hoping it would stop chasing me.

Relativism: A theory, especially in ethics or aesthetics, that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.

Upon reading that definition of this philisophical term, I immediately had a sinking feeling, all the while a lightbulb went on. I asked myself, "What is truth?" I sat at my desk pondering this simple question and by the grace of God learned something that would guide me ever since.

Truth is like North,
where the compass needle points.
I cannot head North
by going any other direction
in which I please
all the while bending the needle
to suit my desires.

Truth is either black or white,
but it is never shades of gray.

Truth is fixed.
It is static or unmoving;
never dynamic or moving.

Truth is timeless;
not unbounded by this generation or the next.
It is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow.

When praying from the Common of Pastors during Lauds, we encounter the passage (Hebrews 13:7-9a):

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you; consider how their lives ended, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.

It brings us back to the lodestar. As Fr. Corapi says, "Truth is not a something, it is a Somebody and that Somebody is Jesus Christ". That Truth is a point of reference which is fixed and unmoveable. It is absolute because anything else would be less than perfect, and God is perfect. It's not a matter of, "I'm ok, you're ok", it's a matter of, "is it ok with Jesus, who is Truth?"

Pope Benedict now, and yesterday as Cardinal Raztinger, has worked feverishly to get us to want to seek Truth. Truth is not always something that "feels good", but more often is difficult. Our Lord did not say the path was broad and easy. He said it was narrow and difficult. Therefore, when in doubt, take the narrow and difficult path.

We can't hit others over the head to get them to follow truth as it is not the way of Our Lord, who gives us the freedom to choose. This is why Pope Benedict does not engage in smack-downs. God does not force us into compliance, and neither will the Pope. It is something we must freely choose. Obedience to Truth is not slavery as some would have us believe. Rather, it is the other way around. Slavery to sin holds us captive from Truth. Only the those who are truly free can choose obedience.

Let the Truth set you free!!!

Bettineli: Homeschooling Mom vs. Activist Judge

This is wild. A mother who had been homeschooling her three children was dragged into court by a judge who is siding with her now ex-husband on his desire to get them into a parochial school. Nevermind that he sanctioned her teaching of his children at home while they were married. He now claims that it is too difficult for a mother to instruct children who are at different grade levels.

Dom over at has more on the story.

Friday, March 16, 2007

More interesting news on Sacramentum Caritatis

I have been very busy with work and family so I have not had a chance to continue reading Sacramentum Caritatis. However, skimming a few internet posts, consider reading those below.

Anything linking to Fr. Z's website may or may not be working when you go to click on it. If you get an error, or a single page talking about high traffic, just try his site a little later - in off peak hours. The only problem is that you need to consider there is no single clock on the internet. Peak hours here in the US are in the evenings from 7-9 for my site. But, Fr. Z is in Rome, and there are people viewing from Down Under, and many other continents. Just keep trying back. And, if you frequent his site, consider hitting that donation button and give him something to upgrade. While this site is free, the level of content he had was not. The more hits he gets, the more bandwidth he needs and the more it costs. I sent my donation in because I pretty much read his articles daily. It's one of the first stops I make in the blogosphere.

Sandro Magister: "Sacramentum Caritatis": Everyone to Mass on Sunday

Fr. Zuhlsdorf: Another yranslation error in Sacramentum Caritatis and some sharp comments

Fr. Zuhlsdorf: Killing the Exhortation by Silence


In general, mainstream media in typical fashion has taken this beautiful document and communicated to the public in their headlines:

From the New York Times: Pope Reaffirms View Opposing Gay Marriage and Abortion

From Associated Press: Pope Reaffirms Traditional Views

From Reuthers (via ABC News): Catholics must oppose gay marriage

I'm not sure which should get the trophy. Let's award it to all three and the many other news outlets which blew the real news coverage of Sacramentum Caritatis. What else would we expect. The Angel of Darkness is alive and well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Confession: A School of Mercy

Zenit is carrying an excellent article on confession. It's actually an interview with the Archbishop of San Antonio about his pastoral letter issued at the beginning of Lent 2007. You can get a link to the PDF file of the original letter over at Zenit.

The Tender Mercy of Our God
A Pastoral Letter to the People of God of San Antonio
On Forgiveness and Reconciliation in the Christian Life
The Most Rev. José H. Gomez, S.T.D.

Archbishop of San Antonio
February 21, 2007 – Ash Wednesday
I want to pull out a few things from the interview:
As I point out in my pastoral letter, I believe the problem is rooted in our culture's loss of the sense of sin. Our culture is relentless in telling our people that there are no absolute truths or moral norms, and that what's true or good or evil is all relative -- that it depends on the subjective opinion of the individual. So, a lot of people are morally confused -- deceived, really. And we have to reach out to help these people to come back to the sacrament.

I have not had a chance to read the document yet, but I have often wondered how long it will take for a bishop to produce a pastoral letter on the art of watching television. I know many Catholics who can't wait for Desperate Housewives and other programs where promiscuity and open violation of the Ten Commandments is the norm. This distorts our sense of sin and Hollywood can make the worst of sins seem ok, especially to the poorly catechized generations.

The beautiful truth is that the more we go to confession, the more we grow in holiness. We experience real conversion every day. We are less absorbed in material things. We find we have the grace to see the world differently and to think and act differently. We have real friendship with Jesus.

To be honest, I think anyone who goes to confession frequently - that is at least one or more times monthly can attest to the fact that Sacramental Confession is addicting in a positive way. Once you get the hang of acknowledging your sins and a weaknesses, the freedom gained is desired more frequently. Even for those who do not fall into mortal sin, the Sacrament is worth frequent use. It is through working on venial sins - or those weaknesses and shortcomings that aren't serious, that we learn to tame the serious sins, and grow in holiness.

The first step is to find a confessor who values confession enough to encourage bringing even venial sins into the confessional. Then, you know you have a confessor who understands the pursuit of holiness in daily life. The inteview continues further down....

Q: Regarding the reception of Communion while being in a state of mortal sin, what types of pastoral steps have you taken to help the faithful understand that they must confess their sins and restore their communion with the Church before approaching the sacrament of the Eucharist?

Archbishop Gómez: Confession and Communion belong together. Before Communion we always pray the prayer of the Roman soldier: "Lord, I'm not worthy to receive you, but only say the word." Confession is that word of pardon that heals us, that cleanses us of our faults and makes our souls worthy to receive our Lord in the Eucharist.

We can't be in communion with God if there are things in our lives that aren't worthy of our baptismal calling as children of God. People know this in their hearts. I think that's why some people stop going to church -- they sense that their sins have made them unworthy of the sacrament. They're like the prodigal son who says to his father, "I've sinned against heaven and earth. I'm no longer worthy to be called your son."

Of course, our Father never stops loving us as his children. But it's still true that our sins can make us unworthy to be called to Our Lord's supper. I think people understand that -- that receiving the Eucharist under those conditions would be somehow false and wrong.

What I hope to help those in that situation see is how much our Father wants them to come back. Sometimes people stay away from confession because they're ashamed or they're afraid to tell the priest about their failings and weakness.

They've forgotten that confession isn't a conversation with a priest; it's a dialogue with God. The priest has been chosen, ordained to serve "in persona Christi," in the person of Christ -- to forgive sins in Christ's name. No one else but the priest has been given this power on earth.
With a 58 page Sacramentum Caritatis out there, I don't know when I'll get onto this fine pastoral letter by Archbishop Gonzalez, but Confession definitely comes in as a Sacrament well worth discussing here on this blog.

Mary Mother of the Eucharist Dominicans on YouTube

You gotta love this when the media begins to acknowledge the vocation boom at traditional convents like Mary Mother of the Eucharist in nearby Ann Arbor, Michigan. They were recently featured on the local ABC affiliate here in metro Detroit. Now, an NBC report shows up on YouTube with a lead-in statement mirroring one of my earlier posts on them.

Justin Cardinal Rigali - Walking the Talk

Justin Cardinal Rigali, when first installed in Philadephia, wrote a pastoral letter asking pastors to put the Tabernacle back in the center of the Church behind the main altar.

On March 4, the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, the Cardinal celebrated Mass with the Tabernacle behind him (seen in the photo above, which contrasts the smaller photo above it showing how empty the background looked before the restoration). This is so appropriate to the discussion on Sacramentum Caritatis.

Here is an from the Catholic Standard. I am pasting in the entire article out of fear that it will disappear as some of the Catholic papers do to conserve space. The photo is also from the article.

Keeping Christ in the center of our lives and our churches
by Lou Baldwin and Michelle Johnson

In his first pastoral letter as Archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Justin Rigali asked pastors to consider placing the tabernacle in the center of the church behind the main altar if it was not already there and if individual circumstances made such a move feasible.

On Sunday, March 4 at the Cathedral of S.S. Peter and Paul, the Cardinal led the way and made the mother church of the Archdiocese an example to all when he blessed a brand new tabernacle which has been relocated from a side altar to the center of the Cathedral’s sanctuary where it is visible by all.

The tabernacle has been placed on a ledge which is part of a luminous new reredos, a freestanding “screen” erected a few feet behind the main altar. Amazingly, it looks for all the world as if it has been there ever since the altar itself was installed 50 years ago.

“Cardinal Rigali has been telling everyone they should keep Christ in the center of their lives, and what better way to do that than to keep Him in the center of our churches also,” said Louis DiCocco, president of The St. Jude Shop, which was responsible for the new tabernacle, reredos and matching candlesticks.

The Cardinal was clearly moved by the event. In his homily, he told the Cathedral’s parishioners, “Our hearts are filled with joy to celebrate this great event, and once again in a very special way to express our faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the tabernacle. ...[W]e honor the presence of Christ truly and substantially in the Eucharist which we have enthroned in this beautiful new tabernacle that expresses our holy Catholic faith.”

The whole setting is breathtakingly beautiful. The reredos, executed in marble, exactly matches the half-century old altar. That’s because it was executed in Pietrasanta, in the Tuscany region of Italy, with marble obtained from a quarry in the same area as the original altar marble, and a perfect match was found.

Design elements include pilasters which mirror similar Corinthian pilasters and capitals on the altar. Rising above the tabernacle is a niche with an interior facing of white gold and gold tiles, a fitting backdrop for a gold crucifix with an ivory corpus.

The large tabernacle is adorned with gold pilasters and dome, which, similar to the repository of the holy oils in the Cathedral’s shrine to the priesthood, reflects the architecture of the 19th century cathedral. Crafted in Spain, “it is brass, hand gold-plated, one of a kind,” DiCocco said.

Unique features of the highly polished tabernacle are silver medallions on the door and on the inner rear wall of the tabernacle. Both medallions were crafted from designs chosen by the Cardinal.

The exterior medallion depicts Christ as the Lamb of God, while the interior image depicts the risen Christ, modeled after a painting which hangs in the the Pope’s study in the Vatican.

The proof of a good restoration and addition is how seamlessly it fits the existing décor.

“It really looks like it has always been there,” said Msgr. Michael T. McCulken, the Cathedral rector. “The reredos and restoring the tabernacle to the center behind the altar are absolutely beautiful. This will hopefully allow all of us to grow in our love for Jesus and in our devotion to the Eucharist through the beauty that is present there.”

“It was great working with [the Cardinal] on this,” DiCocco said. “He has very good taste and very good art style. I guess all of those years working in Rome gave him that.”

Since coming to the Archdiocese on Oct. 7, 2003, the Cardinal has asked that devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist be a priority for his priests and that priests foster this devotion in the laity. He has encouraged participation in Forty Hours Devotion, Eucharistic Adoration (especially Holy Hours for an increase of vocations to the priesthood), the regular celebration of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, the faithful use of the Sacrament of Penance for the worthy reception of Communion, as well as pesonal and liturgical prayer.

“It is my hope that all the works of the Archdiocese and the lives of all our people will be vivified by a new wave of Eucharistic devotion solidly rooted in the sacred word of God and expressed in personal and liturgical prayer,” the Cardinal said in his 2004 pastoral letter. “We look forward to the renewal of a sense of reverence and awe for Christ’s gift of His Body and Blood, to be expressed in appropriate times of silence in our churches, in our genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament and in all the care that sourrounds the celebration of the liturgy.”

Pieces of art that lift the mind and heart can increase reverence and awe and help foster Eucharistic devotion.

As the Cardinal said in his 2004 pastoral letter: “We proclaim the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. ... We ... acknowledge that the Eucharist, given to us at Mass, is also to be adored in the Blessed Sacrament reserved in our tabernacles. Adoration ... prepares us spiritually to come back and share again in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. ... I ask the whole Archdiocese of Philadelphia to do everything possible to promote and increase Eucharistic Adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.”

Lou Baldwin is a member of St. Leo parish and a freelance writer. Michelle Laque Johnson is Editor-in-Chief of The CS&T.

Hat-tip to the New Liturgical Movement, which is also providing some good coverage of Sacramentum Caritatis and continuing discussion of the anticipated motu proprio on the Tridentine.

Sacramentum Caritatis - Ongoing Discussion

Pope Benedict signs the Exhortation

As you may know by now, Sacramentum Caritatis is 58 pages long when printed.

I have skimmed the document and there are many things I could pull out and make mention of. But, news organizations like EWTN (via CWNews) have done this, as has Fr. Z. Domenico Bettinelli has two posts up - one on politicians and the Eucharist, and another on Latin in the Liturgy. Drew at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping had an excellent commentary which speaks for me in terms of how this document is going to play out. I was disappointed in reading some of the combox responses in other blogs covering this, when people were visibly down because the Pope didn't smack anyone over the head. In part, Drew writes (emphasis mine and comment in red brackets)

As you know, the Exhortation for the most part has not taken upon itself to decree changes to the Missal or the General Instruction. Does this mean the document is of no consequence to the "reform of the reform?" The answer to this must be a resounding "No": Cardinal Ratzinger, in his books on the liturgy, gave much of the intellectual foundation of the "reform to the reform" simply by pointing out the problem, offering an alternative vision, and letting this vision grab the attention of Catholic intellectuals and youth [precisely my thought as I skimmed the document]. The reform of the reform is impressive for its success thus far given that it has not, for the most part, been promoted by sanction or decree, and yet it not only exists but grows [Bingo! The Holy Spirit at work!]. Indeed, the weakness of the original liturgical reform was that it was done by decree, and in light of this the strength of the reform of the liturgical reform is that it has, among the laity, people who are actively concerned, committed, and, er, participating in promoting it.

The Exhortation plays an important role in this movement, then, by codifying Ratzinger's ideas on liturgy into the written magisterium of the Church. He gave the reform of the reform much of its steam by expressing these ideas in popular books; it can only continue to pick up steam now that these ideas are more fully incorporated into the magisterium. The momentum of liturgy seems, from my vantage, to be clearly swinging in favor of a this reforming of the reform: by this exhortation, will it not continue to pick up speed, and continue to be desired by the people and priests themselves? Certainly, creating an environment in which the Church wants the "reform of the reform," though this takes longer than reform by fiat, is more effective in the long run. [The Holy Spirit doesn't have to make a change in a day, but may work over decades and centuries. It took 40 years to fully reveal just how misunderstood and misapplied Vatican II truly was]. It may be less satisfying than a glorious smack-over-the-head delivered to those with whom one disagrees, but glorious smacks-over-the-head are not effective in the long term [and, to desire smacks-over-the-head is somewhat disordered against charity. God does not force anyone to follow his will and such smack-downs reflect a desire to force people into submission. Rather, this approach puts the food out there for those who are hungry to partake]. How many people, pining for a liturgical smack down akin to Pius X's smack-down against "Modernism," are willing to concede that Modernism dissapeared consequent to being "smacked down?"
My thoughts for the last year or so, are that some of the most progressive-minded priests who have participated and orchestrated a loosening of all things Catholic - including the liturgy - are going to be retiring or heading to final judgment. They will have a few young disciples who will continue to create confusion, but for the most part, this JPII generation of priests and seminarians are being guided by documents just like this, which lift the ambiguity "reform" was previously cloaked in.

Hence, I have much hope and excitement out of this document which some see as having few teeth. The Holy Spirit often works silently in the background, and the work he is doing is in the hearts and minds of seminarians and priests who have been authentically seeking Truth.

Drew beautifully articulates this point:
After Mass today, I met one of the seminarians for my diocese--a reverent guy my age, also in love with the Church. These future leaders of the Church have had their hearts moved and formed by the exhortations of Cardinal Ratzinger and Benedict XVI, and it is precisely to loving and willing hearts that exhortations are recieved and by them are enacted. This exhortation, then, is a seed planted in the heart of those who want to reform the liturgy and the Church, and it is precisely the desire to reform the Church, it seems to me, which is the way to effect a reform of the Church that is sincere and lasting. Reform of the Church, then, begins in the reform of the heart--and in exhorting the willing heart. It is easy to call such Christian exhortation "ineffective" because the effects take time to come to fruition: but is that ineffective governance, or is it good psychology? Reform by fiat, which is not also reform of the hearts of Christians, waits only until the cat is away to quickly decay.

Theology was behind this document, and it should drive our meditations. The problem for the past 40 years is people wanting to conform the theology to their thoughts and feelings, rather than conforming thoughts and feelings to the theology.

I look forward to exploring this document with you, and to bring you links to other good posts on the subject. But, I think we will start back at the beginning and digest this slowly one post at a time. It may take a while, but will give us something to chew on for a while.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What's new? Translation error found in Sacramentum Caritatis

The good news is that Fr. Zuhlsdorf is getting lots of traffic at his blog with everyone wanting his take. As you know, Father always sharpens his pencil on translating Latin and this was no exception. While the error was initially found by someone else, it fell under the Z-light.

The bad news is that Fr. Zuhlsdorf is getting lots of traffic at his blog - so much, the hosting service keeps shutting it down or it's crashing. It's about 3am there now, so he probably doesn't know the blog is down again. The link is there for later use - right now it may not work.

Bad translation in English version of Exhortation about Latin
by Fr. Z on March 13, 2007 (with his original emphases)

For a long time I have warned people about bad English translations of papal documents.

There are methodological problems in that the documents are no longer composed in Latin.

The Latin text, which is the official text, is itself a translation.

However, since no on refers to the Latin text… few people know this. Thus, they are always working with compromised versions of documents.

Moreover, the texts they are working with were those released at the time of the presentation of the document, even though the LATIN is itself revised before publication in is final official form in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. But no one goes back to revise the vernacular versions in keeping with the changes in the Latin Lot’s of people are misquoting documents because the vernacular docs themselves were never updated.

That said, let us take a look at the Exhortation’s paragraph on Latin in the liturgy and see if there is a disconnect. I tip my biretta to "stefano" who was alert and caught this before I did.

Latin: exceptis lectionibus, homilia et oratione fidelium, aequum est ut huiusmodi celebrationes fiant lingua Latina.

In Latin, the phrase aequum est means "it is reasonable, proper, right". It can be rendered as "it is becoming", to use a somewhat archaic turn of phrase.

German: es ist gut, wenn außer den Lesungen, der Predigt und den Fürbitten der Gläubigen die Feier in lateinischer Sprache gehalten wird.

Italian: eccettuate le letture, l’omelia e la preghiera dei fedeli, è bene che tali celebrazioni siano in lingua latina.

French: excepté les lectures, l’homélie et la prière des fidèles, il est bon que ces célébrations soient en langue latine

Spanish: exceptuadas las lecturas, la homilía y la oración de los fieles, sería bueno que dichas celebraciones fueran en latín

Portuguese: exceptuando as leituras, a homilia e a oração dos fiéis, é bom que tais celebrações sejam em língua latina

Polish: z wyjątkiem czytań, homilii oraz modlitwy wiernych, dobrze będzie, jeśli takie celebracje będą odprawiane w języku łacińskim (Literally: "It will be good, if such celebration will be officiated in Latin language").

Are you sensing a pattern in the rendering of aequum est, or rather how aequum est in Latin is more than likely the accurate reading of the original language of composition of the Exortation?

Let’s see the English.

English: with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, such liturgies could be celebrated in Latin.

WOAH…. wait a minute… "could be" celebrated? That changes the entire impact of what the Pope said. All the of the other languages reflect one concept and the English alone says another thing entirely. The English implies that the value of Latin is, at best, a neutral thing. The Latin and all the other languages imply that Latin is positive.

I think we must conclude that whoever did the translation into English chose not to stick to the original text which they were given to work from.

Sacramentum Caritatis

I am at work and just wanted to get the link out to the Pope's exhortation based on the October 2005 Synod on the Eucharist.

Here are some links:

Fr. Zuhlsdorf announces it has been released with his initial thoughts on the complexity of it.

The Official Vatican Text

More later.

EDIT: Fr. Z's Initial Thoughts....

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Full text of talk by Msgr Smitz on Motu Proprio

The other day I noted an article in Envoy Magazine online in which Msgr Smitz of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, was quoted on the subject of the expected motu proprio on the Tridentine. Shawn Tribe at The New Liturgical Movement has brought us the full text of this speech via the Institute's website. You can read the full text by clicking the link below, or by following this link to the NLM post by Shawn which extracts a few interesting quotes. It is too lenghty to post in full. It does get into talk about issues pertaining to the Novus Ordo, as well, so whether you enjoy the Tridentine, or a more traditionally celebrated Novus Ordo, you will probably like reading this talk.

"The Classical Roman Rite and the Renewal of the Liturgy"

Conference by Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz

February 19, 2007

Friday, March 9, 2007

Sacred Signs by Romano Guardini: Walking

Image courtesy of Wendy Bumgardner,
About Walking Guide

from "Sacred Signs" by Romano
Guardini, c 1956

via the EWTN online Library

How many people know how to walk? It is not hurrying
along at a kind of run, or shuffling along at a snail's pace, but
a composed and firm forward movement. There is spring in the
tread of a good walker. He lifts, not drags, his heels. He is
straight, not stoop-shouldered, and his steps are sure and even.

There is something uncommonly fine in the right kind of walking.
It is a combination of freedom and discipline. It is poised, as
if the walker were carrying a weight, yet proceeds with
unhampered energy. In a man's walk there is a suggestion of
bearing arms or burdens; in a woman's an attractive grace that
reflects an inner world of peace.

And when the occasion is religious, what a beautiful thing
walking can be! It is a genuine act of divine worship. Merely to
walk into a church in reverent awareness that we are entering the
house of the Most High, and in a special manner into his
presence, may be "to walk before the Lord." Walking in a
religious procession ought not to be what so often it is, pushing
along out of step and staring about. To escort the Blessed
Sacrament through the city streets, or through the fields, "his
own possession," the men marching like soldiers, the married
women in the dignity of motherhood, the young girls in the
innocent charm of youth, the young men in their restrained
strength, all praying in their hearts, should be a sight of
festive gladness.

A penitential procession should be supplication in visible form.
It should embody our guilt, and our desperate need of help, but
also the Christian assurance that overrules them,--that as in man
there is a power that is superior to all his other powers, the
power of his untroubled will, so, above and beyond human guilt
and distress there is the might of the living God.

Walking is the outward mark of man's essential and peculiar
nobility. It is the privilege of man alone to walk erect, his
movement in his own power and choice. The upright carriage
denotes the human being.

But we are more than human beings. We are, as the Bible calls us,
the generation of God. We have been born of God into newness of
life. Profoundly, through the Sacrament of the Altar, Christ
lives in us; his body has passed into the substance of our
bodies; his blood flows in our veins. For "he that eats my flesh
and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him." These are his
words. Christ grows in us, and we grow in him, until being
thoroughly formed by him, we attain to the full stature of Jesus
Christ, and everything we do or are, "whether we eat or sleep, or
whatsoever we do," our work, our recreation, our pleasures and
our pains, are all taken up into the Christ-life.

The consciousness of this mystery should pass in all its joyous
strength and beauty into our very manner of walking. The command
"to walk before the Lord and be perfect" is a profound figure of
speech. We ought both to fulfil the command and illustrate the

But in sober reality. Beauty of this order is not the product of
mere wishing.


May we walk in the presence of Our Lord, not only when in church, but in life. When we walk into church fully recollected and aware that Our Lord is in the Tabernacle, it should be reflected in our walk through the aisles and corridors: Slow, humble, and with all focus on God. We have the rest of the day to project His love to others, but these precious few moments per week or per day we have in Church should be given entirely to Him.

Blogpost series on Romano Guardini's meditations: Sacred Signs

Introductory Blogpost to Romano

Guardini's book, "Sacred Signs"

- The Sign of the Cross
- The Hands
- Kneeling
- Standing